Touch 'Em All: Jelly Joe Blanton no more

Posted: March 13, 2013

When Joe Blanton takes the mound for the first time in Angel Stadium with his new team, fans who have been oblivious to his career since he left the Phils may be a little surprised.

Blanton, who signed with the Halos as a free agent in December, is about 30 pounds lighter than his normal 260.

"I never looked at it like I needed to lose weight," Blanton said. "It just kind of happened."

Chipper Jones putting on pinstripes?

The banged-up New York Yankees would love to have him. General manager Brian Cashman even said so Monday, expressing interest in the retired Atlanta Braves star.

"He'd be perfect," Cashman said at Yankees' camp in Tampa, Fla. "I'd take Larry in a heartbeat. I think everybody would."

The eight-time all-star third baseman - better known by his nickname than actual first name - quickly ended such talk.

"Enough with the rumors!" Jones tweeted. "I'm happy with life as a bad golfer!"

Pretty much what everyone figured.

"I can imagine a lot of things in baseball," Braves coach and former third baseman Terry Pendleton said, "but Chipper playing for the Yankees isn't one of them. I think a lot of Mets fans would come over to Yankee Stadium to boo him."

Former Fightin's watch

Outfielder Ben Francisco was released by the Cleveland Indians, then he signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees later in the day.

In Surprise, Ariz., Hunter Pence doubled, tripled, and drove in both runs in the San Francisco Giants' 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers.

- Inquirer wire services

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