Kerry Wood's going to get his shot as closer. Good, I say. I have always felt, since Wood got hurt after 2003, that he would be well suited for closing. He's got the right mental makeup and when healthy, that terrific fastball. Paul Sullivan quotes Wood:
"It's fun. It's a rewarding job, and you definitely know when you're in the game, the game is on the line. ... It's a high-pressure job. We need someone down there who's going to get it done. Demp has done a great job for us, and he's moving on to starting now, so somebody's got to fill his role."
- Mark Prior's staying. Well, probably. They want him to sign a two-year deal with incentives. Sullivan's article says "they may decide to trade or non-tender the right-hander if he doesn't agree to a deal in the next month." In fact, they could non-tender him first, then sign him to this incentive-laden deal. I'd think both parties would be amenable to that. It'd be terrible if Prior DID recover his old form for, say, the Cardinals.
- It's official: the Dodgers are going to play an exhibition game at the LA Coliseum on March 29, vs. the Red Sox, as part of celebrating their 50th anniversary in Los Angeles (finally! a team that gets the "50th anniversary" concept right, doing it in the actual anniversary year rather than the year before). They've got a sense of humor about something else Coliseum-related, too:
"We always knew the Dodgers would return to the Coliseum before the NFL," Coliseum Commission vice president David Israel said jokingly.
- I got an email a while back asking me if I knew what the World Series shares would be this year, and how they are divided. This article answers your questions. Per-share amounts dropped in 2007, primarily because:
World Series ticket prices were basically unchanged this year, and revenue was down because of the success of the Red Sox -- Fenway Park has the smallest capacity among major league ballparks.
Each of the Rockies got $233,505, and they voted one full share to Mandy Coolbaugh, widow of Mike Coolbaugh, their Double-A coach at Tulsa who was killed last summer when hit in the head by a foul ball.
- Lost in the announcement of the Hall of Fame voting which is discussed in this BCB diary is the fact that the Veterans Committee is also voting this winter; ballots are due next Monday. No, that doesn't mean Ron Santo gets a shot; this year the balloting is for managers, executives and umpires. The nominees are:
Executives: Buzzie Bavasi, Barney Dreyfuss, John Fetzer, Bob Howsam, Ewing Kauffman, Bowie Kuhn, John McHale, Marvin Miller, Walter O'Malley, Gabe Paul; Managers/Umpires: Whitey Herzog, Davey Johnson, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch, Danny Murtaugh, Billy Southworth, Dick Williams, Doug Harvey, Hank O'Day, Cy RiglerInteresting list. No matter how you feel about the MLB players union and all the labor strife, there is no doubt that Marvin Miller changed baseball. He deserves induction. Of the rest, I think I'd vote for Kuhn (who also had a great impact on the game), Herzog and Martin for their combined playing/managing careers, and O'Day; O'Day, through his ruling on the Merkle Incident -- perhaps the single most important play in Cubs history -- had great influence on an important rule change. (You can read more about how that happened in the BCB top 100 profile of Johnny Evers.)
- Finally, for all you Sam Fuld fans out there, Bruce Miles reports that he's going to be named Arizona Fall League MVP at the Winter Meetings this weekend, where Bruce also writes that Jim Hendry would...
... like to add a left-handed hitting right fielder. The No. 1 target still appears to be Japanese star Kosuke Fukudome, who has yet to declare whether he will hit the market in North America.
Free-agent second baseman Kaz Matsui, a switch hitter who helped Colorado to the World Series this year, is said to be on vacation and still weighing offers among the Cubs, Astros and Rockies.
Discuss, as they say, amongst yourselves.