Wednesday Afternoon Stuff You May Have Missed

Here are a few notes from today that are either pertinent to the Cubs, interesting, or just plain weird:

Jose Guillen may be suspended for HGH use:

The Major League Baseball Players Association is negotiating with MLB officials on a possible 10- to 15-day suspension for outfielder Jose Guillen for his reported involvement in the purchase of steroids and human growth hormone, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Wednesday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003 through 2005.

COMMENT: Well, the Royals, who just signed Guillen to a 3/36 contract, should have had an idea. Guillen's been a loose cannon almost
his whole ML career -- why else would a guy with this much talent be going on his ninth team in his eleventh season?

Got an incentive clause in your contract for a postseason award? Better get it by 2012:

Baseball players no longer would receive bonuses for winning the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young or rookie awards bestowed by the Baseball Writers' Association of America under a rule passed Wednesday.

Starting in 2013, players with such bonus clauses in their contracts will be banned from receiving votes for any BBWAA awards. Hall of Fame voting is not affected, nor are manager of the year or non-BBWAA awards such as the World Series MVP or Gold Glove.

"When we first started giving out these awards it was just to honor somebody. You got a trophy, there was no monetary reward that went with it," BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O'Connell said. "I honestly don't think people vote with that in mind. But the attachment of a bonus to these awards creates a perception that we're trying to make these guys rich."

The vote was 41-21 on the rule, which was brought up by The Associated Press several years ago. The BBWAA appointed a committee to discuss the rule with the commissioner's office and the players' association.

COMMENT: Good, again. Like these guys need MORE money to be incented to do well.

In this article, which someone else posted in one of the comments (sorry, I can't find it now!) mostly to point out that it says that "It's probably good news for Reds fans that Willis wasn't acquired. Baker surely would have overused Willis and ruined his career, like he did to Mark Prior and Kerry Wood", it also says:

The Reds released Jorge Cantu. Kind of a surprise here in that Cincy could have platooned Cantu (righty) and Joey Votto (lefty) at first base and traded Scott Hatteberg. Then again, Cantu's terrible. Remember when MLB advertised him as one of the stars heading into the World Baseball Classic alongside Ichiro, Clemens and Pujols? I remember thinking to myself, "Allllllllriiiiiight."

COMMENT: The Cubs have had interest in Cantu before; he actually hit fairly well (.298/.382/.491) in a small-sample-size 57 at-bats for the Reds late last year. He'll turn 26 in January and can play multiple positions. I say he'd be worth a minor-league invite.

Finally, I call your attention to this diary, in which the diary poster found a site which declared that the Mets had traded for Scott Kazmir. It was clearly a fake site, made to look like a MLB.com page.

I ask that all of you go look at the BCB site note diary I posted this morning. In it, several posters mentioned that it seems as if people are trying to be "the first" with news, trying to scoop everyone else; as I noted in the Kazmir fake trade diary, great Chicago journalist Mike Royko used to always quote the old Chicago City News Bureau motto: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

Truer words have never been spoken. If you find something that seems too good to be true, or too odd to be true, it probably is. Before you breathlessly post a diary with potentially wrong information, check it out with a couple of other online sources first.

Thanks. Try to enjoy the rest of the winter meetings and stop hyperventilating.

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