Winter Meetings Non-Transaction News

There were a couple of notes in this morning's Tribune, buried at the bottom of two articles, not involving trades or signings of any kind, that I found of interest.

Phil Rogers:

Baseball's tiebreaking coin flips appear on their way out, to be replaced by a system awarding home-field advantage for one-game playoffs to teams with better head-to-head records.

COMMENT: It's about time. MLB can fix the last remaining such issue by giving the World Series home games to the team with the best record. And yes, Bud, you can still figure out all the hotel room problems. The best record in each league is determined at least three weeks before the first World Series game, and you'll have at least an idea of what cities might qualify at least a month before that.

Paul Sullivan:

[Aramis] Ramirez is expected to decline an invitation to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Sources said Ramirez likes to stay in his routine in the spring, and he probably would be a backup anyway if Alex Rodriguez starts at third for the Dominicans. … Among the Cubs expected to participate in the WBC are [Alfonso] Soriano and Carlos Marmol (Dominican Republic), Geovany Soto (Puerto Rico), [Kosuke] Fukudome (Japan), [Ryan] Dempster (Canada) and [Derrek] Lee (United States). [Carlos] Zambrano has not decided whether to play for Venezuela.
COMMENT: There was some talk three years ago that Z's participation in the WBC threw off his preseason routine and was responsible for the horrible April (0-2, 5.35 in 6 starts) he had in 2006. He did recover to have a good year (16-7, 3.41), although he had his highest career walk total that year. I'm guessing Z doesn't play, unless he gets pressured to do so.
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