I'm not much of one for goodbyes. Actually, that's not true - I'm usually incredibly long-winded about that kind of thing. But, since this isn't really a goodbye, I'll keep it brief. This is my last MLBullets for BCB (though you can look for the feature to live on), and I want to thank you all for reading them this past year. I've enjoyed it, and want to thank Al for letting me be a part of the writing group here. I'll still be around in the community, and you can also see my work over at Bleacher Nation. Thanks again, and on to the MLBullets ...
- This will probably be getting some play for the next few days because it continues to be a sticky issue. New Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter was asked what it would be like to have an openly gay teammate, and he responded: "For me, as a Christian ... I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable." For most people, the religious angle will serve as an effective shield, but it's an unfortunate view. I say this without an ounce of religious judgment, but, instead, I'm just thinking as a teammate - Hunter has previously had, or currently has, in all odds, a gay teammate. Now, that guy is going to feel even worse about who he is and about his ability to be completely honest about his life, to the extent he wanted to in the first place. I'm of the mind that, because sexuality doesn't matter when it comes to sports, everyone should just be able to be who they are, and that'll be that. In 20 years, we'll probably think this era of the "gay athletes in sports" question was totally ridiculous.
- The Red Sox and Mike Napoli are still negotiating about the contract he agreed to four weeks ago. The Red Sox clearly want some protection built into the agreement about Napoli's hip, and they're keeping in contact with Adam LaRoche, just in case. They'd prefer not to go that route, though, as LaRoche would cost them their second round pick. It'd be interesting to know how many other moves/free agents this whole drama is holding up - LaRoche doesn't want to sign until the Red Sox bow out; the Nats don't want to move Michael Morse until LaRoche is done; maybe the Mariners don't want to sign a player until they know they can't get Morse; maybe that player doesn't want to sign until he knows whether the Mariners are bidding ... and on and on.
- The Cardinals are having Matt Carpenter, whose bat should be in the lineup, but who had trouble finding time at his more natural positions (first base and third base), learn to play second base. If he became a passable defensive option there, that's a great bat for second base. On the other hand, with an aging Rafael Furcal at short, that's not a lot of range up the middle.
- The Marlins are listening to offers for Giancarlo Stanton, which, if a deal happened, could be the biggest prospect haul in recent memory. I doubt he goes this year, though.
- Beyond the Boxscore with a saber-round-up, including the affect of complete games on young pitchers.
- Sportswriters, drama queens, and Hall of Fame balloting, from David Murphy. Speaking of which, Peter Gammons on the Steroid Era, and voting for Hall of Famers this year.