Ryan Braun smiles during Game Four of the National League Championship Series on October 13, 2011 in St Louis. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
We all know the biggest - and saddest - news of the day. Hall of Fame catcher, and passionate lover of the game, Gary Carter passed away yesterday at 57. Our sincerest condolences go out to those who loved him.
Tony La Russa is joining the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training in a non-uniform, non-official capacity. Crazy - I'll be joining the Cubs for Spring Training in a non-uniform, non-official capacity. I guess La Russa will probably have a better seat, and will eat fewer hot dogs.
The Baltimore Orioles created a bit of an international incident when they signed Korean teenager Seong-Min Kim to a $550k contract without following the proper protocols (namely, informing MLB if their intentions, and having MLB then inform the Korean Baseball Organization). Now it looks like the contract will be voided by MLB, and the Orioles could face additional punishment. Their scouts have already been banned from the country. Of course, if you were judging based on the Orioles' performance in the last decade, you'd think their scouts had already been banned from Korea ... and the DR ... and the United States.
The Tampa Bay Rays have picked up a new mascot: a giant cat, dressed like a DJ. Dubbed "DJ Kitty," the mascot started as a scoreboard gimmick, and has evolved into a fully-formed excitement-provider. All other teams are jealous.
Josh Hamilton will escape any discipline from MLB for his recent, public relapse with alcohol. Instead, Hamilton will continue to get support from the Texas Rangers as he battles his problems with addiction, and the Rangers, for their part, will continue to face a difficult decision as Hamilton approaches free agency.
ESPNW's Amanda Rykoff offers a handy primer on a number of sabermetric stats.
- Ryan Braun's appeal of a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance was expected to be resolved this week, before the time Braun would report to Brewers' Spring camp. But now, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, that may not happen. The delay ever-so-slightly suggests a complex appeal extending beyond the normal "I didn't know what I was taking" or "the test was flawed" excuses (the former of which is not a real defense, and the latter of which is exceedingly hard to prove). Further, the Brewers might have to open their camp not knowing whether they're going to have Braun for the first 50 games of the season or not.
Brett Taylor is a Contributor at Bleed Cubbie Blue, and is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation.