Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig attends a news conference at MLB headquarters on November 22, 2011. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The latest from around MLB, as you fill out your brackets...
- MLB was able to get two extra Wild Cards in place for the 2012 season, but the same will not be true of expanded instant replay, thanks to disagreements about the precise contours of the plan between MLB, the players' union and the umpires' union. The new target date for implementation is 2013. "We weren't able to come up with an acceptable set of agreements between the three parties," MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred told The Associated Press. "We hope we'll be able to do it in time for the 2013 season." The types of plays sought to be added to instant replay include trapped balls, fair-or-foul calls, and fan interference. Instant replay is a controversial subject among baseball fans, but rapid improvements in technology make it difficult to continue accepting calls that are obviously incorrect.
- The Kansas City Royals recently signed 21-year-old catcher Salvador Perez to a five-year, $7 million contract extension, which also includes some team-friendly options at the end. The move was generally regarded as an intriguing way to try and gain some cost certainty (and savings) over a player who wouldn't even be arbitration-eligible for another three years. In exchange for the team-friendly terms and the cost certainty, the Royals took on the risk of injury. But what are the odds of the kind of injury that will make their investment worthless, right? Well, it may not be a serious injury, but Perez is now dealing with a knee issue, the details of which are "sketchy." His manager is concerned, and Perez is being evaluated further.
- Carlos Zambrano is fitting in well with his new team, the Miami Marlins. If he was going to fit in anywhere, it was there, and, let's be honest: it's Spring Training. Everyone fits in in Spring Training (except Carlos Silva). Zambrano: "I feel good here. I feel in peace. I feel stronger. I'm working harder. When you work hard and you see the result, and you have a team like this, it makes you want to do better."
- Oh, no! Yu Darvish walked a bunch of guys and gave up some runs in his second Spring start! The Rangers are fools! They're doomed! DOOMED!!!! Or, it's just a few lousy Spring Training innings, and it's not really indicative of much of anything.
- Bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers is down to five groups, with the highest bid - $1.6 billion - coming from Magic Johnson's group. The lowest remaining bid is about $1.3 billion, so, no matter which is selected, the purchase price is going to blow away what the Ricketts family paid for the Chicago Cubs.