It's good to see that you survived April Fools' Day...
- A little while ago, former Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who was traded to the Cleveland Indians last year, complained to the media that he was not extended by the Rockies, who instead spent big bucks to lock up Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzski. The latter responded in the media, essentially, that Jimenez should get over it, and stop talking about his frustration with the Rockies. Yesterday, Jimenez hit Tulowitzki on the elbow with the first pitch he saw (video here). Tulowitzki subsequently got x-rays, which were negative, but the HBP set off a bench-clearing scuffle, and a handful of reactions after the game. Jimenez said it was unintentional, but Tulowitzki (correctly) pointed out how quickly Jimenez came off the mound ready for a fight (it looked instantaneous - like he wanted to first plunk Tulo, and then to brawl). Rockies manager Jim Tracy was extremely upset. "Five days before Opening Day, you're going to take a pot shot like that? It's the worst I've ever seen," Tracy said. "I've lost all respect for him, and that's a very difficult thing for me to say with all the players I've had to manage over the years." I can't wait to see what happens when these two teams tangle again in ... um ... the World Series.
- The Braves traded pitching prospect JJ Hoover to the Reds for third baseman/outfielder Juan Francisco, who will presumably fill in at third base while Chipper Jones opens the year on the first of what will probably be many stops on the disabled list this year. Francisco, 24, is a good young hitter with big power, but poor plate discipline. He also showed up to camp this year out of shape. That makes Hoover, 24, a pretty nice return for the Reds, given that he's considered by some to be one of the Braves' best pitching prospects (behind the big name pitching prospects in their system, obviously). He projects as a middle-to-back-of-the-rotation type, should he make the show.
- It was an extension-y kind of weekend, with the Indians extending shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on a two-year, $16.5 million deal, the Mets and Jonathon Niese nearing an extension, and the Giants and Matt Cain accelerating their extension discussions with the season about to get underway. Cain is looking for five years and $100 million. Cain would be one of the most sought-after free agents after 2012 if he reaches free agency.
- Milwaukee columnist Michael Hunt (resist your baser urge to make a comment - that's his real name, and it's a fine name) says Ryan Braun either needs to tell the whole story of the PED positive test that wasn't, or stop talking about it entirely. Hunt doesn't like that Braun keeps cryptically referring to "the truth," and letting the story linger. For my part, Braun can let the story linger as long as he wants.
- The Tigers have selected 22-year-old lefty Drew Smyly as their fifth starter, despite the fact that the youngster has pitched just seven games at AA, and none at AAA. At least he's got a great defense behind him to help build his confidence...
- 49-year-old Jamie Moyer will start the year as the number two starter in the Rockies' rotation. That makes me smile.