MLB Bullets is getting into the swing of things with our second edition of the new year. So far, we've taken down all the Christmas lights today although the tree is still up as the family decides where we're going to store it. All the ornaments are put away and the stockings swim with the mothballs.
I don't want to link to anything behind a pay wall, but I did today because it was the only source of an angle to a larger story. But on the rare occasions that I do, I will always try to make that clear.
- Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated takes a look at the top five free agents still left on the market. Corcoran's not the only one to notice this, but the new CBA's free agent compensation rules are having a chilling effect on the upper middle-class of free agents. These players are good enough to receive the one-year qualifying offer of $13.3 million but are not considered superstars. With the new rules, not only do teams signing such players lose their first round draft pick (and now only the top ten picks are protected rather than the top fifteen), but they also lose the signing pool money that goes with it. Of course, Scott Boras has found a possible loophole in a Buster Olney column (ESPN Insider Only Content) that you may have missed on Christmas Eve, if he can only find a team to go along with his plan.
- Dave O'Brien makes a confused defense of the Braves bringing back the "Screaming Indian" logo for their batting practice caps. Our own Rob Neyer picks his column apart. Oh, great. Now I brought that debate over here.
- Charlie Manuel is on the hot seat in Philadelphia, and Ryne Sandberg is waiting in the wings.
- Danica Coto of the Associated Press notes a possible baseball revival in Puerto Rico, forty years after the death of Roberto Clemente.
- Murray Chass has long been an object of ridicule in more progressive baseball circles, and he wouldn't have it any other way. He's decided that he will only cast a single vote for Jack Morris in Hall of Fame elections before giving up his vote for good. Craig Calcaterra rips apart the angry old man yelling from the front lawn of his blog.
- Baseball America ranks the top ten college baseball coaches under forty. The most familiar name is Nebraska's Darin Erstad, who checks in at number nine. But Josh Holliday of Oklahoma State checks in at number one, and he also happens to be Matt Holliday's older brother.
- Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus tries to quantify the non-pitching value of pitchers such as hitting, fielding and baserunning. The bottom line is that while these factors may not be huge, they do make an important difference in wins and losses.
- Also from Baseball Prospectus (and also free), Ben Lindbergh collects stupid Twitter trades that fans of each team have proposed for Giancarlo Stanton.
- The 2013 Major League Baseball season will start on March 31 with the Houston Astros' first game in the American League. They are hosting the Texas Rangers.
- Former Cubs farmhand Russ Canzler is back with Cleveland. He's a candidate for their starting DH job.
The Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team opened their Big Ten schedule with a win over Ohio State.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.