David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Spring Training games start today (although not for the Cubs) and Josh Booty is going to be in camp for the first time since 1998. The World Baseball Classic is getting closer and David Price wants to keep his facial hair.
Four spring training games today! In case you haven't been following it, Josh Booty, as I predicted, won the MLB Network's "The Next Knuckler" show, meaning that he's going to get to pitch an inning with the Diamondbacks this spring training. I know it's an incredible long shot, but I think it would be really cool if Booty would return to the majors some fifteen plus years after he quit the sport for football.
- The Oakland Athletics have received "tentative guidelines" with conditions they must meet before they can move to San Jose. This does not necessarily mean that if Oakland meets these conditions they will be allowed to move, but they must meet these conditions before the commissioner will put it up for a vote. The conditions were not revealed in the Los Angeles Times story, but they apparently do not include coming to a compensation agreement with the Giants. Any compensation would be decided later by the Commissioner. Baseball moves at a glacial pace, but this is clearly intended to be a first step. Buster Olney at ESPN.com (Insider Only) believes this sends a clear message to the Giants: This is going to happen so make the best deal you can now.
- There's lots of World Baseball Classic news as the first games start in eight days in Japan and Taiwan. Yahoo! provides previews of two-time defending champion Japan and China. China has cool caps, at least.
- In the first big WBC scandal, Chinese Tapei was forced to apologize after they were caught spying on Korea. I'm telling you folks, countries want to win this thing.
- The Reds vetoed Johnny Cueto playing in the Classic, which they were allowed to do because he finished the season on the disabled list. The Pirates are fine with Russell Martin representing Team Canada, but he's going to be their starting shortstop instead of catching. Martin started as an infielder in the minors before moving behind the plate.
- Picking up on the discussion from Monday's bullets, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo thinks that Washington can be "primarily a baseball town." That's probably optimistic considering how entrenched the Redskins are, but winning does seem to have created a baseball buzz in our nation's capital.
- You can bid on one of Curt Schiling's
ketchup-stainedbloody socks. The first, and most famous, bloody sock from the 2004 ALCS was thrown away after the game, but Schilling kept the one from the World Series.
- David Wright wants Mets manager Terry Collins to stick around for a while, or at least through 2014.
- Paul White of USA Today says the Yankees have bowed to reality and moved Brett Gardner to center field and Curtis Granderson to left.
- For the first time since 2002, Roy Halladay is likely not going to start on opening day.
- Beard-Gate? David Price first said he wouldn't play for the Yankees because they don't permit their players to have facial hair. Now he's saying he wouldn't rule any team out and that the Yankees are the "best organization in all of sports." What's the Cubs facial hair policy again?
- The Tigers still aren't interested in bringing back Jose Valverde, who is still looking for work.
- The Marlins top prospect, Jose Fernandez, hit their best player, Giancarlo Stanton, in the helmet during an inter-squad game. Stanton says he's OK.
- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau says he's OK too, for the first time in three years.
- With Mat Gamel out for the season and Corey Hart starting the season on the DL, the Brewers are scrambling at first base. They've gotten some good news as Hart thinks he'll be back by the end of April. His doctors probably think the end of May is more likely.
- Do you have an arm? Are you a carbon-based life form? Are you willing to relocate to Texas? Then you may have a chance to pitch in the Astros bullpen this season.
- This is probably the last season of Todd Helton's career, but he's not going to announce it because doesn't want anyone to make a fuss about it.
- It looks like the Mariners have a buffalo playing shortstop for them this season. Actually, the Mariners have always had some of the best team commercials, and the buffalo is part of one of the new ones for 2013.
- Angel Pagan wants to be a role model for young Puerto Ricans.
- The Angels new bullpen is getting healthy.
- Ken Rostenthal reports that the Padres do not expect Everth Cabrera to be suspended in connection to the Biogenesis Scandal. With Yasmani Grandal already suspended, the Padres really can't afford to lose another player.
- Mike Schmidt is fine with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Of course, he also doesn't think they took PEDs.
- Baseball Prospectus asked their writers to name the best moves of the off-season, and one Cubs move made the list, although I suspect some of you won't agree.
The Hawkeye Men's Basketball team's Thursday night game at Nebraska was postponed to Saturday.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.