The bad news just keeps on coming for the Yankees, while the Phillies think that they need a change of attitude. The Nationals blame their playoff exit on a lack of experience and a baseball legend has retired. Oh, and Jeffrey Loria is still making a fool out of himself.
The silly stories are starting to trail off as actual games are underway. Now the baseball press can actually talk about hits and strikeouts rather than speculating on trades or writing about a ballplayer's childhood pet. But there's always room for a bloody sock.
- Al posted this in a fanshot last week, but in case you missed it, Joe Posnanski wrote an in-depth and insightful article on the rise and fall of Alex Rodriguez.
- In more bad news for the Yankees, Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch which broke his forearm. He's going to miss 10 weeks.
- Jonathan Papelbon said that in his time with the Phillies, he had not "seen any leadership" on the team. When this seemed to cause a hubbub among the media, he clarified his comments, mentioning injuries that cost the team Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay for much of the year. But unlike what normally happens when someone says something like this, his Phillies teammates seem to back Papelbon's statements, with Halladay and Jimmy Rollins saying similar things. So in the end, the story isn't about Papelbon but about the Phillies.
- What would MLB Bullets be without some controversy coming out of South Florida? This time, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria took out a full-page ad in three area newspapers defending himself and his operation of the team. It's always a good idea to tell your potential customers that they're too ignorant to understand what you are trying to do. (Read the comments. Pure gold.)
- Curt Schilling's bloody sock sold for $92,612. Darren Rovell of ESPN, always trying to keep his name in the news, called the low price a "disappointment" and said that Schilling's failed business is hurting his brand name. That's one way to look at it. The other way to look at it is that Schilling got ninety-two thousand dollars for a piece of trash.
- Who's the highest-paid outfielder for the Mets in 2013? It's Bobby Bonilla!
- Russell Martin has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic. The Pirates were uneasy with him playing shortstop and he didn't want to catch. At some point, the Commissioner's office, be it Bud or someone else in 2017, is going to have to start pressuring clubs to stop pressuring their players about the WBC. It's already banned in the CBA, but it's going unenforced right now.
- Hiroyuki Nakajima felt his first in-game action with the Athletics was a success.
- A Cubs player is getting a World Series ring this year!
- Ken Rosenthal says that even though the White Sox have been quiet this off-season, they're still potentially dangerous.
- They don't call him "Robo-thal" for nothing. Rosenthal also reports that new Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo sent the Indians GM Chris Antonetti a letter, in English, thanking them for the opportunity they gave him in Cleveland. Also, he's surprised that the Reds want him to play center field.
- The Padres are hoping 2013 is a repeat of 2010, except for the late-season collapse part. They believe that 2012 was a lot like 2009, so they're hoping the same formula is there.
- Diamondbacks part-time broadcaster Joe Garagiola has retired (did you even know he was still active? He's 87.) Many of the best games of my youth were called by Garagiola and Tony Kubek, so I wish him a happy retirement.
- Michael Cuddyer thinks baseball should throw the book at PED users.
- Eddie Guardado sees a lot of himself in Twins closer Glen Perkins. He thinks Perkins has the mentality to thrive in the role.
- Eric Hosmer doesn't want to forget his poor 2012, he wants to learn from it.
- The Rays think Jose Molina is one of their most valuable players because of his ability to frame pitches for strikes.
- Nationals closer Drew Storen was dealing with significant back pain when he blew the save that cost Washington their playoff series with the Cardinals. Manager Davey Johnson says it was Storen's inexperience, not his injury, that caused him to blow the save. Ahh, the "proven closer" explanation. Now we know why the Nationals spent $28 million and a first-round draft pick on Rafael Soriano.
- Red Sox hurler John Lackey is glad to be back on the mound.
- Mets top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler could go north with the team at the end of spring training.
The Hawkeye men's basketball team blew a 19 point lead and fell to Nebraska, 64-60.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.