USA TODAY Sports
Joey Votto is playing in the World Baseball Classic, but Mark Teixeira is out with a wrist injury. Paul Konerko may be his replacement. Nolan Ryan may be out in Texas. Rafael Furcal is off to see Dr. Andrews. And the Tigers are looking for a closer.
There's a bit of a lull in the World Baseball Classic with one game today that's a fascinating match-up between Japan and Cuba but unfortunately, both teams have already qualified for the next round and the game is little more than an exhibition at this point. But there is plenty of baseball news, both WBC related and not.
- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has a strained wrist and has pulled out of the WBC. He's going to see team doctors today and is hoping the WBC is all he's going to miss.
- So speculation is swirling over who is going to replace Teixeira on Team USA. The leading candidate right now appears to be Paul Konerko, although Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard and Ike Davis have also been mentioned. This could work out well for Team USA because I think Konerko is a better hitter than Teixeira, although team defense will take a bit of a hit.
- Joey Votto feels good and will play for Team Canada in the WBC.
- Brett Anderson played for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics. He's upset that baseball is no longer an Olympic sport and he hopes to play for Team USA in the 2017 WBC.
- Nolan Ryan's future with the Rangers is in doubt after promotions to GM Jon Daniels and COO Rick George have apparently stripped him of his authority with the club. Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Ryan could be gone by the end of spring training. Galloway also speculates that Ryan could end up back with the Astros.
- Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth thinks Kyle Lohse still doesn't make sense for the Rangers. At least not yet.
- Ted Lilly, trying to win a rotation spot with the Dodgers, had a start pushed back with "flu-like symptoms." That's a code phrase meaning "Sneak into a terrorist stronghold, capture the entire cell, blow up their lair and rescue a kidnapped Kate Upton." Ted, your country needs you more than Don Mattingly does.
- This has already been discussed a lot around here, but the Tigers want to trade for a closer. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press thinks the Tigers don't need an experienced closer and cites three cases of pitchers with no previous closing experience performing well last season.
- Justin Verlander would be just fine with a gay teammate.
- Jonah Keri of Grantland thinks the Phillies window of contention is over and it's time for them to start rebuilding
- Derek Jeter thinks the Yankees have to get back to the small ball that they won with back in 1996. I hate to break it to the Captain, but the Macarena isn't coming back either.
- Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal is going to see Dr, James Andrews about his right elbow. I always imagine such meetings having Andrews all dressed in black and inviting the player to a game of chess. Everyone speaks Swedish, too. Pete Kozma and Ronny Cedeno are candidates to play shortstop for the Cardinals while Furcal is out.
- Francisco Peguero's great spring for the Giants may win him a major league job on opening day.
- The San Diego City Council have scheduled a public forum to discuss the impasse between Time-Warner Cable and Fox Sports San Diego. Executives from both companies will be present to answer questions from the council and the public.
- Anthony Rendon's goal this spring is to make sure the Nationals don't forget about him.
- Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press says that the Twins will be relying on a "bionic" rotation this season. He does note that it will cost a lot more than six million dollars, though.
- Larry Stone asks if the Mariners' strong spring is a real sign of an improved team. Almost certainly not, he concluded, but fans should hang on to their dreams anyway.
- Randy Johnson is back working with the Diamondbacks. There had been some bad blood there, apparently.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs is skeptical that tougher penalties on PED use would deter cheats. It's an interesting argument.
- The Big Ten is considering proposing a rule change that would give schools the option to start the NCAA Baseball season in the fall.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.