Got to hang a bit at the game yesterday with Al. You know who's a cool guy? Al. The latest from around MLB, as you ease into the weekend...
- Johnny Damon finally has a team, after signing a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians. Damon gets just $1.25 million in base salary, with another $1.4 million in incentives. Damon, 38, was relatively productive last year with the Rays - he had a 110 OPS+ - but the market flooded with aging DH types, and he found few suitors for his services. Well, few suitors that were willing to guarantee him the kind of playing time he was looking for in order to try and reach 3,000 hits (he stands at 2,723). Damon isn't expected to see game action for a little while, as he first will go through his own version of Spring Training.
- From the injury ward: Michael Morse is going to be shut down for at least six weeks after a setback in his recovery from a lat strain, Drew Storen had a bone fragment removed from his elbow, Lorenzo Cain strained his groin, Jeremy Hellickson is doing all right after taking a batting practice fly ball off the head, and Scott Baker is out for the year after right elbow surgery.
- Speaking of injuries, the Atlanta Braves have been without Tim Hudson to start the year, as he rehabs following offseason back surgery. He just had a rehab start at A-ball Rome, and it didn't go so well - he gave up five runs on nine hits over just four innings.
- The St. Louis Cardinals are having all kinds of World Series-related festivities this weekend, which makes sense, given that today is their home opener. I wouldn't much care about all that if, you know, the Cubs weren't heading to St. Louis today. Grumble.
- Beyond the Box Score takes a look at how predictable MLB teams are by analyzing the range of pre-season predictions for each team. The most unpredictable team, in terms of how they'll finish, is the Miami Marlins, while the most predictable is the Boston Red Sox. The Cubs come in as the 12th most unpredictable team, which seems kind.
- The Phillies are going to sign Pat Burrell. ... for a day, so he can retire in a Phillies uniform. Burrell spent nine of his twelve big league seasons with the Phillies.