MLB Bullets has made it through the first week of 2013 without causing a riot or a run on the banks. We're still accepting offers for our broadcasting rights, so get your bids in now.
- The Sunday Baseball Notes by Nick Cardafo in the Boston Globe had several interesting tidbits of information. The lead story was the debate about the Hall of Fame ballot and how the voters are approaching the PED issue. Cardafo says "Nobody feels good about this vote, whether it's yes or no," and argues that no one cared about the "character clause" of the Cooperstown vote before Mark McGwire made the ballot.
- More interesting to the readers of this blog (and I hope I'm not stepping on the toes of "Cub Tracks"), Theo Epstein is heading back to Boston for his "Hot Stove Cool Tracks" charity event, and he dropped several interesting Cubs tidbits. Coming into last season, he felt the Cubs only had one "core" player (Starlin Castro), but that they now have four. Two of those players I don't think anyone here would disagree with: Anthony Rizzo and Jeff Samardzija. But Epstein drops a fourth name in Darwin Barney as being a core player to build around, which runs counter to some of the thinking around here.
- Epstein thinks the Red Sox made a good acquisition when they signed Ryan Dempster.
- Cardafo adds that Mike Napoli's fate is in the hands of the doctors now.
- Lance Berkman signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers.
- The Dodgers are weighing their options between bids from Fox and Time-Warner for their broadcast rights. The deal is expected to be worth six billion dollars over 25 years. There is an issue of how much of that money will have to be shared with MLB. The Dodgers say it's one billion and baseball is saying they'll owe two billion. Really, what's a billion dollars between friends?
- The Rays have avoided arbitration with David Price, but the big issue remains whether they can sign him to a long-term deal, writes Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
- Bill Madden of the New York Daily News thinks the days of Scott Boras negotiating "mega-contracts," like the one signed by Alex Rodriguez, are over. I say Boras has more lives than a slasher movie villain.
- Paul Swyden of FanGraphs thinks the Rangers are doing just fine, thank you very much.
- Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus looks at players who had a miserable season at age 27 in 2012. One Cub, Ian Stewart, made the list and two former top Cubs prospects, Felix Pie and Ryan Harvey, also made the list after bad years in independent ball.
- Mariano Rivera says he's at about 95 percent now and will be 100 percent by Opening Day.
- Scott Spratt of The Hardball Times thinks the Padres are smart to move in their fences, as their team was poorly constructed for the old dimensions.
- The "Field of Dreams" in Dyersville, Iowa has been sold to a group of investors who plan to turn it into a baseball complex. Wade Boggs is one of the group's backers. They will build it, but will anyone come?
- A 1909 Honus Wagner Card is going up for auction. I'll go as high as $200.
- Finally, remember how I said former Cubs farmhand Russ Canzler was back with the Indians? Forget that. He's been claimed by the Yankees, who will give him a chance to win a job as a fourth outfielder and part-time DH. David Waldstein of the New York Times calls it "A Mets-like move."
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.