February 21, 2007

Baseball’s Back!

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

After a few long, cold months, the sleeping giant known as Major League Baseball has come out of hibernation. More and more stars are reporting to spring training camps every day. I’m sure everyone is (read: I am) already looking at key position battles and early-forms to help establish a cheat sheet for my beloved fantasy baseball league(s).

Barry Bonds reports to media frenzy

Very predictably, Barry Bonds showed up to Giants’ camp and was mauled by reporters asking about his sordid affairs. While this is all old hat to him, shouldn’t this motivate him to break the record quicker? The media pressure will be eased incredibly after he breaks the record because that’s one less storyline to chase. Way to egg him on boys.

Cubs dodge a bullet

It seems Chicago has lucked out by signing Carlos Zambrano to a $12.4 M, one-year deal just days before he was set to go to arbitration. Their ace had originally commanded upwards of $15 M and may have gotten it had they not settled. The bigger question now is will the Cubs be able to hammer out a multi-year extension with Zambrano before his opening day deadline? If nothing can come to fruition, Carlos will hit the free agent market next winter and will command a veritable ton of money. The Yankees and the Mets must be licking their lips right now.

Manny-being-Manny

It looks like Boston slugger Manny Ramirez is up to his old routine again. Close friend and Red Sox teammate Julian Tavarez has told the media that Manny won’t be showing up to spring training on time because his mother has an undisclosed surgery scheduled. While that is all fine in my books and probably in Boston management’s as well, the issue is that they learned of this the same way that the media did; from Tavarez. It turns out that Manny didn’t call anyone to let them know about this turn of events, which just reminds us that there is no personality in sports like Manny Ramirez.

A-Rod vs. Jeter

All is not fine in Yankee-land as Alex Rodriguez’s and Derek Jeter’s friendship is now on the rocks. Actually, it depends on who you ask about it; A-Rod seems to think it’s cooled down but Jeter seems to think they’re ok. Two things that are more interesting arise from this “feud.” Firstly, the two used to have sleepovers regularly. Second was Joe Torre’s great quote that you don’t need to work as a team to win. Last I checked, this is the reason that the Yankees-philosophy of huge payrolls hasn’t been garnering championships. Might be time to re-think that one Joe.

Jimmy Rollins writes cheque with mouth

Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins opened his mouth and wrote a cheque that his ass may not be able to cash. Rollins proclaimed that Philadelphia is the team to beat in the NL East. Last I checked, the loaded New York Mets, and the tough, young Braves and Marlins were still in the NL East. While they do have a talented team, “team to beat” seems like an overstatement to me.

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