Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yankee Nation to Descend On Oriole Park For Opening Day & ESPN Will Witness It All...

As most any season ticket holder to the Baltimore Orioles knows -- the Evil Empire will be coming to Charm City for Opening Day at Camden Yards on April 6th. There will be hardcore Oriole fans who will be there, but of course there will also be a throng of Yankee fans -- local and not -- coming to see their team embark on their manifest destiny to the World Series (or not).

The big question now on many minds will be how many Oriole fans will actually dare show up on that day?

I just checked out Jay Trucker's blog on the Examiner website and apparently ESPN will be here chronicling the Yankees on the Opening Day telecast -- more specifically C.C. Sabathia's first start; thus, more or less, the Orioles will just be part of the supporting cast (or just maybe the extras).

One could think that there will be incessant talk on how Tex was signed by the Yankees and how the Red Sox lost him, the Steinbrenners, will Burnett become Carl Pavano II and a litany of other topics all related to New York.

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The World Baseball Classic; A Night With Cal and Eddie...

I have been wondering if the World Baseball Classic means really anything to a lot of baseball fans. In light of the Hot Stove, and what players would go where, there has been very, very little talk of the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The 2009 rendition will take place between March 5th and 23rd at various venues in North America along with Asia, and the championship round will take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Ca. Right now, it looks like Baltimore's Melvin Mora and Cesar Izturis will be participating for Venezuela, while Nick Markakis declined due to family obligations -- mainly the upcoming birth of his child.

So far, the American players include Red Sox second baseman -- and reigning American League MVP -- Dustin Pedroia, Braves catcher Brian McCann, Angels pitcher John Lackey and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Others include Mark DeRosa, Kevin Youkilis & Ryan Braun. Meanwhile, stars like Ryan Howard, Josh Hamilton, Cole Hamels, and Brad Lidge have passed on it.

My question is does the American public care for the event contrived by Major League Baseball to foster the game throughout the world, as well as to make more money and sell merchandise?

It seems that players born in the United States either have a passion -- or don't (one could say that their employers or their personal wishes trump national pride), in comparison to their counterparts, especially from Asia and Latin America.

I'm debating if I want to check it out in Florida or Toronto during my spring baseball excursion; however, I simply might do the regular spring training routine and barnstorm Florida.

This morning, the Sports Legends Musuem at Camden Yards via the Baltimore Sun announced that it will host an exclusive event on Feb. 4 with former Orioles & Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray.

Here's the text from the article: "An Evening with Cal & Eddie" will take place at Sports Legends Museum from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and feature a "fireside chat" with Ripken and Murray hosted by longtime Baltimore broadcaster Scott Garceau. Each guest will receive an item autographed by both Hall of Famers and have a photograph taken with Ripken and Murray. The evening will also include a cocktail reception, and guests will have access to the galleries in Sports Legends Museum.

Tickets are limited as just 150 tickets are available for purchase at $500 each. They may be purchased by calling 410-727-1539 ext. 3013 or contacting Mary Hennemann at

It should be a great night out there for sure; however, at $500 a ticket in these tough economic times may pose a hardship for some. Nevertheless, the event to be held in February should be for hardcore Oriole fans who want to rub elbows with Baltimore sports legends.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Youre Kidding Me. The Orioles Want Richie Sexson?

Been out all night, but I nearly fell out of the chair when I read this from the Sun's Peter Schmuck.

Ok. This guy, I will admit has had a solid major league career; however, his best years might be behind him. He was horrible in 2008, and at this point -- he's simply a low salary, high reward guy who you hope has something left in the tank.

From the Sun: The Orioles still are trying to figure out what they'll do at first base this coming season, and they've given some consideration to attempting a salvage operation with former 45-homer guy Richie Sexson. Club officials apparently have had at least one conversation with Sexson's agent, Casey Close, though the depth of their interest is uncertain.

Sexson's offensive numbers have been in steep decline for the past couple of years, but he might be a worthwhile gamble if he's willing to take an incentive-laden contract. He turned 34 yesterday, so he would definitely be a temporary fix, but he has hit 30 or more homers six times in his career and hit 45 homers in 2001 and 2003. He split a very disappointing 2008 season between the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Is Upon Us...

There does not seem to still be going much on with the Orioles or signings in Major League Baseball; however, the Big Unit is now in San Francisco and may perhaps be the least 300 game winner for a long while if he can stay healthy in 2009.

Well, what do I hope for with the Orioles in the new year? Um, perhaps a few more wins for starters; however, being in the AL East and the shape the team is in versus the rest of the division, that's a tall order.

The money that was going for Mark Teixeira should be spent on pitching, not put away for another day. If we are going after reclamation projects -- find a diamond in the rough like the Kyle Lohse of 2008 -- not necessarily the Mark Hendrickson's of the world (though they have a need). Then again, bring bodies -- lots of 'em -- as evidenced by last year, you can never have enough arms.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pitcher Mark Hendrickson An Oriole...

I was about to head to sleep, but Ian from Sox and Dawgs sent me an email via a report from Roch Kubatko on that the Orioles have come close to an agreement with hurler Mark Hendrickson.

Here's a bit more from the Spencer Fordin about the pitcher.

From the The report said that any deal would be pending a physical examination and that an announcement could come early in the week. Hendrickson's agent told the Baltimore Sun last week that there was interest between the two sides, and the Orioles have consistently said they need to add multiple pitchers this offseason.

>>> Read More

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Pudge Rodriguez an Oriole?

With the Baltimore Orioles seemingly in need a catcher -- a starter, backup, or otherwise -- while phenom Matt Wieters may start the year in Triple-A to get some seasoning, there have been talks of former Oriole Gregg Zaun taking the role.

However, there has been another name of late who has joined the fray -- Ivan "Pugde" Rodroguez.

Baltimore Sun blogger and columnist Peter Schmuck brought up this topic in a recent blog post, as he says:

From the Baltimore Sun: Former Oriole Gregg Zaun remains the free-agent catcher most likely to end up in the Orioles lineup on Opening Day, but there have been conversations with agent Scott Boras about veteran Ivan Rodriguez (left). Whether he would be a good fit to mentor Matt Wieters and eventually step aside for the O's top minor league prospect has been a subject of some discussion in the O's front office.
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I'd Hate To Be A Lions Fan...

If you think the Orioles have it bad -- can you imagine what's going on in Detroit? The Lions became the first ever 0-16 history as they lost to the Green Bay Packers, 31-21. They fought, but in the end, they could not salvage a win.

Sports is a very important fabric of a community, and to see the Lion this bad -- especially considering what is going on with the Big Three auto companies, what's happened on the political scene up there, and the conditions of the city in general -- is nothing short of depressing.

I hope things get better in the Motor City sooner rather than later.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Old Our Friend Sammy Sosa Wants To Return To Baseball...

Reading the information super-highway the other day, I caught that Sammy Sosa -- a member of the 600 home run club -- was looking for a return to the Major Leagues.

The slugger who excited the world of baseball with his home run hitting ability, unabashed love for the game, and his infectious smile brought joy not only to Cubs fans in the 1990's, but to the world of baseball.

Furthermore, many credit him and Mark McGwire for rekindling the interest of the sport to fans and admirers alike; however, all the goodwill he had built up went pretty much down the toilet after his appearance on Capitol Hill years ago.

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Pitching, Pitching, Pitching...

It's the day after Christmas, and not much is going on with the Orioles; however, it looks like the Orioles are going after pitching -- probably closer to the stop-gap/mid-level variety.

According to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are after Japanese hurler Kenshin Kawakam -- who is also being targeted by the Red Sox, Braves, Dodgers, Twins, Giants and Brewers.

>>> Read more

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and the Blog Is Moving...

Merry Christmas, and hope everyone is having a Happy Holiday! Hope everyone is happy and safe with family, friends, or whomever is special in your life.

Anyhow, starting tomorrow, this blog will be migrating to the Bloguin network, and you can simply access the blog at

I'll still have posts appearing on Blogger -- however, they'll be more in a preview format to direct you to the new platform.

Rest in Peace, Catwoman; Eartha Kitt Dead at 81

According to the AP, Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died of colon cancer. She was 81.

She was a great Catwoman back in the day during the campy "Batman" series. Rest in peace, Eartha.

Brian Roberts & Around The Blogosphere

At this point, with the reality of Mark Teixeira not being signed by Baltimore, the question that many have asked is what will happen to Brian Roberts?

As most of us know, the Baltimore Orioles are in the rebuilding stage and have has eleven straight losing seasons. Moreover, the team plays in the AL East, and with the Rays as defending division champs, and with the powerhouse Red Sox, along with the retooled Yankees, one must think the organization has the task of climbing Mount Everest.

Andy MacPhail -- despite the misgivings of a few fans -- I think has done a solid job in rebuilding the team. There's probably going to have a painful decision to be made with Roberts, and I think he will be traded before his contract is up.

I am going to fathom that Baltimore will offer him an extension, but he will turn it down for the fact he wants to play on a competitive team. His status will be one of many questions as Spring Training is only about seven-eight weeks away.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

THKC Podcast: Teixeira, Salary Cap & Manny Ramirez

Ian of Sox and Dawgs and I taped our weekly show this afternoon that aired on the Fantasy Sports Channel at Blog Talk Radio.

We talked about the Mark Teixeira signing and it's impact on the game as well as gave our thoughts.

Lenny Melnick of Melnick and Greco Fantasy Sports stopped by at the end of the show as well. You can check it out by following the link provided at the end here. [The Hits Keep Coming - 12.24]

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The Day After

After having a day to digest the news of Mark Teixeira signing with the Evil Empire, and I'll say I can't blame him for signing with New York, nor the Yankees for signing him. You can't blame Andy MacPhail or Peter Angelos -- despite the history and how many feel about him -- due to simply the Orioles not having a chance at all.

The slugger, the more I hear in the press had zero interest in playing for Baltimore, and the news that came out insinuating he did may have just been planted by Scott Boras to drive up interest in his client.

If the events of yesterday have not convinced you that the sport needs a salary cap, I don't know what to say. It's one thing if the Yankees had one huge contract signing -- but three within the last two weeks -- who could compete with that in today's economy?

The inequity in baseball between the haves (the New York, Los Angeles & Chicago teams, Boston) and have nots (everyone else) has now become so great that you have to wonder if the gap can be closed. Now, can we assume that the Yankess will win the AL East, much get to the World Series? No.

But their job is much, much easier than let's say a Cincinnati, or Milwaukee or Kansas City.

I'm pro-business, but how will most fans -- everyday people -- even see the Yankees now or much less even get a ticket up there? Man, the price of tickets after the inaugural season at the new ballpark will sky rocket.

I guess there’s nothing technically wrong with the Yankees participating in capitalism; however, it just leaves a bad taste in sports fans mouths to see this going on when the economy is in the tank.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MacPhail's Response To The Teixeira Signing...

Here's MacPhail's reaction to the Teixeira signing, and after reading it, I don't necessarily blame him. It's tough to see the news from today, but let's move on, get some pitching and head into spring training with at least some improvement to the roster.

From the Baltimore Sun: The Orioles' offered Teixeira a seven-year, $140 million deal and told his agent, Scott Boras, that they were willing to be flexible in negotiations. However despite the fact that Boras and Orioles president Andy MacPhail had spoken several times since the offer was made, no serious negotiations took place. Boras phoned MacPhail this afternoon and informed him that his client, who weighed offers from the Yankees, Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals, was going in a different direction.

"We'd all prefer to have the player, but at the end of the day, it didn't work out that way," MacPhail said. "As they have demonstrated this offseason, the Yankees have resources that aren't available to 28 other clubs.

"Obviously, it's not my first choice. But look, it is what it is. We still have to do what we have to do as an organization to get ourselves in a contending situation, which can be done. We just had a team win the American League championship that did it that way. That's the model we're going to follow. You don't have to buy your way in."
Baltimore needs to rebuild from the bottom up -- drafting players, trades for youngsters -- especially pitching, and locking up your core.

Just like the Tampa, Minnesota, Oakland, & Florida (ok, an extreme example).

Losing Teixeira to the Evil Empire sucks, but in all honesty -- would it have made the Baltimore Orioles better while paying him $20 million plus per season? No.

Whether he was on the team or not, rebuilding will take time, so let's embrace Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Jeremy Guthrie and the other players who want to turn the tide in Charm City and be part of something.

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Teixeira Going To The Yankees...

It looks like the Yankees have swooped in and got Teixeira.

From Sports and ESPN's Peter Gammons are both reporting that the New York Yankees are on the verge of signing first baseman Mark Teixeira to an eight-year, $180 million contract.
It looks like New York -- as some thought -- may have swept him away with a last minute surprise (or they just kept things hush-hush). The deal is contingent on the slugger passing a physical, and it looks like Boras might have pulled out an old card -- going to the Yankees for a last minute deal (can anyone say Johnny Damon?).

Obviously spending a ton of money doesn't necessarily mean a World Series or the playoffs; however, one must think the Yankees are indeed the favorites now to take the AL East title.

I guess a year where New York finished in third place, plus a new ballpark have turned them to revert to opening up the checkbook and spending freely.

For a team asking for more money to subsidize their ballpark, they sure can dish it out. My lord, let's hope they don't ask for a bailout -- sheesh. It's time for a salary cap of some sort and may he never win a World Series.

They have given out $400 plus million worth of contracts to three players, and you wonder why teams like Minnesota, Oakland, Kansas City and the Indians have continuous turnover of players.

I'm curious to see how Oriole fans will react to the news, and I'll be turning on the radio to hear the carnage.

Looking More & More That Teixeira Will Not Be Coming to Baltimore...

I don't care where Teixeira goes right now; therefore, if he comes to Baltimore, I would be pleased, but not overjoyed after what I have seen the past few weeks. If he chooses Boston or New York, he's nothing more than a money-grubbing mercenary.

According to a sobering report posted to the Baltimore Sun, it looks like the Orioles may be without their hometown boy unless there's a miracle or there's something we don't know.

From the Baltimore Sun: Not wanting to get into a bidding war they knew they wouldn't win, the Orioles' hope all along was that Teixeira, who grew up in Severna Park, wanted to come home and become the face of a franchise that he grew up cheering for. If that indeed was the case and Teixeira had stated an interest in playing for the Orioles several times. Team officials expected Boras to get back to them with an idea of what it was going to take to make it happen.

Boras and MacPhail have had several conversations since the seven-year contract offer between $140 and $150 million was made to Teixeira at baseball's winter meetings, but there has been very little movement in the negotiations. The Orioles, as of yesterday, had not upped their offer, and with Teixeira reportedly set to make his decision today, it's becoming more and more clear that the Orioles will be also-rans in the sweepstakes.
Sorry, I think he's headed to Boston, and if there's a dark horse in the whole saga -- it's Washington.

Perhaps the Orioles didn't try hard enough or up their offer if they don't win; however, I figured all along he'd go to a winner, and a place where he could also be set financially.

That place is Boston, and boy do they have some shrewd business men up there. I do feel a little bad for Mike Lowell -- assuming this all happens -- as he took a less than market value (favoring the team) to remain with the Red Sox. Yes, he did expand his horizons and test out the market after the '07 World Series -- however, he did stay loyal to the organization and now will face the fate that many have had before.

And he may not be heading to the Nationals according Chico Harlan of the Washington Post:
One Nationals spokesman I just talked to said that, as far as he knows, the Nats have no plans for an announcement today regarding Teixeira.

More to come as the baseball world finds out more.
I expect anything to happen today, although all signs have him in a Boston uniform.

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Teixeira To Make A Decision Supposedly Today...

Could the plot be thickening, or is this bizarre drama almost over? There's a special tip of the hat to Ian from Sox and Dawgs for this, as Mark Teixeira is supposedly going to make a decision today. I guess this is going to be a big event since the slugger and Scott Boras HAD TO TELL the world of this.

A major league baseball source has told The Washington Times’ Thom Loverro that there will be an announcement today regarding the future of free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira.

While the source declined to discuss specifics, there are strong indications that the Red Sox will announce that they have landed the highly-coveted slugger, who has been courted this off-season by several major league clubs, including the Angels, Orioles and Nationals.
Whether this is the end of the saga remains to be seen; however, I love again how the source is once again "unnamed" -- I mean how many "unnamed" sources have there been so far in the saga.

Either way, wherever he comes to Baltimore, or goes to Washington, or New York, Boston or stays in sunny California, I'm indifferent to the slugger now. He's made himself to be someone who cares only for the bottom line and I will think of him as nothing more than your typical, greedy, self-centered athlete.

There's been so little news leaked on this whole thing aside from speculation from the media that I can expect anything to happen assuming a decision is made today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Teixeira Goes to Washington?

Well, I think we may have a reason why the Teixeira sweepstakes dubbed by some on internet "As The Teixeira Turns" has gone on and on from a posting from MASN's Roch Kubatko just a few hours ago.

And, yes, it involves the team to the south -- the Washington Nationals.

According to multiple sources, the Washington Nationals have sweetened their proposal to first baseman Mark Teixeira, offering him an eight-year deal worth $178 to $184 million.

The Nats were believed to have an eight-year, $160 million offer on the table. They apparently have increased the total value, putting them ahead of the other contenders, based on the numbers that have been reported.

I'm also told that they're willing to go nine years - and there's been talk of 10 - which could be one reason why agent Scott Boras is dragging along negotiations. He's also trying to get the Red Sox back in the game and see if the Yankees and Orioles will react.

So just how flexible is that Orioles offer?
Right now, the Nationals need him in a big way -- they finished with 102 losses in '08, their TV and radio ratings are minuscule, and they drew slightly north of two million in their new ballpark. They'll have a franchise face along with Ryan Zimmerman and no doubt be the cornerstone of the young organization.

If the Nationals win this derby, it will go to show that Teixeira along with his agent Scott Boras are nothing more than money-grabbers. More or less, the slugger will be nothing more than a mercenary in the eyes of many, and may find himself in A-Rod territory with an albatross of a contract defining his career.

Then again, maybe Boras is using Washington to get him an even larger payday from New York or Boston. Heck, maybe Baltimore ups their offer!

Whatever happens with Teixeira, I will think of him as nothing more than your typical, greedy, self-centered athlete. Not that I am against him making money; however, the reception he'll get if he comes to Baltimore in an opposing uniform will be chilly.

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Double Talk: Boras Open His Mouth Again

While I am at home trying to recover from the flu, Mark Teixeira is still not signed with anyone.

With news of Manny Ramirez seeking a three year deal from the New York Yankees, most are waiting for the chips with Mark to fall.

Most thought that the Angels were out of the hunt for Teixeira, as they withdrew their names from contention this weekend; however, Boras may be trying to lure them back in. The Angels know they need Teixeira's offense, despite the slugger wanting to play on the East Coast -- thus, if you read the passage below, he kind of wants them back in the fray.

From Jon Heyman: "Mark Teixeira enjoyed his time with the Angels and was an integral part of their success last season," Boras wrote in his statement. "His interest in returning to the club has been sincere, real and continues to be one of his earnest priorities throughout this off-season."

...Boras also wrote in his statement, "Clubs are very aware -- in particular the Angels -- participation in the free-agent process does not signal lack of interest in signing with the club. Case in point, the Angels signed two great free agent players who engaged in the mechanism, receiving and exchanging offers with multiple clubs, while negotiating with the Angels. Therefore, we are assuming that reasons other than Teixeira's interest in returning to the Angels were the driving factor."
I assume the two free agents Boras is referring to are Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter.

It sounds like Boras wants the Angels to go after Teixeira -- despite evidence he wants to stay on the East Coast -- just to keep the wheels spinning.

This whole drama has been good for taking up web space, chatter on sports talk radio, and the Worldwide Sports Leader -- ESPN -- gushing for the slugger to sign with New York or Boston; however, this has all become exhausting.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Angels Out of The Hunt For Teixeira

Ah, it looks like a team has withdrawn from the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes -- the Los Angeles Angels. Perhaps because they play on the wrong coast, the Angels might have found themselves in a race that seemingly they would not win.

From ESPN: The Angels' departure from the Teixeira sweepstakes leaves the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles as the four teams still in the mix for the premier position player in this winter's free-agent market.

Angels general manager Tony Reagins revealed before the winter meetings that the team had offered Teixeira an eight-year deal. The size of the team's offer was undetermined.
The Angels really needed Teixeira's bat, and although they are pretty much assumed to be the favorite to win the AL West, his bat really strengthened their lineup during the 2008 regular season.

I guess at this point, one could assume they will go after Manny Ramirez, or some of the other big boppers on the market.

Teixeira Saga Coming To An End Soon? What About The Yankees?

It seems to be the whole Mark Teixiera hunt according to those in the know from may soon be coming to an end.

At this point, I just think that if Teixeira really, really wanted to sign with someone, he would have done so. Obviously, he and his agent Scott Boras are playing an interesting game of financial chicken -- to get the most money out of a team who'll be hoodwinked into signing him.

I think Teixeira is a fine player; however, do I think he's being close to A-Rod or Albert Pujols at the plate -- no. Despite what I feel, he's probably the surest thing on the market and he'll get what someone wants to pay him. Decision day could be right around the corner for Mark Teixeira, according to a Major League source familiar with the negotiations. The source anticipates the free-agent first baseman's highly anticipated announcement within the next few days.

The field of serious bidders from Day 1 includes the Red Sox, Nationals, Angels and Orioles, with the depth of the Yankees' interest still difficult to measure.

The source believes the Red Sox remain in the lead for Teixeira's services in spite of the statement by principal owner John Henry on Thursday night that "it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor." This followed a meeting with Teixeira and agent Scott Boras in Dallas and was, in a sense, consistent with the volatile relationship between Boston and Boras over the years.

"This is going to end the old-fashioned way," the source said, maintaining that money will not be the decisive factor. "He wants to be on the East Coast, and his wife wants to be there. I believe the decision will be based on family and geography."
If you take the above paragraphs for what it's worth, it looks like Mark will not be considering sunny California, but the East coast. I've not heard anything much from Baltimore, Washington or Boston; thus, it is anyone's guess where he'll go.

Well, there's a new twist in this ongoing drama, as the New York Yankees - the Evil Empire - are looking the slugger.
The New York Times: The Yankees are interested in signing Teixeira, according to two people in baseball with knowledge of the matter, but for the moment are unwilling to pay him more than $160 million over eight years, one of them said.

The Yankees’ offer is less than what the Red Sox presented Teixeira last week. Boston’s offer is believed to be for eight years for close to $170 million.
They do have a use for Teixeira, as he's on the right side of 30 and his credentials speak for itself. In the end, I think New York may be posturing -- they could always swoop in and get him -- however, I think it is to keep the Red Sox on their toes, drive up the price, and make this game even more interesting.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The New Economic Reality May Hit The Orioles

Just read this on Peter Schmuck's blog, and this really, really caught my eye.

I have been a victim of the changing economic times -- albeit, in a minor fashion -- however, it looks like it may affect the Baltimore Orioles for next season.

Well, we all don't have access to the company books, nor do we know if the team made or lost money in 2008; alas, it looks like there's going to be some financial tightening taking place at the Yard.

The Baltimore Sun: If you doubt that baseball teams are going to feel the effects of the economic downturn, I'm hearing that the Orioles recently notified game-day employees that they are downsizing their stadium staff for the upcoming season and will need many of them only for the higher-attendance games.
I know some staff who work there -- whether they are ushers, or people who work the various concession stands -- and some are retirees, some just love the ambiance of Camden Yards, and for others it is supplemental income on top of their everyday jobs.

If you combine Schmucks's report along with the low attendance, the news doesn't only resonate in the park, but outside it with vendors, the hospitality industry, and museums (especially Sports Legends) who depend on foot traffic.

It goes without saying -- if foot traffic suffers and people are not willing to open up their pocketbooks to spend money, someone is going to get hurt when the economy slides.

Just sad. Very sad. The economy may be flatlining, but eleven years of losing by the Orioles has also made this new reality happen as businesses were seemingly in a world of hurt already.

Daniel Cabrera Goes to Washington; Interest in Tim Redding?

It has been slow on the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes since Thursday night's meeting with the Red Sox down in Texas. There's not much else that has come out from the media besides more speculation; however, an ex-Oriole has found a new home -- not too far from the one he just left.

According to Bill Ladson of the website, Baltimore's former, but inconsistent fireballer -- Daniel Cabrera -- has found a home in the Nation's Capital as a member of the Washington Nationals.

He and Washington have agreed to a one-year contract, pending a physical.

I only wish the best of luck to him. The Nationals may be a place where he gets his career on track, and may figure it out thanks to a change of scenery. There might be a good chance that the Washington Nationals highly regarded pitching coach Randy St. Claire can work some wonders on the tall righty.

There's also talk that Baltimore might be looking at right-hander Tim Redding -- who was incidentally not tendered a contract by the Washington Nationals. He recently had off-season surgery to repair his toe and was 13-17 with a 4.53 ERA in 48 starts with Washington. He was often mentioned in trade rumors, notably, with the Colorado Rockies at the trade deadline in 2008, as well as this offseason in exchange for speedy outfielder Willy Tavares.

A reason for the decision made by the Nationals could be that Redding – who made $1 million in 2008 – would have been eligible for a raise in arbitration. The Nationals could try to sign him for a lower salary. Baltimore thinks they could use the righty as a stopgap for a season until some of the younger arms in the minors are ready for the major league level.

A nice benefit -- he'll most likely come cheap. Redding is a decent pitcher who started off strong in 2008, going 7-3; however, he lost eight games in the second half and struggled with a 6.82 ERA -- as well, he always seemed to hit a wall in the middle innings of a game.

A tip of the hat of Ian of Sox and Dawgs for shooting me an email while sick in bed...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are The Red Sox Bluffing With Teixeira? You Bet They Are...

As I went sleep last night, the reports out of Boston were that Scott Boras, Mark Teixeira and members of the Red Sox office flew down to Texas -- where Teixeira has his off-season home -- and went to hammer out contract details.

However, before I went to sleep, I got an email saying that the Red Sox were suddenly out of the sweepstakes for the slugger. Well, I put my head on the bed and thought, "hey, this is great for Baltimore - woohoo, although I am against the signing of him", but then I immediately thought the Red Sox may be bluffing with Boras and Teixeira, and the super agent along with his client may have overplayed their hand.

It goes without saying, fans across Birdland were overjoyed at the news this morning and some actually now think that the slugger may don the orange and black when it is all said and done. I say, "not so fast."

You hear nothing from the Red Sox for weeks acknowledging the deal, and then the owner of the team emails the press? Well, well, I think he's taking a page out of Scott Boras' book -- the art of the bluff and deception. Sorry, I don't think you travel umpteen miles to talk to your client after months of talk and double-talk and call the deal off?

No, I think they are waiting for Boras to come back, negotiate and take the offer from the Red Sox. Why do I feel this way? Well, because Boston (assuming the Yankees are not in the bidding) is on the East Coast, a place where he could contend and be on the national stage immediately.

He won't get that in Baltimore or Washington, nor in laid back Anaheim. If the Orioles and Nationals are truly interested, they'll jack up their offer, insitute a full court press on him and see if Teixeira bites. If he doesn't take it or let's his decision linger for a while, assume he wants to go Boston.

Right now, there have been so many twists and turns that I expect anything to happen. The Sun's Peter Schmuck has no clue what could happen and the Red Sox are playing games; meanwhile, erstwhile MASN blogger Roch Kubatko is sick of the entire drama, Jay Trucker of the Examiner calls out ESPN on their reports from last night, as well Drew Forrester and Bob Haynie also give their take on the whole saga.

Camden Chat reports that the offer for Teixeira may go up; the Roar from 34 shows how much bloggers and us fans really despise this whole saga; the mouth of the North, Curt Schilling gives his two cents on this whole affair; Orioles Hangout's own Tony Pente really wants Mark Teixeira in an Oriole jersey, and the Wayward O gives his thoughts on the Freel trade along with the spring training site debacle going on in the Sunshine State.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Evil Empire, The Yankees Introduce Their Big Ticket Items

With all for the conjecture and the kind words about the Yankees, just say why you joined the team -- um, for the money.

It's always about the money.

No Deal For Teixeira With The Red Sox After All?

Just got a late email from my bud Ian from Sox and Dawgs. Again, take this for what it is worth...

This all seems to be getting more bizarre by the day.

From Red Sox owner John Henry e-mailed several media members late tonight with a stunning twist in the team's pursuit of free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Henry's words: "We met with Mr. Teixeira and were very much impressed with him. After hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor."

Earlier tonight, multiple news outlets reported the Red Sox had traveled to Texas to meet with Teixeira and his agent, Scott Boras, in the hopes of trying to finalize a deal. WCVB-TV Channel 5 reported that the Red Sox had offered Teixeira an eight-year deal worth $184 million (an average of $23 million per season).

Five teams have been in the hunt for Teixeira to some extent -- the Sox, Angels, Yankees, Orioles, and Nationals -- and all indications had been pointing to the Red Sox as the frontrunners.

Earlier this week, Henry had expressed concern about granting a player a contract of eight years or more.
Wow. I guess Boston had a line in terms of a contract they will not willing cross, and they seem to be sticking to it.

No one seems to know what's going on right now, and it seems from hour to hour, the story changes and takes on a new twist.

For Oriole fans, there's now a glimmer of hope that Teixeira is still out there. It goes without saying, I am dumbfounded by news tongiht and I don't know what to think now...

Of course, this all can change by morning.

Boras Meeting With Red Sox About Mark Teixeira?

Take it for what is worth, but if this is true, we might be heading towards a conclusion soon in the whole Mark Teixeira free agent sweepstakes. It looks like the team that most thought would pull in the slugger -- the Boston Red Sox -- may finally be making their move to acquire him.

From the Baltimore Sun: ESPN and a Boston TV station both reported tonight that Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras, was having or will have face-to-face negotiations with Boston Red Sox officials tonight.

WCVB-TV in Boston cited unnamed sources saying that the Red Sox were offering the former Severna Park resident and Mount St. Joseph alumnus an eight-year deal worth $184 million while meeting with Boras in Texas tonight.

If true, the contract far surpasses the Orioles' offer, which is believed to be seven years and between $140 and $150 million.

Contacted early tonight, Orioles president Andy MacPhail was unaware of the TV report. He would not comment on any speculative offers, but said he had not been informed by anyone in the Boras camp that a deal was pending.

Any such contract likely would not be officially announced until after a physical is completed.
If this is fact, the Red Sox are gunning after Teixeira hard -- thus, it has been shown in the past, if they want a player real bad, they'll get him no matter the cost (item: J.D. Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

In the end, much like the Yankees acquisition of A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia, the whole deal isn't about playing for your home team or any sentimentality -- it's about the money, and only about the money and going to a play that will take you on the easiest road to a championship.

Let's see what the Orioles and the others involved the hunt do.

If Baltimore is out of it, let's get some arms to help stabilize things until our young pitchers on the farm are ready to come up. The team needs to something -- and I mean something -- in the offseason to get the plan of rebuilding moving along.

As well, the organization has to get the spring training situation squared away and under control as the situation just makes things look real bad.

It's been eleven years since Baltimore's last winning season in baseball, and in the end, all fans just want to have is a winner and a team to be proud of. For those fans who wanted Teixeira -- assuming the report is true -- it feels like coal has now been put into your stockings for Christmas.

A New Found Respect For Scott Boras...

While the national media and the 24-hour sports networks (ok, ESPN) have pretty much all but figured that Mark Teixeira will be headed to Boston to get a ring or two or three, one has to give credit to his super-agent, Scott Boras.

Right now within this saga, it is safe to assume that no one, and I mean no one aside from the player, Boras and the principals in the story know what's going on. I guess I have a much greater appreciation of the super agent in his ability to use the media to keep this story alive and to help his client.

As a fan, I revile him because the contracts that he gets for his clients hve completely driven the price of seeing a game and obviously has made the MLB Players Union very, very happy.

I wonder how an agent could have such a large stable of players and yet get anything done for them. The man is good at what he does -- mastering the art of the deal for his clients -- and also bringing untold millions into his firm.

I also don't care for his negotiating tactics and using the media as a conduit for negotiations; however, he knows what works and owners get sucked into it. However, if I were a player, I'd be more than happy with him. I think most players will go to where they can get the most money, plus playing time, and who could possibly be the most competitive for the most part.

I mean know what you're getting into when you agree to have Scott Boras represent you; thus, n the end, it's all a crazy, cruel and wicked business except if you're the one cashing the check.

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Will The Red Sox Put A Limit On Teixeira?

Could the Red Sox be reconsidering their demands? Right now, I think this might be first concrete series of quotes that we have gotten on the matter from the Red
Sox. Again, take this all with a grain of salt.

From With as many as five teams showing interest in the first baseman, there is serious doubt the Red Sox would go longer than the eight-year contract the Los Angeles Angels, Teixeira's former team, have offered.

"We all have limits," Red Sox owner John Henry said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Eight years is a very long time in baseball and everywhere else."

He also said the amount the team is willing to spend on a free agent "depends on both" the economy and the player being sought.

"Baseball as a whole has not yet been hit by the financial crisis, but it will," Henry said. "The degree is in question and won't be answered for a while."

A decision by Teixeira on where he will end up did not appear imminent.

"No immediate timetable," his agent, Scott Boras, said in an e-mail Wednesday. "Negotiations are on going."
I think the Red Sox have contended that Teixeira is a special case, as usually they try to get the most value out of their players, and then let them move on when their services are no longer needed. I don't think I've ever seen the Red Sox go more than five years on anyone, and signing the slugger to a deal longer than that goes against their method of operation.

I'm sure that Teixeira will get the money he wants from someone, but as of right now, it doesn't seem like anyone is willing to cross the eight year threshold and probably for good reason.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baltimore Still Hunting For Teixeira?

The story on the saga of Mark Teixeira with the Baltimore Orioles seemingly changes from hour to hour; however there's some positive news in light of what was reported on ESPN this morning.

Take it for what it's worth, but Andy MacPhail apparently isn't throwing up the white flag in the chase of the slugger -- at least not yet.

We could be in it, or out of it, or whatever else.

From the Baltimore Sun: "We have indicated before that we have flexibility," Orioles president Andy MacPhail said today. "I don't think anyone expects [Teixeira's agent Scott Boras] to lean over and accept the first proposal."

MacPhail does not provide the specifics of any free-agent proposal, but it is believed that last week the Orioles offered a seven-year contract worth $140 to $150 million to the 28-year-old Teixeira, who grew up in Severna Park.
Oh joy. We can only see what Thursday brings forth; meanwhile, Roch Kubatko caught up with Kevin Millar -- and might we see him back in Oriole uniform? Something tells me he might get a call from the team when all is said and done.

Teixeira Really Not Coming to Baltimore?

Reading the constant news & rumors on Teixeira is becoming annoying. Since the information seems to change daily, who knows what's true now.

Today, ESPN -- the Worldwide Leader and the same people who yesterday reported that the Teixeira might have an affinity for Charm City -- is backing off and asserting that the Orioles are falling behind in getting the slugger according to Buster Olney.

The latest:

From ESPN: Unless free agent Mark Teixeira is willing to give the Orioles a major hometown discount, it does not appear he will be playing in Baltimore.

The Orioles have stood by their initial offer and have not upgraded it, and sources say that the other teams involved in the bidding -- the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals -- have gone beyond Baltimore's proposal for the slugging first baseman.

Teixeira, 28, is considered one of the top unsigned free agents. He batted .308 with 33 home runs, 121 RBIs and a .552 slugging percentage for the Angels and Atlanta Braves last season.

The only way the Orioles can be considered a serious player for Teixeira now, sources say, would be if the Maryland native were to take their offer, which is believed to be for seven years and about $150 million.

"The Orioles are out of it, unless Teixeira really, really wants to play there," said one source.
If this is true, it shows that he cares about the money and going to a "winner", like I thought would happen and it only makes sense. This report has too been confirmed by Roch Kubatko via some rumors that the slugger had actually signed with Baltimore.

Basically, it looks like the Orioles are not in the frame of mind to be jerked around or used to jack up the price for Boras and his star client.

So far, most of the media believes that he's not coming to Baltimore and will more than likely end up in Boston.

If were really out of it, we need to focus on getting some arms, and also a Plan B for Mark (maybe Adam Dunn, Eric Hinske, or some other reasonably priced DH option.)

I don't want to imagine what the reaction would be amongst those who really, really wanted him in a Baltimore uniform.

While teams are waiting by the phone to hear if Mark Teixeira wants to play with them or not, the are reports that the Boston Red Sox may be in lead... A general manager of one of the five teams involved in the Mark Teixeira talks said this morning that in his opinion, if the talks ended right now, Boston would land the coveted free agent first baseman.

"I think they're in the lead and ahead of where everyone else is right now," the GM said. "I'm not sure who's bidding against them at this point."

Asked whether he thought the talks would end soon, he said, "You just never know where Scott Boras and the Red Sox are involved."

The Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, and Angels are the teams still involved in the negotiations. All appear to have genuine interest -- with the possible exception of the Yankees.
I had a feeling of this all along. Again, most of us really don't know what is going on.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ESPN's Karl Ravech on Teixeira

It's almost amazing what transpires daily with the whole Teixeira hunt. I can't remember so much chatter and anticipation in this region for an athlete to sign with a team.

Also, Peter Gammons mentions the slugger in the first 20 or so seconds of the clip as mentions the Red Sox and Angels more than likely will be the teams more than likely to land him.

Teixieira Rumored To Be Offered A Ridiculous Contract, Is He Worth $22-28 Million Per Year?

A buddy of mine, Ian from Sox and Dawgs has this posted on his blog courtesy of a report he got from WEEI in Boston and their ESPN simulacast about the latest on Mark Teixeira.

WEEI, is a well known radio station out of New England and a flagship outlet for the Red Sox.

Of course, one can surmise this announcement is based on the news of a reported offer to Teixeira last night; however, no one knows what dollar amount was offered.

According to Karl Ravech of ESPN, Mark Teixeira is anticipating a contract that will pay him anywhere from $22-28 million a year.

Karl Ravech of ESPN reported that he had checked in with someone close to the Teixeira negotiations. According to Ravech’s source, the first baseman, who is the prize of the free-agent market, is in negotiations with five teams: the Angels, Nationals, Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees. Using the standards set by Torii Hunter’s five-year, $90 million deal and Alex Rodriguez’ 10-year, $275 million deal–both of which were signed last offseason–Ravech reported that Teixeira is in line for an eight-year deal of $22 million to $28 million per season.

Added: Video from and the text accompanying it says, "Which team will ultimately sign Mark Teixeira? Karl Ravech says the Teixeira sweepstakes are nearing a conclusion and indications are that the free agent has "an enormous attraction to the Orioles."

As well, Drew Forrester has a post on the WNST website concerning the Orioles and Teixeira according to chatter he's hearing in the Warehouse.

Crazy. Sorry, he's a good player and definitely a blue chipper; however, he is not worth $22-28 million per year.

I guess as Jim Ross from the WWE quips as his trademark message, "business is about to pick up".

Who knows what may happen considering the chatter that took place this weekend...

Izturis & Daniel Cabrera

It looks like shortstop problem for the Baltimore Orioles has been solved as Cesar Izturis officially became a member of the squad this morning. He was in the city for a physical along with a medical examination on Monday -- which he passed -- and spoke to the media an hour or two ago.

From the Baltimore Sun: An agreement on a two-year, $6 million deal was reached with Izturis last week at the winter meetings, but was pending a physical. He gives the Orioles some stability at a position filled by six players last season.

Izturis, 28, played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008 and had a .980 fielding percentage, third-best in the National League. He won the 2004 Gold Glove at shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers and represented the Dodgers in the All-Star Game in 2005.

A switch hitter from Venezuela, Izturis hit .290 right-handed and .245 left-handed, and led the Cardinals with 24 stolen bases in 2008. He has a .260 career batting average.
Roch Kubatko has his impressions on the new kid on the block, and the Baltimore Sun has a report on the events this morning.

I'd rather have had the team go after a more offensive shortstop, but considering the options we had out on the field in 2008, it's nice to finally have a major league caliber shortstop who can play defense and actually hit in the nine hole.


Well, it looks like Daniel Cabrera may find employment, sooner rather than later. A report in the Baltimore Sun noted that the tall hurler despite his release from the Orioles has quite a number of suitors looking to pick him up as a reclamation project.

Despite Cabrera's up and down tenure in Baltimore, he said he no hard feelings.
There was a little sadness but no bitterness, Cabrera said yesterday by phone from the Dominican Republic.

"I don't know how I am going to feel; I'll have to wait for the season," said Cabrera, whom the Orioles did not offer a contract at Friday's midnight deadline. "I don't know how to feel, but I have nothing bad to say about Baltimore."
He definitely showed some flashes of brilliance; however, considering how long he was in Baltimore and just the overall lack of improvements he made over the years, one can understand why the organization would cut ties with him.

However, if someone can just hammer the art of pitching into Cabrera's head, and develop a third pitch for him, he could be a solid starter or even an arm in someone's bullpen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Buster Olney and His Take on The Orioles and Nationals Pursuit of Teixeira...

This morning, ESPN's Buster Olney posted a sobering piece on his blog about both the Baltimore Orioles and Washington National pursuit of free agent Mark Teixeira.

He thinks that both teams with state that their organizations are in have no business in bidding for the slugger. As much as I would like to disagree with his assessment, he's right. But what in the heck are the Nationals doing in this poker game? What in the heck are the Orioles doing in this conversation?

They should not be bidding. They should call Scott Boras, the agent for Teixeira, three minutes ago and tell him -- like someone who accidentally raises his hand at an auction -- Look, sorry for the misunderstanding, but we made a mistake. We really didn't mean to make that $160 million offer.

Maybe in three years, when some of Washington's young pitching talent starts to make an impact at the major league level, it would make sense for the Nationals to bid on a player like Teixeira. Maybe in three years, it would make sense for the Orioles to consider such an enormous contract. But not now, not when both teams are miles away from contending, not when they need a whole lot more than Teixeira.
At yesterday's Raven's game, I was talking to my buddy about this very topic and our sentiments mirrored what Olney said.

Getting Mark would be nice -- however, I have always stated that the slugger is not what the Orioles need. Do we want him in a Baltimore jersey? Sure. At 20 million plus per year annually for close a decade - no.

Granted, I know the Orioles want to bring him back home because of the hometown connection and obviously his skills; however, the team has so many holes that I don't know if signing Teixeira is feasible.

There are many ways to improve the Baltimore Orioles; therefore, I think the most prudent way would be to stockpile as many draft picks as possible, foster your young talent, and then keep the guys who know who will be a part of the core of the major league team as long as possible.

Now, the latter part of Olney's argument centers around Mark's appeal to fans versus winning.
And I can say the following confidently, having worked as a sportswriter in Baltimore and having some understanding of the multilayered depth of knowledge in the Orioles' fan base: Until the team starts winning again, nobody will show up at Camden Yards. Signing Teixeira would not draw the the O's demonstrably closer to contending because they are so short in starting pitching. In fact, the signing of the first baseman could ultimately hurt them, because in two or three years, as the Orioles' young pitching begins to rise to the big leagues and the team needs pieces to augment the improved rotation, Teixeira's salary would restrict the kinds of moves the Orioles will make.

The Twins have shown all midmarket and big-market teams that you need to be patient and that you cannot be successful when you have a payroll structure that's top-heavy with a high-salaried big name. The Indians have demonstrated this, too, and so have the Athletics.

No, the table at which the Nationals and Orioles are playing right now is just pricey, and they should excuse themselves and spend their money on young pitching -- whether through the draft or through international signings -- and wait until the time is better. To do anything else is nothing less than lunacy.
Again, I agree with Buster here. The argument I hear often in bringing Teixiera back as well is, "oh, we have to bring himback -- he'll fill the stands, get us proud of our hometown, and lure free agents in."

Of course people mention, "well, we have to show Boston and New York that we mean business..."

Mark may cause an uptick in attendance; however, the only way to sustain it and keep fans coming back is to create a winning product, and keep the machine running as long as possible.

I know the fan base has plummeted, and he'll get people interested in Baltimore baseball when the season begins (assuming he even signs with Baltimore); however, if the Orioles are 20 games under .500 in September, the love affair will become muddied with the fact that the team is only marginally better with Teixeira on it.

If the team doesn't improve -- what happens in year two, year four (assuming there's not an opt-out clause?)

Another thing to ponder -- look at what happened with the teams who brought hometown faces home -- the Mets with Bobby Bonilla, the Reds with Ken Griffey, the Dodgers with Darryl Strawberry.

Now Strawberry had problems, but the point I'm trying to make is that a beautiful homecoming for a gifted player can be fleeting, unless you have a competitive team around that player. Baltimore and Washington fit that category; however, Boston, New York and Los Angeles don't.

Again, I'd love to see him in a Baltimore uniform, but not at this cost. You have to take risks to build a winning a team, but you have to be careful what you do.

Rumors & All,Teixeira Not Guest of Peter Angelos at Yesterday's Game

I had gone to a tailgate before the Ravens-Steelers game yesterday and of course as you could guess the big talk amongst my friends was not about the crucial game, but about Mark Teixeira.

Wow, chatting about Orioles baseball in December - who would have thought that?

As posted yesterday, there was a rumor posted on the Orioles Hangout site by Roy Firestone that a few media outlets picked up that free agent slugger Mark Teixeira was to be the guest of Peter Angelos during last night's game at M&T Bank Stadium.

The rumor was immediately shot down by MASN's Roch Kubatko, Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck, and WNST; soon thereafter there were subsequent posts by both men on their respective blogs that indeed he was not with Peter Angelos in his suite.

Well, in the interim, both men -- unfairly, to say -- have taken their lumps for simply checking out sources and doing some investigation before posting their reports. I guess fans were hoping for the best case scenario, whether it was fact or not.

Teixeira may or may not have been at the game, as a few comments were left on their blogs and the Orioles Hangout noting that he and his wife were at the Hilton across the street from Camden Yards for lunch.

I guess if he did attend the game, he went as a fan -- not as a guest of Angelos.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mark Teixeira To Be Guest of Peter Angelos at Today's Ravens Game?

While the Angels made their landmark offer to Mark Teixeira last week, are the Orioles are now stepping it up in the sweepstakes? It may be a case of maybe or maybe not.

Roy Firestone posted on the popular Orioles Hangout forum causing a flurry of activity last night as he reported that slugger Mark Teixeira will be a guest of Peter Angelos in his box at today's critical Ravens-Steelers game.

Thus, the Examiner had piggy-packed on the announcement as well as ESPN and apparently Comcast Sportsnet.

However, just a few minutes ago, Peter Schmuck and MASN's Roch Kubatko have seemingly debunked this rumor...

Ah, the Hot Stove season. Who really knows what's going on?

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Your Heisman Winner, Sam Bradford

Oklahoma's Sam Bradford has won the 2008 Heisman Trophy. I usually don't write about college football on the blog; however, I like this kid and the number he has put up this season are amazing.

A year after Tim Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman, Bradford became the second and kept the Florida quarterback from joining Archie Griffin as the only two-time winners.

Bradford and Tebow will soon meet again, when the No. 2 Sooners (12-1) face No. 1 Gators (12-1) on Jan. 8 in Miami for the title.

Bradford, who leads the nation in touchdown passes with 48, received 1,726 points. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was second with 1,604 and Tebow -- who received the most first-place votes -- was third with 1,575 points.

"I was definitely surprised and I think it's everything I imagined," said Bradford, who raised the 25-pound bronze statue with his left hand still in a cast from a recent surgery. "I think it will take a couple weeks to set in."

Bradford got 300 first-place votes, McCoy 266 and Tebow 309.

K-Rod Considers The Mets To Be The Front-Runners in the N.L. East

Two days after Philadelphia ace pitcher Cole Hamels gave this commentary on the Mets by calling them "choke artists", the Mets' newest acquisition -- the always confident Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez -- responded in his own way.

The centerpiece of the re-tooled New York bullpen has only added more to fuel to a fire that help to redefine a growing rivalry.

He just got into town, but he's sure holding his against the words of Hamels with the Mets.

From ESPN: "Of course, we're going to try to win the division. Of course, we're going to be the front-runner. Of course, we're going to be the team to beat," he said Saturday.

Four days after agreeing to a $37 million, three-year contract, K-Rod was confident the Mets will put consecutive September collapses behind them and overtake the World Series champion Phillies in ruling the NL East.

"I don't want there to be a controversy or the other ballclubs in that division to take it personally or take it in a bad way," he said. "If they ask me, 'Oh, which ballclub is going to win the National League East?' It's going to be the Mets. Easy question."
After what has taken place during the last two seasons with the Mets, they are looking to take what they felt was righfully theirs -- the NL East Championship.

While I'm Waiting...

I'm trying to get tickets for the Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park for a Sunday April game against the Red Sox, and it is going ever so, so slow.

I think I have been in their so-called "virtual waiting room" for two hours. Then again, Red Sox tickets did go on sale this morning.

I guess this is the price you pay for success...

Kerry Wood Now Part Of The Tribe...

The Indians were in need of a closer, and they got one -- in Kerry Wood.

From ESPN: The former Chicago Cubs star finalized a $20.5 million, two-year contract Saturday, a deal that includes a 2011 option that could become guaranteed.

Wood gets $10 million next year and $10.5 million in 2010. The Indians' $11 million option would vest if Wood has 55 games finished in either of the next two years.

General manager Mark Shapiro will hold a conference call later in the day to formally announce Wood's signing.

Wood, who saved 34 games in his first season as a closer for Chicago, reached a preliminary agreement with the Indians during the winter meetings. But because of his long history of arm and elbow problems, Wood had to pass a physical before the Indians would finalize the package.
Wood had one of those "what could have been" careers in Chicago, as he was one of the preeminent starters in the game before injuries took their toll.

However, he came back and re-established himself as a solid closer.

I don't think his arm could stand up to the rigors of starting anymore, but he's one hell of a closer with great stuff. The Indians really needed the bullpen help and they got it with Wood.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what he can do in the American League.

Happy Trails, Daniel

After ten years in the Baltimore Orioles organization, tall right-hander Daniel Cabrera was not tendered a contract by the Baltimore Orioles; thus, making him a free agent.

The Orioles attempted to deal the right-hander, 27, at the recently completed winter meetings but couldn't find a fit. So they cut ties with the wildly inconsistent but talented Cabrera, who likely would have made between $3 million and $4.5 million this year had he been offered arbitration. He wouldn't have been eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season but is now free to sign with any team.

"Sometimes a change of scenery is in everybody's best interest," MacPhail said.
Good luck wherever you end up, D-Cab.

I would not be surprised to see him down the Parkway in Washington.

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The Angels Make An Offer For Teixeira

Well, it looks like the Los Angeles Angels have now made their numbers to Teixeira public.

I think the Angels may need him more than anyone, just for the fact that they can the win division again in the American League West.

From the L.A. Times: The Angels have offered an eight-year contract to Mark Teixeira, general manager Tony Reagins said Friday night.

The contract would be the longest and richest in club history. The value could almost double the previous club record, the $90 million guaranteed last year to Torii Hunter.

Reagins declined to provide the value of Teixeira's offer. The Angels are believed to have offered at least $160 million, matching or exceeding the highest offer so far reported for Teixeira.

Owner Arte Moreno flew from his Arizona home to Las Vegas on Tuesday and met personally with Scott Boras, the agent for Teixeira. Angels spokesman Tim Mead said he believed Moreno presented the offer to Boras at that time. Mead also said he did not know when the offer might expire.
It looks like Anaheim's deal is commensurate with what Washington and Baltimore have offered -- if not slightly more.

I just think if Teixeira really wanted to come to Baltimore, he would have opened up some dialogue. Right now, I'd say, since he's probably got umpteen offers -- I'd say all within few million of each other -- he can take his time and pick whatever.

Well, I am sure he wants to come "home"; however, that notion is really bunk to me. He's playing the system -- that's fine, I guess -- but he's holding these teams hostage for the most greenbacks possible.

He's waited for this moment to be a free agent, and he's taking advantage of it.

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