We've had an exceptionally great winter in BF Wisconsin. There were no school closings or delays this winter, no family cars in a ditch, and lower than normal heating costs. Although I hate living here, this time of year the scenery is quite beautiful and the weather is pretty much okay. You may be asking, "Why are you writing about this?" and the answer is BECAUSE BASEBALL IS ABOUT TO START! I COULD LIVE IN A CAVE IN PAKISTAN AND BE HAPPY ABOUT THE WEATHER AND SCENERY! Here are your links:
C.J. Wilson wonders why Texas Rangers didn't make long-term offer - Star Telegram. "They hate me in Texas," Wilson said. "If they see the story, they're going to say, 'Why are you writing about him?'" It took C.J. Wilson less than two months last fall to go from amiable lefty to dark Angel. Two months to take the money and run. Two months to sell his soul to the enemy." Wilson talks about how the Angels were able to sign him by showing the most interest, "They were right out of the gate saying, 'We want you,'" Wilson said. "I was surprised, because initially I was thinking, well, they already have three really good starting pitchers. I figured they were going to go after Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder. But the Angels were consistent with me every time we met. They made me feel like they really, really, really wanted me to be here." Maybe we really, really, really didn't want Reyes or Fielder. Nah, I don't mean that. I'm really^4 happy he's here.
- Now about that #5 spot...Angels' Williams sharp in spring debut - angels.com. "While making his spring debut in a Triple-A exhibition game, the 30-year-old right-hander hurled three shutout innings, giving up only a single and a walk, striking out four, shattering a couple bats and not allowing any hard-hit balls." Yeah, it was a triple-A game, but still, nice outing. The pool just got deeper.
MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
- Sit back and enjoy the soft sounds of HH's favorite artist (pronounced ar-tee-est) Lyle Spencer. Not one, but two (yes two, and you're going to read both and enjoy it! Can't you leave mommy alone while she downs her third vodka gimlet?) Whoa, sorry about that. The debut of Mad Men must have gotten to me. Anyway, here's today's Lyle-a-paloosa: Angels right-hander Dan Haren accustomed to flying under the radar - angels.com. "It used to bother me a little bit, not getting any respect," Haren said. "Early in my career, I wanted that recognition and wondered why I didn't get it. At this point in my career, I'm in a really good place and organization. I couldn't be happier being on a team like this." Ahhh, such a a nice fella.
- American League West: Two heavyweights, two contenders - angels.com. "In all likelihood, hope springing eternal notwithstanding, the two-time reigning AL champion Rangers and the Angels -- who won five of the previous six division races before Texas' rise in 2010 -- are destined to trade heavy blows and give us a memorable season. This is a rivalry that has been building for four years and is about to reach new emotional levels." Dammit, there it is again! The dreaded "HSE" (hope springs eternal). The springing hope-sters pick the Rangers to win the west while we're eternally grateful for Alden Gonzalez.
- The first cut is the deepest: Angels send down infield prospect Romine - angels.com. "Romine was in the mix to be on the big league roster in April, with manager Mike Scioscia likely to go with 14 position players until he needs a fifth starter on April 15. That list is down to corner infielder Jorge Cantu, outfielder Ryan Langerhans and the versatile Alexi Amarista -- unless the Angels go the unlikely route and carry three catchers." Yeah, I know, this isn't the first cut, but I missed it when it happened and I've been waiting all spring training to use that line. I win not be denied! It's my own personal HSE. Anyway, my money is on Cantu.
- Former can’t-miss prospect Wood ‘plugging away’ - The Orange County Register. "It is a painfully-familiar storyline around Wood who seemed to annually profess fealty to a new set of swing, stance or approach adjustments suggested by someone the amiable Wood was trying to please. "We saw some things that, offensively, were absolutely necessary for him to address," Tracy said Monday. "He's still in the picture," Tracy said after Monday's game. "Is it a finished product as we sit here today? No. Are we headed in the right direction? Yes."
- Is baseball really dying? Numbers state otherwise - FOX Sports. "Fact: MLB.com At Bat has been the top-selling sports application since its debut in 2008, and multi-platform MLB.TV subscriptions currently are up 50 percent over 2011 at this time — proof that baseball, stodgy old baseball, is an industry leader in advanced media." We are strong, heartache to heartache, we stand.
- I now know the definition of "CONTRAPTION":
- This is a nice gesture by the Mets: New York Mets to honor memory of Gary Carter on Opening Day - FOX Sports. Carter's family will take part in the tribute on April 5 at Citi Field before the Mets play the Atlanta Braves. His wife, Sandy, says ''it will be an incredible experience'' to celebrate his legacy by having the family throw out the ceremonial first pitch."
- Athletics Nation talks with their team's GM: Oakland A's Billy Beane Spring Training 2012 Interview: Part 1 - Athletics Nation. "I sat down with Billy Beane in his office in Phoenix, Arizona with a few days left in spring training before the team departed for Japan. As always, I enjoyed the interview and it remains my favorite part of my "job" to be able to talk shop with a guy I consider the smartest man in all of baseball." Mr. DiPoto, may I have a word with you please?
- Photo of the Day: Yeah, Spring Training needs to end now - HardballTalk. This got circulated over the weekend -- and creatively expounded upon -- but this screen capture from 30FPS pretty much says all that needs to be said about late March spring training games: I feel bad for him, but we'll all be better off if he goes back to the minors, the major leaguers all ...
- NEWHAN ON BASEBALL: Owners to Vote Tuesday on Final Three Dodger Bidders. "McCourt has been hopeful of selling for $1.5 billion or more, but if he insists on retaining control of the Dodger Stadium parking lot the price could be less--or barely enough to compensate his creditors. He is required to complete sale negotiations by April 30, when he must pay Jamie McCourt the $131 million she is owed in their divorce settlement, but he could pick the winner by the end of this week."
- Cash in that 401(k), we've got an auction to attend: Honus Wagner card might sell for $1.5 million - HardballTalk. "Bill Goodwin expects the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card – one of the most sought-after sports collectibles in the world – to fetch at least $1 million, and perhaps as much as $1.5 million, in the online auction."
- Indians checking out Vladimir Guerrero - CBSSports. "For the Indians' purposes, Guerrero would ideally platoon with Travis Hafner at DH, but presumably he'd be asked to play the field on a semi-regular basis, which he plainly can't do anymore. Sure, he can stand out there and catch balls hit right to him, but Guerrero lacks anything resembling adequate range anymore." Vlad. The Indians? Really?
- Daily Notes for March 27th - FanGraphs Baseball. "Before Opening Day in Japan, the teams have to squeeze down to a 28-man roster. But three of the players on the 28-man roster will not be eligible to play in either of the two games in the Japan Series. So they will play the two games with, essentially, 25-man rosters. Got that? Wait, there’s more!"
- The Brooklyn Dodgers Did Not Mind If You Photographed Their Pubes And Asses - Deadspin. "With the return of baseball comes the return of casual nudity, an inescapable fact of locker rooms since the days before the West Coast had teams." Yikes. You have to admit, you clicked the link because of the headline. Pervert.
- And finally, speaking of perverts, there's this guy: Baseball ProGUESTus: Raiders of the Lost MVP Blood Sample - Baseball Prospectus. "Comics come to BP, as Indy tries to track down a lost sample containing testosterone levels high enough to upset the balance of power in baseball."