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Medal of Freedom for The Man, Don't Buy Large Beer in Oakland. Halolinks.

Former Cardinal Musial honored with Medal of Freedom - Baseball

He earned the nickname "The Man" in 1946, when Post-Dispatch sportswriter Bob Broeg heard fans at Ebbets Field welcome Musial to the plate by saying, "Here comes the man." Musial was the general manager of the 1967 Cardinals team that won the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. He has remained a beloved figure in St. Louis. In fact, it was a grassroots "Stand for Stan" campaign that helped convince the White House to honor Musial with the Medal of Freedom. Musial is held in such high regard by the team and its players that current Cardinals star Albert Pujols agreed to extend to Wednesday his deadline to sign a contract extension or test free agency after the 2011 season. The previous deadline was Tuesday, but Pujols and the Cardinals didn't want to distract from Musial's honor.

It's nice to see a baseball legend recognized on a national level. I didn't know Musial was the Cardinals GM in 1967, plus I thought it was interesting that Pujol and the Cardinals moved the deadline.

Slimmer Wilson ready for increased role -

A couple notes from the first post of the spring season:

Wilson, who finished last season at 243 pounds, arrived to camp at 210.
Anyone else think Wilson will end the season with more plate appearances than Mathis?
"Playing time at third base is something that's going to be real, to fight for that. I definitely think there are going to be some utility roles on the bench guys will be fighting for.
Sorry, I just don't see it. What utility roles?
On the pitching side, same way. Scioscia is pleased with what he's seen of Scott Kazmir...Hopefully, he can make pitches with less effort to help his command. For him to pitch the way he did at the end of '09, we can see that happening. It's a short bridge we can get back to."
A short bridge? Hopefully it's one that hasn't been burned.

Rodney most likely to be Angels' closer - Sporting News
Scioscia stopped short of choosing Fernando Rodney as his 2011 closer Tuesday, but he also made it clear the 32-year-old right-hander is at least in the picture and the most likely to get the first crack at it. Scioscia also mentioned right-handers Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden and left-handers Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, both newcomers via free agency, as possible closer candidates.

Possibly the only roster/line-up situation still up for grabs. Regardless on who Scioscia decides will close, I think we'll see at least three different pitchers ending the season with more than 10 saves each (Rodney, Downs, and Jepsen)

Oakland Athletics: Green Collar Sham! Small and Large Beer Are the Same Size! - Athletics Nation
These are two beer cups from the counter, we drank the beer and filled it with water for this test. One is the 4.99 "Small" Domestic, the other is the 8 dollar "Large" Domestic. See the difference for yourself. In other words, you're paying $3.01 more for what is basically the SAME AMOUNT OF BEER!

Wow! That's almost like paying $86M for a cup of Juan Rivera!

Marlins and construction crew play in unfinished ballpark - Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports
Owner Jeffrey Loria, team president David Samson and several Florida Marlins players gave the hard-working construction crew an afternoon of food, firsts and a little fun on Tuesday afternoon at the 37,000-seat ballpark they're building for the team.

Read this post. I like the bit about the seat color.

Ken Griffey Jr. back with Seattle Mariners as special consultant -
Ken Griffey Jr. is returning to the Seattle Mariners as a special consultant less than a year after abruptly retiring from baseball, the team said Tuesday. Griffey's role is still being defined, but he'll be involved with the Mariners at spring training and the regular season, along with visiting most of the Mariners minor-league affiliates. Griffey is also expected to be involved with marketing, broadcasting and community relations.

Replace "Ken Griffey Jr." and "Seattle Mariners" with "Tim Salmon" and "Los Angeles Angels" in the above article.

Off-Season Awards – The Bad - FanGraphs Baseball
Worst Trade Acquisition – Vernon Wells, Anaheim Angels

Worst Move Overall – Acquiring Vernon Wells, Anaheim Angels

Sorry, Angels fans. This move is that bad.

How are we supposed to take Dave Cameron seriously if he can't even get the name of the team right? Do you suppose he does that intentionally, because he's, you know, Dave Cameron?

Spring diary: A new ballgame for D'backs' Joe Saunders -
Things will definitely be a little different this year. I guess I got used to all the routines when I was with the Angels. "Sciosc" (Manager Mike Scioscia) made sure we had fun but also got down to business when we needed too. He was able to balance the two really well. But I'm game for new challenges and learning all the new routines with my new team.

My favorite former Angel is doing a spring training diary. The part about throwing curveballs to his wife in Hawaii is a sure-rub-it-in sort of way.

Breaking Down a Potential Joe Saunders-NYY Trade - AZ Snakepit
A trade of one year of Joe Saunders isn't going to set the world on fire, and isn't going to rocket the D-backs' system into the top-10 in all of baseball. However, if we can take advantage of the demand for an innings-eater from the Yankees, we could get a solid return from New York.

Oh-oh. This would make a good diary post. If you're a Saunders fan, what would you do if Saunders got traded to the MFY?

Bold prediction: Sabathia will opt out - Yahoo! Sports
After this season, the Yankees will owe Sabathia $92 million over four more years. He will turn 31 in July. Cliff Lee, 32, received a six-year, $140 million offer from the Yankees this offseason. So the market for Sabathia, with his track record being longer than Lee’s and his ability to pitch in New York proven, would start at those numbers.

The next story that will be endlessly talked about on ESPN. Sabathia Watch - Day 89! Might become interesting if he's linked to the Angels next off-season, considering it was rumored he "almost" came to Anaheim before.

The Market For Albert Pujols -
The Angels. Signing Pujols would quickly erase any lingering bad feelings Angels fans have over the club failing to sign Carl Crawford or Adrian Beltre this winter. Kendry Morales would be moved to DH to accomodate Pujols, or could even be trade bait if he fails to rebound from his injury-shortened 2010 campaign.

One of the guys at MLBTR opines on the which teams are more likely to sign Pujols if he become a free agent. Sorry, I don't see it.

One swing away from immortality - The Hardball Times
These are the players who came to the plate with a chance to win, only to see their team eventually lose the series all together. I wonder if they relived those a- bats in their minds over and over again. Maybe they aren’t as masochistic as I am. But in case any of them wanted to hide, no such luck. We’re looking at everyone who missed his greatest chance for immortality.


February 16 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on February 16.
1924 - Boston Braves third baseman Tony Boeckel becomes the first major leaguer to be killed in an automobile accident when he dies from injuries received as a passenger yesterday in San Diego, CA. Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel, also a passenger of the car driven by Los Angeles theater man Bob Albright, escapes without any serious injuries.
1950 - Former Giants Mel Ott and Bill Terry are the top vote-getters, but fail to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Geez, tough crowd. Obviously the voters didn't have access to all of the stats.
1989 - Orel Hershiser becomes the first player in Major League history to sign a contract that calls for a $3 million salary by inking a 3-year, $7.9 million contract with the Dodgers that will pay him $3,166,667 in 1991.
Happy b-day:
1918 - Creepy Crespi, infielder (d. 1990)