Peter Gammons has his latest over at ESPN, in which he praises L.A. for signing Paul DePodesta and champians the Red Sox.
And speaking of DePodesta, Rob Neyer has an EXCELLENT piece about him and the Dodgers. The most interesting part of his column is that the previously linked DePodesta speach has been pulled off the net. Luckily, I did some searching and came up with an interesting solution. While I do not believe it contains his ENTIRE speech, if you download the "Concept Cards" from all of the presentations . . . INCLUDING Paul's. I believe that there was more to the speech (it's been a while since I read it - if anyone saved a copy, PLEASE let me know), but if you didn't get a chance to read it, this is a very good explaination of what he was talking about. The PDF is over 9MBs, but if you can get it it's definitely worth the read.
Jayson Stark's got a great odds-n-ends Spring Training piece up . . . I just LOVE this time of year.
Eric Neel wrote up a to-do list, as it were, for small market teams to be successful. It's a good read.
And finally, in local news, A.J. Pierzynski won his arbitration hearing. He'll get $3.5 million instead of the $2.25 million the Giants were offering.
Scratch that, one more from Rob Neyer, in which he lists Barry Bonds in the Top 10 baseball players of all time . . . a list dominated by a certain Mr. Ruth.
This after rejecting a multi-year offer from the Giants, a team that he had expressed interest in during the 2003 season.
Kudos to Sabean & Co. for making a run, but it just wasn't enough.
The Cubs, again, look to be the front-runners for his services . . . although if I were the Rangers I'd think about using some of that new "caproom" to show the fans that they're seious about getting some pitching.
Here's a team that I traded for in EA's MVP Baseball 2003 for the PS2:
And I'm not even going to get into who was on my bench (including Dunn and Kearns).
And yet, George Steinbrenner plays the same Fantasy Baseball game in real life, every day. Increadible.
Tim Kurkjian lists some Winners and Losers in the A-Rod trade, but let me add a few of my own.
Winners Alfonso Soriano He's out of the New York media circus, and will likely play CF next season. He'll also have the chance to become a big star on a young team, and could be given (likely more than he should) high praise as the reason the Rangers become contenders again (if they in fact do so).
The Yankee Nation Is there another player that any team would rather have? Bonds is the best hitter in baseball today, but is also considered rude and treated harshly by the media. A-Rod is the best player in the AL, and plays (played?) a premium position. I can't even imagine the lineup card that would have included Vlad instead of Sheffield.
Derek Jeter Appearantly, Mr. Clutch is so popular that not even the reigning MVP Gold Glover can remove him from his perch at SS. I can't think of a single team outside of the Yanks that wold move A-Rod under any condition other than a personal request.
Losers A-Rod Third? THIRD? Someone tell me this is a misprint. I just hope that they told him that after it was done they'd sowly phase out the "Jeter at Short" era of Yankees baseball.
The Yankee Nation There goes another young guy for another big contract. If this doesn't work out, then A-Rod will be in the same situation he was in with the Rangers (well, similar anyway) and the Yankees will be looking 80's fabulous.
Alfonso Soriano Hey, the best player in the league wanted out, and didn't even care which side of the rivalry he ended up on.
Derek Jeter He KNOWS he'll move to second or third, right? RIGHT?!?!?
Paul's article (paper? speech? presentation?) is a deeper look at how the Oakland A's changed their organization from the "Business as usual" approach that is rampant in Major League Baseball. Even better than Moneyball, in my opinion.
david aardsma, rhp roger whitaker, rhp jeffery jennings, c nathan schierholtz, 3b brian buscher, 3b brooks mcniven, rhp mike wagner, lf william sadler, rhp patrick misch, lhp timothy hutting, ss kellen ludwig, rhp jesse schmidt, of
jeffery peterson, rhp ryan sadowski, rhp nick conte, c sean martin, rhp j thurmond, rhp michael mooney, of marcus sanders, ss patrick dobson, of jonathan coutlangus, cf raul rodriguez, c
sean watson, rhp nathan fogle, rhp michael kunes, lhp brian wilson, rhp nolan mulligan, rhp douglas coon, lhp omar aguilar, rhp roberto gonzalez, cf daniel desouza, cf derek barrow, 3b
eduardo baeza, rhp oscar gonzalez, cf travis nesmith, lhp cody mcallister, rhp tyson brummett, rhp timothy alvarez, lhp shannon wirth, rhp jordan hafer, 1b michael price, c dylan gonzalez, rhp
michael johnston, lhp luis martinez, c mike bell, c john odom, rhp james braden, rhp brandon federici, lhp thomas correa, ss matthew berezay, of douglas fister, rhp james popp, rhp