Pettitte Back in 2010; Hall of Fame Theories

Sources say Andy Pettittle will play ball in 2010, following a successful season (and postseason) with the Yankees.  All that’s left is to work out a deal with the Yankees.  [ESPN]

Miguel Sano, a Dominican prospect who is the property of the Minnesota Twins, got his work visa – which means he can start his professional career in the US.  Because of issues with Dominican players falsifying names and ages, Sano and his parents needed to fulfill DNA testing and bone scans to confirm his identity and age before he could sign.  Sano is 16, and received a bonus north of $3 million to join the Twins organization.  [ESPN]

Tampa and Texas have shown an interest in Cubs outfielder/malcontent Milton Bradley.  The hold up?  Figuring out how much cash Cubs GM Jim Hendry is willing to give up to make the deal happen.  [MLB]

What’s Your Take?

As today is the opening day of the baseball meetings in Indianapolis, MLB revisited some of the best deals of the last 40 years.  They opened with Nolan Ryan, who was acquired by three different teams – California, Houston, and Texas.  Now, seriously.  Ryan was singularly a unique talent, but did he really change the fortunes of the teams he joined?  No, he did not.  I see an off season article in my future…  [MLB]

SI’s Sky Andrecheck reviews the Hall of Fame voting patterns for four veterans (Dawson, Morris, Blyleven, and Lee Smith) and whether this is the year any of those four break through.  [SI]

Happy Birthday! Johnny Bench, as good a catcher as ever lived, and pitch man for Krylon Paint back in the day (“no runs, no drips, no errors”), was born on this day in 1947.

Before I give the list, Shane Mack (1963) also celebrates today.  The first foul ball I ever got came off the bat of Shane Mack.  Jeanne had given me season tickets to Royals games in 1998 for Christmas.  A foul ball had rarely come near me in some 30 years of going to games – but that year, Jeanne was a ball magnet.  She only attended nine games with me, but in the first two she attended, we had one come right to my seat.  In an early April game, a nearby guy knocked both of us over to take the ball away.  But two weeks later, she attended one where Mack DRILLED a liner right at her.  She was holding a coke and a tray of nachos and wanted to lean left out of the way.  However, I leaned her way (in part to protect her, in part to make a reach for the ball.  Everyone else was ducking for cover.  The ball nicked my middle fingertip, smacked the chair behind Jeanne, and bounced up in the middle of the the group (six rows off of third base, on the edge of the outfield grass).  I reached up and got it – was on the Jumbotron.  Still have the ball.

Others celebrating with cake, cards, or remembrances include: Hobe Ferris (1874) a teammate of Rube Waddell with the Browns and Millers, no-hit pitchers Bo Belinsky (1936) and Don Cardwell (1935).  Belinsky’s was the first in Angels history – his fourth win after joining the Angels in 1962 after coming up in the Orioles chain.  Cardwell’s was the first where a pitcher was making his first start with a new team after arriving in a trade.  Cardwell was a Phillie who came to the Cubs for Tony Taylor…  I can still see and hear the highlights (Jack Brickhouse with the call) – Brickhouse was urging Moose Moryn to race in and take a ball off his shoetops (“Liner to left – C’mon Moose…  He got it!  Don Cardwell throws a no hitter!!!”)…  Continuing…  Rich Coggins (1950), Paul  Dade (1951), Scot Thomson (1955), Ozzie Virgil (1956), Tino Martinez (1967), Eric Chavez (1977), Ryan Theriot (1979), and Fausto Carmona (1983).

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