Everybody is happy – the Mariners, Ken Griffey, Jr., fans in Seattle, and me… Ken Griffey signed a one year deal to return to the Mariners in what could be his final hurrah. The Kid turns 40 this month (!) and I might have to sneak off to Tampa to give him one last cheer. Granted, he’s not going to be an impact player on the field, but few have his impact in the clubhouse or the community. For a while, he was my favorite player in baseball and I am glad to have him around the game. [ESPN]
NL Gold Gloves…
Similar to the AL, there’s one arguably bad choice among the Gold Glove winners in the National League. Certainly, there will be arguments, but otherwise the list is pretty solid. Around the outfield, Matt Kemp, Shane Victorino and speedster Michael Bourn came home with trophies. The infield features Ryan Zimmerman, Jimmy Rollins, Orlando Hudson, and Adrian Gonzalez. The battery includes two Cards – Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. [MLB]
That being said, the choice of Rollins is – like Jeter – one of fame and not of numbers. Rollins has a very low range factor (3.96 chances per nine innings) and the best range of people playing around 100 games or so belonged to Brendan Ryan of St. Louis. The guy who had surprisingly good stats was Miguel Tejada. In my opinion, a healthy Troy Tulowitski is the best fielder of the bunch, so my vote would have gone there.
After years of Cactus, is Grapefruit in the Cubs Future?
Naples, Florida is in the running to host spring training for the Chicago Cubs, which would be a HUGE change for the north siders. I mean, think of all the Chicagoans who retire to Arizona who will feel cheated!!! Me – a Cubs fan living in Florida – would love it, but my hunch is that the Cubs are using this to get a better deal near their current home in AZ. [MLB]
Victor Zambrano’s mother was returned unharmed… Apparently federal agents used a commando-styled attack to rescue the woman. [ESPN]
Jamie McCourt denies having an affair and wants ownership of the Dodgers. McCourt tried to get her old CEO job back and failed, and recently suggested that as a lady in a man’s world (law and business) she passed up plenty of opportunities for fun as a supportive wife… [ESPN]
Brad Lidge’s surgery on his throwing elbow is considered a success and while he may miss a week or two of spring training, the hope is that he will close games on Opening Day and beyond for the Phillies. [MLB]
Arizona’s Brandon Webb threw for the first time since his shoulder surgery. First footballs, then baseballs from 60 feet. Webb said he was encouraged by the progress. [MLB]
Managerial Roller Coaster…
ESPN is reporting that Jim Riggleman will be announced as the new manager of the Washington Nationals. Riggleman had the Nationals playing better down the stretch during his interim run last season. [ESPN]
ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski thinks it’s time for Mark McGuire to come clean about his past before he starts his future as hitting instructor for the Cards. [ESPN]
Matt Williams will join Arizona and become a first base coach. [SI]
Thanks for Playing!
Jason Varitek would rather take a pay cut and play for Boston than take his chances anywhere else. So, ‘Tek signed his $3 million option and will return as Victor Martinez’s backup in 2010. [ESPN]
Utility infielder Wilson Betemit is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Royals. If so, he’s an insurance policy for the two players the Royals got from the White Sox in last week’s trade, Chris Getz and Josh Fields – oddly, two players Betemit backed up in Chicago… [MLB]
Hot Stove News…
The Reds might deal Brandon Phillips, Bronson Arroyo, and Aaron Harang in this offseason. Apparently, they have a cash flow problem… [FanHouse]
Having locked in billions of dollars of salaries, the Yankees are rumored to be looking at acquiring more high-priced pitching. Among those in the future could be Roy Halliday and John Lackey. Seriously, if this happens we might as well cut the Yankees loose and call it good. [SI]
Meanwhile, don’t rule out Lackey staying in Anaheim. According to FoxSports, Anaheim will make a serious offer – and failing that, might go after Halliday, too. [FoxSports]
Apparently, the Tigers are looking to trade Edwin Jackson following his solid season in Detroit. According to FoxSports, it’s about the Benjamins… [FoxSports]
Greg Zaun and Jason Schmidt filed for free agency yesterday, preceded by Eric Bruntlett one day earlier. I wonder who will gladly pay Schmidt to ride the DL? [MLB]
Former Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado is looking to play winter ball so people can see him play this winter prior to his signing a free agent contract. Delgado missed most of 2009 with a hip injury. [MLB]
Happy Birthday! For you Field of Dreams fans, Archibald “Moonlight” Graham was born on this day in 1877.
Others celebrating with cards, cake, or rememberances include: Carl Mays (1891) – worthy of Hall of Fame inclusion based on his career but likely will never go because his pitch killed Ray Chapman in 1920, Joe Hoerner (1936), Ron Bryant (1947), Bruce Bochte (1950), Cub favorite Jody Davis (1956), Donnie Hill (1960), Greg Gagne (1961), Dave Otto (1964) – who I remember from his days pitching for Elk Grove High School back in Illinois, Slammin’ Sammy Sosa (1968), Homer Bush (1972), Aaron Heilman. Wow – that’s a lot of former Cubs on this list…