News from the Atlanta Braves organization was heart-felt, and much needed. After Bobby Cox announced his retirement last season it was thought as a sure thing that Chipper Jones would be leaving as well. Entering his 19th season as the Braves third-basemen, Jones is well on his way to Srping Training. He had knee surgery, and has been steadily working on his swing to keep it sharp. He hasnt fielded any ground balls or ran any of the bases yet, and Chipper reports that the cold weather has kept him from getting in full day workouts but he is grateful for that. ” If you know me Im usually the guy that tries to do too much all of the time.” Jones said. ” The cold weather has kind of kept the reigns back, and I feel okay about that.” Jones has been in physical therapy but is confident that he will be ready by the time Spring Training starts.
Zack Greinke, and Shawn Marcum took some questions and answers from fans at the Brewers Fanfest over the weekend. When asked who they were in favor of to win the Superbowl, Greinke decided to play Devils Advocate and tell the fans he favored the Steelers to win. Greinke was nearly boo-ed off the stage but Bob Uecker interjected to save Greinke was total demonization. ” Hey, everyone. Calm down. He’s only been in town for like, 15 minutes!” Uecker laughed. Shawn Marcum took the other approach and decided to stick with the home town favorite. The Green Bay Packers.
Lou Piniella retired last season in August because of his mothers health reasons is back in baseball already. Piniella, 67, will try to reach an agreement with the Giants this year to become a special advisor for the front office of the organization. The Sanfrancisco Chronicle reported that Piniella will “consult in a variety of ways, whether its scouting or advising…well, whatever a baseball lifer of 48 years can provide.” The Giants have not confirmed or denied any details of the report.
Last season Cito Gaston took heavy criticism due to letting John Buck sit behind the plate for the majority of the season rather than put their rookie catcher J.P Arencibia in instead. Gaston wasnt all to blame though. When trying to sign Buck to a contract the Blue Jays owner Alex Anthopoulus promised John Buck that he would be the everyday backstop for the Jays. Since Anthopoulus is a man of his word thats exactly what happened. Not only did that help John Buck sign a three-year deal with the Florida Marlins for the start of the 2011 season worth $18 million dollars but it also didnt help prove that Arencibia was strong enough for the Majors. ” When John Buck was signed to a one-year deal, the promise was made to him that he was going to be the every day player from start to finish.” Anthopoulus said. “When we were competing to sign him, there were a few other teams out there that wanted him. That was what seperated us from some of the other teams.” Base strictly on performance, Buck was the Blue Jays best option for the 2010 season.
More ahead as Spring Training nears.
Pujols talks contract terms
Midwest blizzard damages Wrigley Field roof-Waveland Ave closed down due to heavy amounts of debris
Jovial Manny, Damon excited to join Tampa Bay Rays
Until next time baseball fans…
More big news in the Major Leagues. The Blue Jays make headlines again for the second time in a week with sending Vernon Wells, their all-star centerfielder to the Angels of Anaheim. Faced with doubters, nay-sayers, and critics of his $126 million dollar contract taken over by the Angels, Wells is pretty confident that he will make a positive impact on the baseball team, and hopes to help get them to the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Rays have picked up two veteran players. Johnny Damon, and veteran slugger Manny Ramirez. Damon, 37, signed for $5.25 million. He replaces Carl Crawford, the longtime Rays left fielder who in December signed a seven-year, $142 million contract with the AL East-rival Boston Red Sox. Ramirez, who will be 39 years old in May and is 45 home runs from 600 for his career, was guaranteed $2 million to become the Rays’ designated hitter.
The Kansas City Royals hung onto their slugger, Billy Butler. Butler says he thinks a 25-year playoff drought is nearing an end for the Kansas City Royals. Butler is full of hope, boosted by the Royals’ highly regarded minor league system. He’s part of the future, too, after getting a four-year, $30 million contract. When asked to comment on the recent departure of Zack Greinke, Butler stated ” He just didnt want to be here.”
The Cincinnati Reds re-signed many of the players that won the division last season. Mainly Johnny Cueto. The righty went 12-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 31 starts with Cincinnati last season.
And that is all folks! See you next time.
With all the buzz of the Zack Greinke trade finally dying down we have a new set of news buzz to address. The Hall of Fame. On the the ballot right now is Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, Tino Martinez, and Juan “Going Going Going” Gonzales. People are already speculating that Palmeiro probably wont make it due to his activity in the steroids scandal. Which is fine with me. As far as the other guys, I think that Gonzales and Bagwell have the best chance for first time ballot.
With Doc Hallady’s playoff no-hitter topping the charts of the 2010 best gems of the season, the Phillies were still not done wheeling and dealing. With a missed opportunity to aquire Zack Greinke the Phillies moved on to signing free agent J.C Romero. J.C Romero is a left hander that is needed in the Phillies bullpen since Dennys Reyes failed to come onboard earlier in the season. Coming off an injury plagued 2009 season, Romero posted a 3.68 ERA but walked 29 batters in 36 2/3 innings.
Trevor Hoffman, the all time saves leader is protecting his return for 2011. Although he states that his health is holding up fine it is his emotional state that he is concerned about. There is also that problem if any team is willing to give Hoffman a job. If anything is for sure Hoffman claims that memorable game at Miller Park on Sept 7th that got him his 600th save will be never forgotten.
Another pitching legend looking to make a return in 2012. Jamie Moyer. Moyer pitched 19 games for the Phillies last season, and went 9-9 with a 4.48 ERA. With a career win/lose record at 267-204, and 24 big league seasons under his belt, Moyer is confident that he will get a spring training invite from someone. “Its hard to get a job at the age of 49. Or maybe its not.” Stated Moyer to the Seattle Times. “Throughout my career, Ive always had to earn the situation Ive been in. I dont expect anyone to give me anything. Its never been that way, so why now?” Moyer stated. Moyer fresh off elbow surgery will try to gauge a comeback possibility as he is expected to miss the entire 2011 season due to recovery time.
Brad Hawpe could be the latest addition to the San Diego Padres. Hawpe has spent the majority of his nine seasons in the Majors in the outfield. But posting some mediocre numbers last season has idealy been what the Padres have been looking for. A career .279 hitter, who knocked in 116 runs in 2007 with the Rockies, and hit .245 with nine dingers, and 44 RBIs between the Rockies, and the Rays in 103 games last season. Hawpe has some potential, and thats what the Padres are seeing. With the missing hole at First Base since the Padres delt away three time All-Star Adrian Gonzales to beantown, the Padres are looking to fill that hole with Hawpe. With some very impressive numbers at Petco park, not a friendly stadium for left-handed hitters but Hawpe has been able to post a .281 BA, five home runs, and 21 RBIs in 153 AB there. Not to mention a .371 OBP. Impressive? Ask Petco park.
Basically all the big name players have reached agreements on contracts, trades, and have been through the boring old rigmarole of decided their futures. One player does stand out in my mind though. Zack Greinke. Zack won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award, and concluded the season with a 16-8 W-L record, a 2.16 ERA, and 242 strikeouts last season. He also picked up league MVP, and was awarded a spot on the All-star team. In 2010 his numbers declined rapidly. So after a poor performance Dayton Moore decided it was best for Zack Greinke to find a new home in Milwaukee.
Fortunatly for Dayton Moores reputation for being a failed leader in the Kansas City Royals organization this whole thing revolving around Greinke had really nothing to do with Moore. Dayton simply pulled the trigger on the trade. Greinke wanted to leave Kansas City. Even though he was drafted by them in 2002 in the first round, from the start Grienke wanted out of Kansas City. People will argue that because he pitched his guts out last season but aside from that Greinke made a statement last week stating ” when we are 20 games out of first place its kind of hard to get excited about coming to the park.” Wow. Strong.
In 33 games that Zack has started I have sat through three of them live at Kauffman Stadium. I have witnessed Zack throw the game away at least twice out of those three games that I have sat through. It was quite common for Zack to be out of the game by the third inning in most of his starts, and leave the Royals hanging, and have the bullpen finish the work. With a 10-14 record at the finish, and a 4.17 ERA its kind of hard not to see that Zack was frusterated. Most of the Royals are. On the flip side Greinke has stated that he is excited to join the Brewers for the 2011 season.
Kerry Wood has signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Im sure fans are delighted to see him back. Wood is expected to be the late inning setup man for Carlos Marmol. Kerry Wood is excited to be back, and has made many statements that he never wanted to leave ( Chicago ) in the first place. He has never been about money, and that was proven when he turned down four teams willing to shell out more dough for Wood than Chicago did. It was reported that Wood signed for $1.5 Million.
Adrian Beltre is about the only free agent left in the world of baseball. Since the Texas Rangers lost out on the deal for Cliff Lee they have some money to throw around, and by asking Michael Young to DH for them Adrian Beltre wouldnt be a bad addition. Smashing 28 homeruns, driving in 102 RBIs, and batting a solid .321 average in the 2010 season Beltre is one sought after player. Rumors speculate that the Angels are also in the market for Beltre. Only time will tell.
Sitting quietly in the AL West are the Oakland Athletics, and the Seattle Mariners. None of which are making many headlines as far as trades during this offseason. Now that Cliff Lee is no longer apart of the Rangers baseball team you could probably count the A’s or the Mariners to be somewhat of a contender next season. The A’s have some strong pitching that the other teams in the division should be worried about. Trevor Cahill posted some nice numbers last season. He went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA. Brett Anderson is another stronger pitcher the A’s have. Aside from pitching? Thats all I got for you!