"Everyone wants a villain," A.J. Pierzynski said. "Look at what LeBron James has gone through the past few years. My teammates get the best kick of it. When we go to Oakland, Anaheim, San Francisco, Minnesota, Cleveland, I get loud boos. Guys on my team can't wait to see that and to hear that."
Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Wednesday afternoon pitched the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the third this season.
Johnny Pesky, beloved member of the Red Sox Hall of fame who spent 61 years with the renowned baseball club, died Monday at the age of 92, the Boston franchise said.
Black crepe paper hangs over the column this morning. Garrett Reid, Andy Reid's oft-troubled 29-year-old son, was found dead in his Lehigh University dorm room at Eagles' training camp Sunday morning.
Boston police say they've apprehended a Red Sox employee who absconded earlier with the costume of the team's beloved mascot, Wally the Green Monster.
Boosted by a big run from the Texas Rangers, the American League has topped the NL in interleague play for the ninth straight year.
Five Cuts from a Father's Day edition of interleague play:
While most of America slept the night before the Greatest Sports Day Ever (Until The Next One), six Seattle Mariners pitchers served up the kind of historic performance that will be hard to match on Saturday by anyone or anything in Paris or Poland, Las Vegas or Long Island, Miami or Newark.
OAKLAND -- If there were a team, any baseball team, that could use the services of an aging slugger, a potential Hall of Famer -- no matter his age or agility -- it would appear to be the Oakland Athletics.
The surprises began with the very first pick of the 2012 MLB draft -- when the Astros selected Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa instead of the widely expected choice, Stanford righthanded pitcher Mark Appel -- and didn't stop there. Here's a quick look at the winners and losers from the first round and the compensation round.
The past two times the Houston Astros have selected first overall, the results have been solid, if not spectacular.
This weekend saw the White Sox continue their hot streak, four series played among the tightly bunched teams in the two Eastern divisions, and the ascendant Angels take two of three from the first-place Rangers, but the most compelling series was the one still going on in New York between the Mets and Cardinals. That series announced itself when Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history on Friday night, and has become more compelling with each successive dominant Mets pitching performance. Meanwhile, with their loss on Sunday, the defending world champions saw their record fall to an even .500 and slipped a half-game behind the Pirates into third place in the National League Central.
On Sunday, it was reported that the Houston Astros will select Stanford righthander Mark Appel with the first pick in Monday's MLB Draft. How will the rest of the first round break down? Dave Perkin, a former major league scout and SI.com's draft analyst, makes his selections below. For more from Perkin, follow his live analysis of the first-round starting at 7 p.m. Monday night.
If it seems as if a star player goes on the DL every day, you're wrong. Sometimes it's two, as happened Thursday when Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki added to the casualty list of a season rocked by injuries to big-time players.
This story appears in the June 4, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated. Buy the digital version of the magazine here.
BOSTON (AP) -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine called out the Tampa Bay Rays' coaching staff a day after the teams were involved in a benches-clearing scrum.
There aren't a lot of accessories in Flyover Country. No beaches, no mountains, few really tall buildings. In Cincinnati, there isn't a lot of history stored in museums. We are not The Hub of the Universe, the way Boston has decided it is.
When Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton put up slow-pitch softball numbers for a month it's exciting, but it's not a total shock. These are immensely talented players in the primes of their careers who have established themselves as MVP-quality talents. But what about when Brian LaHair does it?
Five Cuts from the first weekend of interleague play:
On the same night Josh Hamilton smashed two home runs against the Angels he also dove headlong into first base just as many times. The game last Friday represented a good snapshot of why Hamilton is the most compelling player in baseball today: he takes your breath away, whether admiring his talent or fearing he can't hold up.
BALTIMORE -- The year 2012 has welcomed strange days that have nothing to do with any antiquated Mayan forecast and everything to with baseball at the extremes. The season has already seen a perfect game, a no-hitter and a cycle, three rare results that can't compete with what's happening with the Baltimore Orioles.
WASHINGTON -- Jonathan Papelbon may have left behind his native Nation but as he goes around his new city, he can't help but sense that its friendly people, laid-back feel and sidewalk cafes give it a European flavor.
John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley discuss Angels pitcher Jered Weaver's remarkable no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins.
Baseball's new epidemic selects its victims carefully. It targets inhabitants of the same community, each of whom can be found residing on the pitcher's mound in the ninth inning of close games.
Five Cuts on a weekend dominated by the two pitching-led franchises who make their homes on either side of the Capitol Beltway:
A Panama native nicknamed "Mo," who endeared himself to New Yorkers with a cut fastball that baffled baseball's finest sluggers, is faced with the prospect of an unceremonious end to his illustrious 18-year career.
Few scenarios in baseball are so unnerving as the lack of reliable late-inning relief, and few places are so inhospitable to that uncertainty as the back pages of the New York tabloids.
Another month, another no-hitter. In the fresh spike marks of Philip Humber, Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim threw the second no-hitter of the season Wednesday night. It was the 10th no-hitter inside of two calendar years. Since Opening Day 2010, you are more likely to see a no-hitter (11 of them) than a cycle (seven) or a 130-pitch game (nine). And in these past three years no-hitters are occurring more than three times more often than they did in the previous decade.
Did you see the guy in the Batman underpants who leapt from the bleachers at Camden Yards on Opening Day and spent 63 seconds eluding justice on the outfield grass, his cape flouncing in the breeze, before a pile of policemen -- presumably in defiance of Commissioner Gordon -- finally tackled him in left-centerfield?
The Red Sox organization lives on the cutting edge of statistical analysis. It has reams of information available for the field staff and is not shy about making hair-splitting suggestions about how to deploy it. It employs stats guru Bill James. And yet manager Bobby Valentine posted a lineup in the clubhouse Wednesday thinking righthanded Twins starter Liam Hendriks was lefthanded. He checked his cell phone and got it wrong.
When his team plays at home, the Red Sox manager holds press conferences in front of a red brick wall that lends an unintentional air of comedy or tragedy to his every utterance, the brick-wall backdrop being synonymous with stand-up comedy and firing squads and official announcements from the Boston Red Sox, for whom April has alternated between farce and doom.
Another perfect game? Ho Humber. This is getting routine.
Smoltz discusses the unique measurements of Fenway Park and his batting practice experiences of clearing the Green Monster.
Is it OK to not like Fenway Park?
Excerpted from FENWAY PARK: The Centennial by Saul Wisnia. Copyright © 2011 by Les Krantz and published last Septeber by St. Martin's Press. Reprinted with permission by St. Martin's Press.
I wouldn't exist if not for Fenway Park.
Bobby Valentine was brought to Boston as a knee-jerk reaction to a perfect storm of last year's late-season collapse, wild accusations about allegedly dispassionate players, and a clubhouse culture that allowed such accusations to surface in the first place.
At 1-5 entering their home opener today, the Boston Red Sox are in worse shape than they were last year when they began 0-6. The 0-6 start was an anomaly by a set team that would be the best club in baseball until September arrived. This year's team has far more loose ends and questions: catcher, shortstop, leftfield, rightfield, closer , starting rotation and, if you believe Bobby Valentine needs early success to validate the cultural change he brings post-Terry Francona, manager.
NEW YORK -- A few days after Jayson Werth signed his first professional contract in mid-June 1997, the first-round pick of the Orioles traveled to Baltimore for an introductory press conference at Camden Yards.
Thursday brought the first multi-game slate of the 2012 baseball season and Opening Day for 13 teams. It was a day dominated by starting pitching, which was occasionally undermined by shaky relief pitching, and also brought us the longest Opening Day game in major league history, just to remind us that baseball will always show you something you've never seen before.
The 2012 baseball season had its third Opening Day on Thursday with six pitching-dominated games and one, between the Indians and Blue Jays, that rolled on for an Opening Day-record 16 innings before finally concluding. On Friday, the 13 teams that still haven't launched their seasons will at long last get their uniforms dirty amid a nine-game slate.
SI.com will be live-blogging today's season openers. Check back all day long for updates on Thursday afternoon's games from Cliff Corcoran (Red Sox vs. Tigers, Marlins vs. Reds), Joe Lemire (Mets vs. Braves), Ben Reiter (Phillies vs. Pirates) , Gary Gramling (Nationals vs. Cubs) and Ted Keith (Blue Jays vs. Indians). All times Eastern.
Baseball's newest venue is officially open, and it's impossible to look at Marlins Park in Miami without thinking, That place looks like fun. The fish swimming in the backstop, the Jacques-Cousteau-meets-Timothy-Leary home run sculpture, the South Beach nightclub satellite behind the bullpen, the pop art installations scattered on the courses: Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria isn't kidding when he says the ballpark he helped conceive and build "is meant to make you smile." Loria spent enough on free agents this winter to sound believable when he says he wants fans to focus on the game and the team. But, just in case your mind wanders, he made sure that baseball is not the only entertainment option at Marlins Park.
The 2012 Major League Baseball season officially opened last week in Japan, where the A's and Mariners played a mostly forgettable two-game series, and starts Stateside on Wednesday night when the Marlins face the defending World Series champion Cardinals. Thursday, though, is when the season really begins.
Red Sox-Yankees? That's so 2009.
In 2011, the Tigers were the only team in the American League Central to post a winning record, they won the division by 15 games -- the largest margin by any first-place club in baseball -- boasted the league's dual MVP and Cy Young winner in Justin Verlander, and added to their division-leading payroll by making the division's most prominent offseason acquisition in free-agent slugger Prince Fielder. Perhaps that's why, when he was asked this spring if he was in favor of MLB adding a second wild-card team to each league, White Sox general manager Ken Williams said, "Hell yeah I want it."
Last season, as The Great September Collapse was taking place up I-95, the Yankees waltzed away with their second AL East crown in three years. New York is in for a tougher fight in the Best Division in Baseball this year.
We have arrived at an exit ramp, only we cannot be certain to where it leads. Baseball in 2012, with its expanded postseason, franchise-changing TV money and the Technicolor dream of Miami as a baseball town, is headed in a new direction, as it seems to do every 10 years.
Growing up in New York City, there are a few things I never imagined myself doing, like driving a car, living in a house or attending big high school games like the ones I'd seen on TV.
With the injury problems that have beset the Phillies, it is very possible that if you ranked the major league teams from 1 through 30, you might go through six American League clubs before you reached your first National League squad. See if you agree with this order: 1. Angels. 2. Yankees. 3. Rangers. 4. Tigers. 5. Rays. 6. Red Sox. 7. Phillies.
Spring training statistics may seem meaningless, but while they pale in comparison to the numbers produced when games start to matter, they can sometimes give a hint of what is to come in the season ahead. This can be especially true when they are viewed in the larger context of a player's health and recent performance.
Whatever complaints or qualms people might have about opening the Major League Baseball season in Japan should have ended the minute the Oakland Athletics deplaned at Narita International Airport outside Tokyo on March 23. The Athletics, losers of 88 games last year, who have not had a winning season in five years and who finished last in the American League in attendance last season, were treated like rock stars. Flash bulbs popped and fans called out to the players by name. When Jerry Blevins is recognized walking through an airport in a suit, you know you have found one serious fan base.
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- On a rainy Sunday morning, the Tampa Bay Rays' clubhouse is slow moving and quiet. The Food Network and ESPN are on the TVs, but the sound is turned down. There's no outdoor batting practice, and players are arriving later than usual.
"That's the way baseball go," Ron Washington likes to say. He'll say this with a kind of shrug. He'll be sitting in the manager's office after a game, an opened pack of Winstons on his desk, and someone with a tape recorder and notebook will ask him to explain why one of his pitchers can't find his fastball, or why his lineup has suddenly gone cold, or how a team one strike away from the World Series title can let it all slip away. "That's the way baseball go," he'll say. And what more is there to say? The Rangers manager had some bad breaks in his career -- he tore up his knee early in his playing days ("Was never the same after that," he says) and he was released from the Twins in 1987, just before they won the World Series -- so he knows just how strange and cruel this game can be.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Upon entering the main gate at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Angels' spring training ballpark, there's a merchandise stand immediately to the right. The only player apparel sold there bears Albert Pujols' name.
When Golden State Warriors fans booed owner Joe Lacob on Monday night, the venture capitalist was visibly upset, not least because he was standing at center court trying to retire Chris Mullin's number 17, and had to abandon his speech as the booing went on and on and on, in a style long embraced by the Bay Area.
The early word on Yoenis Cespedes is in. "He's the real deal," says a scout who has seen him this spring. "Very mature approach. Very professional. And he can hit. He's the best hitter on the A's right now. Oakland made a great gamble."
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The day his manager called, January 22, was the day Miguel Cabrera officially swore off arepas, the traditional Venezuelan patties made of ground corn dough or cooked flour. Cabrera had been working with a trainer through the winter with an emphasis on improving flexibility and agility, but the call from Tigers manager Jim Leyland brought a new urgency.
Adding a speed-and-power threat like Yoenis Cespedes or getting an emerging star like Buster Posey back from injury would have a big impact on any team, but the A's and Giants were each in the bottom three in their league in runs scored in 2011, making the potential impact of those players, both of whom made their spring debuts over the weekend, all the greater.
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) -- David Robertson limped out of the Yankees clubhouse in Tampa, holding a pair of crutches, his right foot in an oversized black boot.
Major League Baseball has expanded its pool of postseason teams to 10 -- up from four just 19 years ago -- and next year will re-align into 15-team leagues that make for at least one interleague series all season long. But the biggest change of all may be around the next corner: the end of baseball as it was originally designed.
Back in October 2010, in the wake of a Yankees/Rays "race" for the AL East title that both teams treated with little care, the idea of a second wild-card slot in each league was floated. After a CBA negotiation and lots of waiting, MLB announced on Friday that the plan will be put in place for the upcoming season. An additional wild-card team will be added to each league, and the two wild cards will play a single game to advance to the Division Series. At the time of the original idea, this is what I wrote in my newsletter. Nothing has changed.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Robin Ventura arrived for his first day as a major league manager a couple of weeks ago to find the door to his office at the team's spring training facility locked. He jokingly imagined it to be a message from the White Sox front office that had made him the most surprising managerial hire in years, telling him, "We've decided it's over."
On Thursday, Jason Varitek will announce his retirement from the only team he ever played for, the Boston Red Sox, following a 15-year career. Varitek served as the Red Sox' captain for the final seven seasons of his career, and had been invited to spring training by the team. However, with the presence of catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway on Boston's roster -- and with no guarantee that he would make the team -- Varitek elected to walk away.
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The kid wearing No. 63, the hitting prodigy who's been called the next Miguel Cabrera, steps up to the plate on a back field in the Mariners spring training complex. A big crowd has gathered for the Jesus Montero Show. Every day, the crowd seems to grow larger.
"Moneyball" author Michael Lewis discusses the story and its real-world parallels.
"My friends think just because we live in Hawaii, we live in paradise. We're all just out here sipping mai tais, shaking our hips and catching waves. Are they insane?" While an Oscar-nominated picture requires the kind of conflict that George Clooney's character implies with this line from "The Descendants," your vacation getaway doesn't.
The Oakland A's are the clown car of baseball, a small market team crammed with weird ideas. Just when you think they've all emerged, another one pops out.
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Getting Bobby Valentine's autograph is not a passive activity. Implicit in the request for his signature, as Red Sox fans making the pilgrimage to spring training are learning, is consent to match his hurried pace because the club's new manager is in perpetual motion.
The heir to Stan Musial left St. Louis, the Tigers came out of nowhere to give a Prince a king's ransom and three of the most intriguing players in baseball today never have played a day in the big leagues. In other words, strange as it is, this is the perfect spring training to follow a 2011 season in which none of the nine biggest payrolls won a postseason series and St. Louis, which lost its ace (Adam Wainwright), scrapped its closer (Ryan Franklin) and languished 10 ½ games out in late August, wound up winning the World Series.
This week, Cliff Corcoran will break down what to expect from each team's camp as part of SI.com's spring training preview. Teams are listed by their order of finish from 2011. Note: The Big Prospect is a player who will be in camp and has not yet debuted in the major leagues.
This week, Cliff Corcoran will break down what to expect from each team's camp as part of SI.com's spring training preview. Teams are listed by their order of finish from 2011. Note: The Big Prospect is a player who will be in camp and has not yet debuted in the major leagues
Baseball's most bizarre showcase video begins with Star Wars-style scrolling text, pronouncing Yoenis Céspedes to be "A New Hope" (not coincidentally, the name of George Lucas' first film in the intergalactic series) and revealing that the Cuban outfielder -- who reportedly agreed to a four-year, $36-million contract with the Athletics this week -- is nicknamed "El Talento or La Potencia."
For most of human existence we've dreamed of flight, carving winged sphinxes onto Babylonian brickwork, imagining Icarus and all manner of flying machines -- many sketched by Leonardo da Vinci -- until somehow over the centuries these miracles came to be: The magnificent Montgolfier Brothers and their hot air balloon, the Wright Brothers, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Golden Age of Travel, Pan Am, TWA, the jet set and all the while Sinatra singing, "Come fly with me, we'll float down to Peru ..."
Thanks to what seems like a never-ending battle with a foggy brain, outfielder Denard Span breaks away from his routine winter workouts one day a week for special treatments that he hopes fix concussion symptoms.
The day after the Texas Rangers won the bidding for the negotiating rights to pitcher Yu Darvish, a shipment of major league baseballs was delivered to the righthander in Japan so that he could begin training with them immediately. Consider it the first official step in the baseball version of coming to America. Spring training -- with the emphasis on training -- brings the next and more difficult challenge of making the jump from pitching in Nippon Pro Baseball to Major League Baseball.
One of the most valuable assets a club can hold is a young, established major league starting pitcher without impeding free agency. Everybody wants pitching, but especially when it's young, cheap, proven and under contractual control. So why did teams willingly trade such assets this winter in numbers we haven't seen in years? And among the five young starters teams dared to move, might we see the next Pedro Martinez -- or the next Dontrelle Willis?
Less than a year after retiring in disgrace to avoid a second performance-enhancing drug suspension, Manny Ramirez just might catch on with another major league team. Ramirez was reinstated from the retirement list in mid-December, began working out in Florida in January, and the Orioles, A's, and Blue Jays have since shown public interest in signing the 12-time All-Star. That interest comes despite the fact that Ramirez would still have to serve a 50-game suspension (reduced from 100 games in recognition of his having sat out all but five games of the 2011 season) before he could take the field and will turn 40 right around the time that suspension would end in late May.
Three weeks ago, when the news broke that Tigers' DH Victor Martinez had injured his knee and could be out for the season, it created a window. The Tigers' offense, so reliant on just a few hitters in 2011 when Detroit won the AL Central, would be down a big piece in 2012. There was an opportunity for an up-and-coming team like the Royals, set on offense but with a questionable rotation, to step into the vacuum and close the gap on the top of the division by signing an available free-agent starter such as Edwin Jackson or Roy Oswalt. That kind of aggressive move could have turned the division race into a coin flip.
Put aside for a moment the larger issues it addresses about building a better mousetrap and what makes Billy Beane tick. The movie Moneyball, based on the 2003 best-selling book of the same name by Michael Lewis, is about how the Oakland A's, having won 102 games and made the playoffs in 2001, planned to get back to the postseason in 2002 despite losing first baseman Jason Giambi, outfielder Johnny Damon and closer Jason Isringhausen to free agency.
You have to admire the gusto of 82-year-old Tigers owner Mike Ilitch. When Ilitch wasn't happy with patchwork contingency plans about replacing Victor Martinez, he said he turned to GM Dave Dombrowski and said, "You know, I think we should go after Prince."
At Thursday's press conference announcing the Prince Fielder signing, Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed that incumbent first baseman Miguel Cabrera would be moving across the diamond to third base this spring to make room for Detroit's new $214 million man. It's a risky move, one that seems unnecessary given the makeup of the 2012 Tigers roster.
One afternoon a few years ago, Josh Hamilton was sitting in the video room at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, talking about his return to baseball after a four-year hiatus. "I'm surprised that [my] body has done as well as it has, the way I treated it all those years, the hell I put it through," he told me. "I'm surprised that I haven't been hurt more than I have been. Hopefully I can play 150 [games] or so every season."
Compared to Prince Fielder's $214 million deal with Detroit, every other transaction in the past week qualifies as "other news." Nevertheless, while Fielder was grabbing all the attention, some other impactful moves took place that warrant attention, such as:
Prince Fielder has reportedly agreed to a $214 million, nine-year deal with the Tigers, making him just the third player in major league history to receive a contract worth $200 million or more. He joins Alex Rodriguez, who has done so twice, and Albert Pujols, who signed with the Angels for $240 million over 10 years in early December.
Five thoughts on Tuesday's news that former Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder had agreed to a nine-year, $214-million contract with the Detroit Tigers:
Prince Fielder still doesn't have a team, but already he is almost assuredly about to set a record this year. No free agent ever has signed a nine-figure contract this late in the offseason.
I had the chance to be part of the Frozen Diamond Faceoff on Jan. 15 in Cleveland as the Michigan Wolverines beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 4-1. I was there covering the game for FS Detroit and it was my first opportunity to witness first hand the phenomenon that has grown during the decade since the original CCHA event in 2001 -- dubbed the Cold War -- at Spartan Stadium between the Wolverines and Michigan State.
Five reactions to Tuesday's news that Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is likely to miss the 2012 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during offseason workouts:
The January or even February date that Prince Fielder finally signs a new contract will be a forgotten footnote long before the presumed multi-year deal expires.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Texas Rangers President and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan was impressed by his first meeting with Japanese sensation Yu Darvish and is confident a contract will be completed by next week's deadline.
The great modern Yankees teams played with such equanimity and honor that Oakland general manager Billy Beane once said it was as if they beat you wearing tuxedos. This aura of cold-blooded assurance came largely from the miens of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, who seemed to come through at every postseason turn and be not the least bit surprised that they did. Their manager, Joe Torre, gave voice to such calm.
The White Sox send mixed messages, the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Reds fortify their bullpens, and the best available centerfielder (not counting Yoenis Cespedes) and two of the best platoon outfielders in the game all re-sign with their 2011 teams in this week's edition of Hot Stove Roundup.
1. Cardinals win and Pujols leaves. To celebrate or to mourn? The Cardinals won a thrilling seven-game World Series -- baseball's first Fall Classic to go the distance since 2002 -- for the franchise's 11th title but just six weeks later saw future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols split for Anaheim with a 10-year, $254 million contract. Pujols provided one last thrilling moment for Cardinals fans when he tied a record by crushing three home runs as part of a five-hit effort in Game 3 of the World Series. Though his departure may have cost him a statue outside Busch Stadium, he left behind a new World Series banner as a parting gift.
The big transaction news of the last week was the five-player trade that landed the Reds Mat Latos, Jimmy Rollins re-signing with the Phillies for three years, and the Rangers winning the right to negotiate with Japanese ace Yu Darvish. However, Joe Lemire nailed the first two in his column on Saturday, and the Darvish news won't have any real impact unless (or until) the Rangers actually ink the right-hander, something which might not happen until mid-January. Still, there were a few other noteworthy moves from the past week, including the coming and going of three Twins outfielders, a trade between the Red Sox and Astros, and a handful of smaller signings by teams looking to flesh out their bench and bullpen.
A half-century ago the American public was fixated on a Rocky & Bullwinkle adventure that chronicled the search for the Kerwood Derby, a magical bowler hat that turned its wearer into an egghead. Today hot-stovers on two continents endlessly speculate about the Darvish Derby, the posting auction for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish that concluded at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The 25-year-old right-hander, the most dominating pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues, went 18-6 this season for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, led the Pacific League with 276 strikeouts and finished with a sub-1.90 ERA for the fifth straight year (a career-best 1.44). Will the winner of the Darvish Derby turn out to be Kerwood-clever or Bullwinkle-boneheaded?
The already-slim chance that Prince Fielder would find his way back to the only team he's ever known, the Milwaukee Brewers, almost certainly ended yesterday when the Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez to a three-year contract. With the money they're paying Ramirez, the decision by Francisco Rodriguez to accept arbitration, and a handful of in-house options for first base it seems certain now that Fielder will be moving to a new town.
The Angels and Marlins weren't the only teams getting things done at the just-completed Winter Meetings in Dallas, and Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson weren't the only players the Angels acquired. For fans of the other 28 teams and LaTroy Hawkins, here's a summary of some of the less-celebrated player transactions from the last week and a half.
The funniest moment of the baseball Winter Meetings happened when a minor league executive absentmindedly walked into a reflecting pool of the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Of course, given the blanket coverage of sports these days, a reflection itself of the game's health, the happenstance was captured by multiple cameras.