Friday Filberts

February, 6, 2009
Am I the only one who's ready to skip the Caribbean Series and the World Baseball Classic, and jump straight to Opening Day? Just asking …

Jason Giambi describes Tom Verducci's (and Joe Torre's) book as hurtful, but he actually seems to have a pretty healthy attitude about the whole thing. I'm only a third of the way through, but so far the book strikes me as pretty innocuous. More next week …

• Somehow I got the impression that Thursday passed with absolutely zero Manny Ramirez news. I was, of course, absurdly wrong. Not that I'm complaining, as I think this is actually the most compelling story of this winter.

• The Padres have signed Cliff Floyd, and Paul DePodesta lists the reasons why. David Pinto is a bit surprised that the Padres (of all teams) would care much about something so amorphous as "leadership," but I've still not met anyone in baseball -- not Billy Beane or Paul DePodesta or Bill James -- who doesn't consider amorphous things when evaluating a player.

• Nominee for Coolest Site of 2009: Fantasy Pitch F/X's Injury Tool. It ain't pretty, but it gets a pretty important job done. Now they just need to backtrack far enough to include Barry Larkin!

• Speaking of "in baseball," in baseball just about the worst thing you'll ever hear about a player is that he's a "bad guy." Those two words are reserved for the worst of the worst. Well, now we've got the worst of the worst of the worst. And as much as I rip the Royals, this sure was one great trade for them (and one awful trade for the Mets).

• As Sam Mellinger writes, the owners' share of MLB's revenues seems to have significantly increased. Not that anyone's going to feel sorry for the players -- who are still millionaires, most of them -- but where exactly is all that money going? The Major League Baseball Players Association knows, because they're privy to the owners' books. And if the owners are making out as well as it seems, the players might be pretty stubborn the next time there's a new Basic Agreement to negotiate.

• I'm late with this, but King Kaufman's ode to John Updike's famous baseball essay is still more than worth your attentions. And if you prefer video to text -- I'm told there are more and more of you every day! -- here's Updike talking about the essay (about three minutes into the clip).

• Happy 114th to the Babe; also, Happy 30th to Big League Chew, the first prototype of which was cooked and shredded 30 years ago today.



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