JUPITER, Fla. -- While the Dodgers may be the most likely landing spot for Cooperstown-bound pitcher
Steady, innings-eating veteran
The Dodgers' situation at the back end of their rotation may actually be even more dire. "We need another starter," one Dodgers official said, flat out.
It's no surprise that the Mets and Dodgers are both interested in Martinez (the Dodgers were
Pedro obviously noticed that
If you thought
Ramirez is said to love the idea that it's his option at year's end whether to stay or go after making $25 million in 2009. In fact, some close to him suggest that the two-year deal including the second-year player option is actually better than the three-year deal the Dodgers wouldn't give him. A monster year could give Ramirez the three-year deal he seeks for big bucks, while the $20 million 2010 salary provides nice insurance in case he gets hurt, shows age or reverts to his Bostonian behavior. But of course there are no guarantees that the option will bring him extra riches.
The opt-out clause has in some cases become a major boon to the ultra-talented, such as
Yet another issue is Manny's now well-known love for L.A. He made that abundantly clear at his Dodgers press conference after spending the season and winter being noncommittal about where he wanted to play. Although the New York teams will be viewed as other potential targets, considering Manny's negative comments about Boston (which is much more like New York in terms of intensity) and uniformly positive ones about L.A., it will be somewhat difficult to envision him easily leaving Mannywood now.
In Manny's favor is his popularity in Los Angeles. Should Ramirez have another huge season, the pressure will be even greater on Dodgers owner
After a pregame interview on Sunday afternoon filled with negative questions the day after the U.S. team's embarrassing 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico, U.S. manager
Well, the U.S. did beat the Netherlands 9-3 on Sunday night.
But hardly anyone came to see the game (the crowd looked only slightly better than Marlins vs. Nats). And those who did didn't seem to notice.
Worse, by the time the day was done,
While the WBC spin is that injuries are no more likely at these games, Braun conceded that there might be slightly more chance for injury playing nine innings all out in intense competition as opposed to low-key spring games, but he also said, very positively, "I don't think anybody would trade this experience for anything."
Lindstrom may actually have hurt his shoulder while throwing in anger well behind Netherlands batter
While Johnson had other explanations for Lindstrom's wildly errant throw one pitch after Engelhardt's long blast (the manager said the pitch slipped and was overheard insinuating that the injury may be to blame), Lindstrom himself basically admitted that he threw at Rooi. Said Lindstrom, who explained that he felt Engelhardt spent too long admiring his blast, "I was just trying to send a message." Lindstrom also excused the Netherlands' anger by saying, "We probably would have been angry if they threw at our guy," which is tantamount to an admission.
The long home run was hit in Lindstrom's home park, and perhaps he was feeling embarrassed by it. However, intentionally hurling a pitch at a Dutch batter in a blowout game is a much more embarrassing act in my book.
I love the WBC. Maybe I'm almost alone in this belief, but I do love it.
Yet, there's plenty wrong with the way the U.S. team goes about the games, inhibiting this series from being what it should be. Most of what's wrong with it is that the U.S. treats the games like an exhibition. They can say they don't do that, but in many respects they clearly do.
Perhaps the U.S. squad in future years can get together before spring training to ensure readiness by mid March. Because the way things stand now, they almost have to treat it like an exhibition. (Otherwise, even more guys may get hurt!)
Here's how we know the U.S. thinks this is mostly an exhibition:
• Many great U.S. stars aren't here. By one estimate, it took about 70 phone calls and invitations to get 25 guys (no one here verified that 70 figure, but considering the stature of some of the players on the U.S. roster, it seems very possible).
• Case in point: Rather than have
• The U.S. is alternating
• When Jones was scratched on Sunday, Johnson simply put
• Johnson missed the workout and the first inning of Saturday's loss to Puerto Rico to attend his stepson's wedding.
Clearly, the U.S. team is conflicted about whether to try to win or try to "get its work in."
• Even after its 9-3 defeat to the U.S. team, you've still got to give it up to the Netherlands team, which bounced the Dominicans, played a nice game against the Venezuelans and upset Lindstrom with the long ball.
• The Dominicans didn't help themselves. Reports suggest that they didn't take things seriously enough and were flying between Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico for parties.
• Dominican outfielder
• Rough spring for Angels pitchers.
• Puerto Rico's
• I don't care that
• The Marlins have their usual complement of superb prospects. Outfielder
• It's going to be hard for the A's to make it up if ace
• According to the
• Enough already with these stories that one team or another isn't interested in