February 2011

Around the MLB Horn 27 Feb 2011

     Spring Training has officially begun! I can not stress how excited I am, and to have been able to listen, and watch most of the games that have been played yesterday, and today. To start things off we should probably talk about some lingering rumors, and some other important issues around the Majors.

    

     As we all know Miguel Cabrera was picked up for a DUI a week or so ago. He made it to the baseball stadium, and offered an apology and asked for forgiveness. He has also been admitted into a MLB provided AA program for his abuse with alcohol. He is also in therapy for his problems at home. With all that in place, Miggy is expected to join the Detroit Tigers on Monday for his spring training debut.

    

     Cincinnati Reds right-hander Edison Volquezl missed the Spring Training opener today due to work visa problems. Volquez is here on a travel visa, and had to be scratched from the starting position due to complications. Manager Dusty Baker has chosen Volquez to be the regular season home opener starter for the Reds.

    

     Chipper Jones didnt think he would be playing this early. With his freshly repaired left knee Jones said he felt pretty good today even though the Braves took a 5-4 loss to the Mets. Jones went 1-3 with a strikeout, a single, and a flyout. ” I got to do everything I wanted to do, with the exception of maybe going from first to third or scoring from second or something.” Jones said. Last Thursday Jones was concerned how many games he was going to miss when fluid started building around the knee. He aims to play in at least 130 games this season. “All my bad days are followed by good days.” Jones concluded.

    

      Philidelphia Phillies slugger Chase Utley has some concerns of his own right now. After a recent MRI it is concluded that he has tendinitis in his right knee. Although surgery has not been suggested or discussed, Utley hopes this problem will be long forgotten when opening day is here. Utley has claimed he has had tendinitis in his knee before, and it usually goes away, and doesnt stop progress. But as of late he has felt some soreness, and stiffness in that right knee. “Id rather miss some games here than miss games during the season. Its something Ive dealt with before. Its probably something im going to have to continue to maintain and keep an eye on.” Utley said.

    

     Hall of Fame journalist Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News ended up rewritting, and regretting his story he made of Jonny Gomes of the Cincinnati Reds. Claiming that Gomes was outright celebrating the recent news of St Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright being out for the season after feeling discomfort his in elbow during practice last week. Concluding that Wainwright would be out for the 2011 season for Tommy John surgery was a major blow to the St Louis Cardinals, and not something to celebrate but it does put the other remaining teams in the NL Central on the forefront of the division in this years pennant race. “I am a major believer in karma.” Gomes said. “Your reputation is just as big as your performance on the field,” Gomes explained. Gomes didnt exactly have an easy childhood, and Gomes has even lost his best friend, Adam Westcott in a traffic accident. He isnt one to wish misfortune on anyone. Even surviving a heart attack when he was 22 years old has helped put a lot of things in perspective for him. Gomes says he was simply asking ” Is WainWright gone?” when the news started circulating the clubhouse after the news came down from former Reds pitcher Rob Dibble. Everyone makes mistakes. Even writers.

    

     Koby Clemens, son of Rogers Clemens, went 3-3 today with a home run as his team won in an intrasquad game today. Clemens went on to win MVP in the Astros intrasquad game. How about that. Young Clemens. Stay off the juice, son!

 

BOX SCORES

 

NYY 7

PHI 3 F

 

NYM 5

ATL 4 F

 

TB 3

PIT 10 F

 

TOR 0

DET 1 F

 

LAA 0

LAD 5 F

 

 

CIN 7

CLE 6 F

 

KC 4

TEX 2 F

 

OAK 15

CHC 7 F

 

SD 12

SEA 13 F/10

 

SF 3

ARI 4 F

 

BOS 4

MIN 8 F

Around the MLB Horn 17 Feb 2011

     Albert Pujols enters spring training with no hard feelings that a contract didnt come to terms with the Cardinals. Although, some major speculation that the Cubs would be highly interested in the Redbird slugger in the 2012 season. Rumors being highly hypothetical about the Washington Nationals signing Pujols have actually gained some momentum, and might actually turn into a reality in 2012. But regardless. If both clubs want AP, they will undoubtedly have to start saving money NOW. Pujols was initially offered an 8-year $200 million dollar contract which he respectfully declined. He countered that offer with a 10-year $300 million dollar offer to include part ownership of the St Louis Cardinals. None of this should come as a surprise as Albert Pujols is arguabley the best baseball player in the Major Leagues as of right now. Pujols has stood firm on his self-imposed deadline to cease talks about contract terms once he arrived at Spring Training. Well, he’s arrived. Talks are off. To include myself. Just kidding baseball fans! As I find out more on this SO WILL YOU.

 

     Another legendary slugger makes headlines as well this week. Ken Griffey Jr is back in Seattle. No, he wont be starting in the outfield or filling a DH spot. Griffey will be working as a “special consultant” for the Mariners during Spring Training, and most likely throughout the regular season. Will he be at Safeco on opening day? Sources say he has some conflicts that require resolution prior to coming to Safeco, and no details were provided on what those conflicts are, so the answer is no. Griffey will not be at opening day on April 8th. Edgar Martinez, Dan Wilson, Jay Buhner, and John Olerud are also expected to help out during spring training. The reason for all these former Mariners showing up to help? New skipper Eric Wedge wants to signify just how important being a Mariner is.

 

     Manny Ramirez wants to show the Tampa Bay Rays what hes really made of. “I just have a chip on my shoulder,” Ramirez said. ” I want to get here and get my stuff right and show people I can play.” A properly motivated Ramirez can be a very productive Ramirez. Boston Redsox fans can agree to that. Ramirez signed a one year deal with the Rays on the first of February, and the 37 year old seems pretty happy about his situation. Teaming up with a former teammate from Boston, Johnny Damon, Ramirez has big plans for this season but was very nonchalant about the fact that he is only 45 home runs away from the 600 home run milestone. ” I havent thought about it,” Ramirez said. “It doesnt matter, man. –600, 500, 800..because, you know, when you die, none of this matters. They could build you a statue or whatever, but it doesnt matter when you die.” Ramirez said. Well, if Manny Ramirez ever gets to 800 home runs Im sure they will build him a statue.

 

     Stephen Strasburg returned to the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium earlier today. Although, he isnt scheduled to start in a Major League game until much later in the season, he was still able to throw with the pitchers and catchers today. ” It was just another day. It felt good.” Strasburg said. Strasburg is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery from last season, and he isnt quite able to throw off the mound yet but he has been able to throw from flat ground since January. Today he felt comfortable, and hes on track to make his full recovery.

Around the MLB Horn 13 Feb 2011

     Spring Training has finally arrived! Are you as excited as I am? Lets hope so! The 2011 Baseball season should be a fantastic year for players, and fans alike. But there is still some major unfinished business with some big name players around the league. So lets get started on these topics so we can kick off this first week of Spring Training on a good note!

     Talk on Albert Pujols major contract details have still remained under the radar. With the fast approaching self-imposed zero hour clicking closer with every day so far nothing has been done. We all know by now that Pujols doesnt want to talk contracts when hes trying to focus on baseball even during spring training. But management is quite confused of the actual zero hour that Pujols has self-imposed. Is the deadline when he arrives in Florida, or when he begins his first workout, or at midnight on a particular day? No one is very clear on this. Except Pujols. And possibly his agent.

     With the recent contract proposal made by the Cardinals to Albert Pujols being rejected sources are unsure of the details, and IF a deal will be made by the deadline. Apparently, the deadline is set for February 15th. Pujols has said that contract talks will cease on Tuesday so he can focus on the game. “Theyre working to get it set, ” La Russa said. ” Fingers crossed. In the meantime, we’ve got a really good club, and hes a part of it — and we’ve got to get ready.” stated La Russa. Its also been word on the block that even Matt Holliday, another Cardinal slugger, was willing to give up some of his own money to make the Pujols deal go through. “If they came to me and said, ‘Hey, this is what it’s going to take to get Albert done, would you do it again or do more?’… if that’s what it took, I’d be willing to do that.” Having realized what he said, he added, “Scott Boras probably wouldn’t like me to say that…” Holliday said on the Mike and Mike radio broadcast.

     Of course if no deal is made before the Pujols self-imposed deadline that doesnt mean the end of the line for club and player. The Cardinals have a negotiating window for five days after the World Series has ended. And even after that window closes that doesnt mean the end of the line either. The Cardinals signed Matt Holliday out of free agency in the winter of 2009-10. The free agency market seems some what undetermined though. Just because this guy got a huge contract and that guy signed for a huge contract doesnt mean that Pujols will end up in the select elite few. For all we know NO offers towards Pujols may be the future but rumors state that the Baltimore Orioles are one team that will be bidding aggressively if Pujols hits the free agency market.

     But like it or not I just dont see Albert Pujols pulling down $30 million dollars a year with the Cardinals. But Im just a fan of the game. Im not management or ownership. So I dont know what it takes to keep an athlete like Pujols on my team.

     More Cardinals news. Jim Edmonds, as we all know, as been harassing Tony La Russa to become a Cardinal again. He even made an appearance at the 2009 Cardinals Winter Warm-up, and jokingly made a pass at Tony La Russa if he would consider allowing him to play on the team again. Finally its become a reality. A couple of weeks ago Jim Edmonds signed with the Cardinals again but in a minor league contract. He will be reporting to spring training camp in about five days, and he seems pretty optimistic about his ability to be productive on the field. Edmonds is also recovering from surgery on his left Achillies tendon, He has yet to undergo a physical for the club, and until he does, his situation remains uncertain with the Cardinals. ” I think its coming down to just the health,” La Russa said on Sunday.” He had the surgery. I havent talked to him in the last few days, but I know that the last time I talked to him he was hobbled…I think its health driven at this point.”

     Edmonds will try to make the team this year, and join the Cardinals at spring training camp as a non-roster invitee. But if his health isnt 100% that will compromise him not making the team.

 

 

      Hey, did you guys hear? Mark McGwire did steroids!

 

Until next time baseball fans! Spring Training his officially here, Im pumped, and Ill hit the highlights sometime this week!

Around the MLB Horn 07 Feb 2011

     Welcome back baseball fans! With Spring Training right around the corner most MLB teams are putting their finishing touches on their rosters, and moving players to their respective positions in hopes to have an outstanding season.

 

     With the fresh retirement from Andy Pettite hitting the baseball world that really shouldnt put a damper on the New York Yankees making another strong run to the World Series in the 2011 baseball season. The Yankees put in great effort to sign Cliff Lee in respects that Pettite would retire, and went on to make roster moves, trades, and free agency contracts a reality whether Pettite retired or not. No surprise there!

 

     We have a lot to talk about. So lets get started!

 

     The Texas Rangers are currently in turmoil with Michael Young. Young had agreed to switch to DH, and Utility infielder after the signing of slugger Adrian Beltre. Over time, Young has became disenchanted with the switch, and its been reported that Young has requested that the Rangers trade him to a team where he can get more playing time defensively. Michael Young, and Josh Hamiliton were at the BallPark in Arlington Monday to field questions from reporters but Young declined to comment on anything until the situation is resolved. ” He said he wasnt sure of anything.” Hamilton said. ” I dont know. We’ll see. Its going to be different.” Although the club has expressed a willingness to accommodate Young in his request but there is no deal that is close. Hamilton, on the other hand, faces arbritration at the end of this season if he and the Rangers dont work something out. Hamilton is confident something will come abroad before the season ends.

 

     The Baltimore Orioles made a big splash by signing Vladimir Guererro from the Rangers for $8 million dollars. The single season contract will probably help strengthen what the O’s have going for them right now because Vlad is veteran status, and has a lot of insight on the game. The O’s are full of young players and could benefit from his guidance, and wisdom. Vlad will most likely continue filling the DH spot, and the O’s havent commented on if he will take any outfield practice during Spring Training.

 

     Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees captain is looking ahead into the 2011 season. ” Ive always been pretty good in my career in terms of forgetting the previous seasons, whether it was a good season or a bad season.” Jeter told the Associated Press on Monday. ” You have to forget about it, and move on.” Jeter, 36, came off a season low in 2010 batting .270. But he did scoop up his fifth Gold Glove Award. December of 2010, Jeter came to terms with the Yankees to extend his contract for another three years for $51 million dollars.

 

     Albert Pujols has not come to any terms on his contract. Pujols has threatened that he will not talk “contract terms” during the season, and that is to include Spring Training. So the Cardinals have roughly two weeks to figure something out. Pujols is wanting somewhere in the ballpark ( no pun intended ) of a ten-year $300 million dollar contract. If that happens, Pujols will become the highest paid baseball player in the history of baseball. That will be $4 million dollars more than what Alex Rodriguez is currently being paid. Pujols currently makes roughly $14 million dollars. So far no other Cardinal player have commented on the future signings of Pujols. Although, many teams are going to check in if the contract does not get done before Spring Training, Pujols has said he will exercise his 10-5 option ( 10 years in the same league, 5 years with the same club. ), and veto any trade agreements. The most likely team that will chase after Pujols will be the Florida Marlins. But its even been said that the Yankees will check in too.

 

     Carlos Delgado is still recovering from surgery. This would be his third hip surgery in his career, and he is confident that he will see the Big Show eventually. ” If I am healthy, I will find a way.” said Delgado. ” I know how to play. I dont want to retire.” Delagdo, 38, had surgery on his left hip, and has not played in a Major League game since May 10th 2009.  He signed a minor league deal with the Boston RedSox last August but began feeling discomfort in his hip, and had his latest surgury the next month. As part of a rehabilitation program, Delgado has been swinging the bat and started a running program. He said he isnt going to contact any club until he is completely healthy.

Around the MLB Horn 02 Feb 2011

     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…

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