Friday, December 9th, 2005
10:32 am - Starting the Countdown...  
So, when I woke up, there was a little snow on the ground, but still not enough to haul out the blower. I swept the stoop and the walk with a broom. Of course in the intervening couple of hours between then and now it's been coming down like crazy, but I am at work, so can't worry about it. It's supposed to turn to rain later. Feh.

I will note that the roads locally are in miserable shape. The snow isn't deep, but the roads are hella slippery. I don't know what the plow crews are doing, but they don't seem to be doing anything that falls under their job description.

---
Dodgers update - So Neddy finally hired a manager, Grady Little, the most maligned man in Boston a couple of seasons ago. Color me unenthused, although grateful that it's not Jim Fregosi. Neddy also signed Rafael Furcal to a very expensive, although short, contract. I'm not getting the reasoning there. We already have two shortstops. Furcal is definitely an upgrade, but I just think the money could've been better spent elsewhere. Folks are talking about Izturis playing second when he comes off the DL mid-season, but I suspect he'll be traded then. Robles is a better hitter, and he's cheaper.

The good thing about Furcal if you're Milton Bradley is that his signing throws any of Frank McCourt's platitudes about character right out the window. Bradley may be a handful, but at least he's never been convicted of anything. There were rumors that Bradley might be headed to the Cubs, but then they got Juan Pierre to play CF, so Milton may be staying.

The other Dodger rumor I've heard is Bill Mueller signing to play third. Haven't seen anything about it in the Dodger press, but some Boston sources seem sure of it. Neddy did re-sign Olmedo Saenz which is a happy making, although a little unexpected. Most people were sure he'd go over to the AL, where he could be a DH. He's a good hitter, coming off his best year. His big problem is that he breaks down if used too much, like last year. But he's a great bat off the bench for not a lot of money, and I'm glad he's coming back.

The pitching is still up in the air. The good pitchers who were available all seem to be gone now. There weren't all that many. Neddy did make an offer to bring back Jeff Weaver. We'll see if it meets Boras's approval.

---
Omar Minaya and the Mets continue their acquisitive ways. Omar the Trader filled his catching spot with Paul Lo Duca, getting him at Jeff Loria's garage sale down in Miami. Thus Paulie continues to follow Mike Piazza's career path from LA to Miami to the Mets. Omar also signed Jose Valentin, although I couldn't tell you why.

---
Speaking of Jeff Loria and the Marlins, I happened upon this article, which points out that one shouldn't really compare this Marlins fire sale with the 1997 fire sale, but rather to Loria's dismantling of the Expos a few years back.

The parallel [isn't] so much between the '97 dismantling of the Marlins and the '05 dismantling of the Marlins, but between the '05 Marlins and the Expos circa 2002. And the link between those two is Jeffrey Loria. Loria is Bud Selig's hit guy, plain and simple. This guy destroys what was left of the Montreal franchise, and, after the shameful Red Sox sale/rigamarole where John Henry gets the team instead of the highest bidder, is essentially "awarded" another team. Not sure there's any clear indication Loria has the money to pay for the team, but he gets it just the same. And, lo and behold, now this franchise gets gutted.

Another thing that the article points out is that the current collective bargaining agreement with the players prevented MLB from contracting teams in 2005, but allows them to do so for the 2007 season. Thus Bud and the boys have a cudgel they can use to attempt to extort a new stadium from Miami. There are also some rumors that Loria has been talking to people in San Antonio about moving the team there. Caveat emptor.

---
One last baseball thing. Here's a funny take on the Loretta-Mirabelli trade from a neutral perspective (he's a Phillies fan), Kevin Towers Loses All-Star in Drunken Game of "Mouse Trap". It's as good a theory as any, too. Good news for Sox and Dodger fans. (Side note, Mike's Baseball Rants are generally interesting reading, even when they are about the Phils. Today he's looking at the current deconstruction of the Red Sox.)
 
 
Current Mood: snowy