- Louisville Courier-Journal: Bats season preview
The Louisville Bats are coming off of two highly successful years, and manager Rick Sweet can't wait for the new season to start. A few reasons why: Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier, and hopefully soon, Aroldis Chapman. Sweet also mentions potential position changes: Frazier and Juan Francisco to the OF, and Chris Valaika to 2B. Seems to me that either Frazier or Francisco should be playing 3B. (HT to RL Nation)
Fay - Reds sign Kip Wells to minor league deal
Wells pitched 46 cromulent innings for the Reds last year, with a 4.66 ERA that was probably a bit lucky given his peripherals. I don't expect that he'll be given a serious shot at the Reds' rotation in ST. Also, Fay reports that there's nothing new on Gomes. (HT to Crolfer's FanShot)
THT - Albert, Dusty, and the shift
After reviewing the new splits feature on Fangraphs, Cardinals fan Chuck Brownson concedes that Dusty Baker was right to employ an infield shift against Pujols last season. Pujols is unquestionably a complete hitter but hits far more groundballs and with less power to the left side of the infield.
- Big League Stew - Snuggies and skateboards lead list of 2010 ballpark promotions
The Reds will have a few interesting promotions this year. There will be a Joey Votto action figure day (May 29). Even better is the grass seed day (April 24), when fans will receive bags of Scott's Great American Ballpark grass seed. Once that grass is mature, be sure to set a Reds garden gnome (August 14) on your lawn.
MLB FanHouse - These Ex-Prospects Face Watershed '10
Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce are among those listed. I buy it with Homer because he's out of options and needs to show he can stick in a big league rotation. But Bruce is a year younger and seems to have the team's near unconditional support. In any event I'm confident that he'll hit better this year. He struck out less and walked more last year, despite seeing more breaking pitches than his rookie year.
Big Hurt decides to call it a career
Frank Thomas has announced his retirement after 19 years, 521 HRs, and a spiffy 301/419/555 slash line which is a 156 OPS+. I don't care how many games he played as a DH (and it's not that much; close to half his career was at 1B), that's a Hall of Famer.
Tom Glavine also announced his retirement and will take a front office job with the Braves. 4th highest career win total for a lefty, with 305.
- Maury Brown - Inside a Tim Lincecum arbitration hearing
Happy Arbitration Day! Easily the biggest hearing will involve the Giants' Tin Lincecum, a Super 2 seeking a 13M payday. The Giants countered with 8M. If I had to pick a winner, I'd take Timmy. While teams win most arbitrations, superstars have a better track record. Ryan Howard had a similar profile entering his Super 2 year, coming off a ROY and an MVP. He won 10M.
Had the Giants kept Lincecum down in AAA for another month in 2007, they could've delayed this ordeal for a year and saved themselves whatever Timmy gets minus the league minimum. Of course, they may have only won 70 instead of 71 games that season. The team has offered Lincecum a 3 year, 37M contract, which seems very low. Keith Law suggests: If Lincecum knows there's something wrong with his arm, he should take the offer, but otherwise, I'm wondering if Sabean got into Timmy's stash.
The Brewers and Corey Hart are also headed for arbitration. The respective figures are 4.15M and 4.8M.
HardballTalk - Obama compares Bank CEO salaries to ballplayer salaries
Come on, Barack. At least throw in the other sports if you're dumping baseball in the same swamp as bank compensation.
- Rich Aurilia isn't retired yet, but has a broadcasting gig lined up just in case
Andrew Baggarly tweets that the Bad Man isn't retired yet. Aurilia's Comcast studio host deal is contingent on his not finding a playing job.
New Feature: Facebook Connect on SB Nation
From the Hall of Justice: Today we've made it easier for Facebook users to signup for SB Nation and to participate in our fan communities. And Connect makes it easier for you share what you write on SB Nation with friends on Facebook, whether you're publishing a FanPost, a FanShot or a comment.
- Viva El Birdos - B+ for Cards' offseason
A lot of the credit seems to go with the decisions not to re-sign Joel Pineiro and Rick Ankiel, which makes some sense. I still think they were bidding against themselves for Matt Holliday.
Also, shortstop Brendan Ryan underwent wrist surgery and may not be ready for Opening Day. This could be a real drag on the Cardinals because Ryan had a pretty good year in 2009. If Paul Janish could turn into Brendan Ryan minus the mustache, that would be fine with me.
- Wrigley to host 3 summer concerts: Elton John, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews
Chicago's poultry fornication isn't limited to baseball decisions. For the city's sake I hope Dave Matthews will produce something less foul this time he visits Chicago. But I doubt it. The Dave Matthews Band — whose bus driver notoriously unloaded 800 pounds of human waste on a tour boat passing under the Kinzie Street bridge in 2004 -- is expected to headline Friday and Saturday night concerts in September. (HT to BBTF)
What does Sexfist have to do to get a gig around here!