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Tuesday, December 09, 2008
The Merc's Andrew Baggarly is reporting -- well, he's not really reporting as much as passing along the rumor -- that CC Sabathia has turned down the Yankees' offer and that the Giants are slowly entering the picture:
It’s been confirmed to me that the Giants had discussions with CC Sabathia’s camp last night, and they expect to have face-to-face meetings with the left-hander in San Francisco after the winter meetings.
And of course, many are buzzing that the Brewers and their creativity -- bigger per-year money for a shorter term and an opt-out clause -- may be the front runners.
I hope this is true from a purely journalistic standpoint, because writing about CC in pinstripes would be kind of boring.
UPDATE: Alert reader Meta notifies us that Robo has already shot this one down:
5:21 p.m. — Sources: No truth to CC rumor
Rosenthal is, bar none, the best in the business at this stuff. Unfortunately, that makes him one of the biggest buzzkillers in the business too.
(link via Matt Watson at FanHouse)
A group of educators and scientists are all in favor of cognitive enhancing drugs like Ritalin and Adderall:
Many people have doubts about the moral status of enhancement drugs for reasons ranging from the pragmatic to the philosophical, including concerns about short-circuiting personal agency and undermining the value of human effort . . . Such arguments have been persuasively rejected. Three arguments against the use of cognitive enhancement by the healthy quickly bubble to the surface in most discussions: that it is cheating, that it is unnatural and that it amounts to drug abuse.
I know very little about cognitive enhancing drugs, but I am well-versed in the PED debate as it relates to baseball. One of the things that has struck me about the PED debates, such as they are, is the near dearth of analysis that goes beyond the "steroids are against the rules, so steroids are bad, mmm-kay" argument. I think the more in-depth aspects of the debate -- such as whether the costs outweigh the benefits and whether PEDs are somehow different in kind from acceptable training methods rather than merely different in degree -- are avoided because, let's face it, they're difficult. For the most part it's sportswriters doing the debating in the first place, and how can most of them be expected to wrap their brains around nuanced topics such as these? That is, if they even want to in the first place.
So while I'm not really that interested in whether college kids without ADD should be allowed to take Ritalin, I am interested in the parameters of the debate, because it may shed some light on steroids and, more significantly, the fun new genetic games that are just around the corner for the sporting world.
(link via Sullivan)
At least that's what KTVU's Lloyd LaCuesta believes he has discovered:
KTVU's Lloyd La Cuesta came up with a letter from Bud Selig to Lew Wolff stating: "I have decided that in the event you are not able to promptly assure the implementation of the desired park in Fremont, you may begin to discuss a ballpark with other communities."
Bloggers in-the-know interpret the letter to mean the same thing: San Jose is A-OK.
Which makes oodles of sense. Yes, San Jose is technically in the Giants' territory, but it's a big ol' city in its own right, it's much more culturally distinct from San Francisco than the East Bay is (if that makes any sense), and given the geography of the place, San Jose is probably less likely to draw fans away from AT&T Park than Oakland did back when people used to go to A's games.
No matter the case, anything that breaks down baseball's illegal and ill-advised territories racket is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.
The poor headline editing set forth in the screen cap below (article can be found here) explains (a) why the Chicago Tribune is going bankrupt; (b) why Ron Santo doesn't get any respect; or (c) both:
The extra "s" stands for "shafted!"
If this happens, I will dance the dance of joy:
According to one National League executive, the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves have had serious discussions about a trade that would send outfielder Jeff Francoeur to the Royals for pitcher Zack Greinke. The same source said he believed the teams were close to executing the deal, but that Atlanta was holding up trade discussions until the Braves had a resolution of their pursuit of free agent righthander A.J. Burnett.
Why in the h-e double hockey-sticks would anyone in Atlanta's camp be holding this up?! Get the signatures on the page and send in a swat team to forcibly remove all of Greinke's stuff from the Royals' property before someone in Kansas City wakes up and changes their minds!
If this does go down, the Royals may very well be competing for the worst team OBP in baseball history next year.
The fun news today is that Illinois has kept its governors-in-jail streak alive. But this isn't just your average, everyday corruption story. This one has some baseball!
Blagojevich and Harris conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.
There is little context provided, but I am assuming that this part happened back when Zell and the Tribune Company were considering selling Wrigley Field separately from the Cubs. I thought that was a bad idea at the time, because it could create incentives for the Cubs to leave Wrigley one day, thus diminishing both properties in incalculable ways. I am also assuming that if Illinois had a non-crook governor who wasn't driving such a hard and illegal bargain, state help would have been forthcoming, hastening the separate sale.
So, on behalf of baseball fans everywhere, I would like to thank Governor Blagojevich for all of his assistance in keeping the Cubs and Wrigley Field together!
We knew it was going to happen, but details are now emerging:
Considered by many the top reliever on the free-agent market, Rodriguez saved 62 games for Anaheim last season. The Angels offered just more than $30 million over three years to retain the 26-year-old right-hander . . .
GOTCHA! That text was lifted from this November 2005 article announcing the signing of Billy Wagner, with the specific facts changed to fit K-Rod. Wagner had more money over more years. The term "suspect bullpen" has been inserted to replace "struggling closer Braden Looper." Not much else has changed.
The lesson: you can sign that bigtime closer, but it ain't necessarily gonna solve your problems.
You're not going to believe this, but the Yankees and Mets need -- and are going to get -- more money from the taxpayers of New York:
With opening day for the city’s two newest baseball stadiums only four months away, the price tag for taxpayers continues to rise.
This is on top of the $660 million in infrastructure developments and improvements and $500 million in tax breaks already being given to the families Steinbrenner and Wilpon by taxpayers.
Query: are the Yankees and Mets still sticking to the "we're-paying-for-our-own-stadium" talking points, or has it finally become too ridiculous a charade to maintain?
You know, until I read this story, the historical weirdness of baseball -- the most anti-gambling of all of the major sports -- holding one of its biggest events in a casino hadn't occurred to me. Really, it was not that long ago when Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays -- Mantle and Mays! The two biggest names in post-war baseball! -- were banned from the game because they took relatively unimportant P.R. jobs with an Atlantic City casino, years after they retired.
Now GM's make deals or, even better, talk to reporters about hypothetical deals, mere steps away from a room in which those very same deals can affect the odds against their team winning the World Series. Make a big enough splash and those odds can move either before or after one of these guys places a bet on it.
I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Gambling is no longer the sort of danger to the game it once was, mostly because there's way more money to be made in licensing deals and season ticket sales and other stuff then there is with the latter day Arnold Rothsteins of the world. I'm just saying it's weird, and I can't help but wonder what Judge Landis would think about it all.
My general approach during the Winter Meetings is to not opine on every rumor or random story out there because, let's face it, most of what you read about isn't really going to happen. Still, I have to smile at stuff like this:
Shortly after Theo Epstein met with reporters tonight, an agent walking the hall of the Bellagio resort and casino gave the Red Sox the supreme compliment.
I can't see the Red Sox being truly interested in Pettitte. I can see them doing what people always talk about them doing, however, and that's messing with the Yankees and trying to make them overpay for someone. Back when George Steinbrenner was in charge you never gave that sort of thing much credence. He was going to do what he was going to do, and he always made it seem like he was driving the bus. Now it's different, and it seems like the Red Sox are openly and obviously trying to get in the Yankees' head. If Pettitte signs with the Yankees relatively soon, you'll know it worked.