Here’s What is Making News in Spring Training
Itâ€™s not surprising that Albert Pujols and the Cardinals were unable to agree on a new contract before spring training, as it makes more sense for both sides to see what the market will bear after the season. You can eliminate the Angels as a possible suitor for Pujols. They have ruled out going after baseballâ€™s best player because they intend to offer Prince Fielder a 10-year, $300 million deal.
After trying out several different players, the Yankees have assigned backup infielder Ramiro Pena the job of feeding A-Rod popcorn during spring training games. Bartolo Colon and Joba Chamberlain failed at their tryouts, because they ate six kernels of popcorn for every one they flipped into A-Rodâ€™s mouth.
The Yankees have adopted some new Joba Rules for Chamberlain. He is now prohibited from eating Captain Crunch, as he obviously picked up the eating slack for CC Sabathia in the offseason. To round out their rotund pitching staff the Yankees have been making inquiries on â€œthat fat pussy toadâ€ Hideki Irabu.
The Mets have replaced the visitorâ€™s bullpen at Citi Field with a Cash Loan Payday branch, in case they need a loan during the game to pay the umpires.
Commissioner Selig secretly approved a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball to the Mets last November while turning down Frank McCourtâ€™s recent request to receive a $200 million advance from Fox. The Commish could be heard muttering that if there was any justice in the world, then the McCourts would be the ones who had financed their team with the illicit gains from Bernie Madoffâ€™s Ponzi scheme instead of his close personal friends the Wilpon family. At least the Commissioner is proving he can be fair and impartial.
The Yankees were taking notes as they watched Jerry Jones and the Cowboys milk every last dollar out of the Super Bowl seating arrangements. The Yankees plan to install a gigantic big-screen TV and some lawn chairs outside Yankee Stadium and will charge fans $400 each to watch the game outside the park. To make the atmosphere as realistic as possible, the team will hire drunk, obnoxious guys to wander around this special outdoor seating area and spill beer on fans and insult their mothers.
Commenting on the strained negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, Tony LaRussa remarked that the NFLPA has been dropping an anvil on the playersâ€™ backs through the roof of their houses, which in his informed opinion is why there are so many concussions in the NFL.
The Cubs have finally admitted they screwed up with their billboard ad featuring Derek Jeter of the Yankees, but their replacement billboard has stirred up even more negative attention. â€œCome watch the Cubs and Manager Ryne Sandberg take on the Braves,â€ reads the billboard, which features a picture of the Cubs Hall of Fame second baseman. When told of their blunder, the head of the marketing department exclaimed, â€œWhaddya mean we didnâ€™t hire Ryno as manager. That was a no-brainer.â€ Maybe the Cubs can bring in Christina Aguilera to sing â€œTake Me Out to the Ballgame.â€
Speaking of Jeter, the Yankees have accelerated plans to move him to another position. He will be taking over as their new number four starter, since his lack of range wonâ€™t be as exposed on the pitching mound and heâ€™s as good a pitcher as their other options. A.J. Burnett was so excited about Jeter joining the rotation that he punched himself in the eye.
All eyes are on Tampa as â€œThe Idiotsâ€ arrive in the city by the bay, and weâ€™re not talking about Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez joining the Rays. Hank Steinbrenner was briefly unmuzzled long enough to address the media, which led to a misguided comment about the Yankees losing last year because players â€œwere too busy building mansions.â€Â Hank was obviously referring to the fact David Robertson was busy building a 2,000-square-foot tract home in White Plains.
As soon as his upcoming trial for perjury is completed Roger Clemens plans to don his dark pinstripe suit again and go to work on the sequel to â€œGood Fellas.â€
Not only did the Red Sox evidently conduct stalker-like surveillance on Carl Crawford away from the ballpark, they hired a private detective to determine if that is really Jarrod Saltalamacchiaâ€™s last name.
Chris Jensen grew up not far from Cooperstown, where he personally witnessed Abner Doubleday invent baseball while he was on a field trip to The Farmersâ€™ Museum in second grade.