Waiting for Cano
I can’t wait until spring training starts. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19 for the Yankees, and that date can’t come soon enough. With apologies to playwright Samuel Beckett, I find myself “Waiting for Cano.”
That’s because I will be attending my first spring training game next month: Yankees vs. the Phillies on March 30 at Steinbrenner Field. Joining me will be my parents and two kids. It’s a 50th wedding anniversary gift for my parents, who live in upstateNew York but have never seen their beloved Yankees play in person. How many chances does one get to see Russell Branyan, Bill Hall and Manny Delcarmen play in person?
With spring training fast approaching, what follows are some recent developments around baseball.
The Marlins have scheduled a press conference to let baseball fans know that if they had a franchise back in the 1970s, they would have signed Catfish Hunter and Andy Messersmith, too.
To keep Hanley Ramirez happy Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria promised him he can play shortstop at the same time as Jose Reyes. Although this would leave third base unmanned, Loria doesn’t think this will be a problem. “They’re both pretty fast, so I’m sure one of them will be able to get over and cover third when necessary,” he said.
Manny Ramirez’s possible signing with the A’s is a head-scratcher. I went back and checked “Moneyball” and could not find where author Michael Lewis discussed the importance of acquiring aging and disgraced sluggers who can no longer slug but can possibly put a few fans in the stands. Don’t be surprised if Billy Beane tells Manager Bob Melvin his new first baseman is Jeremy Lin.
Even after signing Albert Pujols the Angels look a little thin at first base, since they only have Mark Trumbo, Kendry Morales and Efren Navarro on hand to play the position. It seems obvious to me that they should snap up Derek Lee for insurance.
The Pirates are so desperate for a veteran pitcher they are reportedly on the verge of trading for A.J. Burnett. How else are the young Bucs pitchers going to learn how to bounce curveballs in the dirt and walk the bases loaded? Yankees fans are taking up a collection to make up any difference between what the Pirates will absorb and what the Yanks are willing to eat from that albatross of a contract. A.J. was so upset about the prospect of joining the downtrodden team that he gave himself another black eye.
Once they got past the drama surrounding the departure of Theo Epstein and Terry Francona the Red Sox have had a surprisingly quiet offseason. We still await Commissioner Selig’s decision on what compensation the Cubs should send the Sox for hiring away Epstein. I can’t believe the Sox turned down Theo’s final offer: 10 cases of beer, a year’s supply of fried chicken and one used gorilla suit.
I was shocked, absolutely shocked to hear that Selig decided to sign a two-year contract extension. He will be 80 when that contract expires in 2014. It does make sense when you consider he’s only had 15 years to reach a decision on Pete Rose’s reinstatement and undoubtedly needed the extra two years to reach a conclusion.
We have finally been able to clear up the confusion surrounding the Yankees’ surprisingly small bid for Yu Darvish—a paltry $15,000. It seems GM Brian Cashman got his wires crossed and thought he was deciding how much hush money to pay his stalker ex-girlfriend.
The Dodgers have been put up for bid and it remains to be seen whether outgoing owner Frank McCourt will keep the stadium parking lots or include them in the sale. If it was up to Dodgers fans, McCourt would be forced to work as a parking lot attendant at every home game. You know, because he was such a man of the people.
I don’t want to say the Mets are pinching pennies, but this season at Citi Field they are asking fans to return all foul balls. Guess Marge Schott is not the only person who has noticed how expensive those balls are.
With Prince Fielder joining Miguel Cabrera inDetroitdon’t be surprised if the Tigers trade for Pablo Sandoval and sign Delmon Young as their backups. They could be the “Four Horsemen” of baseball.
Congratulations on Kevin Youkilis getting engaged to Tom Brady’s sister. We can’t wait until Youk’s new sister-in-law Gisele starts talking trash about his Red Sox teammates: “Kevin cannot f***ing hit the ball and catch the ball at the same time.”
You heard it first here. Look for the Phillies to offer Roy Oswalt a 4-year, $44 million deal and then when he calls back to accept, GM Ruben Amaro tells him he was just joking. Then the next day he goes out and signs Jon Garland to a 4-year, $50 million deal.
Stranger things have happened in baseball.
Chris Jensen’s first book, “Baseball State by State: Major and Negro League Players, Ballparks, Museums and Historical Sites,” will be published by McFarland in spring 2012.