Unfortunately, Alex Rodriguez and the steroid saga have dominated headlines in the baseball world for more than a month. The story rightfully deserves the spotlight, but let’s not forget what else happened over the winter.
Apparantly, the Boston Red Sox knew what they were doing when they traded Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers last July.
The awkward-yet lovable-slugger finally signed a two-year deal worth $45 million with the Dodgers. It took Ramirez more than four months to agree to this deal. Maybe this is Ramirez’s way of skipping half of spring training.I can’t seem to figure out who wanted to hold out for more: Ramirez or super-agent Scott Boras.
The Kid’s encore
After a disappointing nine years in Cincinnati and a brief stint with the Chicago White Sox, Ken Griffey Jr. returned to the northwest to play for his first team, the Seattle Mariners.
I’m glad Junior is heading back to Seattle. His body began breaking down years ago, but I still enjoyed watching him play through the pain in Cincinnati. Hopefully, Junior stays healthy and gives Mariners fans some thing to care about. I still haven’t figured out what, though.
San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum won the National League’s Cy Young award in ’09 for the hapless and hopeless Giants. Lincecum finished with 18 wins, a 2.65 ERA and 265 stikeouts. His reward for dominance: a one-year deal worth $650,000.
The reason behind the blue-light special is Lincecum has yet to gather enough service time in the Majors to qualify for arbitration. I find this absurd.
While fellow Giants pitcher Barry Zito strums his life away after signing a seven-year deal worth $126 million in 2006, Lincecum baffles hitters for the puny price of $650,000. Oh, the irony.
The return of the WBC
The 2009 World Baseball Classic kicked off on March 5 and the Dominican Republic has to be the favorite going in.
The Dominican’s stacked roster includes Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Pedro Martinez.
Two years ago, Japan surprised by dominating the WBC and taking the title. The United States is loaded as well with a lineup nobody would want to stare down: Derek Jeter, David Wright, Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones and Ryan Braun.
I’ll root for the U.S., but my money is on the Dominican’s.
Let’s not forget
The Cincinnati Reds added outfielder Laynce Nix and relief pitcher Arthur Rhodes. I’m reserving my World Series tickets tomorrow!