Wednesday, February 08, 2006
- The Arizona Diamondbacks signed former Angel Jeff DaVanon to an incentive-laden $525,000, one-year contract that could be worth as much as $1.1M if he has 180 active days (World Series, anyone?). DaVanon made $925,000 last year with the Angels, according to SportsTicker; his contract with Arizona has a player-enabled 2007 option.
- The Dodgers finally signed former Japanese All-Star Takashi Saito to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
- The Dodgers also signed garbage-time pitcher Brian Meadows to a minor league deal, whose four straight years with the Pirates' bullpen has made Pittsburgh what it is today -- a laughingstock of the NL.
Bust Out Yer Salmon-Swimming-Upstream Clichés... because they're pretty much accurate, considering how difficult it's going to be for him to win a job with the Angels this year. But -- how's he hitting these days?
"He is flat-out crushing the ball," said [Jim] Lefebvre, who will manage China in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. "I'm amazed at how much power and quickness he has. His swing is very short, compact, and his balance is good. He's so quick with his hands, and he's staying through the hitting zone well. He looks really good. He's going to play somewhere this year."Good luck, Timmy.
"Whether I have a clear picture or not, my assumption is there isn't a job to win," Salmon said by phone from his Arizona home. "If I have an awesome spring training, it might make them reconsider, but I'm going in with the feeling they've moved on without me, and that's OK. I've accepted it."
"The first question is, can I play? Can I withstand the rigors of playing major league baseball?" Salmon said. "If I can, then I'm prepared to go wherever I have to go to play. That's my mind-set.
"As much as I'd love to play for the Angels, I realize that's not realistic. You can see the guys they're committing to — they've played without me for almost two years — and I realize I may have to move on. They've moved forward, and I understand that."
"I'm trying to win a job, and it doesn't have to be with the Angels," Salmon said. "I'm thankful for this chance. I know I'll get the at-bats in spring training I need. If I do something that changes their thinking, great. If not, hopefully another team will see something they like, and I'll go from there. Let's get to camp, play, and see if everything holds together."
"I'm ready for that too," Salmon said of the possibility of walking — or hobbling — away from the game for good this spring. "I'm not going to blow smoke. I'll be the first to know. If my knee is bothering me, I'm not going to gut through something and jeopardize the second half of my life.
"I can't play through it this time. That wouldn't be prudent. I recognize the season is a grind, and if I come out of camp struggling with my knee, that won't be a good sign. I'm prepared both ways. Does that mean it wouldn't be emotional if I have to retire? No. If I'm swinging great and my knee gives out, that would be frustrating."
Making The Wrong Point In The Right CauseSure, Kim Ng could make a great GM someday, but this? --
As it is, new guys are on their own. They take over, take stock for a couple of minutes and then take a leap of faith by firing the general manager and hiring the first suspect to catch their fancy.That "solid track record" also included the Delino DeShields/Pedro Martinez trade, and a number of other, lesser but collectively disturbing squanderings from the farm. The 1988 title, largely on an inherited team, also had to be balanced with their disastrous 63-99 1992 season. And despite winning two additional division titles and a Wild Card berth, the Dodgers over that time were a .512 team, going 917-871 over his tenure. Claire was shown the door principally because he was mediocre, and Dodger fans had hoped, expected, and demanded more.
That's what happened when the Fox people started running the Dodgers. Out went Fred Claire, a capable general manager with a solid track record. In came Kevin Malone, who won unanimous criticism.
Today Is WednesdayWhere's that press release announcing Jeff Weaver's contract with the Angels?
PATIENCE YOU MOFOs
it is comin
by Rev Halofan on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 08:26:39 PM EST
"Pip (St. Louis): When asked why the Cardinals weren't pursuing Jeff Weaver, Walt Jocketty said "No. For several reasons." If the Cardinals were willing to give AJ Burnett $40 for four years, why wouldn't they even consider a 1-2-year deal to the poor-man's Burnett?
" Rob Neyer: Two things. One, Weaver's just average. Durable, but average. Which means he's worth $8 million per season, and not the $10 million-plus that Weaver's agent is looking for. And two, a lot of people in the game just don't like Weaver much. He's not generally a pleasant man (or so I've heard). Oh, and the Cardinals do have some pretty solid pitching prospects, particularly Anthony Reyes and Adam Wainwright."
Is Weaver a cancer in the clubhouse or not? Don't recall reading anything of that sort in the Socal papers . . . .
"Kevin, Arkansas: Are the Oakland A's a legitimate contender in the American League?
" Rob Neyer: Right now, on paper, the A's are the third-best team on the planet (after the U.S.A. and the D.R.)."
I do have to admit, the A's look pretty good right about now. A lot of it depends on Frank Thomas--if he makes a comeback, the A's will be tough to beat.