Schilling Not Done? Would Pitch For Rays or Cubs

According to this piece from the Orlando Sentinel, Schilling is pondering a return to the mound after missing all of the 2008 season with a shoulder injury.

Schilling, a noted big-mouth and staunch Republican, would like to pitch for a team with a shot to win.  He has expressed interest in pitching with the Cubs and Rays.  He stated: “The challenge would be in a place like Tampa Bay or Chicago”.

Jays Hope Clement Can Contribute

Matt Clement faced Major League hitters for the first time since 2006 yesterday, walking two, striking out one and allowing a hit and a run in 2 effective if not efficient innings.  Clement had surgery in September 2006 to repair tears in both the labrum and rotator cuff of his right shoulder, and hopes he can pitch himself back to the form that saw him win at least 12 games in four of his eight Major League seasons.

The Blue Jays defeated the Detroit Tigers 6-4 in Grapefruit League action on Friday.  The Tigers sent Dontrelle Willis to the mound in the third inning, but had to give him the hook in fourth after he gave up a hit, walked a batter, and hit a batter setting the Jays up to score two runs in the inning.  Willis was terrible last season, as he struggled with his mechanics and his mind before being sent to the minors to try and work things out.

Willis’ performance yesterday wasn’t a good start for the big left-hander, one look at his waistline wasn’t a great sign for Tigers’ fans either.


Manny Being Manny: Skipping Spring Training

I can’t pay attention to this circus anymore, but the latest rumblings involve a monster contract with a deferred portion (Manny no likey) and a possible opt-out clause after the 2010 season.

Manny Ramirez will be playing baseball this season, probably for the Dodgers, but he has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t have much interest in Spring Training.


Nobody Wants A Pudge

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is out of work.  His reputation as an elite catcher is a couple of years and possibly a syringe or two behind him.  He’ll be auditioning for a Major League job at the World Baseball Classic, and according to this piece from SI’s Jon Heyman his only suitors right now may be the frugal Marlins and Astros.

You’d think that the Houston Astros might look elsewhere for a catcher, maybe one free of controversy.  Last season’s trade for Miguel Tejada two days before the Mitchell Report was released really came back to bite the team.  Miggy was also outted last season as being two years older than he claimed to be, and now he’s looking at possible jail time.


A-Rod Linked To Banned Trainer, Brad Penny Has Cool Friends

More details are starting to emerge around Alex Rodriguez‘s use of steroids during his three seasons in Texas.  Not that anyone should be surprised by the news of A-Rod’s name being linked to a trainer banned by MLB, he did after all admit two weeks ago that he had cheated.

Angel Presinal was a Dominican trainer who was banned by MLB in 2001 after he was caught with a duffel bag full of human heads… er steroids sorry.  The list of players that have also worked with Persinal in the past should raise a few eyebrows and includes: Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, Miguel Tejada, Adrian Beltre and Jose Guillen.

Looks Can Be Deceiving:

At first glance, one might suspect that Brad Penny‘s friends may be of the type that sit around with cowboy boots on and a spittoon nearby only lifting a finger for some more “chaw” or a can of beer.  So it came as somewhat of a surprise to learn that he had recently rented a home in Cabo and shared it with curvaceous pornstar Jayden James (not to be confused with the child of Britney Spears) and her “boyfriend” fallen MMA star Chuck Liddell.

You can see Ms. James talk about the grand time they had in Cabo in this YouTube clip, or better yet listen to her talk about some more interesting aspects of her day-to-day life.


Ken Griffey Flip-Flops, Legacy Still ’94 SNES Game

Well I’m glad that the Ken Griffey Jr. to the Atlanta Braves report fizzled out.  When even career Brave John Smoltz bolts town it’s a signal that the Braves are going in a different direction.  It will be much more self-fulfilling for Griffey to let his career fade in Seattle where it all began.

Griffey’s deal with the Mariners is reportedly worth $2 million and incentive-laden.  He started his career with Seattle in 1989 as a 19 year-old phenom where he became a perennial all-star and MVP candidate.  Upon continuing his career in Cincinnati in 2000 Griffey became a perennial injury addict and declining right fielder.

Nintendo’s 1994 masterpiece of a baseball game, Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, featured the Kid himself as the best player in the game and set a new standard for stadium detail in video games.  It also featured accurate ratings and statistics for every Major League roster, but real names were replaced with modifiable fakes like “Muscles Magee” and a roster made up of late ’70’s punk icons.


Cole Hamels’ Wife On AIDS Orphans

First off, a tip of the hat to Deadspin on this great post.  Some pseudo celebrities seem to effortlessly perpetuate so many stereotypes in a single breath.  That’s certainly the case in this golden nugget of a quote from Cole Hamels‘ wife and former Survivor participant Heidi “Tits on a Stick” Strobel.

Heidi managed to reinforce stereotypes on the dumb-blonde shtick, the rural south, AIDS orphans, and offend Ethiopians, and vaginas everywhere during an interview with Sports Illustrated:

We’re in the process of adopting an AIDS orphan from Ethiopia. Maybe two. I’m so pumped. I’d adopt six if I could. When I was five years old-I grew up in a very rural town in Missouri, and I had never even seen a black person-they asked us to draw a picture of ourselves in the future, and I drew myself holding hands with a line of tiny black stick figures. I’ve always wanted this.”


Speak Of The Devil, Dunn Gets Deal Done With Nats

I didn’t know all I had to do was publish a post about a top tier slugger not having a home, and poof… he’d have one.

That’s the case this afternoon as has reported that the blonde-bomber has agreed to a two-year deal with the Washington Nationals.  The deal is reportedly worth $20 million, and could be announced as early as Thursday.

Dunn could takeover as the fulltime firstbaseman for the Nats, as their outfield is quickly becoming very crowded.


Bobby Abreu Close To Joining The Angels

According to the good folks at MLB Trade Rumors Bobby Abreu has reached a preliminary agreement with the Anaheim Angels.  The deal is reportedly for one-year and worth $5MM with some incentives.  Abreu made $16MM last season while playing with the New York Yankees.

Abreu will turn 35 next month.  Despite showing some decline in his power numbers he has had six straight seasons of at least 100 RBI and at least 22 stolen bases.  This past season Abreu joined Rickey Henderson and Barry Bonds as the only players to hit at least 200 homers and steal 300 bases and manage to get on base at a clip of .400.


Adam Dunn Still Not On A Baseball Team

There’s still more than a handful of big name free agents available as we inch closer to Spring Training.  Most of the names that are still being bandied about are homeless with good cause.  Ken Griffey Jr. is old, and well past his prime.  Ben Sheets has elbow issues that will likely sideline him for half of the season.  Bobby Abreu is a superstar on the decline who was seeking well beyond what the market will bear.

The absence of Adam Dunn on a Major League roster at this point makes little sense.

It’s not as though teams are unsure of what Dunn brings to the table.  The 6’6″ “Big Donkey” has been one of the game’s most consistent performers over the last five seasons.  Sure, a batting average of .250 or higher would be a bonus and he’s going to strike out a tonne, but there’s no argument about the power numbers.

Dunn is the only player in Major League Baseball to have hit at least 40 home runs in each of the last five seasons.  His lowest RBI total during that span was 92, and his career .381 OBP isn’t so shabby either. Consider that his best seasons came on some pretty weak Cincinnati Reds’ teams and it’s not hard to imagine how those RBI totals may have faired with a little more protection in the lineup.

With apparently at least two offers out there to sit on (Washington and Arizona), Dunn’s days as a free agent may be numbered.  He probably could have commanded astronomical dollars had this been any other off-season, but it’s more likely that he’ll accept a discounted short-term deal and do his usual ball-bashing until the market picks itself up.