I don't have much for news today, but when you're done here check out The Sports Bubbler, where they have interviews with Prince Fielder, Ken Macha, Mat Gamel, J.J. Hardy, Brad Nelson, Tim Dillard, Alexandre Periard and Rickie Weeks from this weekend's Winter Warm-Up festivities.
Also, Big League Stew has a picture of Kate Armitage, who apparently won a date with J.J. Hardy.
Dating J.J. Hardy probably takes some patience, because he doesn't swing at the first pitch. Over at The Hardball Times, dixieflatline has a look at first pitch fastballs. The Brewer notes: Corey Hart and Prince Fielder don't get many first pitch fastballs, J.J. Hardy doesn't swing at many of them, and Rickie Weeks doesn't hit them well.
So Jason Kendall was one of the best defensive catchers in baseball last season, despite having been below average for much of his career. Will it last? Brian Cartwright of FanGraphs rated Kendall's throwing arm as the second best in baseball in 2008, but projects him to be merely average in 2009.
Another slow news day, another "Where are they now?" with Baseball America's Minor League Transactions:
- Ty Taubenheim signed a minor league deal with the Pirates.
- Gary Glover signed a minor league deal with the Nationals.
On the hot stove:
Blue Jays: signed OF Jason Lane and IF Brandon Fahey to minor league deals.
Dodgers: Signed knuckleballer Charlie Haeger to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Claimed SP Virgil Vazquez off waivers from the Tigers. They may also be interested in Braden Looper.
Rangers: May not make a move regarding Ben Sheets for the next few days, as team officials are on an annual trip to the Dominican Republic.
Royals: Signed Zack Greinke to a four-year deal, buying out his last two seasons of arbitration and his first two years of free agency. The deal is rumored to be worth $38 million.
Tigers: Signed Timo Perez to a minor league deal.
Of course, if you're the Reds and you're not a player in the free agent market, you could always try to draw more fans to the ballpark by adding a fourth mascot.
Do you hate, or at least moderately dislike, Bud Selig? I've heard it's a somewhat common thing. Home Run Derby has compiled a list of 24 Facebook groups you can join, starting with calls for Selig's resignation or firing and spiraling downward from there.
Oh, and after watching this guy recreate a Cal Ripken poster, I need more thumb tacks. A lot more.