The worst day of the off-season so far

My heart aches today. Why? Because Burt Reynolds was released by the Tampa Bay Rays. You may remember Burt from such hits as Smokey and the Bandit and grand slams during blowout, four-hour games against the TinCaps. Let’s hope a team with a Midwest League affiliate scoops him up and we have more Burt next year.

In a possibly related story, the soul-crushing Fort Wayne winter is almost here. It’s getting oppressively windy, it’s moving toward the sun going down at 3:00 in the afternoon and our first real cold day is supposed to come tomorrow. I think it’s a reflection of the world’s sadness upon hearing about Burt being released. Count me out.

Also, take a look at the minor-league transactions from Baseball America. The Padres signed a few guys who played in independent leagues last year.

Random thoughts:

  • Looks like the Padres will be looking for a couple of hitters for the top of the lineup this off-season. The numbers from the top two spots weren’t pretty last year.
  • The baseball players’ union head talked about a few potential changes in years to come. Key points: expanded playoffs and arbitration eligibility changes could be coming soon. Expanded playoffs? Ehh. I don’t know that the current system is broken. Arbitration eligibility sounds good to change. How many times have we seen teams wait until June 1 to call rookies up to the big leagues just to avoid burning a year of arbitration eligibility? Examples: Evan Longoria, Mike Stanton, Carlos Santana. Switch it up and let teams do what’s best for themselves on the field.
  • Looks pretty official: the Padres’ Triple-A team will play in Tuscon, Ariz., next year. And they won’t be known as the Toros. They also won’t play at Hi Corbett Field, maybe known best as the Indians’ spring training site in the movie “Major League.”
  • Baseball America released its MLB All-Rookie team. This is a REALLY talented group. Buster Posey, Starlin Castro, Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, Madison Bumgarner, Wade Davis, Brian Matusz, Neftali Feliz. Woah.
  • Compared to the NFL and NBA, baseball’s problems seem relatively
    small. Maybe it’s because baseball remembers what it was like to have
    labor problems. The NFL owners clearly don’t care about the players (the
    only reason they’re suddenly worried about head injuries is that they
    want an 18-game regular season… which only means there will be more,
    but different types of, injuries). The NBA looks like it’s headed for a strike/lockout, they’ve had referees coming out with stories of fixing games, they don’t call traveling anyway… Then there’s college football…
  • I’m not a big Rick Reilly fan, because I usually like to read things based on research and inside info rather than ranting. But I agree with him here… If Boise State isn’t in the top two in the BCS, to quote Mike Gundy, that’s garbage. I hope they run the table and cause real problems, because the BCS system has gotten lucky the way things have shaken out over the last few years.
  • Speaking of ranting… Watched LeBron’s new commercial and nearly threw the monitor through the wall. What should you do, LeBron? For starters, how about stop being that kid who was the best athlete in gym class but then faked injuries when he miraculously wasn’t the last guy left in the game of dodgeball? Secondly, quit acting like you’re the first person to ever get backlash after doing something dumb/controversial. But then I realized I watched the commercial, so he got what he wanted. Dangit. Bitterness: Cleveland’s most abundant resource.
  • Someone told me there should be an “Over the Top” clip in every post. If that’s what people what, that’s what people get.
  • Dave Hutte status update: So, Brett Favre’s ankle fracture is similar to the one I had that nearly cost me the whole season my senior year at Norwalk. I was in a cast for 11 weeks.
  • If there were ever a surgery to correct this ankle injury, I nominate it be called “Dave Hutte surgery.” Kind of like Tommy John surgery, only not.

And now, in honor of our friend Burt Reynolds, musical guest… Jerry Reed!

Take care!


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