Christmas is over and there’s nothing to do in Conneaut, Ohio. Unfortunately for you, that means I have time to write something.
- There’s a projected TinCaps 2011 pitching staff on Friar Forecast. It’s a decent starting point, with the understanding that everything can be completely blown up during spring training. Rafael Arias as the closer is still interesting to me, since he was the Opening Day closer here last year and pretty clearly wasn’t healthy. Word was he had been in the mid-90s in the AZL in 2009 but he was struggling to reach the high 80s when he was here.
- The Padres are close to finalizing a deal with Brad Hawpe, who we assume would become the Opening Day first baseman and would hold the job until either Anthony Rizzo or Kyle Blanks is ready. And he’s an outfielder, which gives the team options if one of the young guys is ready AND Hawpe hits. I say that’s good… one less thing.
- Read a Padres chat from Thursday and I’m stunned at how mad people are about San Diego getting Rob Johnson as a backup catcher. Sure, his numbers stink, but he’s supposed to be good defensively and he’s only going to play once a week assuming Nick Hundley stays healthy.
- Fort Wayne alum and now-Cardinals 3B David Freese is trying to come back from ankle injuries. Again. Looks like St. Louis sees him as their starter going into the spring.
- Another Fort Wayne alum, RHP Justin Germano, was designated for assignment.
- Pretty interesting article about the process of signing as a non-drafted free agent.
- As a thank-you/goodbye gift, Carl Crawford bought lunch for the folks in Tampa.
- Also last week, Michael Limmer took the marketing department to lunch at 800 Degree Wood Fired Pizza. It was darn tasty. And locally owned. So, bonus. Try the meat-lovers pizza.
- They’re trying to figure out who will take Ron Santo’s place on the Cubs’ radio broadcasts.
- You know I love a good dog story… The dog Mark Buehrle saved was adopted.
- When I got home on Thursday night, the dogs sat next to me for at least a half-hour. It was like nobody had petted them in months.
- I’m an Ohio State fan, but not suspending the five players until next year is wrong. It’s no different from when Roberto Alomar spat at an umpire during a playoff series and they didn’t suspend him until the following season.
Musical guest… Bruce Springsteen!