Heavy expectations (cont.)
Posted: Monday March 3, 2008 1:32PM; Updated: Tuesday March 4, 2008 1:23AM
Around the camps
Before Manny Ramirez switched agents to Scott Boras, Ramirez dialed up his fellow South Florida resident Alex Rodriguez to make sure he was doing the right thing. Though A-Rod has said publicly that he disagreed with some of Boras' negotiating strategy this winter, and ran back to the Yankees on his own, it is believed he told Ramirez the move would be a good one for him. Rodriguez also told Ramirez that he thought the twin $20 million options for 2009 and '10 in his current contract could cost Manny $100 million by delaying his free agency.
One scout predicted big things from the Yankees' Ian Kennedy, perhaps 14 to 16 wins. "He can throw pitches for strikes, he fields his position well and he shows exceptional poise,'' that scout said.
My impression of Phil Hughes is that he's exceptionally bright and mature, so the Yankees may be two-for-two there.
The Dodgers are weighing Detroit's Brandon Inge for third base, as first reported by Danny Knobler of Michigan's Booth Newspapers. Inge's contract, which has $19.1 million over three years remaining, could be a hindrance, though.
The message of Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's spring speech was to tell the team that they want to see players do the little things to help the team win rather than worry about stats, because it's winning that will keep the players up in the majors. That's the right message for a team that underachieved so badly last season.
I liked where Prince Fielder said he "respected the Brewers scale.'' Fielder was talking about pay scale, but still, I never expected Fielder to say anything nice about a scale. Anyway, I do agree with him that $670,000 is awfully cheap when you consider Ryan Howard was renewed at $900,00 by the Phillies the year before. The Brewers admitted they'd have paid more if Fielder won MVP, as if third in the final voting was his fault (Jimmy Rollins and Matt Holliday finished one and two because their teams made it to October, not because they outplayed Fielder).
The Mets appear to be looking for a right-handed-hitting outfielder to platoon with Ryan Church.
No surprise that Lou Piniella snapped back at Jason Marquis after Marquis suggested he'd like to pitch elsewhere if he doesn't make the rotation. Piniella is believed to have already wanted Marquis gone, anyway. So maybe it can work out for both of them. Piniella apologized the next day. (No sense blaming someone they'd hope to trade, of course.)
When I mentioned Arizona's "two aces,'' GM Josh Byrnes reminded me that it could be "three aces'' if Randy Johnson comes back strong.
Looks like even the Astros want to distance themselves from drugs -- at least when it comes to camp visitors. So it was so long, Rog.
3 of 3