Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Morning Roundup

The pending Alex Rios contract extension is as of yet unofficial and it's sounding like it won't get done for a few days at least. Sorry folks!

Now, you're probably expecting some sensitive quotes from JP on these delicate negotiations with the team's budding superstar. Cathal Kelly reports that "Ricciardi seemed tired out by the process" which has been ongoing since October:

"It's taking probably longer than we thought it would. It's creeping toward getting done," the GM said, later adding, "I was in Oakland when we traded (Mark) McGwire and we actually prospered after that. But (Rios) is a good player and we're trying to be proactive to keep our good players."

Ah, nicely timed: another trade threat. Stay classy, JP!

Apparently the sticky wicket could be a no-trade clause. Rios understandably wants one since he's been shopped aggressively the last three off-seasons. JP has only given them to Doc and V-Dub and is resisting heavily. NTCs often end up being a poisoned chalice for GMs, so my sympathy is with the club here. Yet, if it ends up as a 6-year deal (concluding when Lexi is 32-33) with a club option for a 7th year, a NTC here probably isn't the end of the world because the odds are likely to extremely likely Rios stays productive for the duration of the pact. Git'er done!

The Tampa Bay Rays absolutely pwn'd Doc yesterday (with some extraordinarily cruddy d behind him) and he should probably abandon the "pitch to contact" philosophy with these aggressive hackers. They're a young team that posted a collective OBP of .336 (8th in the AL) and SLG of .433 (4th) last year, which means that they're relatively impatient and can rake. Chucking even A stuff right down the gullet isn't going to work with these up and comers.

What happens when the baseball writers at the National Post lug in a couple of cases of Lakeport up to the newsroom and order an extra large pepperoni pizza? A mildly entertaining conversation like this.

Wilner notes that tonight's Jays game against the Reds will be webcast. Yes, indeed.

And Sal Fasano was released, if you care. I'm sure there's some cop drama filming somewhere that needs a stand in. Zaunnie is kind of, but not really, hurt. Hamstrings.

So, what bees do you expect to find in the bonnets of Richard Griffin mailbag questioneers this week? The must be happy about dumping Reed Johnson, right?

Around the horn:

* Jose Canseco is back with a new comedy album and will be appearing at your local Yuk Yuks from April 13-18. In addition to his crowd-pleasing drug humour, Jose has added new material on cuckolding and Alex Rodriguez. Four drink minimum!

* The best thing about Miguel Cabrera's $141 million dollar extension with the Tigers is that he won't become a free agent end up a Yankee. Yep, I went there.

* Andy Pettitte has thrown a measly 8 innings this spring, but he says he'll start the first week of season. Wanna bet a dollar?

* What do really, really old southern racists think about the Bosox-A's season-opener in Japan? Click here if you're dying to find out! Hint: there are Pearl Harbor references...

* Over in Cubdom, Reed Johnson and his awful facial hair are being touted as remedies to the legendary Curse of the Billy Goat that has prevented those lovable losers from the winning the World Series in a million jillion years. Cubs GM Jim Hendry considers himself a long-time Sparky fan and claims to have tried to pry him away from the Jays at numerous junctures over the past 4 to 5 years. If true, for shame JP on not trading him when he had market value! For shame! Sparky himself can't be too chuffed about the $1.5 million pay cut he just took, but he seems to be genuinely enthused about his new digs. And that, my friends, is the last time you'll hear about ol' Reed Johnson until the Cubs come to town in June. Peace out!

-- Johnny Was

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