MLB has staged games in Japan, is making forays into China, and now there is speculation that new frontiers include Australia, Taiwan & South Korea. They aren't dumb, they know the game is dying in North America, all the fans are old white guys like me.
I caught the tail end of Jeff Blair's conversation with Bob McCown yesterday and the subject was Chacin's DUI charge. I'm in Blair's corner, it's irrelevant. A baseball player drunk, ok driving drunk at approx 3:30 AM, several hours before he is to pitch, this is notable? What do you think young, rich, irresponsible pro jocks do? It's nothing new, Mickey Mantle admitted that drinking took years off his career and that hangovers hampered his performance. Why do you think amphetamines, Red Bull, etc. are staples in MLB clubhouses? ( Well from what I read they are, I am in my basement after all)
I know stalking isn't funny, but then again....Bob Uecker? Obsessed with Bob Uecker?
Watched, literally, one out in the Phillies vs Twins game a few days ago and then my family came home, off to swimming. But I did see a Michael Bourn AB. We'll all be surprised if he is not the Lynx CF & leadoff hitter opening day. He has been billed as a Kenny Lofton type player and looked the part, if you can gleen anything from 1 AB ( a flyout ). The AB was against Twins SP prospect Kevin Slowey, who is expected to start the season in Rochester. I had seen Slowey pitch earlier this spring, his stuff looks pretty good.
MINOR LEAGUE MINUTIAE
If you're a baseball geek, and I think I qualify, you might read the Minor League Transactions in Baseball America. I saw some names there in todays update which I haven't seen in awhile. The Mets signed former Lynx ( very former, last here in 97 ) Jose Paniagua, where has he been? I haven't seen his name in a long time. The last stats I can find for him, in affiliated ball, are from 03. Has he been playing Indy? He's still only 33, ( although the age of players from the Dominican Republic signed pre 9 / 11 is often a ballpark # ) which surprised me. 357 innings pitched at the big league level over 7 seasons. RHP Justin Miller was signed by the Phillies. I wonder how healthy he is, the only stats I can find from last season are 7 IP with Durham. You have to think that health permitting Miller is ticketed for Ottawa. Is this the same Justin Miller whose tatoos ran afoul of MLB when he was a Blue Jay? Joey McLaughlin was released by the Rangers. No not the Joey McLaughlin who frequently broke the hearts of Blue Jays fans in the early 80's but his son. I didn't know there was a Joey McLaughlin Jr. playing pro ball until I saw this today and poked around the Web. Finally, one of my favorite former Lynx, Geronomo Gil ( I love the fat guys ) signed with Colorado.
Speaking of fat ballplayers, one of the greatest ever, David Wells was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. In my fantasies he becomes the first Cy Young Award winner with that condition. I also heard on a recent Padres broadcast that he has set a record for uniform size ( I don't remember the size ). Remember late last season he missed a start with gout? How frequently do you see pro athletes sidelined with gout!? Go Boomer!
The name I keep looking for and can't find is Keith Reed. The former Lynx and former Oriole 1st rounder had the best season of his career last year and I haven't seen his name since. I could always see why he was a 1st rounder, fast, power, great arm ( voted best outfield arm in the IL in a BA poll last season ), but he always struggled to hit consistently.
Scott Mathieson, starting pitcher in the Phillies organization, had TJ surgery in September. According to Baseball America March 19, his recovery is going great, ahead of schedule. I had ruled out seeing him here this season, based on his profile in the BA Phillies Top 10 prospects earlier this winter, but I am more optimistic now. Carl at http://ottawalynx.blogspot.com/ was ahead of me on this one.