Today’s the day! Well, kind of. Ten more teams are scheduled to have their pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today including the Yankees, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Tigers, and Angels. Some teams have already reported to camp and others still won’t report for a day or two, but generally speaking, this is “report day.” Either way, baseball’s back! Sort of.
In case you missed it yesterday, it was actually quite a busy day here at Getting Blanked. Our fearless leader put his weekend of eating Doritos and watching reruns of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on hold to challenge the circular logic and backward thinking of one Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail. Dowbiggin insists Rogers is somehow hurting the Jays’ chances of success and uses the lucrative TV deals negotiated by teams like the Angels and Rangers as fodder. This argument is getting so tired, but Dustin once again refutes it using that little thing called logic. It’s a good read.
Then I posted a piece about Gary Carter that I’ve been meaning to write for a couple weeks now. I use the words of Buck 65, Dave Kaufman and Annakin Slayd to relay just how important Carter was and is to the city of Montreal and Canadian baseball.
Outfielder Mike Cameron surprisingly announced his retirement after 17 seasons today despite having signed a contract with the Washington Nationals back in December. Cameron was expected to form the right-handed side of a centerfield platoon with either Roger Bernadina or Rick Ankiel, but the 39-year-old has instead decided to hang it up. Cameron has always been a vastly underrated player. He was traded twice very early in his career, including from the Reds to the Mariners in the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati. Cameron was a tremendous defensive player and hit 20 or more home runs eight times. His 52.6 career fWAR ranks him ahead of Moises Alou, George Foster, Kirby Puckett, Tony Oliva and Bernie Williams among others.
There’s also the following video from back in 2002 when Cameron hit four home runs against the Chicago White Sox in his first four at-bats. Two thingsmake me very happy about this video. 1) The first home run came off of Jon Rauch and 2) Hawk Harrelson sounds like he’s about start crying.
The Phillies have signed swing-man Kyle Kendrick to a two-year, $7.5-million contract which voids the one-year, $3.585-million deal he signed earlier this offseason in order to avoid arbitration. Kendrick has two more arbitration eligible years remaining after this year so this does give the Phillies some cost certainty, but it’s still a curious move considering Kendrick was already under contract. Kendrick posted a 3.22 ERA in 34 appearances including 15 starts in 2011, but struck out just 12.3% of the batters he faced while giving up 14 homeruns in just 114.2 innings.
Despite the best efforts of Jon Heyman, Johnny Damon will not be coming back to the Yankees. The Yankees are still reportedly interested in bringing in Raul Ibanez who is two years older and did not have as good a year as Damon in 2011, but it’s likely that he’s asking for far less money.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com says that there is mutual interest in a contract extension between Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants and Cain would like to continue talking until the end of Spring Training. Cain is scheduled to hit the open market at the end of the upcoming season.
Sticking with Baggarly, he says that the Giants are going to take it easy with catcher Buster Posey, who is trying to come back from a gruesome ankle injury that sidelined him for most of last season. San Francisco will give him some time at first base to ease him back into playing every day. The story is totally acceptable until Baggarly ends the piece with this gem
“Posey is every bit as important to the Giants as Barry Bonds used to be.”
I’m going to guess he was being hyperbolic.
After gauging his value on the trade market, it appears as though the Cubs will try to re-sign Matt Garza to a long-term deal. The Cubs are clearly very high on Garza, having said they view him as a legitimate number one. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but if Garza can sustain his 2011 numbers, there may be something to that. He was sixth in the NL in fWAR, tied for seventh in xFIP, and had a 3.13 K/BB ratio in 2011.
Finally, Chan Ho Park is pretty awesome: Hat Tip to Gord Bacon for the second one.