I currently reside in Windsor, ON. Given our proximity to the great city of Detroit (no seriously, I actually quite enjoy the city), there are a lot of Tigers fans milling around. The proud owner of the hand in the picture below the jump committing heresy and treason is a woman named Randi. Randi was a close friend of mine and although I knew of her affinity for the Tigers, this picture essentially ended our friendship. Rot in hell, Randi; rot in hell.**

The day this picture was snapped at Comerica Park, an exchange took place between my ex-friend Randi and Mr. Bautista. This exchange follows and was corroborated by several trusted witnesses:

Randi: Hey Bautista!

Bautista: <looks in her direction>

Randi: You SUCK! <flips the bird pictured above>

Bautista: I love you too, Princess. <blows kiss>

This exchange and the corresponding photograph give birth to two thoughts: 1) I can’t help but remark at the awesomeness of the photo despite its rather admonishable nature, and 2) Bautista is not only awesome at baseball, but knows how to put trolling, perfidious fans in their place with practically the same efficiency.

UPDATE: There has been much debate in the comment section over the existence of Randi’s left thumb. The above picture appears to show that she lost said thumb in some sort of horrible accident. Well, friends, a resolution to thumbgate is contained in the photo that follows:

I can verify that this photo is in fact of Randi. Case closed.

And some links:

Jason Kendall, who missed all of 2011 with an injury has returned to the Kansas City Royals as a special assistant coach. He says that he won’t play this year, but plans to at least attempt a comeback at some point. People forget just how good Kendall was early in his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his first five season (1996-2000), Kendall accumulated a 21.0 fWAR; third among all catchers during that time behind only Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez. Injuries followed and he was never the same.

The Yankees and catcher Jussell Martin have agreed to disagree on his long-term earning potential. The two sides have stalled extension talks. Martin is due to become a free agent next winter and will make $7.5-million this year after the two sides avoided arbitration earlier this winter. Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees offered Martin three years and $20-million but it’s unlikely that he’ll accept that kind of pay cut. As Matthew Pouliot of NBC’s Hardball Talk points out, the market for catchers next winter looks mighty rich with Yadier Molina (who’s close to his own extension with the Cardinals), Miguel Montero and Mike Napoli all potentially hitting the market and this may cause Martin to be more amenable to an extension.

The Yankees did a really smart thing the other day and very few people seemed to notice. They signed David Aardsma to a Major League contract. The deal will pay him $500,000 this season with an additional $500,000 in additional incentives. It also carries an option for 2013 with the same base salary and any incentives he receives in 2012 will be mirrored in 2013 should the Yankees enact it.

Hip problems and Tommy John’s surgery (that’s how the doctor who invented it says it, why should I argue with him) kept Aardsma out for all of 2011 and he won’t be ready until likely August, but Brian Cashman said the deal was more for 2013 than 2012. Signing Aardsma to this deal allows the Yankees to potentially have a very valuable bullpen piece for 2013 at a very respectable price, and if he doesn’t come back healthy, they can just let him go and only half-a-million was spent. It’s an ingenious little deal that is just one example of how the Yankees are a very smartly-run team.  Mike Axisa of FanGraphs does a nice job of explaining the signing in a little more detail.

If you’re unaware of Matthew Kory, I want you to go listen to a few back episodes of the Over The Monster podcast and check out his work on Over The Monster. Kory was just hired on as a writer for Baseball Prospectus and not only is he a smart baseball guy, but he’s one of the funniest as well. Case in point.

The brain trust at Crashburn Alley is attempting to predict the records of ever MLB team in 2012.

**I want to make it clear that I actually am quite fond of Randi; she is a stand up individual who often serves me delicious beer and indulges my ridiculous tangential ramblings about baseball.