Tuesday, February 13, 2007

At Least It's Warm Down There

Either the years are getting shorter, or I'm getting older. The latter is more likely. To all the Yankee fanatics, I say Happy Pitchers & Catchers day! As if this day really means anything, other than another distraction on the voyage toward opening day.

For fans, Spring training is either a bore or an excuse to watch meaningless baseball. For Yankees fans, it's an opportunity to raise (already dangerous) expectations of gunslingers such as Hughes, Betances, Sanchez & Ohlendorf.

The Carlos Zambrano predicament just got a little stickier . . . or funnier, depending on your perspective. At a negotiating impasse, with the Cubs offering far less than Zambrano is seeking, Carlos decicided to speak up.

"I'm ready to sign, and I would do my job anyway with the Cubs this year," Zambrano said. "Whatever happens, I don't want to know [anything] about a contract during the season. I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don't sign me, sorry, but I must go. That's what Carlos Zambrano thinks."

"When you're a great pitcher and have talent, you deserve the money no matter who gives it to you," he said. "Zito is a great pitcher. Good for him he has that contract, and I think that will help me.

"[Cubs general manager] Jim [Hendry] spent a lot of money. I hope he has more for 'Big Z.'"
Thats what Carlos Zambrano thinks. Big Z is just as intimidating (and slightly hilarious) off the mound than on. As the only young, dominate starter on the Cubs who hasn't fallen apart - see Prior, Wood - Zambrano has earned a big payday in the future. However, he must reach free agency before he begins posturing for a Zito-esqe deal.

Another interesting, if not obvious contribution from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
One baseball insider's description of two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, who can become a free agent in two years: "He has got a $175 million lottery ticket in his back pocket if he stays healthy."
Johan Santana's good? He's going to get a ginormous FA contract?

That's like saying the Mets could use a starting pitcher not named Sele, Sosa or Park.

Joel Sherman thinks Brian Cashman is a stone-cold gangsta.

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