Welcome to your weekly look at former major leaguers turning 50 each week.
The Diamondbacks make a three-year commitment to Aaron Hill, the Mariners sign Joe Saunders, Chone Figgins finds a minor-league offer and the Indians pick up Matsuzaka and Giambi.
A retired pitcher considers a comeback, the Rockies come closer to naming a manager, and the Dodgers are interested in every starter.
Three home runs were hit by three improbable players during last week’s action.
Yesterday’s games included three walk-offs and a no-hitter.
Non-roster invitees are swarming to spring training, but do these players ever pan out? Ben looks for an answer in the best of last season’s NRI crop
Between the persistence of Pete Rose, the ongoing turf war between Tribune Co. and the Wrigleyville neighborhood, and the deteriorating mental health of John Schuerholz, the most oft-reported story of this winter has been the apparent deflation in the market for free agents.
“John Henry and the Red Sox were great to me. They were willing to pay me more money than I could believe. But it’s more than money, I’ve never been about money. I made one decision based on money in my life–when I signed with the Mets rather than go to Stanford–and I promised I’d never do it again.” –Billy Beane, Athletics general manager, on turning down an offer to join the Red Sox
It’s hard to say if the Baseball Writers Association will ever give Alex Rodriguez the MVP award he’s due, but Internet Baseball Awards electors voted Rodriguez his second Internet AL Player of the Year award in 2002 by a decisive margin; he won almost 70% of the first-place votes.
This is a match-up of opposites in many ways, not the least being the teams’ post-season histories. The Yankees have won the World Series 26 times, including four of the past six years. To achieve a similar level of dominance, the Angels would have had to win 10 championships in their 41 years of existence. Instead, they enter the playoffs with the most meager post-season tradition of any Divisional Series participant, with three first-round exits in as many tries.
For the third straight year, the two best players in the American League–and the two best candidates for AL MVP–are the same guys: Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi. They lead the league in RARP and VORP, and it’s not all that close.
Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a three-year period in which the MVP argument–the real one, not the media-looking-for-the-best-story one–came down to the same two players each time. I’m leaning toward Rodriguez, the best player in the league, right now, but I don’t think it’s a lock just yet. The respective positions of the Yankees and Rangers are not a factor in my decision-making.