I hate rumors, and I won't believe it until I see it, but damn, people keep saying the Mariners are on the verge of signing Kevin Millwood, and that makes me inordinately happy, 'cause I loves me my Millwood. Yeah, it's mostly an irrational love stemming from that no-hitter he threw for the Phillies a few years ago, but still. He's a solid pitcher and I think he's a pretty cool guy, too (last year after he signed with the Indians he did a pretty entertaining online chat). Plus, we'll get to see him and Felix arm-wrestle for who gets to wear #34.
I'm still trying to get caught up with news here. I don't have the brainpower or time to really scour Japanese news yet, but I did note on Japanball the following:
- Yoshinobu Takahashi's ankle surgery to remove bone spurs may take him out of commission well into late March, meaning he'd definitely miss the WBC and probably miss opening day for the Giants next year. That really sucks. I really like Takahashi, so I hope he comes out of this well.
- Iriki continues to try for the MLB but apparently agreed to renew his contract with the Fighters if he doesn't make it. Despite how I think Iriki sort of sucks, I think the Fighters would be better off with him than without him. Hmm, I wonder what Carlos Mirabal is up to now...
- The Hawks decided to release Tony Batista, which is actually a little bit surprising, since they owe him an awful lot of money (like $5 million), and he wasn't *too* terrible. I guess they're trying to make foreigner space on their roster for someone, possibly D.J.Carrasco.
- Masao Kida will play for Yakult next year! Wheeee! I think this is great, honestly... he'll get to finish out his career in his hometown in the league he started out in, and it's obvious he wasn't going anywhere in the MLB.
- I'm not sure where this person is getting it from, but someone on Westbay's site claims that Bucky Jacobsen might want to play in Japan. That would be interesting if it were true, but something tells me he wouldn't do well there either, unless he got back into shape. On the other hand, it might help him get back into shape. Who knows.
On our side of the Pacific, the stoves still rage, and who knows what will come out of the oven next.
- A. J. Burnett gets 5/55 from the Jays. Good for him.
- Paul Byrd gets 2/14 from the Indians. ("It's kinda neat," Byrd said. "It's taken me a while to put on a big-league Cleveland uniform. I'm excited, because it comes at a great time.") That's actually pretty cool.
- The Phillies, after deciding they didn't want to offer four years and a king's ransom to a 34-year-old, decided to go ahead and offer three years to a 38-year-old. Well, um, okay. Tom Gordon at 3/18 is not exactly my idea of a good contract, but I guess they needed a closer, and they've had recent good luck in signing old dudes from the Yankees (see Kenny Lofton), so who knows. He's going to wear #45, which is sort of wacky. ("I've never met Tug McGraw. I just always have one story that my dad said to me once. This is years ago. I couldn't have been 9 or 10 years old. He said, 'Son, that's Tug McGraw pitching.' I was like, 'Dad, his name is Tug?' I thought that was kind of funny that his name was Tug. I guess it is funny because my name is Flash now...")
- The Yankees step right up and replace Gordon with Kyle Farnsworth for a 3/17 contract. Hot damn. 38-year-old Gordon for 3/18 or 30-year-old Farnsworth at 3/17? I'd take Farnsworth in a split second, and apparently so will the Yankees.
So, yeah, I don't really have much to say; this is just news links for my own benefit, mostly. I guess another fun news event is that Dave Niehaus made the finalists for the Frick award. Richie Ashburn did not. (I did vote for him, Tom! It's not my fault! You also can't blame me for the Seahawks kicking the snot out of the Iggles, either!)