This is the time of year for fan fests, and while there are several Fan Fest reports on Athletics Nation which make me jealous (they had like 16 players there and other coaches and front office guys), the best fan fest article I've read so far anywhere was Joe Posnanski on the Kansas City Royals Caravan, complete with a running tally of John Mayberry stories and countdowns to how long it took people to mention Gil Meche. Simply fantastic, worth a read. (Thanks to Steve Nelson for pointing it out.)
Jayson Stark writes about how Colorado Rockies players are using iPods in the dugout to watch pitcher-batter videos, among other things. I think it's a great idea, though the potential for distraction is pretty high. Now Richie Sexson can watch the tater-tot-kicking scene from Napoleon Dynamite right in the dugout! And the bullpen guys would be like "eh, we've got an hour or two before anyone'll need us... anyone got last week's episode of House on their iPod?" And just imagine the players deciding to plug their iPod directly into the soundboard to pick their at-bat music every day! (Thanks to eknpdx for pointing it out.)
Three Weeks to Pitchers and Molinas, an article on the Molina brothers. Of all the sets of three brothers in the majors, they are the only one where all three have World Series rings. (Thanks for 6-4-2 for pointing it out.)
It's not officially Ryan Madson Day anymore, but Jason at Beerleaguer got to interview Ryan Madson at a press event last week. It's only a 4-minute audio clip, but I thought it was a good interview. He sounds pretty aware of his role on the team and has some pretty incisive comments on what he needs to do to succeed, even just as a reliever.
Tom at the Balls, Sticks, and Stuff wrote a nice little article on Dummy Hoy the other day. You know I'm a sucker for history.
Erik Grissom at Phillies Flow points out that no matter how big Ryan Howard's accomplishments this year were, they're still not bigger than those of Chuck Klein's in 1930. Personally, I'm always amazed whenever I read anything about the 1930 Phillies season. Klein hit .386 with 40 HR, Lefty O'Doul batted .383, the team batting average was .315, and those two plus Pinky Whitney each had over 200 hits. And where did they finish? Dead last, losing 102 games. In addition, Klein had two 26-game hitting streaks that year, which was the post-1900 Phillies club record until Utley and Rollins blasted it away in 2005-2006.
Bobby Valentine agrees with me that Saburo should have had his eye surgery done earlier. Right before spring training is only a good idea if you want to have an excuse to not go to spring training.
Marty Brown, on the other hand, appeared at a Hiroshima Carp fan event the other day and signed stuff and (I think) helped cook and distribute Miyazaki oysters, in preparation for the team heading to Miyazaki for spring training. Also, it appears the Carp are broadcasting their spring training over the web again -- I'll have more details on that and other NPB spring training in a day or two.