5 for 5: Manny, A-Rod, Santana, Strasburg, Cowboy
*The Dodgers and Scott Boras seem to have differing opinions of Manny Ramirez's value. But here's the thing about the value of something in a free market: It is what the market says it is. Didn't we all learn that in freshman Economics 101?
If Boras wants to argue Ramirez's value is higher than what the Dodgers are offering, then fine -- go get a higher amount from another team. The Dodgers' pointedly phrased press release last night amounts to a line in the sand, and it's hard to see them improving an offer when, as owner Frank McCourt stated, they have no intention of bidding against themselves.
The question now is: How far are Boras and Ramirez willing to go in an attempt to "win" this negotiation? Sit out the rest of the spring? Wait until the June draft, at which point the draft-pick compensation issue disappears?
This is a classic Boras tactic, and he wins at least as often as he loses. But it's hard to see how this can end with Ramirez getting a better deal than what the Dodgers are offering right now.
*Alex Rodriguez is acting as if he wants his life to be the subject of one of those "Really?!?" skits on Saturday Night Live. "Really, Alex? You thought getting picked up from a spring training game by your boli-happy Cousin Yuri was a good idea? Really?!?"
*Lesson No. 846 of baseball beat writing: You can never overwrite the magnitude of an elbow injury to the ace of the staff, no matter how harmless the team makes it out to be.
*The pertinent stats from Washington-National-to-be Stephen Strasburg's start yesterday: 6 2/3 innings, 16 Ks, 102 mph. The one critical stat that is missing, and that I can't seem to find anywhere: Number of pitches. Out in San Diego, that might not be so important, but you can bet it is in Washington.
(UPDATE: Courtesy of our friends at Nationals Farm Authority, here is a link to a boxscore showing that Strasburg threw 111 pitches, 77 for strikes. Not an ungodly number for a college pitcher, but still kind of high given the early stage of the season.)
*Finally, best wishes to Tracy Ringolsby, the esteemed baseball writer at the defunct (as of today) Rocky Mountain News. The Cowboy has already passed along word that he was able to piece together a future out of various TV, print and online media opportunities. But the nation's baseball coverage will be a lesser place without the Rocky, and without Tracy's daily musings on the Rockies and the rest of the game.
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