Random and sundry from the world of the little white leathery orb:
MVP! MVP! MVP!
Miguel Tejada wants a new long-term contract with the A's. That's great-it's commendable when players want to stay with their team for an extended stay. But Tejada wants, well, I'll let him speak for himself:
``I want a contract for a lot of years; for eight or 10 years because I want to secure my future with the team for which I am going to play.''
Obviously, Migui has not been keeping up with his Baseball Weekly subscription (Yes, I know it's Sports Weekly, but I'm not calling Commiskey that silly name either). In my opinion Tejada is not such a singular talent that he can demand 10-year contracts. I would think that Billy Beane feels the same way. Perhaps this is a thinly veiled threat on Tejada's part to get himself traded. We'll just have to see how this one plays out.
Joey Eischen signed an $800 K contract for 2003 with the Expos. Eischen was great in 2002, so it sounds like a great deal, right? Well, if Scott Stewart is the Expos' closer, then I think the Expos are wasting money on any other relief pitcher to whom the give more than the league minimum given the financial strictures that they are under. Also, Eischen will be 33 this season and probably just had his career year. Who really thinks that his 2002 season was for real? Why not trade him for a bunch of prospects that the Expos have traded away in the last year? Just a suggestion.
Angels in the Outfield
The Cardinals' fascination with ex-Angels continued as they signed outfielders Alex Ochoa and Orlando Palmeiro as free agents. The Cards also signed former-Angel and new Bruce Froemming buddy Al Levine this offseason.
The Angels meanwhile have lost one of their advantages this offseason, their deep bench. They are down to four outfielders (they did signed Eric Owens or it would be just the starters remaining). Meanwhile their bullpen has lost veterans Levine, Lou Pote, and Dennis Cook. With the presence of Francisco Rodriguez and Scott Schoeneweis in the pen for the entire year and the signing of Rich Rodriguez, it should bot be such a large issue.
But one has to wonder if the Angels' approach of standing pat in the best division in baseball is a wise one.
Big Bad Bucs?
Appropriately, the Pirates will have a Charlie Brown bobblehead doll giveaway.
The Pirates are also contemplating moving Brian Giles to center to solve their outfield problems:
``If we're going to go out and get somebody who can help us out and make us a better team, I'll move to center,'' Giles said. ``Like I said, center field is my most comfortable position and left field is probably my least comfortable.''
Especially in PNC Park, where a huge gap in left-center field gives Giles more ground to cover in left than center.
``Left field is bigger here than center field,'' Giles said. ``It might be better for me to move to center.''
Giles is not the greatest outfielder in the planet though he has played center in the past (he basically started there in 1999 and 2000, but his range seemed down last year and he played only 3 games in center). My first reaction is why mess around with your best player. But then I though that the payoff would be immense. Giles would easily be the best offensive center fielder in the majors (especially since Lance Berkman moved to left this offseason).
However, it seems like they are saying they need a center fielder in left and a left fielder in center. So I'm not sure how this resolves their problems-they still need a center fielder by that logic. Besides-and I am by no means an expert on PNC Park-how could this unique situation exist. PNC Park does not look that oddly shaped.
Yes, there is more space in left, but couldn't that be handled more easily by proper positioning rather than shifting players into less than optimal positions. Why not platoon free-agent Kenny Lofton and Adam Hyzdu and be done with it?