The pre-New Years blues: news and notes from around the league

Yesterday was a long day. It took me five hours to drive from D.C. to New York and another 90 minutes to find a suitable parking spot. As I’m beat, I’m going to be doing a news-and-notes post tonight. If you want something heavier to read before the end of 2005, check out yesterday’s post on the sad state of affairs down in Baltimore or Tuesday’s column on the rocky off-season for the Boston Red Sox.

  • While I’ve now written on the Orioles twice in two days, Miguel Tejada opened up his mouth again today. Just as the Orioles were saying they are not planning on trading Miguel Tejada, the All Star short stop strongly reiterated his trade demand, saying he’s “more upset” with the Orioles now than he was a few weeks ago.

    I have criticized Tejada for complaining about the Orioles. After all, he knew what he was getting into when he signed his big contract. This time around, however, Tejada seems to hit the nail on the head. In discussing the recent signings, Tejada said, “It’s not what we need.” Boy, is he ever right. If the short stop of the team knows that signing a second catcher, a 40-year-old utility player, and Jeromy Burnitz won’t solve the problems, why doesn’t Orioles GM Mike Flanagan know that?

    I still wonder why the Orioles never got involved in discussions with Brian Giles or A.J. Burnett or Johnny Damon or the Marlins during the fire sale days. Carlos Delgado would have destroyed Camden Yards. It wouldn’t kill Flanagan to pretend to make an effort, and it would appease Tejada as well.

  • As I was driving home, I was listening to New York sports talk radio WFAN. Joe Benigno interviewed Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King for about 35 minutes. King, a well-respected insider who laid his Red Sox cards on the table, basically talked uninterrupted. He had some interesting baseball notes.

    First, for all of the Red Sox fans who think Tejada-to-Boston could be a reality, fugedaboutit, as they say on the FAN. The Orioles are N-O-T trading Tejada to an AL East rival. While I may end up eating these words, King was fairly vehement about that. He expects Tejada to be moved by February but just not to Boston.

    While discussing the Tejada situation, King also talked about Manny Ramirez. According to the writer, Red Sox brass are fed up with Manny’s act. Manny being Manny only goes too far. King said he would be very surprised to see Manny take the field for Boston come Opening Day. What they will get for him is completely up in the air.

  • Does anyone else miss Buster Olney’s blog? For those of us with access to ESPN Insider, Olney’s blog has become a great resource for links to the lead baseball stories across the nation. Whie Olney’s stupid productive outs stat was rightfully derided, his writing has always been top-notch, and his blog is excellent. It’s great that he gets a vacation, but it makes mining for interesting stories that much harder.
  • Willie Nelson makes his own biodiesel fuel called BioWillie. Who knew?
  • Dayn Perry over at FoxSports takes a look at the young Diamondback team. After borrowing to fund their 2001 World Series team, Arizona rebuilt from the ground up. They have an excellent farm system and a lot of tradable older talent to net them the pitchers they need. As Perry writes, it’s not a question of if, but rather when will the D-backs dominate the weak NL West? I would bet the answer to be 2007. Look for them to go head-to-head with a young Dodger team that season.
  • Many of you have asked about my taken on the rebuilt Blue Jays. I don’t think J.P. Ricciardi is finished wheeling and dealing yet this winter, but I promise in January to examine Toronto and their chances of capturing an AL East title. I’m curious myself to see how they stack up with the team that won 79 games last year.
  • Finally, happy New Year everyone. This is my last post until Tuesday, January 3. I’m taking Monday off to enjoy the holiday. Have fun welcoming in 2006, and thanks for stopping by this month.
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