Thursday, December 8, 2011

MLB continues a very hot winter

California Spending -

Albert Pujols to a 10-year 254million dollar deal. As if that wasn’t enough to spit out your chai latte the Angels reached back into their briefcase, pulled out another pen and then inked the best available starter, CJ Wilson, a former nemesis with Texas, to a 5-year 77million dollar deal and just like that by the time most Southern Californians were leaving their morning yoga class their baseball team was the best in the league and very uncharacteristically were not only aggressive but free spending in the Winter, placing themselves in third place all-time behind two Yankees clubs as the most ever in the off season. With these additions to a club that was a “pothole cover in the middle of the line-up” away from going deep into October these moves will not only fill the ditch but give the Angels arguably the best rotation in Baseball:

Jared Weaver (18-8) 2.41
Dan Haren (16-10) 3.17
CJ Wilson (16-7) 2.94
Ervin Santana (11-12 with no-no) 3.38

So now the immediate question is what will be the immediate fate of the gamble? Will they go the way of the Yankees who are still waiting for the dividend check to arrive for the ARod, CC, etc. spending spree or the Giants that squeezed every last penny of the checks they cut and wound up with a ring that should pacify that city another 50 years. Only time will tell, but before we go there keep in mind there is still plenty of time before spring training so don’t put it past the newly found intestinal fortitude of the LAA they may be going for number one on the list and tis’ the season.

Baseball’s Hot Stove continues to radiate during the winter meetings in Dallas and the Miami Marlins are the team mixing up something special! If you’re a baseball fan in South Florida, how can you not get excited about what’s owner Jeffrey Loria has cooking? First he goes out and gets Ozzie Guillen to manage his club. Guillen of Latin decent will go over very well in South Beach. Fans will understand him and the players will have no choice but to follow his lead. Guillen has a world title to his credit and the respect of both management and players because he’s a no-nonsense guy. While they bowed out of the Albert Pujols sweepstakes, they’ve still put together quite a roster in the off-season. Adding shortstop Jose Reyes to the left-side of the infield for 106-million bucks over six-years while moving Hanley Ramirez to third could be incredible. Despite Ramirez reluctance to change positions, you know Guillen will get the job done and Ramirez will be a very productive part of the line-up. Needing a solid closer for a pitching staff that was one real legit arm away from being very imposing, the Marlins thru out a line to Heath Bell that he took hook line and sinker for 27 million over three years. So with Bell dropping fastballs to close out the ninth inning, who could they go get to not only be the staff ace but lead by example to the youngsters? Enter lefthander Mark Buehrle. The deal for five years at 58-million reunites the ace and Guillen once again after a long stint in Chicago with the White Sox. But wait, the prep work is not done. Since the didn’t land Pujols the money allocated his way will most likely be split up between two players. Buehrle was one and the other could be Texas Rangers free-agent lefty C.J. Wilson. The fish have offered a six-year deal that might make Wilson reconsider signing with his home-town team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He’s expected to make his decision today. If that isn’t enough to get excited about in South Beach were there definitely is plenty to get hot and bothered over, have we mentioned the new ballpark? That’s what it’s called right now, New Marlins Ballpark, no kidding. So they may not have a title sponsor yet in these tough economic times but who cares? The state of the art facility is located on the old Orange Bowl site in the little Havana section of Miami, only two miles from downtown. Forget the days of sweltering heat and rain delays or rain outs. The retractable roof makes everyday a game day at 75 degrees inside. The stadium is made for baseball only and holds 37-thousand seats with sightlines that are reportedly perfect for fans of the great American pastime. You have to give Luria a lot of credit. Not only did he decide to make the commitment to satisfy his fans off the field he has also backed it up on the field with the team’s off-season acquisitions. If South Florida baseball fans aren’t hungry yet, they never will be because dinner has been served in Miami.
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