Nothing Charlie Sheen does these days should surprise, but a party involving porn stars and a "briefcase of cocaine" is over the top even for the former "Men at Work" (LOVE LOVE that movie) star. Let's just hope the dude finally gets help, even though his infamous benders are sadly fun to watch. Now I read that Lindsay Lohan is concerned about Sheen's well-being. This is rich.
Anyway, on to baseball…
I'm quite intrigued to see how the Rays' closer situation plays out. On one hand you have the oft-maligned Kyle Farnsworth who had a couple ugly years in the Bronx, but who also rallied to post a 2.42 ERA and 36:12 K:BB in 44.2 innings a year ago. The stuff is still somewhat there, but can he mentally handle the position? In the AL East? I'm skeptical. On the other hand you have Jacob McGee, 2 ½ years removed from Tommy John surgery. He's the guy I'm pulling for as he went to a High School near me here in Reno. McGee posted double-digit K/9 rates at all three stops a year ago, and while he could also serve as a starter at some point in the future, his 2011 role is likely to be as a reliever. One to watch.
I wonder what the reaction would be if Albert Pujols left St. Louis after the 2011 season? On par with the LeBron situation? Somehow I think Pujols would handle things with a bit more class. That said, I'll take anyone's money that thinks he won't be in a Cards uniform in 2012. And I'll give 50/1 odds. Ok, not really, but…
It's funny/sad to listen to Angels fans try and justify the Vernon Wells deal. Yes, the team is better with Wells in the lineup than with Juan Rivera, but taking finances and what was given up in the deal into account, this should go down among the 15 or 20 worst trades in baseball history. Meanwhile, Adrian Beltre is playing third base for the Rangers and not the Angels, who are planning to go with Alberto Callaspo at the hot corner.
Not really sure why the Orioles would take playing time away from Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold via a Vladimir Guerrero signing. Are Pie and Reimold that hopeless?
The D-backs appear to be leaning towards Juan Miranda as their starting first baseman. Miranda doesn't project for big-time power, but he can get on base at an above-average clip and has some NL-only allure.
Lovin' me some Danny Espinosa. He may not hit more than .270 this year, but a 15/15 season or better is very possible.
No, I still don't believe the Russian baby-swinging video is real. I just can't take that leap. I'm too lazy to provide the link, but scour through Dalton Del Don's blogs and you'll find it.
I see where Bryce Harper is hoping for a September call-up. That wouldn't surprise me a bit, as Harper is set to start his pro career in High-A, something that is pretty much unprecedented.
To me, Buster Posey is a leading candidate for NL MVP, but man the Giants sure are old yet again? Bringing back Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, and Aubrey Huff while adding Miguel Tejada to man shortstop (that could be ugly) continues a Sabean pattern of signing old/washed-up veteran hitters, but boy is that rotation impressive. Then there's top-10 (IMO) prospect Brandon Belt who tore through three levels last year in hitting .352/.455/.620.
The Reds are seven deep in their rotation if you add Aroldis Chapman to the mix, so why not deal a guy like Travis Wood or Edinson Volquez to upgrade the offense? On the other hand, we've all heard the mantra that "you can never have enough pitching", so this should all sort itself out this year. I'd still love to see Chapman in the No. 5 slot in the rotation tossing 160 or so innings. That of course has everything to do with Chapman being a part of my Scoresheet team.
Toronto GM Alex Anthopolous appears to be this year's Jack Z., as he's somehow managed to unload the Vernon Wells contract while making other notable deals involving Shaun Marcum and Frank Francisco. Some have criticized the Mike Napoli / Francisco deal, but the Jays are now four deep in the bullpen while dealing Napoli clears the way for J.P. Arencibia to get 400+ at-bats. Love it.
The Mets apparently are punting the 2011 season, and I can't say I blame them. No Johan Santana until perhaps July, and the pending free agencies of Francisco Rodriguez, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran leave the organization in a state of flux. It doesn't help that the farm system has very little ready to contribute, so this could be a team that is bad for the next several years.
I'm not sure why, but I love that the A's are spending a ton of money on relievers (Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour). I subscribe to the "Beane is a genius" theory, so it will be interesting to see how 2011 plays out for the A's. They still have a very pedestrian offensive infield, but I think they can win the AL West with what they have now plus a solid deadline acquisition.
I will likely wind up with B.J. Upton on most of my teams this year. I just can't forget about three things – he was a #2 overall pick (should have been #1 over Bryan Bullington), he had an .894 OPS at age 22, and he's still just 26. …and I love his brother even more.
Don't count the Padres out this year. Sure they lost Adrian Gonzalez, but their pitching is very deep, Mat Latos is an ace, and they've totally rebuilt their infield, likely for the better.
I guess James McDonald wilted under the expectations put upon him in LA, as he was a completely different pitcher for the Pirates last year. I've probably seen 12 of McDonald's 16 career starts, and with the Pirates, there was more zip on his fastball and far more confidence in his breaking ball. Like our Rotowire projectionists, I think McDonald could post a sub-4.00 ERA and 180 strikeouts this year.