Hello all. Sorry for missing B&B last week, but I was moving into my brand new apartment with my fiance. We still have plenty to unpack, as our living room is only slightly usable at this point, but I'm optimistically hoping that we get everything finished by the end of the weekend. Also, this unfortunately means I am no longer a blogger that lives in his parents' basement. You know, I think I actually took some pride in fulfilling the stereotype for some odd reason.
As for Aaron Hicks, I noticed the big discussion that was on Twinkie Town yesterday. I'll offer up my two cents, and it's that I feel that he should not debut until midseason. The main benefits are twofold: Keep Hicks cheaper as he won't be eligible for arbitration until 2017 instead of 2016, and also because it delays his free agency an additional year. Look, you can argue about how Target Field is supposed to bring increased revenues and thus Hicks hitting arbitration earlier shouldn't be an issue, but I'd argue back that the Twins operate on a budget. Always have, always will. I'd hate to think that the Twins are unable to spend an extra $2 million because that money went to Hicks, all because he played a full season in a year when the Twins were not going to be competitive.
- Here's a story that should be familiar to Twins fans. Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL last August, and was encouraged to go the rest and rehab route instead of having Tommy John surgery. However, just like every rest and rehab Twin before him, Furcal will now be getting the surgery anyway, likely erasing any possibility of him playing in 2013. Supposedly his rehab had been going very well during the offseason, but it seems that resuming baseball activities brought back the soreness and now the Cardinals are stuck in a pickle with their shortstop situation right now. Paging Cards GM John Mozeliak, Terry Ryan is on Line 1 with an offer of Pedro Florimon for Trevor Rosenthal.
- It's been a bad week for the guys that don't play on the field. First, there was Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who has a ruptured disc in his back that has created numbness in his leg, which will possibly require surgery. Next is Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who went skydiving for charity suffered a Peggy Hill-like mishap, resulting in a broken ankle. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Cashman: i heard a pop in my ankle. <a href="http://t.co/PDNBRoL7pC" title="http://twitter.com/NYDNHarper/status/308619186647752704/photo/1">twitter.com/NYDNHarper/sta…</a></p>— John Harper (@NYDNHarper) <a href="https://twitter.com/NYDNHarper/status/308619186647752704">March 4, 2013</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Finally, we have the funniest one, as Brewers GM Doug Melvin was in Arizona and bent down to pick up what he thought was a bug, but actually was a scorpion that stung him. Even better, Melvin was unconcerned about the encounter until his middle finger started to go numb, which then he decided to Google scorpion stings and finally go to the hospital. Best part? Melvin on the scorpion sting: "I don't think it's that big a deal."
- The Gold Gloves are a great award in theory, but their relevance has been under fire for quite some time as players with questionable fielding ability have received this prize. Such winners include Nate McLouth, a significantly below-average fielder in his career according to UZR, Derek "Pasta-diving" Jeter, and most hilariously Rafael Palmeiro in 1999 where he played only 28 defensive games at 1st base. We now have new school and old school colliding as Rawlings just announced that there will be a sabermetric component added to the decision-making process for the Gold Glove. I feel this is a huge development because many times a Gold Glove winner is also a superior offensive player, which seems awfully backwards for a defensive award (See the aforementioned 1999 Palmeiro Gold Glove). I hope that this causes that annoying offensive component to be eliminated, which then will allow superior glovemen like Brendan Ryan a better opportunity to win. Also, I'm fully expecting to see the outrage from the traditional sportswriters and former players/managers about how the Gold Glove should be about gut feeling and grittiness and now about stat geeks having their heads buried in spreadsheets.
- Finally, Craig Calcaterra is in Arizona for spring training and he gives us a look behind-the-scenes at something we don't typically think about, and that is sports companies trying to sell their products to baseball players. Specifically, Calcaterra talks about Michelle Ismaj, who is a representative for the Phoenix Bat Company. She has the challenge of competing against bat giants such as Louisville, but was able to sell some bats to Yoenis Cespedes while in A's camp. Calcaterra talks about some of the advantages and disadvantages Ismaj has while trying to put Phoenix on the map for baseball bats.