Random thoughts as we approach Spring Training:
I'm sure a lot of "purists" will be outraged, but I think this plan for WBC games that reach the 13th inning makes a lot of sense. Overworked pitchers are a big concern in the WBC, so reducing the odds that games go ridiculously long makes sense. I think it might even make sense for regular season MLB games.
Is Jason Varitek really going to retire if the Red Sox don't give him a higher offer? Come on, Tek. You've made over $50 million in your career. You'll have a shot at a third World Series ring with the Sox. Accept that you're not worth nearly as much as you think and get ready for another season.
Good news for my fantasy team: according to BP prospect expert Kevin Goldstein, "Matt Wieters is the best prospect in baseball, the best player on the Orioles right now, and quite possibly the best catcher in the game." PECOTA projects him to hit .311/.395/.544 this season.
How much does it suck to be the Orioles? They have Wieters coming up, two very good young outfielders (Markakis and Adam "not Pacman" Jones, not to mention Felix Pie), and a bunch of pitching prospects. If they played in any division other than the AL East, they'd be in very good shape for 2010 and beyond, but they're stuck competing with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, arguably the best three teams in baseball.
The only reputation that will be harmed by Joe Torre's book is Joe Torre's.