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mlb logoThe 2014 season is just around the corner …

  • The Pirates locked up 25-year-old outfielder Starling Marte to a six-year, $31 million extension, which comes with two option years tacked onto the end. The deal ensures that the Pirates have bought out one free agent year, and then they’ll also get the two options at the end (at a very reasonable $12.5 million and $13.5 million). In the current market, the deal looks like it’s pretty much the new normal for high-level players with between one and two years of service time. Obviously $31 million isn’t a ton of money compared to free agent dollars, but it’s a healthy risk on a guy with such a small track record. That said, teams are increasingly favoring taking a risk on young, less-proven players than older, more-proven ones (at higher rates). The Pirates will now control Marte – who hit .280/.343/.441 last year (.344 wOBA), and was worth 4.6 wins – through his prime years. Bully for them. When top outfield prospect Gregory Polanco arrives, as soon as later this year, the Pirates are going to have a potentially all-universe outfield of Marte-McCutchen-Polanco, and they’ll have them for a long, long time.
  • The Dodgers held a team meeting to discuss Yasiel Puig. On March 25. I know the point was to air everything out so that the stories surrounding him don’t become a distraction this year, but, man, that ship has sailed. Everyone’s eyes are squarely on Puig, and, so far, he hasn’t shown the ability to blend into the background for a little while to keep the heat off. I’m sure the Dodgers are just hoping he hits out of his mind again this year, and the extracurricular stuff becomes less of a focus.
  • MLB and the Players Association are considering changes to the league’s drug rules, increasing the bans for first and second positive tests to 100 games and a season, respectively. If the drug use is deemed “inadvertent” (can’t wait to see all the fights that come out of that), the ban would actually be reduced to 25 games.
  • Lefty Randy Wolf made the Mariners’ rotation after signing a minor league deal, and after he was told he made the rotation … he was released. What’s going on? Well, the Mariners wanted Wolf to sign a 45-day advance release agreement that basically would give the Mariners the right to release him at any time during those first 45 days of the season, and be on the hook only for a pro-rated portion of his deal. Given that the Mariners have a few guys expected back in the rotation by the end of April, I understand Wolf’s reluctance to agree to the deal.
  • In his place, the Mariners have signed Chris Young to a big league deal (with a 45-day advance release agreement? Probably) to be their 4th starter. He didn’t pitch in the majors in 2013, and he’s totaled 42 starts in the last five(!) years. Yowsa.
  • Speaking of which, this is what injuries can do to your rotation:

  • Cee Angi with an interesting look at the decline of the “traditional” designated hitter. David Ortiz, it seems, is something of a dying breed. Many teams are opting for roster versatility over a dedicated, hulking, non-defensive slugger. Is that really the right move? (Sure wish they’d bring the DH to the NL so we could have these debates, too … /troll)
  • The White Sox are serving up a 12-scoop, 3 pound ice cream sundae this year at the Cell. I’m all for large, hilarious, and tasty ballpark food, but I’m not crazy about food that pretty much requires sharing in a way that cannot be individually apportioned off. With a big ole sundae, you pretty much have to all go at like wild beasts, fighting for bites while the ice cream melts into a bubbling stew of chocolate and saliva.
  • Disney walk-up music? Good for you, Tony Sanchez, and “Let It Go” is a fine choice. Ok, picking a Disney walk-up song. I’ll go with … “A Whole New World,” and I’d make sure they cued it up to the part where Aladdin is echoing Jasmine’s melody with “Don’t you dare close your eyes …. Hold your breath it gets better,” because, like, that’d be me, talking to the fans. Ok, now you. Go!
  • http://bleachernation.com woody
    • Funn Dave

      We heard. Brett didn’t report the story because apparently it’s kind of meaningless–supposedly Jeff doesn’t live there, anyway.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I thought I read somewhere that the condo is question is an investment property he doesn’t actually live in.

      I’ll go look for that link later. Not sure that particular report is accurate, though.

    • mjhurdle

      from what I heard, Jeff never lived there (or at least hasn’t for years) and he bought it initially as an investment.
      Barney was renting it from him, but didn’t rent it this year (mayhaps Barney preparing to be traded?)

      not sure it says anything about Shark though, unless there is more to it that hasn’t come out.

    • ssckelley

      This was floating around here a couple of days ago, evidently this is rental property.

    • mjhurdle
  • Funn Dave

    Dear Pirates,

    Can we trade outfields? Pleease?

    Thanks,
    Your buddy,
    Funn Dave

  • mjhurdle

    “fighting for bites while the ice cream melts into a bubbling stew of chocolate and saliva.”

    and with a few well chosen taps on a keyboard, Brett has officially destroyed my love of sundaes…

    Not sure I can ever look at them the same way again, no matter the portion size.

    • jp3

      I scooped him on this story yesterday… Ba dum bum chhh…

  • Jim

    “…bubbling stew of chocolate and saliva.” Boy Brett, you can really paint a picture.

    Zero to Hero. Hercules.

  • nate1m

    Under Da Sea the second verse. Why? Because its awesome.

  • ncsujuri

    For Shark since his last name would have been butchered beyond belief by Harry:
    “Supercalifragilistic” from Mary Poppins

  • JakeMac

    The Gaston song from Beauty and the Beast…cued up to the part where he says “I’m especially good at expectorating.”

    I’d then spit in the general direction of the pitcher.

    • Caleb

      Dammit! That was my first one.

  • MightyBear

    The DH is the single stupidest change in the history of baseball.

    • Edwin

      I know. It’s like, just get the DH already, NL.

      • jp3

        +1,000,000,000

  • CubChymyst

    Very beginning of “I want to be like you” from the Jungle Book.

    • miggy80

      I’m going with the Bare Necessities from Jungle book as I step to the plate with no batting gloves, shin guard or elbow pad.

      • C. Steadman

        I’ll go with “Be Prepared” from Lion King…if the opposing team’s pitcher gets pulled…I want to hear “Hakuna Matata” or “Circle of Life”

  • Cizzle

    That sundae immediately made me think of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure when Napoleon eats the Ziggy Pig and he’s spooning all the melted chocolate into his mouth. Man, that movie was awesome.

  • ladnerdude

    I would play “In my own little corner” from Cinderella (Brandy version) with the lyrics:

    “I’m a young Egyptian princess
    Or a milkmaid
    I’m the greatest prima donna
    In the land”

    Why? Because I can.

  • ladnerdude

    With the ice cream I can relieve stress, from being at Soxs games.

    [img]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/500x/28883472.jpg[/img]

  • https://twitter.com/LouHemp beerhelps

    My daughter is 6 weeks old so thankfully I don’t know any damn Disney songs.

    • https://twitter.com/LouHemp beerhelps

      Yet.

      • jp3

        Sigh….you will

      • mjhurdle

        The sad part is not when you start knowing all the Disney songs, but when you find yourself adding them to your playlist because, well, it has been 4 hours since you last heard ‘Let It Go’, and that is throwing off your day.

        • https://twitter.com/LouHemp beerhelps

          Maybe she will just really love Slayer….I mean, it’s possible. At least QOTSA or something….

    • ssckelley

      You mean this song is not rattling around your brain yet?

      [img]https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRlRKJa12JK5rftDtgr0FWmQyT2bzJcJjjKkHrsFlRuXt_3Dt4L[/img]

      • ssckelley

        Which, btw, should be played everytime Kalish comes to bat.

      • mjhurdle

        best……song…….ever……

        • ssckelley

          NO!!!!!! It has been a month since I was forced to watch that movie and it is still ringing in my ears.

    • Brocktoon

      Wait, why is it a bad thing to know Disney songs? Disney and Pixar cartoons are fantastic.

  • Austin8466

    I’m going with “Hakuna Matata”.

    Also, I’m Pedro Serano in Major League II.

    Boom.

  • jp3

    I know what Puig’s Disney song should be. Lion king “I just can’t wait to be king!” Excerpt: “no one saying do this, no one saying do that!…” Had to be made For Puig

  • Caleb

    Since *somebody* stole my gaston song idea, I’ll go with Beauty and the Beast: something there. “New, and a bit alarming, who’d have ever thought that this could be? True, he’s no Prince Charming, but there’s something in him that I simply didn’t see.” (Pssst: PEDs]

  • Darth Ivy

    Who said that the ice cream was for sharing?

  • Forlines

    Dude….

    Oo-de-lally would be my walk up song all the way. Any stress or distractions would instantly disappear. Maybe Castro should use it?

  • Edwin

    If I was a Pirates player, I’d rock some Gilbert and Sullivan, and go with Pirate King.

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