Top Defensive Plays from 2007 & 2006 Seasons…

Obviously not all the top plays, and not necessarily the absolute best from each season, but all are still pretty amazing, and entertaining.  I thought you might enjoy these… I did!

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Torii Hunter Update

hunter.jpg Free Agent center fielder Torii Hunter is interested in the Los Angeles Dodgers and is scheduled to dine with the Texas Rangers.

Said Hunter of the Dodgers: “The Dodgers are definitely near the top….With Joe Torre there, things have got to change. He’s bringing his history with them. I’m telling you, they’re going to start winning.”  (Credit Yahoo Sports with the interview).  

Meanwhile, according to the Dallas Morning News, the former Minnesota Twins star is planning to have dinner at Rangers owner Tom Hicks’ house tonight with Hicks, General manager Jon Daniels, manager Ron Washington, starting pitcher Kevin Millwood and Hunter’s agent Larry Reynolds.  Hunter lives in Texas, near Dallas.

Regarding the Dodgers, I don’t see them as a logical fit because of how Juan Pierre fleeced them last winter.  Pierre has 4 more years of mediocrity to give them in center field, and moving him to left would be irresponsible.

The Rangers are a very good fit.  They have the need for a right handed bat as well as a center fielder.  I’m tagging them the favorites to land Hunter. 

Glavine a Brave…Again

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According to the Associated Press, Tom Glavine has agreed to a 1-year $8 million deal with the Atlanta Braves. No deal has been announced yet, but sources state Glavine has already taken a physical.

The NY Mets will be compensated with a  1st round pick in next year’s draft because Glavine signed before December 1st.

Anyway, chicks dig the long ball…

Twins Attempt to Fleece Santana

johan.jpgAccording to the Star Tribune, rumors abound that the Twins have offered Johan Santana a 5-year deal worth $93M

I guess you can consider this progress for the Twins after their horrid original two year offer.  But it’s still way too short on the years and the dough for the best pitcher in baseball to accept.   To me, it’s an attempt to use the “hometown discount” angle to fleece Santana.   It could also be shameless PR, as now the Twins can say they at least tried to ink Santana before they trade him next month.  Keep your eye on this one.  This could be the first step toward a monster trade.

NY State vs. Jeter – Who Will Be Sporting a New Warm Fleece This Winter?

jeter_tax1.jpgNY State is claiming that Derek Jeter, the Yankees star SS, may owe them millions of dollars in back taxes.  The asseertion is that Cap’n Jetes owes state taxes for the years from 2001 to 2003, when he claimed permanent residency in Florida, when he was actually living in New York (Trump Tower), where he has owned an apartment since 2001. 

Jeter has maintained that his primary residence has always been Florida, where there is no personal income tax, and even a homestead exemption, which decreases homeowners’ property taxes.

New York argues the case that Derek Jeter has belongings that are “near and dear” to him in his New York apartment, and that he has become immersed in the New York community (not exactly a crazy assumption) .  It seems that under NY state law, this may be enough to prove that his primary residency is actually in Manhattan, and not Florida afterall. 

It seems that Jeter has built a nice little tax shelter for himself here.  And with NY taxpayers footing the bill for nearly $400 million for the team’s new stadium, this little discovery will likely infuriate many NY residents. 

So, the question is posed… who will lose this legal battle, and receive a beautifully-wrapped, ultra-warm fleece under their Christmas tree this holiday season (note: this will likely take longer to play out)?

By the way… was a recent Jeter comercial for Gatorade a bit of foreshadowing??  Oh, the irony…

Kyle Lohse + Scott Boras = Fleece

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An overlooked story coming out of the November GM meetings was the fact that, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, free agent starter Kyle Lohse is seeking a $40M contract, presumably over 4 years.  And, yes, his agent is none other than Scott Boras.

Kyle Lohse is coming off ERA’s of 4.62, 5.38 and 4.18 over the last three years (and that 4.18 era in 2005 is not supported by his 1.43 WHIP that year).  His career WHIP is 1.43.  He hasn’t won 10 games since 2003.  And Baseball Reference has his most comparable pitchers as John Thompson, Brian Moehller, Mark Redman and Dave Mlicki.    Basically, he’s as mediocre as they come.  If Scott Boras can get this guy $40M, it may be the biggest fleece of the offseason.   Buyer beware, GM’s.

 And speaking of Scott Boras… maybe he could take a few pointers from his buddy Drew, on how to drum-up some more interest in his clients…

The Schilling Self-Fleece

schillsock.jpgA little bit of old news here, but it is unique so I thought I’d bring up.  Curt Schilling, who is his own agent, agreed to a one year deal with the Boston Red Sox earlier this month that will guarantee him $8M and will include incentives that could net the big righty another $6M.

Look, I get the whole “hometown discount” thing as well as the whole “veteran wanting to retire where he’s most loved” thing.  But come on, Curt.  You couldn’t get more guaranteed money out of the Sox?  I find that hard to believe.    I don’t believe the Red Sox would have been willing to let you walk away over a few million bucks.  1 year, $10M guaranteed with some incentives would have seemed more reasonable.  Intstead, Mr. Schilling, you walked into Mr. Epstein’s office and wrapped yourself in a big blanket of fleece.  Maybe you should re-think the whole no agent thing.  Maybe you can comment on this on your own blog, 38pitches.com.  Or maybe you should rename that 38fleeced.com.