I have to get tickets to MLB's Opening Night this year because the WFC Philadelphia Phillies will begin defending their title against the Atlanta Braves in Citizen's Bank Park Sunday April 5th at 8pm on ESPN2.
I still remember Andruw Jones being a 19 year old rookie with the Braves blasting 3 homeruns in the 1996 playoffs. Fastforward 12 seasons, 5 All-Star appearances, and 10 Gold Gloves later and we'll find a fatty version of that starry-eyed kid that used to flash excellence in the outfield and blend speed with power. Last offseason LA's GM Ned Colletti wrote out a big fat check to Andruw for 2 years $36.2MM, despite his lackluster .222 batting average in 2007. Now the Dodgers are so desperate to rid themselves of the Scott Boras induced contract that they reworked Jones' '09 salary so that they'll only be paying roughly $5MM this season with much of the money being deferred and have let all teams know he can be had for a song (dance need not be included). 2008 stats: .158 avg, 3 hr, .505 ops in 209 ab's. Many have blamed his sharp decline on weight gain and lack of motivation. Baseball-Reference has him listed at 170 pounds, but there's no way the television is adding 40-50. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
How Lowe will he go?
Derek Lowe is a front of the rotation pitcher and he wants to get paid accordingly. With free agent behemoths AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia bathing in the cash drenched with the dark forces of the Evil Empire, Lowe is wondering when he's gonna get his. The Mets tried to play scavenger in the newly depressed free agent market and buy low on Lowe (reported 3 year $36MM), but he's not biting. Seems all the money has dried up in the wells of most teams already this offseason, so it's likely Lowe still ends up a Met, but here's to hoping Amaro finds a way to lure him in.
Speaking of the Mets, I found this painful depiction of how it literally feels to be a Mets fan. Mets fans and cutters alike punish themselves and this twisted soul combined the two...ouch!
Larry Speaks Up:
From the mouth of Chipper Jones, "We won for 14 consecutive years, and you never, ever saw any bulletin board material. And now that these two teams are on top of the division, they can't keep their mouths shut. Just go play baseball. It's Cole Hamels now. It was Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Beltran the past couple of springs. These two teams are constantly going at each other verbally. You know, win with class, lose with class. Just keep your mouth shut and go play your game."