Tuesday, March 01, 2011


**The Tampa Bay Rays are counting heavily on Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. They expect Damon to be their regular left fielder, with Manny the DH. Damon will never make the whole season as the starter and Manny's bat sure looked slow last year. The Rays better have a Plan B.

**The Yanks are interested in the Twins Liriano. He's coming off Tommy John surgery (who isn't, these days?), but he's only 27 and showed great improvement toward the end of last year. The Twins will certainly be competitive and would probably like to trade him before free agency because they won't be able to afford him afterward. Unfortunately, the Yanks prize trade bait, at least the one they are willing to part with, Jesus Montero, won't fit in Minnesota. He's a catcher and/or first baseman. The Twins road blocks: Mauer and Morneau. This probably won't happen without some major problem in Minnesota.

**The Red Sox Josh Beckett got hit in the head a couple of days ago. He says he's okay, though. In an interview after the accident, he said, "No, I'm fine. There's nothing wrong. Will someone answer the damn phone?"

**Jeter's going back to the batting cages with Kevin Long. So far this year, he's still hitting nothing but ground balls. Last year, he led the majors in number of ground balls, and ended up with a .270 average. He and Long both say he just needs practice, but this doesn't bode well.

**The Yanks pitching looks pretty good so far. The ones on the ML roster, anyway. Some of the minor leaguers who don't expect to make the club are showing why that is. I think the one pitcher the front office hopes looks good is Chamberlain. With all the excellent prospects in the minors, Joba becomes the high-profile expendable they could try to trade for another frontline starter like Liriano.

A man wanted for robbery barricaded himself inside an Omaha hotel utility closet. It was important to get the man out. Come College World Series time the hotel will be renting the utility closet for $399 a night.


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