Baseball As I See It – My Views On Johan Santana, the Red Sox, and more…

I’ve been sitting around over the past few months watching the baseball news. So many things are going on and at times it is hard to keep up. So, as I sit down today and review some of my news and notes, I had thoughts as to what was going on.

It was good to head that Johan Santana threw off of a mound today, even though it was only 25 pitches. The last thing that a Mets fan will remember is Santana holding his left elbow in pain. This new image of the lefty actually throwing pitches should bring a sigh of relief to Citi Field. This pitcher could be the difference between a manager and coaching staff keeping their job or losing it……….Ben Sheets is now a member of the Athletics. He signed a $10 million/one-year contract. Additionally, the Athletics had already signed Justin Duchscherer to a $2 million/one-year contract (with an additional $1.5 million in incentives). This means the Athletics, who are usually somewhat frugal with their funds are now spending up to $13.5 million on two pitchers that have not pitched since 2008. Is this the beginning of the Athletics spending increasing with a new stadium potentially on the way in Fremont, California or is this an attempt to keep up with other teams in the AL West……..Now I know why Nolan Ryan has been so “hands-on” with the Texas Rangers lately, he will soon be a minority owner. We also found out today that Major League Baseball has been overseeing the team since July. Wasn’t Tom Hicks super wealthy a few years ago? Anyone have an idea what happened? According to Forbes, his personal wealth is over $1 billion. He bought the team for $250 million and is selling it for $500 million and will stay active within the organization. I will tell you what happened, he did not want to use his own money and is getting out while making a profit……..I like Rick Ankiel and I am glad he was signed by the Royals. How can anyone not like a guy that basically fell out of the game of baseball and resurrected his career? He will be the starting centerfielder and will not have the pressures of St. Louis around him. He will go out and play baseball, and do it with a raise of approximately $400,000 over last year. I just hope he plays more like he did in 2008 and 2007……..Back to Nolan Ryan for a second, he will be the minority owner of the Texas Rangers and he is also part of the business group that owns the Double-A and Triple-A organizations affiliated with the Rangers. I like that. Ryan has had a positive effect upon the minor league organizations and he should now help to continue the bridge between the parent and the children………Two words, Johnny Damon. Why is he still available? Did Scott Boras make a mistake by assuming he could get $13 million per year for Damon? Okay, he is basically a DH these days because he has lost some defensive skills and had no throwing arm. However, last year he did have a good offensive year. Two years, $10 to $12 million anyone? By the way, best Damon T-Shirt I ever saw was on a Boston Fan at Yankee Stadium, “Looks like Jesus, Acts Like Judas, Throws Like Mary”. I still laugh when I see that shirt……..Think the fans of the Mariners are not excited? They already had King Felix and now they add Cliff Lee to their starting rotation. They Had Ichiro, Ian Snell, kept Jack Wilson and Ken Griffey Jr. and added Chone Figgins and the problematic Milton Bradley (who may have a better time out of the spotlight in the Northwest) and other players also. These additions (along with losing some players) may not make the Mariners a power in the American League, but it should make them better……..Does anyone think the Yankees are done with their Hot Stove Winter? They still need a leftfielder, bullpen help and have lost many players. Yes, they added a Number 4 pitcher and a new centerfielder. But, are the defending champions better? I do not think so. Teams around them improved, but have they? Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner, what will you do next?……..Speaking of teams around the Yankees improving, have the Red Sox done enough? They have made a ton of moves. They added Lackey to bolster their rotation, basically traded Jason Bay for Mike Cameron, added Adrian Beltre to take over at third base for Mike Lowell, signed Marco Scutaro and had other smaller changes. I do not know if they have done enough, but I think the AL East will come down to injuries and which team breaks down first. Or, whichever team wants to go out at the trading deadline and trade for the biggest potential free agent will win. Forget I brought this up, ask me again in July……..Finally, the Marlins will have to spend money. They have made an agreement with major League baseball and the Players Union that they will spend a minimum number of dollars per season. In the past four years, the organization has never spent more than $36 million per season on payroll. They have already re-signed Josh Johnson and Dan Uggla and that is a good start. Right now, their expected payroll is about $45 million. Let’s hope they push $50 million and start to keep their younger players. Imagine if they were able to keep Miguel Cabrera, A.J Burnett, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell among others are former Marlins. Imagine that team is they were able to keep their core together……..

That is a good start. My new list starts immediately. Until that time, keep hitting it out of the park.

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