First, a programming note. As TCM pointed out on Wednesday, the SweetSpot Roundup is going to be running on Tuesdays and Fridays until a) Spring Training starts up or b) we add a third day to the rotation. We'll see how it goes.
Now then, please welcome the newest blog on the SweetSpot Network, Ghost Runner on First, written by the much beloved Dickensian character Drew Fairservice, and representing the Toronto Blue Jays. Drew's first article as a member of the network is Reconsidering Lind, in which he dives deep into the mystery wrapped inside an enigma placed gently inside a paradox that was Lind's 2010 season, and concludes "Lind's team-friendly, option-heavy deal provides the front office enough rope to bide their time and fairly assess if Lind is the right fit for the Jays and the eventual playoff push. If a cheaper or better option presents itself, so be it. Players with Lind's type of pop don't fall out of trees, but they're hardly endangered species either." Congratulations, Drew! Welcome aboard.
Pro Ball NW (Mariners): First OFfseason Moves
"The most interesting facet of this, however, is the nine spots on the 40-man roster that are now open. How the team fills those, especially who they add to protect from the Rule 5 draft, will be very intriguing indeed."
Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Where Does Pitching Come From?
Really, I think Joey's parents should answer this question, don't you?
Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): 2011 Projection, Jed Lowrie
"Make no mistake about it; Jed Lowrie is going to be a nice piece to the 2011 Red Sox puzzle, but he is no savior and he may just have more question marks than answers at this point in his career."
Royals Authority: The Giant Blueprint
Hope can ultimately be a cruel thing: "Despite the differences in payroll ability, there are just a ton of similarities between the Giants and the Royals situation in Kansas City."
The Daily Fungo (Tigers): Anderson's Passing Sparks Memories Aplenty
"Since he was hired in 1979, Detroit has had many star coaches — Chuck Daly, Scotty Bowman, Steve Mariucci, Larry Brown, Jacques Demers — but none were brighter nor beloved more than the first." Rest in Peace, Sparky.
Nick's Twins Blog: Contemplating Thome
"Even though I'd support such a move, there's plenty of risk involved with dedicating a roster spot (and a sizable chunk of salary) to an aging slugger incapable of playing the field."
Sox Machine (White Sox): Gullen's saturation point, and Plan No. 12
Finally, we're going to hear from Ozzie Guillen. It's just hard to get that guy on the record about anything: "The roll-out for the Ozzie Guillen Internet King empire continues with OzzieGuillen.com, which will be ready by SoxFest on Jan. 21-23.... By carving out a brand name for himself, he’s going from a guy who didn’t care if he got attention to being a guy who gets attention because he needs it." For the record, I hope Ozzie gets his own TV network and Oprah style talk show.
It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Potential Trade Chip, Joba Chamberlain
I can't believe that Joba would bring enough back that the Yankees would consider moving him. He'd have to be part of a package.
Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Transaction Analysis: Roster Cleanup
The Braves picked up and didn't pick up a bunch of options on Thursday. Peter doesn't get why they're bringing Scott Proctor back.
The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): On to the Off-Season!
Chet throws out some off-season possibilities to think about.
Redleg Nation: RIP Sparky Anderson, 1934-2010
Collecting retrospectives on the beloved manager of the Big Red Machine.
Austin's Astros 290 Blog: What the Astros Can Learn from the Rangers, Parts III, IV and V
Austin has been studying the more successful cross-state brethren, and has some ideas. Part IV is a rather unusual (but good) one.
Dodger Thoughts: Davy Lopes, Dave Hansen enter the Dodger coaching discussion
"The Phillies have been great on the bases under Lopes' watch, and it's probably not all a coincidence. This could be one of those seemingly rare cases where a player has been able to translate his on-field skills into coaching."
Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): NL Central 2011 World Series Odds
The one lucky guy who has faith left has a BIG payday coming when the Pirates win it all this year.
Mets Today: Melvin and Jauss Begin the Proceedings
I don't know anything about this guy named Dave Jauss, but based on what I do know about Bob Melvin? You want Jauss, guys.
Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Dom Brown Needs 600 PA in 2011
"It seems like the platoon is a foregone conclusion. Why platoon Brown, the only prospect the Phillies have guarded, in his first full season in the big leagues? Why stifle his development?"
Ducksnorts (Padres): Half-Baked Thoughts on the World Series
"I am not looking forward to seeing the Giants come to town in 2011. I have friends who are Giants fans and who are very cool people. Unfortunately, the Giants fans I encounter at the ballpark tend to be less agreeable. I am concerned that a championship may make them downright unbearable."
Bay City Ball (Giants): Thank You
Appreciation for fellow fans following the big Series win.
Fungoes (Cardinals): Renteria saves best for last, but did he deserve MVP?
Well, did he? Pip doesn't think so. I'm not a huge fan of WPA, but you could certainly make a good case for Matt Cain.
Nationals Baseball: Dunn, the only man on the Nats with a glove.
No, he's not serious. " True, it wasn't terrible last year, but it could easily be terrible in 2011. But why have the Nats singled out replacing Adam Dunn as a cure for all their defensive woes?"