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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

March 4, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Hot links

  • Here’s a great story by Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News, in which a former major-league pitcher, unnamed, tells his steroids story. There’s some great insight into what makes players juice up, and how they do it. And you can’t help but try to figure out who the player is. I have some ideas, but it would be unfair to speculate, because I’m not completely sure.

  • I’m really pulling for Dontrelle Willis to make it back, and here, finally, is an encouraging development. I thought Willis was a great breath of fresh air when he burst upon the scene with the Marlins, and it’s been sad to see him completely fall apart. After the Tigers gave him a three-year, $29-million contract extension last December — which could go down as one of the worst deals ever unless Willis turns things around — Willis had a 9.38 ERA in eight games (seven starts) last year. He simply lost all command, walking 35 in 24 innings. Opponents hit just .209 off him, so there’s a bit of hope.

  • The A’s are on the verge of signing Nomar Garciaparra. That’s after landing Orlando Cabrera earlier in the week. Looks like it’s time for Bobby Crosby to move elsewhere. I’ll go into this in more detail later, but I think Billy Beane has done his usual outstanding job in re-tooling the A’s. Don’t forget — they also landed Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi to go with an awful lot of good, young talent. I’m still picking the Angels, but I think the A’s will contend.

  • A real shocker — it appears to be official that Manny Ramirez is going back to the Dodgers. Yawn. It took a lot of posturing by both sides to get done the deal that was self-evident way back in November.

  • How’s A-Rod’s year going so far? Now he might miss the WBC because of a cyst in his hip.

  • Apparently, Tony LaCava won’t be the Washington Nationals’ GM after all. Looks like Mike Rizzo, Jim Bowden’s assistant, will be running the show. This is the guy that masterminded the successful drafts of the Arizona Diamondbacks that built and rebuilt their team, so don’t think that Stephen Strasburg is going to sneak past him. I repeat: No way the Nats let Strasburg go if he’s healthy.

  • Johan Santana still thinks he can pitch Opening Day. In just a few short days, this story has gone from a major crisis for the Mets to Santana looking like he’s going to get through this without a major issue.

  • Of course, check out the great Mariners’ coverage in the Seattle Times — a piece on Matt Tuiasosopo by Bob Condotta, and on Chris Woodward by Steve Kelley.

    I’m heading to the desert this evening, and I’ll be manning the Geoff Baker blog tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop some nuggets here as well.

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