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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 18, 2009 at 12:31 PM

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I’m sitting at Phoenix Airport waiting to fly home. I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt, with my jacket packed. I should be OK when I get back to Seattle, right? I’m feeling pretty giddy right now because I’m A-17 on Southwest. Aisle, baby!

Not much time for a juicy post, but I thought I’d put up some links before boarding.

  • Just when you think A-Rod can’t be any more tone-deaf, he does something like this. Shockingly, his teammates can’t fathom what would make him take pictures like this. Perhaps he thought it would divert attention from his steroids mess. Hey, it’s working.

  • I’m sure no one was happier that Team USA pulled out a victory over Puerto Rico last night than Bud Selig. Having the U.S. in the final round of the World Baseball Classic will be very good for the WBC — even though it’s becoming crystal clear that this tournament is not quite as meaningful to the Americans as it is to the Latin and Asian teams. That’s not to say it’s not meaningful to them; the wild dogpile of David Wright last night attests to that. But the national pride seems to be manifesting itself with more intensity elsewhere, as was the case in 2006.

  • This story really through me for a loop: Aaron Boone is going to have open-heart surgery to replace an aortic valve. During the Bret Boone years, I talked a lot to Aaron, usually while doing features on Bret. He’s a great guy, much more low-key and less brash than his brother. Best of luck to him. It’s a similar procedure to the one that ex-Gonzaga basketballer Ronny Turiaf had, and Turiaf came back to play in the NBA. But at age 36, Boone knows this might be it for his baseball career. If so, he’ll always be remembered for his walk-off pennant winner for the Yankees against the Red Sox in 2003, but also as a consummate pro.

  • The Red Sox released backup catcher Josh Bard today. That has led to speculation a trade could be brewing, and as we all know, the Mariners are brimming with catchers. However, Boston GM Theo Epstein is saying that rookie George Kottaras will be Jason Varitek’s backup.

  • Pedro Martinez isn’t signing with the Astros after all. John Perrotto shows what a stand-up guy he is by admitting he blew it by reporting Martinez was headed to Houston.

  • I took in a Rangers’ game with my family in Surprise last week, and we sat in the outfield grass, right near center fielder Andruw Jones, who is fighting for his baseball life as a non-roster player for Texas. I was amazed how bad he looked in center field. He hit a home run that day against the Dodgers, and also drove one to the warning track. But Jones stumbled and fell down going back on a ball that in his prime he would have hauled in with ease, and he let what looked to me like a routine fly drop in front of him. It’s looking like Jones is not going to make the Rangers.

    Gotta board. Talk to you later.

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