If the San Diego Padres trade ace right-hander Jake Peavy, as they are expected to do as early as this week, it could mean the end of the ace's availability for Team USA in next spring's World Baseball Classic.
Peavy has filed the necessary paperwork to play, according to Barry Axelrod, his agent. But Axelrod, who opposed the right-hander's participation in the '06 WBC for protective reasons, indicated that he again will try to talk Peavy out of playing -- especially if he's traded. Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs remain the front-runners to acquire him, according to multiple sources.
"If I'm his new team, I'd say, 'You know, we kind of need you in camp with us,'" Axelrod said.
Peavy pitched for Team USA in 2006 and absolutely loved the whole thing -- the competition, the patriotism, the camaraderie with some of the game's best players. He developed good friendships with Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter, among others.
But he also battled elbow tendinitis as the '06 regular season wore on and told me at the time that he thought the extra WBC work was the major contributing factor. His 4.09 ERA that summer was the second-worst of his career over six full major-league seasons.
"I was strongly opposed to him participating last time for that very reason," Axelrod said. "I thought it might make for a very long season. ... Jake had a tough time physically that season, as did others."
If he participates, Peavy would have to report to spring training on Feb. 14 -- a week before other, non-WBC-playing players -- and then he would report to the WBC training camp on March 1 and not return to his team -- the Padres or someone else -- until March 24 at the earlier.
"That's 3 1/2 weeks away from camp, and then 10 days to get ready for opening day," Axelrod said. "I think it's a rougher schedule than last time."
So far, Peavy has been intent on making himself available for the WBC.
"When I tried to make the case (against), he wouldn't let me get the sentence out of my mouth," Axelrod said. "He said it was one of his great life experiences, having 'USA' across his chest. I told him, 'I know what you think, but if you ask me. ...'"
Axelrod, though, said he and Peavy last spoke about the WBC before the trade talks started that appear to have him earmarked somewhere other than San Diego for 2009 and that they have not revisited the subject since.
"That's Jake's call," Axelrod said. "I don't know where his head would be on that. He may say, 'Hey, if I'm with a new team, I owe it to them to be there.' Or he may say, 'It's a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I want to be involved.'"
Likes: It's on to the third round of the Michigan high school playoffs for the Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central football team, who will host Manchester on Friday evening at Navarre Field. The Falcons knocked off Madison Heights Bishop Foley in a 34-29 thriller on Friday and were rewarded with a third home playoff game. Congratulations to Coach Jack Giarmo and the boys, and go get 'em Friday. ... Just finished a fabulous book, The Nightingale's Song, by Robert Timberg. The author traces the lives of five Naval Academy grads -- John McCain, Oliver North, Robert McFarlane, James Webb and John Poindexter -- weaving the threads together through the Navy years, Vietnam and on through the Reagan Administration, studying how their background at the Academy helped set the stage for their lives. Fabulous work by Timberg -- whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.
Dislikes: More federal money for insurance giant AIG even after their executives held a retreat here after they received a $70 million bailout from the government in September. The excess makes you sick. They should deduct the cost of the resort retreat from the bailout, at the very least.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Come gather 'round people
"Wherever you roam
"And admit that the waters
"Around you have grown
"And accept it that soon
"You'll be drenched to the bone.
"If your time to you
"Is worth savin'
"Then you better start swimmin'
"Or you'll sink like a stone
"For the times they are a-changin'"
-- Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin'