Tag:Carlos Santana
Posted on: May 27, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Breaking player slumps tough job for managers

By Matt Snyder

Just over a week after saying he would leave Adam Dunn in the three-hole, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has now dropped Dunn to seventh in the batting order. It's pretty tough to blame him, from a certain point of view.

Dunn is hitting .186 with an incredible 65 strikeouts in 156 at-bats. He's only hit five home runs. Even his traditionally-high on-base percentage is a sub-par .314.

The flip-side, however, is that Dunn has been one of the most consistent power hitters of the past decade. Scoff if you will -- there's a stigma that comes with Dunn because of his high-strikeout, low-batting average rates -- but here are his home run totals from the past seven seasons: 46, 40, 40, 40, 40, 38, 38. He reached 100 RBI in six of those seasons, his OBP was .381 and OPS was .914. He also never played less than 152 games in a season. That's a really productive offensive player.

So, if you're Guillen, you have to expect Dunn to start hitting well any day now. There's just no reason to believe he's cooked at 31. Sure, he switched leagues, but any drop off shouldn't have been this drastic. It's just that if you leave him in the third spot of the lineup and he continues to pump out four-strikeout games, it's killing your team.

This situation is a good illustration of a very tough job for managers. Figuring out how to approach a guy in a huge slump is a delicate business. No matter what action is taken, there are lots of possible negative consequences.

Lineup movement happens a lot. The Marlins have moved Hanley Ramirez to second. The Red Sox dropped Carl Crawford to eighth -- and he's absolutely going off this week, finally.

Sometimes the DH is used. The White Sox have started to play Adam Dunn at first more often, in case playing defense keeps him more into the game. On the opposite end, the Yankees have used Derek Jeter at DH three times.

Do you start benching the guy? The Indians started Carlos Santana behind the plate only once in the three-game series against the Red Sox. Sometimes that helps to clear a player's head, but sometimes he becomes worried the manager has lost confidence in him and becomes a headcase. Look at the Jorge Posada situation in New York.

What about doing things out of the ordinary, strategically? Getting the hit-and-run sign could help. If a hitter knows he has to swing at the pitch, there's a big hole in the infield and he ends up making good contact for a base hit, sometimes that's the only mental boost he needs. The Marlins made an interesting decision with Ramirez Tuesday night. With a four-run lead in the top of the ninth, they had him lay down a sacrifice bunt. I actually have no idea how this will help him break out of a slump, but I guess they're breaking out all the stops.

Or you could just leave the guy alone. Charlie Manuel essentially did this with Raul Ibanez. He rarely sat out and only bounced between fifth and sixth in the order. Now Ibanez has gotten hot after a pretty sizable slump.

Most any blogger will tell you that the managers should just relax and wait for a regression to the mean. I understand that, but it's pretty easily said for a guy behind a computer whose job doesn't depend on wins and losses. Each win is precious, and the managers need players like Crawford, Ramirez, Dunn, Jeter, Ibanez and Santana to hit the ball. The longer they go before breaking out of a slump, the more chances there are the team loses more games. The longer the managers stick with the struggling big hitter in a major lineup spot, the more risk there is of leaving the table-setters on base multiple times every game. Dropping the hitter in the lineup or benching him might mean missed opportunities to break out of the slump, too.

It's quite the juggling act, and there is no one proven method that maximizes results -- probably because the mentality of hitting a baseball is immeasurable. It's pretty difficult to blame managers for trying to be proactive instead of just sitting back. Not when their job is constantly on the line.

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Posted on: May 3, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Indians' hot start setting up for division race

Masterson

By Evan Brunell

With one day in the books in baseball's second month, the division leader of the AL Central has gotten off to a commanding 19-8 start, building up a 4 1/2 game lead over the second-place finisher.

Except second place is Kansas City, which is odd enough. Even odder is who is atop the Central in the Cleveland Indians, who are 9 1/2 and 10 games, respectively, ahead of the White Sox and Twins, the trendy picks to win the division in the offseason.

So far, the Indians' dominance is no fluke; they're tied with the Rangers for the AL lead in runs scored with 146 and also boast the league's third-best ERA. They're doing all this with the second-youngest roster in baseball with an average age of 27.8, and that number could get dragged down as the months go on if they promote top prospects Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis to man third and second, respectively.

How have the Indians pulled all this off with a roster that was projected to lose over 90 games?

Simply, the Indians have benefited from production out of left field that isn't going to hold up over the entire season. Justin Masterson, for example, is doing his best Derek Lowe impersonation and has rocketed off to a 2.25 ERA start, going 5-0. Another hot performer is Josh Tomlin, who has one less win than Masterson and has registered a 2.45 ERA.

"The biggest question mark," closer Chris Perez said of the Indians coming into the season to MLB.com, "was getting quality starts, [Nos.] 1-5, and we've done that."

But here's where red flags pop up. Masterson, if he has indeed finally learned how to neutralize left-handed batters, could have taken the next big leap forward toward becoming a top starter in the league. But even if he's taken that step, a 2.25 ERA just isn't sustainable and will backslide at least a full point. Tomlin, for his part, is due a serious regression shortly. Last season, he posted a 4.56 ERA and 4.76 xFIP in 12 starts. This year, those marks are at 2.45 and 4.02, respectively. While one may have to start buying into Tomlin as a solid starting pitcher despite an 87-mph fastball, any ERA under 4.00 means Tomlin is pitching over his head.

The outlook is rosier when you turn to the hitters. Travis Hafner's .342 average simply isn't sustainable, but he remains a quality bat while Asdrubal Cabrera has jumped out to a quick start along with Grady Sizemore. These performances are far more believable, and even if some hitters regress, it will be offset by the emergence of catcher Carlos Santana and right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo once those two kick into gear. Choo and Santana are both attempting to keep their OPS's above .700 when they should be breaking .800 without a sweat. That will happen by the end of the season.

"We're not putting godly statistics up there," backup outfielder Shelley Duncan said. "And we still have a couple guys who haven't really started hitting, and we still have some young guys who are going to get better and better."

Some of those young players include Matt LaPorta, a key player in the CC Sabathia trade way back in 2008. LaPorta has failed to live up to his billing so far, but may finally be ready to cobble together a quality season at age 26, already knocking out four homers and slashing .263/.344/.513.

So yeah, the offensive production of Cleveland looks like it will hold up well, but despite a strong bullpen to date, the starting pitching looks due for a serious regression. The offense will be able to cover that up to some degree, and Alex White could end up being the team's saving grace, but for now, that can't be assumed. Currently, the Indians shape up to be a team with a talent level that of a .500 ballclub or a shade under.

Here's the rub, though -- you can't backdate true talent. That 19-8 record is in the books and cannot be changed, period. Even if the Indians play to .500 caliber the rest of the way, you're looking at around 86 victories total. That's plenty enough to capture the AL Central the way things are going. Last season, the Twins took the division with 94 wins (and that's not happening again this year) while the White Sox took second with 88 victories.

Right there, it's clear Cleveland will contend into September unless they experience a sudden and massive decline back to being a 90-loss team, but that looks out the window at this point. In addition, if the Indians are in the hunt in late July, you have to figure the club will be buyers in the trade market and could supplement the team that much more.

"Everything's really falling into place for us, if you look at it," Perez said. "It's there for the taking, but it's not going to be easy. ... It might be one of those five-team races where nobody is really leading the pack. That's why it's nice coming out to this great start, because if we do stub our toe, we could still be there.

"That's all we can ask for is to have a chance."

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 1:22 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Walk-off slam

Carlos Santana
By C. Trent Rosecrans

3UP

Carlos Santana, Indians -- With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth with one out and the bases loaded, Santana only need a fly ball to win the game for the Indians. He hit a fly ball all right, one that went 352 feet into the stands in right field for the walk-off grand slam.

Jarrod Dyson, Royals -- Dyson didn't even have a plate appearance, but his speed was the difference in the Royals' Friday night 5-4 victory over the Twins. Dyson entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning and immediately made a difference. He stole second, and when Drew Butera's throw went into center field, Wilson Betemit scored from third and Dyson went to third. With one out, Yunel Escobar hit a soft liner to shallow left field, which Twins shortstop Alexi Casilla caught, but Dyson tagged up and beat the throw home easily, scoring the winning run.

Jason Vargas, Mariners -- Seattle's left-hander broke a 13-game winless streak by pitching seven innings in Boston on Friday. Varagas allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks, while Seattle won its fourth straight game in its six-game road trip.

3DOWN

Travis Wood, Reds -- With Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey getting close to returning to the Reds' rotation, left-hander Travis Wood may have been pitching for his big-league life on Friday. How'd that go? Well, Louisville's nice this time of year. Wood allowed five first-inning runs to the Marlins in Cincinnati's 7-6 loss to Florida. Wood lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

David Price, Rays -- Allowed a career-high 12 hits in just 4 1/3 innings in an 8-5 loss to the Angels. Price allowed five runs and walked one, striking out four. Angels rookie first baseman had an RBI single and a two-run homer off of Price, 

Bobby Jenks, Red Sox -- The former White Sox closer gave up a walk, a single and a pair of doubles to Chone Figgins and Jack Cust to pick up the loss for the Red Sox. Jenks has allowed nine runs, eight earned, in his last 4 1/3 innings.

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Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: April 13, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Pepper: Huston Street off to fast start

Street

By Evan Brunell

HOT HUSTON: The Rockies have zipped out to a 7-2 start, and closer Huston Street has nailed down five of those victories. The early success has enabled Colorado and Street to put aside a frustrating 2010 season. Meanwhile, Street is reaching milestones in Colorado as he ranks third on the franchise list for total saves, but also tops the list in save percentage.

Part of Street's success -- no blown saves this season -- has to do with his changeup, which wasn't really a factor last year.

"A lot of it has to do with the weapons that [Street] has available to him when he has hitters in counts that he wants to get them into," manager Jim Tracy said. "It's a combination of two things, actually. His put-away pitches are there where we saw them in the past. That's No. 1. And No. 2, the fact that his ball is doing exactly what he wants it to do. I'm throwing it here, it goes there. That is what makes him so special. When the guy is right, he can thread needles. That's exactly what he's been doing these last few times out. The performance in Pittsburgh the other night, when he threw three innings and threw only 27 pitches, is indicative."

Street feels this season has gone perfectly so far. While he'd always be confident, the road's been a bit easier in the early going as he hasn't really had a roadblock put in his way so far.

"You always carry confidence out there. You always expect to get the job done," he said. "It's frustrating when you don't. It's more so when you're not executing because of mechanics or a lack of a feel for a pitch at a certain time. I felt that this year I had the perfect Spring Training. No setbacks, just gradually build, turn up the velocity and the intensity, and it's allowed me to develop all three pitches nicely. At the same time you've got to go out and execute, and I've been making some good pitches, and I've had some good plays behind me to help out in some big spots. It's a team game and we're winning as a team." (MLB.com)

BASEBALL TODAY: Josh Hamilton is injured again, the Red Sox lose again and the Orioles get a big early season test. Tony Lee of NESN.com joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the latest.

BACK OFF: Manager Ozzie Guillen isn't happy about the hometown fans giving mock cheers to White Sox outfielders for catching balls hit to them. Hey, after five flubs so far in the early going, can you really blame them? (Chicago Tribune)

JUST WIN, BABY: Jayson Werth knows how it works. After bashing a home run against his former team to lead Washington to victory, Werth spoke about how important it is for the Nats to beat the Phillies -- and really, everyone else. Winning will change the culture and bring fans to the ballpark. Doesn't take a mad scientist to figure that out, but at least Werth has the right mentality after signing his lucrative contract. (MASN)

A LEGEND GROWS: Sam Fuld's incredible night Monday was not lost on the masses, who propelled him to Twitter stardom. ESPN even came calling for a couple interviews after he stroked four extra-base hits to catch everyone's attention. The outfielder came back down to earth in Tuesday's game, but his name is already out there. (St. Petersburg Times)

POWER: Justin Upton flashed some power in Tuesday's game by blasting a 478-foot home run against the Cardinals. (Matthew Leach on Twitter)

SWITCHING IT UP: Aubrey Huff and Brandon Belt could be switching positions, with Huff returning to his more familiar first base while Belt takes a crack at right. Manager Bruce Bochy has been displeased with the team's defense. But what do you expect when you play a first baseman out of position in right and a DH (Pat Burrell) in left? (MLB.com)

MORE BEER: There is a second outdoor beer garden opening a couple blocks from Nationals Park. Hey, fans need a nice stiff drink before watching a team that could lose 90 games, right? (MASN)

LONGORIA PROGRESSING: Evan Longoria has experienced no setbacks in his recovery from a strained left oblique. He'll need a few rehab games but should be able to return on schedule at the end of the month. (MLB.com)

ONLY JAPAN: Ever had to try to hit a pitch thrown by someone in midair after jumping off a trampoline? Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi had to deal with this on a trip to Japan a while back. (Fangraphs)

THANKS, CARLOS: If Indians pitchers want to thank someone for their early suggest, manager Manny Acta suggests thanking catcher Carlos Santana. Acta praised Santana's game-calling in the early going and believes getting the additional work now and seeing more teams and players that he wasn't familiar with is really helping his progression. (MLB.com)

BLAME THE JERSEY? A Pittsburgh sports columnist recently wrote an article centered around Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was critically beaten at the hands of two Dodger fans. The two takeaways from the articles? Adults wearing sports jerseys are creepy and weird, and Stow basically had it coming. Big League Stew rightfully excoriates the article. (Big League Stew)

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Indians turn 3

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana got his first start at first base on Sunday and he already has a highlight-reel for the ages -- turning a triple play in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the White Sox.

With runners on first and second and no outs, Chicago's Alexi Ramirez tried to lay down a bunt, but hit more of a short liner. Santana, charging in from first, dove to make the catch and then doubled up the runner by throwing to a covering Orlando Cabrera to force A.J. Pierzynski at first. Cabrera then went to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to triple up Carlos Quentin.

It was the Indians' first triple play since 2008 against the Blue Jays, when Asdrubal Cabrera had an unassisted triple play as a second baseman.

The White Sox hadn't hit into a triple play since 1978, when the Blue Jays tripled up the White Sox.

Video of the play can be seen here.

Santana was 2 for 4 at the plate, as well, in a 7-1 Indians victory.

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Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Pepper: Rites of spring


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Every spring we get excited and pick winners for every division, count out teams, give a couple of other teams a free ride to the World Series and then sit back and are surprised when it doesn't happen.

The thing is, in baseball and in life, things change quickly and can change drastically.

Since the start of spring training games -- a little less than two weeks -- we've seen the Cardinals and Brewers lose some of their luster in the NL Central and the Phillies go from 110 wins to a struggling offense. We've even seen Carlos Zambrano be the calm, collected, sane member of the Cubs staff.

It's a rite of spring to project and to then react and overreact to anything we see on the field in these four weeks of meaningless games. And even when meaningful games start, there's enough time for injuries to happen, players to return and players to emerge to really know what's going to happen at the end.

And that's the fun of it. We don't know. You never know.

Sure, we can all expect a Red Sox-Phillies World Series, but there's no guarantee that'll happen. But if it does, I guarantee the road there will be completely different than we all imagined. And that's why this game is so great. You just never know, even if you think you know.

FEELING 'HITTERISH': Nationals über-prospect Bryce Harper has been nearly as entertaining off the field as on it, as he coin a new term on Wednesday.

From the Washington Post:

"I feel really confident in myself. There's guys who are going to come after you. I want to hit right now. I'm feeling hitterish. I'm trying to go up there and get some hacks in. I'm not going to be here for a long time. I want to try to go up there and get my hits in."

So, what's the definition of "hitterish" Adam Kilgore asked?

"You wake up in the morning, and you're feeling hitterish, you're going to get a hit that day," Harper said. "That's what it is. If you get a hit every day, you're feeling hitterish, for sure. Wake and rake."

Harper had an RBI single in his only at-bat on Wednesday and is hitting .357 this spring (in 14 at-bats).

BELTRAN BETTER: Carlos Beltran won't play in a Grapefruit League until next week, but he does feel "a lot better" and has not been "shut down." He took batting practice and played catch on Wednesday.

The Mets are looking at Willie Harris and Scott Hairston in right field if Beltran can't go, and are also giving Lucas Duda extra work in right field to prepare him to play there if needed. (New York Daily News)

GARLAND GROUNDED: Dodgers starter Jon Garland is expected to start the season on the disabled list after leaving Wednesday's game with a  strained oblique muscle on his left side. He had an MRI on Wednesday and the team is expected to announce the results today.

The team has already lost starter Vicente Padilla for at least the first month of the season after surgery to repair a nerve below his right elbow.

The injuries mean the once-pitching rich Dodgers are down to four starters, although the team won't need a fifth starter until April 12. John Ely and Tim Redding would likely be candidates if Garland and Padilla are still sidelined. (Los Angeles Times)

GOOD ADVICE: Maybe the Dodgers could get that old guy to take the mound -- the one working with Ted Lilly on Wednesday. That guy was Sandy Koufax.

"He still loves to watch baseball, loves the art of pitching," Lilly told MLB.com. "You know he was great. But he's also smart, he's passionate about pitching, he understands and sees things. Sometimes they are little things.

"I enjoy learning about baseball and talking about it with someone like Sandy Koufax, and I enjoy talking about it with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley and Jon Garland. There are always ways to move forward, even if they are small."

ZOOM GROUNDED: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is planning his bullpen to start the season without Joel Zumaya, who has been sidelined with pain in his surgically repaired right elbow this spring.

"I don't think right now, from within camp or by trade, that you can replace a healthy Joel Zumaya -- and I emphasize a healthy  Joel Zumaya," Leyland told MLB.com. "So you have to just keep looking and try to come up with somebody, mostly from within."

The Tigers did go out and spend a lot of money on a set-up man, Joaquin Benoit, so the path leading up to closer Jose Valverde isn't barren. Ryan Perry is expected to handle seventh-inning duties, which he was expected to shoulder with Zumaya.

SALAZAR IMPROVING: Several Braves players said they feared for the worst after minor league manager Luis Salazar was hit in the face by a foul ball on Wednesday. 

"A ball hit that hard, at that short a distance, can certainly kill somebody if it hits them in the right spot," Chipper Jones told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm so glad to hear that he's conscious and breathing on his own."

Salazar was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Brian McCann and was airlifted to an Orlando hospital. MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports Salazar suffered multiple facial fractures, but did not suffer any brain damage. He was able to interact with family members later Wednesday night.

D-BACKS COACH BREAKS FOOT: While not nearly as serious as Salazar's injury, the timing does take away several light-hearted remarks I could make, but Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams may miss the beginning of the regular season with a broken foot.

Williams took a line drive off the foot while throwing soft toss to his son, Jake, on Monday. He's expected to miss two-to-three weeks. (Arizona Republic)

FIRST AT FIRST: Indians catcher Carlos Santana played his first-ever professional game at first base on Wednesday.

Santana cleanly fielded all nine chances he got at first and also had a double in the Indians' 9-2 loss to the Padres.

The Indians are searching for ways to keep his bat in the lineup and keep the young catcher healthy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PILING ON: A New York  storage company is joining in on making jokes about the city's easiest target -- the Mets.

In an ad on the city's subways for Manhattan Mini Storage, it says, "Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets?" (New York Times)

WHEN HIDEKI MET RICKY: New A's slugger Hideki Matsui has connected with team icon Rickey Henderson, whom Matsui admired growing up in Japan -- and the feeling is mutual. (MLB.com)

HIGH PRAISE: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says 19-year-old left-hander Manny Banuelos is the best pitching prospect he's ever seen.

"I like everything about him," Rivera told ESPNNewYork.com. "The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitchers, he has the ability to do that."

WHITE RETIRES: Former West Virginia and Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White has retired from baseball.

After White was released by the Dolphins last September, White signed a minor-league contract with the Royals and played in the Fall Instructional League. On Wednesday, the team said White did not report to spring training.

The Dolphins drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft. He was also drafted by the Angels, Reds and Yankees. (Associated Press)

RISING WATER: It's been raining here in Cincinnati, but check out just how much -- this photo from Reds assistant media relations director Jamie Ramsey gives you a big-picture view of just how high the water is on the banks of the Ohio River.

He adds another picture of flood gates set up around Great American Ball Park. (Better Off Red)


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Posted on: February 18, 2011 9:53 am
 

Morning Pepper: Cabrera concern

Miguel Cabrera
Some things are more important than baseball. Miguel Cabrera's life is one of those things.

For the second time in his career, Cabrera's alcohol abuse has become a public issue. The first was at the end of a season, this time it's at the beginning.

Cabrera underwent counseling after the 2009 season and his incident with his wife at their home. He rebounded with the greatest season of his young career in 2010, but then came Wednesday's arrest for DUI in Florida.

Now is the time for the Tigers to worry about Cabrera, not the 2011 season. Cabrera needs professional help right now, and if he needs to miss all of spring training or even part of the regular season, so be it.

The team is apparently doing due diligence in Cabrera's fate, which is not only the right thing to do for the person, it's also the best thing to do as a business. Cabrera is 27 and has the prime years of his career ahead of him. He's also signed through 2015 (at $20 million or more per season from now throughout he end of the contract), so his problem is the Tigers' problem.

It's a sad tale, and hopefully has a happy ending. That ending doesn't necessarily have to do with baseball, but Cabrera's well-being and the rest of his life.

WORST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE?: Even thought he cliches about "best shape of his life" spring training stories have become cliche, but no need to wear that meme out with Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

Alvarez "clearly looks bulkier," the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel writes . Clint Hurdle says he's just "big-boned."

MEET THE BENCH: Cubs manager Mike Quade said he'll consider pulling left fielder Alfonso Soriano late in games. (Chicago Tribune )

SAFETY FIRST: Carlos Santana will play some first base this spring, hoping to keep his bat in the lineup and give his legs a break from catching.

Santana said he played third and the outfield in the Dodgers system and expects the move to be relatively easy.

The Indians did the same thing with Victor Martinez before they traded him to Bosoton. (Cleveland Plain Dealer )

ROSTER MOVE: In one of the more striking roster moves of the season, the Orioles have placed Alfredo Simon on the restricted list to make room on their roster for Vladimir Guerrero, whose signing became official today.

Simon is in jail in the Dominican Republic as the prime suspect in a fatal shooting. (Baltimore Sun )

ARBITRATION DATE: Astros outfielder Hunter Pence is headed to an arbitration hearing today in Phoenix.

Pence will make either $6.9 million if he wins his case, $5.15 million if he loses it. I wouldn't mind losing like that.

OPENING A'S: Oakland manager Bob Geren won't make a decision about his opening-day starter until later in spring training. It's likely between Trevor Cahill, Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson. (San Francisco Chronicle )

LEAGUE LEADERS: The Mariners may not lead the league in much, but their bullpen could lead the league in tattoos.

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times talks to relievers Brandon League and Justin Miller about their tattoos.

Baker also has a story about the ol' days when players had to have off-season jobs.

MUST READ: Sean Kirst of the Syracuse Post-Standard writes about Jacob Francis   the first African-American umpire. Francis umpired an exhibition game between the Syracuse Stars and the Proivdence Grays in 1885. He may have also been a neighbor of Moses Fleetwood Walker.

TODAY IN HISTORY: Feb. 18, 1944, the Reds signed 15-year old Joe Nuxhall to a major-league contract. Nuxhall was in uniform on opening day, but didn't appear in a game until June 10, 1944. Eight years later, he'd start his big-league career in earnest, pitching until 1966.

TODAY'S TIMEWASTER: Seamheads.com has this amazing ballpark database. Go there only if you don't have plans for the next hour.

BROWSER SWITCH?: I tried out Google's Chrome browser, but didn't have much luck with it, so I stuck with Firefox. However, the newest feature may get me to switch -- a personal blacklist can remove sites from Google search results .

BAD NEWS: Giordano's filed for bankruptcy .

GOOD NEWS: Radiohead's releasing the digital version of its new album a day early , so if, like me, you've already ordered it, you should get it today.

VAN LENNON: A Jump-Imagine mashup for your enjoyment.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 27, 2011 10:59 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 1:21 am
 

Indians GM says Sizemore, Carmona won't be traded

Grady Sizemore Indians general manager Chris Antonetti has had a blanket policy of not commenting on rumors -- except this one.

"This one time, I will comment on it. We have not had a single discussion about potentially trading Grady Sizemore," Antonetti told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "Now, there are teams that call us all the time to ask about our players -- that's just the nature of the business.

"They'll ask about almost everyone on our roster at different points in the offseason, but I can tell you at no point have we contemplated trading Grady, and we have no intention of trading Fausto [Carmona], either."

Earlier this week, MASNsports.com reported the Indians and Nationals have had "conversations" about sending Sizemore and Carmona to Washington.

"If you want to create another buzz, just go home and log in and say that you heard we're going to trade Jason Kipnis for Derek Jeter," Indians manager Manny Acta said.

That's not likely to happen, either.

That's not to say Sizemore will be in an Indians uniform on opening day. Sizemore is trying to come back from microfracture surgery on his left knee. Antonetti said the team is still hopeful Sizemore will be ready to play in spring training games by mid-March and hopefully ready for opening day. He played in just 139 games in the last two seasons.

Antonetti said catcher Carlos Santana is ahead of Sizemore in his rehab and expects him to be ready for opening day.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com