Tag:Scott Boras
Posted on: August 8, 2011 8:38 am
 

Pepper: McKeon supports replay



By Matt Snyder


The instant replay debate in baseball will likely never go away, so long as umpires continue to miss close calls (which is inevitable) and it's not expanded as much as it is in, say, football (which it never will be). While fans of all ages differ on the subject, one thing I think is generally true is that people against expanding replay are older and people for expanding replay are younger. There are obvious outliers, but the age divide makes sense.

Then again, baseball's oldest manager since Connie Mack -- who was born during the Civil War and was managing in 1950, by the way -- wants to expand it. Marlins' skipper Jack McKeon, 80, actually believes Major League Baseball should use instant replay more often. The trigger point was an umpire ruling Saturday night that a Mike Stanton catch was actually not a catch -- replays were pretty definitive that Stanton made the catch. Albert Pujols followed with a two-run home run and the Cardinals ended up winning 2-1.

"We all thought he caught it. Like I told the umpires, 'You've got four guys out here and four guys can't see it.' Maybe that's another reason why we should have instant replay," McKeon said (MLB.com). "No question it's the difference in the ballgame. You're not going to criticize the umpires, because it's a tough job, but on the other hand, we've got to get these calls right."

I agree 100 percent. I just don't understand why there's technology available and baseball refuses to use it to improve the game.

Heat sidelines umpire: Home-plate umpire Paul Nauert was unable to finish the Cubs-Reds game Sunday, as the heat knocked him out after 7 1/2 innings (MLB.com). I'm not sure what the answer is, but in these dog-days-of-summer day games, the ump with all the gear on behind the plate is the one who never gets a break. The catchers each get a chance to recharge their batteries in the dugout every half-inning. Meanwhile, the umpires just get a quick break between half-innings. Let's hope it doesn't take a death before we find some way to better protect the guy behind the dish.

Course reversal: A few days ago, the Angels announced they were going to honor Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter when the Yankees visited Anaheim later this season. Apparently, enough complaints arrived to change the minds of Angels' brass, because now they're saying there are "no plans" to honor Jeter. (OC Register)

Leyland responds to complaint: Jim Leyland received what he described as a "brutal" letter from a fan. So he reached out to the fan and had a good conversation, which even culminated with the fan and his family receiving tickets to a game from Leyland. It's a credit to what a good guy Leyland is, but the story is actually quite aggravating when you go deeper into it. The fan's complaints were that his kid didn't get to meet any players or run the bases, due to the circumstances of the day. In fairness, the fan did say he was "embarrassed" to accept the tickets from Leyland because he was rewarded for bad behavior. Yep. So, basically, the letter was exactly the type of thing he should be teaching his son to avoid doing, and he was rewarded for it. (Big League Stew)

Boras impact: Is Scott Boras the key to the Royals' possibly bright future? The super-agent is still negotiating for his client -- first-round draft pick Bubba Starling -- to sign with the Royals and holds a lot of other power with the Royals, and every team in the bigs for that matter. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star has a long, detailed look at Boras. It's a highly-recommended read.

Memorable first homer: Well, more memorable than usual. A major-leaguer's first home run is always likely one of his fondest memories when he reflects back on his career. Trayvon Robinson of the Mariners, however, had one he certainly won't be forgetting any time soon ... because he stopped at second base. Robinson said he thought the ball bounced over the fence. He's likely to be subject to playful mockery from teammates for much of the near future for a gaffe like that, but it could obviously have been much worse. He still hit a home run. (MLB.com)

Zito's rehab start: Injured Giants starter Barry Zito will take his first rehab start Monday afternoon in San Jose and is expected to throw four or five innings (MLB.com). Take your time, Barry. It's doubtful the Giants will have an open rotation spot when you get back.

He's strong: Mark Reynolds might be a butcher with the glove and strikeout a ton, but, man, does he have power. Sunday, he uncorked the sixth-longest home run in the history of Camden Yards -- 450 feet. Darryl Strawberry hit one 465 feet in 1998 to top the list. (School of Roch)

Moneybags, meet Uber-Moneybags: It's no secret most big-league baseball players are pretty rich. Sunday, the Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz met a man who wipes the sweat off his brow with what they make. Carlos Slim was in the Red Sox locker room before their game. Slim is the richest man in the world, as he's worth a reported $64 billion. Yes, 64 billion dollars. (Boston.com)

It's just one baseball: A foul ball went into a trash can at Tropicana Field Saturday night, but that didn't stop a pair of fans for sifting through the trash to find it. While I think it would be cool to catch a ball at a game, I just don't understand the lengths people go to get one. I mean, watch the video on MLB.com. Two dudes dive in head first and even get into a minor fight. Really, guys? Really? (Big League Stew)

Happy Anniversary: On this day 23 years ago, Wrigley Field finally caught up with the rest of baseball and played a night game. It's pretty easy to remember, being 8/8/88 and all. Still worth a mention.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Report: K-Rod vesting option waived

By Matt Snyder

Francisco Rodriguez is now likely the Brewers full-time closer. When the Brewers traded for K-Rod earlier this week, the obvious notion was that he was unable to be the full-time closer due to his contract. Rodriguez had an option that would vest for $17.5 million for next season if he finished 55 games in 2010. There's no way the Brewers were going to have that burden, but now it doesn't matter. K-Rod has waived the vesting option for additional compensation, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler had noted this could happen, as K-Rod's new agent Scott Boras likes the idea of having the best available closer on the free agent market.

Rodriguez, 29, has converted 23 of 26 saves this season and has a 3.16 ERA. It's very probable he'll take over as the full-time closer for the Brewers now that the vesting option is off the table. He'll replace John Axford. Axford has converted 23 of 25 save chances and has a 2.83 ERA. The duo gives the Brewers a pretty formidable 1-2 punch at the back-end of the bullpen.

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Pepper: @DatDudeBP leads MLB tweeters

By C. Trent Rosecrans



BASEBALL TODAY:
CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about Derek Jeter, but also notes these games against the Yankees are not just big for Jeter's chase of 3,000 but also vital for the Rays. There's also the Braves-Phillies series, but Danny points out why that may not be as big of a series.

TWITTER 140: Our own @JamesonFleming put together the sports world's top 140 Twitter users and the Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) comes in as baseball's best Twitter user.

Phillips didn't start using Twitter until this offseason, but has embraced the technology, holding contests for fans and also taking suggestions on restaurants and off-day activities. Earlier this season, a teen asked Phillips to come to his baseball game on a day the Reds were off, and Phillips stopped by. He also sent a pair fans to spring training and then another pair to San Francisco for the Reds' games at AT&T Park.

He has even won over some Cardinals fans, an amazing feat considering Cardinal nation's distaste for the Reds second baseman, who last year used not-so-nice words to describe Tony La Russa's club.

Florida's Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) is fourth on the list and the second baseball player. Brewers closer John Axford (@JohnAxford) is the third MLB player in the Top 10.

LAST ONE THE TOUGHEST: George Brett told the Associated Press he thought the last hit would be the toughest for Derek Jeter in his quest for 3,000. Of course, Brett reached the mark with a four-hit game. Brett also said he wasn't sure how many more players would reach the milestone.

"Is that desire still going to be there when they're worth $250 million when they're 37 years old?" Brett said.

GOTTA BE THE SHOES: Jeter will be wearing special shoes for his 3,000th hit, and you can get a matching pair. Yahoo!'s Big League Stew has all the details on the details of the shoes.

JETER'S BALLS: One more Jeter entry -- a look at the special baseballs that MLB will use to try to track Jeter's 3,000th hit. [BizofBaseball.com]

CARDS LOCK UP GARCIA?: There are reports from the radio station partially owned by the Cardinals that say the team has reached a four-year deal with two option years with left-hander Jaime Garcia. The deal would cover all three arbitration years and one year of free agency for the 25-year-old Garcia. He's 8-3 this season with a 3.23 ERA and is 22-12 with a  3.07 ERA in his career. [MLB.com]

HARPER STILL TOPS: Baseball America released its Midseason Top 50 Prospects List, and the Nationals' Bryce Harper leads the list, followed by Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Rays' lefty Matt Moore.

ALL-STAR SWITCH: Royals right-hander Aaron Crow may have made the All-Star team as a reliever, but Kansas City manager Ned Yost sees the team's former first-rounder as a starter down the line, as soon as next spring. [MLB.com]

DOCTOR MAY NAME NAMES: Canadian Dr. Anthony Galea has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States to treat athletes, and he may be pressed to give the names of athletes he treated and gave illegal drugs. Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran of the Mets are among the players who have been treated by Galea in the past. [New York Times]

BORAS SPEAKS AT SABR: Super-agent Scott Boras talked of his love of baseball at the Society for American Baseball Research's annual conference on Thursday. Boras talked about his first superstar -- a cow on his family's farm. [Orange County Register]

SCHILLING TALKS PEDS: Former All-Star Curt Schilling went on a Philadelphia radio station Wednesday and said that no "team in the last 20 years that's won clean." Schilling said he thinks the recent decline in offensive numbers are because of MLB's testing policies. [SportsRadioInterviews.com]

NO TAPE MEASURE NEEDED: Ever wonder how they calculate home-run distances so quickly? There's a chart, of course, but how is that chart made? Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has that story.

CRADLE OF MANAGERS: The Kansas City A's didn't produce a lot of wins, but they did produce their fair share of managers. Tommy Lasorda, Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog, Joe Morgan (not the Hall of Famer, but the former Red Sox manager), Dick Williams, Hank Bauer, Dick Howser and Tony La Russa all played for the A's in KC. Two of the game's more successful coaches, Dave Duncan and Charlie Lau, also played for the A's during their stint in Kansas City. [Joe Posnanski]

SLUGGER EMPATHY: Twins designated hitter Jim Thome said it wasn't his place to comment on Adam Dunn's struggles, but said he did empathize with the struggling Chicago DH. "As a guy who swings and misses and has struck out a ton, it's hard," Thome told the Chicago Tribune. "When you can have success and are blessed to play a long time and [then go through] those periods, it's tough."

NO STARS FOR ALL-STARS: Major League Baseball has added stars to the uniforms of All-Stars, but apparently the designations are purely optional, as the Cardinals' three All-Stars declined to take part to keep their uniforms uniform. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

STARLING UNDECIDED: The Royals took a gamble when they picked prep outfielder Bubba Starling with the fifth overall pick in last month's draft, as Starling is also a top-flight quarterback committed to Nebraska. Starling told the Kansas City Star he hasn't decided whether he's going to play football for Nebraska or sign with the Royals for millions of dollars. Starling said he's going to Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday and will work out with the team, but won't enroll in classes for the summer.

SAVES RECORD: You need more evidence they keep stats for everything? Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has set the record for most first-half saves by a rookie. Kimbrel's 27th save Thursday broke the record of 26 set by Boston's Jonathan Papelbon in 2006. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

LAWRIE PROGRESSING: Just before he was scheduled to be called up in May, Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie suffered a broken hand after being hit by a pitch. Lawrie began hitting off a tee earlier this week, and he's improving. The team doesn't expect him to be able to play in games until August. [MLB.com]

ROYAL SHAME: The Royals have once again taken the cheap route in their tribute to the Nergro Leagues, ditching the vintage uniforms. While there are many good signs for the Royals' future, this is a reminder that David Glass is still the owner. [Kansas City Star]

MYTHBUSTER: Scientists are using a lab at Washington State to measure some baseball physics. Among the findings, corked bats don't work, humidors do, and the balls from 2004 performed the same as a ball from the late 70s. [Popular Mechanics]

REMEMBERING BUDDIN: Former Red Sox shortstop Dan Buddin died last week. He's remembered mostly for not being very good -- he averaged 30 errors a year and didn't hit very well, either. A really good remembrance by FanGraphs.com's Alex Remington on the man Boston booed.

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 4:47 pm
 

'No chance' Reyes leaving his agent for Boras

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jose ReyesYesterday there was some consternation among Mets fans and those who see Scott Boras as evil because, as FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports, Boras had spoken with New York shortstop Jose Reyes.

Reyes is represented by Peter Greenberg and last year Rafael Soriano switched from Greenberg to Boras and got a three-year, $35-million deal to set-up for Mariano Rivera. With Reyes eligible to enter free agency this offseason, speculation ran wild.

Saturday, Reyes told Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal that there's "no chance" he's leaving Greenberg (via Twitter). Reyes said he talked with Boras twice on the phone -- which is permitted -- but isn't leaving his current agent.

These things could change, but for now it seems to be a non-story.

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 9:14 pm
 

Wright, Boras speak out on Wilpon's comments

By Evan Brunell

WilponEarlier Monday, Mets owner Fred Wilpon ripped several players in an article that ran in the New Yorker. Granted, those quotes were made in April while the Mets were busy being a mess, but that doesn't excuse Wilpon, who said third baseman David Wright, the face of the franchise, was a good player but not a superstar. Could have surprised the fanbase, as Wright has been marketed as a superstar to attract fans to the park.

He also called himself a schmuck for being suckered into Carlos Beltran's massive contract following his 2004 explosion in the postseason, as well as saying there was no way Jose Reyes would sniff a contract like Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142 million pact.

Wright chose to take the high road, declining to get into a tit-for-tat argument.

"Fred is a good man and is obviously going through some difficult times," he said in an e-mail to the New York Daily News. There is nothing more productive that I can say at this point.”

The Daily News adds that while Reyes is aware of the comments, he was "not bothered" and that his agents will not be commenting on the story. Carlos Beltran's agent, meanwhile, had different ideas. Scott Boras lashed out, saying he was surprised with the comments.

“These statements are not indicative of the Fred Wilpon I know,” Boras told the New York Post. Boras produced Beltran's statistics on the year, currently at .280/.377/.533 to dispute Wilpon's contention that the center fielder-turned-right fielder was "60 to 70 percent of what he once was." Again, Wilpon made these comments in April, when no one knew what to expect from Beltran as he moved to a new position to avoid wear and tear on the knees, plus was coming off an uninspiring 2010. But Boras also said, rightly so, that he didn't feel as if these comments should have been made.

“If you’re a member of a team or an organization and respect one another, any evaluation or internal opinion of players currently on the team should stay there,” he said. “If you want success and optimal performance, it’s best to keep those in-house.”

All this has led to uncertainty about Beltran's future in the city post-2011, as he is an impending free agent. Wilpon may not agree to bring him back, or Beltran may not be interested.

“Carlos enjoys being a Met and is excited by how well he’s doing,” Boras said. “I have always had a good relationship with Jeff [Fred's son, on the right in the photo, with Fred] and Fred. It’s up to the individual player to look at the context of the statements discussed and come up with their own opinion.”

One Met -- who probably doesn't make enough to enter Wilpon's radar -- had a suggestion for the team's owner.

"Sometimes people say things they regret," pitcher Mike Pelfrey told the New York Times. "It’s a mistake and you learn from it. Maybe next spring when we have our media workshop for the players, Fred can come and sit in on it."

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Madson hopes save troubles are behind him

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan MadsonWith Brad Lidge starting the season on the disabled list, Ryan Madson is on the Phillies' short list to fill-in as the team's closer in Lidge's absence.

Madson would seem a natural choice. Since going to the bullpen full-time in 2007, the 30-year-old right-hander has a 3.01 ERA and 17 saves in 248 games. He has more strikeouts (252) than hits allowed (242) in 269 innings, and a respectable 1.201 WHIP. Last season he had a 2.55 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP in 55 appearances, along with five saves.

The problem is he had 10 save opportunities last season and converted only five of them. In his career, he has four more blown saves than converted saves -- 24 blown to 20 saved.

This is where much of the hypotheticals of baseball fail -- the way people react to real-life situations are tough to put into numbers -- and I say that as a full-fledged subscriber to the numbers. The numbers say Madson should be able to get three outs at a time. In fact, in innings other than the ninth, he does that pretty well. Serving as the Phillies' primary set-up man, Madson (35) actually appeared in more high leverage situations than Lidge (32) in 2009. He appeared in fewer last season, but it was close (26 vs. 31). In high-leverage situations he performs even better -- he's got a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.15) in high-leverage situations than in other leverage situations, a better batting-average against (.238) and OPS (.667) in high-leverage situations.

In short, Madson has been one of baseball's best setup men, even when thrown into a high-pressure situation. It's just that when he's been called on for those last three outs, it's never seemed to work.

A high-leverage situation should be the same whether it's in the eighth inning or the ninth inning -- unless you make it different in your head. And that's something Madson has admitted he's done. That's how being a closer is different than being a reliever, finding your peace with that in your own head.

Madson told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb that he thinks a talk with his agent, Scott Boras, has helped him come to terms with closing and approach it the right way.

"He said, 'Tell me what your mentality was when you were closing,'" Madson recalled. "I was like, I thought I was going to be perfect. I really thought I was going to be perfect and not blow one save. That was my mentality going out there. That's what I was like in the minor leagues, so I stuck with it. Well it doesn't work that way. You're putting too much emphasis on every pitch. It has to be perfect. Then when you blow a save, it carries on and little things happen. It's so finicky of an inning you can't be finicky with your mooned. You just have to be solid and just know, 'This is going to happen. Tomorrow it's not.'"

Madson, a free agent after this season, may think he's got it figured out, but Lidge's injury gives him a chance to put it to a real test.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 10:42 am
 

Pepper: Barry Bonds' trial begins

Bonds

By Evan Brunell

BONDS ON TRIAL: Monday marks the first day of the long-awaited trial in which Barry Bonds is charged with lying to a grand jury about his usage of steroids.

Bonds, who has adamantly stated that he never used steroids -- at least knowingly -- has had several legal victories leading up to the trial and it is anyone's guess whether Bonds will be convicted. If he is found innocent, former commissioner Fay Vincent believes his chances of making the Hall go up, but any conviction is "the end of the discussion for at least 30 years."

The anecdotal evidence against Bonds is overwhelming, and even if he's found innocent, it will be difficult to find a person who truly believes Bonds did not knowingly use steroids. It's unclear how much impact this trial will have on Bonds' Hall of Fame hopes. There will be plenty of writers who vote for Bonds if he cleared all the legal hurdles, but there will be just as many who pursue their own brand of vigilante justice, and there are plenty of supporting arguments for each party.

While the government has been limited by Bonds' victories in pre-trial hearings, they do hold a positive steroid test in which Bonds tested positive for the clear and the cream. That will force the trial to devolve into a "he said-she said" argument, with the government prepared to call 52 witnesses -- but none among them will be Bonds' close friend and trainer Greg Anderson, who has already served over a year in prison for contempt of court and could serve more.

While the lurid trial figures to get plenty of ink in the coming weeks, don't forget that Roger Clemens lands on trial in July, and that has the promise to be an even more salacious affair. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY?: While Japan struggles to deal with the devastation that the earthquake and tsunami wrought, there's a hot debate on whether the Japanese baseball league should begin play. Some look at how baseball was the salve for America's heartbreak after 9/11, some think the comparison is ridiculous. Either way, the Central League will open four days late and play only day games the first week to save power. The Pacific League will start up April 12. (New York Times)

STICKING WITH J.P.: Projected starting catcher J.P. Arencibia has had an awful start to spring training for the Jays, this after finishing last season 1 for his last 30. Even with the news that backup Jose Molina will catch Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek, that's still almost 100 games lined up for Arencibia, and the team is prepared to let the slugger play his way through any struggles. (Canoe.ca)

HUSTLIN': Mark Teixeira wasn't pleased with Ben Francisco Sunday, as the Phillies outfielder bumped into Teixeira on a groundball to first. "That's not a hustle play," Tex sniffed. "He could hurt me or hurt himself." Teixeira has a fair point, as most players will allow themselves to be tagged out on a play in front of them, but it's hard to blame Francisco for this one, who is battling for the starting right field job. (New York Post)

SAME OLD: The disabled list for Jake Peavy? What a surprise. After Peavy suffered a setback and admitted he has been pitching with rotator-cuff discomfort since March 4, manager Ozzie Guillen didn't mince words, saying Peavy is likely to start the season on the DL and will not make his next start Thursday. Peavy needed that start to stay on track to be the club's No. 5 starter on April 6, but Phil Humber will take his place instead. As for when Peavy can pitch again? He'll have to get past Ozzie first. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

WANTED: BACKUP INFIELDER: The Padres are on the hunt for a backup infielder, but may wait until next week for prices to drop on available players. Robert Andino of the Orioles and Alberto Gonzalez of the Nationals have caught San Diego's attention, and each should be available for a reasonable cost. (MLB.com via Twitter)

MORE POWER TO SCOTT: Scott Boras has a host of players under contract with the Nationals, including their three faces of the franchise in Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. That will wield a lot of influence with the Nats, but contrary to popular perception, Boras may actually be able to exert a positive influence. (Washington Post)

WATCH YOUR MOUTH: Joe Maddon heard an Orioles fan yell something racist to Rays center fielder B.J. Upton, so Maddon had the fan removed from the game. (St. Petersburg Times) Upton and other coaches confirmed hearing the comment, but the O's fan has since created a Twitter account to defend himself, saying he did not make racist comments. (Twitter: @AssClownOsFan)

REED WANTS SPOT: Jeremy Reed has a bit of a reputation of having an over-inflated sense of self and the ego to match. However, in camp to fight for a backup outfield spot alongside Chris Dickerson and Brandon Boggs, Reed has done near everything right in the hopes it's enough to land on the 40-man roster and make the team. He has stiff competition in Dickerson, but manager Ron Roenicke is impressed with Reed's work ethic. (MLB.com)

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: March 2, 2011 10:19 am
 

Pepper: Teixeira ditches Boras



By Matt Snyder


Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has decided to part ways with Scott Boras (seen above during happier times), ending a 12-year relationship with the uber-agent.

"There are a lot of things and no reason to go into details," Teixeira said. "We have been together long enough and time to go in a different direction ... When I hired Scott at 18 to help with career there was talk about free agent contract. At times I was Mark Teixeira, Scott Boras client instead of Mark Teixeira, baseball player." (New York Post )

As a Boras client, Teixeira landed an eight-year, $180 million contract. He still has six years left on that deal, so one could argue he doesn't really need an agent's services too much the next few years. He's going to make $22.5 million in 2016 before becoming a free agent.

Boras also lost Alex Rodriguez as a client earlier this offseason.

It's an interesting query: Why are these guys leaving Boras? Both have plenty of years and money left on their contracts -- incredibly lucrative ones that Boras negotiated. Does it show a lack of loyalty or the players tiring of Boras -- or neither, as it could be just a coincidence?

Here's an enlightening quote on the situation.

Bryan Hoch, the MLB.com beat writer for the Yankees, tweets that "Teixeira said he wants to focus more on helping Yankees win and impact in community, not next contract. Feels Boras isn't best fit for that."

Interesting. So with six years left on a deal, Boras is still talking about the next one? While that's certainly his job, I can see how it would be a bit exhausting. It's not like Tex is going to be in the poor house anytime soon.

DEJA VU: Milton Bradley is swinging a hot bat in the spring. He's had problems with his current manager before (Eric Wedge), but he's learned from his mistakes and is now focused on doing the right things to help the team win. The manager is singing his praises. And it's March 2. We've heard this song and dance before, even if some specifics are different. Maybe one of these days something will change. Until then, history is the biggest indicator of future behavior. After 11 seasons, you don't even need a whole hand to count the number of times a season has ended on a positive note for Bradley. He's going to have to prove otherwise for a full season before getting the benefit of the doubt here. (MLB.com )

LILLY SCRATCHED: Ted Lilly was supposed to make his spring training debut Wednesday, but he's been scratched due to the flu. No long-term worries here whatsoever, though no new date for Lilly's first spring outing has been set. (MLB.com )

TROUBLE ON THE HOME FRONT? There seems to be some signals crossed in Pirates camp when it comes to Scott Olsen. Sunday, Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said that Olsen was fighting for the fifth rotation spot and could be sent to the bullpen if he loses out. That was news to Olsen. "He hasn’t told me that, I don’t know anything about the bullpen, I’m a starter," Olsen told the Post-Gazette. "They didn’t bring me in here to be a bullpen guy," he continued. "They want to do that, we are going to have to have a conversation about it, and we haven’t had one about it." Um, really? We're talking about a guy with this line in his career as a starting pitcher: 36-49, 4.87 ERA, 1.48 WHIP. In the past two years, he's 6-12 with a 5.76 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. And he apparently thinks he's in a position to make demands? Wow. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

STAYING PUT: Brandon Phillips wants to stay with the Reds. The Reds want to keep him. Of course, in baseball we know we have to deal with much more than that, when it comes to dollars the player feels he's worth and the dollars the smallish market team can pay him -- especially with all the young talent the Reds have on the roster. John Fay breaks down how it might shake out. (Cincinnati Enquirer )

HIATUS? Former Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman has still yet to sign a contract. In fact, he may be ready to sit out an entire season. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports via Twitter that he talked to a player who knows Bonderman and "more than likely he's going to sit this year out." Crasnick also offered that Bonderman "doesn't have the energy for more rehabs, or going to camp and having to fight for a spot." In several ways, it's easy to feel bad for Bonderman. First of all, he was thrown into the fire on the worst major-league team in recent memory as a 20 year old -- that 2003 Tigers team that went 43-119. Bonderman took his lumps all year, going 6-19 with a 5.56 ERA. A few years later, he was a quality pitcher on a team that made the World Series. Since then, he's fallen apart with injuries and has never really scratched the surface on his potential. He's still only 28, so maybe a full season of rest can do some long-term good for his baseball potential. (Crasnick on Twitter )

FRIENDS FOREVER: Barry Bonds' ex-trainer is going to jail, again, instead of testifying against Bonds. Loyalty or blind stupidity? You make the call. (Associated Press )

NO LOANS FOR YOU! The Mets will not be receiving any more loans from Major League Baseball. That cool $25 million from last November will have to do. Maybe the Mets could borrow back some of the money Jason Bay didn't earn last year? (New York Times )

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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