How bad are the Astros? They are so bad the rest of the AL West is licking its chops. So bad the Oakland A's are in first place because of them. So bad I couldn't even write a full column about them. So keep reading beyond the first item and we'll get to Mother Nature, Terry Francona's seniority in Cleveland, Felix Hernandez and, yes, more Dodgers-Padres brawl fallout.
It is the most awkward scene of the spring. Standing at his locker, the veteran catcher tries to piece his fractured career back together. Next locker over, the drug cheat attempting to swipe his job paces, caged for now by his impending 50-game suspension.
Different day, different scene, same old PED drip. Saturday, it was suspended Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal atoning for his synthetic sins, first by apologizing to his team in an early morning clubhouse meeting, then by reading a brief statement to reporters and refusing to take questions.
Friday at 1 p.m. ET was the deadline for eligible players to avoid the need to exchange arbitration figures with their current ballclub, so there was an unbelievable mass of signings that took place. The biggest payday went to Hunter Pence of the Giants, as he agreed to a one-year, $13.8-million deal.