As we patiently wait for the last installment of IHSB's Prospect Countdown (I think Tron only just had a bigger gap between parts...), here are some bits and pieces of team, player and baseball news to keep you going as we hurtle towards the festivities. And video of a really good basebrawl from South of the Border. Because Latinos are hot-headed like that.
[dbacks.com] D-backs sell Ryal to Yomiuri Giants - Not really a surprise here. One interesting sidelight: "Ryal is no stranger to the idea of playing in Japan. His father, Mark, played for the Chunichi Dragons for two seasons in the early 1990s." Continuing the stereotypes, is it racist of me to wonder how they'll cope with saying his name?
- [AZCentral] Joe Garagiola praises doctor who came through - Why we didn't see much of Joe last year. "Garagiola first noticed his vision was going in his left eye. Cataract surgery was supposed to clear things up. But it didn't. That's when his doctor ordered magnetic resonance imaging. Those pictures showed a meningioma, a benign tumor. It was about the size of a golf ball. The immediate problem was that it was growing right around Garagiola's optic nerves. It was also getting dangerously close to his carotid artery."
- [dbacks.com] Newest D-backs deals have flexibility - "The D-backs do include clauses that allow for players to earn more money or allow for them to receive their release if they are not in the big leagues and have opportunities elsewhere." The "no-incentives" policy seems to be a bit looser these days. Steve Gilbert has the details of our winter signings.
Former D-backs on the Move
- [Yahoo!] Rangers signing Brandon Webb? - "The 2006 Cy Young Award winner was supposed to talk with Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux on the phone Tuesday, the paper reports."
[The Chosun Ilbo] Pitcher Kim Byung-hyun Looks to Japan to Revive Career - "Will former Major League Baseball pitcher Kim Byung-hyun be able to revive his career with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan? Japanese sports media reported on Wednesday that the Golden Eagles are eyeing the 31-year-old Korean right-hander as a closer." Startled to realize how young Kim still is.
- [JSOnline] Brewers bring reliever Mercedes back in organization - "Apparently, the Milwaukee Brewers regretted trading minor-league reliever Roque Mercedes. The Brewers claimed Mercedes off waivers from Arizona on Tuesday, returning the 24-year-old right-hander to his original organization. Mercedes was traded to the Diamondbacks in July 2009 with outfielder Cole Gillespie in exchange for infielder Felipe Lopez."
- [MLB.com] Teams send online holiday greeting cards to their fans - We know what Arizona did, but what about the other teams in the majors? Here's a review of the good, the bad, and the "Meh..."
- [ESPN] Some Strange But True hitting moments from the 2010 Major League Baseball season - "Dan Haren, who normally pitches for a living, had a higher OPS (.902) than Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun, Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Howard." The Japan-bound Ryal also gets a mention, though he'd rather forget why...
- [FoxSportsArizona] NL power shift keeps West teams busy - "The division's success is easy to see, even if identifying specific team(s) from year to year is not." Jack looks at what all the teams in the NL West have done, and need to do.
- [ESPN New York] Watergate prosecutor was interested in former New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner - "Newly released documents show the special prosecutor in the Watergate case expressed "extreme interest" in a 1970s criminal investigation of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for illegal campaign contributions." The scum also rises, it appears...
- [SI.com] Pinnacle Moments in 2010 MLB Season - The 20 moments SI decided will endure from 2010. One of them is by the D-backs. Take a wild stab in the dark, people...
[USATODAY.com] Player knocked out during brawl in Mexican league; six suspended - The KO was of Yaquis LF and former D-back Jeff Salazar. Mexicali pitcher Alejandro Martinez's pick-off attempt hit Jeff in the leg. As the ball rolled into left, he and 2B Oswaldo Morejon started a conversation that turned into... Well, let's go to the tape, shall we?