Mon Dec 09 02:53pm EST
Apparently Barry Bonds' $25 million Beverly Hills mansion hasn't been dazzling potential buyers since it went on the market last January. Now the ex-MLB slugger has reduced the price by $1.5 million.
Poor Barry. Can't get into the Hall of Fame on his first try, can't sell his house. It is a nice crib too — 17,100-square-foot of nice, in fact. Here's how Realtor.com describes it:
Bonds’ enormous mansion is one of his finest home runs, which is saying something considering he hit 762 bombs over the course of his career. Beyond its sheer size — Bonds expanded the compound-estate by 5,500 square feet after buying it — the Hall of Fame property is flush in the finer things of life.
Mon Dec 09 02:32pm EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — He might have been better off ignoring it, but Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik responded to a story in the Seattle Times that sometimes brutally questioned his qualifications and abilities to run a baseball team.
Zduriencik released a statement and later talked to reporters at the winter meetings Monday, addressing assertions made by former manager Eric Wedge and another former Mariners employee who said the M's front office was plagued by "total dysfunction and a lack of leadership."
In replying, Zduriencik attempts to paint Wedge as being disgruntled at not being given a contract extension. He did not address an assertion by Tony Blengino, his former top assistant, that Zduriencik misled the M's about a key part of his resume.
Here's the total statement by Zduriencik:
Mon Dec 09 02:03pm EST
This is The Stew's running list of trades and signings that happen during baseball's winter meetings. We'll keep updating this post as the news happens. For more chatter and rumors, be sure to check out our winter meetings tracker.
Marlins sign ex-Pirate Garrett Jones for $7.75 million
The first signing of the Winter Meetings isn't the sexiest. It's not even all that surprising. But here it is: First baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones has agreed to join the Miami Marlins on a two-year, $7.75 million contract. The two had been lined up as match since last week, but now it's legit. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald gave us the financials.
Mon Dec 09 01:18pm EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Chris Sale is no Michael Jordan, says Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. But don't put too much into a rumor that Sale might be traded by the White Sox here at baseball's winter meetings or later in the offseason.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said other teams are "pushing" the White Sox to discuss Sale, an All-Star the past two seasons who finished fifth in Cy Young voting after posting a 3.07 ERA and 226 strikeouts in 214 innings in 2013.
A few minutes after the announcement Monday morning that Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox had been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, Reinsdorf — who gave La Russa his start in the major leagues in 1979 — was cornered about the Sale talk.
"I just heard that rumor. I only had one player in my 33 years of sports that couldn't be traded. He wore No. 23 — and 45 when he played baseball," Reinsdorf said, referring to Jordan, who famously played for Reinsdorf's Chicago Bulls in the NBA and Chicago White Sox in the minor leagues.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn and president Kenny Williams have given no indication that Sale is for Sale. The price would have to be very high.
"Never had another player that couldn't be traded. Now, I can't tell you that, when I see Rick and Kenny today, that they won't tell me they want to trade him. But I would be very surprised," Reinsdorf said.
And he summed up the Sale rumors with this:
"I know you guys. If we don't give you news, you've got to make it up. I just kind of laugh about it."
As to the White Sox never having another "untradable" player — what about Frank Thomas? Reinsdorf also pitched Thomas for the Hall of Fame in his first year being on the writers' ballot.
"I'm really hopeful; I think it would be a terrible miscarriage of justice is not in that class," Reinsdorf said. "But I might be concerned about some writers saying, 'Well, I don't want a DH to go in the first time.' But Frank was a position player for a lot of his career and DH is a position. Frank probably was the best hitter of his era. We went from Frank to Albert [Belle] to [Miguel] Cabrera."
Thomas would seem an obvious Hall of Famer, but he's in a thick class of players with a growing backlog of deserving candidates.
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Mon Dec 09 11:51am EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young winner who pitched a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, announced he is retiring Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. A news conference is scheduled this afternoon for Halladay, who for his career went 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA, 2,117 strikeouts, 67 complete games and 20 shutouts for the Phillies and Jays.
His chances for the Hall of Fame probably should be described as "possible," if not likely.
Halladay, who has suffered from shoulder injuries the past two years, had a 6.82 ERA in 13 starts for the Phillies in 2013. Able to throw fastballs only in the low 80s in his final start, Halladay sought medical solutions but was prescribed only rest. He was finishing up a three-year, $20 million deal with Philly.
Halladay's signature moment came in the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds in '10 when he pitched a no-hitter. It was his first career postseason appearance after 11 seasons with the Blue Jays. Halladay had pitched a perfect game earlier in the regular season. He won the NL Cy Young that season, also winning in '03 with the Jays.
Reporter Shi Davidi of Sportsnet in Canada writes that all of Halladay's successes might not have happened if the Blue Jays hadn't reconstructed Halladay's physical and mental approach earlier in his career:
Mon Dec 09 09:00am EST
Let the Winter Meetings begin! Baseball executives, agents, players looking for new teams and media members have gathered in Orlando this week for baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Given how the offseason has gone thus far, things are sure to be busy and unpredictable.
The Stew is here to help you stay up to date with the latest news and rumors. We've set up his handy tracker for you to follow all the first-day fun.
<a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5321b45600" mce_href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=5321b45600" >The Stewâ��s winter meetings tracker: Monday</a>
The box above will stream tweets from the Yahoo Sports crew on the scene in Orlando as well as some of baseball's most plugged-in insiders. We'll have chat sessions to keep things lively too. We won't necessarily be chatting around the clock, but we'll jump in from time to time, so watch out for that.
If you'd like to directly follow our guys on the ground in Orlando, you can find them at @TBrownYahoo, @jeffpassan and @answerdave.
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Mon Dec 09 08:16am EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The winter meetings usually act as a catalyst for offseason activity in Major League Baseball, but that won't be the case this year. Christmas has come early, as several huge free-agent signings and even some trades went down this past week and the week before. Nearly a quarter of the free agents who filed after the World Series already have signed, and several other deals were on the verge of going down.
Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners. The New York Yankees reeled in Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. The New York Mets signed outfielder Curtis Granderson. The Boston Red Sox brought back Mike Napoli, brought in A.J. Pierzynski, and let Jarrod Saltalamacchia go to the Miami Marlins. The Detroit Tigers traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler and signed Joe Nathan, and also dealt Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals. Pitchers Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco signed with the Minnesota Twins. The Kansas City Royals traded for Norichika Aoki. The Oakland Athletics traded for Jim Johnson. The St. Louis Cardinals swapped David Freese for Peter Bourjos.
But there's still much to do in the shadow of Mickey Mouse's ears. What might happen here at Disney World?
Sun Dec 08 03:58pm EST
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Though Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees during the 2012 season and elected to re-sign there last winter, many of his biggest fans and supporters remain in Seattle, where he spent the first 11 1/2 years of his MLB career. Among those fans — and perhaps the most loyal of them all — is Amy Franz, who became famous for keeping track of Ichiro’s hit total with her “Ichi-Meter” during his record-breaking 262 hit season in 2004.
As Ichiro closed in on another career milestone, his 4,000th hit between Japan and MLB, Franz decided she was going to fly to New York to support him and hopefully be there firsthand for the historic moment. Her trip would end up taking her to Boston and eventually back to New York, but the persistence paid off as she was in attendance at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 21 when Ichiro slapped one of his trademark singles by a diving Brett Lawrie to join Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only professional baseball players to collect 4,000 or more hits.
Milestone accomplished for Ichiro.
Mission accomplished for Franz, who was also fortunate enough to share a few moments with an appreciative Ichiro following the game.
Waited forever and finally Ichiro came out of garage! Stopped, talked to me, gave me hug and autograph!!!!! I'll tweet picture later
— Amy Franz (@ichimeterlady) August 22, 2013
It doesn't get any better than that moment. Or does it?
We'll let Franz answer that one herself.
Wristband from August 21, 2013 game...the 4000th hit!!! pic.twitter.com/uxudviKUrZ
— Amy Franz (@ichimeterlady) December 5, 2013
Apparently, Ichiro thought Franz was due a little more appreciation for traveling all that distance to support him, so he thanked her again with a handwritten note and a memento from the game itself.
The letter is little difficult to read in the photo so we'll transcribe it here:
I didn't know your Ichi Meter could count to 4,000.
Thanks for being there in New York, Boston, and New York again to show me it could. In appreciation of your continued support, please have the wristband I was wearing when you changed it to 4,000.
A simple and classy gesture by one of the game's undisputed class acts.
4,000 plus hits will define Ichiro's legacy on the field and eventually lead him to baseball's Hall of Fame. But it's his kindness off the field that is truly second to none and will be always worth remembering.
BLS H/N: Cut 4
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Sun Dec 08 12:54pm EST
Seemingly unfazed by the potential losses of free agents Robinson Cano — who later agreed to a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners — and Curtis Granderson — who bolted from the Bronx to Queens to join the New York Mets— Yankees general manager Brian Cashman calmly answered questions while standing atop The Landmark Building, which is one of Stamford, CT’s tallest structures, on Friday morning.
"Everybody is replaceable. That's a team concept. Some people are harder to replace than others, no doubt about it,” Cashman said while standing 22 stories above ground.
"I don't think anybody would have the attitude that anybody is going to make or break your future, but you certainly can invest for good reason into players that can try to make your future brighter. That's what we're trying to do with Robbie, amongst others."
Sat Dec 07 11:54pm EST
When Eric Wedge stepped down as the Seattle Mariners manager on Sept. 27, it was noted that, for the lack of a better term, a wedge had been driven between himself and the Mariners front office that was too deep to repair.
What that entailed exactly was only speculation at the time, but with Seattle making noise this offseason by signing free agent Robinson Cano, Wedge and other former Mariners employees are ready to make a little noise of their own on Seattle’s current power structure.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has the whole story in a lengthy piece published on Saturday night. The article begins by focusing on a closed door meeting Wedge had with with then president Chuck Armstrong, CEO Howard Lincoln and general manager Jack Zduriencik two days after the 2012 season that seemingly pushed the relationship to the point of no return. Wedge says he felt blindsided and let down by Zduriencik, who assured him management had been pleased with their 75-87 season.