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Thursday, February 23, 2006


• O.C. (O-Lando Cabrera or Calrissian) has repeated Manny’s wishes to work in the O.C. As if this is news. Damn it. All things being equal, who wouldn’t want to live and work in Newport or Laguna Beach?! It is freaking amazing there - perfect weather, unbelievable women, great beaches, LA, SD and Vegas all within driving distance. Why should this be news?

• Love him or hate him, Will Carroll, is the only one that analyzes the risk associated with a player’s health. He recently reported on the MFY. Carroll uses traffic light colors to grade a player’s status. To summarize, everyone in the rotation is a red light, besides Wang, as well as once thought of as the automatic Rivera. The juicin’ jack a$$es – Giambi and Sheffield – are also red lights. Posada and Cano are yellows with Jeter, Damon, A-Hole and Matsui being green. But, Damon is a questionable green. As Carroll mentions, He struggled with shoulder, hand, and hamstring problems last year, and the nagging injuries took their toll in the second half, hurting his production significantly. Agent Scott Boras made sure to emphasize that Damon has never landed on the DL in his career, although that does not necessarily mean he won’t in the future as he ages and injuries pile up. Damon seems to have gotten green status due to his ability to play through pain.

Hee-Seop Choi should be a Red Sox and soon. He would provide great and inexpensive insurance against Mike Lowell continuing to free fall. The Dodgers are hoping to use the WBC, where Choi will play for South Korea, as a showcase for a player they think has some value on the market if not on their bench. They could have non-tendered him over the winter but instead chose to sign him to a one-year, $725,000 deal. That's more than double what he made last year but still cheap enough that the Dodgers could command a serviceable player in return if they find a taker for the lumbering Choi. Power-patient hitters coming into their prime performance years and are cheap should be on Theo’s to-do list. Choi reminded me a lot of David Ortiz in his days with the Twins being underappreciated within the organization since they focused on what he can’t do instead what the player could do. The only difference is that LAD has the financial resources to tender Choi a contract; the Twins did not. When Choi’s BP PECOTA card was available, it was not a surprise to see Big Papi’s 2003 campaign as the top comparable with a very strong score of 50.

• Craig Hansen has been working on his change up to go along with his plus fastball and slider. “I’ve been throwing it in a couple of bullpens down here and it feels great,” Hansen said. “It’s got a lot of movement. I’m pretty happy with it right now.” If Hansen can consistently “show” his change, then he should be converted to a starter. 200 innings are far more valuable than 80, even high leverage, relief innings.

• As a matter of full disclosure, Eric Chavez was banged up last season – physically and mentally. If he is healthy, Chavez should produce and the A’s can easily run away out on the left coast.


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