Friday’s Notes: AL West, Ortiz, Crawford (again)
Many fans in New England have spent most of their time this week thinking about the AFC Championship Game this Sunday in Foxborough. Can’t say I blame ‘em. Let’s quickly touch on some important happenings from this week.
- Before the Boston Baseball Writers dinner, David Ortiz stated that he does not think a deal will get done. In other words, the DH expects an arbitration hearing, something the Red Sox have not had to deal with since 2002. The difference between the Red Sox and Ortiz has everything to do with how each side values the designated hitter. As evidenced by the Victor Martinez negotiations, the Red Sox believe that the DH carries much less value than a player who plays defense. Let’s hope this situation ends amicably.
- The AL West is going to be fun to watch this year. When I say that, I really mean the games that feature the Angels and the Rangers. Although it was done in the final hour, the Rangers inked Yu Darvish who essentially replaces C.J. Wilson. The former Rangers ace is a member of the totally stacked Angels pitching staff. The whole Prince Fielder situation is quite perplexing. With a lot of the big market teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox having first baseman locked up long term, Fielder’s market hasn’t been what it probably should be. Maybe Fielder takes a short term deal somewhere like Texas with the idea of hitting free agency when there is a better market for him.
- I don’t blame Carl Crawford for somehow delaying his wrist surgery. I don’t believe he simply ignored throbbing pain in his left wrist for three months. At the same time, I’m not going to let Crawford of the hook for his miserable 2011 campaign. I’ll chalk this one up to bad luck. Either way, it is a bit alarming to have this type of injury after such an awful year because these are supposed to be the good years of his long term contract. When CC does return, I’ll be rooting for him.
- According to mlbtraderumors.com’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, Ryan Braun has appealed his failed drug test. Sometimes, I really wonder who advises these guys. No one has ever won an appeal. He’s not going to win his. Apologizing always works. This isn’t rocket science.