Around the Sphere

Annual MLB.com holiday bash is tonight, so just wanted to say hey to the peeps before heading that way. The holiday bash also means that the annual "sample sale" is all day here in our offices, so I have made four trips through the line and stocked up on countless garments that otherwise go through the MLB.com Shop. Included is a big box of stuff headed to a charity in the LA area for women, so the box is loaded with an Angels jersey, lots of women’s gear and caps, etc. It feels good to put a lot of this stuff to good use — when I am not writing stories for MLB.com about how to finish up your holiday shopping Big Papi-style at the MLB.com Shop.

Astros just made a major announcement, and I had to sit on the info here but it was nice to see Rita at Hot Stove and Beyond firing it up with a link to Kenny Rosenthal’s article at Fox Sports. Jason Jennings is now the No. 2 starter in Houston behind Roy Oswalt, with Rocket status TBA. Willy Taveras goes to the Rockies, and a handful of other guys involved in the deal. One of them is Jason Hirsch, who was 13-2 and Pitcher of the Year in the PCL for 2006. That’s a year after he was Texas League Pitcher of the Year. He’s the key to this deal, giving Rockies fans some hope. I think that was a dazzling move by the Astros. But I’m still thinking that Roger Clemens could get a monthly Gross Domestic Product of a small nation if he returns.

I checked the boxes on my Hall of Fame ballot this week and dropped it in the mail back to my colleague Jack O’Connell, who’s responsible for tallying. Colleagues here know my vote, but I’m not going to be part of the growing crowd of baseball writers who like to make a big deal out of themselves and pronounce who they have anointed. It’s not about the BBWAA writer, it’s about the inductee. That’s why I think that AP survey story was **** and by no means would have participated.

Our original MLBlogger, Tommy Lasorda, will be Santa Claus tonight at the Mattel Children’s Hospital in the LA area. Keep an eye on his MLBlog for an entry. And speaking of entertainers, we just saw a new post come in from Raymond, the Devil Rays’ mascot.

Was interesting to see not one, but two, MLBlogs created for bobbleheads. Especially after I asked everyone at some point around August or September to blog about bobbles and Kellia shot my idea out of the sky like a skeet target.  :)   I noted in a comment, though, that The Only Accurate Bobblehead Collectibles Blog needs to fix the first sentence on the About page if it wants to be really accurate. Because it was Willie Mays, not Barry Bonds, whose bobble got it all going in ’99. I wrote that story for the MLB.com and MSN.com homepages then…the owner of Alexander Global Promotions, who was from Australia, had never heard of Willie Mays so he had to look at a ton of photos to come up with a decent bobble. Now it’s a science.

And sorry I’ve been kind of quiet here. Ten days ago, I moved to Upper West Side, quit smoking (now on day 10), joined NY Road Runners, started running Central Park each morning, and ran my first 10K there on Sunday. Pretty lame finishing over an hour but it was a start and that’s OK. My goal is NYC Marathon in November 2008, and running the Hot Chocolate 10 Mile Run at Central Park this Saturday. C’mon out if you’re around, get a good laugh at the guy walking a little and running mostly. Gradually building up. It’s fun to be a Central Park runner.

Hope you all are enjoying the holidays — enjoying all the blogging here. Reminder again that this whole thing could go in a different direction before Opening Day, so this is my fourth reminder that it might be a good idea to save/back up any past graphics on your blog that you absolutely need to keep. Because if we do something that puts all of this in a totally different environment and paradigm, then exporting text is the only thing I know you can do. I’m just sayin’, part 4. No other details until if something ever happens, so you won’t get a ton of advance notice if it does.

Mark

7 Comments

Zack: That deal for Wheels was a steal! I loved Wheels from day one because in his Astros debut, he beaned Michale Barrett as retaliation for getting Roy O tossed from the previous game with the Cubs…Adam Seuss–where is he now anyways….

Rita-
If you guys ever get bored of Wheeler, send him back to Queens, will ya? I miss him.

Mark, congrats on quitting smoking! Also, I wanted to thank you for mentioning me and my blog in your article.

Jennings is a known commodity just like Garland would have been. I also found out why the Garland deal never really took off again after Pettitte left. The White Sox wanted Hirsh, Buchholz, Taveras AND Hunter Pence, our only decent hitting prospect that is close to the majors.

In light of that, I’m just glad we didn’t have to give up Nieve, Qualls, Wheeler for Jennings. Better two starting pitching prospects than one of our bullpen guys who could all be really good closers–Stros have starters galore on the 40 man roster right now. In fact, they are so stacked at the AA and AAA level, they cut Carlos Hernandez, the lefty.

About Roger, I think the likelihood of Roger going to the Red Sox just decreased a little with the Dice Man signing…I bet the Astros Front Office is breathing just a little bit easier tonight. Of course, Roger is Roger and who knows if he decides to go join Andy in NY or not…

Thanks again for the kind words about my blog and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Paul: No it hasn’t. Not sure if you have some kind of cache or browser issue.

The ‘Recently Updated Weblogs’ list has been stuck with the same list of names for three days.

I don’t feel like going into Typepad to tweak it, so let me take back the word “dazzling” re the Astros. Upon further reflection, maybe it will be, but it’s not dazzling. Hirsch is money…I know the Astros filled a need, but what price glory?

WOW. That’s a whole lot of news. First of all, congrats on quitting smoking and starting running and being a healthier person.

Second, I think the Hirsch deal will work out better for the Rockies. He might not be ready to dominate in ’07, but the guy is a future stud.

Finally, thanks for the heads-up(s) on MLBlogs. Fingers crossed…

-The Baseball Collector

http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

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