It's official I'm in Peoria, along with my new roommate Larry LaRue, who was kind enough to allow me to stay with him for the next 10 days. I arrived here in Arizona after leaving snow-covered Tacoma to 70 degree temps and ready to see some baseball, unfortunately the Mariners had the day off, so tomorrow I'll have to wait till tomorrow when the Cubs and Loouuuuuuuuuuuuu come to Peoria. Speaking of Lou, he's losing patience with some of his hitters. I like it when Lou loses his patience.
So as the title suggest, it's a links post. And let's get to it.
The Mariners lost $4.53 million last year as an organization. It doesn't surprise me since something like seven of the 10 smallest crowds in Safeco Field history came last season. While it may not seem like much money in the grand scheme of how much an organization spends, think about this, the Mariners made $17.8 million in 2007.
SI's Albert Chen had this look at the Mariners chances this season.
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First of all wrapping up the WBC a little.
Here's the results and schedule as pool play starts to wrap up.
Japan advanced to the next round, but did lose the last game of their Pool play to Korea 1-0.
Ichiro had a key hit late and represented the tying run, but was stranded there.
Freelancer and all-around good guy Brad Lefton has this story for the NY Times about many of the younger Japanese players feeling like they are getting to play with their idols - Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Speaking of the WBC and Ichiro, Tim Lincecum isn't really that into the WBC or the idea of pitching in it. But he's enthused about facing Ichiro in Safeco Field this summer when the Giants head north of interleague play.
Over in Pool B,
Australia behind Chris Snelling's two homers worked over Mexico.
In Pool C, the U.S. crushed Venezuela yesterday. But for Mariners fans, there is still a buzz over what prospect Phillippe Aumont did in his appearance against the U.S on Saturday. I'm not going to break it all down, Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider has a detailed account of it. Obviously, Aumont is still a few years away but it's nice to see him have success at the highest level.
Venezuela manager Luis Sojo tried to blame the reasoning for him using both Felix Hernandez and Carlos Silva in the first game of pool play was because the Mariners demanded it. But GM Jack Zduriencik sent an email to Yahoo's Gordon Edes saying that wasn't the case.
In Pool D, the Netherlands
Buster Olney's main blog post was about Mr. Stephen Strasburg, or as I'm going to call him "the Mariners' impossible dream."
I really like the comment that he's better than A.J. Burnett right now.
As I was perusing a few stories about Strasburg, I came across a recap of his latest outing. It mentions that he gave up a rare home run. How rare? Just the second of his entire career. Two homers? Against guys using metal bats? Then again, why bother even bringing this stuff up, there's no way he doesn't get taken by the Nationals.
Bellarmine Prep grad and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester is reported to have a contract extension offer that will enable him to send any future children to Bellarmine, along with a few hundred of their closest friends.
Around the AL West ...
The Texas Rangers think their pitching is improved enough to contend. Haven't we heard this every spring since, well, since A-Rod said the team could contend.
Perhaps more realistic and frightening is Josh Hamilton's continued work on his swing and hitting approach that should give him more consistency at the plate.
For the second straight season, the Angels will start the season with one of their top pitchers on the DL. Last year it was John Lackey, this year it will most likely be Ervin Santana, who has elbow issues.
SI's Jon Heyman has this story about the A's decision to spend money wasn't from GM Billy Beane, but more the owner.
Around baseball ...
Here's an interesting story about the guy who founded baseball-reference.com, a site I use and link to quite often.
Phil Rogers has a story about how a doctor is looking to get the type of success with shoulder reconstruction that you are seeing in elbow reconstruction.
Remember this name for the late rounds of your fantasy draft or perhaps as a midseason pick-up - Tommy Hanson. The Braves prospect is turning heads.