You've all been very kind/loyal/brainwashed in hanging around throughout this somewhat sporadic posting period in BBTiA history. The sporadicness -- I think that's a word -- ends today, and here's the return of those early-morning jams with the aptly named "Sensual Sunrise":
It doesn't seem like the most productive use of time to go back and try to say something about everything that I've glossed over or missed over the last few days, so I'm going to start anew with this morning's links:
● MLB.com's Richard Justice has a piece on Nolan Ryan being excited for the upcoming season. Gil LeBreton writes about the Rangers' even-keeled off-season, and the likelihood of this being a relatively dull spring in Surprise. Jeff Wilson shares some comments from Ian Kinsler about the Sherlock's incident, and includes a note that long-term contract talks between Kinsler and the Rangers are going nowhere fast, as well as a denial as far as the weekend report of the Rangers offering Kinsler $76.5 million in response to Kinsler's $90 million demand.
● T.R. Sullivan has an article with some odd remarks from Koji Uehara about how he's "not settled down yet" mentally, and about how he vetoed the deal that would have sent him packing to Toronto in part because of the weather in Canada. The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo writes that if the Rangers do successfully trade Uehara, we should look for a Mike Gonzalez-to-Texas signing.
● Derek Holland was in on the Ticketstock fun this past weekend, and threw a few thinly veiled jabs at the Angels:
Holland: The thing that kills me is that we’re being ruled out again. Nobody realizes what we’ve done. We’ve got the same team as we did last year, and it’s like we don’t have a chance to go anywhere. It’s like they’re ruling us out from even making the playoffs.
But [the Angels] got Pujols.
Holland: Who cares?
And they've got C.J.
Holland: So what?
And, uh, Rusty Greer talked about dealing with THE HEAT.
● John Sickels has a Prospect Retrospective on Mike Cameron, who retired yesterday at the age of 39. In 17 seasons, Cameron hit .249/.338/.444 with five separate 20-20 campaigns to his credit, and he retires with 46.8 bWAR and 52.6 fWAR, as well as career earnings in excess of $75 million. By bWAR's reckoning, he's among the 200 best position players to suit up since 1900, and his No. 172 ranking in that list is good enough to wedge him between Toby Harrah and Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.
Cameron isn't going to go to the Hall of Fame, of course -- but that's a damn fine career for a former 18th-rounder, and one wonders how much better his offensive numbers would look if he hadn't played out his prime age-27 to -30 seasons in the RHB-killing confines of Safeco Field, as a quick look at his career splits reveals a rather huge dichotomy between his home/road numbers:
Home: 3,846 PA, .241/.333/.425, 123 HR
Away: 4,083 PA, .255/.343/.462, 155 HR
● The ESPN Sweet Spot Network wanted to know from each of its affiliate blogs which player they were most excited to see this year, and my answer is the answer you were probably expecting.
● Jim Bowden conferred an A- grade to the Rangers for their off-season. Richard Durrett counters with a B+ grade, with his downgrade being based upon the Rangers' inability to get any long-term extensions done yet this winter.
● Much love to Gary Carter. I don't feel like I really have anything to say about him because his entire career predates the beginning of my baseball fandom and because I've never seen him in action outside of a 30-second career highlights video package, but much respect to those who can say that they saw him take the field in real time, and condolences to the family that saw him taken away from them far too quickly.