Bullet the blue sky.
- At The Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe interviews Pete Palmer, co-author of the seminal The Hidden Game of Baseball and one of the forefathers of the modern sabermetric movement, as it were.
Also at THT, John Beamer looks at eleven somewhat esoteric items from the MLB rule book. Good stuff.
- Got T.O.? Don't matter; the Giants are going on to the NFC Championship game next weekend in Green Bay. Head over to Big Blue View for more G-Men commentary than you can shake a stick at. So get your shakin' stick out and prepare to be amazed!
- Last week at MetsGeek:
- The Brewers have signed Mike Cameron to a one-year deal for 2008. The salary appears to be $6.25 million plus a $10 million option ($750k buyout) for 2009. Cameron is going to miss the first 25 games of next season while he serves a suspension that was handed down after he tested positive for a banned substance. Cameron will be 35 in 2008 and was marginally useful offensively while providing very good defense in center field. His 103 OPS+ is nothing spectacular, though it's hardly terrible for such a premium defensive position. His rate stats all took a bit of a nosedive from his 2006 numbers, and the Brewers are obviously counting on a bit of a rebound for Cammy.
Apparently, the plan is to move Bill Hall from center to third base and Ryan Braun and his stone hands to left field. Of course, that can't happen until Cameron completes his suspension and gets back on the field.
- Major League Baseball has established an investigations unit that will operate out of the commissioner's office and will focus, at least for the time being, on the rampant use of drugs -- performance-enhancing and otherwise -- in the sport. The ostensible purpose of the new department is to "[protect] the integrity of the sport", though the true motivation may simply be to cover the collective asses of Bud Selig and the owners he represents in light of Congress's recent and continued meddling in MLB's affairs vis-a-vis steroids.
- If you feel like reading something about the Mets just to say that you did, Gerry Fraley has an utterly rehashed and tired article on how the Mets need to face last year's collapse and address the holes in their rotation. I almost just fell asleep writing a description of the article. See if you can make it through the whole thing without doing the same.
- In quasi baseball-related news, the New York Rangers are in talks to play a regular season game outdoors at Yankee Stadium as soon as next winter. The Penguins and Sabres played the first outdoor NHL game this past New Year's Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo to rave reviews. It snowed for most of the game, and the third period had to be split into two ten-minute sections to allow for equitable allocation of the advantageous winds blowing in one direction. The NHL's Winter Classic was definitely that, and a number of teams have already stepped forward and offered to play host to future outdoor events.