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This is the archive for January 2007

In the spirit of the AL East, we're looking for a Japanese writer to overpay.

In the free-spending AL East, Boston has paid $51 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Yankees have paid $46 million for Kei Igawa. It only makes sense for Toronto to find their own Japanese pitcher. According to the Babes That Love Baseball, Tomo Ohka and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Since they are Toronto, general manager J.P. Ricciardi went the bargain-basement route to get his player, but he just didn't want to be left out of the 'sign a Jap' phase that's sweeping the AL East. Look for the Orioles follow suit by searching for the home phone number of Hideki Irabu, while Tampa Bay already bought themselves a Japanese player, infielder Akinori Iwamura, and are trying to teach him how to pitch in true ass-backwards Tampa Bay Devil Rays style.

Big Mac fights for plaque.

Like everyone else, I have an opinion about if and why Mark McGwire belongs in the Hall of Fame. Unlike everyone else, I’m not going to elaborate on it, because Will Leitch of Deadspin nails the reason why Big Mac belongs in Cooperstown in one crushing moonshot (read it quick, it’s from the New York Times).

Steroids or not, Big Mac belongs in the Hall of Fame, because players have been using steroids since the 1970’s (anecdotally). Why’d it take someone 37 years to break Roger Maris' single season record? Because it’s not about power alone. It’s about hitting the home runs, staying healthy, getting good pitches to hit, having someone around to push you, and surviving the intense pressure of assaulting one of baseball’s holiest records.

Mark McGwire did that. Mark McGwire, along with Sammy Sosa, helped save baseball from a fate that the National Hockey League is struggling with at this very moment: meaninglessness. For that feat (that and 583 home runs), combined with the fact he did nothing illegal (unlike Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Gaylord Perry, among others), Big Mac deserves to be on that plaque in Cooperstown, and no pompous media assholes are going to tell me otherwise.

Let us taste this cool desert wind.

Randy Johnson, the Big Crippled Unit, is out on his surgically-repaired backside. Carrying a respectable 34 19 despite his high 5.00 ERA, he’s going to where most old people retire to if they don’t head for Miami: Phoenix, Arizona.

That’s right, the Big Red Retard is back in the desert, where no doubt his skin will as soon be as red as his formerly-glorious mullet. In exchange for Johnson and floating about $2 million dollars of his salary, the Yankees get Luis Vizcaino, minor league pitchers Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson, and shortstop/Attorney General of the United States Alberto Gonzalez.

This is one of those rare situations where both teams benefit. The Yankees cut salary money and restock the minor leagues with trade-bait for their next reckless midseason trade, while the Diamondbacks get someone to help fill the stadium once every five games, even if it is just to watch a giant man bird who is incapable of tying his own shoes get shellacked by the power packed lineup of the Kansas City Royals.

The next step for Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes’ insidious plan to fill the bleachers at Bank One Ballpark include signing a clown, a midget pinch-runner, and of course a one-eyed woman relief pitcher with the nickname “Bean.”