Good morning. I'm a little behind today because I forgot you all did the whole Daylight Savings Time over the weekend.
Today we have the Yankees dreaming on a new third baseman, the Giants hoping to lock down their star, and ManRam heading to Taiwan (but not for the WBC). Also, Marmol is a marked man, a Twins reliever is hospitalized, and Rondon tempers Detroit closer rumors.
Finally, a brief discussion on recent indie comedies.
The Big Three
1. A rumor surfaced late last week that the Padres might be listening to offers on third baseman Chase Headley. That initial rumor was deemed to be a bit premature over the weekend -- apparently San Diego is hoping to wait until the summer -- but that hasn't stopped the New York Yankees from checking in on the 28-year-old. As I stated last week, I think the addition of Headley in the Bronx would solve their immediate problems, but it would only lead to headaches in the future. The Yankees are still on the hook for A-Rod through 2017 whether they like it or not, and his return late this year would cause a serious log jam at third if both Headley and Youkilis were around. Not only that, but Headley will likely command a big raise at the end of 2013, something the Yankees won't be able to give him if they really want to be under $189 million in payroll. Lastly, Headley is just far too young, which is why I'm all for the Yankees bringing Derrek Lee out of retirement. Viva La Personas Mayores!
2. The Giants have reportedly exchanged "preliminary ideas" about a multi-year contract extension. I'm imagining writing figures down on napkins over lunch, or maybe via WhatsApp, but it's probably a bit more formal than that. The deal being discussed is still in the "conceptual stage" -- meaning that they're ready for a TED talk but nothing actually tangible -- and would buy out his final three years of arbitration only. San Francisco expects Posey to be "reasonable" in his demands, so expect the backstop and reigning MVP to ask for everything from $20 million/year to the property rights at AT&T Park. /timetravels..."Welcome to Posey Park, home of your 2014 San Francisco Giants!" /timetravelsback Yep, sounds about right.
3. Manny Ramirez tried to give himself a bit of leverage with MLB clubs a few weeks back when he set an ultimatum of sorts on his availability. ManRam had a verbal agreement with the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (in Taiwan), but said he wouldn't make the deal official until March 10, giving clubs a few weeks to take a flyer on the troubled veteran. Well, no one bit, and now Manny is officially headed for Taiwan. Ramirez is easily the biggest US star that the CPBL has ever pulled (second place?... Jerome Williams?), so if the 40-year-old can put the bat on the ball he should find great success on the field. Whether he'll be able to make the massive cultural adjustments to life off the field should be the more interesting development to watch.
In Other News...
1. The Cubs might not trade Carlos Marmol before Opening Day, but they are going to trade him. The club informed the right-hander and his agent that a deal is on the horizon, even if there's nothing concrete at the moment. I'm thinking Tigers...
2. Scary news out of Twins camp, as righty reliever Deolis Guerra has been hospitalized with a blood clot in his throwing shoulder. Guerra will have surgery to relieve the clot and is expected to miss three months. A career minor-leaguer, his injury shouldn't affect Minnesota's bullpen. Sending good thoughts Guerra's way. Hoping for a speedy recovery.
3. The Tigers may settling down some after their (and/or the Detroit media's) early-spring freak out about young closer Bruce Rondon. Ken Rosenthal over at FOX Sports seems to think that an adjustment in the right-hander's mechanics or some extra rest have helped Rondon put up solid numbers in his last few times out, but I'd rather say fuck the narrative and introduce Ken to a little something called small sample size. This should have been a non-story from the get-go.
I've been on a 2012 indie comedy kick of late. I had had enough of the Oscar-type movies, so I decided to peruse Rotten Tomatoes to see what they considered the consensus "best comedies" of last year. I wrote down a few films to watch -- from a list that I now can't find, of course -- which somehow meant that most of my movie watching lately involved either Mark Duplass, Mike Birbiglia, or both(!).
I'd never really heard of mumblecore before embarking on the three-movie adventure of Safety Not Guaranteed, Sleepwalk With Me, and Your Sister's Sister, but the early returns seem to indicate that I enjoy it for the most part. I'm not sure any of the three movies qualify as strict mumblecore(???) because they all use very well known actors, but they definitely got the low-budget, somewhat-scripted part down pat.
If I had to rank the three, it'd be 1) Safety, 2) Sleepwalk, and 3) Sister. I'm a sucker for time travel stories, so Safety Not Guaranteed was probably going to top this list no matter what. It's an added bonus that it's great. I'd also recommend Sleepwalk, if for nothing else other than Birbiglia's increasingly weird and hilarious sleepwalking episodes. Your Sister's Sister is well-acted -- and it doesn't hurt that Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt are nice to look at -- but it's a bit melodramatic for my tastes.