Good morning, all.
Today we have dirt on a shortstop that may be a "perfect fit" for the Cardinals, the New Times getting all weird and wordy in their denial of MLB's request for Biogenesis notes, and the Diamondbacks determining one of their gritty infielders just isn't quite gritty enough. Also, Stephen Drew is still concussed, Nolan Ryan is undecided, and Nick Markakis has been shut down.
Lastly, a brief laugh about the ongoing Sim City launch debacle.
The Big Three
1. While it's all purely speculative at this point, the idea that the Cardinals might go after Elvis Andrus to solve their shortstop problem seems to make a lot of sense. St. Louis has minor-league prospects in spades and the Rangers don't really have a great solution to their enviable problem of having too many stellar middle infielders. Sure, I suppose Texas could move Ian Kinsler to left and put Jurickson Profar at second base, but that'd lessen the overall value of both players. I highly doubt that the Cardinals plan to go a full season with Peter Kozma and Ronny Cedeno at short, so it's really a matter of how much they're willing to give up to replace the pair. Would they rather go for a temporary stopgap now and go for a bigger name in the offseason, or trade away some of their big-name prospects now for a long-term solution at short?
2. All the New Times had to say in their refusal to hand over Biogenesis notes to MLB was that they did not want to compromise their ethical standards as journalists by divulging information given to them in confidence. Instead, after (sort of) making that point, they decided to make a broader point by pointing the finger of blame at Bud Selig, Jeffrey Loria, and the 1919 Chicago Black Sox(?).
Look, I dislike Selig and Loria as much as the next person -- unless that next person is the guy who runs this site -- but the way the New Times went about denying MLB access is ridiculous. By writing a 1,147 word rebuttal to MLB's request -- rather than just calling and saying "No, sorry." -- the publication has made themselves the story, casting themselves in the part of the hero. Which they're not. They're still just reporting information. Get over yourselves, New Times.
3. After months of refilling their organization with hustlers (the good kind), the D'Backs may now have too much grit, if that's even possible. Arizona has three short, middle-aged white guys -- Willie Bloomquist, Cliff Pennington, and John McDonald -- set to take up residence at shortstop, but room on the roster for only two of them. Reportedly, that means that Ol' McDonald is likely on his way out of Phoenix. Though McDonald is pretty terrible at the plate, the D'Backs shouldn't have much trouble finding a team in need of a defensive specialist up the middle. The Cardinals are on the market for a shortstop, but they already have two defense-first guys set to share the role, so it seems unlikely that McDonald will be headed to St. Louis.
In Other News...
1. Head injuries are so scary, no matter how harmless they may look at first. Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is still experiencing concussive symptoms a week after being hit in the head by a pitch last Thursday. It says he's a "few days" from returning to the lineup, but you honestly never know with these things. Ask Justin Morneau or Brian Roberts.
2. Nolan Ryan is still undecided about whether he wants to stay with the Texas Rangers. I get that's he's bummed about having fewer day-to-day responsibilities, but he's still a co-owner and the CEO of a pretty great baseball franchise. What else would he do if not that? Does he really have another seven-figure job on the horizon?
3. Nick Markakis went for an MRI on his neck earlier this week, and the results were not great. The Orioles right fielder has been diagnosed with a small disc herniation, which sounds rather painful, and have shut down the outfielder for a week.
So, the new, long-awaited Sim City 5 launched last week... and oh man has it ever been a giant clusterf*ck.
Usually, when you put something on sale, you want to make sure it's actually going to work. Not Sim City creators/distributors EA and Maxis, apparently! The servers for the online-only/DRM game didn't work for most people for days, and would randomly kick people offline when they finally did get it to work.
Things only got worse from there...
Because they're great/strange, Taiwan animation specialists NMA have recounted the whole fiasco in a short video:
NB: No idea what the hell's going on with the fire-breathing part.
What the video doesn't include may be the best/worst part of this whole thing. Those who have actually been able to play the game for a decent period of time have determined that it's actually broken.