On this date in 1930, 23-year-old astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh officially discovered the dwarf planet Pluto at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Originally theorized by Percival Lowell -- after whom the observatory was named -- in 1906 as Planet X, Pluto was regarded as the ninth planet in our solar system until a reclassification in 2006 determined that it was a dwarf planet, or plutoid.
Today's timely trivia question: Much of the reason for the reclassification was the discovery in 2005 of a body in the outer solar system that carried more mass than Pluto. What is the name of that dwarf planet -- the largest in our solar system -- and how much more massive than Pluto is it believed to be? (Answer below.)
The Big Three
1. So apparently Ryan Braun's name shows up at least one more time in PED pusher Anthony Bosch's notebook. This time his name appears on a note allegedly dated April 2012 and next to a dollar figure: $1,500. While there is still no mention of Braun in relation to any illegals PEDs, you are free to speculate all you want as to what that $1.5k would be for. Perhaps it took that long to agree to the consulting fee from the year prior? Maybe Bosch is the reason that Braun's Remetee shirts haven't all been burned in the streets? ESPN's sources say pretty explicitly that Braun's name on that list indicates that he bought PEDs, but honestly it could be for anything. I realize that the desire is to point fingers and moralize on Braun yet again, and that his ties to Bosch are probably not a good indicator, but let's wait until there's some clear-cut evidence before we cry wolf and indict him.
2. Week one of Spring Training is in the books and two Scott Boras clients are still without homes. Kyle Lohse's market remains pretty nonexistent, while Jose Valverde may have a suitor in the the Mets. Boras spoke over the weekend about how the calls for pair have increased since Spring Training started because "the need level of each club is more evident," which is really code for: "I have absolutely zero leverage left so teams are calling to pay bottom dollar for my clients." Lohse and Valverde are sure to get paid sometime in the next two weeks, but they won't get anything close to the type of money they or Boras were hoping for.
3. With Homer Bailey, Jordan Zimmermann, and Clayton Richard all coming to terms on one-year deals over the weekend, the league is officially arbitration-less for the first time ever. All you arbiters out there have to go home empty-handed this year. Sorry. Is this a sign that players and teams are getting better at finding common ground in terms of valuation? Or is it just a random blip on the arbitration radar? I'm not sure if there's any underlying reason why no one went all the way to the table -- it was bound to happen sometime, right? -- but it should be interesting to keep an eye on in future years.
In Other News...
1. The Orioles finally came to terms with right-hander Jair Jurrjens over the weekend, though you can bet he's none too happy about it. Originally agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, the right-hander now gets just a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Man, did he ever fall out of favor fast. He still owns a career 3.62 ERA.
2. The Marlins signed free-agent first baseman Casey Kotchman to a minor-league deal. Kotchman has struggled to find a long-term home since being dealt by the Angels in 2008, but could see some considerable playing time in Miami if Logan Morrison's knee problems continue.
3. The Rays signed Three True Outcomes hero Jack Cust to a minor-league deal yesterday, further frustrating Jim Thome in his quest to continue his career. Cust didn't appear in the majors last year, but did seem to regain the power stroke in Triple-A that had eluded him in 2011.
A fascinating/terrifying read.
- Baseball crossword puzzles from VORG. Guaranteed to make your Monday morning less productive.
- Here's Will Ferrell endorsing Eric Garcetti for mayor of LA. Free waffles every Tuesday!:
Trivia Answer: The dwarf planet Eris, part of the scattered disc, is the largest dwarf planet in our solar system. It is three times further from the Sun than Pluto -- about 96.6 AU away -- and has 27% more mass than our former planet.