Friday, February 20, 2009

Spring Training Notes: February 20

You’ve got to love this time of year as a baseball fan. Teams aren’t playing games yet, so the stories that come out of camp are all we’ve got. Well, that and speculation about the coming season.

One story we’re hearing is about Jose Guillen removing his own toe nail because it was ingrown. Guillen went to a pharmacy, got some tweezers, and pulled it out over the course of an hour. My knees went weak just thinking about it. I’ve had the surgery a couple of times in a doctor’s office. I wouldn’t dream about doing it myself. Give me the shots to numb the pain please. I’m guessing that Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman weren’t too pleased to hear about Guillen’s actions, but you just know that this is going to be added to the rather lengthy timeline of events that started the minute Guillen put on a Royals uniform.

The Royals claimed Tug Hulett on waivers from the Mariners. Hulett is primarily a second baseman, but Moore says he can play third and short as well. Moore says the Royals see him beginning the season in Omaha. At first, this one seemed like a head-scratcher to me. Do we really need another second baseman? Well, maybe. One of our biggest weaknesses over the past decade has been our lack of depth at all positions. Of course, our front line guys haven’t exactly tore up the league, but you have to be prepared for injuries and for down seasons from some guys. Hulett has been around for a while. He’s played 524 games in the Minor Leagues and last season at Triple-A Tacoma he hit 14 HR with 47 RBI in 91 games. He also had a .380 OBP. So, if Teahen or Callaspo or Bloomquist or German falters/gets injured/doesn’t work out, Hulett may get a shot down the line.

Sounds like the Royals are just about out of the Orlando Hudson sweepstakes because they are already set to open the season with a payroll in the $74 million range—which is already over budget.

With the baseball season drawing near, I finally decided to pull the trigger and switch to DirecTV. I got so tired of Cox Communications not showing Royals games that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I won’t have to deal with that this season.

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