They say that just before Mother Nature unleashes her wrath of bitter weather on the unsuspecting inhabitants it gets extremely calm and quiet. Leading up to a large tsunami the waters become calm and recede away from the shore.
Over the course of the next week we will feel a similar quiet almost uneasy feeling. Beginning next week all of baseball will turn it’s attention to the Swan and Dolphin Resorts in Orlando Florida.
No it is not time for Mickey Mouse’s annual Christmas parade although there may be some who will wish to celebrate. Instead representatives from all 30 teams will descend on the two resorts at the gates of Epcot for baseball’s Winter Meetings.
When the weather gets cold and the days get shorter, it’s sometimes hard to get excited about baseball. After all, pitchers and catchers don’t report for another 76 days but who’s counting? While the uninformed fan may think that baseball hibernates all winter sealing refreshed each spring.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is this time of year when baseball operations staff are hard at work. They are reviewing scouting reports and summaries of players within the Diamondbacks minor league system attempting to determine which of their farm hands have leapt up to become tomorrow’s prospect.
Word coming out of the nation’s capital suggests the Washington Nationals may be poised to make a run on former Arizona Diamondbacks ace pitcher Brandon Webb. Nationals officials are said to be interested in meeting with Webb’s representatives during the upcoming Winter Meetings the first week of December in Orlando Florida.
The idea that the Nationals may be a suitor for Webb’s services should not come as a surprise. Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo was the person responsible for drafting Webb out of the University of Kentucky. Rizzo was then a member of the Diamondbacks front office and is responsible for much of the talent currently on the Diamondbacks roster.
Today marks a Sedona Red letter day on the off season timeline. It marks the final day teams can offer salary arbitration to their free agents. The significance of this sometimes has very little to do with whether a team actually wants to re-sign the player.
When salary arbitration was first negotiated as part of the collective bargaining agreement between owners and the players union, it was designed to provide a mechanism where a player and his agent would have a place to settle potential compensation issues. No one could have imagined the other nuances of the process and the implications it allows.
Major League Baseball announced the National League Most Valuable Player selection and for the first time in three years the winner is not someone named Albert Pujols.
The 2010 NL MVP was Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Votto’s win was not that surprising the type of year he had but the degree with which he won was shocking. Votto received 31 out of a possible 32 first place votes and that one vote was a second place.
Over the last week the Arizona Diamondbacks begun tweaking their roster. Not in a wholesale massive way but rather by adjusting the player mix one small step at a time. Many Diamondbacks fans will look at each of these moves and question whether they are actually making the team better or just shuffling like a three-card Monte game.
Bright blue skies dotted with high wispy white clouds and temperatures hovering around the low-70’s. By all accounts it was a perfect fall game. I would usually argue that it was near-perfect since mid-November is beyond the end of baseball season and no day can be classified as perfect if it doesn’t include baseball.
Today, it was truly perfect. At Scottsdale Stadium it was the Championship Game for the Arizona Fall League. The game would feature the defending Arizona Fall League Champion Peoria Javelinas against the Scottsdale Scorpions.