Posted on: February 11, 2008 12:46 pm

Tucson's swan song?

Baseball is apparently dying in Tucson. 

Next season, the White Sox are moving operations to Glendale from Tucson Electric Park.  That will leave the Rockies and the Diamondbacks as the only two MLB teams who train in Tucson.  Tucson is roughly two and a half hours southeast of the greater Phoenix area, which is currently the spring home of nine MLB teams in seven venues.  In 2009, the Phoenix area could be host to as many as thirteen teams in nine venues.  The Dodgers will join the White Sox in Glendale and the Indians and Reds may share a facility in Goodyear. 

The teams in Tucson still play all the other Cactus League teams, despite the long commute.  The greater distance means more expenses for the southern teams.  The White Sox might not be the only team to heading north in the near future.  The Arizona Daily Star has a story about possible renovations to Hi Corbett Field that may take place in order to keep the Rockies in Tucson.  The most recent idea calls on the University of Arizona to take charge of the facility and spearhead the $10-20 million renovations.  The problem is that UA already has excellent baseball facilities in Kindall/Sancet Stadium.  Kindall/Sancet is said to be one of the finer parks in the Pac-10, with recent $2 million renovations of its own. 

Tucson benefits from a $30 million economic impact brought on by spring training.  However, this figure will plummet if no team replaces the White Sox at TEP or if the Rockies or Diamondbacks find a more viable spring venue.  This may be the year to take the trek to Tucson, as the future of spring baseball in the Old Pueblo is uncertain.

Posted on: January 29, 2008 1:16 pm

Spring Training planner

I have recently arranged for accommodations for my trip to Spring Training in AZ. I will be staying in Chandler AZ from March 17-21. The closest park is Tempe Diablo, the spring home of the Angels. There are a lot of games being played while I'm there. What do you think would be the perfect week of baseball? Here's the list of games:

Monday March 17th
Brewers* at Mariners*, 1:05 @ Peoria Sports Complex
Giants at Rockies, 1:05 @ Hi Corbett Field
Mariners* at Rangers, 1:05 @ Surprise Recreation Campus
Padres at Diamondbacks, 1:05 @ Tucson Electric Park
Royals at Athletics, 1:05 @ Phoenix Municipal Stadium
White Sox at BREWERS*, 1:05 @ Maryvale Baseball Park

Tuesday March 18th
Athletics at RANGERS, 1:05 @ Surprise Recreation Campus
Brewers at ANGELS, 1:05 @ Tempe Diablo Stadium
Padres at WHITE SOX, 1:05 @ Tucson Electric Park
Royals at Cubs, 1:05 @ HoHoKam Park

Wednesday March 19th
Athletics* at CUBS*, 12:05 @ HoHoKam Park
Angels at ATHLETICS*, 1:05 @ Phoenix Municipal Stadium
Cubs* at GIANTS, 7:05 @ Scottsdale Stadium
Diamondbacks at MARINERS, 7:05 @ Peoria Sports Complex
Rockies at WHITE SOX, 1:05 @ Tucson Electric Park

Thursday March 20th
Brewers at ROYALS, 1:05 @ Surprise Recreation Campus
Giants at ANGELS, 1:05 @ Tempe Diablo Stadium
Mariners at PADRES, 7:05 @ Peoria Sports Complex
Rangers at DIAMONDBACKS, 1:05 @ Tucson Electric Park
Rockies at CUBS, 1:05 @ HoHoKam Park
White Sox at Dodgers, 7:05 @ Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Friday March 21st
Angels at RANGERS, 6:05 @ Surprise Recreation Campus
Cubs at ROCKIES, 1:05 @ Hi Corbett Field
Padres at BREWERS, 1:05 @ Maryvale Baseball Park
Royals at MARINERS, 1:05 @ Peoria Sports Complex
White Sox at GIANTS, 1:05 @ Scottsdale Stadium
Dodgers at DIAMONDBACKS, 1:05 @ Tucson Electric Park

* indicates split squad
A map of the parks is available here
Posted on: January 24, 2008 12:40 am
Edited on: January 24, 2008 12:41 am

5OT, nuff said...


I know that Kansas is still undefeated. I know that some people will be upset with what I have to say. Nevertheless....


It's as simple as "116-110 5OT". The Aggies saw their 15 game home winning streak come to an end in dramatic fashion. The Bears pulled out the victory despite having five players foul out. Depth like that is a true credit to coach Scott Drew.

Baylor has some of the best guards in the country. They have only lost to Washington State (16-1) and Arkansas (13-5). BU's key victories (besides tonight's) include wins over Winthrop (12-7) and Notre Dame (13-4) both of which--like tonight--were on the road.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -Baylor waited 39 years to get back into the Top 25. Then the Bears had to wait some more, enduring five overtimes to get their first win as a ranked team.
Curtis Jerrells scored a career-high 36 points, including 11 in the fifth overtime to lead No. 25 Baylor to a 116-110 win over No. 18 Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
Baylor (16-2, 4-0 Big 12) won its fifth in a row and first since entering the rankings for the first time since 1969 on Monday. It broke a 15-game home winning streak for Texas A&M and is the Aggies' third straight loss.
Three free throws by Jerrells gave Baylor a 106-103 lead in the fifth overtime. Dominique Kirk got A&M (15-4, 1-3) within a point with a layup on the next possession.
Jerrells pushed the lead back to 3 with his steal and layup with about a minute left. Aaron Bruce added a pair of free throws before a layup by Bryan Davis made it 110-107 with less than 30 seconds remaining.
Jerrells added four more free throws and LaceDarius Dunn chipped in a pair to ensure the win.
The small but vocal group of Baylor fans chanted "B-U!" incessantly as time ticked down in the final overtime and players jumped around wildly and hugged after the clock ran out.
Davis made a layup with 9 seconds left in the fourth overtime to knot it at 99 and send it to the fifth OT.

The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2007-2008, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
The networks need to wise up and realize where the best college basketball is--the Big XII. I couldn't find the game or any highlights anywhere. I had to sit at my computer and watch GameCast (a.k.a LameCast!! ZING!!). The Baylor Bears are well on their way to a remarkable season with a great underdog story too. The basketball world better learn about this team, because they are destined for greatness.

Sic 'em Bears!!!

[Trivia question of the night: only one Big XII school has ever won a basketball national championship, can you guess who?]
Posted on: January 24, 2008 12:03 am

Bittersweet Nene Update

Well, Nene's Tumor was malignant after all. However, reports are saying that it did not spread and his odds to recover are nearly 100%.
DENVER -- A testicular tumor removed from Denver Nuggets forward Nene was malignant.
The team said Tuesday the tumor was discovered early, and tests showed the cancer was isolated.
"The recovery rate is extremely high," the Nuggets said in a written statement. "In addition, the odds of a recurrence are very small."
The Brazilian player underwent surgery Jan. 14 to remove the tumor. The team said he was doing well, but there was no timetable for his return.
Nene's website had posted a statement last week saying the tumor was benign, but that announcement later was removed.
The Brazilian news magazine, Epoca, reported on its website the tumor was small and was completely removed in surgery, citing Nene's Brazilian urologist Dr. Fernando Kim. Examinations of his blood, lungs, pelvis and abdomen showed there was no other tumor in his body.
"There is no sign the disease has spread," Kim told the magazine, adding the player was recovering "physically and psychologically extremely well."
Nene's right testicle was removed, and the early diagnosis made it "close to 100 percent" sure that the treatment was successful, Epoca said. He added Nene would be sidelined at least until March, because two months was the minimum for recovery.
Nene took an indefinite leave of absence from the team on Jan. 11.
Nuggets coach George Karl has experienced a couple of health scares over the past few years. He was treated for prostate cancer in 2005; his son, Coby, was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma, a form of treatable cancer, in January 2006 and had his thyroid removed three months later. Last April, Coby, who's now a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, underwent more surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes.
Nene, who is averaging 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds, missed 22 games earlier this season after undergoing surgery on his left thumb. He was out for all but one game of the 2005-06 season after tearing a knee ligament.

The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2007-2008, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

Nuggets head coach George Karl wants Nene to make an appearance for the team.
DENVER -- Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is hoping to entice Nene to attend an upcoming practice.
Karl thinks it would be therapeutic for the Brazilian forward to hang out with his NBA teammates.
Nene found out on Tuesday that a testicular tumor removed on Jan. 14 was malignant. The team said the tumor was discovered early, and tests showed the cancer was isolated.
"I want him to come back and be with the team, and understand basketball is a little bit family," Karl said on Wednesday. "So many of us stay in basketball because of the spirit of basketball, and the spirit of friendship is stronger and deeper ... and loving. We want to share that with him."
The team said there's no timetable yet for his return, but Karl has a suspicion Nene will return this season.
"My feeling is he knows that we love him and need him," Karl said. "I think he knows we can be a damn good basketball team. As soon as he's healthy, we'll step over that bridge."
The Nuggets suspected the news would come back that the tumor was malignant, based on the information they were receiving. The team was bracing for it, even after Nene's website posted a statement last week saying the tumor was benign. But that announcement later was removed.
"Cancer is scary," Karl said. "It's a fear. It's an emotion you don't deal with a lot. Now, you wake up with it and think about it."
The team has had to deal with cancer quite a bit in recent years. Karl was treated for prostate cancer in 2005; his son, Coby, was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma, a form of treatable cancer, in January 2006 and had his thyroid removed three months later. Last April, Coby, who's now a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, underwent more surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes.
"We're pretty much familiar with the situation at hand," said Marcus Camby, who considers Nene one of his closest friends on the team. "It's tough. We've dealt with it with George, we dealt with it with Coby. So, you have to be there for support. That's all we can really do from afar."
Camby said he's spoken with Nene and that his spirits are high.
"I wanted to let him know that as a friend and as a brother, he definitely has my support," Camby said. "We love him, we're praying for him and want to see him. We hope he gets better. We're not really worried about basketball at this point, we just want him to worry about his life. When he's ready to come back, we'll definitely welcome him back with open arms."
The Brazilian news magazine, Epoca, recently reported on its website the tumor was small and was completely removed in surgery, citing Nene's Brazilian urologist Dr. Fernando Kim.
"There is no sign the disease has spread," Kim told the magazine.
Nene's right testicle was removed, and the early diagnosis made it "close to 100 percent" sure that the treatment was successful, Epoca said.
That was welcome news to Karl.
"The more you understand it, the more you comprehend that if you do the right things, you're going to be fine," Karl said. "He got it early, it's a slow-moving cancer and I heard the possibilities of close to 100 percent chance of survival, and living a clean and healthy life."
Karl has yet to speak to Nene over the phone, preferring his first conversation with him to be in person. That's why he's hoping to lure him to a practice.
"We're going to figure it out," Karl said. "Whatever we need to do to help him, we'll do."

The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2007-2008, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

All in all, there was good news today. Hearing that the tumor was malignant is difficult. It's more scary (at least to me) than when the benign report was pulled from Nene's website. Still, the doctors wouldn't tell us that it hasn't spread unless it really hasn't. Likewise, they wouldn't tell us that Nene has a close to 100% chance of recovering only to get everyone's hopes up. At least that's what I'd like to think. Sometimes the truth seems very fuzzy to a fan who is being spoonfed all the news by the media outlets. Whatever the situation is, the only thing I want to see is a healthy and stable recovery for Nene. Please feel well soon, amigo. Everyone wants to see you back on the court, but please don't put a game ahead of your wellbeing. Get healthy first. Basketball will always be waiting for you.

On a less-important-yet-happy note, the Nuggets won 107-100 over the Atlanta Hawks tonight. Carmelo Anthony was out with a sprained ankle. Allen Iverson led all scorers with 29 points. MARCUS CAMBY IS A REBOUND MACHINE!! He had 21 boards tonight along with 13 points. Nice job, Nuggs. Next up is the New Jersey Nets on Friday.
Posted on: January 21, 2008 4:58 pm

Bud Selig endorses domestic violence!

"It's only my wife. I'll punch her out."

Should this man really be commissioner of America's past time? Spousal abuse is never something to joke about. Bud Selig should be fired immediately.
Category: MLB
Tags: Bud Selig, MLB
Posted on: January 21, 2008 1:41 pm

Jeremy Affeldt signs with the Reds

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Reds have signed LHP Jeremy Affeldt.

The Reds, striking a bargain with one of the top remaining free-agent pitchers, have reached preliminary agreement with left-hander Jeremy Affeldt on a one-year, $3 million contract, according to major-league sources.
The deal, pending a physical, will be the Reds' third significant pitching acquisition of the off-season. The team previously signed free-agent closer Francisco Cordero and acquired right-hander Edinson Volquez in a trade with the Rangers.
Affeldt, 28, will compete for a spot in the Reds' rotation after spending all of last season as a reliever with the Rockies. He has started in the past and the Reds' far greater need is in the rotation, where they are unsettled beyond right-handers Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo.
If Affeldt fails as a starter, the Reds always could return him to the bullpen. The team currently envisions right-hander David Weathers setting up for Cordero and already features three left-handed relievers — Mike Stanton, Bill Bray and Jon Coutlangus.
Either way, Affeldt stands to earn significant performance bonuses in his new contract, one source said. The deal, however, is for a much shorter term than the four years he originally desired.
Two older left-handed relievers received multi-year, free-agent contracts — J.C. Romero, 31, signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Phillies, while Ron Mahay, 36, signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Royals.
Affeldt enjoyed a long-awaited breakthrough with the Rockies last season, going 4-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 59 innings. He is 25-27 with a 4.74 ERA in 286 career appearances, including 42 starts.
Good luck in Cincinnati, Jeremy!
Posted on: January 21, 2008 12:36 am
Edited on: January 21, 2008 12:37 am

More on Troy

On the MLB boards, somehow I got to comparing Tulo to Rookie-of-the-Year winning shortstops. I think the best comparison (better than with Angel M. Berroa) is:

Hanley Ramirez, 2006

158 G, 633 AB, 119 R, 185 H, 46 2B, 11 3B, 17 HR
59 RBI, 51 SB, 56 BB, 128 K, .292 AVG, .353 OBP, .480 SLG
258 PO, 410 A, 26 E, 110 DP, .963 F%

Troy Tulowitzki, 2007

155 G, 609 AB, 104 R, 177 H, 33 2B, 5 3B, 24 HR
99 RBI, 7 SB, 57 BB, 130 K, .291 AVG, .359 OBP, .479 SLG
262 PO, 561 A, 11 E, 114 DP, .987 F%

The difference is that Ramirez has incredible speed. In both 2006 and 2007 Hanley swiped 51 bases, good enough for 3rd in the NL both seasons. This led to Hanley's better 2B and 3B numbers. Tulowitzki's HR total shows more power in his rookie campaign (though Ramirez has improved, hitting 29 HR in 2007). Tulo's better HR power nearly evens out with Hanley's great speed, as both finished their rookie seasons within one point in the SLG column. Both players showed similar plate discipline: AVG totals are within one point, BBs are within one, Ks are within two, and OBP is within six.

Troy also has a better rep as a defensive shortstop. The fielding stats reflect this, depending on how much credence one gives to fielding statistics in the first place.

The only other difference between Tulo and Hanley is in the way they wear their hat. Ramirez wears his tilted to his left, while Tulo wears his tilted to the right.
Posted on: January 20, 2008 6:27 pm

Tulowitzki agrees to record contract extension

The Denver Post reports that the Rockies and SS Troy Tulowitzki have reached an agreement for a 6 year $30 million contract extension.
Only the ironing out of small details stands in the way of a historic contract with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
In a deal first reported in The Denver Post, the Rockies and Tulowitzki have agreed to the parameters of a six-year, $30 million contract with a club option for a seventh season, the largest given a big leaguer with less than two years' experience.
It mirrors the contract structure given in 2006 to Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore, who held the previous salary record at six years, $23.45 million with a club option. A source close to the Tulowitzki negotiations repeated this weekend that a deal "is close."
If the club option is exercised, Tulowitzki would remain with the Rockies through 2014, casting him as the future face of the franchise. It figures to be a big week for the precocious 23-year-old shortstop. He is also poised to wrap up significant endorsement deals, a novelty for Rockies players who, other than Todd Helton and Matt Holliday, are not widely recognized nationally.

See also:

This is AWESOME!!! Giving Tulo a long term deal is a brilliant move. Even as a rookie, he was a standout leader in the clubhouse. Down the stretch, it became more and more apparent how important Tulo was to the team. Now he'll be a centerpiece in the lineup for years to come. Hopefully, after the 2009 season, he'll be able to help convince Matt Holliday to stay in purple pinstripes. I'm so pumped about baseball right now. It's too bad that pitchers and catchers don't report for another 25 days. Maybe I'll go call my brother to see if I can crash at his place during spring training...
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or