Only two more days till Christmas, folks. Everything wrapped and ready to go? Here's a handful of links to accompany that jug of egg nog as you feverishly search for the last roll of red ribbon.
Tribe players have awful taste in Christmas music | Tribe Vibe (Courtney Shilling) - A handful of Indians players list their favorite holiday songs. Not one mention of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from this shameful lot.
Francona pushed for a veteran closer | Cleveland.com (Terry Pluto) - Pluto presents a handful of facts about new Tribe closer John Axford and LGFT Drew Stubbs.
Chris Perez won't return; Indians won't change outfield dimensions to accommodate speedy team | Cleveland.com (Paul Hoynes) - Hoynes addresses these astounding suggestions and several others of similar caliber in his occasional "Hey Hoynsie" column.
Around the league
Yankees' and Boras' loss is Texas' gain in Choo deal | Sports on Earth (Jonathan Bernhardt) - A deal between Shin-Soo Choo and the Yankees fell apart over a reported $3 million, ultimately losing him and Scott Boras around $10 million. Choo is a obviously a big addition to the Texas lineup, even if that contract doesn't age well.
Jeremy Guthrie visits China | MLB.com (Dick Kaegel) - Cool piece about LGFT Guthrie's role as an "MLB Ambassador" to areas around the globe with developing interests in baseball.
Breaking down Jack Morris' case for the HoF | CBS Sport (Mike Axisa) - Many of Morris' proponents point to him being the "winningest pitcher of the '80's." Is that enough to get him in the Hall, or an arbitrary stat? Just for fun, Axisa also provides a list of the winningest pitchers of specific 10-year timeframes alongside those with the highest WAR. I know we like to hate on wins - and for good reason - but this list shows it is a pretty reasonable way to gage the performance of pitchers over a long period of time.
Balfour situation getting ugly | Fox Sports (Ken Rosenthal) - Grant Balfour may seek to file a grievance against the Orioles for nullifying his contract. Meanwhile, Balfour claims he has four other teams interested in him, and the Orioles are pursuing Fernando Rodney in lieu of Balfour.
Leonys Martin held ransom after leaving Cuba | AP Wire - Scary stuff here, and a reminder that baseball is so much more than a game to so many of its young stars who come to MLB looking for a better life.
Andrew McCutchen induces labour | Cut 4 (Dan Wohl) - On a lighter note, here's one of those strange stories that makes baseball so great.
That's about all for today's lazy Sunday. I was going to end with a clip from "A Christmas Story," but decided to go with this less cliched video of a leg lamp's trip to space. If you can get past the annoying subtitles and obnoxious music, this is kind of an awesome video: