Weekend Open Thread (now with Super Bowl pick!)

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

It's February 2nd, so there's news from that chubby rodent who lives not far from Ohio. ...That's right, Jhonny Peralta!

What, you thought I was talking about someone else? Oh yeah, it's Groundhog Day, meaning it's time for the annual tradition in which millions of Americans gather around the TV to watch Bill Murray's classic comedy from 1993, "Mad Dog and Glory." Good times!

From the Detroit News, former Indian Jhonny Peralta (there's no "LGFT" for Tigers) reports he's gotten into his best shape in years and is ready to get back to being a big contributor.

In connection with that news, over at Fangraphs Jeff Sullivan compiled a list of players who've reported losing a lot of weight during the off-season, to see what impact this had on their defensive performance the following season. The results are interesting. he addressed players who've reported weight gain as well, such as Lonnie Chisenhall.

Speaking of former Indians (certainly no "LGFT" for Yankees), Hoynes reports Travis Hafner's deal with the scourge of our pastime is for $2 million, with an additional $4 million in performance bonuses (all of it still pending a physical). Hoynes also has the scoop on where Pronk is vacationing at the moment, if you want to go try to find him.

At Grantland, Jonah Keri has a great interview with Terry Francona. Keri was able to squeeze a lot of good information out of a ten minute conversation.

ESPN's Jim Caple wrote about WAR yesterday. He starts by complimenting the metric, but spends most of the article complaining about over-reliance on it in many corners. Later, SB Nation's Rob Neyer responded to his old friend. Both make some good points, but ultimately I think Neyer has the stronger case, largely because, like most detractors of newer, "advanced" metrics, Caple relies on a straw man argument.

Finally (also from SBN's Baseball Nation), Grant Brisbee examines that Yankees' options for that to do about Alex Rodriguez's contract. He hits on all of the legitimate options and draws some conclusions.

Other baseball news that pops up over the weekend can be dropped into the comments.

P.S. - Bill Murray has made a ton of good movies. In many ways, Murray has had two different careers: In his earlier years, he did mostly straight comedies. Starting in 1998, he began taking more serious roles, and also became the leader of Wes Anderson's gang (in movies that are still largely comedic, but in a different way than something like "Stripes"). Here are my personal favorites:

Top Five "Early Years" Murray Movies:

5) Scrooged

4) What About Bob?

3) Kingpin

2) Groundhog Day

1) Ghostbusters

Top Five "Modern Era" Murray Movies:

5) The Life Aquatic

4) Moonrise Kingdom

3) Rushmore

2) Lost in Translation

1) The Royal Tenenbaums

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