1) Tribe news
Catching up with Giambi the White - Paul Hoynes checks in with Jason Giambi, who says the Indians winning the World Series is "not out of the realm." Hoynes writes that "a lot would have to change" for Giambi not to make the team.
Jordan Bastian's notes from MLB.com - Word on John Axford, Davis Murphy, and Vinnie Pestano. Axford wants to make his slider a bigger factor, Murphy is excited for a fresh start, and Pestano isn't being rushed after an offseason in which he rested his elbow.
Speaking of Axford, the Canadian was riding high on Friday after his homeland won the Olympic gold medal in women's ice hockey on Thursday by beating the U.S., followed by the men defeating the Americans on Friday. "You've got to be proud of your country," Axford said.
2) LGFT news
And you thought nothing good comes from allowing pitchers to bat:
Oh boy, this isn't pretty pic.twitter.com/ajkqhrGehc— Dan Hirsch (@DanHirsch) February 21, 2014
Looking good, Bartolo!
3) Should the BBWAA undo history?
In 2011 Philadelphia sportswriter Bill Conlin was given the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the BBWAA, which is sort of like the Baseball Hall of Fame for writers. Five months later seven people came forward with stories of being molested by Conlin when they were between the ages of 7 and 12. He was protected from criminal charges by the statute of limitations, but he quickly removed himself from the public eye, disgraced. Conlin died last month. Leigh Montville at Sports on Earth says the BBWAA should change its rules or create some new ones, and do what it takes to get Conlin out of the media wing in Cooperstown.
4) No way to treat a legend
Sandy Koufax was in camp with the Dodgers today (maybe to get a look at fat Yasiel Puig) and was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Andre Ethier.No word yet on whether or not Ethier will be allowed to stay on the team or not.
5) Stay classy, Philadelphia
After failing to sign their 5th-round pick, Oregon State southpaw Ben Wetzler, the Phillies reported him to the NCAA for negotiating with the help of an agent (which is technically against the rules unless a player is foregoing his amateur eligibility). It is commonplace for college juniors to be advised by agents, and quite uncommon for teams to report it to the NCAA. Wetzler has been suspended for 20% of the college season. Aaron Fitt of Baseball America has been reporting the story all week, and he explains what a problem this could be for the Phillies going forward.
Says one agent: "We're going to shut down all communication with the Phillies-no questionnaires returned, no communication with the Phillies' scouts about when players are going to pitch and no communication about signability information."
6) This week's off-topic topic
One of this weekend's new releases is 3 Days to Kill, starring Kevin Costner. I don't plan to see it, but I do have a soft spot for Costner. He put up a stretch of movies years ago better than almost any actor has had. Costner spent last summer in Cleveland (he attended a number of Indians games), where he was filming Draft Day, a football movie coming out in April.
Top Kevin Costner movies:
6) Dances With Wolves - Did it deserve Best Picture? No, but we all knew Joe Versus the Volcano was going to get screwed that year.
5) The Untouchables - One of the great Chicago movies, with Costner playing one of the great Clevelanders, Eliot Ness.
4) JFK - It's semi-ridiculous, because Oliver Stone is semi-insane, so don't get caught up in its handling of the facts. Think of it as a fiction and enjoy; it's a gripping yarn.
3) Bull Durham - The rare romantic comedy that I can really get behind. Notable for Crash Davis' belief that Lee Harvey Oswald acted along, in contrast to Jim Garrison's take on the assassination.
2) A Perfect World - One of the most overlooked and underrated movies of the last 25 years. Track down a copy and watch it.
1) Field of Dreams - This is a divisive one, but I'm a strong supporter, even if there are some notable baseball gaffes.
All of those movies were released in a six-and-a-half-year stretch. Costner didn't have great longevity, but that's a Hall of Fame peak.