In this week's edition of 'Valentine's Views,' we look at some of the stories around baseball for the past week.
- I think Lonn Trost and the other members of the Yankee braintrust responsible for much of the foolishness going on at Yankee Stadium should be embarrassed by stories like this one. And this one. And this one. Unfortunately, we already know they probably aren't embarrassed at all.
- I think the Tampa Bay Rays are finding out that getting back to the playoffs in 2009 won't be as easy for them as it was in 2008. The 10-2 lead the Rays blew the other day against Cleveland -- the worst team in the American League -- offered a glimpse at the Rays' troubles. Even with Troy Percival, the Rays did not have a lock down closer. Now, with Percival's career likely over, the Rays have no formula for finishing games. Scott Kazmir is hurt. Second baseman Akinori Iwamura is lost for the season. Shortstop Jason Bartlett is on the DL. Prized phenom David Price threw 100 pitches in 3.1 innings Monday, showing he -- like Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes -- will not be perfect.
- I think that with the Rays desperately needing a closer, the Yankees possibly needing an eighth-inning set-up man, and every contender probably trying to upgrade in their bullpen, Colorado closer Huston Street could be a hot commodity as the trade deadline approaches.
- Speaking of the Rays and the closer position, I wonder if they would consider asking Scott Kazmir to make a Dave Righetti-like transition to the bullpen. He has electrifying stuff, but he has always had difficulty getting deep in games and staying healthy as a starter.
- I think Jonathan Papelbon's mouth, and his boorish behavior, should be a much bigger concern to the Boston Red Sox than Chamberlain's fist pumps should be to anyone. Papelbon is a great pitcher, but he's hardly a class act.
- Keith Law came out with his Mock MLB Draft the other day. It's ESPN Insider stuff, unfortunately. Anyway, I think I have mixed feelings about Law's prediction that the Yankees will take high school left-hander Matt Purke with their selection at 29. On the one hand, it fits the Yankees' MO, since Purke is a guy who could fall because of the dreaded signability issues. On the other hand, the Yankees got burned when they took a signability risk in high schooler Gerrit Cole last season. And 2007 No. 1 pick Andrew Brackman appears to be a loooooooong way from being a major leaguer. I think I might prefer a safer pick, especially a college guy who could be ready in a year or two instead of 4-5 years down the road.
- I think that, as a former journalist and now a full-throated sports blogger, I certainly understand the jumbled feelings of Ken Rosenthal when it comes to the blurring of lines and the creeping mentality of throwing out accusations without facts to back them up.
- I think I love, love, love what Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said when the team released unpredictable right-hander Daniel Cabrera. Rizzo said "I was tired of watching him." I wish Brian Cashman would come to the same conclusion with Jose Veras.
- I think it's pretty amazing that, while the Yankees have apparently built a Little League park, the Mets have built a stadium that is apparently playing like Yellowstone National Park.
- I think Manny Ramirez being fourth among outfielder in current All-Star Game balloting tells you a lot of fans just don't care that much about PEDs anymore. By the way, of course there is now a 'Vote for Manny' Web site promoting getting him in the NL starting lineup. That's pretty funny. I also think it's pretty interesting that Dodgers Manager Joe Torre was honest enough to say Manny being on the All-Star team "probably isn't the right thing."
NOTE: I kept this to all baseball topics this week. I know a few of you weren't too happy with the mentions of other sports. I figure we have to at least be able to discuss some MLB topics once in a while.