February 2007 - Baseball Wiretap
Cain Appears Close To Four-Year Deal With Giants
The Giants and right-hander Matt Cain were close to agreement Wednesday on a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year. "It's ongoing," said Bobby Evans, the Giants' director of player personnel. "It's not finalized." Several issues were still to be worked out. The 22-year-old Cain, coming off an impressive rookie season and considered the ace of the future, is slated to be the club's No. 2 starter this season behind left-hander Barry Zito. Cain's contract will be comparable to the deal left-hander Noah Lowry received last spring: $9.25 million for the same number of years. Cain led all rookies with 13 wins and 179 strikeouts last season, going 13-12 with a 4.15 ERA in 190 2-3 innings, finishing in a tie for fourth place in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
"Secrets Of A Hollywood SuperMadam" Shakes Dodgertown
"Secrets of a Hollywood SuperMadam," a tell-all book by Hollywood madam Jody "Babydol" Gibson that will be released Thursday, claims that Tommy Lasorda frequented her call-girl service, the reports of which brought from Lasorda a denial and a promise to sue. The book's lurid excerpts have since ratcheted Internet voyeurs to DEFCON 2. But Lasorda shook his head and said further dialogue would serve only to sell more books and perpetuate the story, the thought of which reddened his face and tightened his lips.
A's Kielty To Have Knee Scoped
Athletics outfielder Bobby Kielty needs arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will be sidelined for three-to-six weeks. Kielty, who came to camp in the best shape of his career, injured the knee Sunday during a rundown drill -- and just when he was ready to get through a healthy spring training, for a change. "It's definitely a bummer," Kielty said Wednesday. "Right now I could play on it, but we're deciding that the best thing is to make sure it's good for the season."
Twins Brainstorming Way To Avoid More Problems For Liriano
The Twins have started pondering whether anything can be done to help Francisco Liriano avoid further arm problems. The all-star pitcher is out for the season after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery and is expected to start throwing late this summer. "The big thing is how much can an arm handle with that arm speed he has, and we all saw the violent throwing motion where he spins in a circle," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Will he get back to that? Can he get back to that? Or should he? Those are all questions we have. We're going to talk and see if there are ways to help him, but it comes down to the pitcher wanting to be able to do those things.
Cardinals Want In On Clemens
The Cardinals recently told agents representing Roger Clemens that they are interested should the 44-year-old expand his list of potential 2007 landing spots beyond Houston, New York and Boston. General manager Walt Jocketty, assistant general manager John Mozeliak and vice president of player personnel Jerry Walker met at length Monday morning at a nearby coffee shop with one of Clemens' lead agents, Alan Hendricks, and two associates. Much of their two-hour meeting focused on Hendricks clients Braden Looper and Kip Wells, but Clemens was discussed. "I guess you would always have interest in a guy like that," Jocketty said. "He's someone we've expressed interest in before. I'm not sure it would be mutual, though. There are so many factors involved it would be pretty tough to do any deal with them. You never know." One club official played down the Cardinals' chances of landing Clemens to "1 million to 1."
Red Sox For Life?
Manny Ramirez? agent yesterday said the slugger wants to stay with the Red Sox for the remainder of his playing career. ?Manny is at peace with his situation in Boston,? said Gene Mato, one of Ramirez? representatives, yesterday. ?He has indicated to me that he would look forward to the opportunity to retire in a Boston uniform.?
Bonds Says He Receives Death Threats
In an candid interview with KGO Radio in San Francisco, Barry Bonds on Tuesday said he receives death threats. Bonds didn't elaborate on the nature of the death threats in the approximately 90-minute interview. Bonds told KGO that he's sorry if he appears standoffish, but he's just trying to be careful because of the threats that are circulating within his camp. "There's a lot of times I want to say I'm sorry to some of the fans. You're only strong to a point and then you get nervous," Bonds told KGO. "I'm kind of standoffish and stuff and you can't really explain that. "I'm mostly gun-shy of what can happen. Once this is all over and done, whether I get lucky enough to do it or not, I'll be able to release just a little bit of the anxiety and fear of what can happen."You don't want anything to happen to yourself. You don't want anything to happen to your family," Bonds told KGO.
Matthews Speaks Briefly On Allegations
Gary Matthews, Jr. was asked on Tuesday if he had any idea how his name, according to a report in the Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, appeared on a customer list of two of the pharmacies that were raided Tuesday, Matthews said, "I don't. That's what we're trying to find out. We're gathering information, and I will address the matter again, at the appropriate time." Matthews, who signed a five-year, $50-million contract with the Angels in November, spoke with reporters for about two minutes before Wednesday morning's workout. "I just want to tell you guys I'm really not in a position to answer any questions on yesterday's story," Matthews said. "I do want to say that I do expect it to resolve itself in the very near future. I've got my representative looking for more information, to find out stuff, and until we get more information, I can't comment. "I'm asking you guys to respect my position on this. I don't want to be a distraction to my team. There are things they're trying to do to get ready for the season. I do want to tell you guys that at the appropriate time, I will address the matter."
Marlins Unhappy To Hear Girardi Helped Lieber
Marlins officials were unhappy to hear that their manager last year, Joe Girardi, gave rival pitcher Jon Lieber helpful tips during the season. Lieber said his season with the Phillies turned around shortly after he was roughed up by the Marlins last July 31, and he credits a phone call from Girardi, a former major league catcher. They played together with the Cubs from 2000-02. "He just mentioned that the hitters said everything that was coming in was just very flat," Lieber told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I wasn't on top of the ball like I should have been."
Yanks Won't Call Bernie
If Bernie Williams had accepted the Yankees' non-roster invitation to spring training, Bobby Abreu's injury would have given him plenty of additional playing time to prove his worth. But Williams declined the offer, and the Yankees are only looking forward. When Torre was asked if Abreu's injury could lead him to think more about having Williams around, he politely danced around the question. "This is something we're not looking at as long-term," he said. "When you're dealing with two weeks in spring training, you certainly don't want to throw up any flags."
St. Louis Signs Reyes, Wainright, Molina, Duncan
The world champion Cardinals signed 18 players to contracts on Tuesday, including Anthony Reyes, Adam Wainright, Yadier Molina, and Chris Duncan.
Gag Baseball Card Of Jeter Shows Bush, Mantle
Topps pulls off a visual gag through digital manipulation.
Honus Wagner Card Sells For $2.35 Million
The "Holy Grail of baseball cards," the famous 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco card has sold for a record setting $2.35 million to a Southern California collector.
Bagwell Adjusts To Life As A Coach
Jeff Bagwell spends his first day of spring training camp - - as a coach.
La Russa And Rolen Are Talking Again
Both Tony La Russa and Scott Rolen agree the rift that began during the postseason is over.
Jenkins Could Be Traded This Spring
Geoff Jenkins has told the Brewers he wants to play every day.
Manny Arrives 'Early'
Manny Ramirez arrived to Boston's spring training camp ahead of his own deadline.
Prior And Wood Won't Pitch This Week
Mark Prior and Kerry Wood both are making progress, but neither are expected to pitch during the first week of Cactus League games.