Monday, March 01, 2004

Ichiro earns first bonus of the season 

Buried at the bottom of this MLB.com article on the first day of hitters reporting is this nugget.

Ichiro was taking bunting practice off a pitching machine when head trainer Rick Griffin, standing about 20 feet away, put his feet in a "V" formation and yelled, "Five bucks!" Ichiro bunted the pitch -- which already had been delivered by a pitching machine -- and it rolled directly into the "V".

Also on MLB.com is a Q&A with Howard Lincoln, which I'm sure the pessimists out there will pick apart. But here are some of the highlights from the mouth of Lincoln (again, emphasis is mine)

Overall, I am satisfied with what we've done, but we're not finished. We made a legitimate run at (Miguel) Tejada but couldn't sign him. There is a point where you have to fold your cards when it becomes silly and prevents you from doing other things that are critical... There is always this "big bat" thing. I think we tend to look at this as there were several holes to be filled and I think we filled most of them. Not all of them, but we still have money that can be spent and it remains to be see what happens during Spring Training and even the early part of the regular season.
And for those ready to jump on the Angels owner Arte Moreno bandwagon, Lincoln reminds us that...

He's not the first new owner that came into Major League baseball and spent a lot of money and promised his fans a lot of neat things. We'll see. Sometimes it's a roll of the dice, and maybe he rolled it correctly. It's his money. He has made a very, very significant outlay, or commitment, of future dollars to his Major League player payroll. A lot of money.
An obvious reference to Mr. Tom Hicks, who also opened up his wallet when he acquired the Rangers, and has bought himself a series of last place finishes. Most of us would love to have Vlad and Colon, but they are definitely risky contracts with no guarantee of success.

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