Daily Dose: Webb finished in Arizona?

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Last week various reports surfaced that the Diamondbacks don’t plan to exercise the $8.5 million option on Brandon Webb for 2010 and would instead attempt to work out a new, incentive-laden deal for the injured right-hander.
Those plans hit a major snag Tuesday when Webb said that he’s not willing to take a discount to remain in Arizona “if it comes down to that and they ask me to do something like that.”
While paying $8.5 million for Webb next season is a huge risk for the Diamondbacks given that he hasn’t pitched since Opening Day thanks to a shoulder injury, it doesn’t make much sense for him to accept a below-market deal when big-payroll teams like the Yankees and Red Sox would definitely take fliers on him being healthy. As he put it: “I’d have to see what else is out there and see if there’s something better.”
While the Diamondbacks learn that declining the $8.5 million will likely mean the end of Webb’s time in Arizona, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Zack Greinke moved one step closer to the Cy Young award by picking up his 15th victory with six shutout innings Tuesday. Greinke has clearly been the league’s best pitcher this season, but it remains unclear if Cy Young voters will look past a modest win total due largely to horrendous teammates. Fifteen victories and an MLB-leading 2.08 ERA will hopefully do the trick, and he likely has a couple more starts left.
* Already sidelined by a strained calf, Kevin Kouzmanoff is now suffering from a sore back and may not be able to return this season. Chase Headley has looked good at third base in his absence, hitting .349 with seven extra-base hits in 11 games back at the spot he played in the minors. Kouzmanoff has long been linked to various trade rumors and the Padres seem more likely than ever to pull the trigger this winter.
* Three months ago the Cardinals signed 16-year-old outfielder Wagner Mateo out of the Dominican Republic for $3.1 million, but the contract was voided Tuesday based on the “pre-existing injuries and physical defects” clause relating to a vision problem. Wagner is now free to sign with any team and will surely land somewhere for a solid chunk of change, but won’t get the second-largest Latin American bonus ever again.
AL Quick Hits: Bobby Jenks may be done for the year after aggravating his calf injury Tuesday … Michael Young (hamstring) had trouble simply jogging Monday and is no sure thing to play again this season … Denard Span missed Tuesday’s game with the side effects from being plunked on the helmet Monday, so Carlos Gomez played center field and led off in his place … Edwin Jackson tossed seven shutout innings Tuesday amid speculation that he’s been tipping pitches recently … Glen Perkins will get a second opinion on his injured shoulder from Dr. Lewis Yocum … Brian Roberts smacked his MLB-leading 55th double Tuesday, tying Lance Berkman’s record for a switch-hitter … Matt LaPorta exited Tuesday’s game after injuring his hip sliding into home plate … Josh Hamilton (glute) may return as soon as this weekend after taking batting practice and shagging fly balls Tuesday … Billy Butler’s batting average has dipped below .300, but he’s still close to some big-time company.
NL Quick Hits: Jair Jurrjens is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA against the Mets this season after Tuesday’s gem … Joe Blanton threw seven shutout innings Tuesday, allowing three or fewer runs for the 14th time in 15 starts … Chris Snyder will undergo back surgery Wednesday, but should be ready for spring training … Aaron Cook (shoulder) is set to rejoin the rotation Friday after missing over a month … Angel Guzman (triceps) has been shut down for the year after posting a 2.95 ERA and 47/23 K/BB ratio in 61 innings … Brian McCann left Tuesday’s game with a bruised wrist … Despite leaving his last outing after just three innings, J.A. Happ will make his scheduled Thursday start … Carlos Gonzalez left Tuesday’s game after straining his hamstring on a triple, with Seth Smith replacing him … Gary Sheffield said Tuesday that he plans to play in 2010 at the age of 41 … Brett Myers (shoulder) will be shut down for one week after an MRI exam showed a Grade 1 strain … Willy Taveras returned from the disabled list Tuesday after missing over a month.

Bartolo Colon Watching the Eclipse Is Your Moment of Zen

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A Solar Eclipse

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In that great journey of the stars through space
About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
Which at Time’s natal hour was first begun,
Shines ever on her lover as they run
And lights his orbit with her silvery smile.

Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,
Down from her beaten path she softly slips,
And with her mantle veils the Sun’s bold eyes,
Then in the gloaming finds her lover’s lips.
While far and near the men our world call wise
See only that the Sun is in eclipse.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.