Link-O-Rama: Hoffman's new deal

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* Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the details on Trevor Hoffman’s new contract with the Brewers. He’ll earn $7.5 million in 2010 and the team holds a $7.5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2011. Based on games finished in 2010 his 2011 salary can increase to $8.5 million and the buyout can rise to $1 million.
In other words, at least Hoffman will make $8 million for one season and at most he’ll make $16 million for two seasons. Hoffman converted 37-of-41 saves with a 1.83 ERA and 48/14 K/BB ratio over 54 innings in his first season in Milwaukee, showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 41.
* Fredi Gonzalez will return as Marlins manager next season, but pitching coach Mark Wiley and first-base coach Andy Fox won’t be on his 2010 staff.
* LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has had a hell of a time trying to get to New York, but he notes that the Twins arrived there at 3:05 a.m. and “most of them will be tired, buzzed from beer and champagne.” Just part of the reason why Minnesota is the biggest underdog of the postseason.
* Terry Francona announced this morning that Jed Lowrie will be on the Red Sox’s playoff roster despite getting a total of just 76 plate appearances in an injury-wrecked season.

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.