Albatross Guillen doesn't expect to be back with Royals

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jose guillen.jpgUpon hearing a hint of a rumor that he could be dealt to the Mets, Jose Guillen told Dominican paper Diairo Libre that he was open to waiving his partial no-trade clause to play for the club and that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Royals next year.
According to the translation provided by the Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News, Guillen said the following:
“If trading me would help the Royals, New York would be one of the clubs I would approve. … I have just started a rigorous program of winter training in order to arrive in the best form possible for spring training. My mind is focused on having a great season next year and until now I believed that would be with the Royals. … It would be a little unjust if they judge me for the statistics of this year, because the injuries did not allow me to play, but I have shown that when I am healthy I can produce a lot.”
Guillen, of course, hit a pretty unimpressive .264/.300/.438 while healthy in 2008. He came in at .242/.314/.367 in 81 games last season. Maybe he can bounce back offensively, but he’ll still be a liability defensively with a subpar OBP. The Mets hardly need him when they already have a similar offensive player and a far superior defensive one in right field in Jeff Francoeur.
Of course, there isn’t a contender in baseball that needs Guillen. The Royals can pay the majority of the $12 million he’s still owed, yet there will still be superior free agent options in the $3 million-$4 million range. As a result, the Royals will likely be stuck with Guillen into next season. If he shows something in April and May, then perhaps they’ll be able to dump the rest of his contract or at least a significant portion of it.

The Braves will be serving some insane food this season

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Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.

Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.

The big item, though, is this one:

It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.

Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.

Max Scherzer will not be ready for Opening Day

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Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.

[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.

He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.

Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.