Report: the Yankees are "livid" with the Mariners

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Ken Rosenthal just tweeted something interesting:

Yankees livid with Mariners. Believed they
had deal, then M’s took it to Rangers saying put Smoak
in and Lee is yours . . . Rangers jumped. Adams’ ankle injury was excuse for M’s to
back out. “You just don’t do business that way,” one Yankee official
said.

Rowr!

Look, you never know what goes down in a deal.  I’m going to guess that when the Mariners are reached for comment on this they’ll tell a different story.  Depending on how things really went down — the key factor is when, exactly, the M’s called the Rangers — this could be an example of sketchy dealing (i.e. the Mariners backing out of a done deal) or it could simply be some good tough work on the part of the M’s front office in playing the Yankees and the Rangers off one another.

I’ll offer this much, though: even if the M’s treated the Yankees poorly, the Yankees grousing about it to reporters seems beneath them.  Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Yankees have any number of more private ways to mess with the Mariners later if they feel they were wronged today.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉