Cornering the market on scrappiness, Diamondbacks sign Willie Bloomquist

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Geoff Blum apparently didn’t fill new general manager Kevin Towers’ “scrappy utility infielder” quota for the offseason, so Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Willie Bloomquist to a one-year, $1.05 million deal with a mutual option for 2012.

That means Diamondbacks fans will now be treated to months of newspaper articles and announcer-speak about how Bloomquist longs to be an everyday player and brings much more to the table than his numbers suggest.

Meanwhile, he got a chance to play regularly for the Royals in 2009 and hit .265/.308/.355 in 468 plate appearances for a 97-loss team and his .653 career OPS ranks eighth-worst among all active players with at least 2,000 plate appearances ahead of only Juan Castro, John McDonald, Cesar Izturis, Adam Everett, Nick Punto, Willy Taveras, and Alex Cora.

On the other hand, he’s surely among the MLB leaders in “scrappiness” during that same time frame.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: