Little known fact: like “Maude,” “Trapper John M.D.” and “Laverne and Shirley,” HardballTalk is a spinoff. Well, sorta. Our roots are certainly elsewhere, as every writer up in this thing either wrote or currently writes for Rotoworld. Well, not me. I’m lazy. But all the other guys do.
And the coolest thing Rotoworld does apart from being awesome on a daily basis is putting out its annual Draft Guide. The Draft Guide that is now on sale. Seriously: go here and get it.
In it: tons of analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players ranging down to A-ball. Articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat sheets, updated depth charts for all teams and all manner of other goodness.
Though I am too lazy for most things, I did do two articles in it. One is my 2012 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious (well, I think they are) predictions of what might come to pass this year. The other is the top 25 moves of the offseason. Bonus: if you order the online version instead of buying the guide at the store, you actually can see that I acknowledged the Prince Fielder deal! Print deadlines are awesome!
But my stuff is just for the fun of it. The real appeal, here is for fantasy players. It’s chock full ‘o the kind of goodness you need to pwn your leagues. Aaron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others worked a ton of hours to put this bad boy together. It’s great stuff.
So go get it. You won’t be sorry.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.