Vladimir Guerrero to play winter ball for Licey

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Vladimir Guerrero, who sat out most of the 2012 season after not finding any offers to his liking in free agency, will play winter ball in his native Dominican Republic.

The popular Licey Tigers announced that he’d join the team on Nov. 4.

Guerrero signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in May, only to ask for his release the next month when the team still wasn’t ready to call him up. He went 9-for-20 with four homers in four games for Single-A Dunedin and 10-for-11 with no homers in eight games for Triple-A Las Vegas.

If you believe his listed age, Vladdy is still only 37. Still, he can no longer play the field regularly and he doesn’t offer a whole lot of power from the DH spot. If he wants to give MLB another shot in 2013, he’ll probably have to take a minor league deal that would leave him with a modest salary even if he did make the team. That’s not something he was interested in doing a year ago.

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: