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While we here at Going Nine get settled into our new surroundings, we hope you will find the content worthy of your precious time.
As Managing Editor of the site, I fully intend to bring you some of the great voices you have grown accustomed to as well as some new and exciting voices for you to become familiar with. I sincerely hope you will find our work to be as good, if not better, than your expectations.
That being said, welcome to the initial installment of Going Nine with Bill Ivie, Jr. Nine stories from around baseball, some you have heard, some you have not. All in all, nine stories to help you get caught up on the game we all love.
The First Manager On The Hot Seat
He may be the first manager on the Hot Seat this year, though he may simply be the last manager on the Hot Seat from last season. After the massive collapse of the Atlanta Braves at the end of 2011, it seems to be only logical that Fredi Gonzalez’s job may not be the most secure in the league. Rumors are starting to float around that not only will the Braves be looking for Gonzalez to show them something, he may already be on probationary terms with the franchise. General Manager Frank Wren may have him on a short leash as Fox correspondent Ken Rosenthal was the first to acknowledge.
Spring Training Cannot Contain Guillen
New skipper of the Miami Marlins, Ozzie Guillen, is obviously preparing himself for the upcoming year. Pitchers are stretching out and building strength, hitters are getting their timing down, and Ozzie is yelling at umpires and being removed from ballgames. On a play down the first base line, Guillen took exception to the call by the first base umpire ruling the ball foul while Guillen believed it to be fair. The argument, according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, was over which umpire should have been making the call. With the ball not yet past the first base bag, the call usually is made by the home plate umpire.
To make matters worse, Valentine took the opportunity to wave “goodbye” to his counterpart as Guillen left the field. Guillen did not see the wave, but later said he would have told Valentine to “Go <expletive> himself” because “That’s the way Ozzie Guillen is.”
The New CBA Will Pay Veterans
Thanks to a clause in the new collective bargaining agreement will provide veteran ball players with the opportunity to play at a major league level or be paid fairly well for playing in the minors.
The meat of the agreement states that if a player has accrued a minimum of six years of Major League service time and is signed to a minor-league deal, the signing club has a few options. Within five days of the start of the season, the club must either release the player (costing the team nothing), assign him to major league camp (increasing his salary to major league minimum), or assign him to the minors. The later choice kicks into the new structure. If the player is assigned to the minors, they are awarded a $100,000 bonus and given an opt-out date of June 1.
Our friends at MLB Trade Rumors break down the players the new agreement applies to.
San Diego Prospect Hangs ‘Em Up
San Diego Padres infield prospect Drew Cumberland has been battling a rare neurological disorder known as bilateral vestibulopathy. The condition, which affects his vision and balance, has caused him issues for many years of his life and was diagnosed last season when he was struggling.
Cumberland was attempting a comeback after seeking some help from a concussion institute in Los Angeles to try and control the issues. While being incredibly impressive during Spring Training this year, he reported recently to management that he symptoms had returned. His retirement was made official shortly thereafter, ending a bright career before it could ever truly get started.
Pridie Fails Again
Jason Pridie, an outfielder in the Oakland A’s organization, has failed a minor league drug test for the second time in his career, earning himself a 50 game suspension in the process. The test results, according to Major League Baseball, was for a “banned substance” not for a “performance enhancer”. The violation is the second of Pridie’s career.
Chipper Jones Contemplates Retirement
Chipper Jones has been a staple in the Atlanta Braves lineup for a longtime. The 40 year old hitter has told reporters recently that his body is telling him that the time to retire is close and that he is not sure he will even make it through this season.
Jones’ contract has a vesting option for next season should he play in 120+ games this year. Jones has said that his only concern is this season currently and that the contract option will be addressed in due time.
Introducing The StrasBurger
“The Red Porch”, a restaurant inside of Nationals Park, has announced it’s latest and greatest menu item known as The StrasBurger.
My words will not due this beast of a meal justice, so here’s the official press release from the team:
Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.
Then There Were Six
According to MLB.com, the Los Angeles Dodgers sale is coming closer to reality and one of the bidders is suddenly out of the hunt.
Major League Baseball did not invite real estate investor Alan Casden to a recent meeting with the groups that are still in the bidding process for the historic franchise. Current owner Frank McCourt will be making his decision within the next few weeks, and final bids are due by the end of this week, with new ownership to be in place by the end of April.
Nyjer Morgan Hit By Pitch In Head
While not injured by the Barry Zito pitch, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan was struck in the head in the first inning of a game this week against the San Francisco Giants.
Whether going with the old Dizzy Dean line, “X-Rays of Morgan’s head show nothing” or taking a shot at the boisterous outfielder, “it did not hit him in the mouth, so it wasn’t anything he was using anyway”, ultimately the news is positive as Morgan is not injured and was simply removed from the game as a precaution.
Bill Ivie is the Managing Editor of Going Nine Baseball
Bill also covers the Royals and Cardinals on i70baseball.com
You can find more fantasy baseball analysis on Bill’s site, Full Spectrum Baseball
Topics: Atlanta Braves, Ballgames, Bobby Valentine, Frank Wren, fredi gonzalez, Great Voices, Home Plate Umpire, Hot Seat, Initial Installment, Ivie, Ken Rosenthal, Manager Bobby Valentine, Managing Editor, Massive Collapse, Miami Marlins, ozzie guillen, Play Down, Precious Time, Spring Training, Wren