A look around Major League Baseball and those interesting stories that don’t always get national coverage.
#1 CF CBS Sports: Fresh off of a one year contract extension, Ron Washington is being called out for his philosophy on sacrificial bunts. Washington on: “Mike Scioscia dropped 56 sacrifice bunts on his club, the most in the league, and he’s a genius,” “But Ron Washington dropped 53 and he’s bunting too much? You can take that analytics and shove it.” Matt Snyder explains why Ron is dead wrong in both his facts and his philosophies.
#2 3B MBLTradeRumors: Tim Dierkes looks at player opt out clauses and shows why the teams might actually benefit from players using them more.
#3 C Bleacher Report: MLB has finally instituted the new home plate collision rule. But just how effective will it be? Zachary Rymer looks at the language for the rule and how it would affect some of the better known home plate collisions if they were to happen again in 2014.
#5 LF MLB: John Axford thinks he’s ready to reclaim his career. Like so many others, I, as fantasy league coach, went into last season counting on John Axford to provide me with a steady stream of SVs. Then this happened. Jordan Bastian looks at what went wrong for Axford last season and why things could be better this year.
#6 RF ESPN: Richard Durrett talks with Jason Frasor about life as a middle relief pitcher. Frasor on Free Agency: “Free agency isn’t that great for middle relievers. I never wanted to be the kind of guy that bounced around from team to team as middle relievers often do with one-year deals. I found a place I really, really liked. There’s 40,000 people and a winning team. I just really enjoyed it, and it was almost like I had a two-year deal because it happened so fast.”
#7 2B SB Nation: Tim Huwe takes a look back that the Alfonso Soriano trade between the Yankees and the Chicago Cubs last summer and explains how the Cubs extracted maximum value from the Yankees for their former star.
#8 SS Fox Sports and MLBTradeRumors: Ken Rosenthal talks with super-agent Scott Boras about why Compensation Free Agents might want to hold out until after the June Draft, while Tim Dierkes explains exactly what picks it would cost each team if they were to take a chances on any of Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, or Kendrys Morales.
# 9 P SF Gate: Sergio Romo is excited to start the season with the Giants, and it sounds like the off season gave him a chance to mature as well. Harry Schulman sits down with Sergio to talk about his new open attitude towards his teammates.
Bonus: Today: Amy Eley stumbles upon the Milwaukee Brewers new clubhouse mascot.
This Day in Baseball History: 2009: The San Francisco Giants and Tim Lincecum agree to a 1yr $650,000 contract after a phenomenal 18-5, Cy Young winning 2008 season.