Baseball is back! Here at Big League Stew, we'll take a quick dash around the league each morning in an attempt to keep you updated on all the springtime storylines.
• With Billy Beane (and the Dodgers' Ned Colletti) in attendance, Brad Pitt's "Moneyball" missed winning on all six of its Academy Award nominations. Just like what happens when Beane's Oakland Athletics have made the playoffs — somebody else comes away with the trophy.
The story of how Beane built the A's using market inefficiencies and other theretofore unconventional techniques lost to "The Artist" for best picture. Pitt, who played Beane, lost to Jean Dujardin for lead actor and Jonah Hill could not overcome the Christopher Plummer love for supporting actor.
"Moneyball" is still an entertaining and beautiful-looking film. It might not be good enough to win Oscars, but it's still worth renting if you haven't seen it. Besides, as @KeithLaw pointed out on Twitter, if the A's had won any statuettes, they would have liquidated them for prospects.
• The Mets will wear a memorial patch to honor Gary Carter. Here it is. Understated and perfect for "Kid" Carter.
• It took 13 pitches during a bullpen session for right-hander Joel Zumaya to get hurt. An MRI on Sunday revealed a torn elbow ligament — the ulnar collateral — which puts him out for the season. Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan rubbed his own elbow as he told reporters:
"It's not the news I wanted to hear on Sunday morning, I can tell you that," Ryan said.
Since breaking in with the Tigers in 2006, when he threw 100 mph with consistency, Zumaya has had five surgeries. He has 210 strikeouts in 209 2/3 career innings but hasn't thrown more than 38 innings in a season since he was a rookie. He didn't pitch in 2011 but was hitting 92-94 at a workout in December which helped persuade the Twins to sign him.
• Here's some good injury news: Johan Santana of the New York Mets is ahead of schedule and hopeful to pitch on opening day. He is worried about the health of Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez, however.
• Brew Crew Ball wishes a happy birthday to Yovani Gallardo! Yay! Cake, cake, cake, cake!
• Major League Baseball is down a Catching Molina Brother. Bengie Molina, who didn't play in 2011 after getting a losing World Series ring with the Rangers and a winner with the Giants in 2010, is officially finito. Belatedly, his wife threw Molina a surprise retirement party, writes Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, and Albert Pujols came as a guest.
• What does the $100 million contract extension for Washington Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman mean for Mets third baseman David Wright? The Mets hold an option on Wright for 2013, but Newsday says they haven't been talking about an extension yet.
• If you'd like to know what's on the mind of Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett — and he's not always been the most verbose guy — WEEI Radio has posted an hour-long interview with him.
• Reporter Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that slugger Ryan Braun realizes the fallout from his positive drug test will linger, even though he avoided serving a 50-game suspension.
"There's a lot of haters," he said. "There's a lot of people who doubt me. … I'm not dumb enough to pretend like this is going to go away. I recognize this is a challenge that I'm going to have to face for some time."
It's not just "haters," of course. Braun's successful appeal didn't answer all of the questions surrounding his elevated testosterone — just enough to get him off the hook.