Big League Stew - MLB

Welcome to 'Duk's Dozen, a streamlined selection of 12 morning-fresh links and items to start your day. It welcomes submissions here or via Twitter.    

1. Lesson No. 1 of minor league promotion? You create the headlines where you can, even if it's February and Opening Day is still months away.

Lesson No. 2? Anything involving livestock will earn those headlines.

Over in Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are honoring a man from Washington state who saved a piglet named "Pig Pig" by administering five minutes of "mouth-to-snout" CPR after its mother had sat on her and crushed her. For his efforts, Jeff Olson is receiving an IronPigs sweatshirt, some Listerine, some chapstick and free IronPigs tickets should he ever want to travel east to see a Phillie on a rehab start. Brett Myers'(notes) career will no longer be around if Olson decides to do any resuscitating — or smooching – once he's there.

(And for those wondering why I would possibly lead the notebook with this item, my decision was based purely on being able to include Homer Simpson art.) Last Angry Fan

2. Speaking of wallowing in the slop, did you hear the one about the Mets not putting J.J. Putz(notes) through a physical before signing him to a contract? Metstradamus 

3. You're getting warmer: PECOTA ran a few more numbers and downgraded the Nationals'  win total from 82 to 76. Fire Jim Bowden 

4. Turns out that there weren't as many anti-Jon Miller folks as I thought, though one emailer said he found him as unlistenable as Hawk Harrelson (but for different reasons). Interestingly, the comments in Miller's hometown newspaper are split a little more evenly between both camps. The Splash

5. Jon Paul Morosi unleashed his inner Carrie Nation on Monday and called for a league-wide ban on beer in the clubhouse. I respect JP's stance, but with the amount of time that ballplayers spend at ballparks, I don't see anything wrong with allowing adults to unwind after the game with a pop or two. Both Ozzie Guillen and Craig Calcaterra agree. Fox Sports

6. Chris Jaffe ranks every major league nickname using a variety of factors. The ambition is great, but I can't understand how he possibly finds the Diamondbacks — which sounds like the name of a roller hockey team — to be the second best. Using Jaffe's system, my top five would be Brewers, Twins, Phillies, Mariners and Nationals. The Hardball Times    

7. I tuned into Monday night's "How I Met Your Mother" expecting to see a lot of guest star Nick Swisher(notes). Instead I got about 15 minutes of Jim Nantz and about 90 seconds of Swisher. Still a solid episode though and Iracane has a video clip of Swisher's spot. Walkoff Walk 

8. White Sox fan Carl Skanberg offers up a Nick Swisher cartoon that sums his trade value on the South Side last offseason. Smells Like Mascot 

9. Sam Mellinger takes the easy side, goes grumpy on the Royals. BallStar

10. An Angels fan tries to put the brakes on the Jack Zduriencik hype. Halos Heaven 

11. Wow. Casey Blake(notes) and his wife just donated $1 million to his hometown school district in Indianola, Iowa. That's very admirable. Sons of Steve Garvey

12. Tony Gwynn(notes), meanwhile, watched his daughter drop $500K on her televised wedding (an amount that doesn't include $1.35 million in jewelry). For that amount of cash, I hope Martin Short was somehow involved.  Gaslamp Ball

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