A few links 'n stories to start your day ...
• Don't worry, Philly fans. At about the same time Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb were again being fitted for their bridesmaid dresses down in Arizona, Phillies ace Cole Hamel was holding a press conference to announce his new three-year, $20.5 million contract. The deal knocks out Hamels' first three years of arbitration eligibility and the possibility that Hamels will have a mini-hissy fit in spring traning like he did last year. Is the contract news as good as a Super Bowl berth? Hey, I'm just trying to help here, folks. [Beerleaguer]
• The White Sox and Dodgers have announced ticket prices for their new spring training facility in Glendale and, to no one's surprise, they're much, much higher than tickets at their previous homes. A Sox ticket that would have cost $16 in Tucscon now costs $45 (!) at the fancy new goldfish pond-laden digs in the PHX suburbs. Forty-five bucks. For an exhibition game. (Here's the part where we all do a collective low whistle.)
Writes one Sox fan: "I suppose this is great news for the Sox, but it ruins the whole idea of spring training for me. Cheap baseball, along with golf in February and general goofing around in warm weather, is why I went for three years. You could get great seats for a week and not crack triple-digits in dollars ... If I have to pay $30-40 a ticket to watch the Sox now, I may as well just wait a month." [Sox Machine]
• Since the Orioles provided such a nice home for Corey Patterson a few years back, the Cubs traded Felix Pie to Baltimore for Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson. Before Pie proved himself to be completely inept at hitting major league pitching, this move might have been met with some hand-wringing in Chicago. Now, though, everyone's just debating if Jim Hendry has finally solved his six degrees of Jake Peavy problem. [Hire Jim Essian]
• Curtis Granderson held his annual celebrity shootout in the Detroit suburbs and everyone — from Lloyd Carr to Kid Rock (guess which one was corn-rowed?) — showed up. We're also happy to report that no ACLs were damaged during Granderson's fund-raising. [Detroit Tiger Weblog]
• Cy Young's old house is up for sale in Ohio. If I were to buy it, I'd petition the township to change the address to 511. I might also explore the legal avenues involved with changing my name to Denton True (Cy's real name). [Canton Rep via BBTF]