Some hot links to start your day ...
• Manny Ramirez just took a lead in the race to see if he'll beat me to Arizona. I leave March 15, but his third offer of the offseason from the Dodgers just came down and for $25 million in '09, he'd be nuts not to take it. The deal also reportedly includes a $20 million player option for '10, so we can look forward to the same antics from Scott Boras a year from now. Can't wait! [Yahoo! Sports]
• Add Boof Bonser to that Do Not Draft list if he wasn't there already. He'll miss the 2009 season with a torn labrum and will be charged with keeping Pat Neshek company on the DL. (By the way, is it just me or would torn labrum would be a really great band name?) [Twinkie Town]
• Noah Lawry — who hasn't pitched since mid-2007 — is experiencing pain in his elbow. They Giants will run the proverbial tests and see what's up today. [The Splash]
• Credit Ozzie Guillen with his best quote of the year — so far.
"I hope I die on the field. I hope when I walk to change the pitcher, I drop dead and that's it. I know my family would be so happy that it happened on the field. They wouldn't feel bad because that's what I've always wanted to do. You die on the field — good luck, get him out of here, next man."
Incidentally, that's the same way I feel about running the Stew. [South Side Sox]
• I'm about 80 pages from being done with The Yankee Years and one of the parts I've enjoyed most were the stories about Rick Helling's attempts to alert the union of massive steroid troubles. The editors at Time apparently feel the same way, because they're running the excerpt in their magazine under the banner "The Man Who Warned Baseball About Steroids." Definitely worth the read. [TIME]
• Jose Rijo is the first one sacrificed in the Smiley Gonzalez scandal. Meanwhile Jim Bowden is busy selecting his last meal. I'm guessing crabcake sandwich and a sixer of Foggy Bottom. [Federal Baseball]
• How relatively nice were Blue Jays fans to A-Rod in Dunedin on Wednesday? Well, he'd like to round all of 'em up and bring them to Fenway. Really. [Boston Dirt Dogs]
• True story: A college friend of mine once checked into a hotel under the name of Dick Schofield, the 26th greatest Angel of all time. [Halos Heaven]
• Joe Buck's restaurant has a new concert venue and it's called "The Joe Buck Showroom." Heard the shrimp cocktail is killer and the Ryan Ludwick ventriloquist act is off the charts! Slip the usher a fiver and tell 'em Shifty Tim McC sent ya! [Cards Diaspora]
• Sign No. 315 we're all getting old: It's been 15 years since Michael Jordan hit camp with the White Sox. (Weezer's Blue Album is that old, too.) [Home Run Derby]