Top O' The Order: Schilling starts the Cubs and Rays speculation

A few hot links to start your day ...

• And so it began. Over the weekend, Curt Schilling made a comment to a reporter at Disney World about how he could see himself being lured back into playing by a team like the Cubs or Rays. A defensive Schilling later claimed on his blog that his comment was blown out of proportion, but he also did nothing to dismiss the notion that he might drag his 42-year-old bones aboard someone else's bandwagon. So, yeah, get ready for endless Schilling talk every time a Cubs' or Rays' starter puts two poor performances together ... [38 Pitches]

• My man Tim Brown touches upon something that kept crossing my mind last week: Is Manny going to drag this out so he can miss as much ST time as possible? [Yahoo! Sports]

• Here's a Dodger fan's take on why owner Frank McCourt — not Scott Boras — is the team's public enemy No. 1. [Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness]

STEW NEWS: Remember to follow BigLeague Stew on Twitter for during-the-day goodness. Subscribe to Dave Brown's spring training feed, too.

B.J. Ryan capped off a bad weekend for the Team USA bullpen, withdrawing from the WBC. Ryan hasn't pitched well in his two spring appearances and he says the Jays are concerned he wouldn't get enough work in. I smell a Canadian conspiracy. [Bluebird Banter]

Roy Oswalt is still on Team USA, though, and manager Cecil Cooper even gave him a "He looks like he's in midseason form!" blessing before the ace departed for camp. [Chronicle]

• Another sign the poor economy is taking its toll on baseball: Pat Burrell ran out of gas in Florida the other day and had to hitchhike to a local service station. True story. [Fightins]

• Sad: Veteran baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby had to pack up and leave Rockies' spring training because his paper folded on Friday. [Inside the Dodgers]

• Not sad: Veteran baseball GM Jim Bowden had to resign and surrender his parking space back to the Nationals on Sunday. [Nats320]