Saturday Christmas Eve Eve things

Once again, not much of note out there today.

Bob Nightingale of the USA Today has a Rangers organizational report, although he also mistakenly claims that Michael Young is a free agent after 2007.  There's quite a few quotes from Ron Washington in there that reflect the confidence Washington has in this team...

Juan Rivera broke his leg playing in Venezuela yesterday, and is supposed to be re-evaluated today.  

Even if he misses the start of the season, I'm not sure how big an impact this would end up having on Anaheim...they could simply put Casey Kotchman at DH, or use Chone Figgins at 3B and put Dallas McPherson at 3B every day, although neither of those guys seems to be held in the highest regard by the Angels right now.  

The Cincinnati Reds traded a couple of fringe prospects for Jeff Conine, and DFA'd Brendan Harris to make room for Conine on the 40 man roster.  Harris came over from the Nationals in the ill-fated Austin Kearns/Felipe Lopez trade, and is someone who might be worth putting a waiver claim on.  His minor league numbers aren't that bad, particularly when you consider that New Orleans is a terrible park for hitters, and he crushed lefties last season, which would seem to make him an nice possibility as a utility infielder for the Rangers, since he could spell Hank Blalock against lefties now and then.

The Reds, incidentally, were out of room on their 40 in part because they were awarded Bobby Livingston, after the Commissioner's office voided the Rays claim of Livingston, since the Rays immediately traded Livingston to the Phillies for cash.

Apparently, there's a rule that you can't put a waiver claim in on a player for the express purpose of then trading him to someone else.  I'm not sure how I feel about this rule...if the Mariner front office isn't on the ball enough to figure out that they can get more for a player than just the waiver price, I'm not sure why the team with the top waiver priority shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of the situation.

MLB, though, doesn't want the Rays (or whomever has the top priority on waiver claims at a given time) turning into a clearinghouse for auctioning off players that they are claiming on waivers.

ESPN's Page 2 has a group of small pieces on various sporting figures who retired this year, with the one most of note to Rangers fans being Jim Caple's love letter to Bret Boone.

Caple glosses over the allegations of steroid use by Boone, and the suggestions that it led to his late career renaissance and sudden blossoming into an MVP candidate.  I remember Mariners fans scolding folks, back in 2001, for thinking that Boone might have used any P.E.D.s, claiming that a guy in his early 30s gaining 20 pounds of muscle in one offseason isn't that unusual, and that he had just started working out with Edgar Martinez (something that I'd think Edgar would want to disavow, personally).

Caple also talks about how great it was to listen to Boone talk about how great a player he was, and how it will be "a little sad not to see Bret flipping his bat anymore," sentiments that I don't imagine many Rangers fans will share.

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