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Various and sundry items

The big news today, as referenced over in the diary section, is Rudy Jaramillo being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He's expected to leave camp to undergo surgery, and reportedly hopes to be back for Opening Day. Kevin Blackistone has a column on Jaramillo in tomorrow's DMN...

Blackistone also has a feature on new Ranger reliever Akinori Otsuka, who made a surprise appearance at Surprise this week...because the Japanese WBC team is assembling the coming week in Japan, Otsuka wasn't expected to be in camp, but he made an appearance to, in his words, "show respect and get along with the team."

Kat O'Brien in the S-T has a piece on Hank Blalock, and his take on the tumultuous offseason amid the Beckett trade rumors. Bottom line, I'm glad Blalock is still here, but he really needs to rebound from his mediocre 2005 season.

T.R. Sullivan has a similar piece over at, on Blalock and the rumors. Sullivan also mentions that Marshall McDougall, who is recovering from wrist surgery, will likely start the season on the d.l., that the Rangers have offered a minor league deal to Erubiel Durazo, and that they appear to be passing on Danny Bautista. Good news on both Durazo and Bautista...I'd like to get Durazo in here and give him a shot at being the regular DH, although his recovery from T-J surgery may mean he's not going to be ready to go until after the season starts.

Fox Sports Southwest will be showing 80 games this year, with 75 games being over-the-air. Because I'm in Houston, I can only watch the FSSW games...if anyone has any suggestions as to who to call and plead with to get the over-the-air games broadcast down here, please let me know.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times identified the Rangers as having one of the four most productive offseasons, along with the Blue Jays, Mets, and ChiSox.

For the life of me, I can't understand why so many people are falling all over themselves over Chicago's offseason. Yes, they added Javier Vazquez, but they dealt El Duque to get him, along with top prospect Chris Young. Vazquez had a 99 ERA+ last season, and as a pretty extreme flyball pitcher, would seem to be an awful fit for US Cellular, which is a very homer-friendly park. And it isn't like they really needed Vazquez anyway...Brandon McCarthy is ready to step into the rotation...

Plus, the Jim Thome deal cost them underrated starting centerfielder Aaron Rowand and a couple of pitching prospects, when they could have just kept Frank Thomas -- a better bet to be productive in 2006 -- instead. I don't see that Chicago has improved themselves.