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Friday morning stuff

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Not much of note going on in Surprise...the big news is that Francisco Cordero won't pitch in the WBC, and that the Rangers signed Kam Loe, R.A. Dickey and Joaquin Arias to contracts, leaving just Frankie Francisco, Jon Leicester and (once again) Laynce Nix unsigned...

We'll see if they get a deal worked out with Nix, or if he's getting renewed for the third straight year...

On the non-Ranger front...

Tracy Ringolsby is in cranky old man mode, calling John Henry and Larry Lucchino "hypocrites" for complaining about the revenue sharing system, and then showing that he understands the insurance business about as well as he understands Moneyball:

HAVE TO WONDER how Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane thinks he is going to get away with an insurance claim to pay $15.4 million of Jeff Bagwell's $17 million salary.

Bagwell was healthy enough to play in the World Series and spent a full off-season working out to strengthen the shoulder, and suddenly McLane is claiming the first baseman is unable to perform. And the working man wonders why his insurance premiums continue to soar.

I guess Ringolsby figures that because he wears a cowboy hat and considers himself "old school," that he somehow can speak for the "working man." But the "working man's" insurance premiums have nothing to do with this brouhaha over Drayton, Bagwell and the insurance claim.

Few things irritate me more than dime store populism by someone who doesn't even seem to understand the issues...

You know how I know it is spring? We're hearing about how well Shawn Estes is throwing...

The Soriano drama continues in Washington:

Soriano never said explicitly that he would never accept a move to left field. When asked whether he would respect his manager's authority, Soriano said: "Yeah, because he's the manager. I think I have a lot of respect for Robinson."

Although both sides did their best to appear conciliatory during Thursday's news conference, privately they are far less so. A source close to Soriano said the player is "very mad" and remains adamant about refusing the position switch. "It's going to be ugly," the source said, "because I'm telling you, he won't play."

This is just bizarre.

Soriano's not that good a player. He's an awful, awful defensive second baseman, historically bad. He's got almost no leverage. And yet, he's dug in on this issue, and going to threaten not to play if he can't play second base? What the hell is going on here?

What a great trade for Texas. What an awful trade for Washington. And Soriano is going to be done as an everyday player by 2009.