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Sunday morning things

Several things out there today, as we are about four weeks from the start of the season...

Evan Grant writes about the blow-up between Brandon McCarthy and Ozzie Guillen, and how McCarthy handled it. McCarthy's reaction, Grant says, reflects very well on the 23 year old McCarthy's maturity level, despite what Ozzie suggests.

Randy Galloway writes on the Michael Young contract, heaping praise on Young (and on the Rangers for getting the deal done), and comparing Young to Nolan Ryan. Several quotes from Young about honoring his previous contract and wanting to help the Rangers win, along with comparing the national reaction to the deal (which, Galloway indicates, has been very negative) to the local reaction (which has been overwhelmingly positive).

I still think that, from a strictly on-the-field, baseball perspective, that the Young deal isn't a good one for the Rangers. He's not going to be worth what he'll be making in the last couple of years of the deal, and might not be worth it for any of the five years of the extension.

On the other hand, not signing Young means losing credibility with the fans and with the players, and creating problems internally. It also likely means scrapping this group if the team doesn't make the playoffs in 2007, dealing Young, Teixeira, Millwood, Blalock, and any other veteran after this season, and starting over from scratch.

And for everyone who loves to call this doing like the Marlins, you could also call it doing like the D-Rays, Royals, Pirates, or any other number of teams who have jettisoned higher-priced players but still not made themselves competitive. Blowing it up and starting over with youth doesn't guarantee a playoff spot four or five years down the road.

Jim Reeves' Postcards from the Ledge includes a look at the Mark Teixeira situation, with Reeves saying that Hicks should be able to afford to re-sign Teixeira, and that, if Young hadn't re-signed, there's no way Teixeira would have stayed in Texas, because Teixeira would have believed that the Rangers weren't interested in winning.

Grant's notes today include a mention that Akinori Otsuka had been experimenting with a new delivery that eliminates the long pause he has in the middle of his delivery, but that Otsuka has decided to scrap that and go back to his old delivery.

Marc Normandin has a piece looking at what to expect from three different third basemen -- Hank Blalock, Morgan Ensberg, and Eric Chavez -- this year. I don't have any idea what to expect from Blalock anymore, personally...he could continue to get worse, he could go back to where he was a couple of years ago, there's just no telling at this point...

Dave Sessions has a piece on Brad Wilkerson, and his return from injury this year. It includes this from Ron Washington:

"On the opposite side, I always used to say, 'Man, something's got to be wrong with that guy,'" Washington said. "When I'd seen him in Montreal and D.C., I always thought he was a solid player.... I'd seen him play some awesome center field, I'd seen him work the count, I seen him slap the ball to the opposite field, I seen him pull you."

The Rangers really need to get that guy that Washington saw in D.C. and Montreal back...

Sessions also has some notes from Surprise, including five pieces of advice Tom Hicks would give to new owners...

And T.R. Sullivan has some bloggy notes up on Postcards from Elysian Fields, while C.J. Wilson offers his thoughts on his MLBlog...