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Wednesday night linkaliciousness

Next time the DHL commercial on the golf course is on, could someone tell me if I'm insane for thinking that Big Love from "House" is the employee?

Some linkys for you...

Kevin Goldstein's Future Shock today has some Taylor Teagarden talk:

Taylor Teagarden, C: This is really a showcase. That, or Jarrod Saltalammachia is being showcased. Or maybe it's Gerald Laird... and oh yeah, what about Max Ramirez, who hit .347/.439/.628 in the minors this year? The point is that the Rangers have a a quartet of big-league-ready catchers, and something or someone is going to have to give. A third-round pick in 2005, Teagarden is probably the best defender of the quartet, but he also has the most questionable bat. He'll never hit for much of an average, but hopes to make up for it with plenty of walks and home runs. With a .211/.319/.374 line this year in a season that had its fair share of hiccups due to injuries and the Olympics, there is still work to be done, and the Rangers may be hoping that someone else steps forward that has the time to do that work.

Ken Rosenthal also talks about the Ranger catching:

Rangers catcher Gerald Laird remains a strong candidate to be traded this winter. The Rangers, forever trying to improve their pitching, are enamored with Taylor Teagarden's receiving and game-calling. Teagarden, a right-handed hitter, intially could platoon with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter who is better from the left side. Max Ramirez, another catching prospect, could end up as a designated hitter and first baseman next season if the Rangers lose outfielder Milton Bradley as a free agent . . .

Keith Law has a chat session up...some excerpts...

Keith Law: Aaron Rowand in his last 400 PA: .258 /.328/.398. $11 million is a lot of money for a fourth outfielder ... but at least he only has four years left on his deal!

Everyone who wanted Aaron Rowand, raise your hand.  Everyone who wanted Rowand and Torii Hunter, because Rowand could be our RF and Hunter our CF, go stand in the corner.

Mike (Rutland, VT): Hi Keith, Any thoughts on the performance of the Pirates' front office as it relates to the trade deadline and Alvarez contract mess? Thanks for your time.

SportsNation Keith Law: I'll answer the broader question and hopefully I'll answer yours in here somewhere. The part that bothers me is that MLB unilaterally bent the rules on the signing deadline. One, they can't do that without talking to the union. Two, they never even admitted they were doing this until Boras called them out on it. And three, I'm pretty sure that these waivers were abused in at least one instance to allow for continued negotiations, not just dotting i's and crossing t's. Should the Pirates' front office be charged as co-conspirators? I don't know. If I was Huntington and the Commissioner's Office said, "Just finish the deal, don't worry about the clock," I'd finish the damn deal. By the same token, if I'm Scott Boras and my client gets a $6 million offer that I think is sketchy, I take the deal first and challenge it later so that at least my client has it in his back pocket if he decides he just wants to take the money and run.

Emphasis mine, because I wonder if he's talking about the 2008 draft or 2007.  If he's talking about the 2007 draft, there immediately comes to mind a certain draftee whose announcement came real, real late, where there was a cone of silence until the next day and a major league deal involved.

Allyson, Dallas: Keith, thanks for chatting! Julio Borbon has been playing very good this year so will the Rangers look at him in CF to start the season next year?

SportsNation Keith Law: Yes, my understanding is that he'll get a shot to win that job.

Wow.  Borbon as the possible 2009 Opening Day CF'er would cause a lot of other dominos to fall.

Allyson, Dallas: Rangers top 10 prospects - 1. Feliz 2. Holland 3. Andrus 4. Smoak 5. Main 6. Ramirez 7. Beavan 8. Borbon 9. Engle Beltre 10. Kasey Kiker. Agree?

SportsNation Keith Law: I'd probably go Feliz, Smoak, Main, Andrus, Holland, Ramirez, Borbon, Beavan, Ross, Beltre. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

Borbon 7 and Ross 9...very interesting picks there...

Kevin Goldstein also has a chat up, that is very Pedro Alvarez-centric, with a quick Ranger question at the top.

Columnist Bob Lutz, in a piece questioning the direction Dayton Moore is taking the Royals, questions whether Trey Hillman is all that:

As for Hillman -- is this working?

He was brought in after managing in Japan for a few years. He has been called out by Guillen (ignore) and, most recently, backup catcher Miguel Olivo (more credible).

Losing can bring out the worst in people, which is why the Royals' clubhouse in September has been a devil's playground.

Asked about whether Hillman was the right choice, Moore recently told the Star: "No question. I can't think of a better person who would have been, and remains, as committed to what we're trying to do here. He has sold out on what we're trying to do here."


* * *

What does it say about the Royals that one of the most productive hitters in the minor leagues -- first baseman Kila Kaaihue (36 homers, 97 RBIs in 380 at-bats) languished at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha before receiving a September call-up?

Meanwhile, Hillman spent much of the season penciling in the soft-swatting Gload, who has all of three homers, at first base.

Jim Callis also did a chat...lots of Alvarez, no Rangers.

Shysterball rakes Rick Reilly over the coals for making a stupid, populist anti-steroids/lawsuit argument.

Stephen A. Smith says black people have better things to do than nerd out playing fantasy sports...

John Barten has his latest edition of the THT Awards up...

Jacoby Ellsbury since June 1:  .259/.295/.336.  Ouch.