It wouldn't be shocking if Orioles' Uehara starts big

March 01, 2009|By Peter Schmuck

News item: Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara made his exhibition debut and pitched two scoreless innings against the Florida Marlins on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.

My take: No one should be surprised if he gets off to a great start during the regular season. The combination of his great command of the strike zone, his large pitch repertoire and the rest of the league's unfamiliarity with him could be dynamite the first time around.

News item: The Washington Redskins signed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a $100 million contract that includes an NFL-record $41 million guaranteed.

My take: I'm guessing it'll still be a few more days before Daniel Snyder is quoted as saying: "2010? I thought you told me that 2009 was going to be the uncapped year."

News item: Linebacker Bart Scott became the first Ravens player to leave via free agency Friday, signing a six-year, $48 million contract to join Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.

My take: I'm going to miss the Mad Backer. Scott was fun to watch, fun to talk to and one of the truly interesting characters in the Ravens' locker room. I'm sure the New York media are going to enjoy him as well.

News item: In a New York Times/CBS News poll, 37 percent of respondents said they believe at least half of major league baseball players use steroids and only 19 percent said they believe few baseball players use drugs.

My take: More proof that the Mitchell Report was $15 million well spent.

Bonus take: Yes, I'm being sarcastic while I continue to wait for the "closure" it was supposed to bring to the steroid scandal.

News item: Alex Rodriguez was booed and heckled in the New York Yankees' exhibition opener against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., on Wednesday, until he homered and changed some of the boos to cheers.

My take: Obviously, the long ball cures all ... as it did after the disastrous labor war in 1994 and '95.

Related news item: After Rodriguez was seen leaving the game with the cousin he named as his Dominican performance-enhancing-drug connection, the team ordered him to keep Yuri Sucart away from any areas where the team congregates.

My take: The fact that A-Rod even needed to be told something like that ought to tell you something about where his head is at right now.

News item: Imprisoned NFL superstar Michael Vick reportedly has been approved for home confinement and could be released to his Virginia home in May.

My take: It's going to be lonely hanging around home all the time. He should probably get a pet or something.

News item: Manny Ramirez turned down the latest offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers, which would have paid him $25 million for this season and given him a $20 million player option for 2010.

My take: This has turned into a game of chicken between a team that has nowhere else to turn and a player who apparently has nowhere else to go. But I've got a feeling agent Scott Boras will pull a rabbit out of his hat soon, and that rabbit will be holding a three-year contract worth about $70 million.

News item: Tiger Woods lost in the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship to somebody named Tim Clark on Thursday.

My take: I think I speak for all golf fans when I say that I'm deeply disappointed in Woods for his inability to score a miraculous victory in his first tournament in the eight months since he underwent extensive knee surgery.

News item: The Cleveland Indians shut down new closer Kerry Wood for a few days last week because of back soreness.

My take: Manager Eric Wedge said it's no big deal, which is exactly what you're supposed to say when you just gave an oft-injured pitcher a two-year, $20.5 million contract in an otherwise slow free-agent market.

News item: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reportedly married supermodel Gisele Bundchen in a private ceremony in Los Angeles.

My take: Bundchen, according to Forbes, is the world's highest-paid supermodel - at an estimated $35 million per year - which means Brady now makes less than his wife. Until yesterday, when Matt Cassel was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, he also made less than his backup quarterback.

Listen to Peter Schmuck from spring training on WBAL (1090 AM) every weeknight at 6.

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