The Commish Online                                                                                
BLOG ARCHIVE:  03/01/09 - 03/31/09
Anxious to wrap up Chipper Jones' entire career in Atlanta, the Braves and Jones agreed to a 3-year extension worth up to $42 million and a fourth year option (for 2013) based on games played.  Basically, if Jones can avoid any long stints on the DL, he should earn another $60+ million over the four years after this season, putting him at 41 years old. 

Despite the recent nagging injuries, Chipper Jones put together a solid decade of consistent dominance at the plate earlier in his career, and his hitting has only become better with age.  Health has been the problem for Jones - if he can find his name in the lineup for a few more years, there will be a Hall of Fame plaque waiting for him in Cooperstown a decade from now.

Every time I want to start moving the San Francisco Giants up in the rankings thanks to a plethora of starting pitching that I really like, I remember than they don't have a lineup to speak of.  Rob Neyer breaks down the Giants' lack of a solid corner just weeks before Opening Day.

The United States were officially eliminated from the WBC late last night, so while the few dozen U.S. fans stew on that for a while, the rest of us will get back to the conclusion of spring training, which brings with it some issues for teams' stars to start the season, such as Joe Mauer's aching back, Manny's hamstring, and Trevor Hoffman's oblique.  Just from memory of past oblique injuries in baseball, they seem like the ones that never go away, so look for Milwaukee to begin exploring a backup plan at closer if the aged Hoffman can regain his form soon.

Jayson Stark wrote an interesting article on the up and coming Reds.  I'm not entirely sold on Cincinnati's rise just yet, but at least they seem like they have a plan.  If you don't want to read the article, at least forward it to someone in the Pittsburgh Pirates' ownership group so they can understand what it means to properly build a competitive team without a lot of money.

Springtime injuries are starting to pile up.  Chipper Jones is struggling with a strained oblique and J.D. Drew is dealing with chronic back problems, but neither of those are a surprise to anyone.  Added to the list, though, are Manny Ramirez's pulled hamstring, Cole Hamels' sore [shoulder --correction, ELBOW (mjm-3/17/09)], and Robinson Cano's bursitis.

None of the injuries look to be season ending or anything, but keep on eye on the Hamels situation before drafting him high in your fantasy league.  Sore shoulders in March rarely lead to healthy summers.

Johan Santana made his spring debut yesterday after dealing with some elbow issues for a couple weeks, and CC Sabathia has been getting hit around this spring.  For you fantasy players out there, I would be leaning toward Tim Lincecum as my first pitcher on the board, if for no other reason than his huge strikeout potential.  When Lincecum dominates early, then trade him for a struggling Sabathia and reap the rewards of Sabathia's late season return to form, just like last year.

Jimmy Rollins has already put together an MVP season and an All-Star caliber playing career, and when JR decides to finally hang up the spikes, he shouldn't have any problems getting a TV job, whether it's as an analyst, studio host, or even a sitcom role.  Based on his recent Dick's Sporting Goods commercial, it looks like Rollins has the goods to pull it off:

Larry Dobrow wrote a good fantasy article for about avoiding the "sexy" picks too early in your upcoming baseball draft.  Check it out.

The World Baseball Classic is underway, and as much as I love to badmouth it and would be furious if Brian McCann breaks his leg sliding into second against Canada, I have to admit that in these weeks before the NCAA tournament and little else on TV, it will be nice to watch some decent baseball.  I still don't believe the games are particularly significant, but it sure beats a Mariners split squad game.

The Dodgers and Manny Ramirez finally reached a deal, which in the end, sounds a lot like the first dozen deals offered - two years and $45 million.  Much of the first year's money is still deferred, and the second year is a player option for $20 million.  Scott Boras didn't get what he was looking for (6 years?!), but as expected, Manny will be in Dodger blue crushing baseballs in no time.  Regardless of his questionable demeanor or his choice of agents, there is no denying that Manny Ramirez makes the Dodgers an instant contender, just as he did last season when he joined LA and helped them win a division then promptly dispose of the Chicago Cubs (a 97-win team) in a three game Division Series sweep.

1983 Rookie of the Year Award? Check.  All-Star? Check.  Seven rooftop home runs in Comiskey Park? Check.  Interview with The Commish Online? Finally, check.  Until today, Ron Kittle accomplished many things but the list wasn't complete until an e-mail interview with The Commish Online came his way.  Always on the go, Kittle can finally rest easy, knowing his checklist is complete.  Check out the interview with Ron Kittle in the all-new Q & A section of TCO!

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