He Stayin’ : Konerko And His Bad Hip Sticking With White Sox

Posted in Baseball at 1:21 pm by

5 years, $60 million and all the eye-liner tips Jay Mariotti can dish out for 1B Paul Konerko, who today agreed to re-sign with the Chicago White Sox.

Coupled with Jim Thome, the heart of the White Sox order should be even more dangerous in 2006, and that’s not even taking into account the fact that Carl Everett is way overdue to go nuclear on a club employee or member of the working media.

Konerko Rebuffs O’s, Choosing Between Angels And White Sox

Posted in Baseball at 9:55 am by

The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec reports that free agent 1B Paul Konerko has turned down the Orioles’ proposed 5 year, $65 million deal. The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzalez writes that Konerko, who lives in Scottsdale, would prefersigning with a club that has their spring training in Arizona.

Both the White Sox and Angels fit such a requirement, though there is speculation the White Sox are worried about Konerko’s health.

One unnamed Sox official was leery of extending an offer to Konerko, 29, to a fifth year because of an arthritic hip condition.

Neither White Sox GM Ken Williams nor Craig Landis, Konerko’s agent, returned telephone messages. Some Sox officials, however, were privately upset that Konerko’s hip condition became public.

Although not known for his speed, Konerko’s durability hasn’t been an issue since he joined the Sox before the 1999 season. He hasn’t been on the disabled list since April 1997 with the Dodgers’ Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate.

Konerko has played in 151 games or more in four of the past five seasons, including a season-high 158 in 2005. Konerko’s only noticeable injury during the 2005 season was a stiff lower back that caused him to miss two games in August against the New York Yankees.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s TR Sullivan writes the Texas Rangers have made an offer to former Astros/A’s/Mets reliever Octavio Dotel, and their shopping list might also include Braden Looper.

Metsblog notes that the Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal — having a pretty amazing off-season of his own — pointed out that Cliff Floyd has a no-trade clause in his Mets contract that precludes his being dealt to Boston. So that’s one less bargaining chip for a potential Manny Ramirez trade.

MLB Trade Rumors.com is fanning the flames behind a Brad Wilkerson for Ronny Cedeno swap between the Cubs and Nationals. Which means this is as good a time as any to congratulate Roger Cedeno on receiving no speeding tickets recently (that we know of).

Tim Thomas Returning To NY?

Posted in Basketball at 9:12 am by

Described by the Chicago Sun-Times’ John Jackson yesterday as having moved from the inactive list to “the really inactive list”, F Tim Thomas could conceivably end up back in a Knicks uniform writes the Newark Star-Ledger’s David Waldstein.

The Knicks are starving for a starting small forward, and Larry Brown acknowledged yesterday that if Tim Thomas (above) were still on the Knicks, he would have been playing substantial minutes instead of sitting on the bench as he has been doing in Chicago.

“He’d be playing a lot of minutes here,” Brown said.

“You can’t comment on anything,” Brown said. “I don’t know if he’s a free agent or still on the team or anything. Do I like Timmy Thomas? Yeah, I like Timmy Thomas a lot. I drafted him.”

Chicago GM John Paxson said it was against league rules to trade Thomas back for Davis, but the Knicks do have a perfect match in Penny Hardaway. They make roughly the same money ($14 million) and are in the last year of their contracts. Hardaway has barely played this season — due to tendinitis in his right knee and because he doesn’t fit into Brown’s scheme.

Chicago would initially look elsewhere for more in return than just Hardaway’s expiring contract, hoping to use Thomas to acquire a valuable asset later in the season. But if they are just looking to clear more cap space for next summer, Hardaway provides that.

Sultan Of Surly Agrees To Crush Puny WBC Foes

Posted in Baseball at 8:47 am by

From the Oakland Tribune’s Andrew Baggerly.

Barry Bonds plans to wear red, white and blue in March.

Bonds has agreed to play for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, adding instant credibility to the inaugural event and perhaps also giving the Giants some cause for concern.

Agent Jeff Borris confirmed that Bonds has told the Players’ Association that he intends to participate.

“It’s not official,” Borris said. “There are still a few details to be worked out. But he has agreed to play.”

Union special assistant Bobby Bonilla said Bonds was one of the first players that he called to recruit shortly after the regular season ended.

“I’m ecstatic,” Bonilla said. “He pretty much agreed in principle to play without hesitation. I’m just happy he’s going to be a part of it.

“It’s huge. We need the best player in the game, and we’ve got him.

Until this item appeared, I was unaware that Bobby Bonilla was employed by the union, which is kind of a shame. Much the way the Mets tried to bring Darryl Strawberry and other former Flushing fixtures back into the fold last season, I was hopeful Bonilla would receive a similar invitation — Special Ambassador To The Bronx, perhaps.

Yankees In Farnsworth Hunt

Posted in Baseball at 8:40 am by

Newsday’s Jim Baumback reports the New York Yankees are looking to sign the free agent reliever/celebrity blogger Kyle Farnsworth.

The Yankees, in desperate need of relievers to set up for Mariano Rivera, recently focused their search on righthanders Farnsworth and Tom Gordon and lefthanders Mike Myers and Joey Eischen after striking out with B.J. Ryan, Scott Eyre and Bobby Howry.

With the Yankees still reluctant to give Gordon the three-year offer he has been seeking, they became more serious in their talks with Kyle Farnsworth’s agent, Barry Meister, and are now being viewed as a favorite to land the hard-throwing righthander.

The Yankees have proposed a three-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $15 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Penguins Waive Thibault

Posted in Hockey at 8:30 am by

For starters, it should be stressed that Jocelyn is a perfectly acceptable name for a man. And with that, now coming to an AHL rink near you (though not nececsarily, Wilkes-Barry, PA), former Blackhawks G Jocelyn Thibault, shown above in Celebriduck form. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari.

The Penguins acquired Jocelyn Thibault in the summer to provide a bridge to the time when Marc-Andre Fleury would take over as their No. 1 goalie.

And he did.

It just happened a lot quicker than anyone anticipated.

The Penguins waived Thibault yesterday, less than a day after recalling Fleury from their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

If Thibault is not claimed by noon today, he can be assigned to the Baby Penguins. Should Thibault refuse to accept the demotion, the Penguins would not be compelled to honor the two-year contract worth about $3 million that he signed after being obtained from Chicago for a fourth-round draft choice in August.

General manager Craig Patrick and coach Eddie Olczyk expressed optimism that Thibault would report to the Baby Penguins if he clears waivers, although both said they had not discussed that aspect of the situation with Thibault.

“My guess is, ‘Yes,’ but I don’t know the answer to that,” Patrick said.

Thibault did not respond to a phone message seeking his reaction to being waived.

Before he was waived, Thibault rejected a request that he go to Wilkes-Barre on a conditioning stint to get his game back in sync.

“We asked him if he’d go down for two weeks to get his game back in shape, and he’s not willing to do that at this point,” Patrick said. “So our option is to put him on waivers. You have to do what you have to do. It’s all business.

TSA To Allow Tiny Weapons In Carry-On

Posted in Total Fucking Terror at 7:28 am by

From the Washington Post’s Sara Kehaulani Goo.

A new plan by the Transportation Security Administration would allow airline passengers to bring scissors and other sharp objects in their carry-on bags because the items no longer pose the greatest threat to airline security, according to sources familiar with the plans.

In a series of briefings this week, TSA Director Edmund S. “Kip” Hawley told aviation industry leaders that he plans to announce changes at airport security checkpoints that would allow scissors less than four inches long and tools, such as screwdrivers, less than seven inches long, according to people familiar with the TSA’s plans. These people spoke on condition of anonymity because the TSA intends to make the plans public Friday.

The proposed policy must already be in place, unofficially, as for months I’ve been hearing first-hand reports of persons who’ve had no trouble bringing nail clippers, pen knives, razor blades, etc. within their carry-on luggage. Either that, or the TSA is staffed by boneheaded simpletons who are otherwise unqualified to work at Taco Bell (and being a proud American who is on his way to the airport, I know that couldn’t be the case).

And I suppose the agency has to play the percentages. With only three known instances of persons successfully using box cutters to hijack a plane and crash it into a building (4, if you include the “Let’s Roll” flight, though they struggled with the 2nd half of the equation) in the past 50 months, the TSA are probably just trying to be cost efficient.