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Some final random thoughts for 2008

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A few random thoughts while waiting for the Mark Teixeira press conference and another round of “the Yankees are ruining baseball” columns …

— Those who think baseball needs a salary cap aren’t paying attention. There have been seven different champions in the last eight seasons and since 2001, 23 teams have appeared in the playoffs at least once. Money has less to do with success then smart management and good health.

— Lots of e-mailers are pushing for Rocco Baldelli for center field, citing his improved diagnosis. But it’s important to note that he hasn’t been cured; he was found to have a more manageable condition. It remains unclear whether he can play every day. Keep in mind, Baldelli hasn’t been an everyday player since 2004.

— There’s no reason to feel sorry for Roger Clemens. But if he could do it over again, think he might have just confessed, apologized and asked for forgiveness? The latest indignity is that a Houston hospital took the Rocket’s name off their sports medicine clinic.

— Nice to see the San Francisco Giants fill the “surly, aging star who cares only about records” spot on their roster with Randy Johnson. Maybe he can use Barry Bonds’ old recliner. I love the part about how the Giants are looking forward to him helping their young pitchers. Johnson barely acknowledged his teammates when he was with the Yankees.

— Manny Ramirez weaseled out of Boston so he could escape the options on his deal for two more years and only $40 million. Now he might be lucky to get that from the Dodgers.

— Bobby Abreu (at least 98 runs and 100 RBI in each of the last six years) has to be furious right about now. He’s a victim of bad timing.

— Given that Xavier Nady hit .268 for the Yankees, Johnny Damon is slowing down and Hideki Matsui has cranky knees, why trade anybody? Use Swisher in RF, LF and 1B. Use Damon in LF and CF. Use Nady in RF and LF and let Matsui DH and play a little LF. Joe Girardi has shown he can use the bench. Give him a good one to use

— Melky Cabrera is at .314/.393/.409 in the Dominican. Melky and The Little G in spring training, may the best man win.

— I’ve never been much for video games. But Wii is pretty cool, especially the sports games. However modern Lincoln Logs are terrible compared to the ones we had when we were kids.

— What was the best present you received? Mine was a GPS unit. Now I’ll be able to find my way around Florida

— Do you ever wonder if every time he gets one of his clients signed to a huge deal, Scott Boras reads all the nasty things people say about him and laughs his ass off? It’s not his job to look out for baseball or save the owners from themselves. It’s his job to get his clients what they want and he’s very good at it.

— If advanced baseball stats, witty pop-culture references and 5,000-word posts are your idea of a good blog, you have to check out Joe Posnanski’s corner of the interweb. [2]

— Mark Cuban has some interesting thoughts about keeping sportswriters employed. [3] God Bless Mark Cuban. His main point: Newspaper are in trouble, but somebody has to cover the teams and newspapers still serve that purpose.

— Movies I want to see before spring training: Valkyrie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road, Gran Torino, Frost/Nixon and Doubt.

— The iPhone 3G is great. But it’s weird that you can’t send a photo via text message. E-mailing a photo is quick and easy. But even crappy phones can text photos.

— Sounds like the Mets are making a big push for Derek Lowe. That’s where the Yankees were going if they didn’t get A.J. Burnett.

— Here’s a question. Who plays SS for the Yankees when Derek Jeter is away with Team USA? Cody Ransom?

— Do you actually care who wins the WBC? Does anybody?

— The MLB Network debuts Jan. 1 with Don Larsen’s perfect game, complete with the original commercials.

— Quite a football dilemma today. If the Patriots win in Buffalo, I’ll have to root for the Jets to beat the Dolphins. This would go against all I believe to be good and right. It would almost be worth winning and seeing the Jets lose if only because it would make their already miserable fans more miserable and get traitorous Eric Mangini fired.

But the Patriots in the playoffs with a backup QB while the Jets go nowhere with Brett Favre would be a good result. Patriots 24, Bills 17. Jets 14, Dolphins 13.