Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.

Annual visceral, small-sample-sized observations from spring training

Philadelphia Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon throws during practice at

(Credit: AP)

Upon returning home from my first visit to spring training, I always enjoy checking in with some mental snapshots, mindful that what I took away could prove to be hugely significant or, far more likely, wholly irrelevant. Here is last year's entry. I forgot that I had Johnny Damon on the record acknowledging how important reaching 3,000 career hits was.

Some spring trainings, I'll spend almost...

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Looking back at my free-agent predictions

By my parameters, a Hot Stove League hasn't officially concluded until the future of every Type A free agent has been resolved.

This year, the last man standing was Roy Oswalt, and his resolution was to leave things unresolved. He's going the Roger Clemens/Pedro Martinez route and market himself as an in-season acquisition. If he's willing to go somewhere besides St. Louis or Texas, then he...

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Comment Winter Olympics: Tolerance, Jorge Posada and Carlos Pena

It's been a while, hasn't it? The judges had to sift through weeks and weeks of comments, including some memorable arguments, to pick three winners.

Their work is complete. Here are your medalists:

--The bronze goes to JE, who got worked up over a hypothetical discussion involving Prince Fielder's free agency. It was worth it just for this:

For all of your charm, good looks,...

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Prince Fielder's deal with the Tigers

So much for Scott Boras having a bad winter.

Sometimes when you wait, nothing happens. But sometimes when you wait, something happens. And thanks to Victor Martinez's season-ending injury, Prince Fielder has himself an immense deal with the Tigers.

Thoughts:

1. Of course, it's irrational, in the way that any nine-year deal is irrational, especially for a poor-fielding first baseman....

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Can the Rangers afford both Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder?

When the World Series pits two non-New York teams against each other, a fairly common occurrence nowadays, it grants we New York reporters an opportunity to better familiarize ourselves with clubs we don't know as well.

There's a good amount of time before first pitch, so you schmooze players, a manager, coaches, front-office officials, owners, mascots and so on.

(Not really mascots....

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Before pitchers and catchers: Prince Fielder, Yu Darvish, Matt Garza and Ryan Braun

PRINCE FIELDER First base, Milwaukee Brewers 2011: 22

(Credit: AP )

Not every team has announced its report dates for pitchers and catchers - the symbolic beginning of spring - but we're basically talking Presidents' Weekend. That marks the spiritual conclusion of the Hot Stove League - if not the actual ending, as a few free agents' cases tend to drag into camp.

That means we have a little less than seven weeks to occupy ourselves before we get live players...

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What's next? Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and the Yankees

PRINCE FIELDER First base, Milwaukee Brewers 2011: .299,

(Credit: MCT)

The winter meetings is supposed to serve as the Hot Stove League's climax. We work our way up to that week, we have a flood of transactions during the meetings and then we ramp down for the holidays, building up toward spring training when the new year arrives.

This year? It was pretty close to that, when you consider that Albert Pujols (Angels), Jose Reyes (Miami) and C.J. Wilson (Angels)...

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The new CBA, Mariano Rivera's vocal cords and tonight's arbitration deadline

Here's my news story on the new CBA, and here are my CBA winners and losers. 

The word I used in my news story, to describe the number of changes, was "dizzying." There was so much stuff that I feltl ike I couldn't cover all of it, even in two newspaper stories.

So that's why we have the blog, which I'd like to use this morning as a supplement to the news story and column....

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A look into my 2011 free-agent predictions

I usually like to release my free-agent rankings and predictions - which I believe pre-date the blog - on the first day of open free agency. This year, that day will be Thursday. I think the feature is a nice way to kick off the unrestricted period, and I like using the days between the end of the World Series and open free agency to do more reporting on this.

So why are we running them today?...

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Albert Pujols, instant replay, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols

Well, I'd say that Albert Pujols is living up to the pressure of being appointed Newsday's most intriguing person of this World Series, wouldn't you?

Good Lord.

Pujols produced a historic night, and now the Cardinals hold a 2-1 advantage. Don't make Albert angry, I wrote, facetiously. 

Only Pujols knows whether his "Didn't talk to the media after Game 2" blow-up...

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