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Will Boras sleep? Is Williams a genius?

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Tracy Ringolsby

Tracy Ringolsby is a Hall of Fame baseball writer. He is in his 37th year covering Major League Baseball, is a co-founder of Baseball America, and is in his fourth year as pregame and postgame analyst for Colorado Rockies games on Root Sports.

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Just wondering:
  • If commissioner Bud Selig were to reinstate all-time hit king Pete Rose and make him eligible for Hall of Fame consideration, would Rose then be lumped in with the rest of those suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs?
    Rose is frequently among those listed as suspected amphetamine users during his career. Amphetamines weren't illegal then — just like GNC supplements haven't been in recent years — but they are now among baseball's banned substances. Here's the bottom line on all the hand-wringing over PEDs — people are always looking for something that will give them in an edge, in any form of life, and they are often willing to push the envelope. As even the self-righteous folks at the Olympics are finding out, the chemists are out front in athletics, and as soon as the PED du jour is banned, a new PED surfaces.
  • Will agent Scott Boras have time to sleep the next couple of days? Monday is the deadline for signing players from this year's draft. Eighteen first-round selections remained unsigned, and six of them are being, shall we say advised so the NCAA can act like everything is above board, by the Scott Boras Corporation, including the first three selections. Those working with Boras are right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State, taken No. 1 overall by Washington; outfielder Dustin Ackley, North Carolina, No. 2 by Seattle; outfielder Donovan Tate, Cartersville (Ga.) High School, No. 3 by San Diego; right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner, Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, No. 9, by Detroit; shortstop Gary Green, Southern Cal, No. 13 by Oakland, and second baseman LeVon Washington, Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla., No. 30 by Tampa Bay. Detroit, which has been among the most consistent in ignoring the signing guidelines in recent years, is also dealing with Boras on second-round pick Andrew Oliver, a left-handed pitcher from Oklahoma State. Oliver won a legal battle with the NCAA, which ruled him ineligible in the spring of 2008 for having used an agent to negotiate with the Minnesota Twins when he was drafted out of high school. A year ago, there were 11 unsigned first-round picks on the deadline day. The only ones who didn't sign were right-handed pitchers Aaron Crowe of the University of Missouri, who went No. 9 to Washington, and Gerritt Cole, Orange (Ca.) Christian High School, who went No. 28 to the Yankees. Crowe, the 12th pick this year by Kansas City, is among the unsigned No. 1 picks this year, too.
  • Does Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams have a head start on the 2010 Executive of the Year award? Williams has made two key acquisitions for next year by taking advantage of the waiver-trades this month. He acquired right-hander Jake Peavy from San Diego in a trade and was awarded outfielder Alex Rios from Toronto in a waiver claim. Sure, Peavy has a three-year, $52 million obligation starting next year, and Rios will have five years and $59.7 million remaining on his deal. Both, however, can help the Sox in the stretch drive this year and both fill major needs for the future at what will be cheaper than open-market prices. Besides, the Sox don't have to A) get into a bidding war with no guarantee of signing the player; or B) lose a first-round draft choice if they did sign the player as a free agent. And signing big-name free agents hasn't been easy for the White Sox, who aren't going to overpay and aren't the sexy destination. Peavy will join Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle and John Danks to give the Sox four quality, relatively young arms, each of whom is obligated to the team through at least 2012. Rios provides the replacement part for potential free agent Jermaine Dye, and figures to give the White Sox the center fielder they have been in search of for several years. And Williams still has some payroll to play with. The only player currently on a multi-year deal scheduled for a salary bump next year is reliever Scott Linebrink, whose base goes up $500,000. Meanwhile, the Sox figure to shed more than $40 million in salary with free agency looming for Dye ($11.5 million this year), Jim Thome ($13 million), Jose Contreras ($10 million) and Octavio Dotel ($6 million) among others. So even with Peavy at $15 million and Rios at $9.7 million, Williams will have some room to work with if the Sox don't slash their payroll budget in 2010.
  • Did Matt Holliday reassess his future expectations? Holliday had enjoyed his career with Colorado, and then got a wake-up slap in the face when he was dealt to Oakland. "I think the Rockies looked for the most miserable place possible and dealt him there," said one teammate. Now that he has escaped and landed in St. Louis, there are friends of Holliday who think he will be more aggressive in directing his pending free-agency negotiations. Holliday, who already was signed to a $13.5 million salary for this year, turned down a four-year, $72 million extension from the Rockies. First indications from his representatives was the offer was too low and they were looking for a "Mark Texeira-type deal." Then Holliday told Denver media he wanted a no-trade clause, but never countered the Rockies by saying he'd take the offer if they assured him he wouldn't be traded. Then Holliday said he wanted to sign a long-term deal and provide stability for his family. Latest word is that the Hollidays have decided to make a permanent home in Austin, Texas. And more recently, a Denver columnist wrote that Holliday wanted out of Colorado because he wanted to play on a team that had a chance to win, which could be seen as a slap in the face to the ability of his former teammates, although knowing Holliday the odds are the quote was twisted to make it seem like more of a shot at the team he left behind — which is leading the NL wild-card — than he meant.
  • Are players overly sensitive? San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval charged Dodgers' pitcher James McDonald on Wednesday when McDonald pitched him inside in one of the more senseless efforts of a senseless string of hitters overreacting to being pitched tight. If Sandoval had been paying attention to the game he would have noticed the cheap shot slide of teammate Eugenio Velez in the previous inning that may not have been intentional but could have seriously injured Dodger catcher Russ Martin. After a slide like that, a teammate of Velez's should have anticipated a wake-up call from McDonald.
  • Tagged: White Sox, Twins, Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants, Rockies, Mark Buehrle, Jim Thome, Scott Linebrink, Octavio Dotel, Jake Peavy, Jose Contreras, Alex Rios, Gavin Floyd, Matt Holliday, John Danks, Eugenio Velez, Pablo Sandoval

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