Sold to Japan?

In the last week, two major league pitchers have had their contracts sold to Japanese professional leagues.

The New York Yankees sold the contract of pitcher Darrell Rasner for $1 million. Today, the Texas Rangers sold the contract of Kameron Loe. The rights were not disclosed, but Loe did sign a two-year, $2 million deal.

I always thought this was an unusual practice. You don’t see NFL teams selling players to the Canadian Football League or anything like that. I don’t think The Forum could sell me to the Winnipeg Free Press for two copies of Adobe Photoshop and a box of red markers, could it?

Made me think of earlier this year when the Philadelphia Phillies – namely pitcher Brett Myers – punked Kyle Kendrick into believing he was getting traded to Japan for a player named Kobayashi Iwamura. It was pretty cruel and kind of funny. Maybe that prank helped springboard the Phillies to the World Series title. Who knows? Here it is:

More on the lack of AP

Very interesting blog post today by the Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had his weekly conference with the media. Here was the highlight of it, from Zulgad’s blog post:

Running back Adrian Peterson turned the tables on a media member today when asked about the fact he wasn’t on the field for the Vikings’ final offensive drive Sunday in a 19-13 loss at Tampa Bay. Asked if he was surprised, Peterson said, “Does it surprise you?” The answer was yes.

Peterson went on to say that he feels comfortable in the team’s two-minute offense, but he chose to go the diplomatic route by saying he has 100 percent confidence in Chester Taylor.

I think Taylor is a fine player. He might be the team’s third best offensive weapon after AP and Bernard Berrian. But you can’t have AP on the sidelines in crunch time when you need to score.

On that note, the Vikings should think about taking a page from the Miami Dolphins and experimenting with the Wildcat offense. Seriously. Why not? If two of your best offensive players are running backs, why not use AP and Chester Taylor like the Dolphins do with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams? Do the Vikings think they have to find a way to keep Bobby Wade on the field or something?

MVP amusement

I’m always amused by voting for Major League baseball postseason honors/awards. Like in last year’s Hall of Fame voting when guys like Travis Fryman get 2 votes and Chuck Finley and Todd Stottlemyre get a vote apiece. They were all good players, but obviously none of them were Hall of Fame material. Somebody was doing them a favor.

I really didn’t see anything in the NL MVP voting that I thought was unusual, but there were a few things in the AL MVP voting released Tuesday that I thought were very strange.

  • Whoever gave Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez a first-place vote should no longer be stripped of his right to vote. I realize he set the saves record, but in my opinion you have to be a pretty lights-out closer to even be considered for a league MVP honor. I can understand Brad Lidge, who was perfect on save opportunities. K-Rod? I don’t think so.
  • Somehow, one of the voters left AL MVP winner Dustin Pedroia completely off their ballot. How is that possible? Whether or not you think he deserves MVP, I think everyone would agree he’s at least a top-10 candidate.
  • Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett – a former Twins infielder – was on only one ballot, but that ballot earned him a fifth-place vote. Meanwhile, teammate Evan Longoria received nothing higher than a sixth-place vote. So that means there is someone out there who thinks Bartlett was more valuable to the Rays than Longoria. Yikes!
  • I was surprised how low Josh Hamilton finished. I know the Texas Rangers were never in contention, but like I said, how does K-Rod finish higher than Josh Hamilton. Hamilton faded down the stretch, but he still put up a pretty spectacular year.