– Ladies and gentlemen, Voice of Valeri has FINALLY reached a Google PageRank of 2! After a mere seven months of existence, Voice of Valeri is ripping this internet craze a new one. All it took was three months and 11 days to move from a 1 to a 2. Of course, all the thanks and credit goes out to the VoV.com peepulation for their readership.
– The Hero List! has been updated, as have the FAQ and The Peep Show. Enjoy.
– The 2009 MLB ASG went down last night, with the AL edging out the NL 4-3. The win gives the American League home field advantage in the World Series. The majority of the runs were scored in the first inning, but the highlight was Rays OF Carl Crawford pulling a home run back in the eighth, preserving the win for the AL. Crawford was also named World Series MVP.
– The Phillies have officially signed RHP Pedro Martinez to a one-year/$1M deal with $1.5M in performance-based incentives. It’s a smart, low-risk/high-reward move by a Phillies team starved for starting pitching depth. Pedro allowed just one hit and fanned six during six innings for Team Dominica in this year’s World Baseball Classic. He’s a different type of pitcher now, with less velocity and less flair, but there’s no reason to think he can’t be semi-effective. Pedro will begin his Phillies tenure on the DL until he is MLB-ready.
– Mets 3B David Wright told the NY Post that he would “love” to be a Met for life. The Mets can keep Wright through 2013 under his current deal, so it’s a little early to consider extending it, but Wright says he’s open to talking if the Mets ever want to extend his contract.
– White Sox OF Carlos Quentin (foot) went 0-for-1 with two walks in a rehab appearance with Single-A Kannapolis on Tuesday night. Quentin played six innings in left field, a major stride in his recovery from plantar fasciitis. He has already racked up several rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte, and is about a week from returning to the the MLB. His bat should provide a nice mid-season boost for the White Sox.
– Red Sox SS Jed Lowrie is expected to return to the Red Sox on Saturday. Lowrie has been sidelined since April following wrist surgery. “Every day I play I feel like I’m getting better. I know the major league game is different no matter how you approach it. No matter how ready I am down here, I’m going to have to shake out some rust, but I feel like I’m ready.” SS Nick Green may be headed back to the minors, unless the Red Sox can figure out a way to dump SS Julio Lugo. Release maybe?
– The Mets will host the All-Star Game in 2013 at Citi Field. The Angels will host next year, followed by the D’Backs in 2011. The Royals are expected to host for 2011, as it shifts back to an AL park. The Nationals are also bidding for the 2013 game, but are likely going to get it in 2015.
– According to sources, contract negotiations between the Red Sox and OF Jason Bay are expected to pick up later this week. Bay, 30, is batting .260/.380/.527 this season with 20 home runs and 72 RBI. He has spoken openly about feeling comfortable in Boston and the club would definitely love to keep him around. It’s unknown as of yet what JayBay is asking for, but it could be similar to what teammate OF JD Drew got in a five-year/$50M deal. The Red Sox aren’t deep in outfielding prospects, so they may be forced to blink. Stay tuned.
– The earlier deal that I reported involving A’s OF Matt Holliday, SS Orlando Cabrera and Braves SS Yunel Escobar is unlikely to happen. The Cardinals are interested in Escobar, but the team is unwilling to part with some of its MLB-level talent to acquire him. The Braves are unwilling to move prospects and cannot add much payroll, so a deal will be tricky.
– The Braves offered RHP Rafael Soriano to the Cards for OF joe Mather last winter but the Cards wouldn’t make the move.
– Dodgers RHP Eric Milton (back) has undergone surgery and will be out the remainder of the season.
– Lakers owner Jerry Buss is reportedly very upset with F Lamar Odom’s reluctance to respond to the team, and has pulled both of his offers (three-year/$30M, and four-year/$36M) off the table. The Mavs and Heat are talking with Odom, but can only offer up to a five-year/$34M deal. Odom’s agent was looking for a four-year/$10M offer and has not responded to the Lakers’ offer. The Lakers say they’re open to talks resuming, but Buss says he’ll lower the offer if that happens. Odom may end up taking a smaller deal elsewhere, if egos have become too bruised.
– Olympiakos, the Greek powerhouse that signed F Josh Childress a year ago, has offered Knicks RFA G Nate Robinson a two-year/$10M contract. Knicks president Donnie Walsh has said he would like to try to sign Robinson, but could seek a sign-and-trade. The Knicks are still said to be pursuing G Andre Miller, and they drafted G Toney Douglas, so Robinson is expendable.
– According to reports, it’s highly unlikely that the Pacers will match the four-year/$16M offer sheet from the Raptors for FRA G Jarrett Jack. Jack will immediately back up G Jose Calderon, but can also log minutes at the two-spot.
– F Ben Wallace accepted a $10M buyout from the Suns on Tuesday. If he clears waivers, he will be an unrestricted free agent. Wallace indicated at the end of last season he would consider retirement because of his age (35) and lingering injuries. But according to sources, Wallace is considering trying to play at least one more season and has reached out to the Pistons. The Pistons have $3.5M still available under the salary cap. In taking the buyout, Wallace left $4M still on the table in Phoenix. Stay tuned.
– Spurs F Richard Jefferson decided at the last minute to cancel his $2M wedding to onetime Nets dancer Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols last Saturday. Guests had actually shown up for the Manhattan wedding before learning it would not be taking place, although he apparently broke up with her prior to the weekend. This could be a personally devastating situation for RJ, keep an eye on his performance this season.
– The Jazz have re-signed G Ronnie Price. Terms were not disclosed.
– The Canadiens have signed Swedish F Andreas Engqvist to a three-year, two-way contract. Terms were not immediately disclosed. The 6-3, 196-pound 21-year-old registered 9 goals and 7 assists in 31 games with Djurgardens of the Swedish Elite League last season, before a wrist injury caused him to miss the team’s last 24 games.
– The Flames have signed D Staffan Kronwall to a three-year deal.
– The Predators have signed F Ben Guite to a one-year, two-way contract.
–The Oilers have signed F Chris Minard. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The 27-year-old appeared in 20 games for the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins last season and registered a goal and two assists. He also played in 54 contests with AHL affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and tallied a team-high 34 goals to go along with 23 helpers.
– The Ravens have signed DL Terrell Suggs to a six-year/$63M contract. Suggs will reportedly receive $38M “guaranteed” and a whopping $40M will be paid in the next two years, which is an unreal sum. His bonus money ($33.1M) beats any in defensive history and he’s the highest paid linebacker in football. With his age (26), versatility, and production, the linebacker/defensive end hybrid is a safe bet and should remain an elite pass rusher in Baltimore for a while.
– Jets RB Leon Washington is still unhappy with his contract and remained noncommittal Tuesday when asked whether he’ll report on time for Jets training camp. “I do not know. The situation is pretty much the same as it was in minicamp. Nothing has really changed.” The NY Daily News calls the sides “far apart” in negotiations. The Jets have reportedly offered just $2M annually, while Washington wants $6M a year. Jets camp opens July 30.
– Last night’s episode of Monday Night RAW scored a 3.5 (3.77 and 3.32) cable rating, down from the previous week’s 3.6 figure.
– Booker T was a guest on this week’s Monday Night Mayhem radio show. The highlights;
WCW & WWE vs. TNA: “I look at this side of my career as the beginning of the end of the beginning. Here in TNA, it has been totally different from anything in my career because it’s a different era. Starting out in WCW, wrestling guys that I seen on television for years, and then going to the WWE and wrestling guys that I always wanted to get a chance to wrestle. Now wrestling here in TNA, being with a bunch of guys who were my age when I first started this, and still being able to keep up and stay on top. That’s been the challenge for me more than anything. I really think it’s the greatest part of my career.”
Taz & Kennedy In TNA: “The addition to TNA will be great for those guys who make an appearance here. I really don’t know the status of either of those guys are, but I would welcome Kennedy, Anderson…whatever he calls himself. I would welcome Taz to TNA. TNA is a growing company, the new thing on the block. A lot of time people want to check out the new flavor and see what this new thing is all about.”