The November 18th, 2011 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including C.J. Wilson is coming for a visit to the Angels, Hiroki Kuroda is the fallback option, Callaspo is cleared in a paternity test and much more...
The Monkey Says: OK, I give in, this clearly isn't solely a smokescreen (but if it is, it is a very elaborate one). My guess now is that the Angels do very much want him and will wine and dine him and then try and make him a reasonable offer in hopes that he'll be enamored with the idea of playing so close to home and accept it before getting any offers from anyone else. If it doesn't work, then they can at least show the fan base that they went all out to try and get him. It's a win-win.
The Monkey Says: Say hello to Plan B! Frankly, this has seemed inevitable for a months now. Kuroda would be a great signing because he has little leverage in that he has made it obvious that he will play in Southern California or head back to Japan and he would only get a one or two year contract anyway, so he is pretty low risk. In fact, you could make an argument that he's a much better move than signing Wilson.
The Monkey Says: Don't bother, all the Maury Povich jokes have already been made. Considering that Callaspo actually had believed the child was his and supported it for a number of years, this is pretty surprising, though you would have to hope that this whole saga won't affect him going forward.
The Monkey Says: Yes, Houston is a large market, but the Astros have only once operated with a payroll over $100 million, which is what happens when you are in a large market in a town that is all about football and not so much about baseball. Plus, there is speculation that new owner Jim Crane is cash poor a la Frank McCourt, so he is not a guy that can take big payroll risks. Either way, we won't find out for years because Houston is in such bad shape that they may not be remotely competitive for a several years.
The Monkey Says: I am firmly of the opinion that winter ball means NOTHING, but go ahead and peruse this if you so choose. And I swear I'm not saying that as a way to distract myself from Mike Trout's poor performance.
The Story: Vernon Wells is Optimus Prime.
The Monkey Says: A very funny piece, granted one that completely misinterprets BABIP as its central argument (by that I mean, a low BABIP isn't just bad luck, it can also be a strong indicator of skill erosion), but still, entertaining.