As I mentioned last week, I'm heading out on vacation tomorow and the site will be in the hands of Nico, baseballgirl and louismg.
In addition to that, I want to formally announce that monkeyball will be joining our front page crew. monkeyball is one of the funniest and insightful community members here at AN and he's been a part of the community for a long, long time. I'm thrilled about him joining the stable of fantastic writers here at AN and I know he's going to make AN even better with his regular contributions.
Speaking of monkeying around, the Cardinals, Rangers and Indians are all reportedly offering incentive-laden contracts to former Big Three rock star Mark Mulder that are two year deals worth up to $18 million.
Mulder would be wise to stay in the NL while he recovers from shoulder surgery and learning how to pitch again. If you remember the A's end of the year in 2004, Mulder was suddenly struck with an inability to pitch. He claimed he was having problems with his release point and could't seem to get right. As a matter of fact, the A's considered choosing Joe Blanton to start a crucial game against the Angels towards the end of the year because Mulder was struggling so badly. They didn't, Mulder got shelled and was out of the game early in favor of Blanton.
Mark, stay in the NL and try and get yourself right before you come back and have to face lineups like the Red Sox, Yankees or if you sign with the Indians, the White Sox, Tigers and Twins all the time. It will be interesting next season to see Zito, Hudson and Mulder all scattered across the NL (if Mulder chooses to do so). Of course if Mulder's shoulder issues progress quickly and he does sign with the Cardinals, he could be making an appearance with that team in June at the Coliseum. Although most reports have him not returning until around the All Star break.
Finally, I've been thinking a lot about doing the charity season ticket drive again this year. I need to check in with Sports4Kids and see if they could use the tickets again this year. If they are interested, I will probably start the effort again in early February. I will not be donating the tickets to the Oakland Children's Shelter this year as I haven't really heard back from that group on whether or not they even used the tickets. I'll give you more details once I get back in late January.
Enjoy Nico, baseballgirl, louismg and monkeyball. I'll see you soon.