"The International Astronomical Union has voted to remove Pluto from the solar system–as a planet, that is.
It is now considered a "dwarf planet" because it has an oblong orbit that overlaps with Neptune’s orbit."
Late word just in ….
The Reds, still desperate for relief help, have traded for the recently-DFAed Pluto.
No phony Mazzone …. Ortiz an Oriole (my comments in italics)
"The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Russ Ortiz on Sunday, hoping that a reunion with pitching coach Leo Mazzone rekindles the success that made Ortiz a 20-game winner with Atlanta."
Right after Leo fixes Cabrera, Chen, etc. …….
"He represents a low-cost gamble by the Orioles, who are responsible for only a prorated portion of the major league minimum salary of $327,000. Ortiz is scheduled to make his Baltimore debut July 1 in Atlanta in the rotation spot previously occupied by left-hander Adam Loewen, who was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa."
I guess this means we can call him Adam Loewen Outside (looking in)
"I’ve been itching to get back," Ortiz said before throwing a bullpen session with Mazzone before Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals. "I feel great. … I don’t think I have anything to prove. I just want an opportunity."
Dear Russ … you need to prove that you still have a pulse, given the last year and a half. (5-16 with a 7.00 ERA in 28 starts with Arizona.
The Diamondbacks cut Ortiz loose despite owing him almost $22 million. Ortiz was 0-5 in six starts this season)
Russ gave "replacement level" a bad name …
"The Diamondbacks on Tuesday designated the veteran right-hander for assignment after watching him go 0-5 with a 7.54 ERA in six starts this year and 5-11 with a 6.89 ERA last year. The D-Backs have 10 days to trade or waive him. "We just felt like it wasn’t working here for whatever reason and we needed to turn the page," Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said.
It could well be a very expensive page. Ortiz was signed to a four-year, $33 million contract prior to the 2005 season and if a team claims him it would assume the contract and be responsible for the little more than $20 million that is left on it. A more likely scenario would be that Ortiz clears waivers, becomes a free agent and is able to sign with any club.
The team signing him would be responsible for just the prorated portion of the Major League minimum salary ($300,000) this year with the D-Backs footing the bill for the rest. If that happens, it would be the largest amount of money ever paid to a released player, eclipsing the mark of $16 million the Rockies wound up paying pitcher Denny Neagle last year and the $15.7 million the Angels owed pitcher Kevin Appier in 2003. "That’s the ramifications of it if we’re unable to work out a trade," Byrnes said of the finances. "That’s something that we’re aware of and we’ll have to deal with. Sometimes when you designate a player, it does initiate [trade] discussions and often times it doesn’t — so we’ll see."
So, here are the top 10 things Russ Ortiz can now do with his unexpected "free time":
10. Cash one of his checks, spread the dollar bills on his bed, and roll around naked on it, twice a month for the next 30 months.
9. Start his own "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" with Rob Dibble, David Wells and John Kruk.
8. Get picked up by a team that scores 6 runs a game (cough … Yankees … cough), and turn into a 15-win, 5.00+ ERA pitcher.
7. Quickly fly over to Germany and suit up for the US Soccer Team.
6. Sit in front of his TV, eating Cheetos in his underwear, and buy every item shown on Home Shopping Network.
5. Join in the search for Jack Bauer on next season’s "24".
4. Start his own blog here at mlb.com (perhaps called "The Russ Bucket" ?) …. with entries like:
6:30am … woke up … scratched my butt … rolled over and went back to sleep
8:07am … woke up again … stretched … burped … rolled over and went back to sleep …
3. Regain his pitching ability … in MLB 2K6 on his XBox 360.
2. Sudoku Sudoku Sudoku …. 24/7/365.
and the number 1 thing he can do with his unexpected "free time" …
1. Give back the money still left on his contract, one dollar per day
Amidst today’s transactions ….
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Optioned pitcher Chad Orvella to Durham of the International League (AAA); released pitcher Mark Malaska; assigned pitchers Justin Miller and Al Reyes, catcher Mike Rose and infielder Luis Rivas to minor league camp; sent outright pitcher Chad Harville to Durham.
They each must have been hanging their pitches …
From yesterday’s list of transactions:
Kansas City Royals
Placed RHP Runelvys Hernandez on the 15-day disabled list due to lack of stamina.
And just WHY does Hernandez have a lack of stamina? Because he showed up to camp OVERWEIGHT!
In this day and age, with baseball jobs at such a premium, who dares to show up at camp out of shape?
Somewhere back in Japan, Hideki "Fat Toad" Irabu is shaking his head.