Noticias y Notas

* Los muchachos -- and I mean that in the nicest possible way -- over at Fogball are making me feel old today.

* Peter Gammons needs a drool bucket. His latest slob-fest concerns Giants' prospect David Aardsma, who walks on all fours in the Kalahari Desert and sucks up termites and ants with his long tongue. How he thinks he can learn a changeup with those claws is beyond me. Anyway, Gammons says in his most recent column that Aardsma will be ready for the bigs by mid-year. See, sportswriting is a quid-pro-quo, just like being a gossip columnist. You get access to people like Brian Sabean because people like Brian Sabean want something from you. Plant some good stuff on Aardsma (or Cain, or Valdez, or Tony Tormato), and hope that word gets around. Buzz takes on a life of its own. It's a game of psy-ops, and Gammons is a willing carrier pigeon.

This isn't to say that Aardsma won't be ready, or that it's all a massive hoax perpetrated on the unwitting GMs around the league. Aardsma's no doubt pretty damn good. But just that extra boost in the press might be enough to convince a GM to pull the trigger on a deal that Sabean's pressing for.

* SI.com's John Donovan has once again stunned me into silence. Do these online columnists have editors? Now that people have blogs and write any damn thing they please, have the pros adopted the same methodology? Here's Donovan from his latest column on the Giants' offseason turnover: "The Giants know change as well as anyone. The Giants give change. They make change. They change because they have to. They change because they want to."

* I hope Gammons is right about Aardsma.

* The SJ Merc reports this morning that Merkin Valdez hurt his achilles' tendon and was limping around on the mound yesterday.

* Several outlets are reporting that Francisco Santos is a strong contender for the final roster spot. Yeesh. First of all, his name isn't Deivis anymore, which would have been much cooler. Second, he's a slow backup first baseman. Don't we already have one of those? It's called a "Feliz." At least bring up a guy who can pinch run and play a couple positions, like a "Dallimore." The point is probably moot: he'll only make the team if the Giants go with 11 pitchers. Given Schmidt's got a sore shoulder, and Nen hasn't thrown in a Cactus League game, and Felix hasn't yet mastered that two-seam fastball (ahem), and Alou likes to change pitchers more often than he changes his underwear (OK, I don't know how often that really is), there's no way in hell they break camp with only 11 pitchers.

* Olivier B. writes from one of El Lefty Malo's favorite cities, Montréal, where the smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's on Boul. St Laurent is much, much better than watching Vlad hit a home run off Russ Ortiz indoors at Olympic Stadium when it's a perfectly lovely day outside. Olivier asks, "PS: Is Felipe Alou still clogging post-game press conferences with fishing stories? I miss Felipe... You know he still is one of the most popular public figure in Quebec?"

Bonne question, as we say here in the land of Freedom Fries. I haven't noticed an anbundance of palaver pescadorial coming from our fair skipper, but if he's interested he should check out of my favorite columns from the SF Chronicle, Brian Hoffman's Fishing Report. And I don't even fish.


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