This Week In Baseball – 3/21/10

The MLB bloggosphere and mainstream media were sent buzzing after it leaked that the Phillies were kicking around the idea of offering their slugger Ryan Howard, for Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols. While the supposed trade was never more than a hypothetical, the idea caught the imagination of many and played on the fears of a few. Despite Howard being a perennial MVP candidate, there are many who believe that Pujols will end up being possibly the best hitter ever, meaning the Cardinals probably wouldn’t have even considered the trade were it ever offered.

ron-washington1It was leaked this week that Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine use during the 2009 season. Washington was subject to a random drug test in the middle of last season, knowing that he would test positive, he reportedly admitted his use to MLB officials before the test came back. Washington released this statement to the press Mar. 17:


I am here today to apologize for a huge mistake I made during the first half of the season in 2009.

I am not here to make excuses. There are none.

I am not here to ask for sympathy. That would be asking too much.

I fully understand that I disappointed a lot of people—-my family, my players, coaches, as well as the team’s leadership, especially Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels, as well as young people who may have looked up to me.

I am truly sorry for my careless, dangerous, and frankly, stupid, behavior last year.”

joe_nathanIt was confirmed today that Minnesota Twins star closer, Joe Nathan, will need to have season ending Tommy John surgery on his elbow. It was revealed several weeks ago that Nathan had a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The closer tested his arm this week to see if he would be able to pitch through the tear, but the results did not go as well as the Twins had hoped. Without Nathan the Twins, who hoped to be competitors this year, are left without a defined closer just weeks before the season breaks.

Nathan had been a steady hand for the Twins, posting six straight seasons with 35-or-more saves, an ERA below 2.70, and at least 68.1 innings pitched. Possible closer options for the Twins include former ace Francisco Liriano, set-up man Matt Guerrir, and former National Jon Rauch.

Nathan, 35, isn’t expected to be able to pitch again for at least 12 months following the surgery, meaning he will likely be ready by June of next season.

The Boston Red Sox top prospect, Ryan Westmoreland, successfully underwent brain surgery on Tuesday. The 19-year-old had a cluster of blood vessels removed that had been growing on his brain stem, which could have posed a serious future threat. Due to the complex nature of the surgery, it is Westmoreland’s future is still unknown.