Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekly Rundown: Orakpo, Braxton Dupree, Hillenbrand

Weekly Rundown is a combination of links and brief comments on stories and topics that I couldn't get to during the week. If there's something important that I missed, don't hesitate to send an email or leave a comment.

  • With the 13th pick in the first round, the Redskins took defensive end Brian Orakpo, who many analysts figured would already be off the board. Orakpo should see lots of playing time, especially since his main competition is Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels. [Redskins Insider]

  • Should the O's top prospects be promoted to the majors as soon as possible? Rick Maese thinks it couldn't hurt, though using Brad Bergesen's first start as an example isn't really a strong argument. My opinion: Andy MacPhail knows what he's doing. [Baltimore Sun]

  • Braxton Dupree intends to transfer from Maryland. [Baltimore Sun]

  • Keith Law doesn't understand the contract the Nationals gave Ryan Zimmerman:

    Ryan (Richmond): Is it possible that Jim Bowden kidnapped Rizzo and is still showing up to work every day in a Rizzo mask? Sending down Milledge, all this uproar over the Dukes thing, giving Zim that huge deal. None of this seems productive to me.

    Keith Law: Don't forget the release of Shawn Hill, too. That Zimmerman contract ... wow. They gave him Markakis money and he's maybe half the player Markakis is. They gave him more than Youkilis got (adjusting for the years covered - Alex Speier pointed this out on and he's not half the player Youkilis is. There should be no "face of the franchise" premium. If that's your face, put some damn makeup on. [ESPN]

  • Amy K. Nelson describes the curious case of former first-round pick Matt Harrington, who turned down three big contracts and now works at Costco. [ESPN]

  • Check out this article and video of a three-year-old baseball-hitting prodigy. [SweetSpot]

  • Remember Shea Hillenbrand? Here's a fascinating feature on what he's doing now and what happened during his playing career, including his infamous confrontation with then-Blue Jays coach John Gibbons:

    Hillenbrand said the atmosphere in Toronto was 'circus-like' and to him it seemed like some of the players, despite the team's struggles on the field, were constantly joking.

    "It was like they weren't respecting the game," he said. "The team had just spent a lot of money and we weren't producing as a team. We were going downhill and the atmosphere in the clubhouse was circus-like. We had a players-only meeting and I was put in a position where I felt they wanted me to leave. I wrote 'the ship is sinking' on the board and another player wrote something like 'play for your paycheck.' The hitting coach saw it on the board and left, and then the manager (John Gibbons) came in and asked who did it. I said I did it. He tried to fight me there, calling me out in front of everyone.

    "Do I regret writing that? Yes. It's something I shouldn’t have done. But when a player gets put in a position where the team doesn't allow you to go visit your family, you stand up for yourself. I stood up for myself and I stood up for my teammates – and I'm the bad guy?"

    But that's just one part, and the article is definitely worth a read. [The Herald News via MLB Trade Rumors]

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