Jeter faces the Yankees: For the first time in his career, Derek Jeter will be batting against the New York Yankees. Of course, it's as a member of Team USA and not, say, the Red Sox.
Jeter and the rest of the American squad will face off against Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Mike Dunn, Jose Veras, Eric Hacker, David Robertson and Kanekoa Texeira. Depending on their respective attitudes, it could be a real thrill for some of those young guys to pitch against superstars like Jeter, Dustin Pedroia, Jimmy Rollins, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Kevin Youkilis, David Wright, Ryan Braun and one of my favorites, Adam Dunn.
I just hope the guys evaluating the team take this lineup into consideration when the younger, less experienced hurlers get bombed.
On the other side of the coin, the Yankees get to face Roy Oswalt, a welcome test after days spent beating up on lesser, probably minor league-bound pitching.
The game is on MLB.TV and YES, so take a look, if you can.
Changes afoot for Team USA: The United States yesterday lost outfielder Brad Hawpe, as well as pitchers Joe Nathan and B.J. Ryan for the entirety of the Classic, and will be without new Angel Brian Fuentes for at least the first round.
Replacing them will be Joel Hanrahan, John Grabow and LaTroy Hawkins. Not exactly the scariest pack of relievers, but they'll have to do at this point.
Cabrera signs with Oakland, Nomar close: The Oakland A's have added veteran Orlando Cabrera to their mix infielders, probably to compete with oft-injured Bobby Crosby for the starting job. Cabrera, 34, hit .281 with 8 home runs and 57 RsBI with the White Sox last season, and also went 19-for-25 in stolen base attempts.
Cabrera provides Oakland a welcome change from Crosby, who hasn't been the same since his Rookie of the Year season of 2004. Of course, last season was the first since '04 that he has played in more than 100 games, so the potential may still be there.
Perhaps the clearest indicator of each man's value is his VORP: Cabrera's last season was a respectable 18.6; Crosby's, however, was a dismal -0.6. Their EqAs were .253 and .233, respectively, and their MLVrs were -.073 and -.178.
Put simply, Cabrera is an upgrade over Crosby, but not by much.
The A's are also close to adding a second bat to their infield, Nomar Garciaparra, whom Bobbie Dittmeier of MLB.com reports is closing in a one-year pact to travel to the Bay Area.
Garciaparra, entering his 14th season in the big leagues, hit .264/.326/.792 in 163 AB with the Dodgers.