Other quick hits:
Thole and Duda were on Hot Stove this week. I don't like either. Duda actually looked and sounded like he was afraid to be a RF, admitting that he has no speed and is defensively challenged. And why exactly hasn't he been traded to an AL team yet? Did Sandy forget to pay the AT&T bill? As for Thole-I challenge someone to tell me which catcher's responsibilities (offense and defense) he executes competently. And following that logic, why is he assumed to be the number 1 next year? I know the system is short on catchers and there's little money, but why not bring in as many castoffs as possible and try to find something?
There was talk this week of a deal for Eric Young Jr. Now I can get excited. This guy can play 2B (no thanks, JT-you're a reserve at best) and the OF (maybe he can play 2B and RF simultaneously and keep Duda off the field?). On a serious note, he'd be a perfect 2B on this team, and provide much needed speed up top. He stole 27 last year, and has stolen over 70 in a minor-league season. Yes, he has no power. Yes, is OBP is not ideal. That's why he's available, folks. If the price is Niese, maybe that gives pause. But maybe there's another way to get him (can you say Pelfrey?). It's worth looking into, don't you agree? He'd be an upgrade.
Enough for today. It's Christmas Eve, after all. My friend Coop from "A Gal For All Seasons" went to a "59-days-until-ptichers-and-catchers" party this week. That can only mean that there are fewer than 59 days now. And that, for me, is present enough.