December 10, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Andy Pettitte returns to Bronx

I didn't see this one coming: Andy Pettitte just signed a one-year contract with the Yankees, for $16 million, and he has a one-year option on top of that. Pettitte said he told the Astros he would have signed with them again for $14 million, but they wouldn't go above $12 million. He had a lackluster year, which makes Houston's position understandable. What's more, their reluctance to join in the insane bidding wars for pitchers should be commended. If fellow Texan Roger Clemens follows suit and dons the pinstripe uniform once again, that would change everything in the AL East next year. See

Trading Chad Cordero??

Meanwile, the Nationals have declined to make any trades so far. According to the Washington Post, they were waiting to see if any teams made a juicy offer for Chad Cordero. If you ask me, anyone in the Nationals front office is seriously considering trading him is totally nuts. Apart from occasional shaky moments as a closer, Cordero is rock solid overall. What's more, he is the perfect embodiment of the glory days of May-June 2005 when the Nationals stunned the world by surging into first place in the NL East. The team desperately needs a cadre of players who can keep alive those memories, and hopes for a return to glory. I assume the rumors about trading him are just for negotiating purposes.

It seems that everyone is bemoaning the absurdly inflated salaries being offered to free agents this year, especially pitchers, but very few people realize what this means. Baseball franchises are, by and large, flush with cash thanks in large part to the enormous implied subsidy they receive via publicly-funded baseball stadiums.

Exhibition Stadium

The Exhibition Stadium diagram has been updated to conform to the standard, and the shape of the grandstand behind home plate has been corrected thanks in large part to a fine photo of it in the new edition of Green Cathedrals. I had thought that it was a smooth arc, but it was apparently a series of line segments, like at Fenway Park. Exhibition Stadium

Several other significant diagram revisions are in the works as a result of new information contained in Green Cathedrals. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?