Three items at this late hour:
1. Tyler Lumsden, the prospect we were all excited about in the Mike MacDougal trade (now we're all excited about that other guy in the deal, Daniel Cortes), was packed and shipped to Houston yesterday for "a player to be named later or cash." The "or" is strange. It can't be both? And how much cash? We're guessing a pittance for baseball standards, a few hundred-thousand perhaps. Maybe it'd be better to take the player, but... who? Such mystery. PTBNL is a scourge.
2. This is a rather amazing story out of Pittsburgh/India: a U.S. marketer decided to organize a baseball-throwing contest in India called Million Dollar Arm in which the contestant to throw a series of pitches that hit at least 85 m.p.h. on the radar, and all for strikes, would win $100,000 (which, in India, is a lot) and baseball training in the United States. That's quite a contest, if we may say. The winner, 19-year-old lefty Rinku Singh, threw in the low-90s. But Pittsburgh scouts at this event were so impressed with another guy, 20-year-old righty Dinesh Patel, who was a little wild but threw harder, that they decided to sign them both. And with one stroke of the pen -- or handshake or phone call or whatever -- Singh and Patel became the first-ever Indian athletes to sign professional sports contracts outside their country.
That bears repeating: the two are the first athletes from India to sign professional sports contracts outside of India, a country of more than 1.1 billion people. (According to AP -- we don't want to get the wording wrong -- "They are believed to be the first athletes from India to sign professional sports contracts outside their country" (italics ours).)
An incredible story, really. We said earlier this summer and last year (in a post titled "Imports," coincidentally enough) we'd keep our eyes on Pirates GM Neal Huntington; it's nice of him to justify that attention so soon. The Pirates: a team you can feel right rooting for.
3. New blog to report: Royalscentricity, a clean-looking site which has eight posts up as of this writing.
We're finding out about these things every week, especially as it's the offseason and more and more fans are jumping on the bandwagon -- who knew the Royals had such a large blogger bandwagon, right? -- so do let us know if our blogroll is missing anything.
And we're officially soliciting advice as to whether "blog roll" should be one word or two. We've oscillated from the very beginning.