Replace the cat in the cartoon with a beagle (and ditch the pipe) and this could be me, right down to the name.
Catching up on a few links ...
* Prospect guru John Sickels had an intriguing interview with Howard Norsetter, the Twins international scouting coordinator. The Twins commit more resources to finding players in non-traditional corners of the world than anybody else — heck, maybe more than the rest of baseball combined — Holland, Germany, Australia, the Czech Republic, Russia ... Norsetter is the man behind that.
Incidentally, Sickels' annual self-published prospect book is out and as good as ever.
* The Japanese writer who kept Joe Mauer from a unanimous MVP explained his vote for Miguel Cabrera to the New York Times.
Keizo Konishi of the Kyodo News (he covers the Seattle Mariners and Ichiro Suzuki) isn't convincing me. His logic:
- He rejected the Yankees candidates (Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira) and any Angels candidates because those teams won their divisions too handily;
- He believes the Tigers lineup needed Cabrera more than the Twins needed Mauer;
- He didn't know the details of Cabrera's final-weekend bender when he cast his ballot, and doesn't know if knowing more about it would have affected his vote;
- And Mauer didn't play in the World Baseball Classic. Really, that was a factor:
“Maybe not many Americans think this way, but outside of America, the World Baseball Classic is a huge deal for the Japanese people — enormous. And that year, Cabrera played to the semifinals. Mauer didn’t. And how many games both players played was different, too.”
I wrote here at the time that I could see somebody picking somebody other than Mauer because Mauer missed a month of the season. But in that case, I thought it had to be Jeter. I still think that.