Slow times in baseball news, so I'll just toss a few recent links your direction and get on with other things in my life:
* Jim Bouton's book Ball Four played a significant role in my becoming a baseball fan almost a half-century ago. The material Bouton and Leonard Shecter used to create that marvelous book -- notes, tape recordings, manuscripts, correspondence -- is being auctioned. Bidding closes Jan. 21.
* The chatter about a Brian Dozier trade to the Dodgers has largely quieted, but I wouldn't call it dead yet. Baseball America's organizations prospect rankings has reached the NL West teams (last division this year), and here's Los Angeles's Top 10 list. I expect that if the Twins do trade Dozier to the Dodgers, three of those names will be involved. The Dodgers are, supposedly, unwilling to include more than one.
* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells the story of Seth Maness, relief pitcher and surgical pioneer -- first major leaguer to undergo a surgical alternative to Tommy John surgery. Not every pitcher whose elbow goes south can have this procedure, but the recovery time for those who can figures to be sharply better.