I can't claim to have watched Gary Carter play -- I'm a bit too young for that -- but it's always a sad day when baseball loses one of its legends. Carter passed away last night at the age of 57, around nine months after being diagnosed with multiple brain tumors.
There are multiple obituaries and takes on Carter out there right now, and I'm finding myself overwhelmed by some of the stories. He was The Kid, the perennial fan favorite that busted his butt even during Spring Training and never had a smile far from his face. He was a devoted family-man -- a classy, wholesome player that set himself apart by his actions on and off the field. Reading all these stories about him, I'm sad that I never got to enjoy following him.
The baseball world keeps spinning, though, and there are some other articles to pass along today as well. Enjoy:
- The A.J. Burnett-Pirates deal might finally be completed over the next day or so. From the recent rumors, it sounds all but completed, with the Pirates taking on $13 million in salary and sending over two non-roster players to the Yanks.
- No Rays appeared on the "Best Curveballs of 2011" list -- although I'd argue that Matt Moore would have show up there if he had pitched more -- but there was one Rays pitcher that made the Worst Pitches list: Wade Davis. His changeup was quite ineffective last year.
- I'm late on this news, but as you probably saw in the recent FanShot by Vin, the Rays have turned D.J. Kitty into a full-fledged mascot (h/t to Rays Index for finding this first). It sounds like D.J. Kitty will make his (her?) first appearance at Fan Fest this weekend.
- If you're ever confused by some of the arcane statistics we toss around here on a daily basis, Amanda Rykoff put together a sabermetric primer over at espnW. It's well worth the read.
- As a sign of how slow the news cycle has been recently, the story about Johnny Damon's quest for 3,000 hits just won't die. Dave Allen took a look over at FanGraphs and found that Damon did expand his zone last season and swing at more pitches, and Joe Posnanski put together a thoughtful piece on how 3,000 hits would impact Damon's Hall of Fame chances. I don't think Damon deserves to be in even with that milestone, but...well, that's certainly going to make for an interesting debate.