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In Spring Training, Everyone is an All-Star

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We're about a week into the spring training news-cycle. The beat reporters have all had at least seven days to touch base with players in Tucson, and have written glowingly of about 35 members of the 40-man roster. Because it's spring training, there hasn't even been an exhibition game, and every player in camp looks like an All-Star.

Ozzie Guillen can't praise Gavin Floyd enough. Mike MacDougal looks great, even when he's beaning the soon-to-be-traded Joe Crede, who recovered very quickly, by the way. He should be ready for game action when the Cactus League opens play on Wednesday. Jerry Owens is going to steal 65 bases. Nick Masset is going to win a starting Job. Octavio Dotel is making hitters walk out of the batter's box shaking their heads. John Danks has a cutter.

Sure, Mark Buehrle has a sore shoulder, but that's hardly a worry. A few years ago, he broke his foot* shagging fly balls in one of the final practices of the spring and still made his opening day start. Last year, he took a line-drive off his arm in the first start of the season, and didn't miss a start. He's never missed a start, and I don't expect him to start now.

Everything is freakin' rosy! Even our maligned farm system is spectacular, just ask them.

"I know for a fact we really do have a very good system, and have very good players," said Ely, a 2007 third-round pick, who prepped at Homewood-Flossmoor High School some 40 minutes away from U.S. Cellular Field. "Whether they got rid of our top prospects or not, we are still very competitive and have a lot of guys moving up who are going to shock some people."

"A lot of good players are still around in our system, guys who played above and below me," Getz added. "So, I don't think too much about what people are saying."

The articles are so favorable, that when you get the rare negative comment, you have to assume even that is sugar coated. I've read concern about Alexei Ramirez' long swing, which is particularly troubling considering the long and loopy swings we've seen out of recent Sox prospects. I mean if Ramirez' swing is long enough to draw attention in batting practice at a time of year when the Cubs are Orioles are talking World Series, Thomas Collaro has to be looking at Ramirez and thinking 'that Cuban kid sure needs to cut down on his swing.'
* * * * *

Elsewhere, Bartolo Colon apparently signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox, for reasons that escape me. It seemed like the White Sox were willing to give him a major league deal a few weeks ago, and may have been close to signing him last week. The Red Sox clearly have a more major league ready starters in camp right now. Colon would seem to be, at best, their 6th option right now. Outside of the hubris of the professional athlete, I don't understand why Colon would pick Pawtucket over Chicago. Better clam chowder, I suppose.

* Foot was not actually broken, though some believe the supreme healing powers of Herm Schneider's meat apron allowed Buehrle to return from injury in record time.