Sunday Extras: The Hot Stove Cools Down

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Ruben Amaro Jr's first GM Meetings as head wheeler and dealer for the Phils are in the books, and it wasn't without excitement. He's expressed interest in one of the best hitters in baseball, and many insiders believe the race for Matt Holliday is between the Phils and the Cardinals. St. Louis looks to be offering a package including All-Star Ryan Ludwick, Skip Schumacher, and Mitchell Boggs. I'm not sure how much the Rockies are looking for in return for even a 1-year rental (and that is ALL it will be) of possibly the best outfielder in the league, so I don't know if this will be enough. But it means the Phillies would have to do better than a 37-homer, 113-RBI roster player (albeit one who is unlikely to repeat that success), a .300 hitter with no power, and a ? of a pitcher.

It's a short off-season in baseball, and it's usually filled with some big names changing jerseys via trades and signings. We're in for a hell of a ride this winter, with Amaro possibly looking to make a splash in his first months at the helm, and plenty of current Phillies looking to get significant raises. So where does one track all the movements? For the first half of our extras today, I'll share some of my favorites, which aren't exactly hidden gems for most folks.

  • MLBtraderumors: A great composite of what major personalities like Olney, Rosenthal, Gammo, Heyman, and the like are reporting, combined with some unnamed-source juice. MLBTR is fast with the intel, and combines it into like-things packages, such as a post on all the relevant Phils news being bandied about.
  • Rotoworld: Can't be beat for the speed when you consider how many sports they cover. Excellent analysis in miniature bites.
  • Walkoff Walk: Sometimes I prefer a dutch-oven approach to hot stove discussions. Five minutes after a rumor is posted, every site has it. But few of them will make you laugh while delivering the goods. Plus, I need constant updates on Rinku & Dinesh, or I start to worry that they aren't real.
  • Zolecki: Want to know whether that Phillies-related rumor is BS? Look no further. JRoll trade? Fuhgettaboutit. TZ's got his regular beat duties, as well as an online internet weblog, which should be a twice-daily read for any Phils fan.
  • Olney: Sites like MLBTR and RW do a great job consolidating the finer points of the experts and sources, but I still like to go straight to the horses themselves if I have time. Olney remains my favorite of the bunch. Much of requires access to ESPNinsider, however.

There are countless more, but these are my regulars. Feel free to share yours in the comments. Onto the randoms, after the jump...

  • Penn State ruined my tickets to the MSU game (although possibly opened up a few hotel rooms in the process), losing a trap game to Iowa yesterday. I was at a 5-year-old's birthday party, so I didn't see anything but the last minute of the game. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to weigh in, but in short, PSU is essentially out of the BCS race. BlackShoeDiaries respond-reacts.
  • The Flyers welcomed a new face to club, with defenseman Matt Carle suiting up less than a day after being acquired from Tampa Bay. Often, a player will have to miss a next-night-after-trade game due to travel, but Carle was already here:
    • "Carle went to a Philadelphia hotel Friday night as a Tampa Bay player,
      received news of the trade, and transferred to another hotel."
  • Heidi Strobel: Cole, did you see something out there in the bushes?

    Cole Hamels: I'm sure it's just your imagination again. The paparazzi can't get us here.

    Heidi: No, this is different. I swear I saw a man in a bright red Phillies hat and a BAPE sweatshirt, carrying what I think was a makeshift Vimeo recording device for instant auto-encoding.

  • Not often I'll toss a link just to point out a new header, but Balls, Sticks, & Stuff's really sums things up nicely.
  • Finally, I saw David Byrne and Brian Eno* at the Tower last night. It was like watching God play the Tower, I shit you not. Byrne hasn't lost a step vocally, on the guitar, or with his always amazing stage presence. The dancers and backing really made the show a performance, and the crowd was blown away to a man. Can anyone confirm that, structurally speaking, the upper balcony is supposed to bounce and sway, like the way a bridge can? I couldn't help but think of the headlines: Byrning Down the House: Tower Theatre Crumbles to Ground. The YouTubes aren't all up yet, but this one was pretty good. Plenty of others from previous dates have been posted too, if you're a Byrne fan.

(*sans Brian Eno)

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