• Good news for fans of Cal baseball. It looks like the program will be continuing beyond this season.
  • Manny Ramirez is retiring, the federal government’s perjury case against Barry Bonds has gone to the jury, and baseball’s Steroid Era takes another sad turn. On a side note, next Tuesday’s edition of Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? will be on Manny. I’ll do one before too long on Barry, as well.
  • Rob Neyer offers a look at what Manny’s departure could mean for his final team, the Tampa Bay Rays. Short answer: It’s not good.
  • With all of Nick Swisher’s struggles in recent years (read: most, if not all of his career, though I like the guy from having covered him in the minors) it would seem like apt advice to tell him to break a leg. This can’t be what was meant, though.
  • Regular contributor Rory Paap writes of the Giants’ bullpen and something called Shutdowns and Meltdowns in a post for Bay City Ball of the ESPN Sweet Spot Network. Rory does a good job absorbing obscure metrics and told me recently they’re not hard to pick up, somewhat intuitive really. Whatever you say, dude (I’m amazed I have a basic grasp of OPS+ and WAR.)
  • Adam Morris suggests Jim Palmer might have been the most overrated pitcher of all-time. My vote’s Catfish Hunter, Rube Waddell, or Dizzy Dean.
  • Non-baseball link: It’s Masters time which means we get some golf-themed blog fare this week from Joe Posnanski, who began his newspaper career two decades ago as a young reporter in Augusta. I interviewed Posnanski back in September, and in a portion I didn’t include in the transcript I posted, he told me he once met legendary sportswriter Jim Murray in the press tent there.