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Monday Morning Rockpile:

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As soon as I saw the other teams that were purportedly in serious pursuit of LaTroy Hawkins, I felt our chances of re-signing him were slim. At the start of the weekend that thought seemed like it might turn out to be wrong, but now the natural order of things will prevail as the Yankees are on the verge of reeling Hawk in. This does represent a blow to our potential 2008 bullpen, especially if, as the linked Tracy Ringolsby article asserts, Shawn Chacon proves able to drum up a multi-year contract elsewhere. The fallback options after that in the right hand category, the lesser Zambrano (Victor), and damaged goods Brian Anderson and Glendon Rusch seem to be riskier plays. Rusch apparently is demanding a guaranteed spot in a starting rotation anyway, so that probably precludes him from signing with us.

Speaking of Ringolsby, I imagine that a few readers here who also check out the links at Baseball Think Factory are aware of the brouhaha going on between him and two writers for ESPN that weren't included when the BBWAA allowed for the first time writers that primarily post on the Internet. While several ESPN writers, Ken Rosenthal at Fox, Jeff Passan at Yahoo! and others did get voted into membership with the organization, Keith Law and Rob Neyer did not. Law posted his thoughts about that on his blog, and included the following assertion about Ringolsby:

I do sort of know Tracy Ringolsby, who isn't about to nominate me for the Spink Award, but I'd like to give him the credit to think that his personal feelings about me didn't affect his professional judgment here. I'm told he also voted against the general proposal to admit the 16 who did get in, so this is probably as much about the Interwebs as is it about me.

Ringolsby read and responded himself to Law's blog (and to the link in the Primer forum) and says that Keith is flat out wrong (he'd know, having been there) but I want to add my defense and say that my dealings with him have been nothing but professional and I really have a hard time believing that he is in anyway anti-Internet, but I do know he's easily teed off by a know-it-all attitude that certain Web writers take. Frankly, I feel the same way sometimes. I'm disappointed by the reaction he got from many at BTF. I rarely post there myself anymore (if you read any posts by Good Night Moon, that's me) as it gets sickeningly jocular and female unfriendly at times, but it remains a good resource for finding links and it remains a hub for many of my favorite Internet writers, so I visit often. It's interesting to me to see that this subject is creating such a firestorm.

Me personally, I wouldn't wish to be part of the BBWAA, although I know some of my colleagues at SBN probably would. At the moment, I see my role as blogger as a watchdog for the fourth estate, as much as it is a watchdog for the Rockies themselves. I perform a different function that requires a different protocol than what they teach in journalism school and I enjoy the freedom of that. That said, just to establish a bulwark in case the future for both this blog and the BBWAA are very different, let me just make it clear that all MLB games I attend this coming season will be in a professional capacity. ;)

The Diamondbacks continue to press for Dan Haren but the offer doesn't seem to be too different other than it now includes all three of the Carlos Gonzalez, Emilio Bonifacio and Brett Anderson trifecta rather than just two of the three. Those guys rank 1, 6, and 3  in Arizona's top 10 prospect list at BA, the Rockies' list comes out later this week. As for the deal, it would make Arizona a more formidable opponent this year, but it seems Oakland might want to keep Haren and make a run at the AL West.