March 12, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Zimmerman, Nats reach terms

After many weeks of friendly give-and-take, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman agreed to an extension of his existing contract with the Washington Nationals, rather than signing a new contract, and will earn $400,000 this season. It's no surprise, but it at least removes doubts about the team. See Zimmerman, who was the last man on the Nats' 40-man roster to reach terms, said:

I would have liked to have signed a contract, but it really didn't make sense. There are no hard feelings, nothing like that.

It's a good sign that Ryan is no pushover, and he knows what he is worth without being a hot shot. New manager Manny Act praised Zimmerman: "This kid is a pro." As the 2006 NL rookie of the year runner-up, he deserves more, of course, and he will no doubt get handsome raises by the time he becomes eligible for arbitration after the 2008 season is over.

The mail bag

Frank Trimborn alerted me to a unique blog: Google maps mania, which has a link to a ballparks map / satellite photo database at I also was intrigued by "Jacktracker - Season 6, which maps all the "explosive" events in the Los Angeles area from the FOX-TV series 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Special Agent Jack Bauer.

Mike Zurawski informs me that Tropicana Field is going to get a new, improved version of FieldTurf this season, and it is expected to play much slower than before; see The domed stadium in St. Petersburg will get some exterior landscaping improvements as well.