Chilly morning in Clearwater after a frigid drive home from Sarasota last night. The Sun's Mike Rutsey promised - promised, I tell you - to off-set my directional dyslexia with his veteran's knowledge of the Gulf Coast's highways and byways.
When he shrieked "Ocala!" about an hour into the drive back, I realized something had gone amiss. Ruts, I drove you here for one reason and ... but one loopy highway detour later, we were back on track, sitting in Pete & Shorty's a very solid hour before last call.
As I rise this morningtide I see that Ken Rosenthal - who knows all, or at least, everyone - is reporting that Alex Rios is close to a six-year, $65 million (U.S.) extension. Since the club had imposed a "not after spring training" deadline to get this deal done, that makes perfect sense. We'll see if Rios arrives at Knology this morning weighed down by a diamond encrusted crown or driving a Gulfstream jet. (Lenny Dykstra's favourite).
With Toronto facing a seeming power deficit (six regulars have combined for a home run output of six - six! - in 24 spring games thus far), they're going to need Rios to make some strides over the career high 24 homers he hit last year. Cash can be a wonderful incentive.
No word yet on that big extension that Aaron Hill was supposed to be looking for.
SONG OF THE DAY: CP's Shi Davidi is no longer with us, but I think his choice of three weeks is appropriate now. Canadian classic and little people favourite, Safety Dance, by Men Without Hats. With only three games to go in Florida and two chilly pre-season polishers in Philadelphia, this team is just praying that everyone arrives on that bus to New York unencumbered by casts, bandages or other signifiers of catatastrophic injury.