Happy Birthday, Vin

You know, a year ago at this time, we spent November 29 and 30 talking about Juan Uribe‘s new contract, checking into reported interest in Johnny Damon & Jason Varitek, realizing that Jon Garland‘s “durability” might not have been what it seemed, and celebrating that Ryan Theriot was headed out for Blake Hawksworth.

This year, we’re all but settled in for the winter with the realization that the budget is largely tapped, that there’s unlikely to be much movement at the winter meetings, and that until there’s progress on the ownership front, all we can do is warily keep an eye on the interminable court proceedings, though today’s Dodgers/FOX hearing was postponed until December 7.

My, how times have changed. Still, we have a few items of interest to attend to…

* Today is Vin Scully’s 84th birthday, which allows me the opportunity to post the same picture I’ve been using for about four years. We say each year that every season we still have with Vin is a gift, and never was that more true than in 2011, arguably the worst season in the franchise’s history. The fact that we’ll have him for at least one more year, and that he’ll outlast Frank McCourt, is an honor we should all be grateful for.

* As expected, Jonathan Broxton moved on to greener pastures today, though I can’t say I predicted him signing with the Royals. He’ll set up for Joakim Soria and join a Kansas City pen that could be fearful, considering they already had an enviable talent of young relievers like Greg Holland, Blake Wood, Louis Coleman, and Tim Collins, enabling them to move Aaron Crow to the rotation. If he’s healthy, it’s a great deal for the Royals, though of course if he does succeed all you’ll hear from the usual suspects will be ”well of course, there’s no pressure in Kansas City in the 8th inning.” Uh huh.

* You’ll notice I’ve added a tracker to the right sidebar collecting all of the minor-league invites the Dodgers hand out this offseason, and the newest addition is shortstop Luis Cruz, who will be 28 in March and has seen time in 56 MLB games across parts of three seasons from 2008-10 with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. He spent most of 2011 with Texas’ Triple-A club, though he did spend a month back in Mexico. With a .293 OBP in parts of 11 minor-league seasons, he’s organizational filler and little more, though he could see a decent amount of Triple-A playing time if Justin Sellers does indeed make the big club.

* Hey, it could be worse: San Francisco extended GM Brian Sabean’s contract through 2013 with a club option for 2014. That’ll give him plenty of time to give Nate McLouth a four-year deal after the Braves are done with him.

* Finally, do you care about hockey? Particularly college hockey? No, of course you don’t. Nor should you. That said, I did attend a game between my alma mater Boston U & Cornell over the weekend at a sold-out Madison Square Garden, and what you’ll see in the clip below was too fun not to share. Fortunately for the Terriers, this got waved off because the ref lost sight of the puck and whistled the play dead. 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOugWiCjqik]