There's a fun anecdote about Reggie Jackson in this Sports Illustrated first-person story from famed photographer Walter Iooss Jr. Go down to where it starts, "It's good to love yourself ..." OK, did this really happen? Iooss places the event in 1980, 11 years after 1969. According to Iooss, Jackson flew out deep to the warning track in his first at-bat (he doesn't specify which field) and then homered (and posed) in his second at-bat. He also described it has "unbearably hot" and has Reggie playing right field in the game. As it turns it out, there is one game from 1980 that appears to match the description: On Sept. 1, with a game-time temperature of 87 degrees, Reggie -- playing right field that day -- flew out to center field in his first at-bat, walked, and then homered off Oakland's Rick Langford. The New York Times game story doesn't make any mention of Reggie posing, but, knowing Reggie, that wouldn't have been perceived as anything unusual.
Patrick Hruby has a terrific piece on the Marlins' spending spree, their new stadium and the ethics of bilking the public.
Some here are some photos of the Marlins' new park.
Bill at The Platoon Advantage with a take on back-loading contracts for free agents and why teams do it.
Chip Buck on the Red Sox, the luxury tax and why the Red Sox aren't spending much money this offseason.
Graham Womack at the Baseball: Past and Present website, has compiled a list of the 50 best players not in the Hall of Fame, surveying 86 different fans, writers and readers of his site. The top five: Joe Jackson, Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell, Dick Allen and Tim Raines (Pete Rose ranked sixth). Can't disagree too much there, although I'm surprised Dick Allen rated so highly.
Our Royals Authority site is going through Kansas City's 40-man roster. Here's the take on catcher Salvador Perez, who hit .331 in 39 games as a rookie. Is he for real and what's his potential?
Will Mat Gamel hit for the Brewers? Or is he another Brett Wallace? (And, no, being compared to Brett Wallace is not a good thing.
Be sure to check out the ongoing series on our Cardinals blog -- 25 cool things that happened in 2011. Or, in the case of Albert Pujols leaving, not so cool.
Dodger Thoughts has a quick look at the rosters of all the NL West teams.
Is there a best way for an on-deck hitter to warm up? Jon Shepherd reports that somebody actually studied the issue.
These pieces are always fun: Brien Jackson projects the 2014 Yankees lineup.
Will the Mariners try to sign a LOOGY? They had the fewest appearances by left-handed relievers of any team in baseball in 2011.
MLB and the Players Association have formed an International Talent Committee to discuss the development and acquisition of international players -- in other words, a committee to figure out an international draft that will lower the bonus payments teams currently give to poor Dominican kids.
Finally, here's a rundown of various tweets on the Yu Darvish bidding -- which teams submitted a bid, which didn't and so on.