Left on Base: Varitek's Deadline, Fake Legos, and More A-Rod Gossip

Jason Varitek
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* Boston's two-year offer to Jason Varitek comes with a deadline -- he has until the end of the week before the Red Sox take the deal off the table.

* The Rangers move into the lead for Ben Sheets, which pleases Kevin Millwood: "I think it would be great for us if he's on our team," Millwood said. "I don't know what's going on with that, but he'll make us a better team."

* All the fake sports-themed Lego men you've ever wanted.

* More details from Joe Torre's book are emerging, including his attempts to make Alex Rodriguez feel important:

At one point, Torre says, he implored Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield, Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi to counsel Rodriguez, to help him mesh with the rest of the team and be a steady contributor.

"So, in this case, I remember calling in Sheff, Jeter, Giambi, Georgie, and just saying: 'He's got to feel important. We need to do this, guys. He can give us a lot, and we just need to make him feel how much we rely on him and how important he is,' " Torre says in the book. "

* Former Yankees third-base coach Larry Bowa, meanwhile, confirmed the "A-Fraud" nickname, but said the only person to use it was former bullpen catcher Mike Borzello, and only in good fun. From the NY Post:

"It wasn't a malicious thing," Bowa stressed. "It was when you stretch and guys joke around with each other. It wasn't malicious at all."

How is A-Rod dealing with all of this? Apparently by having dinner with Bill Clinton in the Bahamas. I haven't cared less about a fabricated A-Rod controversy since those old Madonna rumors. Strike that, new Madonna rumors. Enough gossip, back to actual baseball ...

* New York Mets Online asks, "If you feel like Adam Dunn can be the difference in winning a championship, and on the New York Mets he could, then why not spend extra this one season." The answer, I'm guessing, is because the Mets don't feel that way. But still, someone will end up giving Dunn a contract, so why not a contender?

* We've already learned that Barack Obama's fanhood has helped sell White Sox hats -- but wait until the special edition featuring Obama's campaign logo comes out. It's already been approved by MLB and will go into production once the Prez signs off. In all honesty, It makes too much sense not to happen, especially since profits will likely be donated to charity.

* The demolition of Shea Stadium.

* Will Clark is returning to the Giants. Doing what? You'll have to tune into Wednesday's press conference to find out.

* The Nationals may not be fun to watch, but at least they'll be fun to listen to: Rob Dibble is joining Bob Carpenter in the broadcast booth. Meanwhile, the Rays are hiring former pitcher Brian Anderson.

* Disturbingly lifelike tattoo portraits of Mickey Mantle and Pete Rose.

* Jeremy Hermida is switching to left field.

* Rockies give Ubaldo Jimenez a four-year deal that also includes club options for 2013 and 2014. By the time all is said and done, he could earn $22 million.

* The Red Sox have officially blocked Mike Lowell from playing in the World Baseball Classic.

Left on Base: Varitek's Deadline, Fake Legos, and More A-Rod Gossip originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 27 Jan 2009 23:25:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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