This is a very important year for Patterson, who can't afford to revert to his Cubs form after a mostly impressive 2006 season. He still must convince team officials that he's the long-term answer in center field, or they'll open the door for him to leave via free agency.
Patterson increased his average by 61 points over the previous season and had a career-high 45 stolen bases, the third-highest total in club history. He led the American League with 17 bunt hits. He also showed tremendous range in center. But he also batted .207 vs. left-handers, the third-lowest average in the league, compared to .301 vs. right-handers. That needs to change, or Jay Payton will be playing a lot of center.
Former Orioles catcher Raul Casanova (Class of 2002) signed a minor league contract with the Devil Rays.
The groundhog didn't see that coming, either.
Yesterday's best quote, courtesy of Bears quarterback Rex Grossman: "I'm realizing how ignorant you guys (reporters) are. But I don't mean that in a bad way."
Grossman sounded much friendlier earlier this week during a taped interview that aired on The Anita Marks Show on ESPN Radio 1300 and MASN, but that might have been before the media's 427th reference to his erratic play.
Adalius Thomas is supposed to sit down with Marks today. Most of the guests are credentialed. Thomas will be wearing a franchise tag.