Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (Made Entirely Of Oranges & Grapefruits)

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lolberroa.jpg For baseball fans who love redemption stories and jokes about the elderly, Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees always hold some gems. While primarily made up of minor leaguers, the lists always contain a few "I Can't Believe He's Still Alive" names. These guys are "just trying to make the team" in the truest sense, and always yield a couple of good stories.

Unless you're a catcher, that is, because you're probably just being used as cheap bullpen help until April.

Some intriguing veterans and storylines, after the jump:
Juan Gonzalez (Cardinals)

Former MVP and walking tear/break/sprain Gonzalez hasn't been seen on a Major League Roster since his one AB with Cleveland in '05. Would anyone be really surprised to see him hit 20 HRs in a good National League lineup? Would anyone be really surprised to see him fall off the dugout bench and get his neck borkened the first day he reports to camp? This can go either way.

Scott Podsednik (Rockies)

Podsednik turns 32 next month but has been battling injuries for two years. Used to gain press for his various 'tools' and was a basepath sparkplug for the White Sox World Series championship. Unfortunately for him (and if you ask me, The Rockies), Wily Tavares seems to have a lock on the starting CF position so Pods will be battling for the backup spot. Seems one of the more likely candidates on this list to grab a roster spot. Then again, I'm willing to believe anything and anyone associated with that White Sox title was a total fluke.

The Rockies have also invited a gentleman named Joe Gaetti. God I hope he's related.

Matt Mantei (Tigers)

Mantei seems to have just been chilling for the past couple years, absemt from the majors since his stint with Boston in '05, he pitched in 4 games in the minors in '06. Dave Dombrowski will always leave a light on for any former Marlin that wants to stroll through Motown, even a 35 year old righty that hasn't faced a Major League batter in 3 years.

I wonder what he's been doing. Model trains? Following Widespread Panic? Masturbating? I'd think masturbating would be good for a throwing a slider.

Jason Lane (Yankees)

I have no interest in Jason Lane at all. I only mention him here because of the following sentence in this MLB.com press release:

"Signed to a Minor League contract, the 31-year-old Lane is a career .241 hitter in 497 games with the Astros and Padres. The Yankees envision Lane competing for their first-base position, along with Jason Giambi, Wilson Betemit and Shelley Duncan."
Seriously? That's what is going on at first base for baseball's marquee team? Awesome.

Hideo Nomo and Angel Berroa (Royals)

Rob already covered the Nomo invite pretty well. What about Berroa? He's spent his entire career with the Royals. He's a former ROY. Was injured last year and only played in 9 games. Giving this guy a non roster invite seems kind of like calling an ex girlfriend when you're bored on a Friday night to see how she looks. JUST LET HIM MOVE ON, ROYALS.

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The real stories in most of these camps are will revolve around filling the 5th spot in the rotation or young kids making the big club ahead schedule, but it's still reassuring to look out on the field and see guys playing the game they love to score one last paycheck.

Wait a second, is that Edgardo Fucking Alfonso?? Some of this shit goes too far.

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5 Comments

If masturbation is good for a slider, how come I'm not closing games for the Orioles right now?

Peter Angelos doesn't let his players have orgasms.

Masturbating is rough on the elbow ligaments.

Jake Taylor thinks you guys need to shut the fuck up.

i'll always have a special place in my heart for edgardo alfonso - he won me my 2000(?) fantasy league title when he went apeshit the last game of the season. 7 RBI's or something like that? god, that was a long time ago.

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