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Sunday Roundup

Payroll total takes $5 million hit. Sheldon Ocker, ABJ

Ocker worries that Foulke's retirement will hurt perceptions about the Dolans:

So you see what Foulke hath wrought. If he had reported to spring training with the rest of the pitchers, thrown a few sliders in the dirt, grabbed his elbow and headed for the disabled list, he could have collected his money and the Indians' payroll would have exceeded $63 million.

Instead, the Dolans will have to listen to the fans and the talk-show impresarios carp about their alleged stinginess. Thanks a bunch, Keith.

I guess this silliness has gotten to the point where $5M saved is seen as a bad thing. After all, now that the Opening Day payroll is under $60M, the season is effectively over. Right?

Ocker also mentions towards the end of the column that signing a "marquee player" would make up for the Dolan's devious retirement plot. Of course, extending your own marquee players would make a lot more sense, but who I am to judge the worth of perception?

View from Pluto. Terry Pluto, ABJ

Pluto worries about Joe Borowski closing games on the road:

A concern is Borowski had a 3.07 ERA at home, 4.71 away. Dolphin Stadium, the home of the Marlins, is a pitcher-friendly park. So is Jacobs Field, which has ranked among the three toughest parks for American League hitters the past three years, according to the stats used by analyst Bill James.

Borowski has the right temperament to close games, and as we've seen in the past couple years, that does matter for a closer. But he's a flyball pitcher, and he's never been a closer in the American League. Pluto's right in that Borowski is a Wickman-like stopper, getting the job done, but not without a daily dose of Tums:

Borowski doesn't throw especially hard. He changes speeds, stays composed. Tribe fans should be used to this type of finesse closer after watching Bob Wickman. Closing is the ultimate bottom-line business. No such thing as an ugly save or a pretty blown save. You either saved the game or you didn't.

In other news, Ronnie Belliard has finally caught on with a team; he signed a minor-league deal with the Washington Nationals.