MLB Notes: No one crispier than Coco
By QMI Agency
|Oakland Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp makes a diving catch during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Oakland, California, Sept. 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach)
Coco Crisp, the incumbent centre fielder of the Oakland A's, won't yield his job to Cuban rookie Yoenis Cespedes without a fight.
Cespedes, who comes to the team with impressive credentials, signed a four-year contract this week worth $9 million annually. Crisp re-signed with the A's for two years and $14 million in December.
Crisp told the San Francisco Chronicle he thinks the A's should leave him in centre.
"I'm going to make all the plays," Crisp said. "If someone feels there's someone better than me, it's hard for me to believe. Unless he's a demigod come down from the heavens, no one is going to outshine me in centre field."
GWYNN OK AFTER 14-HOUR SURGERY
Tony Gwynn's cancer surgery was called a success Wednesday -- a 14-hour procedure in which five doctors removed a malignant tumour from inside his right cheek.
Gwynn's wife, Alicia, said doctors performed a complex nerve-graft operation, replacing Gwynn's facial nerve with a nerve from his shoulder. She said doctors told her they had removed the cancerous growth from his parotid gland.
Surgery was completed early Wednesday in San Diego and within eight hours Gwynn was talking, drinking water and laughing.
The intricate surgery was risky. If the nerve graft didn't go well, Alicia Gwynn said her husband's face could've been partially paralyzed or disfigured.
CASILLA SIGNS WITH TWINS
The Minnesota Twins signed infielder Alexi Casilla to a one-year contract Wednesday, thereby avoiding arbitration.
Casilla, 27, will earn slightly under $1.4 million in 2012.
In 97 games with the Twins last season, Casilla batted .260 with two home runs and 21 RBI.
He has played 409 MLB games since 2006, all with Minnesota.
MADDON'S THE MAN
The Tampa Bay Rays confirmed Wednesday they were rewarding manager Joe Maddon with a three-year contract extension.
Maddon took over the team for the 2006 season and found success two years later. In 2008, he led the Rays to their first winning season (97-65), an AL pennant and a trip to the World Series before falling to Philadelphia. The Rays have averaged 90-plus wins over the past four seasons, with three playoff appearances.
"I have tremendous respect for Joe's leadership and for his unwavering belief in our players and the entire Rays organization," vice-president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.
Maddon, 58, spent 31 years in the Angels organization before joining the Mariners.
Outfielder Carl Crawford likely will miss a few weeks of the regular season as he recovers from surgery on his left wrist, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told the Boston Globe ... Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton, who struggled with a shoulder injury late last season, is not yet 100%, MLB.com reported. The 24-year-old's workload will be limited at spring training.