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The hottest topics for the week of February 20, 2012 …
Salary dump: The Yankees traded A.J. Burnett to the Pirates and Pittsburgh agreed to accept less than half of Burnett’s remaining contract as well as one of Brian Cashman’s mistresses.
More Burnett: The Yankees will pay Burnett $20 million over the next two years to not pitch for them. Hey, Steinbrenners! I don’t pitch for you either!
Time to go: Edgar Renteria says he is leaning toward retirement. But the odds are that his “leaning” is just the first stages of osteoperosis.
They took our jobs! Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers has been driving around spring training in a $200,000 Mercedes from not-Detroit, Germany. Clint Eastwood is going to be pissed.
Alternate ending: Mariano Rivera has said that he already decided whether 2012 will be his last year, but he isn’t going to tell the rest of us. Considering he is the last living Mayan, I think we know how this is going to turn out.
Handle with care: The Nationals will be limiting Stephen Strasburg’s innings this year to 140-160 and after every game he will be read a bedtime story.
White lines: Venezuelan pitcher Ronald Belisario admitted a failed a drug test for cocaine kept him out of the U.S. for all of 2011. So, I guess we can all make a pretty good guess what he did with his year off.
A rose by any other name: New Angels slugger Albert Pujols objects to the “El Hombre” billboards the team has placed all over town. Seriously? You object to this? Your name is Poo Holes.
Knuckle down: Tim Wakefield has decided to retire after 19 years of pitching. He will long be regarded as one of the all-time “not that bad and even pretty good every now and then” pitchers in the history of the game.
Un-athletic: Oakland signed Manny Ramirez for the 2012 season. I see another Michael Lewis book – Manny-ball … You know what, guys, writing these jokes is difficult enough, but I haven’t got much sleep lately and I just got back in town from a business trip and I’m dehydrated. So, suck it.
Amazing racist: ESPN apologized for using the phrase “chink in the armor” in coverage of Jeremy Lin and fired the person responsible. … Tune in tonight on Sportscenter for a spring training report from the Braves and a sneak peak at the Redskins offseason plans.
More Lin: Jeremy Lin is grateful for opportunity to showcase his talents and having a media-friendly last name. Having a last name like Abramowitz would be lin-difficult to lin-rhyme and make into a lin-catchy head-lin.
White Broncos: Tim Tebow continues getting all sorts of criticism, including from his backup, Brady Quinn – who is following the age-old saying, “Let he who is without wins cast the first stone.”
Baby on board: Kourtney Kardashian is expecting a baby girl in the spring. She said, “We can’t wait to have her be a part of our cast … I mean family.”
One hit wonder: Chris Brown and Rihanna have collaborated on two new songs. I’m not sure how their writing process worked, but I know who supplied the beats.
Contributors: Eliza Bayne, Zach Pennington, Stephen Arenholtz