Old Faces, New Laundry: Players Who Moved for 2009

One of my favorite things every spring is to see players that moved teams during the offseason in their new garb. We've seen all the new Orioles, of course, including the mini-fever that is Kojimania, but here's a look at some of the rest.

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Jason Giambi has returned to Oakland and with it has come his beard, though his old Rock N' Roll Semi-Long Hair hasn't grown back and given that Giambi is 38 years old and has been conditioned to the business class look the last seven seasons, it's probably not going to come back. I always quite liked the Oakland version of Giambi, and I think it's neat when guys return to their roots. Speaking of which...

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How right does that look? The Kid back in Seattle. I think with all the hullabaloo about Bonds and steroids and home runs over the years, and the fact that Griffey aged like a normal human being and his production tailed off in his 30s (though he could still hit when healthy), we are not as in awe of Griffey as he deserves. I don't know who did what or when or for how long, but Griffey's name has never been linked to steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Of the other modern players in the top 20, only Bonds has more homers (A-Rod will pass Griffey), and here's a comparison.

Has Been Linked: Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro, Rodriguez

Has Not: Griffey, Thome, Ramirez, Thomas

Those last four guys deserve so much by way of props. I can't even think of how to properly express what I'm trying to say, but I'm sure you get it. In largely condemning (or at least ripping) the steroids era, we have lost sight of the fact that there are four guys of this era in the 500-homer club that have never had their names dragged through the muck. Gary Sheffield (499) will join the club this season, and he's on Team Bonds. They're all great players regardless if you ask me; but some of them just have numbers more admirable than the others.

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Pat Burrell leaving the World Series champs for the AL champs might not have exactly been his decision, but he should be a nice upgrade to the Rays at DH. He gives them some more right-handed sock. Really, Tampa Bay could finish in third place this season with a team better than the one they fielded last year. The AL East is cruel. Welcome to the pit, Pat.

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One of the most overlooked acquisitions of the offseason, I believe, is Bobby Abreu going to Los Angeles. It's also neat to be behind the camera for those stupid press photo shots. Abreu isn't the player he was in Philadelphia, but he's still a contributor and a really good hitter. And talk about your Fantasy Baseball Halls of Fame. This dude should be in there. Every year since 1998 he's had a good average, good-to-great OBP, solid slugging, 20+ steals and decent-to-good power.

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Oh Milton Bradley, you curmudgeon. As good a player as he is when he's on, I don't get the move for the Cubs. Bradley's penchant for injury is such that he's by far best off DHing. Even though he played about 80% of his 2008 games as the DH of the Rangers, he still played just 126 games.

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Garrett Olson does love to puff his cheeks out. I watched him start against Australia last night. Looked like the same old Olson, but who knows. I've got nothin' against him and we still owe the Mariners for the Bedard deal, so I wish him all the best.

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Mark Teixeira has a really tall head. He doesn't look right in sunglasses. He's kind of a goober. That uniform is ugly.

"Now I really hate him."

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I've never liked Nick Swisher despite my admiration for Billy Beane and the fact that Beane had a, oh, how do you say...boner? for Swisher. The first problem comes from his Buckeye status. The second comes from the fact that he just seems like a meathead, which is typical Buckeye athlete. Now that he's a Yankee I don't feel so bad not liking him. He could be really valuable filling a lot of roles for them this year, though. So long as he doesn't hit like he did last year anyway.

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Couldn't care less about Brad Penny, and I understand why John Smoltz made the move, but damn it all it just ain't right. Does anyone dislike Smoltz, though? Is there anything not to like? Maybe Mets fans. But even then don't you have a hard respect for the guy?

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Randy Johnson is nomad. Despite his big run in Seattle, his two stays in Arizona, and his disappointing couple of years with the Yankees (disappointing for them, humorous for me), I just don't immediately connect Johnson with a team. Griffey spent many years with the Reds, but he's a Mariner. Rickey Henderson was a big wheel with the Yankees and played for lots of teams, but he's an Oakland guy to me. Johnson is a hired gun.

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Is it just me or does Daniel Cabrera look like he aged a lot over the winter?

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Is there really any possible way K-Rod isn't a disappointment with the Mets? Seriously.

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Nothing magic happens / In Toron-to...

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