MLB Spring Training: Power Ranking Every Team's Biggest Distraction

Thomas CopainCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2011

MLB Spring Training: Power Ranking Every Team's Biggest Distraction

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31:  Frank McCourt (L), owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Los Angeles County Superior Court for day two of a non-jury divorce trial on August 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The trial, being presided over by Judge Scott M.
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    We're now less than a month from opening day and we're starting to get a clearer picture of what each team looks like as we enter 2011.

    Obviously, there's still a lot of time as we're just getting underway with the Grapefruit and Cactus League games. But already we're starting to get a clearer picture of the story lines that either are or will be surrounding each team as we inch closer and closer to the 2011 season. 

    And with story lines come distractions. Every team has them and they all can create some kind of damage.

    Now publicly, every player and every team will say the same thing: That whatever hot topic of the day by the local or national mainstream media is not a distraction. But that doesn't mean there can't still be unrest because of a situation. 

    So with the regular season not that far off, here's a look at what is each team's biggest distraction.

30. Kansas City Royals: How Long Until the Kids Get Their Chance?

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    SURPISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals field a ground ball during a spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
    Rob Tringali/Getty Images

    The Royals have amassed some of the best prospects in the game. Mike Moustakas is one of a few prospects who are near the top of many top prospects lists as the 2011 season gets ready to go.

    But with the Royals not expected to do much in 2011, the question will be: How much longer until players like Moustakas get the call to the show? Considering the Royals don't have a lot going for them, how much longer until the Royals are pressured to call some of them up?

29.Pittsburgh Pirates: To Trade or Not to Trade Ryan Doumit

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    BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 02:  Catcher Ryan Doumit #41 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fouls off a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at McKechnie Field on March 2, 2011 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The Pirates have been very public in courting teams about Ryan Doumit's availability. They've made it clear he can be available for the right price, but they could very well fit Doumit into the plans for this season as a utility player or a backup catcher.

    The reports have been the Pirates will only trade Doumit if they get the right package. But it's still a cloud over Doumit's head, who doesn't know where he'll be come opening day.

28. Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore's Shoulder

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    GOODYEAR, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Grady Sizemore #24 of the Cleveland Indians poses during their photo day at the Cleveland Indians Spring Training Complex on February 22, 2011 in Goodyear ,Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
    Rob Tringali/Getty Images

    It's no secret that Grady Sizemore has the potential and the talent to be one of the game's best hidden secrets when he's healthy.

    The problem has been staying healthy.

    Sizemore's coming back this season from shoulder surgery and he's already doing some drills, according to the Associated Press. But the report says the team doesn't think Sizemore will be ready for April 1 and opening day. That's a bad sign for the Indians, who need Sizemore healthy because of his ability and just as importantly for his trade value.

    So expect the questions about Sizemore's health to hover over the franchise.

27. Florida Marlins: Hanley and the New Manager

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    JUPITER, FL - MARCH 06:  Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins plays the field against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 6, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    It was something watching the Marlins side with star shortstop Hanley Ramirez instead of former manager Fredi Gonzalez when Ramirez didn't hustle after a ball last season. Specifically because it was one of the first stands the Marlins' ownership ever took.

    Now Ramirez has a new manager in Edwin Rodriguez, and one has to wonder if it will end the same way with Edwin that it did with Fredi. If Ramirez has problems with his manager and publicly calls him out again, then it will be more of the same.

    That could derail another Marlins' season.

26. Washington Nationals: The Next Big Thing

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    VIERA, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals poses for a portrait during Spring Training Photo Day at Space Coast Stadium on February 25, 2011 in Viera, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Stephen Strasburg won't be available to the Nationals this season after his Tommy John surgery, so the Nationals will need someone other than Jayson Werth to try and fill seats in Washington.

    That's where the Nats' other uber-prospect Bryce Harper, he who is batting .182 in 11 spring training at-bats, comes in. Odds are that unless he makes a huge charge in the last couple of weeks, he won't make the opening day roster. But as the season goes on, the pressure will be on to get Harper called up the same way Strasburg was, especially if he tears up the minors.

    The questions and the rumors will constantly be asked. The question will be if the Nationals give in. 

25. Baltimore Orioles: The Health of Brian Roberts

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    SARASOTA, FL - MARCH 03:  Infielder Brian Roberts #1 of the Baltimore Orioles tries to drag a bunt against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 3, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/G
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Brian Roberts might be one of the most underrated leadoff men around for his bat, defense and speed. As woeful as the Orioles have been for most of this century, Roberts has continued to be one of the bright spots.

    But he missed a large chunk of the 2010 season with back problems and he's already had some health issues during this spring training. In an offseason where there might finally be hope for improvement in Baltimore because of the moves they made in the offseason, the health of Roberts might derail any hopes before the season even starts.

    He'll be a prime subject of discussion, especially if he misses time. 

24. Colorado Rockies: The Multi-Million Dollar Men

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    DENVER - SEPTEMBER 25:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies is welcomed home by Carlos Gonzalez #5 who scored on his two run homerun to give the Rockies a 5-4 lead over the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning at Coors Field on September 25, 20
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    In signing Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to long-term deals, the Rockies made a financial commitment in locking up two of their young stars to lucrative deals. But with big deals, now come big expectations to produce and be team leaders. The question remains whether or not they can do that consistently.

    Either way, the spotlight has now been put on them. And if they struggle, the focus will turn to them.

23. Los Angeles Angels: The Consolation Prize

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    TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  Vernon Wells #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim takes batting practice prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 26, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Norm Hall/Getty Images

    The other albatross of a contract for the Blue Jays is now in Orange County as the Angels' lone prize during a disappointing offseason.

    A lot of expectations will be placed on Vernon Wells now as the middle-of-the-order bat the Angels desperately need, especially since they missed out on Carl Crawford and their other free agency targets in the offseason, save for Scott Downs.

    The Angels have been panned for letting the Blue Jays off the hook without making them liable for any portion of his contract, but if he performs as he is capable of, then it looks a lot better. But the questions surrounding him will definitely be a distraction.

22. Houston Astros: Drayton McLane's Last Stand

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 19:  Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane, Jr. watches from  his seats at Minute Maid Park on September 19, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    It's perhaps interesting that in his time as owner of the Astros, Drayton McLane has seen the highs and the lows.

    At one point during his ownership, the Astros were one of the best-run organizations in baseball, consistently competitive with one of the deepest farm systems around. Now as he's getting ready to step out and looking for a buyer, the Astros have been consistently mediocre for the last five years, stuck with one albatross contract and a basically barren farm system.

    A sale hasn't happened yet, so McLane continues to have control. But if a possible sale hinders any player movement, it could become a distraction to a team looking to improve.

21. Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista's Contract

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    DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Infielder Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws from third base against the Detroit Tigers February 26, 2011 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Considering his numbers from last season, it's safe to say Jose Bautista had a career year in 2010.

    As such, he was compensated handsomely, with a five-year, $64 million extension. According to, Bautista will earn $8 million this season and $14 million from 2012-2015 with an option for 2016.

    If he produces close to what he was doing last season, it'll be well worth the money. If he regresses and falls back to his career averages, then it becomes another gargantuan contract handcuffing the Blue Jays. Either way, he's the focus of the club now.

20. Atlanta Braves: Replacing a Legend

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    LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Manager Fredi Gonzalez #33 of the Atlanta Braves during Photo Day at  Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports of Complex on February 21, 2011 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Fredi Gonzalez will go down in history as the man who replaced a legend in Atlanta. He'll have time to develop his own legacy in Atlanta, but one has to think it'll be tough for him to try and get out of the shadow of Bobby Cox.

    It'll be tougher this season because of the expectations these young Braves have as contenders in the National League and even as challengers to the Phillies in the N.L. East. But how long until he's compared to what Bobby Cox did in his first season?

19. Arizona Diamondbacks: Trouble with the Owner's Wife

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    PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 22:  (L-R) President & Chief Executive Officer Derrick Hall, Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers and Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick of the Arizona Diamondbacks attend the Major League Baseball game against th
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    It should only make sense that when something goes screwy or awry in Arizona sports recently, the pending sale of the Phoenix Coyotes is somehow involved.

    The latest news on that front is that the City of Glendale is set to sue the Goldwater Institute (the group blocking the sale of the Coyotes to an owner who will keep the team in Glendale) and it's board of directors individually as early as today, according to an ESPN report. Now, of course, this doesn't concern the D-Backs at all.

    That is unless Randy Kendricks, the wife of owner Ken Kendricks, is on the Goldwater Institute board and named in the suit, that is. 

    This has the potential to be another PR nightmare for the D-Backs, who will still have to deal with the All-Star game and more backlash against Arizona's immigration law. It's also the type of thing that can weigh on a team trying to get out of the NL West basement.

18. Boston Red Sox: Papelbon's Possible Swan Song

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    FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Pitcher Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox warms up during a Spring Training Workout Session at the Red Sox Player Development Complex on February 19, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The Red Sox weren't exactly sending mixed signals when they made an offer at the great Mariano Rivera and went out and signed a former closer in Bobby Jenks.

    They weren't thrilled with he 2010 campaign of Jonathan Papelbon, especially considering this is his contract year. The Red Sox will love it if he reverts back to the Papelbon of old with that dominating fastball. But they got Jenks as insurance for a reason, so don't be surprised to see the questions come up if Papelbon struggles.

17. Minnesota Twins: The Francisco Liriano Watch

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    FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Pitcher Francisco Liriano #47 of the Minnesota Twins throws during a spring training workout session at Hammond Stadium on February 23, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The defending AL Central champions will have their own injury watch as Justin Morneau continues to battle his way back from a concussion. But the discussion, at least around Twins camp, has centered around lefty pitcher Francisco Liriano and the rumored interest from the Yankees.

    Some feel the Twins and Yankees will eventually get a deal done, but until then the questions will continue to circle around Minnesota's ace and why the Twins haven't locked him up to an extension yet. Or if they even will, considering his injury history.

16. Cincinnati Reds: Brandon Phillips' Twitter

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    GOODYEAR, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Brandon Phillips #4 of the Cincinnati Reds throws the ball to first base during warm ups in between innings against the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Ballpark on February 27, 2011 in Goodyear, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Get
    Norm Hall/Getty Images

    If you paid attention to the Reds last year, you found out that Brandon Phillips hasn't been one to hold back his opinions, especially when he's talking about the St. Louis Cardinals.

    So now that the second baseman, who is looking for a new contract, is on Twitter, it could make for some very interesting conversation around the Reds' organization. One has to wonder now if the Reds might keep an eye on his Twitter, especially considering it was his words last year that ultimately led to Johnny Cueto karate kicking Chris Carpenter.

15. Tampa Bay Rays: Manny Being Manny

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    FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day on February 22, 2011 at the Charlotte Sports Complex in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    A note to the Tampa Bay Rays:

    You signed Manny Ramirez because you still feel he can be a productive bat in the lineup and be one of the more feared right-handed hitters in the game (you also got him to sell seats, but that's a different story).

    When he's motivated, he can still be that player. But signing Manny means getting Manny and all that comes with it. The moodiness, the sometimes lack of hustle, possibly shoving team employees down to the ground.

    It's all a part of Manny being Manny. If you want him, you have to deal with it.

14. San Diego Padres: Heath Bell's Trade Status

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    PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 06:  Relief pitcher Heath Bell #21 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 6, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Padres finally cut ties with Adrian Gonzalez in the offseason, as they turned their best hitter into a flood of prospects as the organization cuts costs and tries to rebuild despite an extremely successful season.

    But with Adrian Gonzalez gone, the spotlight now turns to Heath Bell as the Padres' best player and most attractive trade asset. For now, he's not going anywhere, especially if the Padres are competitive again in the NL West. But like with Fielder, if the Padres fall out of it or regress from their 2010 season, then the Bell talks will be going once again.

13. Seattle Mariners: The Enigma of Milton Bradley

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    PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 01:  Milton Bradley #15 of the  Seattle Mariners at bat against the Texas Rangers during spring training at Peoria Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    For everything that went wrong for the Mariners in 2010, the only thing that didn't happen was the usual Milton Bradley meltdown and/or walkout on the team (Chone Figgins filled that role instead). But Bradley struggled during the season, as did the rest of the Mariners. And one had to think it was only a matter of time before he became a distraction to the team. 

    But then news broke a couple of days ago that Bradley's wife is filing for divorce, which included claims that Bradley abused her, according to MSNBC. Now the Mariners will have to deal with this while figuring out what to do with Bradley, who has serious anger management issues.

12. Philadelphia Phillies: World Series Expectations

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    CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 06:  First baseman Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies watches his second inning home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Bright House Field on March 6, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    It's World Series or bust. When was the last time you heard that phrase next to the Phillies?

    In the midst of arguably the most successful stretch in franchise history, the Phillies have made themselves perennial contenders by going out and getting Cliff Lee to add to a fantastic rotation. But with that move, the statement has been made for the players and the fan base: The World Series is the expectation and anything less is a disappointment.

    It's a lot of pressure, and while it's rarely gotten to this group before, one wonders if they can afford to fall behind like they did last year.

11. Oakland Athletics: The Hope for a New Stadium

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    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Fans of the Oakland Athletics look on against the Texas Rangers during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 26, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    It's becoming a volatile situation in Oakland.

    The Athletics can't continue playing in the aging Oakland Coliseum, which is not a baseball-friendly facility by any means. The Athletics have a new stadium site picked out—in San Jose, that is. But the Giants hold the territorial rights to the city, which is blocking the A's from moving in.

    All of this bickering involving A's owner Lew Wolff can't be good for his players, from whom he expects a lot this season.

10. San Francisco Giants: The Championship Target

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 04:  Infielder Emmanuel Burriss #2 of the San Francisco Giants throws over the sliding Jamie Hoffmann #63 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete a double play during the second inning of the spring training game at Camelback Ranch on
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Giants finally have their ring.

    San Francisco finally has a World Series champion and the Giants now can gloat as the rival Dodgers are in disarray. But as the defending champions, the Giants now have a giant bulls-eye on their backs. All of the attention will be on them, and for a team that plays very loose, one has to wonder what kind of distraction going from being the hunter to being the hunted will be.

    Always something to watch with a defending champion.

9. Chicago Cubs: Dueling Dugout

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    CHICAGO - JUNE 25: Starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs (L) yells at manager Lou Pinella #41 (center) and bench coach Alan Trammell #3 after giving up four runs in the 1st inning to the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    One thing you can say about the Cubs, they're an intense bunch.

    Everyone remembers the scene last year when Carlos Zambrano and Derrek Lee got into it in the visiting dugout at U.S. Cellular Field. Everyone also remembers a couple of years ago at Wrigley when Zambrano and Michael Barrett had some words.

    On second thought, maybe it's not the Cubs, maybe it's just Zambrano.

    Then again, after Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva fought Aramis Ramirez in the dugout last week, maybe it is the Cubs. Either way, the volatility of that clubhouse could end up costing the Cubs down the road. 

8. Milwaukee Brewers: The Prince Fielder Debate

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    MARYVALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 24:  Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during Spring Training Media Day on February 24, 2011 at Maryvale Stadium in Maryvale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    With the moves they made in the offseason, the Brewers are considered one of the favorites in the NL Central. With that in mind, understandably they made the decision to hold on to Prince Fielder and take a shot at a division crown and a postseason run.

    But if the Brewers should falter, the questions about Fielder being in his contract year will start up again. And if the Brew Crew's out of the race by July, then the questions about Fielder being trade bait will hit overdrive. Anytime a star could be traded, it can be a distraction. Fielder won't be any different.

7. New York Yankees: Derek Jeter's Future

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait on Photo Day at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 23, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    To be honest, this could've been a whole laundry list of issues: Brian Cashman's power struggle with Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, Jorge Posada still wanting to catch, whatever's going on in A.J. Burnett's head.

    But not in recent memory can I recall a more contentious contract negotiation involving the Yankees then there was with their captain and the modern face of the franchise. And whether it's about Jeter's future in the lineup, his future at shortstop and his future with the club, the questions will be asked about him all season long.

6. Chicago White Sox: Ozzie vs. Bobby

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 01: Manager Ozzie Guillen #13 of the Chicago White Sox hugs closing pitcher Bobby Jenks #45 after a win over the Oakland Athletics at U.S. Cellular Field on August 1, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Athletics 4-1. (P
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Remember the good old days when Ozzie Guillen signaled for Bobby Jenks by spreading his arms apart, saying "I want the big guy"?

    That was back in the 2005 World Series, and apparently all is not well. Jenks has moved on to Boston but not before the White Sox didn't offer him a tender. That led to Jenks saying, among other things, it was nice to play for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen, according to ESPN.

    Guillen responded, in a way that only Ozzie could: "I wish I was mad about it because I will rip his throat out," according to the ESPN report. Such warm memories.

    The two teams meet in Boston May 30-June 1 and July 29-31 in Chicago. Get the popcorn ready.

5. Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera's Legal Trouble

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    LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 02:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers plays first base during the game against the Houston Astros at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 2, 2011 in Lakeland, Florida. The Astros defeated the Tigers 6-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    If you read the quotes from manager Jim Leyland about Miguel Cabrera's drunk driving arrest last month from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, it basically was the type of soundbite you'd expect out of Jim Leyland. The only thing missing was a cigarette.

    Leyland was adamant then that Cabrera's problems won't be a distraction to the clubhouse, but how can it not be at least a little bit? This is one of your most important position players and he's out making bad decisions and still having the same trouble he was previously. 

    Cabrera has personal demons that he has to deal with, and Leyland is doing what he should in defending his player. But to say it won't be a distraction? That's a little out there.

4. St. Louis Cardinals: Will He or Won't He?

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    JUPITER, FL - MARCH 06:  First baseman Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats against the Florida Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on March 6, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Albert Pujols is trying to move on.

    He's already said publicly he won't discuss the contract, he'll just enjoy the season. Regardless, the Cardinals and Pujols will have to work something out after the 2011 season.

    But as possibly the most attractive free agent ever to be on the market goes into his walk year, one has to wonder what effect that will have on his performance. At this point, Pujols can have a contract year like Adrian Beltre or a contract year like Andruw Jones.

    And even if he doesn't want to talk about it, the fact is the questions will still come.

3. Texas Rangers: The Michael Young Saga

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    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 02:  Infielder Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers during the spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Like Pujols, Michael Young is trying to just bury the offseason story in spring training. 

    After Young blasted the Texas Rangers organization and demanded a trade, the Rangers weren't able to make a trade to move Young. So there he was in camp, saying his trade demand wouldn't be a distraction and that he would basically go out and do his job.

    But unfortunately, Pandora's Box can't be closed now. Nor can Young pull back his trade rumor when he hasn't talked to GM Jon Daniels yet, according to reports. Young can say it won't be a distraction as much as he wants. 

    It won't make it true, and it won't make it any less awkward.

2. New York Mets: The Madoff Mess

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    PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Owner Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets addresses the media during spring training at Tradition Field on February 17, 2011 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Is there no mess the Mets can't seem to get into these days.

    If the turmoil on the field hasn't been enough, there's been the news about the Wilpons looking to sell part of the franchise and the team being linked to incarcerated pyramid-schemer Bernie Madoff.

    Now with the impending lawsuit from the victims of Madoff, claiming the owners used phony profits to run the franchise, the Mets are in complete and utter disarray off the field. Not surprisingly, the players are saying all the right things off of it ( David Wright told USA Today "you control what you can control"), but it's hard to focus with the mess off the field.

    Then again, it could be worse. Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya could be around.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Fighting McCourts

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    LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 3: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt attends the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 3, 2010 at Dodger Stadium  in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The divorce saga and, for all intents and purposes, the Dodgers' custody battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt continues to play out as the baseball team hangs in the balance.

    The Los Angeles Times reported last week that both sides have resumed settlement proceedings after a judge threw out a sole ownership to Frank agreement. The report also stated Frank would go after a second trial to try and gain sole ownership of the Dodgers, stating he bought the club with a company formed before the marriage.

    Either way, it seems like the battle is nowhere close to being over and the Dodgers are the ones suffering, as the team went from back-to-back NLCS trips in 2008 and 2009 to missing the playoffs last season.