Odds and ends

A few quick off-the-field news items, and then you can quickly return to our extensive Winter Meetings coverage:

Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein will donate his kidney to his brother on Wednesday, according to Bill Ladson. Kidney disease runs in the Eckstein family. Rick's brother Ken, who will receive the kidney, had a previous transplant in 1991. Rick and the entire family are huge proponents of organ donation.

Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner is blogging from the Winter Meetings. Lerner wanted to provide fans with a behind-the-scenes perspective of the annual meetings.

He writes in his first blog:

"MLB's Winter Meetings are an exciting time for baseball fans worldwide, and I wanted to offer our readers a glimpse of what happens down here. Some postings will be more serious than others, but I want to keep this fun and informative. I know before I got into the game in 2006, I always wondered how "this" all went down. I am now in my fifth Winter Meetings and there is a palpable anticipation every year."

Lastly, the Racing Presidents will make an appearance in the Washington Ballet production of Septime Webre's "The Nutcracker" on Friday evening. Tickets are still available.

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