Brian Cashman The Elf, Ken Rosenthal The Ninja, And Other Rumblings Around The Hot Fucking Stove

Your roundup of all the hottest hot-stove items of the day (and whatever shit Ken Rosenthal is throwing against the wall.) This is ... HOT FUCKING STOVE!!

• Baseball's winter meetings are upon us. Though the annual convention of the game's brightest minds is consistently one of the most overhyped events on the sports calendar, these next few days should be huge ones on the Hot Fucking Stove. Where will Mike Gonzalez end up? Are the Brewers serious about bringing back Yuniesky Betancourt? Will somebody give Frank Francisco a multiyear deal? These questions, and more, could be answered by the end of the week.

• The Astros are deploying the bold strategy of going to the winter meetings without a GM.

• Ken Rosenthal is spending the meetings cementing his status as baseball's preeminent shit-throwing ninja.

• Brian Cashman rappelled another building dressed like an elf in Connecticut, but he isn't planning to "hit the ground running" like he did at last year's meetings, where he whiffed on the Cliff Lee negotiations.

• Voters were apparently impressed enough by Ron Santo's 2011 season to vote him into the Hall of Fame, for which he became eligible 31 years ago.

• White Sox GM Kenny Williams has lost his mind.

• Bill Buckner wants to be back in a Red Sox uniform in 2012.

• The Phillies signed Laynce Nix to a two year deal, and nobody understands why.

• Toronto acquired Angels catcher and notorious Yankee killer Jeff Mathis for lefty pitcher Brad Mills.

• Jimmy Rollins is pulling a Jeter.

Ken Rosenthal throws some shit against the wall.