Picks of the Pen (7/26)

My brother-in-law got married in Omaha, and we had a wonderful weekend sharing the event with them.  Now it is Monday.  It’s time to get back into the swing of things and back to reality.  I hope these 18 links picked by our staff will help you with the always difficult transition from the weekend to the start of the week.  If they don’t, I hope they help you in some other way.  Enjoy!

(links after the jump)


The greatest catch of a baseball this week didn’t belong to anybody in a Major League uniform, but rather a young girl with the agility of a spider monkey and the nonchalantness of someone who didn’t just do THE COOLEST THING A BALL GIRL HAS DONE IN THE HISTORY OF BALL GIRL-ING.

In another, more serious story, Jon Miller was inducted to something for his tenure as an Orioles announcer until 1996, when he transplanted to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball to tell stories about nothing next to an equally incoherent Joe Morgan.  Birds Watcher’s Dan Soderberg reflects on this and questions the colors of people’s blood in Baltimore.


With Andre Dawson’s induction into the Hall of Fame this weekend, it brings up an ugly moment in the history of baseball. Twenty-three years ago Dawson was intentionally hit in the face by Eric Show when he was up to bat. The incident is as disturbing today as it was over 2 decades ago.

Cubbies Crib reacted to one of the bigger headlines this week that Lou Pinella will be retiring after the season. Jordan Campbell takes a look at the potential replacements for Pinella and gives us something to think about for 2011 in Chicago.


Bill Ferris is a name most of you haven’t heard of, but in 2002 he started an independent blog covering the Detroit Tigers. Through the years, the Detroit Tigers Weblog has been consistently recognized as the leader of the Tigers blogosphere and Bill has been granted interviews with some of the biggest names in Tiger baseball including Dave Dombrowski and Ernie Harwell. After nine seasons of covering every aspect of the Tigers baseball organization, Billfer has decided to step aside. Every single blogger owes a debt of gratitude to Billfer, for it’s pioneers like him that have paved the way for the rest of us.

Over at Blog Red Machine, Steve Engbloom discusses the possibility that Reds manager Dusty Baker could be in line for an extension beyond this season. As Steve points out, prior to this year, progress under Baker has been slow and the Reds would need to end the year with 91 wins to see him post a .500 record. Is that good enough to be brought back? Personally, after so many years of seeing baseball’s oldest franchise relegated to insignificance, I’d hate to see them turn away from Baker when his club is finally in contention again.


I have to say, I didn’t think the FanGraphs Community Blog would turn out anything all that fascinating when it first started, but this article on why we should stop using BABIP (it’s not why you think) as a metric is extremely well put.

David at Tomahawk Take brings us up to speed on some important moves in the Atlanta system, most notably the promotion of Julio Teheran, who is arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball, to Double-A.


Beyond the Box Score’s Adam Darowski looks at the worst players (by WAR) who have hit the classic milestones of baseball. Most names are still HoF worthy, but Lou Brock just doesn’t cut it.

Erin over at Twinkie Talk has a great set of articles on establishing the trade value of Twins players. It works in a similar vein to FanGraphs’ Trade Value series, so if you enjoyed that, check out Erin’s thoughts in part one and part two.


Andre Dawson was finally enshrined in Cooperstown Sunday. The Hawk was a feared hitter and world-class athlete who was also a perfect teammate. Jerry Crasnick touches on all of this, including some epic slap-boxing battles with Tim Raines in the Montreal clubhouse. Dawson helped Raines overcome his cocaine addiction and urged voters to put the him in the Hall during his speech.

Justin says Jamie Moyer may finally have to hang ‘em up after his recent elbow injury. The man who has defied age with his smarts had a memorable year with the Phillies despite their struggles, but it may be the beginning of the end for him. All good things must come to an end one day, even for this 47-year-old who still wants to pitch.


Peter Gammons gives some examples of hitters whose power took a while to manifest.  His article serves as an excellent reminder that patience is necessary when evaluating disappointing or “failed” prospects.

Mat Germain of Jays Journal compares and contrasts the trade demands of the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks.  he concludes (correctly) that the Jays, under Alex the Great, are far more demanding.


I ran across a little dated but great article written by Garrett Broshuis for Baseball America which depicts the sometimes rough times that minor league players and their families face as they are “chasing a dream”. It shows that for every guy who makes it, a ton go through the ringer only to be left with little but the knowledge that they “tried their best”. I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat that sentence, and it doesn’t pay the bills.

Michael Engel of Kings of Kauffman is already predicting disaster if Dayton Moore completes all of the moves rumors predict he might. I’d like to think the Royals are not dumb enough to acquire Oliver Perez, but I do think Jeff Francoeur would provide leadership on a squad that desperately needs it.


Jesse Spector of the NY Daily News goes beyond the Kansas City Royals MLB leading team batting average to show that the numbers mask so many flaws.

Over on Motor City Bengals, John Parent breaks down why trades can not fix the Tigers problems.

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Tags: Adam Darowski Andre Dawson BABIP Baseball America Beyond The Box Score Bill Ferris Birds Watcher Blog Red Machine Cubbies Crib Dan Soderberg David Lee Dayton Moore Detroit Tigers Eric Show FanGraphs Garrett Broshuis Jamie Moyer Jays Journal Jeff Francoeur Jerry Crasnick Jesse Spector John Parent Jon Miller Julio Teheran Justin Klugh Kansas City Royals Kings Of Kauffman Lou Brock Lou Pinella Mat Germain Michael Engel Motor City Bengals NY Daily News Oliver Perez Peter Gammons Steve Engbloom Tim Raines Tomahawk Take Twinkie Talk

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