Picks of the Pen (8/23): Mr. Jong Goes to Medical School

Welcome to the August 23rd edition of Pick of the Pen.  Today is a bit of a sad day because it marks the official departure of one of our original featured columnists.  In just a week or so, Saber-Slant author, Michael Jong will be starting Medical School. With the demands of such a rigorous program he has elected to leave the Call to the Pen staff.

If, like me, you are a fan of his writing, he will be dedicating his limited writing time to Marlin Maniac where he will continue on as the Lead Writer.  He does excellent work over there (just as he has done here for the last 4.5 months) so even if you aren’t a fan of the Florida Marlins, it is definitely a site worth reading on a regular basis.

Since this will be Michael’s last contribution to Picks of the Pen, I’ve given him the leadoff slot. Enjoy the links!


MGL explains defense-independent pitching statistics (DIPS) theory in excellent terms. This should be required reading for anyone who questions why DIPS is so important to consider whne evaluating pitchers.

Jordan Campbell of Cubbies Crib ponders a few options for the Cubs in the wake of the trade of longtime first baseman Derrek Lee.


Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra breaches a topic that many of us who write for this network, and elsewhere on the internet, struggle with.  I am no exception and often struggle with the terms of blogger and writer.  I tend to refer to myself as a writer, it was my field of study in college after all, but instead of just saying writer I roll with online-sports-writer.  Pretentious or not, it is what I am.  For the record I don’t wear glasses, I don’t like Jazz music, I enjoy when people challenge my political assumptions and I’m married so the need to try and get laid went by the wayside long ago.

Frisco Fastball Lead Writer Bryan Rosa reacts to the Giants waiver claim of Cody Ross with a heaping helping of “why?”

BONUS LINK: If you missed out on any of the 17 Saber-Slant columns, or if you just want to re-read and re-live them, head here to pull the Saber-Slant volume off the shelves of the Call to the Pen archive.


So, I’m sure you’re wondering what the first Google result is when you search for “Roger Clemens: Dick.”  The answer is this awesome page on a website I didn’t know existed but will probably waste countless hours on in the near future. As the saying goes in my family, “That’s what you get for being such a dick, Roger Clemens.”

And, as we continue our spectating of a man’s downward spiral into career oblivion/federal prison, let us turn to Andrew Corselli’s reflection on the topic, who specifies that as long as we judge Roger by his on the field record, and discount all the bad things he has ever done, he’s really just a cool guy.


One the of the bigger stories of 2010 has been the emergence of the Texas Rangers as a powerhouse in the AL. Hal Bodley of MLB.com takes a look at the success of the Rangers and how they are poised to be contenders this year and in the future. Bodley also talks about the connections between the struggling Baltimore Orioles and the Rangers as they played a 4-game series that began Thursday night.

The big news of the week in the NL was the trade of Chicago Cubs 1st baseman Derrek Lee to the Atlanta Braves. Kris Willis takes on the trade from the Braves end of things and gives his viewpoint on what the trade will mean for the 2010 Braves.  David Lee, also of Tomahawk Take shared his thoughts on the acquisition of Derrek Lee as well.


Baseball America listed their rankings for players in several categories. Who has the NL’s best change-up? The best power in the AL?
Who’s the best at executing the hit-and-run? Find out in this fun read that should spark some debate.

At Twinkie Talk, Erin breaks down Francisco Liriano’s curious season. He has allowed just three homers all season and is on pace to join an impressive list of stingy pitchers.


Big League Stew reacts to the Roger Clemens indictment.

Michael Engel catches us up on some of the top prospects in arguably MLB’s best farm system.


Chris Jaffe of the Hard Ball Times retells the story of a Lew Burdette no hitter for the Milwaukee Braves thrown 50 years ago.

With a 16-5 loss to the Braves on Sunday, Lou Pinella called it a career. Cubbies Crib blogger Jordan Campbell talks about Lou’s departure and the Cubs going forward.


Piling on Roger Clemens resurgence into the media for his date with jail time, Jeff Pearlman of SI looks at what landed him in this position. From naming his kids after the strikeout to allowing Jorge Posada the privilege to catch him, vanity made him great and now it’s tearing him down.

Evan Riney of Climbing Tal’s Hill imagines the conversation between Cards GM John Mozeliak and Astros GM Ed Wade. Let’s just say Ed Wade may have outsmarted someone for once and that makes for some comedic and baseball relief in Houston.


Forget about Mauer and Pujols, ESPN’s Buster Olney makes his case on why Reds and Tigers First Basemen Joey Votto, and Miguel Cabrera should be the MVP’s in their respective leagues.

The Chicago White Sox and Umpire Joe West do not have a very good relationship. That relationship got severed even more on Friday night after West made the foolish decision of trying to get a game in wake of a storm that knocked the power out in KC. Rob Sesso at Southside Showdown has more on the story.

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Tags: Andrew Corselli Atlanta Braves Big League Stew Bryan Rosa Chicago White Sox Chris Jaffe Cincinnati Reds Climbing Tal's Hill Cody Ross Craig Calcaterra Cubbies Crib David Lee Derrek Lee Detroit Tigers DIPS Ed Wade Evan Riney Francisco Liriano Frisco Fastball Hal Bodley Hard Ball Times Hardball Talk Jeff Pearlman Joe West Joey Votto John Mozeliak Jordan Campbell Kings Of Kauffman Kris Willis Lew Burdette Marlin Maniac Michael Engel Michael Jong Miguel Cabrera Milwaukee Brewers MLB.com Rob Sesso Roger Clemens Saber-Slant Southside Showdown Texas Rangers Tomahawk Take Twinkie Talk Yanks Go Yard

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