Picks of the Pen (8/30): Happy Manny Day

It’s Monday afternoon.  It’s going to be a long week and Manny appears to be heading to the White Sox.  Unfortunately for fans of the pale hose, Manny can’t pick out of the bullpen so it probably won’t matter.  I hope he is on his “best” behavior cause “Mannywood” and “Manny being Manny” isn’t going to fly in the Midwest.

Anyway, here are this week’s Picks of the Pen (which are mostly Manny-free) to help you get through the week.  Read them on your lunch break.  Read them on your couch.  Read them in bed.  Wherever you read them, we hope you enjoy!

Justin:

If you’re one of those people who think bad things don’t happen to pro athletes, too often, take the case of Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers.  Yes, he plays for the Brewers.  That’s not it, though.  He got to watch clubhouse attendant Alex Sanchez get pistol whipped by a mugger during an attempted robbery.

Speaking of the Brewers, the Pirates saw the return of their starter Charlie Morton in their recent series versus Milwaukee.  Tom Smith from Rum Bunter was most pleased offering his sentiments in a surprisingly sanguine entry.

Brian:

Peter Gammons looks at the Oakland Athletics and what they need to be competitive in the future. That future begins with starting pitcher Trevor Cahill and Gammons explores his ace-like stuff that will be the cornerstone of the Athletics starting rotation for years to come.

Over at Swingin’ A’s, Joseph Lopez discusses the possibility of Trevor Cahill being in the AL Cy Young conversation this season. With a 13-5 record and a 2.54 era for a team that is right around .500, he certainly has surprised many fans and should be considered for the most prestigious pitching award in the game.

John:

News broke Friday about Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg and his date with Tommy John surgery. Hardball Talk’s Aaron Gleeman reminds us all once again about about the stupidity of Nats broadcaster (and former big league blow-hard) Rob Dibble, who had complained on the air about Strasburg when he left his last start early. Dibble’s shock-jock act played well when he served as Dan Patrick’s side-kick on the radio, but as a broadcaster, fans deserve better.

While the Nats will have to be without Strasburg next year, Jordan Campbell of Cubbies Crib tells us that Washington could also be without free-agent-to-be Adam Dunn next year. The Cubs need a first baseman and Dunn likes Wrigley Field. If Dunn signs elsewhere, will there be any reason at all to go to Nationals Park next summer?

Nathaniel:

great piece analyzing the leaked MLB financial documents.

I couldn’t agree more with Anuj’s analysis that the Ned Colletti era should end in LA.

Kris:

Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago writes that a teary eyed Frank Thomas had his number retired on Sunday. Is the Hall of Fame the next stop for The Big Hurt?

Motor City Bengals writer Zac Snyder chronicles Rick Porcello’s season and the pitches he has added to his arsenal.

Ryne:

Jacqueline Hadley Conrad of Cardinal Diamond Diaries shares a beautiful story of her love for baseball, the Cardinals and the source of her memories, her grandmother. Jacqueline delves into her most precious memories while showing why this game is so special.

In a forgettable season for the Indians, Ed Carroll at Deep Left Field looks at a memorable night in Cleveland involving puppies and a win in the same night.

Jordan:

Could Lou Piniella be the Brett Favre of MLB? Larry Stone of the Seattle Times thinks that Lou Piniella will manage again, because he does not want to be remembered for his failures in Chicago.

Does Manny Ramirez going to the White Sox, hurt or help the Twins playoff chances? Erin, of Twinkie Talk, goes into what the effect of Manny Ramirez coming to the southside has on the American League Central race.

Wally:

Add this to the list of things we have Bryce Harper to thank for. I can’t remember the last time I hoped a prospect would fall on his face (even if they were a Yankees or White Sox farmhand). I’m not there yet with Bryce, but this kind of thing isn’t helping.

Steve Fetch of Twinkie Talk examines the role of advanced statistics in awards discussions.

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Topics: Adam Dunn, Alex Sanchez, Bryce Harper, Charlie Morton, Cleveland Indians, Cubbies Crib, Deep Left Field, Doug Padilla, Ed Carroll, Frank Thomas, Hardball Talk, Jacqueline Hadley Conrad, Jordan Campbell, Joseph Lopez, Larry Stone, Lou Piniella, Manny Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers, Motor City Bengals, Ned Colletti, Oakland A's, Peter Gammons, Rick Porcello, Rob Dibble, Rum Bunter, Seattle Times, Stephen Strasburg, Steve Fetch, Swingin' A's, Tom Smith, Trevor Cahill, Twinkie Talk, Yovani Gallardo, Zac Snyder

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