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Picks of the Pen (11/8): Number 500!

This edition of Picks of the Pen has special meaning to use here on the CttP staff as this is our 500th post in just over 7 months.

Free agency has begun. Let the hot stove start scorching, let the rumors start flying, let the bidding begin and while you’re waiting for your team to do something, enjoy the links!

Justin:

Part of my appreciation for all of the Lebron James horse shit getting tossed around is that it doesn’t affect me whatsoever; I can stand over here and just watch as Lebron is despised and Cleveland implodes.  Then he shoots that commercial.  Poor Lebron!  The thing I enjoyed watching the most this week was Cleveland’s response to his “humanizing” self-portrait.  We all read Arash Markazi’s article, man.  Nobody thinks you’re human anymore.

Not that anybody’s still dwelling on the MLB playoffs, but here’s some disgusting stories about Pat Burrell, whose legacy as a slut-bangin’ sicko was solidified in Philly well before he got his second World Series ring (Officially taking his number of rings higher than his number of World Series hits).

And lastly, after I slipped a bonus link in there inexplicably, manager hunts are all too common this off season.  The Mariners snagged Eric Wedge (Uh… congrats), but Adam Garnett of Rising Apple is scrutinizing the Mets’ next option.

John:

It’s odd when fans of two different teams refer to one man as their manager, the one who defined that role in their organization’s history. This simply doesn’t happen often. In Detroit and in Cincinnati, George ” Sparky” Anderson was that man. As always, when I need to make sense of things, I turn to Joe Posnanski. He hasn’t failed me yet, nor did he when he penned this piece on the passing of a legendary manager. Rest In Peace, Sparky.

In a different type of farewell, though sometimes they feel the same, Scott Allen of Venom Strikes makes his peace with Brandon Webb. Webb will seek his employment elsewhere after missing all but one start in the past two seasons. As Scott mentions, it will take an incentive- heavy contract for any team to risk signing the former Cy Young winner, but I expect he’ll have little trouble finding a taker for his services.

Steve:

Losing in the LDS or LCS is one thing. Losing in the World Series is another. Despite reaching their first ever World Series, the Texas Rangers have many possible moves to consider going into 2011. Auston Waldron over on Nolan Writin’ covers a couple of interesting issues already facing the Rangers and how the season is beginning…now!

Speaking of the World Series, what about the champion San Francisco Giants? One problem this past season has allegedly been the girth of one Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sundoval. Okay, it’s not alleged, it’s legit. Just look at the pic and read the article from Big League Stew’s David Brown. Makes you wonder if Panda couldn’t have found a more “deserving” way to celebrate.

Nathaniel:

Every time a Japanese player looks primed to come to MLB, there’s a flurry of fans looking to get information on him. Athletics Nation breaks down pitcher Hisashi Ishakuma, who the A’s won the bidding for.

Twinkie Talk provides an excellent look at Minnesota’s impending free agents. Who should they keep?

Jordan:

What Happens when co-owner of team gets fired for not cleaning toilets the right way, well, whatever it, Chicago Cubs board member Todd Ricketts knows the feeling. Todd Ricketts was featured in the CBS show “Undercover Boss”. Good thing Todd is in the front office, because as the Chicago Tribune explains it, he is not cut out for the maintenance department.

Derek Jeter is the symbol of the New York Yankees. When you hear the word Yankee, four names come to mind Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Jeter. But, with Jeter on the opposite side of 30, Chris Lundberg of Yanks Go Yard explains the very intriguing dilemma the Yankees are in, when it comes to re-signing Jeter.

Ryne:

Steve Rushin remembers Sparky Anderson. The Hall of Fame manager who led the Big Red Machine and the Detroit Tigers to the World Series was a charismatic leader. Sparky was a gifted speaker who ignored the rules of grammar and a manager who gave all the credit to his players. Rushin recalls the last time he saw Sparky. It was at an airport, which makes for another memorable story about the legendary baseball man.

Justin Klugh chronicles Jayson Werth’s time in Philadelphia. Will he be back or will he be sporting a different uniform next year?

Michael:

If you’ve ever read The Soul of Baseball by Joe Posnanski or just saw Buck O’Neil on Ken Burns Baseball, you know the joy he had for the game of baseball and how incredible an ambassador and figure he was. A Kansas City resident, he helped found and develop the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame and Museum at 18th and Vine in the old jazz district. It’s a treasure for any baseball fan, but it’s in trouble.  Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star looks at what ails the museum and what may come next.

With the World Series up against Sunday Night Football (and faring poorly ratings-wise), there’s been a lot of discussion about how Major League Baseball compares to the NFL.  My opinion is that yes, there’s a huge NFL fanbase, but baseball’s is pretty strong too.  Maybe it’s just fatigue of following a team for 162 games instead of 16, but for the most part, the fans of a baseball team feel just as fervently about their teams as an NFL fan does about theirs.  Still, baseball is a bit out of touch and behind the times.  Evidence: Justin Bieber anywhere near baseball.  Kalup Alexander at Halo Hangout has more and video proof.  (Also, what the heck is the deal with kids and a straight brim on a ballcap these days?  Travesty)

Wally:

The Gold Glove Awards have become an increasingly bad joke in recent years. Fortunately thanks to luminaries like John Dewan, we have the announcement of the 5th annual Fielding Bible Awards.

It always cuts extra deep when your team cuts ties with the guy you kept hoping would become a star but never lived up to expectations. For most Royals fans that guy is currently Alex Gordon, but for me it’s Kyle Davies. When it comes to the Cleveland Indians, Ed Carroll says goodbye to Andy Marte.

Topics: Andy Marte, Brandon Webb, Deep Left Field, Derek Jeter, Eric Wedge, Halo Hangout, Hisashi Ishakuma, Jayson Werth, Joe Posnanski, John Dewan, Nolan Writin', Pablo Sandoval, Pat Burrell, Rising Apple, Sam Mellinger, Sparky Anderson, Steve Rushin, That Balls Outta Here, Todd Ricketts, Twinkie Talk, Venom Strikes, Yanks Go Yard

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