Picks of the Pen: Well-Placed Vitriol

If you explained the situation to people, you’d think this was a picture of a public apology.  Instead, its a picture of Theo Epstein giving Adrian Gonzalez $154 million.

Links to follow.

Justin

No, we get it, Brian Wilson.  You’re quirky, with the beard and the quirks and all that stuff.  But that’ll do, thanks.

Besides, the real story out west is the Rockies, who were actually stopped in mid-rampage recently by the Cubs.  The recklessly optimistic Logan Burdine of Rox Pile discusses the loss, and then explains how when your team is 10-3, one loss doesn’t really stick in your crawl.

Nathaniel

If he gets into a game anytime soon, make sure to watch recently-recalled Diamondbacks righthander Josh Collmenter pitch. His delivery is one of the most intriguing, confounding pitching motions you’ll ever see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else throw from a straight 12-o-clock over-the-top arm angle like him. AZ Snakepit has more on the newest Arizona hurler.

Plenty of people have responded with well-placed vitriol at John Steigerwald’s ridiculous column this week, and we certainly had an entertaining take here on CttP. Here’s another well-done one, by Wally Fish of Puckett’s Pond.

Steve

Find a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Ask them who their most hated player is and I can practically guarantee it’s the Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. But Phillips didn’t exactly endear himself to his former employer, teh Cleveland Idians. Five years ago, the Tribe sent BP to the Reds. Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors looks at the deal.

Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez likes Emilio Bonifacio. He likes the energy he brings to the team. Well, Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac is in disagreement with the skipper.  Jong explains his reasons.

Alex

No Cliff Lee? No problem for the Texas Rangers. There were many critics and doubters of the Rangers heading into the 2011 campaign, but with the second-best record in the American League, Texas has silenced many naysayers. Even without Josh Hamilton, their offense is extremely dangerous. However, the pitching staff, which doesn’t feature any big-name guys, has been equally good. This team certainly has the talent to make another postseason run, and maybe last year’s disappointment will provide just enough motivation to get Texas over the hump.

After Troy Tulowitzki’s incredible performance down the stretch last season, is it really surprising to see the Rockies superstar pick up right where he left off here in April. As Logan Burdine of Rox Pile points out, Tulowitzki’s recent numbers are comparable to those of some of baseball’s all-time greats. Colorado really has something
special with this kid, and the scariest part of it all?  He’s just 26 years old.

Tom

From time to time, FanGraphs features a post from one of their reader submissions on their blog and they had a great one this weekend on Brett Gardner. It delves deeply into figuring out whether or not Gardner has a good eye towards plate discipline or if he’s just extremely reluctant to swing. The difference between the two is starting to look important in 2011 as Gardner is struggling and is getting pounded with strikes in the zone at a very high rate.

Kenny Shulsen from Lasorda’s Lair has a great and lengthy piece on Jackie Robinson. Sure we all know the story by now, but it’s nice to take some time every year around Jackie Robinson Day and read up on him some more and all that he went through simply to play the game of baseball. Has a video from the 1955 World Series, too. If you only read one Jackie Robinson related article make sure it’s this one.

Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Brian Wilson Chicago Cubs Colorado Rockies Miami Marlins St Louis Cardinals Texas Rangers Troy Tulowitzki