Picks of the Pen: Sox Rocked Off

In an event best accompanied by lively circus music, the Cubs-Red Sox game of May 21 was as apocalyptic as they come.  Perhaps we were all a bit disappointed that day, with the Rapture failing to show…again… but a brief respite from our frustration was born in the form of the Red Sox complete and utter inability to halt an eight-run explosion of Cubs in the 8th inning that probably felt like the end of the world.

Hot, sexy links to follow.

Blaine

This weekend marked the beginning of 2011’s slate of interleague games.  Every year at this time, the debate picks up over whether MLB should continue its contests between the NL and AL or if it should just do away with the interleague process altogether.

We’ve all heard the comments about how it’s not right that the AL has to have its pitchers pick up a bat or that the NL has to make a designated hitter out of someone who is merely a bench player.  While these may be valid points, Jayson Stark looked beyond the bickering to what he sees as the greatest problem with the interleague routine.

This Tuesday baseball lost one its all time greats, Harmon Killebrew.  Adam Krueger over at Puckett’s Pond detailed the career and legacy of the fastball “Killer.”

Justin

Who here likes to scrutinize baseball statistics until they just look like a massive, chalkboard-swallowing, nine-month long math problem?  Everybody, that’s who.  Because this is a new age of fandom and sabermetrics is the equation we’re using to survive.

Some people, like the elderly or those who fear change, tend to disagree, but a weekend seminar at Harvard University–which I’ve heard is a pretty keen spot to glean a thing or two about a thing or two–was spent disagreeing with such curmudgeonly sentiments.  Here’s a really long column from MLB’s website detailing the whole thing, which you probably won’t read all the way through because like I said its pretty long.

Did you know they have two starting pitchers in Seattle?  Yeah.  If they keep this up, the Pacific Northwest will be known for more than the vicious murder of Rosie Larsen in no time.  King Felix is obviously comfortable doing his constant, stifling thing, but now human monster and Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Pineda is out there, K’ing hitters like a madman, covering first admirably, and just standing there, being huge.  Harrison Crow pushes the two next to each other for a closer look on Sodo Mojo.

You know, I’m pretty sure the season finale of The Killing will reveal Michael Pineda’s fastball killed Rosie Larsen.

Tom

After an impressive rookie season in 2009, Gordon Beckham of the White Sox took a step back last season and looks to have taken an even bigger set back to this point in 2011. David Golebiewski at FanGraphs does a nice job pinpointing the most glaring of Beckham’s many issues and wonders what will happen to him as this season goes on.

The Blue Jays let John Buck walk after his career year of production at the plate in 2010 and handed their starting catcher position over to relatively untested rookie, J.P. Arencibia. It’s been so far so good for the Jays and Arencibia and he’s out hit the player he’s replaced so far this season. Mat Germain at Jays Journal is quite pleased with all his as he views it as a great move by Jays’ GM, Alex Anthopoulos, and because Mat himself had predicted a productive season for the rookie.

Steve

Always good to see that professional athletes (whatever their sport) have an eye on the “real world” and still have one on their profession. Such is the case of Toronto Blue Jays players Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia. Both had an all too brief, but highly meaningful meeting with a young Blue Jays fan suffering from leukemia. I’m not going to spoil this one. I’ll let Ian Casselberry of Big League Stew tell this.

It’s not everyday when you lose two starters and tow supposed good relievers and feel your pitching staff (and overall roster) is better. That could be the case for the Boston Red Sox as Rick Meegan examines the current state of Boston’s roster over on BoSox Injection.

Alex

The talent that lies within the Kansas City Royals’ farm system is undeniable, but sometimes talent doesn’t transition smoothly into the big leagues. Luckily for Kansas City, their numerous young prospects have made impressive contributions so far this season.

Over at Kings of Kauffman, Michael Engel explains why the impact prospects of the Royals have really saved this team from falling apart. The depth that they bring gives KC increased flexibility and allows them to handle injuries/poor performances that would normally be devastating.

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