Picks of the Pen: The Magic Spit of Willy Mo Pena

The Diamondbacks’ Willy Mo Pena has magical spit that, once applied to the inside of his batting helmet, allows him to hit walkoff home runs.  You’d think this would have gotten more attention.

Links below.


MLB Network has been covering a lot of ground lately.  Unfortunately, that ground is covered in pieces of Harold Reynolds.  When analysts try to become comedians, it often turns into mindless chatter and hearty guffaws, with the biggest victims being the viewers, who have no idea what in the hell is going on.  Sometimes, they will go so far as to arrange a skit to act out, which is even, you know, “better.”  Fortunately, when Eric Byrnes just positively wrecked Harold Reynolds the other day, it was all over too fast to get awkward and stupid.

Jhonny Peralta may spell his name wrong, but it has not hindered his performance in any way.  Matt Snyder of Detroit Jock City uses fancy statistics and numeric comparisons I don’t understand to how the Tigers shortstop has already earned his $11.25 million contract.  Just further proof for school teachers out there:  spelling doesn’t matter.  So toss out those spelling bee entry forms, kids, and head for the baseball diamond, where the real money is.


The Toronto Blue Jays have gotten very little production from the third base position this season.  Jose Bautista is one of the best hitters in baseball.

While the two statements may seem unrelated, other than the fact that Bautista is a member of the Jays, they have been transformed into a simple equation.  One plus the other equals last year’s home run king lining up at the hot corner for Toronto.

Mat Germain questioned this logic over at Jays Journal.

Have you ever wondered why certain foreign nations pump out more professional baseball players than others?  Well, I never really did either before reading Bradley Woodrum’s piece over at FanGraphs.  Woodrum delves into possible statistical reasoning for how some countries are able to turn out prospects left and right while others have little presence in MLB.


Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue suggests that the Cubs should rehire former manager and recently resigned Nationals skipper Jim Riggleman as the bench coach. Riggleman was the manager when Sammy Sosa hit 66 homers in 1998 a guided the team to their first postseason appearance since 1989. Yellon argues for Riggleman’s experience as a game tactician and says that he would help Mike Quade a lot who has been making some questionable moves lately.

The Astros are bad, no question, and they are your prototypical “donor” team coming into July.  Trevor Harris over at Climbing Tal’s Hill wonders whether Carlos Lee can be traded. He would make a good fit as a DH for a team that is looking for a change. However, he is overpaid for that role meaning the Astros might have to eat a lot of that contract.


The Tampa Bay Rays weren’t supposed to be contenders this season, but surprisingly enough, they are. According to Jonathan Bohall of Rays Colored Glasses, this means it’s time for Tampa Bay to be aggressive at the trade deadline. There is enough talent of this team to win games, but it may take a big-name acquisition to win a World Series. Jonathan suggests that the Rays go “all in” and go after a guy like Jose Reyes, which is an exciting possibility for Rays fans and would make the AL East a three team race for sure.

It’s not often that you hear about players blaming their struggles on the color of their eyes, but that’s exactly the case with Texas slugger Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is hitting .374 at night compared to just .122 during the day, so it’s quite possible that he has a point. As strange as it sounds, his blue eyes may be creating a glare that makes it harder to pick up the ball in the sunlight. I’m not sure if I believe this or not given the fact that this hasn’t been a problem for him in previous years, but it’s an interesting story over at Yardbarker nonetheless.

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