Picks of the Pen

"Class of '11, guys! Friends forever!!"

You were probably too distracted by the majesty of ambiguous statements about free agency to notice there are MLB players currently invading Japan.  Taking a break from the Taiwan All-Star Series and being a part of the Evil Empire and all that is bad in the world, Robinson Cano visited a children’s hospital and brightened everyone’s day.

“The first thing I noticed playing here is that the fans love baseball,” said the Nationals’ Michael Morse, instantly insinuating that American fans do not like baseball.

Distract yourself from that sick burn by checking out any of the following links.

Blaine

Surprisingly, one of the big discussions popping up late last week was the merits of the San Francisco Giants trading Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.  Jon Paul Morosi and Dave Cameron offered their thoughts on shipping out Lincecum to shed salary they could use on free agents while picking up young talent in the process.

One of the more intriguing options on the free agent market is Grady Sizemore.  Though he’s shown immense talent over the years, Sizemore has also been sidelined by knee problems.  Because of his injury history, Sizemore is seen as somewhat of a wild-card this offseason.

Derek Stykalo, the Senior Editor of BoSox Injection, ran over Boston’s free agent options for their vacancy in right field.  Derek thinks there are superior candidates to Sizemore, while our own Mickey says the former Indian would be a great fit in Beantown.

Justin

Say hello to Bill Baer!  Bill is a sabermetric gent about town who spearheads the Phillies blog Crashburn Alley, while periodically picking fights with brainless journalists and maintaining a charming Twitter presence.  He’s just finished a book, “How to be an Internet Stud and Get All Those Ladies.”  He’s really quite busy, and makes the rest of us look like slobbering idiots.

Bill just stumbled upon something in his research:  The 1993 Phillies were the most saber-licious group of statistics the world has ever seen.  So, in case you aren’t familiar with them, that team can not only live on in Philly-Lore as a scruffy band of lovable criminals, but as mathematically perfect columns on Baseball Reference.

Hooray!

In other, much sadder news, all of the Oakland Athletics are for sale.  Jason Leary regrettably reports this on Swingin’ A’s, but there’s a silver lining:  Jemille Weeks is staying!  Until he is up for arbitration.  Then he too will be gone.

Well.  I didn’t say it would be silver for very long.

Joe

Showing his prowess as a baseball historian, Tim wrote a very interesting piece that connects the 1941 Dodgers to the current mess today. He also talks about some of the stars- such as Joe Medwick- on that team which won the pennant and 100 games.

At Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan has a very well-written article about Tony La Russa’s sudden retirement and how much it hurts the Cards. Passan goes on to talk about the skills that made La Russa one of the best managers in baseball history, such as his ability to get something out of nothing.

Mickey

Here’s a pretty amusing little comic discovered by our friends over at Frisco Fastball poking fun at Coco Crisp‘s desire for free agent gold in S.F.

For those of you intrigued by Hiroki Kuroda coming to your town, here is a very thorough look at his decrease in ground balls over at Hardball Times.

Topics: Coco Crisp, Grady Sizemore, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Morse, Philadelphia Phillies, Robinson Cano, Tim Lincecum

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