C is for Cookie Rojas, that's good enough for me.
- The butcher's bill got really high this week as Marlins' ace Jose Fernandez was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. That normally means Tommy John surgery and that was the recommendation of the physician who examined him. He'll see the Marlins team doctor for a second opinion, but the chances that he'll recommend anything different is pretty slim.
- Fernandez becomes the 632nd pitcher to have Tommy John surgery this season. Not really on that number, but you can look up the actual number yourself. It's high. You can see a chart here with the number of Tommy John surgeries since 1974. (h/t Hardball Talk)
- Rob Neyer says it would have been a surprise if Fernandez didn't need Tommy John surgery eventually.
- Tom Verducci thinks he has the solution to the TJ injury epidemic: have kids throw off of flat ground instead of a mound in games.
- Peter Gammons says that this rash of Tommy John surgeries means that teams should not draft high school pitchers with high draft picks.
- Chris Cwik thinks that those published prospect rankings are getting a lot more accurate. He examines them to determine how they got so good.
- Joe Posnanski has a profile of the one pitcher in baseball history he'd want on the mound in a game 7: Pedro Martinez. Even over Sandy Koufax.
- Last time we brought you a Sports On Earth article touting Chase Utley for Cooperstown. This time, Jorge Arangure Jr. makes the case for Carlos Beltran, calling him the most underappreciated player in the game.
- It's not crazy to think the Mariners could make the playoffs this season.
- The M's have been hitting into bad luck so far this season, as has Nick Swisher.
- Jon Paul Morosi believes that the Rays slow start means they could be big sellers at the trade deadline. He also brings up the possibility of a move to Montreal if the Rays finances don't improve soon.
- Ken Rosenthal thinks the sum of the Giants is greater than their parts. I'd also remind him it's an even-numbered year, so they'll win it all.
- Ben Reiter thinks that CC Sabathia's return to Milwaukee only demonstrates that he's no longer the pitcher he was with the Brewers and that he's not likely to return to that level.
- The Brewers put Aramis Ramirez on the DL and activated Ryan Braun.
- MLB is working on clarifying the home plate collision rule, although they haven't been able to come to a consensus yet.
- The Athletics wanted to give the city of Oakland some money to fix up some rundown ballfields, but they said no thanks. Not quite, but they felt that the kids of Oakland shouldn't have better facilities than the A's had, or something like that.
- This one is complicated, but Cuban OF Alfredo Despaigne is apparently in Mexico under a falsified passport. The problem seems to be that the Mexican League's connection with MLB is a problem with the (incredibly stupid) Cuban embargo, so he can't play in the Mexican League as a Cuban. So apparently he's pretending to be Dominican, even though pretty much everyone knows he's Cuban. I think that's gist of this. (That also answers the question of whether the Blue Jays could sign him and only play him in home games.)
- Speaking of Cuba: PUIIIIIIGGGG! Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn't think much of all the hubbub over the celebrations of Yasiel Puig and Carlos Gomez and that we all just need to chill.
- Tim Hudson got to see the bat flip of Puig from 60 feet, 6 inches after Puig took him deep, but he didn't have a problem with it. His former catcher, Brian McCann, just crossed Hudson off his Christmas card list.
- They're going to make a movie about Puig's life. SB Nation lets their writers take a stab at what the movie will be like depending on who gets to direct it. Pretty darn funny, but I can't believe no one took a stab at Tim Burton's take. They could have asked me.
- Alfonso Soriano just became the seventh player in history to have 1000 hits in both leagues.
- Umpire Paul Nauert touched Torii Hunter. MLB investigates. The world didn't explode.
- Ken Rosenthal says the Red Sox have a glut of middle infield talent. Somehow they think this is a good thing rather than worrying if one of them can play right field.
- As the Pirates sink in the NL Central, Gregory Polanco and his .378 batting average rot in Triple-A. Rob Neyer thinks that it wouldn't make enough difference to call him up now.
- Paul Molitor has had a big impact as a coach for the Twins this season.
- No one may be able to get to the new Braves stadium. So now they'll have an excuse when no one shows up for a home playoff game.
- This is kind of a fun spreadsheet: Every ballplayer who had relative who played professional ball.
- Ryne Sandberg and Lucas Duda made the nearly-fatal mistake of eating at the Shake Shack at Citi Field.
- Mike Trout made his first trip to Philadelphia, the closest team to his hometown of Millville, NJ. Trout is a symbol of hope for the struggling small town. Almost a quarter of the town of 29,000 made the trip to Philly to see Trout play.
- GQ has the must-read profile of another struggling South New Jersey city, Camden, and how they are using Little League baseball to create a "safe zone" away from the gangs and drug addicts. (h/t Hardball Talk)
- Even the New York media is getting sick of the "natural rivals" part of interleague play.
- Anthony Castrovince gets the real ongoing story behind the two real players featured in the movie "Million Dollar Arm." One is still in organized baseball with the Pirates, although he hasn't pitched since 2012 because of, you guessed it, Tommy John surgery. He was pretty good in 2012 though.
- The movie "Million Dollar Arm" stars noted Cardinals fan, Jon Hamm. He's also the star of Mad Men, and if you saw a recent episode of the show, you know that there was a plot point about an intoxicated Don Draper wanting to go see the Mets at Shea Stadium. What does Jon Hamm really think of the Mets?
Oh, I hated the Mets with a passion that kills and still do . . . My God, I hate the Dodgers, too. I loved it when we kicked their ass in ‘85.
Wow. A Cardinals fan that I can actually respect.
- Vin Scully tells the story of Marlins manager Vin Scully, the naked batting practice hitter.
- Finally, the Giants got a special visitor at AT&T Park and Amy Gutierrez got to talk baseball with the Cookie Monster.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.