Let's just go straight to the links this morning.
- There's a whole lot of praise coming for the Oakland Athletics these days, who have the best record in the American League. Ken Rosenthal says Oakland is the hottest team in baseball and their new-fangled offense, with fewer strikeouts, is a big reason.
- Scott Miller says that Oakland is proving that last season wasn't a fluke. David Schoenfield says Oakland is the best team in the AL West. I think I can correct that by saying Oakland is the best team in the AL
- Orioles reliever Pedro Strop is upset with being booed and that the fans "don't care about the players." Pro Tip, Pedro: If the fans are booing you, criticizing them is not the way to get them to stop.
- Mariano Rivera has found a new post-retirement career: pizza delivery man. Honestly, Mo is a pretty cool dude.
- It was a bad day for the Rockies as three of their best players, Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez all left the game with injuries. Fowler and CarGo are expected to be all right, but Tulowitzki is expected to miss 4 for 6 weeks.
- Getting back to the Dodgers/Diamondbacks brawl, Ken Rosenthal thinks the "unwritten code" in baseball is stupid and that ballplayers need to grow up. Suspensions are likely going to be handed down today.
- In a separate article, Rosenthal thinks Yasiel Puig's behavior in the brawl is "troubling." There's also his speeding violation in the minors and a Cuban baseball expert that said that Puig wasn't suspended from Cuban baseball because of he was a threat to defect, but rather he defected after he was suspended for a shoplifting arrest in the Netherlands.
- Bob Nightengale says that the brawl has allowed the Dodgers to bond. Isn't this the second time the Dodgers have "bonded" this season? How often do they need to "bond"?
- Jay Caspian King of Grantland says that the concept of "small sample size" is taking all the fun out of Puig. His solution? Ignore it.
- Jim Leyland shouts "A Closer! A Closer! My kingdom for a closer!" as the Cleveland Indians surround him at Bosworth Field. OK, not quite. But he does ask "Who the (expletive) should I close with?"
- David Schoenfield at ESPN.com says that while the Tigers bullpen is a problem, the team isn't hitting in late or extra innings either.
- R.A. Dickey talks to Fangraphs about his health, or lack thereof.
- Jon Paul Morosi says the Giants pitching rotation, after leading them to two World Championships, has ran out of gas.
- The Marlins and Astros are no longer on a pace to break the 1962 Mets record for losses. Their prognosis for the rest of the season is improving. Oh, don't worry. They'll still lose 100 to 110 games.
- In something that hasn't been said in almost twenty years, but the Yankees are looking to pick up a shortstop at the trade deadline.
- It's not "What's my opinion of Kingman's performance?", but Charlie Manuel is getting a little testy when answering reporter's questions.
- Why is Rays outfielder Wil Myers still playing for the Durham Bulls? Maybe he needs to learn to breathe through his eyelids.
- Rob Neyer asks if the Mariners are making the right decision promoting Mike Zunino.
- Danny Knobler says the Cardinals made the right choice keeping Yadier Molina and not Albert Pujols.
- Things have gotten so bad for Albert Pujols that pitchers worry more about Mark Trumbo than him these days.
- NPB officials have admitted that they're using juiced baseballs. Offense is at an all-time low in Japan.
- And finally, Matt Schiavenza in The Atlantic wonders if Bud Selig is destroying his rehabilitated image by pursuing the Biogenesis scandal. And I'm not linking to that just to name drop The Atlantic. OK, I am. Just a little.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster