It's a shorter bullets today than normal as there wasn't a lot of baseball writing on Monday and most of the "general sports" writers have shifted from baseball to football. But there's still a lot here for you to chew on.
And again, if you haven't seen Matt Szczur's E:60 story, you can see it here. My sister-in-law does some work with that bone marrow transplant organization.
- Jay Jaffe lists ten storylines to watch in September.
- One of the stories that Jaffe lists is Miguel Cabrera's quest for a second straight Triple Crown. Mike Oz says that Cabrera needs to put his individual goals aside and rest in order to be 100% for the playoffs.
- Danny Knobler, on the other hand, thinks that it's impressive that Cabrera is pushing through his injuries in his quest for the Triple Crown. Maybe, but I don't think Tigers fans will be impressed if he wins the Triple Crown and then goes 3 for 20 in the ALDS.
- One storyline that Jaffe doesn't mention is that teams are going to be tanking in the second half. David Schoenfield points out that the new CBA rewards tanking far more than the previous ones did. I get tired of "Euro Snobs" who think American sports need relegation like they have in European leagues. The finances of American sports are so different that it would take a radical restructuring of the sport to make that possible. It wouldn't even really be desirable, since in most European soccer leagues, those finances result in the same few teams winning every year. Even MLS doesn't have relegation. But I'll say one thing for relegation: It definitely discourages tanking. Heck, who's going to finish fourth from last in the EPL is usually more interesting than who's going to finish first.
- Tom Verducci has an exclusive interview with
the great and powerful OzBud Selig on steroids, replay and his retirement.
- Craig Calcaterra and Keith Olberman think that MLB should have had a moment of silence on Labor Day to honor Marvin Miller.
- Miller's nemesis in the 1981 player's strike, Ray Grebey, died last week.
- Yahoo! Sports named its All-Minor League Team yesterday. You'll especially like the shortstop and one of the starting pitchers.
- USA Today chose Xander Bogaerts as their Minor League Player of the Year, which is an odd choice, if you ask me. Not that I don't think Bogaerts isn't a heck of a player, but I'm not quite sure how you take Bogaerts over Buxton, Springer, Sano or even Baez.
- Dayn Perry breaks down the top ten homegrown players and pitchers in the game today.
- Speaking of "heck of a player," Andrelton Simmons is the greatest defensive shortstop in the game.
- Jon Heyman destroys a straw man when he says that Carlos Gomez should not be the NL MVP. Other than one silly article the NY Times published online last week, I don't know of anyone arguing he should be. If his point is that the MVP award shouldn't be the WAR Title, then we're in agreement. Again, I'm not sure who is arguing it should be. (The Mike Trout argument is not that he should be MVP because of WAR, but he should be the MVP based on his total contributions to winning ballgames and WAR is a piece of evidence to support that position.)
- Chris Perez took the fall for his dog and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug abuse. His dog wouldn't have lasted a week in the slammer.
- The sad state of the Mariners turns them into afterthoughts in the Seattle sports scene behind the Seahawks, the Huskies and even the Sounders. Maybe even the SuperSonics, and they haven't played a game in over six years. The cure? Winning.
- Mariners beat writer Geoff Baker responds to his colleague's column and argues no one in the Mariners organization wants to take responsibility for this mess and that the team counts on Seattle losing interest in order to dodge criticism.
- Speaking of organizations that are in disarray, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he didn't know that Bryce Harper was playing through a hip injury.
- The Padres signed Will Venable to a two-year contract extension.
- Joe Girardi says he wants Mariano Rivera to come back one more year.
- Adam Dunn says he'll retire at the end of the season if playing baseball isn't fun anymore.
- FanGraphs Max Weinstein looks at the best and the worst major league batteries at preventing the run game. You may not want to look at the worst ones.
- The key to the Red Sox great bullpen is Koji Uehara.
- Marlon Byrd says he understands why people are skeptical that his comeback is not fueled by PEDs. He admits he took a banned substance, but says it was to treat a condition, not to gain an advantage and he didn't check to see if it was a banned substance first.
- Rob Neyer asks if Barry Zito's contract was really that bad? I suppose the Giants don't win the World Series last year without Zito's performance in the playoffs.
- The creator of that White House petition to ban the win explains what happened.
- And finally, Chase Utley finally answers a five-year old piece of fan mail from the show "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia."
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.