It's my fault.
I took the evening off from watching sports last night to actually participate in one: a 5k fun run that I had to leave for in the first inning of last night's Cubs game. Despite the 95 degree temperatures, I did really well, posting my best time in almost a year and 50 seconds faster than I had run in the same event two weeks earlier. So as I was guzzling water and praying that I wouldn't die at the finish line, I went to check the Cubs score. It took me a minute to recognize it was the Reds that didn't have a hit. So I dialed up Pat and Ron on Gameday Audio just in time to catch Billy Hamilton lead off the top of the seventh.
Between LeBron James and the World Cup, the baseball news seems a little slow today. That and I don't care about who plays in the All-Star Game, so I don't provide links to it until I absolutely have to.
I think we all enjoy a bite of Italian every now and then.
- Reports are that the Rays are ready to trade David Price "right now."
- One guy who won't be traded is Chase Utley, who, like teammate Jimmy Rollins, plans to exercise his 10 and 5 rights.
- Matthew Kory writes that while fired Padres GM Josh Byrnes made a lot of bad moves, the Padres also had more than their share of bad luck. It may be better to be lucky than good, but it's definitely bad to be neither.
- Rob Neyer says that the Padres problems are deep-rooted and that it's going to take a long time to fix what's wrong with the organization. Fans will need to be patient. Where have we heard that before?
- No one has any idea what Tony LaRussa's responsibilities are with the Diamondbacks, not even Tony LaRussa. Such a well-run organization. (h/t Hardball Talk)
- Tony Gwynn Jr. got a standing ovation in Philadelphia. I could make a Philly joke here, but it was a very classy move by the fans at Citizens Bank Park.
- Steven Goldman has a look at all the stars of the 1980s that we've lost already.
- Like Addison Reed, Stephen Strasburg has vowed to quit tobacco. That's easier to say that you're going to quit than actually doing it, but they've taken the first step in the right direction.
- MLB issued a clarification of the home plate obstruction rule. It's still pretty confusing.
- Zack Greinke says he deserves to get booed in Kansas City.
- Ian Kinsler waved to his former Rangers teammates after he hit a home run. Yeah, he's not bitter. And if Yasiel Puig (PUIG!) had done it, there would be a dozen old men writing columns about how Puig needs to respect the game. But since it was Kinsler, who everyone knows is a good guy, there probably will be silence.
- Kurt Suzuki has been the secret weapon for the Twins pitching staff.
- Robert Arthur notes that the Royals hitters really have been better since Dale Sveum took over as hitting coach. He does note that correlation does not imply causation, though.
- If Raul Ibañez's career is actually over, David Schoenfield wants everyone to know that no one got more out of so few natural gifts as Ibañez did. Not even Pete Rose.
- David Ortiz apologized for criticizing the official scorer in Boston.
- Lance Lynn has been much better since he stopped tipping his pitches. Ya think?
- David Schoenfield wants us to appreciate the brilliance of Clayton Kershaw.
- For big-money free agents, struggles are almost inevitable, writes Bob Nightengale.
- Grant Brisbee examines which teams should hit the panic button on their new free agents.
- The Rangers called up Carlos Peña to the major league team. It's good to see him get another chance.
- The Phillies signed Grady Sizemore to a minor-league deal.
- Chris Davis was benched because of an awful slump, but he came off the bench last night to hit a walk-off pinch-hit home run.
- There's a group pushing for the Catholic Church to canonize Roberto Clemente. Well, I can think of one miracle that has already been attributed to him. We even have video.
- Speaking of great throws, Eric Lang has graphed the flight of some of the greatest outfield assists of the last 15 years. Great stuff if you like the physics of baseball.
- Dayn Perry notes that Trevor Bauer still throws "high and inside." He also references that Effective Velocity article that I mentioned a few columns back.
- The Nationals secret weapon is one of their batting practice pitchers: Livan Hernandez.
- And finally, as long as we're on the subject of batting practice, the 17 year old "knuckleball princess" Chelsea Baker threw batting practice to some of the Tampa Bay Rays. She got some swings and misses, too. And she plunked Evan Longoria. He didn't respect the game enough. Going back to Goldman's article from earlier, one of the departed heroes he mentioned is Joe Niekro, who taught Baker the knuckleball when she was only eight years old.
I'm afraid it's come to this. Because of recent events at the FIFA World Cup and because commissioner Selig wants to be prevent similar problems in MLB, all players will be required to watch the following public service announcement.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. And no biting.