In case this column is tied after nine bullets, the next bullet will start with the second sentence already completed.
- Trade rumors and more trade rumors and most of them surround Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Someone photoshopped a Yankees uniform on Machado, he “liked” it on Instagram and all New York is going nuts.
- Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees made a “serious” offer for Machado.
- Bob Nightengale argues that the Yankees need to address the problems in their pitching staff more than they need Machado.
- Kevin Kernan says the Yankees need to get Machado to the Bronx, ASAP, and don’t ask how much he costs.
- One cost might be left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield. Coley Harvey profiles Sheffield and debates whether or not the Yankees would part with him.
- Jeff Sullivan looks at past deadline blockbusters to try to gauge the market for Machado.
- Neil Paine notes that Machado sure picked a good time to have his best season at the plate, among the best ever from a player in his last year before free agency.
- In case the NY media hasn’t worked out a deal with Baltimore that we and the Yankees don’t know about, Thomas Harrigan has a ranking of teams with how likely they are to land Machado.
- Jerry Crasnick has more Machado rumors as well as several other players.
- Jon Heyman reports that the Astros are the most likely destination for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
- Mike Axisa surveys the trade deadline situation for the Indians.
- And then Axisa does the same for the Brewers.
- And Dayn Perry gives Axisa a break and examines the Red Sox needs at the deadline.
- Jon Heyman ranks 29 starting pitchers who could get traded at the deadline and then estimates their odds of actually being traded.
- I disagree with a lot of Tom Verducci’s angry old man screaming at the clouds about the current state of baseball, but when you get past that, this is a pretty solid profile of Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
- Eddie Matz looks at the rough season that Bryce Harper is having on the eve of an All-Star Game in DC that was supposed to be a celebration of Harper. At least he’s playing in the game.
- He’s also competing in the Home Run Derby, which Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts thinks should be junked. Betts not only doesn’t want to compete in the Home Run Derby, he doesn’t think anyone should compete in it.
- Moving on, this story in The Athletic (sub. required) by Mark Saxon details some behavior by Cardinals reliever Bud Norris towards rookie reliever Jordan Hicks that many have interpreted as bullying. (That Yahoo link will also give details from the Athletic piece.) Also, manager Mike Matheny appears cool with it.
- Here’s some terrific news. MLB has stopped calling every grand slam a “Papa Slam” as part of a crass promotion. If you want to know why, click on the link or maybe just read something other than the sports section. (You know what I mean.)
- Jerry Crasnick writes that the new extra-inning rule has gained some fans. Crasnick talks to a few people in the Cubs minor league system and they seem to mostly like it. I’ve made my feelings on this thing clear (it’s a ridiculous solution to a problem that could much more easily be solved by just calling games ties) and from my exchanges with people in the minors on Twitter, the reaction is mixed. Some do like it. Others really hate it. (By the way, Crasnick says that it will probably never come to the major leagues. For those who insist that this is a trial balloon for the majors, do remember that they’ve played seven-inning doubleheaders in the minors for over 50 years and they’ve never come to the majors.)
- Speaking of the minors, minor leaguers need to unionize. It won’t be easy, but Marc Normandin explains how the minors could go about unionizing.
- OK, this is portrayed as a positive thing in this article, but it sounds awful “Brave New World” to me. Ryan Young explains how MLB is planning to introduce “biometric tickets” where you could enter a ballpark with just your fingerprints or face. Oh, I can’t possibly see how handing your fingerprints or facial patterns over to a corporation could ever possibly be abused. I will say the chances of someone cutting off someone’s hand to get into a ballpark is pretty darn remote, but it could make a good plot of some cheesy horror movie.
- Alright, let’s pay the butcher’s bill. Luckily no one is having their hand severed. However, Angels pitcher Garrett Richards will be having Tommy John surgery.
- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has only played three games this season and he’s unsure if he’ll be healthy enough to play another.
- Mariners pitcher James Paxton left his start last night in the first inning with lower back tightness.
- Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller went on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, which is not a good sign.
- Shelby exited Wednesday’s start at Coors Field after the first inning and things went from bad to worse for the Snakes after that. However, that meant with the score 14-1 infielder Daniel Descalso got to pitch in the fourth inning! In fact, Descalso and former Cubs catcher Alex Avila pitched the final 4.2 innings of the game for Arizona and they did much better than the actual pitchers did.
- However, a pitcher did hit a home run off a position player in that game.
- After insisting that Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s unusual spring training regimen was an experiment and not the result of an injury, it turns out that Zimmerman was injured after all. As Craig Calcaterra notes, why the subterfuge?
- Grant Brisbee can’t get over the bizarre ending to Tuesday night’s Athletics-Astros game.
- Tim Brown looks at the surprising 2018 Mariners, who can’t explain their success either and really don’t care for your explanations.
- Dan Szymborski notes that Eric Hosmer’s eight-year deal with the Padres is now 1/16 over and it doesn’t look good for San Diego. If only someone could have predicted that signing Hosmer to that kind of deal was a mistake.
- Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is willing to play first base when he returns from the disabled list. Cue up your own “Movie Ron Washington” quote now.
- Here are the best defensive plays of the year made by players named to the All-Star game. Who is that at number one? Could it be . . .
- The Cubs’ Javier Baez? Jorge L. Ortiz argues that baseball needs more players with the flair of Baez.
- And finally, in honor of the All-Star Game in Washington DC, they painted a mural honoring the Negro League stars of Washington.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.