It was a relatively quiet weekend baseball-wise. The White Sox debuted their City Connect jerseys (more on that below). The Rays, White Sox, and A’s were on top of the AL, and the Mets (?!), Brewers/Cubs, and Giants are atop their respective divisions in the NL. I sincerely doubt anyone would have made those predictions at the beginning of the season.
There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, but the All-Star break and trade deadline will be here before we know it, which means things really are starting to take shape.
While it’s still anyone’s season, we’re certainly starting to see how things could look as we move towards the postseason.
Speaking of the All-Star Game, it’s been sponsored by Google this year, which adds a unique element to voting: if you want to vote for an eligible player, all you need to do is Google search their name, and you’ll be provided with the option to vote. It’s a pretty cool system.
Now let’s get onto today’s links!
- Ben Verlander, brother of Justin Verlander, offers some first-person insight into the difficult lives of minor leaguers.
- The Minnesota Twins are having a pretty terrible season and Dan Szymborski suggests they’re running out of time to make anything happen this year.
- Is pitch doctoring the new steroid-level scandal? Stephanie Apstein and Alex Prewitt investigate a situation baseball is going to have to deal with pretty soon.
- On that topic, Nick Selbe shares that MLB is ready to finalize the rules on foreign substance use.
- If you want to get a bit choked up on a Monday, Dan Connolly has the story of J.J. Hardy and his friend dying of ALS. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Team USA is heading to the Olympics!
- Michael Ajeto looks at what it is Blake Snell has lost this season.
- Luke Hooper writes an ode to the rangy first baseman in a very detailed breakdown of the position.
- Bradford Doolittle looks at the refined company Jacob deGrom finds himself in as his ERA drops to 0.62.
- Joe Posnanski brings us the top stories of the week, from the deGrom ERA, to Fernando Tatis Jr, and more. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Who are the best players not included in the list of potential All-Stars? Will Leitch gives us the best unlisted player on each team.
- This is easily my favorite thing to come out of this entire weekend.
- Still confused about what’s going with the Rays stadium saga? Jay Cridlin has an overview of what’s up with the whole situation.
- The Phillies had one heck of a bizarre win in their game on Sunday and Todd Zolecki breaks the whole wild situation down.
- We don’t talk a lot about softball here, but this spotlight on Odicci Alexander by Jerry Bembry is well worth a read.
- Nick Groke looks at how the Rockies became the most vaccinated team in MLB. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Yermin’s style isn’t only at the plate.
brb, heading to our barber and telling them to give us the Yermín. pic.twitter.com/GH4HK4B6Qz— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 6, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.