Wishing a happy Labor Day weekend to everyone out there. Not a ton of links today as I’m guessing a lot of sportswriters decided to spend the weekend with their family. As you should be doing. You can read the site on your phone while pretending to listen to them.
- ESPN polled their 17 baseball experts about what to expect the rest of the regular season.
- Anthony Castrovince lists several veteran ballplayers who could be traded this winter.
- Ken Rosenthal thinks Blue Jays Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray are poised to cash in big as free agents this winter. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Zach Kram writes that just like last season, the Rays are the best team in the American League. But Tampa Bay has succeeded with a different approach in 2021.
- For example, rookie Wander Franco has extended his on-base streak to 35 games, which is just one shy of Mickey Mantle for the AL record for a player under 21 years old.
- Ken Rosenthal argues that the Red Sox and other contending teams with a large percentage of unvaccinated players could end up harming their post-season chances. (The Athletic sub. req.) What disturbs me is that Rosenthal reports that one unnamed contending team has “star players” that are actively arguing against vaccinations.
- There are reports that Astros and Nationals team employees who were terminated for not getting vaccinated have lost their health benefits.
- Speaking of Labor Day and labor disputes, the concessions staff at Oracle Park have overwhelmingly voted in favor of striking.
- Brian Menéndez examines the renaissance of Red first baseman Joey Votto.
- Bryan Ruby, of the independent Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, became the only currently-active professional baseball player to be openly gay. Scott Gleeson talks to Ruby about his life and his decision to be honest about himself.
- Time to pay the butcher’s bill. Rockies left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber is out for the season with a lower back stress fracture.
- The Yankees have lost setup man Jonathan Loáisiga to a shoulder injury. Loáisiga won’t pick up a baseball for at least 10 days and could miss the rest of the season.
- Dodger outfielder AJ Pollock went on the IL with a hamstring strain. He’s expected to miss at least two to three weeks, which means he may not return before the end of the regular season.
- Fabian Ardaya writes that the Dodgers are going to have to rely a lot more on Cody Bellinger after Pollock’s injury. (The Athletic sub. req.) Just two years ago, Bellinger won the MVP Award. This season he’s 25 years old and has a bWAR of -1.2. The Dodgers are going to need him to be closer to what he was in 2019.
- Ben Clemens looks at the problems the Twins are having now that pitcher Kenta Maeda is out for most or all of 2022 after Tommy John surgery.
- Chut Gutwein looks at why Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu isn’t hitting very many home runs in 2021.
- Alex Coffey speaks with Marlins general manager Kim Ng about her love of tennis and how the tennis stars of her youth inspired her.
- And finally, the storms that hit the East Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida were no joking matter. Yankees broadcaster John Sterling was trapped in his car because of flooding and had to be rescued by Yankees Spanish-language broadcaster Rickie Ricardo.
And have a great day today and an even better one tomorrow.