Pretty good stuff today, and the all important "let's not fall more than 10 games under .500" game in a few hours. Jump in. All your friends are doing it.
- Around the AL Central: Here's the necessary Eric Hosmer link, for which we defer to the long-winded and wise Rany. Also in KC, Lee Judge of the Kansas City Star voluntarily gets hit by a pitch after writing that Wilson Betemit should have worn one to drive in a run in a tie game earlier this season (h/t 3E8). Justin Verlander, as everyone has heard, threw a no-no yesterday; the post-game interview, complete with water cooler shower. Despite Liriano's no-hitter, Twins fans don't have much to celebrate. This is a pretty good take on their recent offensive troubles. Then there's Cleveland... let's be happy that we don't have to watch, say, Alexei or Quentin carted off on suspicion of DUI, unlike Shin-Soo Choo in this video. On the heels of Choo's arrest, a DUI policy will be added to the next CBA, via MLBTR.
- Here's a tiny glimmer of hope: It's not just the White Sox. Offense around the majors has dropped off from 2010, and here are some heat maps to showcase that nugget. On the same note, an updated Run Expectancy matrix for 2011, which is then similarly compared to the RE/24 from 1969-1992. Yikes. (h/t colintj)
- Bobby Jenks is on the DL with a strained right bicep/shoulder tendinitis/halitosis. Alex Speier at WEEI examines Bobby and the performances of other higher-profile relievers signed during this past off-season. At least Jenks' injury was caught in time, before, you know, he had any bad outings.
- Your Business of Baseball link, courtesy of The Hardball Times. Included are updates on the McCourts, keeping the Rays in St. Petersburg, and some notes on league attendance. Oh, and the A's play at the soon-to-be-renamed Overstock.com Coliseum. Yep.
- Bill James wrote a book. A book about crime. Then he briefly tried to explain it to Stephen Colbert. Awkwardness ensued.
- Here's a Mariners link to help you feel better (though it may not).
- This Joe Posnanski link has been mentioned a few times in threads recently. Yes, teams that leave more runners stranded tend to win more often. He also addresses other counting stats on a per-game basis, examining how teams fare when they accrue more hits, more home runs, fewer double plays, et al. It's full of good, hearty common sense answers.
- Finally, for your inspirational links of the day: A Japanese sportswriter born with no limbs throws out the ceremonial first pitch, which is absolutely incredible. Or we can head to south, to Texas, where locker room speeches like this are made (NSFW).
Two in a row, please. Light this candle.