Mr. Margalus had to step away from his desk, so I volunteered to fill in for the morning. We apologize for the downgrade in quality. If a prorated refund is required, please contact the South Side Sox Help Desk, so they can credit your account in a timely manner.
The first link is the best, and I swear I read it before BuehrleMan, who happened to share it in the LLLL as I was working on this piece. Anyway, it's an interesting, well-written tale concerning the bat used by Roberto Clemente to record his 3,000th hit. Perhaps fewer than all of the artifacts and memorabilia in the Hall of Fame are the actual items used in feats of glory. But that's okay, the author succeeds in arguing.
In news that I am less-than-thrilled to read, a movie is in the works about the life of Josh Hamilton. Apparently it will be written and directed by Casey Affleck, so it might actually be ... good.
Oh, this is meta (not really)! Beyond the Box Score does their own saber-tilted links section, and here I am, linking to it (because it's very good). Boom. What caught me especially was this article, from The Hardball Times, concerning regression to the mean and Pythagorean variance, and comparing runs scored/allowed to wins, specifically brought to attention by the Orioles' fluke 2012 season. An excerpt for the lazy:
What I'm saying is that baseball analysts are still right. Runs scored and allowed still matter. In fact, if you know nothing about a team except how it performed in one month, add these two things:
30 percent of its pythagorean record in the first month, and
.350 (which is 70 percent of a .500 record).
If you know these two things, knowing the team's actual won/loss record won't help you one bit. You'll do a better job of predicting a team's future if you ignore its actual won/loss record and just use its "runs record."
Moving on, your Dickey Notes for the week: R.A. is about to become a Blue Jay. On top of that, quit being cheap, people; Dave Cameron argues that Dickey is well worth (or at least deserves) the cash. Then there's this personal account of Dickey from Sam Page, an editor at Amazin' Avenue, the Mets-oriented SBN weblog. It's another very good read on a great subject matter, so check it out.
I have to say, I haven't been keeping up much with the hot stove until recently. So, for me, this handy-dandy free-agent tracker comes is exceedingly convenient. It features 175 of your favorite free agents, and you can sortable by position. Is this new? No. Is this what Google is for? Yes. I liked it, though, and I'm the one with the keyboard at the moment. And, hey, it even mentions TOOTBLAN (in reference to Ryan Theriot)!
Denarded links? Denarded links: Span met Colin Powell the other day, and reported on flatulence in the White House. Exciting! Also, I've seen Colin Powell up close and in person, eating a sandwich. He's not a tall man. There's no way Span is six-foot, as he's listed. No. Way.
Around the Central, Let's Go Tribe features a comprehensive review of their recent three-team trade, Royals Review wears the bitterness on its sleeve (and rightly so), Twinkie Town reports on the recent acquisitions of Zack Gruelke and Annabelle Sanchez, and if you have any questions about baseball in Detroit just ask Ken "Jeff Keppinger" Wo.
Here's your tiny little White Sox link for today: Southside Showdown previews the likely rotations in the AL Central.
Lastly, and not baseball-related, it's been a real downer of a week in the news, to say the absolute minimum. These pictures helped, though. Things can be okay, ya know?