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Saturday afternoon linkaliciousness

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Two days in a row of linkaliciousness...can you believe it? 

Kevin Goldstein looks at what the top 12 teams in the draft are looking at in the first round.  It isn't a mock draft, and Goldstein lists Shooter Hunt and Christian Freidrich, but he also says that the Rangers are supposedly interested in some of the college relievers (bleah) and specifically mentions TCU's Andrew Cashner as someone the Rangers are interested in.  Cashner is ranked in the 20s by BA, but Goldstein says Cashner has pitched well in front of Nolan Ryan on several occasions. 

Ugh.  Just what my Ryan paranoia needed.

Someone named Paul Lukas craps all over Mike Piazza on ESPN's Page 2.  So FJM craps all over Paul Lukas, and takes a gratuitous swipe at Derek Jeter in the process.

Speaking of Jeter...think the MSM goes overboard in praising Derek Jeter?  So does Joe Posnanski, who I think may be the best baseball writer out there in the MSM today.  Us freakish stathead types can read Posnanski and go, "Gooble gobble gooble gobble, one of us, one of us."

Kevin Youkilis is a brilliant debater.  Check out his response to learning about the Commissioner's edict that games are to be speeded up:

"They’re trying to speed up the game?" said first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "For what reason? They made us go to Japan, why do they want us to speed up the game?"

It takes someone as Youkilis to exploit the now-obvious parallel between speeding up the pace of games and MLB having two games played in Japan in March.  I think they should use that excuse for everything from now on...

"They won't let me use HGH?  For what reason?  They made us go to Japan, why do they want us to stop using HGH?"

ESPN's Power Rankings slot the Rangers in at #16.  So does the Prospectus Hit ListThey are only #19 at CNNSI, though. 

Gary Carter, who has never met a microphone he didn't like, is openly lobbying for Willie Randolph's job:

According to a transcript of the program, Carter said that when he heard of Randolph’s troubles, he "immediately" called Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ vice president for media relations, and asked if he should call the team’s principal owner, Fred Wilpon. "I just want them to know of my availability." Carter said. "I’m only a phone call away. I could be in New York tomorrow."

Carter referred to comments by David Wright about the team’s lacking spark. "You know my enthusiasm, and hopefully I would be able to bring that to maybe help turn that ball club around," he said.

"There’s way too much talent there for them to be a game under .500 and to lose four in a row to the Braves. I think that they’ve just become complacent in some ways ever since their demise of last year. And if you look at Willie’s record, it is right around .500 since June of last year. And when you have that much talent, there are a lot more expectations than where they’re at right now."

Classy.

Someone named Terence Moore, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, says we don't need no newfangled instant replay in baseball:

Quick. How many blatantly wrong calls do you recall in baseball history? Before you answer, the last few days don’t count, because they were a fluke.

* * *

For good reason. With instant replay, there aren’t highlights for the ages of Ralph Houk, Billy Martin and Earl Weaver kicking dirt and slinging caps. With instant replay, there isn’t Bobby Cox adding to his record each week for ejections from a game. With instant replay, there aren’t blown-calls legends, ranging from Don Denkinger to Jeffrey Maier to Ken Burkhart.

Yes, yes...getting calls right is something only us statheads who won't get our noses out of a book can appreciate, I'm sure.  True baseball people know that the Cards getting screwed in the 1985 World Series makes baseball better.  Baseball would suck if Denkinger had gotten that call right and the Cards had won that series.  And if the right call had been made when brat who should have been in school interfered with a ball in play in the 1996 playoffs, well, MLB would probably be like the NHL right now. 

And the headline to this story is "Instant replay would strip baseball of its soul."  Which, of course, reminded me of this:

Eat Your Soul, Cookiepuss (via henwy)

Instant replay = Demon Thing.  Baseball = Cookiepuss.