What's Taking So Long: Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe has a very detailed oriented post on why baseball games are taking longer and longer to be played. Needless to say it's a combination of everything: batters stepping out of the box, pitchers stepping off the mound, increased pitching changes, TV commercials, and pitching visits. There are solutions to fix this problem but it remains to be seen if the league will do anything about it.
FIGHT! FIGHT!: In case you missed it on Tuesday night the Diamondbacks and Dodgers had a little bean war and benches clearing scuffle. And yes Zach Greinke was involved again. My favorite part of the scuffle was Mark McGwire showing off roid rage and wanting to fight both Kirk Gibson and Matt Williams. Go get em Mark.
Hawk Questioning Sabermetrics Again: Been quite the year for Hawk Harrelson and sabermetrics. First he was taken down by Brian Kenny on the MLB Network (The Will To Win!) and now even the fans of the team he calls games for have had enough of him. South Side Sox takes down Hark and Steve Stone for arguing against having your best player bat 2nd despite data suggesting your best hitter should hit second because the 2nd place hitter will most likely come up to the plate during the ninth inning while the third place or cleanup hitter won't come up. To be fair to Hawk and Stone though, this is a pretty new concept that was just brought up this season.
Happy Anniversary Doc!: Nope not Doc Halladay throwing a perfect game against Miami. I'm talking about the anniversary of Doc Ellis' no-hitter while high on LSD."I was in Los Angeles, and the team was playing in San Diego, but I didn't know it. I had taken LSD," said Ellis in 1984. "I thought it was an off-day, that's how come I had it in me. I took the LSD at noon." Just an incredible story.
Zunino Is Up And This Pisses Off Mariners Fans: The Mariners called up catcher and prospect Mike Zunino on Tuesday and this has pissed off Mariners fans. Mariners fans angst is about the fact that Zunino is simply not ready for the major leagues. He's struggling in Triple A (normally a haven for hitters) specifically with breaking balls. USS Mariner says this is a panic move by a Manager and GM that will probably be fired by the end of the season. I personally look at it as the Mariners just being the Mariners. Bad teams make bad decisions.
MLB Draft Thoughts: John Sickles of Minor League Ball has posted thoughts and observations on each teams draft from last week. Now excuse me while I cry over everyone crushing the Giants draft.
Machado vs. Cabrera: A reader asked the SweetSpot why Baltimore's Manny Machado had a higher WAR than Miguel Cabrera? And like the Trout vs. Cabrera debate it came down to two things: 1. Machado is a better base runner and 2. Machado is much better defensively. Machado is also much better at hitting doubles and triples but that is taken out by Cabrera having much more home runs, hits, walks, and total bases. Machado is much more likely to regress so by the end of the season Cabrera will most likely have the higher WAR.
Tulowitzki is Injured Again: Yesterday's news out of Colorado was that Troy Tulowitzki is once again injured. This time he needs to miss time for broken ribs. Last year Tulo missed a big chunk of the season with a groin injury. Tulo has also missed time in 2008 and 2010. Tulo is the reason why I'm not a big fan of Manny Machado playing at shortstop. Big shortstops seems to get injured* a lot and I don't want to see Machado end up like Tulowitzki.
*Please don't mention Cal Ripken. Ripken was a genetic freak along the lines of Nolan Ryan and Rickey Henderson.
Games of the Weekend: A look at the best games and pitching matchups of the weekend.
Friday, San Francisco vs Atlanta, Bumgarner vs Medlen: Kris Medlen is another reason why you can't trust a pitcher's record. Medlen is 3-6 on the year but if you look at his numbers you'll see he's been much better than the record indicates. Bumgarner meanwhile has sadly been the Giants most consistent pitcher. What worries me about this series in Atlanta is the Giants banged up lineup facing off against their pitchers.
Saturday, Kansas City vs Tampa Bay, Guthrie vs Cobb: Do you realize the Royals have been on a nice little run lately? Sure they beat up on the Twins and Astros but they did take two out of three from Detroit and blew out the Rays last night. Do you also realize Jeremy Guthrie has been one of the Royals most important starting pitchers despite almost averaging as many walks as strikeouts?
Sunday, New York vs Los Angeles of Anaheim, Sabathia vs Weaver: Sabathia really hasn't been quite right all season. He's averaging one less strikeout this year than last year and his velocity is down. Sabathia has had to grind more this season than any other and hasn't been that bad. Weaver meanwhile is still trying to come back from the early season injury.