Chip Buck writes the Link Around column among other things over at Fire Brand of the AL. I've long wondered what would happen if I ever linked to his link article. And, how about this? What would happen if I linked to his link article in my link article in which he links to an article I wrote containing links? Well un-blow your mind, because we're about to find out.
Many of you kids are no doubt spending some massive portion of the day glued to your twitbooks and your facerspace. Is "glued" an antiquated term nowadays? Would you prefer "embedded?" If you're at all connected to the information superhighway and are a baseball fan you likely have heard about reigning Milwaukee Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun recently failing a test for Performance Enhancing Drugs*. Braun who was just named NL MVP like a second ago, faces a 50 game suspension if his appeal fails, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
*What drugs aren't performance enhancing? Aspirin, caffeine, and those penis pills I keep getting spam emails about certainly are. Or, uh, so I've heard.
Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post believes the Braun case is a seminal moment in the intersection of sports and drugs. He mentions four reasons, the fourth of which is the case could trigger the, and after just one day on the interwebs I believe this is worthy of this prefix, dreaded MVP re-vote. As MGL on the Book Blog notes, the chances of Braun actually being innocent and yet still testing positive are pretty small. Oddly enough, as Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk says, they aren't at small as the chances the Baseball Writers Association of America will re-vote, because those are infinitesimal. That isn't stopping more baseball writers for calling for it though. Don't expect it to stop either. If there's one thing we know about baseball writers, it's that they don't let the facts stand in the way of sanctimonious bellyaching.
The aforementioned Chip Buck over at Fire Brand of the AL has the right idea. And, no, I'm not linking to his link column in my link column in attempt to destroy the world and everyone in it. Besides, I already know the world will end on March 23, 2017 thanks to the Nostrafreakindamus-like powers of one Mike Tanier. No, I link to Mr. Buck's piece because he starts it off with a well thought out plea to withhold judgement on this whole matter. He's in the belly of the beast though, because nobody withholds judgement worse than people on the internet.
In actual baseball news...
...the Red Sox tendered contracts to everyone eligible with one exception: Rich Hill. Hill was fantastic out of the bullpen last season both in Pawtucket and then in Boston. The sample size was very small though because he blew his elbow out and required Tommy John surgery. The surgery reportedly went well and Hill is moving along in his rehab. He should be able to pitch at some point this season, but the Red Sox didn't feel the uncertainty (pitching and pitching well are two different things) was worth offering a major league contract. The door has reportedly been left open for HIll to return should he not find a major league deal with another organization.
Paul Swyden at Fan Graphs suggests the Astros trade Wandy Rodriguez to the Red Sox for some toolsy prospects. This is something that OTM's own Marc Normandin advocated last October in our Armchair GM series. Swyden makes a compelling case that Rodriguez is undervalued, although I'm not sure the Red Sox are willing to take on that much salary.
Hardball Talk has a list of all the players who were not tendered contracts yesterday and are now free agents. Seems like a pretty unappealing lot to me.
Over at the excellent Joy of Sox, Allan reviews Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, A Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year, by Glen Stout.
Finally, only Sam Miller (via Baseball Prospectus) can shoehorn Javier Lopez and songs that include clapping into the same article and still make it sing like [insert hilarious singing metaphor here so Sam Miller will like me more and give me a job that pays actual money].