Welcome back to Daily Links, sponsored by Leaded Gasoline. Leaded Gasoline: Chill, dude. When last we left you, General McSquirt had pulled a knife and was threatening Dr. Herningtoningsontonson, who was holding Chef Dinky-Turd, Professor (Jones-Johnson)-(Johnson-Jones)'s mother's fourth husband, by his nose hair neck beard (please, don't ask). But before we get to the exciting conclusion…
After two months of relative health at least compared to the MASH unit that was last season's team, the Red Sox find themselves with two serious injuries to important players. Reports vary as to what the best course of action for Daisuke Matsuzaka is, with the Red Sox maintaining no decision has been reached at this point. Most seem to think he'll need reconstructive elbow surgery or, as I like to call it, Tom Johnny surgery. Fight the power! The message board Sons of Sam Horn has a good, informed discussion of the topic that starts here. Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks at what the Red Sox can do this season to replace Daisuke (spoiler: not a whole heck of a lot) should they need to.
Sadly, Matsuzaka isn't the only pitcher looking at an invasive surgical procedure followed by a year plus of extensive rehabilitation. Rich Hill, who has been very effective out of the pen for the Sox this season, looks like he may need some of that same TJS as well, according to sources reported by the Providence Journal's Tim Britton. You might think that would open a door for deposed reliever Hideki Okajima, but he'd beg to differ.
If, like me, were an avid watcher of ESPN's SportsCenter back in the late '90s when Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick ruled the roost, you may find this piece interesting. GQ Magazine has excerpted a new book coming out which purports to be an oral history of ESPN. The article is formatted in a way I've not seen before, though admittedly I haven't read many oral histories in my time. If the inner workings of big television spark your interest, check it out. And, if the inner workings of big blog spark your interest, you may want to read an excerpt of my new tell-all called Nothing Happened: Three Days At Over The Monster.
As you may be aware, Baseball's annual First Year Players Draft is coming up this June 6th and the Red Sox hold, if I'm correct, the first 412 picks. Or not, in any case, several publications are doing their part to get you ready for the draft because, lord have mercy if you aren't fully prepared for the baseball draft. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has a mini draft notebook up, though unfortunately it's miniscule size makes reading it very difficult. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has posted a mock draft of the first round. For the record, he predicts the Pirates will select UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole. Further, he has the Red Sox taking two catchers with their first round picks. Lastly, in a larger undertaking, Sox Prospects is in the midst of a seven part series on the draft, which will cover just about every angle one could hope for from a Red Sox perspective. Part one outlines the Sox position and picks within the draft, Part Two discusses recent draft history and the team's draft strategy, while Part Three is a podcast discussing specific players the team may target in the first and supplemental rounds.
I hardly claim this to an original thought, but it's smarter for a player to avoid the risk or injury rather than to put himself in jeopardy just to make a play. While great defense is something we all love to see, getting an out in the third inning of game forty-three is massively outweighed by the risk of missing several weeks or months of playing time. We often talk about small sample size and how X number of games aren't meaningful, so how important can one out or preventing one run really be? In the great scheme of the season, not very. Buster Posey's injury has sparked much debate but beyond rule changes the salient point might just be for players to take responsibility for being in the lineup the next day. Oakland GM Billy Beane recently spoke about this. In a conversation with Kurt Suzuki, his catcher, Beane encouraged Suzuki to avoid injury. This may just be the first time a GM has publicly stated he would prefer an uninjured player over the out. Alex Remington of Fan Graphs has an analysis of Beane's words and their likely result.
Finally, one more link for the road. This time I've saved the best for last. This one is so awesome, so wonderful, so funny, so inventive, so amazing, and so ground-shattering that I'm in awe of it. Anyway, here it OWW! Aw, man, I just felt my elbow pop!