BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 20: Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox waits to bat against the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Red Sox defeated the Orioles 4-0. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Apologies in advance, but Thursdays suck. They aren't Fridays meaning the weekend isn't around the corner and they aren't the weekend itself. They really aren't that different than Wednesdays except for the biggest problem with Thursdays which is off days. I. Hate. Off. Days. I recognize they're important for players to have and I don't begrudge them that, but I mean, what am I supposed to do? Talk to my wife? Interact with my kids? Go outside?
The Boston Globe's Chad Finn has some thoughts on the trade deadline so, you know, you should probably read them. Both he and the Globe's Peter Abraham are fans of trading for Hunter Pence of the Astros. It's tough to endorse giving away several good young players for a player who is not cheap (Pence will conservatively earn $20 million over the next two seasons of team control) and is a questionable upgrade over current starter Josh Reddick. I haven't seen Pence play the outfield much, but Fan Graphs has Reddick as a better defensive player and having watched Reddick I have no trouble believing he's a good right fielder. And, in case you haven't noticed, Reddick is hitting .367/.418/.671. He probably isn't Jose Bautista good (his BABIP is .397) but even if his luck turns he's still hitting the hell out of the ball to the point I'm honestly not sure if acquiring a player to displace Reddick is a good idea.
Sometimes you look in the mirror in the morning and you can just envision yourself having a great day. Other times, not so much. I wonder if Theo Epstein ever looks in the mirror and says, "I'm going to have a great day today!" and other times he says, "Sigh... may as well sign Papelbon to a four year deal." Hopefully not. Most Red Sox fans have written off the Jonathan Papelbon era as ending sometime in October of this year. But, as Brian MacPhereson points out, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Pap returns next season. If the Sox can get him to sign a two year deal it even at big money it wouldn't be the worst deal in the world. It would be an extravagance but the Red Sox are one of a few teams in baseball who can get away with something like that.
Over at the Orange County Register, Sam Miller takes a look at uber prospect Mike Trout's first twenty-six plate appearances. As Mr. Miller says countless times, it is only twenty six plate appearances but then again it is Mike Trout. If the prospect hounds are right, dude should be a force in the league for decades.
The Biz of Baseball reports that the Texas Rangers have a new safety initiative designed to prevent people from killing themselves trying to catch foul balls. May I be the first to recommend seat belts.
Joe Sheehan of SI.com has an article up about Matt Kemp and how incredibly awesome he is.
Finally, I've often heard people complain about the assault to our ears that is attending a major league baseball game. The New York Times published a piece on attending a baseball game as purely an aural experience. It's a good read and the audio that accompanies the article, taken from a game at Yankee Stadium last week, is oddly relaxing.