You knew at some point Daniel Bard would falter. At some point he'd give in and be scored upon, but each time he goes out on the mound I'm left wondering, how in the world does anyone even foul off one of his pitches? It's a testament to how crazy difficult playing major league baseball is. Which isn't meant to downplay eating corn chips and drinking Coke Zero while watching repeats of 'Who's The Boss?'. That's hard too.
As some of you may have noticed, it's Tuesday. This means many things. For one, it's trash day here at the Kory household which means all the homeless people come to steal my trash. But that's not what this is about. No, this is a baseball blog, not a homeless people should stop thieving my garbage blog (note to self: start a homeless people should stop thieving my garbage blog). In that case, Tuesday means one thing: Power Rankings! Fan Graphs and Hardball Talk and SB Nation's own Beyond The Boxscore all weigh in with their rankings. Boston, New York (AL) and Philadelphia in some order occupy the top three spots on each list. The Red Sox are tied with Philadelphia in the HBT rankings, and first in Fan Graphs' rankings. Beyond The Boxscore has the Yankees in first followed by Boston and Philadelphia.
OTM's own Marc Normandin has a good take on the Indians acquisition of Ubaldo Jimenez. He posits that pitching half of the innings at altitude like any Rockies pitcher must do will inevitably lead to injuries because the muscles simply can't heal as quickly as they can at (or near) sea level. A larger point, and one outside the scope of Mr. Normandin's article, is, if this is true, what does it say about the Rockies franchise and their potential for success?
Steven Goldman of Baseball Prospectus has some more trade deadline reaction for you (the article is free!). He's of the opinion that the Cardinals were correct to trade Colby Rasmus. I think, in sabermetric circles, that's an unpopular opinion (on his latest podcast Joe Sheehan called the deal, "a terrible, terrible trade" for the Cardinals) but as usual Mr. Goldman makes a good argument.
In the above article Mr. Goldman notes that the current iteration of the Red Sox is the best offense since the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. The link is directly from Mr. Goldman's article, and leads to the BP stats page which shows this year's Sox offense as the second best since 1950.
SI.com's Cliff Corcoran is keeping tabs on the AL MVP race and his top six includes three Red Sox. I love Adrian Gonzalez too, but I don't see how it's even somewhat debatable whether or not Jose Bautista deserves the MVP. He does. Period. Mr. Corcoran's list is based on who he thinks will win the award, not who he thinks should win the award, but honestly, what's the point? There is no argument, none, that can be made which doesn't focus on the following two team-dependent items: 1) RBIs are an important offensive stat, and 2) team wins are somehow a measure of an MVP candidate. The short of it is, through the end of July, Bautista is your AL MVP.
A few quickies for you:
Sox Prospects has the lowdown on what the Sox had to give away to obtain Mike Aviles and Erik Bedard. And yes, it was bigger than a breadbox. But not by much.
William J. at The Yankee Analysts takes a look at whether or not the Yankees lost the deadline. (Hint: they didn't.) I'd argue they didn't improve, which is obvious as they made no deals, but then they don't have a huge need either. I admit I'm somewhat surprised they didn't make a bigger attempt to get Ubaldo Jimenez, but as William points out, the Yankees are as good a bet to still be standing at the end of this thing as anyone.
Finally, the Erik Bedard era will begin Thursday vs. Cleveland. Which means Bedard will likely sprain a shoulder getting out of the cab somewhere around noon on Thursday.