Daily Links - That First Battle For First Edition

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 4: Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox is unable to catch a ball hit by Travis Hafner #48 of the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on August 4, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Today of course marks the first game of what is likely just another battle for first place this season between the Yankees and Red Sox. Here at OTM we're doing what we can to prepare you, which includes the latest OTM Podcast featuring Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus and the Pinstriped Bible, a series preview, and of course, our regular coverage. While you're waiting for all that though, I'll implant this depressing thought: There's something poetic about Justin Masterson repeatedly beating the crap out of the Red Sox.

Link time!

To help you get into the flow of facing the Yankees, Moshe Mandel of The Yankee Analysts offers a few thoughts on some current Yankees. The aforementioned Jay Jaffe notes at the Pinstriped Bible that Curtis Granderson, as amazing as his season has been, is no longer the most productive center fielder in the American League. That honor goes to one Jacoby Ellsbury. In fact, if you look at Mr. Jaffe's list, you'll notice it's studded with Red Sox. Unfortunately the Red Sox will miss AJ Burnett this weekend. I'm sure that's purely by accident.

I don't live in Boston so I'm protected from what ever ridiculous meme the local media is pushing in a vain attempt to generate interest. As if Red Sox fans need to be prodded to pay attention. In any case, Allan at Joy of Sox notes a few problems with the 'Erik Bedard doesn't like baseball' storyline. Remember people, just because it's printed somewhere doesn't mean it's true, and that goes for this site as well as the mass media. On an unrelated note, I'm 6'4 and my pet raccoon's name is Phyllis. 

From the mind of Carson Cistulli: The Annotated Francona.

You may know Rob Dibble from many different locales. There are his famous pies, his fool-proof cat toilet training system ("The Catmode"), and of course his turn as a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. More recently Dibble has been the color man on the Nationals Radio Network, a gig which ended badly after he first insulted all women, then (because that wasn't enough) told face-of-the franchise Stephen Strasburg to "suck it up" when, it turned out, he needed Tommy John surgery. Finally the Nats fired him.

Somehow Mr. Dibble landed on his feet and is now back in the news, and this time he's fighting for the other team. Dibble is accusing the Nationals of "trying to sell tickets" by rushing Strasburg back from his injury too soon. As Hardball Talk's Aaron Gleeman points out, you can't have it both ways, dude. Not that Dibble cares about hypocrisy, but in fairness to him (not that he's earned it) it should be pointed out that he might be right. The Nationals have nothing left to play for this season and bringing their star pitcher back from a serious injury before he's ready could have long term consequences. You'd hope the Nationals would be cognizant of that and wouldn't put their team and Strasburg's career at risk by bringing him back too soon to pitch for a bad team in the dregs of a season that will be forgotten as soon as it ends. Even so, it's probably best that Rob Dibble just leave that one alone from now on.

Finally, Alex Rios is really just awful.

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