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Daily Links - Into The Nothingness

As I wrote so eloquently the other day, there ain't nothing going on in Red Sox land. But while the team lies fallow trying to figure out their next move, there is still great writing happening in the interwebs. See? The interwebs are good for more than just porn! Sort of!

Link time!

I write that, and yet, there is something stirring in Red Sox land, a small even insignificant piece of the grander puzzle to some, but at least to those in the know and to the players, something of importance. Yes, the Red Sox have announced who will play Wally the Green Monster for... no, I'm kidding. They announced who their pitching coach will be for the 2012 season. It'll be Bob McClure. You may remember him from such things as pitching coach of the 2006 Kansas City Royals, the 2007 Kansas City Royals and, of course, that favorite of yours, mine, and your drunken neighbor Bob, the 2008 Kansas City Royals. OK, so the man's been on the job for less than 24 hours as I write these words and already the Troy McClure jokes are passé. (It's OK, you can get your fix here.)

As jolly and jovial as McClure sounds, all might not be right in Mudville. I direct your attention to Allan at Joy of Sox, who directs your attention to this article by noted sports genius Joe Posnanski, who directs your attention to the Royals handling destruction of star pitcher Gil Meche. It's an isolated example to be sure, a sample size of just one, but could there be a more damning one? Reading Posnanski's account your jaw drops open. We have to hope there was some learning involved there, and/or that Mr. McClure was under the influence of larger more ignorant forces in the Royals managerial or front office. And even then, yeek.

For those of you who are on the fence or out-right against moving Daniel Bard from the pen to the rotation, you should read this by Alex Speier of

I won't do a big write-up other than to say if you like the research and statistical side of baseball you should read this enlightening article about the hit and run from Mike Fast of Baseball Prospectus. It's good to know research of this kind is still being not only done, but done well and then published for free.

Baseball America hasn't officially released their Top 10 Red Sox prospects for 2012 yet (they're scheduled to do that January 6th) but the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham has got his mitts on the list a few weeks ahead of time. The list Is, in some ways, similar to that of excellent Red Sox prospects website, the covertly named Sox Prospects. You can feel free to look up both of lists via the links in this paragraph, but below, I've aggregated the two for no other reason that I felt like it:

Rank Name Points
1. Will Middlebrooks 20
2. Anthony Ranaudo 17
3. Xander Bogaerts 16
4. Brandon Jacobs 15
5. Bryce Brentz 9
6. Ryan Kalish 9
7. Blake Swihart 7
8. Matt Barnes 7
9. Ryan Lavarnway 7
10. Jose Iglesias 6
11. Garin Cecchini 4
12. Jackie Bradley, Jr. 1

The column to the far right ("Points") is simply me assigning points for placement within the top ten. The first gets ten points, the second gets nine and so on. Yes, I know this isn't scientific. I'm sorry, but it's 2AM and I can't find my slide rule. Will Middlebrooks appears first in both lists (thus the 20 points). Ryan Kalish is second on the Sox Prospects list but as his rookie status has elapsed he is ineligible for the BA list. The only other player who appears on a single list is Jose Iglesias. Iglesias is fifth on the SP list, but BA doesn't list him at all. In summation, this confirms what we've been hearing for a little while now, that the Sox minor league system has some high ceiling talent, but most of it is in the lower minors. Only four of the twelve on the aggregated list above have any experience in AA or AAA.

Finally, be glad that posts like this won't be done about Fenway Park anytime in the near future.