The cavalry has arrived here at OTM and the new OTM content factory is in full production mode. Pardon all the smoke but technically speaking we've got content out the wazoo. I believe that's French for 'butt'. In short, we hope you're enjoying the new OTM. As happy as we are about the direction of OTM, here at Daily Links I'm not going to link to a bunch of stuff you can find by simply scrolling down the page. Oh sure, I may link to something from time to time, but for the most part I'm going to trust that if you're here you've likely seen and enjoyed Patrick Sullivan's latest, or the newest analysis from Marc Normandin. Or puppy meat jokes. I see my purpose as pointing you to the best Red Sox and baseball writing outside of the wonderful stuff we're doing here at OTM. I will now get many emails from my bosses telling me I'm fired.
Four losses in a row? OK, Red Sox Nation, count off. Now, everyone with an even number, go back to work. Everyone with an odd number, start yer fret'n. Everyone with neither an even nor an odd number, time to put that fork you've been holding in that wall socket you've had your eye on. Oh and hey, the Red Sox are leading the Wild Card race.
I'm a bit late to the party, but as my grandfather used to say, it's better to be late to a party than eaten by zombies. He also used to tell me not to pee into the wind. You'd do well to heed his words. Speaking of heeding words, David Laurila, now of Fan Graphs, posted an excellent Q 'n A with Red Sox slugger Adrian Gonzalez. There isn't any filler to this one folks, so if you enjoy your cliches and platitudes probably click elsewhere. As a matter of fact, if you enjoy your cliches and platitudes, you should read Emma Span's piece at Baseball Prospectus about (drum roll...) baseball cliches and platitudes.
The Yankees may be tiring of Ivan Nova's unique form of mediocrity, according to Jay Jaffe at Pinstriped Bible. This in and of itself is not surprising. That it has taken so long may be surprising to some. What shocks me is that Nova ever got a chance in the first place. The Yankees, a money printing behemoth of a franchise that could likely afford twice its $200 million payroll, started the year with Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia in their rotation. That such a thing could happen speaks to how difficult it is for any team to acquire good pitching. The Yankees are living off of C.C. Sabathia and Bartolo Colon and the second half of that duo may just be the most shocking of all.
Speaking of Colon, Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra thinks we should all start getting used to newer procedures that promote healing, like the one Colon underwent to have his own stem cells re-injected into his shoulder. The line between cheating and working to get healthy is getting blurrier and blurrier, like when you staple sheet after sheet of tracing paper over your eyes.
PECOTA creator and former author of Baseball Prospectus, Nate Silver, has moved on to more political things, but he still writes about baseball on occasion. His latest on the game is an uncomplicated ranking of baseball's best ballparks. Spoiler alert: Fenway isn't first. It's second. The aspect that makes this so interesting, to me at least, is Mr. Silver's methodology, which I won't spoil here. Of course no system can correctly rank something so subjective as ballparks. Each person's individual tastes color their choices. It's like ranking lollipop flavors, or flowers, or goats, which are totally rankable, Even though there is no right answer, collectively we can see an overall preference, even if it's hard to know exactly what it is that is being ranked. Also, goats are totally rankable and don't let anyone tell you they aren't.
Finally, Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post has a wrap up on the craziness that is the Jose Bautista story. Someday maybe soon there's going to be a Disney movie by that name. In the meantime, Bautista is creating a career trajectory heretofore unknown to baseball analysts. The trajectory probably looks something like a race car with the Empire State Building sitting on it's trunk. Like this: