A card's nice, kid, but if you want to know what daddy really wants, get me a bourbon then get out of here so I can scratch myself.
The always topical Will Leitch has an article at BP about his dad, stats, and smarty-pants statsy-pants people (with pants) ruining baseball. I originally started that sentence, "The always tropical Will Leitch" which makes no sense as he's from Mattoon, Illiinois, and to my knowledge there is nothing tropical about Mattoon, Illinois. Anyway, Mr. Leitch has written about his dad before but this one is free and so there's that. Also, its about Father's Day, so it's tropical, so there's that too.
Peter Gammons has an article up on MLB.com about baseball's upcoming labor negotiations, the realignment talk, the draft, and just about any and all issues facing the sport of professional baseball going forward. Mr. Gammons premise, that there needs to be far reaching discussions about what is best for every team, not just the big market Yankees, but also not just the small market Royals, is right and is vital to the future of the sport's competitive balance. Any new organization should be looked at through the prism of fairness to all the teams. After all, without the Royals, who would the Yankees pad their record against?
I confess I haven't been reading ESPN's SweetSpot blog since Rob Neyer left for SB Nation a while back. But this article from new Sweet Spot guy David Schoenfeld is interesting. It's hardly scientific, but like good blog formatted writing, it makes you think a bit. I'm not sure I'm sold on the premise that teams aren't smarter now than twenty five plus years ago, but I suppose it's possible. Alfredo Griffin isn't employed anymore so that's a major step forward, right?
Ben Kabak over at Baseball Prospectus takes a look at the AL East bullpen situation (this one is behind the pay wall). He has the Yankees listed as the team with the best pen so far, followed by the Rays, the Blue Jays, the Red Sox, and the Orioles. By earned runs allowed and innings pitched he's right. But use any advanced measure and the one thing that becomes clear is that the Yankees don't have the best pen in the division. For instance, if you organized the pen performance by K/BB you get this:
1. Red Sox - 2.54
2. Blue Jays - 2.15
3. Orioles - 2.11
4. Yankees - 1.94
5. Rays - 1.72
And if you organize it by xFIP, you get this:
1. Red Sox - 3.69
2. Blue Jays - 3.79
3. Orioles - 3.87
4. Yankees - 3.90
5. Rays - 4.26
You may notice a consistent order between the two above lists. To me, it looks like the Yankees have possibly the second worst bullpen in the division. Sure you could point to a lot of change over in the Yankees pen, but bullpens as an entity are constantly changing and evolving throughout the season. Just as an example, have the Red Sox ever started the season and finished it with the same bullpen? I haven't looked it up, but I'll stake my life on, "No, not ever."
Yet another Red Sox player bites the DL dust. This time its your favorite Clay and mine, Clay Buchholz. Buchholz joins Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford. There must be a fun place you get to hang out, like a special video game center that only players on the DL can go, or a pizza buffet with as much soft serve ice cream as you can eat free to all denizens of the DL. Or maybe people just get hurt playing sports. Nah, its gotta be the pizza and ice cream thing.
Maybe it could be a new sitcom, Friends (on the DL):
Clay: [audience applauds] Hey, Jed, where'd Lackey go?
Jed: [audience applauds] He's back in Boston.
Clay: Oh... [rooting through the pantry] did he leave those pretzels?
Jed: Pretty sure he ate all those after he set fire to the bedroom.
Clay: [with mouth full of cheetos] Drat!
[door opens; enter Carl Crawford]
Carl: Hey guys! [audience applauds]
Clay & Jed: Hey Carl.
Carl: [limps into room] So! Where are Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox? It's party time!
Jed: That's a different TV show, Carl.
Carl: You mean they're not here?
Clay: [mouth full of tortilla chips] Nope.
Carl: So, what do you guys do around here then?
Jed: Not much. Wait to feel better, I guess.
Carl: Darn! [goes into room, slams door]
Jed: Hey, Clay?
Jed: Do you smell smoke?
[cue theme music]
OK, I guess not.
Finally, if you're a Bruins fan, well first, congratulations. Second, you probably can't get enough of the Cup so here it is at Fenway throwing out the first pitch before Sunday's game. Yes, according to the headline, the cup threw out a first pitch. I'm guessing it was actually one of the players, but you never know. The Stanley Cup can do some weird stuff.