Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:
- David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote the obituary for longtime Braves announcer Pete “The Professor” Van Wieren, who lost his long bout with cancer on Saturday morning. He was 69. Van Wieren had been with the Braves for 33 years, broadcasting games both on television and radio.
- “Here is what every single team did at the 2014 MLB [non-waiver] trade deadline,” courtesy of MLB Daily Dish’s Justin Bopp. According to Ben Lindbergh of Grantland, the Phillies are this year’s No. 1 loser:
The Phillies’ lack of activity doesn’t mean they weren’t willing to listen to offers, or even to propose them. It does suggest, though, that either their conception of where they stand in the competitive cycle or their player evaluation process is completely out of step with the rest of the industry’s. . . . No one was expecting an Astros-style teardown, but by acting early or being bolder, the Phillies might have shortened their stay in the cellar.
- Throughout July, the Yankees acquired several players at minimal cost. One trade, however, did require the departure of a highly rated prospect in order to receive the Diamondbacks’ Martin Prado. James Attwood of AZ Snake Pit profiles Double-A catcher Peter O’Brien.
- As to who are the current favorites to win the American League pennant, Vegas likes the A’s and Tigers at 4:1 and 5:1 odds, respectively, according to Bless You Boys’ Al Beaton.
- Anthony Joshi-Pawlowic of Beyond the Boxscore details why it’s a mistake to think of AL Rookie of the Year favorite Jose Abreu as just another slugger.
- Jacob deGrom had yet another strong outing on Saturday, this time against the Giants. Fred Kerber of the New York Post tells the story of how a light-hitting collegiate shortstop became a leading candidate for the NL ROTY.
- According to MLB Rule 1.04, ballparks are supposed to face (home plate to second base) east-northeast. The Hardball Times’ David Kagan says that the vast majority of playing fields do not follow this guideline, as evidenced below:
- Kagan’s colleague, Neil Weinberg, has an intriguing piece up about how we obsess over perfect games. Among his observations:
The 27th out isn’t actually the hardest to get. In fact, despite what people will say about the pressure, you’re facing the ninth-place hitter or a pinch hitter, so you’re almost certainly not facing the toughest batter of the day. Yet getting that out is the difference between reaching an unreachable goal and getting a few paragraphs in a book that only baseball dorks even know exists.
- Sure, what we’re watching above is yet another Yasiel Puig baserunning blunder — check the score and inning – but it’s still great fun to watch.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!