Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:
- Life imitates Seinfeld yet again: Supermodel and Justin Verlander girlfriend Kate Upton had an Elaine Benes moment when she was prevented from wearing Tigers gear while sitting in the “Legends Suite” (i.e., not on the hoi polloi side of the moat). Mark Townsend of Yahoo’s Big League Stew has the classy details.
- Javier Baez made sure his first big-league hit was a memorable one. After going hitless in his first five plate appearances in Coors Field, the Cubs’ top prospect slugged a home run to the opposite field in the 12th inning, resulting in a Chicago victory. Beyond the Boxscore’s Scott Lindholm profiles the second baseman and discusses why fans on the North Side have every reason to celebrate his promotion to the majors:
[The Baseball Prospectus projections for Baez show] stunningly high expectations for a man not yet turned 22. To project anyone with 30+ home run power in this day and age, let alone a middle infielder, is setting the bar extremely high. . . .
Yes, the strikeouts are a concern, even for a power hitter. Yes, it’s hard to miss the fact he has almost as many home runs as walks. Yes, his strikeout rate of 30% would be among the highest in baseball this year, and none of this takes his fielding into consideration or what position he’s going to play. And yes, he did strike out in three of his six at-bats in his debut game.
And as a completely rational Cubs fan, I don’t care! The Cubs have been down so low for the past couple of years that any ray of sunshine will be gratefully accepted. The Cubs need pitching since there’s a very good chance it’s not currently in their system, but with enough prospects and with a willingness to spend this can be addressed fairly quickly.
- Meanwhile, a couple of Met fans took playful aim at Hunter Pence when the Giants recently paid a visit to Citi Field, and Samer Kalaf of Deadspin highlights a few of the barbs. (I might have suggested, “Hunter Pence drinks Gatorade through a straw.”)
- Via John Meoli of the Baltimore Sun: John Lackey can’t stop making excuses for his less than stellar outings against the Orioles. After the Cardinals’ loss in Camden Yards on Saturday, Lackey dismissed Caleb Joseph’s roundtripper as a “Baltimore home run,” never mind that he had just homered in his fifth consecutive game.
- Bill Madden of the New York Daily News explains why some owners, led by Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox, oppose Commissioner Bud Selig’s handpicked successor, Rob Manfred, and have backed Tom Werner, chairman of the Red Sox. The vote on who will be the next commissioner takes place in Baltimore on Thursday.
- Talk about tough assignments: Three Washington Post journalists ranked all 30 ballparks on their craft-beer selections. Safeco Park in Seattle earned top honors; Yankee Stadium was rated the worst.
- David Peralta deserves major props for an ingenious steal of home in an otherwise forgettable match-up between the über-woeful Rockies and just-plain-woeful Diamondbacks.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!