Here are several links from the past week that will make the post–Labor Day blues a bit more bearable:
- Bill Madden is hardly a Derek Jeter critic, but even the New York Daily News columnist is taking note of the future Hall of Famer’s hitting woes. After a dreadful August, Jeter finds himself a dreadful 145th out of 152 MLB batting-title qualifiers in OPS (.622).
- Another No. 2, the currently injured (torn labrum in hip) Troy Tulowitzki, made it clear to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he will retire before moving from the shortstop position:
It’s all I know and it’s all I’ve ever worked for. So I guess when you have a dream and you accomplish it and someone tries to take it away from you. . . . it wouldn’t be worth it for me to try and move somewhere else.
- ESPN SweetSpot’s Mark Simon profiles Alex Cobb, who replaces the recently departed David Price as Tampa Bay’s rotation ace.
- Last Friday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports’ Just A Bit Outside described the heightened tension between Astros skipper Bo Porter and general manager Jeff Luhnow. On Monday, Porter was fired, leading colleague C. J. Nitkowski to observe that managers need to be free of front-office interference once the players take the field.
- According to Deadspin’s Samer Kalaf, here’s what’s scary: Two Japanese high-school teams needed 50 innings and four days to finish a single game. Here’s what’s Freddie Krueger–scary: Neither starting pitcher was replaced! One threw 709 pitches, the other 689. There was no indication whether an orthopedic surgeon showed up after the game finally ended to perform Tommy John procedures on the two young arms.
- Also from Deadspin, Tim Marchman thinks he knows why baseball might not be so attractive to today’s average 25-year-old male:
Baseball is now dealing with the consequences of having spent a solid decade telling anyone who would listen that baseball is awful and no one should watch it. . . . He would have spent his formative years as a sports fan in the immediate aftermath of a canceled World Series, hearing that greedy players were destroying the game and that the dynastic Yankees team dominating the sport was such an affront to its competitive integrity that drastic measures had to be taken to give other teams any kind of chance at winning. He would have heard about the commissioner touring the country threatening to abolish various teams, some of them successful ones. He would have seen the league enthusiastically cooperating with a congressional investigation that all but treated many of its most famous players as criminals; the league touting an owner-written report claiming that those players were frauds, cheats, and liars; and the league and the government working together with small-time con men to destroy the very best of those players.
- This diving catch by Marlon Byrd not only kept the Braves from scoring a run in the third inning but helped preserve a combined no-hitter by four Phillies pitchers.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!