Right Field

Reveille 7/2/12

Good morning!

Here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:

  • The All-Star Game rosters were announced yesterday. Go here to have a say in who gets selected as the “Final Player” for each league.

  • Jim Thome is on the move again, this time to Baltimore, while Philadelphia will receive minor leaguers Kyle Simon and Gabriel Lino.

  • Will Redbird fans Matt Holliday be a bit more reasonable on the issue of “clutch,” asks Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?

I heard plenty of wailing about “clutch” when Holliday got off to a slow start this season. His batting average with runners in scoring position suffered early. Did Holliday lose his “clutch” machismo and suddenly turn into a puddle of nerves?

Since May 30, Holliday is batting .450 with runners in scoring position. Well, I’m confused again. Did Holliday develop a rush of “clutch” courage? Did he go press a secret “clutch” button hidden inside Busch Stadium? Or did he go to Walgreen’s to buy “clutch” medication? I don’t know; maybe Matt is working with a “clutch” shaman.

  • In “The All-Star Break Cannot Come Soon Enough,” J. C. Mitchell of DRaysBay looks at the Rays’ woeful offense and defense, as well as the injuries, that have resulted in mediocre play through May and June.

  • Like the Rays, the Dodgers have had a forgettable few weeks on the diamond, but Angelenos do have something to cheer about: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Los Angeles reported Friday morning that the Dodger organization had signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million contract. On Saturday, Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reported that the Cubs had inked a deal with fellow countryman Jorge Soler for nine years and $30 million.

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  • Aaron Hill hit for the cycle in a 9–3 Diamondbacks victory over the Brewers on Friday evening, thereby becoming the first player since 1931 (Babe Herman) to accomplish that feat twice in the same season. Additionally, Jim McLennan of AZ Snake Pit points out that Hill’s cycles took place a mere 11 days apart.

  • According to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore, Bryce Harper hopes to spend his entire big-league career in Washington, despite growing up a Yankees fan.

  • Despite suffering a minor wrist sprain on Saturday, June was a very good month for Andrew McCutchen, as he finished the month with a .676 slugging percentage. (Come to think of it, a .709 May was also pretty awesome.)

That’s it. Have a walk-off, star-spangled week!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.