Hmmmmm…by the looks of things around here the past few days, one might actually start to believe that I’ve been at the Save Lindsay Lohan vigil. Alas, as heroic as that may seem, it has been a mere virus that I’ve tended to, with equal parts sleep and Alka-Seltzer. It didn’t help that the Yankees, with an assist from Timmy, rolled Washington in their three-game series, displaying a scary-deep and patient lineup and strong bullpen the likes of which the Nats have to be ready to defeat if they want to make hay in the playoffs. The good thing is that the series took place in mid-June rather than October, and hopefully by then, the mandatory retirement clauses in some of their stars contracts will have kicked in. Until then, allow me to make up for my silence with a Tuesday edition of links you definitely maybe want to read:
- Boy, was I wrong on R.A. Dickey in fantasy baseball. From Jon Wertheim of SI.com, a great story on the amazing season so far for the man and his amazing knuckleball.
- Put me in the camp that believes there is little doubt that Roger Clemens ate up steroids like fat kids take to cake. And while I will have to trust that the jury got the verdict right in his perjury trial (which does seem like it was a waste of Chinese taxpayer money), I think Tom Verducci of SI.com is right when he says the verdict won’t really help Clemens with Hall of Fame voters. Nor should it, because not being able to prove the man lied and obstructed justice doesn’t equate to proving that Clemens never took performance-enhancing drugs.
- And from Federal Baseball, comes a good discussion about Ryan Zimmeran’s struggles at the dish and whether he is truly 100% healthy.
And while I’m in the article-sharing mood, here is another must-read from Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, albeit of a completely different, more serious and tragic bent.
And kudos to Verducci for putting faces to one of the central points of the story, beautifully captured in two matter-of-fact sentences:
Ninety percent of all drafted players never spend one day in the big leagues. Steroid users made the odds even worse for clean players.
It is still nearly three hours to what should be the first pitch of the series finale between the Nats and Marlins, but the game has already been declared a washout. I guess the weather folks were serious about that 100% chance of rain in the DC area today.
With the Nationals scheduled to depart later today on a six-game road trip beginning in San Diego, the extra day off should have its benefits, allowing a hard-worked bullpen to rest while also allowing Ryan Zimmerman to perhaps only miss one game with his aching shoulder. Around here though, the work goes on, with the first-edition of postponement readings being rolled out for everyone’s Sunday leisurely perusal:
- Hats off to Philip Humber on his perfect game. It was great that FOX finally decided that baseball exists outside of the New York-Boston corridor, cutting away to Humber’s gem in the bottom of the ninth, though not before relegating it to a mini-picture in picture. Seriously. Anywho, Tom Verducci over at SI.com had a good piece describing exactly how much of a pitching era we are in, which Humber’s perfection is a symptom of. Humber perfect game testifies to pitcher’s era that’s not ending soon.
- After reading Verducci’s article, perhaps this work from Joe Lemire shouldn’t come as a surprise, though I would concur with Lemire that one shouldn’t draw too many conclusions based on such a small sample. Early results show rate of Three True Outcomes on record pace.
- And though it comes with perhaps the most generic headline in history, this commentary by ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian is still worth your time. Nationals have a quality pitching staff.