Friday Links


It hasn’t been quite a week since the last edition of the Friday Links, which went out a few days late, on Sunday.  But with MLB’s trade deadline on Sunday evening, there are no shortage of baseball related links to keep us busy for yet another week.  The Twins have managed to play particularly poor over the last week, but things turned around on Wednesday night when both Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young homered twice to give the Twins a convincing win, despite Scott Baker‘s inability to get to the 5th inning.  Big props to Anthony Swarzak for picking up the ball club and holding the Angels at bay for 5 strong innings.  Anyways, the team remains fun to watch, and this weekend the Twins head home to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1991 World Champion Minnesota Twins.  If you don’t have tickets to the games this weekend, but still want to relive the glory of the 1991 World Series, don’t forget to swing over to Facebook and like the Puckett’s Pond page for a chance to win a set of DVDs chronicling the 1991 World Series Champion Minnesota Twins.

Here are the links:

Ever wonder how some of those advanced defensive metrics are made up?  Ever end up more confused than ever after trying to figure out what Ultimate Zone Rating really is?  Thanks to Justin Bopp at Beyond the Box Score, there is a handy little graphic.

As always, Joe Posnanski put out a couple of really interesting articles this week for Sports Illustrated.  I’ll just point you towards my favorite for the week, and if you feel the need, you can browse through his archives to find the rest.  This week Posnanski saw the blockbuster movie Source Code, and naturally, that made him think about sports.  Follow him as he weaves his way though 10 sports moments he’d like to edit.

Sometimes Joe Mauer hits big home runs, and sometimes, like this year, he doesn’t.  Joshua Casey from Rantsports.com chronicles Mauer’s first home run of the season.

And so begins a set of links revolving around the Minnesota Twins action (or rather, inaction) at the Trade Deadline:  

We’ll start with a piece by Twins Now’s John Shipley, which gives the Twins fan that has been living under a rock, a pretty solid recap of the action surrounding the deadline.

Did Bill Smith improve the Minnesota Twins by doing nothing?  Tim Arcand at the Bleacher Report doesn’t think so.

Bill Smith must have taken notice of the Twins Fan From Afar, Andrew, as he addressed a Sunday Morning Letter the Twins’ GM, imploring him not to move Denard Span.

Over at K-Bro’s Baseball Blog you’ll find what must have been an obvious ploy to be included in the Friday Links, as K-Bro hearkened back to Shakespearean England with, “Neither a Buyer Nor Seller Be.”  I’m still batting a thousand on Shakespeare allusions included in the links.

And then there is this take, from Twins, Not Twinkies’ Ryan Gleason, which actually praises the Twins for standing pat at the deadline.  Interesting.

Mark Smith shares some uncommon wisdom with the everyday baseball fan over at the Platoon Advantage.  He reminds baseball fans everywhere that even though you THINK your team’s GM is in idiot, it turns out, they’re really not.  Read on for a more convincing argument.

And if you were never really into all that trade deadline stuff, and you just want to see baseball, you’ll get a long great with Arizona Diamondback’s pitching prospect Jarrod Parker.  Carson Cistulli at NotGraphs reports.

If you haven’t gotten enough trade deadline talks, Bobomojo at Twinkie Town looks ahead to some moves the Twins might make on the waiver wire.

That concludes the Friday Links report on the MLB trade deadline.  Coming up? More links.

The River Thames.  Marcus Thames.  Eric Thames.  Three Thameses, three pronunciations.  Which is which?  Flip Flop Fly Ballin’ has everything you need to know your Thames apart.

In which Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN doesn’t say something totally obvious, but actually provides Twins fans with some interesting analysis.  Check out Mackey’s analysis of Twins’ hitters against groundball pitchers.

Craig Breslow used to be in the Twins’ system.  Phil Dumatrait finds himself there now.  Edward Thoma compares and contrasts over at Baseball Outside.

Rob Neyer thinks the 6 man rotation might be here to stay, but I’m not sold yet.  It has made a couple of appearances this year, but all with AL teams, and none of them for seemingly longer than a couple turns through the rotation.  Make your own call, but I’m not sold.

Speaking of being sold, over at Reviewing the Brew, the fabulous Milwaukee Brewers blog on the Fansided Network, Lou Olsen invited me over as a guest writer to play some Brewers Buy or Sell.  I don’t want to give anything away, but Lou asked me to choose between Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the results were surprising.

Joe Mauer has not played anything even close to half of a season yet for the Minnesota Twins.  Yet, here we are, with just over 50 games left in the season and FanGraphs still thinks Joe Mauer is the top MLB catcher, or at least Joe Pawlikowski does.  Click through to find out why.

I hinted at Jamey Carroll‘s struggles with the RBI last week in the Friday Links, this week, he’s back, still struggling.  This time the Sweet Spot’s David Schoenfield takes a closer look at the RBI black hole that is Jamey Carroll.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, no, it isn’t from the Little League World Series.  That really is Brendan Ryan reaching third base on an infield single.  Fundamentalists be damned!

For those of you that like a little more depth to your baseball analysis, dig into this two part series on Over-Slot Signees in the Amateur Draft from Reed MacPhail over at FanGraphs (Part 1, Part 2).  It’s pretty lengthy, but well worth the read.

I still love the Game chats over at Knuckleballs, I’m there almost every night chatting it up with JC and CapitalBabs and the rest of the gang.  This week, Jim Crikket, always the trendsetter, takes an early look at the 2012 Minnesota Twins.

Didn’t I tell you Jim Crikket was a trendsetter?  We’re heading back to Andrew, the Twins Fan From Afar, as he looks ahead to what might be hope for Tsuyoshi Nishioka in 2012.

Looking even farther ahead, Edward Thoma digs deeper into the Twins’ struggles at Short Stop in 2011 and finds a Brian Dozier deep within the Twins’ organization.

If you haven’t heard by now, Kyle Gibson, considered by many to be one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects, could be headed towards Tommy John surgery, and he might be taking Anthony Slama with him.  Rhett Bollinger has all the details.

Here is an interesting bit of Trivia from Rob Neyer, in which he asks baseball fans to consider which MLBer had the most teammates in his career.  There is no definite answer, but some folks in the comments section seem to be on to something.

The Platoon Advantage has a soft spot for the Minnesota Twins, and now one of their own is moving to New Ulm, MN.  Check out some cool stats about major league baseball players from that small Minnesota town.

Pitch. To. Contact.  There can’t be any Twins fans left out there who think this is a good idea.  Neck Nelson over at Nick’s Twins Blog looks closer at Carl Pavano and Nick Blackburn and finds out that when it comes to pitching to contact, these two are kings!

Everyone all know the story about A-Rod and this supposed illegal poker game?  What a dog.

I’ll leave you with this epic tale from the Twins Geek himself, John Bonnes.  Not only is this the kind of baseball story that gives you goosebumps, but you have a chance to win a set of those great 1991 Minnesota Twins World Series DVDs.  I don’t care who you are, take time to read this one.

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez Anthony Slama Anthony Swarzak Brendan Ryan Brian Dozier Carl Pavano Craig Breslow Delmon Young Denard Span Eric Thames Jamey Carroll Jarrod Parker Joe Mauer Kyle Gibson Marcus Thames Michael Cuddyer Minnesota Twins Nick Blackburn Phil Dumatrait Scott Baker Tsuyoshi Nishioka