Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SweetSpot Roundup 8/31

By The Common Man and Bill

Austin’s Astros 290 Blog: Chance to play spoiler continues with Cards
Austin previews the ‘Stros’ series with the struggling Cardinals.

Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): Wolf Back In Form
“The xFIP suggests that Wolf may not be back to the level that earned him his big contract, but both numbers indicate that Wolf should be able to contribute for the Brewers for the rest of 2010 and into 2011.”

The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Back to Earth We Go
“In a close game the Reds did what they needed to do. They moved the runners, made contact, and scored the runs. The Cubs on the other hand did what they do best, which is find a way to shoot themselves in the foot.”

Dodger Thoughts: This is Clayton Kershaw’s team now
“It's his team in the way that the San Francisco Giants became Tim Lincecum's team, partly through lack of other options and partly because of how precociously good he is. Kershaw is the Dodgers' pinnacle, in the present and the future, in a way that Matt Kemp and Russell Martin in their own ways haven't been able to sustain, and that Rafael Furcal hasn't been able to stay healthy for.”

Mets Today: The problem with Prospect Rankings
“The problem with rankings…[is] they add the illusion of distinction when, sometimes, as in this case, none is warranted.”

Nationals Baseball: Pre-emptive Strike
“It's sad enough when people feed off the winning - as if the team's accomplishments somehow prove you are accomplished. It's mind boggling when fans do the opposite and seem to feed off the losing.”

Ducksnorts (Padres): That went well
In lamenting the Padres’ lost weekend (getting swept by Philadelphia, Geoff notes that San Diego’s leadoff hitters have provided .220/.295/.293 worth of offense. Yuck.

Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Graph of the Intermittent Time Period
“Should [the Phils] be fortunate enough to reach the post-season for a fourth consecutive year, be it via the Wild Card or by winning the NL East, they will be the team the rest of the field least wants to meet.”

Fire Brand of the AL (Red Sox): Red Sox Should Turn Focus to Catching Yankees
Isn't that always the goal? Anyway, they're exactly seven games back of both the Rays and Yankees as of this morning, but they've got six games left against the Yankees. If only there were some way we could see those games, on national TV or something.

Sox Machine (White Sox): Manny questions while waiting on waiver deal
"He just needs to stay healthy, and therein lies the only true risk. If Ramirez’s calf puts him back on the bench, the Sox have flushed $4 million with nothing to show for it. But if he’s on the field (even as a DH), he changes plenty. He gives Paul Konerko another slugging threat in the middle of the order. He makes the Sox more watchable for the casual viewer. He makes the Twins a little less comfortable. He could be human smelling salts."

The B-List Indians Blog: The B-List Lite: August 27-29
Recapping Cleveland's weekend series win over the Royals.

The Daily Fungo (Tigers): The Detroit Tigers Podcast #121: Five Months Down, One to Go
I wouldn't normally choose a podcast (out of three new posts yesterday) without listening to it, but I'm totally going back to this one for the comments on Dan Shaughnessy and on whether Verlander or Scherzer is the team ace now.

Royals Authority: Blanco, Maier or Punt?
Looking ahead at 2011, with a focus on centerfield.

Nick's Twins Blog: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Nick worries about getting too comfortable with the division lead, and worries a little about Manny Ramirez, too.

It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Does It Matter Who Your Manager Is?
How much can a manager affect, really? Enough to make him worth giving up a good young player who'd be yours cheap for years?

Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): When the Hype Goes Awry
"the Rangers are still multiple lengths ahead of the 7.5-game-back Athletics and heavy favorites to capture the division crown, but they're likely three weeks away from rendering that a fait accompli, and until then the bulk of the attention will be focused on preserving team health and other such things that assume extreme importance in October but just aren't very compelling topics right now." That's my favorite quote, but most of this piece is actually about struggling prospect Derek Holland.

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