Today's Roundup is made up almost entirely of two things: the All-Star Game and mid-season reviews. But they're really interesting things.
Baseballin' on a Budget (Athletics): Interview: Beau Taylor
The 2011 fifth-round pick talks about his crazy first few weeks as a pro ballplayer.
It's Pronounced Lajaway (Indians): All Stars and Future All Stars
A recap of the Indians' representatives' performances in last night's big game, plus a look at memorable performances from Indians farmhands in the Futures Game.
Camden Depot (Orioles): Cup of jO's: MacPhail on O's International Spending (Part I of II)
Orioles GM Andy MacPhail says some interesting things about the international free agent market, but I'm more into the first part of this piece, which is a helpful reminder that for all the torture of the Orioles' first half, at least six good things have happened.
Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): Rangers Trade Target: Carlos Beltran
Prashanth Francis provides a nice thorough look at Beltran and his potential fit with Texas.
The Ray Area: Yeah, I'm Going to Pile on a Comment Too.
Mark has a bit of an unexpected take on Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, for a Rays fan -- he wonders why so many people "sports-hate" the Yankee shortstop.
Fire Brand of the AL (Red Sox): Kyle Weiland['s] Wild Debut
Recapping the disappointing first game for the Red Sox' sort-of prospect.
Royals Authority: Royals mid-season offensive breakdown by position
How the Royals' first half stacks up, position by position, to their AL Central counterparts.
The Daily Fungo (Tigers): All Star Game Notes and Non Sequiturs
Mostly Tigers-related, mostly All Star Game-related notes.
Nick's Twins Blog: Can History Repeat?
The Twins are pretty far back right now, but they've been here before, in 2003. Can they do what they did then, again?
It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Let's just stop complaining about the All-Star Game
That pretty much says it all.
You Can't Predict Baseball (MLB): On those things we said would happen...
The staff revisits their bold predictions from the offseason, which range from incredibly prescient to really unlikely to already wrong (no one on the Blue Jays will hit 30 homers!). There are a ton of them, way more involved than the eleven or so TCM and I did.
Austin's Astros 290 Blog: In another city, Biggio could have been Jeter
Austin compares Biggio favorably to that guy who's been in the news lately. Which is mostly very fair and apt, but Jeter's being a shortstop rather than a second baseman and his sizable OPS+ advantage aren't irrelevant.
Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Midseason Top 25 Prospects
Ben and Peter combine to rank the team's top prospects. I think they're going to wish they'd ranked Arodys Vizcaino #1 or 2.
Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): Mark Kotsay Pulling His Weight?
No, he's not a good baseball player, not at all. But Jack suggests that with guys like Kotsay, maybe that isn't the whole point.
Fungoes (Cardinals): Pujols' chance at another 30/100/.300 (and .400!) season
The .400 would be wOBA. Pip looks at what Pujols would have to do in the second half to reach the numbers he's hit in each of his first ten years.
View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Who is the Cubs third baseman of the future?
A look at candidates to replace the almost certainly departing Aramis Ramirez in 2012.
Dodger Thoughts: Dodgers send Thames up the Rivera
Hey, Thames is a river too! An analysis of the "less-than-inspirational" set of moves that brought in Juan Rivera and sent out Marcus Thames.
Marlins Daily: Could the Marlins Take a Shot at Colby Rasmus?
Well, could they? Dave sure thinks so.
Mets Today: K-Rod Traded to Brewers
See what I do for you? I'm writing this so late that you get really fresh news. The Mets blog weighs in on what might be the start of a firesale.
Nationals Baseball: At the half-way (well not really) mark
Some sobering All-Star break realism for Nats fans.
Ducksnorts (Padres): Running with Geeks: One Man's Experience of SABR41
Geoff is about the fifth person in the last two days to make me insanely jealous about having to miss this year's SABR convention, with a great recap. But hey, look out a year from now, Minneapolis!
Blake Street Bulletin (Rockies): Rockies Mid-Season Grades -- Infielders
I originally misspelled "grades" as "graves," which would be entirely appropriate for Jose Lopez. The rest of the infielders are getting along okay, though.