Happy 4th! I'm not going to say you're not allowed to sit here and read this on a holiday (assuming it is indeed a holiday where you are), but if you do, it had better be the only baseball reading you do today. Get out of your mom's basement and take in a real ballgame, or your family or something...
Baseballin' on a Budget (Athletics): A Farewell to Mark Ellis
Dan with a respectful and kind of refreshingly dispassionate sendoff to the tenth-year A's second baseman, upon his being traded to the Rockies.
It's Pronounced Lajaway (Indians): Trying Something New
Kind of a mid-series look at the Battle of Ohio series between Cleveland and the Reds.
Pro Ball NW (Mariners): The Mariners and the All-Star Game
Rick runs down the M's who did, and didn't make the A.L. roster. It's kind of amazing/embarrassing that Pineda isn't there.
Camden Depot (Orioles): 2011 IFA Signing Period: July 2nd
On the Orioles' presence (or lack thereof) in the international free agent market, and how it compares to some others'.
Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): And The Beat Goes On: July 2nd (And A Huge Dominican Signing)
Notes and links, including a look at the international free agent the Rangers just signed for a record $5 million.
The Ray Area: Point-Counterpoint: Thank you for (not) smoking
Mark and Brendon debate the Rays' decision to remove the cigar from the design of their throwback "Tampa Smokers" uniforms.
Fire Brand of the AL (Red Sox): The 2011 Version of Jacoby Ellsbury
Spoiler alert: it's really, really good.
Royals Authority: Second Half Crystal Ball
Craig throws out some predictions for the post-break Royals.
The Daily Fungo (Tigers): Patrick Leyland Learning His Trade
Update on the Tigers' 2010 pick that just totally coincidentally has kind of a famous Tiger name.
It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Wrapping up the weekend and interleague play
Brien's notes on those two things and the All-Star rosters.
You Can't Predict Baseball: Daily Roundup, 07/03/11
If you read only two roundups every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and only one roundup every Tuesday and Thursday, let that other roundup that is not this one be YCPB's. (Actually, you could just skip this one, if you've only got time for one. That's really interesting stuff over there.)
Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Astros and Mulligan ERA
Building off kind of a neat idea from the ESPN Baseball Today podcast, Austin looks at the "mulligan ERA" of each Astros starter -- his ERA with his one worst start removed. It's a really good thing for Wandy Rodriguez.
Capitol Avenue Club (Braves): Jurrjens and Knowledge vs. Passion
Ben writes about how much harder it is to appreciate Jair Jurrjens' success so far when you know it isn't all real.
Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): Thoughts on the unfair interleague schedule
The Brewers get killed by the Yankees while the Cardinals get to beat up on the Orioles: "So, yes, the Brewers and Cardinals are tied atop the Central, but this is like a tie between two marathon runners, one of whom had to run through a dense forest filled with hilly terrain and rodents of unusual sizewhile the other got to run on a moving walkway."
Fungoes (Cardinals): Chris Carpenter's three nights in June
Carpenter threw 380 pitches in his last three starts in June, and Pip has a look at how rare that is in recent history and what it might mean going forward.
The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Playing Devil's Advocate
Norm does a little daydreaming about Tom Ricketts' plan for the future of the team's payroll and the general manager's office.
Dodger Thoughts: Hiroki Kuroda's streaking ... but probably not to the All-Star Game
Kuroda's been hot, but Jon points out all the reasons he was unlikely to make the All-Star team. (And sure 'nuff, he didn't.)
Bay City Ball (Giants): The Good
Having looked at the bad and the ugly (that is, the offense), Rory now looks at the good part of the 2011 Giants (the pitching).
Marlins Daily: Hanley's on a Hot Streak
"I’m poised to believe that Hanley’s recent showing could be the start of a hot streak, but hey, the creation of this blog jinxed the Marlins for the whole month of June."
Mets Today: Would Reyes Injury Take Sandy Alderson Off the Hook?
Joe has an interesting take on the Reyes injury -- if he's out for a while (which now it looks like he won't be), it could make Alderson's life a whole lot easier in several different ways.
Crashburn Alley (Phillies): First-Pitch Jimmy
That's apparently something that Phillies fans sometimes derogatorily call Jimmy Rollins. Jeff notes that his tendency to swing early might not actually be a bad thing.
Redleg Nation: Hanigan vs. Hernandez
A quick look at how the pitching staffs have performed throwing at the two Reds catchers.
Blake Street Bulletin (Rockies): Evaluating the Ellis Trade
BSB actually takes two contradicting looks at the trade: Logan (linked above) likes it, while Rich (here) does not. Worth clicking both just for the contrasting Mark Ellis pictures.