Duke vs. Suppan, starting now. Doumit back in RF.
Maholm and Claudio Vargas in less than an hour. McLouth in CF, LaRoche at 1B.
The Brewers are feeling the love from USA Today.
Brewers owner Attanasio:
"I love waking up in the morning, picking up the paper and looking at the standings," Attanasio says. "I'd wish I could tell you that was it, but I probably look at that thing 10 times a day."
Everyone should look at the standings ten times a day when their team is eight games above .500 and in first place, don't you think?
In the first, the Cubs are described as a failure for their 12-14 record. I'll go on record as saying, when the Cubs left Pittsburgh, I pitied their next few opponents. They look ready to go on a tear. Ten days from now perhaps I'll revisit this prediction and see what came of the Cubs.
In the second, we learn about the subservient toadies hired by teams (some? all?) to puff the whiny titty-baby ballplayers. This is not a flattering portrait of life in the clubhouse. It's repulsive in fact. I mention it because the man at the center of the story worked for the Dodgers while Tracy was there. FWIW, a peek behind the curtain.
Dejan Kovacevic gently pokes a stick at the still-hibernating LaRoche in "Adam bomb".
In today's Q+A, Dejan continues the LaRoche theme, and suggests calling Wally Joyner or trying anything other than what's clearly not working.
I've got an idea. Adam wears Deluxe Eye Patch for games and batting practice for one week. He'll continue to struggle, most likely. After one week, he removes eye patch. The sudden return to binocular vision will give his neural circuitry involved in seeing a baseball a chance to reset.
The Bucs are right at .500 and three and a half back of Milwaukee. Last night the top three teams in the division standings, the Brewers, the Pirates, and the Reds, beat the bottom three teams, the Cardinals, the Cubs, and the Astros. After Milwaukee, not much separates the division.
The Pirates are 5-6 at home this year and 5-2 on this current homestand.
Brian O'Neill looks at the new deal, fangraphs.
I admit I'm underwhelmed by these things. Of course the win probability goes up as the end of the game approaches. A football version would show how a last-second field goal wins the game, and for this a person might be tempted to argue that field goals are terribly important and field-goal kickers, terribly clutch. But we all know, as one of the tenets of the higher criticism, that football games are not won and lost on last-minute field goals. Both teams had 59 minutes to achieve a field-goal-proof position.
The same is true in baseball. A run is a run. In a 2-2 game, a run in the eighth is not important without the two runs scored earlier in the game. If the team wins 3-2, it sounds foolish to me to talk like the third run figured more in the win than the first or the second run. All runs count equally on the scoreboard. Preventing runs in the first is just as important as preventing runs in the eighth. And so on and so forth.
That said, Matt Capps and Ian Snell have been as good as anyone in the NL. There's no denying it. All hail Matt Capps, all hail Ian Snell.
Picking Spaeth allows Arians to go with three TE sets. PFW likes the pick:
(Spaeth) is one of the best blockers in the draft and has the type of tough-minded, hard-nosed mentality to endear himself to the Pittsburgh brass. The Steelers, who like to use a lot of multiple-TE packages, landed a warrior.
Scouting reports from the NFL and NFL draft countdown are favorable. PFW adds that Woodley "... made plays for the Wolverines and came up with big plays in the clutch". This bizarre youtube montage 'the Wood' has highlights (and quotes and pictures of wood. Earmuff the kids for this, as there's profanity).