Earlier this afternoon:
In another unforeseen twist of this wild offseason, sources say Jason Kidd has decided to leave Mavs and join Knicks on a multiyear deal— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012
Mavs were confident they'd close three-year, $9M deal with Kidd but after all-day deliberations w/both teams Kidd has committed to Knicks— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2012
That's one hell of a swerve. And so, my very first sports hero goes packing ... again.
Yu Darvish wins Final Vote.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) July 5, 2012
Eight Rangers All-Stars. So yeah, there you go. It'd probably be more exciting if not for that whole "the Rangers just got swept" thing.
There was some debate and discussion on Twitter a few days ago about this hot smash to Michael Young that was subsequently matadored (yeah, this was already discussed in the Monday post, whatever), and how many major league third basemen would make that same play. Here, once again, is the play in question:
And the poll:
3. Source: Remember how the Jays were expected to be such big players in the Yu Darvish bidding? Well, one official said that Toronto actually finished third in the bidding, behind the Rangers and Cubs, and that no bid was within $35 million of what Texas tendered.
... and even if I do believe it, what's done is done, and I highly doubt the Rangers harbor any regrets about it. They had their number in mind, they committed to it, and they got the guy they wanted. The first person to try and analogize this to Tom Hicks bidding against himself for A-Rod gets a #battoss to the skull.
Deron Williams has reached agreement on a 5 year, $100 million extension with Brooklyn, a league source tells Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 3, 2012
Well, at least the Mavericks won a title during this current run.
In the comments to last Thursday's post, there was some disagreeance in the comments about Michael Young being responsible for botching the rundown that allowed Prince Fielder to make it back to first base. (Replays indicated that Young had actually tagged Fielder out, but the angle was impossible for the umpire to see, and, in any event, it never should have been that close in the first place.) Here is the play in question, as a reference point:
A few people adamantly opposed the notion that Young had botched the play at all:
In no rundown situation are you ever told to hold the ball longer in order for the runner to get closer to the next base. You always give up the ball and run him all the way back to where he came from until the last second in which you throw and simply apply a tag. Youngs throw was perectly timed. He held the ball way too long the other day. . In that instance it is taught from the age of 7 to never pump fake the ball either, so im not sure why you would say he needs to pump fake.
[For the record, I thoroughly disagree with the pump-fake comment here, because, just to pull an example out of thin air, we've seen Adrian Beltre successfully utilize the pump fake on at least a couple of different rundowns between third and home in the last year and a half.]
In any event, I wanted to turn this over to the BBTiA readership, so here's a poll:
I kind of hesitate to write this post, since, you know, I've been incredibly fortunate and blessed in that I've made it up out of Tyler and into SMU, and since I realize a lot of people out there are facing tough financial situations right now ... but I haven't actually done a post like this since November 2010, and with the steadily mounting costs, it kind of feels like the right time to roll with it. I'll probably keep this pinned to the top of the Clubhouse through next Friday, and perhaps mention it on the front page a few times, but I promise not to get obnoxious about it.
As some of you realize, BBTiA is strictly ad-supported -- there's no third-party entity that pays for the infrastructure/maintainence of the site, no blog network that supports the back end but also has a say in the nature of the content. It's a nice little arrangement, and it's been awesome having carte blanche to say basically whatever I want to say to an increasingly expansive audience. The reality there, though, is that BBTiA has been one of my primary means of supporting myself this year, and the admin costs on the back end do pile up.
To give you a rough idea, there is the issue of paying for the webhost, the domain renewal, the commenting software, the forum RSS generator, a couple of premium subscriptions, the purchase of another (cheap) computer and third-party software to help keep the chats going, and now, in all likelihood, another monthly expense once I switch to another chat solution for the game chats. (That has not yet been finalized.) I don't want to overblow the extent of the expenses, because, at the end of the day, BBTiA does still turn a monthly profit ... but I've also been killing myself at various points over the last year and a half to produce the best damn content I'm capable of providing, and as any committed everyday writer can attest to, it's a tremendous time/energy investment.
So, here's what I'm basically saying in not so many words: if you have the inclination and the means to support BBTiA monetarily, you can do so via direct Paypal link below, or at the Support BBTiA page here. The donations go directly to my PayPal account, and, as I did a year and a half ago, I will send you a warm e-mail note of acknowledgment, as I'm deeply appreciative of the gesture no matter the amount:
If you aren't interested in donating, or don't have the means to do so but would still like to contribute in some way, consider checking out/purchasing a product from one of the Google-chosen sponsors every now and again. It helps. It also helps if people disable AdBlock on BBTiA (or any other site that they frequent and enjoy), because I've been conscious about not getting as obtrusive with the ads as other blogs over the years, and if everyone runs AdBlock on BBTiA or another exclusively ad-sponsored site that they enjoy, well, the sites that you enjoy go away.
It's been primarily a two to three-man show for quite a little while now (myself, MJH, and Pras), but I hold out hope for more of those two and Josh, and I still have designs on adding another name or two for the stretch run. If it comes down to it, a small monetary inducement could help on that recruiting front. But we'll see how it plays out.
And regardless of whether you want to support the site or not, regardless of whether you enjoy the work we do or resent us for bitching too much about #leadership and #cookietalk, know that I appreciate each and every one of you for your readership. It sounds very strange to say, but I'm not where I am today without BBTiA. Much love, and stay hard out there.
... for amphetamine use by the commissioner's office, per this Rangers press release:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Texas Rangers Minor League outfielder Jacob Skole has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an amphetamine, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension of Skole, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League, is effective immediately.
Skole was, of course, a 2010 first-rounder, a 15th-overall selection -- that pick was a compensatory pick gained from the Rangers' inability to sign Matt Purke during the previous year's signing period -- who didn't crack Baseball America's top 200 prospects at the time he was drafted, but was viewed at the time as a late riser, somebody who picked up a lot of ground during the period leading up to the draft ... the problem, though, is that the athleticism/tools have yet to really produce quality results, and he's widely regarded as a big disappointment with an already limited ceiling relative to what the Rangers were no doubt hoping for when they popped him two years ago.
|2010||18||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A--Rk||65||261||59||11||2||2||9||4||28||57||.258||.336||.349|
Skole was already having a dreadful season at his age-20 campaign at Myrtle Beach, and now he's going to lose two more months of development time that he really couldn't afford to lose as is. I know prospect development doesn't work on a linear timeline and all of that, but it's getting harder and harder to envision how the Skole pick could possibly end up producing a happy outcome for the Rangers.
BREAKING: Free agent OF Marlon Byrd suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.— MLB (@MLB) June 25, 2012
Yeah, okay, but the real question here is, will the DFW media turn on him now?
Craig Calcaterra also points this out:
Marlon Byrd being suspended for PEDs. Has worked with Victor Conte for several years, claiming total cleanliness. This is interesting.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) June 25, 2012
And here's an ESPNChicago.com article from March 2011 where Byrd talks about feeling pressure from Bud Selig for working with Conte, and says that, no, that's never going to happen, so the haters can keep on hatin':
Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd admitted Sunday that he does feel some pressure from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig about working with Victor Conte, and Byrd believes some are waiting for him to test positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Conte, whose Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative triggered a federal investigation of steroids use and distribution among athletes, advises Byrd on strength training supplements. Selig recently asked Byrd and his agent to consider severing ties with Conte.
"[The pressure from MLB] does bother me sometimes," Byrd said. "But I think there should be pressure on everybody.
"I'm always going to watch what I take. I'm not going to say I have a bull's-eye on my back, but I think a lot of people are waiting for me to get my first positive test and miss 50 games. They'd like that just so they can say, 'We told you so.' I know that won't happen. I know I'm clean. I know the supplements I take are clean. I'm going to make sure of that."
So, yeah. Former Ranger great, avowed 'clean' player, and now a floundering vet popped with a positive PED test. This will be worth watching, even if you're like me and have had the PED talk tuned out for a few years now and are of the belief that Clemens/McGwire/Bonds/et. al. should be inducted. It's also worth noting that Mike Olt was drafted with a compensatory supplemental first-round pick in the 2010 draft that the Rangers acquired when Byrd bolted for the Cubs in free agency, so, in addition to Byrd being a valuable piece for the Rangers during that 2007-09 window, he has continued to pay dividends.
Fake Update: Here's a bit more detail on what triggered the positive test, courtesy of ESPN's T.J. Quinn:
Marlon Byrd suspended 50 games. Tested + for tamoxifen, an estrogen blocker, not a PED. Dopers use it to mitigate steroid side-effects.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) June 25, 2012
The Padres have claimed right-hander Mark Hamburger off waivers from the Rangers and optioned him to Triple-A, the team announced. Jeremy Hermida was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot.
I didn't expect that Hamburger would be claimed. Welp.
See you next lifetime.