A new GM in Philadelphia, Theo and the Red Sox play nice, and news and views from around the major leagues.
Joe Maddon is getting married on Saturday, and he will then head to Europe for his honeymoon. "We're going to try to see a lot of Europe on foot with backpacks and that kind of stuff, see some old churches and all the other sites, but we'll also stay at some really nice hotels," Maddon said. "It's something we're looking forward to very much."
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Team USA is dealt in, the Yankees begin hoarding chips, and the White Sox hold.
The idea of sending a baseball Dream Team to the Olympics has been dead a while now. Major League Baseball would never consider shutting down its season for two weeks to send an All-Star team to an Olympiad, and furthermore, baseball will be discontinued as an Olympic sport after next month's games in Beijing. The opening ceremonies are August 8, and the baseball competition will be held from August 13-23. Thus, baseball will be taking a back seat to a lot of other sports in the Olympics. You have to search to find the games on television, and strain even further to find much coverage online or in print.
The eight premium players who might get dealt, and what it would take to get them.
CC Sabathia, Rich Harden, and Joe Blanton have already been dealt in a flurry of early activity, leaving many contenders playing from behind in the race to improve their team by the trade deadline. With three of the top arms off of the market, the list of trade targets is hitter-heavy. For pitching, there's really only Erik Bedard; everyone else you can think of is either on a good team or not an impact pitcher. Then again, the A's are 51-44 and have dealt away 40 percent of their rotation in the last 10 days, so maybe they'll move a third. Read on.
BP's Fantasy Scoresheet League is back for another year. Today, the participants outline their strategies and draft results.
Despite that snafu, I'm pretty happy with the end result of my team. I have a better pitching staff than last year, and a number of good prospects getting closer to being able to help me. And since I'm not in Nate's division, I'll have an opportunity to contend.
Do teams that went without rookies for extended periods of time have something to tell about organizational behavior?
I attend perhaps two baseball games a month during the regular season. I really ought to go to more, because a lot of my column topics come when I'm sharing a couple of beers with a friend and exchanging ideas, enjoying the leisurely pace of live baseball without the distractions of TV or the net. On Tuesday night, I took in the Sox-Royals game with Josh Orenstein of the MLBPA, and one of the subjects that came up was how long a team can conceivably go without developing a rookie.
A quick overview of what to expect from all 30 ballclubs.
It has already been the year of the milestone in baseball. Trevor Hoffman became the first reliever ever to reach 500 saves. Sammy Sosa hit his 600th home run and Frank Thomas belted his 500th. Craig Biggio got to 3,000 hits, and Roger Clemens reached 350 wins. The biggest milestone of all is just around the corner-Barry Bonds has 751 home runs, four away from Hank Aaron's all-time record.
Aside from personal achievements, a number of interesting races are developing in the two leagues and six divisions. Now that the All-Star Game is behind us, here is a division-by-division look at what to expect in the second half of the season: