Thursday Bluebird Links

July 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; American League outfielder Jose Bautista (19) of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by National League outfielder Ryan Braun (not pictured) of the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning of the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE


Here's a quick link post for everyone today. Most of the chatter is all-star game related, but there is definitely a few good ones here. I am looking forward to the second half of the season kicking off tomorrow. Four days without Jays games feels like forever! So, since the 2nd half of the season starts tomorrow, let's hear some predictions. Will the Jays improve on their .500 record? Who will be the biggest surprise, and who will be the biggest disappointment going forward? How about your updated division and wild card winner predictions? Any award predictions? Have at it in the comments!

JAYS LINKS

David Ortiz defeats Jose Bautista in Reebok challenge
Jays Journal has some photos and a recap of the cross-fit challenge between the two stars.

Blue Jays hanging tough despite pivotal injuries
Gregor with the scoop.

Three Quality Starts and an All-Star Game Star
Batter'x Box reviews what went on with Jays prospects yesterday.

Halfway Home: Revisiting My 2012 Blue Jays Predictions
The 500 Level Fan revisits 24 pre-season predictions. I love this:

Overall, it looks good that I’ll get 5 right. That means I’m batting .208. Above the Mendoza line!!!

Baseball America Special: They Just Love the Jays System!
Mat Germain at Jays Journal has a rundown of a bunch of BA articles regarding Jays prospects.

Lots from around the league after the jump!

AROUND THE LEAGUE

An All-Star-Worthy Countdown
Miss the game on Tuesday? Jonah Keri has a countdown of the top 13 all-star moments. Similarly, Jay Austin at Jays Journal has a recap of Jays related activity from all-star weekend.

Reviewing the Top 100 Prospects List, 75-51
FanGraphs is reviewing their prospect list at the midway point. Jake Maisnick, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino and Daniel Norris all appear on this section and all get assigned a 'value up'.

Q&A: Terry Ryan, Twins general manager
Terry Ryan with some interesting comments on the scouting process and the importance of finding catchers, left-handed pitchers and shortstops in the draft (about half way through the interview). Good stuff.

Votto: Pursuit of perfection
Votto is having a monster season - Shi Davidi tells us how Votto stays focused with all the potential distractions that come with his success.

Calico Joe Review
Need a new baseball book? Callum Hughson reviews John Grisham's latest offering.

Jacoby Ellsbury Rejoining Red Sox For Stretch Run
Rob Neyer with this one. And Sports Illustrated tells us that Carl Crawford will be back in the lineup Monday. If the Red Sox are getting healthy, they have to be the front runner for the 2nd wildcard spot, right?

Stephen Strasburg's innings a dilemma for Washington Nationals
The Nationals, leading the NL East at 15 games over .500, are going to have a tough decision to make in a month or two.

Bold predictions for the second-half
Jay Jaffe at SI makes some predictions that probably won't happen.

Brian Wilson takes odd date to ESPYs
Seems like a good match.

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