Good morning all. This is going to be an Express Edition of the normally verbose Monday links post. Unfortunately, this post does not include a free hot breakfast bar with a cool automatic pancake-making machine. Sorry.
Tomorrow is Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, and there is bound to be tonnes of rumours flying back and forth. Since Darren Kritzer did such a great job covering these rumours on Getting Blanked, I'll ask you guys to pay them a visit instead of just restating everything here.
Mat Germain reviews some attendance and TV viewership data and discusses briefly about the payroll. The only comment I have is that Forbes is not a baseball publication and I have no idea they felt that the Blue Jays are in any way "starting to resemble the Montreal Expos."
Grand Theft Home Plate: Stealing Home In 2012 - Beyond the Box Score
Bryan Grosnick over at BtBS writes a piece on steals of home this season. Brett Lawrie, unsurprisingly, holds the MLB lead with 3 attempted steals so far.
Jose Bautista's wrist is feeling better and he has started batting in the cage.
Would you rather play for the Houston Astros and be a starting pitcher, or for the Toronto Blue Jays to be a bullpen guy? Also: how many bad outings would Laffey, Cecil, and Villanueva be allowed before being bumped out of the rotation? One? Two?
Retro Jays Cards: Ed Sprague’s Olympic Moment - Back in Blue Network
Matt Ross with a neat little feature on Blue Jays who were also Olympians. Has a great bit of trivia about Ed Sprague too! Also contains a story about how a Canadian synchronized swimmer Sylvie Frechette was denied a gold medal because of a typo by a Brazilian judge (it's connected to the main article, I swear).
Shi Davidi writes a piece on Roberto Osuna after his sensational Vancouver Canadians debut this weekend.
Larry Hook writes about the roster changes the Lansing Lugnuts have had to go through due to promotions, trades, and injuries.
Mills' path to majors blocked anew - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Todd Dewey talks to former Salt Lake Bee Brad Mills about the difficulty of cracking an Angels rotation that now includes Zack Greinke.
Brawl breaks out in minors after take-out slide at home plate - CBSSports.com (Video)
Mobile Bay Bears (Diamondbacks) and the Mississippi Braves (Braves) have a brawl after a runner slides into the pitcher covering home. Totally legal, but perhaps unnecessary, move on the runner's part. The catcher and pitcher both chased after the runner to hit him, so I think we'll see some suspensions for them. Former Blue Jays outfielder Turner Ward is featured, as the manager of the Mobile Bay Bears.