Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this week's MMMM, as well as my inclusion of an entire section on A-Rod. I think you can at least forgive me for one of the sins?
Just quickly, I drove down to Michigan this weekend to catch a Royals-Tigers game in Detroit (since I'm huge Emilio Bonifacio fan) and then went on to Lansing to see the kids play. Comerica Park was wonderful, it had good craft beer and this wonderful thing called "bacon on a stick". Our seats were in the outfield bleachers, about 10 feet behind the Royals' bullpen, so we were able to do our best heckling. Bonifacio was playing in centre field (?) that day so it was fun watching him flub up plays, unfortunately he never got to bunt. Lansing was a lovely town--it had a very walkable downtown, a great Peanut Shop, and a market that serves craft beer by the river.
Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lugnuts, was a great little ballpark too. It has a bunch of great features that has kids in mind: there are giant inflatable play pens in the outfield, as well as a grass berm that lets kids roll down all game. Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, and his partner-in-crime Slavko Berkovic, were phenomenal hosts down at the ballpark. We had great time there and I introduced them, as well as a few Lugnuts, to the wonderfulness of Coffee Crisps. Blue Jays fans in the vicinity of Lansing should do their best to go and visit; you will have a good time.
Both the Jays and the Yankees have today off before playing two tomorrow. I'm not sure why that is a better plan than just eliminating the off day, but I guess players have their golfing needs.
Blue Jays Related
Kevin Pillar: From Bluefield to Blue Jays - Jays Prospects
Over at Jays Prospects, Jared Macdonald wrote up a fantastic piece on Kevin Pillar following an interview with him down in Buffalo. Pillar speaks about his journey from college ball to the major leagues and the adjustments he has had to make, facing better and better pitchers each level up. Pillar gives praise for Bluefield and Lansing batting coach Kenny Graham, and Jared reveals a promise Pillar had made to his girlfriend.
Jays' Happ, Rays' Cobb would consider headgear - Sportsnet.ca
If you're an engineer or just a tinkerer, try to invent a piece of headgear that is light and thin enough for comfort and protective enough to significantly reduce the force imparted by a five-ounce baseball going at 100+ mph. It's not trivial (obviously) but if you do you will be a billionaire.
Accepting Adam Lind - Getting Blanked
Drew Fairservice looks at Adam Lind through the lens of a rolling 10-day wOBA chart, and as expected he has had his highs and lows. What would've been nice to have on that chart is a line showing the percentage of left-handed pitchers he is facing for each rolling 10-day period. Drew concludes that Adam Lind's $7 million option, with a $2 million buyout already as a sunk cost, should be picked up for 2014. I agree--Lind is not a great player, but a $5 million price tag for someone who can hit righties well is acceptable.
A Secret, Guilty Pleasure - 500 Level Fan
No need to feel guilty! 500 Level Fan professes his admiration for Mark DeRosa. He's not alone.
Redmond's solid start spoiled in loss to Rays - Sportsnet.ca
Not a lot has gone right for Alex Anthopoulos's acquisitions from the offseason, but Todd Redmond, surprisingly, is one that has.
Interview with Tim Raines, Outfield/Baserunning Instructor for the Toronto Blue Jays - Blue Jays from Away
Blue Jays From Away spoke with Blue Jays' roving minor league coach Tim Raines. He was hired to focus on outfield work and baserunning because of what he did in his career, but interestingly enough, some Blue Jays minor leaguers are too young to know who he is and what he did! Tim speaks about his Cooperstown chances, the Expos, and his current role with the Jays organization.
Off Day Blues: Expansion Speculation - Back in Blue Network
Andrew Hendriks profiles a few players who could potentially be called up once the Buffalo Bisons' season ends. They are in the middle of a heated playoff race right now, so unless they are out of the postseason by September 1, we probably won't see all of them until mid-September.
Around the League
Uni Watch Power Rankings rates MLB's uniforms from 1-30 - ESPN
Uniform scholar Paul Lukas just published his annual MLB uniform power rankings for 2013. The Cardinals and Cubs are on top like last season, the Blue Jays are at #8 (no movement), and the Marlins and Padres round up the bottom of the rankings.
New York Mets plan to play Travis D’Arnaud even when John Buck returns from paternity leave - FOX Sports on MSN
In totally surprising and unexpected news, sources tell Ken Rosenthal that the Mets would rather play Travis d'Arnaud than John Buck. I guess no one promised Buck enough playing time to hit 20 homers.
Commissioner Bud's aware of Tropicana Field - Baseball Nation
There's a good chance the Blue Jays will have to play in Tropicana Field for a few more years yet.
Managers, GMs who must finish strong - ESPN (Insider Only)
Jim Bowden believes that John Gibbons is on the hot seat without a strong finish, but I don't think the Blue Jays will pull the plug on him after just one season, especially since he has shown that he can manage a bullpen well (at least for half a season). I hope the club knows well enough not to use him as the scapegoat.
Pacific Coast League Realigns Divisions For 2014 - BaseballAmerica.com
The Pacific Coast League will have a major re-aligning this offseason, moving Colorado Springs from the Pacific to the American Conference and sending Albuquerque the other way. The Tucson Padres will pack up their bags and move to El Paso.
The arithmetic of plunking Alex Rodriguez - Over the Monster
Ben Buchanan considers whether Ryan Dempster's plunking of Alex Rodriguez was the right thing to do for the Red Sox. That is arguable, but what's not is that home plate umpire Brian O'Nora made a mistake in not ejecting Dempster from the game when it was clear that he was throwing at A-Rod on purpose. Unfortunately, since it was a close game throughout the night, the Yankees did not retaliate and the bench-clearing brawl we all wanted to see never materialized.
New York Yankees GM 'not comfortable' talking to Alex Rodriguez - ESPN New York
Not only are they not speaking, but Brian Cashman believes that A-Rod and the Yankees are "at war." This is only getting started.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez could have accepted a suspension for far less than 211 games - FOX Sports on MSN
According to Ken Rosenthal, Alex Rodriguez could've accepted a suspension that was "way, way less" than the 211 games handed down by MLB.
Alex Rodriguez paid for Tony Bosch's lawyer, attorneys tell "Outside the Lines" - ESPN
More A-Rod News. He apparently paid for Tony Bosch's defense attorney in February, then tried to send more money to her in April.