The Sports Daily > Firebrand AL
Linking Away

I think today would be good to put a bunch of different topics on the table and direct you to some other places that I read on a regular basis:

  • This piece on Craig Hansen didn’t really get my hopes up for him making an impact. He says that you need to work on mechanics to succeed, but I’ve been hearing that out of him lately. It’s a good thing that he stayed in Boston and studied a lot of video of himself to figure out how to best succeed, but he needs to show results out on the diamond to avoid being sent to Triple-A, as it looks like that’s where he’s ticketed for now. Ah, but Peter Gammons polled 70 people in baseball, and apparently Craig Hansen is in line for a breakout season. Let’s hope so, we need it. What would I characterize as a breakout season? Probably a line of something such as 62 IP, 3.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 25 BB, 58 K, 12 SV. Where did I get this line from? Well, I’m the commissioner of an online baseball game called Out of the Park Baseball (but I’m using version 6.51a) and that’s the line Craig Hansen put up in the just completed 2007 season.
  • This is a nice piece on the Matsuzaka wooing and gives you more insight as to what happened behind the scenes of the deal. We keep hearing how Matsuzaka is a down to earth guy who will be able to handle the pressure (which is what I ask at the poll to the right, have you voted?) … but it’s easy for someone to say “This guy can handle the pressure easily” in February. How about in the final week of September with a playoff berth on the line with your opposing starting pitcher being Johan Santana? Let’s see the reaction to the pressure then.
  • There’s controversy in the air with Mariano Rivera. Rivera says that if he hits free agency, the Yankees will not have an advantage in signing him, presumably because they didn’t show him enough respect. Meanwhile, the Yankees fans don’t seem too concerned, as they only give it lip service. I honestly don’t know what to think. I believe Rivera is serious about hitting free agency with nothing holding him back if he hits free agency. However, I also believe he could be extended during the season, or in the window afforded the Yankees after the World Series and before free agency. This is a non-story until it happens.
  • There’s another team out there with a young centerfielder making noise in the minors, just like our own Jacoby Ellsbury. The team? The Chicago Cubs. The player? Felix Pie. Is Pie ready, and if so, what can he do?
  • Even if you don’t play fantasy baseball, bookmark Seamless Baseball. The last time that I had time to play fantasy baseball was two years ago, but I still love visiting this site, because it can help you from a baseball perspective as well to hear what Derek writes about. I’m smarter for having read him. I’m also a sucker for 2007 projections, which he gives. Another site I really like is Baseballistic. He gives informed insight and analysis on baseball in general, especially his fine column on Mariano Rivera or Joe Mauer.
  • Charts and graphs and pirates, oh my! The Pittsburgh Pirates writers over at Pittsburgh Lumber Co. have been doing a great job breaking down the Pirates statistically. Too bad the Pirates stink.
  • If you haven’t seen the Devern Hansack piece, you have now. It’s a fascinating piece, especially since I love reading and learning about history and other places in the world where I can’t even fathom living in.
  • I think I’ve given you enough links to busy yourself with all day at work. Enjoy!