Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Afternoon Linkdown

Yesterday was International Penguin Day. Here are some fun facts on the fat, feathered fackers that you might not have been aware of.

On to our regularly scheduled linkification:
Happy 93rd birthday to the oldest living former Yankee, Virgil Trucks.

The numbers say that Andy Pettitte is off to the best start of his career.

Ryan Howard just got PAID to the tune of 5 years, $125M. The deal also contains a $23M option for 2017 with a $10M(!!) buyout. It's questionable whether Howard will be worth what he's making this year, let alone five or six years from now. But don't worry, Jon Heyman thinks it's a good deal. That sound you are hearing? Albert Puljos' stock entering the mesosphere.

Javier Vazquez ≠ Chien-Ming Wang. And making that comparison shows that you have an astonishingly short memory or a stunning lack of perspective. After three games in 2009, Chien-Ming Wang had given up 23 runs in 6 innings and had an ERA of 34.50. Opponents were hitting .622/.667/.1026 off of him. By contrast, through four starts, Vazquez has given up 20 runs in 20 innings and an opponents line of .309/.398/.580. Granted, that's pretty terrible, but it's not in the same multiverse of suckitude as Wang was last year.

EJ from TYU took a look at Yanks prospect Graham Stoneburner and attempted to establish some standard criteria by which we can evaluate minor league pitchers.

Christian Garcia underwent Tommy John Surgery and will be attempting to recover from it for the second time. As Matt said when the news of Garcia's injury first broke, the could be the final blow to his career, but if all goes well he should be back on the mound next May.

The Hardball Times started up a new Twitter feed for the sole purpose of linking to interesting baseball writing all over the web. I'm guessing it will be pretty similar to kind of stuff you can find in these link dumps.

Joe Posnanski wrote a characteristically thorough and interesting take on why it's easy for people to hate A-Rod.

Richard Sandomir writes explores the history of the theme songs of the Mets and the Yankees, Meet the Mets and Empire State of Mind. Oh, I'm sorry, is that not the Yankees official song?

This has been linked far and wide, but for posterity's sake, here is Flip Flop Fly Ball's graphical interpretation on A-Rod's spat with Dallas Braden.

A few current and former players have weighed the War of Rodriguez & Braden. Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones called it "silly" and "childish" while David Wells went in the opposite direction, calling A-Rod full of shit. Bronson Arroyo (of all people) said he "wouldn't think twice" about A-Rod running over the mound and Morgan Ensberg called Braden's tantrum a "full blown loss of mind". (h/t to Lisa for some of the links)

Speaking of Mr. Ensberg, he and Tom Tango had an interesting conversation about players' arbitration clocks and some of the differences between the way the NHL and MLB handle contract buyouts and service time (among other topics).

The Wall Street Journal used some of Larry's data and ganked his idea without linking back to him, but they did make the sweet graphic above, averaging the Yankees' home run trot times.

They're a bit outdated by now, but Kevin Dame at THT created some visuals illustrating the performance of the rotations of the AL East teams.

Consternation from Red Sox Nation. Is there a more enjoyable combination?

Harvey Araton wrote a piece for the NYT about the "elegance" of Marino Rivera that has no business being in the sports section because it focuses mostly on his role as a male model for Canali.

If you spent a good amount of the weekend listening to Gang Starr, you might want to check out the piece that Guru's brother - who happens to be a drama professor at Stanford - wrote about him for the Boston Globe. D.J. Premier also made a mix in memory of the man.

In addition to penning his L.A. Times obit and a piece that aired on NPR embedded below (click through if you are reading via RSS), Oliver Wang from Soul Sides put together an appreciation of Guru's work on his blog. Even if you aren't a fan, checking out any of these pieces should give you a healthy respect for the man's work.

That's it for us today. Catch you folks in the morning.

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