Whatever today's links might be lacking in wit and wisdom, they're more than balanced with love and mercy ...
• Amazin' Avenue wonders why David Wright -- he of the NL-leading .458 on-base percentage -- continues to bat fifth in the Mets' lineup. It's a fair question.
• Geoff Baker on the difference between basement bloggers and real journalists (and also on destroying Tim Johnson's career).
• Speaking of which, I'm having trouble letting this thing go, and I was going to come up with a whole post but then I noticed that Marchman nailed it (and with admirable brevity, too). Just one more thing, then ... During this little debate of sorts, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Gonzalez warned, "Whether you're in the mainstream media, or new media, or you're part of a blog, before you hit 'enter' you have to be really careful ..."
No, you don't. Granted, I have to be careful. The New York Times is supposed to be careful. An independent blogger, though? Are you kidding me? Bloggers should be the opposite of careful. Bloggers should be loud and bold and honest and utterly unafraid of offending (for example) a baseball player who lives in a mansion, and they should almost never, ever apologize if they're all those things.
Anyway, Jerod Morris has done Raul Ibanez no harm; in fact, I get the impression that Ibanez rather enjoyed making his little speech about basement bloggers and all the bodily fluids he would happily surrender in the interest of clearing his good name.
I beg my colleagues: Please can the sanctimony. It does not become us.
• From Beyond the Box Score, more fun with the disabled list database.
• Lee Jenkins offers a wealth of cautionary tales told by pitchers who once were considered can't-miss prospects and all the other things that usually lead to heartbreak.
• Wednesday night, I was at a local baseball game and saw a sequence I'd never seen before. First pitch hits the batter in the elbow, but his elbow was in the strike zone so the umpire called a strike. He bounced the second pitch off the plate, after which it struck him in fair territory. So the umpire called him out. Last night on TV I saw another new one: The Indians got some game-winning help from what I believe was a Ring-billed Gull.
• Also Wednesday night, I ran into a guy I know who used to pitch in the minors. One of his minor-league managers is now a major-league manager, and recently my guy went to a game and afterward hung out with his old skipper. As my guy tells the story, his old manager was bemoaning today's young players, who care about little except their stats (and their salaries) and scoff when asked to (for example) move a runner from second to third with a tidy little grounder to the right side.
Now, leaving aside that giving yourself is a give-up play, of course I figured this was just another example of good-old-days-ism. I also figured I might as well check. I mean, I might as well ask another guy I know to check ...
In 1977 and '78, batters moved the runner -- runner on second base, nobody out -- to third base with a grounder to the right side 12 percent of the time.
In 1987 and '88, they moved them over 13 percent of the time.
If 1997 and '98, they moved them over 12 percent of the time.
In 2007 and '08, they moved them over 12 percent of the time.
(No editorial comment here. Sometimes the data does all the talking.)