SweetSpot: Mark DiFelice
• I've long disdained the notion that umpires call pitches depending on what the catcher does (rather than the pitch itself). But Wednesday night in Cleveland, Kelly Shoppach got crossed up, lunged to his right for what he thought would be a breaking ball, and wound up having a down-the-middle fastball glance off his wrist. Umpire Mike Everitt called it a ball.
• As Harvey Araton writes, Steve Wilstein -- who broke the story, in 1998, that Mark McGwire was using androstenedione -- has been nominated for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. My first official act as a member of the Seattle chapter of the BBWAA was to second (or third, or whatever) Wilstein's nomination, and I couldn't be happier about it.
• In response to Wednesday's post about Franklin Gutierrez and his fantastic defense, a friend writes: "Another interesting thing is that Coco Crisp, who is comparable to Gutierrez defensively, was also relegated to a corner-outfield spot by Grady Sizemore, and traded to another team who made him a great center fielder. Ironically, it is Sizemore who wins the Gold Gloves."
I'm not sure if that's ironic. But it sure is interesting.
• Oh, and speaking of Wednesday's posts, I never get tired of smart guys ripping me to intellectual shreds.
• In a slightly older post, I wondered what might happen if you tried to quantify the value of every draft pick. Well, of course it had already been done. But courtesy of Baseball Analysts and Sky Andrecheck, here's the very latest on the subject.