I found all these links at third base, waiting to be driven in, so I figured "Hey, why not link 'em?" Sometimes I have silly ideas.
What Are You Playing For?
I'll admit that I was incredibly skeptical about the Players' Tribune, but it's turned out that when athletes are confident that they'll be able to express their ideas fully in context, they're more likely to say interesting things. Here, Jeremy Affeldt talks about his commitment to helping others, and the balance in his life between charity and baseball. It turns out, he thinks helping people have water is more "important" than throwing a ball for almost 61 feet. Some people have weird priorities.
Major League Baseball Reaches for Its Stars
Friend Of The Blog Wendy Thurm, writing here for the dang New Yorker, discusses the lack of star power in baseball and looks at some candidates for MLB to market. One of them, and to us the most obvious, is Buster Posey. It makes sense. If Buster Posey told you to watch baseball, wouldn't you? Of course you would. It seems reasonable to apply that deference to authority to the American public at large.
Cubs announcers reveal threat of 'beard epidemic' on MLB faces
Brian Wilson started this whole beard revival, you know. I don't say that out of Giants pride; in fact, I say it out of the exact opposite of pride, out of a shame so deep that the Marianas Trench would look like a pothole next to it. But Wilson started it, and then he got some press for it, and that's what other players see. But The Beard destroyed Brian Wilson. He became his beard. Look out, Charlie Blackmon. Stay on your guard, Brian Schlitter. This will happen to you too. Disgusting beards are simply evil, and in time, they will turn you evil. I'm just glad no one on the Giants
A highly subjective and judgmental ranking of major league and Triple-A cities
Back when Fresno was the Giants' AAA affiliate, one thing that really didn't get enough press was the enormous gap in coolness between Fresno and San Francisco. I don't mean coolness as in social cachet, but rather temperature. San Francisco was literally so, so much cooler than Fresno, and if I were a AAA player, being one step away from temperatures that were downright reasonable would be incredibly dispiriting. There's still a big gap between San Francisco and Sacramento, of course, but it's smaller. God willing, that'll help the River Cats win more than the Grizzlies ever did.
Chris Heston and the Mischaracterization of Stuff
Hey, it's a Lefty link! Hi, Lefty!
One of the things that kdl talks about with regards to Heston is that for a long time, he was very skinny for a professional athlete. But over the last offseason, Heston hit the gym and added a lot of muscle to his frame, and perhaps coincidentally (or perhaps not!), he's added a few miles to his fastball. The scouts used to say he didn't throw hard enough, and if they haven't stopped saying it, maybe that's because it's a lot of work to change the book on someone. Or maybe they haven't stopped because they think these last few starts don't mean he's a changed man. But at least at the beginning of the year, he has been throwing plenty hard. Let's hope that continues.