THT Links: Pirates in First!

I would write a longer intro, but I’m busy getting my butt kicked by Richard Barbieri in the THT Fantasy League.

In A Stitch – The commissioner’s office has informed Barry Zito that he must change the tan stitching on his glove because it could distract hitters. Meanwhile, human growth hormone is still undetectable.

Tiger, Tiger – Bruce Wrigley at Batter’s Box hosts a roundtable of Internet baseball pundits (including the likes of Chris Dial, Will Carroll and THT’s Greg Tamer and Craig Burley) to discuss the Tigers’ chances. The Tigers were one of the most divisive teams in this year’s THT Staff Predictions, with at least one writer or editor picking them to finish in every place from first to fourth.

Couch Potato – MLB reached an agreement with several cable companies yesterday to keep MLB Extra Innings on their network. Being a poor graduate student, this did not impact my life in the least.

K Doctor – In his Cheater’s Guide to Baseball blog, Derek Zumsteg points the finger at Francisco Rodriguez. Cue indignant Angels fans here. I have a lot of respect for the Angels and their fans, and even picked them to win the AL West this season, but the photographic evidence is pretty strong, and the rebuttals of “maybe it’s rosin” aren’t exactly convincing.

Dotel to DLOctavio Dotel will be out for at least two weeks with an oblique strain, foiling my plan to pick up cheap saves by drafting him in the 15th round of the THT Fantasy League. Fantasy players, go pick up David Riske.

Worm Burners – THT’s David Gassko determines who the most extreme groundball pitchers of all time were over at Baseball Analysts.

Football Score – I knew the A’s dominated last night, but…

Mariners Extend Betancourt – The Seattle Mariners signed young shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to a three-year contract extension with a club option for a fourth year. Terms were not immediately disclosed, but the deal buys out his arbitration years and the option is on his first year of free agency. Teams seem to be locking up their young players more and more with deals like this to avoid arbitration.

Pirates Sweep Astros – You read that right. Normally I wouldn’t link to game recaps, but wow. It’s only been a few days, but they’re in first place!

Big Time – USA Today published its list of the 50 most influential people in baseball. Obviously, no one from this little site made the list. Still Sean Forman of Baseball Reference makes a much deserved appearance on the waiting list, so there is that.

Today at THT

Measuring the Change in League Quality – How much better are players today?

Starting Pitcher Leverage (Part 2) – Having looked at the best and worst leveraged careers in Part I, now it’s time to find out what were the best and worst leveraged single seasons in baseball history for starting pitchers.

Crazy ‘08 – Talking about a great new book about the greatest season in baseball history, featuring an interview with the author, Cait Murphy.

THT Links represents the best efforts of our editors in scouring the various tubes of the interweb for both relevant and irrelevant news items. If you have happened upon a story that we have overlooked or wish to give feedback of any sort, please notify us at THT Links.

Updated weekdays at noonish, ET.

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