URL Weaver: Lone Dissenters

With great farefan and public support, Major League Baseball got their way in banning the fake to third, throw to first pick off move. And the villagers rejoiced! All the precious time wasted with this relic of a bygone era goes right back into the wallets of the paying customers.

Praise for extracting benign tumor from the fleshy rump of the game was universal, a classic case of “better out than in!” With the exception of two men — two HEROES, that should say — who used their platform at their teams’ FanFest to express their outrage and DISGUST that the league fat cats dare impose their will over this grand old game.

Justin Verlander is nothing if not a charity case. One of those marginal pitchers who exists on the outskirts of the game, barely hanging on to his meager pay checks by guile and wits. If the situation calls for him to operate within the hazy areas of the game, Verlander will do what it takes.

This cagey veteran sees outlawing yet another arrow in the pitcher’s quiver as the latest example of the league trifling with the game, making it harder for a perfectly ordinary pitcher like himself to ply his trade:

“Of course I’m opposed to it,” Verlander said. “Any time they take anything away from pitchers, which seems to be the common thing that past 15 years, I’m opposed.”

Proponents of the rule change argued the move slowed down the game, but Verlander wasn’t buying it.

“It happens once or twice a game. It might speed up the game by 15 seconds. Yay!” he said sarcastically. “Job well done.”

Sarcasm, the last bastion of a scoundrel. For shame, Verlander. For shame.

Verlander’s teammate, the equally talentless Max Scherzer, chimed in with his two cents on the conversion of this key piece of his arsenal falling by the wayside. “I’m pissed,” Scherzer said, who picked off two runners in 2012 by faking towards third base, only to FLIP THE SCRIPT and toss back to first.

Two outs among the 500 or so Scherzer recorded in 2012 might not seem like a lot but, trust me, it is. You obviously never played the game.

And the rest

Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish needs surgery on his shoulder and is pretty bummed about it. [WEEI]

The best beat man in the biz projects Cleveland’s offense [Bastian!]

George Brett, ducking pitchers for the batting title in 1990 because… [Neyer]

The Kansas City Royals make a rare wise move, picking George Kottaras off the waiver wire [Royals.com]

Getting all up in the Verducci Effect’s business [Baseball Prospectus]

Some clown wants to pin a steroid rap on Carlos Delgado. The line for posse members forms on the right, please pick up your burning torch at registration. [Hardball Talk]

The Brewers announced the winner of their fan-desigend uniform contest and it’s this one!

Jeffrey Loria jokes are officially out, as they cannot come close to satirizing this monster [Miami Herald]

James Shields reflects on his favorite memories as a member of the Rays, none of which include “getting that nickname long before I earned it.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Ryan Braun appreciates this off season more when he isn’t running around like a drug-addled loon [Milwaukee JS]