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BLU JAYS PITCER HENTGEN THROWS AGAINST TWINS.

We’ve all been there and, if you haven’t yet, you will one day. Recalling old glories and inflating past achievements with a little bit of creative licence. The older we get, the better we were, as the old saying goes.

This can be a little tougher on former ballplayers as their accomplishments of youth are proudly on display all over the place, most notably Baseball Reference and sites just like it.

When an ex-player decides now, with the popular opinion turning increasingly against drug use in baseball, is the time to sound off about their great misfortune of playing during the era of a pill-addled home run monsters, it rings a little hollow.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In section 317 of AT&T Park on Thursday, in my Zack Greinke Brewers shirsey, I joined 41,219 fans in a standing ovation for Tim Lincecum as he completed an eight-inning, one-hit shutout start against my Milwaukee Brewers. How could you not? Lincecum struck out eight, induced an absurd 18 swinging strikes and allowed just one sharply hit ball — the lone base hit, a double through the shift by Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco. It was a performance any baseball observer can appreciate, no matter her allegiance.

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Division Series - New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two

Today marks an important day on the Roman calender: for on the eleventh day of the seventh month of the year 2013, Derek Jeter hath returned to the New York Yankees professional baseball club.

After breaking his ankle in the American League Championship, rehabbing and suffering through setbacks great and small, Ken Rosenthal reports today that the Derek Jeter will rejoin his Yankees for the final game of their ongoing series with the Kansas City Royals. Just as the ancients foretold!

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Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins

Sometimes you end up in an entirely different place than you started.

To wit. I was reading about the strike zone, and how it’s shifted for lefty hitters. Jon Roegele over at Beyond the Boxscore did some heavy thinking about how the lefty strike zone works when it comes to balls and strikes, and it’s worth a read.

But the decision to swing or not was not what got me thinking. Instead, I was thinking how unfair it is. How unfair it is that a left-handed hitter is asked to go cover further out past the outside edge of the plate than his right-handed coworkers. They should form a union and complain! Equal zones for equal people. Down with the right-handed-normative machine! These posters practically write themselves.

In any case, this is the zone the players have now, and this is the zone they battle with day to day. And so, it occurred to me, it’s more important for a left-hander to be able to cover the outside part of the plate than a right-hander! They are asked to do more out there. It’s a natural addendum to the problem.

Answering this question took me to the very edge of my ability to query databases and manipulate numbers. That’s sort of sad, considering the question is fairly easy perhaps, but it is what it is. After culling the list of all players with less than 60 balls to the outfield (that got rid of all pitchers), reducing their pull and push numbers to percentages, sorting, averaging and presto: RESULTS!

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URL Weaver: @AROD Cometh

New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers - Game Four

A distraction. So much ink will spill over the next few weeks as pundits and hit-and-run columnists pontificate over Alex Rodriguez‘s looming return. Will he serve as a distraction for a team playing over its head? Will the Biogenesis mess allow A-Rod to slip through the Yankees fingers, just as they expected an upgrade on their pathetic third base production in 2013? (Rodriguez fill-ins havae posted a .226/.288/.312 line with 6 home runs in his absence.)

Alex Rodriguez, tone deaf to the very end, decided this was a good time to wade into the twitter world. Perhaps driven by the ceaseless boredom of rehab, Alex Rodriguez grabbed the @AROD (yes, all caps) fired his first 140 character salvo on May 31st with his presence on twitter becoming more commonly understood this week.

Of course, Alex Rodriguez cannot avoid controversy. It surrounds him like a fog at every turn. Every move Rodriguez makes is scrutinized and thin-sliced and boiled to its very (perceived) essence. Twitter probably isn’t a good place for A-Rod, even if he’s only tweeting instagram links of himself…as only A-Rod would.

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Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

Where have all the stolen bases gone? It’s not worth sending out a search party, but players are stealing fewer bases these days:

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Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers

The two loveable scamps who host Baseball Prospectus’ Effectively Wild podcast, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, had a fun idea on Friday’s show: they drafted a dream home run derby team. Not just in terms of “which team would win” but which team would feature the most entertaining players? They sought entertaining players more than effective players for this hypothetical situation.

After the usual suspects (Giancarlo Stanton et al) and some off-the-board choices including football player/famous progeny Trey Griffey, Ben Lindbergh selected Munenori Kawasaki of the Toronto Blue Jays. Kawasaki is enjoying a fun run for the Toronto Blue Jays, mostly scoring points in the “antics” column. He is a solid defender at shortstop and turns in solid at bats but he is not an everyday player in the big leagues.

Which is the point of Ben’s tongue-in-cheek selection: it would be fun to see the slight, slap-hitting Japanese import swing for the fences.

As someone who joylessly drifts through life as literally as possible, it got me thinking: how might Munenori Kawasaki actually fare in the home run derby? To answer that question, I did some digging and watched him take batting practice. The results might surprise you!

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