Link-O-Rama: Pudge's uphill climb to 3,000 hits

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* Ivan Rodriguez is “on a mission” to get 3,000 hits,
but the odds are against him. He’s hitting a career-low .249 and still
needs 342 hits, so given his production over the past three seasons
Rodriguez likely needs to play in at least another 350-375 games even
if he avoids any further decline.

In other words, he’ll likely have to keep playing through the age of
40 while somehow convincing teams to give him starting jobs for 2010,
2011, and 2012. All of which is why there are zero catchers in the
3,000-hit club and Rodriguez is already the position’s all-time leader with “only” 2,658.

* Ozzie Guillen explained yesterday
that, unlike Lou Piniella, he’s never tried marijuana. “I never did
because I’m so crazy [that if] I might do that, I might be in jail
already,” Guillen said. “A lot of people think I’m on the stuff.”

* Bronson Arroyo is considering offseason wrist surgery
in order “to resume his recreational passion of playing the guitar.”
Meanwhile, there’s speculation that Eddie Van Halen may go under the
knife to improve his curveball.

* With impending free agent Adrian Beltre set to undergo shoulder
surgery that could knock him out for the season, Dave Cameron of U.S.S.
Mariner looks back at his ultimately underappreciated time in Seattle.

* Individual win-loss records are often so misleading that they become
meaningless, but Shairon Martis is 5-3 this season while the rest of
the Nationals are 17-48. So naturally he was dumped from the rotation and sent back to the minors yesterday.

* When on-field celebrations go wrong.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.