Link-O-Rama: Victor Martinez will be busy tonight

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* Victor Martinez, who figures to be behind the plate tonight if Tim Wakefield pitches in the All-Star game, admitted yesterday that he’s never caught a knuckleball “in my life.” Good luck with that, Vic. He can always follow Bob Uecker’s advice: “Wait until it stops rolling, then go to the backstop and pick it up.”

* While withholding names to protect the guilty, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle passes along the story
of a married major leaguer who “asked a female intern from another
media outlet if she’d like to join him at a club in Houston later that
night.” I haven’t been this shocked since …

* Stephen Strasburg was voted
this year’s Golden Spikes Award winner, which goes to the top college
player in the country. The other finalists were Dustin Ackley of North
Carolina, Mike Leake of Arizona State, Kent Matthes of Alabama, and
A.J. Morris of Kansas State.

* The Baseball Writers Association of America voted yesterday
and “have turned down a proposal to form a committee for developing
guidelines on evaluating players from the steroids era in Hall of Fame
voting.”

* Meanwhile, commissioner Bud Selig said this morning
that he’d like to eliminate the ability for suspended players such as
Manny Ramirez or J.C. Romero to go on minor-league rehab assignments
before their full penalty has been served.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.