* 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
* 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.
Ken Rosenthal has found out the ten teams on Yu Darvish‘s no-trade list per his contract. They are the Orioles, Red Sox, Cubs, Indians, Rockies, White Sox, Tigers, A’s, Pirates and Blue Jays. He has no right to veto trades to any other team.
As we’ve noted in recent days, the Dodgers are said to have a “strong interest” in Darvish. It’d not be at all surprising to see other contenders in on him too, at least as long as the Rangers keep listening to offers. In the no-trade category, it would seem that the Cubs and Indians would have a need, but it’s doubtful the Indians would make that kind of deal. The Cubs may, but of course they’d have to sweeten the deal for Darvish in order to get him to agree to waive his no-trade rights (which is often the point of having a no-trade provision).
Beyond the Dodgers, the Yankees and Astros are obvious potential suitors.
Darvish is 6-8 with a 3.44 ERA and has struck out 143 batters to only 43 walks in 133.1 innings.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Kansas City Royals are in talks with the Toronto Blue Jays about a trade for Francisco Liriano.
Liriano is not having a good year, but an arm is an arm I suppose. Liriano’s arm has posted 5.99 ERA and 70/42 K/BB ratio through 76.2 innings across 17 starts. He’s a free agent to be, so he shouldn’t cost too much, of course.
Earlier this week Kansas City picked up Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer, and Ryan Buchter from the Padres. They’ve also won seven in a row and are just a game and a half behind the first place Indians. They’re going for it with whatever help they can find.