Link-O-Rama: Cardinals still celebrating Holliday

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* After delivering a ninth-inning homer last night that proved to be the game-winner for the Cardinals, Matt Holliday is now batting .381/.437/.706 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs in 42 games since being dealt to St. Louis.
He hit .286/.378/.454 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs in 93 games for Oakland, so the impending free agent has probably made himself an extra $20 million during the past two months. And the Cardinals now have the best record in the NL.
* Tim Lincecum, on whether his back injury will cause him to miss a second start: “I feel fine. The steps I’ve taken in the last 48 or 60 hours, my back has gotten a lot better. I don’t see why I can’t make it out there in a few days.”
* As expected, Grady Sizemore underwent elbow surgery this morning. He’ll go under the knife again “to address his unstable left abdominal wall” next week. So yeah, he’s having an awesome month.
* After initially planning to retire after the season Mike Sweeney now hopes to play in 2010, assuming of course that there’s a team out there in need of an oft-injured platoon designated hitter with a .776 OPS.
* Jeremy Greenhouse of Baseball Analysts put together an intriguing look at which pitchers have the best “stuff” based on velocity and movement.

The White Sox will retire Mark Buehrle’s number this June

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle #56 of the Chicago White Sox waves to the crowd after being tasken out of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 27, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Mark Buehrle last pitched in 2015, for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was still pretty effective and toyed with the idea of pitching last season, but he never signed anywhere and is, for all intents and purposes, retired.

Now at least his number will be retired officially. It will be done by the club for which he had the most success and with which he is, obviously, most associated:

Buehrle pitched for the White Sox for 12 years. He was the model of consistency and durability in Chicago, logging over 200 innings a season in every single season but his rookie year, when he was primarily a reliever. He was a solid defender, a multi-time All-Star, tossed a perfect game in 2009 and helped the Chisox to their first World Series title in 88 years in 2005.

He was also one of baseball’s fastest workers, so I’m going to assume that, in his honor, the number retirement ceremony will last, like, a minute 20, after which everyone can get on with their dang day.

Terry Francona isn’t sure how long his health will allow him to manage

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 19:  Terry Francona #17 of the Cleveland Indians reacts during batting practice before a game with the Boston Red Sox on August 19, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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Terry Francona just won the American League pennant, the Manager of the Year Award and his Cleveland Indians will likely be among the favorites to win it all in 2017. Between that and his 17-year track record as one of the best managers in the business, he will have a job, somewhere, for as long as he wants one.

He said yesterday, however, that his body will likely limit how long he manages:

“It gets harder and harder physically. It really does. It takes me longer to recharge every year . . . I’ve had a lot of surgeries, a lot of health problems. It just takes a toll on you. I love [the game of baseball]. I really do, but I can’t see myself doing something else. But there is going to come a day when I feel like I’m shortchanging the team or the organization. That’s not fair.

“Even now, during batting practice, I’ll come in and get off my feet a little bit. I think everybody understands. But when there comes a day when it gets in the way, I’m going to have to pull back, and it’s not because I don’t love managing. You have to have a certain amount of energy to do this job right.”

Francona experienced some chest pains and had an elevated heart rate that caused him to leave a game early last season. In 2005 a similar episode caused him to miss three games while managing the Red Sox. He also has a history of embolisms and blood clots, some of which have hospitalized him.

With multiple World Series rings there isn’t much more in baseball that Francona can accomplish, but here’s hoping he sticks around and accomplishes a lot more before he trades in his baseball spikes for golf spikes and calls it a career.