Link-O-Rama: Heel injury ends Scutaro's breakout season

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* Marco Scutaro’s career-best season is likely over after an MRI exam revealed a tear in the plantar fasciitis of his right heel. The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 33-year-old impending free agent, but hitting .282/.379/.409 with 12 homers, 35 doubles, 90 walks, and 14 steals in 144 games as the Blue Jays’ starting shortstop still figures to at least quadruple his current $1.1 million salary in 2010.
* Curt Schilling has officially decided not to run for Ted Kennedy’s vacant senate seat. “Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that’s been given to me, it just did not make sense,” Schilling said. Meanwhile, polling in Massachusetts suggested that he had little chance to win anyway.
* Team USA opened the World Cup final round yesterday with a 6-3 victory over Venezuela, who previously handed the United States their only loss of the tournament. Pirates prospects Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln starred in the win.
* Flip Flop Fly Ball has a cool graphic showing how often the team with baseball’s best record goes on to win the World Series.
* Mariners fans are now free to go strip-clubbing around Safeco Field.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.