Potent quotables: Lincecum wants starting nod

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It would mean a lot — the hard
work paid off. If I do happen to start, it will make up for the fact I
didn’t even make it to the field last year.”

– Tim Lincecum, who missed last year’s All-Star game due to illness, would love to start for the National League this year.
He extended his career-best scoreless streak to 23 innings in a 9-0 win
over the Astros on Saturday. The All-Star rosters will be announced
today at 1 p.m. ET.

“Johnny and I have a great
relationship. I’m glad he called and apologized. I’ve always respected
his opinion. But he’s not in here on a day-to-day basis, so he can’t
really know what’s going on.

– David Wright acknowledges John Franco’s apology. The former Mets closer questioned Wright’s leadership in an interview with Sirius XM last week.

“Give the young man a chance. I know
he’s struggled, but let’s give him a chance. He’s done it in the past,
and there’s no reason he can’t get it done now. Let’s not look at this
every at-bat, every game. Let’s sit back and watch this and see what
happens.”

– Lou Pinella has some supportive words for Alfonso Soriano.
Moved to sixth in the batting order, Soriano is hitless over his last
four games to drop his batting average to a season-low .223.

“We just want him right when he comes
back. As long as he feels good, that’s all that matters. It’s hard to
predict. We just gotta wait and see how he’s doing. If that means a
couple of extra days, it’s another couple of days.”

– Ron Washington comments on Josh Hamilton’s rehab.
He is 2-for-20 in a four-game rehab stint and could join the Rangers
this week. The slugger underwent successful surgery on a torn abdominal
muscle on June 9.

“You hate to put labels on guys, but he has a chance to be someone very special.”

– David Eckstein thinks rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera has the goods.
The 22-year-old was 2-for-3 with three RBI, including a go-ahead RBI
single, in a 7-4 win over the Dodgers on Saturday. Cabrera is batting
.306 with eight RBI, four stolen bases and 14 runs scored in his first
62 major-league at bats. He was a Rule 5 selection from the Rockies
organization in December.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.