What better way to start the day than with some humor? I feel ashamed to admit it, but despite being around SB Nation for the better part of the last few years, I've just now discovered the brilliance of Jon Bois. His columns always crack me up, and he wrote a piece yesterday on some rather unique early-90s baseball cards. I can't say I remember the cards he's talking about, but I definitely recall the pervasive "Say No To Drugs!" culture that infiltrated schools then.
Now take a long swig of your coffee before digging into this next piece. Mike Fast published some research over at Baseball Prospectus yesterday, in which he tried to determine how much control pitchers and hitters have over their batted ball contact. It's a fascinating piece, but takes a bit to get through it. Trust me, it's worth it.
Also, Tango followed up on Fast's piece with some assorted thoughts of his own on batted ball contact.
Dave Cameron conducted an interesting thought experiment at FanGraphs. He looked at all the players whose careers ended abruptly and without any warning, and he tried to determine if there was any similarity between those players. It was a novel idea, but it doesn't appear to have turned up anything that new or radical. You see any trend there?
Rays Prospects published the second part of their interview with Chaim Bloom, so if you enjoyed the first part, be sure to check out the second. I found the note about the Northwest to be particularly interesting.
It's been rumored that the Rockies are interested in Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann, although their current roster doesn't leave them many potential trade chips that the Rays would be interested in. Chris Iannetta has the most potential, but he is only under contract for one more season.
And yet, Andrew Friedman is insisting that the Rays aren't likely to trade a starter this offseason. It's like the infamous "There will be no $7 million closers" all over again. I'll believe it when I see it.