The Rays Tank: Rotation Ideas, LeBron Hate/Love, And More Pine Tar

Well, that game was all but a disaster. I'm doing the best I can to immerse myself in other reading and forget about it, so I have a number of articles to pass along today. Enjoy!

  • We might as well get the pine tar talk over and done with early. In response to Joel Peralta's 8-game suspension, Brendan Donnelly (who was suspended in 2005 for using pine tar) spoke up and suggested that pine tar should be legal because it's not about doctoring the ball, but about helping the pitcher get a better grip. I actually tend to agree with this sentiment, but that's a fine line to draw and I can't see the rule changing anytime soon.
  • Dave Cameron proposed an interesting alternative to the four-man rotation: only allowing pitchers to throw to 10 batters per game, rotating three different sets of four pitchers and using them all the same amount. I've wondered about this same idea in the past, but never fleshed it out nearly as much as Dave did; it's a cool proposal, although I doubt any team tries it because of how radical it is (not to mention, it'd be difficult to train an entire pitching staff to work like that).
  • Matt Swartz put together a very cool research piece, in which he calculated the positional adjustment that GMs are using (whether intentionally or not), based on the free agent dollars they have spent. The results are fascinating, and show that GMs generally are more conservative on the extremes, not penalizing players at easy defensive positions enough or rewarding players at difficult positions enough either.
  • Jason Wojciechowski has an, umm, active imagination. I hope the replay part of this story comes true, if not the robots (the ultimate job stealers) or the war to end all wars.
  • Justin Ruggiano has made an appearance in the majors again, and in 38 plate appearances with the Marlins, he's absolutely crushing the ball. His .454 wOBA is nuts, and while I don't expect him to keep it up, good for Ruggs. He's flummoxed through the minors for so long, I hope he gets a chance to stick somewhere.

    Oh! And I was supposed to mention that there's a Q&A with him over at FanGraphs.
  • Now that the NBA Finals are done -- I'm writing this with 7 minutes left in the game and the Heat are up by 20 -- which side do you come down on: were you rooting for LeBron or against him? Joe Posnanski couldn't help but root against him, although being from Cleveland, I still consider that excusable.
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