Grant Balfour's signing was announced yesterday in a much-hyped press conference. We can analyze the deal all we want, but to experience the drama, you would have needed to be at the press conference. You would have needed to be an insider. Luckily, Steve Kinsella is, and he appeared yesterday on ESPN 1040, the Whitney Johnson experience, to discuss the Rays, Balfour, and "the atmosphere at the press conference." Give him a listen.
Tommy Rancel gave his take on the Balfour signing, and described how Balfour has changed over the years.
And Jeff Sullivan talks Balfour deal and closer carousel as well.
There's a really fun series going on at Beyond the Box Score, evaluating the best and worst of every different pitch type in baseball. The most recent edition is two-seam fastballs/sinkers, and it's dominated by Rays. David Price had the best two-seamer among starters, and Jake McGee had the best two-seamer among relievers. Caveat: Jake McGee's fastball is so crazy, I'm not often sure what's a two-seamer and what's a four-seamer, but either way, it's crazy good.
Jason Hanselman continues his good work, establishing a record of the batting tendencies for the Rays, with an exploration of Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings.
Scott Lindholm examines strikes outside the strike zone, and asks the question of whether or not they're a part of pitcher skill.
Brand Johnson ruminates on opt-out clauses, and why both players and teams like them.
Balfour is already back in the Trop, pitching in warm ups:
And finally, The Hardball Times will be rolling out a new version of itself this week. THT was the first baseball stats website I discovered, and is responsible in large part for both my interest in baseball and much of the way I think about the sport. Dave Studeman has done a great job there, and I'm sure he'll continue to do good work, in whatever form that happens to be.