It's taken me a week and a half (or so), but I'm finally back in the saddle. Our new apartment finally has internet in it, and I think I'm settling in well enough with the new job to begin flexing the ol' writing muscles again. Huge thanks to Jason, Erik, and the gang for keeping the joint afloat in my absence.
I'm still trying to decide if my absence served as either a good or bad luck charm for the Rays. Sure, they went on a winning streak in there, but then Evan Longoria and Tim Beckham had to go and ruin things on Tuesday. All in all, it's a mixed bag; if I'm any sort of voodoo doll, I'm not an effective one.
But anyway, on to the links. The Rays were a hot story on Wednesday, thanks to their horribly depressing Tuesday, and there were a couple good articles that you should be sure to check out. Eno Sarris took a stab at projecting how much Longoria's injury will hurt the Rays in the standings -- hint: it hurts a lot -- and Craig Calcaterra had some choice words to say after finding out that Beckham's "drug of abuse" was marijuana.
I'm fully behind Craig's point of view on this one; from a competitive standpoint, it seems ridiculous that marijuana is treated the exact same as HGH and anabolic steroids. And the last I checked, no major leaguer has been involved in a car crash this season as a result of being high. I understand that it's still an illegal drug in the U.S., but hey, major league players don't get suspended for testing positive for pot. So how exactly does this all make sense?
And now for an awful segue...
- Speaking of illegal drug use, Amy Nelson published a fantastic story (both print and video!) on Willie Mays Aikens, a Kansas City Royal from the '80s that landed in jail for cocaine use. Aikens is now clean and he's working for the Royals again.
- Worst call of the year? Worst call of the year. And it's not even close.
- Matt Swartz and Jeff Zimmerman are running a joint research series this week, detailing the aging curves for starting and relief pitchers. I've found the whole thing fascinating so far, and I highly recommend checking it out if you like pretty charts.
- Calcaterra was on a roll yesterday -- first the Beckham piece, and then this story on why everyone who said Andy Pettitte changed his testimony had it wrong.