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Today's Dish: Who's Taking PED's Now? Happ To Miss Start

Orioles are cuckoo for not hiring Ripken - FOX Sports on MSN
First off, I stand by the story. Every single word. Orioles owner Peter Angelos and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. have taken turns denying parts of my report from last Friday, the gist of which was that Angelos recently declined to hire Ripken to help his wonderful team. Both declined opportunities to comment before I went with the story, and that’s fine. Both dispute that Angelos told Ripken he didn't want Ripken to receive credit once the team returned to prominence — a detail confirmed by three sources — and that’s fine, too.

This is starting to look like a good fight. One side (Rosenthal) says that Ripken will not be joining the Orioles, basically because everyone in the Orioles organization thinks Ripken is a dick. While the other (Ripken and Angelos) say he will...yet Ripken is still sitting on the outside looking in. I'll get the chairs, someone grab some popcorn.

A Major League PED suspension is imminent - HardballTalk - NBC Sports
Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll tweeted this first yesterday afternoon, and I have since confirmed it with a baseball source: a major league player is going to be suspended for a PED violation, possible as early as this week.

The article states it's a "semi-big" player. Any guesses?


Former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne call it quits at 34 -
Gagne, 34, told the Montreal website on Monday that he has decided to retire. Gagne, who won the 2003 Cy Young Award as the National League's top pitcher, told the website that he has lost his desire to play the game.

For a span of about 3 years, Gagne was a beast. But when you lose your desire it becomes pointless (at least that's what my wife tells me).

Happ to skip Wednesday start -
The Phillies announced today that J.A. Happ will miss his scheduled start Wednesday in Atlanta, because of soreness in his left elbow. The team said that an MRI exam showed "a very mild flexor pronator muscle strain," and that Happ is expected to throw a bullpen session on Thursday.

Rays complete four-game sweep of bumbling Red Sox -
Playing on the morning of the Boston Marathon, the Red Sox lost their sixth straight at home, their longest losing streak at Fenway since a 12-game skid in 1994. Boston (4-9) finished 0 for 30 with runners in scoring position during the series, with Jeremy Hermida's two-run homer the only runs in the finale. "It's kind of weird," Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez said. "Nothing is going our way. Every team we play, it keeps falling their way."

Hey V-Mart, now you know what's it's like to be every other team who plays the Red Sox. It's called "Karma".

Does the stretch cost a pitcher fastball speed? - The Hardball Times
It's often said that the stretch costs a pitcher 2-3 miles an hour off his fastball, and (considering how easy that is to check) I'll assume that's roughly accurate. It is very easy to check, and it turns out that it's not accurate at all. A pitcher's fastball speed turns out to be almost identical with runners on base as compared to his average fastball speed with the bases empty. If anything, the average starting pitcher throws about 0.1 mph harder with runners on base.

To me, this is why sabermetics were invented, and why all of the advanced theories are important...rebuffing long-held baseball "old wives tales".

The Indians create a blogger press box - HardballTalk - NBC Sports
According to the article it's an invitation-only kind of thing, which is probably the only way such a beast can be handled given that there is almost zero barrier-to-entry in becoming a "blogger and other social media user and influencer." This creates a tension, of course, in that the folks who sit in this section may feel pressure to spin the team and its efforts in a positive light lest they not be invited back again.

At least one organization is doing something for the medium that will be replacing the soon-to-be-bankrupt print media (although it sounds a little like the kid's table at the family gathering).

The Baseball Analysts: Breaking News: Andy Pettitte Is Better Than Bert Blyleven
A member of the Baseball Writers Association of America who has written extensively on why he has never voted for Bert Blyleven for the Hall of Fame now believes Andy Pettitte is going to Cooperstown. That's right, long-time Blyleven dissenter Jon Heyman appears to have endorsed Pettitte's candidacy for the HoF in a Twitter post over the weekend.

Rich Lederer gives a much deserved internet groin kick to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.