Knowing Our Roll

We've breached the All-Star break... baseball is officially back.  There's a lot of good stuff out there in the blogosphere right now.  Here's a snippet of what you should check out:

The Hall of Very Good has a few new pieces up worth checking out.  Their HOVG Heroes series will culminate next week with the official election of one worthy entrant into the Hall of Very Good... stay tuned.

Phillies Nation has an insightful piece up discussing the roster ramifications of a potential Cole Hamels extension.  If Cole Hamels re-signs a hefty extension with the Phillies, what does that mean for the roster, moving forward?

Seedlings to the Stars discusses the dilemma facing Mark Appel and the Pirates.  Mark Appel, who was predicted by many media outlets to be the first pick, slid to the Pirates at the 8th spot in the draft... good for the Pirates, bad for Appel and his agent, Scott Boras.  The deadline to sign draftees is today and the two sides have yet to come to an agreement.  It's do or die time - the Pirates have $3.8 million to spend (if they want to avoid giving up a future first round pick)... Appel is seeking a $4.8 million deal, which is what the first pick in this year's draft actually received.  It's a game of chicken that is worth keeping an eye on.

The Baseball Collector, Zack Hample, was recently at Citizen's Bank Park... love reading about Zack's ball-hawking conquests.

Lastly (and this is not on our roll), there's a must-read piece that Tom Verducci wrote for the June issue of Sports Illustrated that chronicles the careers of four now-retired Twins' minor league pitchers... one who took steroids and made it to the big leagues and three that did not use PED's and did not make it.  The piece analyzes the lasting impact of one player's steroid usage and the many lives it affected.  It's a great piece because it shows a real-life example of the devastating impact of using PED's, which, for Dan Naulty, included alcoholism, drug addiction and suicidal thoughts.  But it's also interesting because it shows how Naulty's rise to success came at the cost of four teammates that had similar talents but better moral compasses.  Naulty retired from baseball having lost his desire to compete - his love of baseball gone.  He reached the apex of his baseball career by cheating at the expense of extensive personal suffering.  He found peace by quitting the game and confessing his transgressions to lawyers commissioned on behalf of George Mitchell (his voluntary interview makes up six paragraphs of the Mitchell Report).  Naulty is now a pastor in California.


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