Today's links were compiled while I fantasized about seeing these guys in a televised debate. Or maybe an MMA match ...
* FanGraphs' Erik Manning, with a lot of help from Baseball Prospectus, takes a look at non-SB baserunning: first on the team level and then the individuals. Condensed version: Rockies really good (Coors effect?), Orioles really bad, and none of it seems to mean nearly as much as you might think. Except Chone Figgins and Chase Utley are even better than we thought.
* Crashburn Alley suggests that when it comes to J.A. Happ, maybe the Phillies should get out while the gettin's good. I absolutely agree that Happ has become overrated, but I'm not sure how marketable he is, or if the Phillies can actually spare him at this moment.
* Kurt Mensching blogs about the Tigers, but give him some credit for objectivity. He's right: the lone Cy Young vote for Justin Verlander is simply indefensible (or at the very least, was not well defended by the voter who cast it).
* If you weren't around to enjoy it (or even if you were), I recommend Chris Jaffe's evaluation of Billy Martin's managerial career (straight from the pages of Jaffe's new book). He really was one of a kind, at least since Leo Durocher. And I don't know that we'll ever see another like him.
* I'm always a bit awed by completely new ideas for Web content, and here's one now.
* You know, I figured all this apocalypse-in-2012 stuff was just to sell movie tickets. But if Darren Daulton believes it, it must be true, right?
* Oops, almost forgot ... Here's a great interview with Bill Simmons. And if you're anywhere near Portland, Ore., The Sports Guy himself will be discussing and signing his No. 1 bestseller (really! it was No. 1 last week!) Thursday night at the Borders in Beaverton. I'll be there, hanging with all the other schmos who've never hit the charts.