Tuesday Taters

Today's links were compiled and annotated by a Proven VeteranTM ...
• From MLB Rumors' Mike Axisa, a fun discussion of the worst contracts in the majors. I suppose that Barry Zito's the easy choice here, and probably the correct one. But did you know that Alfonso Soriano's currently sitting on a .291 on-base percentage and the Cubs have him for five more seasons at $18 million per. He'll probably pick things up a bit in the second half of the season, but there's just no way the Cubs aren't hating that deal by 2011 or '12.

• Oh, and speaking of lousy contracts ...

• As the ever-optimistic Rany Jazayerli notes, the Royals' last five games constitute one of the very worst five-game stretches of the last half-century ...

    Way to go, boys. In six weeks, you've gone from leading the division by three games to plumbing depths of incompetence that none of your famous forebears ever managed to reach. If this is progress, I'm the King of England.

Remember when the Royals were a somewhat trendy pick to shock the world? Anyone? Bueller???
• Very occasionally, a player arrives in the majors who you simply must watch, regardless of what else you're doing or who's on your fantasy team. As The New Enthusiast notes, San Diego's Kyle Blanks is one of those very occasional players.

Francisco Liriano's ERA this season (5.91) is exactly two runs higher than it was last season. He's been instructed to junk one of his two sliders. But fundamentally the only difference between this season and last season is a few more home runs. He's still got a fine strikeout rate and he's still walking more batters than he'd like. If he gives up seven homers -- as he did last season -- rather than 12, his ERA would look quite a bit better. So, this is no time to panic.

Continuing a series, Craig Brown looks at Edwin Jackson, Pitch Count Warrior.

• Yes, Bob Feller really did pitch yesterday, which I find interesting mostly because Bob Feller also pitched against Lou Gehrig.