This is normally something the fine guys at The Platoon Advantage do every day during the season (and twice a week in the offseason), but I wanted to co-opt their idea to bring you some of the best, recent work from around the SweetSpot Network. I asked Bill and TCM if it was OK for me to borrow their feature and they were thrilled to have the day off.
Baseballin' on a Budget (A's): The Value of the Oakland Bullpen. Dan Hennessey thinks the A's new bullpen is going to be a big help in 2011.
GhostRunner on First (Blue Jays): Dear God No. Drew Fairservice is not very keen on the Jays kicking the tires on Michael Young.
Pro Ball NW (Mariners): 40 Man, Player by Player, Ichiro Suzuki. How will the M's approach their next contract talks with Ichiro, and how will that affect the rest of their roster.
Weaver's Tantrum (Orioles): The Lefties. Dave's going through the O's position battles that will be decided in spring training. First up, the LOOGYs.
Baseball Time in Arlington (Rangers): The Delusional Nutjob and His Enablers. This is a nice companion piece, with a slightly different outlook, to the one Austin wrote in this space Thursday. And puts the blame for the Rangers/Michael Young fiasco squarely on Young.
The Ray Area: The Skipper Speaks. Mark got to hang out with Tampa manager Joe Maddon the other night, and came away impressed and with the scoop on the 2011 Rays.
Fire Brand of the American League (Red Sox): Theo Epstein Throws a Bunch of Darts at a Wall. Darryl Johnston's impressed by the quantity of arms the Sox have stacked up to handle the back end of the bullpen.
Royals Authority: End of 2011 Checklist. What should the Royals be looking to accomplish on the field in the coming year?
Nick's Twins Blog: Experience Matters. Nick Nelson thinks the Twins, as is their M.O., are going to pursue some veteran insurance up the middle
It's About the Money, Stupid (Yankees): Highest-paid players, per team. An awesome graphical representation of the highest-paid player on each team in the Bigs. Bonus linkage: No really, the Vlad signing was bad. Brien hates on the Vlad signing, which jibes with what Keith Law had to say about the O's.
Capital Avenue Club (Braves): Where is the love? Kevin Orris on a Braves prospect he thinks CAC's Peter Hjort has overlooked, outfielder Adam Milligan.
The View from the Bleachers (Cubs): Best Power Hitters Under Six Feet Tall. Joe provides a list of … wait for it … the best power hitters under 6 feet tall! It's a pretty fascinating list; I would've bet money on four of the first five guys being taller than that.
Redleg Nation: Maple Street Press Reds Annual. You might have noticed that just about every team has one (or more!) of these out now, annual publications previewing the team with pieces written by team bloggers and the like. They're generally pretty awesome, and it looks like the Reds are no exception.
Austin's Astros 290 Blog: Andy Pettitte belongs. No question mark. Period. Austin leaves no doubt at all about his feelings on the recently retired pitcher's Hall of Fame candidacy. I don't get how one can be that sure about Pettitte, but you have to appreciate conviction like that.
Dodger Thoughts: The Dodgers According to Ned Colletti. A long, thorough, excellent interview with the Dodgers GM, who believes the Dodgers played all of 10 days of championship-quality baseball in 2010.
Disciples of Uecker (Brewers): An Unfortunate Comparison for Mat Gamel. Keith Law is very down on Houston prospect Brett Wallace's swing and chances for a productive big league career. Jack sees a lot of troubling parallels between Wallace and one of the Brewers' top prospects.
Mets Today: Would You Trade for Michael Young? Pondering the frustrated player's potential fit with the Mets. These are some really outlandish proposals, but that's what makes it fun!
Crashburn Alley (Phillies): Phillies Kick Tires, Inquire About Michael Young. And another Youngapalooza post wondering if Young is a fit for the team (but this one apparently came close to happening). Bill analyzes where Young might play, and whether or not he'd be an upgrade there.
Ducksnorts (Padres): Breakouts, Newcomers, and offseason Moves. Geoff had an open thread a few days ago, and now provides some long and thoughtful answers to questions. Stuff about Maybin, Headley and Venable; also, Geoff thinks Jed Hoyer had a highly successful offseason.
Bay City Ball (Giants): Matt Cain is Controversial. Really. "To the average fan, Matt Cain must seem like about the least controversial player on the Giants. He mostly keeps quiet to the press, doesn’t get arrested for having pot in his car. … But in the world of nerds arguing over statistics on the internet, Matt Cain is the most divisive Giant since Fred Lewis ..."
Fungoes (Cardinals): No Place for Edmonds. Pip is really, really not a fan of the Cardinals signing Jim Edmonds, and gives you a nice orderly list of five reasons why. And a graph!
Nationals Baseball: Bizzo? Rowden?. "It was cute for a while, this [former Nats GM Jim] Bowden impression, but signing Alex Cintron, that's going too far. That makes me want to send Anthony Hopkins out to Viera to see if [current Nats GM Mike] Rizzo has been demonically possessed by Bowden's spirit."
The Platoon Advantage: The Case Against Barry Bonds' Collusion Case. Bill puts to bed once and for all the idea that Barry Bonds was colluded against in 2008. Bonus linkage: Obligations. With so many focused on what the Rangers owe Michael Young, The Common Man wonders what Michael Young owes the Rangers. And what both of them owe Texas fans.