THT Links: Rolling

It’s been a long couple weeks for us here at THT as we tried to finish the Preseason Book as early as possible, but now that we’re done, we should be rolling again with Mailbags every week and Links every day. I’ve also personally fallen tremendously behind on responding to your email, but rest assured, if you’ve sent us something, either to the mailbag or to my personal account, I’ve definitely read it. This week will feature an extra-long catch up mailbag to help clear some of that back log. We’ve also recently completed a site update which should allow us to provide more consistent service for you guys going forward.

So thanks for your patience and sticking with us. Without further ado…

Cardboard Gods – Topps is being bought out by a group including former Disney CEO Michael Eisner for a price of $385.4 million.

I can’t really remember at what point I stopped playing with baseball cards. I can still see the binders with pages of those plastic sleeves, which I’d constantly reorganize. Sometimes I’d go by team, while other times I’d put my favorites in front. Oh, the memories.

Lester Pitches 1-2-3 InningJon Lester returned to the mound yesterday for the first time since undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, retiring the side on eight pitches. Because the Red Sox have signed Daisuke Matsuzaka and converted Jonathan Papelbon to starter this offseason, Lester will likely start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Prior Struggles in Debut – Mark Prior, attempting to come back from shoulder surgery last August, struggled in his spring debut, allowing three earned runs and lasting for just four outs. Prior was scheduled to throw two innings, and did not reach 90 mph on the radar gun.

Roberts Close to Extension – Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is reportedly close to a two-year extension worth $14 million. The deal would buy out his last year of arbitration and first year of free agency.

Igawa Shaky in First Start – Kei Igawa, the other other Japanese import this offseason, struggled in his debut, loading the bases in the first against the Tigers. Igawa allowed two runs, two hits and three walks while just getting three outs.

All spring training results should be taken with a grain of salt, but all other things equal, any fan would clearly like to see their stars throw well. Still, there’s almost a month to go before the season, and there should be plenty of time for Igawa (and Prior and Lester) to get on track.

Santana Teaching Silva Change Up – Perhaps angling for that big contract, Twins ace Johan Santana is teaching Carlos Silva how to throw a change up.

Manny Being Manny – Three to one says that this photo will be used in a story about Manny being Manny at some point this spring.

Tango Tackles SuperVORP – Noted sabermetrician Tangotiger examines Baseball Prospectus’ new stat, SuperVORP (I’m not making this up), which takes VORP and adds in a defensive run estimator. Sounds a lot like WARP, but with a different name.

I am so glad that we didn’t name our new projection system anything funny sounding.

Sabathia Giving Up Golf – Indians starter C.C. Sabathia is giving up golf this season, believing that it may have been responsible for a strained rib cage sustained during spring training last year. Instead, he plans to play more video games.

Today at THT

The Phelps Hypotheticals (Part 1) – What if the Ken Phelpses hadn’t stood in line behind the Henry Cottos?

Retroactive Review: Ace
Looking back at some of Justin Verlander's most interesting moments.

Come Play With Us – Ever wanted to prove that you know more about baseball than the “experts”? Here’s your big chance to prove it.

THT Preseason Book – It’s finally out! Featuring over 1300 three-year projections (with defense!) and team chapters written by some of the web’s best bloggers.

THT Links represents the best efforts of our editors in scouring the various tubes of the interweb for both relevant and irrelevant news items. If you have happened upon a story that we have overlooked or wish to give feedback of any sort, please notify us at THT Links.

Updated weekdays at noonish, ET.

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