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Friday Liftoff Links

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While the government was doing what it does best (FAIL) I was putting together these links to get you through your Friday work day.



Playing Games for Charity

State Farm® Go To Bat. Support the charity of your choice and you could win! | Fan Forum
This is a cool idea for a good cause. Essentially you play a game for a charity of your choice. The cause with the highest score at the end of the week wins $18,000 and one person who played for that charity will b selected to win a trip to the 2011 MLB World Series. Check it out, it's not like you were planning on working today anyways.


The Front Office

The Phillies Have Never Ripped Off Ed Wade - The Good Phight
A nice article on Ed Wade over at Phillies blog The Good Phight. of SB Nation. It'll make you feel a little better about Wade as general manager and highlights one of the reasons why the writers around her aren't quick to bash him.

Rick Hahn of the White Sox among best MLB GM candidates - Will Carroll -
While all the focus is on Andrew Friedman and Gerry Hunsicker Will Carroll has this list of ten front office executives who may be in line for a general managers position.

Is A Savvy General Manger Enough? - Beyond the Box Score
Hiring an Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations like Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays may not be enough to sustain success as more teams follow the trend of hiring elite analytical minds as their General Manager.



Up at the Top

From the MLB All-Star Game: Selig Hints Expanded Playoffs Likely Not as Radical As Once Expected
Details are becoming more clear on MLB's plans for realignment and playoffs.

Joe Blogs: This Time It Clanks
An interesting rant about the All-Star Game. How many of you actually watched the game this year?

Should MLB Alter Their Marketing Strategy? | FanGraphs Baseball
This is something I've thought about for a while now and feel that MLB could be doing a better job of promoting some of the star players on lesser teams. I don't think you have to plaster TV screens with images of Michael Bourn or Hunter Pence. But Bourn is probably one of the most exciting players in baseball with his exploits on the basepaths and out in the field.


All Other Things Baseball

Joe Blogs: Ducks On The Pond
Joe Posnanski talks lineup construction and looks at who from each team comes up to the plate with runners on base the most.

Reviewing the Top 10 Prospect Lists: NL Central | FanGraphs Baseball
Marc Hulet reviews his Top 10 prospects list from earlier in the year. First up are the Astros.

The Houston Sports Counterplot, Wandy Rodriguez HAS To Be Traded?
A case for keeping Wandy Rodriguez.

Get to know the ‘Cats: 1B Zach Johnson « 'Cats Corner
An interview with Astros prospect Zach Johnson.

What have we learned? « 'Cats Corner
A look at the Astros Low-A Affiliate Tri-City Valley Cats a third of the way through the season.

Ultimate Astros » Speedster Bourn is getting a leg up 
on losing a step
This profile highlights while I like Michael Bourn and also a reason why I'm opposed to shipping him off in a trade.



It's Already Over

Astros County: The Only Astros Blog That Matters: The Rocket Goes To Court: Day One of the Roger Clemens Trial
A nice explanation of the Roger Clemens trial by AC. It covers the players involved, what's actually being tried and some of the strategies that will be involved particularly from the defense. I had thought about leaving this link off but John Royal did such a nice job of explaining the trial that his work shouldn't of gone for naught.