Rangers Nab Lee. Remember when it looked like Cliff Lee would be a Twin or a Met before August? Ah, June. The Rangers swooped in and got Lee (and reliever Mark Lowe) on Friday for megaprospect Justin Smoak and a platter of minor leaguers both U.S.S. Mariner and FanGraphs seem to like. But our own Chris Bahr notes that while Lee helps Texas more, it doesn't make the Rangers the AL favorites; even snatching Lee from the jaws of the Yankees—reportedly making the Bronx Bombers "livid"—doesn't make the Rangers a better team than the Yankees, or even better than the Rays or Red Sox. Though Lee gives Texas an ace and a puncher's chance in the playoffs, the Rangers gave up a lot for a better lottery ticket come October. It might haunt them in coming years.
Seantrel Heads South. Finally, the year's longest recruiting battle is over. Seantrel Henderson, the massive, highly-regarded Minnesota offensive lineman, has left USC and committed to Miami in the wake of the former school's sanctions. This move doesn't really surprise—Miami was in the race for Henderson up until he signed with the Trojans—but it does give Miami another top five (or so) recruiting class, one of two in the last three years under Randy Shannon's watch. And though Shannon appears to have job security after going 21-17 over three years and running a nearly spotless program, it would be interesting to see how soon his star is tarnished if these hyped recruits turn into overhyped busts and Miami struggles to top the ACC.
Last All-Stars: Votto, Swisher. It's nice to comment on something MLB got (sort of) right, but this was really the fans' doing: Joey Votto and Nick Swisher won their respective fan votes for the last slots on the NL and AL All-Star teams, MLB announced on Friday. Though Swisher's victory is one for saturation campaigns, Votto's will be seen as a triumph for a great player in a small market. One would hope MLB and the fans could figure out how to avoid snubs like Votto in the first place, but then, smart people disagree on the relative value of Derek Jeter and always will, so, alas, properly judging the Reds' first baseman is probably relatively low on the list of priorities for baseball and its followers.â†µ
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