Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's OK, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
Baseball only has 30 teams. "Only," because, as successful as Major League Baseball is, they have as many as franchises the NHL and the NBA, who don't make nearly as much money -- MLB made a record $9 billion in 2014, and thanks to MLBAM initiatives in video and streaming and television deals and the like, that number is only going to grow. So, it makes sense that new commissioner Rob Manfred would talk about the possibility of expansion while cornered by the media during the All-Star break, and that's just what he did.
There are major stumbling blocks before they can even begin to discuss new teams, though, and they are the stadium situations for the A's and Rays. In order for MLB to get what they want out of the cities they are already in, they need viable alternative cities to move to, or, at least, to threaten to move to. If they put new franchises in Montreal or Charlotte or Columbus or (yes, another in) New York or wherever, then they can't list them off as a potential landing spot for a team that can't trick taxpayers into financing a new stadium.
Bud Selig is gone as commissioner now, though, so maybe progress can finally be made in Oakland and St. Petersburg under Manfred, and then we can start thinking about what kind of uniforms Portland would wear (please put a bird on it) or how a stadium in Mexico City would finally give us offensive levels crazier than those at Coors. That's probably the key, really: you want to expand baseball further? Get more international than Toronto, and then you can even keep your domestic security blankets around for the next time a city won't finance a new ballpark.
- Mookie Betts was a serious All-Star snub, but hey, Bill James has said for decades that the players who do everything well instead of one thing exceptionally tend to get overlooked.
- Is neuroscience the pathway to the next Moneyball scenario in baseball?
- The All-Star Game isn't as important as it used to be, but baseball is doing great. There's just more than like, three channels you can watch on a Tuesday in July now.
- Jersey represented at the All-Star Game, with Mike Trout and Todd Frazier making everyone else look S-A-W-F-T.
- The Astros are buyers, and from the sounds of who they could go after -- Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija -- they aren't planning to go halfway with it, either.
- The Yankees finally signed their first-round pick, but not everyone has yet, most notably the Diamondbacks and first-overall selection Dansby Swanson.
- Brandon Crawford is going to make a whole lot of money someday soon.
- Bud Selig's All-Star Game tie ended with embarrassment and the whole "This time it counts!" campaign afterward. The Eastern League All-Star Game was tied after nine innings, so they used an in-game Home Run Derby to determine the winner. What are you doing, MLB, that's so much better than playing for home field advantage.
- Mo'ne Davis won the ESPY for Breakthrough Athlete, and hopefully that's not the last we hear of her in the sports world, whether she keeps on with baseball or moves on to basketball as she's publicly hoped to do.