The Best of FanGraphs: July 16-20, 2018

Each week, we publish in the neighborhood of 75 articles across our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.

MONDAY, 7/16
Card Corner Plus: Dick Green and His Fumbling Photo, by Bruce Markusen
An excerpt: “Yet, the trend toward action also resulted in the creation of some cards featuring questionable photography, which sometimes employed off-center long-distance shots that reduced the players to nearly indecipherable figures. For example, there is Tommie Agee’s card, which places the veteran outfielder to the far left of the card while also giving us the oddity of three players wearing airbrushed uniforms.”

How’d He Get In When I Didn’t? Less Deserving All-Stars and Undeserved Snubs, by Alex Remington
An excerpt: “Garry Maddox was that most unusual of creatures: a beloved Philadelphia athlete. Flashing a superlative glove and a decent enough bat, he was something like the Kevin Kiermaier of his day. (Kiermaier hasn’t made an All-Star team, either.) The eight-time Gold Glove winner finished fifth in the 1976 MVP vote, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a spot on the All-Star team in that or any other July.”

The Worst Called Ball of the First Half, by Jeff Sullivan
Alternative title: “If Umpires Were Actually as Bad as We Think They Are”

How Realignment Could Improve the All-Star Game, by Travis Sawchik
Travis takes us into the depths of his self-described extremism.

A Summer Palace in Grand Prairie: The Chinese National Team Joins the Texas AirHogs, by Eric Robinson
An excerpt: “Martin and other team officials who interact with the Chinese contingent remarked that even with a language barrier, cultural differences, and a backdrop of political intrigue, the ballplayers in the AirHogs’ dugout were just young men in their 20s dedicated to playing baseball, who loved hanging out with their friends and eating hamburgers, just like their American teammates. Pitcher and former Diamondbacks farmhand Taylor Wright spoke of how he has come to appreciate the small gifts his Chinese teammates have given to him; though small, each signified part of their budding friendship.”

Did Bryce Harper Cheat in the Home Run Derby?, by Sheryl Ring
Lol. This is a *very* good piece by Sheryl, as always. But also, lol that it called to be written.

How Nolan Arenado Avoids the Ground, by Dominikk85
Probably a childhood spent mastering The Floor is Lava game.

Actionable Adjustments Inspired by First-Half Breakouts, by Jeff Zimmerman
The best way to prepare yourself for this article is by reading the opening quote from Charlie Munger: “We are all learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire.”

Joey Mellows, A Baseball Brit, by Wes Jenkins
An excerpt: “It’s a daunting task, this attempt to rouse the collective imagination of a country an ocean away with only Twitter. And yes, he knows that MLB is having a hard enough time encouraging young Americans to turn their attention to the national pastime. He just doesn’t care.”

The Dodgers Have Rented the Market’s Only Superstar, by Jeff Sullivan
Sounds very Hollywood of them.

FRIDAY, 7/20
Year 20: A Dangling Sweet Spot for the Baseball Reliquary, by Don Malcolm
An excerpt: “But here, in Year 20, there is something a bit different at work with the selections. While Tommy John clearly represents a triumph over adversity, his inclusion is based less on social connections than has often been the case for Shrine inductees (Jim Eisenreich, for instance, was a 2009 inductee who overcame Tourette’s syndrome to have a productive major league career). We wander further away from that template with Rusty Staub. Staub, born in New Orleans, was best known as a fine hitter but also proved his mettle as a supportive teammate of black ballplayers such as Joe Morgan and Jimmy Wynn during his early years in Houston in the 1960s. He later demonstrated a range of social interests that went far beyond the generic expectations commonly posited for athletes.”

2018 Trade Value: #1 to #10, by Kiley McDaniel
The 2018 trade deadline is closer to a reality than it’s ever been, and Kiley has sorted the players with the best trade value into ranks. Here are numbers 1 through 10.

We hoped you liked reading The Best of FanGraphs: July 16-20, 2018 by Mina Dunn!

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