Other things to do with an off-day – July 1 links

Off-days are boring, right? Especially ones that come after a loss, and a rather protracted streak of more losses than wins. I like to use this time to catch up on my reading. Now, most (if not all) of it is still about the Cardinals, so I’m not totally abandoning ship here, but I thought I’d share some of the more “off the beaten path” ones here – I figure you don’t need me to link to the Post-Dispatch, local St. Louis television, or ESPN. If you need help with that, I suggest clicking here.

Now that’s out of the way, here are some things I’ve found interesting in recent weeks:

Mike Shannon joins Carson Cistulli on FanGraphs Audio

The Moonman joins FanGraphs podcast host Cistulli and the eventual denouement is Shannon addressing whether or not he thinks “Shannonisms” attributed to him actually came out of his mouth or not. Excellent listening.

Champaign News-Gazette interviews Cards Manager of Baseball Development (and Illini!) Chris Correa

Dan Whobrey of the Champaign News-Gazette talked with fellow University of Illinois grad and current Cards Baseball Development Manager, Chris Correa about how he wound up in his current position and what life is like “on the inside” of the Cards front office and baseball development department.

I’m a sucker for anything that involves both my favorite ball club and my alma mater, so naturally I had to share this one. But don’t be run off by the orange and blue tint to it, there’s some really great stuff both on Correa’s career history, his role with the club and how the team has achieved their status as what Arte Moreno calls a “model franchise.”

Lance Lynn’s fastball

At BaseballAnalytics.org, David Golebiewski looks at what has made Lance Lynn successful with his fastball this season, including some fascinating heat maps showing success with that pitch.

Pete Kozma swing analysis

Sometime Viva El Birdos poster and commenter, Chris O’Leary breaks down Pete Kozma’s swing.

O’Leary thinks the Koz is too stable vertically and not getting enough momentum toward the pitcher to generate drive with his lower body, and thus, improve his ability to drive the ball. It’s hard to argue with the GIFed evidence.

Or Kozma might just be a bad hitter. One of the two. Or both.

Carson Kelly’s grandma wants him to be traded for Darwin Barney

JD Humburg of The Oregonian interviewed Cards farmhand and Oregon native, Carson Kelly.

As if on cue right out of the Cards’ media boot camp, Kelly references The Cardinal Way before finishing the interview with a comment that would probably terrify many Cards fans. In response to a question about most of his family being Cubs fans, Kelly responded:

“My grandma called my dad right after I was drafted and asked if he could get the Cubs to trade Darwin Barney for me…”

Er, no thanks Grandma Kelly.

Will the Cardinals regress while hitting with runners in scoring position?

Max Weinstein of Beyond the Box Score applies a calculated approach to comparing the Redbirds’ outstanding performance with RISP this season with whether it’s something that can specifically be “practiced” or considered a skill set that the 2013 Cardinal club has – or, as Weinstein posits, that the Cardinal hitters are bound to regress to the mean.

It’s not hard to find agreement with Weinstein’s contention that there’s no special formula for hitting in the clutch, no way to “try harder, do better” in these situations realistically – certainly there are some cooler customers in that clubhouse than others. At the end of the day, it would seem to be a better argument that the Cards just have good hitters – not necessarily hitters that are good at batting with runners in scoring position.

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I hope you read all of these. Really, if you haven’t, go back and do so – it’s worthwhile. And it will keep your mind off of Jake Westbrook’s start last night, at least for an hour or so.

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