* I had my (usually) biweekly chat with KMSU's Jim Gullickson on Monday. It was actually the first time I'd been on the air in three weeks, but we'll get back in rhythm now. Second and fourth Mondays of the month, 1 p.m.
* Here's a lovely piece by the great Joe Posnanski on Glen Perkins and his All-Star experience this year.
Then the truck turned onto 7th and it stopped, and there were a lot of people there, thousands of people, and the cheers pushed up to 11, pushed to a sound Glen had heard before -- the sound he had heard for Mariano Rivera. Only this time those cheers were for him. Surreal.Read it.
* Today is also the deadline for signing 2014 draft picks, and there is a bizarre late drama coming to a head between the Houston Astros and the No. 1 overall pick, Brady Aiken. To understand it, here's Ken Rosenthal's piece from earlier in the week that exposed the dispute to public view, and here's a Fangraphs piece that tries to make sense of it.
I have an opinion about this one, but it's really more of a bias. I have, with no real evidence to support it, a sense that the Astros are not a trustworthy operation. I don't know that they're trying to cheat Aiken; as Mike Pietriello says in the second piece I linked to above, cheating Aiken doesn't make any logical sense. I just don't trust them.
But I do think the Astros will sign Aiken today, and Jacob Nix, the fifth-round pick whose contract agreement is in limbo because of this dispute, as well. I can't see that the Astros are dumb enough to lose both players. And if this thing goes completely haywire, it's possible that the 'Stros will not only lose Aiken but their first-round pick next year (if Nix is ruled to have a valid oral contract at a number that pushes the Astros over their bonus allotment). There's too much at risk for the Astros; they have to sign these guys.
But they sure seem to be trying to screw this up.