(*)Speaking of rookies, it is that time of year when the leaves start changing colors, there is a hint of autumn in the air and veteran baseball players outfit their youngsters in women's clothing:
- Out in Centerfield, a BoSox blog, has numerous pictures of Red Sox's rookies dressed to the nines leaving Fenway Park.
- Not to be outdone, the Padres raided a local Hooters franchise to have their rooks prance around Petco Park in the ubiquitous orange shorts and white tops.
- Minus Ian Kennedy's Dorothy costume, the Yankees shied away from the crossdressing with their rendition of 'Wizard of Oz' (oh, and, uh, yeah: you're not in the playoffs).
- The Rays had an eclectic costume parade. Evan Longoria was a cop while Matt Garza was a...taco? But wait...there is a video.
- The White Sox had pitcher Lance Broadway dress up as a grotesque version of a Baywatch lifeguard, courtesy of the blog Scott Proctor's Arm.
(*)CBS Sportsline's Scott Miller penned an article on Jason Bartlett being the linchpin for the Tampa Bay Rays in their first ever playoff push. Admittedly, Bartlett is a huge upgrade over Brendan Harris who manned the position for the Rays in 2007, to say that he has been an elite shortstop is overdoing it as well. "I've said all year that I think Jason Bartlett is one of the MVPs of the team," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We have won not because we've out-hit everyone, but because of our defense. And he's been the glue to holding it together." Though I would take a Bartlett over a Harris any day, defensively his prowess has been over-hyped. Among starters (those that have accumulated 1,000 innings), Bartlett's revised zone rating is second-to-last (.806) at shortstop and by his Fielding Bible rating is plus/minus 0 -- which means he hasn't saved any runs nor has his play relinquished any runs. Nick Punto, meanwhile, in his 453 innings at short has saved the Twins +4 runs. Despite what other's believe, Bartlett's bat is average as a shortstop. Literally. The average American League shortstop is hitting .265/.317/.371 while Bartlett's season line is .280/.317/.350. His wpa on the season has be -2.29 - an expense to the Rays. Bartlett received attention after his torrid August. The Rays finished the month winning 21 of 28 games thanks to the production of the former Twins' shortstop who hit .389/.413/.583 with 10 extra base hits in 76 plate appearances. This helped Tampa stay ahead of Boston when the calender turned over to September. Since the new month began, the Rays have been 6-10 and Bartlett has regressed to being just an average shortstop again batting .288/.317/.356 with 4 extra base hits in 63 plate appearances.