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Shut-up-and-take-my-moneyIt’s a big day. Not only is it the final day before the 2014 BN Trade Deadline Blogathon begins (tomorrow at 5am CT, lasting until 6pm CT on Thursday), but it’s also the day we drop the midseason Top 40 Chicago Cubs Prospects update. Luke’s been hard at work, and I think you’re really going to enjoy the fruits of his labor (while he, himself, is enjoying a well-deserved vacation). Stay tuned …

  • As a follow-up to yesterday’s Darwin Barney tradeCarrie Muskat reports that the Dodgers will be paying about $500,000 of Darwin Barney’s salary this year (those are savings to the Cubs), meaning that the Cubs are kicking in about $300,000. The question is: does Barney plus $300,000 equal a decent prospect? Or was the $300,000 required to get the $500,000 savings and a non-entity PTBNL? As I’ve said, Barney’s value is among the hardest to gauge in baseball (elite glove, maybe worst bat in the league), so I could see this going any way. For now, I’m not expecting a notable prospect to come out of the PTBNL equation. You’re just hoping for a player worth commenting upon. At least the Cubs saved that $500,000. Every dollar counts, right?
  • C.J. Edwards threw 3.1 innings last night for the AZL Cubs, striking out six and walking three (but whatever). The important thing is that Edwards says he felt good. Hopefully an August return to Tennessee is in the offing, and then some innings in the Fall. TCR’s Arizona Phil was at Edwards’ outing last night, and it sounds like all was normal, with Edwards working in the low-to-mid-90s, and using all of his pitches. He threw 62 pitches.
  • James Russell wishes he would get a chance to start again (Sun-Times). That’s interesting.
  • Of all the incredible plays against the Cubs last night, this one might be the best by the Rockies:

  • Why is that one the best? It was so quick and Arenado’s throw was so strong that he didn’t just throw out speedy Arismendy Alcantara – you’ll not that Alcantara never even enters your screen as the first baseman receives the ball. It wasn’t even a close play at first. Unbelievable.
  • Danny Ecker on the shirts you see being sold around Wrigley.
  • Kyuji Fujikawa’s rehab is progressing well after back-to-back outings at AAA Iowa, though everyone is still mum on when he might return to the big leagues (Cubs.com). Not-so-conspiratorial guess? With moves likely to happen in the pen this week, the Cubs are probably just going to wait until after July 31 to figure out how to get Fujikawa back in the mix.
  • Is it totally self-interested for MLBAM to oppose the impending “fast lane” changes to Net Neutrality? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean their letter to the FCC is any less compelling. The letter is short, to the point, and pretty much sums up every compelling argument against allowing ISPs to charge content providers for faster connections to the end user. The response to the FCC’s planned rule change has been overwhelmingly and universally negative (except, literally, for the ISPs who would profit and the FCC (an entity made up of individuals with highly questionable relationships with ISPs)). Just look at the comments in response to the rule – there are more than 200,000 in the last 30 days alone, and every time I try to find one in support of the rule, I can’t do it! And, yet, it still seems like the rule is going to take effect later this year. Not to go to far on this, but it feels like a real kick in the nuts to democracy.

EXTREMELY META: I apologize if it comes off some way other than intended, but when I write something that references a previous article – typically, I say something like, “As I said last week,” with a link to that previous article – that’s not a pat on the back. It’s a way to reference the previous work and point to it for folks who missed it and want to read. I do it when there’s information there that is salient to the current article, but that I’m not going to copy and paste the whole thing because that’s what links are for.

Sincerely, that’s the entire point of the links. It’s building a series of breadcrumbs for folks who want to go back and read things they’ve missed. To the extent you read them as me patting my own back, I think you’re reading something that isn’t there. It’s my job to communicate clearly, however, so I understand that it’s on me. I just don’t know a better way to accomplish what I view to be an important part of web architecture. You might read every article (thanks!), but not everyone does. And some folks want background that they haven’t seen before. If it turns out to be something about which I was right, well, I can’t be faulted for that, eh? That’s just a (pleasant) coincidence.

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