Lineouts! 08/07/13: Mattingly, Bumgarner and a new Rays stadium?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone. Welcome back to another edition of Lineouts!

All the Biogenesis saga has finally passed us, and we can now start focusing our attention on baseball. Teams are streaking, playoff races are shaping up, and baseball is being played as well as I've seen in some time. Today, I have news on Donnie Baseball almost being fired, how HR/BIP has changed throughout history, and how B.J. Upton might be the last person you want up in a clutch situation this year. Enjoy!

MLB Hot Topics

Mattingly: L.A. eyed a change in June by Arash Markazi -- ESPN

Many are focused on the winning streak the Dodgers have had and some might have forgot where the Dodgers were a couple months ago. In this column by Arash, he brings to light that Mattingly was told he was going to be fired if the Dodgers didn't turn things around quickly. It's lucky enough for him they have.

Rangers' Colby Lewis will miss rest of 2013 due to hip surgery by Mike Axisa -- CBS Sports

The news for the Rangers doesn't get any better, as Colby Lewis won't throw a single pitch this season at the big league level. He did make seven minor league starts before getting shut down, and now will have season-ending surgery on his hip. Lewis is slated to become a free agent in 2014, so we'll see if the Rangers take a flyer on him in the off season for cheap.

A-Rod suspension messy, but MLB will benefit in the long run by Michael Rosenberg -- Sports Illustrated

Michael gives us a different take on the A-Rod and Biogenesis story, as he thinks in the long run it will end up benefiting Major League Baseball. Rosenberg believes that, with all of this, that the sport gets one step closer to cleaning up the game for good. Some may argue with that, but I think he could be right -- although new supplements are always coming out.

The Sabermetrics Community

A Few Different Ways To Look at The Steroid Era, Graphically by Eno Sarris -- FanGraphs

Eno takes a journey through baseball history by seeing how HR/BIP have changed throughout the course of the game. If you go all the way back to 1950, it's about a full percentage point difference from where it is today. The thing I noticed on the full graph is the jump from 1993 to 1994, where it shoots up like a rocket. This pops out to me as where something could have happened that off-season, perhaps where players started experimenting with different substances? Take a look for yourself at this very interesting article to see the changes throughout history.

The Atlanta Braves and the Two-Month Victory Lap by Jeff Sullivan -- FanGraphs

The Braves beat the Nationals once again on Tuesday night, and there's a perfect way to look at their last two months is this article by Jeff Sullivan. He shows how every projection system out there had the Nationals winning the division in 2013 but now the Braves have a 99.9% chance of winning the division -- it's next to impossible to blow it.

New at SBNation MLB

Answering the legal questions raised by the Biogenesis scandal by Chris Chrisman -- Purple Row

I may be familiar with the Fifth amendment, the Joint Drug Agreement, and the MLB's Basic Agreement -- but Chris Chrisman does a great job going through all the legal questions one might have regarding BioGenesis.

B.J. Upton and the clutch boson by Grant Brisbee -- Baseball Nation

Grant breaks down B.J. Upton's lack of "clutch" hitting this season by digging out a few charts. If you read the full article, you can see that if the game is close or there are two outs with RISP, B.J. might be the last guy you want at the plate. The numbers are pretty grueling to look at.

Rays Stadium Saga: Everything has Changed by Daniel Russell -- DRays Bay

This year, if the Tampa Bay Rays make the playoffs they hope they don't have to resort to giving away tickets like they did in the end of the 2010 season. The Rays have the second-worst attendance in the league, and the stadium sits too far away from Tampa's downtown. But recently, St. Petersburg's mayor Bill Foster in a recent interview said that the attendance numbers are an issue, and that he finally supports the Rays exploring options in the Tampa area. That has to be an exciting thought for fans.

. . .

All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

Anthony Bauer is a writer at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @skipbauer22.

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