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SnakeBytes, 7/15: One series until the break

The Diamondbacks go quietly into the final games of the first half

The San Diego Padres mascot, the swinging friar menacingly waves a baseball bat towards an arial opponent Set Number: X159530 TK1

Well, the Diamondbacks have officially fallen to sole possession of last place in the NL West. They’re eleven games under .500 and 19.5 behind the surging Dodgers. They’re quickly falling from relevance, despite still being a far sight better than they were last year. No one has much to say about them, so we’ll just jump straight into the rest of the league. Lots of drama there right now!

MLB News

(LA Times) Q&A: Rob Manfred on Trevor Bauer, payroll disparity, rule changes and TV blackouts

Rob Manfred takes some time away from his busy schedule of trying to ruin baseball to not answer anything this reporter asks. There are some really good questions in here. Manfred for the most part dodges (heh) them with easy and doesn’t get many follow up questions to try and pin him down for an answer.

(MLB.com) 118 pitches? No problem for Sox ‘bulldog’ Cueto

Well here is something you just don’t see often. Johnny Cueto threw 103 pitches in five innings, and somehow convinced Tony LaRussa to let him have one more batter. That batter turned into three, and Cueto left after throwing 118 pitches in six innings, the fifth most in baseball so far this season.

(CBS Sports) Orioles’ winning streak: Baltimore beats Cubs for 10th win in a row, franchise’s longest since 1999

After being a joke around the league for literal years, the Orioles have suddenly remembered how to play baseball. They’re on a ten game winning streak, they’re now over .500, and don’t look now, but they are a game and a half behind the Red Sox for a Wild Card spot. If you’re looking for an underdog team to root for for the rest of the season that still has a chance, the Orioles might just be it.

(ESPN) Kansas City Royals, with 10 unvaccinated players absent, beat Toronto Blue Jays

What I don’t understand is how the Royals ended up with so many unvaxxed players. Before this series, 25 players had been put on the restricted list due to their vaccination status when their team played the Blue Jays. That number jumped to 35, a what? 40% increase? just from this series alone. Is it an intentional choice by the Royals? Some market inefficiency they think they’ve found? Or just dumb, random luck?

(CBS Sports) MLB trade rumors: Yankees rethinking Andrew Benintendi pursuit with outfielder ineligible in Toronto

And speaking of, an interesting wrinkle that has a chance to come up during the approach of the trade deadline. Obviously, it won’t be a huge thing for most teams, but with the entire AL East above .500 and contending, you can expect them all to be buyers at the deadline to some extent. Could have an impact on the values of some players in certain trade situations.

(The Washington Post) MLB agent sues Doug Gottlieb over Freddie Freeman tweet

I get that this isn’t quite the drama of Mike Trout’s fantasy league, but this could get interesting before it’s all said and done. I’m not sure I ever recall a sports agent suing a talk show host because of a tweet/report they sent out regarding contract negotiations. It could end up being nothing, but it also might have impacts on what sports reporting looks like going forward.