Extra! Extra! Mad Max on the march

I’m just going to put it out there: Pick up Max Scherzer NOW!

There’s a lot of noise coming out of the desert about the hard-throwing right-hander and it sounds like he’s a can’t miss guy. Scherzer was in the same draft as the Giants’ Tim Lincecum, Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain and the M’s Brandon Morrow, so he’s got some friends in the majors.

In the minors, Scherzer was blowing batters away, so the Giants brought him up for a look. So far, Scherzer hasn’t disappointed. The 6-foot-3 flame thrower tossed 4.1 innings of relief on Tuesday and struck out seven batters, without surrendering a hit or a walk. Now D-backs manager Bob Melvin wants to see Scherzer in the starting rotation (Scherzer will take the ball on Monday for his first major league start).

If you can (Yahoo! just uploaded Scherzer on Wednesday) pick Scherzer up immediately. He’s the kind of pick up that could help you win the strikeout, WHIP and ERA categories in the later days of summer.

Another starting pitcher that would be a nice pick up is Chad Billingsley. The Dodger right-hander’s numbers won’t impress (1-4, 5.20 ERA) and you’ll likely find him on the waiver wire. He has struggled since being handed a starting job earlier this month, but he may have turned a corner Wednesday night. Billingsley tossed seven strong innings against the Marlins, striking out eight batters and giving up just three hits and a run. That gives Billingsley 38 Ks in four starts – nice numbers. If he can keep his walks down like he did Wednesday, he could be a nice addition

The M’s promoted Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien on Wednesday. The two youngsters are being counted upon to add some pop to the Seattle lineup (which Balentien did right away, popping a HR in his first game up against Cleveland). Of the two, I think Balentien is the better pick up. He’s fast on the basepaths (15 steals in Tacoma in 2007) and obviously should add some pop. I’ll recommend Clement, on the other hand, when he earns enough juice at catcher to get the C tag. If that happens, he’d be a great addition.

Here some scary news (http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/braves/) for John Smoltz owners who picked him up to be a stalwart in their rotation. Now if Smoltz, who is on the DL, could become the closer of old, that’d be OK, I guess.

Here’s some more interesting links from the sports world in general:

DeShawn Stevenson just can’t get it right: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/

Randy Moss in NASCAR: http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/8089168/Moss-set-to-start-own-NASCAR-truck-team

And finally, there was an interesting give-and-take on CostasNow on Tuesday night concerning the media and the world of sports. Buzz Bissinger, the author of “Friday Night Lights” and Deadspin.com’s Will Leitch had a nice civilized discussion about the affect of bloggers on sports media … well civil until Bissinger told Leitch that he was full of you-know-what about 30 seconds into the program. Here’s Leitch’s response after the show: http://deadspin.com/385513/of-jimmy-olson-spittle-and-the-dying-of-the-light (I’d link to the clip, but there’s some harsh language).

My two cents: With bloggers and immediate access, the world of sports media is changing rapidly. And as more people in my generation (I’m 28 years old) wrest control of the media from the baby boomers, there inherently is going to be some people who feel marginalized … and who will then try and lash out (as Bissinger did Tuesday).

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of garbage on Deadspin.com. But there’s also an audience for it. What Leitch does (and his bloggers and commentators do) is completely different than what beat guys do on a daily basis. Think of Deadspin like the magazines at the grocery store checkout lines with Britney Spears on them: Filled with fluff, often demeaning and sometimes downright mean. I think what Bissinger and many other people are upset about is that the audience for that type of stuff is growing.

I don’t believe newspapers will die out because their will always be a place for a respected, honest voice (Leitch actually agrees with this). Newspapers will just have to adapt (i.e. breaking news online, features and series in print), while the Web sites like Deadspin, SI, and ESPN march on.

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