Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Is there a more perfect day for afternoon baseball?
- D.J. Short of NBC Sports' "Circling The Bases" list his "Five Breakthrough First-Half Performers." You can probably guess a few of 'em.
- MLB.com's Corey Brock has a quote from Padres GM Kevin Towers on manager Bud Black's upcoming contract extension: "He warrants an extension. I personally feel he's done his best job this season." The Friars are 34-45, 16.5 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh, the Pirates' Indian-born pitchers, made their professional debuts this afternoon for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League.
- Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star believes Russ Adams will opt for free agency on Monday. The utilityman was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Friday after batting .200/.238/.200 in 20 at-bats.
- ESPN's Peter Gammons takes note of the increasing amount of parity in the baseball world, and believes it may make for a slow trade deadline.
- Join MLBTR on Twitter for even more updates and discussions.