Links for Friday, before Dan Haren celebrates his 30th birthday by taking on one of baseball's most potent offenses…
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan lists ten decisions that have been critical to the Rangers' success this season.
- The Pirates have released lefty Neal Cotts according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America and this week's edition of minor league transaction.
- Padres' first base coach Rick Renteria is on the Marlins radar with regards to their managerial opening, says MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. He adds that Yankees bench coach Tony Pena is a candidate as well.
- Chipper Jones told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that it would be hard to stop playing before his body prevents him from doing so, partly because “you can make absurd amounts of money” as a baseball player.
- Former Orioles manager Dave Trembley told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that he’d like to coach in the major leagues next year (Twitter link).
- The Pirates' minor league success has been a major positive this year, but Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette questions how the Pirates also allowed for "near-total destruction of the major-league product." The team is 50 games below .500 with the worst record in baseball.
- Carl Crawford told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that his impending free agency hasn't been hard to handle, since the Rays are winning. Click here for Bradford's analysis of how Crawford would fit in Fenway.
- Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald breaks down Boston's options behind the plate for 2011, from free agents Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek to new acquisition Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
- John Dewan of the Fielding Bible explained to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Adam Dunn's poor defense wouldn't necessarily prevent the Nationals from building a better defensive team.