Oh my God. It’s Friday! Finally! To give you a sense of where things stand at UmpBump HQ, en route to the office this morning I took a sharp left turn with my cup o’ Joe not properly secured in the cup holder (evidently). Now I have no coffee to drink, and altogether too much coffee soaked into my pants. Never have I needed some TGIF action so badly, and I trust you, loyal readers, feel the same. And here at UmpBump, “action” = “links.”

Broken bats can be dangerous.Rumors and Rants presents the ten worst contracts in baseball today. Guess who Number 1 is?

We didn’t talk about the John Bale story (pitcher on DL frustrated with how rehab is going, punches door with pitching hand, breaks hand) here on UmpBump because we were satisfied with the level of snark at Can’t Stop the Bleeding. Obviously, he didn’t have the Crash Davis tutorial on not hitting doors with your pitching hand. (I can’t keep giving you these free lessons!)

Rob Parker of the Detroit News says “like him or not, the Tigers need Bonds.” I disagree, given that the Tigers are actually third in the AL in runs scored and in the top five in every important offensive category. The problem for Detroit is that they’ve allowed the most runs of any AL Team—yes, even more than the Rangers. I fail to see how signing Barry Bonds is going to change that. But I guess we have to have thirty different versions of the article, “Team X needs to sign Barry Bonds,” no matter how silly some of those are.

Speaking of Bonds, he helped start this recent trend of using maple bats, which can be dangerous when they shatter (see photo). I’m an ash bat purist, so I was glad to see Jeff Passan’s article calling for the end of maple bats at Yahoo! Sports. (Hat tip to ShysterBall.)

Brawl! Since bench-clearing brawls are officially one of the reasons baseball is awesome, Babes Love Baseball has the video (in slo mo!) of Richie Sexson going after Kason Gabbard for throwing a high pitch. When I saw Sexson fling the helmet at Gabbard, and Gabbard promptly curl up in the fetal position on the pitcher’s mound, I knew I was watching an instant classic. The rest of the brawl is just gravy.

Ladies… has the goods on Carlos Gomez in the wake of his hitting-for-the-cycle performance. How you doin’?

Bill Plaschke tries to clarify whether Vin Scully is retiring or not. I came away with a new determination to watch all the Dodgers games this year on MLB.TV, just in case.

And Pinstripe Alley and River Ave Blues would both like to know why all the fuss about Joba’s fist pump. Seriously, a fist-pump controversy? That seems a bit much, even to this Boston fan. Try getting yourselves a shortstop on pace for 45 errors on the season, then tell me about controversy. I would love to hear the ululating in New York if Julio Lugo played for the Yankees. (Mostly because that would mean Julio Lugo was playing for the Yankees.)

And to wrap it up, Soxaholix presents: Youkalicious!

Know something I should be reading? Let me know!

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