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Closing Time: Let's do the Buchholz boogie

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Disco, according to many accounts, died 30 years ago today.

I was just 9 years old at the time. Too bad. The disco era seemed like an agreeable enough time. And looking at the throng that stormed the field at Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979 , I'm not sure I'm willing to get my arms around the prevailing style regime. So you blew up some records. Big deal. Those would have been eBay gold today.

ESPN featured a Disco Demolition retrospective Sunday (video here). It's worth a watch and is in-depth enough to have commentary from a Comiskey vendor who recalled being powerless to prevent revelers from stealing sodas directly off his tray. And you have to respect the guy who found refuge in the Detroit dugout with his buddy and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Let's lift a glass to Tony Manero and the Hallston dress and get right to the bullets.

The nation's long Clay Buchholz(notes) wait is over. Sort of. The good news for Buchholz stashers is that he'll get a surprise start Friday in Toronto. The unfortunate qualifier is that, at least for now, the start looks like nothing more than an "atta boy" for a solid first half in Triple-A (7-2 record, 2.36 ERA, 0.98 WHIP). Boston plans to send him right back to Pawtucket after the start, though who knows what happens if he electrifies. Buchholz is right around 30-percent owned at press time, but he was gobbled up in thousands of leagues on Sunday. Given John Smoltz's(notes) relative ineffectiveness and the persistent Brad Penny(notes) trade rumors, you pretty much have to make room for the 24-year-old Buchholz to see how this plays out.

The 4-5 hitters in the Tigers lineup combined for seven hits, six RBIs, five runs and a homer Sunday. Given the assets Detroit had at its disposal on opening day, that kind of heart-of-the-order production is not shocking, but who among us saw Marcus Thames(notes) and Clete Thomas(notes) coming back in April? For Thames, it's the continuation of a productive July – he upped his average to .314 on the month with Sunday's 4-for-4, and now has eight runs, four homers and 10 RBIs in his last nine games. For a refresher on how hot this guy can get, please see June, 2008. There's still room for the streaky Thames in about 90 percent of Yahoo! PLUS leagues.

Thomas, an intriguing deep-league play, finished a double shy of the cycle and should continue to see plenty of at-bats against right handers.

The Reds are already talking trade in the wake of the Jay Bruce(notes) injury. Fantasy owners anxiously await results of an MRI on his broken right wrist. The Reds' top outfield prospects may not be ready to fill a long-term void. Stay tuned.

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Chalk up another quality start for Brad Bergesen(notes), who took a shutout into the seventh inning in an eventual 7-2 victory over the Blue Jays. He gave up two doubles that led to two runs in the frame, but with an infield hit and a sacrifice fly in the inning, it's not like his stuff was gone. Check out the game log, this kid can pitch deep into games. That's eight quality turns in nine tries for the 59-percent owned Orioles righty.

Matt Wieters(notes) was not in the lineup, so for at least one turn we can't give him all the credit for Bergesen's progress.

When you're a Pirate and you hit home runs in three consecutive games, you get your own post. It's a standing rule here at the Roto Arcade. Touch 'em all (again), Garrett Jones(notes).

No fantasy relevance here, but Jason Bay(notes) may have set a rotisserie record for least productive game in which a batter reached base five times. The Royals walked him on the minimum 12 pitches in his first three at-bats, then cut out the middle man and just plunked him in at-bats four and five. Bay never came around to score, so in standard formats the five plate appearances failed to move the needle.

A's catcher Kurt Suzuki(notes) reached the break on a 10-game hitting streak. Sunday's run production (2 runs, 2 RBIs at the Trop) is a bit unique though – the first nine games of the streak featured a combined three runs and four ribbies.

Brewers prospect Alcides Escobar(notes) picked up a pair of infield hits in Sunday's Futures Game, showing off the speed that has resulted in 30 steals in 37 attempts on the farm. Milwaukee has long been enamored with his defense, and the bat is starting to catch up in Triple-A (.322 average over last 52 games.) J.J. Hardy(notes), for what it's worth, missed Sunday's Dodgers-Brewers game with a bum shoulder.

The Nats managed to record 11 hits Sunday without plating a baserunner against Brian Moehler(notes) and the Astros. That was a fairly appropriate way to end the first half for Washington. Invest in Moehler's recent 4-1 stretch at your own risk. Two of the Nats' hits were provided by shortstop Alberto Gonzalez(notes), who raised his average to .333. He's expected to see more at-bats in the second half.

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Eric Young Jr. capped a solid week with a homer in the Futures Game. On Thursday he went 4-for-4 with two homers and a stolen base for Triple-A Colorado Springs. There's a bit of an infield logjam in Colorado right now, but a trade could give Young a shot in the majors this year, in Colorado or elsewhere. He has 48 stolen bases this year with a career high of 87 in a full season of Single-A ball.

Injury Blog: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) left Sunday's game in the sixth inning with soreness in his left shoulder. … Carlos Delgado(notes), Jose Reyes and their uncertain timetables all worked out on Sunday. … The Royals expect to have Alex Gordon(notes) back shortly after the All-Star break, giving Kansas City a new-look infield. … Oakland's Brett Anderson(notes) followed up his shutout of Boston with four scoreless innings in Tampa, but was forced from the game due to lower back stiffness. He's got until Sunday to get better. … Flu-like symptoms kept Todd Helton(notes) out of the Rockies lineup.

Handshakes: Francisco Rodriguez(notes) allowed the tying runs to reach base before retiring Brandon Phillips(notes) and Laynce Nix(notes) for his 23rd save in 26 chances. … With Jonathan Broxton(notes) unavailable due to a toe injury, Ramon Troncoso(notes) got the final three outs for the Dodgers in a 7-4 win over the Brewers. Troncoso has five saves and a 3-0 record. … Jose Valverde's(notes) 150th career save was of the four-out variety. … George Sherrill(notes) pitched a clean frame for save No. 20. … All-Star Andrew Bailey(notes) got the final six outs for the A's to earn his 10th save in a 7-3 win in Tampa. … Brian Fuentes(notes) earned his 26th save and hasn't been scored upon since May 30. … Seattle's David Aardsma(notes) got his 20th and is a perfect 3-for-3 since that ugly July 8 meltdown. … Closer of the night honors go to Ryan Franklin(notes), who struck out the side on called third strikes to earn his 21st save in a 4-2 win over the Cubs.

Programming Note: Closing Time will be closed for refurbishment through the All-Star break, but will be back Thursday night with twice the Scott Hairston(notes) and half the calories. Worry not, any relevant fantasy news will still land in the Roto Arcade.

Where were you the night disco died? Share you memories in the comments.


Images via Associated Press

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