Archives for: 2008, week 30

07/31/08

Future Hall of Famers Headline Deadline Day

Permalink 09:29:14 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

A few mega name players shifted teams as baseball's trading deadline passed. Two of the games biggest names, Ken Griffey Jr and Manny Ramirez, now join different teams in the playoff hunt.

Circumstances surrounding the Red Sox crazy antics and Ramirez' just as crazy responses seemed to stun many across the baseball world. It seems as though every season someone in Boston's front office publicly announces he'd entertain offers for Manny (almost traded for ARod not too long ago). Boston's slugging left fielder's public responses seemed more like Manny being Manny. This semi annual fued was fueled by obsessed sports media and announcers right down to being timed running out grounders. Ramirez obviously didn't hustle on the plays in question... however, his character was soon attacked as if he would purposely not try hard while his team was in fighting for post season play. I find this insane. Ramirez doesn't hustle, isn't the most gifted fielder, has a huge ego, perhaps a big mouth etc... call it what you will... but, this future Hall of Fame players is one of the best. He's already delivered two World Series to Boston.. his career batting numbers speak volumes while solidifying his place in baseball history. Love him or hate him, Boston was crazy for getting rid of him this afternoon. It seemed like a fire sale.

Solid and reliable Jason Bay is now Boston's new LF. He's a fine player but this trade might have sealed Boston Nation's fate in '08. Ramirez/Ortiz are the games most feared 1-2 punch when healthy. This shake up could come back to haunt the Red Sox.... it will this season. This news couldn't be any better for New York Yankees fans. No more Manny ripping the daylights out of Yanks pitchers in September.... Ramirez is now a National Leaguer.

Losers... Florida Marlins. The three way trade involving Boston and Pittsburgh was originally rumored have Florida's name involved. Apparently, Florida's honcho's became overly greedy... demanding $2M above Boston's willingness to pay Ramirez' salary. Boston backed away and LA Dodgers stepped up and signed a much needed offensive weapon. Florida Marlins could have had Manny Ramirez for 2 back end rookies and a draft pick!!!!!!!!! Marlins fans, time to get pissed at a bonehead front office misstep. Manny Ramirez for free! Dummies.

Los Angeles now showcases former Yankees skipper Joe Torre managing former arch rival Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez. This is one of the best deals LA has pulled off in years. Andruw Jones has been a total falure wearing Dodger Blue and will probably be the odd man out in LA's now crowded OF. Ramirez now plays in a vast LF after a few years in tiny Fenway. His defense could be exposed... but, it's his bat and lineup presence which made LA jump.

Other deals.......

Angels went out and traded for their missing link. Mark Teixeira (from Atlanta) joins a potent attack on baseball's best team. Lacking infield power, their front office went out and upgraded. Teixeira's switch hitting power will be welcomed for the 2nd half. Los Angeles is red hot after sweeping Boston in Fenway. They're currently bopping New York's brains out 10-2 in NY. This lineup does it all with no weaknesses. Look out, these guys are very much for real.

Ken Griffey Jr. joining AL Chicago was a curious move by White Sox brass. It's been no secret they've coveted Junior for years. However, this isn't one of Jr's most productive seasons. He's slowed a step and will most likely return to play center... only this time it's in an expansive south side outfield. What does this do to Chicago's lineup chemistry where Konerko and Thome are finally healthy? Konerko could be the odd man out as he's slumped most of the year. Swisher will probably see more time at first. Thome is too big a threat to bench... Konerko will have to step it up or Ozzie will sit him down. This could create clubhouse kaos. Keep an eye on what happens here. Dunn would have been a better fit due to his 1B potential and current red hot power stroke (32 HR's).

New York, New York... Bronx Bombers happy while Mets flushed.
Yankees made a couple of important trades. Injuries decimated left field (Damon, Matsui), catcher (Posada) and starting rotation (Wang, Kennedy, Hughes). A lefty setup reliever was also on their wish list. Cashman went out and traded for Pittsburgh's Nady and lefty reliever Marte. Last night it was announced Ivan Rodriguez came by way of Detroit for reliever Farnsworth. This was a tremendous trade which should create many wins vs AL East rivals. Both Boston and Tampa Bay have run all over Yankee batteries this year. Pudge just sitting behind home plate instantly shuts down opposing running attacks. Pudge's bat (.295) is a huge upgrade over struggling over matched Posada fill-ins. Great moves by New York. New York fans.... of course being New York fans... weren't 100% satisfied as no starting pitching additions were announced. Many fans were expecting to hear a major rotation upgrade which never came to light. From CC Sabathia to Jarred Washburn, fans heard rumors anxiously awaiting good news. Great news was delivered... just not involving starting pitching... still a Yankee weakness. Overall, a tremendous couple of days fixing dents.

New York's other half needed outfield help... and still needs outfield help after the deadline. Mets do nothing. No Bay. No Nady. No Griffey. No Dunn. No Ramirez? No Remirez? How did the Mets fall asleep at the wheel in the Manny sweepstakes? Another team who would have given up next to nothing to land one of the games greatest right handed hitters. RF Church is hurt, LF Alou is hurt. This move could bite them in the butt when their offense begins to faulter again. HUGE mistake by New York. They just weren't thinking on this one... and easily could have outbid LA. Very disappointing for Mets fans. Another reliever could have been used too. Orioles second sacker Roberts would have been another great fit. Mets blew it. All talk of making a big front office push for this season was all talk when push came to shove. Mets didn't step up. NL East would have been locked up early.

All in all, baseball's trading deadline came and went without much activity beyond a few big names. Not many teams retooled for the stretch drive. Not many dumped salaries. No reserve players wearing new uniforms. Quite, very quiet 2008 (trades listed here). Biggest winners: Yankees, Dodgers, Angels. Losers: Mets, Marlins.

There's still hope for some clubs looking to wheel and deel as baseball's next trading deadline is now in place... only this time players must clear waivers before changing teams.

07/29/08

MLB '08 Trading Deadline Looms

Permalink 03:37:19 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

National League 11, American League 10. No, not another All Star Game score. These numbers represent how many teams from each league are within striking distance (10 games) of securing a playoff slot.

July 31 represents baseball's trading deadline. Usually, headlines are filled with speculative banter from home town sports reporters and plenty of executed trade news. It's been a bit different this season. Stunning considering how many teams are in need of immediate help. Only a few significant trades have transpired in recent days. CC Sabathia from Cleveland to Milwaukee. Chicago countered by grabbing Harden from Oakland. Milwaukee then went for San Fran's vet 2B Ray Durham. Philadelphia has traded for Oaklands SP Blanton. Yankees filled two holes via Pittsburgh with X Nady in LF and Marte as a lefty relief specialists.

Many teams still have concerns due to lackluster play or by way of injury. Teams like Atlanta, Colorado, Toronto, Cincinnati and Texas have decisions to make. Try to pull the trigger on deals hoping new additions work wonders (usually means increasing payroll)... or... will some become cost conscious and trade off heavy contracts for future prospects? Usual late season trash talk out of Boston has Manny Ramirez on the trading block with both management and Manny trading jabs publicly. Nothing new here... Manny rumors pop up every July. Boston would be nuts to trade him mid-season.

Injury riddled teams usually looking to upgrade have been Mets (Alou, Church, Pedro), Yankees (Posada, Matsui, Damon, Wang, Kennedy, Hughes), Dodgers (everywhere) and Braves (Inf, OF, SP, RP). Atlanta placed Chipper Jones and Hudson on the DL together which probably means this club will now entertain offers for 1B Mark Teixeira. One week ago many figured they were ready to upgrade. Not any more.

Trade rumors:

Yanks in hot pursuit of M's Jarred Washburn. Paul LoDuca would be a great fit with Posada DL'd for the year.
Arizona chasing Atlanta's Teixeira.
Pirates dangling Jason Bay and lefty starting pitchers.
Red Sox Ramirez to whoever is willing to pay.... dearly. Guess it doesn't hurt to test the waters and pump up your star hitter (on fire since news broke). Sox could use another starting pitcher.
Dodgers looking for whatever they can get but slow to move. They're in the hunt with many banged up offensive stars.
Orioles spring training rumor said 2B Roberts would be gone quickly. Deadline is 2 days away, no movement yet. Roberts would be an instant upgrade for most teams. Mets with Reyes-Roberts setting the tables would create a superb dp combo too. Roberts to LA, either Chicago club or St. Louis seems like great fits. O's don't seem to be dealing.
KC has a bat or two and potential back end starting pitching available.
Mets need OF help. Alou and Church are done, catching is inadequate, 2b could use an upgrade. Dunn? Bay? Ibanez? Ichiro? Fuentes (rp). Who will it be? Or will this club stand pat?
Has Milwaukee and Chicago finished shopping? We'll find out soon enough. Cubs could use CF/2B and Milwaukee bullpen help.
Texas... interesting situation. Starting pitching is something this team can never seem to find late in the year. If they can get a pitcher or two this squad can sneak up on others real fast without being noticed until it's too late. I'd really like to see this club make a strong push for solid pitching. Plenty of young talent to wheel and deal.
Seattle wants to dump everyone. Washburn, Bedard, Beltre, Ibanez, Johima, Ichiro ... pick a name and Seattle is all too willing to listen. Picked by many to contend, this flat-foot team has played ugly baseball.
Angels - baseball's best record could use a slugger. Dunn, Bay, Beltre, Huff, Teixeira, Holliday could all be welcomed additions. Not much needed in LA but one key player would make them unstoppable.
Rockies weren't in the race at this juncture last season either.... then they made history until running head first into theghty Red Sox. Holliday and lefty relief specialist Fuentes have been subject of many trade talks and would help any team in need.

These are just a few pf the bigger names being mentioned. Sometimes it's the below radar names which deliver the biggest bang for the buck. We'll soon see which teams step it up at the last minute. As always, the Yanks seem to be the biggest buyers in need... with cross town rival Mets and Arizona not far behind.

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