Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Now time to give out cheers, jeers, and "meh" to teams based on how they did before this season's non-waiver trade deadline:

Cheers to:

Braves, acquried 1B slugger Mark Teixeira, plus bullpen help in RHP Octavio Dotel and LHP's Ron Mahay and Royce Ring. Tex is obviously the biggest trade this year, and with the bullpen help, the Braves are now legitimate contenders in the NL. (Of course I'd still like to see a post-waiver Bronson Arroyo deal, too.)

Red Sox, acquired RHP Eric Gagne. He joins an already very deep bullpen with the likes of Papelbon, Okajima, and Delcarmen. Really the only question is can he avoid the geriatric-like hip injuries. Boston starters pretty much only have to go 6 innings now. If they don't win that division Francona should be put in prison.

Rangers, acquiring lots of young talent in return for Gagne, Teixeira, and Lofton. They had little chance to re-sign the first two guys anyway and the third one is about a year away from dinosaurdom (jr).

Jeers to:

Padres. First they trade away Linebrink, which granted, he's not as good as he used to be, but he was a big clubhouse presence. Then, if there's one thing the Padres really needed, it's a bat (or 2, or 3), and they went out and got...uh, Rob Mackoviak? Morgan Ensberg? I think they already have those guys, they're named Geoff Blum and Kevin Kouzmanoff. If the Pads end up winning the World Series then I'll shut my mouth but honestly, in my opinion, these were very questionable and lame (lame) moves.

Yankees. All they got was reserve infielder Wilson Betemit. I'm not sure that really qualifies as any sort of an upgrade over Andy Phillips at 1B (where the Yankees will reportedly play Betemit on occasion). He sucked in Atlanta and L.A., I see no reason to expect different in NY. Buster Olney actually said that this move may be in preparation for if A-Rod leaves in the off-season. Olney's a very smart person, so I'll give him a mulligan on that one.

Mets. They really could've used another bat, especially with Beltran now on the DL. Their offense is much worse than people think. The one-dimensional and aging Luis Castillo isn't really going to help that much.

Pirates. Why would they want Matt Morris and his inflated salary? I can't even come up with a single logical answer to this question. Pirates fan, rejoice that Littlefield's days are numbered.

"Meh" to:

Cubs. I think they would've done well to up their offer for Gagne, or maybe they could've found a taker for Jacque Jones. Then again they are playing really well right now so maybe the philosophy was don't rock the boat.

Dodgers. The Proctorologist will help the bullpen, not that it really needed that much though. They really could've used another bat, but at least they did something, and they should hang close with the Padres down the stretch.

Royals. Having seen Kyle Davies plenty-o-times, I think it's a toss-up whether he gets on track in KC. But giving up Dotel was not too big a price, honestly, and it saves them plenty of cash.

Monday, July 30, 2007

What the Mark Teixeira trade means for you

As had been rumored for a while, the Braves made the Salty (and 3 prospects) for Tex (and a LH relief pitcher) trade today. Here are my thoughts on it:

- It's a good trade for both teams: Braves get a proven player at a position where they've really been hurting, with a decent LHP rental. Rangers get a future star at catcher plus 3 above-average prospects.

- It was a steep price for the Braves to pay, or at least, it appears so right now. This trade really reminds me a lot of the McGriff for 3 prospects trade in 1993. Those prospects turned out to be garbage. Though he's had a couple of bad moves before, generally speaking, Schuerholz has a way of getting the better end of deals. He has a really good eye for talent as well as a good sense of when to buy or sell. Rangers GM Jon Daniels, on the other hand, has neither of those abilities. Not to mention that Salty and one of the prospects (SS Elvis Andrus) play positions where they'd be blocked for several years, so the Braves are dealing from a strength to address a weakness, which is always good. Based on track record, I'd actually give the advantage to the Braves on this deal, for that reason and also because...

- Braves have another bat now for when Andruw leaves in 2008, and, despite what some are saying, they have a very good chance at signing Tex long-term. He played college ball at Georgia Tech. His wife is from there. He'll certainly be open to calling Atlanta home (again) for a while. The Braves will have freed up cash with the departure/dismissal of Andruw and Mike Hampton (finally) post-2008. It's not an automatic that he'd sign with the Yankees. That's what everyone thought McGriff would do too, and he didn't.

- Obviously, it goes without saying that the Braves have a much better chance at making the playoffs this year and next. A World Series run is certainly possible, both this year and next.

- As for the argument that they'd have been better off getting a quality SP, I agree, but only if a top-notch (#1 or #2 starter) was out there, and he wasn't. Saltalamacchia is that good of a prospect, and really obviously the key piece of any deal that would've been made. Him alone for, say, Jon Garland, would've been giving up too much. So I think they made the deal that was there, and the one that had to be made.

- Now please Julio Franco, retire already...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Coach Finds His Evidence

Today I found the proof for allegations that I've been making for a long time now: the dimensions in Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park are wrong! A guy used the google maps distance measuring tool (which I didn't even know existed or I would've beaten him to the punch) to find that, on average, the distance from home to the walls are about 4 feet shorter than labeled. Read all about it here in his "Flawed Walls 7/2/07" post.

click on image to see the truth

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Miller Park = best stadium

This was our last stop on the trip. I was impressed with how nice this stadium was. I was pretty much ready to hand over the best stadium award to PNC Park but Miller Park stole it. Here's a picture:
And I admit this isn't much of a post, more an excuse to post a picture, and, more than anything, an attempt to show Zincke that indeed I can post daily. Yesss...
And yeah I know the 1st base line is a bit messed up. It'll be okay.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Awards: The Baseball Trip

I recently went on a baseball trip with some friends from college. We started in Boston on Saturday, July 14th and then headed to these cities over the next six days: Philadelphia, New York (Yankees), Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago (Cubs), Milwaukee. I handed out various awards to club officials at each stadium, which they graciously accepted. Here now is the list of awards in the order of the games we attended:

- Best outfield walls
- Lamest visiting-team fans (Blue Jays)
- Gayest (in the literal sense of the word) visiting-team fans

- Most not-really-as-bitter-as-you'd-think fans
- Best cheesesteak (Pat's on 8th and Passyunk). This is also the only good cheesesteak I've ever eaten.
- Best 10,000th loss

New York (Yankees):
- Best overall experience
- Smartest fans (knew when to cheer, when to get quiet. you'd be surprised how many fans struggle at this without scoreboard assistance.)
- Best fan chanting (from Section 39 in the bleachers. If you've never been there, this alone is worth the price of admission. very cool.)
I'd also like to note here that I'm a Braves fan that pretty well dislikes the Yankees. But I can't even argue, the experience was that good.

- Best ducks/geese
- Most lackluster fans
- Most forgettable game (but at least we got a baseball from Xavier Nady. Thanks X-Man!)

- Worst downtown parking
- Best luxury boxes that look like weird tic tac containers
- Lamest scoreboard graphics

Chicago (Cubs):
- Coldest game
- As much as I hate to admit it, most exciting game (Barry Bonds 2 HR and 6 RBI)
- Best pizza (chicago deep dish > new york style)

- Best bratwurst ever
- Most bitter fans
- Most stuck-in-the-1980's fans
- Best scoreboards
- Best stadium overall

I'll post more about the milwaukee game in another post, as I got some pretty good pictures from that one.

This is Sports Musings, and welcome to you who have come to Sports Musings

Here is my attempt to enter the sports blogging world. I'm doing this mainly to keep in touch with friends. I'll write mostly about sports, but I'll also throw in the occasional post about music, movies, pop-cultural phenomenon, top 10 list, etc. I may or may not use proper grammar. Feel free to leave your comments and/or link to your lame blog.