Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Friday, August 29, 2014

A's-Angels: A Running Diary

9:10: We’re live at the Wilson Moore estates for the Angels vs A’s in the biggest series since… Well, since when they met last week. Here’s a running diary of my thoughts.

9:12: The Oakland broadcast shows the A’s lineup. It’s typical small market, good team. Nobody’s hitting close to .300, Jonny Gomes is hitting cleanup, and yet they somehow manage to score runs. I’ve never understood the logic of people who say that doesn’t work in the playoffs. It’s all the same game.

9:15: Josh “Hero of nerd, enemy of the casual fan” Donaldson draws a walk. He’s the anti Joe Mauer, who puts up great numbers every year without seeming to get the respect of the nerds.

9:17: Wilson gets out of it with just the walk. Next up we have the struggling Sonny Gray, a big part of the A’s recent difficulties. As Jonah Keri pointed out last week, he just hit the wall of the most innings he’s ever pitched in one season.

9:25: Trout gets punched out on a borderline high strike. It’s the type of pitch they don’t usually call but should if they want to speed up games.

9:25: Pujols gets called out the exact pitch. At least Greg Gibson is being consistent. We then get a fantastic shot of Mike Sciocia in the dugout staring at him with one of those, “You are so stupid I’m in shock right now” looks while slowing shaking his head.

9:30: Derek Norris bounces out to new Angel Gordon Beckham, who I’ll sorely miss being in the Central just because of the level of comedy he adds to the game while watching it with my uncle. He says that’s the most British sounding name of all time and whenever sees him doing something talks in a stereotypical British accent.

9:36: The A’s announcer gets a great dig in on Angels fans, while the camera’s showing some people in Athletics jerseys, “The A’s fans show up on time here in southern California”

9:39: Hamilton singles for the Angel’s first hit, dumping it in front of Gomes in left.

9:41: Howie Kendrick slashes a single past Andy Parrino at short. Here comes the Sonny Gray, over innings meltdown.

9:43: Yup, Aybar singles in the same spot, as Gomes’s throw to the plate comes in late. (Cut to all the A’s fans screaming, “Why did we have to give up Cespedes?”)

9:45: Gray throws his second straight wild pitch; you can feel the inevitable bases clearing double coming. Gray needs to get out of this inning before it gets to Trout. We all know what’s going to happen if he goes there.

9:50: The announcers mention that Beckham has been hitting better since he got to the Angels. I have a theory that every player is briefly rejuvenated after being traded and always is better in every aspect. There was Manny to the Dodgers, Willingham just recently, Morales earlier this year… I could go on and on.

9:52: Beckham bloops a single off the end of his bat. That’s tough for Gray. He had struck out the previous batter, was about to get out of the inning and had Beckham 0-2 before that. He just got unlucky.

10:00: Parrino strikes out looking. Gibson has a huge strike zone. That pitch looked at the knees or a little lower.

10:06: Trout singles and flashes a jazz hands symbol at the dugout. Is this going to be this year’s weird symbol like the Brewer’s “Beast mode” or the moose antlers on the Rangers? Trout’s one of the few players who makes me stop what I’m doing and look up when he’s at the plate. Only him, McCutchen, Cabrera and Cano make me do that.

10:11: Just thought I’d point out that Geovany Soto’s reflective chest protector makes him look like the Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man movie.

10:14: Gray’s thrown six straight balls out of the strike zone. There are runners on first and third after Trout advanced on a fly ball. He hasn’t looked like the same gutsy pitcher from last year’s ALDS against the Tigers who went up and in on Torii Hunter when he was crowding the plate. That guy looked confident enough to go toe to toe with anyone. It just hasn’t been there tonight.

10:24: After Donaldson doubles down the line in left, Gomes takes a ball just outside, followed by the reappearance of the Sciocia face.

10:26: Gomes hits the ball to the warning track and we see two of the most awkward baseball moments on one play: First, Hamilton jumps to catch it even though he’s nowhere close to the wall, and then on the replay we find out that Gomes flipped his bat and watched the ball, thinking he had a homer.

10:27: “C.J. Wilson isn’t just going to give up,” Ok, I’m glad we got that clarified.

10:28: Wilson gets out of it. This just isn’t the Athletics’ day.

10:35: Gray gets through the fourth allowing just a walk, although he got a double play on a great stop by Parrino, if that had gotten through he would’ve had first and third with none out. This feels like a Tommy Milone start.

10:37: One of the bad things about watching a game on MLB.TV is that I can’t make fun of any commercials because all I see is an MLB logo between innings.

10:40: The A’s get there first run on a double by Soto that Calhoun misplays in the corner, allowing him to go to third Brandon Moss to score “All the way” from first base as every announcer in the world would say.

10:43: There’s a great shot of Chili Davis in the Oakland dugout. The camera stays on him for about ten seconds and he doesn’t move at all, staying slumped over the railing the entire time. Can someone wake him up?

10:45: Coco Crisp lines a ball over the shortstop’s head to give the A’s their second run of the game. Now that’s what I call moneyball, baby! No, that has nothing to do with anything, I just like saying that when I watch the A’s.

10:50: Crisp fakes toward second to try to draw a throw, which he does. On the next pitch, like a cocky kid pushing his luck too far, he does it again and gets picked off.

10:56: Three up, three down, for Gray. I have to say, he’s calmed down since the third. He still isn’t, “Gray ALDS” but he’s getting there.

11:00: Donaldson absolutely kills a ball over the left field fence to tie it up. Crisp is officially off the hook. Kudos to the A’s for making a human tunnel for Donaldson to run through in the dugout after he gets back. It’s stuff like that where you can really tell what a team’s chemistry is like.

11:03: Rattled, Wilson then walks Gomes.

11:04: After a double play, Callaspo singles for their fifth hit in the last two innings, after just two in the previous four. Someone woke them up.

11:08: Wilson just walked Moss after throwing three straight pitches in the same spot and having one called a strike and two balls. Here comes Sciocia, that’s all for him today.

11:10: C.J. Wilson looks like he’s ready to go on a three state killing spree.

11:13: New pitcher Mike Morin walks Soto, bringing up pinch hitter Stephen Vogt, who you might remember for his walk off hit last year against the Tigers in the ALDS.

11:15: Vogt looks like the manliest guy on the field. He isn’t wearing batting gloves and has his helmet and bat covered with pine tar.

11:18: Oakland’s announcers are a bit dramatic. One of them just said that this at bat could decide the game, despite declaring Freese’s second inning plate appearance “The most important at bat of the game.”

11:18: Vogt strikes out on the eighth pitch of the at bat to end the inning in a tie game.

11:22: Kendrick singles and does the jazz hands again. We need a name for this.

11:25: Gray just got another double play turned behind him. He’s officially back into ALDS mode right now. This has been a really resilient performance, I expected him to implode about an hour ago.

11:34: Donaldson draws his second walk of the game to bring up another pinch hitter in Josh Reddick. Sciocia’s doing the face again.

11:35: Reddick hits a fly to center which looks like it might fall in but Trout makes what Dick Bremer would call “A fine running grab” to take it away.

11:40: Ianetta strikes out. I’ll say it again: After a rocky start, Gray looks really, really good. He’s attacking the strike zone, getting ahead of batters, and just generally making the Angels feel uncomfortable.

11:47: The Angels bring in Joe Smith, who, despite his solid regular numbers, has and ERA north of 12 against Oakland this year.

11:51: The Angels are putting the shift on for Moss, prompting a discussion over whether it’s an unwritten rule to not bunt. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, do something that doesn’t help your team win the game.

11:57: Luke Gregorson comes on in relief, sporting a really weird beard.

12:00: Home plate umpire Greg Gibson calls a high strike on Trout, who steps out of the box looking disgusted. He’s been calling it all night. They just need to adjust.

12:03: After a nice backhanded stop, the A’s announcer compares Donaldson to Brooks Robinson. I think the entire season will be on someone’s shoulders soon. Hopefully it will be one of the guys who’s as good as Willie Mays at the plate.

12:06: After every pitch, Soto reaches forward and brushes the plate. Does he not think the pitcher can see it? Is he a neat freak? So many questions.

12:13: Ex Twins watch! Sam Fuld steps to the plate as a pinch hitter.

12:16: Fuld flies out to Trout. We head to the bottom of the ninth.

12:18: Dan Otero is on to face Erick Aybar.

12:20: Weird situation: Aybar chops the ball up the first base line, Otero and Moss both go for it, Otero takes it just outside the line, as Aybar runs into Otero. They give Aybar first, ruling interference on Moss, saying he forced Aybar out of the line.

12:23: The A’s are protesting. Ever since the Giants won theirs, everybody thinks they can do it now. Good luck with that.

12:25: John McDonald lay a beautiful bunt down the first base line, and makes it on a miscommunication between Moss and Otero. Runners on first and second.

12:27: Dioner Navarro bunts again to bring the runners to second and third.

12:28: The A’s intentionally walk Beckham to set up a force and bring up Kole Calhoun. I don’t know yet if they’ll bring the infield in. I wouldn’t. If I’m Bob Melvin the last thing I want is Mike Trout up in this situation. Just go for the double play. It’s a risk worth taking.

12:31: After seeing 53 replays, I can now see that Aybar changed his path to run into Otero after he had the ball. Crafty play. There’s now a decent chance they win.

12:33: Calhoun pops out. Here comes Trout, who will face another reliever in Ryan Cook.

12:37: Trout grounds to Donaldson, who makes a surprisingly shaky throw to second. But Callaspo keeps his foot on the bag to send it to extras.

12:45: I’ve never heard less energy in an extra inning game than right now. It sounds like the third inning right now. C’mon Angels fans, I expected better of you.

12: 47: Fernando Salas retires the A’s 1-2-3. We head to the bottom of the tenth.

12:50: Cook walks Pujols to start out the inning.

12:51: Hamilton hits a gounder just past the diving Callaspo to bring Pujols to third base with no outs. The A’s will bring the infield and outfield in.

12:55: Kendrick hits a high fly ball to right, Reddick catches it, Pujols tags and the game’s over. Man, that was crazy.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thoughts on the Throttling of the Tigers

     Last night, I attended the wildest and strangest Twins game of the season. In fact it was so weird, I'm scrapping the Twins Week in Review to focus on this instead.
     I went with my dad and nephew, we parked a few blocks away from the field at one of the meters. My first thought coming out of the car was, Crap I forgot my scorebook. Yes, I do keep score, at least a few times a season. I quickly forgot about it until after the game when we were walking back to the car and I remembered it. Looking back at it I'm glad I didn't have it.
     Anyway, going back to the game, the final score was so lopsided it's easy to forget that for a good portion of the game the outcome was still in doubt. Tommy Milone was only making his third start with the Twins, but from his first two and reading about him in Oakland, I had already figured out one thing: He couldn't be more inconsistent. As evidenced by his high WHIP, he puts guys on base, but some nights he gets lucky and doesn't give any up big hits Other nights, well things go downhill. A few minutes after we finished discussing whether Milone would get through the fourth inning, Kinsler lined the fifth pitch of the game into the bullpen, my first thought was, "This is going to be a long night,"
     But the pessimism was short lived when Milone didn't allow any other runs the next two innings and the Twins put up a six spot in the second. After that, the Twins just needed to fall on the ball, as my dad and I call it. It's an expression we use whenever the Twins score a lot of runs early in the game and you can see the inevitable collapse coming. Sure enough, Milone kept putting runners in scoring position until the fifth when all the dangers he had been in caught up to him and the Tigers scored four runs and were poised for more when this happened.
     I was sitting about the 20th row down the first baseline, so I had no idea what happened. I got the idea that a fan had interfered based on Arcia's reaction, but other than that I wasn't sure. Seeing the highlight, I'm disgusted. Shut up, obnoxious guy and your annoying daughters, it's not funny. The Twins could have easily lost the game because of you. You don't know yet they're going to score nine next inning.
    The Twins eventually got out of it with just one more run scoring on a brilliant double play going Dozier-Escobar-Mauer. That's when the fun started.
     Escobar, the Twins good fielding, light hitting utility infielder who committed two errors and came within a double of the cycle lead it off with a triple over Rajai Davis's head. My as he rounded second you could tell he wanted to run home, but Vavra held him up. I know it was the right decision, given that there weren't any outs and it ended up starting a rally. But,from my perspective, it looked like he would've made it if he had gone. From there, Schafer and Santana walked, bringing up Mr. Dozier, who smashed a single past the drawn in infield, causing my dad to say, "That's the first time I can ever remember Dozier getting a clutch hit," It was that kind of night.
    That brought up Mauer, who, hell bent on silencing the "he only gets hits with no one on" idiots  hit a single of his own, bringing in two. After that, a lot of people got hits. Nothing particularly interesting happened until the eighth, which is where our story continues.
     At the beginning of the bottom, I got back from getting a drink of water, and noticed how awkward the Tigers pitcher looked. Then I looked up the radar gun to see his fastball was hitting 81 MPH. That could only mean one thing, we were witnessing the ultimate sign of a blowout. Shortstop Andrew Romine was pitching. In fact, he was doing pretty well until Arcia hit a moonshot off the flag pole on the plaza. After he rounded the bases, I said, "The only thing that would've made that better would be if he had flipped his bat after hitting it. I went back to the highlights. He did.
     Plouffe, the next batter hit one over the left field wall to make the game officially goofy. Two batters later, Schafer lined out hard to right and slammed his bat, humiliated that he hadn't gotten a hit off the infielder. Although I'm sure Suzuki would have done anything to change places with him. He struck out looking on a 81 mile per hour fastball to cap off his 0-6 night. Poor guy.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Santana and Vargas: The Hypeless Buxton and Sano

     The last few years, the only discussion on Twins fans minds has been Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. From the Sports Illustrated article referring to them as, "the next Trout and Harper," to just general buzz wherever they go. Things were looking up, but, as usual with the Twins lately, they quickly crashed to the ground. It came out that Sano would have to have Tommy John Surgery during spring training, and at the end of it, Buxton injured his wrist which stunted his development before coming back rusty, being awful, and suffering a horrific concussion last week. So much for this season.
     But, as the old saying goes, "When two prospects have disappointing and injury filled seasons, two more make you feel optimistic," Ok, maybe that's not the exact quote, but it's pretty dang close. Coincidently, what's happening with the Twins fits that expression perfectly. With Buxton and Sano down, shortstop/centerfielder Danny Santana and first baseman Kennys Vargas have arrived.
     We'll start with Santana: The 5' 11" 175 pound speedster got called up on May fifth and has made an immediate impact by posting .315/.350/.461 splits with 12 stolen bases along with his great fielding wherever he plays. He's also shown surprising consistency for an inexperienced player. In his 68 games this year, he's gotten a hit in 50 of them.
     His hitting spreads to the rest of the Twins lineup as well.   A few weeks ago, I noticed that whenever Twins collectively had a good day at the plate, Santana was always in the middle of it. I'm not just talking a hit either, he would always explode on those days for multiple hits. I checked the stats, and sure enough, Santana has a .387 batting average in wins, second among active players on the team, only behind Suzuki, whose average is .388.
     Don't forget, he's doing all of this while learning a new position. In the minor leagues he played 25 total games in center field, only two of which came after 2012. Now he's in the big leagues and making throws like this. The future's bright up the middle.
     Vargas is the physical opposite of Santana. The first baseman has six inches and 100 pounds on Danny at 6'5" 275. He has considerably less service time than Santana, as he was called up on August first. Although his size and frame make him seem like a classic Adam Dunn type power hitter, he plays like a smaller person. A third of his hits this year have gone to the opposite field, which means since he already does it, there's no chance for the Twins stupid philosophy to screw him up. He's a decent fielder at first, another unusual trait in big men.
     Of course, just because Sano and Buxton are having disappointing seasons doesn't mean they'll be busts. I'm just using Vargas and Santana as an example and a reason this season hasn't been a total bust. Sano and Buxton will be up in a few years. And with a top of the order of Buxton-Santana-Vargas-Sano, as Dan Gladden would say, It's gonna be fun.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Twins Week in Review: August 9th-16th

Three Reasons to be Happy
1. Mauer
Joe picked up immediately where he left off in his return on the 11th, collecting six hits in four games and raising his average to .276. I bet we see a bounce back year from Mauer in 2015, a lot of his struggles were during a miserable start to the season.
2. Willingham and Correia 
Neither were helping, they weren't part of the long term plan it was nice to get something for them, especially Willingham, for whom they got Jason Adam, a right handed pitcher with some potential.
3. Milone
The lefty we got from Oakland made his first start in a Twins uniform against Houston, giving up just two runs over six innings. However, he clearly needs to improve a bit, as he also surrendered eight hits and danced in and out of trouble all night.
Three Reasons to be Frustrated
1. Nolasco
For the last two weeks all we've been hearing is that Nolasco feels great, and that he hasn't felt this good since he was 20, everything pointed to him being the pitcher he was with the Dodgers instead of here. So much for that idea. We forgot about the fact that he's required by law to give up any leads the Twins have gotten.
2. May
Got rocked in his debut, struggling with control and giving up four runs in two innings while walking seven. He's been doing well in AAA, so I'd keep him up in the bigs for at least one more start to try to figure it out.
3. Buxton
Holy crap. After I heard about the concussion I spent the next few minutes calming myself down, He's not going to be like Morneau, he hasn't had any concussions before, and I eventually got over it, until Jim Souhan wrote a column about the Twins being cursed.
Random thought of the Week
Amount of stolen bases for Jordan Schafer, in 23 attempts, including 6-6 with the Twins. I was fine with his signing because it finally gave the Twins a legitimate center fielder, rather than a shortstop (Santana/Nunez) or even worse, the slowest outfield of all time (Willingham/Parmelee/Arcia) Although there's one downside, that the Twins no longer have four guys who came up as shortstops in their starting lineup, Nunez, Santana, Plouffe, Dozier. They'll have to settle for being the only team with two guys named "Eduardo" on it.
Dan Gladden Stupidity Moment of the Week
In which we look at something moronic Dan Gladden said while announcing Twins games
Against the Padres, Suzuki was up with Santana on first. with a 1-1 count, Santana swiped second, on which Danny's call was, "Santana goes, pitch taken, the throw to second is... not in time!" After that I was thinking, Well, what's the count? Danny never told us. We didn't know weather there were two strikes on Suzuki or not. Suzuki singled on the next pitch. I'll never know.

Friday, August 15, 2014

How to Fix the Rockies and Other Thoughts

     The Rockies are in the middle of another miserable season. It's looking like they're going to have another miserable season next year. But, to brighten the future, owner Dick Monfort's hired me as the next GM. Here's what I'd do.
    Obviously the biggest issue the Rockies have is pitching. Their team ERA of 4.99 is last in the league. Coors Field has some effect on that, but they also have a road ERA of 4.80. As the A's and Tigers have figured out, pitching wins championships, which is why I'm trading Troy Tulowitzki to Kansas City for pitching prospects Kyle Zimmer and Sean Manaea at the deadline next year. There's no question Tulo's a great player, but his body just can't take playing in Denver. Since 2007 he's averaged 117 games per season and hasn't played 150 since 2009. After that move, I'm still concentrating on nothing but pitching, in the draft, smaller trades, free agency, anything.
     Meanwhile, for the offense, I'm staying cheap but efficient by going the Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau route. Both of them were decent hitters with the Twins, but going to Coors Field turned them into potential All-Stars. Looking at the list of 2015 free agents, Mike Morse and Jed Lowrie are the two who stand out for me as relatively cheap players whose batting average will bump up quite a bit in Denver.
     Moving up north, the Tigers are in danger of ending up as a wild card after being considered a World Series favorite two weeks ago after acquiring David Price, causing Michigan to have a collective freak out. Part of this is the fact that Justin Verlander simply isn't a good number one, number two, or even number three starter at this point in his career. I still think they'll eventually take the Central just because the Royals are the Royals and eventually the 1-2 punch of Scherzer and Price will be too much.
     Rob Manfred was just named Bud Selig's successor, the second change of commissioner in the last year. There was lots of fanfare when David Stern left, and while he was an entertaining character, his legacy can't hold a candle to Selig's. I'll remember Selig as a guy who did things. PEDs where a problem, so he handed out strict punishments, there were controversial calls that changed games dramatically, so Selig implemented instant replay. And you can bet that if tanking were a problem in the MLB, Bud would have done something about that too. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Case for... The Wolves Being Better Without Kevin Love

     The Beatles once said, "All you need is love," The Timberwolves clearly proved that theory wrong last year. Of course, I'm not sure how much weight you want to put into that because they're the same people who once said, "Can't buy me love," It's looking like the Cavs are set to prove that wrong as well. That brings up my question: Do we even need Love?
     The first thing any Love critic will point out is defense, or, more specifically, the fact that he doesn't seem to try. Assuming that the current deal everyone's talking about, Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and next year's first round pick for Love goes through, their defense will improve immensely. Wiggins could be the best perimeter defender in the league in a few years and is already long, athletic and has good instincts. If he takes minutes away from Kevin Martin, another uninterested defender, the defense will improve a ton.
     Here's another thing that will improve with Love's absence: Ricky Rubio. The gifted passer doesn't do as well in a system with one go-to scorer. Last year there were way too many possessions when Rubio brought the ball up, dumped it into Love and stood around watching him. With Love out, Rubio will be much more of a distributer and will be given many more opportunities to create.
     The Wolves had quite possibly the worst luck of all time at the end of close games last season. They were 6-13 in games decided by four points or less and choked away more late leads than Tony Romo. It's inevitable that they'll be at least a little better in crunch time next year.
     Rick Adelman was terrible with subs last year. There's no other way to put it. He refused to play Shabazz Muhammad despite him scoring 20 on the Suns in one of his few chances at extended playing time. The only reason rookie center Gorgui Dieng got any playing time was when he somehow managed to catch Adelman's attention with a 20-20 game against the Rockets. If those two played all season the Wolves would've been better. I have no doubt about that.
     This is all just talking about next year. I've never even mentioned about what's going to happen down the road. There's a decent chance Wiggins fulfills his potential and turns the Wolves into a playoff team, there's a decent chance Rubio makes the leap this year and becomes a good shooter. (Not out of the question. Rubio's percentages have gone up every year.) There's a decent chance Lavine shows us why he was projected to be a top five pick in early conference play. There's a decent chance Glenn Robinson III turns out to be a second round steal. There's a decent chance all Anthony Bennett needed was a change of scenery and body type. (Unless they trade him for Thaddeus Young. Which they shouldn't but probably will) When you add all of those up, there's a decent chance that the Wolves become a Western Conference power in a few years.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Twins Week in Review: July 26th-August 1st

Three Reasons to be Happy
1. Santana!
He's been on a tear this road trip, ending the Chicago with five hits, coming up a homer short of the cycle. He doesn't look like a rookie at all. He's also one of the few players hitting with runners in scoring position, with a .350 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs and .395 just with RISP.
2. Vargas
Lots of people are comparing him to David Ortiz, but I'm not really seeing it. Obviously he's a huge guy just like Papi, but Vargas hits smaller than his size uses the whole field much more often than Ortiz. I'm optimistic he'll pan out, he just needs cut down on the strikeouts and get rid of his Arciaism.*
*Arciaism: A disease normally found in young players that causes one to swing as hard as they can on pitches in the dirt.
3. Gibson
Sticking with the theme of guys I'm really excited to see on the team in a few years, Gibson has shown some huge upside. In a few years he could be really good. He keeps showing us how much potential he has. On Sunday, FSN showed a graphic that said, in wins, his ERA was 0.66. In losses it's 8.80. He just needs to figure out how to harness his stuff all the time.
Three Reasons to be Frustrated
1. The bullpen
Geeze, what happened? The pen's been a rock all season, then suddenly just on this road trip they've imploded. Let's hope it's just a slump.
2. Lack clutch hitting
Right now, Santana, Suzuki and maybe Plouffe just because of how he's doing right now are the only guys I would trust with a runner in scoring position and two outs. There isn't really any way to fix that problem. It's just something that happens when you have a terrible team.
3. More bad managing
Reread what I said at number one. Now look at number one on the Reasons to be Happy. Now think about what you've watched and followed the last week. Now, using everything you've thought about and read in the last minute or so, answer this question: Would you rather have Santana or Dozier with a man on? If you paid attention at all, you would say Santana. Apparently Gardy hasn't been paying much attention. With Nunez on first and none out, he had Santana bunt. I'll repeat that: He had the guy who went 5 for 6 bunt. The game has passed Gardy up.
Random Stat of the Week
Just to drive my point home that we suck with runners in scoring position, that's the amount of guys we have on the team with a batting average above .252 with runners in scoring position.
Dan Gladden Stupidity Moment of the Week
In which we look at something moronic Dan Gladden said while announcing Twins games
At the beginning of the week, Provus was talking about RBI baseball coming back out when he mentioned that he played it as a kid and Gladden was his leadoff hitter, when Danny and his giant ego said, "Yeah, lots of people have said that to me," Provus responded with,
"How do they say you did?" which Danny responds with
"They all say I was pretty good,"
Really Danny? You have such a huge ego that you're bragging about how good you are in a video game? My uncle puts it best: "Gladden remembers his career as being much better than it actually was," Perfect.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Trade Deadline Recap

The Craziest time of the year has come and gone, here's a recap of who did well, who was awful, and which GMs need to get their heads checked.
July 26th
Giants-Red Sox
Giants get: P Jake Peavy
Red Sox get: P Heath Hembree, P Edwin Escobar
This trade just baffled me. Do the Giants really think a pitcher with an ERA north of four is going to be the missing piece? Meanwhile, the Red Sox made off with the Giants number two prospect at the beginning of the year (Escobar) whose value is way down because of some struggles this year. Toss a rookie reliever on top of that and you have a serious pillaging.
Winner: Red Sox

Jul 27th
Blue Jays-Royals
Blue Jays get: 3B Danny Valencia
Royals get: P Liam Hendriks, C Erik Kratz
Here's how I imagine the conversations going down between Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos and Royals GM Dayton Moore.
AA: Hey, I'll give you my failed Twins prospect for your failed Twins prospect.
DM: Nah, at least my failed Twins prospect is decent. Yours is just a AAA pitcher who shouldn't be in the big leagues under any circumstances.
AA: I really want to get rid of mine. Are there any other deals you would do?
DM: I'll tell you what: If you throw in a 34 year old career .216 hitting catcher we have a deal.
AA: Deal!
Winner: Blue Jays

July 31st
Cardinals get: P Justin Masterson
Indians get: OF James Ramsey
This is a tough trade to talk about because we're not sure what's going to happen. Masterson was in the middle of  a miserable season before going on the DL, so The winner all depends on weather Masterson was ineffective because of the injury or if he's just lost it. Cardinals fans will be holding their breath because they just lost a former first round pick and top ten prospect in James Ramsey to get him. The outfielder has a slash line of .300/.389/.521 this year for AA Springfield.
Winner: TBD

Nationals get: SS Asdrubal Cabrera
Indians get: SS Zach Walters
Nice trade for the Nats. Walters isn't anything special and they're getting a serviceable shortstop in Cabrera, who isn't the same player he was a few years ago, but he's still a good fielder and someone who has quite a bit of pop for a shortstop.
Winner: Nationals

Cardinals-Red Sox
Cardinals get: P John Lackey, P Cory Littrell
Red Sox get: P Joe Kelly, OF Allen Craig
Once again, the Cards are trying to go big with a high risk high reward trade. Kelly and Craig are in similar situations. They're both having forgettable seasons this year after being really good last year. I'm not sure how this trade helps the Cardinals in the short term or long term. Kelly has only thrown 35 innings this year. He could easily revert back to himself by October. And I haven't even mentioned that Craig was an all star as recently as 2013. All this for a starter with a 3.60 ERA. The Sox continue to dominate the deadline.
Winner: Red Sox

A's-Red Sox
A's get: P Jon Lester, OF Jonny Gomes
Red Sox get: OF Yoenis Cespedes
In the biggest deal of the week is by far the most beneficial for both teams. The A's get their pitching and the Red Sox get the right handed power hitter Fenway is built for. Cespedes is going to make a living banging balls off the monster in the next few years. As for the A's, now that they have Lester, I just can't see any team beating them four out of seven games with him, Samardzija, Kazmir and Sonny Gray. In the end, I've got to go with Oakland, they've catapulted themselves to the World Series favorite with nobody even close.
Winner: A's

Tigers get: P David Price
Mariners get: OF Austin Jackson
Rays get: P Drew Smyly, SS Willy Adames, SS Nick Franklin
I can hear the sobs from the MLB offices already at the idea of a Detroit-Oakland ALCS. The two big winners here are the Tigers and Mariners, Tigers for obvious reasons, and the Mariners because the Jackson acquisition will allow them to get the struggling James Jones out of the lineup. The Rays didn't do quite as well but got a few young players who could be good down the road, especially Franklin, a potential power hitting shortstop who's only 23. In the end, I've gotta go with the team that put themselves in the best position for right now unless they got completely ripped off. Fortunately for the Tigers, this was not one of those cases.
Winner: Tigers