Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Notes

-I'm pretty proud of myself. Yesterday I predicted that the sorry, no account Pirates would trade Freddy Sanchez by the trade deadline. And then, before the end of the day, the sorry, no account Pirates did just that, sending Sanchez to the Giants for pitching prospect Tim Alderson. Alderson is apparently pretty highly regarded, but when is it ever going to be 'next year' for the Bucs?

-I'm also pretty proud of Matt Garza of the Rays. Garza flat-out admitted that he nailed Mark Teixiera on purpose with a pitch in the fifth inning of last night's game against the Yankees. I'm not trying to advocate pitchers throwing at guys, or head hunting, or anything like that. But after Yankee starter Joba Chamberlain threw one a bit too close to the dome of star third baseman Evan Longoria, Garza had had enough.

"They can take whatever they want from it from it, but I just kind of got tired of people brushing him (Longoria) back. It's about time someone made a statement," Garza said, noting that Longoria was hit by a pitch in the opener of the three-game series on Monday night.
"I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say we're tired of it," the right-hander added. "You can go after our best guy. Well, we'll make some noise, too, and that's what happened."

Good for him. Actions like that go a long way towards earning the respect of your teammates. Think after that, Longoria doesn't want to jump into the stands, slide headlong into the dugout, or dive all out after a grounder to help Garza get outs?

-Now David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are the latest to reportedly have failed a drug test in 2003. The more this stuff comes out in drips and drabs, the more I'm convinced that the Commissioner's Office, in concert with the MLBPA, needs to release the full list. Every time a new name comes out, the whole issue gets dragged up again. We'll never know the full extent of the issue, or everyone that did it, but releasing the list would kill some of the media momentum the story could gather.

-If you're keeping track at home, players reportedly on the list are Jason Grimsley, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, David Segui and Sammy Sosa. Not exactly a bunch of scrubs.

-More names are going to come out, and this leaky fawcet won't stop anytime soon. Too many people have seen too many names on that list to expect it to remain a secret.

-The Phillies were happy about the acquisition of Cliff Lee, I'm sure. Maybe too happy. They stunk against Yusmeiro Petit in a 4-0 loss to the Diamondbacks last night. Tough to complain about how they've been playing lately. But they really stunk against Petit. Did I mention they stunk? They stunk.

-The Phillies now have way too many starting pitchers. Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton, Pedro Martinez, J.A. Happ, Rodrigo Lopez, Jamie Moyer. That's seven. Lopez is headed back to AAA soon, so he's out. Then who? Happ has been great as a starter, but has also shown the versatility to be effective out of the bullpen, so he might end up getting hurt by the fact that he can do both. Martinez has some relief incentives built into his contract, and may actually be more effective pitching in short bursts than in the long outings he'd have to make as a starter. One thing I will predict right now... Jamie Moyer will not be on the Phillies playoff roster.

-Saturday in San Francisco could now be a Tim Lincecum-Cliff Lee matchup. That would be awesome.

-The Mets continue to show why they're the greatest thing ever. First, VP for player development Tony Bernazard challenges an entire AA team to a fight during a post-game tirade. Then last week, during a press conference to announce Bernazard's firing, Omar Minaya accuses a beat reporter of writing stories about Bernazard in an attempt to grab a front office job with the team. Combining a bad team (that has played well lately) with a couple of late-season chokes, a fired manager, and now these kinds of PR hits, Minaya's time as Mets GM is probably dwindling. Which, as a Phillies fan, is kind of like hearing that the Cowboys are about to fire Wade Phillips. You'd prefer someone who does their job so poorly for a team you hate stays in that spot for quite awhile.

-Early trade deadline winners: Phillies for solidifying their rotation with Lee, Cardinals for getting Matt Holliday as protection for Albert Pujols, A's for getting a very good prospect (Brett Wallace) for Holliday.

-Early trade deadline losers: Blue Jays for completely overplaying their hand in the Roy Halladay negotiations, Indians for only getting an 18-year old and three prospects the Phillies had cooled on for Lee, the Pirates for trading away the only players anyone has ever heard of.

-I'll make a few more quick trade deadline predictions: Adrian Gonzalez goes to the Red Sox, Halladay stays put, Anaheim does nothing, the Pirates trade at least one more decent player, Ed Wade acquires an average middle reliever for the Astros, and a major name gets moved during the waiver period of August 1st-31st.

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