Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's The Great Pumpkin!!!!

  • Phillies 10-Braves 9:
Quote from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, courtesy of
great pumpkin pic.jpg

Linus: There he is! There he is! It's the Great Pumpkin! He's rising out of the pumpkin patch!
[Linus faints and the "Pumpkin" is really Snoopy, meanwhile Sally is seething]

Linus: What happened? Did I faint? What did he leave us? Did he leave us any toys?

The same reaction must have been exhibited by the fans who were stunned by the sight of Mike Hampton scheduled to pitch; making it out to the mound to pitch; actually pitching; pitching somewhat effectively. His line looks terrible with six earned runs and eight hits
hampton pic.jpeg
allowed, two walks and only one strikeout, but for a guy who hasn't pitched in a big league game in three years and has had injuries to just about every single part of his body preventing him from managing to drag himself out to the mound long enough to throw a pitch, it could've been much worse and his stuff looked good enough to be able to win some games eventually. If Hampton can keep from getting hurt, he's bound to get better. Of course, he could get hurt again doing, well, doing anything considering the shaky nature of his musculature, but four innings is better than the zero innings he's given the Braves since 2005.
  • Yankees 10-Red Sox 3:
Again we hear the speculation about Manny Ramirez and the possibility of him being sent out of Boston for his newest episode of pulling himself out of the lineup. Everyone conveniently forgets the negative side of "Manny being Manny" when he's hitting his clutch homers or making everyone chuckle with his bizarre behaviors, but a major part of "Manny being Manny"
Manny Pic.jpeg
is pulling himself out of the lineup with questionable injuries and doing things that angers the fans, teammates, coaching staff, manager and front office. I said recently that the Red Sox have the prospects and money to acquire Matt Holliday and play him in right field; move J.D. Drew to center field and deal with Manny for the rest of the year and decline his option----Teams That Should Hold; Teams That Should Raise, July 19.
If the Red Sox do decide to trade Manny, the only thing I can see happening is if they can formulate a three way deal with the Mets or Phillies and the Rockies to get Holliday to Boston, Manny to New York or Philadelphia and a load of stuff from the other two organizations to Colorado. Other than that, the Red Sox aren't going to trade Manny, and I still think they might end up exercising his option at the end of the year if he behaves himself helps them to another title. And it's likely to go back-and-forth several times before a final decision is made if they don't trade him in the coming days.
  • Dodgers acquire Casey Blake:
Casey Blake was one of the unsung players for the Indians during their rebuilding process
Blake pic.jpg
and return to contention. A late bloomer, it took the Indians to give him a chance to play regularly after he bounced from the Blue Jays to the Twins, to the Orioles, back to the Twins and finally to the Indians where he became an everyday player at the age of 29. Able to play first base, third base and right field, Blake is one of those players that many don't notice until he does something that helps his team win a big game, but those that were paying attention know how good and useful Blake is to a team with playoff aspirations. The days of musical third baseman for the Dodgers of 2008 are over.
Indians GM Mark Shapiro knows what he's doing and in acquiring John Meloan he gets a
shapiro pic.jpeg
24-year-old righty with big strikeout numbers throughout his professional career. He's been terrible statistically this year, but the Indians are going to offer an opportunity to make it in the big leagues as they rebuild, so if he's going to make it, he's in the right place. 22-year-old Carlos Santana is a utility player who can catch and has come into his own at the plate in high A ball this year with a massive offensive year. His numbers----14 homers; 94 RBI; 83 runs scored; a .318 average; .424 OBP; and 52 of his 109 hits have been for extra bases----indicate that he's got a chance to be a solid big leaguer a few years down the road. Shapiro isn't stupid and knows how to mine other organizations for talent, so with a player like Blake who was in demand, it's safe to say Shapiro got what he wanted in the deal. This is a positive move for both sides.
The Indians also acquired Anthony Reyes from the Cardinals for minor league righty Luis Perdomo. Reyes was once considered one of the jewels of the Cardinals system, but it had
anthony reyes pic.jpg
become increasingly clear that he wasn't going to make it in St. Louis; needed a change of scenery to a venue where he'd be put into a role and left there; and he needed to get away from Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan. For all of the success stories the famed duo has formulated, there are always a few pitchers for whom their methods don't sink in. It happened most recently with Jason Marquis and now Reyes is going to get another chance somewhere else. Perdomo is 24, has spent this season with the Indians high A and double A affiliates and put up big strikeout numbers as a reliever. It wouldn't be surprising to see him in St. Louis before the season's over for the Cardinals to see if they can strike some rookie lightning out of the bullpen.

No comments: