Thursday, July 3, 2008

Was It Hank Or Was It The Rangers Bullpen?

  • Yankees 18-Rangers 7:
Hank Steinbrenner will undoubtedly think that his demands for more offense had something to do with the 18 runs the Yankees scored, but it had more to do with the Rangers
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bullpen than any fear the players had of the Baby Boss. I kept flipping back and forth from this game to the other games and that seventh inning was interminable. The main culprit out of the Rangers bullpen was converted outfielder Warner Madrigal. Madrigal was all over the place and looked lost, which considering he's only been pitching since 2006, is completely understandable. For a Yankees offense that had been so terrible recently, beggars can't be choosers, but if Hank or anyone else thinks that this is the opening to the floodgates of the Yankees offensive powerhouse, they should probably think again. A good question would be why Rangers manager Ron Washington chose to put Madrigal in that situation with a 7-6 lead and a pretty good chance of sweeping the Yankees.
  • Scott Rolen or Troy Glaus?
Who would the Blue Jays rather have right now? Would they have been better off keeping a
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motivated Troy Glaus, who has a player option at the end of this year and is desperate to produce to get another, perhaps his last, big contract? Or would they rather have Scott Rolen,
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who (along with the years remaining on his bloated contract) was supposed to bring "intangibles" and "hard-nosed play" but has only brought his declining production and injuries?
Glaus is hitting well and if he opts out of his contract may be putting himself on the Mets radar as a possible reasonably priced option at first base next year. Rolen plays hard, there's no question about that, but the injuries have taken their toll on his performance and the Blue Jays can't be happy with what he's providing for them in relation to Glaus with the contract obligations factored in. This was not a smart trade for the Blue Jays in part because they did the Cardinals a favor by getting Rolen out of Tony La Russa's sight and in part because he's a shell of what he once was, but they'll be paying him a lot of money in the coming years.
  • Rockies 8-Padres 1:
I guess the Padres reached their run quota for the week on Monday when they scored 15
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and decided to put the bats away. All kidding aside, they'd better start making their moves quickly because Randy Wolf has been getting blasted and the veterans for whom they might get some value----Brian Giles, Greg Maddux, Trevor Hoffman----are aging and are seeing their skills decline by the day. This season is lost and not dealing the dead weight (Khalil Greene included) is going to hinder the organization even more than they're stinginess and insistence on going with shaky veterans has hindered them already.
  • Phillies 7-Braves 3:
Amid all the ridicule directed towards the Mets, the Braves have been just as bad and as unlucky in their veteran players health and free agent signings. It's an interesting question as to what they're going to do because they're sort of contenders in a league where everyone's one hot streak away from leaping into first place, but they, like the Mets, don't look very impressive.
They're not going to be able to retain Mark Teixeira and they have to start thinking about
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what the team might look like without John Smoltz and Tom Glavine (although Glavine has been on the mound so rarely this year that it's like he never even returned). It would take some guts to do it, but would the Braves, if they continue on their current road, listen to offers for Tim Hudson? It looks bleak and with the core of the team either injury-prone (Chipper Jones); injured (Glavine and Smoltz); underachieving (Jeff Francouer); and playing with one eye on free agency (Teixeira), they might have to strongly consider moving forward and replenishing the organization rather than playing for a hopeless cause. The talent just may not be there for the Braves.
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  • Brewers 4-Diamondbacks 3:
For the way he's saved their season, Salomon Torres deserves consideration for the All Star game. Without him solidifying the closer's role, the Brewers may already have begun a sell-off and be playing for a new manager.

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