We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming so that YouGabSports, and your's truly, can keep you up-to-date on the latest rumors and transactions circulating the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, which is fast approaching to a close on Sunday night.
As a big baseball guy, the deadline makes me both excited and nervous, as a trade could make or break a team's chances at winning either this season or in the future. Already, we've had some decent moves made, but the big fireworks are still sitting in the queue as the big boys still haven't come out to play yet.
Moves Already Made
- The big move to date has been the Carlos Beltran deal. This is the kind of win-win deal you don't see much of at the trade deadline. The Mets get the salary relief they were hoping for, and bring in a top pitching prospect in Zach Wheeler. Ultimately, Wheeler is still only a Class-A pitcher, but his upside already had him at the top of the Giants minor-league pitching ranks. The Giants meanwhile get the bat they sorely needed after the loss of Buster Posey. He'll approximate what Posey gave them down the stretch last season, but if San Francisco thinks they are getting the same Carlos Beltran that Houston got a few years back, that may be a pipe dream.
- The other big move thus far is the three-team deal that saw St. Louis acquire pitchers Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel, and Marc Rzepczynski, Toronto pulled in outfielder Colby Rasmus, infielder Mark Teahen, and pitchers pitchers P.J. Walters, Trever Miller and Brian Tallet, and the Chicago White Sox received pitchers Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart. For Chicago, it was a chance to correct a mistake with Jackson, while also picking up some bullpen help and a decent prospect in Stewart. Although the Cardinals got the starting help they needed, I'm not sure that Jackson was the best answer and Rasmus could have been better used to pull in Heath Bell from San Diego. Toronto meanwhile is going nowhere, but they were able to get a decent bat with upside in Rasmus and also put an end to the Edwin Encarnacion era north of the border.
- The only other move to date has been the Cubs sending underachieving import Kosuke Fukodome to Cleveland for a pair of lesser pitching prospects. Fukodome was a bust in Chicago, never hitting for anything near the power and consistency he showed in Japan. Still, with the loss of Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland needed to do something to fill the hole, and for what they were willing to spend, this may work out okay for them.
Still On The Block
- The big pitching names still out there include Ubaldo Jimenez, Eric Bedard, Wandy Rodriguez, and Hiroki Kuroda. Jimenez will cost a fortune of prospects, as Colorado has openly said they are looking for a "Hershel Walker" type deal. Kuroda could be had for the right price, but he's openly stated that he doesn't want to leave the West Coast, so that may make him untouchable. That is why many teams are viewing Bedard as a better alternative than Rodriguez. Bedard will be on display on Friday night for would-be suitors. The usual suspects of Boston, New York, Texas, and Reds are in on all four of these guys.
- The next big bat to move will likely be Hunter Pence. Houston is said to be deep in negotiations with Philadelphia, although Boston, Atlanta, and Cincinnati are in the mix still as well. It'll take a lot to pry him loose, probably more so than Beltran, but someone will take that deal. Look for B.J. Upton, Ryan Ludwick, and Aramis Ramirez's markets to move more quickly once Pence's fate is decided.
Alright folks, we'll open the bank for discussion there. If you have rumors to kick around or just want to keep track of what's going on out there, keep coming back, as I'll be updating throughout the day as more unfolds.
Update - 11:00am
- The Twins and Nationals are in heavy discussion that involves Minnesota sending Denard Span to Washington for Drew Storen. Jason Marquis is also figuring into these talks, but Minnesota would have to include more than the underachieving span in this deal, even is Storen is the only return.
- The Red Sox seem to be the most aggressive suitors for Ubaldo Jimenez, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Clay Buchholz's shoulder. That said, it remains to be seen what Boston could offer in prospects. One would have to think that the only untouchable would be Anthony Ranaudo. Ryan Lavarnway's break-out season at Triple-A probably makes him a very appealing option for a team looking for catching help.
Baseball Hall of fame, Pirates get screwed, we want Rose, all this, and more, inside this edition of Rants and Raves.
Congratulations go out to Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick for their induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Alomar was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays' World Series championship teams in 1992 and 1993, is the first player to enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Blue Jays cap and just the 20th second baseman to be inducted. Roberto was a switch-hitter who won a record 10 Gold Gloves at second base, was a 12-time All-Star and a career .300 hitter. He's also linked with one of the game's most forgettable moments – he spit on umpire John Hirschbeck during an argument in 1996. The two have long since moved past that, and Hirschbeck was invited to come on Sunday. He had to decline because he's working a game in St. Louis.
Blyleven, whose amazing curveball frustrated batters in his 22-year career, finished with 287 wins, 3,701 strikeouts, 60 shutouts and a pair of World Series rings – in 1979 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and 1987 in his second stint with the Twins.
Gillick, a left-handed pitcher in college, said he knew he had to find another way to stay in the game after five years in the minor leagues. He found it in the front offices of four major league teams, winning 1992 and 1993 titles with Toronto and a 2008 title with Philadelphia. Gillick's teams posted winning records in 20 of his 27 seasons as a general manager and advanced to the postseason 11 times. "It was pretty clear my arm wasn't going to get me to the majors," Gillick said. "Then I guess luck took over."
Also congrats go out to new Hall members sports writer Bill Conlin, broadcaster Dave Van Horne, and longtime baseball executive Roland Hemond.
The ball’s of the year award has to go to Bill Conlin, a former beat writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, who called out Bud Selig by saying the following during his induction speech: “Mr. Selig, One last thing: please get Pete Rose off Main Street and into the Hall. Keep the ban for the compulsive gambler we met in the Dowd Report. But enshrine the guy who played with his hair on fire, the overachiever who lashed those 4,256 hits. Commissioner Selig, tear down that Ban!”
Tuesday Night Ump, Jerry Meals, screwed the Pirates. It was the worst call ever. If I was Pittsburgh I would protest the call and make MLB decide the outcome and even force the issue of instant replay for stupid mistakes like this:
Meals should be at least suspended for 2 games without pay. This was clearly a missed call.
"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oled him and I called him safe for that," Meals said. "I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened I didn't see a tag. "I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."
Its time for an umpire sitting in a booth with video monitors reviewing plays. Obvious calls should be overturned. With the exception of homerun calls, baseball is the only sport that doesn’t allow judgment calls to be overturned.
New York Giants signed Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich to a contract. This could turn out to be the feel good story of the year for the NFL as Mark continues his remarkable comeback from a rare and deadly bone cancer in his leg called Ewing’s sarcoma. Good luck to Mark. Hopefully he catches on with the Giants.
Hello again and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. If you missed my blog last week, I am traveling with my son's 16U Action baseball team. After a week in Atlanta, we departed for the muggy heat of Kissimmee. I have always enjoyed Florida, but July is not my favorite time of year to visit the sunshine state.
Before I move on to the southern leg of our trip, I wanted to let you know how the guys did in Atlanta. This tournament was a collection of some of the best 16 and under baseball players in the country. I saw Mike Cameron's 14 year old son's team play and have to say that they were impressive (especially for a group of mostly 14/15 year old kids). Blake's Action team played well. They won their 6 team pool with a 4 and 1 record. After making the championship bracket, I knew that the remaining teams would be very good. Our first game was against a salty team called the SoCal traveling squad. Really it was two players from SoCal and an collection of studs from the Carolinas, Georgia and Flordia. The first baseman was about 6'6" and has vebally committed to Vanderbilt. The pitcher that we faced touched 90 and was headed to talk to the coaches at Florida and Miami. We started our little lefty from Shiner (Cole) and he struggled just a bit with his control. This put us in a 3 run hole that grew a run after their pitcher launched a high strike into the trees. Cole settled down and baffled them the rest of his day. He relied on his junk to keep them off balance and allowed us to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th. Our reliever came in throwing his heat and it was not hot enough...the final score was 10 to 4. It was really a frustrating game as we left 9 runners on base. Oh well, that is baseball. The SoCal guys had to play again right afer our game and lost to the eventual winners of the tournament.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed Atlanta. It was a treat to enjoy some cooler weather and especially cool to enjoy the company of Sully. We were able to get together again our last night for a bite to eat. If you are ever in Atlanta, I would highly recommend the West Cobb Diner. Great food at a very reasonable price...and of course call Sully for directions (it is not too far from his casa).
Here is Sully, Blake and my wife Julie leaving West Cobb Grill...
Blake and I had watched a Man v Food episode in Atlanta and wanted to tackle the pizza at Big Pie in the Sky. Here is a photo of us preparing to munch:
The pie is so big that it would not fit on the table. I was able to eat two slices...Blake was obviously very happy. We have not had pizza since.
Here is a bit of video as well:
Here was a friendly USPS person in Cartersville Ga saying hello to Carl Spackler...
We left Atlanta Friday afternoon and got to Kissimmee early Saturday morning. Because the tournament did not start until Tuesday, we had a few free days to do whatever. Saturday evening, the boys wanted to go to the putt putt course. You will be happy to hear that I totally schooled them...It helps to watch 7 guys putt to see the proper line to the hole (but I did not tell them).
On Sunday, we decided to help the local economy and head to Universal Studios. Judging from the number of folks there, we should have spent our dollars somewhere else. Here is Blake and a buddy trying to lift the Universal World:
Although we had a great time at Universal Studios, I hope I don't have to go back soon. I will say that the Harry Potter ride was very unique. It actually feels like you are riding a broom over buildings. The Spider Man ride is also fantastic!!
On Monday, there were tryouts for an ABR team that is supposed to travel to Italy or something. We were in town, so we went to the tryouts. I was a bit disappointed at the level of talent, but I guess they have more than one tryout location. Blake hit two out during his 8 pitch hitting session (one hooked just foul). It was interesting, but after seeing all of the college scouts in Atlanta; I found the tryout a bit disappointing.
Tuesday afternoon, we had our first pool game against the BlueJay team from Puerto Rico. This was a highly entertaining game that was loud and raucous. The PR fans turned out in great numbers and our fans felt compelled to bring our cheering to their level. This was a tight game for much of the contest, but I am happy to say that we blew the game open late. A three run triple opened the gates and we won going away 9 to 1. The game was delayed by rain (imagine...it rains in Florida) so we spent all afternoon at the field. Of course we had to celebrate, so we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. The boys heard that they had .50 wings on Tuesday night, so the entire team stopped in to devour a bunch of wings. I don't think the kitchen was ready for us as it took us almost three hours to eat. As it is very late now, I am going to wrap up for now. I do want to say, if you ever have the chance to eat at Boston Lobster Feast...do it. For about $40 you can eat all of the lobster, shrimp, scallops, steak, mussels, oysters, etc...that you want.
Here are a few random shots of the team. I will have a tournament update next week...
It rains in July? Who knew?
The cavalry arrives to prepare the field...
The coin flip...
Rearing to go...
Celebration at Buffalo Wild Wings...
That is all that I have for today. I know that my blog has been strictly baseball, but very soon we will have football to begin to consider. Thanks for stopping by and I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey to ponder...
Instead of a trap door, what about a trap window? The guy looks out it, and if he leans too far, he falls out. Wait. I guess that's like a regular window.
The other day I got out my can opener and was opening a can of worms when I thought, what the hell am I doing?
Feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...
Welcome to the Gab, where sometimes even crotchety old bastards like myself learn something about themselves. Folks, I'm not gonna lie - I'm trippin' this week, so this'll be a little more disjointed than normal!
To be honest, this week I really don’t want to talk about things like Andrew Bynum parking his car across two handicapped spots in front of a grocery store and being unapologetic about it when a TV crew caught his dumb ass. I don’t want to talk about Steve Williams being a bitter scumbag by spilling Eldricks secrets (by the way Stevie, it’ll backfire on you when your own wife wants to know how you know so much – and whether or not you partook with the sloppy seconds?). I certainly don't want to talk about all this bullshit congratulatory back-slapping that the NFL and its players are doing (Don't think I won't hold it against you - you greedy bastards).
I want to talk about…wait for it...CAMPING! Sometimes in life, the simple pleasures are some of the best - Camping is one of them. Unfortunately, buying a spot is an outrageous price ($25-$40 per night), but if you plan right you can do it on the cheap. I pulled the very rare second weekend in a row of camping, this time at beautiful Silver Lake here about one hour away. A weekend to celebrate my son’s birthday. He said all he wanted was to go camping, so away we went.
Silver Lake was phenominal. We did have to drive through a creek to get to our site, but there was a store, restaurant/bar, hoops and horseshoes, and lots of 4-wheelers, kayaks, and canoes. Mrs. Fan cooked up some bomb-ass Chili-Lime Chicken Fajitas, two fantastic country breakfasts, and one helluva marinated tri-tip. Not-so-little Fan got liquoured up, running with his crew, and then finding some other friends who were there. After the 40 beers they brought were gone after "Beer Pong", he comes staggering back up the rocks to the camp under the guise of "looking for something". While he's doing this, I notice he's packing a bottle of rum into his pocket, and off he went. After a couple of more hours, they staggered back to camp, restarting the fire and making s'mores. Unfortunately, that turned into a war and when I rolled out of my tent in the morning I found chocolate, reese's, marshmallows, and graham crackers all over camp, only stopping after I was cursing at him from within the tent for waking me up!
Happy Birthday son, you drunk fucker!
We’ve all done it, joking about being too old for “this shit”, but did you ever notice that the more you joke about it, the more you believe it?
My son then informed me that he wanted me to go with him and his crew hiking to the top of Thunder Mountain, a hike the U. S. Forest Service considers “moderate to challenging”. Of course my ego said “let’s go for it”, knowing all along that trying to keep up with four young men - all of whom are in football shape, might have been a fools task, especially when I'm battling weight issues (6'3", 260).
We started at 7990 feet of elevation with eight beers and two Mountain Dew’s (those were for me!) clearing the forest part of the hike and for 75-80% of the hike up, I stayed with ‘em. Once we got 1.6 miles to the first summit, it was breathtaking scenery and spurred me to go on. Then we ran into believe it or not, snow! Twenty feet in diameter and 3-6 inches deep of an ice/slush mix that was treacherous, making the trail very narrow. The path got seriously steeper with more snow. I still stayed with them until we got to 9200 feet (about 2.5 miles into the trail). The boys wanted some pictures, so I obliged...
and after they finished their "shotgun", they wanted to continue on. They trudged through the snow and made it to the summit (9400 feet) for what I have to assume was an even better view. While I was waiting for them, I heard them yelling down at me to let me know they made it. Ah, to be young and fit!
Why do I mention this? Because I guess I’m being a little introspective today. All my life, I've had above average physical skills, yet I never really challenged myself, always accepting what was, be it because somebody said I couldn’t do it, or that I felt it was too hard. Recently, I’ve been reading the musings of the former “Ultimate Warrior”, and his uplifting messages. He implores us to never give up, never let doubt creep in, do what you believe is right and then go for it with all you have, using the phrase "Always Believe!". I fought my own doubt, I fought the pain, I fought the shortness of breath - and in the end, I truly believed that I could do it, and I damn near did! Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the top, but next year I'm gonna own Thunder freaking Mountain!
On to the tantrums…
TOUR DE FRANCE. Speaking of parties, as if the Aussies needed any further reason to get their party on, one of their own won the Tour. Congratulations to Cadel Evans for winning what I consider to be a very tough athletic event. Oh yeah Gabbers, Evans won it on an American team! TAKE THAT FRENCHIES!!!
Music. In celebration of the Aussie win, I'm gonna bust out something different. Some of you may remember the lovely Aussie lady Kylie Minogue - who went from cute kid to club musician to cancer survivor...
Pretty easy on the eyes, eh?
NFL. May karma kick the owners, players, and agents square in the nuts! Oh, and don't forget about those pay cuts you assholes made to the most innocent victims in all of your bitching about how to split $9 Billion - you remember, those who worked on football teams staffs, offices, and elsewhere who were either laid off or had their pay cut between 10 and 20 percent. Players, you're just as responsible for this disgrace.
Douche Bag of the Week – "The American Elite". Are you scumbag mother-fuckers happy now? In your quest for more and more, you've absolutely destroyed what used to be known as "the middle class" and "the American Dream". Who do you blame? Well, start with the Republi-tards and Demo-craps equally. Like I said yesterday, if anybody out there thinks that either one of those groups gives a damn about "the greater good" or about the people, you need your head examined! If you believe what any politician says, then you need to be committed to a hospital for the mentally insane!
I'm sick to death of you congressmen and women! You're all are a bunch of hypocritical, spineless, do-nothing cowards (let me say that again with added emphasis - SPINELESS COWARDS!!!), who will do nothing to fix the problems facing this country, preferring to throw problems that WE should have solved onto our kids. I'm not gonna sit here and blame one side or the other - THEY'RE BOTH AT FAULT!!!
There seems to be a vacuum of leadership in this country - nobody is willing to make the tough call, and if they do, they hide behind something or someone else. But then again, like I said yesterday, I can yell and scream to the heavens above, but when it comes right down to it, we continue to vote for the same fucked up donkeys and elephants. I FOR ONE HAVEN'T VOTED FOR AN INCUMBENT IN YEARS AND FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE WILL NEVER VOTE FOR AN INCUMBENT AGAIN!!!
Beeze feels one way, but I want to take it a step further - WE THE PEOPLE (remember that phrase) of all ages, races, religious persuasions (or lack thereof), colors, sexual orientations, political leanings, and however else one chooses to classify themselves, need to step up en masse and say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH". It's time to take America back from criminals masquerading as patriots who have our country to the brink!
Well, thank God for Kate Upton...She can always put a smile on my face...
That's a good thing, because I haven't smiled much this past weekend...
In case you missed my Saturday night POST, shit like this junkie bitch, sharing the headlines with the Massacre that took place in Norway, makes me hate this world...
With all that has been going on in the world, and some things in my own little world, I've been having a hard time getting motivated to write my normal Monday (mostly) Sports blog...
Honestly, there has been non-stop talk about the NFL Players and Owners possibly reaching a new CBA deal...There has been some players bitching, and the owners may be trying to make them look bad, and force them into a crap deal...Guess what? I don't give shit! I'd almost be happy to see them all shit the bed, and completely piss off their fan base...Maybe they'd learn a lesson, but I doubt it...
I had planned earlier in the week to write about some possible MLB trades, like will the Indians or Pirates be willing actually make deals that would help them stay in contention? But I really don't care at this point...
There is another thing that happened in sports that has me salty...The rumors swirling around are saying that Ohio State isn't going to get hammered by the NCAA...If this is true, then the NCAA is completely full of shit! If it was a smaller program, they would have crushed them...Just by getting rid of Tressel and forfeiting the 2010 doesn't make it all better...Ohio State still keeps the money they made, including the money from the Sugar Bowl...
Plus with Tressels history of cheating and rules violations, and the fact that it's been proven that his bullshit at Ohio State has been going on since 2002, the University has to be held somewhat accountable...And the rest of the programs need to be put on notice, that no one is untouchable...What a bunch of horse shit!
Greed makes the world go around...Money and power are in bed together, and they are making evil little babies!
I mentioned things in my own little world that were bothering me as well...The biggest thing is my Uncle is seriously sick, and they aren't sure why yet...He, along with my parents and their two totally different tastes in music, was the biggest influence on me falling in love with music...It was him, before anyone else, that made me want to play guitar...So I leave this week's post by listening to him...