Padres Trade

Posted by on July 21st, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

You had to make the deal, didn’t you?  Subtract a star, add more kids.
So the deal is done, and from where you are sitting, it looks like another San Diego fire sale in a city besieged in recent years by raging wildfires.
Huston Street-the dominant relief pitcher, goes to the Angels for 4-top young prospects.  Depending on who you talk to, the Angels paid a steep price to get the closer for their World Series hopes, or the Padres just did what they had promised they would no longer do, dealt away veterans making big money for younger players.
Younger players, RJ Alvarez a hot young minor leaguer; Taylor Lindsey-a 2nd baseman with some power; young shortstop Jose Rondon-who can hit in Class A; and young pitcher Ev Morris.
That’s the issue, trading a proven major leaguer for 4-kids you hope will get to the majors.
Asking today, what is the Padres biggest need?  An outfielder with some power?  Needed today or for tomorrow (2015).  Did San Diego get one?  No.  Did the Angels have some to deal? Yes.
And that’s the issue.  The Halos desperately needed a relief ace.  San Diego had the leverage.  The Angels are loaded with outfield bats.  You know about Mike Trout-Josh Hamilton.-Kole Calhoun.  But the Halos had extras, CJ Cron, JD Schuck, Grant Green.  Any one of them could have helped today and tomorrow.
This deal may sentence San Diego to a 100-loss season, this year, and maybe next year.  You’re just hoping these kids work out, but more times than not they all  don’t pan out.
Next up, they’re going to move veteran 3rd baseman Chase Headley and outfielder Chris Denorfia for prospects.  People are calling about starter Ian Kennedy too.
The Padres just dealt away a valuable bargaining chip, and didn’t get anything to help this paralyzed offense.  How is that good in San Diego.
Who got the better of the deal?  San Antonio is going to have a really good team next year in the Padres  farm system.  

1st Round Draft Pick Feud

Posted by on July 18th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

Somebody’s not telling the truth, and both sides are on the clock.
High school baseball in San Diego is special.  1st round picks come out of here almost annually.  This year, two of the top six picks came from San Diego.  1-is signed and playing already in the Arizona Summer League.  The other is sitting here-unsigned there.
There is Houston, home of the Astros.  Here, is Brady Aiken, the blazing fastball pitcher from CIF-powerhouse Cathedral Catholic.
Aiken is unsigned and the deadline is 5pm-New York time tonite, to get him signed.  If not, the Astros lose the pitcher, and get a lst round pick next year to replace him.
If not signed-Aiken either goes to a junior college for one year, signs in independent ball-always risky, or goes to UCLA but takes his name off the draft board for 3-years.
This is not a country-hardball holdout, though the Astros have played hardball with the fastball pitcher on his signing bonus.  As the top overall pick, his slot was worth 7.9M.  Reports were he was willing to sign for 6.5M.  Then Houston reduced the number to 5M, and now a reported 3M.
The reason?  Something the Astros doctors saw on his MRI about a deformed elbow ligament.  Aiken, his coaches, his doctor deny he has a tear in there, or that it is even frayed.  When last scene this spring, in the CIFs-he was clocked at 95mph.  He pitched 65-high school inning..
Neither side will give out exact details.  He’s not hurt now, but would he be hurt, with the rigors of a pro career?  If he had a tear, would the smaller than normal ligament be strong enough to graft?
Is it too big a gamble to pay that kind of guaranteed money to someone who might be a risk for Tommy John surgery sooner than later?
Or is this a ploy of the cheap Astros owner Jim Crain.  Yes, his people have drafted well, and have a young team growing.  But this is the same owner, who last year, lost over 100 games, had a 19M-payroll of kids, and took in revenue sharing and TV money as his club made 55M-profits.
Baseball is different than the NFL-NBA-NHL.  They don’t let clubs give physicals to the lst round draft picks, the ones who would get the big bonuses.
It is a strange way to start a relationship too, the Astros and the kid pitcher.  Somebody hiding something.  Someone lowballing someone they supposedly loved on draft day.
On the clock, to see who blinks, who caves, who stands fast, who gets signed, who suffers.  Brady Aiken-welcome to the show.

Free Agency Costs Lots…

Posted by on July 17th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

Why did he do it… What is the real reason… Will it turn out well?
The dominoes have all fallen in the NBA.  The stars have been realigned.  Some good, some bad, some strange moves.
LeBron is going home to Cleveland.  It’s easy to say he did it for all the right reasons.  Family, the James love of hometown Akron.  Wanting to lead a young team to victory.  No not really. 
King James got a max contract to go back to the Cavaliers.  Last arithmetic exam I had 21M-per year in Cleveland is more than the 16M per year he was making in Miami.
It was more than money though.  King James will be star player and coach of the team, trust me.  You really think, incoming coach Dave Blatt, whose last mailing addresses were Tel Aviv and Russia, and who has never coached in this league, will really run this team.  As good as the player is, this chemistry imbalance, James-Blatt will probably be more one sided that the last Cleveland coach he overwhelmed, the thrice fired Mike Brown.
But LeBron did it for other reasons.  He couldn’t push around Eric Spoelstra, the Miami coach.  He surely was never to get his way all the time with the Emperor Pat Riley.
LeBron might forgive crazy-man owner Dan Gilbert over the ‘coward’ letter written when James took his talent to South Beach, but LeBron could not forgive Riley.
Riley lectured him in his exit meeting this spring, about not taking the lst road out of Miami as a free agent; and staying to accept the challenge of rebuilding; and insinuating look what Miami had gotten done, while all Cleveland would ever talk about was we might get  done.
James has never been spoken too like that, not before the arrival in Miami, and now likely never again going home to the 330-area code.
LeBron never recovered from the national bashing TV show, the Decision, and the ridicule that will forever be stapled to his jersey in every out of town arena he plays in.
No doubt a great player, and a great entrepreneur, but let’s be honest.  It was about the money, and it was about LeBron taking his ball, and going ‘home’ so he could play by his rules in Cleveland, not Pat Riley’s rude rules on South Beach.

Padres Mid Season Report Card

Posted by on July 16th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

The scoreboard does not lie and neither does the stat sheet.  The Mid-Term report card is out.
You are what the record says you are, and for the San Diego Padres, the glass is not half empty for half full, but you’d have a hard time convincing the fans the bottom of the franchise looks as if it is going to fall thru and the roof is going to cave in.
How this team has won 41-games this year is beyond me.  Well actually, pitching won 41-games despite next to nothing support from the batting order.
And the mid-season report card grades are in.
Ownership-(C)…They’ve just about completed two full seasons, the Fowler-Seidler-O’Malley group.  The franchise is a combined 85-games under .500 since they bought the team at the end of August 2012.  The payroll has gone up.  The production gone down.
General Manager (F)…You fired one general manager already for mistakes made in contracts given.  Josh Byrnes made some astute veteran trades and some blunders too.  Not to blame for this shame entirely.
Manager (B)..Yes Bud Black has never made the playoffs, but he has made the team proud, never let it quit, never gave up despite ridiculous injuries.  You’d wonder what he would do if they gave him a 25-man roster sprinkled with guys like Caminitti-Finely-Kevin Brown-Gwynn from back in the day.
Coaches (B)..Daren Balsley is the best in the business at scoping out, sighting, and fixing pitchers flaws.  Phil Plantier can only teach so much, the rest has to come from the players  themselves.
Offense (F)..Major league hitters with a combined batting average of .214 when they resume play Friday.  Chase Headley healthy can hit.  Carlos Quentin used to hit when healthy-but cannot.  The jury remains out on Cam Maybin.  You wonder if Grandal-Cabrera; success in the past was PED driven.  Alonso needs a healthy hand.  Gyroko needs to figure out pitching.  The rest are just utilitymen elsewhere-here they are starters.
Defense (B)..If all the starters were on the field, a pretty competitive bunch, but when was the last time all the starters were on the field.  Better than the norm, but they have to be to patrol the wide expanses of Petco Park.
Pitching (A)..Never has so much been done, with so little run support.  The team has scored 5 runs in Tyson Ross’ starts.  Ian Kennedy’s teammates scored 27-runs in his 20-starts.  See what I mean.  Andrew Cashner has now had five different arm injuries in his short career.  Might he be better as a closer.  The rookies Hahn-Despaigne have 7-wins in 3-weeks, and the bullpen brigade, Street-Benoit have shined.
Franchise (D)..Until they rid themselves of bad contracts, till the cavalry in the farm system arrives within a year, till they take the payroll to 100M and spend it correctly, we are looking at non-playoff baseball, and 11-losing seasons in 16-years.  At least a night out at Petco Park is fun for the family-fans, even if the team isn’t fun watching.

The All Star Game

Posted by on July 15th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

It’s tonight.  It’s history.  It’s color-pageantry.  It’s one of the things that makes the game great.
The stars come out tonight in the Twin Cities.  Minnesota hosts Baseball’s All Star Game.
Baseball is all about history, and what better way to celebrate than to watch it all tonight.
And as you watch the Cuban Missile-Yasiel Puig, or the brilliance of Clayton Kershaw, or the farewell journey of Derek Jeter, the memories should come crashing back like a wave in the ocean.
The All Star game has given us great moments.
1999-Fenway Park…the salute to Ted Williams, the outpouring of baseball-fan-media love to Teddy Ballgame.
Tony Gwynn jumping up and down after scoring the winning run, thundering around 3rd in the 1994-game in Pittsburgh-20 years ago this night..
Reggie Jackson, Mr-October, became Mr. Midsummer with his 520-foot home run atop the roof at old Tigers Stadium.
Randy Johnson, the big Unit, throwing a fastball over the head of John Kruk, who then refused to get in the box.  That and Larry Walker of Montreal turning around and batting right-handed against the lefthander.
The 1960s when they actually held two All Star games each summer.
1984-Fernando Valenzuela throwing the screwball and Dwight Gooden the fastball-struck 6-in a row.
Pete Rose-Charley Hustle-running over Ray Fosse of the Indians at home plate in 1970.
Stan “The Man”  Musial and his home run into the light towers to win the 1955 game.
The 1941 game-Ted Williams 2-run homer late at niter to win it in the year he hit .406 and DiMaggio had the 56-game hitting streak.
1934-King Carl Hubbell struck out Ruth-Gehrig-Fox-Simmons and Cronin in a row.
Cal Ripken hitting a homer in his final swing in an All Star Game.  Babe Ruth hitting a home in the lst game in ’33.
The Mid Summer Night Classic.  The stars come out tonight, and we remember the stars of years gone by too. 
History of the game, it is what makes baseball so great.