Monday, July 30, 2007

Trade Deadline, what?

Houston DFA'd Morgan Ensberg, which is a sad state of affairs for his handful of fans (me among them). However, he seems to be taking it well.

Kenny Lofton went back to Cleveland a couple days ago. I failed to report on it because of a couple reasons:
1. It's not like it's never happened before, Kenny to CLE
2. It's Kenny Lofton, king of trading teams.

A friend's initial reaction was, "Why would anyone want to go to Cleveland?" And my response? "Well, if you're gay, there's Grady Sizemore." Plus, you know, a better shot at October this season.


We've already seen Jason Kendall go to the Cubs (oh hey! He got his first Cubbie rbi the other day), and that was kind of the blockbuster until today.

Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay (now-former member of the Disintegrating Bullpen) were traded to Atlanta for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Elvis Andrus, and two pitching prospects (Matt Harrison is reportedly one of them).

A few things.

Ron Mahay is a decent pitcher, no doubt. Mark Teixeira is an amazing first baseman, also no doubt. But Teixeira is kind of a rental and Saltalamacchia is so freaking young, and good. I have no idea about the other kids that came over with Salty, but I'll bet in another year we'll be looking back at this trade saying, "Hahaha. Braves got fleeced!"

Which, you know. No big surprise.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Boy Prince

Spring training is a time of fresh faces, limitless hope, sunshine and green grass. It's also the first time you get to see your team's prospects play with the current stars. You see the potential in their bodies, the new, young strength in their arms, and the giddy "I can't believe I'm here!" look in their bright eyes.

For the Astros it was Hunter Pence. His long, quick stride. His powerful swing. His range in the outfield.

For the A's it was Travis Buck. His surfer hair, ability to walk, and quick smile fit right in with the frat house quality of the A's clubhouse.

But for the Giants, it was Tim Lincecum. Shadowed by the recent signing of off-kilter superstar Barry Zito, many were unaware of The Kid's nickname: The Franchise. At maybe 5'10" and 165 lbs. soaking wet, San Francisco had taken him 10th overall and were grooming him to be the next great Giants pitcher.

Today, he pitched 8 innings, allowed no runs, notched 8 strikeouts, and allowed 4 hits. He hit 97mph on the radar gun, his fastball consistently in the mid-nineties.

The next great Giants pitcher has arrived. (I'm also glad he's on my fantasy team. Hah!)

Lucky Glove, Golden Boy

I watched the Astros-Pirates game last night with a couple friends of mine. We were baffled a few times during the game (the barbeque smoke blowing around from center field, Mark Loretta getting thrown out at the plate), but none so much as the HBP so not a hit by pitch as to bring back banished memories of Jermaine Dye and the grand slam that followed. My sister, not a baseball fan, was quite amused by the replay and McLouth playing off the injury like a pro.

I don't think I like Brad Ausmus more than when he's angry.

However, the most important part of this game wasn't the win, or even the spectacular, heart-in-your-throat ending of a dropped third strike and the temporary inability of Ausmus to track it down with the runner on third bearing down on home plate -- it was the fact that Brad Lidge got two strikeouts with the bases loaded.

He's back, my friends. He is back.

In other news, Jason Kendall didn't start today.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hey, Cubbie!

Jason Kendall: 0-8* with a walk as a Cub.

He's starting today against Webb of the Diamondbacks. This should be fun.
Bottom 3rd: Takes a ball. Takes a strike. 4-3 groundout.
Bottom 5th: Takes a strike. 4-3 groundout.
Top 6th: fails to throw out Eric Byrnes stealing second.
*Bottom 7th: Takes a strike. Takes a ball. Foul. 6-3 groundout.
Top 9th: Replaced by Koyie Hill.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The first "Fuckin' A" trade of this season

Yesterday morning in my personal blog I typed the following words: This is the problem with A's catching: Jason Kendall.

Then I went on to explain that since he never took a day off, the Catcher of the Future, Kurt Suzuki, would languish on the bench. This is why Adam Melhuse was traded for cash to the Rangers -- Suzuki rides the bench cheaper than does Melhuse. Piazza's floundering about in re-hab to get his arm back into shape in case emergencies happen before the trading deadline (because we know he WILL be traded -- Jack Cust rocks!)

And then bam.

Jason Kendall and his full no-trade clause is suddenly and completely a Chicago Cub. There weren't even whispers that Beane was already on the move and here we have Kendall, a Cub, and some AA lefty a newly-minted Athletic. Turns out the AA lefty was Jerry Blevins and he came with a catcher, Rob Bowen (recently dumped to AAA in order to, as it turns out, make room for Kendall).

A couple things, here. One, for Kendall to be traded with a full no-trade clause he had to approve the trade. So now we know that Kendall wanted to leave. A's fans, stop defending the guy! He did just the same as Zito, just a few months earlier.

Two, we all should have seen this coming! Kendall wasn't going to be a Type A free agent, which means no compensation picks when he signs with another team in the off-season after being offered arbitration by the A's. Beane wasn't going to sign him anyway -- too expensive. His salary this season is $13M and the only reason the A's have him is because Pittsburgh is footing $5.5M of the bill. Thirteen million dollars in 2007 ... what could he command in 2008?

Three, if you're reading this and thinking, "OMG Danny Haren won't have a good catcher anymore, he's gonna suck!!!" you're an idiot. You are also, as far as I can tell, pretty normal for an A's fan living in the Bay Area.

Goodbye, Jason Kendall. Goodbye, Mike Piazza. Hello, Catcher of the Future!

And Dan Haren? He'll be just fine.

Friday, July 6, 2007

How long until he's fired?

Day game
MIN: 20
CWS: 14

Night game
MIN: 12
CWS: 0