Let me know what you think. Washburn? Halladay? Pavano? Who will be in pinstripes by 4pm?
*UPDATE (11:36am) - MLBTR reporting that Tigers have acquired Jarrod Washburn for Luke French and another prospect. There goes that idea...
*UPDATE (1:48pm) - MLBTR says Orlando Cabrera to Twins for minor leaguer. Why weren't the Sox interested in him again? Wasn't he a stud for them after the Nomar deal?
*UPDATE (1:54pm) - Red Sox to acquire V-Mart according to Bob Nightengale's twitter. Nick Hagadone, Justin Masterson, lower level prospect back to the Tribe.
*UPDATE (3:16pm) - Red Sox spin Adam LaRoche to Braves.
*UPDATE (3:21pm) - FINALLY! Yankees acquire Jerry Hairston, Jr from the Reds according to Joel Sherman. At least it's SOMETHING. I hope Shelley Duncan enjoys his one night stay in Chi-town.
The New York Times is reporting that both David Ortiz AND Manny Ramirez were on the list of 104 steroid users in 2003 (you know, the list that A-Rod was on?). This further proves that the "report" conducted by George Mitchell isn't worth the paper that it was printed on. Despite Mitchell's best efforts to avoid the public indictment of any Boston player, his efforts will now be futile.
So, in short, screw you all. This does nothing but prove that EVERYONE was guilty, and no holier-than-thou fanbase has the right to thumb their noses at the rest of the offenders any longer*.
*Though this is the same group that had the balls to act like Rodney Harrison thing never happened, so I guess only time will tell if this does anything to pare back their douchebaggery.
21 2/3 IP, 0.83 ERA, 19 K, 8 H, 8 BB
Two words. Starting. Pitcher.
Once again, I reiterate: Pitchers that have command of 3+ pitches that have the ability to throw 5-6 innings are, by definition, starting pitchers. Phil Hughes is proving that good pitchers get outs whenever they toe the rubber. Though it has taken a little time for Joba to get his sea legs (he is 23 years old, by the way), another lights-out start last night proves that the Yankees have placed him in the role that allows them to get the most value out of his talent.
Both players are blessed with speed and not much else, although Gardner has proven The Balls wrong all season. Looks like Shelley Duncan will remain stuck in Scranton no matter how many home runs he hits or how hard he mashes right handed pitching.
On a separate note, with the trade deadline looming, I implore you all to check out MLB Trade Rumors. It would be pretty asinine to assume that you are coming here for all of your baseball news, so head over to MLBTR as Friend of The Balls Tim Dierkes and the guys do an amazing job of compiling all of the rumors flying around every two-bit paper in our great nation.
John Smoltz - 1-4, 7.04 ERA
Brad Penny - 7-4, 4.71 ERA
Rocco Baldelli - .263/.333/.432 in just 95 at bats
LaRoche, once a highly touted Braves prospect, is now a below average defensive first baseman with a below average corner infield stick. As for the prospects that the Sox sent in the other direction, I could give a shit about their system, so here is a report from Baseball America's Matt Eddy:
Signed out of Venezuela in July 2003, Diaz has big league potential as a defense oriented shortstop, thanks to plus hands, instincts, range and arm strength. The 22- year-old is not fast or aggressive on the basepaths, though, and his bat projects to be a bit light for a regular role. A righthanded batter, Diaz was hitting .253/.309/.310 in 277 at-bats for Portland, showing the lack of patience (21 walks, 60 strikeouts) and power (14 doubles, one triple) that have been constants during his six-year pro career.Ok, so I wanted to beef up my post - kiss my ass. In reading all of this, it looks like the Sox traded two players with the potential to suck at the Major League level for one that already does. Nice work. I guess they are banking that Ritalin isn't on the PED list.
A 6-foot-5 righthander lauded for his makeup, Strickland had touched 94 mph in his last two starts for low Class A Greenville, where he was 5-4, 3.46 in 18 games (12 starts). He generally sits in the 88-92 mph range and locates his fastball down in the zone. Strickland's secondary stuff needs refinement, and he lacks a swing and miss pitch, as evidenced by his strikeout (51) and walk (13) totals over 83 innings for the Drive. On the plus side, his fastball command gives him a chance of developing into a big league reliever. The Red Sox selected Strickland in the 18th round of the 2007 draft, taking him from Pike County High in Zebulon, Ga.
This is particularly rewarding for those of us Yankee fans who were CRAZY enough to have regretted the Yankees passing on Ted Lilly to sign this waste of blood for $46 million. Pardon me while I wipe this egg off of my face!
The Mets are falling like a rock out of contention for a playoff spot, and the addition of Roy Halladay would be futile unless he can also bat behind David Wright. Regardless of how good your pitching is, running five position players out every night that are not Major League quality is too much to overcome (just ask Johan). Stripping your already anemic farm system completely bare to make a half-assed run at a Wild Card is just bad business.
More importantly, in my mind, the Metropolatinos have saved themselves a PR nightmare in passing on this deal. Accepting this offer publicly only to have Halladay exercise his no-trade clause would be a tremendous blow to the team, both internally and in the prison-raping that they would take in the New York media. It also came about this week that even if traded this season, Halladay can demand to be traded again at season's end. So for all of you "wait 'til next year" Mets fans can stuff it.
Sure, Santana and Halladay at the front of your rotation sounds formidable, nay, unbeatable. But even in the stretches where Johan Santana has looked super-human, the Mets haven't been guaranteed a win due to the fact that players like Fernando Tatis that were signed for the purpose of being fringy bench players are being counted on to produce (Gary Sheffield?? REALLY??).
So if Heyman is correct, which Keith Law has already rebuffed, I commend the Mets on having the wherewithal to realize that they suck. Plus, as we all know, Omar Minaya was not giving up a package including two Latin players to receive a white guy in return. (hat tip to MLBTR)
This weekend The Balls set a site record for page views, unique visitors, and comments in its long and distinguished history. Thanks to all of our followers and supporters over the years. Coming soon we will be running another contest and posting some big time interviews for you, the reader.
Again, if you have any questions, comments, or theories as to why Derek Jeter refuses to let the mid-nineties high-top fade go by the wayside like everyone else did, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET. ROY. HALLADAY.
In my mind, a package including Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, and a fourth, non-Phil Hughes prospect is more than fair.
Chamberlain, though loaded with potential, has shown inconsistency throughout his tenure as a starter. I do realize full well that he is only 23 years old, but we are not talking about moving him for Brett Myers here - this is Roy Halladay we are talking about. One of the three best pitchers in the game of baseball.
I may be a little late to the party on this one but moving Jesus Montero, though it will drive the prospect junkies crazy, could be a God send. As friend of The Balls Mike Ashmore wrote over at Thunder Thoughts, Montero will more than likely end up a man without a position when he is ready for the big leagues. His catching is horrific, and the Yankees seem to have first base locked up for the next eight years. Add in the fact that Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and even Teixeira himself will all need reps at DH by that time, and Montero's future in pinstripes looks even more bleak.
Austin Jackson is the epitome of the over-hyped Yankee prospect. Though he is hitting well over .300 at AAA, he has struck out at an alarming rate with little-to-no power.
As for the rest of the prospects in the system, take your pick. Zack MacAllister, Dellin Bettances, PTBNL, whoever.
My reasoning can be illustrated in a simple mathematical equation:
Halladay, Sabathia, Burnett > Beckett, Lester, Wakefield (or Bucholz, or Penny, or Smoltz, or Luis fucking Tiant)
The Yankees seem to be competing with one team and one team only, and the acquisition of Roy Halladay could be the defining factor over the next season and a half. As a Yankee fan, I would trade three Joba Cy Youngs and a Montero MVP for two straight rings.
The Balls has spoken.
Kevin Millar made an appearance on Sirius XM yesterday with Seth Everett and Jim Duquette discussing, amongst other things, his first visit to the new Yankee Stadium. Let's have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on the blockquote:
The Blue Jays just completed their first trip to the new ballpark. Millar played in the old Yankee Stadium many times as a member of the Boston Red Sox (2003-05) and Baltimore Orioles (2006-08).
Host, Jim Duquette: “What’s your impression of the new Yankee Stadium?”
Kevin Millar: “I’m going to be honest with you. You know I’m going to shoot from the hip. I’m not a big fan of it. Nothing pops there, nothing pops. The old stadium, you walked in, you knew this was where [Mickey] Mantle played and [Joe] DiMaggio. It was just that old school. I got booed a lot louder. They didn’t boo me as loud here. I like to get booed. They were too nice to me here. They’re too nice to me. I don’t know if it’s all corporate, but they’re too nice. But it’s just like a big, huge – it’s a beautiful facility, don’t get me wrong – but the navy blue seats, a lot of concrete and nothing pops. I mean, nothing pops there, personally. Now, it was our first trip in and I don’t know if I was expecting more, but that’s the truth and it’s just I loved the old stadium.”
Get off your knees, Blue...
The Yankees lost an immensely frustrating game yesterday to the Blue Jays, due in no small part to three horrific calls on the base paths. The picture above shows Derek Jeter's left hand blatantly planted on the bag prior to Scott Rolen's tag (oddly enough, Rolen was not injured on the play). Althought I have to ask - what the HELL was Jeter doing even making that attempt with no outs? (/blasphemy)
I am not going to go on a rant like my Grandfather did last night, calling for the arrest and execution of all umpires, but I will say this - umpires need to be held more accountable for their calls. The explanation given by the man in blue on this particular play was deplorable. He basically gave the "ball beat him by a mile" argument that you would here in an in-house Little League game. (Check out some other opinions here and here).
In the end, though, the umpiring didn't cause the Yankees to falter with RISP, and they sure as hell didn't make Eric Hinske swing at two consecutive balls to end the game. Umpires alone do not lose games in most cases, and this game was most certainly in the majority.
(hat tip to noMaas.org for the pic)
and healthy 4th of July. We will be posting again coming on Monday, so
don't get all platered today and drive home.
Also, a happy 70th birthday to the greatest owner in the history of
sport, George Steinbrenner.