July. One month of endless speculation and trades. Ended by the trade deadline on July 31st. It’s over. Finally. I have decided to recap what each team did at the deadline. First the AL by division, then later the NL.
All the talk through the offseason revolved around what would be a race for the ages in the 2009 AL East. There were three teams, the revamped, “more lavish spending than ever” Yankees; the steady Red Sox, who didn’t know the meaning of the word collapse; and the sentimental favorite Rays, who had come out of nowhere to land the 2008 pennant. In April the discussion revolved around the Red Sox hot start, the Rays up-and-down performance, and the last-place Yankees. In May it was the Sox staying steady, the Yankees starting to find some cohesion, and the Rays meandering along the .500 line. In June the Yankees and Red Sox were going head-to-head at the top of the division, while the Rays were making a little-noticed push toward the top. Now in July, the race is neck to neck. But if this seems crazy, then just imagine what 2010 will be.
Not only will the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays be in the division hunt, but also the Blue Jays and Orioles. 2010 is the arrival date for Orioles top pitchers Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, and Brian Matusz, all three will join ace Jeremy Guthrie, and sinkerballer Brad Bergesen to make a strong rotation. Brad Snyder could join the O’s at first base should Aubrey Huff leave in free agency. These players would join Baltimore’s core four of LF Nolan Reimold, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis, and DH Luke Scott. These players would put Baltimore a bullpen arm away from contention.
The Blue Jays with their hoard of young pitchers, and hitters, such as Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Travis Snider, have showed flashes of brilliance this year, and could be strengthend even more should they deal ace Roy Halladay for a kings ransom of prospects.
If a three team race in 2009 is great, then what about a five team battle in 2010?
Your team is struggling, inefficiencies at the upper levels of management have resulted in these struggles. You are the team president and co-acting general manager, you need to fix this, and you don’t know how to fix this personnel wise. What do you do? You fire yourself because you’re an idiot the manager!!!!!!!! Yes this is what team president Stan Kasten, and the Washington Natinals Nationals
plan to do on Monday. Soon to be ex-manager Manny Acta, I feel for you, none of this is your fault. Hopefully the players will stand up for you, just like the Rockies’ did for Clint Hurdle.
( I detailed the Nationals problems here)
This Day In Baseball History
1876-Philadelphia Athletic George Hall becomes first major league player to hit for cycle. The Englishman will also become the first player to be banned, along with others for throwing 3 1/2 game lead with 12 games to go 1877.
1940-At the Polo Grounds, Harry Danning hits for the cycle becoming the last player to have an inside-the-park homer as part of this rare feat. The Giant catcher is able to circle the bases because the ball gets stuck behind the Eddie Grant memorial and Pirates’ center fielder Vince DiMaggio cannot free it in time.
1963-In a 10-3 win over the Reds at Crosley field, Met outfielder Duke Snider hits his 400th career homer off of Bob Purkey.
1965-At Crosley Field, Jim Maloney no-hits the Mets for ten innings but loses 1-0 when Johnny Lewis connects for a homer in the eleventh.
1969-Hitting two home runs, two doubles and a single, A’s Reggie Jackson drives in ten runs as Oakland routs the Red Sox, 21-7.
1979-Giant first baseman Willie McCovey hits his 513th round tripper establishing him as the National League all-time left-handed home run leader.
1996-Cal Ripken sets a new consecutive games world record by playing in his 2,216th consecutive game The previous mark of 2,215 was held by Hiroshima Carp third baseman Sachio Kinugasa playing in the Japanese Central League.
2002-Due to 14 interleague contests all played in
National League parks, a designated hitter is not used in a full slate of major league games for the first time since 1972. Visiting hurlers will get plenty of opportunities to swing the bat as there isn’t a home game scheduled in American League park for the 10 consecutive days.
2006-Russ Ortiz (0-5, 7.54) becomes the highest paid player ever to be cut by a major league team. Although the team still owes $22 million of the $33 million of the four-year deal signed in December 2004, the Diamondbacks designate the 32-year old righty for assignment, meaning the club has 10 days to trade, waive or release the pitcher who is 1-14 record in his last 19 starts.
1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals
- Padres 7 Cubs 2
This weekend the Padres, the Padres!!!!! swept the Cubs, this should not happen. What is wrong with the Cubs? Their offense was supposed to be improved after adding Milton Bradley, but every hitter except a much improved Kosuke Fukudome is slumping, some hitters, especially Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, and Bradley, never even started hitting. The Cubs’ bullpen is a mess, it looked good on paper, and I will admit that I supported the Kevin Gregg acquisition this offseason, but the fact of the matter is, Gregg is not a closer, he throws too many strikes right over the plate, and the rest of the bullpen can’t throw strikes. The starting rotation has been good, but they haven’t been getting run support, and it would be nice if the starters weren’t taking turns going to the DL. The Cubs need to right the ship now.
1935– At Forbes Field, Babe Ruth as a member of the Boston Braves, hits three homers and a single. The ‘Sultan of Swat’s’ seventh inning solo shot of Gary Bush, which travels over 600 feet and clears the roof, will be the Bambino’s 714th and final home run.
1937- Future Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane’s career ends after being beaned with an 3-1 inside fastball thrown by Yankee hurler Bump Hadley. Near death at first, the Tiger catcher/manager will spend six weeks in the hospital and will return to the team only as its skipper.
1951– Willie Mays makes his major league debut.
1981– Carl Yastrzemski, playing in his 3,000th game, all in a Red Sox uniform, scores the deciding run in an 8-7 victory over Cleveland. The future Hall of Famer will finish his 23-year career in the majors appearing in a total of 3,308 contests for Boston.
1982– In the third inning of Chicago’s 2-1 loss to Padres, Cubs’ right-hander Fergie Jenkins whiffs shortstop Gary Templeton to record his 3,000th career strikeout. The Canadian-born hurler becomes the seventh pitcher in major league history to reach the milestone.
2005– In a game against the Orioles, the Mariners battery consist of a pair of 42-year olds as Jamie Moyer throws to backstop Pat Borders. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time in major league history that two players 42 years or older have been the starting pitcher and catcher for a team.
2008-Former major league pitcher Geremi Gonzalez
is killed by lightning standing on a dock in western Venezuela. The 33-year-old pitcher, who was signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1991, also hurled for the Devil Rays, the Red Sox, the Mets and the Brewers before being released by Milwaukee in 2006.
This Day In Baseball History-www.nationalpastime.com
- Geographical Interleague “Rivalries”
I understand that MLB is trying to create local rivalries, and some, like the Subway Series, and the Windy City Series are actually interesting, but others, such as the Battle Of The Beltway, the Rays-Marlins Series, and the Rangers-Astros Series are ridiculously one-sided. For the 2010 season maybe MLB should try something different, perhaps Classic World Series matchups, like Red Sox-Cardinals, Twins-Braves, or Orioles-Pirates.
- Mets 3 Red Sox 2
What does it take for a injury-depleted team working with a two-man bench to beat one of the best closers in the game? Answer: A miracle
- Diamondbacks 8 A’s 7
This game turned out to be a thriller at the Oakland Coliseum, the D-backs scored four runs in the 8th inning on key hits by Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy, tying the score at 5-5. The game went into extra innings, and the D-backs appeared to seal the game when they scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, but Oakland came back in the bottom half, scoring a pair of runs off D-backs closer Chad Qualls, and had runners at the corners with one out, when Jack Hannahan grounded into a double play to end the game. The Diamondbacks won their third straight, but are still 10 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.
- Two More Interleague Shutouts
White Sox 4 Pirates 0