Tagged: rays

It’s Finally Over: AL East Edition

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.

Yankees- The really had only one need at the deadline, a utility infielder to replace the disastrous combo of Ramiro Peña and Cody Ransom.  They filled in the last hour before the deadline, trading for Reds utility man Jerry Hairston Jr.  Hairston Jr. will be the primary infield utility man for the Yankees, filling in at second, third, and short.  New York was of course mentioned in the Roy Halladay rumors, but Brian  Cashman did a good job standing pat, and not selling the farm system.
Red Sox- The Red Sox were as usual, built on a solid foundation with no real needs at the deadline.  But they swung a couple of deals anyway.  First, uncomfortable with making Mark Kotsay an everyday starter while Mike Lowell was injured, they traded for first basemen Adam Laroche, than flipped him back to where his career began, Atlanta, for Casey Kotchman, when they acquired star catcher Victor Martinez from the Indians.
Rays- The Rays had one glaring need, a catcher.  They were mentioned in the Victor Martinez talks, but didn’t have the payroll flexibility to add him.  It also would have been nice for them to acquire a starter, but once again, money issues scrapped those plans.
Blue Jays- The Jays, safely out of contention, had no needs at the deadline, but stole the spotlight with the plethora of Roy Halladay rumors.  The Jays nearly dealt Halladay to the Phillies for a substantial package, but refused to accept any package without top pitcher Kyle Drabek.  Halladay will probably be moved in the offseason, but for now the Jays aren’t making any moves.
Orioles- In last place, the Orioles weren’t going to be buying players, and with there top  farm system, ready to break out in 2010, they stayed quiet.
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If You Think ’09 Is A Race, Then What Will ’10 Be?

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? 

On Pace, Who’s Gonna Keep It Going

1. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Padres, is on pace for 67 Homeruns

Will he keep it up?  No.  No one is allowed to hit more homeruns than Sammy Sosa!!!!!!!
2. Chris Davis, 1B, Rangers, is on pace for 250 Strikeouts
Ouch!  Will he keep it up?  Probably not, but I can see him challenging the strikeout record, 204, set last year by Mark Reynolds.
3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays, is on pace for 168 RBI
Will he keep it up?  Slim chance, Manny Ramirez had 165 in 1999, and Alex Rodriguez had 156 in 2007, but I don’t consider Longoria that talented a player, yet…
Pitching coming later…
This Day In Baseball History

1891-Charles Garder Radbourn wins his 300th game beating the Beaneaters at South End Grounds in Boston, 10-8. ‘Old Hoss’, who will finish 484 of the 497 games he starts, will end his 11-year career this season with 309 victories.

1918-Facing only 28 batters, Dutch Leonard tosses his second career no-hitter as he holds the Tigers hitless in the Red Sox 5-0 victory at Navin Field. ‘Hub’ had also pitched a no-no against the Browns two seasons ago at Fenway Park.

1935-Babe Ruth announces his retirement from baseball.

1951-Due to the poor lighting during a Alabama-Florida League contest at Peanut Stadium in Headland, Alabama, Ottis Johnson of the Dothan Browns fails to get out of the way of a fastball thrown by Jack Clifton. The 24-year-old Class D minor League outfielder undergoes surgery and spends eight days in the hospital before dying on June 10 as a result of being hit by Dixie Runners hurler’s pitch.
R.I.P.

1987-Using their the number one pick overall in the draft, the Seattle Mariners select Ken Griffey, Jr. The signing of ‘Junior’, son a major leaguer Ken Griffey, will play a major role in Seattle’s success in the mid-1990’s.

1990-Randy Johnson becomes the first Mariner to pitch a no-hitter as the ‘Big Unit’ shuts out the Tigers, 2-0. The southpaw strikes out eight while walking six in the first no-hitter ever thrown in the 14-year history of the Kingdome.

1999-In the first-year player’s draft, the Devil Rays select North Carolina prep star Josh Hamilton as the top pick. It is the first time since 1993, when Alex Rodriguez was selected, that a high school player has been chosen first.

2000-With the Tigers visiting Wrigley Field for the first time since the 1945 World Series, Cubs’ reliever Rick Aguilera pitches a perfect ninth inning for his 300th save to nail down a 2-0 Chicago victory.

Interleague “Rivalry” Matchups

  • 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.

Yesterday’s Best Games

  • 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

And that’s what happened last night in Boston… 
In the top of the 9th inning, with left fielder Gary Sheffield on first base after leading off the inning with a walk, and two outs, Mets rookie catcher Omir Santos, an injury replacement for Brian Schneider, crushed a first pitch fastball from Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon just over the Green Monster in left field, his hit was originally ruled a double, but was ruled a 2-run homerun following instant replay, and in the bottom of the inning, J.J. Putz shut down the Red  Sox, sealing the series win for New York.
  • 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

Cardinals 5  Royals 0
Game Of The Day Preview coming soon…