Breaking down the deadline deals
I was really surprised Manny Ramirez didn’t end up with the San Francisco Giants with the passing of Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
After all, what city has more experience with talented, and shall we say, eccentric left fielders than San Francisco?
That having been said, let’s breakdown the big deals:
Ramirez to Los Angeles
First, the brief head means that Manny was traded to the Dodgers. The Angels, despite their appellation, play in Anaheim.
Everyone is saying that this trade is addition by subtraction for the Boston Red Sox. That’s correct, but not complete. Manny felt he was being treated poorly by Boston, even though he’s earning $20 million per year. Whatever. I would take a much better attitude toward my job and parents calling me, complaining about why no-talent Johnny isn’t mentioned in the paper everyday with 20 mil in my wallet.
Boston put up with a lot “Manny-being-Manny” garbage, and eventually called it a day. What a lot of people are forgetting about this deal is that the Red Sox got Jason Bay, who has a .282 batting average, 22 homers and 64 RBI. That’s pretty comparable to Ramirez (.299, 20, 68), and without the attitude. Bay, coming from the never-do-well Pirates, will be a good addition for Boston.
As for Ramirez, he should help the Dodgers, who are maddeningly inconsistent offensively, if he gets his head out of his rear. The NL West is not the cream of the crop when it comes to divisions, so Los Angeles can make the postseason with Ramirez for whatever it’s worth. But it would be funny to watch Manny watch the Red Sox win another World Series without him.
Pudge to the Yankees
I get that catcher Jorge Posada is hurt and the Yanks need a backstop, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is the best catcher of this era. Good for the Yankees for addressing this need.
But the real need in the Bronx is pitching, and the Yankees didn’t get that. If you make the postseason ” not a given for New York ” you need pitching, pitching and more pitching. The Yankees have the bullpen, but Andy Pettite, Mike Mussina, Chien-Ming Wong and Joba Chamberlain shouldn’t scare many. If Sidney Ponson pitches in October, the Yankees are done.
Griffey Jr. to the South Side
Trivia time: Who’s the only other player in baseball history who had more career home runs and was traded? (Answer below.)
This is what we call a good trade 10 years ago. Today, it’s OK, but it will not drastically improve the White Sox. Ken Griffey, Jr. is 38. I know Paul Konerko and Nick Swisher are struggling at the plate, but how much more does Griffey Jr. have?
Then there’s the prospect of him playing center field. Yikes.
Trivia answer: Willie Mays went from San Francisco to the New York Mets, having hit 646 dingers. For those who were wondering about Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, both were released, not traded, before signing with the Boston Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively.
Teixiera to the Angels
Good trade for Los Angeles/Anaheim/Disneyland. The Angels are running away from the rest of the AL West, but needed some more pop in the lineup with Vlad Guerrero and Garret Anderson not having superb years.
Remember that Mark Teixiera was putting up nice numbers in Atlanta in a not-so hitter-friendly park. Red Sox fans are doubtless obsessing over the Rays and the Yankees. They should be worried about the Angels.
Sabathia to Beer Town
No, this didn’t come down recently, but it’s a Deadline Day-like deal. That was a gutsy move by the Milwaukee Brewers to pick up C.C. Sabathia, who will be a free agent, just like the team’s ace, Ben Sheets.
The Chicago Cubs may have handed Milwaukee its lunch this week, but the Brew Crew has a good shot of making the playoffs ahead of whoever doesn’t win the NL East.
We’ll put the Rich Harden-to-the-Cubs trade also under this category. Believe it or not, the Cubs are going to the Series this year.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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