With the trade deadline behind us, it is time to take a look at our not-so-expert opinions of the days winners and losers.
Mike - Dodgers - This doesn't make the Dodgers the best team in baseball by any means, it doesn't even put them in the top five in the National League. What it does is put the Dodgers in position to take the West. That kind of move in such a weak division is huge. They are 13th in the NL in runs scored, and 15th in home runs. They are, however, first in ERA... They are only one game out... Watch out Arizona. Besides, what better place to send an over-paid, self-centered crybaby who can hit then to Joe Torre, who dealt with those kinds of players for years.
Lee - Angels - After a subpar showing in last year's ALDS, they finally got the power bat that they've been searching for to bolster their chances of defeating the Beasts of the East come October in Mark Teixeira. Although Teixeira and the man he's replacing, Casey Kotchman, have the same number of World Series rings (for those of you keeping score at home, that would be zero), you have to think that getting a guy with a higher slugging pct., as well as HR and RBI totals and runs scored, and for a worse team, mind you, is a significant upgrade. Angels management seems to be all in for 2008, and the folks in SoCal should applaud them for it.
Jack - Yankees - The Yankees are the clear winner at this year's trade deadline. Coming down the stretch, they had obvious needs at Catcher, Left Field, and in the bullpen. They turned out one of the best deals when they took a solid left fielder in Xavier Nady and a proven late innings pitcher in Damaso Marte from the Pirates for nearly nothing with 4 minor league prospects. They then picked up a solid veteran catcher with Pudge Rodriguez from Detriot for the useless, inconsistent pile of nothing named Kyle Farnsworth. They come into August looking much more solid and ready to take that second AL East playoff spot from the BoSox.
Mike - Mariners - Has anyone told them they are awful?? They asked too much for players that are either too old or just don't pitch that well. They could have come away with some pretty good young talent. It is time to take this team in a different direction. It's too bad the Mariners are so bad, I've seen Frasier, and the people of Seattle seem too nice to deserve this. In a very close second is the always pathetic Atlanta Braves. I am glad Mark Teixeira is worth all the talent they sent to Texas last year, he sure did help them. They re-gifted him to the Angels.
Lee - Red Sox - Me calling the Red Sox a bunch of losers? Sounds like any other Thursday, I'll admit, but today I actually have a reason. But to trade a future Hall of Famer because of what seems to be little more than a personal beef seems like a rather short-sighted and immature decision by Theo Epstein and Co., who are normally amongst the brightest at their jobs in the league. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I really think that if Boston management would have just held out past the deadline today, Manny would have flown straight for the remainder of the season, realizing that he was playing for his job in 2009. Instead, a career .312 hitter with 512 HRs and over 1,600 RBI, a man who is notorious for destroying the hated Yankees, both in the box score and in their melons, a man who is widely considered the greatest right-handed hitter since DiMaggio, has just been shipped 3,000 miles away for Jason Bay. The same Jason Bay who, when placed in the only remotely meaningful and pressure-packed situation of his major league career, the 2005 Home Run Derby, metaphorically crapped his pants on national television (probably the only time he's played on national television, of course). Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit with my last point, but really, in my opinion the Red Sox are taking a huge risk by trading away one of most clutch right-handed RBI producers in recent memory for a guy who has proved absolutely nothing in a town where even the people who live there don't watch the team. And why? Because Manny hurt your feelings by saying some mean things to ESPNDeportes? Grow up. You may have set yourselves up nicely for the future, but rebuilding sounds like something more suited for a team in Pittsburgh than Boston, and that's not something I think the Chowda' Heads in New England will take lightly.
Jack - Pirates - It was a tough decision between the Bucs and the Rays, but how can I fault a first place team for sticking with what has been working? The Pirates sold off 3 of their biggest pieces and didn't get much in return. Xavier Nady is gone to the Yankees along with teammate Damaso Marte. In return for losing a solid outfielder and a proven set-up man, they received four minor leaguers; it seems everyone around agrees that this was a steal for the Yankees. Jason Bay is off to fill the whole left by the most self-centered man in baseball, Manny Ramirez. They do pick up Andy LaRoache to keep third base warm until Pedro Alvarez is ready to take over, but Brandon Moss taking over in left field is no replacement for Jason Bay.