Saturday, December 4, 2010

Padres deal Gonzalez to Boston; receive 4 prospects

In a move that was inevitable, the San Diego Padres traded All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox, in exchange for three prospects:  right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and outfielder Reymund Fuentes.  The Padres will also receive a player to be named later, although according to Peter Gammons, the player is "not a prime guy."

Adrian Gonzalez had a great 2010 campaign for the Padres, hitting .298/.393/.511, with 31 HR's and 101 RBI's.  He also finished fourth in the NL MVP race, and lead the Padres to a 90 win season.  He had three All-Star appearances, 2 Gold Gloves in his five year stay in San Diego.  He will go to a team loaded with offensive stars, and a team that can still add another big bat.

We all know what the Red Sox are getting, so lets take a closer look at what the Padres are getting back.

  • RHP Casey Kelly:  Kelly was the Red Sox top prospect, according to both Baseball America and SoxProspects.com.  He will be 22 at the start of the 2011 season, and was Boston's 1st round pick(30th overall) in 2008.  Here is what SoxProspect.com says about Kelly:  "Fastball has excellent downward movement, sitting at 90-93, and can reach 96.  Curveball has potential to be a wipeout pitch.  Expected to be a great defensive pitcher."  MLB Comparison:  Kevin Brown.  2010 Statistics:  AA Portland:  3-5, 5.31 ERA, in 21 starts.
  •  First Baseman Anthony Rizzo:  Rizzo will be 21 at the start of the 2011 season.  Rizzo is ranked as the #3 prospect in the Red Sox system.  He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2007 draft.  Here's what SoxProspects.com says:  "Tough-as-nails 1st baseman with an excellent build.  Solid overall approach, good eye, and plus gap power to all fields."  MLB Comparison:  Todd Helton.  2010 Statistics:  .263/.334/.481, with 20 HR's and 80 RBI's.
  • Outfielder Reymond Fuentes:  Fuentes will be 20 at the beginning of the 2011 season.  Fuentes was the Red Sox 1st round pick in the 2009 Draft.  Baseball America ranks him the tenth best prospect in the Sox system, while SoxProspects.com had him ranked at #13.  Here is what SoxProspect.com says:  "The type of player that will make highlight reels.  Line drive hitter, makes excellent contact, but without much power.  Has plus plus speed, and excellent range and defense in center."  MLB comparison:  Jacoby Ellsbury.  2010 Statistics:  A Greenville:  .270/.328/.377 with 5 HR's and 41 RBI's.  Also swiped 42 bags.
So the Padres get three intriguing prospects, but was this enough?  Personally, I say no.  For example, when the Padres dealt Jake Peavy, the key to the deal was said to be minor leaguer Aaron Poreda.  But the Padres also got Clayton Richard, who projects as their #2 starter in 2011, after a solid 2010 campaign.  None of the players the Padres received are ready for the big leagues.  Kelly had an awful 2010, and Rizzo plays 1st base, which might be the Padres deepest position.  The Padres should have gotten a big-league ready player, such as Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard, or Jacoby Ellsbury.

Time will tell if this deal works out for San Diego, but its obvious that the Red Sox had the upper hand in this deal.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The most intriguing non-tendered players

As the hot stove league continues to play out, yesterday 50 players were not offered contracts for the 2010 season.  You have your first round busts(Andrew Miller) your players who simply became too expensive for their respective teams(Bobby Jenks) and everyone else in between.  While searching through the list, I found some names that I feel can have a big impact in 2011.  Here are my most intriguing non-tenders.

  • Jack Cust-Athletics:  Cust is a butcher in the field, and struck out 127 times, in 349 AB's, but he did put up a .395 OBP in 2010.  He only hit 13 HR's last season, but in 2008, he hit 33.  Could be a fit for teams like the Mariners, or Indians who could use some pop.
  • J.P. Howell-Rays:  Howell didn't pitch in 2010, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, but in 2008 and 2009, he was one of the better relievers in the AL, putting up ERA's of 2.22 and 2.84 respectively.  He could be a fit with any team willing to take a flier on a talented left-handed reliever.
  • Bobby Jenks-White Sox:  Jenks becomes one of the best relievers on the market, since the White Sox decided not to offer him a deal for 2011.  He saved 27 games in 31 chances last year, and could be a fit for Atlanta, Los Angeles,(AL) and Arizona.
  • Russell Martin-Dodgers:  Martin has been pretty brutal the last couple of years, but was one of the best catchers in the NL in 2007 and 2008.  He hit just .248 in 2010, but could be a comeback candiate.  He still draws a lot of walks.  Possible fits:  Red Sox, Yankees, Padres, Blue Jays.
  • Lastings Milledge-Pirates:  Milledge was once hyped up as one of the best prospects in the game, when he came up with the Mets, but attitude problems, and a couple of trades have hurt his stock.  Last year with the Pirates, he hit .277 with 6 HR's.  Could be a fit with teams like the Royals, Indians, Marlins.

Douchebag of the Week: Josh McDaniels

There was no "Douchebag of the Week," last week since I was sick and busy, so let's get right back to business.  Our winner has ran a successful NFL team into the ground, and got busted for videotaping a walkthrough by an opponent.

It was reported earlier in the week, through various media outlets, that Broncos videographer Steve Scarnecchia videotaped the 49'ers walkthrough, before the two teams met in London.  Of course, McDaniels was on the Patriots staff when they were busted for doing the same thing.  That led to a $500,000 fine for the organization, and a first round pick forfeited.  McDaniels and the Broncos were fined only $50,000 for their underhanded efforts.  Oh, and Troy Smith and the pitiful Niners beat down the Broncos, in a game that surely turned off the English to our great game.

There is so much more about McDaniels that makes him a huge douche.  Since day one, the 34 year old coach has been pissing people off.  In a game against the Chargers last year, McDaniels infamously trash-talked Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips, like McDaniels had actually seen a football field before.  He also alienated his three best offensive players within the last year, with led to Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Tony Scheffler being shipped out of town.

McDaniels has also been horrid as a personnel man, and a head coach in the NFL.  He started off 6-0 last year, before finishing up 2-6.  This season, the Broncos sit at 3-8, and have allowed the most points of any team in the AFC.  McDaniels is a Lions-like 5-19 in his last 24 games.  Oh yeah, he also traded Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn, and drafted Tim Tebow in the first round.  I can't understand why this clown still has a job, but he does, and even received an endorsement by owner Pat Bowlen for 2011.  Absolutely unreal.

McDaniels is a terrible coach, but he is a first rate douchebag!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

US loses World Cup bid...to Qatar

The United States tried to bring the worlds biggest sporting event home, but lost the bid to Qatar.  That's right folks to Qatar, a tiny little shithole in the Middle East.  Qatar won the voting, due to an ambitious goal of building several state-of-the-art soccer stadiums.

Qatar also plans to have air-conditioned stadiums, since summertime temperatures can reach 130 degrees.  Qatar's plan has them building nine new stadiums, and renovating four more, then after the tournament the stadiums will be taken apart, and sent to other countries in the world.  Sounds like a pretty crazy plan, but FIFA ate it up, and gave them the cup over the U.S.

This decision is yet another cheap shot that the rest of the world has taken at the U.S.  First the idiots on the Olympic committee remove softball and baseball from the summer games, and FIFA gives the World Cup to a tiny Middle Eastern country.

The World Cup here in 1994 was a huge success, it sold the most tickets in the history of the event, and featured Brazil winning the title.  The U.S. also has several stadiums that would fit the criteria for a World Cup, such as the Palace in Dallas, the new Giants Stadium, among others.  It wasn't like the US lost to Brazil, England, or Spain, but to a country the size of Connecticut. 

This move also effects sponsors like Budweiser.  It will be hard to sell beer to a country that more than likely won't allow alcohol to be served within the stadium limits.  Also, PDA is a big no-no in the Arab world.  Hell, you thought a World Cup in South Africa would be dangerous, well compared to the Middle East, South Africa is Candy Land.

Now, if you are anything like me, you probably know nothing about the nation of Qatar, so I figured I'd enlighten you all.

  • Muslim's constitute 77.6 % of the population.  The population as a whole is 1.39 million.
  • Qatar has the largest fines in the world for traffic violations.
  • During the month of Ramadan, eating, smoking, and drinking in public is strictly forbidden.
  • According to Qatar's Sharia Law, it is illegal to drink in public.
  • Arab propaganda news network Al Jazeera is headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
Now that you have learned about this tiny, insignificant country that beat the U.S. for the rights to the World Cup, I'm sure you will ignore it like I will.

Lebron returns to Cleveland

In an event that was hyped up unlike any regular season NBA game I have ever seen, the "chosen one" made his glorious return to Cleveland, where he rose to stardom.  Aside from a chorus of boos, it wasn't much of a contest, as Miami cruised to a 118-90 victory.

Cleveland won 60 games last year with Lebron, and his cast of role players, but when Bron Bron took his talents to South Beach, he left the Cavs with one of the worst rosters in the NBA.  I pride myself in being a knowledgeable sports fan, but I had to google a couple of their starters.  Guys like Joey Graham and Anthony Parker aren't going to scare the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

Lebron played like a man on a mission, scoring 38 points, to go with 5 rebounds, and 8 assists.  He went 15-25, much to the dismay of Cleveland die-hards everywhere.

When watching this game, I thought, how is Byron Scott not a frontrunner for Coach of the Year?  The dude is 7-11 with a roster full of scrubs.  The team fought hard in the first quarter, but looked like they just couldn't match up with Lebron and friends.

I really feel for Cleveland, it is one thing for the most prominent athlete in your towns history to leave, but its got to be gut-wrenching for him to embarrass you on ESPN.  The Heat should enjoy this win, because it has no chance hanging with Boston in the playoffs.  Their frontline is simply too deep for the likes of Joel Anthony to handle.

Also, if I'm Anderson Varajeo, I'm sticking my elbow in Lebron's jaw.  Cleveland played him way too softly, if J.J. Hickson knocks out one of Lebron's teeth, I'm sure Dan Gilbert wouldn't mind picking up the tab on that fine.

Hey Cleveland, at least you got Indians baseball to look forward to.