“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t slow down and look around you might miss it.” -Ferris Bueller
That would be the last few weeks of my life in a nutshell. I’ve had work, weddings, and been sick. The only writing I have been doing has been my bi-weekly pieces for Aston Villa Life. Regrettably given my limited time and energy as of late, this site has suffered as a result. With a lot of ground to cover and time to make up for it seems as good of a time as any for more dying quails.
- Not surprised that the Yankees stood pat at the deadline. The only player who moved that would have helped them was Ubaldo Jiminez. Apparently the Yankee brass didn’t feel he was enough of an upgrade on the pitchers they currently have. With Phil Hughes they already have one young starter who has struggled with velocity this year.
- Cleveland adding Jiminez was a shrewd move as they control him beyond this season. They have the makings of a quality rotation going forward. Going into 2012 Shin Soo Choo will be able to put a disastrous year on and off the field behind him. Maybe Grady Sizemore can be healthier and give them 130 games. They will also finally be out from under the disastrous Travis Hafner contract. As far as 2011 stands they are still in it but that bullpen looks to be their undoing.
- Most observers probably predicted that the Pirates would come back to Earth a bit but the way they have crashed and burned has been startling. Hopefully they can right the ship and finally have a winning season. If you look at the NL Central the Cubs are in a malaise, the Astros are on the verge of their 1st 100 loss season and their new owner wants to slash payroll, and if the Cardinals lose Albert Pujols their future is less than certain. In the short to medium term the division figures to be open for the three smaller revenue clubs: the Pirates, Reds, and Brewers have a chance to wrest control from the three traditional powers in the division. The door is open for the Pirates, it’s up to ownership to back Neil Huntington with additional payroll and for Huntington to figure out how to upgrade the offense and add a power arm to the rotation.
- Tony Reagins should be fired. The mere fact that he traded for Vernon Wells and took on the entire contract is the early front-runner for worst trade of the 2010′s. This is the baseball equivalent of a doctor removing the wrong kidney. The Angels are currently only 1.5 GB despite the fact they are paying $23m this year and getting AAA production from LF. Wells not withstanding, with the money the Angels are spending this team should be better. This offseason they need a new GM who can wrest some of the control of the organization from Mike Scoscia.
- Speaking about firing, the Orioles should fire everybody. I am not just talking about the manager or the general manager, but everybody. Scouts and coaches who have been there for years and decades, GONE! Purging the entire baseball operation and player development staff is likely not practical. Looking at the major league roster every player has regressed or not lived up to their potential. Nobody thought the Orioles were going to contend this year, but this season could not have gone worse for them and nobody’s job should be safe.
- What the hell are the Giants doing with Brandon Belt? If Dustin Pedroia was drafted by the Giants he would have been sent to Fresno one after his disastrous April during his rookie year. When a young player dominates AAA the way Belt has that player needs to play every day in the Major Leagues and be left alone. If the player struggles he needs to be given time to work through it. During a pennant race this can be difficult but the Giants don’t exactly have Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey blocking Belt.
- The biggest beneficiaries of the Giants offensive ineptitude are the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kevin Towers was quietly one of the best General Managers in baseball in San Diego. He consistently built quality teams with limited budgets and a surprisingly poor record drafting and developing players. He has turned the trick again in Arizona and done it more quickly than anybody could have expected. Given the current landscape of that division there is no reason the D-Backs can’t replicate the Padres run during Towers tenure.
- Look at the standings and imagine how much more intersting this season would be if my realignment plan was implimented. The Red Sox/Yankee series over the weekend would’ve actually meant more than a white AL East banner at Fenway Park. Toronto and Tampa Bay would be in the mix with Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, and the Angels for playoff spots.