Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blockbuster Deal Done...

WOW!  This is what I call a blockbuster deal.  The 4 team deal is complete, and the Phillies acquire a former Cy Young winner in Roy Halladay, for another former Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee.  Here's the particulars...


Toronto sent Halladay and $6 million to the Phillies for three minor leaguers: catcher Travis d'Arnaud, right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor.

Philadelphia dealt Lee to Seattle for three prospects: right-hander Phillippe Aumont, outfielder Tyson Gillies and right-hander Juan Ramirez.

Toronto flipped Taylor to the Athletics for third baseman Brett Wallace.




It's difficult enough to make a trade between two teams, let alone involving 4 in a blockbuster.  Interesting to see now what the Mariners do with Lee.  He will make some serious money this year and is a free agent at the end of the season.  The Phillies to me, get one of the more under the radar (pitching in Canada will do that for you) pitchers and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.  They did give up a lot to get him, but Kyle Drabek is a prospect.  He's never pitched in the big leagues.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little of tomorrow to compete today.  


Lackey, Cameron in Boston, will Adrian Gonzalez join them?
There seems to be a lot of talk now about the moves being made in Boston.  Are they a set up for something bigger involving the Padres and Adrian Gonzalez?  The case can certainly be made.  Mike Cameron is not a left fielder.  Plus asking a CF to play LF in Fenway Park is asking him to do something.  It's a tricky position with the Green Monster right behind you, and close to the plate.  The moves made by acquiring John Lackey (free agent, LAA) and Cameron, certainly frees up some other names on the Boston roster to be dealt.  Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz can certainly be had, but if the Padres are going to make a deal for a young power hitter like Gonzalez, you need to get hard throwing Daniel Bard as well.  Some of the particulars may still be unclear.  Several reports indicate that the Red Sox may also throw in a catcher they acquire from the Rangers, in the Mike Lowell proposal, but that hasn't officially happened yet.  As indicated previously, if the Padres are going to trade Gonzalez, it's going to have to be in a deal that makes baseball sense.  A king's ransom will be required, and not just prospects like in the Jake Peavy deal last July.  The team will want Major League ready talent to fill immediate needs and if the names being reported are true, these are players that can contribute right away. This one is worth watching. (Vote on whether or not Adrian will start the season with the Padres or not on this blog)


MLB to do away with the DH?
Commissioner Bud Selig has formed his own version of a "competition committee", much like the NFL. The 14 members include 4 managers, 4 current or former GM's, 4 ownership reps, Hall of Fame player Frank Robinson, and noted columnist George Will.   The "advisory" committee will analyze ways of improving Major League baseball on the field.  Their first meeting will be this January in the Phoenix area.


One hot button issue is the use of the DH.  This debate could become a little more than that if several on the committee get their way. The American League has used the Designated Hitter for the last 37 seasons, and the NL has never seriously considered adopting it.  The DH has been good for the players, prolonging the career of several popular hitters, like Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Edgar Martinez, Dave Winfield, and Paul Molitor just to name a few.  But to me, it's a joke.  Why should one league have it and the other not have it or not even want it?  Can you imagine if the NFL decided that a 12th player could be used in AFC games and not NFC games?  Or if the NBA decided that a shot behind the arc counted for 4 points in a Western Conference game and not an Eastern Conference game?  Get rid of it. Make the game uniform.  I don't think that's the popular thought of the players, but from reading up on it, many in management both on and off the field, wouldn't mind seeing the DH go the way of baseball in Montreal.  Gone.  (tell me your thoughts, there is a poll on this blog getting your vote on whether to keep the DH or launch it)


More later....


Andy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Random Sunday Musings...

Lots of thoughts running through my head tonight, from baseball to basketball to hockey, football and travel...

NFL...
Let's start with football if you don't mind.  I was thankfully flying when my hometown Bears were losing to the hated Green Bay Packers, on another great day for Jay Cutler (Charger fans warned me), and head coach Lovie Smith.  Ugh, who calls a time out with the other team facing a 4th and short, to allow THEM to get their stuff together, and get a crucial first down?  The answer: LOVIE.  There should be a "help wanted" sign outside Soldier Field at the end of this year.

Now to my adopted hometown team, the Chargers.  Got home in time to watch the entire game on TV, and again I was totally impressed.  I said it when this blog first started, that I would take Phillip Rivers as my QB any day of the week and twice on Sunday's.  Let me amend that to 3 times on Sunday's.  I'm amazed at his arm strength, and his ability to thread the needle on his long distance passing.  He plays to the strength of the offense as well, tall receivers, that can go up and get it.  Good combination.  Throw in a sure fire hall of fame running back who is hitting stride, and a hall of fame caliber tight end, is there anything this offense can't do?

Against the Cowboys, give some props to Ron Rivera's defensive unit.  Pressure on Tony Romo, and a huge goal line stand really set the tone for the entire game.  Tim Dobbins, Brandon Siler, Ian Scott,  and Luis Castillo had a big hand in stopping Marion Barber at the goal line to swing the momentum.  Great win by the Chargers who win for the 8th straight time, and 16th straight time in December.  Just think, if the Chargers weren't like slow starter Kevin Kouzmanoff, think where they might be now?

SAN DIEGO HOOPS...
It's college hoops time now.  Was in Boise, Idaho with the Toreros this weekend, and USD came away with a huge victory, on the road 59-56 over the Broncos.  This team needed this win, and badly.  The victory snapped that 5 game losing skid, and more importantly gets the Toreros back on track for next weekend's games in Las Vegas, against Southern Illinois (Saturday 4pm on San Diego 1700) and South Florida (Sunday at 1:45pm on XX1090).  Roberto Mafra played perhaps his best game with the school, scoring his first career double, double, with 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win.  I was impressed that the team was able to rally from a lackluster first half, to slow the tempo, work the ball around, play great defense and sound team basketball.  Huge win indeed.

SDSU got themselves a big win this weekend as well a home win over Arizona.  I like what I see from Steve Fisher's bunch.  They impressed me with their athleticism and length.  They can rush it up the floor, and really shoot it well.  If they start coming together as a team, look out Mountain West Conference.

MLB/PADRES...
Glad to hear that the Padres and Kevin Correia were able to come to terms on a deal.  It would really have been a shame for him to be pitching somewhere else.  Not that it still can't happen in a 'sign and trade' scenario, but it appears that Correia will be in Buddy Black's rotation for 2010.  That's one less hole to fill this off season.   Correia won 12 games last year, including a complete game shut out at Arizona in September.

The team non-tendered Mark Worrell, who never pitched in a big league game for the Padres.  He was supposed to be the main ingredient in the Khalil Greene trade, but underwent "Tommy John" surgery in March and was lost for the season.  Of course the "player to be named later" in that trade proved his worth, Luke Gregerson struck out 93 hitters this season as a mainstay in the bullpen for the Padres.

NHL...
Alright, I know a lot of folks in San Diego, have no interest in the NHL, but some do and this is for them.  I grew up around the NHL, in an original six city, going to Blackhawks games with my dad at the old Chicago Stadium and more recently with my brother at the United Center.  I'm jacked about the Hawks this year.  I watched their game against Tampa Bay tonight on the NHL Center Ice Package (I actually made the purchase) and again was impressed.  Their penalty killing and power play units were dominant again tonight.  Back up goalie Antti Niemi recorded his 3rd shutout in 7 starts this season, while Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews (pronounced Taves) and Ben Eager scored the goals.  Hockey is an awesome sport to watch in HD, or in person.  With the Kings and Ducks playing just up the road, go check out a game, you won't be sorry.

Travels...
Fresh off my trip to Boise, Idaho with the USD Toreros, I've discovered what a hassle airline travel has become.  High prices, no meals, no extras and just a lot of attitude.  It's bad enough that most airlines have decided it's a good idea to charge to check in baggage ($40 bucks for two bags on Alaska Airlines), but what's with the attitude?  The person checking in my radio equipment today, figured that since it wasn't her bag, she could just chuck it onto the conveyor belt.  What's up with that?  Seriously?  Do you have to THROW it on the belt?  Do you have NO regard for OTHER people's stuff?  Mine wasn't the only bag that received this treatment.  Come on people you are BETTER than that!

Even flight attendants are getting less and less friendly.  They have little patience for people, getting on the plane or getting off the plane.  Fake it.  At least make me think that you really appreciate my business.  Oh well.  What can you do?

Alright that's it, I hope you had a great weekend, and have a great week ahead.  Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating and the best to all this holiday season!  More later...

Andy

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Back...

Sorry all, it's been a hectic few weeks in my world, and has not allowed me much time to update the blog here!  Hope you understand.  Let's get right to it...

All has been quiet at the Winter Meetings to this point for the Padres, as many of you thought it would be. Not surprising is the fact that GM Jed Hoyer has been getting "action" on several of his players, including Heath Bell and Kevin Kouzmanoff.  At first glance it doesn't seem like Kouz will be going to the Giants.  The names that were floated, Fred Lewis and Kevin Frandsen don't get my heart racing and apparently didn't get Hoyer's going either.  We already have a better version of Lewis, in Tony Gwynn Jr., and I'm not certain that Frandsen would be a good enough fielder, or hitter to succeed in the utility role on the bench.   Keep searching.  Kouz attracted interest from up to 8 teams.   As I pointed out on Darren Smith's show on XX1090 a week or so ago, the situation at 3rd is a bit crowded, especially with the emergence of Kyle Blanks in the outfield and at the plate.  I guess as I mentioned it's a good problem to have.  Chase Headley is a natural third baseman and it would seem that either he or Kouz will be moved to open up the slot for Blanks.

The Kevin Correia situation is worth watching.  The Padres know that if it gets to arbitration, Correia is going to get a healthy raise from the 1.1 million he made after incentives last season.  Hopefully they'll be able to agree with him before it gets to that point.  I thought that Correia excelled in the starters role and provided a great lift to the team as a starter.  He's still young and can contribute.

Heath Bell is another interesting situation.  42 saves in his first year as a closer, but also due a healthy raise in arbitration.  The Padres have to figure out if they believe Bell has reached his "ceiling" or if there's still room to grow.  I'm sure the team feels there are some internal candidates to replace Bell if he's dealt, like Mike Adams who is also arbitration eligible, Luke Gregerson and to some degree Edward Mujica.

Keep track of all the developments at the meetings in Indianapolis by following Corey Brock on Twitter @FollowThePadres, or at www.padres.com.

USD Back home tonight...
The USD Toreros return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion tonight, with another tough non-conference matchup facing New Mexico, coached by Steve Alford.  The Lobos are a perfect 8-0 this year and feature a very experienced team, which beat the Toreros last year at the JCP 57-54.  USD is trying to snap an ugly 4 game losing skid that started in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. The Toreros have been struggling terribly from the floor, shooting around 35% over the skid, and scoring just 52 points a game.  Brandon Johnson should return to the lineup tonight after missing Sunday's game at Fresno State as a result of a coaches decision.  Hope you can make it out to the game tonight, but if not, I'll have the call for you starting at 6:45 on XX1090 and on the web at www.usdtoreros.com.

A family loss...
Sad news hit me yesterday, when my dad called from Chicago, to inform me that the family dog, Maxwell, a great Golden Retriever, had to be put to sleep.  We had him for nearly 15 years and this friendly, warm animal, turned me into a dog lover.  I didn't have a dog growing up due to allergies, so this was my first real pet.  Max was rescued by my family from the Anti-Cruelty Society and given a great home, where he was treated like a king.  Max was not doing well toward the end, having a lot of trouble walking, and fell a few times.  He was developing cancer, and the vet agreed it was time.  I'm really going to miss Max, and his wagging tail, it will certainly be strange to walk into my parent's house next time I'm in Chicago and not have him greet me.  I know he's in a better place now, and not in any pain, but it doesn't make it any easier.  Here's some pictures of him, when he first came to the Masur house...













That's all I have for you today...have a great day!

Andy