Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More thoughts from other time zones

We stay out west for today's thoughts. First, Kenny Lofton officially signed a one year deal with the Dodgers. The other day I mentioned that I question just how much this will help the Dodgers (remember, I made that cute joke about how it isn't 1996 in which I pretended to double check that it isn't, in fact, 1996? Good times) He happened to have had an excellent year with the Phillies in limited action, and he's actually generally been a useful player ever since his too-early decline from the elite level in the late 90s. If the Dodgers were counting on him to be the leadoff man and a main cog in the offense, I'd be much more down on it. But with Furcal on board, I think Lofton makes a nice #2 hitter for them.

Lofton was also pursued by Arizona. Oh heavens, that sentence was in passive voice, I'm terribly sorry. Let's try again. Arizona also pursued Lofton. An article on the D-Backs site said that they entertained him at Chase Field last week. What's Chase Field you ask? Is that some minor league complex somewhere in Tempe or something? Nope, that's the new name of the BOB. Did you know that, because I sure as hell didn't. Can we discuss this problem for a moment? It's bad enough that every stadium and arena is sold to some corporate name (hey man, I hate corporations, they're evil...pass the bong). But why do they always have to be to banks and insurance companies that are (1) boring as hell and (2) the most likely to have an abrupt name change? It becomes hard to keep track. The Ballpark in Arlington has been Ameriquest Field since last year. The FleetCenter in Boston is now TD Banknorth Garden, which must rank among the dumbest names I've ever heard for an arena. Wachovia Center has changed names twice, most recently from FirstUnion Center. The list goes on. It's disorienting for fans, and most of the times the teams just do it in the middle of the night. "What? No, it's always been US Cellular Field. Yes, even before there were cell phones. Who Comiskey? Never heard of him - you're probably insane."

I propose several things. Ideally, go back to calling stadiums names that meant something - crazy things like naming it after the team. You'll never hear anybody complain, "Uch, Dodger Stadium sounds so dumb, I wish it were called H&R Block Park." Failing that, only sell to corporations that are fun and probably won't change. I could get behind Nintendo Arena, Ben & Jerry's Stadium, or Hustler Field. And if you do have to sell to some financial corporation, only ones that create cool acronyms, like the (former) BOB. So the Associated Credit Reporting Agency Center could work - "Hey Kevin, want to catch the game in the AssCrac tonight, the Heat are in town."

Interesting trade between the Padres and Rangers today. Six player deal, so watch me do all my cool bolding. Ready? Ok: The Padres send Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka, and prospect Billy Killian to Texas for Chris Young, Adrian Gonzalez, and Termel Sledge. Damn, that was some kickass bolding. A few thoughts on this deal. First, you might be thinking that this Chris Young dude is getting traded a lot. But no, the Chris Young traded from the White Sox to the D-Backs in the Javier Vazquez deal is another Chris Young. Then you might be thinking - hey, this Termel Sledge dude is getting traded a lot. But no, the Termel Sledge traded from the Nationals to the Rangers in the Alfonso Soriano deal is another Termel Sledge. I'll tell you this - I will put $5000 down that there never has been, isn't currently, or ever will be 2 guys named Termel Sledge in the history of the planet. ("attention: we are out of Bort license plates" - Simpson reference for those who think I'm on crack)

Both Adam Eaton and Adrian Gonzalez were supposed to be huge players, Eaton since he was in the Phillies farm system. If you don't remember that he was in that organization, it's because he was traded for Andy Ashby. Bet Eaton suddenly sounds a lot older, doesn't he? This past year he was starting to put it all together, went down with an injury, and wasn't the same when he got back. Well I'm sure pitching in Texas will help that. Yeah. Gonzalez is still young and hasn't really had a shot - it's conceivable that he could still become a player. But he was pretty much blocked in Texas, as they have a pretty good first baseman last time I checked. Otsuka had a big 2004 and a decent but not great 2005. I'd say that Scott Linebrink's success had made him expendable, but is relief pitching ever expendable? Chris Young had a better year than I thought he did - 4.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 137 Ks in 165 innings. Those 165 innings came in 31 starts though, which means he didn't even average 6 innings a start. Eh, don't love that. I have nothing to say about Termel Sledge other than to make fun of his name, which I covered already. I don't know anything about Billy Killian. I know about Tim Stauffer - if we pretend he's Tim Stauffer I could analyze that more easily. Don't laugh, I did that on a final today (well not with Tim Stauffer, but you get the point).

Anyway, I like the trade for both teams. I think Eaton and Young may be fairly comparable, Texas got a nice arm for the pen, and a prospect about whom I know nothing. He played in rookie ball, he's 19, and my friend told me that he got a report that the Padres did like his talent. But he's not on the major league radar for anybody right now. Obviously if he becomes something, that will shape our view of this trade in three years. The Padres did well too. They've got Vinny Castilla and Ryan Klesko at the corners, which means that situation is ripe for a young guy like Gonzalez to get ABs and prove himself. I still have nothing to say about Termel Sledge, but he's a useful bench player. I think Young could have a nice year in SD pitching in that park, and is a good roto sleeper for 2006. If you're in either of my roto leagues, please pretend you didn't see that.

Cubs sign Jacque Jones. At this point you're probably getting verrrrry bored of my baseball analysis, which is probably mediocre at best. I'll say this quickly - 3 years, $16 mil is pretty reasonable. Jacque Jones is consistently nice. Not thrilling, but nice (reference also, but it ruins it if I tell you where), but considering Juan Pierre is in center, that's kind of an underpowered OF they have in Chicago, unless Matt Murton comes on strong right away. I think they'll be ok considering they've got Lee and Ramirez in the lineup, but you might like to have a little bit more out of your RF. The Corey Patterson era seems to have ended in Chicago, and you have to wonder if a change of scenery will really help him or if his career trajectory has been set.

I spent way too long on this one tonight. Good thing I've studied very extensively for my final tomorrow.

3 Comments:

Anonymous ihatewordverification said...

When are we getting analysis of the Josh Paul - Travis Schlichting trade???

10:57 PM  
Anonymous ihatewordverification said...

On a more serious note, reports that Yankees agreed with Damon, 4 yr $52 million http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spdamon1221,0,7603605.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

11:01 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

Did anyone else bid anything over $40 million for 4?

11:44 PM  

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