Monday, July 7, 2008

Transactions Analysis: Roswell Edition

On this day sixty-one years ago, materials were recovered in the greater Roswell, New Mexico area, that many believed to be a flying saucer, but that the United States government alleged was a giant weather balloon. This debate and speculation over the possibility of aliens visiting our fair planet and crashing in, of all places, New Fricking Mexico, has lead not only to millions of bad road trips to New Mexico by broke college graduates, a way for David Duchnovy to cash a paycheck, and crap cinema like Independence Day, but also about 500,000 hours of programming on the History Channel, running second behind their non-stop quasi-live coverage of World War II.

In honor of the anniversary, and without making a gratuitous Sam Cassell or Nick Van Exel joke, we bring you the week's transactions, which may be proof positive of alien life on earth, given that three Pittsburgh Pirates were picked up last week. (El Angelo)

As further proof of the GRBG's continuing relevance down through the generations, our forebearer publication was all over the Roswell crash, though with an admittedly myopic focus on the effect that alien technology was likely to have on the park effects of various PCL affiliates in the area. Then, like now, our place in the universal family tree was secondary to advice on whether to add Minnie Minoso to your prospect list. (Teddy)

Frank the Tank
  • Signed Mark Ellis, 2B, Oakland, Romulo Sanchez, RP, Pittsburgh and Damaso Marte, RP, Pitsburgh; Released Mike Aviles, SS, Kansas City and Jeff Baker, 1B, Colorado [7/2]
Either due to my team sucking or just my failure to care about western Pennsyltucky, I didn't even realize that Matt Capps was on the DL until compiling this post, so I'll give kudos to our commish for trying to make the most of the new opening in the 9th inning. Of course, it's with the worst team in the Senior Circuit and undecided between Damaso Marte, who sucks, and Romulus, who was raised by wolves. As for Aviles: ha. (El Angelo)

It's amazing to think that Rome was founded by relief pitcher Romulus and his aged, negro, storytelling Uncle Remus, but such was apparently the case, assuming I'm wiki'ing this correctly. I will forebear from linking to any of the richly deserving pictures which could run in this slot. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Xavier Nady, OF, Pittsburgh; Released Scott Olsen, RP, Florida [7/5]
A much more defensible and sensible pickup for this team: they're already short on the bench and outfield, and Olsen, while not gawd-awful, will not be missed in the deep-if-not-top-heavy rotation of the 2006 Champs. Nice swap. (El Angelo)

Concur, though the longer-term value of this move could well be determined by where Nady ends up after the trading deadline--he could easily end up as a platoon guy for a contender, which would take a bite out of his value. (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Signed Greg Smith, SP, Oakland [7/2]
Letting this guy sit out in free agency for this long is a fuck up by all of us. Smith isn't the next coming of Johan St. Johan, but he's better than about 30% of the pitchers currently on rosters, and almost everyone could have used him as an insurance policy. Hell, a few squads just could have picked him up to sit him. Instead, the team in first place adds a nice pitcher to their stable. Bah. Nice going guys. (El Angelo)

Concur again. Christ, this is boring. Let's see if I can't work in some more questionable racial iconography again in the next section to liven things up. (Teddy)

The Fighting Isaiahs
  • Signed Grant Balfour, RP, Tampa Bay [7/1]
  • Signed Ramon Hernandez, C, Baltimore; Released Jason Varitek, C, Boston [7/3]
You could argue that adding a flame-thrower (who I initially thought was the goalie for the Winnipeg Jets) that's inherited the closer's role on the best team in baseball is their best transaction. Baloney. Dumping Jason Varitek is the better move, as replacing him with a headrest is an improvement. He's the worst player to make the All-Star team since Joe Girardi. (El Angelo)

Varitek has spent the last month at the plate praying for the sweet release of death. He has had the mien and effectiveness of a dime-store Indian, except with less dignity (racial iconography, check!). (Teddy)

Christmas Critters
  • Claimed Chris Davis, 1B, Texas off waivers [7/2]
  • Signed Jerry Hairston, Jr., MI, Chicago (NL); Released Greg Maddux, SP, San Diego [7/3]
A prospect that I'd never heard of seemed like an odd place to waste waiver priority, so I did a little research on Mr. Chris Davis, who Kevin Goldstein says "has mammoth, gargantuan power, and when he centers a ball is capable of tape-measure shots." Well then. He's a nice contrast to the rotting corpse of Greg Maddux, who's twice Davis's age. (El Angelo)

I've made this joke before, but "Chris Davis" is absolutely a CPU-generated player name from MLB: The Show or some equivalent. This dude needs a nickname, stat: I'd go for the white-bread trifecta by naming him "Matt" Chris Davis in honor of Matt Christopher, the terrible pseudonymic sports-novel author. Matt Christopher, anyone? Was I the only one here that nerdy in elementary school?

I'll see myself out.


Wu Tang Financial
  • Signed J.J. Hardy, SS, Milwaukee; Released The Rentasuck, SS, Detroit [7/4]
  • Signed Jayson Werth, OF, Philadelphia; Released El Duque, SP, New York (NL) [7/6]
My favorite transaction line of the week, and not because it's a good swap of talent (it's not), but because it brings The Rentasuck full circle AND makes J. J. Hardy a new dark horse for the Pewter Pitcher Award. J.J., welcome to the club. Also, while I strongly advocate the DL-Stash ploy in this league, El Duque was not a player you should be doing that with. By the time he returns from the disabled list, he will have turned 50. So while I'm not sure that Werth should get any playing time on a roster with Bruce, Ankiel, Fat Squirrel and B.J. Upton, it's certainly worthwhile to dump El Duque simply so you can have the now-broken Johnny Damon take his DL spot. (El Angelo)

OK, let's play America's eighteenth-favorite game show, How Ang Is Justifying This Picture. I think the idea is that, with intratextual references to J.J. Hardy and B.J. Upton, a pic of A.J. Feeley and his really rather ripped soccer-playing S.O. is kosher. What do I win? (Teddy)

Matsui's Fissure
  • Signed J.P. Howell, RP, Tampa Bay; Released Ryan Garko, 1B, Cleveland [6/30]
  • Signed Ramon Vaszquez, SS, Texas; Released Brandon Jones, OF, Atlanta [7/6]
Ramon Vazquez is in theory a great pickup because he's having an underrated season, doesn't hurt you in any one category (and marginally helps in some) and is eligible at 4-5 positions. But in practice he's sort of an odd addition for this team, as he's unlikely to help them get above 9th place this year, nobody will trade anything for him, and he's almost certainly not keeper material. I appreciate the need for fielding a competitive roster, but this guy is twice as valuable to a team at the top of the standings to one of my fellow also-rans. (El Angelo)

Sometimes all you can do is make the correct move, even though you're hosed either way. I encourage you all to embroider that bit of wisdom on a pillow and ponder it over long winter evenings. (Teddy)

Presidential Timber
  • Signed Casey Blake, CI, Cleveland and Manny Parra, SP, Milwaukee; Released Melky Cabrera, OF, New York (AL) and Garrett Olson, SP, Baltimore [7/6]
On May 3, Manny Parra was 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA and a K/BB ratio that would make Kirk Reuter blush. Since then, he's won 7 straight decisions (including all 5 starts in June) and lowered his ERA by 2 1/4 points...and it STILL took until yesterday for someone to pick him up. Apparently nobody watched his perfect game last year with the Nashville Sounds, who, for the record, have a mascot that makes less sense than the St. John's Beast or Auggie Belmont (see, right). Shame on us for not believing. (El Angelo)

Speaking for myself, I had Parra during that first terrible rush, so forgive my bitten-hand shyness in the face of his most recent good run.

As for the Nashville mascot above, he looks like a circa-2000 Giambi brother following a cocaine binge. Which, from a mascot-design perspective, might not be such a terrible thing. (Teddy)

1 comment:

El Angelo said...

To answer two questions by my esteemed co-author:

(1) Fat Squirrel used to shtoop Heather Mitts before A.J. get his, er, paws on her, thus the really weak justification for the photo.

(2) The Kid Who Only Hit Homers was a favorite of mine too, though that doesn't make you less of a geek. I used to wish that I would get visited by George Baruth. Instead, I met Andy.