The Braves strike NRI gold with Russell Branyan. The Astros do what they need to do to compete in the NL Central. Everything you ever wanted to read about Eric Karros. The Padres address their chasm in center. These and other news, notes, and Kahrlisms in today's Transaction Analysis.
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Brian Sabean has brought a fair amount of criticism on himself with his low-key approach to this off-season, creating the world's largest chapter of the lunatic fringe in the process. So it's no surprise that he faced his share of skeptical questions from Giants fans during his live chat on mlb.com earlier this week. But it was his answer to a fairly innocuous question that raised the most eyebrows among the "fringers":
Q: Did you ever make an offer for Vladimir Guerrero?
Sabean: In a word: No. If we had signed Guerrero or [Gary] Sheffield, we would have been without [Jim] Brower, [Scott] Eyre, [Matt] Herges, [Dustin] Hermanson, [Brett] Tomko, [A.J.] Pierzynski, [Pedro] Feliz, [J.T.] Snow, [Jeffrey] Hammonds, [Dustan] Mohr and [Michael] Tucker--obviously not being able to field a competitive team, especially from an experience standpoint, given our level of spending.
The White Sox will regret hiring Ozzie Guillen. The Astros' Brad Ausmus and Jose Vizcaino: how to flush $4 million down the toilet. The A's and Jays hook up for yet another trade. The Phillies won't solve their bullpen problem with Billy Wagner alone. The Mariners look poised for a fall. These and other news and notes in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
If the shot of Ugueth Urbina tackling Ivan Rodriguez as Rodriguez holds up a baseball in triumph isn't on the front page of Sports Illustrated and every other sports publication next week, just fire all the editors. That was one of the single greatest pictures I've ever seen in sports, an amazing display of joy. Just remembering that whole sequence gives me chills as I sit here and write about it 12 hours later...the arc of the baseball looping into left field, as J.T. Snow tries to find second gear...Jeff Conine getting rid of the ball quickly...Rich Aurilia desperately waving Snow to the inside of home plate...the collision...Rodriguez tumbling back, gripping the baseball...Snow dropping his head to the plate in disappointment...Urbina diving onto his teammate... I'm not sure Rodriguez still isn't holding that baseball. He may show up with it in his hand on Tuesday. Heck, he may show up with it at his Hall of Fame induction.
However, I don't spend enough time writing about the flip side of that equation. For better or worse, the Division Series has provided a lot of exciting moments in the last nine years. Yesterday, a rare four-playoff-game day, was an example of the format at its best.
A lost season for the Angels has folks in Anaheim scratching their heads. John Smoltz's injury buries Bobby Thigpen's name for another year. The Royals' run evokes memories of George Brett and company. Sandy Alomar...you can probably guess what Chris will write about Sandy Alomar. Witticisms, Kahrlisms and roster schmisms in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
David Eckstein's miserable season for the Angels runs into injury. The White Sox add Scott Sullivan to a good-looking bullpen. The Expos grab Todd Zeile in their desperate attempt to fill the third base void. Cliff Floyd's injury allows the Mets to look at Jeff Duncan. The Giants could get crushed if they start Dustin Hermanson in the playoffs. These and other transaction news and Kahrlisms in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia get rewarded for 2002. The Indians and Rangers swap pitching prospect for hitting prospect. The Yankees grab Armando Benitez in a non-Sierran move. The Jays get a steal in Stewart-for-Kielty. These and other tidbits, plus a full array of Kahrlisms, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
The White Sox begin the summer trading season with a bang; the Reds make a great acquisition in D'Angelo Jimenez; Josh Beckett is unleashed from the DL in Florida; and the Royals take a flyer on a man named Gookie (remember him?). All this and much more news from around the league in your Wednesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
The White Sox may finally commit to Willie Harris. The Reds are playing all the wrong players. The Miguel Cabrera era begins in Florida. The Twins' handling of Johan Santana is a crime. News, notes, and Kahrlisms in the latest edition of Transaction Analysis.
The Snakes bury John Patterson, the Red Sox sort through a batch of soft tossers, the Marlins vie for a 25-catcher roster, and the Devil Rays solve all their problems by grabbing Al Martin and Damion Easley.
Re-signed INF-R Benji Gil and DH-L Brad Fullmer to one-year contracts.
Signed OF-R Eric Owens to a one-year contract, and LHP Rich Rodriguez, 2B-R Adam Riggs, and UT-R Oscar Salazar to minor league contracts.
Avoided arbitration with 2B-L Adam Kennedy, INF-B Scott Spiezio, and LHPs Jarrod Washburn and Scott Schoeneweis.
Claimed C-R Wil Nieves off of waivers (from the Padres).
"I could imagine it in my dreams, but I never thought I'd do it until now. It helped take the tension down a little bit for us, but games aren't won in the first or second inning. They're won in the ninth inning." --Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on homering in his first World Series at-bat