The hours tick down, the rumors heat up. UPDATED 5:10 p.m. EDT.
Sunday, July 31, 5:10 p.m. ET: It's time to close up the Mill for now. I'd like to thank everyone
who wrote in with tips and encouragement. Doing this has really
opened my eyes into just how hard guys like Jayson Stark, Ken
Rosenthal, Buster Olney and Hall of Famer Peter Gammons work. It's
hours on the phone and years of building relationships.
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Last week, Joe Garagiola Jr. made the latest in a long series of heavily-criticized trades in which he gave up young players developed by the Diamondbacks for older talent. While the Byung-Hyun Kim-for-Shea Hillenbrand deal doesn't quite fit the pattern of his other swaps, it does share one important characteristic: it was largely panned by outside performance analysts.
I'm with them. While I can see a scenario in which the Diamondbacks win the deal, I think that they gave up too much talent for a player who is likely to be average or maybe a little above. The deal is especially problematic because the Snakes have third-base prospect Chad Tracy available, and Tracy is a comparable player to Hillenbrand right now, and comes with a lower price tag and a higher upside.
What keeps me from emptying both barrels on the deal is Garagiola's track record. This isn't the first time he's made a trade that left me shaking my head, and yet, the Diamondbacks have been one of the most successful franchises in baseball since they entered the league.
I'm with them. While I can see a scenario in which the Diamondbacks win the
deal, I think that they gave up too much talent for a player who is likely to
be average or maybe a little above. The deal is especially problematic because
the Snakes have third-base prospect Chad
Tracy available, and Tracy is a comparable player to Hillenbrand right
now, and comes with a lower price tag and a higher upside.
Curt Schilling makes a shameless attempt to curry umpires' favor...er...protest against QuesTec. The Diamondbacks spot an endangered "run producer" in the wild, plug it into lineup. Rod Beck makes delightful alcohol jokes. The Blue Jays endorse 4-play.
"I said something to one of the umpires about [QuesTec]... and he said 'Do us a favor and break the other one.'"
--Curt Schilling, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, after smashing Bank One Ballpark's QuesTec Umpire Information System (ESPN.com)
The miracles of revenue-sharing save the cash-strapped, small-market Angels, in the spring, a manager's fancy turns to thoughts of manufacturing runs, and we had April 5 in the pool for the first misguided comparison of performance analysis to rotisserie leagues.
"If we don't have revenue sharing from 1996 on, (the Anaheim Angels) never make it and they never put their team together... It was the first thing that bore fruit from our revenue-sharing deal and you're going to see a lot more of that in the coming years. I don't think people understand how dramatic the economic landscape of this sport has been changed."
--Bud Selig, MLB commissioner, on how the small market, revenue strapped Angels (owned by a small business known as Disney) were able to win the 2002 World Series (ESPN.com)
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.