People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window.
ANAHEIM ANGELS Activated RHP Troy Percival from the DL; optioned RHP Lou Pote to Salt Lake. [7/26] With Troy Percival back, the Angels are in the happy state of having too many relievers doing well at once, with the additional good fortune that several of them have options. Lou Pote loses out not because he's pitched badly, but because the current hot hands in the pen are Brendan Donnelly, Scot Shields and Ben Weber, and Al Levine just got back from the DL himself. The last slot in the pen is taken by lone lefty Scott Schoeneweis, at least until Dennis Cook comes back off of the DL. Unless Schoeneweis is made somebody else's fourth starter, he has to stick around. Cook had been doing well as the pen's left-hander, and Schoeneweis has not, which creates some impetus to make a deal.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES Activated 1B/OF-L Chris Richard from the DL; optioned OF-R Luis Matos to Rochester. [7/24] Cancelled Richard's recall/reactivation; announced they would recall 2B-B Brian Roberts from Rochester on Friday. [7/25] Skip the decisiveness, we're back in business as Akbar's House of Waffletastic Indecision. Chris Richard managed to reinjure himself in his last game in Rochester, so Brian Roberts got a reprieve for blowing his previous opportunity to be recalled by not having his passport handy. That brings us back to the same point we were at before Roberts got sent down, which is that the Orioles will flim-flam their way through their second-base situation, wallowing through a non-choice between Roberts and Jerry Hairston Jr. It could be worse, because it has been--they could keep finding ways to get Luis Lopez into the lineup. Assuming that finishing close to .500 or keeping third place are actual (versus worthwhile) goals, this doesn't really help realize either of them.
The ESPN.com version of the wire story has the headline "White Sox send Durham to Athletics for prospect, cash." Um, no. Jon Adkins is 24, and had a career minor-league ERA of 4.13 coming into this season, during which he's been lit up in Sacramento, with an ERA that would fit neatly above the median for the Texas Rangers and peripheral numbers that do not hold much promise. Maybe Adkins will be the one guy in a thousand who breaks the mold and turns into a legitimate quality major leaguer. It's not likely, but you have to root for the guy.
Is there any general manager who has done less with more than Kenny Williams has done in the last 20 months? He inherited a division winner with a low payroll, a core of good young players and a farm system bursting at the seams with talent. Under his watch, the team has shed talent like my wife's cat Ashley sheds hair, while adding payroll and bad players like an Angelos on speed.
ANAHEIM ANGELS 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.