Archive | May 2010

NBA News & Rumors 5/31/10

-Now that Hedo Turkoglu wants out of Toronto, the Raptors will try to deal with this situation internally. It’s possible that Turkoglu could be part of a Chris Bosh sign and trade.
-New Orleans has begun contract talks with Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau to fill their head coach vacancy. Thibodeau also wants to stay available to interview for the Nets and Bulls openings. The Hornets also like Blazers assistant Monty Williams.
-The Grizzlies plan on resigning Rudy Gay and Ronnie Brewer, drafting the best player available and negotiating an extension with Zach Randolph. Monta Ellis bought a house in Memphis but team sources deny that the Grizzlies are trying to trade for the Warriors guard. There were Ellis-OJ Mayo rumors earlier in the regular season. Eric Bledsoe could be the team’s target at 12 and reports denied a list of teams Chris Bosh would want to go to.
-Matt Barnes will opt out of his Magic contract and become a free agent.
-Cleveland is expected to shop Delonte West and Sabby Telfair, who will have a $2.7 million expiring contract.
-NBA Draft prospects shooting results can be found here.
-Reports out of New Jersey and Mike Brown had very preliminary talks.

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MLB Thoughts & Theories 5/31

I’ll dedicate this blog on this Memorial Day for all the service men and women who paid the ultimate price and gave their lives to our country to preserve our freedom. I cannot thank you enough for what you’ve done for all of us.

-The Atlanta Braves have won five straight games and are now just a half game behind the Phillies for first place in the NL East. Obviously having someone like Jason Heyward to give an immeasurable boost to your lineup helps, but the risks the front office made in the offseason is really paying dividends here as we’ve reached Memorial Day. Billy Wagner has done a solid job out of the bullpen this season, but the acquisition of Troy Glaus has added a new dimension to the lineup. No National League player has more RBIs in the month of May than Glaus’ 25 and he and Martin Prado (who has 22 May runs batted in) has really saved the Braves and have been the sparks behind their recent winning streak.
-Baltimore is 13.5 games behind 4th place Boston in the AL East and no other team is more than 12.5 games out of first place in any other division. For a team that was supposed to reach the .500 mark this year, the Orioles have a lot of explaining to do, as they would say on “I Love Lucy”. Monday is an off day for Baltimore and I would fire manager Dave Trembley if I were team management and I’d completely focus on the youth movement. They started some of that by bringing up Chris Tillman, but giving some young guys a shot is the only way this team will improve over the long haul.
-With all this talk about Justin Morneau and Andre Ethier among hitters and Roy Halladay and Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound, you sometimes forget who the best player in baseball really is. And that’s why Albert Pujols needs to have days like he had on Sunday to give everyone a friendly reminder of who El Hombre is. His three homers led St. Louis past Chicago 9-1 to get back to within a game of first place Cincinnati in the NL Central after the Reds fell in 10 to Houston 2-0.
-There was no raucous celebration or jumping around or excessive shenanigans for the Angels. Not this time. Howie Kendrick trotted around the bases without incident after the Angels’ second walkoff home run win in as many days. Kendrick’s three-run blast off David Aardsma gave LA a 9-7 win and it came just a day after Kendry Morales broke his leg celebrating a walkoff grand slam. The Angels learned their lesson and had a more subdued attitude after their big win on Sunday. All’s well that ends well, especially when noone gets hurt.
-How do the Padres and Yankees have the same 30-20 record on Memorial Day? People like Jon Garland certainly help but San Diego’s sterling and stout defense is one of the major secrets behind their NL best record. David Eckstein is by far the best defensive SS in the game so far this year according to UZR and the Padres have thrown out a mind boggling 19 of 38 would be base stealers. I know that Friars are supposed to shun and suppress stealing, but this takes it to a whole new level.
-Speaking of defense, no team has made less errors through 50 games than Minnesota’s 12. For a team that doesn’t hit for power at home nor has the game’s best pitching staff, the defense the Twins play is really what sets them apart from the rest of baseball.
-Max Scherzer comes out of nowhere and strikes out 14 Athletics? I’m not buying it. Everyone else can pick him up in fantasy but I am not a believer. Hater? Maybe. Realist? You better believe it.

MLB Trade Rumors 5/30/10

-Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees are one of many teams that believe Cliff Lee and not Roy Oswalt will be the prize of the 2010 trading season but New York will go after Lee in the offseason. The Yankees have been scouting Lee this season and “One AL executive went so far as to say last week, ‘I have no doubt that the Yankees will sign Cliff Lee.’” He goes through some trade scenarios with Lee regardless.
-One person the Angels could get to replace Kendry Morales is Paul Konerko, who would be a salary dump and not fetch that great of a prospect. With the White Sox slumping and dealing with a lot of 10 and 5 players, I think the Angels should be aggressive in their pursuit of Konerko. Other options include Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Russell Branyan, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Delgado along with Prince Fielder.
-Nick Cafardo talks about Roy Oswalt and the Nationals, possibilities including the Dodgers, Cards and White Sox, Kevin Millwood and Cliff Lee talk, more Astros talk, and updates on Brian Bruney, Stephen Strasburg and Pedro Martinez. 
-Buster Olney says that the Tigers are the most logical fit for Roy Oswalt.
-Jon Heyman speculates that the Marlins could end up with Dontrelle Willis back, but Jon Morosi says he wants to play for a west coast team with the Diamondbacks as his first preference.
-Cleveland may raise the white flag with Grady Sizemore out 6-8 weeks with a knee scope.
-Josh Beckett won’t return from the DL on Thursday when eligible.

MLB Thoughts & Theories 5/30

-Wow what a day in baseball, where to begin? Roy Halladay’s greatness was never in question, so his perfect game is not surprising, but having two perfectos and one no-hitter before Memorial Day certainly is. The increase in strikeouts coupled with the curtailing of performance enhancing drugs and perhaps the dilution of MLB talent levels with more pitchers on rosters and less positions players could have to do with the rise of great pitching performances. We’re not in a dead-ball era but a few things have come together to concoct the perfect recipe for a trio of hurlers to make history in such a short time span.
-In what can be described as the greatest example of “win the battle lose, the war” in baseball history, Kendry Morales (or Kendry Grammatica to Orange County residents) broke his leg celebrating his walkoff grand slam against Brandon League and the Mariners and will be out 10-12 weeks. Which means the Angels will likely be without their best hitter until Labor Day which means despite their seemingly small 3.5 game hole in the AL West, they’re probably done. Which means they’re going to probably be in sell mode. That means Brian Fuentes, Fernando Rodney, Hideki Matsui, Bobby Abreu and perhaps Torii Hunter will probably all be gone by July’s end. Win the battle, lose the war indeed.
-Buster Posey was nothing short of sensational in his season debut, going 3-4 with three RBI’s in a 12-1 Giants romp over Arizona. He’ll play five days a week while he’s up, mostly playing 1B and sometimes getting in at catcher. He definitely jumpstarted San Francisco’s offense on Saturday and I think he should be able to for as long as he’s up, which should be a long time if finances don’t get in the way of a fantastic young hitter.
-What once was the start of a Hall Of Fame career got derailed in Detroit and the Tigers will release Dontrelle Willis before Sunday’s game. Perhaps he’ll get picked up by another team like the Marlins but it really is too bad that so much talent and such a bright future has been seemingly wasted.
-What an amazing win for the Indians rallying around their fallen teammate David Huff after he was motionless for six minutes after being hit with an A-Rod line drive but left the hospital relatively fine and Cleveland left Yankee Stadium Saturday with a 13-11 win after rallying from six runs down to win. Helped by CC Sabathia and the poor Yankees bullpen, the Tribe scored seven in the 7th for a huge victory and a sorely needed emotional lift.
-Carlos Silva’s amazing season continued as he went to 7-0 with an 11 strikeout performance in a 5-0 win over the Cardinals. Meanwhile in Cincinnati, the Reds continued their complete incineration of the Astros with a 12-2 win after a 15-6 victory on Friday. Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez each homered twice and Aaron Harang allowed one run in seven innings and Cincinnati opened up their biggest NL Central lead since 2004 at a full two games over the Cards.
-Brett Anderson was phenomenal in his return and the Oakland A’s won their fourth straight with a 6-0 win over Detroit that lifted them into first place despite a negative run differential. In the American League momentum pendulum, Oakland and Minnesota are up and Texas and Detroit are down. The Tigers have lost four straight and seven of 10 and are now 3.5 games behind the Twins in the Central.
-Martin Prado continued his sensational season with three hits and three RBIs to raise his average to .324 and Atlanta won their 9th game in 11 tries with a 6-3 win over Pittsburgh that has them tied with Los Angeles a half game behind St. Louis for the NL Wild Card.

MLB Trade Rumors 5/28

-As one veteran outfielder, Pat Burrell, will likely get signed to a minor league deal, Yankees OF Randy Winn was designated for assignment. I’m sure he’ll get another look somewhere but he screwed up a great opportunity and he knew it. Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees will look for a reliever and a hitter to replace Nick Johnson before the July 31 trading deadline.
-Heyman also says that there’s no guarantee Roy Oswalt gets traded, Lance Berkman too. Cliff Lee could also be traded along with Prince Fielder (the Giants make sense according to Heyman), Ben Sheets, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Kevin Millwood, Jake Westbrook, Gil Meche, Scott Podsednik, Jose Guillen, David DeJesus, Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell. Stephen Strasburg is still on track for a June 8 big league debut.
-The Dodgers have joined the Rangers, Tigers, Angels and Nationals interested in Oswalt. LA has already inquired about Lee.
-In a really awesome gesture, Ken Rosenthal reports that Ryan Dempster is deferring $3 million of his $12.5 million salary to give the Cubs more  payroll flexibility to make a move.
-Buster Olney reports that Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams don’t have a very good relationship right now. In a moment of non-sarcastic honesty, I wonder which entrenched, established White Sox honcho would get fired first. It’s really tough. From the Chicago Tribune: “Kenny and Ozzie do not have anywhere near the relationship they once had and it appears that they only deal with each other when absolutely necessary,” said a longtime scout who has been around the big leagues for a long time. “If the team continues to struggle throughout the rest of the season it could become a bigger problem that will have to be dealt with.”
-The Toronto Star reports that the Blue Jays could add some pieces and be buyers in July but need to stay the course regarding their rebuilding plan. It was reported elsewhere on Thursday that Toronto has been scouting Indians starter Fausto Carmona.
-Joe Frisaro reports that no team contacted the Marlins about Hanley Ramirez after his spat with Fredi Gonzalez.

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