Welcome to the Christmas break, Halo fans! it's the Friday before the Christmas & New Year's two weeks off from school and work and everything except running around shopping your ass off and spending all of your last dollars on food, beverages, and last minute gifts that nobody really needs, anyway. I love it all!
If I wasn't such a big Seth Rogan fan, life would be perfect right now. Maybe Santa will sneak a new slingshot into my stocking, so I can fight off whatever it is that constitutes a North Korean inter-continental air force.
Until then, have some eggnog, and some links:
- Ghosts of Christmas Past: The fun does not stop. The player that the Padres sent BACK for Norris (see "Frenzy!", below) is none other than our own first round pick out of the 2012 draft, R.J. Alvarez. Yeah, the same dude we sent to San Diego (along with others) for Huston Street. So chalk one up for Turks' Teeth, who never liked the Street deal. We sent 4 guys to the Pads for one reliever, while the Pads needed only one of those guys to get themselves 50% worth of an every day All Star catcher (something we find ourselves light on). And now we are going to get a chance to see for ourselves just how well Alvarez can do in the AL West after all. Just now it will be over in the green and gold dugout.
- Ghosts of Christmas Present: Ok, so you probably already heard that Dipoto has been making overtures to other teams, about the possibility of trading Josh Hamilton. On the one hand, this might not be the highest his trade value might possibly be. But on the other hand, it actually might be after all. Anyway, here is the part that is sadly humorous (at least to me): Among others, they talked to his most recent team, the Rangers, and the Rangers yawned. Apparently, the Rangers might be interested, but only if Hamilton was free. As in $0.
- Ghosts of Christmases Yet to Come: The Drew Butera deal has finally been completed. I know that some of you have been on the edge of your seats, wondering who would be the PTBNL in exchange for Butera. I mean, an add that massive just has to cost us some serious assets, no? One does not just go out and steal away a Jeff Mathis 2.0 without consequences. meanwhile, even more of you have been drooling for the day when Matt Long (finally) punches his ticket out of the LAA farm system and into the outfield in Anaheim. Well, for all of you, your day of dread arrived. The illustrious Matt Long himself was sent over to the county line to complete the Butera deal. The Dodgers were so thrilled to steal away Long, that they immediately flipped him to Milwaukee (paired with reliever Jarret Martin) in exchange for catching prospect Shawn Zarraga. Zarraga, on the surface, appears like a better option than Butera. Hmmm. Just sayin'.
This Date In Baseball History: 1954 – Wally Moon buries Ernie Banks, Gene Conley and Hank Aaron in RoY voting taking a 71% share. The one guy you probably never heard of on that list, Gene Conley, actually threw out a 4.3 bWAR that season, which was far and away the best of that group. He would only do as well as that one more time in his career, in 1959, when he achieved a 4.9 bWAR. Wally Moon would only sniff that atmosphere one time in his career, in 1959 with the LA Dodgers, when he pulled in a 5.5 bWAR. During his 16 full seasons, Ernie BanksAVERAGED a 4.2 bWAR. And during his 22 full seasons, Hank Aaron AVERAGED an astounding 6.46 bWAR!!.............1976 – A small plane crashes into an empty Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, mere minutes after the conclusion of the Baltimore Colts / Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game. Fortunately for Baltimore fans, the Steelers crushed the Colts and Colts fans exited early.............2001 – Just hours before the deadline, Barry Bonds accepts the Giants offer of salary arbitration. Bonds will stay with the Giants in 2002, gifting him a front row seat to the Anaheim Angels World Series Championship..............2003 – Jose Guillen signs with the Angels, taking over in the outfield and sliding Tim Salmon into playing more of a DH role. This, as we know, is not a story that ends well............2008 – Juan Rivera agrees to a new three year deal to remain in Anaheim............2010 – The Brewers fetch 2009 AL CYA winner Zack Greinke, plus Yuniesky Betancourt and cash, from the Royals while sending back Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. Greinke will appear in 28 games for the Brewers in 2011, and 21 more in 2012, before being sent to the Angels for the (failed) LAA pennant chase. Escobar and Cain are, of course, critical every day anchors with the Royals. Odorozzi is now a back-of-the-rotation starter in Tampa Bay. And Jefress is back in Milwaukee as a reliever. Betancourt is playing in Japan these days...........2011 –The Rangers win the posting auction for Yu Darvish with a winning fee bid of $51.7MM. Darvish will then sign a 6 year deal for $56MM. By the way, if Darvish finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the CYA voting for both 2015 and 2016, he can opt out of the last year of his Rangers contract and become a free agent this time 2 years from now. He will be 29 years of age.
Pacific Coast League History Nuggets
"The rivalry with the Angels was there from the start. Both parks sold out on the weekends we were playing each other, especially on Sunday double-headers.
"The Los Angeles Herald had a reporter, John B. Olds - he was always blasting the Stars, 'the old men', 'Frenchy Uhalt didn't have it any more', 'Babe Herman was over the hill', and all that.
We were in L.A. one time between games of a double-header, and John B. Olds drops by the clubhouse. We'd just lost the first game, and he comes in there. Frenchy speaks his piece, and Olds speaks his, and they're about to go at it. Some of us say, 'Whoa, wait a minute!'
So we got our big travel trunks and put them in a square. 'OK, now go ahead.' So Olds takes off his coat. He was pretty good-sized, and Frenchy isn't so big. Frenchy beat the shit out of him! After that, Olds didn't say so much."
- RUGGER ARDIZOLA - Hollywood Stars
Woodford press, Publisher
- Frenzy!: The last time I did a count, we were up to 384 players who had changed teams. Since then, dozens more have moved. And that is just with Oakland and San Diego. The latest being Billy Beane sending another player, catcher Derek Norris ,out of the AL West. This time to the merry-go-round that the Padres have become. So it's getting tough to keep up. If you are in the boat, I suggest that you start using the MLB tracker. It's the only way to keep all this stuff sorted out.
- Raidgers: This would just make my day. the NFL is now working so intently on getting back into LA, that they are considering a move into Dodger Stadium, even if temporarily. Personally, I am praying that this happens, and that the team is the Raiders. For no other reason than to force the stadium attendees to show their true colors, trash the shrine, tear up the field, and all the while having the Dodgers screw them over. Maybe not all the way down to the toilet paper, perhaps, but one can hope!
- We Live in the Future: Someday soon, a Mike Butcher will be witnessed sitting int he dugout during a game, with his iPhone 10 in his hand, glancing down at his Garret Richards tracking app. He will be monitoring the performance, mechanics and fatigue in Richards' arm, as being sent via live telemetry from a computer sleeve being worn on Richards' throwing arm. Don't laugh. That sleeve is already here, and the latest generation is already to be deployed in the minor leagues.
Michael Kohn, from the time he was only 10 years old, knew that he would never stick with the Halos...........So we all know by now that America is looking to normalize relations with Cuba, currently being the only nation on Planet Earth with abnormal relations with Cuba. Well, this could be just in time to for the Rays, who may need to find themselves a new home soon!..........One time, not too long ago, the Angels selected as their 1st round pick of the 2010 draft Ryan Bolden, a high school prospect out of Mississippi. He was the 40th overall selection that year. That was what we did witht he pick we got back for losing John Lackey, and it didn't work out so well for anyone concerned. Two days ago, a still-young Bolden was shot and killed in an argument...over candy. RIP young prepster............Just remember, folks, when you go and place that online order for baseball merch while sitting there on your couch doing that cool online shopping thing with wireless banking and same-day delivery and all, not everybody is living in the future...........Matt Kemp has granny hips, and that's messing with his trade to San Diego. Setting aside the question of what did the Dodgers know and when did they know it, i want to know what this means for his future with Khloe Kardashian???...........Manny Ramirez takes up golf for the first time, apparently without realizing that pulling a double down the left field line is no longer a good thing............Oh man, it MUST be Christmas! If THIS guy gets a paycheck to play pro ball, even at A-ball, then I still have a shot!!!..........The Brave win! The Braves win! The Braves win!..........Even Jeff Smardzija knows that the A.J. Pierzynski call/play in 2005 was bullshit."They kind of caught fire after A.J. decided that it was a dropped third strike -- I don't know if those were the real rules -- but whatever it takes."..........Accusations of cheating? Politics? Disgruntled adults? All in youth baseball? I am shocked.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: Beachwood BBQ’s 8th Anniversary Celebration, Seal Beach.
BEER BONUS QUIZ: last week's quiz asked which of four beers listed was NOT fictional. The answer, correctly answered, is Blatz. Blatz was a real beer in the 1850's. It actually is the beer that made Milwaukee famous. Good job, red floyd!
The week's quiz question: In 2004 a study was conducted, and it was found that drink 1 or 2 beers a day are likely to be: (a) tall, (b) skinny, (c) pimply, or (d) smart?