So, here we go on a rainy Connecticut afternoon. I had some Sox tickets for tonight, but I wasn’t liking the weather so I hollered at StubHub, told them the deal and they gave me a credit for what I spent so I can buy some more tickets whenever I want. Dope shit right there. But, I mean, the past friggin week out here it’s been legit 100 degrees with 90% humidity, now all of a sudden its raining on my Sox day. Fortunately I got out to Fenway on Friday, when the temp. read 106 on my ride home from work. Other than the fact that I was sweating my dick off for three hours while being surrounded by thousands of other people simultaneously sweating their dicks off while all of us were packed together like sardines, I had a grand time!
To continue the baseball chatter we’re getting verrrry close to the MLB trading deadline, which despite how friggin EXCITING ESPN always tries to make it out to be, it usually underachieves worse than Jason Bay in a Mets uniform. The buildup to the trade deadline usually starts a little more than a month from the actual deadline, and when it started up this year we heard all kinds of stars being thrown around as trade material: Jose Reyes, Ubaldo Jimenez, Michael Bourne, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and Grady Sizemore were all names that “may be on the move”. But, chances are none of these names will be moved, and the biggest deadline deals will come in the form of some middle relief pitchers going to contenders. Francisco Rodriguez was dealt a week or so ago to the Brewers, and I’m going to guarantee he is the biggest name traded this season. That’s just how baseball is. Such a massive season almost always comes down to these minute little trades at the deadline that help a team get that one or two more wins which gets them into the playoffs.
My Sawx, led by Lazer Show himself, are currently atop the AL East and they look to be staying pat. I highly doubt they trade for anybody at all, though I would love to see them grab Ryan Ludwick (because Josh Reddick WILL hit a wall) and maybe even a Hiroki Kuroda or Mike Adams/Heath Bell, because let’s face it, you can never have enough good arms in the baseball playoffs. I think the 2nd place Yankees (good ring to it, no?) will end up not making any deals as well. Maybe they’ll add a pitcher or two, but nobody worthwhile. I definitely see the Pirates making a deal for a bat to try and make this nice little half-season run to the top of their divison a season-long thing. Maybe the Rays dump BJ Upton, maybe, but given how he’s played the past 3 or 4 years, who the hell cares?
Bottom line for this year’s deadline: not much going on, again. Status quo will prevail and we’ll see the Sox, Yankees, Tigers and Rangers in the playoffs for the AL and the Phillies, Giants, Braves and Brewers/Cardinals in it for the NL.
Rejoice! The NFL lockout officially ended today, and now we’re going to have a free agent frenzy starting this week which will greatly overshadow the weak MLB trading deadline. There are a lot of good players out there right now, but only one megastar in Nnamdi Asomugha. Where he ends up is definitely the biggest question of the whole FA period, but he’s going to go to a winner, and it’s either going to be Philly or Houston. Once Nnamdi is gone, or maybe even before, there’s going to be a bloodbath of activity.
Some of the better players available include RB Deangelo Williams, WR Santonio Holmes, DE Charles Johnson, TE Zach Miller, CB Antonio Cromartie and WR Sidney Rice. But this little group of players are who I really think are going to make the biggest difference for the team that signs them:
LB’s Barrett Ruud and Paul Posluszny:
Tackle machines. Ruud has quietly been a top-5 MLB for the past 3-4 years down in Tampa Bay. The dude is fast as lightning in pass coverage and is a lot like my boy Brian Urlacher (though a bit smaller). Wherever Ruud signs (obviously going to be a Tampa-2/4-3 scheme team) he’s going to top 100 tackles and prove to be a viable defender in the passing game. Not only that but he’ll bring legit leadership and he could easily vault an elite-MLB-less defense up 10 spots in total D rankings.
Poz is someone that can do pretty much the same thing as Ruud, just not quite as quickly or athletically. Despite his inferiority to Ruud in pass defense, he definitely makes up for it in physicality, an area that Ruud is sub-par in. The Poz’s only problem is that the dude cannot stay healthy. Broken arms left and right it seems, Poz just needs to get in somewhere and stay healthy and he can make just as big an impact as Ruud.
CB Johnathan Joseph:
Nnamdi is easily the best corner on the market, and arguably the league. But in any other year without Nnamdi on the market, Joseph would be the number one target of a lot of teams. Banished to Cincinnati for the duration of his career, Joseph has been an excellent player on a defense that has consistently been mid-tier or better despite the awful overall play of the team. He’s never been a #1 corner, kind of, since him and Leon Hall have been 1 and 1A for some time now, but I think he could certainly jump in as a #1 on an already strong defense to help make it elite. Detroit and Houston are two teams that would take a huge step forward by signing Joseph.
TE Zach Miller:
The only offensive player on my list of immediate impacters comes from, Oakland?! Miller’s a gem at the TE position, built in the mold of a Dallas Clark/Tony Gonzalez, kid’s easily the top TE on the market and I think the top offensive player on the market as well. When you play for the Raiders, and your job is to catch passes, Baby Jesus is just flat out working against you. Jamarcus Russell, Charlie Frye, Bruce Gradkowski and Don Wagner. Those are just a few of the QB’s that have been throwing to Miller over his career. You catch that? I threw that last Don Wagner in there as proof that Oakland quarterbacks BLOW, because I have no clue who Don Wagner is, much like most of America has no clue who any of the other REAL Oakland QBs were. Miller can catch, and run, but most of all the fucking guy can BLOCK. Like, you sign Miller and you get a legitimate threat in the passing game who instantly makes your running game better when he’s not going out for a pass. You can’t beat that.