Colin Cowherd of ESPN is a genius. Why do a say this?
Because I am a genius. At certain things anyway. And geniuses think alike.
I posted this morning that I couldn’t believe how exited Yankee fans and New York sports talk show hosts (who should know better) were over the recent Yankee trade that brought the Yankees the mediocrity that is Javier Vazquez.
It’s not that it wasn’t a good trade. It’s just that everyone seemed to be reacting like it was the biggest deal ever and ignoring the hard truth that pitching in the AL is way tougher than pitching in the NL like Vazquez did last year when he had his career year. (Sorry for the super long sentence)
I noted in my morning post that none of the so-called experts had bothered to temper their callers excitement by suggesting that Vazquez might not be an ace in the AL East.
This morning, I tuned into Colin Cowherd on 1050 AM and he restored some of my faith in sports talk radio. There was Colin making all the same points as me.
Good trade. Not cause for celebration. He won 14 games last year in a career year feasting on the Pirates and Nationals. Now he’ll be facing the Sox and Rays.
Good luck, Javier.
Two men of genius think you’re gonna need it…
Yesterday, the Yankees “stole” Javier Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves. At least, that’s what every sports radio talk show host and Yankee fan callers were saying.
As I was listening to all the celebration, I was shocked at one key fact that EVERYONE overlooked. And here it is.
Javier Vazquez, who is coming off a career year at 32, put together his one great season in the National League. Things will be different in the American League. There simply is a HUGE difference between pitching in the NL and AL.
Vazquez isn’t posting a sub 3.o0 ERA next year. Not saying he’ll be a disaster, but he’s not going to challenge anyone for anything beyond the fourth spot in the Bombers’ rotation.
It’s not that it wasn’t a decent trade. But, what I’m warning against is believing it’s going to make a huge difference. Vazquez simply won’t be that good in the American League.
Don’t believe me?
Fine. Than, check out this excellent post at Baseball Evolution, which more than makes the case. Turns out there’s a very good reason Roger Clemens pitched 3 of his last 4 years in the NL.
He was no dummy…
FINALLY! After the most boring winter meetings EVAH (unless you’re a Yankee fan or president of the Curtis Granderson Fan Club), we’ve finally got some legitimate hot stove action. And it’s all about pitching!
John Lackey (according to ESPN.com) has signed with the Red Sox further strengthening a strong rotation. Perhaps more importantly weakening the Angels of Los Angeles or Anaheim or where ever… Point is losing Lackey helps the Sox get better all while damaging the team that eliminated them in this year’s playoffs. You gotta love revenge!
The bigger news though is a three team trade that has Roy Halladay going to the Phillies of all places. And Cliff Lee leaving the Phils for Seattle. Toronto, I heard, is getting prospects.
Has anyone ever been better in a short try out and then traded way quicker than Cliff Lee. What happened? His contract was reasonable and he’s just about as good as Roy Halliday, who I’m hearing is negotiating a long-term deal with the Phillies. Maybe Lee embarrassed himself at the company holiday party?? Just a guess.
You’ve got to give the Phillies props for testicular fortitude, but it seems to me that Lee was already pretty good and much cheaper. But, maybe this trade is about revenge, much like the Sox signing John Lackey. The Phillies managed to snag the off season’s biggest pitching prize and in doing so kept both Halladay & Cliff Lee away from the Yanks.
If it does come back down to the Phillies and Yankees next year, it will be interesting to see if Halladay can top what Lee was able to do in his first start against the Yanks.
As a Mets’ and Red Sox fan and the new president of the John Lackey Fan Club, hear’s hoping we don’t find out!
They say be careful what you wish for. Today, Tony Gonzalez got his wish. The ten time Pro Bowl Tight End was traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike say Brett Favre in a Jets’ uniform, this is one deal that will end well for all concerned.
Gonzalez caught over 90 passes last year for the pitiful Chiefs. This year, he’ll be playing for the much better Falcons with an actual NFL quarterback throwing to him. At 33, Gonzalez may decline some, but the Falcons don’t need him at his tip top prime to help their team. Gonzalez will be a big help to Matt Ryan’s continuing development even if he’s only 75% of what he once was.
As for the Chiefs, trading a Kansas City icon has to hurt. But, it had to be done. It will be awhile before the Chiefs contend and keeping Gonzalez around to rot with no shot at the playoffs seemed beyond cruel. This way, the Chiefs get a second round pick to help them to rebuild and keep a good relationship with their legendary tight end, who has already promised to retire a Chief.
His plaque in Canton is going to include him in a Chief’s helmet for sure and now there’s the chance it might detail his Super Bowl title with Atlanta.
All’s well that ends well?
What a great two days in baseball’s NL Central! First, the Brew Crew lands CC Sabathia. Then less than 24 hours later, we get the announcement that the first place Cubs traded for Athletics’ ace Rich Harden.
There’s no doubt now. It is sooooooo on in the NL Central! Will Milwaukee’s big two of Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia put them over the top? How do the Cubs’ twosome of Victor Zambrano and Rich Harden stack up?
Both teams are desparate. The Cubs haven’t won a world series in a century. As for the Brewers, well, they’ve never won period. And did I mention that half the Milwaukee squad is leaving via free agency next year? Yup, both teams are strongly motivated to win it this year.
My guess is that the Cubs are doomed. Harden is a great pitcher. He’s 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA as I type away. So, what’s not to love?
I’ll tell you what. Something like six trips to the disabled list in six seasons.
I’m not superstitious, but given the Cubs’ history of heart break and Harden’s track record of injuries, it doesn’t take a psychic to figure out this is gonna end badly in Chicago…
As the draft approaches, here’s two quick bits of advice for New Jersey’s NFL franchises, The Giants and Jets.
Hey Big Blue, what’s the hesitation, trade Jeremy Shockey already! Rumor has it the Giants have turned down an offer of a second round draft pick for the tight end. Here’s hoping that it’s only because they believe they can get more.
It’s time to trade Shockey. The Giants won a Super Bowl without him. What more proof does the team need? Is it any coincidence that Eli Manning’s sudden maturation came only after Shockey was out of the huddle and locker room? No, it’s not. It’s proof the Giants no longer need number 80 and in fact he’ll only help the team regress in 2008.
I can hear some of you asking “how can you trade such a talented tight end?”. It’s true Shockey has talent and gifts some others who play his position simply don’t have. If you look closely at his performance you’ll notice how he rarely makes a tough catch and that for such a tough guy he drops balls pretty easily when a little contact is involved. Did we mention he tends to get injured a lot?
Eli Manning won’t say this, but it has to be said… Add it all up and the Giants give themselves a better shot at a second straight championship by dealing Mr. Shockey for the highest offer. By the way, at least three teams are said to be pursuing Shockey so that ought to help Big Blue get closer to equal value. Come on, Jerry Reese, make it happen!
Now let’s talk Jets. Rumor has it they’re trying to move up in Saturday’s NFL Draft to grab Arkansas star RB Darren McFadden. The Jets have way more needs than one star running back will ever be able to cure. They also seem to be the only NFL franchise not to learn that quality running backs are gettable at much lower picks.
So, Jets, if you’re moving up, why not do it because you believe QB Matt Ryan is a real deal franchise quarterback? QBs are worth moving up for. Running backs just aren’t. Don’t move up unless Ryan’s the guy!
After someone how fleecing the Twins of Johan Santana for an offer of prospects that just didn’t look as good as either the Red Sox or Yankee offers, the pressure is on both the Mets and their prospective ace to get a deal done. The two sides have until 5PM Friday. If all goes well, Mets’ fans will have something to celebrate this weekend.If Santana somehow slips away on the other hand, it will be a bigger collapse than the Mets experienced at the end of last season. My simple advice is pay him whatever he wants. The Mets simply can’t overpay him. Johan will rule the NL. Look for his ERA to drop substantially. Don’t believe me? Check out Roger Clemens stats with the Astros. Steroids not withstanding, at an advaced age, Roger posted much lower ERAs once he swapped leagues.
Frankly, the Mets need Santana. They need him to get rid of the ugly aftertaste of 2007. They need him as the centerpiece of a team opening a new home stadium. They need him to take the ace spot from a very brave but possibly brittle Pedro Martinez.
The flip side is that Santana needs the Mets too. He’s grown tired of seeing good players escape Minnesota. He’s a big market talent looking for the money and stage that only a big market can provide. Does he really want to go back to the Twins and wait out more months of trade rumors before the Twins give him away again?
I think not.
Make this thing happen and let us focus on the Super Bowl already!