The Baseball Revue
Placed 2B Junior Spivey on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 10; recalled RHP Duaner Sanchez from Double-A El Paso. (06.14)
Spivey's had a brilliant season, by far the best for any second baseman in the league not named Alfonso Soriano, and even with Soriano you can make plenty of valid arguments in Spivey's favor (glovework, OBP, the usual knocks on Soriano). With him out, Alex Cintron will hang on to the second base job unless Jay Bell gets back to make the team older and more hopeless-looking, when in fact the team they're fielding now, without Bell, Matt Williams or Reggie Sanders, is in my estimation significantly better than the team that won the World Series with them. All it took was some Junior Spivey and a pinch of Erubiel Durazo, and presto change-o, a younger, faster, outright better Diamondbacks team than a year ago.
Oh I do enjoy the chances I get to talk about my favorite team whenever someone gets injured or they bring up this week's retread starter. With Conine and Segui both on the DL, the Orioles have lost their invaluable righty/switchy, 1B/DH platoon of tired old coots that are under contract to the wrong team for the wrong amount of money, doing the wrong things at the wrong times. I know Jeff Conine had a cute 2001 and was the MVP of the team and is the heir apparent leader in the wake of the spiritual death of the franchise that was Cal Ripken's retirement, but there was no sense in signing him to an extension when a team like the Braves could actually use him for something or other. There was never any sense in signing Segui in the first place, because in his brief prime, at his best, he was John Olerud Lite, heavy on the Lite.
I don't know who will play first base now, but my guess would be either Jay Gibbons or Leon himself, because frankly, who cares who plays first base? It might as well be Rochester's third baseman, right? Chris Richard is scheduled to be back around the All-Star break, and he may not be ready to play the outfield right off, so maybe he can take Segui's spot as Conine's partner, switching between the cold corner and DH duties with ease and boredom. Goddamn! I love the fucking Orioles!
I think Bruce Chen sucks and I think Jim Brower is about the same, but if anyone is going to be able to get whatever someone saw a few years ago out of Chen's arm to come back, it's Don Gullett. Overall, a good trade for the Reds, because if Chen disappoints (is that possible anymore?), they aren't exactly going to be pining for Brower.
Ozuuuuuuna. That's about the best fun you can get out of this.
Remember when Mike Buddie got cut loose from Milwaukee, and I said he'd probably end up somewhere better than there? Well, even landing with the Expos is an upgrade.
As much as you can't say the Expos are a "well-run team", since nobody runs them, it's hard to question Frank Robinson's influence on the players and Omar Minaya's quest to prove himself to other teams like the Rangers or Orioles that are going to need a new GM sooner rather than later. Brower is almost 30 years old and isn't ever going to do anything of note, but Chen wasn't either. They swapped someone off to a real team that, if he performs, can use him for something possibly important. However wrong and sad it is to take that perspective, I have to try and be positive about what the Expos are, which is a dumping point for wayward veterans (Brower, Buddie, Matt Herges) so that maybe they can show something and get signed in the off-season to a team like the Cubs or Rockies that gets a little too wild over veteran relief help. Any of them are better than Pat Mahomes.
NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankee rotation is now at Clemens, Mussina, Pettitte, Wells and Hitchcock. I don't know what the hell they're doing with Ted Lilly, an obviously superior pitcher to the ass end of that group. If it were any other team, you'd say they're justifying his contract, but since when do the Yankees care about doing that? If I say only few positive things about the Yankees, the biggest praise I'm forced to give them is in regards to the manner in which they run their operation. They win because they're smart, not just because they're rich. They sign the right free agents (Mussina, Giambi), keep the right prospects (Soriano, Nick Johnson, Lilly, and then back to Pettitte and Mendoza and Jeter), and they move on when fan favorites like Tino and Scott Brosius have done all they can do. They aren't blindly loyal to anyone.
I think I'll go take a shower now.
I just liked typing "Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Kingsale runs fast, Sweeney is only useful to the team in any way because of the absence of Phil Nevin and Bubba Trammell's bat, and Tollberg has alternated between brutal and medicore this season after a useful 2001. The Padres are predictably not as good as everyone wanted them to be, a reason why I couldn't understand so many of Baseball Prospectus's writers picking them to win the NL West. It's like saying you really thought Generation K would turn out as planned.
The Mariners get Edgar back, but until they return to AL play, he'sl just an expensive pinch-hitter. Ruben Sierra will probably still see significant time in left, defense be damned. Mark McLemore should really just be the everyday third baseman by now, because Jeff Cirillo is going to have to really get hot to come out of the funk he's been in, and as much as I like high-average, doubles-hittin', strikeout-avoidin' number six hitters (my infatuation with Mark Grace will never end), Cirillo's obviously on the wrong, wrong, wrong side of 30. His numbers never increased in Colorado as compared to Milwaukee like they should have, so if you think about it, you could say his decline has been in process for a few years now.