July 25, 2009

The DC Post’s Dan Daly looked at the “Roy Halladay Sweeps” and how it could help those involved. He said, “With the trading deadline drawing near, the
Toronto Blue Jays have displayed Roy Halladay prominently in the department-store window – right next to the women’s lingerie. Needless to say, more than a few teams are salivating at the prospect. (I’m talking about Halladay, by the way, not the frilly lace underwear.)
The Blue Jays’ ace could tip the balance of any number of division races – starting with his own division, the American League East, where the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are in the midst of a season-long free-for-all. It’s like this every year at the deadline, it seems. An impact player or two become available because (a.) their contracts are expiring and/or (b.) their team’s playoff hopes are doing the same, and the week leading up to July 31 turns into a day-after-Christmas sale at Wal-Mart, with GMs slamming shopping carts into one another’s shins and shamelessly trying to cut in line.
A year ago, it was the Brewers who won the CC Sabathia sweepstakes and, as a result, made the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. But now CC is gone,
signed by Steinbrenner Inc. as a free agent, and Milwaukee is poorer by four prospects. None of them have helped the Indians much yet, but it’s hard not to notice that the Brew Crew has gone back to being the Pabst Blue Ribbon of the NL Central (read: 48-46 going into Wednesday night’s game).
That’s the flip side of these deadline auctions, the Beverly Hillbillies side of them. Every now and then, one of baseball’s have-nots will get to live in a big mansion with a ce-ment pond for a couple of months – and then, unlike the TV series, they’ll return to the boonies. This season, maybe it will be the Rangers who take the plunge, who “load up the truck and move to Beverly” (as the song sorta goes). At least they’d have Halladay’s services for another year before his deal runs out.
Sabathia was basically a two-month rental for the Brewers.
Still, while a Halladay trade would generate much excitement, it would also serve as yet another reminder that baseball is broken. When the Blue Jays can’t hang on to Roy – just as the Indians couldn’t keep Sabathia or the Twins had to let Johan Santana go – it makes the major leagues look like a crooked card game, one in which the house (e.g. the Yankees, Red Sox and other big spenders) always wins.
Look at the Pirates – if you can bear to. At last year’s deadline they sold Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the highest bidders… the Red Sox and
Yankees, naturally. On Wednesday, they sent Adam LaRoche to the Sox for a pair of low-level minor leaguers. (This after peddling Nate McLouth to the
Braves in June.) Ask yourself: If Roberto Clemente were breaking in with the Pirates today, how long would it be before he was dealt for a package of cheaper alternatives?
Or perhaps the question should be: How long would it take him to be eligible for arbitration? (Answer: three years.)
If, in the coming days, any of TV’s talking heads says, “A pitcher like Roy Halladay isn’t available very often,” feel free to laugh. As we’ve seen, pitchers like Halladay are available all too often. Never mind Sabathia and Santana, what about Josh Beckett? Were the Marlins not so habitually strapped for cash, Beckett would probably still be chucking aspirins for them and not Boston. And let’s not forget, before the Sox got Josh (along with Mike Lowell) from the Florida flea market, they got Pedro Martinez from the “all-items-must-go” Expos.
Yes, Halladay – if the Blue Jays opt to move him now – will be “black gold, Texas tea” for some contender. He has a career winning percentage of
.673 (142-69) – pitching for a team that has never made the playoffs in his 12 seasons – and he actually throws a complete game once in a while. In fact, he’s
thrown a bundle of them by contemporary standards, 44 to be exact. That’s almost as many as Tom Glavine (56) threw in racking up 305 victories.
However the Halladay sell-a-thon turns out, his new team will undoubtedly thank the Blue Jays for the “heapin’ helpin’ of their hospitality.” Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Roy’s next employers told the Jays, “Y’all come back now, y’hear?”


From Bob Molinaro of, “Skeptics contend that the disfunctional Clippers management is only showing interest in Iverson in an attempt to shore up seriously sagging season-ticket sales and that Iverson’s presence would hurt the progress of the team’s young talent. Maybe. But Iverson signing with an L.A. team would sort of make sense. Hollywood has always had a soft spot for sequels.                                                                                                 
I’ve always thought comparisons between Roger Federer and Tiger Woods were forced and ridiculous – they play different sports, after all –
but after an almost-60 Tom Watson shot a 65 at the British Open, tennis fans have a little more ammunition. Federer, at least, has never competed against
anyone carrying an AARP card.After he was recently knocked out of a game by Toronto, Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain said, “At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job.” Sun comes up at the end of the day? Where does Joba live, anyway?” 


Jim Armstrong said that a guy e-mailed him with a question about some bowling tournament and he said, “Right. The last time I watched bowling, Chris Schenkel was covering it in a plaid sportcoat.”
By the way, did you hear? The Pirates just traded away the statue of Roberto Clemente out in front of their ballpark. . . .
Good things really do happen to good people. How do we know? Because Matt Holliday just escaped Oakland, where the upper deck is used for the
witness-protection program, and landed in St. Louis. . . .


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