dreams blog

August 31, 2012

How Ironic Was That

At the beginning of the Jet-Carolina exhibition game a tv ad for trucks came on where the announcer intoned, “This is the land of the giants. The irony was the Jets were the home team and they were playing in the Meadowlands.  Maybe they knew the Jets would go another game with no TD.

The Jets lost to Carolina 17-12. Tebow looked horrible going 4 for 14, 55 yards. Sanchez was 11-18, 123 yards. They allowed 4 more sacks. I know this was an exhibition, but still—.

Last season the Jets D allowed 100 points in the 4th quarter. This sure sounds a lot like the team had a conditioning problem. So far the Jets have looked badly for the entire game.

Blowing Up The Red Sox

On 8/25 the Boston Globe reported that the “Sawx” were going to send Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers for prospects. Ha! I heard they were going to blow up the roster, but I didn’t think they’d do it in one trade. Boston also rid themselves of $250M in salaries. Word has it that Jon Lester and Jacob Elsbury were put on trade waivers expecting a deal shortly.

So next season GM Ben Cherington and Mgr. Bobby Valentine, if he’s still with Boston, will be starting over.  

I thought about this deal and my feeling is that the Boston guys wanted to rid themselves of Theo’s money pits.

Jayson Stark (ESPNNY.com) did a pretty good analysis of the deal, “”There has never,” said one longtime club official Saturday, “been anything like this.”

Never. That pretty much describes the magnitude of a Red Sox-Dodgers megadeal that figures to reverberate through the annals of baseball-trade history for at least the next 87 centuries.

We have never seen a trade in which a team dumped this much money in a single transaction.

We have never seen a trade in which two players with more than $100 million left on their contracts (Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford) were moved, let alone in the same direction, to the same team.                                                                                                                                     That has happened before in baseball, of course. But here’s the difference:                                                                                                 When most teams hang that big Everything Must Go sign, they learn, the hard way, that it can take years to pull off a clearance sale of this magnitude.                                                                         For the Red Sox, amazingly, it took just one phone call to just one customer:                                                                                                  When the sale of the Dodgers went down, to the Stan Kasten/Magic Johnson/Guggenheim power brokers, the rest of the sport was bracing for this. Or something like this. And it didn’t take long. We found dramatic difference of opinion within the sport over whether this is a good deal for the Dodgers.                                                                                                                                

Gonzalez is such a massive upgrade over James Loney at first base that he alone could transform the face of the final six weeks of this season.

Dodgers first basemen in 2012: .244/.289/.357, 10 HRs, 55 RBIs, 46 runs. Gonzalez in 2012: .300/.343/.469, 15 HRs, 86 RBIs, 63 runs.

For another thing, Josh Beckett is heading from the AL East to the NL West, with no baggage and no expectations. And, as we reported in Rumblings and Grumblings this week, starting pitchers who went from the AL to the NL in the past five years have seen their ERAs drop, on average, by more than half a run (from 4.07 to 3.5                                                                                                                 And, finally, there’s Crawford. Maybe he’s a lost cause. Maybe he isn’t. But he’s about to escape a town he didn’t want to play in for a place (Southern California) he preferred all along. So, the Dodgers are willing to roll those dice.                                                                       The Dodgers looked at this free-agent market, they reportedly didn’t like the view. There were very few attractive options at positions such as first base and left field, where they desperately needed to upgrade. So, five more years of Gonzalez and Crawford must have started looking better all the time.

And at least they’ve reminded us, once again, that, in baseball, we should never say never. If a trade like this one can go down on Aug. 25, anything is possible.”

Now the Bosox PR flacks have their work cut out for them. They have to convince the fans that the low win totals for the next 2 or 3 years will actually indicate progress. Some of the Boston press has started referring to the trade as, “The Nick Punto Deal.”

HARUMPH

With a giant HARUMPH, the US ANTI-Doping Agency declared it was going to strip Lance Armstrong of his 7 Tour de France titles and impose a lifetime ban on racing for the retired Armstrong. His infraction this time was not answering USADA’s charges by a deadline

The USADA can do whatever they want but I don’t think anyone is going to forget that Armstrong DID win those races.

How About The CAS?

Sally Jenkins (DC Post) talk about more hypocrisy. “Anyone who thinks an athlete has a fair shot in front of CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports) should review the Alberto Contador case. Contador was found to have a minuscule, insignificant amount of clenbuterol in his urine during the 2010 Tour de France. After hearing 4,000 pages of testimony and debate, CAS acknowledged that the substance was too small to have been performance-enhancing and that its ingestion was almost certainly unintentional.

Therefore he was guilty. He received a two-year ban.

CAS’s rationale? “There is no reason to exonerate the athlete so the ban is two years,” one member of the panel said.

Would you want to go before that court?                                           How does an agency that is supposed to regulate drug testing strip a guy of seven titles without a single positive drug test? How is it that an American agency can decide to invalidate somebody’s results achieved in Europe, in a sport it doesn’t control? Better question, how is it that an American taxpayer-funded organization can participate in an adjudication system in which you get a two-year ban because “there is no reason to exonerate” you? At what point is such an organization shut down and defunded?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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