Trade deadline winners and losers

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So, I’m mostly trade deadlined out after about 90 tweets and writing up all of the finalized deals over at Rotoworld, but I think I have enough left for a winners and losers blog.
I’m focusing strictly on Friday’s action. Looking at the big picture, I’d say the Pirates and Dodgers would also figure into the winners column.
Winners
– Red Sox – The price for Victor Martinez was pretty steep, but it was better to give up Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone’s potential than Clay Buchholz. Martinez provides outstanding protection for Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell. Also, the Red Sox picked up Casey Kotchman to become the new Doug Mientkiewicz now and likely a key piece in 2010. Now Terry Francona will have to try to figure out how to keep everyone happy.
– Tigers – Detroit has little minor league depth, but the team still managed to acquire Jarrod Washburn without giving up a major piece. I’m skeptical that Luke French will last as a starter, and while Mauricio Robles has a great arm, he also has a lot of hurdles to clear on his path to the majors. Washburn should remain rather effective in Comerica Park, and the Tigers will get a sandwich pick if he leaves as a free agent.
– Marlins – They should have gotten a reliever, too, but they could pick one up next month. Nick Johnson should be a run-scoring machine in front of Hanley Ramirez, and his addition will put Emilio Bonifacio on the bench against righties. Bonifacio has actually been OK against lefties this year, so he can start in left field against them.
– Twins – Minnesota sat back and watched Oakland’s price tag drop with no other suitors for Orlando Cabrera. Sure, Freddy Sanchez might have been a bigger upgrade, but Cabrera came far cheaper.
– Padres – They shed the entire $55 million obligation to Jake Peavy and still got the same kind of package from the White Sox they accepted when they tried to trade a healthy Peavy in May. I’m not sure it makes them winners, but they solved their money problems and they’ll still have Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell next year.
– Edwin Encarnacion – Dusty Baker didn’t appear to be giving up on him, but most everyone else in Cincinnati had. The change of scenery should do him some good, but he needs to take advantage or the bust label could stick.
– Adam LaRoche – Serving as a part-timer for the Red Sox for the next two months might have hurt him as he heads into free agency at season’s end. Now he’ll get to be a regular for a contender. His fantasy owners also qualify as winners.
– Clayton Richard, Aaron Poreda – Two left-handers sure to enjoy pitching in Petco Park. Richard will join the rotation now, and both should be there next year.
Losers
– Reds – Scott Rolen is having an All-Star campaign, but I’m not convinced it’s not his last gasp. The Reds will be on the hook for his entire $11.5 million salary next year, and they gave up three nice chips to get him. As long as their odds are for this year, it was the wrong strategy.
– Royals – GM Dayton Moore overpriced Mark Teahen, David DeJesus and Willie Bloomquist. Incredibly, he wants to keep the same pieces in place for 2010.
– Brewers – Claudio Vargas is not the answer. The Brewers needed a starting pitcher, and it looks like they were hurt by their lack of second-tier prospects. They weren’t going to move Mat Gamel and Alcides Escobar and they didn’t have much else to barter with.
– Braves – I wouldn’t want to count on Adam LaRoche being an upgrade over Kotchman, and Kotchman could have been kept in 2010 to serve as the bridge to Freddie Freeman. LaRoche is a free agent, and right now, he’s not a great bet to qualify as a Type B and draw draft-pick compensation.
– Diamondbacks – They could be one of August’s most active teams with Jon Garland and Chris Snyder sure to clear waivers and Doug Davis and Jon Rauch also possibilities. However, they’ve yet to help their chances for 2010 with the Felipe Lopez and Tony Pena trades.

Catching up with Professor Ben Cherington

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12:  Ben Cherington, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, leaves the field before a game with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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There is a general consensus that the bad free agent signings of the later Ben Cherington years in Boston were ownership diktats, not things that were Ben Cherington’s idea. Whether that consensus is accurate is hard to say, but that’s how it sort of felt to most outside observers. The reality was probably messier. Where ideas start and where they end up in organizations involve a lot of weird passive-aggressive dancing, with power being exercised in some cases and merely anticipated in others, causing people to do things in such a way that blame is a nebulous matter. I’m sure baseball teams are no different.

Whatever actually happened in Boston will likely always be somewhat murky, but Cherington is the one who took the fall. Where he ended up after all of it went down, however, is an interesting story. The place: on the faculty of the sports management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The story about it is told by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. It’s an interesting one.

Cherington is still a young man with a lot of undisputed accomplishments under his belt. It would not surprise me at all to see him have a second act as the head of a baseball operations department some day. For now, though, he’s doing his own interesting thing.

It’s OK to not like someone on the team you root for

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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There were a series of interesting comments to the Yadier Molina story this morning. The first commenter, a Cardinals fan, said he’s never really cared for Molina. Other Cardinals fans took issue with that, wondering how on Earth a Cardinals fan could not like Yadi.

While I’ll grant that Molina is a particularly popular member of the Cardinals, while I personally like his game and his overall persona, and while I can’t recall ever meeting a Cards fan who didn’t like him, why is it inconceivable that someone may not?

Whether you “like” a player is an inherently subjective thing. You can like players who aren’t good at baseball. You can dislike ones who are. You can like a player’s game who, as a person, seems like a not great guy. You can dislike a player’s game or his personality for any reason as well. It’s no different than liking a type of music or food or a type of clothing. Baseball players, to the fans anyway, are something of an aesthetic package. They can please us or not. We can choose to separate the art from the artist, as it were, and ignore off-the-field stuff or give extra credit for the off-the-field stuff. Dowhatchalike.

No matter what the basis is, “liking” a player on your favorite team is up to one person: you. And, as I’ve written elsewhere recently, someone not liking something you like does not give you license to be a jackass about it.

A-Rod’s mansion is featured in Architectural Digest

Alex Rodriguez
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For a couple of years people worried if A-Rod would sully the Yankees Superior Brand. Given how they’re playing these days I wonder if A-Rod should be more worried about the Yankees sullying his brand.

He resurrected his baseball career last year. He’s cultivated a successful corporate identity. He’s in a relationship with a leading Silicon Valley figure. It’s all aces. And now it’s total class, as his home is featured in the latest issue of Architectural Digest:

Erected over the course of a year, the 11,000-square-foot retreat is a showstopper, with sleek forms and striking overhangs that riff on midcentury modernism, in particular the iconic villas found at Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. Unlike Rodriguez’s previous Florida home, the Coral Gables house is laid out on just one story so the interiors would connect directly to the grounds. Says Choeff, “Alex wanted to accentuate the indoor-outdoor feel.”

There are a lot of photos there.

I don’t think I have much in common with Alex Rodriguez on any conceivable level, but I do like his taste in architecture and design. I’m all about the midcentury modernism. Just wish I had the paycheck to be more about it like my man A-Rod here.

Video: Yadier Molina does pushups after being brushed back, gets hit

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.21.21 AM
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The best part of this sequence is not that Molina successfully evaded an inside pitch or that, in doing so, he hit the dirt and did some pushups. It’s not even the part where, after that, het got back up and knocked a single to left field.

No, the best part is the applause from the crowd. Very respectful fan base in St. Louis. They’d even applaud an opposing player who showed such a great work ethic. Or so I’m told.