Josh Byrnes, Dave Dombrowski and Brian Cashman were just brought before us to “announce” the Granderson trade. I think I could rip into about 2,000 words on the metaphysics of it all (i.e. has the trade really happened if no one has yet to announce it?) but I’ll save that for the bar and my annoyed drinking companions this evening. The short version:
- Byrnes, Dombrowski and Cashman were all introduced by their official titles. It’s different for each of them. Byrnes is an “executive vice president and general manager.” Cashman is a “senior vice president.” Dombrowski is “CEO, President and general manager.” I’m assuming those titles are, to some extent, negotiable and mildly meaningless. If I ever become a GM I’m going to demand to be called “Vice President of Funk, Empress of India and General Manager.”
- Asked about when and how the talks got started, Dombrowski said that it began back around Thanksgiving.
- Why do the deal, Detroit? Dombrowski: “We had some adjustments we needed to make . . . given our situation.” Read: “we had to dump payroll because I was on crack when I gave Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson all that money a couple of years ago.”
- Both Dombrowski and Cashman seemed to go out of their way to talk about how hard a bargain Byrnes was driving. Me thinks the GMs doth protest too much. I mean, he was sitting right next to them, so I suppose it was natural that they wanted to make him feel better.
- Dombrowski on Austin Jackson: “he’s about as sure a prospect as you can have.” No pressure or anything, Austin. And you may want to read this, Dave.
- Cashman claimed that he was the last one into the deal and that he had “said no to so many deals involving Austin Jackson in the past.” I don’t doubt that.
- Cashman was asked if getting Granderson means that they’re going to cut bait on either Damon and/or Matsui. “Not necessarily,” Cashman said. “But it gives us comfort right now.” I think he meant from a roster construction perspective, but I’m guessing he meant from a negotiating perspective.
Now on to the metaphysics of it all . . .
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.