Got an albatross hanging around your neck, GMs? Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculates that if everything goes just right — or just wrong, depending on your point of view — maybe the Rays will help you out.
After listing any number of available outfielders who could possibly help the Rays, Topkin drops this:
Another scenario is to wait and see which team blinks first and eats almost all the bad-contract money on a distressed veteran such as Ryan Howard, ex-Ray B.J. Upton or, dare we say it, Alex Rodriguez.
If I found a genie in a bottle, the first wish would be for health and happiness for my family, the second would be for a billion dollars but the third would almost certainly be the Rays picking up Ryan Howard, B.J. Upton and Alex Rodriguez and winning the dang World Series.
One of the two NYPD officers killed yesterday — Rafael Ramos — had children. One is 13, the other in college. The Silver Shield Foundation, founded by late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, will pay for their educations.
This is not some emotional reaction to yesterday’s terrible news, of course. It is the very mission of the Silver Shield Foundation, which was set up by Steinbrenner over 30 years ago. Since it began, the organization has paid for the education of over 800 children of fallen police officers and firefighters. You can read more about the foundation here.
It’s a shame such a foundation has to exist in the first place and that it has been as busy as it has been in its 32-year existence. But thanks to George Steinbrenner and the men and women who run it, the Silver Shield Foundation has been able to help the families of those killed in the line of duty to at least begin to pick up the pieces and carry on.
On Friday I just assumed that the Phillies would engage the Padres in talks about trading Cole Hamels. What with San Diego acquiring every player who isn’t nailed down, their ability to do that without yet giving up their top prospects in a trade, the Phillies’ desire to move Hamels and, finally, because Hamels is from San Diego and his no-trade list does not include the Padres.
It has apparently gone from mere speculation to actual talk: Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News reports that the Padres have had discussions with the Phillies regarding their ace lefty. Any deal would likely revolve around a position player prospect, as the Phillies have very few of those. Lawrence suggests that the newly-acquired Wil Myers could fit the bill. Yes, the Padres just got him, but they have a glut of outfielders at the moment and Myers is not a likely candidate to be a good center fielder, even if the Padres are suggesting he might be. Flipping him and something else for Hamels makes sense for everyone.
We heard a Jon Heyman report this morning that the Padres were going to get David Ross. Nope:
This makes sense, as Ross and Jon Lester had great chemistry in Boston. Now, presumably, he will be Lester’s personal catcher. Which, yes, takes Miguel Montero’s bat out of the lineup when the Cubs have their ace on the hill, but if it makes Lester happier — and more effective — it’ll be OK.
Today Wallace Matthews analyzes the Yankees trade of Martin Prado to the Marlins for, among others, Garrett Jones. He notes that the presence of Jones may reduce the number of at-bats for A-Rod from the DH and/or backup first base slot. Which I think is fair to say is absolutely going to happen.
Of course, it can’t just be a baseball move. It has to be something . . . more sinister:
There is a school of thought that this is all part of a Yankee plan to humiliate Rodriguez to the point that he will quit and leave his money behind, but there’s about as much chance of that as there is of Joe Girardi becoming the front man for a hip-hop group. Still, with no legal recourse to void A-Rod’s contract and apparently little stomach for paying off his contract and releasing him, humiliation may be the only weapon the Yankees have left.
Call me crazy, but maybe rather than scheme and plot to “humiliate” A-Rod, perhaps the Yankees are simply trying to put together the best possible roster they can? One that provides Joe Girardi with the best possible options given the strengths and weaknesses of the team and the uncertainty presented by A-Rod’s age, health and time off? And, if they make enough moves — or if A-Rod shows he can’t help the Yankees win games — they’ll simply DFA him. Indeed, I’d give it even odds at happening before Opening Day at this point.
Or is that naive of me?
In other news, when a writer says “there is a school of thought that . . . ” or “some say that . . .” you can rest assured that it is the writer’s own opinion. And, in this case, the writer definitely comes from a school of thought that is very, very interested in reading too much in to what are pretty simple and sensible baseball moves.