Adrian Gonzalez to the Braves? No thanks!

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Adrian Gonzalez is going to be the biggest story of the trade deadline this year. Everyone assumes that the Red Sox will be the front runners for him. And if they continue to stink, they may push even harder for him than they otherwise would. But they’re not the only team in baseball who could use a cheap awesome first baseman. Jon Paul Morosi suggests the Braves could be in on AG.

The basis: well, not even a rumor really. Just the realization that (a) the Braves need offense and could use a first baseman; and (b) Adrian Gonzalez is a first baseman.  Trades have materialized from less, of course, but at the moment that’s all there is. No word from a Braves source. No word from a Padres source.

And I sort of hope it stays that way. As I wrote earlier in the week, the Braves are not new to this trade-for-a-stud-first baseman thing. They did it with Mark Teixeira a few years ago, and it was fairly disastrous in terms of the young talent the Braves had to give up. Given that Gonzalez is even cheaper and under team-control longer than Teixeira was, the price in prospects would likely be even higher.

And it would be an overpayment no matter what Gonzalez does while signed for 2010 and 2011, because there is no conceivable way that the current owners of the Braves — Liberty Media — would approve the $180 million+ or whatever it would take to sign AG long-term.

If the Braves traded for Adrian Gonzales it would be like a guy making $40K a year leasing a BMW. Maybe the monthly payments are technically affordable in the short term, but it’s gonna cost too much regardless and at the end of the day he’s not even gonna own the thing.

In short: nice attempt to stir the sauce pan on the hot stove, Jon Paul, but I don’t think anything is cooking here.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

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July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.