Here’s an idea: Barry Zito for Alfonso Soriano

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No, this isnt’ a rumor or even a rumbling. It’s the wholesale invention — and a creative one — by Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News: the Giants and the Cubs trade Barry Zito for Alfonso Soriano. The rationale: the Cubs pitching stinks and the Giants offense needs help, and since both guys are contractual millstones, why not?

Well, apart from the fact that (a) Zito wouldn’t help the Cubs’ pitching so much; and (b) Soriano wouldn’t help the Giants’ offense so much that it would be worth it to either general manager to simultaneously admit that they made such a giant mistake in those deals and to take such a big chance on a high profile deal which would only serve to underscore just how terrible those deals were in the first place.

And, yes, we all know how bad these deals were already, but there’s a difference between the public knowing something and the public being able to say “see, he admitted it!”  There’s a politics to this kind of thing, and neither Brian Sabean nor Jim Hendry are likely to want to mess with it too much.

So yes, it’s a fun idea to kick around. But it’s the kind of thing that would never happen, like, ever.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.