Marching to their own beat (cont.)
Posted: Thursday August 16, 2007 12:09PM; Updated: Thursday August 16, 2007 1:32PM
Good day for Yanks, O's, D-Rays, too
Following Porcello, three more big Boras first rounders signed on deadline day, with power-hitting infielder Mike Moustakas getting $4 million for the Royals, switch-hitting catching star Matt Wieters getting $6 million from the Orioles and hard-throwing, 6-foot-10 right-handed pitcher Andrew Brackman getting $4.5 million from the Yankees. Price, who's represented by Bo McKinnis, got $8.5 million from the Devil Rays, though Price's deal is for six years, longer than the others, and was a necessary step for pitching-poor Tampa. Price is a very polished pitcher and could emerge fast.
While the Yankees are gambling on Brackman by guaranteeing $4.5 million for four years to a pitcher likely to need Tommy John surgery, it's a good risk for them. The North Carolina State pitcher is said by scouts to be extremely talented, and the Yankees' recent drafting of pitchers shows they are expert in this area, having plucked Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Plus, the Yankees got three option years that could bring the package to seven years and $13 million but gives Brackman more time to recover.
Final Bonds report card
A week after Bonds' big record, and some time to consider how everyone made it through the unhappiest all-time record ever, here are my grades:
Hank Aaron: A. Dignified and classy all the way. He honored the record and managed not to look bitter while not doing the unthinkable, which for him would have been to be there to embrace Bonds.
Bud Selig: A. He surely did make a superb effort to follow Bonds around, was there for No. 755 and even called to congratulate the new recordholder, which is only right.
Mike Bacsik: B. Relished the idea of being the victim. And why not? Not only does it get him a measure of fame, but he'll probably make more off this than the fan who caught the ball.
Bonds: C. For him, he was a delight (though I'll disagree on whether it was tainted).
Around the Majors
The Yankees appear to have made the call not to trade any of their better prospects. In their case, it's working. Their one deal that netted them useful utilityman Wilson Betemit for overused reliever Scott Proctor has worked. And Eric Gagne's early struggles with Boston have validated GM Brian Cashman's call not to consider surrendering any of their top four pitching prospects or center fielder Melky Cabrera.
Gagne is still throwing 94 mph, so unlike in the case of Octavio Dotel, he was a worthwhile get for Boston. And while this may not make Gagne feel any better, seven of his 15 earned runs have come against Baltimore, as have both his blown saves.
Teixeira is doing everything the Braves expected and more.
Shea Hillenbrand, now with the Dodgers, will have the chance to fail with all three Southern Cal entrants in one year, after having done almost nothing with the Angels and Padres (though technically, Hillenbrand made no appearances for San Diego after 34 at-bats in the minors for them).
The Padres either didn't want to surrender a good prospect or had no good ones to give after they claimed Kei Igawa, and one person familiar with their talks with the Yankees after San Diego claimed Igawa on waivers said the Yankees' position is that Igawa is "not a giveaway" after they spent a $26 million posting fee to get him.
I loved those claims about how the Cubs wouldn't miss Alfonso Soriano. Really? Then why did they pay $136 million for him. Of course they miss him.
What do we do if the Cardinals make it to the playoffs with 77 wins and win the World Series? Maybe mix up the divisions next year, or something?
A lot of fun stuff was said about Bobby Cox this week after he set the record with 132 ejections. But to me, he'll always have a special place in the Whiners Hall of Fame.
These independent teams can be fun, especially the ones run by Mike Veeck and Marvin Goldklang. But someone please stop the Long Island Ducks, who've employed John Rocker, Carl Everett and now well-known hot-head Jose Offerman, who's now accused of assault on battery (as opposed to assault and battery) who attacked and injured a pitcher and catcher for Bridgeport with a bat after being hit with a pitch.
Jose Contreras, who's cleared waivers, gets a showcase Friday.
Programming note: Ray Negron's play, The Boy of Steel, along with a concert featuring Bernie Williams and Jose Feliciano, has been rescheduled and will now be held Sept. 22 at Utopia's Paradise Theater in the Bronx. Check www.theboyofsteel.com (click Events) for more info.
Holy cow, what a life he had! And incidentally, Phil Rizzuto, the Yankees Hall of Famer and broadcasting legend who died this week at age 89, was just as sweet off the air as he was on it.
2 of 2