With it only being 24 more hours until the biggest game of the year... PuppyBowl or is it that Super Bowl thing that I hear so much about ... Ok maybe I should have written this one before that last post but what ever this post is not going to be about football a nice little break for the 2 people who still read the Phantom and if all of those other poorly worded post haven't driven you away then well nothing will. So instead of that over played coverage on the Super Bowl I think I am going to grade the off-season move made in minor league cricket or Major league Baseball . I might just do the MLB because I am still mad that they traded Yorn VanderSoot from the Norway Ludafisk to the Denmark Lillypads of fire leaving a huge gap in the Ludafisk wicket strikers game and forget about holding up the Code of Conduct now VanderSoot was king at that and Yes I did wikipedia most of this but which part. Now its time for a real sport.
Moves made in the
Red Sox - The first thing the Sox did was hire Booby Valentine who has been hanging out in Japan and Espn and then hired newly Ben Chrenington who recently graduated from pre-school last month. But since then the training wheels have come off. Picking up Marc Melanin from the Still playing baseball Astros, Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney from the A's since Papelbon is growing up on the West side of Philly, they gave Cody Ross a one year deal to who might turn out to be the starting Right fielder if Darnell McDonald doesn't have a good spring, and signed a bunch of guys who used to be good to non roster invites. The Red Sox are trying to play money ball like the Yankees did last year after they got burned. I don't see the Red Sox not making anymore moves between now and the end of spring training . So the Red Sox get a B+ right now. Nothing to splashy but they filled the holes they need to fill after last years collapse
Orioles - After a hot start followed by well nothing have taken that nothing going on attitude into the off season by only signing two guys from Japan who's names I can't spell , also they gave collapse Chavez a chance to be the 4th outfielder and steal some bases , and I think thats it oh wait they signed Armando Galaraga , Ronny Paulino , Wilson Betemit, and the big Sweat Denny Reyes . So look out world here comes the Baltimore Orioles because they make moves like their wallets are on fire. D-Sorry Buck
Blue Jays - I really wanted the Jays to lock up Prince Fielder to bulk up that line up but sadly no. Instead they bulked up that bullpen big time. Making a trade with the White Sox to get Sergio Santos to close out games, signing up Jason Farsor Darren Oliver and Francisco Cordero as the bridge to Santos and they got utility outfielder Ben Francisco who can hit around .270 off the bench. All and all I say the Blue Jays did a pretty good job for a team that will end in 3rd place. C+ should have given Prince those looneys .
Rays-Adding a little lefty pop to their other wise pop less line up. Resigning Carlos Pena to a one year deal and giving Luke Scott a chance to play in a Red State again should be huge for that guy, and for some reason they traded off their starting catcher so they can give the oldest Molina a job and they gave Fernando Rodney money. After last year you never know what the Rays are going to do so I guess they are at a B-. Pena can hit 35 home runs and still hit under .190 so who knows and if they are tied with the Red Sox or the Yankees at the end of the season you can bet that someone will give them a gift like last year. Yeah I said it
Yankees - Fuck them. They resigned Freddy Garcia and Andrew Jones signed up a whole bunch of arbitration eligible players and played dead while the Rangers, Red Sox and Marlins got fat and then what do they do in the span of 5 minutes . Oh make a trade for Felix Hernandez .2 and a solid as a rock 5th starter. Fuck them . They get a B+ because they still have A.J. Burrentt on their roster and they have no real Dh until they sign Vald Guerrero or someone like that.
Royals - My boys brought back Bruce Chen , signed the Big John (Braxton) and swapped Melky Cabrera for Jonathan Sanchez. Sadly this wont be enough. Unless Hosmer ,Mustaches, Gordon and Frenchy can all hit 50 home runs each then they have a chance. I give them an A for effort but really they get a C-.
Twins - I guess Joe Mauer is totally worth all that money they could have spent on better players. But I guess Jason Marquis, Josh Willingham ,Jamey Carroll and Ryan Doubt will do fine as starters... Well everyone except Doubt is slotted to be a starter but I think the Twins Will move Morneau to Dh , Mauer to first and have Doubt to the heavy share behind the plate. Good job at picking up the scraps while there were still good players available . D-. Joe Mauer is over rated take that Great Lakes area fans.
Indians - They Resigned Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner to one year contracts so they are hoping that they will preform like all other players with one year deals , getting Station Wagon race X. Derek Lowe from the Braves give the tribe a needed veteran presence in their Rotation. I see the Indians making some noise this year . Matt Laporta should have a break out season and maybe they voters will give the human highlight reel they have over a short stop a gold glove because he should have gotten one last year. C - home grown talent all around.
White Sox - Free from Ozzie's crazy ass the White Sox look to suck even less this year with rookie manager and personal Idol Robin Ventura taking over and it's going to be hard for them to not suck this year since they have been sellers all off season. First the sent Santos to the Blue jays and then they sent Carlos Quentin to San Diego for prospects . They have made zero effort to get into any real negations with players . F-sorry Robin but it looks like your first year will be terrible.
Tigers - Fuck them too. Where did they come from , locking up Prince Fielder for 9 years at 214 million dollars and having Chubs Cabrera play 3rd? They are going to hit so many home runs and have so many errors. They are just stacked up from top to bottom oh and not to mention they have the best pitcher in the AL right now. With Doug Fister ,fire thrower Max Scherzer and Rick Procello the Tigers are sure to make it to M.D's most hated list with in the first 2 weeks of the season. A+ just like a tiger all quite like and then they pounce on the Slow fat guy who can hit bombs.
A's - I am guessing they saw MoneyBall during the World Series and got a tickle in their pants to do it again. That is the only acceptable reason I can see after they traded off All Star closer Andrew Bailey, and young stud pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez . So now lets see who they have playing . They acquired Seth Smith from the Rockies to play left, Josh Reddick to play right, Brad Peacock form the Nats, Johnny Gomes, I am guessing Fautino De Los Santos will be their closer and Brandon Allen and Chris Carter will be their power hopefully. I give them an incomplete because they still could surprise with less wait who's their coaching staff (Bob Melvin, Chili Davis, Curt Young and Chip Hale) World series bound .
Mariners - They have 4 catchers, 3 Dh's, 1 good pitcher, 1 giant waste of money who they have to trade soon, and Ichiro . So do they win more or less then the Mets ? I am taking an over under here. They are going to find out real quick that Jesus Montero is just a doubles hitter in that massive ball park. If you think I don't feel bad about saying these things about the Mariners then you don't know me at all. I think the Mariners are a classy organization that has been on hard times since Brett Boone decided to suck. This will be year two post Griffey . P.G they spoke of this in the book of profits. They get Z-for not even showing interest in winning this year.
Rangers - The returning AL chumps for the last two years. After they blew their wad on Yu Darvish they turned their attention on Josh Hamilton who had a drink.... Oh no not golden boy Josh Hamilton, but he reads the bible and sucks at playing in the day time. The Rangers also are giving a second chance to Joe Nathan and putting Niftily Feliz in the starting rotation . Feliz could be the second coming of Pedro Martinez or he could be headed back to the bullpen to close out games again . Now the Rangers are pitching heavy and Michael young strong. Hopefully Yorvit Torreabla doesn't punch an ump during the season. I give them a B-I might say they made dumb moves but the potential alone is something to stare and be amazed at. Plus now we can make a new drinking game " take a drink after every hypocritical thing that comes out of Josh Hamilton's mouth"
Angels - Fuck them harder then the Yankees . Swiping up Pujols and Wilson before the Miami Marlins tried to then keeping Kendrys Morales to break his other leg or something and having the worst 3rd base situation for any contender I have ever seen. Give them an A because Mike Soccer is the man and give them an F because C.J. Wilson isn a huge bitch.
Moves made in the
N.L East -
Braves - They just traded away Derek Lowe and are going to rely on young guns again. How come when the Braves make no moves and go with guys no one has heard of they are still contenders but when the Mets do it its like 40 years of darkness? Must be them peaches or they have a good system in place there... Peaches . No grade for no moves.
Nationals - Dodged a huge bullet with no Tito Francona or Prince Fielder going to the Nations capital, but Michael Morse showed he is a man child by hitting 31 home runs in his first season with more then 260 at bats, Oh Stephen Starsburg had Tommy John surgery but he healed up faster the any normal human so he should be 100% by opening day, With the additions of Gio Gonzalez, Brad Lidge and now Edwin Jackson the Nats have a solid rotation and bullpen, and if they bring up Harper to play left send Mores to 1st and trade off Laroche for low end prospects and sign up Miguel Tejada to come off the bench with some pop and play the infield the National can continue making my nightmare come true. A-for these assholes !
Marlins - New stadium, New uniforms, Heath Bell,Jose Reyes, Mark Burhele, Carlos Zambrano and Ozzie Gullies all wrapped up in a flower torte. Sound great and might give me the runny shits after the all star break. So many big egos down there with LoMo hitting twitter every 5 seconds, Hanely and Reyes might fight each other if they have a slow start, Ozzie and the Big Z becareful what you wish for and poor Josh Johnson no body knows if he can stay healthy. Oh crap do you realize that every time Espn or Mlb network show highlights on the Marlins it will be accompanied by Margie or salsa music. A because that was a sick off season especially with in the first week and a half.
Phillies - The made a big splash when they signed Jonathan Papelbon and the D-train Dontrelle Willis to replace Lidge and Ryan Madison they also signed up Jim Thome ,Ty Wigginton , Juan Pierre, Joel Pinero , and other guys who need jobs. But with Thome Wigginton and Howard coming back in May the Phillies have the heaviest 1st base in the league. But with the new big 4 Roy, Cliff,Cole and Vance starting at least 30 games each so thats great. C - they could have made a few more moves they have a hole in left field that needs to addressed. Who is it going to be John Mayberry Jr, Dominic Brown, or rando invitee .
Mets - So many great moves made this off season. I am so pumped for this baseball season Frank Francisco , Jon Rauch , Roman Ramirez, Andres Torres, Ronny Cedeno and Omar Quintanilla way to bring in new blood on the cheap but thats not it we got some sturdy guys returning like Scott Harrison , Valentino Passcucci ( Scucc !) Chris Schwinden ( if you ever wanted to know what a cabbage patch kid looks like when they hit 20 just look at Schwinden) and the emergence of Ruben Tejada as a star shortstop. What is the worst grade you can give someone? I mean a D is way too good and an F is still way to good , how about an S of Shitty? Mets 2012 "Can you believe that we made it 50 years"
Astros - Just one more year, just one more year ! Thats is what their slogan this year. Ok it's not its something like "We are your Astros " which I don't know if the people of Huston had a choice. But yeah the AL bound Astros are just going to enjoy the one year without facing Albert Podiums or Prince Fielder multiple times this year. Somehow Wandy Rodriguez is still on this team and another perplexing (What up college) fact about this team that still bugs me out is how is Brandon Lyon still a Major League closer ? He has only 3 season of 10+ saves. But They got some players like Jed Lowrie, Zach Duke, Travis Buck and Livan Hernandez so they are making their way up to the top for one year before they switch sides. F - sorry bro's they suck.
Cardinals - From the hottest team in baseball to the coldest offseason ever. How does one replace the best player in baseball ? Sign up Carlos Beltran to a 2 year deal and have zero in the bullpen now. The Cardinals were a wreck when the season started then I guess thats a thing in St. Louis. Besides Beltran they just resigned a bunch of players that played for them last season and are hoping Big Puma can still stay hot since now he is the full time first basemen. D - they had to lock up Pujlos I mean the one guy you have to throw money at and no one would be upset .
Pirates - How do the Pirates recapture that fire they had last season ? Signing Clint Barmes, Eric Bedard , Casey McGehee, Rob Barajas and Nate McLouth is not how you do it . But the Pirates are just waiting until the rest of their young prospects are ready to go. I knew they lost their 20th consecutive season when they gave Eric Bedard money. D - another long year for the Pirates.
Brewers - Hmm they lost Prince Fielder, they might lose Ryan Braun for 50 games , and Bernie the Brewers son Bobby the Brewer was arrested for indecent exposure so its been a rough off season for the Brew Crew. But they did scoop up Aramis Ramirez , Cesar Izturis, Travis Ishikawa , and Brooks Conrad who is best known for having the worst luck known to man. I would say its about a C. They got power and they got defensive players to fill some of the void. But really we wont know how good they are going to be until after Braun get his final call.
Reds - They might be the most improved team over this off season. I mean they signed Willie Harris and Willie Harris is my boy. Thats not the only move they made this off season. They acquired Mat Latos from San Diego , Sean Marshall from the Cubs and Ryan Madson from free agency for cheap. So without Prince , Podiums and Whats up with Braun the Reds might take this division from day one. Votto, Bruce, Stubbs ,and Phillips can crush . I like that they added an ace type pitcher in Latos and they bulked up their back end of their bullpen so I give them a B+.
Cubs - the 2004 Boston Red Sox version 2. All they need now is a blow hard pitcher who has aspiration of running for mayor and they are ready to go . Making "baseball" moves the Cubs signed up David Dejesus and Reed Johnson to stat up the teams on base percentage. They accquired Travis Wood from the Reds, Chris Volstad from the Marlins, Ian Stewart from the Cubs, and Casey Coleman and Anthony Rizzo from the Padres. I don't know if the Cubs will be a contender this year but within the next 2 years the Cubs can be a real threat. I give them a high B+ but a low A-.
Rockies - Boy the Rockies got old fast, in a good way. Last year they were a pretty young team but with some discount signings like Casey Blake and Roman Hernandez to work out walks and sit with Todd Helton and Jason Iambi at Country Kitchen Buffet early bird special , they also made a deal with the Red Sox where they sent a good pitching prospect and in return they got Marco Scutaro also they are got Tyler Colvin from the Cubs , and they signed Michael Cuddyer to play right field so that Cargo can play left. I am going to give the Rockies a healthy A, because these were really smart moves. Veteran guys added to that roster with a bunch or young arms and the trio of Tulo, Cargo and Dexter Folwer-o.
Padres - I have given the Padres a fair cut of shit cake over my time here and I know they are trying with the addition of Carlos Quentin, Houston Street , Edison Volquez and Yonder Alfonzo I looks like I will hold my tongue for a few months. Quentin has played in the West before so he has hit in Peptic . The other guys I guess will figure it out while they play. Low B- high C+ . Honestly the Padres are irrelevant .
Dodgers - The Dodgers who are broker then the Mets have added Mark Ellis, Jerry Hairston,Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang all for $5 dollars each because they spent everything they had on Matt Kemp. But even though I can make fun of the Dodgers all I want they play in a division that is as stable as my vocabulary when I am drinking. So I give them a C because lets be honest Kemp, Either and Kershaw are going to be carrying this team all season.
Giants - The only real moves they made were to get Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. They get a D-because only sheep care about winning. I just don't see them being as good as everyone else does , am I missing something here? Is Buster Posey that good, is Brian Wilson not just a joke , Will this be the year that people figure out Tim Lincecum .
D-Backs - A+++++ they are just straight profits left and right . Trevor Cahill, Craig Breslow and Jason Kubel added to the mix. This team can be fire now. Looks like Gibby can swipe up another NL west crown.