I listened to Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” while considering the relevance of the Manny trade, then I thought, “Why on earth am I listening to Lisa Loeb?” Rather than viewing this trade like it’s the end of an era, Red Sox fans seem to be viewing this trade like it’s the end of an error. Sure, Manny was a handful, but he gave you a lot more than 500+ career home runs and career average over .310. He gave you something sorely missing in today’s game — flavor. The irony is the Sox got back a player who makes white bread seem like a bold choice for a sandwich. Am I the only one who sees the Red Sox and thinks, “Ellsbury, JD Drew, Bay, Youuuuuuk, Lowell, Beckett, Varitek… Did Jerry Remy suddenly become the only one besides Big Papi with any character?” It’s bad enough everywhere you turn it’s Subway, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Supercuts, Kinko’s, rinse and repeat. Now all our sports stars must be deviod of personality, too. What were you thinking as the seconds ticked down and it was official that you were the champions? First, I want to thank God. Without him, none of this is possible. Next, I wanna point out what a great job Coach did. He took us from last to first in three years. Next, I gotta point out what a great job all of my teammates did. They made me better. Finally, it’s thanks to these fans! You’re the best in the world! If that’s not bucking fullshit, I’ve never heard it. So when the Sox fans say good riddance to Manny, I say they’re all brainwashed by corporate America (and I lower cased corporate on purpose. As it should be.).
Since this is a fantasy baseball blog, first and foremost, I’ll go over the value changes for the Manny trade. Manny might get a slight hit on his value because he’ll no longer have The Green Mawnster to knock balls off of, but Manny’s a hitting savant and I expect him to make the proper adjustments. Also, this trade could be the kind of motivation Manny hasn’t had in almost four years. This does hurt a few other peripheral pieces in SoCal. Let’s do a basic math problem. If the Dodgers play 6 games a week and they have three outfielders, that means they have 18 possible outfield games. Now those 18 games need to be split between 5 outfielders (Ethier, Jones, Kemp, Pierre and Ramirez). So Manny and Kemp get 5 each, which means 10 outfield games. Now you have 8 outfield games to split up. I say Pierre and Jones get between 3 and 4, which relegates Ethier to 1 to 2 games per week. Drop Ethier. His (minimal) value has been zapped.
For Bay, let’s recollect what we saw last year while he battled through the worst slump of his career. Ground ball to short, ground ball to 2nd, ground ball to short and Bay falls into a mental slump where he’s fooled so bad he swings at some pitches while the ball is still in the pitcher’s hand. Bay will have a better lineup around him, he’ll have the The Green Monster to hit doubles off of and he’ll have the 2nd biggest media town breathing down his neck compared to Pittsburgh, which sports a town that forgot they had the Pirates for parts of ’07 into ’08. I hope Bay fails, but I’d say there’s only a 50/50 slot of it legitimately happening.
Now the two schmohawks that emerge from this trade with their value slightly knocked up (Hey, “slightly knocked up” sounds like that girl I went to high school with whose name I can’t remember) are Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche. First, Laroche gets reunited with a guy who has the same parents. (BTW, Elias Sports Bureau said this is the first time two brothers with a capped letter in the middle of their last name will play together. Actually, Elias Sports Bureau didn’t say that, but it sounds like some nonsense they would say. Some things they have said recently around Elias Sports Bureau’s headquarters, “There’s no M & M’s in the snack machine for the first time since 1999,” “Leandro mowed our lawn on Tuesday for the first time since March,” and “Jimmy, in Accounting, has the worst halitosis of any Elias Sports Bureau employee ever.” But I digress.) So LaRoche only has to beat out Jose Bautista for playing time. Well, color me not worried. LaRoche hasn’t shown many signs in the majors, but he’s a top-level prospect that you should pick up in deep leagues.
Brandon Moss, the new Pirates outfielder, strikes me as the guy in a trade that no one cares about then ends up having lots of value. Or this could be complete hyperbole. Moss flashed some speed and power in the minors and never at the expense of his average. Now he’s not going to be an in-his-prime Bobby Abreu, but he profiles similarly to Andre Ethier. I know, yawn. But unlike Ethier, Moss may get his at-bats and in NL-only play that can help. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Psyche! Before we get into today’s roundup, I just wanted to post Manny being Manny, make sure to watch until the 1:30 mark when Manny reenacts the play. If you don’t get a kick out of it, you’re dead on the inside.
The Rays – I knew they were stingy with their prospects, but I thought they would at least upgrade their bullpen. Nope.
Fausto Carmona – Bounced back from that razztastic start last time out against the Twins to throw 6 and 1/3 innings and to only give up 2 earned. Liked him a lot coming back from the DL and I think he can give you some quality starts moving forward.
Juan Rivera – HR yesterday. I’m pretty sure I’ve already said I’m never talking about him again. So this is your last heads up.
Jim Edmonds – 2 HRs. I almost yawned between writing the 2 and the HRs.
Rich Harden – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 Ks. He’s given up three runs as a Cub and has K’d 39 in four starts. Well, la-di-da. This was still only his first win for the Cubs. So there.
Dave Bush – 7.1 IP, 6 ER. That whole ‘only starting Bush at home’ thing has worked out remarkably well. Almost as well as the whole ‘starting Craig Counsell over Russell Branyan’ thing, but not nearly as well as batting Braun fifth. Not sure why Yost wants to get fired, but he’s obviously managing like he does.
Frank Thomas – Was activated from the DL. If you need home runs, I’d take a flier, but don’t drop anyone too valuable because The Big Hurt is aptly named.
Jim Thome – HR yesterday. As I said yesterday when Griffey was traded, Thome’s going to get his at-bats.
Shane Victorino – I was talking to Rudy about how some people bench Victorino or use him as a throw-in in trades and Rudy said an interesting thing to me, “Is Victorino really that different than Carl Crawford?” Things to make you say, “Hmm…”
Chone Figgins – Went 4-for-5 yesterday and almost .400 in the last seven games. As I told someone yesterday, Figgins can get hot and steal a ton of bases in a month or two. Steals is one category you can make up ground real fast. Saves is another.
Ryan Zimmerman – Left yesterday’s game with a hand injury. This could be a great thing for his owners, you might no longer have to delude yourself into thinking he’s valuable.
Khalil Greene – Reports claim Greene decided to place himself on the Disgraceful List when he punched a storage chest and fractured his hand. However, witnesses say the storage chest was starting Greene at SS all season and by all accounts the storage chest actually threw itself at Greene’s hand. Either way, Greene should be dropped in all leagues, even ten team leagues that only use Padres players. (BTW, in a ten team league that only uses Padres players, I think you have to draft Adrian Gonzalez first. Peavy’s great, but you can get pitching late.)
Todd Jones – Speaking of the Disgraceful List, Todd Jones hits the DL. Reason given by the Tigers for this move, “Well… Dur.”