The Trade Deadline
The baseball trade rumors have been flying around as usual with the myriad of baseball columns being filled with whispers and innuendos and make believe fairy tales, most merely to fill up column space and keep the fans out there excited. Many baseball executives have fun with dropping hints about this player and that and watching the writers rush back to their keyboards and excitedly proclaim that they have this scoop or that. I don’t have access to baseball GMs and managers but I thought that I would start some trade rumors which I haven’t even been privy to. You know, just for fun. My rumors are probably no more inaccurate than the next guy. Here are the top five.
1. Manny Ramirez will return not as a player, but as a manager. As there has been little in the way of controversy in Yankeeland these days and ownership hasn’t grabbed the headlines for a couple of years now, ownership decided that they were tired of their cross town rivals grabbing all the headlines (especially R.A. Dickey) and coupled with their need of a left fielder, hire Manny Being Manny as their new player/manager. Dreadlocks and in game clubhouse breaks are now deemed mandatory and sulking and refusing press interviews are now considered standard procedure. Any and all trips to Boston are cancelled unless the home team supplies ear plugs for all Yankee players. Yankee stadium will be rechristened, Mannyland and HGH usage will be strictly monitored by new pitching coach Roger Clemens. Barry Bonds will be asked to coach first base and will agree only when the Yankees play in San Francisco.
2. The Fox network will insist that any game broadcast by Joe Buck will require the home team to display a larger than life statue of Joe in centerfield. During the broadcast. Only the Houston Astros will be except as the statue won’t stay level in centre field due to the presence of their famous hill situated just in front of the center field wall. Negotiations have begun to have the statue placed on the pitcher’s mound to the right or left of whomever is pitching that day. The statue will be moved by a special Pepsi ground crew and if time permits, Commissioner Bud Selig will lead the crew onto the field as necessary. Pitching changes will be limited to two per team per game to prevent dirt from covering this gleaming presence.
3. In order to save enough money to ensure that all of the aquarium fish in Marlins Park have enough special shrimp and other necessities, owner Jeffrey Loria will sell off any remaining major league players currently on the roster and remove half of the seating at the ballpark. As most seats will now be in the bleacher area, those tickets will be declared mandatory and every resident of Miami will be required to purchase season tickets, pay $40 to park in their own driveway and pay $100 for a six pack at their local corner store. Anyone caught eating anything other than an official Miami Marlins hot dog will be subject to a fine and disciplinary action.
4. Zack Greinke, who is known for his inability to perform in a pressure filled environment, will be acquired by Chicago Cubs. During the press conference, Greinke will be heard to utter, “Hey, what’s another 100 years or so.” Cub management will declare that this is the type of blue collar player the team has always needed and will now be looking for a young power hitting first baseman and a young outfielder (having traded Anthony Rizzo and Bryan LaHair to acquire Greinke). The Boston Red Sox will immediately send Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to Chicago with Theo Epstein declaring that this is just what was needed to get the Cubs into the playoffs.
5. The Philadelphia Phillies, mired in last place and desperately trying to cut payroll, trade their entire team keeping only Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, catcher Carlos Ruiz and their big three starting pitchers. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. reasons that his $20 million per season starting staff should be able to strike out each opposing batter and with Howard in left field and Utley in the infield, any contact should be easily dealt with. Amaro declares that the luxury tax is killing the big market teams and is unfair. A big market team such as Philadelphia can’t hope to compete with franchises such as Kansas City and Tampa Bay under the current major league agreements. Amaro goes on to state that “as long as the Phillies don’t fall further than last place in their division, the fans will continue to support his decisions and continue to fill up the ballpark.
6. That’s the way I see it. Those are the rumors I haven’t been hearing yet. Tell your friends and colleagues.
By: Doug Bird