Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quick Bits

I wish I had more for you the other day, but I couldn’t think of anything and I felt the need to post something. Today’s post isn’t going to be organized very well, as real life activities have kept me occupied, but here’s a random collection of my thoughts on this Wednesday morning:

--My take on the whole trade situations: I fervently don’t want to trade any of the names mentioned, though you can’t be totally against trading a player ever. The only scenario in which a trade would be acceptable to me would be if the Tigers managed to pull off a big steal (and by that, I mean it would include someone who would make a major positive impact NOW, not five years down the road). The payroll argument is not a particularly strong one at this point because of all the money that’s coming off the books at the end of next season, so salary relief really won’t be needed. Now, it’s possible to pull off a steal by trading away Edwin Jackson (and if the reports that Dave Dombrowski was asking for Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley from the Mariners are true, it looks like that’s exactly what they are trying to do, at least right now). It’s still possible with Granderson, but less likely because Granderson isn’t that expensive and he’s a vital part of the team. With Miguel Cabrera, it would be nearly impossible to recoup his value. It’s unlikely that any prospect would measure up, and any money saved by trading away his contract would eventually go towards signing a player like him.

--The arbitration decisions panned out pretty much the way everyone expected them to. Even Dave Dombrowski has publicly stated that he expects both Rodney and Lyon to decline. I, like most I’ve talked to, would like to see them re-sign Lyon, but I wouldn’t go more than two years. Also, if Jason Beck is correct and the Tigers would have to move payroll, I might be a little more hesitant (see above bullet point).

--Over the weekend, MLB Network was running a marathon of old All-Star Games. I happened to watch the end of the ’97 ASG, the entire ’94 ASG, and the beginning of the ’95 ASG (back when the National League won on occasion). It was…amusing, for lack of a better term. I don’t remember if I actually watched either game back in ‘94/’95/’97 (I would’ve been in middle school at the time). With several players, I definitely knew who they were regardless of whether I remembered them playing or not (like Cal Ripken Jr. and Mark McGwire). There were others with names I recognized but didn’t know much more about them beyond that (Chuck Knoblauch, Matt Williams, etc), and this included guys who I know better as broadcasters (such as Mark Grace). Then there were a few to whom I thought, “Who the hell are you?” It certainly shocked me to see how young Mariano Rivera looked in 1997. Along that same line, it was funny to hear the broadcasters refer to certain players as “kids” when I view them as hardened veterans.

--Fun fact: Off all the players who participated in the 1994 All-Star Game, three are still active: Ken Griffey Jr, Randy Johnson, and Pudge Rodriguez (though there’s a strong possibility that the Big Unit will retire now that he’s got his 300th win). Pudge in particular was of interest to me (not surprisingly). It was funny hearing Bob Costas refer to him as the “young, 22-year-old catcher from the Texas Rangers” because I’ll never see him as a 22-year-old. And apparently his nickname wasn’t widely known at the time because the broadcasters never used it (though it did say “Pudge” on his wristbands). It must’ve become more prominent by 1995 because those broadcasters DID call him Pudge. Three random things that I observed were that he looked shorter in those days, his pants were too tight, and he had pretty much the same amount of plate discipline that he does now (which is, to say, not much). Also, Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver were slightly less annoying in the mid-90s.

--This has almost nothing to do with baseball, but I tried playing a Madden game for the first time last night. Now, I suck at video games, so I played it on that super-simplified “Family Play” setting that they put in there for, like, 8-year-olds. Well, I ended up winning the game 73-0 (That included a touchdown on the kickoff return, sacking the quarterback in the first two defensive plays, at least three interceptions that were returned for TDs, and one player who scored five touchdowns). I get the feeling that “Family Play” is a little too easy even for me, but then I look at the instruction manual and see the 3000 different commands that you have to know on normal play and it’s a bit much. I’m the same way when it comes to MLB The Show. I always play in manager mode on that game, and on the easiest setting. Plus, I know it’s just a game, but I’m not real thrilled at the prospect of commentators talking about how bad I am.

--I am currently working on a light-hearted feature regarding the Holiday Catalog. Provided tragedy (i.e. a bad trade) does not strike before I get it finished, I will have it up as soon as I’m done (It might not be until next week, though. Exams and work are taking up a lot of time).

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