Deadlines.

Tick, tick, tick, tick, t-tick, tick, tick, t-t-tick, tick, tick, tick tick...

Tick, tick, tick, tick, t-tick, tick, tick, t-t-tick, tick, tick, tick tick...

UPDATE:  THE SOX GET JAKE PEAVY.  THAT’S THE WHITE SOX.  PEAVY HASN”T PITCHED SINCE JUNE, BUT THIS AL CENTRAL RACE IS HEATING UP. 

The deadline approaches.  I’m not going to wait it out.  Everyone will be in a mad dash to get wasted by the time all this shakes out.  The only deal that looks 100% right now is the Tigers picking up Jarrod Washburn.  It’s a nice move for Detroit.  One of the ESPN cats wrote about how it usually isn’t the biggest name that makes an impact in the Series.  Washburn fits that bill.  Victor Martinez now officially headed to Boston.  The Red Sox deal La Roche for Casey Kotchman…as they continue to stockpile 1B.  Not entirely sure what the Sox are doing, but they add a nice bat.

Biggest rumor has Heath Bell and Adrian Gonzalez going to LA.  L.A. making a serious move at some bullpen help.  Trading for Adrian Gonzalez doesn’t really do it for me.  I actually like James Loney.  Gonzalez I think can be pitched too.  He’s cooled it seems since a hot start, and he’s hitting .252.  I applaud the aggression, though.  A lot of other contenders out there not doing anything yet, so we’ll  have to keep one ear tuned to Tim Kirkjian for the remainder of the evening.

Tiger shot 63.  I guess he’s ok.  My prediction is that Tiger gets just outgunned this week, wins next week at Firestone, and then doesn’t win the PGA.  That’s been the pattern of the year, and I’m sticking to it.  The real golf achievement of the day, however goes to blog visitor Rand, who did something special this morning.  I think I invented the term “2-chip/2-putt double.”  It’s funny, it’s catchy.  It has it all.  Well, Rand up the ante today with the “3-chip/3-putt quad”.  As an added degree of difficulty he putted off the green…then 3 chipped, before smooth 2-jacking for quadrangle.  Impressive.  All took place at Jeffersonville…oh how I will ban thee. 

Tonights the night.  Cliff Lee in San Fran.  Sucks that it’s a late coast game on a Friday, but Cliff gets a nice pitcher’s park to make his debut in.  I think he gets off to a good start, and the Phils offense due for a little surge.  Pedro is also scheduled to throw in Allentown, but it looks like some nasty storms are lining up for the East Coast, so I’m not sure if they’ll get it in.  If he throws we have some eyes on the scene to get an idea of how it goes.  I have it on pretty good authority that no one was really blown away with his bullpen on Tuesday, but they are anxious to see him take the hill. 

That’s it….Go to a bar or something…get out of here..  Any major deals from here on out…maybe I’ll quick blurb.  We’ll recap it all for Monday, and maybe I’ll even pick the playoffs just for fun…and because I can.  Busiest week ever.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented.  Later.

Anecdote XI.

You Have to Master the Nuances.

You Have to Master the Nuances.

While we wait anxiously for a possible trade deadline flurry, and to see exactly what low number the Tiger is going to shoot today, I’d thought I’d go for an old anecdote.  Anecdote 11.  Subtitle:  Epic Driving Test Fail. 

I think most people agree that the driving test is one of the easiest tests you take in your life.  There’s an incredible amount of pressure, but in actuality you just drive around the block.  Sometimes you have to parallel park between two cones that are about a mile apart.  They want you to pass the test.  It’s all a scam.  If they really wanted to test driving skills they’d throw in a highway merge during rush hour or something, but then the DMV would have to change their name to Blood on the Highway.

Most people I think would also argue that the permit portion of the test is more difficult.   You have to memorize the rules. When is it legal to tailgate, why you can park in front of hydrants on Sundays, and when no U-Turn means U-Turn.  All that stuff.  Well, I passed this section with flying colors.  Natural born (written) test taker.  Unfortunately, I’m probably also a natural born buckler.  Once I got in the car…look out.  Now, I wasn’t a maniac or anything…but I had a weak spot for attention to detail. 

Test One:  I show up nervous as hell.  It’s one of these cloudy, light rainy, humid days…no big deal, but a problem for me because I’m driving a ’92 Accord.  Aka, the car with the most complex and inefficient defogging system ever produced.  So, in the minutes while I was waiting in line the old Honda got a nice layer of fog on the windshield.  I get behind the wheel.  The slap nut giving me the test tells me to turn off the radio,turn signals, blah, blah, blah.  Now, I have the defroster on, but it’s a slow burn with this thing.  I’d say 2/3 of the windshield is clear.  The guy tells me to pull out.  I can definitely see, so I go ahead.  We go about 200 feet, and the guy says, pull into this spot….you fail, yadda, yadda, yadda…”no knowledge of vehicle controls.” 

I go from scared to pissed off pretty quickly so I start telling the guy how the defroster is on, and he counters that it wasn’t on high.  I said I could see.  It’s not like we hit the building.  He wasn’t having it.  So, we go inside, and I have to explain to my mom what happened, and she starts giving the guy a hard time, telling him there’s no way I was going to say I wasn’t going to pull out when he told me to.  Mom always has your back.  A great point, but again..Fail.

Test Two:  Defroster unnecessary on day two.  I’m on cruise control.  After an unnecessarily good parallel park (one backup)…showoff, I am thinking that the rest will be a breeze.  The guy tells me to bang a left, and I do, but then the tell tale moment where he tells me to throw her in the nearest parking space.  Apparently, there was a stop sign back there somewhere.  The thing was nowhere near the intersection, and we’re in a GD parking lot, but there it was.  Again, it’s always the little things that get you.  Stop Signs.  Come on.  This time I think my Mom was more disappointed with the prospect that she was going to have to continue to drive me around.  To summarize, Test Two…Fail.

I think there’s a reason why the term 3rd time’s a charm exists.  It must be proven true time and again, and I  followed through on my 3rd test.  Fool me twice, shame on you, fool me three times…I’m going to a different testing location.  I did add some drama to the third try by not being able to find my registration for about 20 minutes, but after that it was a breeze.  Straight gravy train to license-town.  I’ve never looked back since.   The moral of the story is, watch out for stop signs.  I hear they’re red.

Dodgers Counter.

The Dodgers bullpen now features Ace & Gary.

The Dodgers bullpen now features Ace & Gary.

The Dodgers traded for George Sherrill on Thursday giving them a pretty solid right/left combo at the back end of the bullpen.  Pairing Sherrill with Broxton starts that old, “make it a seven inning game” notion.  I’m not going to sit here, and say that the Dodgers don’t have a nice pitching staff.  They do, but they also have Randy Wolf.  Who doesn’t want a piece of that character in October?  There’s not a guy on the staff that I think the Phillies couldn’t beat, and even though you could say the same thing about the Phillies…Hamels owns L.A, and the Phils have the superior offense. 

Rodrigo Lopez gracefully bowed out of the rotation by getting his teeth kicked in for 4 innings against the Giants.  Hey, thanks for the memories Rodrig0.  When is this Lee guy going to throw?  Pistol Pete Martinez will start in Lehigh Valley on Friday night, it’d be nice if Cliff Lee got the call as well.  A double taste.  A virtual explosion of flavor for Phillies fans.  The thought of moving Happ to the bullpen when Pedro arrives makes me shudder.  How about a 6 man rotation?  And by that I mean the five guys pitch, and then every sixth day you skip Jamie Moyer.   No?  If Moyer was a team player he’d volunteer to go to the bullpen…and hand out sunflower seeds. 

Couple weird things happened to me today.  First of all, I realized that Target is a pretty special store.  I don’t want to like Target that much, but I set out today to do some errands, expecting to have to stop at a lot of places, but no.  Target had everything.  I know what you are thinking, Grossy, Target’s been around for like two decades, where have you been?  The answer is I don’t know.  I really don’t.  I think their signage and red shirt wearing minions put me off. 

The day was capped on the drive home, however, when I hear a movie promo that says, “From the writer of Saw 4, 5 and 6, comes…”  Really?  First of all how many Saws are there?  Secondly, they’re basically just saying, “From the guy who wrote the sh-tty Saws”.  Right?  No one has seen Saw 6 have they?  It got me thinking, maybe I can just start sending out writing with cover letters that say, “Hey check out this new novel, it’s by the author of The Greatest Gatsby.”   Or, “This screenplay is sick, the guy who did Goodfellas 3 co-wrote it.”  Maybe it could work.  I mean, Saw 6?

Fire Hank Haney.

Tiger's Looking Pedestrian at the Buick.

Tiger's Looking Pedestrian at the Buick.

Tiger’s coming back to life as I write this post, but seriously…par is basically 68 out there today.  Steve “lunch pail” Lowery shot 63.  It’s a pushover.  Tiger could birdie out, and end up winning the tournament going away, but I’m just wondering how much longer before the Hank Haney whispers start to gain steam.  If he doesn’t sort it out today, or in the next two weeks that basically amounts to a lost season for Tiger, who judges everything on the Majors.  For a guy who says his swing is constantly evolving, maybe it’s time again for a new set of eyes.  Haney was working with Charles Barkley.  That could break any man.  I didn’t see the exact results of that celebrity event in Tahoe, but I’m pretty sure Chuck was battling with another Chuck…Liddell, for DFL.  So the verdict on the Haney Project…Epic Fail. 

I don’t want to see Tiger win everything, but it’s strange watching him stuggle a bit.  It doesn’t seem right.  And, I know that technically with 3 wins on the year you can hardly say he’s struggling, but he’s spraying it around today at the Buick Open.  This thing is a track meet.  You don’t lay low for a few days, shoot 68 on Saturday, and lap the field.  These guys are going deep, four days straight.  Tiger shoots 70 today, or whatever it ends up being…that’s a real hole. 

I was out doing a couple errands, and I think the Ortiz story kind of passed me by in these last couple hours.  There’s not much to say really.  Unless you have a problem with the Red Sox fans that looked down their noses at Clemens, Andy, A-Rod…then I don’t think this should produce much of a reaction.  The line is so blurred now between the guys that have been proven, and the guys who haven’t, I don’t even know which is which.  Everyone keeps their World Series rings, ok?  The other team was on it, the pitchers were on it, it was probably as close to fair as it ever was…just a different kind of fair.

Why Can’t NFL Teams get their First Rounders Into Camp?

Maclin's Missing Valuable Time.

Maclin's Missing Valuable Time.

 It makes you long for the NBA’s regimented rookie salary scale doesn’t it?  Year after year these rookies hold out, and honestly I don’t know why the deals can’t be done sooner.  The draft was months ago.  I’m ninety percent sure that this is the agent’s fault.  No one wants to sign before the next guy, lest they lose a couple hundred grand here or there.  I don’t remember any rookie pulling off some obscene financial coup by holding out.  Maybe they just don’t want to start camp.  It has to be awful. 

The Eagles are still waiting for their first round pick, Jeremy Maclin, to arrive at Lehigh.  Only five first rounders have signed with their teams, a number that seems awfully low.  I would say it’s imperative that the Eagles get Maclin into camp as soon as possible if they want any contribution out of him in year one.  No one is going to argue that any skill player needs as much time to develop and learn the system as possible.  Maclin may have the physical tools, but he’ll find himself behind inferior athletes on the depth chart if he doesn’t get a deal done soon. 

Football is so fleeting, such a risky prospect that these guys try to squeeze every penny out of that first deal I guess.  I know that is the agent’s prerogative, and maybe it’s hard to blame them.  It’s a short life span, but if their career is cut short they’re going to be selling cars down the road anyway…so why not just set yourself up to have the best possible start to what hopefully is a long career? 

Other than Maclin the Eagles have perfect attendance at camp, including yesterday’s arrival of somewhat disgruntled cornerback, Sheldon Brown.  The Eagles start full contact practice on Friday.  WOOOOO!  Let’s hit someone, baby.

A comment so long it became a Post.

Grossy, care to ramble on for a few hundred more words?  Great.

Grossy, care to ramble on for a few hundred more words? Great.

So, I wrote this all in a comment, but it seemed a little ridiculous when it hit 5oo words:

All right.  What’d I miss.  Frickin Cliff Lee.  The guy’s a lightninng rod. 

Oh man, 1981…what a dagger.  The Phillies of ’81 widely regarded as the best team in the league.  With or without Ron Guidry…of course it was the strike year, and they came out post strike with a playoff berth already clinched, and never got going again.  They lose a divisional series to Montreal.  Not many people realize the Phillies technically make the playoffs in ’81.  Anyway, a year later they bring in John Denny, he wins the ’83 cy young, but the entire offense takes off the world series and they lose to the Orioles.  Dynaasty Over. 

Interesting differing ways of analyzing the trade.  I think the real story is, Cleveland just has a different way of analyzing talent than Toronto.  Cleveland prefers the guy’s who have the highest ceiling.  This is why Knapp is the centerpiece for them as opposed to Drabek.  They think Knapp is the best pitcher in the Phillies system.  He may be, but he’s also 19 or whatever…so who knows.  He could be Kerry Wood.  He could be Dwight Gooden.  He could be Paul Wilson. 

Giving Cleveland way to much credit for developing these people I think.  Two Cy Young award winners?  Big Deal.  The Phillies have developed 2 recent MVP’s.  So their development guys know nothing?  Should Cleveland fans be worried that Ben Francisco is going to turn into a beast in Philly.  I know that is stretching it, but you get my point.  We’re always in a rush to assign credit to good players.  It’s the Leo Mazzone phenomenon.  Sometimes the player is just good, other times they aren’t or get hurt.  Again, this undervalues coaches, but I’m just making a point. 

All these writers are throwing their hats in the ring.  They’re setting up a possible follow up column in a year or whatver.  “Remember when I warned you all about Knapp.  Well look, he’s 10-3 with a 2.32 in Cleveland, and he’s still only 21.”   They look like a genius.  Of course, if Lee kills here, and Knapp’s elbow turns into pudding there will be no mention of it, and no one will call the guy on the criticism, because they’ll be so pumped about Lee. 

I don’t know what the long term impact will be.  No one does, but I agree with the assessment that Lee will be very good in the National League, and I think it was a good deal.  I also heard yesterday that part of the reason for not bringing in Halladay was that they were concerned about future payroll.  Lee is cheaper than Halladay.  Plus if they keep these near-MLB ready guys like Drabek and Taylor that is another way to keep costs down, because they can be wildly underpaid for their first few years.  After Ibanez is done, or if they have to bring in another closer, or if they lock up Howard for even longer…they will have more money to do it.  They aren’t quite at the point where there is no ceiling on the payroll. 

All really interesting stuff to think about.  Look at the Phillies.  Pushing the Eagles to the back burner.

Busiest. Day. Ever.

Blog > Beaver

Blog > Beaver

History making day at Three Putt Territory.  I suppose we owe it all to Cliff Lee.  Either that or my extra sharp provolone wit.  Hard to say, but imagine the explosion if the Phillies had traded for Roy Halladay.  It certainly was a strange day to be a Phillies fan.  After being conditioned for decades, beaten down to the notion that the Phillies would always be sellers, the club took the reins today.  It may not have been the most popular move, but they didn’t get bullied, and made a decisive play.  We’ll see how it works out.  I’m pretty hopeful, but I did hear from one anonymous occasional baseball fan today, “Cliff Lee?  He’s terrible.”  So, not everyone is sold.   

I’m not calling it the Cliff Lee era until he arrives, so Wednesday’s loss to the D-Backs does not tarnish the deal at all in my opinion.  The meek offfensive effort against a marginal starter at best doesn’t warm the soul, but there will always be these days when the swings and misses catch up to this squad.  Honestly, I don’t think a fan out there cares about this result.  They just want to see Cliff Lee make that first start for the Phillies. 

Elsewhere we are waiting for the other dominos to fall into place.  It seems likely that Toronto may keep Halladay now, and while it’s hard to criticize keeping Halladay, it’s hard to believe his value would have ever been higher.  It just seems that the Blue Jays were asking for too much.  Not a lot of other big names out there…I mean, we’ve been talking about George Sherrill.  I’m sure there will be a little flurry at the deadline…who goes where?

World of Golf News…We are happy to hear that John Daly has a reality show coming back to the Golf Channel.  John’s Daly Planet was a classic bit of programming, and I’ll be looking forward to catching an episode or two this time around as well.  Daly said this series will focus on his renewed commitment to his game.  Sounds a little boring, but JD has a flair for the dramatic.  A win and an after-party this week in Michigan would make a nice episode. 

And, just to give an idea of the status of non-PGA golf in the United States…the Women’s British Open and the U.S. Senior Open are this week.  Did anyone know this?  These have to be sinking ships.