Phil Nevin, one of the names involved in this year's Trading Deadline From Hell, appeared in yesterday's game and went 0-for-4 as Texas managed just one run against Chacin, Schoeneweis and Speier.
I mentioned Nevin to get on the subject of the trading deadline. It was, of course, yesterday, and in honour of this yearly occasion, I present to you a transcript of a Pinch-Hit Trading Deadline Roundtable Featuring Famous People Who Aren't Really Part Of The Roundtable (PHTDRFFPWARPOTR) from everybody's favourite Sicilian Cheer Clubber, Jobu. As with most things he does, this was done in the middle of the night, so be prepared for...well...this:
Up now for seven days and wired
The concept of sleep is way too tired
And I've dialed in a plan to reinstate
Your sense of humour has expired
Hey kids, did you see that game yesterday? Well I didnít. I was at work building IKEA! furniture (I know... my life is an oxymoron). If youíre looking for a recap of Gustavoís great performance and Jay victory, a much better one than I could provide is found here thanks to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
The following people did hit homeruns yesterday though:
What a great day.
So if youíre still reading, you must figure Iím getting to something and youíre right. Since I didnít see the game, that night I gathered up two friends of different baseball enthusiasms in the Xanadu of my buddy Rickís basement to hold a roundtable about this yearís obviously boring trade deadline action.
First to introduce the players at the Batter's Box Memorial Democratic Roundtable:
Thereís me. Jobu.
Otherwise known as Joe Buscemi when I go out in public. Benevolent caretaker of the Cheer Club and all around good guy. Iíll represent the super-fan.
Next we have my loser friend and sometimes Bauxite Rick.
Heís a representative of the above average Blue Jay fan. Heís single and enjoys long walks on the beach.
From the casual fan group, we have my free wheeling friend, Mr. Matthew Fava.
Also joining us at the roundtable, though unavailable to make it in person we were lucky enough to get the following personalities: local Fan590 curmudgeon Bob McCown...
from Rogers Sportsnet, local baseball superfreak Mr. Jamie Campbell...
the smarmiest man in the universe, Mr. Jim Rome...
and last but not least, new to TSN Mr. Chris Cuthbert.
(Elisha was unavailable.)
For legal purposes, let me state that any comments made by "famous people" are, of course, fake.
Joe: Before we begin with the trades or rather, lack thereof, why donít we being by asking Matthew, the casual fan, his view of the Blue Jays this year and their strengths and weaknesses?
Matt: All right well...after last season, which was pretty depressing, which I often hear you and Rick...
Rick: ... Bemoan
Matt: ...obviously this season seems like an improvement, especially considering they were able to shed the contract of Carlos Delgado. Am I right?
Joe: See now, I would have guessed that most casual fans would have been upset just because the star playerís gone.
Matt: I donít see...I dunno... He didnít seem to help the franchise...it seems like they made a major accomplishment with the players they have... they just need to work on consistency... I think some players have made strides...
Joe: Do you know any of them?
Matt: Well I think Hinske has been making strides lately hasnt he? On the upswing --
Joe: Itís more like: (makes hand gesture of stock chart falling and slightly spiking)
Rick: Itís amazing how none of this will pick up on camera at all.
Matt: As a casual fan overall Iíd say itís a very exciting season, not the most glorious but itís entertaining so...once Halladay comes back...the hitting if it continues...they can turn some heads.
Jim: Excellent call............................rack him......................... that was great.................. Matt from SoCal.............. he came................ and he represents....................... rack him.
Bob: I think youíre all missing the fact that the Blue Jays stink, and they always will stink, and who cares about baseball when we can talk about Las Vegas high school sports?
Jamie: I'm driven to comment here if I may... the casual fan should be excited about this season, and they can catch the Jays and White Sox this weekend with me, Jamie Campbell, right here on Rogers Sportsnet.
Chris: RYAN SMYTH!!!
Joe: Rick, your thoughts of the Jays at the deadline?
Rick: Well, the team is difficult to pick up anything for because other than backup catcher which is a glaring problem since Huckaby canít hit anything--
Joe: He can hit you in the face.
Rick: Well he can do that, and he seems like a fun guy to have on the team, but he just canít hit, period. First base I think is a huge problem right now because they donít have a bat, let alone that big bat at first. Hinskeís a nice little stopgap, and good to trot out there but you canít just--
Joe: So how would you get a first baseman though? Who's available?
Bob: It doesnít matter who the Jays put out there because no oneís going to see them play. Unless the Jays get Albert Pujols, the team will fold in two years.
Jamie: Even though heís not a first basemen, this talk makes me driven to comment on Jesse Barfield. I was driven to watch him play... at the Ex... outside the Ex... outside his home... I was driven to love that man.
Rick: Well thatís the thing, I have an attachment for every single guy on the team. I like every guy on the team. No one to just jettison. Iím looking at guys like Catalanotto and Reed platooning in LF and Iím thinking "I love that LF, 'cause those two guys are awesome." Joe: And really, you canít get better than Reed Johnson.
Matt: What did Ricciardi say? Did they need another player?
Rick: They said they needed two bats and a starting pitcher, though I guess the prices were too high this year and no one moved.
Joe: Well what about Rios? Are we still waiting for the phantom power to add to his average?
Rick: Well thatís the thing. You want power from a corner outfielder, but you get power from your centrefielder so maybe we can wait. But from the sounds of things, Hudsonís probably on his way out.
Matt: Are you serious?!
Rick: I dunno. You canít move Hinske as we saw. Hill and Adams need to play. Koskieís at third. Thereís just not space. It seems like JP is waiting for Hudson to get his Gold Glove officialy this year so heíll have even more as a barganing chip.
Matt: Come on... heís so great to watch though! Heís spectacular. And that wild pitch that won the game against the Angels, he was the first guy out of the dugout, I love that.
Jim: Dear Roundtable: Orlando Hudson is not a key part of this team....... signed, Cesar Izturis, Michael Young, Jeff Kent, and Felipe Lopez.......................... rack him................ I know baseball.
Bob: Ho hum, just another win...
Joe: --AJ Burnett wouldnít matter that much unless we came up with a big bat, too.
Jamie: I am driven to agree with Joe.
Chris: SERGIO MOMESSO!!
Joe: Iím just surprised they didnít go for a backup catcher, even when they were shopping Johnny Mac around.
Matt: If they do get another catcher, I want him to assume the name of Huckaby, so I can say the name Huckaby. I am the casual fan after all.
Joe: Stop breaking the 4th wall!
Jim: Dear Joe: Relax, Matt didnít break the 4th wall......... signed.............. Zack Morris.
Matt: Wait, so where is Pat Borders?
Rick: Heís in baseball limbo.
Matt: Jeez... thatís the woist place you can be.
Joe: Itís even worse than that Syracuse Wendyís.
Rick, Matt, Chris: (laughter)
Joe: Matt, Iím not kidding. Itís the most depressing place Iíve ever been. That part of the city was just so rundown, and the Wendyís itself was just so scummy looking. This place was just so trailer trash. One guy -- Rick will back me up -- he just had a haggard tank top shirt, a tattoo on one arm, and he didnít have another arm...
Matt: (between laughter) Oh god...
Joe: And he had two dollar plastic sunglasses and a flowing mullett down to his back. It was like reverse Disneyland: The Worst Place on Earth.
Jim: Excellent rant............... rack him.................................. rack him...................... my man Joe ........... dissing Syracuse ...................... he dropped a bomb on Sy-Town.
Matt: No, no... I think it was better... I mean Washington cleaned house right? The Leafs got Leetch.... should we just stay on hockey?
Chris: YES!!! Blue line zone defense matrix!! Ilkka Sinisalo!!!
Bob: Do you mind if I use the company air time for my personal stock update? Hereís Michael Vaughan of ROBTV. Michael, howís my gold stock doing? Should I sell? Yes, youíre on the air, who cares about sports?
Matt: Just to say, like you look at any of these trades and they wonít be holding press confrences for these anytime soon.
Jamie: Speaking of press conferences, I am driven to show you the fossilized remains of a seagull killed by Dave Winfield. I keep it on me at all times.
Jim: Dude..... that is whack............. I donít care if youíre a big shot commentator..... I donít care if youíre one tv.......... I donít care if you have a suit................. dude............. you canít be rolling in here............... with a bird carcass............. itís just not happening................ not even a bird carcass................ a SEAGULL carcass............ the Albert Belle of birds.............. Dear Jim, Seagulls arenít so bad........... signed.............. Latrell Sprewell............ rack him.
Rick: Well, letís start with the ďbiggestĒ trade I guess. Matt Lawton for Jody Gerut.
Joe: What? I thought they were on the same team already. Thatís the biggest trade of the year?
Rick: Yeah.... thatís it..... itís like nothing....... itís like replacement city.....
Joe: If I put that trade into MVP 2004, it wouldnít object. And it always object. Thatís how generic that trade is.... this trade is as tasteless as the food at Syracuse Wendy's.
Rick: I donít care.... like why did the Giants trade for Randy Winn? Whatís the point?
Joe: Whoíd they trade for?
Rick: Jesse Foppert, and Yorvit Torrealba who is a backup catcher. The Mariners have no catchers. Jesse Foppert used to be a decent prospect as I recall.
Matt: Now what did the Yankees do? Donít they always make big moves?
Rick: No, they didn't do a damn thing. All they did was trade Buddy Groom. They sent him to...actually I didnít even write it down. Who cares? It was Buddy Groom... thatís the only thing they did.
Joe: Well, they did sign any pitcher who used to be good in the last 10 years to their team.
Matt: Well, youíd think theyíd make a move just to flash the green, so to speak
Rick: I think theyíve finally run out of money and the tax is hurting them.
Joe: How can the Yankees ďrun out of moneyĒ?
Rick: No... thatís what they said. They couldnít pursue Beltran because they said they couldnít afford it with the tax.
Joe: So you mean theyíre approaching the mythical tax level of ďsignificant to stop a club from spendingĒ? I donít buy it.... they make like a billion dollars a year. They must saving up so they can buy.... the league.... or something.
At this point the roundtable took a break to enjoy some delicious gormet sausages on Rickís pool patio.
Joe: I think part of the lack of activity this year is the fact that so many teams are in contention, and the fact the Yankees honestly have no farm system. It used to be in the past that stuggling teams would send their about to leave old stud to the Yankees to wither and die, but the Yankees honestly have no one to offer back except maybe stadium tours.
Jamie: This reminds me of the tiring summer nights in Oakville playing third and short, trying to pay my way through Ryerson. I had no idea what direction my life would take. While working at CBC, I had the opportun- WHOA!- (Jamie catches David Ortiz homerun ball that flies into his window).
Matt: (reading Rick's notes) Farnsworth to the Braves for two minor leaguers?
Rick: What do I know about the Braves' minor league system? It wasnít worth looking up...this is what all the trades are like this year.
Matt: Padres get Miguel Olivo for...Miguel Olivo? What?
Rick: Thatís Miguel Ojeda...another minor leauger...who cares trade. I mean Olivo used to be a big prospect. He was part of the Freddy Garcia trade that everyone thought the Sox got hosed on because Olivo was supposed to be such a prospect. But heís just totally fallen off the map and they just wanted to move him I guess.
Joe: Too many bad memories. When I look into your face Miguel, I see Freddie.
Rick: Itís gotta suck to be like Olivo...to be trying your whole life to make it big, to have all they hype...and then to just wind up in nowhere ville.
Joe: Mercy is for the weak, Rick. Whatís that movie? ďMercy is for the WEAK!Ē.... Three Ninjas? No, thatís ďLight up the eyes boys!Ē... oh KARATE KID!!! (Joe screams Karate Kid theme).
Joe: The white sox get Geoff Blum? Red Sox get Jose Cruz? Oh forget it. Letís just talk about who wasnít traded.
Rick: So Manny didnít move.
Matt: Ugh... I hate that guy.... what an arrogant character who canít field.
Joe: Let me just say that Iím very glad the Jays didnít trade for him even though there was very little chance of that. If we get him for little players itís because the Sox are dumping salary so we blow all our Rogers bonus just on him. If we get them to pay part of the contract we have to liquidate the farm system. Itís lose-lose. Im just glad it didn't happen.
Rick: Griffey didnít go anywhere.
Joe: Griffey wouldnít go anywhere except the Yankees anyways. Heís old, he explodes his legs from time to time, he lives in Cinci, why would he leave?
Matt: Why are they called the Reds anyways?
Joe: The team was renamed in 1991 to remember the fall of communisim.
Matt: What ballpark do they play in?
Joe: I dunno... Great American I think.
Matt: They should rename it ďRed SquareĒ. That would be cool.
Jamie: Yes, it would. I am driven to agree.
At this point the roundtable was interupted by jumbo scallops and lobster tails.
Joe: So what was up with Nevin rejecting the Orioles and going to the Rangers? Just one all-hit no-pitch team for another.
Bob: I donít watch much baseball, but I watch enough to know that the Orioles system is the pinnicale of success. If the Jays would just take on more gigantic contracts of tired old hitters, they might finally prevent their future relocation.
Rick: I donít know how his trade clause had the Orioles but not Rangers in, but this is just a pure Chan Ho for Anyone trade. Luckily the Padres were desperate to move Nevin, so it was a desperation trade more than anything.
Joe: I can see Chan Ho arriving in the Padres locker room going "Hey, youíre the number 2 starting pitcher, but on Texas, I was. Are you better than me?" "Well I donít know you but... yes."
Jim: Joe from M-City droping the Simpsons reference.... rack him.......
Joe: That reminds me of the DVD commentary for that episode where they said "surprisingly all the ballplayers were really easy going and a pleasure to work with except for one... who letís just say... name rhymed with 'Manseco'."
Rick: But with Tampa Bay... I was surprised.... how do you pronounce it? Baez? Baez wasnt moved. I thought he would be.
Matt: We could pronounce the words anyway we want and people wont know we mispronounce them because theyíre just reading.
Rick: Thatís true. Baez? Baez? BAEZ!? Baez.
Joe: Duchscherer, Duchscherer.... Favre? Favre.... .favre.......
Matt: Massachusetts. Massachusetts...Asphalt....Rapport? Rapport?
Joe: Foliage..... foliage?
Rick: I was surprised the biggest player to go to the AL East was Eric Byrnes.
Joe: What!? Heís in the east?? Now I have to see more of the Inept Henchman? I hate that guy almost as much as Bobby Holik!
Rick: Yeah, he got traded to Colorado, and then Colorado traded him to the Orioles for Larry Bigbie. And heís the only guy who went to the AL East.
Joe: Damn, Iím depressed now. Letís just wrap this up. Closing thoughts?
Bob: Bite me.
Matt: The Jays are goin to the playoffs, gonna eat a lot of peaches.
Jim: The Jays arenít gonna make the playoffs...... not gonna happen ...... just not gonna happen ....... look....... you want to roll around...... show the goods...... front the bling G money...... take care of your house at home first....... Jays in playoffs?....... give me a break.
Jamie: I liked the acquisition of Corey Koskie, a hard-nosed player with a solid bat. I like what I see of Hillenbrand. We'll have to wait on whether Schoeneweis is effective against lefties, and at the time of this writing, I'm not convinced Koch is going to make the team. Regardless of what I think, if the team can avoid the injuries that crippled them last year, I expect vast improvement.
Rick: What an odd thing to say halfway through the season. Iíve got nothing to add. The Jays will be fine. What a sucky trade deadline.
Chris: Iíd just like to add that Iím auditioning for a role in next seasonís "24" as the evil guest hockey commentator. I like my chances. Corey Feldmanís attached to direct.
Joe: Yeah Iím good. Give the young kids time to grow, donít crowd them this season when the chances are so slim. Should be a great playoff race, who would have thought the Jays would hang around this long? Who could ask for anything more?