I Got Your Trading Deadline Right Here; A Month Later Teams Still Trading; Yanks’ Fans Still Scratching Heads

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on the first day of September. What happened to the much hiped trade deadline? Numerous trades went down last night and the two nights before that, a month after said deadline had passed. Also the Yankees’ play against poor teams has their faithful chugging Pepto by the gallon.
I remember the last day of July, the day I spent most of the day at my computer waiting for trades to happen, only to have the trades go down while I had a guest and couldn’t break away. I played so much “catch up” ball my shirt turned bright red. The assumption was, that was the trade deadline. End of story. But wait.
Over the last two nights numerous trades have happened at least one of which should have happened a month ago. The Yankees got hold of Andrew McCutchen from the Giants for an infielder whose name John Sterling could never pronounce (Abiatal Avelino) and a 20-year-old pitcher, Juan DePaula who no Yankee fan will remember by the time he develops, if he does. The McCutchen deal waves the white flag on Aaron Judge’s season.
Whatever doctor said a broken wrist would shelve him for 3 weeks ought to lose his license. That sounds like the doctor in Myrtle Beach who said I would lose 3 weeks from work when I broke my shoulder in 3 places. I lost 3 months and was sharply criticized for lying to my bosses when all I did was repeat what my doctor said.
The Thursday night McCutchen deal was just the first of several trades that made social media news a month after all trading should have ended. The Brewers made 3 deals, picking up Gio Gonzalez from DC, Curtis Granderson from Toronto and lefty pitcher Xavier Cedeno, the lesser known of the trio, from the White Sox. In a separate deal from the McCutchen trade, the Yankees got shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Pirates, suggesting that Sir Didi Gregorius’ bruised heel may be a more serious problem than we fans who were there the day he was hurt were led to believe. The Blue Jays sent flagging third baseman and onetime MVP Josh Donaldson to the Indians, just what the Yankees didn’t want to see happen. Whatever’s wrong with Donaldson’s bat, he’s still a lot more reliable at the hot corner than the Yankees’ Miguel Andujar at this stage of the game. The Pirates off-loaded onetime World Series hero David Freese to the Dodgers. Ryan Madson’s aged right arm is on the move again, this time from the collapsing Nationals to the still-hopeful Dodgers.
The Royals sent catcher Drew Butera to the Rockies. I remember Drew when he was a small boy making road trips with his dad Sal Butera who managed the 1995 New Britain Rock Cats (Twins AA.) Sal and Drew liked to bring their dog Slider along. Earlier in the week the Royals sent former Met Lucas Duda to the Braves, where he can be an extra bat as the Bravos try to go from worst to first.
While the trades were being made, and while their new toy McCutchen didn’t make haste to report to his new city, the Yankees had another battle with another team they should be capable of shredding. Thursday night the Tigers handed the Yankees a very tough loss, 8-7 as their vaunted bull pen gave up 3 runs in the 9th. When the game began last night it looked like the Tigers had a shot at baseball immortality. Their starter Jordan Zimmerman didn’t serve up a hit to the home team through the first 5 innings. Frustration grew to the boiling point when plate umpire Nick Lentz thumbed manager Aaron Boone for arguing balls and strikes,which even a man as inexperienced as Boone knows is a bozo nono. The Yankees were behind 4–0 when their bats came alive with their weapon of choice, the home run. Brett Gardner even hit one and he’s more of a singles and doubles guy. With a man on base, and on a night when his own bobblehead was given out before the game, Gardner hit one out of the lot to slice the Tigers’ lead in half. His shot in the 6th was followed by similar blasts from Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar to give the Yanks a temporary 4-3 lead. Hicks and Andujar now each have 23 home runs.
With the bases full 2 innings later and his team behind 5-4, rookie infield sensation Gleyber Torres hit a 2-run single, and although it wasn’t a home run I couldn’t have been the only Yankee fan saying “It’s Gleyber Day,” as their radio broadcaster John Sterling says when Gleyber goes the distance.
The Yankees’ starter Luis Severino struck out 10 in 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits to the Tigers. His offense put him in position for a win, but relievers Jonathan Holder and Zach Britton each gave up runs. The offense had to bail Britton out.
Today’s Yankee game is at 4:05 and by then Andrew McCutchen should be there. He’s expected to play, as is catcher Gary Sanchez who the Yankees hope and pray is recovered from the groin injury that has put him on the DL for more than a month. What I can’t see is why McCutchen wasn’t available for duty last night. It’s not only the jet age, it’s the private jet age for major leaguers. They don’t have to hope there’s a commercial flight from point A to point B, much less hope there’s a seat on it. So I see it as inexcusable that the newest Yankee wasn’t there if he had been needed last night. I would assume, since they traded for him they consider him necessary. Their game is the first to start today. The Tigers welcome back Daniel Norris who hasn’t pitched since the end of April. He had … warning guys, don’t read the next few words … I warned you. Dude had groin surgery in early May. He faces Masahiro Tanaka who hasn’t won since the end of July. The Cubs and Phillies continue their series in Philadelphia. The Cubs go with Kyle Hendricks against the Phillies’ Zach Eflin. Eflin has an ERA well over 6 since he was briefly optioned to AAA. The Brewers face the Nationals in Washington. They’re facing Stephen Strasburg, and to highlight the amount of injuries he has suffered, the Brewers haven’t faced him since 2014. The Red Sox get Eduardo Rodriguez back for his first outing since the All-Star break. He was one of their many pitchers on the DL, sent to the shelf with a sprained ankle. Stephen Wright should soon be activated while it could still be some time before Chris Sale or David Price take the hill. The Astros’ Josh James makes his MLB debut against the Angels in Houston. At 25 he’s a long shot who has reached the top, though he was a 34th-round draft choice from a junior college in Oklahoma in 2014. In Oakland, the Mariners’ James Paxton makes the start. His last outing, in Seattle against the A’s ended very early when he took a comebacker off his pitching arm. “The Big Maple” went to the DL. Tonight is his return. Earlier in the year he struck out 16 A’s in a game he’ll remember forever. The D-Backs and Dodgers meet again in Los Angeles. Last night, Enrique “KiKe” Hernandez homered in the 7th and Justin Turner did likewise an inning later, resulting in a 3-2 win for the home team. They’re a game behind the D-Backs as today’s action begins. Their closer Kenley Jansen has dealt with an irregular heartbeat, and his pitching since has been the kind to give his manager heart trouble. This probably led the Dodgers to seek out Ryan Madson, the best item in a basically bare cupboard. Clayton Kershaw pitches tonight, and when he’s not hurt there’s no better pitcher on the planet. It’s only his annual trips to the DL that keep him from having a record number of Cy Young awards. As it is, he has 3 with 2 second-place finishes and a third place finish at age 30. He was last a contender in 2015, the year he struck out 301 men. 6 weeks on the shelf have kept him out of the conversation this year, leaving it to Aaron Nola, Max Scherzer and just maybe Jacob DeGrom.


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