What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Thanks to the Discovery Channel, Shark Week has become a phenomenon. Also, thanks to the Discovery Channel for moving Shark Week back to the end of July so we didn’t have to go through a lot of gymnastics to keep doing our annual salute to giant predatory fish and how they compare to the shark-tank that is the baseball trading deadline.
As we come to the end of another Shark Week, we also come to the complete end of the trading season; this year there will be no “waiver wire” deals in August. Now that most of the players to be named later have been so named, it’s time once again for Dubsism to break down who were the big eaters and who got eaten. The bottom line is trading in baseball is a shark-eat-shark world; that’s where the comparisons lie.
Why? Because no matter what, one thing is certain. Where there is trading, there is bleeding, and nothing draws the sharks like blood in the water.
BONUS: You can also have some fun comparing what these teams actually did versus the “buy/sell” rankings our 1970s TV Sports Anchor gave them.
How fitting is it that one filter feeder represents another? The Rays exemplified this; they were the team that floated through the trade season, gobbling up every little creature in the sea while nobody realized the staggering tonnage they actually consumed. Adding this much depth to the pitching ranks regardless of the level in the organization is never a bad thing, and when you add a 35-homer bat in that midst, the Rays future fan base in Montrèal peut certainement voir un avenir prometteur!
Carcharodon carcharias, a.k.a the Great White Shark, is the “star” of Shark Week, and this distinction goes to the team which gave us the “razor-teeth-sawing-through-the-seal” style carnage we expect. There’s really no denying the Astros did just that in landing yet another legitimate front-of-the-rotation guy , a solid back-of the rotation guy, and restocked their bullpen.
Tiger sharks are known to eat just about anything, and that seems to be the approach the Tribe took. It doesn’t take long looking at lists like this to understand that pitching is what moves the most at the deadline, and while the Indians grabbed some arms, they also got a bit of everything else. But they are also the only contender who traded away a big-time starting pitcher. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but neither does a tiger shark eating license plates…but that’s what they do.
Bull sharks are underappreciated for the fact they actually account for the most attacks on humans. While what the Brewers and the Twins doesn’t have the “seal carnage” of the moves made by the Astros, make no mistake…both of these teams are dangerous.
Look at that fucking thing. If you had that on your hook, you’d pre-shit your pants the first time you saw it breach the surface. Then when you got it into the boat, you would finish the job. On top of that, the Mako is the fastest shark in the sea, and both the Nats and the Braves look to get the quickest bounce from these moves. For Washington; the bullpen was their Achilles’ Heel, and they just made a major upgrade. Likewise, the Braves added some much needed depth, which means the race for the NL East promises to be one the highlights of the remainder of this season.
The hammerhead scans the bottom feeding on crabs and other creatures found on the sea floor. That may not seem like much, but hammerheads reach 15 feet in length and can be seriously fearsome. There is almost no better description of the A’s, who plundered the rosters of last place teams to score three solid middle-of-the rotation pitchers. Granted, Oakland is behind the Astros, Yankees, and the Twins in the AL food chain, but they are certainly not bottom-feeders and are here to stay in the race for October.
Blacktip Reef Shark:
Reef sharks don’t get a lot of time during Shark Week, but they serve a necessary purpose. In other words, the deals the Phillies made may not mean much as I don’t think they have the sharks to swim with the Braves or the Nationals (yet); the same goes for the Reds and the Cardinals, Brewers, and to a lesser extent the Cubs. Nevertheless, I love the deals both teams made because they both continue to head in the right direction.
Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays
This fish gets it name from the Latin term “remora” meaning “delay, hindrance, passive resistance.” The naming stems from the fact these fish attach themselves to larger sharks and live off the remnants of the larger fish’s feedings. For purposes of this discussion, our remoras for 2019 are teams clearly in re-building mode.
New York Mets
San Diego Padres
The D-Backs, the Padres, the Mets, and the Rangers represent this year’s bathtub squeaky toy, these trades really didn’t help these teams, but they didn’t really hurt them either. Realistically, squeezing the squeaky rubber shark toy is the only noise these teams will be making in 2019.
Los Angeles Angels
The only way to be more insignificant than a bathtub toy shark is to be one that completely disintegrates the minute it touches water. Sadly for them, the Orioles really don’t have much left to give, and the Angels seem to be stock-piling catchers for reasons only they know.
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants
If you aren’t familiar, CPO Sharkey was a short-lived 1970’s sit-com featuring one of my comedic heroes, Don Rickles. How could you have a show featuring the king of “insult” comedy surrounded by a cast of perfectly insult-able characters and it doesn’t work? That’s the distinction for this category; teams which could have done so much more with what they had, and putted completely short of the cup.
In 2019, this is all about Madison Bumgarner and his “no-trade” clause. He had eight teams on his “No Way Jose” list; two of them being the Red Sox and the Yankees. Everybody involved in this had the wang to bust the “no trade”thing loose, but nobody took a swing. To be fair, that list also included most of the contenders in the race for October, but there were a few major exceptions. Most notably, the Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins, and Cleveland Indians weren’t amongst the “no-go” zone, and all three of those team were quite active heading into the trade deadline.
You can’t tell me there wasn’t a lot of missed opportunity here.
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
This is a tale of one team who really didn’t need to do anything, and two who really need to decide what the future holds. You really don’t need the supercomputer at NASA to figure out why the Dodgers didn’t need to pull some earth-shattering deal; they are in cruise control with a roster that has been to two straight World Series. The other side of the pancake brings us the Pirates and the White Sox, who both seem to be teetering between mediocrity and being downright awful; both have some talent which could either be built around or sold off for the future. They just need to pick which it is going to be.
St. Louis Cardinals
Got: RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Tony Cingrani, RHP Jeffry Abreu (from Los Angeles Dodgers)
Gave Up: 3B Jedd Gyorko, Cash, International Cap Space
As mentioned when this category was introduced la few years back, the “Sharknado” is a “wild-card” category. The strength of those movies is in the cameo appearances; you never really know who is going to show up. When it comes to baseball, teams end up here because we really have no idea how their deals are going to work.
That’s why the Chicago Cubs end up here so much. I am starting to believe the Cubs really have no idea what the trade deadline is all about. Over the last five years, nobody has been more of a consistent contender with resources available to make moves than the Cubs, and they’ve come up short more often than not. This year looks like it could be more of the same, because the Cubs have three main flaws they only “sort of” addressed. They can’t hit leftie pitching, they have some major holes defensively, and their bullpen flat-out sucks.
Adding Nick Castellanos was a great move; the guy straight-up crushes southpaws. But that raises the question of how to get him into the line-up. That’s why the Cubs dropped the ball; the next move should have been to send Kyle Schwarber to an American League squad willing to give up some pitching for a 30-HR designated hitter. That would have killed two birds with one stone; it would have opened an outfield spot for Castellanos, and eliminated one of the biggest defensive holes the Cubs have. Let’s be honest; Kyle Schwarber is the worst outfielder I’ve ever seen, and I lived through Dave Kingman.
Dealing Schwarber could have been a “three-for,” considering how many AL squads parted with pitching. Again, the Cubs did OK shoring up their bullpen; getting rid of Carl Edwards, Jr, and putting Pedro Strop on the injured list is classic “addition by subtraction,” but none of the guys they got really make me think “problem solved.” Schwarber could have fetch either a “yeah, that’s the guy” type, a slew of arms, prospects, or a bit of all three.
But on the other hand, it might just work. That’s why we don’t know.
As for the Cards, their problem was a bit more complex. It wasn’t about missing pieces, it was about misfiring pieces. We’ve said all along that now it the time for the guys St. Louis beleives in to produce, and once Paul Goldschmidt did exactly that, the Cardinals found them selves right back in the race. Since they didn’t know exactly what to trade for, they took the safe approach. You can never go wrong adding pitching depth.
Those unknowns are why we call it the “Sharknado,” sports fans.
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