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Boston Red Sox Need Charlie Sheen To Save Their Season

The 2011 Boston Red Sox were supposed to bring balance to the Force, not destroy it. Sadly after a 0-5 start, people are beginning to doubt whether or not this team is the powerhouse that ESPN spent all winter screaming about. Luckily it’s only April, there is still a lot of baseball left to be played. The Sox need help though, help that only one man can provide.

Charlie Sheen

That’s right. When you are losing, who better to turn to than a man who knows all about winning? Duh.

Charlie Sheen is bi winning. He wins here and he wins there. Where do the Red Sox win? Currently nowhere.

Critics call Charlie Sheen an addict. Many may doubt an addict’s ability to help a professional ballclub. But all Charlie Sheen is addicted to winning. The Sox seem to have gone cold turkey on winning.

Last time I checked, tiger blood was not on Major League Baseball’s list of banned substances. Even if it was, there won’t be a Mitchell Report to expose the Sox. George Mitchell had the Sox back the last go around, there’s no doubt he’ll turn a blind eye again.

Give Lester some tiger blood and he’ll be throwing no hitters every fifth day. I dare Ian Kinsler to try and swing at Lester’s fastball after he’s got some winning injected into him. The only bombs he’ll be dropping will be f-bombs in the locker room. Duh.

Tiger blood might help Jason Varitek remember the rules of baseball.

You’re either in Charlie Sheen’s corner or you’re with the trolls. Where do the Sox stand right now? 0-5. Looks like they’re with the trolls right now. The Baltimore Orioles are 4-1, looking much more Sheenish than the Sox. Is Red Sox Nation okay with that?

It is not too late for the Sox to get out of the troll’s corner. As Charlie Sheen said, “I’m so tired of pretending my life isn’t perfect and bitching and just winning every second and I’m not perfect and bitchin’.” I for one am tired of pretending the Red Sox aren’t perfect and winning every game. Enough’s enough.

Let the Red Sox and Charlie Sheen sit at the same dinner table and together embrace and feast on the bones of trolls.

One word can save the Sox and their savior Sheen has been saying it for weeks. Winning.


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Mike Napoli: Toronto Blue Jays Make Questionable Trade

First off I really have to congratulate Alex Antholpoulous for pulling off the trade of popular outfielder Vernon Wells. The outfielder had too many question marks to justify the $86 million remaining on his deal.

From the looks of it, he also managed to ship away Wells without paying for any of his remaining salary, though I’ve heard $5 million might have accompanied Wells to Los Angeles. 

Neither Juan Rivera nor Mike Napoli are exactly All-Star caliber players, but that’s not as important as the salary dump that took place. But now Napoli has been sent packing back to America to the Rangers for reliever Frank Francisco. 

What gives? 

Toronto has top prospect J.P. Arenciba as the everyday catcher, so Napoli wasn’t expected to see much time behind the plate. The Jays also have Jose Molina, who typically plays more than your average backup anyway. Napoli was not acquired for his catching abilities. 

He is, however, a 1B/DH who can hit bombs, lots of them. Napoli had 26 bombs in only 453 at bats. His batting average was very unspectacular at .238, but he had two straight .270 seasons before that. And with such inconsistent playing time, it’s hard to accurately judge his batting average. 

Toronto’s bullpen took a hit over the offseason, but AA has done a decent job putting the pieces back together. AA signed Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel and Chad Cordero before the Francisco addition. I question how necessary Francisco truly was. 

Edwin Encarnacion figures to be getting the bulk of the DH at-bats. Encarnacion can also play first and third base, though the Jays are trying to find alternative solutions at the hot corner. 

Was Napoli a salary dump? Probably, as he was expected to make around $7 million through arbitration. Encarncion doesn’t have as much upside as Napoli, but he’d be possibly $5 million less. 

The Jays need to stop dumping salary. They are not a poor team. The Jays are owned by Rogers Communications, which means they have money to spend. They already pulled off one huge salary dump. I don’t see why they needed another. 

Did Napoli make the Blue Jays a contender? No, not really. Would he help them win games? Yes, more than Encarnacion. The Jays may not be looking to contend in 2011, but they are looking to put fans in the seats. Having a DH who can actually be productive is a good way to do that. 

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Zack Greinke and the Kansas City Royals Need To Come Back Down to Earth

With Cliff Lee returning to the City of Brotherly Love, the list of free agent pitchers looks awfully unappealing. Carl Pavano is the “best” option but few teams wish to give him a sizable contract given his injury history. However, there is a Cy Young winner available in a city that will not contend anytime soon. 

Greinke has a limited no-trade clause but has formally requested a trade, indicating that he will likely accept any trade that comes his way given that few non-contending teams would actually want his services for the two years remaining on his deal. The real question is, what is Zack Greinke worth. 

Greinke had a down year this year. The 27-year-old pitcher went 10-14 with a 4.10 ERA last year. Greinke encountered similar run support problems that plagued his Cy Young season but he definitely wasn’t the same pitcher he was in 2009. 

This as well as the $27 million left on his two-year deal should drive the price down to maybe one really good prospect and a few more middle prospects. The Royals want major league-ready players and they might get one or two in a trade, but I doubt anyone is ready to pony up those kind of players for Greinke. 

Beyond his down year, there’s another problem with Greinke. He has a bad attitude. 

Greinke plays for a bad team that is usually out of playoff contention fairly early in the season (spring training perhaps). But he has been quoted as saying “When we’re 20 games out, it’s hard to get excited to come to the park.”

What kind of attitude is that? You throw a ball covered in leather a little more than 30 times a year in front of tens of thousands of fans and make millions to do it. If you’re unmotivated, guess what? No one feels bad for you.

Greinke’s recent comments are just part of the problem. Greinke has a well documented history of anxiety issues. We’ve seen stellar pitchers like Dontrelle Willis go down in flames due to anxiety. What do Willis and Greinke have in common? Big contracts and trades, assuming Zack does get moved. 

My question is simple: Can the Royals really expect a king’s ransom for this man? The answer is no. 

Greinke has a very uncharacteristically high ERA at Yankee Stadium and the Evil Empire has publicly stated that they don’t have plans to pursue Greinke. They don’t think he’s mentally stable enough to pitch consistently in Yankee Stadium. 

Are the Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, or any other team that might sign him any different? Can Greinke handle the high pressure of pitching in a stadium that still has fans in the eighth inning? I really don’t know. 

What I do know is that Greinke had a down year, has attitude problems, and only two years left on a deal that isn’t cheap to begin with. Should teams give up a lot of prospects for a guy with this many question marks?

I don’t think so. 

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Prince Fielder: Toronto Blue Jays Should Look into Trade

The offseason which some hoped would build upon last year’s isn’t exactly going so well. Shaun Marcum was shipped off to Milwaukee, John Buck bounced to Florida, and Scott Downs got the money he was looking for in LA. Kevin Gregg isn’t likely to come back either. 

Overbay is now a Pittsburgh Pirate. Good luck trying to get five million dollars worth of value from him… 

Aside from the Marcum trade, which is a bit of a head scratcher, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous seems to have made the right move with most of these guys. A 35 year old Downs isn’t worth as much as his two drafts picks and Buck was expendable. 

But let’s be serious, the Jays aren’t that bad. In fact they’re pretty good. Not to mention on paper, two of the three teams in the AL East have gotten worse. 

The Jays aren’t really that far away from a potential playoff berth. Alex Anthopolous seems to think this team is years away from playoff contention. He’s right, I wouldn’t expect to see the Jays playing next October, but they aren’t that far away.

One move that the Jays should look into is a potential trade for Prince Fielder. I know that might come as a ridiculous concept for some but his price isn’t going to be that high. 

Just look at the Red Sox’ trade for Adrian Gonzalez. Sure Padres GM Jed Hoyer knew the Red Sox farm system like the back of his hand, but the powerful slugger only cost one top prospect and two fairly good ones. 

The difference between Adrian and Prince? Adrian had a great year, Prince had a down one. Factor in the defensive abilities that Gonzalez brings and the two are quite different. And so are their prices. 

The Brewers can shop Prince all they want but they won’t get big money prospects. Prince is good but with one year left on his deal, they’re not getting much for the fat first basemen. 

This deal for me at least would be contingent on a contract extension since it would be a waste to have him for a one year rental. But even with that, this guy will not cost Toronto Kyle Drabek, J.P. Arencibia, or any other elite prospects. 

The first basemen free agent class of 2011 once looked like one for the ages. Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and Fielder were all set to hit free agency. For now Howard is the only one locked up, but Gonzalez is expected to sign an extension with the Red Sox. 

With the Red Sox and the Yankees seemingly set at first base, the market for these powerful sluggers will not be what everyone thinks it will. You might expect teams like the Mariners, Nationals, Orioles, and possibly the Braves getting involved. But that’s about it. Extending Fielder isn’t going to be that hard, or that expensive. 

Toronto is a great team that plays in a tough position. Toronto is also not a poor team. The Jays need to spend some money to get better. Fielder seems to be a great fit to plug the hole at first base left by Overpay. The Jays may not need to “overpay” him either. 

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Toronto Blue Jays Should Give Manny Ramirez a Shot

The AL East is a battleground and while Toronto may be the best fourth-place team in the majors, 85-77 isn’t going to send them to October. 

The John Farrell era doesn’t need to be kicked off with another “rebuilding year.” They can win now; the Jays just need a little help. 

Enter Manny Ramirez. Some of you may shake your heads at the idea of bringing the 38-year-old troublemaker to Canada but it’s not really a bad idea at all. In fact Manny may be the X-factor. 

For one, Manny isn’t going to cost $20 million. He had a down year, he really can’t play the outfield every day, and the fact that he has already reached out to Toronto indicates that he knows the market for him isn’t great. The White Sox aren’t likely to retain him. The Red Sox don’t want him and the Yankees likely have bigger prizes on their radar. 

The cost of Manny is likely going to be between $10-15 million. That’s really not a lot of money. The Jays have $16 million coming off the books from Roy Halladay and B.J. Ryan, two players who didn’t play for the Jays last year. Scott Down, Lyle Overbay, Jason Frasor, John Buck free up another $15 million and Edwin Encarnacion is a prime non-tender candidate. Sure, arbitration will raise more than a few players’ salaries but not $31 million worth. 

The Blue Jays are owned by Rogers Communication, giving them the financial backing of a major corporation. AA has said that he’ll spend money when it makes sense. 

Now it does. 

Manny is also a character who, believe it or not, puts fans in the seats. Mannywood was a big deal for the Dodgers. He sells merchandise and gets himself on ESPN. Sure they’re not signing him to be a circus act, but it does come as an added bonus. 

Manny also enjoys playing the DH, something that’s fairly rare as most hitters don’t enjoy the time off in between innings. For Manny, less is more, and that’s not really a bad thing. 

Lyle Overbay is not the answer at first base. He’s a decent defensive first basemen but his numbers just aren’t there. 

Does Toronto put Lind at first base? Why not? If guys like Troy Glaus can do it, why can’t Lind?

The 2010 San Francisco Giants are really not all that different from the 2010 Blue Jays. Sure, their top two pitchers are incredible, but their offense consists of complete scrubs. Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff made around $6.5 million between the two of them and Pat Burrell and Cody Ross were both cost-controlled since they came from teams that didn’t really want them. 

The Giants also had $42 million dollars dedicated to three players who haven’t really done anything to merit that kind of money in Barry Zito (wasn’t on the postseason roster), Aaron Rowand (not a starter), and Edgar Renteria (not completely awful but certainly not worth $10 million).  

I’m not suggesting that the Jays swim around in the bargain bin but there are good players who aren’t very expensive. Toronto hasn’t really played the free-agent market very well over the past few years and that needs to change. 

The Blue Jays have power but they could use more. Alex Gonzalez was a big contributor before he was traded, Buck will likely leave and Encarnacion could go either way. That’s a lot of home runs to replace before you factor in that the other players will not likely all reach their totals from last year again. 

Manny brings an experienced bat to the lineup, he’s a clubhouse presence that really wasn’t there during Cito’s time and he’s a character. 

What does Toronto really have to lose with Manny? 

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Johnny Damon Gives the Red Sox the Middle Finger When He Vetoes Trade

Johnny Damon is a touchy subject for the Red Sox nation even though it’s been almost five seasons since he wore a Red Sox uniform. Some of us are thankful for the 2004 World Series he helped win and some think he should be forever shunned for joining the Yankees

Damon clearly thinks that the Nation favors the latter. 

What happened after the 2005 season should be considered water under the bridge. The Red Sox won another World Series in 2007 and even though Damon and the Yanks won last year, it wasn’t like he hit a walk off home run off of Tim Wakefield to get them there. 

I don’t think many Red Sox fans still hold a grudge, and his past few appearances at Fenway seem to back that up. But I don’t think Damon has forgiven the fans and the Nation as a whole. 

Why else would he stay with the Tigers, a team that is clearly not going to the playoffs? They’re ten games back in the division and fifteen back in the wild card. Damon had the answer apparently.

Johnny said that he needed to stay because he needed to finish what he started. What exactly did he start? A playoff run? That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, not to mention that the word playoff was never mentioned by Damon in his interview with Isn’t the goal of the season to make the playoffs? 

Well then Johnny, you failed. 

Damon also mentioned in an interview about how his teammates wanted him to stay. Well since Damon is regarded as a positive clubhouse presence, this isn’t too surprising. Who wouldn’t want a funny guy in the clubhouse, especially when you live in Detroit

It wasn’t about his family, they weren’t mentioned at all when he announced his decision. 

This move was personal. Damon is still mad about 2005. Which is pretty petty considering his declining arm in centerfield, and the fact that David Ortiz was firmly set in the DH slot. Remember that ’05 was his best season. No one but the Yankees were going to pay Damon that kind of money. No one can wipe their ass with hundred dollar bills but the Yankees. 

Damon forfeited a potential third ring with his veto. The Red Sox are surprisingly still in contention despite injuries to practically the entire roster. Their outfield ranks dead last in the AL East in home runs. Damon isn’t exactly a huge HR threat, but he would bring production up by a great deal. His charisma could’ve ignited a morally depleted team. 

Did anyone think the Red Sox were a World Series team during the first few games of the 2004 ALCS? Things might not be looking so great right now, but momentum is huge in baseball. Damon could’ve brought his spirit to Boston. 

Instead of seeing the perky, long haired, charismatic character we all knew and loved, all we can see is a Scrooge who’s content playing for a team that’s going nowhere. Damon is 36-years-old, and the opportunities for an aging DH who doesn’t hit HR’s are dwindling. 

But that doesn’t matter. As long as he gets to spite the Sox one more time. 

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Breaking News: Rangers Acquire Cliff Lee In Trade With Mariners

The Evil Empire might have a lot of championships and money. But they don’t have the 2008 AL Cy Young winner. 

The Texas Rangers acquired starting pitcher Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners for first basemen Justin Smoak, pitchers Blake Beaven and Josh Lueke, and infielder/outfielder Matt Lawson. 

Lee is 8-3 on the season with a phenomenal 2.34 ERA

Seattle traded for Lee in an attempt to send the Mariners to the playoffs, which at the time seemed like a realistic possibility. However, after a miserable start that included the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr., a playoff berth seemed pretty unrealistic. 

The New York Yankees appeared to be the frontrunners after offering up prized catching prospect Jesus Montero. The Minnesota Twins were also believed to be involved. They offered catching prospects as well. 

Obviously, these two deals must not have included much else since the Mariners traded Lee to a division rival.

Lee joins a fairly loaded Rangers roster which includes five All-Stars. Four of the five All -Stars are hitters, though, and reliever Neftali Feliz is the team’s only pitcher headed to Anaheim.

The Rangers have a 5.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for first place in the American League West. Adding Cliff Lee was not only crucial for Texas’ postseason success, but crucial in their bid for October at all. Texas has been notorious for their second half meltdowns over the past few years. 

While Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson have been superb in the first half, Lee gives the team a true Ace with postseason experience. 

Lee was 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA during last year;s postseason with the Phillies. He was 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA against the New York Yankees in the World Series. 

Can Lee make Texas a postseason favorite? Only time will tell. 

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Breaking News: Bud Selig Will Not Reverse Blown Perfect Game Call

In a fairly unsurprising move, Bud Selig has announced that he will not in fact reverse the blown call by umpire Jim Joyce that cost Armando Galarraga the 21st perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. 

Selig did say “that Major League Baseball will look at expanded replay and umpiring”. This is an improvement over the current system in place, but it doesn’t change the fact that a young pitcher has been robbed of baseball immortality. 

We have been spoiled with three perfect games over the past year and two in the last month. The recent successes of Mark Buerhle, Dallas Braden, and Roy Halladay might make the rarity of a  Perfect Game a little less legendary than we once thought.

We can often forget that there was a 34 year gap between perfect games at one point and the last perfect game before Buerhle’s gem, was back in 2004, thrown by Randy Johnson. 

Some of us could be old men before we see another piece of perfection.

Is that a reason to reverse the call? No, but it puts into perspective the magnitude of Galarraga’s accomplisment.

Or Joyce’s blunder. 

I didn’t expect Selig to reverse the call. The man is a spineless commissioner who makes far too much money. The man’s legacy will largely be made up of things he didn’t do, rather than his own accomplishments. 

Selig largely did nothing to punish the players who juiced up to win World Series, earned fat paychecks, and stole our love and loyalty, which was then spoiled due to events such as the BALCO scandal and the Mitchell report. 

I don’t expect Selig to be as bold as to reinstate Pete Rose, but for God’s sake, do something to earn your $18 million a year. 

None of us are really ready to call this the worst call of all time, but it very well may be. The perfect game is one of baseball’s elite accomplishments and Galarraga was denied his place in history by an admitted botched call. 

Overturned calls are rare and don’t really happen that often.

Perfect games are also rare.

There has never been precedent for a situation like this, which is precisely why Selig should step in and and reverse this mistake. 

With great power comes great responsibility.

Bud Selig has the power to do the right thing.

He just doesn’t really seem to care.

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Griffey Calls It Quits: The Kid Has Left The Building

The Seattle Mariners have certainly had their struggles thus far this season, as high expectations heading into the year haven’t amounted to much.

The lack of production at the designated hitter slot has been a major issue, and Ken Griffey Jr. finally took action Wednesday, when he officially announced his retirement after a 22-season career that should make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 

Griffey’s career has been one for the ages. His 630 home runs are fifth on the all time list, none of which came this season, as he hit a meager .184 with only seven RBI. 

The Kid made his return to the house he built—Safeco Field—last year after nearly a decade spent in Cincinnati, and briefly on the south side of Chicago with the White Sox.

He was a major reason that the Mariners had one of the best turn-around years in the history of MLB, as many players cited his leadership as a major inspiration. His 18 home runs last season didn’t hurt, either, as the Mariners weren’t—and still aren’t—exactly the greatest slugging team in the majors.

After two decades worth of roaming center field and taking a pounding, Griffey’s knees are gone, so his role was reduced to part-time DH—a position hardly fitting for a man who played a major part in the resurgence of baseball in the mid-1990s.

However, Griffey’s leadership was overshadowed by his struggles at the plate, where he clearly was no longer even a fraction of the player that he used to be.

Griffey took the high road in his retirement, and saved the Mariners from a publicity nightmare if they had decided to designate him for assignment. Bottom line is, he’s not the player he used to be, so there’s no shame in retiring midseason. 

Griffey departs the game with class, just as he had his entire career.

Griffey was never once legitimately accused of steroids, and though he leaves the game on a low, albeit quiet note, his decision to hang it up now will not tarnish his legacy as one of the greatest of our generation. 

Griffey, you will be missed.

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Blue Jays’ Win Over Rays Proves This Team Is The Real Deal

While Roy Halladay’s perfect game may remind Blue Jays’ fans just exactly how great the pitcher who just left was, I wouldn’t mourn Doc for too long. The Blue Jays’ win over the Rays on May 31st just proves that this team may be just fine without their ace. 

Adam Lind capped off a phenomenal power month for the Jays with their 54th long ball of May. This was not only a club record for the Jays but it was only four shy of the all time Major league record. 

I don’t think any of the current pitchers would say that they don’t miss Doc but the rotation seems to be just fine without him. Shaun Marcum has solidified his status as club ace and Ricky Romero continues to build on his great rookie campaign. Brett Cecil has buckled down quite nicely and Brandon Morrow was excellent tonight against the best team in baseball. Morrow carried a no hitter into the sixth inning for the second time this year. Not too shabby for a guy who the Mariners dumped for Brandon League. 

The Jays play in the AL East, the most feared division in baseball. While this division is still the toughest in baseball, Toronto has a shot. The Rays have been slumping and the Yankees are banged up. The Red Sox dug themselves a big hole in April that they are trying to get out of. I wouldn’t count them out but they have an uphill battle ahead of them. 

Toronto is 3.5 games back from the division lead. This team is also only one game behind the Yankees in the wild card. This is great for a team that no one saw still in contention in June even if Roy Halladay was still a Jay. 

I still think the Jays are one move away from being a true playoff contender. This is Alex Anthopolous’ chance to prove his abilities as a general manager. Spend, spend, spend was the philosophy of Riccardi but a team with this offense should have a “win now” mentality.

Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt are on the trade market. I wouldn’t give up Kyle Drabek or Brett Wallace for other one but these are trades that AA should look in to. The majority of the offense is locked up for years to come but they could use some pitching help if they want to go deep into October. This isn’t a team that needs drastic help but another quality starter would be nice should Cecil or Morrow falter down the road. 

The AL East is not going to get any easier and the Blue Jays find themselves in a great position coming into June. This team needs to capitalize on the current misfortunes of the Yankees and Red Sox and make a serious play at the division or the wild card. Anthopolous has said time and time again that he will spend when the time is right. Let’s see if he can live up to that promise. 

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