This Week in Baseball: July 2nd

Diamonds are forever, but Diamondbacks Management isn’t

I am sure this is no consolation for AJ Hinch and Josh Byrnes

AJ Hinch. Out. Josh Bynes. Out. I am kind of split on this. Did the Diamondbacks expect to win with this roster? If they did, they are a little delusional, but the team is probably underperforming regardless. I am surprised that Hinch is out, but at the same time, I do not think he is irreplaceable or anything. I think they can find someone just as suited for the job, and since the team is going nowhere this year, I guess there is nothing wrong with cleaning house. I do sense that this move is being made for the sake of itself, though. Which is to say that I think it was being made to appease fans as much as anything else. It was a move for the sake of making a move. I can’t be too in favor of it or too against it since I can see both sides pretty equally, but it seemed a bit harsh.

The more shocking part to me was the firing of Josh Bynes. Byrnes had been marked as one of the top young GMs in baseball not so long ago, but now he is out. I would be curious as to what pushed management over the edge to decide on this. Was it giving up Scherzer? Trying to convince Arizona that Chris Young and Stephen Drew were a stars? I don’t know, but I know that Arizona is clearly going in a new direction. It seems like there is nowhere to go but up, but as an Indians fan, I am well aware that there is always further down to go.

The pitching needs to be addressed in full. The offense could use a tune up, though on on all fronts. Evidently, this translates to the GM and manager getting fired. They probably put the blame in the wrong place, but if they are going to rebuild, they had better do it right, because I have a feeling Byrnes is going to do some good work in this league. Good luck with the transition, AZ.

Rangers-Giants Trade

The Rangers needed a solid guy behind the plate that can hit a little, and the San Francisco Giants were more than happy to give them Bengie Molina so Buster Posey can take over. Posey is a standout from Florida State who was one of the top prospects in the minors, and is more than capable of producing at the big league level. However, I do have to question it a little bit from the Giants point of view. Did they decide they were not contenders all of a sudden? I mean I wasn’t picking them, but they are right near the top of that division and now they are shipping off a piece who has helped them a lot over the years.

On the Rangers side, I really like it. There are not many productive, veteran catchers available this time of year, and to get Molina at such a reasonable price is a very big add for them. Chris Ray is potentially a good bullpen arm and we everyone is anxiously waiting for that “Player To Be named Later” to show up. I have heard great things about him. The Rangers got what they wanted, and I guess the Giants got the bullpen arm they wanted. I like it for teh Rangers a lot more than I like it for the Giants. Molina isn’t an All-Star or anything, but he can be a very good addition to that team. Get ready for Name That Molina to get more interesting.

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee is the Indians best pitcher. If only he actually played for them.

Cliff Lee is on fire in the Seattle rain. Some wrote him off after his early DL stint, but he is back and tossing gems around like Rockefeller. Everyone is talking trade with him, and whomever trades for him is almost definitely getting a bargain. He has fewer walks this season than Edwin Jackson had in his perfect game, and that isn’t just some anomaly, he is just that accurate. He is so accurate that he can throw inside with his 91 MPH heat. He is obviously near and dear to me as a former Indian, but he gets extra points for always killing the Yankees too. I think the Mets are the front-runner for his services, though at this point it is anyone’s guess.

Red Sox and Phillies

Oh the calamity. Could injuries keep these perennial contenders out of the playoffs? Well, the answer is that if they weren’t big market teams, they would be in deep deep trouble. However, since they are huge, they can go out and get a piece to hold them over until they can get healthy. I still think the Phillies can make the playoffs, but I think the Red Sox might find themselves on the outside looking in, just as we predicted in our AL East Preview (though for different reasons). If the Rays take advantage of this even a little (unlike right now), they could run away with the wild card.

Big Z’s Big(gest?) Meltdown

Cubs fans rejoice! Your ace/bullpen arm/pinch hitter/tantrum thrower is getting help. Finally. I’m actually kind of flabbergasted that he did not get help yet, but maybe it isn’t the first time and he is just now being paid to do so. On the more realistic side for Cubs fans, Big Z is a big mess. He has yet to re-find his form, can’t even get on the field to increase his trade value, and even all his intensity can’t change his recent slide. If ever there was a sign of the Cubs being absolutely done, it is Derrek Lee and Carlos Zambrano getting into a dugout fight. Those were probably two of Cubs fans’ favorite players in their heyday, but now they are just a squabbling mess.

Chicago, Windy City, time to huff, and to puff, and to blow the Cubs up.

FIRE IN THE HOLE, CHI-TOWN

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