Out in LA, Neddy "the Dealer" Colletti made another trade, this time sending top starting pitching prospects Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany to Tampa for one-time all-star relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter. Money ball Dodger fans have put up quite a hue and cry over this deal. The main argument is that Baez and Carter have already proved that they will never be as good as Jackson and Tiffany could be. Never mind that Jackson has had several opportunities to crack the rotation and has failed miserably, or that Tiffany's stock is starting to drop. The trade is being seen as a signal that Neddy is going to clean out the farm system, which to me is a massive overreaction. Colletti has done a lot of deals, but these are the only propects he's touched so far, and there's no reason to believe he's going to fritter away the rest. I think a better way to look at it is to look at it in context with the Duaner Sanchez for Jae Seo deal. Baez is a better version of Sanchez, and Seo is a better version of Jackson, so we ought to come out ahead. The throw-ins on the two trades are Steve Schmoll and Tiffany for Carter and Tim Hamulack, which will really only hurt if Tiffany fulfils his promise and becomes a huge star. I really don't have a problem with that gamble.
The only other current Dodger rumor is that Colletti is interested in Bengie Molina, who snubbed his old team and opted for free agency only to discover that there wasn't much of a market for catchers this year (something Mike Piazza seems to have discovered as well). I can't imagine why Colletti would be interested, but on the plus side, Molina wouldn't cost any prospects. He would also allow to Dodgers to maintain their distinction of having the slowest man in the NL playing for them, replacing Jason Phillips in the hearts of dumpy looking slow guys everywhere.
I'd post a link to the latest news about Luke Hochevar, but it turns out there is no news. Scott Boras is still his agent, and he still wants $4M to sign, which the Dodgers are loathe to pay. As a back-up plan, Neddy offered a minor league contract to Aaron Sele, giving him a shot at Wilson Alvarez's old bullpen slot. Well, except that Sele has never worked out of the bullpen before.
ManagementSpeak: "Boy, we dodged a bullet on that one."
Translation: "What's bad isn't that we shot ourselves in the foot. It's how fast we reloaded and fired again."
MLB is suing a fantasy baseball business for using MLB statistics without paying a royalty. Putting aside for the fact that the company in question tried to obtain a license but was refused, MLB is taking the position that it owns the data generated from its games. The fantasy league company is taking the position that as soon as the game is done, the stats become historical facts. The best part of this is that if baseball loses (and a previous case between the NBA and Motorola, the courts ruled that Motorola did not violate copyright restrictions when it forwarded NBA scores to pagers, so baseball is on thin ice here) then all the other companies currently licensing the data will likely stop paying.
The main thing here is that baseball just doesn't get it. One of the reasons for the game's increasing popularity is all those fantasy leagues. I'm not a big fan of the games (I prefer simulations to fantasy leagues for my baseball fan fic), but the growth in them has been phenomenal, and that helps baseball. People are more likely to attend, watch, or listen to the games when they have some interest in the outcome. This is the same reason the NFL tolerates the gambling lines on its games. Why else would folks watch Arizona Cardinal games if they didn't have money on the game? (The main reason I have no interest in fantasy leagues is that I could never bring myself to root against the Dodgers, which means I'd be constantly rooting against the players on my fantasy rosters who were playing against the Dodgers that day, and who needs that?)
In my corner of the fantasy baseball woods, the MLPA signed an exclusive deal with a single company to produce computer baseball games using real players' names and stats. What this means to me is that I no longer have a choice of what computer game best suits my tastes. The trend in computer baseball lately has been leaning heavily toward the arcade side of thing as opposed to the strategy side, which is why I'm still playing High Heat 2002. Again, you'd think that the more games out there containing real players, the better for all concerned, but everyone is only thinking short term.
30 days until pitchers and catchers report.