C.C. to the Crew & Monday Mailbag

Hello again everybody...

Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July weekend. My dad took the photo of my brother, nephew and me at Sunday's Twins/Cleveland tilt. A 3-run rally in the 7th won the game for the home 9 (10... damn you DH). That win got the Twins a sweep of the Tribe and leaves them 1 game behind the White Sox for the Central lead, and a half-game behind Boston (whom I hate) for the Wild Card. And lo and behold, Boston (whom I hate) is exactly where the Twins are headed for their next 3 games. For those of you outside of Minnesota, tonight's contest is on ESPN... weird... a Red Sox (whom I hate) game on ESPN?! That never happens!

Sorry to go all DFTU on you in the opener, but since there's no official segment today, I had to drop that in. Instead, I'll bring you my thoughts on the whopper of a trade that officially kicked off the the race to the trading deadline in baseball. Then it's this week's Sports Take Mailbag segment.

"I'd say we're going for it, that's the way I look at it."
- Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers General Manager

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In what I think can only be described as a bold move, the Brewers officially announced a trade today for Indian's ace-lefty C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia's contract expires at the end of this year, and a trade out of Cleveland has long been rumored. But Milwaukee wasn't high on most people's lists of potential destinations for him. But Milwaukee's package of 4 minor leaguers - OF Matt LaPorta, P Rob Bryson, P Zach Johnson and a player to be named later - was enough to win over Indian's management and get the trade done.

From a Brewer perspective, this trade is sure to generate a lot of debate. LaPorta was one of 3 highly touted prospects in the Brewer farm system. I've seen some say that he wasn't the best, but he was clearly one of those top 3. Various outlets have reported that Melvin told the Indians that they could have their pick of one of those 3 guys, but that the other two would then be off-limits. So the Indians chose LaPorta, who hit .288 with 20 homers and 66 RBIs in 84 games for Double-A Huntsville.

The risk for the Brewers is that there's no guarantee that they'll have Sabathia beyond this season. So in the end, they'll have given up 4 players including a top prospect for potentially 4 months of Sabathia and the sandwich draft pick they'll acquire if C.C. signs someplace else in the off-season. Sure the Brewers *could* sign him, but they've been struggling all year to come to a contract extension agreement with P Ben Sheets, and Sabathia is sure to command more on the open market than Sheets will. So the odds are against the Crew in that regard.

So the question becomes, if C.C. helps the Crew make the post-season for the first time since 1982, is that value enough for what they gave up? Given the talent the Brewers still have in their farm system after this deal, I'd say yes. If they make the post-season, they're well positioned to make some noise. I wouldn't want to be the team that has to play the Brewers when Sabathia and Sheets are pitching 3 of the 5 or 4 of the 7 games in a given series.

And right now, they're in prime position to make the post season. Currently 49-39, the Crew are 3.5 games behind the Cubs for the NL Central, and in a tie with the Cardinals for the NL Wildcard.

But what happens if they don't make the playoffs? Well there were some rumblings about manager Ned Yost's job security earlier in the season. If the Brewers can't make the post-season after this move, he might be out of luck entirely. And this also puts G.M. Doug Melvin squarely in the line of fire. The thing about bold moves is, if they work, you're a genius. If they don't, you often get fired. I'm not saying he'd deserve the axe, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he got it.

So good luck to you Crew fans. I hope this works and we get to see a Arizona/Milwaukee showdown in the NLCS!

Now it's time for this week's Sports Take Mailbag segment! This week's question comes to us from Mary in Plymouth:

I have a question for the Take! It's really simple: What the hell?

For those of you who've been living under a rock, last week reports from various media outlets claimed that Packer QB Brett Favre is seriously considering ending his brief foray into retirement life. This, of course, sent the sports media into a frenzy.

Will Brett play for the Packers? If not, will Green Bay grant him his release so he can play for someone else? How would his teammates receive him if he came back? Why does God like to mess with Aaron Rodgers?

I have to tell you, none of this surprises me. Favre's been creating "will he/won't he" drama surrounding his retirement for years. Case in point: when ESPN's Chris Mortenson sought comment from Favre about the reports, he received a text message from Brett that said, "It's all rumor." And when asked about a potential media frenzy surrounding the story, Brett texted, "No reason for it".

Now if those aren't the non-denial denials of all time, I don't know what would be.

So maybe this is Brett trying to gauge what kind of opportunities he'd have if he did come back. Or maybe it's just a pathetic plea for attention. Until Brett makes more of a public statement, we won't really know.

A lot of Green Bay fans that I've heard from wish Brett would just go quietly into that good night. But personally, I'm very hesitant to say that. The thing about football is, once you're done, you're done. There really is no such thing as a successful comeback after you've been out for a year or more. So if a player is going to retire, they'd better be really sure. And I can completely understand if a player wants to play for a year or more than perhaps they should because they'd rather play below their peak performance for a year or two than sit at home and wonder if they still had it in them or not.

What I object to is the High-School-Musical-drama-ness of it all. If Brett has changed his mind, fine. Talk to Green Bay, work out a deal and make whatever announcement you like. But don't leak this out there, and then send these silly, non-descript text messages and leave those as your only public comment. Come on Brett. Be better than that.

So now the likelihood is that we're in for yet another summer full of "will Brett/won't Brett" stories and debate. Thanks alot for that Mr. Favre.

I agree with you Mary... "What the hell?!"

That's all for today folks. I'm back on Wednesday breaking down the All-Star rosters as per the official ST ballot. Plus the weekly Peek at the Picks segment. Until then, thanks for reading!

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