Friday

7-31-09: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Once again, we've made it. The weekend's nearly here. If anybody can explain to me how that could possibly be a bad thing, I'd love to hear it. Because to me, it's always good.

Lot's of DFTU to get to today. At least with one of the two clubs. So enough with the pre-ambling.

Let's do this...

"I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on."
- Beryl Pfizer, former "Today Show" co-host


I can easily identify this. My short-term memory is famously awful. So I write a lot of notes to try and compensate. The trick is making sure to put the notes in a spot where you can easily see/find them again.

A lesser person might blame some sort of genetics for a condition like mine. But I'd never do such a thing!

Love you Mom!

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Moving on...

It's Friday. That means you've patiently waited all week. And now it's time for your reward. You know it... you love it... it's everybody's favorite segment...

Dan's Favorite Teams Update

Minnesota Twins:
The Twins are 52-50, in second place in the AL Central and 2 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

Today's the non-waiver trade deadline in MLB. And as usual, there's a last-minute flurry of deals. And the top two teams in the AL Central are no exception.

The first such deal announced this morning came in the form of the Tigers acquiring SP Jarrod Washburn from the Seattle Mariners.

I was mildly surprised to hear about this deal for a couple of reasons. One, Detroit's greatest need was hitting, not pitching. They've had a whale of a time scoring runs lately, so you'd think they'd be looking for another stick. You can never have too much pitching, so it's not like the deal will hurt them. But it also doesn't address their greatest need.

Two, I didn't think Seattle was going to move Washburn. The last two days, the Mariners have made moves to add talent. Why they'd trade for infield and bullpen help, and then trade one of their most reliable starters away, I'm not really sure?

But I was disappointed, because Washburn was a guy who I wanted the Twins to target. And for them to miss out on him, and then have him wind up with the team directly ahead of them in the division? That's not cool.

The Twins came back with a deal of their own this afternoon. They traded a minor league infielder and cash to the Oakland A's for SS Orlando Cabrera.

This was comparable to Detroit's deal in that it did nothing to address the team's greatest need. There's no question that the middle infield for the Twins has been disappointing this year, especially offensively. Cabrera's hitting .281 with 4 home runs and 41 RBI. So he'll be a slight upgrade offensively. Defensively, it's probably a push.

Look, it's not a bad deal. It'll help. But if I sound tepid about the deal, it's because it so clearly doesn't address the pitching problems they have. They needed either a veteran starter (see: Washburn) or some form of relief help (see: any of the relievers who've been traded over the last two days).

I know it's not easy to make a deal in this day and age without giving up too much. I know that it takes a ton of work to find the right fit for your team and the team you're trading with. I know that no deal is better than a bad deal.

But this move has all the earmarks of, "well at least we did something!" And ultimately, I'm not sure how much value that has.

Bottom line, we have to wait and see how it shakes out. If Cabrera locks down the 2-spot in the line-up, gets on base ahead of Mauer and Morneau and scores a ton of runs for the Twins, all while playing above-average defense, then it'll be a good deal. If he's just sort of "another guy", then not so much.

The only thing I can promise you is that I won't be watching the game tonight. Yes, "the streak" is still alive. Four games in a row I haven't watched. And four games in a row, the Twins have won. We'll see if we can make it five tonight!

The Twins open a 3-game series against LAAAGOCROCUSPE tonight before heading out on the road next week for a couple of intra-division series against Cleveland and Detroit.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The D'backs are 44-58, in fourth place in the NL West and 19 games behind the L.A. Dodgers.

I guess you can say that the nice thing about one of your favorite clubs being in the crapper, is that it's hard for them to disappoint you any further.

At this point, Snakes fans know what they have and they know what they don't have. So when the news comes out yesterday that Brandon Webb had yet another set back with his shoulder, it's not exactly a "punch to the gut"-type moment.

(Aside: How many times can a guy really have a set-back? After a while, isn't there no more back to set?!)

Since the All-Star break, Arizona is 6-7. Right below the .500-mark where they've been all year. I told you before, at least this team is consistent. Consistently bad, yes. But again, you know what you're getting at this point.

Dan Haren lost his last start against the Phillies, but maintains a solid record at 10-6 and an impressive 2.19 ERA. I'm not sure 17 wins will get him a Cy Young, but if he keeps that ERA low enough, it might.

What's concerning, is that in his last two starts, he hasn't been able to get past the 5th inning. Most pitchers hit a "dead arm" period sometime in the second half. The good ones rebound eventually, and the great ones find a way to win even without their best stuff. I'm not sure that's what Haren's going through, but it wouldn't surprise me if it is. The trouble is, he has so little help around him, that I'm not sure how well he'll be able to fight through it.

But, as he's the best thing the D'backs have going right now, I sure hope he gets through it sooner than later. And it certainly doesn't get any easier for him as he takes on Johan Santana and the Mets in his next start on Monday.

The D'backs begin a 4-gamer with the Mets in New York tonight. Then next week they get something of a reprieve with series against Pittsburgh and Washington. Sure, they're on the road, but Arizona's hardly been any better at home than they've been on the road this year. So it's as good a shot to make hay as they can ask for.

That's going to do it for this week. Have a fun and safe weekend. I'll be back on Monday with more on the dawning of the Cabrera Era. That has a nice ring to it actually.

Can you tell I'm trying to talk myself into this? Oof.

Until Monday, thanks for reading!

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