Picks of the Pen

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The mania of the trade deadline is sparking lively debate and tearful goodbyes across the league, but one key acquisition or the San Francisco Giants seems to be a bloodthirsty falcon.

The local seagulls, seen above chasing horrified fans from their seats, have become far too much of an issue for the organization to stand pat.  Therefore, peregrine falcons are to be employed to slaughter the problem and devour it, probably in front of everyone.

Get linked.

Kerry

The Cardinals made a trade this week to acquire Edwin Jackson and some relief help, while giving up young outfielder Colby Rasmus. Bernie Miklasz as the St. Louis Post/Dispatch summarizes the deal, with scouting reports on the players involved. Seems like this deal is a “win-now” type of trade, as it helps this year, but could eventually be painful for Cards fans if Rasmus develops into a star.

Replay was cast into the spotlight again this week as Jerry Meals missed a call that ultimately decided the outcome of the Pirates-Braves game. It seems to me that MLB executives are just dragging their feet on this one. Get with the times baseball.  Joe Posnanski gives us his take.

With the trade deadline upon us, the focus is mostly on the impact players that may be traded. But don’t forget about the prospects. For some clubs, this weekend represents an opportunity to build for the future. C. Trent Rosecrans at CBS Sports provides us with 5 prospects to keep an eye on at the deadline.

As the Reds fall further and further out of contention, Blog Red Machine looks at the difference between this season and 2010 for the Reds. It’s amazing how a team with essentially the same roster can drop off so dramatically in a  year.

Justin

Deadspin’s been doing more than just two-sentence links to stories about mascots getting kicked in the balls lately, and here’s one piece about the departure of Carlos Beltran from the Mets from a Mets fan too young for ’88 and still reeling from ’06 (and ’07, ’08, etc.).  In some other universe, perhaps Beltran taking his leave was a more heartfelt incident, worth more than a quick dinner out with his teammates before packing up his things.  Maybe in some parallel world, he’s leaving with a ring, or a dynasty, or the unquestioned love of Flushing, NY.

As a Phillies fan, though, I couldn’t be happier that he’s not.  And here’s somebody getting kicked in the balls.  What’s even greater is the out of contect commentary by the sports anchor–“…an appropriate ending on blue balls night.”

So now that the 17-game losing streak is over, the Mariners are naturally considering a playoff appearance.  Wait, before you shout “WHAT IN THE–,” spewing all manner of liquid breakfast all over your cubicle, let Harrison Crow explain at Sodo Mojo:  Should the M’s be considering trading Felix Hernandez?  Or do they think they can piece it all together in time to get him what he deserves?

Harrison sums it up beautifully:

“…players of Felix’s caliber aren’t replaceable. They just aren’t.”

Blaine

This past week leading up to the trade deadline was full of action.  Several high profile players were moved, and today my picks take a look at a few of the larger trades that went down.  First, there was the three team mega deal that sent Edwin Jackson to the Cardinals and Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays.  The White Sox were also involved as were plenty of players, but the general consensus seems to be that the Blue Jays were the overwhelming winners of the deal.

Jared Macdonald over at Jays Journal takes an in depth look at what made the deal itself possible, it’s ramifications on the 2011 season and finally how it will impact the Jays next year and beyond.

Another big deal that occurred this past week saw Carlos Beltran change coasts when he was traded from the Mets to the Giants for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.  While it was no surprised that Beltran was moved, I was a bit taken aback by the return that New York was able to get for its slugger.

Wheeler was one of the major’s top minor league arms and over at Fan Graphs, Mark Hulet explains why San Francisco GM Brian Sabean may end up regretting this move.  Of course, if Beltran puts the Giants over the top in 2011 and they are able to repeat, it’s all a moot point.

Jonathan

Chien-Ming Wang made his first start in over two years for the Nationals on Friday night. The debut didn’t go that well as he gave up six runs (four earned) in just four innings while getting tagged with a loss. In preparation for his Nationals debut, Pinstripe Alley chronicles Wang’s up and down career. I personally was waiting for Wang’s lack of strikeouts to spell his doom, but I had no idea that he would fall so quickly. The writer is rooting for a comeback and I have to say, I am too, but it doesn’t look likely.

I had to laugh (with/at) Ernie Padaon at Chicken Friars funny complaint about covering the Padres this year. He makes a good point. It has not been a great year for San Diego. Not only has an umpire let Cameron Maybin go to first on ball three (although the Mariners have more right to complain about that), but Orlando Hudson forgot how many outs there were one inning and prematurely threw the ball into the stands.

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Tags: Carlos Beltran Chien-Ming Wang Felix Hernandez Gulls San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Trade Deadline

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