The Southpaw
south·paw (southpô) n. Slang A left-handed person, especially a left-handed baseball pitcher.

Thursday, July 31, 2003  


Lots of movement at the deadline, let's get right to it.

Giants get: Sidney Ponson
Orioles get: Kurt Ainsworth, Damian Moss, and minor league southpaw Ryan Hannaman.

Addition by addition. Ponson was the #1 starter on the market. This becomes a really good deal if the Giants can manage to hold onto Ponson beyond this year. He had no interest in Baltimore's 3-year $15 million offer, but perhaps he'd be more interested in a similar deal playing for an annual contender with baseball's best bat. Hopefully the road back to the World Series helps to sway him.

A's get: Jose Guillen
Reds get: Aaron Harang and two minor league pitchers

I was a little worried when I heard about this one, but it seems to be widely praised, so what do I know?

Yankees get: Aaron Boone
Reds get: Brandon Claussen, Charlie Manning, and greenbacks

Boone wanted out, the Yankees wanted a bat (and happened to be the biggest spenders) . . . and now the Reds have a great pitching prospect. Alex Belth broke this story this morning but started to worry when it wasn't announced. And then there's me. I was surprised to find out that the Giants picked up Ponson. I guess that shows how connected I am to the pulse of the rumor mill.

Yankees get: Gabe White
Reds get: PTBNL

This was originally reported as being part of the Boon/Claussen deal, but it happened separately for reasons I don't bother to care about.

Dodgers get: Robin Ventura
Yankees get: Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor

I don't claim to know that much about minor leaguers, but I've heard these guys' names before, so they might be decent. To get anything valuable for Venture on such short notice is a feather in Brian Cashman's hat. And if these minor leaguers are good, then this reeks of desperation on the part of the Dodgers. I'm very interested to see the enemy's take over at Priorities & Frivolities

Royals get: Al Levine
Devil Rays get: cashola

With all the talk of the D-rays asking prices being "too high", I wonder how this negotiation went down.

D-Rays: "Al Levine huh, how about $25 million? NO?!? Ok, what about $24.9 million? Hello, are you still there?"

Red Sox get: Jeff Suppan, Brandon Lyon, and Anastacio Martinez
Pirates get: Freddy Sanchez, Mike Gonzalez

After swapping players back from their previous trade, it's now basically Sanchez for Suppan and Sauerbeck. Now that's maximizing your prospect value.

And for the moment you've all been waiting for, I will give out The Southpaw's 2003 Trade Deadline Deal Award!

And the winners(!) are the BoSox for their Sauerbeck-Suppan/Sanchez swap and the Giants (surprise, surprise) for picking up Ponson without losing Foppert or Williams.

If they sign him, they'll have the following rotation possibly for the rest of Superman's tenure in San Francisco:


Now THAT I can live with.

Editor's Note: I had this post mostly ready to post right after the deadline, but unfortunately it's a busy day at work and I didn't get a chance to post it. Sorry for anyone who came by looking.

7:28 PM

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  

More Trade Goodness

Jayson Stark has his list of 10 players who could get traded before the dealine, and he has the Giants listed as possibilities for both Kelvim Escobar (straight-up for Foppert?) and Javier Vazquez (2 advanced prospects and another player?!?!?).

Or maybe they'll just ride what they've got.

On a semi-seious note, Jim Caple's got his list of 10 trades that need to be made for the good of the game, although half of them are entirely humor-oriented.

And finally, ESPN's Page 2 has a humor-inspired bit on secret trade possibilities, which may or may not be worth your time.

The funniest thing I saw in there was this line: The Reds struck out in their attempts to trade Adam Dunn. The funny (scary?) part is that it's true.

How crazy does that sound?

2:04 PM

Is ESPN becoming the next MTV?

I just read a great post over at Universal Baseball Blog, Inc. about ESPN's 2-hour special "Inside Sportscenter".

I've seen this advertised, but not paid much attention to it. Appearantly, Sportscenter will be aired on ESPN2 because Inside Sportscenter will be airing on ESPN.

Excuse me if this sounds familier.

MTV started a second channel (MTV2) when they had too much non-music programming filling their non-insomniac time slots, to show mucis videos. I heard an interview with one of MTV's executives who said something about how the videos didn't draw the same high ratings that their other programming did, which is why they continued adding other programming.

Many people have criticized Music TeleVision for not playing music, and many of these same people used ESPN as the example of how MTV should have expanded.

Originally, ESPN2 was the channel for all of the fringe "non-ratings" programming that they didn't want to air on ESPN. ESPN was still the primary channel for sports information/reporting, but ESPN2 would show you other sports programming that many people were interested in.

Now it appears that ESPN2 may be the primary sports channel (as ESPN airs programming such as Beg, Borrow & Deal, The Life, etc.) in ESPN's own network of channels, just as MTV2 is the primary music channel in MTV's network of channels (which also includes VH1, or Video Hits 1, which now airs 80's tribute programs and movies?!?!?).

Recently, a contender has arrived (in some areas anyway) to be the new music channel of choice. Fuse TV advertises itself as "More Music, Less Crappy TV".

Maybe a rival to ESPN would be a good thing. A VERY good thing.

And no, Fox Sports Net doesn't count.

1:18 PM

Making Life Easier for My Readers

If you just want to see all the trades that have been happening, go to ESPN's 2003 Trade Scoreboard or MLB's 2003 Trading Dealine page (although the latter is more complete).

I hope that this helps.

Editor's Note: In similar news, Alex Belth's Bronx Banter and John J. Pericone's Only Baseball Matters have moved! Beating me to the punch (due to current hosting restrictions), they've both upgrade to Movable Type! For your conveninece I have already updated the links on the side. Congrats guys, I hope to be joining your ranks soon.

11:15 AM

At the Pinnacle of his Profession

ESPN's Phil Rogers loves Atlanta GM John Schuerholz, and shows it in this article.

Need a laugh? Here's one of his "examples" of Schuerholz's excellence.

Consider how he stole All-Star Russ Ortiz from San Francisco for Damian Moss this past offseason.

The Giants swap (starting) pitchers for financial reasons, and Schuerholz is a genius. The Braves send Kevin Millwood to Philly for a (minor league?) catcher for the same reasons and it's the owner's fault.

By this reasoning, a GM of any team willing to take on salary is a genius.

Nice slant.

Editor's Note: I really shouldn't assume that Mr. Rogers has a bias for Schuerholz, as Rob Neyer points out here. Sorry Phil. In related news, today's poll question is: "How well does sarcasm come off in a blog?" E-mail me your answers.

10:58 AM

The Trade Winds Are Blowing

A couple of trades worth(?) mentioning.

Boston, who continues to stock up on relievers for their run at the Yankees (for more info, check out Aaron Gleeman's post about it), aquired Scott Williamson from the Reds for "a minor league pitcher, another player and cash".

Red Sox GM Theo Epstien was pleased with the deal saying, "We've been talking to the Reds on and off for a week or two. ... Once they made their move in the front office, things really accelerated. ... We got down to business very quickly."

Reds Interim GM Barry Larkin was also pleased with deal, but said he had hoped to get some Green Monster tickets thrown in.

The other Sox made a deal for a pitcher as well, as the Chicago White Sox picked up Scott Schoeneweis & Doug Nickle from Anaheim for lefties Gary Glover & Tim Bittner and righty Scott Dunn (they're all pitchers by the way).

OH, and the Mets sent Rey Sanchez to Seattle for "minor league outfielder Kenny Kelly -- a former college quarterback at Miami", right under Billy Beane's nose, as the Moneyball-backlash continues.

However, the question remains: "Did Seattle inquire about Neifi Perez's availability before they made this deal, or were they to worried of losing such an opportunity?"

10:52 AM

D is for Desperate . . . or Determined

Raul Mondesi is back in the NL West, helping the seemingly desperate D-backs get back into contention.

I think this is a much better move than LA's aquisition of Burnitz from the Mets, but the D-backs gave up a lot more than LA did.

If Mondesi gets hot with his new club, and L-Gone & Hillenbrand stay hot with him, it could really rejuvenate this team down the stretch.

It's been a rollercoaster season with the D-backs...

D-backs the pre-season media favorite in the NL West - DOWN
The big two are hurt - UP
The D-backs streak with rookies - DOWN
Schilling comes back and the Giants still sweep - UP
Johnson comes back, and they aquire Raul Mondesi for the stretch run - DOWN

Just when you think it's safe to start planning your Playoff rotational matchups, you have to look over your shoulder and see a team that just won't stop clawing. Those are the teams you have to watch out for. The 2002 Angels-type teams.

It hurt just writing that.

10:17 AM

Cause you gotta have friends...

As the trade deadline approaches, there's lots of good trade-talk (and actual trades!) floating around.

In this "post-Moneyball" era of trading, Buster Olney writes that GMs that are friends make better trade partners. That seems kind of obvious to me, but it's an interesting read none-the-less.

He quotes an anonymous GM as saying that A's GM Billy Beane is "going to have to rely on his friends to help him in three-way trades" and that "[h]e needs a go-between these days".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Beane been using go-betweens since he became GM? Before people could summarize him in one word ("Moneyball", which is a story based on him and his organization), they would talk about how he was the master at brokering multi-team trades. The fact that the A's haven't made a big deal as the dealine approaches isn't a huge surprise to me. I honestly believe that it's entirely cooincidental that he hasn't made a deal and that there is a "Moneyball backlash" out there. If there is a connection it most certainly is minimal. GMs trade players (specifically prospects), and the A's have a lot of them.

What I find most interesting is that I've seen multiple anonymous GMs quoted as saying that if Beane wants to make a deal, he's going to have to trade Nick Swisher, who is one of two players reportedly off-limits in negotiations. It seems like "Moneyball" has upgraded Swisher more than it has downgraded Beane (although he was high on most teams list even when he was drafted, so it's not like the phones are ringing off the hook for Jeremy Brown . . . at least not yet).

10:09 AM

Monday, July 28, 2003  

More new blogs

A quick run through my referal links found me a cool new blog from Ben Jacobs: Universal Baseball Blog, Inc.

The first thing I read there was an EXCELLENT breakdown of the AL Cy Young frontrunners.

A quick look at his bio shows me that he's an ACTUAL SPORTSWRITER. I look forward to reading more from this blog, it's definitely looks like a good one.

And in the same run I also found, and Alan Arbizu's blog. A quick check shows that he talks about baseball, video games, and he's a Giants fan. Works for me.

Got a blog, let me know and I'll link it!

5:46 PM

My Favorite Posts . . . READER E-MAILS!

Our first entry is from Doris Morabito who writes:

A friend of mine and I started talking about the term "southpaw" and how it started. Can you tell me how lefties became known as southpaws. Thank you for any information you can give me. It really has us curious.

It took this e-mail to make me realize that other than the definition at the top of my blog, I've never really addressed this.

The short answer is that Southpaw has its origins in 1880s' baseball slang. Baseball diamonds were often arranged so the batters would face east, to avoid looking into the afternoon sun. The pitcher's left hand, or paw, would therefore be on the southern side.

The term is primarily used in baseball and boxing, and there have been some disputes as to who actually coined the phrase first.

I found this interesting segment from an ESPN Page 2 Reel Life breakdown of Rocky.

In Reel Life: Rocky is a lefty. He tells Adrian that he's a southpaw, and explains the term's etymology to her: "You know where southpaw comes from? I'll tell ya. A long time ago there was this guy, maybe a couple a hundred years ago, he was fighting around, I think it was around Philadelphia, and his arm -- he was left-handed -- and his arm was facing toward New Jersey, you see? And that's south. So then naturally they call him south paw. You see? South paw, south Jersey, South Camden, south paw. You know what I mean?"

In Real Life: Rocky's explanation includes a grain of truth. According to the "New Dickson's Baseball Dictionary," the term was coined in the late 1800s to describe left-handed pitchers, who, facing west in most ballparks, had their left arms hanging on the south side of the ballpark. A sportswriter, Harry Grayson, investigated this theory in 1951, and determined that most ballparks did, indeed, place home plate on the west side of the diamond, on the principle that this would keep the sun out of hitters' eyes during day games. The term has been applied to other sports, including boxing, and obviously came into general use. The term "northpaw" never caught on, though. has a great baseball post that has a detailed discription, and even has some inside-baseball arguments about its origin.

The word-detective talks about it here, and although he doubts that baseball is the true origin, even's Origins of Boxing Terms and Traditions lists it as non-boxing in origin:

"Southpaw", the term for a left handed fighter, isn't of boxing origin. It's from baseball. Early ball fields were built so that home plate faced to the east. That way, the late afternoon sun wouldn't be in the batter's eyes, a dangerous situation when a baseball is thrown in your direction. The pitcher faced west, and if he was left handed, the ball would be thrown with his south side hand, his "south paw".

And finally, Cool Quiz! has this to say under Lefty Facts:

Sportswriter, Charles Seymour, coined the term "southpaw" when he noticed left- handed pitchers threw from the south side of the mound.

I hope that clears things up for you, I'm glad I finally explained that. I'm sure I'll link it in Southpaw's Best eventually.

...and even more from the mailbag

I got a lot of e-mails (relatively) regarding the uncoming professional debut of Baby Southpaw, and while congratulating me, even took the time to write about baseball! What a country!

Doug Hutchinson of Westwood Blues has some "Giants-inspired" southpaw baby names including Little Jimmy Poole Durham, Rags or Woody Durham, and even a female entry: Jane Eyre Durham!

Thanks for the thoughts. I think if I went baseball-inspired I'd have to take a little creative liberties and go with William, Clark, or Nuschler (well, maybe not that one).

Doug also helps out with a new MLB Rumors link. Thanks Doug!

Michael Blake chimed in with his kind words, and the hope that "Lefty or righty, boy or girl, I'm sure it doesn't matter. As long as he or she grows up to be a baseball fan." Amen to that.

And filling out the congrats today is The Southpaw's UN-Official Minor League News Source, Stephen Shelby (SS's SF Giants News Diary)! He got to see Harden's debut when he "went to what passes for a sports bar in Davis". And I missed it with my free MLB Extra Innings.

Then again, I also missed his second outing, and that was probably no fault but my own, so I guess I can stop complaining now.

And finally in this edition of Reader E-mails, Julian Headley (THAT'S HEADLEY! - a little Mel Brooks humor) informed me that he's got a blog up (julien's baseball blog), and HE's already linked me. He's got some great breakdowns of players with lots of statistical analysis. Very nice. Go there. Now.

For a specific sample post, here's a link about HOF candidates, and more importanly (read: entertaining) a little corporate sports bashing.

That's all the e-mail I can handle and, luckily(?), that's all I've got.

See you next time!

Editor's Note: Send an e-mail, get a link. It's as simple as that. Come ON people, where else can you get free plugs that TENS of people EACH DAY can see? WHERE? E-mail me . . . you know you want to.

5:13 PM

Thoughts, Links & Other Stuff

Credit John Perricone (Only Baseball Matter) with this link from the The Mercury News in which Skip Bayless says he'd trade Jesse Foppert for Bartolo Colon.

Bartolo Colon with an extension, maybe. As a "quick fix" playoff rental . . . I'll pass.

In related news, the CBS Sportsline Rumor Mill says that the White Sox have sent scouts to Pac Bell, and mention that they may be talking about Colon in case the ChiSox don't stay in the race.

Credit David Pinto (Baseball Musings) for pointing me to Alex Beth's interview with Moneyball author Michael Lewis.

The two things that I really enjoyed in this interview: 1) I don't feel bad for not having read Bill James in the 80's; and 2) I have a newfound respect for Tim Hudson.

And speaking of David Pinto, he also had some choice words for the Baseball Tonight staff regarding the AL Cy Yound race. I agree completely.

I also found an interesting link at that should be up at least until the 2003 trading deadline.

Rob Neyer's got a great (but all too short in my opnion) piece on Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi.

Speaking of Toronto, did you head about the Kielty trade? I'll probably be talking about that for the rest of the season. I just really love that trade.

Then again, if the Giants or A's make a big move, I'll probably move on.

Also from Rob Neyer (his link of the week) is the Baseball Uniform Database. For a quick look, check out the 1914 Cubs uniforms, with one of my favorite baseball hats (which, unfortunately, is kind of a blur) of all time, the 1914 Cubs Road Hat (unfortunately my size is "sold out" - That's pretty funny in a "Giants fan who's favorite hat is from the Cubs" kind of way.).

And is it just me, or does anyone else find it humorous/odd when Peter Gammons quotes Eddie Vedder and/or Pearl Jam?

3:59 PM

Rebuilding, or Improving?

I was just reading a Peter Gammons column, in which he mentions a trade that almost happened.

Apparently the Reds were all set to ship Scott Williamson & Adam Dunn to Florida for Brad Penny & Luis Castillo, but Florida backed out thinking that they're still in the Wild Card race.

Now I've got no problem with the Marlins thinking that they're still in the race, but why couldn't they have made this trade, along with a Mike Lowell deal with Chicago (rumored to be some combination of Juan Cruz, Bobby Hill, Corey Patterson, PTBNL, etc.), then they would have subtracted Penny, Castillo, & Lowell and added Adam Dunn (effectively replacing Lowell's bat), probably Bobby Hill & Juan Cruz (replacing Castillo at second and Penny in the rotation), plus added some extra pieces to their puzzle. While neither deal is spectacular for Florida, the combination of the two is impressive.

The best part is, they'd be set for years to come! As it is now, it's quite possible that they lose Lowell and Castillo this off-season for draft picks . . . and you aren't drafting Adam Dunn & Juan Cruz clones in the supplemental rounds . . . at least not ones that are ready now.

And instead of making these moves, they mortgage the future for Urbina.


11:19 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2003  

Neyer's (Team) Needs

Rob Neyer has a great article on what the contending teams (in both leagues) need before the Trade Deadline.

Giants: Starting Pitcher.

I think that's a fair assessment at this point.

2:42 PM

Still Here

The Giants won another one last night, this time with 7-strong innings from Damian Moss against half of Arizona's 1-2 Ace Combo, Curt Schilling.

The G-men continue to increase their lead in the NL West, and decrease their Magic Number (currently 53 - which you can see on the right-side of this page).

If the Giants can pull a sweep in the next two games, they will be completely in the driver's seat, and may be the straw that breaks the (Diamond)back.

Bring it Home!

In other Giants news, I finally got the Win Shares Table up and working. You can see it below, or click here.

10:44 AM

Tuesday, July 22, 2003  

Win Shares (as of July 20)

Taking my cue from the Cub Reporter, here are the Win Shares for the Giants so far this season. As The Cub Reporter already pointed out, Bill James says that Win Shares should not be used to measure partial seasons, but his list was interesting, so I wanted to see what the Giants look like, so far, in comparison.

Stats are taken from

Some interesting things I noticed while looking at these lists:

- Bonds & Schmidt are leading their respective positions.
- After Bonds & Schmidt, the highest ranking is 6th.
- Only 5 Giants (1 pitcher) have more Win Shares then JT Snow.
- Foppert has only 1 win share, which easily could have gone to Herges.
- Rodriguez needed his bat to put him ahead of Nathon.
- ALL of Jensen's shares are in hitting.
- ALL of Bernard's shares are in fielding.
- Not only is Neifi in the positive, there's only 2 pitchers who top him.

I hope that you liked this little (possibly futile) exercise. It's interesting to look at how the players rank, and it'll be great to cross reference this list with the end of the year to see how well it stacks up to a full season. At least when I do this again I shouldn't have as many problems with the table as I did this time. Thanks for your patience.

Editor's Note: Credit all links to The Cub Reporter.

3:28 PM

MLB Extra Nothing

This weekend, Concast gave a free preview of MLB Extra Innings. I was very excited, and was possibly going to order the rest of the season if it was any good. Unfortunately, there was a lot to be desierd.

The biggest problem I have with this package is that "local" games are blacked out. If the Giants or A's are playing, then their games are blacked out on MLB Extra Innings in Sacramento. It's not like I'm almost 100 miles away . . . OH WAIT, I AM.

I understand the reasoning, in general, for this practice. They don't want to take viewers away from the local broadcasts, and I'm sure that contractually there are problems there. But for me, I don't have the local access to both the Giants and A's as the Bay Area does, which means that I can't see as many games as I would like to, and often cannot watch more then one at a time.

For example: Last night, I planned on watching Rich Harden pitch in his major league debut. No local feed for me, so I hopped on to MLB Extra Innings and looked for the game there. BINGO! KC vs. Oakland. Clicking on the channel . . . nothing but black.

Fortunately(?), it appears as though it may not have been just me. Aaron Gleeman (in Minnesota) couldn't see the game on DirecTV MLB Extra Innings (which I can only assume is the same package).

But I still think that MLB needs to fix this problem, pronto.

Just add it to the list.

11:44 AM

AL Update

Rich Harden shined in his ML debut, but came up with a no decision. The A's won 6-1 with a 9th inning rally that included 5-straight-walks to start it off.

Harden was impressive with 7ip, 4h, 1er, 4k, & 2bb.

Helping out the A's was the team that recently pounded them, the Twinkies, who beat Seattle last night 5-4. Our Twins stat for the day: Minnesota had lost lost 22 of 28 going into the All-Star break.

I did not know that.

The A's are now 4 games back in the AL West.

In other AL-related news, the Yankees will be the only team to pay the luxury tax this year, with their $180 million "luxury tax payroll"*. Do not pass go, do not collect $10.8 million (their projected tax bill on January 31). The luxury tax thresholdis $117 million, ironically just above the second highest payroll, the Mets ($116.3 million).

For a better perspective on this, go see Doug Pappas.

Also in the AL update, David Pinto points out in this post that the Kielty deal is a lot like the Cards-Mets Keith Hernandez deal back in the early 80's. He also points to this TwinsGeek post which is very, very, interesting.

I still think this is a great deal for the Blue Jays. I don't know if they could have made a better one for Stewart. This trade makes me want to follow the Blue Jays more closely.

Editor's Note: *The "Luxury Tax Payroll" averages salaries from big contracts to a per year basis. For example, if a player signs a 4 year deal worth $5m, $10m, $15m, $30m each year respectively, the "Luxury Tax Payroll" for that player is $15m each year. At least that's how I understand it.

9:29 AM

NL West Update

The Giants beat the Diamondbacks yesterday, increasing their division lead by 2 games (the glory of head-to-head games, and the reason for the unbalanced schedule some would say).

On the flip side, the two tems will face off three more times in this series, so anything can happen. Game 2 features Curt Schilling vs. Damian Moss.

Keep your fingers crossed and hope that the bullpen is ready for the 5-inning wonder.

And from the floating like a brick department, the Dodgers offense sucks. Rob Neyer explains it a little further.

9:08 AM

Monday, July 21, 2003  

Sometimes I wish I wasn't cheap

ESPN's INsider has this headling, "MLB Rumors: Is Pirates' Giles heading to A's?"

I'm not upset that I won't know about a trade before it happens, because I don't think this will happen (and if it does then I'll know about it soon enough). I'm upset because I'm a Rumor Mill junkie and I love reading stories like this.

This is also why I have two basketball links on the right, both of which go directly to rumor mills. If I could find sites like this for baseball, football, and hockey, I'd be in heaven.

5:40 PM

Roster Updates

I haven't mentioned a few roster changes lately (primarily becuase I haven't mentioned ANYTHING lately). So here goes.

Twins get: Shannon Stewart & PTBNL
Blue Jays get: Bobby Kielty

I love this trade for Toronto. They basically get the same player back (minus some speed and age) for bargain-bin prices. The PTBNL will likely not be significant, as Toronto is smartly paying Stewert's contract for the rest of the season (the Twins are paying Kielty's in return). This has become common in today's baseball trades; you can have quality prospects or money, but not both. Stewert will be a Free Agent after this season, and will likely be asking for more money then the Twins will pay. If the Twins resign Stewart, then it becomes a better deal for them, otherwise they're looking at a B-grade minor leaguer and an extra draft pick.
Advantage: Blue Jays.

Yankees get: Armando Benitez
Mets get: minor leaguers

The Peter Gammons trade went through, without the Giants and Felix Rodriguez. The Mets are getting pieces back for players they didn't intend on keeping, which is good for their club. Alex Belth's Bronx Banter points to a Doug Pappas post which says that the Mets have the second best farm system in the Majors, while the Yankees do not (to put it nicely). It probably helps that Pappas is also a Mets fan. Meanwhile, fantasy owners the world over have are waiving Benitez as his saves deminish.
Advantage: push.

Phillies get: Mike Williams and cash
Pirates get: minor leaguer Frank Brooks

This looks pretty good for the Phils. Brooks was a non-roster invitee to the Phillies Spring Training this year. He went 3-4 with nine saves and a 2.30 ERA in 34 games for Double-A Reading this season and had just been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Williams should help them in their push for the postseason.
Advantage: Phillies

A's get: Rich Harden
A team known for trade-deadline deals has aquired what many think will become the piece that will cause people to refer to the A's pitching staff as the "Big 4" instead of the "Big 3". And they gave up nothing for him other than a roster spot, as he was already on the AAA Sacramento team.
Advantage: A's.

Editor's Note: I promised big news, which hopefully will help explain my lack of updates, so here goes. On or around March 17, 2004, The Southpaw will be welcoming a new lefty (hopefully) to the world: Baby Southpaw. Mrs. Southpaw and I are VERY happy, and I'm sure that more information will be posted here as it becomes available. Some people want a boy or a girl, I just want another Southpaw.

5:34 PM

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  

Lots of Updates

Been gone a while, and a lot has happened, so I'll get right to it.

According to Peter Gammons, the Giants almost got Benitez in a 3-way deal involving both NY teams which would send Feliz Rodriguez to NYY and NYY prospects to NYM.

Now it appears that the Yanks will pass on Rodriguez and just keep Benitez, according to ESPN reports. The Yanks and Steinbrenner's deep pockets means that they will likely pay Benitez, which means that the Mets probably won't get anything substantial in return.

Speaking of the Mets, they also sent Jeromy Burnitz to the Dodgers for prospects. As a Giants fan, I'm not worried about that one.

And yet again in the trade front, the Marlins aquired much rumored Ugueth Urbina from the Rangers for three prospects, making it seem that Mike Lowell really ISN'T on the market this season.

For a look at all the prospects that have been thrown around so far, check out this breakdown from John Sickels over at

And in non-trade news, Barry Bonds is getting some heat for saying that after Mays he wants to pass Ruth on the all-time HR list. Excuse me, isn't that how it works?

Actually, Bonds' comments were a little more aimed at baseball's biggest icon then I mentioned above. I still don't think that they were as bad as people are reporting, but people who already don't like Superman will DEFINITLEY use this as ammunition.

"Willie's number is always the one that I've strived for. ... And if it does happen, the only number I care about is Babe Ruth's. Because as a left-handed hitter, I wiped him out. That's it. And in the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right? I got his slugging percentage and I'll take his home runs and that's it. Don't talk about him no more. ... 755 isn't the number that's always caught my eye."

Let no one accuse Barry of taking a stand. The Bonds-Ruth debate has been something that has gained a lot of steam in these last few seasons, but to not "talk about him no more" may be a bit of a stretch. But at this point I don't see how anyone can NOT look at the two as era equals. Both have completely dominated their respective eras.

Every game that Bonds plays reminds me of the fact that a mega-hyped (and admittedly mega-talented) Junior Griffey was put on the All Century team ahead of him. I understand that Griffey's injuries problems started after the "century" was over, but even at the time I thought it was more of a "popular" decision then an educated one.

And then there's Dusty Baker's take on Bonds' career:

"The toughest thing about getting older is playing defense. That is where you get hurt. Guys can hit from a wheelchair," said Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Bonds' former manager. "I always thought someday Barry might be a first baseman or a DH."

Bonds himself has "said recently that he would welcome playing for an AL team -- he's specifically mentioned the Angels -- as a full-time DH once his contract with the Giants is up". If he has to leave the Giants, and not transition to 1B (I'd love to see what the stat improvement over JT would be), I'd love to see him hop the bay and help out Billy Beane and the Oaktown Athlete's (a.k.a. Oakland Athletics), rather than the team that robbed him from his ring in 2002.

And to close out this update, Rickey wants to let you know that he knew this day would come. Rickey Henderson has been picked up by the Dodgers, in yet another unimpressive move that doesn't worry me as a Giants fan. From the Dodgers' standpoint, as long as they're not too concerned about the fact that he's a clubhouse cancer, they didn't give anything up for him and he's a decent bench player for them considering they're probably not paying him much.

Editor's Note: Feeling better, but been having some computer problems. Aside from that I've got a big announcement coming, and I hope it will be as exciting for you as it is for me (it should also help to explain my absence).

9:55 AM

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  

The Same, but Different

Rivercats v. Sidewinders, July 7, 2003. No Randy Johnson.

As some of you may know, Randy Johnson cancelled his first scheduled rehab start, which pushed his second rehab start back, meaning that the tickets I bought to see him pitch would be for naught. Well, in a stroke of good fortune, Randy Johnson still didn't pitch last night. Good fortune you say? Let me explain.

Johnson pitched 4 perfect innings this holiday weekend against the Fresno Grizzlies, so for him to have pitched last night would have required him to pitch on virtually no rest, while coming back from his injury. That's not the Randy Johnson I want to see pitch. Besides, on his rehab pitch counts he was still only going to throw about 50-60 pitches MAX in his second outing.

So instead of Randy Johnson, here's what I got to see.

6 innings, 6 hits (3 scattered through 5, 3 clumped in the 6th), 3 runs (on a walk and back-to-back bombs), 93+ pitches thrown.

And the owner of these numbers, none other than Randy's partner in crime, Curt Schilling.

He started off the game shaky (walking the first batter of the game on 4 pitches) and looked as if he wouldn't be out there long because of the number of pitches he was throwing (30+ in 2 innings I believe - and oddly enough had a no-hitter through 2), but calmed down and made it through six. After he got tagged for the 2 HRs he gave up a single (HALF of his total hits allowed), and the Sidewinders coach came out to talk to him. You could tell that Schilling wanted to stay in the game, and I believe it was because he wanted to get out of his own jam. They left him in and he indeed did get out of the jam.

As he was leaving the field at the end of the sixth, he got a standing ovation from the Rivercats crowd, and gave his hat to a kid sitting behind the visiting dugout, which scored him some more points with the crowd.

All in all it was a great game.

Who won? I don't know. I had to go home early because I'm sick. When Schilling came out, it was 3-2 Rivercats, and in the 7th the Sidewinders put a couple more on the board to lead 5-3 I think. I left during a pitching change in the top of the 7th. Obviously, I haven't checked the scores, or I'd know.

Editor's Note: Because of the holiday weekend, my getting sick, and a hellish project at work, there hasn't been much action at The Southpaw lately. I plan on fixing this during/after the All Star break. Go NL! (The Giants need home field advantage this year.)

9:59 AM

Tuesday, July 01, 2003  

Alomar's Back! (in the AL Central)

The White Sox have acquired Roberto Alomar, bringing him back to to the American League to (hopefully) bring both back to glory.

The Sox gave up minor league pitchers Royce Ring and Edwin Almonte and infielder Andrew Salvo, while the Mets ate his contract (with some fava beans and a nice chianti).

Par for the course these days . . . if you want prospects, you have to pay the bad contracts.

12:43 PM

Buyers & Sellers

Here are a couple of intereting articles that explain the buyers and sellers of the NL and AL, respefctively.

Here's the part that scared me:

The Giants don't want to deal either Jerome Williams or Jesse Foppert, but they may be forced to do so to get somebody to replace Robb Nen in the bullpen.

I sure hope not.

12:09 PM
sfg spelling watch
Baseball Tickets
bonds homer watch
friends & enemies '03
e-mail me
starting 9 (or so)
paid to play
giants blogs
more baseball blogs
fantasy links
other sports links
misc links
sf '03 draft breakdown
giants 2003 draftees
southpaw's best (old)
support the southpaw
site meter
extreme tracker