This is probably the most boring time of the sports year as the NFL and NBA are off and the MLB took a few days off then went into a wait and see who gets traded period.
On the baseball front, the first big name trade was Monday when an aging Ichiro, who is very much on the decline, left the only team he’s ever known and was traded to the Yankees. That same night he started against his former team and was given a nice ovation in his first at bat as the Yankees got the win. Ichiro represents another aging veteran player for the Yankees and fills a hole in the outfield for them. His skills are clearly diminished though and he really won’t have much of an impact, as he went 1/4 with a stolen base, batting 8th in his first game in New York. He is probably meant to stay as a bottom of the lineup guy from here on out and reportedly agreed to become a bottom of the lineup guy who sits at times just to play in New York. It will be nice to see Ichiro get to play for a contender and potentially get to a World Series, even if it comes with the Yankees. For Seattle it was nice to get something back for a player who was, in all reality, done.
The Astros have also started their annual house cleaning as they made 2 separate multi-player trades already, sending away pitchers J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter and Brett Myers among others.
Another noteworthy trade that’s already in the books is the Tigers sending top pitching prospect Jacob Turner to Miami for Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Bringing Omar back to Detroit helps them out at second base and Anibal gives them another good veteran starter as they are trying to win now.
One of the big names on the trade block that I hope instead gets a long term deal rather than being traded is Cole Hamels. He is one of those guys I hope is in Philly for life as he has been the best and most consistent pitchers for many years now and was a big part of their World Series title in 2008 (MVP) and their return trip in 2009.
Just a quick note on basketball, the Sixers signed Nick Young and have traded for Dorell Wright. They also re-signed Spence Hawes and added Kwame Brown. They should have a good team again this year and could make another playoff run. I need to try and get out to a couple games this year after not making it to any last year for the first time in a while.
Moving on to football. Training camp has started and preseason is right around the corner. That means the season is drawing ever closer!!
Aaron Berry has become the poster child of NFL off-season stupidity. Thankfully the Lions cut him to make an example. He wasn’t that good that he could even try to get away with that stuff. These players need to stop drinking and driving and brandishing weapon, there is no reason to do either when you are making millions of dollars a year. Maybe if you made just over minimum wage in a town with a bar on every corner and no form of bus or taxi system you would have an excuse, but you idiots have enough money to call a cab or at least throw $20 to a sober friend for a ride.
The Eagles have brought in Jeremy Shockey and Visanthe Shiancoe for workouts recently. If one of them signs with the team, it is an indication that the coaches are not happy with Clay Harbor’s development. I’m sure Eagles fans would hate to see Shockey in Eagle Green but its worth noting that Shiancoe was Shockey’s seldom used backup in New York for 4 years. The Vikings then unexpectedly signed Shiancoe to a relatively large deal after he only recorded 35 receptions for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns in New York. It turned out to be a good move as from 2008-2011 Shiancoe had 181 receptions for 2101 yards and 23 touchdowns. Not a Hall-of-Famer by any means, but he would be a solid 1 year stop-gap as a backup TE. I’d also like to see what Brett Brackett and Chase Ford can do as well.
I just read that Lofa Tatupu will be out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle. He was trying to make a comeback and this will probably end his hopes of ever having one. Its really rough to see guys with tons of talent have bodies that won’t let them accomplish what they set out to do.
Last thing I have for today is the Panthers made a couple of moves this week. They traded for Louis Murphy who had become expendable in Oakland and then sent Jeff Otah to the Jets. Murphy joins a relatively weak group of wide receivers in Carolina and could quickly become a starter or key player for Cam Newton and that offense. Jeff Otah had the potential to become a great Right Tackle in the NFL after being drafted with the 19th overall pick in 2008 by the Panthers (a pick they got from the Eagles, I actually wanted Otah with that pick too). It turned out Otah hasn’t been able to stay healthy and, after adding Bruce Campbell in a different trade with the Raiders earlier this off season, they deemed him replaceable. If he can stay healthy he will be a good addition for the Jets who like to run the ball.