Welcome one and all to another edition of Bases Loaded!
The 2019 MLB trade deadline has come and gone and it’s time to take stock of what has happened.
The Atlanta Braves have become legitimate World Series contenders
Not only did the Braves take 2 of 3 from the 2nd place Nationals to extend their NL East lead to 6.5 games, but they also improved their much maligned bullpen.
On Tuesday, Atlanta acquired reliever Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers and then, just before the official trade deadline, the Braves added All-Star closer Shane Greene from the Detroit Tigers and reliever Mark Melancon from the San Francisco Giants.
These three acquisitions bolster a struggling Braves bullpen and give Atlanta a much needed closer in the process.
Greene comes to Atlanta after posting a 1.18 ERA in 30 appearances with the Tigers, striking out 43 and earning 22 saves. He is instantly the go-to closer for the Braves heading into the stretch run.
Melancon has been up and down in his 43 appearances for the Giants, but in his last 8 1/3 innings pitched he has allowed just 2 hits, one walk, no runs and struck out nine. If he continues on that trend, he will be a spectacular addition to the Braves.
Atlanta GM Alex Anthopoulos was masterful at the trade deadline in getting this bullpen help. He sacrificed zero big names and massively improved the Braves’ chances at reaching the Fall Classic.
With the offense Atlanta brings to the table, the rebounding starting rotation and a now newly bolstered bullpen, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Braves cruise through the rest of the season, cruise through the divisional round of the playoffs and set up an epic battle with the Dodgers for the National League Pennant.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if they won.
That being said…
The Houston Astros will win the 2019 World Series
It’s all over now.
The Astros were not just busy before the deadline, they dropped the biggest bomb of the day at the last second and have acquired Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
With Greinke, Justin Verlander, Garrit Cole and Wade Miley, the Astros starting rotation holds the 5th, 9th, 11th and 14th best ERAs in the entire MLB.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the Astros are already in possession of the best record (69-39) and the best run differential (+128) in the American League.
With the Astros drastically improving and the Yankees doing absolutely nothing to fix their pitching woes, I don’t have much of a doubt that we’ll be seeing Houston back in the Fall Classic this season
And they’ll probably win it again, too.
Basebrawling with Puig
One non-trade deadline topic to get to today.
I spoke about this with Marc Ryan today on Offsides, but I wanted to go a little more in depth with the topic.
Look, I get that brawls are entertaining. I get that it gets folk’s blood boiling and brings attention to insignificant games between two bad teams. My issue here is the blatant hypocrisy of the fans and baseball reporters.
Over and over I’m told about how showboating, celebrating and having fun is sending the wrong message to kids, yet throwing fastballs high and tight and fighting is constantly celebrated. It’s what David Bell eluded to in his post game presser Tuesday night after the latest bench clearing brawl between the Reds and Pirates.
This feud has been building all season, beginning with their bench clearing brawl back in April when Yasiel Puig was ready to take on the entire roster of the Pirates. On Tuesday, it was pitcher Amir Garrett that wanted the entire Pirates squad as he charged the Pittsburgh bench after having enough of their trash talk.
The bottom line is this, fighting and throwing pitches at players is what is truly sending a bad message to the youth.
For too long, we’ve just brushed off stuff like this as “part of the game.” The problem is, it shouldn’t be. It should be punished more harshly and it should be eradicated from baseball.
The fabled unwritten rules of baseball are archaic and tired. It’s time to move on from the phony macho stance on BaseBrawls and start working towards a game that accepts fun over violence.
HOMER TIME- The Red Sox quit on 2019
It’s officially “wait till next year” time in Beantown.
One season after setting the franchise record for wins and hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy for the 4th time since 2004, the Red Sox have decided to quit on the 2019 season.
GM Dave Dombrowski stood pat on trade deadline day and did absolutely nothing to improve Boston’s struggling pitching staff and I seriously cannot understand why.
No matter how much coach-speak Alex Cora throws at me about “trust in the guys we have,” I’m not buying it. Trust doesn’t win ballgames, performance does and these guys aren’t performing.
The Red Sox have scored more runs (631) than any other team in Major League Baseball, yet they sit 9-games out of first place in the American League East and 2-games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild Card spot.
This is unacceptable for the defending World Series Champions and it all points back to Dombrowski.
Dombo failed to re-sign closer Craig Kimbrel during the offseason, weakening the Red Sox bullpen for 2019. He then failed AGAIN to sign Kimbrel just before the All-Star break, allowing him to end up on the North Side of Chicago.
Deciding to let Kimbrel walk has led the Boston bullpen into the dumpster and is going to cause the defending champs to miss the post season entirely one year after winning 119 games overall.
I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore….oh well, Go Pats.
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