Thursday, June 25, 2009

Linc’s Rumblings, Whispers & Rumors

Back in the day when pine tar, caffeine pills, and a Big League Chew sugar rush were the closest thing an MLB player had to a performance enhancing drug a young Linc would bicycle down to the local dime store and purchase as many baseball card “wax packs” as his coin filled Velcro wallet would allow. With at least 3 friends hovering over each shoulder a little Linc would tear open pack after pack, discard the brittle chalk covered pink tooth chipper the Topps corporation bribed the FDA to call gum, and shuffle through each package of 12 randomly assorted cards hoping to find the 4th graders holy grail of baseball - RUSTY KUNTZ!

Unfortunately, lady luck deemed me unworthy of such a joy and I was left to use my keen negotiating skills to acquire Mr. Kuntz via trade. For the low, low, low price of my brother’s Storm Shadow GI Joe action figure and a Diamond Kings Eric Davis, Mr. Kuntz was at last mine - all mine!

Moral of the story you ask? Well, not everyone is so fortunate to find their own Rusty Kuntz. Sometimes, you have to swallow hard, steal from your younger brother, and give up something to get something.

As such, the following is this week’s rundown of MLB rumblings, whispers, and rumors the way Linc hears ‘em:

Doug Davis (SP) - Arizona appears to be one of the early trade deadline sellers and a middle of the order starting pitcher will always have value with the Rangers, Mets, and Phillies all possible destinations. A return to Milwaukee is also a possibility but unlikely and the Brewers are looking to land a veteran SP with playoff experience.

John Garland (SP) - sticking with our AZ theme, Garland is only committed to the D-backs for 1 year. Rumor has it LA is interested as a nice addition in the Dodgers 5th rotation spot.

Nick Johnson (1B) - Thirty seconds after the opening pitch the Nationals were in the NL East cellar. It is no secret Johnson can be had with the Mets and Red Sox obvious possibilities. Johnson would be an adequate replacement for the Mets with Delgado on the DL or could serve as the BoSox DH replacing Ortiz and Baldeli. I’ve also read where Texas may be interested in Johnson as a replacement for ubur-whiffer Chris Davis but with Justin Smoak lighting up the minors I don’t see it happening.

Adam Dunn (1B/OF) - I swear I’m not making this up but San Francisco thinks they actually have a shot at the wild card and are a big bat away from sparking their offense. While Dunn’s defense makes him most attractive to AL teams as a DH, the Giants are getting nothing out of Travis Ishikawa and Dunn would provide some much needed power and name recognition to their no name offense.

Derek Lee (1B) - According to the San Francisco Chronicle the Giants called the Cubs about Lee when Lee was slumping and Hoffpauier was hot - ok luke warm. The Cubs shot down the deal as SF was only offering Jonathan O. Sanchez and a PTBNL.

Takashi Saito (RP) - Yes, there has been a Tak Saito sighting! Rangers need a middle reliever and the Red Sox are rich in pitching. I’ve heard Saito to the Rangers for Hank Blalock is a possibility with Beantown using Blalock much like they would Johnson in the analysis above.

Huston Street (RP) - This one writes itself. If the Rocks run out of gas before the deadline and become sellers Street and his $7 million a year contract are out of the mile high city. Rumor is the Cubs are interested but payroll may be an issue with the team for sale. Tampa Bay’s closer by committee is working - for now - if Tampa starts to make a solid push look for them to make a hard run along with the Yankees who covet Street as a set-up man and Rivera insurance policy.

Jonathan O. Sanchez (SP) - You have to give the Giants credit for trying. One man’s trash may be another man’s treasure but Sanchez has been downright awful this year. The usual desperate for starting pitching suspects are out there. Rangers I’m looking at you, but Linc has learned that prior to his DL stint Cleveland was scouting Sanchez. Keep in mind this is the same team that traded for Anthony Reyes.

Matt Holiday (OF) - Each year one name becomes synonymous with the trade deadline. 2009 will be the year of the Holiday. Where he will land is speculative at this point. Big money market buyer and seller teams need to be fully established but rumors have mentioned the Cardinals, Tigers, Giants, and Yankees as possibilities. I even heard one rumor having him going back to Colorado for Atkins and others should the Rox prove to have staying power. Logic should eliminate the pretenders from the contenders but if the Cardinals pitching holds up and the Cubs continue to be - well - the Cubs - I could see there being validity to the rumor of Holiday to STL (with the A’s picking up a portion of the salary) in an effort to protect Albert in the batting order with the Redbirds shipping the A’s a prospect, Ankiel or Ludwick, and the ever popular PTBNL.

27 comments:

PG said...

Great post, New Linc. Rusty Kuntz is right up there with Dick Pole. Gotta love it.

May I offer a prediction that along with or in lieu of Matt Holliday, could Jason Giambi be headed to the trade market? Left handed bats are always sought around the trade deadline, and Giambi's patience at the plate and high OBP could be attractive to some teams in the hunt.

Hey 3K, any chance of Josh Fields going on the trade market?

New Linc said...

Giambi is an interesting name to bring up with Boston and Texas both needing a stable bat at the DH/1B position.

I haven't read a single rumor of an A's player on the market other than Holiday.

Edward said...

Thank you Linc Gammons, or is it Buster Linc?

I'd be interested to see if the Red Sox are looking for a DH come the deadline if Papi continues the tear he is currently on (6-15-.327, 1.122 OPS in June).

Cornholers said...

I think Kenny Williams will be seeking a trade partner for Josh Fields. With his two bombs last night he just might of lifted the interest a little bit.

Unfortunately there isn't going to be much of a return for Fields. I wouldn't be surprised to see either of the Bay Area teams hook up with the Sox for Fields. With Eric Chavez' career over Fields would be a nice replacement at 3B and there is no doubt that the Giants need a 3B, as Sandoval can play anywhere else.

You're probably looking at a "failed prospect" swap. For instance, a Jonathan Sanchez for Josh Fields swap. The Sox have shown a propensity to due this in the past with success in guys like Gavin Floyd. Or their current attempt in Jeff Marquez (don't think that will turn out as well).

Cornholers said...

Speaking of tears, did anyone watch the CWS? My boy, Jarrod Mitchell got all-tourney player and bombed a 3-run HR in the 1st inning last night. The boy seems legit...now lets get him signed and see him hit with wood.

PG said...

BTW, New Linc, I kind of liked the Topps stick gum.

And don't be hating on Topps, either. It's a fine Brooklyn born corporation. My grandmother actually worked for Topps back in the 50's I believe. She should have pocketed some Mantle rookie cards and my college would have been paid for.

Speaking of sought after baseball cards, was there any bigger one than Fuck Face?

Cornholers said...

I think Fuck Face needs to catch more flack for that on MLBN. He's been getting a free ride thus far and I want to hear him explain Fuck Face....

...not to mention it would be cool to hear how his older brother caught Kevin Costner porking his wife, was so distraught that he couldn't make it to his game and to keep the streak alive the lights at Camden Yards mysteriously didn't work that night forcing a postponement.

PG said...

I also remember a topps Al Leiter rookie card that wasn't Al Leiter (it was now Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland). The error cards were the best.

Speaking of Cal Ripken, I have an error card of his where his last name is spelled "Ripkin". I wonder how much it is worth.

New Linc said...

I actually have mad love for Topps! Fleer was meh, and I could not stand the fancy designs and holos Donruss and Upper Deck incorporated into their cards.

To add to the long tradition of error cards there is a 2007 A-Rod card with Mickey Mantle photo-shopped into the dugout and George W. Bush in the crowd.

SwinGERS said...

I remember collecting those miniature player pins, anyone else get those?

PG said...

Yeah, see, the error cards with Mickey Mantle and George Bush are so contrived that I really cannot appreciate them. The ones like Fuck Face and the Al Leiter/Dave Eiland card, those were legitimate errors. I like those a lot better.

Anyone have any other examples of error cards?

Cornholers said...

I remember for a short-time there in the late-80's I collected those MLB sticker books. That was always fun to buy the sticker packs. I would complete and entire book, placing duplicates right on-top of each other. Man, where are those books....or my card collection for that matter.

All I ever kept onto was my baseball collection...and my Stan Musial and Ray Kaat autograph pictures.

Michael said...

Got to agree with PG, that Topps gum was good.

Loved the fuck face card from Ripken. I am trying to remember but I think there was another pretty big mistake card around that time.

Had the MLB sticker books as well, those were fun to fill up right away.

PG said...

The sticker books ruled. The literally consumed me and my friends lives. I remember, the sticker packs were 25 cents a piece. My and my posse (James, Kenny, and Stamat) used to go up to the candy store on 3rd Ave, each buy 4 packs of stickers, rifle through them, and pull the old, "need it, need it, got it, got it, got it". One year, my white whale was A's Dwayne Murphy from the A's. I must have thrown down 10 bucks before I finally got that guy to complete my album. Good times.

PG said...

BTW, how's this for an asshole. There was a baseball card shop (up by the old Smitty's-3K, Yankee Mike, Derek the Long Legged Mack Daddy, and Rocky Mike will remember) that we used to hang out at, and the owner had a dart board. And he would put up a baseball card to bet, and you would put up a card (of equal value), and he'd pick a number on the dart board, and if you hit it, you get his card and if you miss it, he gets your card. Needless to say there were plenty of kids missing and losing their cards. How amazing is that? This asshole was gambling with little kids, HAHAHAAHAAHAHAAHA.

SwinGERS said...

Those sticker books were the best, I remember having the NFL ones too. I remember filling up the one after the Bears won Super Bowl XX.

Cornholers said...

I remember that asshole from the cardshop trying to get his fat digits on my baseball collection. I would tell him about the balls and he kept wanting me to bring them in for him to see them. I never would for fear that he would try and rip me off. He was going to give me $100/ball at one point. Of course I'm sure those suckers are worth much more then that.

You still want that Brooklyn Dodgers ball PG?

PG said...

I love that ball. Heck, that ball is gonna pay for little 3K's college someday.

Cornholers said...

Hell no, if that kid doesn't get a scholarship then he best get himself a job. I'm not paying for his college. That ball is paying for my mid-life crisis!!

SwinGERS said...

What's this Brooklyn Dodger ball you have 3K?

Cornholers said...

Signed 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers baseball. Guys like Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider (and others).

I actually have a collection of balls from the '50's and '60's that were passed down to me. You name the player and I have his autograph. From the Mick, to Teddy Ballgame, to Stan the Man, to Willie Say Hey Mays. Got 'em all.

Which brings me to a problem in our game today - when did all the nicknames go away? Sure, guys might have nicknames for players on their own teams, but they don't reach the fan. I mean, nicknames that stand the test of time.

And if it isn't known, let it be known, Ted Williams is still my favorite player of all-time.

SwinGERS said...

Those were great nicknames...sadly the only ones we get today are from that blow hard Chris Berman.

Cornholers said...

I'm with leather....

Edward said...

Little 3K??? I saw your sister's news today, something I am missing?

Mike said...

Nickname crisis? I don't think so. I believe Fuck Face has been well represented. More modern? How about Barry "Shit Bag" Bonds and Manny "Go Fuck Yourself" Ramirez. And don't forget Sammy "My Mother is a Whore" Sosa. Come on guys, these are quite common.

New Linc said...

Let us not forget Ryan "I Take It In The Poop Chute" McCreery and Wade "Pickle In the Pipe" Ellis!

Mike said...

BTW - Sticker books? Pussies.

BTW II - How about the owner of the baseball card shop opening up individual packs of cards, taking the good one's out, replacing them with shit cards, then rubber cementing the packs to appear as if they were unopened. What a swine. What kind of shit show was he running anyway?