1. I'm unsure about this. Big move down Twins way, moving Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps, a deal that I now Super Twins Blogger Aaron Gleeman hates already, thanks to the miracle of twitter. I don't hate it, but I also don't love it. Kind of like the show Big Bang Theory. I'm not a fan of trading Ramos in a trade that isn't really the kind that will put you over the top, but Capps is better than Rauch, even if it's not a huge upgrade, he was absolutely lights out from 2006-2008, and he has significant closing experience. Maybe it's the last little bit of the nerd in me holding on to something old school but I believe there is value in having closing experience. The downside, of course, is that they traded their top prospect (top 3 at worst) for a rental, because Capps is a free agent after this year, and it makes me a bit queasy to trade a top young guy for a reliever. I need more time to really digest this, but I think I kind of like it but don't love it. Of course, I'm also a huge lover of trades because they're fun, so that bumps it up a notch.
2. A few other trades went down yesterday. The most high profile was Roy Oswalt to the Phillies for J.A. Happ and a couple of mediocre prospects, a steal for the Phillies since the Astros are paying $11 million of his salary next year and they didn't have to guarantee his 2012 option. This now gives Philly a 3-man playoff rotation of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Oswalt, and I think we have a Miami Heat situation brewing in the NL. Other trades include the shell of Miguel Tejada to the Padres for a middling minor leaguer, Jorge Cantu to the Rangers for a couple of promising pitchers even though Texas is broke, and an odd swap of minor leaguers between the Astros and Blue Jays involving one of the prospects the Astros had received just hours earlier in the Oswalt trade and a guy the Jays got in the Halladay trade last year. So basically the market for starters is crap, but the Twins overpaid for Capps. Awesome.
3. Sticking with baseball, we need a moment of silence. Stephen Strasburg is dead. Well shut down and on the DL, retroactive to his last start so he'll be back in about 10 days. But still. Apparently he's basically just got a sore shoulder with a little inflammation and it's not really a big deal, but because the Nats are going nowhere and Strasburg is basically Sidd Finch with a golden arm, there's no reason to put him at even a minuscule risk of further injury. Now if only they could find a team to give up a top prospect at a tough position to fill, like catcher, for a pretty decent but overvalued reliever. Oh, and you can also read how Jim Bunning is batshit insane if you follow that link.
4. R. A. Dickey is really starting to piss me off. He continues to somehow pitch well, so well in fact that the article title after his start tonight was "Dickey Dominates." After taking a 3-hitter into the ninth before running into some trouble and getting yanked, Dickey is now 7-4, but more importantly is sporting a 2.32 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP; ace-like numbers. That ERA is less than half his career number, his WHIP is almost a half base-runner per inning better this year, and for a guy who has only been a part-time starter in his career he's been able to go at least 6 innings in 12 of his 14 starts this year. And, in case you're wondering, his BABIP is right where it should be, so there's no reason to expect him to suddenly start to suck. Seriously, this is so far beyond a career-year that we need a new word for it. This is his Brady Anderson year.
5. The Jeremy Tyler saga continues. You might remember Tyler as one of the top incoming recruits for the class of 2010, who had signed on with Louisville and Rick Pitino. Then he decided the best move for him would be to leave high school after his junior year and play professionally in Israel until he became eligible for the NBA. He then quit after just 10 games (averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 7.6 minutes) after a series of issues including leaving a game at half time in protest that he wasn't getting enough minutes. He's now hooked up with a team in a Japanese League, and will presumably play over there next year unless he quits again. He will be eligible for the NBA Draft next season, so we'll find out if it was worth it. Pretty much a toss up right now between living in a land where you don't know the culture or the language, not getting along with teammates, and high levels of frustration versus being a star and banging a different coed every night. Tough call.
6. Northwestern's NCAA cherry takes a hit. This happened a few days ago but I haven't commented on it and I think it's big enough that I should make sure to mention, but Kevin Coble has decided to hang 'em up and has left the Wildcat basketball team. It's unfortunate for Northwestern, because between him and John Shurna they would have had two big weapons who could score from inside or outside, and with Michael Thompson and Drew Crawford back and highly rated freshman Jershon Cobb joining the team, they were looking very good for their first ever NCAA bid. They will still be good enough to make a run, but it will be tough without Coble, who led the team in scoring and rebounding all three years of his career, but was sidelined by a foot injury last year, and left the team to focus on his academics and get his degree. Just goes to show you can't trust a nerd.
I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on the Capps trade. Stay tuned.