Better late than never, as Dawger wasn't fortunate enough to get to say to Siouper Sioux Fan.
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Bill Smith. Getting Fuentes isn't exactly like stealing away a top of the line reliever, but it does help shore up the bullpen, particularly from the left side because the pick up of Randy Flores was basically worthless. Fuenes's numbers this year are good, but not great (3.55 ERA and 1.20 WHIP) and are buoyed by a low .250 BABIP, but he's extremely tough on lefties both this year (.132 average against) and in his career (.213). In fact, lefties this year are hitting .132/.209/.158 against him his season, an OPS+ of 10 which is unheard of and means LH batters are 90% worse against him than he league average. He's given up just five hits against lefties this year (in 38 at-bats), only one for extra bases, and has 15 strikeouts against 3 walks. As a left-handed set-up guy who cost you just a player to be named later, which usually means someone below a non-prospect, this is a steal. Bill Smith might not be a wizard at the deadline, but he's proven himself to be awfully good after the waiver deadline.
2. Nick Blackburn. I guess we'll stick with the Twins theme, because you saw that gem coming? The statistically worst starting pitcher in the entire major leagues this year comes back from AAA in just his second start and throws a near shutout that probably would have been a shut out if his crappy offense had managed to scrap together more than one run? Inconceivable. He threw strikes (66 of 98 pitches) and actually struck guys out (6 Ks - most in a game since May '09), and shut the Mariners down despite not getting a huge amount of groundballs (50/50 split). In other words, this is almost certainly a huge fluke thanks to Seattle being a terrible offensive team. But hey, we might as well enjoy it, even if the text I got from Dawger "Blacky is back with avengance (sic)!" isn't exactly true. Or maybe it is completely true, just means something different than what he thinks.
3. Daniel Hudson. I know Edwin Jackson has been pretty lights out for the Sox, but Hudson has been pretty lights out since they shipped him to Arizona as well, and he's also four years younger and makes 4% per year of what Jackson does, plus he's under team control for quite a while. He had another brilliant outing over the weekend, going 7 innings and allowing just four hits and 2 runs on his way to a win over the Giants. Since coming to the NL, he's pitched in six games posting an aggregate 1.65 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and a 42-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Wow. I know it's the NL and all, but that's just outstanding. I don't care what Edwin Jackson does the rest of the way, giving up Hudson for him (as well as another good prospect, an18-year old pitcher doing well in rookie ball) is straight up getting fleeced. Now if the Dodgers can tease another good prospect out of them for Manny, the Sox will have completely tanked their future for a second place division finish. And that, my friends, is simply awesome. [UPDATE: Well the Dodgers gave up Manny for nothing. Way to puss out, pussies. This is why nobody likes the West Coast.]
4. Matt Kuchar. Kuchar outlasted everybody else at the Barclays to pick up what is kind of his first PGA Tour win. He technically has two others, but one came in a Fall Series event and the other came way back in 2002. And frankly he deserved way more than Martin Laird, who choked it away and then lost to Kuchar in the playoff. Laird was in trouble the entire final round (on his way to an even par day while Kuchar shot -5) and only kept himself in it due to a very hot putter that had him saving par from 10 feet or so multiple times on the day. Plus, Laird sucks, while Kuchar has dominated this year without winning, notching nine top 10s this year and missing just two cuts all year. He deserved it, and I'm glad he won. Plus Laird is a commie.
5. Tim Tebow. Haters better back up, because it looks like NFL rookie-of-the-year is going to be a two man race between Friar Tuck and Dez Bryant. Tebow should be starting over Orton by week four after the show he put on, and it's sad that some of you people doubted him just because of his relationship with his personal lord and savior Jesus, who loves him so that he takes a rooting interest in Tebow's football games. Jealous much, hater? He can still pass (like in college), he can still run (like in college), although he's now picked up a new skill - throwing the ball to Eric Decker. Sorry haters, looks like Jesus is going to be adding a NFL ROY trophy to his trophy room soon, and probably a Lombardi Trophy right after that. Tebow has a message for the NFL: "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through
the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike
down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you!"
1. Phil Mickelson. Ok, so maybe it's nit-picking to find fault with the #2 ranked golfer in the world who has won 46 pro tournaments and 4 majors, but is there anybody on tour who disappoints as often as he does? He's had chance after chance lately to supplant Tiger at the top of the rankings, but hasn't been able to come through, finishing outside the top 45 at the Bridgestone and the British. He did bounce back to finish 12th at the PGA, although he was never really in contention, and then missed the cut this weekend at the Barclays. Seriously, take his inability to take that #1 ranking, couple it with all the meltdowns at the U.S. Open (he has 5 second-place finishes), and his poor Ryder Cup showings (he's second in US history with 14 losses and a 10-14-6 career mark), and the second best golfer of his generation might also be the most disappointing.
2. Stephen Strasburg. The game of baseball may never be the same. Of course I'm mostly kidding (Wieters is still in the league, after all) but with Strasburg heading for Tommy John surgery we may be looking at the ultimate what-if. I know we are watching a success story as Twins fans in Francisco Liriano right now, but that doesn't mean everybody can bounce back that well. For a guy like Strasburg, the rare talent who was hyped to an unrealistic level and then met that level anyway, well this just sucks. I'm bummed out as a baseball fan, I can't imagine what a Nationals fan must be feeling like right now. Good thing there aren't any.
3. Matt Leinart. I'm starting to wonder if he's ever going to get it. Nobody has been given more opportunities to become a star than Leinart, with talent around him that should help the process (great receivers, good line, good defense), and nobody has dropped the ball more often. He was supposed to be the starter last year, but a poor preseason and lackluster work ethic pushed him behind Kurt Warner again. Now this year, although his stats look fine in the preseason thus far, he's been demoted behind Derek Anderson. Derek freaking Anderson. This guy must have some kind of terrible attitude behind the scenes, and although that will get broads in the hot tub and make Snake fall in love with you, it seems NFL coaches don't necessarily love that. He's like the anti-Tebow.
4. John Danks. I love this. A few weeks ago when Danks shut down the Twins in a big game I happened to be watching the Sox feed at one point and Hawk and whoever the other guy are were tossing around phrases like "Bulldog", "Ace", "Big game pitcher", and "my first choice to pitch for me in a life or death situation." Awesome, because with the Twins continuing to win the Sox need to keep pace and they were going up against Sabathia and the Yanks with Danksy on the hill - a big game if I've ever seen one. Well the "bulldog" got bulldogged by the A-Rodless Yankees, giving up 8 runs in four innings, giving up 3 dongs and walking four. Nice clutch outing. I haven't seen an "ace" implode like that since John Tudor.
5. NCAA Fascists. FREE OTO OSENIEKS! FREE OTO OSENIEKS! FREE OTO OSENIEKS! FREE OTO OSENIEKS! FREE OTO O.........