By Josh Kramer
Sure last week was absolutely ludicrous between all of the transactions in the MLB and NFL. Well the pace will not slow up by any means. Here are the topics that have caught my attention.
No More Randy Moss
After a very up and down career, though predominantly up, one of football’s greatest wide receivers of all time is calling it quits. Many headlines have exclaimed “No Moss.” And I must say, I tip my hat to a man who normally has struggled to handle his business off the field and in the locker room frequently throughout his career. It is few and far between to find athletes these days who know when the time is right to walk away.
Sure Randy Moss is only 34 years-old. Sure there are plenty of receivers in the NFL that are still playing at a riper age than 34. But how many of these guys are really a shell of what they once were? So Randy Moss has never been the best with the media over the years, or at staying out of trouble off the field. But this time, he showed intelligence far beyond his years.
One of the main flaws that athletes have in our era is the “hold-on too long” syndrome. Just ask Brett Favre how that has worked out for him. Or ask Michael Jordan how that worked out for him with his return to the NBA via the Washington Wizards at the age of 38. And soon, we will be asking when Mr. November, aka Mr. 3,000 (Derek Jeter), will hang up the spikes. Sure great players that are true ambassadors of their respective sports deserve to come and go when they please. It is not up to the fan to determine when they retire. But guys like Brett Favre have tarnished their image in a way. Brett of course holds every record in the book for quarterbacks, yet many will remember him and his indecisiveness over the final few years of his career.
Moss recognizes that he is not the player that he once was. Regardless if his agent said that he was in “freakish shape.” Randy knows that his time as a Pro Bowl caliber receiver is over. And he does not want to be just an average player come Sundays. He loved being a star, and will go out being remembered as a star.
If I am Randy Moss there are two more things that I would do. Number one, I would head to the ATM and get some straight cash homey. And then I would get ready for a trip to Canton, to be honored as a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.
Maybe they know something we don’t know
The MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone. We have now entered the dog days of August as we gear up for the stretch run in Major League Baseball. As usual, the end of July was full of transactions as teams looked to beef up their rosters before the end of the month deadline. The majority of the contenders did something to improve their prospects.
The Phillies picked up the best player available on the market (in my opinion) in Hunter Pence. And if you disagree with that statement, you can at least agree that they filled a major need in rightfield. San Francisco bolstered their very sub-par lineup with the big bat of Carlos Beltran. The Braves picked up a great young talent in Michael Bourn, who is on the verge of becoming a major star. In addition, the Indians picked up the most talented pitcher on the market in Ubaldo Jimenez to fill the void in their struggling pitching staff. Even the Pirates, who have been a “seller” at the end of July for almost two decades now did a very solid job considering the financial resources at their disposal and the current market of available players.
But for some reason the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, and Cincinnati Reds stayed entirely put. They did absolutely nothing to improve their current rosters to get ready for the big months of August, September, and hopefully October.
First of all lets look at the Yankees. Currently New York sits in very solid position with a very comfortable lead for the AL Wild Card and a legitimate shot to win the AL East. Many have questioned why they did not go out and get a big time pitcher to be their number two starter for the playoffs. Sure Bartolo Colon has struggled, but this team is over 20 games above 500 for a reason. There was not a whole lot of quality pitching on the market and they did not budge. Though surprised that the Yankees did not wheel and deal, I am not appalled by it. Also realize New York has made at least one move leading up to every trade deadline since 1998. And you all know what the 1998 team was like.
The Los Angeles Angels are currently very much alive in the hunt for the AL West, yet they made no movement before the deadline. I will admit that I am extremely surprised by the lack of persistence from Angel’s ownership in wooing a bat to play for the Halos. Sadly for LA, the Rangers improved dramatically with the acquisition of two solid relief pitchers. Hopefully the Angels can acquire somebody off of waivers, because at this point, their playoff chances look to be little to none, despite only being two games out of first place, and currently sporting the best team ERA in the American League.
Last but not least, lets talk about the Cincinnati Reds. This was a team that looked to take a bullet to the chest after being swept in four games by the mediocre New York Mets last week. How could a team get swept four straight games by the Mets? Though this is a mystery to me, how could a team like Cincinnati, who is still somewhat alive in the lowly NL Central do nothing to improve their playoff prospects. Sure Cincinnati is a middle to small market team, but they have a great young group of talent and ownership has acted with the “win-now” mentality for well over a year until the past few days. Amazingly though, the Reds looked like last year’s NL Central Champions on steroids this past weekend, as they demolished the defending World Series Champion Giants in the form of a three game sweep. They outscored the defending champs 20 to 5, looking like a playoff caliber team from Friday night, to Sunday evening. Maybe Jocketty, Castellini, and Co. deciding to make no moves was a sign of confidence in the current team they have? Whatever it was, the Reds looked outstanding this weekend.
Perhaps Reds ownership knows something that we don’t know?
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.