The Nexus Of The Universe

It's only June 14th, but already they has been a flurry of truly brainless trades, signings, or firings. Many asinine choices and decisions have killed teams already in large ways. In some cases, it was a team completely turning their back on their biggest need and just standing pat. Some were desperate moves that weren't going to work out anyway possible and others were experiments gone wrong. And knee jerk reactions rarely make sense in the first place. Now of course it's easy for me to sit here and bash these even though some had sensible reasoning behind them earlier, but whatever. Here are my top 10 list for the most dumb, idiotic, moronic, absurd, imbecile, silly, and irrational decisions made before or during this young 2008 season (countdown style with #1 being the most dimwitted).

10. The Padres Sign Mark Prior- This is one of those moves that I can see making. The Padres signed him to a small one year deal, hoping he could be a nice story and contribute in the backend of the rotation. It wasn't like they gave him a 5 year, mega deal expecting him to be the ace he should've been earlier in his career. So it wasn't a terrible move which is the reason why it's #10. With that said, it's still looking like a bonehead pick-up. Prior is out for the whole season again after having arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. So basically the Padres, a 30-39 team as I write this that has many issues to deal with (mostly offensive), threw $1 million bucks down the drain. Once again, not a truly brainless move. But still not so good.

9. The Fact That John McLaren Is Still Managing The Mariners- I touched on this in my last blog so I won't go in depth since I've basically said everything already. But once again, the Mariners need to rebuild in the worst way and quickly. The first step to doing that would be to change the leader of the clubhouse. It's not all McLaren's fault, but he's the manager and must be held accountable for this horrible start from a team that was picked by most people to be serious contenders this year. Every aspect of Seattle's game has been very ugly. Once you change the manager, then you can focus on changing the actual team on the field. But the manager should be first in this spot.

8. The Reds Fire Wayne Krivsky- Yes I understand the Reds got off to a horrible first step this season and they've been disappointing thus far all year, but firing Wayne was a desperate and a stupid knee-jerk reaction. While Krivsky did have some incredibly puzzling moments (signing Mike Stanton for 2 years, $5.5 million when no one else was offering even close to that; getting SS Alex Gonzalez for 3 years, $14 million) overall he did some really good things. He got Brandon Phillips for minor league pitcher Jeff Stevens (Who?), traded Willy Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo, acquired Josh Hamilton just for cash than turned around and traded him for who is currently the best pitcher in baseball Edinson Volquez, and he got a very good closer in Francisco Cordero. All that doesn't warrant a firing.

7. The Astros Trade Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett For Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary- Now, I'm not saying it was dumb trading Lidge. The Astros had to trade Lidge because he obviously couldn't be a successful closer in Houston anymore. The reason why this is on here is for what the Astros got back. Along with minor league third baseman Mike Costanzo, they got the 2 players listed above. Geary has been very solid thus far, but Michael Bound has almost been an automatic out. The reason why the Astros wanted him to be the main piece in the deal was to stick him in centerfield and so they have speed in the top of the order. Bourn can really run like a cougar, but what good is that if he never gets on base? He's hitting .230 with an OBP of .286. Horrible production from the lead-off spot. What makes it worse is Lidge is surprisingly dominating in Philly.

6. The Dodgers Sign Andruw Jones- Jones had a horrible year in 2007. While he did bang out 26 dingers and drove in 94 runs, his BA of .222 was terrible Even so, the Dodgers knew they needed hitting in the worst way and maybe a change of scenery would help Jones recapture his former self. What the Dodgers have gotten is a worse version of Jones than ever seen before. He has hit .165 with only 7 RBIs, but the most alarming number is his 2 homeruns. That shows his power seems to be gone which would mean he basically has nothing else left. At the moment he is out injured. This might sound crazy, but maybe it was a smart move to get him but it was a bad move to sign him to just a 1 year deal. When you look through Jones' career, you'll see he always struggles in contract years. Which could explain last year's difficulties or this year's problems. Or maybe his tank is just dried out. Either way, bad decision.

5. The Mets Sign Luis Castillo To a 4 Year Extension- Signing a 33 year old second baseman with hip, knee, and leg issues to a 4 year extension just to be a #2 hitter isn't the smartest thing Omar Minaya has done. Luis Castillo has had a solid career. He's a career .293 hitter who is famous for being a pesky hitter and has played very nice defense. But this year he started off really slow (although he's been hotter lately) and he's been in and out of the line-up way too much. Minaya should've known about his lower body problems before he even picked him up in that trade with the Twins. Signing him to a 1 year extension is no big deal, but 4 years makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Not only is his trade stock plummeting, but without his speed he's just a defense sub.

4. The Rangers Sign Jason Jennings For 1 Year, $4 million- It's no secret the Rangers need pitching. They've needed pitching for what it seems like forever now. Trying to improve a weak spot on your team is one thing, but there's no excuse for this laughably senseless pick up. I know it was only for 1 year and they just wanted him to pitch like a back-end guy, but I still can't figure out why they would even bother. Jason Jennings won the Rookie Of The Year in 2002 with the Rockies (16-8, 4.52 ERA) but ever since than has had only 1 good year (2006). In 2007, he signed with the Astros and went 2-9 and then had season ending surgery. The Rangers front office apparently get high on something and decided to give him a shot in that sandbox of a ballpark. What does he do? Goes 0-5 with an 8.56 ERA before having season ending surgery again. Give a round of applause to the Rangers front office.

3. The Indians Ignore Their Offense- The Indians pitching has been rather strong; both in the rotation and in the bullpen. They knew that going into the off season they needed more pop and firepower. Yet they just stood pat and signed utility infielder Jamey Carroll. Carroll is hitting .287 but something tells me they need more than that. The team is batting .247, Victor Martinez is now out until July, and Travis Hafner can barely keep up above the Mendoza Line. Seriously, what happened to him? He used to be such a intimidating force. Now he's one of the many problems this team has with hitting. Mark Shapiro came out earlier and has said he'll be looking for hitters hard until the trading deadline. He must find some help quickly because the disappointing Indians are already 32-36. But hey, it could be worse. Like these guys...

2. The Tigers Ignore Their Bullpen- The Tigers put on a comedy show during the off season. They had too much sugar and went off the wall, getting Cabrera and Willis from the Marlins even though they didn't need hitting in the first place and Willis' performance has been declining the past few years. While the Tigers went overboard in trying fix areas that didn't need fixing in the first place or in the case of Willis getting a bust waiting to happen, they didn't pay one second of real attention to their inept bullpen. Of course the injuries to Zumaya and Rodney have maximized the need of arms, but even with those guys in the bullpen the crew still needs help. Todd Jones shouldn't be any teams closer anymore (he has more walks than strikeouts) but who else is going to close for this team? The starting rotation needs help too but at least they tried by getting Willis; no matter how bad of a move.

1. The Brewers Sign Eric Gagne To Be The Closer- Here it is: the most shockingly unintelligent move you can possibly make. This is the kind of move Steve Phillips would make. The Brew Crew's front office must've been smoking the same thing the Rangers' guys were only the Brewers went a little to overboard with it. That's the only explanation I can find for this one. This is like signing David Ortiz to play shortstop; it just makes no sense. After being traded to Boston, Gagne was so horrendously bad that at one point he was single handily killing the team. He would come in and it'd be batting practice all over again. After his bad stint with Boston and his names coming up in steroid talks, you'd except no one would touch him with a 20 mile stick (except Steve Phillips of course). But the Brewers, needed a closer desperately in the worst way, gave Gagne an opportunity to blow more games. And that's just what Gagne did. He has gotten 10 saves in 15 opportunities with an ERA the size of Hank Steinbrenner's head. The Brewers are a contending team that is trying to win now. Putting in a closer that is so past his prime on a team that needs every game right now to keep up with the Cubs is asking for trouble.

I know there are some I forgot. If you can think of anymore epic blunders post them. Otherwise, thanks for taking the time to laugh at other teams misery. Unless if you're a Padres, Mariners, Reds, Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Rangers, Indians, Tigers, or Brewers fan. Then you're probably a little bitter. Either way, every team has had their share of mistakes thus far. These are just the most memorable.


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