I am sorry that this is late, I haven't really been able to blog much in the past week, I have had a lot of hockey lately, but that is besides the subject. This is baseball . . .
First, the Home run Derby. This is something that happened a week ago but anyways, the Derby had the highest rating and most views out of any Home Run Derby ever before. This is very good since I figured that the Home Run Derby might die if somebody didn't do anything, luckily Josh Hamilton hit 28 home runs in the first round and that kept it alive for maybe another few years. Stuff like home runs, flashy stuff like that, just aren't appreciated as much as they used to be, this also goes for dunking in basketball, spin moves in football or even break-away dekes in hockey. Flashy stuff like that isn't appreciated as much as it used to be but Hamilton kept the Home Run Derby alive, even though Justin Morneau won it. An ESPN announcer sums it up perfectly: "Hamilton rented the tux and the limo but Morneau got to kiss the girl on the footsteps of the porch."
Speaking of All-Star festivities, Dan Uggla completely embarressed himself in the All-Star Game. He struck out three times, hit into a double-play which if he would have hit a sac fly or a hit in that position, the National League would have won the game. Uggla also comitted three errors, three more than what Tigers second baseman Placido Polanco comitted in all of last year. Either Uggla is not as good as his stats show or else Uggla wasn't used to having 50,000 fans watching him - remember, he only has around 10,000 fans (or less) watching him at Dolphin Stadium in Florida. Well, what are you going to do . . . something tells me that the National League All-Stars would have been better off with comedian George Lopez of the Taco Bell Legends and Celebrities softball All-Star Game instead of Uggla - sure, Lopez wasn't no Babe Ruth but least he didn't make any errors.
The Philadelphia Phillies have had some issues - on July 20th, the Phillies lost a game in the 11th inning. Cole Hamels pitched eight innings, allowing just two runs. Manager Charlie Manuel removed Pat Burrell going into the 9th and replaced him with Eric Bruntlett to have some speedy defense out in leftfield. Hamels faced the first batter in the ninth and gave up a home run immediately. Manuel pulled Hamels and replaced him with a different reliver . . . the Phillies lost in the 11th and two people were furious - the first one was Manuel, he was mad that his team blew a wonderful pitching performance by Hamels. Burrell was also unhappy that Manuel pulled him in a close game and Manuel is probably mad about that now too.
There are some trade rumors going around - the first one is Matt Holliday going to the Phillies in a blockbuster trade that could send Shane Victarino to the Rockies. The Phillies are stacking up on players and I have a feeling they could go deep in the playoffs this year. First it's Joe Blanton and Chad Gaudin from the Oakland Athletics for next to nothing (although Billy Beane will probably be able to turn it into an even trade). If the Phillies get Holliday then the New York Mets can pretty much kiss their playoff dreams good-bye. The Mets don't have enough pitching while the Phillies have an underrated rotation, they also probably have a better offense as well.
The Pittsburgh Pirates look to be trading some of their best players but they will need some good prospects in return for whoever they trade. Everyone probably knows by now that reliever Damaso Marte isn't staying in Pittsburgh for too much longer - many teams have expressed interest in him including the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers. Wherever Marte goes is still up in the air but other players might know something about where they might be going. The Tampa Bay Rays have serious interest in Xavier Nady who could improve an outfield that has had injuries to it in the past. Other teams are interested as well but it looks like Tampa Bay is getting him . . . Nady has had sort of a breakout season, hitting well over .300 and on pace for around 20 home runs. Shortstop Jack Wilson looks to be traded as well - the Detroit Tigers were interested in him during the off-season and might still be interested now that Edgar Renteria has become a total bust, hitting under .260 with limited range and poor defensive skills. Wilson hits around .270-.280 each year, although that might go down in the AL, but he provides very solid defense which is exactly what the Tigers need. The Tigers will only be interested in this trade if they don't get Clint Barmes first - Colorado wants a lot for Barmes but since they are out of contention, they might work out a deal. Jason Bay is also on the trade block . . . I guess this means that the Pirates are pretty much done for this season.
Last but not least, to the Boston Red Sox, a team that always gets attention. The story this time is that Terry Francona might feel a need to bench Jacoby Ellsbury who has done absolutely terrible lately. He has a .234 OBP over his last 26 games along with 22 strikeouts, one stolen base (despite leading the league with 35) and zero home runs during the same span. When David Ortiz is fully healthy, Ellsbury is going to compete for the centerfield starting job along with Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss in a position battle thatr he might lose. Moss is hitting .295 and Crisp provides veteren knowledge with strong defense. Also, a take on my opinion at first base. When are the Red Sox going to figure out that Sean Casey is a better player than Kevin Youkilis? Casey is hitting .362 in 130 at-bats - he is a much better hitter than "Youk".
Enjoy your day