If you're like me, the MLB trade deadline is an intriguing time period for you.
It's the time of the year where fans of teams like the Indians and Mariners flock back to see what their team is doing before returning to the Browns and Seahawks' training camps.
Fans of teams in New York and Los Angeles will briefly pay attention to the Giants, Jets, and...Well, at least you Dodger and Angels fans have USC, sorry about that.
Either way, most fans of teams in the race are waiting to find out if their team overpaid for a few rentals or got themselves a key cog in a playoff run.
One site that has quickly become a great source for anything and everything about the trade deadline is MLB Trade Rumors. It's quickly gaining notoriety and viewers from major MLB reporters, including ESPN's Peter Gammons.
Some dislike the site and consider most of the links and constant rumors as a pile of garbage, while others love the constant flow of information at a drop of a hat.
MLBtraderumors.com, and the hard work of its owner, Tim Dierkes, could be a great lesson for Bleacher Report and its endless amount of writers. Baseball fans are becoming empowered by the Internet, and there is no reason that Bleacher Report couldn't achieve greatness.
What's Making Me Sit in Front of my Computer This Week
Not that I don't do that enough any other week. Even though my team is probably done dealing, I'll still be paying close attention to whatever moves are left before the deadline on Thursday.
Last week saw a flurry of moves occur, including a pair of division rivals grab an extra bat and a bullpen arm.
The Los Angeles Dodgers attempted to sure up third base by acquiring Casey Blake from the Indians. If you don't know my opinion by now, I'm a huge fan of the deal from a Cleveland perspective.
I don't think the Dodgers did themselves any good though. Blake will be a decent bat down the stretch, but they may have given up too much.
Arizona dealt for Jon Rauch from Washington to sure up their bullpen. Rauch could be more of a rental with years left before they lose him, and Brandon Lyon's impending free agency.
The big deal was the acquisition of Xavier Nady and left-handed reliever Damaso Marte by the New York Yankees.
Watching Nady sparingly in Pittsburgh this year, he'll be a much-needed right-handed bat for that Yankee lineup. Marte is going to solidify that bridge to Mariano Rivera that New York lost when Joba Chamberlain went into the rotation.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, might have been duped. While Jose Tabata has potential, there is evidence that suggests he might be a bit of a problem child.
What's Making Me Happy
There are a few things that are making me feel really good about the sport that happened this past week.
While the Royals aren't too happy about having to go to these lengths, seeing Tony Pena Jr., a shortstop, come out to pitch and strikeout a hitter was really exciting. I love seeing position players go out and pitch. Most likely, they've got a history of it, so it's fun to see how far they've come since the last time they pitched.
One guy who isn't a position player coming into pitch is Brad Ziegler of the Oakland Athletics.
Ziegler broke a 101-year record by going 27 straight innings without giving up a run to start his career.
I'm always a fan of records being broken and this is a very unique one. Congrats to Ziegler, and for my sake, keep it up. I've now added you to my fantasy team for some holds and a low ERA.
What's Making Me Sit
Omar Vizquel's career could be very well winding down, as he plays out the final year of his contract with the San Francisco Giants. You might have seen the dazzling play he made this past week on highlight shows, but Vizquel is losing playing time.
Vizquel is hitting just .188 since spending the start of the year on the disabled list. He still flashes the leather like the Omar of old, but his hitting has fallen off the proverbial cliff.
Like the true professional he is, "Little O" is handling the matter in a respectful way. He understands the team is invested in the future, and that experience for younger players is more important at this juncture.
This could be it for Omar Vizquel.
In another fantasy related note, I had a lot of stock in Blue Jays' starter Dustin McGowan, who will be out for the year on season-ending shoulder surgery. In the six or seven leagues I'm a part of, McGowan was owned in a majority of them.
I was upbeat about McGowan's potential this year. I hope he is ready to go in 2009.
What I Am Randomly Thinking About
My hat is off to Goose Gossage for going into the Hall of Fame this past weekend. I can't wait till we get to the era of players that I've seen play. Gossage's incredible display of facial hair always excites me, though. What a brilliant idea for a mustache.
The Milwaukee Brewers gave Jay Gibbons a second chance with a minor-league contract. Hey, anything to get away from Carl "Dinosaur" Everett in my mind.
Speaking of the minor leagues, watching that awful display of a brawl between two minor-league clubs was downright awful. The pitcher that threw towards the dugout could serve up to eight years in prison for hitting a fan.
That's a bit harsh if you ask me. What's any different than him intentionally plunking an opposing batter during a game? The context of a game? I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished for hitting a fan, but maybe pitchers should be if they hit a batter with malicious intent.
Paul Byrd is pitching tonight, and I'm getting nauseous again. A local Cleveland writer by the name of Sheldon Ocker suggested Byrd be moved to the closer role. In more sane news, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports has a great article on Byrd's journey and battle with the HGH confession.
If you are a reader of sports biographies, make sure to pick up Byrd's new book Free Byrd.
Jeff Samardzija has gone from catching touchdowns from Brady Quinn to picking up saves for the Chicago Cubs. It's odd seeing his name scroll on the bottom of the screen and not seeing "3 TD, 100 Yards."
Is there any doubt about what series you should be paying attention to this week? The Brewers and Cubs start a four-game stand in Milwaukee tonight. The Brew Crew are one game back of Chicago for the NL Central lead, and all the big pitchers will be in action. Great matchups like Sabathia against Lilly, Sheets against Zambrano, and Parra against Dempster.