The Cincinnati Reds dealt away OF Wily Mo Pena to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
This is an interesting move from many angles. One, why trade Pena? I thought that dealing away Sean Casey this winter was done to allow the logjam in the outfield. The Casey deal moved Adam Dunn to 1st base and allowed the outfield of Pena, Austin Kerns and Ken Griffey to play every day.
The old regime, during the Carl Linder era, made the Casey deal. The new regime has taken over and are trying to make their own mark. But why did we deal Casey then? Sure we got a good up and coming pitcher...but we lost or clubhouse leader on a team that really needs one.
I am willing to give all of this some time to work itself out. The Reds needed pitching more than anything...
Pena will most likely platoon in Boston....taking Trot Nixon's spot when lefties face them. Someone on Cincinnati.com called Pena the "real-life Cerrano" [referring to Dennis Haysbert's character in Major League] and in some of that, he may not be missed too much. He's a Rob Deer type guy who will plant a few in the seats....or walk back to the dugout as the ball is being slung around the infield after another strikeout. The Reds already got one of those....Adam Dunn...and he's more likely to plant them in the seats than Pena is.
And how will Arroyo take this? He was on a championship contending team....and all of the sudden is on a smaller market also ran [a "mid-major" to use NCAA terms]. Arroyo took a "home team discount" to staywith the Red Sox...as he signed a 3-yr deal for under market value to stay with Boston. He could have a bad attitude about this and ruin the deal for the Reds by mailing it in. Or he could get bent and go off for an even better season than his last. Of course, he was just gonna be a spot starter for the BoSox...so not a huge loss for them. For the Reds, he may just be the ace of the staff.
From what I've read on the Red Sox message boards, they are also not sure what to make of the deal. I guess time will tell.
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
And how about this.....Japan v Cuba for the title. Sorry, an no offense to the two countries, but this tournament got worse before it got better. How is this a round robin tournament for two rounds....then a one game playoff for the title game?? What is that? I though they'd have another round robin with Japan, Cuba, Domitican Rep. and Korea....with the top two teams playing for a championship. Did they write this on the back of a napkin?
Also, good job Major League Baseball! The combined amount of MLB players that will be in the World Baseball Classic Final???? Two...and they both play for Japan.
I will say that Peter Gammons had a beautiful point about these games. On his ESPN Insider blog, he remarked about how great and diverse a country we live in....since you can hold a game between Japan and Korea in San Diego.....and have Japanese and Korean people there screaming and cheering for their teams. Another day, you can have the same place filled with cheering Domiticans rooting for their team. Aside from those three countries....where else in the world could have that?? No where.
Also, he remarked on the fact that American players can fill these other countries rosters [like A-Rod trying to decide who he'd play for....or Mike Piazza on the Italian team]. Just like in the Athens Olympics, they fielded a team of Americans of Greek decent.
He also stated how great it was that Japan and Cuba....the first two baseball cultures that grew outside of the USA....are in the finals with [aside from two guys] their own league players. The entire feeling of this "classic" was what the Olympic feeling used to be like. Just a bunch of guys from America, Far East, Europe and the Caribbean all playing the same game depite all of the crap their countries may represent in their capitals. And remind us what we have when Major League Baseball season starts up in a few weeks....that these guys from all these places actually are bonded by the game and their love for it more than anything. You can have an American, Korean, Domitican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezeulan and Mexican players on the same team. And that we don't have a monopoly anymore on the best players in the world.