Archive for July 2009
The Philadelphia 76ers today traded disgruntled center Samuel Dalembert to the Los Angeles Sparks for star power forward Candace Parker and a throwback jersey from Hall of Fame Center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Dalembert is expected to back up Sparks center Lisa Leslie.
According to sources, talks have been ongoing for some time, but were held up due to the Sixers insistence on a signed Magic Johnson jersey. Once that was reduced to a game worn Abdul-Jabbar jersey, things moved quickly.
“We are proud to introduce our new forward, Candace Parker,” said Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski of the 6′ 4″ dunking machine. “We expect her to be a significant improvement over Dalembert. She is stronger, has a better outside shot, and is far less likely to cost us games by committing four fouls in the first quarter of every game.
“Plus, this Kareem jersey is gonna look sweet on the wall of my office.”
Dalembert seemed thrilled to be traded to a contender.
“It is an honor to be traded to a team with such a rich tradition,” said the soul-rending “center.” “I hear the seats on the bench there are well padded. I look forward to taking my team killing skills to Los Angeles.”
When asked what Dalembert’s role would be, Sparks head coach Michael Cooper was very clear.
“His role will be to make sure that Lisa has plenty to drink, and that she has a fresh towel with which to dry off when she sits down.” When asked specifically about his playing role, Cooper just laughed and left the podium.
Contacted by phone, Sixers guard Andre Iguodala seemed to sum up the feelings of the whole team, if not the city.
“Wow, I thought we would never unload that mook,” said Iguodala. “To call him useless is an insult to useless people. Who did we get for him? You know what, it doesn’t matter. We are a better team today.”
When told that WNBA star Candace Parker was now a Sixer, Iguodala replied, “Great. She will double his scoring average just by not fouling out.”
Parker seemed to take the whole situation in stride. “I’m just going to try to fit in and do what I do. I plan to be a team player. (Sixers head coach) Eddie (Jordan) told me that I was a much better fit for the Princeton offense, due to the fact that I have an IQ over 75, unlike Dalembert.
“He said that, not me. I mean, it’s true, but I’m just saying.”
When asked about how she would handle the difference in the game play, Parker expressed confidence.
“Look, I am not worried,” said Parker. “I know what I can do. Obviously, the Sixers do too, or I wouldn’t be here. I can handle the ball, I can shoot, I can dunk, all the things that were missing from that position for the 7 minutes a game that he played last year.
“If some high school kid can dunk on (Cleveland Cavaliers guard) LeBron (James), I can too.”
At press time, it could not be confirmed that the New York Mets were trying to trade Oliver Perez to the USA Olympic team for softball ace Jennie Finch and a Mia Hamm throwback.
Unable to locate a Double A team with space on their schedule, the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed with the Washington Nationals for newly signed pitcher Pedro Martinez to make a rehab start next week against them.
“We want to ease Pedro back into the groove,” said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. “We didn’t want him facing major league hitters until his arm strength gets to where he is comfortable.
“The Nationals are a perfect fit for that.”
Nationals pitcher John Lannan could not contain his excitement.
“What a thrill, to be on the same field as a major league team,” said Lannan. “It’s every kid’s dream to be on the field with actual major league ballplayers.
“Do you think (Phillies second baseman) Chase Utley will give me an autograph?”
The Nationals were resistant at first to playing at home, as they lose tens of thousands of dollars on every home game.
“An extra home game? No way,” said Nationals president Stan Kasten. “Why should we open the doors so 2,600 people can come in and cost us money again? We just laid off Manny Acta to save money.
“We’ll play in Philly if they pay for the train tickets.”
Martinez, surrounded by a phalanx of midgets and wearing armless sunglasses like Morpheus from The Matrix displayed his usual cockiness.
“Look, I don’t care if these guys aren’t major leaguers. If I need to, I will drill them. Go dig up Frank Howard, I’ll drill him right in the (censored), too. If they want to cry, let them cry.
“There’s no crying in baseball,” Martinez added. He then began throwing peanuts to a small elephant he’d brought with him.
When told that Frank Howard wasn’t dead, Martinez began throwing peanuts at reporters.
The Mets were originally asked, but were unavailable due to their malaria curing world tour.
Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball.
Let’s get that out of the way right now.
It isn’t that he wouldn’t make the Phillies World Series favorites; he absolutely would.
But what would be the price?
If the Blue Jays were asking for a ham sandwich and Eric Bruntlett, this trade would be a no brainer. But they are not.
Toronto general manager J. P. Ricciardi says that he is looking to be “blown away.”
Remember, Halladay is under contract through the end of 2010, so it isn’t as if the Jays have to trade him now or risk losing him for nothing.
They are not desperate.
They just stink.
Therefore, it will require a king’s ransom to make this happen. Logic says that the Blue Jays will require a major league pitcher (it isn’t going to be Brett Myers, kiddies), plus at least two, possibly three, blue chip prospects to get this done.
Thus, for the Phillies, you are looking at JA Happ, Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and possibly Jason Donald or Lou Marson.
Happ has been their most consistent pitcher this season.
Drabek has wowed everyone in baseball with his comeback from Tommy John surgery, and is penciled in as at least the number three starter next year.
Michael Taylor is a legitimate five tool stud who may be an all-star for the next ten years.
Frankly, Donald and Marson are very good players, but not as good as those three,
Still, Marson is likely to be a very good catcher, and those don’t grow on trees. Donald is stuck until Jimmy Rollins leaves, so he is definitely tradeable.
Oh, and for those thinking that a package of Carlos Carrasco, Kyle Kendrick, Donald, and Marson will get it done, you are dreaming.
Not gonna happen.
The Blue Jays are not going to make that trade, sorry Charlie.
The fact of the matter is, with the addition of Pedro Martinez, the Phillies are good enough to win as constructed.
If you were told before the season that at the all-star break, the Phillies would be leading the division by four games with two games in hands, you would take that, wouldn’t you?
What if you were told that Pedro Martinez was going to be added to the rotation?
Would you take that?
In a heartbeat and that is where they stand.
They are hitting as well as they have all season. They are coming off one of their best homestands ever, and have a chance to bury the Marlins this week.
Now, they have a three-time Cy Young winning, World Series Champion, and future hall of famer taking the mound once every five days.
Is Martinez what he once was?
No but for the first time since early in 2006, he is healthy and his head is clear. His fastball is as good as it has been in years. He has a chip on his shoulder for not being signed until now.
Most importantly, he didn’t require the Phillies to gut their farm system to come aboard.
Remember 2008, when everyone was screaming for the Phillies to get the best pitcher available, CC Sabathia?
Remember that they got Joe Blanton instead?
Remember that the Brewers gutted their farm system to get Sabathia?
Sabathia and the Brewers went to the playoffs. Blanton and the Phillies got a ring.
It says here it happens again wiithout Roy Halladay.