Quote of the Day:
“Billy Beane is extremely sexy and cool.”-- New Oakland As shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima on why he signed with the Athletics. Sounds like someone who's watched "Moneyball" too many times.
It's December 20th and tomorrow the world ends according to an ancient Mesoamerican civilization, though I'm not sure if this takes place at Eastern Time or Central Time or what. And if all the craziness is true, well, Cubs fans are going to be very disappointed. Forever.
Lets get to today's Hot Stove. In this edition, we see the eternal rise of Corky Miller, Edwin Jackson continues his quest to play for every single major league team, Colorado has their version of a "big" resigning, and Placido Polanco stays in the NL East. All these headlines, while I give you my "Christmas Wishlist" in a fun series leading up to the holidays.
Let's get this started.
- The big news of the day is a trade between AL West rivals as Seattle and Los Angeles swapped LHP Jason Vargas and 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, straight up. Morales was the odd-man out after the Angels acquired Josh Hamilton, shuffling around the Angels roster and lineup. In return, they receive an innings eater that will join Jared Weaver, Tommy Hanson and C.J. Wilson.
- Expect the Angels outfield to consist of Hamilton, Mike Trout and defensive standout Peter Bourjos. Mike Trumbo will probably move over to DH. Unless Morales was going to learn how to field the 2B position, he was the odd man out.
- Morales will add some thump to the Mariners offense that ranked dead-last in the AL in runs scored. Kendrys batted .273 and slugged 22 home runs after missing all of 2011 with an unfortunate broken leg suffered in a home plate celebration after hitting a walk-off grand slam on May 29, 2010.
- In Vargas, the Angels get a reliable lefty that pitches a ton of innings. He threw for 200+ innings each of the last two seasons and won 14 games last year on a Seattle team where no one wins 14 games, save King Felix. It's a pretty good pick up for a guy in Morales who was basically expendable and Vargas will settle in nicely in the rotation. It helps that he's also faced a lot of the guys in the AL West so you can chalk that up as a plus too. Of course, the same goes for Morales and AL West pitching.
- The Phillies have officially signed reliever Mike Adams to a two-year, $12 million contract. Adams has been one of the best best setup men in baseball the past couple of seasons and he'll setup for Jonathan Papelbon, giving Philly one of the best 8-9 inning combos in the NL East.
- The Brewers signed LH Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year, $6 million deal. Gorzelanny may be remembered by the Chicago Northsiders for some-freaking-how being the best started during the doom seasons of 2009-2010. Gorzelanny was a spot-starter/long-reliever for the Nationals last season where he put up decent stats. He could start for the Brew Crew who don't have a lefty starter on their roster.
- The Brewers NL Central rivals, Cubs are nearing a deal with Edwin Jackson. Though after that debacle with Anibal Sanchez, I'm not going to believe it until Jackson is standing on a mound in Arizona this spring with a Cubs jersey on. And even then, the Tigers might swoop in and sign him last minute, just because.
- The Rockies made a move, resigning P Jeff Francis. Francis has one of the slowest fastballs in the Majors, topping out at 85 mph, so clearly the Rockies decided he was good to keep at Coors Field. Keep it up Rockies.
Placido Polanco has signed a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins. "Polly" as he was affectionately nicknamed in Detroit spent the last few seasons in Philadelphia but missed considerable time last year with back problems. Polanco can play a range of infield positions and still never strikes out. Good luck to him taking his talents to South Beach.
- Did I mention that Carlos Pena signed with the Astros? No? Well, he did.
- The legendary Corky Miller re-signed a minor league deal with the Reds to be their "Plan B, backup, emergency, just-in-case catcher for 2013. Miller has the best name next to Boof Bonser and has played seemingly forever. Hail Corky Miller.
My Christmas Wishlist (All I Want for Christmas is...)
And now a special segment we are trying called "My Christmas Wishlist." Over the next few days leading up to Christmas, the contributors here at "The Full Count" and other baseball fans will give a brief overview of what they want for Christmas. If you were nice like R.A. Dickey or Brandon McCarthy, you may get what you want from baseball Santa. If you were naughty like Roger Clemens, you'll just get coal. Or a perjury trial.
We are also encouraging fans to participate. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll be sure to post yours up before the holidays so the millions of readers that check out this blog can see your baseball thoughts.
Today, I'll go and tell you what I really, really want for Christmas.
All Chris Really Wants for Christmas is...
A lot of things. I'm a greedy person. I'm also a naughty person so I don't expect to get anything I want really. But if there was a baseball Santa I'd ask him for a big list of things. Sure I could ask for one specific thing (like a Tiger's World Series), but why put all your eggs in one basket when you could have a lot of things. In no particular order, this is what I want for baseball Christmas:
- A Tigers World Series Championship. Seriously, how hard can this be? It's never happened in my life. Even my White Sox friends have one. Waaaaah.
- Get rid of the DH rule. Look I'm an AL guy, and it's not that I care about the "strategy" and stuff my NL friends will argue. I just like it when pitchers actually get a hit. It's hilarious. It's demeaning to the other pitcher. And it's the only thing giving Dontrelle Willis a job in whatever minor league organization he's in now.
- Everyone adapt the DH rule. If I can't have one, I want the other. Pitchers batting is stupid. Do you really want Stephen Strasburg tearing his ACL legging out an infield single?
- No one linked to steroids makes the Hall of Fame. Call me old school, but my daddy told me "cheaters never win." The Hall is still sacred to many. Let's keep it that way.
- A new park for the Tampa Bay Rays. Because they deserve better.
- A new team for the Miami Marlins. Because they deserve better.
- A new team for Curtis Granderson. Because he's still my favorite player and I hate him wearing those ugly pinstripes.
- A fastball high and tight the first time Kevin Youkilis steps up to the plate at Fenway Park as a Yankee. Imagine the storylines.
- The Blue Jay to take the AL East in 2013. They really kind of have to now after this off season, right?
- To attend Bryce Harper's 21st birthday party.
- I want to race Emilio Bonifacio in a 40-meter dash.
- I want to try and hit RA Dickey's knuckleball, just once. I also want...
- To catch a home run from either Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, or Mike Trumbo when they visit Houston next summer. I'm buying ALL the outfield seats, by the way. Contact me if you want to join.
- As always, I want New York baseball to finish last in their respective divisions.
- I want another Triple Crown for Miguel Cabrera.
- I want another Cy Young for Justin Verlander.
- I want Tiger's owner Mike Ilitch to never die (because when he does, our payroll is screwed)
- It would be nice to see all the young talent in the MLB stay healthy and prosper.
- I want to visit Comerica Park and Wrigley Field at some point next season.
- And finally, I'd like to see the Cubs make the World Series. And win it. Soon. Their fans are some of the best in baseball and Chicago will literally burn.
That's my list. Will I get any of those things? Probably not. But you probably didn't get the flying car, chocolate river and XBox when you were little either, did you Timmy, you little brat! Yours doesn't have to be that long or detailed. Tomorrow, we will have a special guest Eric M. who happens to be a Cardinals fan tell us what he wants for Christmas. Like, what do Cardinals fans want for Christmas? Tune in for tomorrow's Hot Stove. It should be good.
Catch you on the flipside baseball freaks. Manana!