- Maybe, as SI’s John Heyman suggested on WFAN yesterday, the Tampa Bay Rays didn’t actually believe this would be their year. Maybe the team wasn’t prepared to negotiate deadline deals because it thought a .500 record was the ultimate goal in 2008.
But now, everything has changed and the Rays need to make a move. The team is still in first place, two games ahead of the Red Sox and four in front of the Yankees, but it is in desperate need of a bat. The Rays have scored more than four runs in a game just three times since it completed a sweep of Kansas City on July 6.
Jason Bay, a player I love, might be the guy the team is trying to trade for, but he isn’t the best player available. That honor goes to none other than Barry Bonds, the guy whose OBP last season was almost 100 points higher than anyone in the Rays lineup today.
Even if Bonds has regressed, he is still going to be on base 40 percent of the time and will undoubtedly put butts in seats. And if you’re telling me he isn’t more valuable than any of the players the Rays currently stick at DH, you’re out of your mind.
The Rays considered Bonds an option before the season; now it’s time to make the Home Run King a priority.
- The Angels had a perfect night in Boston, acquiring Mark Teixeira before its game and then watching John Lackey no-hit the Sox for 8 1/3 innings. Already a World Series favorite, the trade puts the Angels in a league of its own, far ahead of the Red Sox, who they seem to dominate every time they meet.
- ESPN ranked UConn Men’s Basketball the sixth best program of the last 20 years, which is a testament to how Coach Jim Calhoun transformed a regional program into a national brand. But you have to wonder if he is proud of the current state of the program.
His players have had off the court problems dating back to the laptop incidents, which have resulted in a couple arrests and even more transfers. Most recently, he brought in Nate Miles, a red flag guy who took the spot of the academically ineligible Stanley Robinson.
Calhoun is an old school guy and it seems like he has figured out in a hurry that you have to be willing to compromise integrity in order to remain sustainable as a big time basketball program. It will be interesting to see how much more of this he can take.
- I’m always amazed by the people who complain about the length of the baseball and basketball seasons. They’re almost always the same ones who get all jazzed up about who is going to report to football camp in July.