First things first. Sepp Blatter has officially entered my list of sports people that are absolutely horrendous for their particular sport. He’s right there with Bud Selig, Donald Fehr, and Don King. Anyone who remembers anything about the ’02 Cup remembers the bull that Italy suffered at the hands of the "ref" (A.K.A Fifa) against South Korea. Guess what? Italy got the nod against Australia this year against an obvious dive in which the the official was in perfect position to see. Mr. Blatter has been blustering about the officiating, suspending a few here and there. But that call was NOT about the officiating, that was about keeping a more globally attractive team alive in a highly televised tournament. It was about deciding the outcome of a game off the field instead of on it. I’m not saying the game was fixed. I think that sort of masterminding is beyond the capabilities of Fifa. But I’m 99.5 percent sure that the officiating crew was told to give the Italian team the nod if it was close.
I have been -blasted- for this opinion. But the only argument I’ve received is "Then why isn’t the US getting the ‘nod?’ " A stupid argument, when you think about it. The US is still an untapped market. A successful US run isn’t going to get 200,000,000 uninterested people tuning into soccer. People would like to think it would, but no. They need to build up the passion for the game here.
The best way to do that is to get names over here in the MLS. If you don’t believe that name recognition would generate interest in soccer, then you weren’t at the Real Madrid/LA Galaxy friendly like I was, You didn’t go to a Giants game when Barry was fully chemically enhanced. Names put rear ends into chairs. Names sells jerseys. If that means turning the MLS into the equivalent of the Senior PGA tour, then lets do it. Names generate interest, interest generates ticket sales and TV packages, ticket sales and TV packages generate cash, cash generates higher salaries, higher salaries draw in better talent. End’o’story. That’s enough on soccer.
I’m officially done with Jeff Weaver. D-O-N-E. The Angels need to just dump him -fast-. We need to cut our losses and move on with Jered, no trade, no bullpen, just flat out eat the rest of that ridiculous contract and move on, Arte can take it out of Stoneman’s pay. With that being said, the Angels need offensive help like yesterday. Outside of Napoli and Cabrera. Nothing his happening offensively. Vladdy finally showed signs of life yesterday, so hopefully he’ll step it up again.
We’re still one RBI bat short, however. We need someone to pencil into the 4 spot to provide protection to Vlad Guerrero, and to possibly be on base for Mike Napoli. First Base and and Left/Center field are the places they need to look. I’m not a fan of the Tejada deal. Its not that I don’t like his bat. I just think that you’d displace Orlando Cabrera, who, as the coaching staff will find out hopefully by the All-Star break, is the closest thing to a lead-off hitter on the roster He’s number 3 of the big three the Angels are after. I’m not big on the Soriano deal either. He wants to play second base? Do we really need to downgrade an already shoddy defense? He’s number 2.
The obvious choice, at least to me, is Carlos Lee. He fills in an outfield void at left field, because I think Garret is no longer fit to play in the field. Unfortunately he’s probably going to be the hardest to get, mainly because the Angels tradeable prospects are playing positions in which the Brewers already have young talent. Plus, you’ve gotta add in the fact that the Brewers are actually still contending in a suddenly struggling NL Central. Its hard to gage what the Milwaukee front office might do. They probably have no chance of re-signing him come winter time and may want to get something for him while they can.
As a whole, I think the trade deadline is going to be very intriguing across baseball. It’ll be interesting to see what pans out over the next 30 days.