Hello again gentlemen.
††††††††† Itís been a while since Iíve written and it had been a while before that too.† Soon, it will be a year since we moved south.† We got the apartment in Wilmington in August of last year.† Iím not going to say that I havenít had a free minute to talk about anything (my wife would set my pants on fire if I said that), but it does seem far more infrequent that the season offers something to chime in on.† But, we are at the calendar half way point of the season and without the other sports going on, baseball gets center stage for a while.
††††††††† Letís start with my Oís.† I know theyíre not ALL mine, but the move has offered me something that I have not had before.† The Oís are now my local market.† Yes, that is right; MASN is the network considered my market, even though Baltimore is 335 miles away.† The Oís became my favorite team after watching my first MLB game, but now I feel like a bigger fan than I was in 1970 when rubbing OUR title into the noses of all the Reds fans in Indiana.† Maybe not to the point of taking Bundy with the #1 rookie pick, but Iím really diggin it right now.
††††††††† What I love about Showalter is that he would likely tell you that they didnít need anything else to compete for the World Series.† Heíd say that the starters would come around.† Well, Iím not as confident as he is, so Iím beating the bushes for another SP.† We donít have the guys in the minors to bring an arm that would put us over the top, so my proposal will likely have Si giving me the silent treatment.† Yea, I know a bunch of you would say lucky me, but Iím counting on his and Maryís hospitality in about 3 weeks, so Iím risking quite a bit.
††††††††† My solution would be to trade,ÖgulpÖ. Matt Wieters.† I donít like the odds of being able to sign him next year.† We wouldnít have been able to keep him this year, without his injury last year.† After ponying up for Davis this year and with Machadoís impending contract, Angelos isnít maxing out Wieters.† So, what do you get for him?† I think heís going to be a Brave next year anyway (South Carolina kid, Georgia Tech alum), so why not send him that way? †Send Wieters, T. Wilson, and Hunter Harvey to the Braves for Teheran and Pierzynski.† The Oís would get a front of the rotation guy, on a pretty manageable long term contract, and a veteran left-handed catcher with a bit of a history of playing well in big games.† Now, with Joseph healthy and Sisco catching in the futures game, the position could weather missing Matty.† Sorry Si, rest assured that no one that knows anything about anything is listening to me, but I think we could win it all with an ace.
††††††††† The other story is the Cubs.† I know they have cooled a bit, but they still look they may have another gear and they have the pieces to go get anything they need.† I know some die-hards and even more fans that would come out of the woodwork if they were to win it.† I saw elation on Cavalier fans after winning the NBA title, but I almost wonder if you would see something more like confusion, should the Cubbies do it.† ďNow what do we do?Ē† Cub fans are plenty good at partying, so I imagine theyíd figure it out quick enough.†
††††††††† We may as well talk about the rookies while weíre talking ball.† We had a bumper crop of rooks drafted in February, with some mixed results to this point.† Most have been as good as advertised.† I donít think anyone in the top 10 would throw their guy back just yet. †Al took the biggest injury hit of those top 10 drafted, but he can take solace with a fifth round steal in Thompson. Bo might remind everyone that Buxton is still very young and he may get the last word.† †††††††
††††††††† With those rookies in the books, maybe you have your eye on next year?† The new group wonít come with quite the fan fare as last yearís, but there are a few guys popping up on radars.† Some pitchers names that we might hear more about are:† Maeda, Urias, Giolito, Velasquez, Snell, Taillon, and Fulmer.
††††††††† Among the sticks, in no particular order, AJ Reed, A. Diaz, Almora, Contreras, Naquin, Nimmo, Trea Turner(?), T Joseph, Mazara, Duvall, Story, Cuthbert, Moya, T. Anderson, and maybe if you like the Oís well enough, you could put Rickard and Kim on there.† That is nearly a first round, but these guys are no shoe-ins to get cards.† We could see some more come up as some teams fall off or trade starters away.† I thoroughly expect Galvis to lose playing time to Crawford at some point.† It could be the same for Judge if someone takes Beltran from the Yanks, or with Winkler, when the Reds unload Bruce.† The Braves may be ready to see what Swanson can do in the bigs as well.
††††††††† Back to life in NC.† We are enjoying it quite a bit this summer.† My step daughter has decided to stay here and go to UNCW, rather than re-upping at Tennessee.† This is a good situation for her and mom, and it will be a fraction of the out of state tuition of the volunteer state.† Iím even going to keep my eye out for a beach rental for possible meetings here on Topsail.† It would be the same drive for everyone, and just a bit longer ride from the airport if you fly in.† My beach is not as popular as Wrightsville, so maybe I can get more bang for our buck, 25 minutes up the coast.
††††††††† Shit, almost forgot about switching to the boards.† I know that it takes a while to have many of the rolls to become second nature, but I am nowhere near that yet.† Games take me longer than they should and I havenít kept score and balanced stats for a while, so please excuse my errors, although I will do everything I can not to be tardy.† I better get better at playing the cards soon, because I have a 5 Ė 11 record on the fuzer so far this year!
††††††††† Keep me in mind when you make your vacation plans.† Raleigh to the east and Myrtle Beach to the south are both about two hours from me.
So, this is Cross, signing out.† Take care, and Iíll see many of you later this month in York and Muncie.