Dave’s Free Play, Wednesday 7/23/14
Chase Headley was on the receiving end of the pleasurable Gatorade shower following his game winning hit on Tuesday night. That would normally be reason for celebration among San Diego fans. Only Headley, who started the day as a Padre, finished it as a Yankee. Meanwhile, the Padres were walking away from Wrigley Field after having been shut out for the 15th time this season. Thus ends what had to be another difficult day for Padres faithful, with perhaps the only saving grace being that they’re very used to them.
The Headley trade puts the finishing touch on yet another blunder by a front office that, quite candidly, has been nothing short of incompetent for some time now. The Padres had two choices following Headley’s breakout 2012 campaign. Figure out a way to ink him long term or trade him, as his value was never going to be higher. Of course, they did neither, Headley suffered through a terrible 2013 and most of the current season to boot, and in the end, the Padres basically had to pay the Yankees to take him off their hands.
There’s no way to spin this positively for the Padres. Their roster at this point can’t even be called mediocre, as it’s worse than that. The farm system is not exactly overflowing with prospects, especially from an offensive standpoint. And if that’s not bad enough, my guess is that the Padres are probably going to deal away a couple more guys between now and the trade deadline. I’ll be surprised if they get anything of substance in return.
There are a handful of big league franchises that have been down for some time, but of all these teams, it sure looks to me like the Padres are in the worst shape as far as the next few seasons are concerned. But what’s most troubling to me is that there’s not much outrage. Sorry, but the San Diego media and fan base need to start crushing this franchise from the top down, and abjectly refuse to play that ludicrous small market card. That won’t help turn the Padres around anytime soon, but at least it would be a first step in the right direction.
A winning Tuesday with my plays, although I wish I’d loosened the leash and fired on the leans as well. Nevertheless, the bottom line profit got increased and I’ll attempt to add some more today.
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It took several extra innings, but the Giants managed to deliver a win as the Tuesday free play. This has been a pretty good month with the comps, so let’s try and nail another side tonight.
07/23 04:15 PM MLB (929) TAMPA BAY RAYS at (930) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Take: (929) TAMPA BAY RAYS +105
Remember when the Rays were considered dead in the water? The buzz wasn’t if they’d be dealing David Price, Ben Zobrist and perhaps a couple other players, it was just a matter of when.
Fast forward to right now and while the Rays could still be sellers at the deadline, that’s far from a sure thing. I think it’s fair to say that unless the Rays are offered a deal they can’t refuse, Price and company will still be calling the Trop home. The Rays have clawed their way back into contention, and with no dominant entries in the AL East, this team absolutely has a chance to play its way into the post season.
The Rays picked up a sweet underdog win on Tuesday night, beating Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in the process. They have another tough assignment tonight as they take on Lance Lynn. But this is a pretty hot Rays squad right now and they’ve got their own solid righty on the bump as Alex Cobb throws for Tampa Bay.
Cobb has not really been what one could call dominant this season, but he’s doing well enough, and he has a good chance of succeeding against a Cardinals lineup that isn’t exactly crushing the ball. If you’re talking current form, Tampa Bay has the offense that’s more productive. I also think that the absence of Yadier Molina is starting to take its toll on the Redbirds. There are few players in the game more valuable than Yadi, and the drop off to Tony Cruz is nothing short of enormous.
The oddsmakers are making it clear to me which side they think is going to win this game. Lynn is having a terrific campaign overall, and the hard throwing righty has been dominant at home. Yet he’s barely favored here. The number is so low I can’t see how the vast majority of tickets won’t be written on the Cardinals. But I think you can look for the pros to again line up on the Rays, just as they did on Tuesday night. I’ll expect a similar result and will tab Cobb and the Rays to come out on top once more.