Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tids and Bits

So do you like the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee/Toronto stockpiling youngsters deal?

From the Philadelphia perspective....Seems like they gave up a lot more than they were going to have to give up back in July. Although when you factor in the fact that they got all the young players in return now, maybe that isn't the case. But they gave up three or four prospects in that deal, and now they are giving away Lee which they got. Plus they were able to lock up Halladay long-term (or the length they wanted). I think Halladay is the better pitcher. Philadelphia essentially then swapped Kyle Drabek for Phillipe Aumont, Travis D'Arnaud for Juan Ramirez, and Michael Taylor for Tyson Gillies. I'll admit, I don't know too much about any of these guys. Other than Drabek has been highly heralded (and I saw his Dad removed from a game while throwing a no-hitter once) and Aumont is a big hard thrower. Taylor has moved through the Phillies chain, but apparently wasn't enough for Toronto - or at least wasn't the right fit, so they flipped him.

The Mariners get a one-year rental in Lee - who will replace Eric Bedard in their rotation. That is probably a good thing. Maybe they'll have a chance to resign him at the end of the year, but I somehow doubt it. He's hinting of money that only three or four teams are willing to throw around. Not sure the Mariners chain had a lot left in it. Aumont seems to be the prize and Ramirez is another highly rated guy. Gillies might be a little further away, but is still highly thought of. We'll see how that turns out. The Mariners could end up seeing the worst of this.

Toronto was backed against a wall and somehow they ended up with what they wanted. Kyle Drabek. In addition, they weren't forced to take on Taylor, who they weren't overly high on - and didn't think he would be better alternatives over what they already have in place. By flipping him for Wallace a former St. Louis first rounder - gives them the ability to fill more need spots in their depth chart, and also getting Travis D'Arnaud - who I've heard very positive things about - as a catching prospect could really help them out.

Shifting gears a bit, let me be the first to say, I'm taking Texas in the BCS championship game. Everyone I hear talking about the game is saying that the 'Horns offense won't be able to do the job against Alabama's defense, but I think they are forgetting that the Texas defense is pretty good as well. There seems to be a lot of sentiment out there that Alabama won the SEC championship so they are the BCS champs. I'm not buying it. Texas will be ready.

Also on the college sports front. What about this Big Ten expansion issue? Barry Alvarez now the AD at Wisconsin says the Big Ten has to look further at it. It has created quite a stir. Paterno said it earlier this year. Obviously as a Syracuse fan, I'd like to see the Orange considered. And I think they will be. As will Pitt and Rutgers. Ultimately, I think Missouri would be the Big Ten's top choice, but I'm not sure the Tigers would have any reason to make the switch. The concern in the Big Ten has been that there football season ends too soon. They are right. But you don't have to have a conference championship game to play in December. Look at what the Big East and Pac 10 have done. Oregon/Oregon State and Pitt/Cincy were pretty good games on that championship weekend. The Big Ten has already dropped the rule which says its teams have to play all their non-conference games before they play regular season games. So now some teams, Illinois, played two games at Cincy and home to Fresno after the Big Ten season was complete. My guess is, the Big Ten pushes the regular season further back before it really looks at expansion.

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