Okay, so the trading deadline has come and passed. Interesting deals were done (and not done). Teams improved themselves (or not), and some teams kept their main 40 year old pitchers (read: RJ).
So, what did the trade deadline really tell us?
What was the most important thing that happened?
Well first off, it told us that "Moneyball" aka. Billy Beane's view of baseball is here to stay. The Dodgers traded away their biggest position player, the heart and soul of the LA Dodgers: Paul Lo Duca. All of this was in an attempt to get Randy Johnson to come to the Dodgers (he should've asked me or Nik both of us would've told him he had a greater chance of seeing Sandy Koufax come back and pitch for the Dodgers). However this is a "big market" type spin on "Moneyball" cause the A's have little to NO Chance of ever signing Randy Johnson.
So De Podesta traded away heart and soul for cold numbers. Let's face it: Choi will be better than Green when Green's contract comes due (read: bye bye Green). Penny gives them a sorely needed arm in the rotation. Okay, so I'm down with that. Encarnacion was not nearly as good as Choi and needed a change in scenery. But lets think about the last part of that trade:
There's a joke about the manager who had his pitchers pitch 8 innings when they're winning almost every time. He pulls them out in the 9th to hand to his world-renown closer. Finally, one of the starting pitchers goes to the manager and says he can't do it anymore. The manager relents and gets the bullpen ready an inning early and hands the ball to a washed up starting pitcher who blows now and can't do anything. The guy blows the win and the opposing team: one of their rivals, comes back and wins.
Why does Philadelphia have Cormier and Worrell? Why does NY have Gordon and Quantrill? Why do the Angels have Francisco Rodriguez?
Its the middle relief, stupid.
Think of it this way in case you still don't get it.
The average starter will start 35 games a year (for a 1-4 starter). Assume the guy whenever he wins pitches 8 innings and assume when he loses, he pitches 6, and gets a ND, pitches 7. He's an okay starter and goes 16-9. Do the math:
16 wins x 8 innings=128 innings
9 losses x 6 innings=54 innings
10 NDs x 7 innings= 70 innings
=252 total innings pitched!
These are no longer the days of Walter Johnson and Cy Young and 3 man rotations. Greg Maddux in his PRIME could pitch that (260+ usually) but for most guys they have problems after awhile. The middle relief allows you to go easy on their arms. Mota was the best.
Dreifort is bad.
Therefore, the Dodgers just blew their chances to win the West.
And I wrote all of this without going in depth about the Phils losing or Maddux not getting win #300.
I forsee more installments to come.