Greetings from Milwaukee! Nice place from the little I've seen so far, but then, any city with a used book store in the airport automatically earns my respect. I'm about to head to the Mets-Brewers game, but first, some notes on the trading deadline:
-The Mets acquire Luis Castillo from the Twins for some prospects you probably haven't heard of. Good trade -- I like Castillo, one of the many Twins players who always seems to contribute more than you think he'd be able to. On the other hand, I think the Mets have 17 second basemen now.
-The Yankees send Everyday Scott Proctor to the Dodgers in exchange for Wilson Betemit. I feel for Proctor, who pitched all the damn time and never once publicly complained about it, and then, possibly as a direct result, lost his effectiveness. Fortunately, in Dodgers manager Grady Little, Proctor will have a manager who is not exactly known for going to his bullpen too often...
I don't see that Betemit helps them all that much this year, but I guess it can never hurt to have a better bat on the bench, all due respect to Miguel Cairo. I'm surprised, though, that the Yankees haven't moved Kyle Farnsworth. It's one thing to pitch badly; it's another to pitch badly while complaining about playing time and feuding with your catcher. Wheee.
-The Braves are significantly scarier now that they have Mark Texiera. The Mets would still have the better lineup if Delgado and Beltran were playing up to their potential, but since they're not... well, the Mets really need Glavine and El Duque to hold up, and Oliver Perez to stabilize. And Pedro to hurry up.
-Similarly, the Red Sox just made their bullpen even better with the addition of Eric Gagne. The Yankees weren't catching them anyway, frankly, barring massive injury to half the Boston pitching staff; but now they're really not catching them. It's all about the Wild Card, which is a shame, if only because rooting against the Indians, who are quite likable, is not nearly so fun as rooting against Boston.
-Someone better organized than me is finally starting a campaign to get the Mets to move the Home Run Apple to CitiField. I support this wholeheartedly. If the Mets are going to make their stadium move the right way, they've got to take the Apple with them -- yes, it looks like it was made out of papier-mache by a 4th grade class in the 70s, but that's the point. It's unique, and it has character, and to leave it behind or sell it to the highest bidder would be a shame, even (or especially) if it will be an incongruous fit at CitiField. Do you really want the Apple rotting away in some eccentric millionaire's back yard? No, and neither do the millionaire's neighbors, trust me. Just bring it already. Everybody wins.
More soon on Tom Glavine, Miller Park, and -- most of all -- the sausage race.