Sunday, June 1, 2008

I'll Trade You My Crackhead for Your Guy with the Brain Disease - Hamilton/Volquez Trade First Trimester Review

This offseason, eager to make a trade so that he could give quotes to the local newspapers and also impress the girl working at the coffee kiosk down the block from the GAB ('Shit Brandy, if Wayne wants make a trade, he makes a goddamned trade. This is Wayne's team baby, Wayne's team!'), former General Manager Crazy Krivsky shipped Major League Baseball's feel good story of 2007, Josh Hamilton, to the Rangers for pitchers Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera. The Reds Rocket was suspicious of the deal at first because, well, Hamilton used to smoke rock and nothing in the scouting reports indicated such a history for Volquez. Instantly your credibility with the pimps and street thugs that fill the stands at the GAB disappears. Even though he now spends Friday nights with the family of impoverished Guatemalans that he adopted into his home last November after his missionary work, at least Hamilton used to know how to have a good time. And after 57 games it seemed to be as good of time as any to compare the first third of the season's performance of the two gentlemen.

Hamilton's numbers for his early Rangers career have been pretty remarkable. But it's important to keep in mind that he does have Milton Bradley providing protection for him in the batting order. Bradley has personally threatened each starter in the AL with the removal of one testicle for each at bat where Hamilton doesn't see something straight, middle-in. So far it's been effective. Hamilton currently ranks third in the AL in batting average and first in slugging, home runs, and RBIs. He also ranks number one in announcer references to the movie the Natural.

But as it turns out, recovering drug addict or not, Volquez is a pretty solid guy. He won the fifth starter position with a great spring has been very disrespectful to opposing batsmen. Presently, he ranks 1st in the National League in ERA, 1st in strikeouts, 2nd in wins, 2nd in H/9 IP (6.22), 2nd in BAA (.197). The full line is listed below:

All that and he's only making $392,500 and won't be a free agent until 2013, which is a definite positive for the Reds management who don't like to pay baseball players very much money, if they can avoid it. His makeup and repertoire have drawn comparison to Pedro Martinez, hence the weave Photoshopped into the picture above. He looks forward to the opportunity to throw Don Zimmer to the ground. Either way, he's been the pitching version of Hamilton to open the season without the, you know, publicity. If he keeps going six innings and not giving up any runs, Edinson is no longer going to be the eighth most popular name in the Dominican Republic.

Not to be lost in the transaction, is left-handed reliever Danny Herrera. In addition to dominating AAA hitters with a fastball topping out in the mid-80s, prior to completing the trade, Herrera agreed in principle to act as Cincinnati's new human interest story. He can meet the requirements of the deal in three ways: 1) to become addicted to and successfully overcome an addiction to speed; 2) to contract and successfully overcome some variety of newsworthy cancer (rectal, for example, doesn't count as opinion polls state that 75% of the population would prefer not to say the word 'rectum'); or 3) open a veterinary clinic caring for otherwise unadoptible animals (blind cats, dogs with one leg, alligators with diabetes, etc.).

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