News and views from around the major leagues
• So what exactly are the Dodgers trying to do with this little game of waiver chicken regarding Cliff Lee? In this reporter’s opinion, send a message that they mean business when it comes to winning at all cost under the new ownership group led by Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson. For the past few seasons, the Phillies have been the undisputed salary kings of the National League, competing in a pretty empty pond since the Mets’ financial collapse. now, the Dodgers are sending a message that they will pay any price to win. And if it forces the Phils to give Lee away to get under their new cost mandate, all the better.
• The biggest hitting force on the free-agent market this upcoming winter will be Josh Hamilton. But it is becoming clear that there will be a lot of teams hesitant to throw money at the Rangers outfielder because of his history of personal issues. he has struggled at the plate over the past two months, hitting .223 in June and .177 in July. On Friday, he released a statement that part of his struggles at the plate were related in some form to him trying to kick an addiction to smokeless tobacco. To a certain degree, the concern over all of Hamilton’s personal issues will become too much for someone to give him a big money, long-term contract.
• The trade deadline has come and gone and everyone is going to assume that the teams in playoff contention that picked up big pieces are the instant winners. However, there are cases when sellers become winners. take the Cubs and Astros, who cleared a lot of payroll in this period and veteran deadwood to bad teams in exchange for a boatload of prospects — some of whom can be used to build upon for the future. That’s why the snap judgment on cases like that are dangerous things.
Top 5 bottom 5
1. Reds 26. Twins
2. Yankees 27. Padres
3. Rangers 28. Royals
4. Nationals 29. Rockies
5. Braves 30. Astros