Thoughts, lists and other compulsive bits about baseball from comedian filmmaker television producer/Red Sox fan Paul Francis Sullivan....
feel free to call him “Sully.”
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Padres may have made the best trade of all time!
The San Diego Padres traded backup catcher Rob Bowen for Cubs slumping catcher Michael Barrett. What may seem like a deal of essentially reserve catchers is actually a monumental transaction that may have reprecussions on the National League pennant races and may finally clinch a long in the works World Series title for the San Diego Padres.
Bear with me.
What is the only thing that Barrett has been known for this season? Certainly not his stats! No he is best known for getting into a fight with teammate Carlos Zambrano in the dugout and in the clubhouse. Actually let me rephrase that. A "fight" implies a struggle for both participants.
Zambrano beat the bejesus out of him. Barrett had to go to the hospital with a busted lip, a bloodied face and basically resembled DeNiro in Raging Bull after the Sugar Ray Robinson fight.
Up until that fight, Zambrano was having a horrible season... especially for an ace calliber pitcher in his free agent walk season.
Each lousy start was costing him literally tens of millions of dollars. Before he beat the tar out of Barrett he was 5-5 with an ERA of 5.62.
After? He won his first 2 games after the fight... pitching into the 7th in the first start and then pitching 8 brilliant innings the next. And while he lost the third start, it was the best start of all. He took a no hitter into the 8th and pitched a complete game 2 hitter, losing 1-0 because one of the hits was a homer.
He has become an ace again!
The Padres were the team that won that 2 hitter against Zambrano and liked what they saw. And no doubt have a plan.
They don't need Barrett to start. Josh Bard is a capable starter.
No, they are going to use Barrett to improve their pitching staff... by lining all of them up and then let them the crap out of Michael Barrett.
It worked for Zambrano and if the Padres, who already have a deep and strong rotation and the best bullpen in the National League, can get even better... they might be unstoppable!
And let's face it... Barrett has been in the Majors since 1998. He's played on some forgettable Expos and Cubs teams. If management tells him "Your best way to contribute to the Padres title drive this year is to be a punching bag for our pitching staff" then by God he should exhale and take one for the team.
Or more like take 5 for the rotation and 6 for the bullpen for good measure.