John Vandelinder: Wheeling and dealing

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John Vandelinder

John Vandelinder's columns appear Tuesdays and Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail him at jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

Major League Baseball's trade deadline came and went Thursday, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of activity the last three to four weeks.

Some big names were sent packing to team's looking to keep pace in their respective pennant races.

Manny Ramirez is the Dodgers problem now. Maybe if he's out of the Eastern time zone - and the national television spotlight that comes with it - good ol' Manny can stay hidden for a while like Barry Bonds did.

But, somehow I doubt it. The ESPN highlights of "Man Ram" rolling around in right field will just change from Red Sox to Dodger blue.

And, don't forget he's hit more than 500 homeruns.

It is odd though, that Ramirez is now playing for longtime Yankee skipper Joe Torre.

Ivan Rodriguez will catch for the Yankees. Pudge and his 14 all-star selections were brought in by the "South Siders" at the deadline.

Rodriguez was in a similar situation at his two previous stops in Detroit and Florida where he guided both teams to the World Series, and won a title in 2003 with the Marlins.

The White sox traded for the rights to 600-homeruns-and-counting/future hall-of-famer Ken Griffey Jr.

I still always wonder, when watching Griffey, what the odds in Vegas are for him to get injured that particular at-bat.

It's inevitable he will get hit by the injury bug at least once a year and how many years does he have left?

The reigning American League Cy Young winner went to Milwaukee.

The Brewers picked up C.C. Sabathia from Cleveland and instantly became a contender in the National League Central.

Sabathia is a 6-foot, 200-plus-pound lefthander that throws a 100 mph fastball.

The Red Sox countered the Yankees with Jason Bay, the Cubs countered Milwaukee with Rich Harden, and the Angels strengthened their first-place standing in the American League West by adding possibly the best switch-hitter in the game, Mark Teixeira.

But, which team helped themselves the most?

My best-move-at-the-trade-deadline award goes to the Brewers.

Pudge takes over for the injured Jorge Posada in New York, giving the Yankees a 36-year-old, past-his-prime backstop down the home stretch.

The Red Sox will still win games, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them add a third World Series in the last four years to their trophy box, but losing Manny is like losing an entire era of Red Sox lore.

Boston will never be the same.

The White Sox lead the AL Central by half a game against the Twins, but I don't see Griffey having the impact he once did even if he does make it to the end of the season unscathed.

Adding Teixeira to an already potent Angel's lineup may be the piece Los Angeles needs to get by Boston in the postseason, but I'm all about having an ace in the hole.

Pitching wins games.

Sure the Cubs picked up a pitcher with the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the bigs, but adding an ace like Sabathia is how you win a short series.

They won't win the World Series, but Milwaukee fans should be looking toward a postseason berth for the first time since 1983.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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