July 24, 2011
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Brian Sabean said Sunday that nothing is imminent on Carlos Beltran. Yeah, and he said that when confronted with the Jeff Keppinger rumors, too.
But that was Sunday July 24, and the Beltran deal is going to get done a lot closer to July 31 because, well, thats how leverage works. And given the developments of the last day or two in Lockout World, it should take that long.
Baseballs second-best week, which leads into this coming Sundays non-waiver trade deadline, is in danger of being obliterated by our national the-NFL-is-back fetish, and the Beltran talk of being smothered by the Nnamdi Asomugha talk.
And in truth, the NFL doesnt deserve this kind of quick forgiveness after the nonsense of the last seven-some-odd months.
But wishing doesnt make it so, thus giving us the spectre of a full week of Carlos Beltran-v.-Nnamdi Asomugha, with Josh Willingham and Zach Miller as the undercard.
Football has the advantage here because people are face-planting the trough of non-lockout news after so many months of getting nothing but. Asomugha is probably a higher-profile talent in his sport than Beltran is in his, but his position and importance is not as inherently important as Beltrans (successful cleanup hitter in an offense-deficient year).
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On the other hand, Beltran would be coming to the Bay Area while Asomugha, barring a sudden alteration of Raider thinking or a sudden interest inby the 49ers, would be leaving. And even though there is no guarantee Beltran would come west to play in a huge ballpark without a lot of hitting support around him, at least he might turn up. Asomugha is departing, period.
Thus, in this mythical debate that can never be proven one way or another, the question of which deadline will inspire more people to care, Beltran might be more satisfying to the rank and file. Only if he comes, of course. If he doesnt, there will be angst enough for all.
But even angst is better than resignation. If the Raiders lost both Asomugha and Miller, the skilled tight end, their fans would be in particularly foul humor, but that has been a fairly consistent state for them these past eight years or so. They finally got to 8-8, and to lose their premier players on each side of the ball (you Darren McFadden fans are free to argue at your leisure about that), and now they have to play catch-as-catch-can again.
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Either way, we can pretty well guarantee that this will not be a productive week where you work. Your concentration will be poor, your focus diffused, you willingness to give a damn about that report youre already three days late with will hover between zero and call in sick.
And lets face it, what else is Trade Deadline Week for but to skive off work and chat with your pals? And what else is free agency for than to argue in the lunchroom and blowing off that idiotic staff meeting that hasnt actually solved a problem in 27 years?
So enjoy, however you choose. The interest in each market will be diminished by the presence of the other, but you dont have to care about the one youre not interested in. In the immortal words of that fantasy sports expert and part-time professional bowler Mao Zedong, let a thousand flowers bloom.