Thursday, May 29, 2003

Yahoo Sports announced tonight that a deal is almost done where the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, Byung-Hyung Kim would go to the Red Sox for Shea Hillenbrand. This trade doesn't make any sense to me. I have watched the Red Sox the last three nights and their lineup is probably the best Red Sox lineup ever. There are no easy outs and Hillenbrand, Mueller, Millar and Giambi make for a very effective and versatile combination. Hillenbrand is also a great clutch hitter who seems fearless in all that he does.

So why would you want to give up a guy like that especially when he only makes $400,000 and change? The officially stated answer is because of his on-base percentage. Excuse me, Hillenbrand's OBP is currently at .335 which is higher than 70% of MLB lead off hitters these days. He doesn't walk much. Okay. But he keeps the ball in play and he fouls off what he can't handle until he gets what he can handle. And he kills the Yankees.

Again...why would you want to get rid of that kind of guy. Kim has some value as a closer. But he doesn't want to close anymore. I am not convinced that he has what it takes to be a starter. He is currently 1-5 which isn't a fair method to rate him as the Diamondbacks can't hit and haven't scored for him.

Also consider that Kim has a history with the Yankees that isn't very positive and doesn't bode well for a team that wants to use him against their archrivals. This trade doesn't make sense for anyone but Hillenbrand since he comes from Arizona and would be able to go home. What is Arizona going to do, sit Matt Williams (granted that he hasn't had a good year since 1999)?

I would have never guessed who was on top of the American League for batting average. Would you have guessed Melvin Mora of the Baltimore Orioles? I wouldn't have. He is currently batting above .350. He batted in the .230's last year. I've always pictured Mora as a spectacular fielder and a good prospect. But Mora is 31 years old! It just took him a long time to get a chance. He is consistently on Baseball Tonight's highlights for fielding but now he is hitting too. You just never know in this game.

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