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Mike: You'll get to see Norris against the Rangers more than likely in June when they head to Arlington. That is, if the rotation holds up and there are no injuries.
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We are almost positive there will be buses. We will have that information hopefully tomorrow.
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If you go to NYC via armored tank, let me know. I'll help pay/take pictures.
Bowker was a top AAA batter last season and is worth it in a Berkman deal because he'd almost assuredly be a throw-in. And it's a .238 batting average, in a largely pinch hitting and reserve role while being shipped back and forth between Fresno on a near weekly basis because Bruce Bochy likes Aaron Rowand flailing at pitches more.
The point of picking up Bowker is demanding something else significant, a pitcher like Clayton Tanner or Zack Wheeler, and making SF throw in Bowker, a hitter with a lot of potential that wasn't allowed to flourish by the Giants (see: Fred Lewis, Kevin Frandsen, Travis Ishikawa, Nate Schierholtz.)
If the Royals were doing it right, they would have called Ka'aihue up years ago. Instead, he got the Ryan Shealy treatment as the top prospect to sit in AAA for multiple years. He's a player that can be had for near nothing and is worth a shot.
On one of your other points, I think the Phillies aren't run correctly they've mortgaged the future for right now.
The Red Sox have demonstrated that mixing good free agency signings with good drafting makes all the difference. All of the Phillies homegrown players are pre-2005 draftees (made by Ed Wade.) The Ruben Amaro-era has sent almost all of its big ticket prospects away for veterans. It's working now, they might get a another title out of it at some point.
But remember the 2001 Diamondbacks? A team that looked like it was run perfectly with all of its veteran signings and trades, won a World Series and was poised to keep going? Or the 2004 Marlins, also coming off a world championship with a lot of big ticket players?
When another post-Ed Wade draft pick from the Phillies other than Happ cracks the roster as a major player on the team, then I might be willing to concede. The Phillies appear to have mortgaged tomorrow for today, and will pay the price unless the figure out a better strategy.
Teams built like the Phillies now and the Diamondbacks and Marlins before them hit the ground hard when those veterans start declining or don't make it as far as they should. And the way the teams are built, there's no net to catch them when it does happen.