Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cespides and Price. Two happy campers

Yoenes Cespides and David Price were Detroit Tigers not long ago. In his infinite wisdom, at the trade deadline, Tiger Pres and GM Dave Dombrowki shipped Cespides to the NY Mets for a whozit, and Price to the Toronto Blue Jays for a couple whatzits. Shortly thereafter Tiger ownership shipped D-ski out the door. Fired. Canned. Axed. You gotta go bud.

Consider what has happened since. Cespides's arrival in NY seemed to ignite the Mets. He -- and they have been tearing it up for last couple months. Besides winning the NL East division going away, they clobbered the Dodgers 4-1 in the NLDS, and just swept a very good Chicago Cubs team in the NLCS. It could be argued the youthful Cubs over-achieved this season, but LA is loaded with talent, including likely the two best starting pitchers in the National League -- Kershaw and Greinke.

But the Mets have got it seriously going on themselves. Great starting pitching, hitters galore, speed on the basepathes, terrific team defense, a lights-out bullpen, etc. When all phases of the game are clicking, like the Mets right now, they're going to be mighty tough to beat in the World Series. Did I mention Cespides got traded from a last place Tiger team and is now heading to the Fall Classic? He's a very happy camper.

The same could be said of David Price. Yes, the Jays find themselves down 3-2 to Kansas City in the ALCS, and winning the next two in a row in KC is a mighty tall order. But don't count them out. The very same David Price, a Cy Young probable this season will be on tap for at least one of those games. Yep, the Royals beat him earlier with one big inning. It will be interesting to see if Toronto throws him in Game 6 -- as scheduled -- or throws KC a curve by holding him back for a potential Game 7. Strangely enough, Price is 0-7 as a starter in post-season games over his career, though he does have a couple wins in relief. But bet against David Price when he takes the mound as a starter these days at your own peril.

Yours truly thinks it's doubtful the Jays can go into KC and win the next two games. The Royals are really good from top to bottom too, and they have the "been there, done that" factor in their favor as well. Remember, they barely got nipped in Game 7 of the World Series last year.

But for the sake of argument, let's say Price starts and wins Game 6. It would be 3-all and anything can happen in a deciding Game 7. What if -- OMG -- the Jays were to actually pull this off? Sports has certainly seen stranger things over the years -- even the last few days. Michigan's botched punt to lose to Michigan State was only out-chumped by the Indy Colts farcical fake punt play against the Patriots. What the hell was that?

Nevertheless, David Price is in the ALCS and has a shot at the World Series. Like Cespides, he's a happy camper too. For both of them, it surely beats having stayed on the cellar-dwelling Detroit Tigers. No playoffs, no nothing. Just clean out your locker and go home.

Know what's even better for these guys? They're both going to be free agents at the end of the playoffs, WS, however it turns out. And both have turned in fantastic years. Obscene contracts somewhere await them both. It might just be that Cespides would be quite happy to stay in NY. The franchise has mega-bucks, the city is the biggest of markets, and the team itself could well be contenders for years to come.

David Price staying put in Toronto is a bit iffier. Though he'll no doubt say he's happy to be there, it's not like he had a choice. Whether or not he wants to sign on to spending most of the next few years in Canada (higher taxes and colder weather) is certainly open to debate. That, and other teams will offer him boatloads of money. Would the Jays match or better it and, even if so, would that keep Price in town? Unknown.

Regardless, both Cespides and Price should send thank you cards to Dave Dombrowski. Maybe even a big turkey for Thanksgiving. It would seem to be appropriate. After all, if not for D-ski they wouldn't be where they are now -- on the cusp of being world champions. In the meantime, Dombrowski went from one bottom feeder (the Tigers) to another in the Red Sox. Who indeed is the turkey?

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