Ever heard the expression, “I’d trade him for a bucket of baseballs?” No? I have. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Rickey Henderson was actually traded for a bucket of baseballs a few years ago. At the time, he was playing for the Independent League Newark Bears and the Dodgers decided they wanted him for the stretch fun. Emphasis on “run.” (Ha! See what I did there with the punning? Woo boy, such comedic genius you did not know to expect from this blog!). Anyway, apparently there’s some super secret rule that mandates that if a major league team wants a player from an independent league team, no compensation need be offered. But oftentimes, as a show of good faith, the big league club tosses a little something the indie club’s way. In Henderson’s case I’m pretty sure the Bears asked for and received a bucket of baseballs from the Dodgers. I’d look up the exact details but frankly Googling “Rickey Henderson traded for baseballs” gives you way, way, way too many sites.
This brings me, in a very roundabout way, to my point. If teams had bullpen cars, they could be used as currency in minor trades. The Red Sox just shipped outfielder Adam Hyzdu (Hyzzzddduuuuuuu?) to San Diego for pitcher Blaine Neal (bastards). Now, the Padres already have Brian Giles, Freddy Guzman, Ryan Klesko, Xavier Nady, Mark Sweeney and Dave Roberts (WHEELS!), plus a few minor leaguers to patrol the grass at Petco. I’m not sure they needed another one. That seems like a surplus of outfielders and there’s sure to be some bottlenecking. Perhaps they were looking to simply unload a pitcher without getting someone in return that would potentially take up a roster spot. Enter the bullpen car (cue trumpets). Reasons why this would work:
- It’s better than cash because it’s already of practical use.
- It’s mutually beneficial to everyone on the pitching staff in that it does not favor right-handers more than left-handers.
- It makes the kids happy.
- The receiving team can cut down on those freak, turf related injuries sustained by players from walking in from the bullpen on Astro-turf. (Maybe that’s only in football. Either way).
- The team that gives up the bullpen car doesn’t lose a player that some people (*waves hand*) have come to love.
- Said bullpen car can be used to carry all those buckets of baseballs.
- And dude, bullpen car.
The St. Louis Cardinals are already advocating trading Rick Ankiel for “a bullpen car and a bag of balls.” Seems a bit greedy to me but the principle is sound.
I really think this has promise. This could work. This is sound reasoning. Now, who has Selig’s number?