The Spectacle Blog

Reds Trade Johnny Cueto to Kansas City

By on 7.26.15 | 5:00PM

Let the Reds firesale begin.

Cincinnati has traded its ace Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals for three left-handed pitchers - Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed and John Lamb. 

Cueto has spent his entire MLB career in the Reds' organization signing with the club in 2004. He made his MLB debut in 2008. Cueto's best season took place last year when he won 20 games, led the NL in strikeouts with 242 and finished runner up in NL Cy Young balloting to Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. In 2015, Cueto went 7-6 with a 2.42 ERA with a medicore Reds team.

The Royals are currently leading the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central by 6 1/2 games. What is remarkable is that the Royals don't really have an ace. Cueto's former Reds teammate Edinson Volquez is the Royals' best starter with a 9-5 record with a 3.15 ERA. But while Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Young and Danny Duffy are serviceable they do not strike fear into the hearts of hitters. Cueto does so it cannot hurt the Royals to acquire an ace. Perhaps Cueto can also be a positive influence on Yordano Ventura.

Huckabee: Obama Marching Israel to the Door of the Oven

By on 7.26.15 | 2:41PM

Mike Huckabee invoked the Holocaust when speaking about Iran's nuclear deal yesterday. 

This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.

Cole Hamels No-Hits Cubs in What is Likely His Final Appearance in a Phillies Uniform

By on 7.25.15 | 7:07PM

I just saw the final three outs of Cole Hamels' no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs. 

It looked like Kris Bryant had taken Hamels deep, but the wind knocked it down and then Phillies centerfielder Odubel Herrera fell down. But somehow he came up with the ball and Hamels had his no-hitter giving the Phillies a 5-0 win. It is the third no-hitter of the 2015 season. San Francisco Giants rookie Chris Heston and Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer have thrown the others. 

It was Hamels first win in more than two months. Since May 23, Hamels is 0-4 with a 5.06 ERA. But today Hamels was back in form striking out 13 batters.

Last September, Hamels was part of a combined no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves. But this is his first complete game no-hitter. 

This will likely be Hamels final appearance in a Phillies uniform as the lefty is widely expected to be traded prior to the MLB trade deadline of July 31st. It is very possible that Hamels could be traded to the very team he no-hit. 

Kerry Takes His Cue From Iran’s Foreign Minister

By on 7.25.15 | 12:57AM

I was struck by Secretary of State John Kerry telling the Council on Foreign Relations the following concerning Israel:

I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it (the Iran nuclear deal), our friends in Israel could wind up being more isolated and more blamed.

It looks like Kerry has been reading Iranian Foreign Minister's Mohammed Javad Zarif's playbook because a few days ago he said that "never before was the Zionist regime so isolated, even among her own allies."

OK, Kerry refers to Israel as "our friends" while Zarif calls Israel "the Zionist entity". Kerry says Israel could be isolated while Zarif says it already is. But the Obama Administration and Iran are on message when it comes to Israel's isolation.

Mets Acquire Johnson & Uribe from Braves; Cardinals Add Ex-Marlins Closer Cishek

By on 7.24.15 | 11:31PM

A couple of interesting trades.

Tonight, the New York Mets acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves for two minor league pitchers. I think the Mets are going to need Uribe and Johnson to spark their offense, but they both have pop in their bats and can play multiple positions. Uribe is hitting .272 with 8 HR and 23 RBI with both the Dodgers & Braves. Atlanta acquired Uribe from L.A. in late May for Alberto Callaspo. Meanwhile, Johnson is hitting .275 with 9 HR and 34 RBI. The Mets are Johnson's 8th MLB team since 2005. Johnson has had two stints with the Braves, a stint with the D'Backs and has played with all five AL East teams. I'm sure Johnson will add a 9th team in 2016 as he becomes a free agent. Ditto for Uribe who has two World Series rings with the Chisox in 2005 and the Giants in 2010. That should be of help to the Mets. But I'm sure Mets fans are expecting more of Mets GM Sandy Alderson to compete with the Washington Nationals.

Cementing Obama’s Legacy: More Thoughts on the Skewering of Hillary Clinton

By on 7.24.15 | 7:25PM

Dan Pfeiffer, long-time aid to Barack Obama, and his Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communication until joining CNN, told reporters at a Bloomberg Policy Breakfast last November that Obama needed a Democrat to win the 2016 to cement the “core elements” of his legacy.

“It’s very important because I know what we did in the first 100 days of our administration, and it was go through a lot of what President Bush did and sign executive orders doing the opposite,” Pfeiffer said.

And we all know how important his legacy is to Barack Obama. He’d do anything to achieve it—from selling out his country and its allies to an evil theocratic regime that needs a nuke to hasten the advent of the 12th Imam and the subsequent apocalypse, to serving as the Grand Ayatollah’s butt boy. So setting up a Democrat successor must be very high on his agenda at this time.

The Screws Tighten Around Hillary Clinton

By on 7.24.15 | 4:37PM

Valerie Jarrett, who first put the screws to Hillary Clinton by leaking information about her e-mail problems, appears to be tightening them.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the inspector general of the intelligence community has found that at least four emails from Hillary’s personal account contained information that was classified at the second highest level of secrecy at the time that she sent them. Uh…I mean “at the time that they were sent.”

The IG referred the matter to the FBI’s counterintelligence division. The Justice Department first disclosed that the investigation was criminal in nature, but later it inexplicably reversed itself on that point.

‘Common-Sense’ Gun Laws Wouldn’t Have Stopped the Lafayette Theater Shootings

By on 7.24.15 | 12:44PM

As you probably know by now two people were killed and nine people were injured while attending a screening of the Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck in Lafayette, Louisiana last night. The gunman, who has been identified as 59-year old John Russell Houser, took his own life by turning the gun on himself. Houser has been described as a drifter from neighboring Alabama. He did have a criminal record, but it wasn’t recent. His most serious offense was arson.

Obama Talks Rubbish on Iran Deal in BBC Interview

By on 7.24.15 | 10:40AM

Take a look at what President Obama said in an interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Sopel after Sopel noted that lifting sanctions in Iran would mean greater resources for Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria and would have the affect of further destabilizing the Middle East:

Well, keep in mind, first of all, we’ve shut off the pathways for Iran getting a nuclear weapon, which was priority number one. Because if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon, then they could cause all those same problems that you just listed with the protection of a nuclear bomb. And create much greater strategic challenges for the United States, for Israel, for our Gulf allies, for our European allies.

Second, it is true that by definition, in a negotiation and a deal like this, Iran gets something out of it. The sanctions regime that we put in place with the hope of the Brits, but also the Chinese and the Russians and others meant that they had funds that were frozen. They get those funds back. A large portion of those funds are going to have to be used for them to rebuild their economy.

Aramis Ramirez Will Finish His Career With The Pirates

By on 7.23.15 | 10:04PM

The Milwaukee Brewers have traded third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league pitcher Ynothan Barrios.

The Dominican born Ramirez signed with the Pirates at the age of 16 in 1994 and would make his big league debut in 1998. 

The Bucs traded Ramirez to the Cubs in 2003 along with Kenny Lofton and would come within five outs of winning a NL pennant and playing in a World Series. And, well, I won't go any further there. 

Ramirez remained with the Cubs through the 2011 season when he signed a four year deal with the Brewers. After hitting .300 with 27 HR and 105 RBI with Milwaukee in 2012, Ramirez's offensive production has declined.  In 81 games with the Brewers this season, Ramirez, now 37, is hitting .247 with 11 HR and 42 RBI. 

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