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The Trade Deadline came and went yesterday, and Bill Plaschke is out for blood. Neither the Dodgers, nor the Angels, made any moves.It's understandable that LA baseball fans would be upset. LAist is not pleased that neither team found a significant way to upgrade their imperfect rosters. But to express sheer outrage would ignore the realities of today's baseball world. There has never been more parity in baseball. More teams have a chance to win than ever, and teams that are out of it, still feel like they have a legitimate shot in the future.
That's why a team like the Reds, which actually thought it would contend this season, was asking for the house and the kitchen sink to give up an amazing power hitter like Adam Dunn. All they'd do is alienate their fan base, while letting go an important part of their future. The Dodgers were reportedly ready to send prospects and cash to Cincinnati for Dunn. They also were reportedly willing to take on Mike Sweeney's full contract from Kansas City, and give up some major league-ready talent. But if DePodesta didn't see a deal that was good for the Dodgers, then LAist will trust his judgment.
When baseball fans see that the best players dealt at the deadline were medocrities like Matt Lawton, Randy Winn, and Kyle Farnsworth, then it's plainly obvious that no quality difference-makers were available.
We're only a little upset that the Dodgers never actively pursued Manny Ramirez, who is exactly the kind of player the Azul need. Sure, we understand that his contract is ridiculous, his defense is embarrassing, and his head isn't screwed on straight, but Manny is one of the top-five pure hitters in the game. Everyone knew he was available, and all it really took was a willingness to pay him. Maybe the Dodgers were acting responsibly, but we'd like to know if it was ever seriously considered.
So the Dodgers will go into the final two months of the season with the promising pair of Dioner Navarro and Jonathan Broxton, and the callup of Jose Valentin. Maybe JD Drew will come back soon, and the team won't fail to gain more than a couple of games after a team like the Padres lose 12 of 13. Dodger fans can also look to Jacksonville, and see the best collection of Double-A players in the game, and feel like the future is bright.
As for the Angels, Bill Stoneman almost never makes deadline deals, and yet the team has managed to win a World Series in his tenure. Right now, they'll have to live with the fact that bullpen exhaustion cost them two of three against the Yankees. They also need hitting help badly. With the A's just 1.5 games back, and the hot-hitting Yankees slugging for the Wild Card, the Angels have to worry if they'll even make the playoffs. LAist thinks their pitching is good enough to carry them into October, and clearly Stoneman believes the offense will awaken soon. For now, that's probably the best he could do.