While the Phils try to unload Wes Helms, the other four teams in the NL East are busy making moves. Here's what has happened recently.
A few weeks ago there wasn't a thing to mention about DC, other than their new ballpark. Now, they have the most "gangsta outfield" in the major leagues.
First, they traded a minor league pitcher to the Devil, err, Rays for troubled youngster Elijah Dukes. He's a 23 year old outfielder who has hit for both power and average in his short minor league career. He's a real prospect. He's also pretty messed up. Since he was 14 years old, he's been arrested a half dozen times for drug possession, assault and resisting arrest, etc. This year, his ex-wife filed for a restraining order accusing Dukes of threatening to kill her. He sent a picture of a gun to her cell phone and left this message on her voice mail: "Hey, dawg. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bulls-------. Your kids too, dawg. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. N-----, all I know is, n-----, when I see your m-----f------- a-- riding, dawg, it's on. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to your m-----f------ house." During their divorce proceedings, she accused Dukes of drinking heavily, smoking weed daily, and using steroids. Oh, and he also is accused of impregnating a 17 year old girl who was living with a family member. Straight gangsta.
Thinking Dukes wasn't enough of a mess, they traded Brian Schneider and Ryan Church to the Mets for Lastings Milledge. Milledge has been in Mets trade rumors seemingly for this entire decade, and was previously thought of as close to untouchable. Of course, that was before he was promoted to the majors in '06 and proceeded to alienate many fans and most of his teammates. "In late September, one of Milledge's Mets teammates placed a sign on his locker which read, "Know Your Place, Rook!" The sign-placer was identified in published reports as Billy Wagner." This year, Milledge rapped on a song called "Bend Ya Knees" with friend Manny D, where he talks about his "bitches" and "hos." Not that it wasn't bad enough, it was released at the same time that Don Imus was making nappy-headed comments on WFAN. Nice. He should get along swimmingly with Elijah, dawg.
Wily Mo Pena is the third outfielder. He's about 6'3", 250 pounds, and hits homers like 900 feet. Very menacing. However, in 2007 Pena "and his MoPeace Foundation teamed up with Joslin Diabetes Center’s Latino Diabetes Initiative for the Beisbol y Salud Latino Diabetes and Health Festival to educate Latino men, women and children about type 2 diabetes." (Wikipedia.com) That's not very gangsta, but at least he looks tough...
Sadly, it looks as if there is no room for Sloth in this years Gnats outfield.
I mentioned earlier that the Mets gave up Milledge and got Schneider and Church. Schneider always seems to kill the Phillies, but doesn't do much else against other competition. He'll compete with ex-Phil Jonny Estrada for catching duties. As for Church, he can't really hit lefties, but does fine against righties. He's an average player that could help the Mets a little. Overall, I think the Mets took a loss on Milledge, given his value just one year ago.
The Mets are still in on Santana, I guess. Rumor says they would have to part with Jose Reyes, which I doubt they would do.
Other names being linked to Mets interest: Damaso Marte, Luis Vizcaino, Japanese RHP Kazuo Fukumori.
Also, looks like pedophilic catcher Paul LoDoucha will most certainly be elsewhere next year. Awwww.
Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin might be star players some day, at which point Florida will trade them. Or San Antonio, or Las Vegas, or Portland, or SLC, or Charlotte, or wherever the "Marlins" will be playing, will trade them.
Now, the Marlins lineup is Hanley Ramirez and 8 other guys. Of course, they are manuevering for Wes Helms and Abe Nunez, so watch out for the Fish.
The Braves got 5-ERA reliever Will Ohman and utility player Omar Infante from the Cubs for a minor league pitcher. Ohman is kind of sucky against righties, but lefties only hit .196 against him. The Phils, particularly Howard and Utley, should see quite a bit of Ohman next year.
Other players linked to the Braves: outfielders Coco Crisp, Reggie Willits, Chris Duffy, Nate McLouth and catcher...Sal Fasano?