Broken Twigs: Pronger and Giroux to Montreal and Your FGSB Mailbag

Broken Twigs: Pronger and Giroux to Montreal and Your FGSB Mailbag

If you suggest a trade on the internet you are going to be torn to pieces. That is a fact of life. Doesn’t matter the forum, doesn’t matter the trade. You’re either giving away too much and getting too little, or you’re an idiot who is severely over-valuing the assets you’re prepared to give up. You cannot and will not win. Even if the actual trade you proposed on Twitter is executed 3 hours from the time you suggest it, you’ll have been ridiculed past the point of reason for those three hours. And then they're coming for you and the GM.

Matt Read for Cody Franson.

See. It’s the internet, baby. Cats and hate, cats and hate.

So let’s use this space today to get in on the fun and dump on a trade proposal that is buried in the archives of Hockey’s Future Flyers Board. A proposal that was far more preposterous than user Fisher for Selke offering up Hartnell and Coburn for Sheldon Souray and Patrick O’Sullivan in February of 2010. Far more ridiculous than user keslehr proposing Carter and Coburn for Nabakov in June of the same year. Here is the trade that surferdude99 thought would make sense right before the 2010-11 season kicked off, just 3 months after the Flyers made a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Finals.

To Philly: Roman Hamrlik, Ben Maxwell, Andrei Kostitsyn, Two 1st Rounders
To Montreal: Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux

Scoop your jaw up off the floor and unfurrow your brow. Let’s break this one down a little further. Here are the players that were proposed to be part of the deal for Montreal:

Roman Hamrlik – a 36 year old defenseman whose mobility had been exponentially decreasing for 2 years. Yes, he was coming off a 26 point season, and actually hit the mid-30’s the following year, but his expiration date was fast approaching.
Ben Maxwell – a 2nd round pick in 2006 that had managed to get into 20 NHL games and score no points since his draft day. He had been putting up Jared Ross-like numbers in the AHL but we already had a bushel of Jared Ross’s. Plus, we don’t believe in having a good farm team so unless this guy is good at opening beers in the Executive Suite at the WFC, he would be utterly useless.
AK47 – Ah great, an enigmatic Belarussian two years removed from a career high of 53 points is exactly what’s going to put the Flyers over the top in 2011! What’s that? Rumors out of Montreal that he’s a part-boy? Sign that youth up for Dry Island!

And then who are these bums on the Philly side…?

Chris Pronger – about to turn 36 but had just scored 55 points and played an IMPORTANT role in the Finals run. But yeah, he’s probably expendable, especially if we have the Czech version of Derian Hatcher coming in from Montreal.
Claude Giroux – a 22 year old who had 47 points in his first full season with the Flyboys and then exploded in the playoffs for 21 points in 23 games. He made Arron Asham look like Eskimo Mike Bossy. Let's get rid of him before he gets too expensive to sign!

Everything about this proposed trade is laughable, both in hindsight and even at the time. The Flyers and Habs had both just snuck into the playoffs with 88 point seasons, and against all odds, made it to the first ever 7/8 Eastern Conference Finals in which the Flyers dry humped the Canadiens to completion in 5 games. Why on Earth would these two teams, that were essentially at the same place in their building process, make ANY trade, let alone this one?

It’s like surferdude99 was listening in on a private meeting where Paul Holmgren listed his top 3 priorities for the off-season:

1. Downgrade our #1 defenseman and get a little older.
2. Trade away our burgeoning rookie star for a guy who probably won’t make it in the NHL and a divisive former Soviet Block player (this actually was on Homer’s list of things to do the next off-season)
3. Cushion the fall with one 1st round draft pick to cover each ear.

And this conversation very well may have happened, but that’s why Homer has secret behind the scenes handlers.

This is a trade that could have been Sandbergian. Except replace Bowa with Schmidt.

Well…I feel better. Nothing like blowing out someone else’s flame so your shines brighter!

FGSB MAILBAG

Chris D: Gagne a Flyers?
I think Gagne’s got to be on the Flyers this year. He’s the perfect third line winger for this team and he’ll probably sign for $2m. I’ve been picturing the behind the scenes winking going on between Gagne and Holmgren for the past couple days and let me tell you, it’s getting out of hand. Holmgren tells Gags he can’t sign him *wink*. Gags says he understands and is going to pursue his options *wink*. Holmgren says he can come to training camp *wink*. Gagne says he’ll come but if a good offer comes up he’s going to sign somewhere else *wink*. Homer says that it doesn’t mean anything *wink* but he’ll be practicing on the third line in training camp *wink* *wink* *wink*. Gagne says “I love you, Paulie” *wink*. MAKE OUT SESH.

Brsi3518: Who can Streit play with?
Count Chocula. Ha! Get it? That’s a chocolate joke! And a vampire joke! Because he’s Swiss. Swiss chocolate. And he looks like he could be a vampire. Ahhh. Ok, in all morbid seriousness, he’s apparently an asset offensively and a liability defensively. That would make you want to pair him with a strong defensive defenseman, right? That’s what they usually do? So there’s Luke Schenn and Nick Grossmann. But maybe you put him with Coburn and just let the offense flow all over the other team’s face? Assuming that Coburn can regain his offensive prowess. And then in interviews Streit can be all like “I don’t hafta be good at defense because I’m never in the defensive zone. Goal me!”

@WTPuckingPuck who will have the biggest moobies entering training camp?
I think Dustin Byfuglien will be the last big man to win the Keith Tkcahuk Memorial Training Camp Tatties Award. There’s too much media shaming for showing up not in shape these days no matter how good your are or how long of a contract you have. Guys who used to show up out of shape must not have been able to work out because of their BIG BALLS. Can you imagine showing up to NHL training camp out of shape and looking around at your teammates who would be gawking at your flabby stomach? That would be the worst. And then you’d be trailing in every drill and Rinaldoing on the bench during The Canadian Mile. It would just be the ab-so-toot worst. Unless you scored 50 goals a year. But even in my NHL fantasies I’m a 4th line scrub who’s lucky to be there. I got problems, yo.

Roger P: If the Flyers start the season 10-20 is Laviolette back to being a CBC Analyst?
Last summer Lavy was extended through next season, but you know as well as I that when it comes to coaching a professional sports team plans can change in an instant. Or after a crappy start to the season. I think winning 33% of your first 1/3 of the season would be enough to get any coach fired after your biggest off-season signings were a 33 year old forward, a 35 year old defenseman, and an almost 31 year old goalie. That doesn’t exactly scream “rebuilding mode.” While Holmgren and Snider have repeatedly expressed their support of Petey Lavs, the team didn’t make the playoffs last year and unfortunately that’s kind of the Philadelphia measuring stick. So while he comes in with the full support of the executive office, Laviolette’s team needs to start the season strong to keep the media, and therefore the fans, at bay. People do not like slow starts. After waiting 5 long months for the season to begin a slow start is like finally hooking up with your dream girl and only getting a hand job. What a let down.

Larry Bowa on Jim Bunning: His words 'resonated throughout my career'

Larry Bowa on Jim Bunning: His words 'resonated throughout my career'

Beyond the center field wall at Citizens Bank Park, retired Phillies uniform No. 14 was draped in black cloth on Saturday afternoon.
 
Jim Bunning, who wore that number during six seasons with the club, died late Friday night at his home in Kentucky. The Hall of Fame pitcher, who went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, was 85.
 
Bunning was a workhorse right-hander who pitched with smarts and competitiveness during his 17 seasons in the majors. He also pitched with the Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. He averaged 35 starts and won 89 games during his six seasons with the Phillies. He also authored one of the most iconic moments in club history when he pitched the franchise's first perfect game on a searing hot Father's Day in 1964 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
 
Talking about a perfect game as it is unfolding is considered baseball taboo. To mention it is to risk jinxing it. But Bunning broke tradition and in the late innings of that game talked openly with teammates in the dugout about the possibility of finishing off the feat.
 
"Jim Bunning was way too practical of a man to worry about a jinx," former teammate Rick Wise once said. Wise pitched the second game of that Father's Day doubleheader. It started 20 minutes after Bunning completed his perfecto and Wise had trouble finding a ball and a catcher to warm him up because everyone was busy celebrating the perfect game.
 
Bunning went 224-184 with a 3.27 ERA in 591 career games. He led the American League with 20 wins in 1957. He led the league in innings twice and strikeouts three times. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1996 and went into Cooperstown as a Phillie.
 
Bunning had two tours with the Phillies, 1964-67 and 1970-71, and was a straight-laced competitor who expected effort and excellence from his teammates. During his second time through Philadelphia, as he was nearing the end of his career, he was a teammate of a young shortstop named Larry Bowa.
 
"I remember him coming up to me and saying, ‘Don’t ever, ever lose your energy. I don’t want to turn around and see your head dropping because you’re 0 for 3,’ Bowa recalled Saturday. "He said, ‘I don’t ever want to see that.’ He said, ‘You’ve got to be accountable. You’ve got to play with energy. You’ve got to play every inning of every game.
 
"I made an error one day and he turned around - I didn’t even want to make eye contact with him -- he turned around and he was rubbing the ball and looked at me and I went, 'Yeah, I know I should have caught it.' He was just that intense."
 
Bunning had a mean streak on the mound. He led the league in hit batsman four times.
 
Bowa recalled the time Ron Hunt -- a notorious plunkee -- did not get out of the way of a Bunning breaking ball. As Hunt ran to first base, Bunning admonished him.
 
"He went over and said, 'Ron, if you want to get hit, I’ll hit you next time and it won’t be a breaking ball.' That’s what kind of competitor he was."
 
Bunning suffered a stroke last year.
 
"I knew he had been sick," Bowa said. "Tremendous, tremendous person who taught me a lot about the game in a short time.
 
"He always gave me good advice. He talked about self-evaluation with me all the time. He said you’ve got to be accountable in this game, no one gives you anything in this game. I never had a pitcher mentor me like he did. In spring training, he told me, ‘Keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open.’ It was that simple. I said, ‘Yes, sir.’
 
"When a guy like that takes the time with someone who is just starting, it’s, I mean, it resonated throughout my career."

MLB Notes: Tigers place 2B Ian Kinsler on 10-day disabled list

MLB Notes: Tigers place 2B Ian Kinsler on 10-day disabled list

CHICAGO -- The Detroit Tigers placed Ian Kinsler on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring ahead of their doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Outfielder JaCoby Jones was recalled from Triple A Toledo to fill the roster spot. He was scheduled to start the first game of the twin bill in center field.

Kinsler sat out five games because of the same injury this month. He has a .239 batting average, four home runs and 11 RBIs in 41 games this season.

Also, the Tigers acquired the contract of pitcher Arcenio Leon and Chad Bell was optioned to Toledo. Bell pitched 2 1/3 innings on Friday. Pitcher William Cuevas was designated for assignment.

Leon spent the 2016 season in the Mexican League before signing as minor league free agent last winter. He'd be making his major league debut.

Indians: Ace starter Corey Kluber expected to rejoin rotation next week
CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber, sidelined most of the month with a strained lower back, is expected to rejoin the Cleveland Indians rotation on Thursday against Oakland.

Cleveland's ace right-hander hasn't pitched since May 2 when he left his start against Detroit after three innings. He threw five scoreless innings for Double-A Akron on a minor league rehab assignment Friday.

Kluber is 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA in six starts. He pitched 249 1/3 innings last season, including 34 1/3 in the playoffs. Kluber also pitched on three days rest three times during the postseason, two coming against the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

Kluber was 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA and two shutouts in the regular season and went 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six playoff starts. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and was third in the voting last season.

Indians manager Terry Francona didn't say whose spot Kluber will take in the rotation.

Padres: OF Manuel Margot placed on 10-day DL with calf strain
WASHINGTON -- The San Diego Padres placed Manuel Margot on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right calf before Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals.

The centerfielder left Wednesday's game with calf soreness. He was in a walking boot ahead of Friday's series opener.

Second on the team in at-bats, the 22-year-old Margot is batting .259 with four home runs and 13 RBIs.

"He's just sore right now," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He'll take off four-to-five days and keep the workload really minimum. After that, see how he progresses."

Outfielder Franchy Cordero was called up from Triple-A El Paso for his major league debut. He is expected to start Sunday and receive much of the playing time in center field.