Shopping Season

While the NFL, NHL and NBA regular seasons are underway, baseball is entering its offseason. Well, perhaps it is better known as the shopping season. Something like 147 free agents can sign with new teams.

No other sport can match baseball’s rumor mill or July trading deadline media frenzy. A week ago, the NFL trade deadline came and went in a yawn. Only one deal, the Eagles sending a defensive lineman to the Patriots for a future draft pick. Despite little activity, I don’t recall one single rumor.

Baseball writers feed the rumor mill. Each tries to out-do the other. Scoops more often turn into bloops.

There’s a website, http://www.MLBTradeRumors.com, which specializes in rumors. Tim Dierkes, one the site’s writers, posted his predictions for the top 50 free agents for the third straight year. Fans can get into the predicting act, too. 5,239 fans participated last year.

According to Tim, the Phillies will wind up signing outfielder Nelson Cruz, right-handed starter Ricky Nolasco, right-handed reliever Edward Mujica and re-sign Chooch. Tim has Doc Halladay signing with the Mets. Time will tell.

Arizona Fall League
OF Cameron Perkins, playing for the Peoria club in the AFL, was beaned on Friday but returned to the lineup the next day. First at-bat? Hit by a pitch again. He finished that game with three hits and three runs scored . . . C Cameron Rupp is hitting .324 for the same club.

Alumni Notes
Greg Luzinski is being inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night.

As a youngster growing up in New Jersey, Mark Leiter was a Phillies fan. As a player he spent two years wearing that uniform. Now, Mark Jr. is a young pitching prospect in the Phillies minor league system. Check out a feature about the Leiters written by Paul Hagen at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

The new Peek at the Past photo on the same webpage features the Sarge being interviewed on national TV after the Phillies eliminated the Dodgers in the NLCS 30 years ago.

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