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Author: WilliamR
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Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks - Official MLB Face Masks Online Store

WilliamR

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Tim Kurkjian: The biggest trade I ever covered at the winter meetings came on Dec. 5, 1990, at the meetings outside of Chicago. The Toronto Blue Jays sent first baseman Fred McGriff and shortstop Tony Fernandez to the San Diego Padres for second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielder Joe Carter. McGriff had hit 105 home runs in his previous three seasons combined; someday he might be a Hall of Famer. Fernandez had made the All-Star team in three of his previous four seasons, an excellent player in his prime. Carter had averaged nearly 30 homers a year for the previous four seasons; he, of course, hit the walk-off home run to win the 1993 World Series for the Blue Jays. Alomar was the best player on two World Series championship teams (1992 and 1993) in Toronto and would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The day of the trade, some in the media called it the Fred McGriff trade, the Joe Carter trade, the Tony Fernandez trade. Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick whispered to me late that night, "This will always be known as the Roberto Alomar trade.''Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks

You can't predict a single day of baseball, and it's awfully hard to predict a year of it, or to predict what a single prospect will do or how a single veteran will age after signing a three-year contract. But the five-year teardown is a bet that, on a long-enough timeline, with an entire organization, you can tame that unpredictability. In a lot of ways the Phillies did: They got cheaper, they got younger, they got All-Stars and MVP candidates, and they even got quite a bit better than they had been in 2015. They got into three pennant races, sort of. But the unpredictability was always lurking. Nothing against the Phillies specifically, but that outcome should make us happy. Tanking to win later isn't a very fun strategy to cheer on in the first place, but it would be even more obnoxious if its success were inevitable.

The Lakers' level of interest in a Gasol reunion is unclear. Gasol has not played 5-on-5 since undergoing surgery, he said. He has set up 2-on-2 games with local players, including a former Stanford player and an employee of an NBA team who spends offseasons in the Bay Area, Gasol said.San Diego Padres Face Masks

Dave Parker, Pirates, 1978: Any discussion of specialized baseball headgear has to begin with the Cobra. After fracturing his jaw and cheekbone in a home plate collision with Mets catcher John Stearns on May 30, 1978, he returned to the lineup a few weeks later and quickly cycled through a series of bizarre-looking attempts to protect his injured face:Kansas City Royals Face Masks

"Carson is my best friend. He's my guy," Cox said. "I've always had his back since Day 1. Jalen, he's my teammate also, so you've got to support whoever is in there. It's the NFL and we understand that things happen. It sucks for a guy like Carson to be put in that position because it never just comes down to one guy; there are 11 guys on the field.

Which team, in which year, made the all-time biggest winter meetings splash -- and how did it end up working out?
Schoenfield: Let's look at what Whitey Herzog did for the St. Louis Cardinals at the 1980 winter meetings. The Cardinals had been stuck in neutral for more than a decade and finished 74-88 in 1980. Hired as the club's GM in August, Herzog made himself the manager as well, then set out to remake the club. He signed Darrell Porter as a free agent, then made three big trades involving 23 players, trading away 12. He acquired two future Hall of Fame relievers (Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers) and then traded away Fingers and another Hall of Famer, Ted Simmons. The deals involved four All-Star catchers (Porter, Simmons, Gene Tenace, Terry Kennedy). He traded away a future Cy Young winner (Pete Vuckovich). In all, 11 of the 23 players accumulated at least 10 career WAR and most were still in their primes or early in their careers at the time. And that wasn't all. The following offseason, Herzog used two of the players acquired in 1980 (Sixto Lezcano and Lary Sorensen) to help acquire Ozzie Smith and Lonnie Smith. The Cardinals had the best record in the NL East in 1981 and won the World Series in 1982 -- and basically have been good ever since.

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The conference made the announcement Wednesday after its administrative council, made up of all athletic directors and senior women administrators, voted to eliminate the minimum-game requirement in collaboration with the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors.Texas Rangers Face Masks