Tools in the trades

Kemp, in his former boss's crosshairs after a deal to the Braves . . .

Kemp, in his former boss’s crosshairs after a deal to the Braves . . .

If baseball has any truth regarding trades, it’s that not everyone trades or is traded gracefully, or graciously. Not everyone’s teammates take it as “just business” when a particular favourite is moved onward. And not everyone’s former bosses speak only kindly of their freshly-dealt former charges, either.

Ask the Padres, whose executive chairman Ron Fowler hasn’t been content just to have moved James Shields (to the White Sox) and Matt Kemp (to the Braves), and whose now-former player Kemp published a farewell of sorts on his way out of town.

Deadline lines

The White Sox swear they're not looking to move Sale but in baseball (thanks, Joaquin!) and at trade deadlines there's just one word---you never know.

The White Sox swear they’re not looking to move Sale but in baseball and at trade deadlines there’s just one word—you never know. (Thanks, Joaquin!)

Who’s going? Who’s coming? Who’s buying? Who’s selling? Good questions. A few prospective answers . . .

* SALE OF THE DECADE? Not necessarily having to do with his tailoring misadventures of almost a week and a half ago, Chris Sale continues drawing big enough interest from the Dodgers, the Rangers, and the Red Sox. They have the prospects the White Sox seem most to want in any such deal; it may come to whose prospects entice them most.

The Padres, from nothing special to human rights violators

Kemp, leading the wreckage of the Rockies Saturday.

Kemp, leading the wreckage of the Rockies Saturday.

All good things must come to an end, even baseball games. Not to mention staggering rookie home run streaks and the San Diego Padres’ season-opening, run-scoring futilities. For now, at least. But did the Padres have to rub it in as they did Saturday evening?

Bad enough for the Colorado Rockies: The Padres not only ended their season-opening scoreless streak at their expense Friday night, but they battered them 13-6 while they were at it. Worse: The Padres on Saturday picked up where they left off Friday night, then saw and raised themselves, 16-3 with nineteen hits.

The Dodgers have the Padres in search of a run

Let's be Puigs about it: two triples in two games on the Padres' dimes . . .

Let’s be Puigs about it: two triples in two games on the Padres’ dimes . . .

Leaving spring training, a fair number of observers wondered whether their early crowd on the disabled list would leave the Dodgers in a wee spot of trouble to open 2016 in earnest. Not to mention how the Dodgers lost their last five spring exhibitions, including an embarrassing Freeway Series sweep in which the Angels outscored them 15-3.

Take my advice and don’t ask the Padres what they think, after opening the season against the Dodgers being shut out twice and destroyed once.

The DH in the NL? No. But just suppose . . .

You can all relax. For now. The National League adopting the designated hitter is mere speculation. For now. Even Commissioner Rob Manfred, a man who seems decisive one moment and hesitant the next, particularly on very serious issues, says the “most likely result on the designated hitter for the foreseeable future is the status quo.” For now.

The Brawl Star Game

Super rookie Puig falls by a nose . . .

Super rookie Puig falls by a nose . . .

Jump not to any conclusions that not even a collarbone fracture in an earlier brawl this season sent Zack Greinke the message. Let’s run down how went the Tuesday night fights between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks — featuring a few rounds between several 1980s all-stars now among both teams’ brain trusts — for those who needed a scorecard to establish the, ahem, order of battle:

"Cheers? Yer Outta Here!"

There is no justice in Mudville, often as not. On the one hand, Matt Kemp seems not to have been suspended over Thursday’s comedy in Pittsburgh. On the other hand, his manager, Don Mattingly, has been, for two games, in hand with an undisclosed fine. Baseball government got it half right. Nobody should have been suspended except, perhaps, Thursday’s plate umpire Angel Campos.

Officially, Donnie Baseball got his two-game siddown-and-shaddap for—get this—”excessive arguing.” Joe Garagiola, Jr., who serves as baseball government’s vice president for standards and on-field operations, announced it Saturday; the game’s top cop, Joe Torre, who just so happens to be Mattingly’s managerial mentor and former Yankee boss, met Mattingly Friday to prepare him for, apparently, the worst.

Root, Root, Root, Get Run

If Don Mattingly and Matt Kemp are right, Angel Campos needs to face baseball government and explain why he threw Kemp out of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the heinous offence of rooting for a teammate.

If they are wrong, however, and Campos’s real motivation was Kemp and other Dodgers barking about Campos’s balls and strikes, then Campos needs to explain why he waited until Kemp hollered, “Let’s go, ‘Dre!” to teammate Andre Ethier, in the batter’s box leading off the second inning, before he tossed Kemp.

Braun, with Brains

As regards the Ryan Braun hoopla, a thought or three:

1) There remains a presumption of innocence in law, in regulation, and in plain fact, if not necessarily in the proverbial court of public opinion. And public opinion’s consistency is, and has usually been, only slightly more reliable than the consistency of the average public office holder.

2) Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, stresses that baseball’s stringent enough drug testing policies were designed in part to prevent a rush to judgment. Never mind that it will do nothing of the sort in actual fact, considering that rushing to judgment is precisely what enough professional baseball analysts and elements of public opinion are doing.