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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 100 vs. Reds

Aaron Harang Roger Clemens
10 - 6, 3.72 2 - 3, 2.43

When it comes to made up stories, there are four levels, indicating the respective amounts of salt you should take them with: grounded speculation, flights of fancy, fish stories, and major league trade rumors.

So I usually don't do the trade rumors. But it's the right time of the year, and some stories have become particuarly pervasive, to the point where I'd be lax if I didn't mention them.

Oh, and lookathis! Tom Verducci thinks that Andy Pettitte will be one of the five most influential players over the last 60+ games of the season.

Also over at SI, Albert Chen is thinking that Jason Hirsh could be the difference maker for Houston. Sorry, Albert, but if history is our guide, Hirsh is more likely to grow overripe on the vine than he is to pitch in a Wild Card race this year.

John Donovan seems to think that Willy Taveras could be moved before the 31st, and other writers are going so far as to say "[T]he Astros have soured on Willy. . .". And MLB Trade Rumors has linked Taveras to the Cubs, of all people, and noted that Purpura didn't exactly give Willy T a vote of confidence yesterday

Remember in the spring when McLane was speaking to the radio guys, and in so doing assumed that Willy T would be on the Opening Day major league roster, failing to understand that listeners would realize Willy T up meant Bagwell was down? Well, T-Purp has betrayed himself in the same way, but this time, Taveras may be on the outside looking in.

Well, shit. It's gotten to the point where even Willy playing well makes me sad, so if you can move him, maybe that would be the kindest thing for all concerned. Although I'm not so sure there would be that much interest, considering his OBP's at .310. And he doesn't hit for power.

And looks like the Tejada trade rumors have surfaced yet again. Those on the official messageboards seem to think Pence and Hirsh would not be involved, but that makes no sense at all, or at least about as much sense as Willy to the Cubs, who already have a fast guy who doesn't get on base playing center, thank you very much.

Tejada is a wanted commodity across baseball, and IF the Orioles wanted to shoot themsleves in the foof and restrict themselves to veteran players only in return for Miggy, it'd be hard to think that the package the Astros could thereby put together (Burke? Everett?) would be at all competitive with what others might offer.

And that's not even considering the payroll angle. I think Purp has left himself open to adding a mil or two, MAYBE, but the kind of dollars that Tejada would involve. . . I'm not so good at that kind of stuff, but you tell me how that could work.