|Secret memo reveals possible deals|
By Graham Hays
Page 2 staff
Forget Raul Mondesi going to Arizona or Scott Williamson packing his bags for Boston -- we've uncovered the real story about baseball's trade deadline. Direct from the desk of George Tenet at the CIA -- hey, the boss is a baseball fan -- comes the inside scoop on some potential deals you probably haven't heard about. We could get in big trouble for passing on this information, but memos from Langley seem to have a way of slipping through the cracks these days.
Confident he'll be around for at least five more seasons, George W. Bush offered Portland a strategic invasion of Newfoundland and New Brunswick -- in an effort to increase the area's haul of Atlantic salmon -- if the city drops out of the race to land the Expos ... only to discover his intelligence had been faulty and Portland, Maine remains quite happy with its Double-A team.
Alarmed by the number of hits Jung Bong is allowing, the Braves are offering around the young pitcher. Other GMs have been left baffled by John Schuerholz's late-night demands that any deal include four large cheese pizzas, six bags of Doritos, a six-pack of Red Bull and a bootleg of the 1983 Grateful Dead show in Albany.
The Yankees and Athletics have agreed in principle on a deal sending Barry Zito to New York for Roger Clemens, but the deal is contingent on Sandy Alderson telling Zito about the swap in time for the pitcher to report to the Yankees.
Otherwise ignored by his fellow GMs who felt slighted at the attention given to Billy Beane in the book "Moneyball," Oakland's GM was left to deal strictly with sabremetric protégées J.P. Ricciardi and Theo Epstein. A potential three-way deal that would have sent David Ortiz to Toronto, Kelvim Escobar to Oakland and Ted Lilly to Boston fell apart when it was discovered that Ortiz take 23 percent fewer pitches against right-handed pitchers in day games in the Pacific Time Zone than the average AL first baseman, Escobar hasn't thrown a first-pitch strike against switch-hitting outfielders on a Catholic holiday since 1998 and that Ricciardi had stolen the codes for Tomb Raider out of Beane's office before leaving Oakland.
The Phillies are talking to the Tigers about a deal that would send Jeremy Bonderman (4-14) and Mike Maroth (5-15) to the Braves.
Not fully comprehending the scope of Rupert Murdoch's proposed sale, the Yankees are offering Jeff Weaver and the movie rights to "Perfect, I'm Not" by David Wells in exchange for Tara from Paradise Hotel and an advance copy of The Simpsons: Season Three DVD.
The Cubs and Marlins are discussing a trade that would send Alex Gonzalez to Florida in exchange for Alex Gonzalez. Eager to put their degrees to use, the philosophy departments of several major universities are submitting formal protests on why this is impossible. And for some reason the deal is contingent on Bobby J. Jones passing a meta-physical.
Felipe Alou vehemently denies the Giants are considering trading Barry Bonds for Babe Ruth's DNA, but admitted off the record that while he agrees with Bonds that the slugger is the game's greatest left-handed power hitter, the Giants could really use another lefty in the rotation.
Figuring it's their best shot at having an All-Star in center field in the next decade, the Reds may trade Ken Griffey Jr. to Florida in exchange for several election officials from Palm Beach County. Florida officials already have plans to introduce a special endangered species license plate, similar to the state's successful manatee plates, featuring a likeness of Griffey.
The Reds struck out in their attempts to trade Adam Dunn.
The Expos are looking to trade 6-3 230-pound Joe Vitiello and 6-2 240-pound Livan Hernandez to United Van Lines for future considerations.
The Dodgers are talking about dealing Rickey Henderson to the NBA's expansion Charlotte Bobcats, after someone dared GM Dan Evans that he couldn't find a team Henderson hadn't played during his career. Talks have cooled between the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia 76ers. The Jays were looking to send pitcher, and former NBA forward, Mark Hendrickson in exchange for Allen Iverson's summer services but were dismayed to learn that all that talk about caught stealing and thrown out had nothing to do with baseball.
A deal is in the works to get Yankees prospect Drew Henson back on the gridiron, bringing Kordell Stewart to the Bronx. Brian Cashman is apparently impressed by Stewart's ability to keep the ball well away from anyone trying to catch it, and hopes the skill translates to baseball.
In an effort to move on while also rebuilding for a healthy tomorrow, the Milwaukee Brewers may trade their Italian Sausage for San Diego's Chicken. But rumors are that the Sausage is threatening to use its 10-and-5 veto power.
The Yankees are trying to acquire Vladimir Guerrero from Montreal in an effort to ensure each player in their starting lineup earns more than potential first-round opponent Kansas City's entire pitching staff. And because George Steinbrenner is just evil.
Bud Selig and his secret council of curmudgeonly baseball writers are orchestrating a plot to get both Jim Thome and Carlos Delgado traded to Colorado and to have the DH rule instituted for games at Coors Field. Both parties deny the machinations have anything to do with Barry Bonds rapidly approaching Babe Ruth's record for home runs by a left-handed hitter.
The Prince of Darkness -- not the one in possession of the Yankees -- is getting in on the action, offering the remainder of Greg Vaughn's contract for two fresh souls and three goats.
The Orioles are willing to send Jorge Julio to the Yankees if Don Zimmer will promise to cease and desist with any hemorrhoid-treatment commercials in the D.C.-Baltimore area.
Based on pitch counts and the team's history with young pitchers, the Marlins are looking to trade Dontrelle Willis' future for momentary glory.
Teams are reluctant to trade for Pittsburgh's Randall Simon unless he proves he can hit from both sides. The Pierogis who race in front of the Pirates' dugout during home games in Pittsburgh are said to be very nervous.
Graham Hays writes 'Out of the Box,' the inside scoop on yesterday's box scores, five days a week.