Daily Grind 7.25

It’s the dog days of summer in baseball and for the 2nd consecutive day, I’m starting with the St. Louis Rams, who have lost more games in a 5 year span than any team in NFL history.

Janoris Jenkins during rookie mini camp

Why? Because Jeff Fisher is a badass and his first training camp in St. Louis opens today. Good news hot off the wire: Every Rams 2012 draft pick will be in camp, signed. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins agreed to a 4-year deal worth over $5 million, with $3.1 million guaranteed according to Jim Thomas.

Jenkins’ contract talks hit a snag when the Rams desired for Jenkins to work with a particular financial adviser thanks to marijuana arrests in college and four children with three different women. Maybe not a bad idea that they help him with his financial future. Of course, Jenkins’ agent thought the idea was baloney considering he’s out to make his client the most money possible. And well, he did. The contract pays Jenkins more guaranteed money than any other 2nd round pick.

The Rams could really use the ball to bounce their way for once, and if this kid pays off, the football gods are loving St. Louis.

My friends ridicule me for saying this every fricken year, but I do think the Rams will be better in 2012. Especially defensively. I wrote about it shortly after they drafted Michael Brockers in the first round. Now, the offensive line? Ha, we’ll get to that another day.

Your move, Mo.

Sulla55 via Flickr creates Wandy Rodriguez’s motion

The Pittsburgh Pirates pulled off a dandy yesterday acquiring LHP Wandy Rodriguez from Houston for 3 minor leaguers: LHP Rudy Owens, LHP Colton Cain, and OF Robbie Grossman. I trust Astros GM Jeff Luhnow with his minor league scouting, and Owens will be placed on the 40-man roster.

That being said, the Bucs got a heck of a pitcher. Rodriguez has been very durable for Houston, posting four straight seasons with an ERA under 4.00
Pittsburgh stands at 54-42, with a fantastic 32-16 record at PNC Park. In 10 starts there, Wandy is 3-5 with a 4.45 ERA.

The NL Central is a horse race, Mozeliak must make a move. Even as simple as designating Tyler Greene for assignment.

Adam Wainwright was darn good last night. His first win since July 4, he registered only two three-ball counts and threw 23 of 30 first pitch strikes including on 15-of-his-last-17 batters. Woah, a lot of numbers there. But, getting ahead is a staple for successful pitching, and it proved again. Also, his 5th inning double led the Cardinals to their 17th comeback of the season.

The Bullpen was stout. Mark Rzepczysnki recorded his 6th double-play of the season in the Dodgers 8th, and has yet to allow a run in July. Meanwhile Mitchell Boggs extended his scoreless streak 12.2 innings. Too bad Victor Marte didn’t get in on the fun!

Everyone around baseball wonders the same thing, “how is this team 6 games out?” The mystery continues tomorrow with Kyle Lohse (10-2, 2.71) against Aaron Harang (7-5, 3.46).

Weber awaits a pass during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Finally, the NHL. Talk about a mystery. Will they even play next season? One thing is certain, Shea Weber made history when the Nashville Predators matched the Philadelphia Flyers on a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet to the 26-year-old defensemen. The Flyers’ offer was a direct bullet at a small market franchise like Nashville, and now the Predators might as well be known as the “Shea Webers”. I do not see how they can afford Weber, and accumulate a roster strong enough to win a Stanley Cup. Dan O’Neil of the Post Dispatch wrote a fantastic article regarding the conflicting messages between NHL owners.

All for now, thanks for reading.

**Breaking news** as of 2:40 AM

Miami Marlins traded SS Hanley Ramirez to the LA Dodgers. Hanley is a clubhouse cancer. The Marlins had to make a decision between him and Miguel Cabrera a few years back, and now they’re both gone. A Dodger official told me last night they hoped ownership would steer clear of Ramirez, but the deal is completed. His arrival means Dee Gordon has time to grow up in the minor leagues.

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