OK, enough crying. There’s still one angle I haven’t talked about in this trade (there’s been the Losing Cliff Lee angle and the Screwing Over The Yankees angle): trading within your division. Obviously, this year is a huge bust for the Mariners. We were probably going to lose the bulk of our remaining games against the Rangers this year anyway, even if they didn’t have Cliff Lee. Will he come back and shut us down the next time he faces us? Wouldn’t surprise me – with how good he is, combined with how much we suck, combined with how much we REALLY suck against left handers – if he busted out some no-hit/perfect-game shit. I’m dead serious. But, the obvious answer is – while this year is a bust for us – the Rangers certainly won’t be able to sign him next year. In the long haul, this kind of a deal has a better chance of hurting them more than us (unless you’re like me and succumb to the psychological agony of having yet another team in your division make it to and perhaps win a World Series). Of course, that would have to rely on the prospects we received actually panning out. Anyone who thinks THAT’S going to happen, meet me outside my house later tonight. I’ve got some beachfront property in Kansas to sell you. If we’re lucky, they will pan out (or, rather, 1 or 2 will pan out, or they won’t but they’ll be used in another deal to bring in someone who WILL pan out); but the odds always favor nobody panning out. Look at it this way: there are HOW many dozens of rounds in the MLB draft? There are HOW many undrafted international players signed every year? And HOW many of all those many many MANY players make it into the Major Leagues? And, of those, HOW many succeed to the point where they don’t just make it in, but actually contribute in a postive way? So so SO precious few. My point is, the weight of the world shouldn’t be on Justin Smoak’s shoulders; because as I’ve been trying to say all along: Everything About Sports Is A Crapshoot. The best thing about trading within your division – outside of actually wamboozling your trade partner by having their prospects succeed for you for years thereafter – is annoying the other two teams in the division. Specifically Anaheim. Fuck the Angels! You’ve won enough! Torii Hunter’s a bitch anyway.