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It's time for someone — anyone — to raise the white flag

Jul 2, 2009, 9:01 AM EDT

MLB.com has a story about the Brewers and the trade deadline. I found this non-Brewers bit to be the most interesting:

Only six of the 30 Major League teams entered play Wednesday more
than 10 games out of first place, and the other 24 teams could take a
public relations hit if they start dealing away core players. Melvin
raises the Mariners as an example. New GM Jack Zduriencik, who took the
job after a decade as Milwaukee’s scouting director, was expected to be
a seller this summer, but the Mariners were just 3 1/2 games out of
first place on Wednesday morning.

Yes, trading off bigger names when you’re only 3.5 games back can be
seen as a bad thing by the fans. Like you’re surrendering. Like you’re,
oh, I don’t know, waving a white flag:

They called it the “White Flag” trade. On July 31, 1997, at the
trading deadline, the Chicago White Sox dealt a trio of veteran
pitchers — Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez — to
the San Francisco Giants for six young players, four pitchers and two
position players, all minor leaguers. At the time, the White Sox
trailed Cleveland in the standings by just 3 1/2 games, yet it appeared
they were giving up the chase, hence the trade’s nickname. Sox fans
were up in arms. But more than three years later, that trade looks
different. The White Sox finally blew past the Indians in 2000, winning
95 games and the AL Central title.

Whether it’s Jack Zduriencik or someone else, there are opportunities
to be taken advantage of in this market if someone has the guts — and
backing from ownership — to make it happen. With so many teams
thinking they’re in the hunt, the first guy to recognize that, while
their team is technically in contention, they aren’t in serious contention, could make out like a bandit.

Yes, fans may grouse about it. They certainly did in Chicago in 1997.
But the cheers they’ll offer when the team is on truly solid footing a
couple of years later will drown that out.

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