The Moonshot: Existential MLB trades and the dumbest story of the season (so far)

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The FanSided MLB team is here with another edition of The Moonshot, our weekly newsletter rounding up all the joy of baseball.

Well, we believe in exit velocity, bat flips, launch angles, stealing home, the hanging curveball, Big League Chew, sausage races, and that unwritten rules of any kind are self-indulgent, overrated crap. We believe Greg Maddux was an actual wizard. We believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment protecting minor league baseball and that pitch framing is both an art and a science. We believe in the sweet spot, making WARP not war, letting your closer chase a two-inning save, and we believe love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.

Welcome to The Moonshot.

Joc Pederson, Tommy Pham, and the stupidest thing of the baseball season (so far)

Look, this is probably the stupidest thing that happened in the past week, or maybe even the stupidest thing that has happened this season.

That’s actually a good thing.

On Friday, before most of the fans arrived at the game, while most of the media was far, far from away, resulting in only zoomed-out, grainy reports of the action, the slap heard ‘round the baseball world happened in the Great American Ballpark outfield in Cincinnati.

Tommy Pham of the Reds whacked Joc Pederson of the Giants upside the noggin and started a benches-clearing soirée in left field over a fantasy football league text message that occurred months before.
Told you it was stupid.

Drew Koch wrote at Blog Red Machine that Pham isn’t worth his antics, as this isn’t even the first time he’s been involved in something dumb.

But let’s take a moment to revel in this whole stupid moment that crossed our social media timelines and then just kept coming back again as further details came out.

The past week has been hard. The past few months have been hard. The past two years have been hard.

No matter how serious we want to take sports, they’re there for entertainment, to distract us for just a bit. So, honestly, it was just nice to have a little comic release on the timeline for a change, no matter how stupid it was.

— Kurt Mensching

Baseball, but for your ears

5 wild MLB trades fans have to consider

With the 2022 trade deadline fast approaching (can you believe it?!), FanSided has cooked up some juicy mock trades, bringing fanbases the existential adjustments they might not even realize they need!

Pirates fans trade “Debilitating Anger” for “A Blank Stare Into the Distance”

For years, Pirates fans have been furious at ownership for burying young stars, refusing to reinvest in the team, and opting out of competing in a winnable NL Central. This deadline swap will bring them a renewed sense of calm and a 10-mile stare across the water at one of the region’s beautiful bridges.

Red Sox fans trade “A Lifelong Sense of Dread” for “The Realization That They Are the Bully Now”

Boston Red Sox fans have carried with them a sense of dread for their entire lives, baked within them by stories of decades of disappointment and coming up JUST short. Most living Red Sox fans have experienced nothing but success, though! Which is very interesting! Boston has dug their way out of a massive hole thanks to Trevor Story, whose peripherals were all terrible, suddenly flipping on a dime and winning AL Player of the Week with no prior evidence that would occur. This trade allows Red Sox fans to realize that always happens, and has forever!

Mets fans trade “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop” for “The Other Shoe”

After gaining possession of The Other Shoe, Mets fans will be able to hold onto it/store it in a closet rather than dropping it at an inopportune time. With a relentless offense, middling division, and aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer still on the mend, there’s simply no need for that other shoe to make an appearance.

Dodgers fans trade “Overwhelming Haughtiness for a Heavy Favorite That’s Won Just One Recent World Series at the End of a 60-Game Season” for “Pirates Closer David Bednar”

Dodgers fans can use a bit of humbling; it should be disappointing rather than a badge of honor to win so many regular-season games and come up short so often. Bednar will help lock down the back end of the bullpen.

Yankees fans trade “Defending Josh Donaldson” for “Not Doing That”

Don’t do that!

— Adam Weinrib

3 stories from around the MLB Division you need to read

Each week, we’ll highlight three of the biggest stories from the past week in baseball that you need to read

Chicago Cubs: Re-grading the fateful 2021 trade deadline — The Cubs were extremely active last season as almost every beloved — or even recognizable — player on the roster was packaged and shipped away while the team entered its rebuild in earnest. Payton Havermann of Cubbies Crib looked back at how some of those deals look now, nearly a full season later.

1 little-known potential All-Star from each MLB team — With the All-Star vote fast approaching, Noah Yingling of Call to the Pen took a deep dive looking beyond just the obvious names in his search for potential All-Stars.

What is the Philadelphia Phillies’ common denominator of failure? — The Pittsburgh Pirates are 7 games under .500. The Philadelphia Phillies … are, too. That’s a problem, as the Phillies have the fourth-highest payroll in MLB at $233 million. Joe Giradi is reportedly not worried about his job. But should he be? Gabrielle Starr of That Ball’s Outta Here took a deeper dive to see why the Fightin’ Phils have been so punchless this season.

— Kurt Mensching

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