Verlander's Dominance Of The National League Should Make The Cubs Even More Interested In A Trade

By Doug Poe

Whenever a former Cy Young Award winner is on the trade market, every contending team has to have at least a modicum of interest. Thus, there have already been published reports about clubs hoping to land Justin Verlander to make a deal with the Tigers.

Even though it has been six years since he won not only the Cy Young Award but also earned the distinction of being the American League's Most Valuable Player, Verlander still has much upside. He is an established ace who, in spite of some mediocre seasons since 2011, went 16-9 last year while finishing as the runner up in the Cy Young voting.

Still, many contenders will pass on an opportunity to pursue Verlander for a variety of reasons. First of all he is 34 years old, an age when most players are considered well past their prime.

Plus Verlander won only five games in 2015, a number that might make last year's comeback appear to be his swan song. That paltry win total averages out to fewer than one per month, a scary stat for contending clubs who would be counting on him for five wins for the stretch run and the post season.

Then there is Verlaner's contract, which would certainly prevent small market clubs from pursuing him. He has a full no trade clause, which is a huge obstacle for any deal.

It might be even less surmountable than the monetary aspect of his contract, which does not expire until the 2020 season. Verlander will make $28 million the next two years, a salary that most contenders cannot afford.

Among those contenders who can afford to take the financial risk are Los Angeles and Chicago, two large market teams who are seeking to upgrade their starting rotations. Of the two, the Cubs would be the more needy.

After winning the World Series last year and expecting to repeat this season, Chicago has struggled since Opening Day. They have remained under .500 for the first three months, holding first place in the N.L. Central for a mere few days. In order to turn things around, the North Side club needs to make a huge splash at the trade deadline.

The key attraction for Chicago is 28, the number that sits in front of the million in Verlander's contract. While that amount is certainly less than ideal, the Cubs should pay attention to the other 28 in his stat sheet.

He is 28-5 against the National League, with a mere 3.03 earned run average. Opponents from the Senior Circuit are hitting just .223 against him in forty career starts.

More importantly, Verlander is 10-0 against the five teams who are currently in line to reach the postseason, Washington, Los Angeles, Arizona, Milwaukee and Colorado. His dominance against the N.L. would make him a great acquisition for the Cubs, who would need to persuade Verlander to waive his no trade clause for any deal to go through.

The Easiest Job In Sports - You Will Have An Easy Life If You Can Land One Of These Jobs

By Mike Kindella 

Every kids dream

When I was a child, I was given a gift of great athleticism. I was heads and tails above my peers, athletically. You name it; I was the best on my team. Football, baseball, basketball, and eventually, at a later age, hockey! When I was a young kid of twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen, I was among the tallest on my basketball team, and in basketball, height is an amazing thing. I didn't have good endurance (because I was too lazy to put in the pain of wind-sprints), nor did I put out anywhere near 100% a lot of the time, but I was always the leader in rebounds and always scoring under the rim. I had a not-so-great jump shot, and to be honest, I really didn't practice any drill that much, besides just having natural talent. Eventually, people starting becoming taller than I was, and by the time I got into tenth grade or so, I wasn't among the tallest kids for my age anymore. Basketball, at least for a living, I thought, was out of the question. For those brief few years though, when I was taller than most, I experienced success that told me I could have been great. My height and speed is all I needed to win all of the 1 on 1 tournaments held throughout the county. I sent kids, whose dads were coaching them like maniacs from the sidelines (you know, the parents that demand success)? home in tears, after they realized they may not achieve their dream, because I had beat them so handily. Some of them were the best, until they played me. I wasn't ever over 6'0, but it was enough to shine, without really putting any hard practice in.

You literally have a "heads up" on the competition

Without a doubt, the easiest job in all of sport is if you are over 7'0 and are good enough to make a pro team, you will have a luxurious life, and the honor of having to not worry about getting injured either, for the most part. I was able to get a taste of how easy it was, when I was slightly taller than most other kids in my county basketball league. I would have had an easy time of it --- had I had the sense to keep playing, instead of dropping out. I was easily the fastest, and I could throw my weight around also. Once everyone else caught up to me, in my middle teens, I became easily intimidated, in large part, because of my insecurities of everything else (another story). Even if I didn't turn out to be very insecure as a teen, I still would have been intimidated (height is an awesome weapon). I would have had to put more practice in if I wanted to make it to the pros, but I wouldn't have had to do anything drastic in order to have made it. I'm sure I could have coasted by with the minimum work

Dude, don't waste it!

If you are over 6'10" tall, and gifted athletically, I envy you sir! If you are, don't hesitate to bust your butt by practicing. You have a very good chance of making it to the pros, because there are so few "trees" out there that have decent coordination. Don't become intimidated by other big men! If you are Caucasian, do not be intimidated. I call it like it is; some of my best friends when I was playing basketball regularly, were of a different race than I was. Moreso in basketball than any other sport. Shorter people really have to practice their jumping, if they want to play in the pros, but as I said, being a center in the pros is a pure creampuff, high paying, and fun job. Enjoy it while you're young!

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