Doug Kelly: Clock ticking toward MLB’s trade deadline

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If there was any doubt — none here — that the San Jose Sharks are in full-blown rebuild mode, it was dispelled last Wednesday when the team traded Brent Burns to Carolina for two players and a draft pick.

New general manager Mike Grier has hit the ground running. The 37-year-old Burns played 11 seasons in San Jose and holds almost all the club records for defensemen. He had to approve the deal, since Carolina was not on his list of no-trade locales.

Thus, the Sharks’ version of the “Core Four” is no more. Patrick Marleau is retired; Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton as of now will try to play one more year in pursuit of a Stanley Cup title for Dallas or Florida, respectively. Burns now does the same in Carolina. Time marches on.

*As the clock ticks down to the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline, teams are now classified as “buyers” or “sellers.”

A simple theory: if you as a GM think there’s a player or two who is available and your team is realistically in the hunt, you’re often a “buyer.” If the opposite is true, you sell or trade away assets in exchange for younger players and prospects.

Right now, the San Francisco Giants are neither. Their play over the rest of this month will be the determining factor as to buy or sell mode.

*This corner will never understand why any team in any professional sport’s pre- and post-game TV shows would use anyone than a former player for “analysis.”

The Giants utilize Randy Winn, George Kontos, Rich Aurilia and Shawn Estes.

The Oakland A’s have Shooty Babbitt and Dave Stewart. All are proven major leaguers. They have played the game. They know full well how difficult it is to play baseball at the highest level.

While analytics are important, fans want to hear from the players, past or present.

*In this day and age, thanks to the proliferation of texting and other forms of social media, many words are reduced or abbreviated. POTUS is short for the President of our nation. Baseball has a lexicon of its own, beginning with PTBNL.  That means a player is exchanged for a ‘player to be named later.’

Long-ago catcher Harry Chiti holds a special place in MLB history, becoming the first man to ever be traded for himself. In 1962, Chiti went from the New York Mets to Cleveland, only to have the Indians send him back to the Mets. In each case, for a PTNBL

*You know you’ve been around a while when you realize Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Mike Love, plus surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, are each over 80 years old.

And still performing.

*Condolences to the family, friends and teammates mourning the death of Spencer Webb, following a cliff diving accident. Webb was a stellar tight end for the Oregon Ducks following an accolade-filled career at Christian Brothers High of Sacramento.

*Two guys who look like geniuses: Seattle manager Scott Servais and Baltimore skipper Brandon Hyde. Through Thursday’s games, the Mariners had won 11 straight games and the Orioles 10.

*Do not adjust your TV when you watch Tuesday’s All-Star Game.  The National League, as the home team, will wear white jerseys with the name of each player’s team lettered in gold on the front, with the script designed just like the player’s home uniform script during the regular season.

The American League, as the visiting team, will also have the same style of gold script on the front of the jersey, but the jersey itself will be dark gray.

Enjoy the Mid-Summer Classic.

The longtime radio and television color man on UC Davis football broadcasts, Doug Kelly is director of communications for Battlefields2Ballfields and managing general partner of Kelly & Associates. Contact him at