Today’s discussion point

I think things will start happening soon, but until then…

Longtime readers know that it bugs me when commentators say that nobody is going to win 300 games again. It’s silly, because they don’t learn from history; people were saying the same thing in the sixties (before the Carlton/Seaver/Niekro/Sutton generation of 300-game winners) and the nineties (before Clemens and Maddux blew past).

It got even sillier after Maddux because there were lots of 300-win candidates on the horizon. Did you notice that Randy Johnson now has 263 career wins? And with the Yankees’ offense, he can be mediocre and win 15 games, so if he can pitch 2 1/2 more years (he is 42, but he’s only a year removed from leading the league in strikeouts, and strikeouts are the most important stat in predicting how long a pitcher will be around) he should easily get to 300. Heck, he could do it in two years.

Tom Glavine is younger than Johnson but his career’s in more trouble. Still, he’s at 275 wins, and the Mets should score some runs this year. He’s got a great chance if he’s willing and able to hang on for a couple of years as a .500 pitcher. (By the way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him retire in a Braves uniform in 2007 or 2008.)

Pedro Martinez is at 197 now and enjoyed a career renaissance last year. He’s 34 (I just realized that a pitcher a few months younger than me is about to reach 200 wins, God am I old) and if he can get up to 230 in the next couple of years (again, the Mets should score runs) he’ll be in great shape.

In the Bill James Handbook, James estimates that Johnson has a 61 percent chance of 300 wins, Glavine has a 45 percent chance, and Pedro has a 33 percent chance. By multiplying the odds against each of these three guys winning 300 games, I come up with a 78 percent chance (actually, 77.5215 percent) of at least one 300-game winner just among those three guys. Throw in several other guys (Bartolo Colon, Mark Buerhle, David Wells, Mike Mussina) with reasonable chances, and it approaches 90 percent.

212 thoughts on “Today’s discussion point”

  1. I was one who blindly accepted the premise that there will be no more 300 game winners after Maddux. Now Glavine and Pedro have great shots IMO, not to mention the young guys who are racking up wins now.

  2. Mac, I wonder if Glavine burned too many bridges when he left for the Mets to ever return as a Brave. I don’t know that he did or didn’t, but I seem to remember the Braves not being too happy with the way that whole thing went down.

  3. Oh boy. The G-word is on the loose.

    With the Mets improvement, Glavine seems like a sure thing to me. Basically two solid years and he’s got it. I’m going to try really hard to be happy for him, although I failed with Maddux and Clemens.

  4. I really want things to happen soon. Good job distractiong us Mac, your like our baseball dad.

  5. Glavine should get 15-10 pretty easy. I don’t hold the bitterness towards him that a lot do, and I still consider him my used to be favorite player.

    Hudson, Oswalt, and Pettitte are some other names worth mentioning

  6. My prediction: Only Glavine squeaks into the club.

    I think Glavine has a decent chance to win 15 games this year. There were so many games in the past 2 years where the Mets dropped the ball all over the field while Glavine was pitching, it was just plain ridiculous.

    Granted, he’s fallen off, but Glavine should have at least 10 more wins in his tenure here–if the Mets could’ve hit or caught the ball at all. Even with Matsui at second (I guess), the Mets will make up for it with some offense this year.

    Rose-colored-glasses guess: Give him 15 wins this year, 12 next and start polishing that Cooperstown bust.

    My only caveats for Pedro & Johnson: I don’t know if Pedro wants to stick around that long or cares about the 300 number enough; I think Johnson’s losing it. I agree that he can hang on and get wins, but 37 wins may be a lot to ask.

    But both guys waltz into Cooperstown.

  7. If Glavine performs like he did last year in front of this Met offense, he will win 15 games easily.

  8. From the younger set I would include Oswalt, Santana, Willis, Halladay, maybe Peavy, as a few others who have at least some small chance. I gotta say Wells has no chance, though — 73 wins short. He’d have to pitch until he’s 48.

  9. Are the Marlins willing to trade off Willis. I know they signed him to a one year deal, but he could definitely help out our rotation. What about Estrada/Johnson/Ramirez for Willis!

  10. Willis should be entering his first arbitration. I expect he’ll get one of the biggest first awards ever, but will still be relatively cheap and the Marlins will hold onto him for now.

  11. I don’t see Glavine getting 300. He is in the last year of his contract and will be 40 next season.

    As for him returning to the Braves I don’t see that either. Henry Aaron retired a Brewer, Dale Murphy as a Rockie. I don’t see a precedent for the team taking back Glavine for a rocking chair tour.

    I agree there will be another 300 game winner. Maybe Johnson but then there is going to be a long drought. Not becuase there aren’t good pitchers out there but becuase of the specialization of bullpen pitching and the fact that organizations are slowly ever so slowly coming to the conclusion that W’s and L’s are the least important measure of pitching peformance. Dang, A.J. freaking Burnett with a sub .500 W/L record just got 55 million damn dollars and he played on some pretty good teams.

    On an unrelated note, Mac thanks for banning the name Garciaparra. Please do the same with Juan Pierre. The though of Juan Pierre in a Braves uniform is just gross, y’all.

  12. By the way, A.J. Burnett is now a Blue Jay for the next 5 years.

    J.P. Ricciardi, apparamment, vous êtes très stupide.

  13. Speaking of CC Sabathia, I’m friends with a girl who went to school with two guys that robbed him at gunpoint.

    And didn’t I read on ESPN that Ricciardi just got another contract extension? I fail to understand what he’s doing, I really do.

  14. I still hold some bitterness towards Glavine, but if he gets the 300 win plateau I will still be proud that he got most of those in a Braves uniform.

  15. Dave O’Brien blog update…

    The ranks of available closers are thinning each day, with Florida free agent Todd Jones said to be closing in on a deal with Baltimore late Monday. The Braves didn’t have a lot of interest in the 37-year-old Jones, and they also believe San Diego free agent Trevor Hoffman will stay with the Padres.

    The Braves could fill two spots with one move by acquiring Tampa Bay shortstop/leadoff man Julio Lugo, but the Devil Rays want more in return than Atlanta will give them. The Devil Rays have several others that interest the Braves — closer Danys Baez, speedy outfielder Joey Gathright, left-hitting 1B/OF Aubrey Huff — and the Braves have several players of interest to the Rays, most notably third-base prospect Andy Marte and catchers Brian McCann and Johnny Estrada. The Braves have been shopping arbitration-eligible Estrada so they can turn over the starting duties to McCann, who showed last season that he’s ready. Estrada has drawn interest from Arizona, and the Los Angeles Angels could also increase interest in Estrada after losing out on Florida catcher Paul Lo Duca, who was traded to the Mets.

    Now, new stuff this morning: I was told by several people that D-Rays are asking too much for Lugo, but so many teams are interested they’ll get it. But Braves aren’t giving up McCann.

    Marlins also asking a ton for Pierre, and one scout said they wanted Braves’ Marte AND Davies. No way would Braves do that. Maybe price will come down, however.

    I know reports have Hoffman going to Cleveland, but a Braves official told me they really think he’ll stay with San Diego. And Braves just weren’t sure enough that Todd Jones would pitch like he did in 2005 instead of 2004, to give him a two-year deal.

  16. To me it seems more and more likely the Braves are going to end up involved in a multi-player deal with Tampa. Whether it be Baez/Lugo for Marte, Lugo/Estrada, K.J. whomever it may be.

  17. Marlins also asking a ton for Pierre, and one scout said they wanted Braves’ Marte AND Davies. No way would Braves do that. Maybe price will come down, however.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha.

  18. If we arent going to give Betemit the opportunity next year we need to put him in a package deal as well. There is no way he should be a utility player for another season.

  19. I agree that Betemit should get the start in the Spring, they can always find veteran help to back him up if he struggles later as well. It seems like a much smaller risk than some of the ones they made this past season with the rookies. Leadoff is another debate and question for Cox and company but hopefully that won’t overshadow the bad taste left from last year’s bullpen and that is given higher priority.

  20. We still need a bull pen, leadoff hitter/(left fielder and or short stop), and maybe a starter.

  21. I’m sure Betemit is thinking the same thing. His time to start has arrived, but Atlanta doesn’t seem to be set on him being an everyday starter. Do you guys think that if we acquire a SS, will Betemit be shipped off before next season? What else is he to do? Come off the bench next year and pinch-hit every so often.

  22. When we make a move, we should have Andruw at the press conferences:

    Press Flack: I hear you guys have been in talks with the Rays and Diamondbacks. Which one do you expect to deal with?

    Andruw: Both of them. Count it!

  23. Betemit has been a team player and if he isnt given the opportunity then you might see him asking to be traded.

    I just read something that the Braves are showing interest in Batista as being our closer. Has anyone heard anything about this?

  24. I think it might be best to wait until after the dust settles and find who doesn’t have a partner and trade with them, and sign the guys who fall through the cracks.

  25. After the bullpen settles in it would benefit the Braves to see how their club responds early in the season before making moves for the sake of making moves or responding to all the Mets are doing. The financial flexibility they have might become even more useful at that point in case a greater need arises.

  26. According to Gordon Edes at the Boston Globe, the Braves may have interest in Edgar Renteria? Hmm. He’s expensive, for one thing. He’s not that good, for another. But maybe 2005 was an off-year. He’s had some pretty darned good years. Pressure of Boston, maybe?

    Take it for what it’s worth, keeping in mind that this is the guy who broke the following headline:

    “Epstein, Red Sox agree on three-year contract.”

  27. I would love to see Renteria with the Braves next year, but not with the contract that will come along as well. Maybe if Boston keeps half of that salary. Is Renteria a free agent? or what are the BOSOX in need for?

  28. the red sox would love to get rid of renteria, or rent-a-wreck as they call him…they don’t need pitching. they consider that to be a position of strength.

    they do need outfielders to replace johnny damon, trot nixon and the soon-to-be traded Manny. they would also, without a doubt, ask for marcus.

  29. Renteria is an interesting option. He would cost about $10 mil/year for the next 3-years, which is quite a bit less than what Furcal got paid for that same span. However, since Furcal is 2 years younger (we think) then this is equivalent (OK, not quite, but close) to signing Furcal to a 5-year $10 mil deal that the Cubs were offering. The Braves were not willing to go that high then, so I doubt they would be now. The big difference is just the commitment with some prospects waiting in the minors.

    PrOPS rates Renteria and Furcal as nearly identical players. Renteria played better than his numbers the past two years. In my mind, Renteria for 3 is preferable to Furcal for 5. I wonder what would the Braves have to give up?

  30. Boston needs outfielders and infielders. The OF situation is in flux until they figure out what to do with Ramirez, but they need a 2B (unless Dustin Pedroia is ready; I think they only need one for a year or so anyway), are in desperate need of a 1B, will need an SS if they trade Renteria, and possibly need a backup C who can catch knuckleballs, since the Doug Mirabelli trade rumors are heating up.

    So possible trade candidates, I think, would be Betemit, Marte, LaRoche, Estrada, Pena, Orr, and maybe KJ or Langerhans, depending on what happens to them with Damon, Nixon, and Ramirez.

  31. I don’t know what the rap is on Renteria. I know he doesn’t stack up well in the OPS era, but the guy is a pretty good player.

    A lot of cash, though, especially after just letting Furcal walk. The Braves would have to pay Renteria more than what they offered Furcal.

  32. Renteria would be a more than reasonable option if the Red Sox would do it without the Braves giving up Marcus. It would be especially nice if they’d pick up some of the salary.

    Langerhans and Johnson seem like the sort of players the Sox like, but neither or both would be enough as a primary player in the deal. (If you can even figure out who’s in charge right now.) It keeps coming back to Marte, I’m afraid.

  33. Hypothetical, who would you give up for Manny? If Boston agreed to eat a lot of the money of course.

  34. Boston doesn’t think it needs pitching?

    How did that work out last year? I hate to break the news to them, but Pedro’s still gone, Schilling has a big comeback ahead of him, and then let’s talk closer…

  35. Why would the Red Sox want Marte when they have Youkilis?

    Maybe they would want Davies, based on the fantastic start he had in Fenway last year. That kind of thing makes an impression. And they’re getting rid of David Wells too.

  36. drew, you aren’t serious on the Youkilis comment, are you?

    Even the stat-conscious BoSox didn’t put the guy in the line-up on a regular basis.

    I think Kev’s going to have a great career as a 1B/3B/PH type. He can be a valuable cog as a key sub on a good team. But he ain’t Marte in his wildest fantasies.

  37. I’d give up a lot for a low-cost Manny, but he’s such a loose cannon (not a jerk, exactly, but a “hitting savant” as Bill Simmons labeled him) that I can’t see even Bobby handling him. The Sox pretty much let him do what he wants (like taking several days off in the middle of the season) under the “that’s just Manny being Manny” theory. Can’t see that in Atlanta.

    I think Foulke will bounce back. He was too good before he got hurt to write off.

  38. Really, there’s no reason for the Red Sox to want Marcus. They have a very hot prospect named Dustin Pedroia who will be ready next year if not this coming season. They need a one-year stopgap guy. Marcus is 27 years old and too good of a player to be used for one year and then dumped.

    And the hot rumor right now is that the Red Sox are trading Doug Mirabelli to San Diego for Mark Loretta. Either that or they will sign Tony Graffanino again to a 1-year deal. I don’t think Marcus is in danger, nor do I think JS would trade him, not after losing Furcal.

    Re Youkilis: He keeps getting blocked by the likes of Shea Hillenbrand, Bill Mueller, etc. They might stick him at first base. The Sox highly value him, or he would have been traded already, because demands have come from all over.

    Boston does need bullpen help. May I point out that we need it just as much as they do. We can’t help them there.

  39. I really don’t understand why we don’t make an effort at Bill Hall. He is blocked at his best position by J.J. Hardy. He is a legit force on defense(which the Braves should love). He is a superior athelte(again, Braves should love). Wouldn’t you rather overpay for 3-4 years of Hall than for one year of Lugo? And there is always the chance that Hall really is the offensive dynamo he was last year. Come on, are you telling me Hall isn’t worht a 5 year 25 million contract right now. Bill Hall is like Andruw in that he is up for a longterm contract at a time when it is beneficial to the team to sign him(in that his long term deal will end at the beggining of his decline, instead of starting at that period). I mean, Chuck James, Wes Timmons, and Jorge Sosa would have to get us Hall and Tomo Ohka(good pitcher, but gonna make 6 mil in arby), right? Why am I the only one who wants to see this done? I’d much rather lose Sosa and James than “The Future”.

  40. If the Brewers trade Bill Hall, who do they have at third? We’d probably have to give up Betemit and more to get him.

    Also, he’s a “one good year” guy. This is the kind of thing JC’s PrOPS should, in theory, be good at fishing out.

    JC, is there a table somewhere of updated PrOPS values using your revised coefficients? Kind of like what’s on THT now, only with your newer, better numbers. (Is it in the THT Annual?)

  41. Speaking of Casey and PrOPS, check out Casey’s 2005:
    .274/.338/.385/.722. Yuck! Man, the Pirates got screwed, unless the Reds sent quite a bit of cash…like you needed PrOPS to tell you that.

    Sorry to drop these nuggets in here and there, but I haven’t published the numbers yet. I’ve just been too swamped. The Annual does not have a complete list of PrOPS for every player, but it does list the top-25 over/under performers for 2005 and from 2002-2005. It also reports some tests on PrOPS to show that is does tell us something about luck.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Bill Hall 2005 comes in with a .266/.317/.435/.752 in 2005. Ouch.

  42. Frank McCourt is from Boston. How could he allow the hiring of Grady “What Telling Pitch Count Data?” Little?

  43. Oh, and I’ve just been to Sons of Sam Horn, and they are wondering about the availability of LaRoche, Langerhans, and McCann in a possible Renteria trade. Also, interestingly, John Thomson. Since we just picked up his option, I would assume we’re not looking to move him? I would also assume we’re not moving McCann.

  44. Thomson seems to be available, and his contract is such a good bargain that he should get something good in return if he’s traded. LaRoche and Langerhans, I’m sure Schuerholz would listen. McCann seems to be all but untouchable, thankfully.

    Can Estrada catch a knuckler? If they lose Mirabelli they need someone to catch Wakefield.

  45. I wouldn’t take more than a half a second to agree to a LaRoche & Langerhans for Renteria trade. I think that the Red Sox would turn that down. Those two and Thomson… I think that’s doable. I like Thomson, but he’s probably more valuable as a trade chit (with that desirable contract situation) than he actually is to the Braves on the field. I mean, he wasn’t even in the playoff rotation.

  46. Speaking of SoSH, here’s a laugh:

    I’d do a straight swap for Jeff Francoeur.

    Uh-huh… It is nice to see that the Bostonites have figured out that the Braves aren’t going to give them Andruw for spare parts.

  47. Did anyone actually watch Edgar Renteria this year? He was pretty darned bad. .720 OPS, 15 GIDPs, 100 strikeouts, almost 50% in caught-stealing, only 8 HRs, and a rate of 86. That is horrendous defense and pretty mediocre hitting in a park that favors right-handers. He was good in 2002 and 2003, but has been steadily declining since then and I see no reason why it shouldn’t continue. He’s 30, after all. I would be OK with trading LaRoche and Thomson, I guess, but not Langerhans, and not all three of them for that.

  48. Nah. Renteria’s 2002-03 was his peak. Last year, he was pretty much the same player he was for most of his career. The .276 .335 .385 line is a little below his norm, but that’s because he was short a few singles. I expect that JC could tell us that he was PrOPS unlucky. As I’ve chronicled before, he’s always hit into a lot of DPs. He had some defensive problems but was hardly a disaster. He was hurt. The Braves wouldn’t trade for him unless he clears a physical.

    And frankly, addition by subtraction if someone wants LaRoche. I’ve really soured on him. He’s probably a better hitter than he looked last year, but he didn’t make any sort of jump forward. That would probably force the move of either Chipper or Marte to first.

  49. From the link Aram provided:

    One scout pointed out that the 28-year-old outfielder produced just a .326 on-base percentage this year and his weak arm could prove to be a hindrance, even as a left fielder.

    Wait, a Braves scout mentioned on-base percentage? What strange reality is this?

    And Dotel intrigues me. I mean, he’s obviously damaged goods, but he’s probably a better bet going forward than anyone else the Braves could get at that price. I’d bet he’d make less than Reitsma would in arbitration.

  50. I expect that JC could tell us that he was PrOPS unlucky.

    ;-)

    Indeed, but not that unlucky.
    .286/.344/.402/.746

  51. The Red Sox, Braves and Rays are reportedly discussing a three-team deal that would send Edgar Renteria to Atlanta, Andy Marte to Tampa Bay and Julio Lugo to Bosto

  52. Sorry to keep dropping link bombs, but this one is gaining steam. According to Gordon Edes, in the wake of stalled Manny talks, the Sox are aggresively trying to unload Renteria. Apparently, there have been substantive discussion about a Sox-Rays-Braves 3way. And yes, Marte is involved.

    Renteria

  53. Now, I don’t see Renteria as any better than Lugo. As a leadoff hitter, he’s inferior. I don’t get this at all. If you were going to trade Marte for a shortstop it might as well be Lugo — unless the Sox were to pick up all of the Renteria deal.

    Also, the story says “presumably”, meaning that they don’t actually know who the players involved are.

  54. I agree. I want nothing to do with Renteria. He’s still got 3 years and $29 million on his contract and is equal to if not worse than Lugo. This doesn’t make any sense if the Sox aren’t picking up some of his contract.

  55. No way I do this deal unless a Baez or a Gaithright/Crawford is involved. I would give Marte and Estrada for a combination of those. But not a Renteria for Marte straight up. Seems like a panic move to me.

  56. Affeldt and MacDougal by one account, Affeldt and a prospect by another. MacDougal would be useful, but Affeldt sucks. Weird move since the Mets don’t really need to move salary that much.

  57. Agreed, Betemit at under a million is easily a better option than Renteria at 10.

    Now if Kris Benson cheats on her, will she sleep with all the Mets and all the Royals?

  58. Money would almost surely be involved. I don’t much like it, but I think this might be the downside of Chipper’s gesture of loyalty.

  59. If a Sox-Braves-Rays trade involves LaRoche leaving and Aubrey Huff coming in to play first, I could get behind it.

  60. It’s amazing how stuff all of a sudden blows up during this time of year. I casually mentioned this as a blip on the radar a few hours ago and now it’s all over the place. It’s the front page story on the Globe sports section. Would we really do this? Is this a product of not having stats guys in our front office that we think this is a good idea? Because I think it’s an awful idea. I want the Red Sox to be free of Renteria, but not at the expense of the Braves. When did they get so panicky about trading him? The Red Sox don’t have any backup shortstops, they traded Hanley Ramirez a week ago. And JS seems to have drawn the conclusion that he doesn’t want Betemit at shortstop, so what do we do with him? Trade him?

  61. I think this is the Boston media making things up. Maybe Peter Gammons over heard Bill Simmons making a fantasy baseball trade or something.

  62. It’s Gordon Edes, Smitty. He got burned on the Epstein story, but in general, he’s a very reliable source. Not like Peter Gammons. This is from “a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.” So he’s talking to someone.

    What I want to know is, why did Boston sign Renteria to this deal in the first place? It can’t possibly have been Epstein’s idea, not with those 2004 numbers. My bet is Lucchino, who is now realizing how dumb it was and trying to make a PR move to get rid of “RentAError.” Why are we playing into his hands?

  63. We have to be getting someone else too. We wouldn’t give up Marte for Renteria, that would be dumb. It would add $$$ and we are giving up our best prospect for a middle of the pack player? I think there has to be a pitcher comming too.

  64. It would definitely be dumb. Which is why I don’t think it’ll happen. The only pitchers I want from the Red Sox are ones they won’t give up.

  65. Heard a funny interview with Kris Benson on WFAN in NYC today. He kept talking about his wife’s “career” and how “her career’s on a roll” and her “career would be better off in NYC, but it would survive in another city if ‘we’ get traded…”

    Francesa’s response was respectful, but priceless: “Kris, I think most baseball fans and baseball people think that she wouldn’t have a career if she wasn’t married to you. And I don’t know what her career is, to be honest with you.”

  66. Well there are a few on the D-Rays that would be nice to add.

    Go check out the MLB site, The “Under Construction/Re-Building Theme” is great! How do you rebuild crap?

    Mike Piazza is going to play for Itally in the Wrold Baseball Cup with Mark DeRosa. I think I am going to play for the Irish team if anyone wants to come with me, we will have a good time at least.

  67. The Braves might prefer the cost certainty of having their shortstop under contract so they don’t have to do this again next year. Realistically, they can’t think that Escobar or Andrus will be ready before 2008.

    Still, I don’t see it unless the Sox pick up some money (like, at least $2 million a season) here. They’d be better off trading for Lugo and trying to sign him to an extension. They’d be still better off just playing Betemit and signing a neifi to back up, but I’ve said that too many times already.

    I am glad that they’ve seemingly decided that Giles is the leadoff man.

  68. I’ve heard, though, can’t remember where (this stuff is floating everywhere!) that Tampa doesn’t want Estrada and the trade pieces with them aren’t fitting so nicely. If we can’t make it work, we can’t just get Lugo.

    I am glad that they’ve seemingly decided that Giles is the leadoff man.

    And I hope they’ve asked him about it.

  69. But the thing is that they seemingly want Marte. If we’re going to trade Marte, I’d rather it be for Lugo rather than Renteria. Though I’d rather they didn’t do it at all.

  70. Well I think Anna Benson would be happy in Atlanta. From her website Annabenson.net

    Anna Benson Enterprises
    6025 Sandy Springs Circle
    Suite 313
    Atlanta, GA 30328

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. It may be ironic (since Alanis Morrissette, I never know anymore) that a while back I got in trouble for saying that Furcal was basically equal to Renteria as a player, and now everyone’s up in arms about possibly getting Renteria and paying less money than Furcal got from the Dodgers.

  72. Marte is gone, without a doubt. I just hope it’s not for the right to pay Renteria 10 million a year. Say it ain’t so, John.

  73. Perhaps at the plate, Furcal and Renteria are similar. But on the bases and in the field, they are pretty different.

  74. How bout a three-way trade with D-Rays and Rockies for Crawford?

    Someone make up a rumor about it quick, it’ll end up in the headlines before you know it.

  75. I don’t see why Marte is necessarily gone. JS is dealing from a position of power because he doesn’t _have_ to make a deal. Betemit can play short and Marte can go to Richmond if the deal isn’t right . . . I don’t see why he would feel he needed to move Marte unless it were a truly great deal.

    It may be that he’s dangling Marte to see what other offers come in. Who knows, one might be great, but he doesn’t _have_ to deal. It’s not like Lugo will make or break next year’s team.

  76. This article suggests the Braves may be targeting the Orioles Chris Ray to be the closer. Judging by the way things are going, the Orioles will most certainly ask for Salty, Davies, a future Schuerholtz grandchild.

    More crap to think about

  77. ok Koro,

    My roomate just told me that the Braves are looking into a deal where they get Clint Barnes from Colorado and Caral Crawford, and Danny Baez from Tampa. We send KJ,and Estrada to Colorado and Marte to Tampa. Colorado sends prospects to Tampa. There is a forth team. Texas sends us Rod Barajas and Scott Feldman and Tampa sends Tobby Hall

    That is a trade

  78. Smitty,

    I like strong women as much as anyone, but this gal has the attention issues of a middle-school cheerleader.

    She’s certainly not helping her husband when she goes on record criticizing the Mets for the Delgado trade (based on the “God Bless America” stuff). In fact, she might’ve bought them a one-way ticket to Kansas City.

    For what it’s worth, I can deal with Lugo or Edgar Rentashortstop (if the Sox eat some cash), but I’d prefer to hang onto Marte & see what we have.

    I’m not a Betemit guy at all because I think he’ll shrivel out there as a starting SS, but I don’t know how we can cough up a prospect like that for Lugo or Edgar. We’re not desperate for a SS; we are, however, somewhat desperate for a closer. Last year’s bullpen experience was beyond frightening.

  79. That is a trade

    Aside from the absolute absurdity of it, that is by far the most entertaining thing I’ve read all day today.

    Get rid of Estrada and get back Barajas? haha

  80. Thanks, I had to look around for awhile to find all the names. In the end I think it would be good for us.

  81. Hold on Mac, if we move Marte, we may have to have little John to play third when Chipper goes down.

    Do you think he could trade his own son? That would be hard.

    “Ok, John we will give you Lugo for Chuck James, your son and your soul.”

  82. Crash, we would have to trade the Tennessee State Department of Corrections for Rose Jr. As a resident of Tennessee, I am sure they would make that trade. But I am not sure if you can make a trade with jail.

  83. why are the braves so hard-pressed to get a ss? i went with it when it meant filling the leadoff hole at the same time but rent-a-wreck is a 2-hitter. i watched him commit an absurd amount of errors last year. 30 is being kind. there were at least 10 others where he got the hometown call.

    what’s the deal with betemit? what do i not know?
    wasn’t he tearing it up in winter ball?
    isn’t he like $9.5 million cheaper than Edgar?

    it looks like this is going to cost us marte and that bothers me.

  84. Unless the O’s front office is completely retarded (this is a strong possibility, from what I have seen), they will not trade Chris Ray. They just lost BJ Ryan and he is widely regarded as the closer of the future. The price would not be worth it.

    And why are all three of my teams suddenly trading with each other? It’s nice knowing both sides, but jeez.

  85. Here’s to the O’s front office being completely retarded. Cheers!

    Is anyone else a little disappointed these meetings aren’t happening on a weekend? I quite enjoyed bumming around the house, having a few beers, watching football, and waiting for the next big deal. My production at work has fallen by at least 35% these past two days.

  86. Quotes like this depress me:

    “The first words out of my mouth were that we have no obligation to do something here, except to do our darndest and do our best to advance this situation further to fill three critical needs of our team — shortstop, closer, leadoff hitter,” Schuerholz said. “We’ve done that.”

    It just solidifies LaRoche’s spot in the lineup, which makes me sad. First base is a much greater need than shortstop (Betemit) or leadoff hitter (Giles).

  87. Oh, Ken Rosenthal, what won’t you believe?

    The Braves are pursuing a trade for Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria, offering top third base prospect Andy Marte. The Braves are pursuing a trade for Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria, offering top third base prospect Andy Marte. The Red Sox then could attempt to move Marte for Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo. However, the Rays rejected the same Marte-for-Lugo offer from the Braves, asking for an additional player. . . The Braves were rebuffed in an effort to land Indians outfielder Coco Crisp, who could have filled the leadoff role. They also made an ill-fated attempt to acquire Astros shortstop Adam Everett.

    If the Rays really turned down Lugo for Marte straight up, I don’t know what to do other than laugh.

  88. Are we sure Chuck LaMar was fired?

    I like the Crisp idea. I’m not sure that he’s really better than Johnson, but he’d I don’t think the Braves believe in KJ.

  89. FYI:

    Cubs acquire Pierre for three pitchers
    ESPN.com news services

    DALLAS — The fire sale continues.

    The Florida Marlins have tentatively agreed on a four-player deal that would send Juan Pierre to the Chicago Cubs, for three young pitchers — Sergio Mitre and prospects Renyel Pinto and Ricky Nolasco, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reported early Wednesday.

  90. Rosenthal also says we turned down Betemit for Craig Monroe of the Tigers, saying the Braves also wanted pitching

  91. I think you got that backwards, crash. Supposedly, the Tigers turned the deal down because they wanted an additional pitcher.

  92. I am not going to believe in any rumors until they are actually done deal. All rumors are basically made up by conversations between Peter Gammons and Ken Rosenthal.

  93. No, crash, Ken Rosenthal’s bad. He apparently likes to make up trade offers where the Braves put up good young talent for a mediocre older player, then say that the other team inexplicably rejected the offer.

  94. Just trade away Marte already. I can’t stand the consistent waiting for this. It just tears my heart out to see him go. Marte hasn’t been treated really well by the team and I think he would do better elsewhere for his own sake. On nearly every team in the league Marte would have gotten 300 PAs last year. They even buried him after the call-ups. And while LaRoche may get better, his golden-boy status with the team just pisses me off. When/if he goes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marte slip in a jab on his way out. Of course, it will be nothing compared to the onslaught of anonymous sources within the Braves who will say how overrated he was.

  95. The Marte for Lugo rumor is laughable. By my reckoning, Lugo is “worth” maybe $3m more than his contract for this year, max.

    Marte, on the other hand, is probably a league-average 3B now. That’s “worth” about $5m NEXT YEAR ALONE! So if the Rays really turned this down, they are idiots.

  96. I’d like to have Crisp. I went to Cleveland last year ans saw him hit an inside the park home run. I would trade Marte for him. I think Cleveland probably won’t trade him though.

    Mike and Mike just said the Mets are in the Zito race now. Ugh.

  97. mlb4u.com also says the Mets could be close to landing Javy Vazquez. It also says we could be really going after Bob Wickman (Dan Kolbs older brother.)

    Maybe we will let Julio play short, as in Franco (can we please make a good move?)

  98. I think the real issue here, jenny, is that you cheer for 3 different MLB organizations. I couldn’t possibly.

    As for all these trade rumors, I want to kill myself. I’ve seen nothing that makes me want to even consider giving up Marte, and if we get Renteria and let the Red Sox get Lugo, I will be beyond angry. As Mac said, the Braves could use Lugo more, so just eliminate the middleman and save some money.

    I say we target whomever has interest in LaRoche and aggressively try to unload him, thereby preventing us from moving Marte.

    FREE ANDY MARTE!

  99. I’m ok with Renteria as long as its just one of our top prospects for him. Or whatever the hell is going on.

    No way that McCann should be involved in a trade unless we are getting Albert Pujols. I’m serious. I think the kid has that much potential.

    As much as I hate it, Marte is a goner. His trade value is very high considering that he has never put up dominant numbers in the minors. I think that Schuerholz is dangling him out there like a minnow on a hook. The fact that they never asked him to change positions should have been the first sign that they intended to deal him. He has far more trade value as a 3b than as a 1B or LF.

  100. Andy Marte sucks. I’ll be dancing when he is soon gone for good.

    Stu, why are you so desperate to keep a .140 hitter? Are you working with the Mets?

  101. Heh.

    AndyHater, why do you watch baseball with your head up your rear? Are YOU working with the Mets?

  102. JC I can’t figure the Marte thing out either. I know that this isn’t true but in a way it seems as if the Braves didn’t give him a chance to succeed to stick it in the eye to BP, THT, and all of the stats minded pubs that had Andy rated so high.

    They handled Marcus Giles in much the same way. When I look at his dominant minor league career its amazing that it took so long for him to make the show as opposed to Furcal who had 1 good season at A and high A ball before he was promoted all the way to Atlanta.

    IF the Braves are putting their first base eggs in the LaRoche basket I’m very perplexed.
    .259 .320 .455 775 probably isn’t even league average.

  103. So does the trade of Sean Casey mean that they move Adam Dunn to first base and keep Kearns, Pena, and Griffey Jr. in the OF?

  104. If you are looking for a little hope, John Olerud’s retirement ought to make LaRoche a desirable player for the Red Sox. LaRoche and a pitcher or two seems more reasonable.

    We should also be reminded that Schuerholz never lays his cards on the table. He says one thing and does the other all of the time. We’re probably putting too much stock in these rumors.

  105. AndyHater is a Red Sox fan hoping they will steal him in a Renteria trade :)

    The last rumor from mlb.com was Marte AND McCann or Salty for Renteria, with the Sox picking up a lot of the dollars. I, uh, hate that idea.

    It sucks to be an “out of the limelight” city when you’re trying to trade prospects. Marte would be the best prospect either NY or Boston has had since Nomar – better than overrated Youkilis, better than Soriano, Nick Johnson, Ruben Rivera, etc etc. If he were a Sox prospect, we would never hear the end of how good he was and how he would save the Sox franchise. But in Atlanta, he’s just another guy, to whom we have to add ANOTHER top prospect to acquire some crappy defensive, old, overpaid SS.

  106. Michael,
    Thats the way it looks now. That the Reds traded the right player is simply amazing.

    JC you are probably right. But I still think that Andy Marte is the Schuerholz’s biggest trade bait.

  107. Michael-I would assume the Casey deal would take Kearns off the market, and automatically move Dunn to 1st. As you said Cinncy would then have a stable OF of Kearns, Griffey, Pena.

    I would trade LaRoche. Maybe I’m jumping the gun, but his inconsistency pisses me off. If LaRoche is around next season; this platooning has to stop. He’s got to be thrown to the wolves, and learn to hit left handed pitching if he’s gonna make it in baseball. The last I read on Julio Franco was that his agent is looking for a 2-year deal. I wouldn’t think Atlanta would go for that.

  108. The thing that bugs me the most is that Marte is so under-appreciated even by Atlanta fans. I was at a game where Marte went 0-5 (he might have walked once and ended up 0-4, but I can’t recall). On that day he hit 3-balls that would have been home runs on most days in Atlanta. One was legitimately robbed, one was caught two feet below the yellow line, and one was a towering fly ball that died at the wall. It was a cool-for-July rainy day afternoon game. Before his final at-bat, the scoreboard showed Marte’s day at 0-4. Thy guy in front of me said, “Oh great, this guy is terrible. He hasn’t hit a thing all day.” Unbelievable. The guy is actually watching the frickin’ game and complained about Marte. Unfortunately, I think that’s the attitude most fans have about him, and it’s sad.

  109. Good point JC. I have a freind that thinks Marte sucks because he hit .140, and made errors. I tried to tell him everyone is not going to come out of the gate like Francoeur. Some people just give up too soon.

  110. – The Jays met with the Atlanta Braves yesterday. The Braves want Batista and want the Jays to take catcher Johnny Estrada.

    Please hurry and make this trade!

  111. I wouldn’t be opposed to a Marte/LaRoche platoon at first. As a streaky of a hitter as LaRoche is, he can pick it at first and would be a nice sub in the 8th and 9th innings. If we could get the same sort of player to filling for WB in those innings we could go after some relief pitchers. With a solid bull pen and a good closer this team could win 94-95 games.

    Anybody else think this Mets team may not gel well? They are bringing in a lot of players who have never played together, I know that might not mean much to some people, but I think chemistry is a huge part of baseball. Plus, I am not sold on Willie Randolph as a manager. Just a (hope) thought.

  112. JC,
    8 out of 10 Brave fans are stupid and I don’t know why we let them in the park. The other 20% post on this board (I count Alex R in 20%, please come back Alex!)

  113. The problem is, because the Braves are “stuck” with Chipper for three years and seem to think LaRoche can be a hitter, they really have no choice but to trade Marte. There isn’t going to be a position available for him for several years. And, no matter how good of a prospect he is, as a non-pitcher, his trade value is going to be limited. I’m afraid that JS and BC are somewhat obsessed with the division title streak and are looking to make moves for the next couple of years. Renteria is a pretty good player, although he had a bad year, but I increasingly think they should give Betemit a shot–if they get Renteria, he is back to being a utility player. I think they need a big bat (ie, first base) and pitching more than they need to pay $10 mil a year for a shortstop. But I don’t think JS wants to risk it–if Betemit was really bad, they would have a hard time replacing him. Personally, I would be willing to perhaps not win this year and let the young talent percolate for another year rather than trade someone like Marte for a good but not great shortstop. I really can’t understand why JS–if he wants to win this year–seems uninterested in getting another bat (other than a leadoff hitter). I think this team, as presently constituted has a lot of promise for the future, but right now has a lot of holes in the offense unless Francouer and/or LaRoche and/or Langerhans/Johnson make a big leap forward. Basically, right now, you are relying on Giles and the Jones boys for most of the offense.

  114. I think no news is good news on the trade front right now. It shows we are not panicing and we are seeing what is out there. JS is the best in the game, we need to just wait and see. He will pull something out of his ass around 3pm on Thursday and we will all talk about how we are going to be unstopable.

  115. JC-i appreciate marte. i also appreciate betemit. i don’t very much appreciate renteria.

    for the love of god, put marte at 1st base to get him some ab’s and wait until chipper’s foot stops explodes again.

    I’m with Stu-
    FREE ANDY MARTE…just not to another team.

  116. Boston Herald: “Rumors surfaced, meanwhile, of a three-way trade that would send Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and bring Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo to Boston, but sources indicated the deal was highly unlikely.

  117. PS- I was just trying to be funny. As I read my post it looks a little mean. I didn’t intend it that way. I just don’t like those numbers especially with his age and salary.

  118. I dunno, guys. Marte is projected to be a pretty big bat (.250/.340/.460 by ZiPS) NEXT YEAR. If you add in a normal aging curve, this guy is going to be a monster by 2008. Also, there is no reason that we have to trade him now – he can spend all next year in AAA, or as a great pinch hitter on the bench.

    I think JS is very smart, and is just biding his time. Based on his public comments though, I really believe he is shopping Marte. This is very worrisome to me, but I guess I’ll trust his track record and hope for the best. It’s not like we have other options.

  119. kyle s-

    i want to trust JS as well, and i usually do.
    but what about adam wainwright, jose capellan, dan meyer to name a few…

    he’s not scared to ship prospects out the door.

  120. The number of warning track flies Marte had last year was not funny, and I posted his BABIP ealier ( 180 I think ). So everything points to him being much better next time around.
    But two things are worrisome
    a) In september, when everyone got a bat, Marte never left the bench. This after BC praised him to 7 heaves during his last stint with the big league club. Personality/attitude problems? Anyone hear anything?
    b) JS seems to be dangling him as trade bait. We have rarely ever traded away any hitting prospects of worth, so makes me wonder. Or is this his solution to a constrictive budget? Everyone talks about how good Beane was, and he worked wonders with his limited budget, but he traded a lot of prospects away, and some of them are really burning it up now. Maybe JS is going to go that way.
    Anyway I am quite sure we won’t be trading Marte for a 1 yr rental of Lugo. But the Marte for Renteria + $ scares me. sounds like a very Braves-ish trade.

  121. but what about adam wainwright, jose capellan, dan meyer to name a few…

    we going to find out about all of them this year. Wainwright is finally going to get to the show, Capellan is going to be with the big league club as a reliever, and Meyer will be in AAA first half of the year.

  122. If we all sit back for a moment and take a good look at the 2006 Braves, the only glaring weakness is the bullpen. Betemit should be our SS, Langerhans/Marte/Johnson/Francouer in LF/RF, Giles the leadoff hitter and Davies steps into the rotation to replace Hampton. Everything else except the bullpen stays the same as 2005, unless we can upgrade 1B with Chipper or Marte.

    Trade Estrada and LaRoche for an arm or two. That’s it. Let’s keep this simple and stop making things so damn complicated. We don’t need Lugo, Renteria or any of these other overpaid, mediocre players!

  123. And FWIW, if we are going to send Estrada to teh Blue jays, while batista is not a bad return, we could do better with any of the eleventy-billion aarms the Bjs have in the bullpen.
    League+Frasor for Estrada? probably too much.

  124. I agree Dave. If we up graded our pen and maybe got one more middle of the rotation starter we will win 93-96 games. How many leads did the pen blow last year 15-20?

  125. The pen was mostly awful last year, and it always seems to be in transition. Tellingly, the guys who did well were the homegrown rookies and the vets we brought in were mostly horrible. We have anough young arms (Lerew, James, Boyer, McBride, BUDDY HERNANDEZ) that should be given a chance over the mediocre vets. All we need is a closer, a mentor, a presence… Trevor Hoffman is still out there. If we don’t make any of these weak SS deals taking on excess salary, we can afford Hoffman.

  126. Stu, it actually isn’t all that hard to root for 3 teams when two are in opposite leagues and one completely sucks. It’s also not quite as hard when you don’t feel the same way about the Red Sox/Orioles as you do the Braves and can root for them interchangeably ;-) Confusing, I know, but you figure it out after awhile.

    I want something to HAPPEN. I’m tired of reading rumors and having to assume Ken Rosenthal might be accurate. If the Renteria deal has really fallen through, good.

    Re Marte: If the team was really all that high on him, I don’t understand why they treated him the way they did. Chipper missed massive portions of the season. It would not have been hard to give Marte considerable playing time. I hope we don’t see this pattern repeating with Salty et al. Francouer seems to have been a special case, and he may actually have been too rushed. What did they do with Marcus? Bounced him up and down for two years, finally gave him a shot, then he got hurt and his baby died and they shelved him again. That made me furious at the time and this is making me mad now. Stop yanking Marte’s chain and do something with him.

  127. JS said we were out of the running for Hoffman/Jones. Buddy hernandez, alst year at ST, all of us were screaming for him to make it to the 25 man!
    Well he got injured..I don’t know how well he recovered if he did. Will have to check his stats.

  128. I went and counted, there are around (and this is a loose figure) 35 losses assoitated with the pen. I know some of those aren’t blown saves, but that is a ton of losses.

  129. Personally, I think if Marte is going to be as great as we all think he will, I am sure he will stay with the Braves. Through the years, the Braves always pick the right ones to keep and have never let anyone great to slip away (except Schmidt – who had five lost years at Pittsburgh). I am very confident JS will ultimately make the right decision.

  130. Still, if he has recovered then Buddy easily deserves a shot. I’m really excited about this team for next year and don’t want to see JS mess with the chemistry that the young guys have together. Chipper is maturing into the leader of the pack, and Andruw will have a “contract year.” Let Langerhans, Betemit, McCann, Francoeur, Johnson and especially Marte sink or swim on their own. The 2005 “Baby Braves” were the most fun and interesting Atlanta squad in years, and I’d hate to see a large portion of that potential be squandered for someone like Julio Lugo.

  131. Dave, Andruw is under contract for the 2007 season. I am sure JS will bypass Boras again next offseason to negotiate an extension directly with Andruw and his dad.

  132. I don’t see how Atlanta has mistreated Marte. So he didn’t see much playing time last year, he was only 21. He didn’t get many ABs after call ups because he wasn’t going to be a factor for the postseason and the team wanted other guys to see time. It’s not like they’ve held him up at any level, and they’ve only ever said positive things about him.

    What should they be doing with him? He’s obviously not going to start in front of Chipper. Chipper isn’t moving to first, and moving Marte to first moves him in a bad direction in terms of the defensive spectrum.

    I just don’t see him being mishandled or mistreated.

  133. Buddy may have had a rough time last season, but he had been amazingly dominant prior to that hiccup. I hope to see him in Spring Training again.

  134. Peter Gammons says there should be a load of activity between 3PM and midnight today, I guess because the arbitration deadline is tonight. Great, another day of being glued to my laptop…

    And, I am immature, but all this talk of “three-ways” makes me laugh. Especially when you realize that the parties involved in the “three-way” are JS, Gerry Hunsicker, and Larry Lucchino. Nice mental image.

  135. Well, ESPN thought there would be loads of activity back at the July trading deadline, and the biggest trade that day was Roman Colon for Kyle Farnsworth!

  136. Jenny,
    The three-way thing is funny.

    On a personal note the Chattanooga Mocs (RPI 135) knocked off Creighton (RPI 21) last night. It was a great time. The Lady Mocs knocked off Auburn on Sunday. College basketball mid-major actions is great!

  137. Lugo had a better year than Furcal did. He would score more runs with Anrduw and Chipper hitting behind him.

  138. Who do the Rockies have that we want? The Vinny Castilla experiment was a failure. The Mike Hampton experiment is in the early stages of failing. The only guy they have that I want is Brian Fuentes.

  139. I’m mostly down with Jay & his take on Marte, although I doubt he’d be Caminiti-like at 1B.

    I’m not a LaRoche hater, but he did not improve last year & I know we can do better at that position. (Nobody talks about it, but LaRoche came through with 2 big playoff HRs in big spots for 2 consecutive years. I give him marks for that.) Trading him wouldn’t break my heart, but I’d like to see a genuine upgrade somehow. Is Marte that guy? Dunno.

    An odd thought: Is JS wheeling & dealing with the idea that he’s not going to be around long enough to see Marte “mature”?

  140. Fromt the Chattanooga Times-Free Press, ‘Atlanta also talked again Tuesday, a baseball source said, with Kansas City about shortstop Angel Berroa and reliever Mike MacDougal. The Royals are definitely interested in Braves outfielders Kelly Johnson and Ryan Langerhans, who both appear available. They’re also curious about minor league catching prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia.”

    Mike MacDougal! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  141. Sorry I saw an older RPI. My step mom is a Commodore (Vandy grad of 84) I am a Vol fan, so I get a call a week now and have to hear about that loss. Oh well, 1 in 22 years is worth bragging about I guess.

  142. Rentaria for Marte? Yes.
    Rentaria and money for Marte? Yes.
    Rentaria for Marte and money? Maybe.
    Rentaria for Marte and McCann or Salty? No.

  143. My dad is a UT alum and I grew up a UT fan. Still, although I like giving him a hard time, I can’t really brag too much. If we’d beaten Freaking Kentucky or Freaking MTSU (and were thus bowl-eligible), maybe I’d be bragging (since it was oh-so-sweet to keep the Vols out of a bowl).

    As it is, well, I just take pride in Jay Cutler, in our men’s basketball team (which should be very, very good this year, even better than the Frieje-led Sweet 16 team a couple years ago), and in our baseball program, which continues to get better (we had the top recruiting class in the country this year, according to Baseball America).

    (I’m fond of parentheses.)

  144. Stu, I just heard from Robert Ransom (via the facebook) yesterday, speaking of Vandy baseball players…

  145. If we get Angel Berroa and lose KJ, Langerhans, or Salty, I will break a window. Which would suck, because it’s really cold outside. So they better not do it. That would be the dumbest trade ever.

  146. Oh, man, I should not just have looked at Berroa’s stats. I feel sick. 5 years in the majors and he’s never had an OBP above .340. Three of those years, it was below .310. And he’s had an OPS above .700 ONCE. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  147. Stupid Brave fans would call him Angel (like with wings and come from heaven) and not like it sounds On-hell, I am sure we would all say “Aw-hell!”

  148. Oh, and he sucks defensively, too. Rate of 89 and 91 the last two years, -25 career FRAA. The epitome of suck.

    Sorry, guys, but if this happens I will go completely spastic. It better be lies!

  149. OK, nobody should look at Berroa’s stats or you will be upset for the rest of the day. Last year 108 K’s and 18 BBs, and the rest of the years aren’t much better. JS, what in the hell can you be thinking? These aren’t even fancy sabermetrics. It’s normal stats and very basic saber-stuff. So basic that even people who are allergic to it should be able to use it. Come on. Tell me this rumor came from Ken Rosenthal, who heard Peter Gammons joking with a janitor in the elevator and misinterpreted?

  150. Pingback: Braves Journal
  151. With regards to what Colorado has that we might want, I’d gladly take Shealy off their hands. He’s got power potential even away from Coors, and right now they’re only using him as injury insurance.

  152. Can we start an Estrada for Fuentes campaign? That’s the kind of deal Atlanta should be making.

  153. Too late:

    The Braves have traded catcher Johnny Estrada to the Diamondbacks for right-handed relievers Lance Cormier and Oscar Villarreal.

    This according to Ken Rosenthal at foxsports.com.

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