126 thoughts on “Probably time for another open thread”

  1. Correct!

    Ruth only played one season in the minor leagues, and that not an entire one. Obviously, the Babe was pitching most of the time (he played some outfield in Baltimore) so his PAs were limited.

  2. DeAngelo Hall just had some not so nice choice words for Petrino on ESPN. Basically just said he now has no respect for the man and that Petrino lied to him, all the players and Arthur Blank

  3. oh yeah and ESPN is loving Petrino for going back to college. Says he’s a college guy, didnt really address him lying to his owner in the last few days

    I do hate seeing coaches sign contracts/extensions and backing out of them a season later

    Petrino last 18 months

    July 06 – signs 10yr extension/$25M to stay at Louisville

    Feb 07 – signs 5yr/24.5 contract with the Falcons

    Dec 07 – resigns at Falcons and accepts offer with Arkansas

  4. Fukudome signed with the Cubs. Not really familiar with the whole thing, why didn’t he have to go through the whole ‘bidding’ process like Dice-K?

  5. he was a FA and therefore could make his own decision. I think DiceK had one year left on his contract and therefore his team decided to have the bidding process instead of keeping him around for one more year and then him coming to MLB free of charge. at least thats my understanding of it

  6. Laynce Nix has been outrighted to AAA from the Brewers. So he’s an outfield option. I saw him play loads of times for the Oklahoma Redhawks, he’s ok, but I don’t think he could survive full time in the majors.

  7. Nix sounds like the kind of guy who might attract Atlanta’s attention.

    I just hope that we can find a backup catcher…

  8. Anyone care to hazzard a guess at some ‘surprise names’ that come out in the Mitchell Report. I was thinking about current and former Braves last night and considered Sheffield (obviously) Marcus Giles, and (shudders, with fingers crossed) Larry Wayne. I really hope Chipper is not on that list.

  9. Re: Bobby Petrino

    I am sure this has been vetted to death on here the last 24 hours but here’s my 2 cents.

    First, I don’t feel sorry for the Falcons on a few levels. This is the NFL, it’s a business and people come & go. This is not a loyalty league, it’s highest bidder league.

    Do you think Antwaan Randle-El or Adam Archuletta “dreamed” of playing for the Redskins when they signed huge, free agent money deals? No, the Redskins are usually the highest bidder.

    Second, I said it at the time w/ Mac when the Falcons hired Petrino – he’s shown already to be the type of person who runs at the first sign of trouble or is attracted to the sexiest job at the moment.

    I also said that 99% of successful college coaches FAIL at the NFL level. Frankly, 90% of NFL coaches FAIL at the college level (with rare exceptions like Pete Carroll – but then again, Carroll was a failure in the NFL).

    The bottomline is some guys’ personalities are built for the NFL and some are built for College.

    Mark Richt is a terrific coach and we are lucky to have him at UGA, but I don’t think he’d be successful at the NFL, even if the man does know his X’s and O’s and understand offense and Quarterbacks.

    Richt is wonderful at dealing with young men and molding them. He’s a clean cut, healthy living guy, who could probably run for political office. He’s fantastic with people. This is the kind of guy who needs to be tireless in dealing with recruits, and 18-22 year olds, as well as rabid fanbases and the media.

    The NFL is a business and it has a lot less to do with personality and being energetic and a good politicker. You can be a Cowher a Parcells or a Belichick and be successful, because they are hard nosed, competitive, no nonsense types.

    But back to Petrino. This is not a defense of him whatsoever, because I have a low opinion of a guy who just jumps at the first sign of trouble. But I do feel Rich Mckay and Arthur Blank should have seen this guy from a mile away. Most of us could have predicted this when his name was even mentioned.

    As for where the Falcons should go next? First, stay away from any and all college coaches.

    Second, if they can’t lure back a big time guy like Bill Cowher, the Falcons should look at the coordinator level for a guy who’s more than ready to be a coach, someone who can grow with a team that’s going to stink for another year or two at least – someone like a Mike Singletary.

    Anyway, sorry for the diatribe but I just can’t feel sorry for Blank and McKay – it should have been obvious that Petrino was a spineless money chase from his various questionable actions throughout his time at Louisville.

  10. What about Klesko? He seemed to be naturally big, but man, has he ever become injury-prone. I, too, hope Chipper isn’t on the list. Or Julio Franco.

  11. Alex,

    Great call on NFL coaches failing in CFB. I am so tired of hearing about how CFB coaches cannot cut it in the “mighty” NFL. The exact same thing is true for NFL coaches trying to make it in CFB. Pete Carroll is an exception to the rule. Carroll changed his entire mindset when he became coach for USC. The fact is the levels are entirely different.

  12. Stu, you mean you didn’t actually think the Braves have no holes on their team? I just fell for one of your (occasional) bouts of sarcasm?

    I feel kinda dumb now. Oh well. At least I’m no dumber than Buster Olney.

  13. I’ll take Javy, Shef, Giles, and Hammonds as former Braves named. If someone is on the list and thinks they shouldn’t be, they should sue. IF they don’t then they are guilty.

    I also am praying Chipper aint on the list.

  14. “oh yeah and ESPN is loving Petrino for going back to college. Says he’s a college guy, didnt really address him lying to his owner in the last few days”

    I don’t know, he was getting beat up on the radio this morning and in several columns I read. Check out Pat Forde, for instance.

  15. I will not be surprised at any names that come out on a steriod list, and I am not sure how much it bothers me anymore.

  16. I will believe Chipper when I see it, but Chipper strikes me as a natural.

    I would definitely believe Marcus, Furcal, and Javy. Clearly guys who went way up & then came way down. Those are the guys (hello, Brady Anderson) to look for. Chipper’s had sustained greatness.

    But let me add additionally, I am sick to detah of Selig’s witch hunt. I have kind of changed my feelings on this and while I love Bonds going down frankly because he’s just a prick and a giant a–hole, overall, Bud was happy to let HGH rule the sport and turn a blind eye and now what – are they going to suspend 150 players?

    It was legal when these guys did it, and Bud didn’t care. If we lose Chipper because Bud was forced by Congress to have a conscience, I will once again beat the war drums in here that this man should be forcibly removed as commissioner of Baseball. Frankly, he should have never been commissioner and this sack of garbage has promised for years he was “interim” until HE lied and stayed in the job, even though most people hate his guts.

    To me, along with a guy like Boras, Bud is the guy who’s put Baseball in this horrible state it’s in – between his happy ignorance of steroids for several years, plus allowing the ecomnomics of this once great sport to be basically be ruled by a handful of teams.

    If 100 players “go”, they should take that loser commissioner Selig w/ them.

    Re: Petrino

    Glad you feel the same way Kenny – it’s always talked about how college coaches from Petrino to Spurrier to Saban can’t hack it in the NFL. This maybe true – but it’s equally as true when you look at guys like Bill Callahan and Dave Wannstendt.

    For some reason, Mac thinks Mike Sherman was a great hire at A&M. I don’t get this. He’s your classic, old, stodgy, no personality NFL coach and he wasn’t even successful at the NFL. Brett Favre has revived his career under McCarthy, and was an 8-8 QB under Sherman.

    Sherman’s like the Texas version of Jim Donnan. Texas A&M can look forward to continuing to be a 7 win or 8 win football team with a stiff like Sherman.

  17. Alex,

    I totally agree with you about NFL coaches. I love how NFL media type love to talk down about how pathetic CFB coaches are in the NFL, yet fail to see that the reverse is true.

    The only thing that I will say about Sherman is that he at least has some understanding as to the tradition and what it takes to win in CFB. He has coached their before which is a plus. He, unlike Dave Wannstedt, Chan Gailey, and Bill Callahan was actually a good NFL coach. He won their division twice, and one of the reasons they started struggling was because of the young players. He was actually a part of a lot of these young players that are helping the Packers now.

  18. Alex,

    First, there’s no proof at all that HGH is performance enhancing. If you look at JC’s blog, he posts lots of scientific evidence that it’s not.

    But, second, otherwise, I agree with you about this becoming a witchhunt. It’s not clear anymore why people are upset about steroid use–because it creates health risks to players and to younger people that want to play or simply because it impugns baseball records? In my opinion, the latter point is irrelevant. Who cares if Barry Bonds broke the home run record because of steorids? It’s just not that big a deal. And, of course, there is a lot of controversey about how much impact steroids actually have on performance anyway. It seems that the steroid issue has become another one of those things that take on a life of their own.

    Third, I again don’t get your hatred for Selig. You continually complain about the poor economic condition of baseball. In fact, baseball has never been so economically healthy and at least part of that is due to Selig. The issue about having a few teams rule is bogus because it’s not about unequal resources as much as it is about teams being willing to spend those resources. For example, I read an article in the THT Annual about the Cardinals. The team has a brand new, taxpayer-built stadium that sells out every night, a huge market (much of the Midwest) and TV network, and is just raking in the money. Yet, the owners refused to spend any money to improve the team after they won the WS. This has nothing to do with Scott Boras or Bud Selig. This is pure avariciousness by owners who are willing to suck at the public trough and issue sanctimonious statements about how poor they are.

    And, as far as steorids, if you’re going to blame Bud for that, you should also blame Don Fehr and the union and the other owners. If Bud had tried to implement steroid testing in, say the early 2000s, the union would have laughed in his face. No one wanted to address steroids and to put it all on Selig is simply fantasy.

    Bud’s done a lot of things I don’t like but your hatred of him and Boras is sort of unreasoning. And I still don’t get your comment about “the horrible state” that baseball is in. If this is horrible, I wouldn’t mind some of that.

  19. Kenny,

    While Sherman wasn’t a complete disaster in Green Pay, he won a division twice with a mediocre Packers team (that even lost a January home playoff game to a mediocre, Vick-led Falcons team) against a really bad NFC north.

    McCarthy has done a lot more with basically the same groups of players. Also, have you seen Mike Sherman? That was my major point about college coaches. (Mac and I have had this discussion a few times).

    The really great college coaches – Richt, Carroll, Urban Meyer, Tressel, Miles, Mack Brown, Stoops, etc. – they are generally very healthy, very good in front of the camera, very political, and know how to walk into a living room and impress mom & dad and the recruit.

    I imagine if Mack Brown and Stoops come into a living room of a kid in Dallas, and then they are followed by say Mark Mangino and Mike Sherman – maybe it won’t matter to the kid’s dad, but the 18 year old and his mom are likely to be more impressed with Brown and Stoops than say a Sherman.

    (sorry to boil this down somewhat to looks, but I guarantee you Pete Carroll does great with moms in California).

  20. Let me add there are exceptions to every rule – Fat Phil in Knoxville is a good example. He’s not exactly a healthy, matinee idol type, but he’s got the politicking thing down to a science and knows how to turn the charm on (apparently) because he’s consistently ranked as one of the top recruiters.

    But again, I would say Phil Fulmer is the exception to the majority of successful college coaches who typically look more like Mark Richt and Urban Meyer.

  21. #4 – Wonder why Deangelo Hall didn’t say the exact same thing about Mike Vick, because that exactly what he did. He lied to him, to his teammates, and to Arthur Blank.

    Can’t blame Petrino for bailing, although how it did it lacks all sorts of class. For those who are condemning him for not being up front with Blank, would those people tell their boss they were consider another job if the boss asked them? Absolutely not.

    They are crucifying Petrino in the media today, but are also turning on McKay and Blank. There’s no way McKay survives this. He’s the knucklehead that has hired the past two coaches and all of the poor draft choices.

    I say bring in Ozzie Newsome as GM from Baltimore, Mike Singletary as head coach, and Chan Gailey as Offensive Coordinator. Gailey is a very good OF, even if he’s not a very good head coach.

  22. Criticism for the Mitchell Report:

    http://tiny.cc/VGWBR

    It’s an ESPN article, and while I feel that it actually falls victim to some of the same criticisms it makes about the Mitchell report (eg, it’s pretty short on named sources and contains more speculation/opinion than facts), I think it’s worth the read.

    Frankly, the Mitchell Report isn’t going to do anything because it seems like it’s just another attempt to blame someone for this and “hold someone accountable”. Well here’s the news: it’s us, the fans, who are at fault here. Maybe the media a bit, too, but that’s more for exploiting the controversy and sensationalizing it.

    Anyway, we totally didn’t care what anyone was on when people were hitting homers. There was a brief thing when McGwire was found to be using Andro, but guess what? No one really cared at the time. And we certainly didn’t mind watching all of his “dingers” go out of the park. And I’m not saying that was wrong. Frankly, I still don’t really care that much so long as the playing field is level (which it WAS when everyone was on ‘roids, so w/e). All things equal, I’d like to see people not using them, but it’s going to happen. We don’t get outraged when players neglect their friends and families to train harder, and that’s certainly not healthy for them or good for their families. But all of a sudden, trying to get an edge with chemicals that let you work out harder is Evil.

    Players used because they wanted to get better numbers. Managers, staff, and the FO didn’t care because they get fired if they don’t win. Owners didn’t care because people come to the games if they win, which means they get more money.

    So in the end, the buck has to stop with the fans who want to see a winner and, until recently, didn’t seem to care how they got it. And as long as MLB keeps trying to blame someone, all you’ll see is people being defensive and trying to cover their own ass. Which is what the Mitchell Report is probably going to be.

  23. Oh, and just to register my opinion on Selig:

    He’s not going anywhere since he’s been a real boon for both the owners and the players. At least, under him, MLB’s income has expanded huge-like.

    From a competitive point, he’s not very good, but I’m not sure you’d be able to get a guy who would be good for the competitive balance of MLB in the office. I mean, I’d like it, I’m just not sure if it’s politically or economically feasible. Basically, a lot of the crappy owners and good friends with everyone, and the current (poor) competitive situation hasn’t exactly been bad for baseball’s revenue, so why would they change it and risk screwing with that?

  24. Sounds like more than a few Braves fans trepidation about the Mitchell report are centered on one name — Chipper. Count me among them.

    I’m past the age where I can be devastated by much of anything sports-related, but we all know that there are a good many Braves fans out there who consider Chipper to be THE hero and icon of the franchise.

    And while I don’t WANT to make a case that he could be on that list, there are images stuck in my head that make me more than a bit nervous about the prospect. The photo of him shouting at Mondesi (which I can’t find now), the vascular arms, the jersey with the top two buttons unbuttoned. All very circumstantial to be sure. I’m worried all the same.

  25. #36

    Well said, mraver. I honestly feel most of us don’t care and frankly, my disdain has mostly gone up for ESPN, continuing to sensationalize it. To me, athletes do stuff all the time to get an edge.

    I drink a ton of coffee every morning for work to be more stimulated and get an edge. Caffeine has been clearly shown to not be good for me, and I am probably killing myself a little bit, long term – but I am not going to quit because A) I am addicted and B) it helps me focus better at work.

    But should George Mitchell start an investigation into caffeine use? Sounds ridiculous but I see no difference. I also think it’s a person’s body.

    I am just being honest in wanting to see Bonds go down because he’s just a scumbag in general – tax evasion, adulterer, slanderer, all around bastard. But he and 200 other guys took HGH and Bud didn’t care until John McCain and John Kerry cared.

    But ESPN has been the 24 hour vigil on this story for a few years and frankly, whenever I hear the ESPN heads talking about this on Radio or sportscenter, I generally turn the channel because I am not that interested in it.

    The only way I will personally care is if something happens to a current Braves star, ala Chipper or Smoltzie. Other than that, I really could care less.

    Yes, it’s selfish and not very noble on my part, but I am being honest.

  26. #32 – My 4-year old has to take HGH (Genotropin specifically, since it was the one mentioned in various reports) for a genetic disorder he has (PWS). Because of HGH, he is 90th percentile in heighth and weight when he would be below 50% in both without it. HGH builds muscle tone and helps your body burn calories. I’ve seen 250-300 lb 25 year olds lose 100-150 lbs due in part to HGH along with a balanced diet.

    HGH is the reason Galarraga was able to come back so soon after cancer treatments, I’m convinced of that. Paul Byrd said that’s why he used HGH.

  27. Alex,

    You make a good point about appearance being important in recruiting. But what about a guy coming in and saying I’ll take care of your kid and be with him for four years (or at least until I find a better job that pays more money so I can bail). I think trust should make a difference more than whether the coach is pretty.

    As for steroids, there’s one obvious difference between caffein and steroids–steroids are illegal. And, while there is some long-term effect from caffein, first, it’s nothing like the effect from steroids, and, second, I doubt that newcomers to your office think that they have to drink caffeine to get an edge or they will be out of a job. To me, that is the one true reason that steroids should be banned. It’s one thing to say you can do whatever you want to your own body but if your actions influence others, it’s no longer solely your own business.

    But I do agree that Congress grandstanded on this because they wanted to be seen as standing up for the flag and apple pie. As for ESPN, you could hardly expect an all-sports network not to cover this.

  28. bwarren,

    Great example about your 4 year old; I will add 1 more story of similar nature.

    My parents were in a serious car accident 3 1/2 years ago (2 weeks before my wedding in fact) and while my mom was in the hospital, she caught an infection in her throat and ever since, has been stuck wearing a trac (she may have to the rest of her life).

    But to help heal her throat, there were times in 2004 and 2005 where Doctors gave her steroids to help her voice and ease her pain.

    Again, steroids used to much or used incorrectly can have a negative affect, but in this case it brought some relief and help to my mom.

  29. I don’t suspect Chipper or Smoltz at all. It’s like identifying a future serial killer looking at a child’s behavior.

    “They fit 5 of the 6 signs for being a PED user!”

    Yes, I’m curious about what’s in there, but why worry? We’ll still watch baseball no matter who is in it. I know I will.

  30. Count me on the RP spec list. Outside of Sheff, who, IIRC, admitted taking stuff Bonds gave him, I don’t think there are a lot of offensive players. Maybe Javy, maybe Andres, maybe Drew, but who knows? However, there has been a lot of RP turnover on the Braves, people who spent a lot of time in other clubhouses picking up various habits. I would be unsurprised if a name like Wickman showed up.

  31. IF Chipper is not on the list, he has a great shot at the HOF. If he is on the list, then he is in trouble.

  32. I care about steroids. Steroids use by baseball players means when I watch a baseball game on my TV I can’t be sure whether what I’m seeing is the result of athletic greatness or a great pharmacist. I watched some of the greatest records in sports fall in the last decade and now I can’t respect 73* or 762* and I have doubts about Roger Clemens’ wins and strikeouts totals and Cy Youngs too.

    I won’t be surprised by anybody named in the Mitchell Report but neither will I assume anybody not named is necessarily clean.

    I still watch and enjoy baseball but I definitely respect it less than I did when the Braves were going from worst to the World Series and 61 and 755 were seemingly unbreakable records.

  33. Marc,

    Regarding your comments about ESPN, they stopped being an all sports network a long time.

    Besides that this is a story being blown up BY ESPN (it maybe the chicken and the egg but Congress got involved because ESPN is shoving this down our throats, ad nauseum), ESPN now likens itself to the CNN or the E! of sports.

    ESPN would rather have the ESPY’s and 24 hour steroid coverage, then reporting only on games and standings and playoffs. ESPN, on one hand, takes itself way too seriously (hence the Vick legal trials and Bonds HGH hearings, etc etc) and on the other hand, we need to see what Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham are wearing on the red carpet.

    ESPN is trying to be all sorts of things – they stopped being truly a sports empire a while back.

  34. Fulmer can bring them in, but when they get here he can’t figure out what to do with them. Programs like Tennessee, Florida, UGA, USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, and several others tradition really are ahuge sell.

  35. Marc has it exactly right.

    When abused, steroids have incredible adverse effects on a persons body. And if you want to do that to yourself to earn a few more bucks, or a little more glory, fine.

    But it puts pressure on other players to do take the same risks, just so they can have a job.

    If you look at the failed drug tests, there seems that there are a few good players who would like to be great. But there are far more fringe players trying to nail down jobs.

    One might argue that the established big leaguers don’t often get caught, because they have the money to get the ‘good stuff,’ that won’t be picked up in tests. But I digress..

    Point being: You can say you don’t care, and you don’t have to care. But if the sport doesn’t ban them and punish those who use them, then in effect, the sport makes them a requirement. That’s just the way it will be in a free market with millions of dollars for the taking.

    On a side note: evidence that HGH improves performance? The players use it. That’s all I need to know. They are the ones on the field, they hear the rumors about who’s using what, and they see first hand the difference that it makes for those players. And they in turn decide to use.

    IE, a third baseman heard X player started using a new HGH compound. He has the frame of reference to know what the ball looks like coming off his bat, he knows what kind of high fastball that guy can or can’t catch up with. And if he hears rumors and he sees a change, he knows better than any of us idiots blogging on the internet.

  36. Smitty,

    Look, considering how well Tennessee has done against my Dawgs the last 2 seasons, I can’t sit here like most and rip Fulmer as an in game coach. Though I would add that Tennessee’s offense has been stellar against us because David Cutcliffe is a fantastic O.C. and Cutcliffe, not Fulmer, is the #1 reason why the Vols have had such strong success in 06 and 07.

    As for Fulmer the recruiter, yeah, I don’t like the guy AAR – I hate him for the 2 faced, sneaky actions he pulled against Bama – but he is one helluva a great salesman on the Tennessee program and prior to Mark Richt’s arrival, was able to convince a lot of AJC Super 11 kids, year after year (guys in the NFL now like Deon Grant & Jamal Lewis, among others) to go to Knoxville rather tham home state Georgia.

    (and hey, even against Richt, he managed to get Eric Berry last year, a guy we all really wanted in Athens).

    But again, Fulmer’s definitely an exception. You look at the majority of successful top 25 schools, and 99% of those coaches look and sound like Richt, Carroll, Meyer, Stoops et all.

    I give credit to Mark Mangino for Kansas going 11-1 and beating the crap out of a bunch of nobodies this year; it may him a few extra big recruits for a season or two. (and let’s be clear – Kansas had the most embarrassing schedule I have ever seen in my life; it was shameful).

    But long term, a guy who looks like he’s going to have a heart attack in Lawrence, KS, should never ever be able to out recruit Mack Brown and Bob Stoops.

  37. jjschiller-

    I do agree with you & Marc from the standpoint that we should ban this stuff going forward, but considering Bud could have cared less prior to the involvement of people like John McCain and John Kerry, I think going backwards and “retro” punishing people like Marcus Giles or Paul Byrd is stupid and unfair.

  38. Alex R.,

    That I agree with wholeheartedly. Throughout this whole thing, I’ve thought that Congress has a better use of their time than assisting in a baseball witch hunt.

  39. Alex R,

    I think it is time for Bama to quit blaming Fulmer for their cheating. Why don’t Bama fans just blame that stupid booster who gave that Means kid all that money. Isn’t he the real criminal in that situation?

  40. I’ve taken steroids too but there is a difference between taking them under a doctor’s supervision for specific conditions and taking them on an unregulated basis to improve performance. Frankly, maybe the best policy would be to allow some use of steroids for performance improvement as long as it is done under appropriate supervision. I don’t know if it would be possible to do this safely but perhaps it could be.

  41. jjschiller,

    I don’t think players necessarily know what improves their performance. A lot of people think that taking ginseng or something cures colds but it’s been scientifically proven that it doesn’t. The fact that players think that HGH improves their performance doesn’t mean that it does; maybe it creates a placebo effect but that’s a different story.

    But that’s not to say we should ignore it but just to recognize that, if you are really concerned that a particular substance gives someone a competitive advantage, you need to have evidence and not just assumptions.

  42. I think the players know. I really think they do.

    We’re talking about guys who can tell from the dugout the difference between a guy throwing 93 and 96 mph.

    They are familiar with eachother. They have a frame of reference.

    Comparing it to ginseng for a cold is a bit silly… Maybe if some of us were professional cold-sufferers. These are guys with a frame of reference.

    It isn’t just baseball players. Football players are using it too. An offensive lineman knows the linebacker rushing at him is stronger than the last time he played him.

    I just think to say these guys don’t know the difference is selling them short. You and I have no idea what goes on on that field. Even from front row seats, the game is in stark contrast to watching it on TV. I can’t even imagine the frame of reference these guys have from watching eachother FROM the field, and being on it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    I just disagree.

  43. In baseball news…Miguel Tejada just got shipped to Houston for Luke Scott and four minor leaguers — three pitchers and a third baseman. Scuttlebutt is that Tejada will play 3b in Houston.

  44. I agree with above posters about retroactively punishing players for using something that wasn’t banned by baseball rules. That doesn’t mean that I approve of steroid use, but since those things happened before it was banned, then just say we had players who used PEDs, and it was not a banned substance, so we won’t punish them, and won’t reveal their identities. They could add something like we will be watching these individuals more closely from here on out.

    But to come out and reveal names just sounds like the owners, and commissioner are trying to absolve themselves of blame, and saying look here are the culprits now crucify them; while they all slink back in the shadows without blame. Thats the biggest issue I have with revealing this report.

  45. Being a right-handed pull hitter, I imagine Mr. Tejada is going to have a massive year in Houston next year.

  46. Smitty,

    Since you are a Tennessee fan, we will agree to disagree on the subject of Fulmer’s class or lack thereof.

    That being said, cheating in college football recruiting goes on at every major school in the country; there are some schools say like a Vandy or a Stanford where they have such stringent requirements about grades.

    But with a few exceptions, every school from Bama to Tennessee to Georgia to all the ‘vaunted’ non southern schools such as Ohio State, Colorado and USC (I specifically mention those three because all 3 have been caught red handed with major violations that would have gotten SEC schools in serious sh– but not one penalty has been thrown at those 3 NON southern schools) have all had boosters and kids do stuff.

    Look, I am a die hard Dawg fan and I feel strongly that Mark Richt is as classy and religious a man as there is – but Mark can’t control everything going on in Athens – just as Fulmer can’t control everything in Knoxville or Saban in Tuscaloosa.

    My point about Fulmer is the pot calling the kettle black. Sure stuff has gone on at Bama – but I guarantee you the same crap happens in Knoxville. It’s a reality of the system we live in.

    College Football is my #1 favorite sport and I am addicted to Georgia football like it’s a drug. But while most of us in here love college football, it’s also the one with some of the shadiest stuff going on from all angles. You have acrooked system like the BCS that can’t even crown a true national champion and college presidents are bought and paid off to prevent us having a legitimate way to pick a champion; you have the NCAA’s with a bigoted axe to grind against the “dirty south” so that schools like Bama, Auburn, & Georgia get punished for things that are also happening in Columbus, Ohio and Los Angeles.

    So my point about Fulmer is he’s a phony – don’t claim “altruism” as your motivation for taking down Alabama. I would have a lot more respect for Fulmer if he just said, “hey, I compete with Bama for recruits and we play them every year and I love bringing them down”. It would be cummy, but honest.

  47. Do the Astros really believe that a downturned Tejada and a wildly overrated Kaz Matsui is going to make them a contender? Geez.

  48. Alex R.,

    Well, if Minute Maid could make a slowing-down Craig Biggio a halfway-decent player, it could do wonders with Tejada.

  49. I can see what everyone means about revealing the names. It does make it seem like it’s baseball throwing these guys under the bus.

    As far as I’m concerned, they are all guilty.

    The thing about it is, all of these guys had the opportunity to come clean and say “Yeah. I did. This is why.” But they all hid it and I’m guessing a good number of the guys who show up on this report have already been rumored, and have already lied.

    It was a kind of wild west era. I get that. But there were plenty of guys with integrity who didn’t do it. To say these guys who will be named don’t deserve to be outted, I don’t agree with.

    Keep in mind, the use of steroids without prescription is a CRIME. I guess that just matters to me. I can understand that it doesn’t matter to everyone. But it matters to me.

    For the record, I do care about the stats and the records that have been broken. Call me a baseball elitist, I won’t really mind. I think it’s the history of this game that sets it apart from the NFL and the NBA. And Bonds taking Aaron’s record bothers me. McGwire and then Aaron taking Maris’s record bothers me. But again, I digress.

    But I agree. There’s a better way to do it.

    But I do think the guys deserve to at least be named. I don’t think the guys will really get crucified, and I don’t think it will ruin their careers. I think to a degree, the sheer numbers will be their defense.

    But I want to know the trainers and the managers and the GMs and the owners and I want to know the players.

    I want that. I’m not under the illusion that baseball owes me that. But the fact that that wasn’t part of the investigation shows that the ownership/management is covering their own asses and pointing the blame. I agree with that.

  50. I totally agree with you, Alex. Scott’s not really a prospect, and Albers appears kind of marginal, but Troy Patton’s quite good, and they’re trading him for an overpriced guy connected to PED scandals on the downswing of his career. They didn’t give up a ton, but because of his salary I don’t think there’s any prospect trade that makes sense.

    Frankly, the Orioles didn’t get a whole lot for Tejada, but that’s their own fault for not trading him two years ago, when they first started shopping him.

  51. JJ,

    If they are going to be punished criminaly, then fine, but to just out them for the sake of outing them makes no sense. Again its the owners attempts to remove themselves from the blame.

  52. Bobby Petrino’s Letter:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/falcons/stories/2007/12/12/petrinoletter_1212.html

    As I said, I blame Rich McKay and Blank for hiring this schmuck in the first place, but geez, this guy is about a low class a person as you can get.

    Then again, he’s still classier than Michael Vick who destroyed animals and committed federal crimes.

    (I wonder if in jest, this coming week Roddy White will reveal a t-shirt that says “we freed Bobby Petrino”?)

  53. How funny was the shirt that White was wearing? He obviously was to stupid to understand the meaning of the message. When you are requesting someone to be freed there is an implied meaning that they were falsely imprisoned, like the “Free Mendela” signs. I guess he did not realize Vick plead guilty. He made everyone look like an idiot.

  54. Kenny,

    Yeah, White is an idiot and I was downright offended; not just because of his stupidity, but because you shouldn’t be doing things like this considering what Vick did. But hey, as Bill Plaschke said yesterday on “Around the Horn”, I would rather live in a country where Roddy White is free to offend people like us, then one where he’d be hauled off in jail for ssying it.

    despite how offended I was, I will admit that Roddy White is still one of my Fantasy football teams and sadly, he’s been too good recently to cut him.

  55. One of the headlines read “Petrino assured McKay, Blank He’s Be Back Monday Night.” No assurances were given for beyond that, I guess.

    The steroid users won’t be banned, their records won’t be changed. These guys will be convicted in the court of public opinion, especially the ones that came out and said they didn’t use them. Most, if not all of those guys will be in the Hall of Fame only if they purchase a ticket, Bonds included. Yeah, they got their money, but most of them pissed it away and will be bankrupt within 10 years. They’ll never be hired to coach in baseball, former teams won’t invite them back for old-timers day, and they’ll be left to waller in their own self-pity in their old age. Some will end up like Ken Caminiti and most will never be heard from again.

  56. Yeah, they had one remotely good prospect left in their system and they traded him—along with 4 other players—for Miguel Tejada. Nice move, Ed Wade.

  57. Wade pulled the same kind of crap in Philadelphia, Stu, so I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

  58. That’s true; if morality mattered in fantasy Baseball, T.O. wouldn’t be a first 3 rounds draft choice every single year.

  59. Roddy white and michael vick are friends (for some reason, even though Roddy made a career out of dropping Vick’s passes). He was just showing support for his friend. If my best friend goes to jail, my loyalty is to him not the American justice system. And no matter what Vick did, I am glad that he has friends like Roddy White to be there for him. The guy is still a human being. And if Roddy White wants to do something nice for his friend Mike Vick, i don’t think that makes him an idiot.

  60. you think Tejada will be on that report tomorrow? I wouldnt doubt it

    I can almost guarantee you that Luis Gonzalez and his 57HR 2001 campaign will be on that list

  61. Keith-

    There’s a big difference between sewing a #7 on your jersey or t-shirt as a show of support for a friend, and wearing a t-shirt that says “Free Michael Vick”.

    You can support a friend, but he committed heinous acts and broke federal law – not to mention he destroyed these dogs. He should be in jail.

    For White to say “free Mike Vick” is very different than wearing a #7.

  62. I’m gonna reserve my comments on the Mitchell Report until after 2 pm tomorrow, except to say 1) that I’m glad it’s coming out & let the chips fall where they may, but 2) I wish someone who wasn’t currently affiliated with a club was doing the report (instead of Mitchell who’s down with the BoSox).

    Of course, if a certain left-handed-hitting DH with a funny beard were to appear on the list, I’ll be happy to strike that second bit.

  63. I think this is a bad move by the commissioner, this is a very important issue and he should be there

  64. Ron Blomberg, the Georgia native? No, this guy’s from the DR & seems to have an uncanny ability to get big hits in big spots.

    I hear that Selig will respond a couple hours after Mitchell.

  65. csg,

    Wait, this surprises you that Bud would again make a stupid decision?

    If Bud ever did anything with a modicum of class or legitimacy, it would be a first.

  66. I agree with Alex; it’s one thing to support your friends, but at some point it has to stop. Of course, athletes don’t believe that.

    JJ,

    I disagree that players know what is helping them. They aren’t scientists and they don’t know how substances affect their bodies. They don’t even know everything about the games they play. I just read an article in the Hardball Times Annual about the platoon advantage and why it exists. The consensus among players was that it exists because it’s easier to hit breaking balls coming from opposite handed pitchers; they said that it makes no difference with fastballs. The author ran a study and his conclusion was that it was the fastball pitchers that had the largest platoon split. Now, I’m not saying that one statistical study is definitive but the point is, I don’t think a player is necessarily in the best position to know everything that affects his performance. I mean Dusty Baker thinks walks are meaningless. It seems to me the placebo effect would be huge.

  67. Most of these names are comming from that clubhouse guy with the Mets. Mitchell didn’t have subpeona power, so who can tell if these names are correct.

  68. Everyone seems to assume that every time a guy has one big season and then falls back, it must be steroid related. But, unless you think steroids are the only reason guys hit home runs, that makes no sense. For example, if Luis Gonzalez was on steroids the year he hit 57 home runs, did he go off it the next year when he dropped to, I think, 28? If so, why wouldn’t he stay on it? I can see that guys in the last couple of years might have gone off because of the fear of testing but as far as Gonzalez knew, he was in no danger. Same thing with Brady Anderson. I think the fact that this was their ONLY big home run season suggests they weren’t onl steroids. Guys have had fluky years in the past. Roger Maris never hit more than 39 homers before or after 1961. Norm Cash hit .361 in 1961, the only year he hit .300. (1961 was a pretty good year for hitters, huh?) And, of course, Dave Johnson in 1973 with 43 homers after hitting 5 the year before.

  69. Again, I going to harp on the message, not the intent of what White wrote out. “Free Vick” would indicate that he was either wrongfully imprisioned or unlawfully imprisoned; neither of those two instances are true. As a grown adult, yes it is idiotic to not know the difference. I am completely apathetic to him supporting Vick. If he wanted to support Vick the shirt should have read just that. That was what I found funny about the entire situation.

  70. I keep hearing performance-enhancement; I keep thinking corruption. Is my association unwarranted?
    Consider the 1982 Pirates in the thick of the pennant race in late August. Favored by many. They sucked in September. Later, we discovered many players were using cocaine heavily. Drug trials followed. Management claimed not to know. Cocaine abuse seems like corruption.

    When Caminiti admitted steroids contributed to his breakdown, what does that say to the people who cheered for him, or the club that paid him?

    Yet, I know that cotisone is a steroid but not how it relates to those Kenny took. I remember being relieved to hear Andruw got a cortisone shot last summer, both for his performance and his health. Is that corruption, just because I thought he’d hit better?

  71. I think the “Free Vick” sentiment indicates that he thought the punishment was too harsh for the crime. I imagine there are many people that feel that way, particularly when compared to the relatively light sentences given out to other athletes for offenses where innocent people were killed. I don’t agree with his sentiments, but don’t find them offensive either.

  72. Kevin,

    I don’t really understand your point. Cocaine is an illegal, hallucinogenic drug with no medicinal value (well, it does make you feel good, I guess). Cortisone is a regulated substance used to treat injuries in athletes and non-athletes. I don’t really see the relation. I presume that when athletes get cortisone shots they are doing it under the supervision of a doctor and that it is an appropriate treatment. If your question is, should we be encouraging Andruw or others to take cortisone shots so they can play or play more effectively, I agree that is an issue and you can certainly make reasonable arguments on both sides. Cortisone, I guess, can have some bad side effects and there is some risk to playing with an injury. But it’s hardly corruption on the scale of widespread cocaine use.

  73. Marc,
    Dave Johnson certainly had a flukey year, but he didn’t show up in Atlanta looking like the Incredible Hulk either. When it comes to Gonzo & Brady, I tend to believe my own eyes.

    I would imagine that some guys in their contract years might’ve hit the juice, then quit doing it after the payoff.

    Dunno how one would really study that, given a distinct lack of evidence/testing, but it would be interesting.

  74. Giants sure seem to be wasting a lot of money when they should be trying to rebuild. i can understand the Rowand deal, but the Zito one still baffles me. They got what they deserved from him last year

  75. csg,

    If they are rebuilding than the Rowand deal makes no sense. I don’t see how Rowand, who’s not a kid, makes them any better next year, or how without Bonds in the middle of the order, this team is anything but the last placed team in the NL West.

    Of course, I do believe the Rockies this year were a fluke and will be a 67 win team next year. Just not buying them again. I am also not buying the high priced Dodgers either.

    Arizona or San Diego in the west next year.

  76. If anything, it was Arizona that was the fluke last year by being outscored substantially and still winning the division.

    And Jeff Kent is coming back. The Dodgers should have a contest for their fans: first prize is Jeff Kent comes back for a year, second prize is he comes back for two years.

  77. @94

    Corruption charges! Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That’s Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win.

    –Congressman Danny Dalton in movie “Syriana”
    ;)

  78. Kent can still hit. He shouldn’t be playing second base anymore, but the Dodgers have a guy who used to be a shortstop playing third and a rookie who hit .331 playing first. Basically, if Furcal doesn’t get it, it’s not getting got.

  79. Alex R. that was my point. I think they should start rebuilding and look 3-4 years down the road. Signing these older players make no sense because they still wont win. However, they should at least get their money’s worht out of Rowand. With Zito there is no chance…

  80. I am so confused by teams like the Giants and Astros that it sometimes makes my head hurt.

    On the other hand, I don’t think the Orioles – for once – made a bad move. And the return on Bedard is going to be big. I kind of feel like it’ll be Adam Jones et al. from Seattle, but there are a couple offers out there, I believe, that may be just as nice. Also, now that Tejada is gone, Roberts will probably be dealt too (possibly with Bedard).

    Put me in the group of those who don’t care that much about the use of PEDs back in the day – it is what it is, and it’s supposedly over now – and who feel this is a politically motivated witch hunt.

    Werth will play right. His splits are a bit extreme, but overall he was a passable to good while logging 58 games out there. He’s definitely better than Bourn.

  81. I agree that most baseball players don’t know exactly what the effect of what they take is. Most are high school graduates or less in the case of foreign players. They might know what they are taking and/or trust the people giving it to them on how it will improve their performance, but most baseball player are not intelligent enough to tell you a whole lot about anything outside of baseball.

  82. bwarrend,

    You’re exactly right. They know baseball.

    I just don’t see how you can tell me a PROFESSIONAL athlete can train and condition his body DAILY and not notice the difference in strength, speed, or recovery time before and after a regimen of a particular drug.

    They are professionals. These aren’t the dumb jocks on your high school football team.

    It’s rather pointless to argue because neither of us are professional athletes. But I think it’s either naive or arrogant to say these guys don’t know their performances better than we do.

    Marc,

    As far as the platoon data relating to ‘fastball pitchers,’ I honestly think that’s just silly. Bloggers, blog-readers, and stat-heads all over seem to forget the games aren’t played on calculators. They are played on fields. Data are not answers, they are simply support for conjecture.

    If that data WERE true, that lefties had a harder time with lefthanded ‘fastball pitchers’ my first question would be, what were their batting averages on FASTBALLS and BREAKING BALLS, not against a classification of PITCHER.

    Second, I’d say theres a possible explanation in the fact that it’s easy for a lefty to remind himself to hang in against the Ted Lillys of the world, look for the curve behind their head and hang in, and react to the fastball. Against Randy Johnson, you don’t have the luxury of worrying about that curveball behind your head, because the fastball can’t be reacted to. You need to look fastball.

    And I’d still contend that the intimidation makes the curveball more effect. A hard throwing lefty with no breaking ball at all wouldn’t be too hard to hit.. But they wouldn’t make it to the big leagues anyway.

    If a lefthanded professional hitter tells me that its the curveball he has trouble with coming from a lefty, I’ll believe him. Stats can’t tell us WHY he can’t hit lefties, even if they can tell us which pitch he can’t hit.

    But the thoughts in a players head can’t be measured with stats. I think that’s why lifetime baseball men laugh at stat-heads…

  83. JJ, I agree that the thoughts in baseball players’ heads can’t be measured in stats.

    They can, however, be measured in two words: “dumb jocks.” They’re much smarter dumb jocks than high school guys, but the point still stands, I think.

  84. I wonder if Winn or Roberts would be a good fit for us as a CF option? How much money are they making, anyway?

  85. JJ, any number of professional athletes think that sticking magnets in their socks helps them stay healthy. If they could really tell the condition of their body as well as you think, they would very soon realize that this isn’t true. Baseball players get traded from the Mets to the Astros, see their batting averages go up 20 points and hit ten more homers (all at home) and really think that it’s not the park, that they’re just better hitters because they’re taking five minutes of extra batting practice. People believe all sorts of things, many of which are bone-stupid.

  86. I’m a big Winn fan, but he was signed to a three-year extension before 2006, taking him through 2009. The contract was for $23.25 million, with a $3 million signing bonus, but he made $4,750,000 last year. Do the math for the last two years of the deal.

  87. So what other Braves have they taken? Furcal, Maddux, Lofton, Drew, Sturtze, Andruw. I know theres more.

  88. The Rowand deal is $60 million over 5 years. The only good thing from Giants fans’ standpoint is that Sabean said that it means Cain and Lincecum are off the trading block. However, with this signing on its own merits and past moves, Sabean continues to run that team into the ground.

    As for Winn, no way — keep him away from the Braves. I wouldn’t trade anything of value for him.

  89. Gotta be more. Checking Baseball Reference…

    Otis Nixon
    Mike Devereaux
    Brad Clontz
    Pedro Borbon
    Marquis Grissom
    Terry Mulholland
    Andy Ashby
    Brian Jordan

    However, I did see a slew of people who would later play on the Braves, so this may be going both ways.

  90. Oh, and you might be asking, “Rob, why are you wasting your time looking that up?” Well, this is finals weeks, and I’m open to anything that’s not studying for finals.

  91. I absolutely hate the double standard that many of the Falcons players have. They vilify Petrino saying that “He lied to us, he let us down,” but when Vick did that and worse, they want to set him free. Not only did Vick let them down, the Falcons can’t sign anyone worthwhile to replace him because they are so strapped by the cap.

    Just goes to prove my point how unintelligent many athletes are.

  92. I’ll point out that there’s a new thread, and that the Vick suspension/imprisonment is ironically the best thing that ever happened to Roddy White, who never clicked with Vick but this year has been the Falcons’ go-to receiver, 65 catches for 995 yards. He’s already caught more passes for more yards than he did in his first two seasons combined, and is on pace for 80 catches, 1220 yards.

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