I don’t think that the Rule 5 draft is very good for players. Take Jeff Bennett. Bennett was a guy with a live arm, drafted out of the Pirates organization in 2003, coming off a solid year as a AA middle reliever. (He was one of five players the Pirates lost in the draft that year, including Chris Shelton and Jose Bautista. Rumor has it that this was motivated by money, that the Pirates actually were so poor/cheap that the draft price of these players made a difference.) He wasn’t ready yet, put up a 4.79 ERA, and it was back to the minors, a year of development lost. After 2005, he needed Tommy John surgery, and was cut loose. The Braves picked him up and he did good work as a swingman for Richmond. He made two good starts and one bad relief appearance for the big club; however, he’s much more likely to start the season as a reliever.
As a minor leaguer, Bennett hasn’t really been anything special. Even last year, he struck out just 45 in 86 2/3 in AAA, while walking 34; that won’t do. On the other hand, he was just coming off TJ surgery, and looked good in his major league work. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a pitcher to have several valuable years at this age after general mediocrity, but it’s not really common.
I feel bad for players like him because he came out of nowhere and pitched his brains out … yet he won’t make it out of spring training.
from previous thread. CSG thanks for the Stark link. Great stuff.
I have a feeling we’ll be seeing entirely too much of Jeff Bennett this season.
To anyone in a Super Tuesday state — go play your part today. Your opinions (and you know you’ve got them) don’t count for squat if you don’t cast a ballot.
Jeff Bennett is a guy I’d like to give a chance to as a long reliever/spot starter. I think he can be a lot better than freaking Oscar. So thrilled Oscar is gone.
After Bob Knight stepped down last night, my family starting asking if the other Coach Bobby that we cheer for was leaving after this year.
Has anybody seen anything recent on Bobby Cox’s plan?
I think Bobby stays through 09, then it looks as if our hitting coach might get the 1st crack at the job
Today is Hank Aaron’s birthday. Nice article on AJC. Happy Birthday Hank you’re still the King in my book.
I simply cannot get excited over a guy like Jeff Bennett with such a tiny sample size in the majors. I am hoping that he is a relief pitcher. If he is a starter then things aren’t going well.
Anyone who can get excited about middle relievers probably takes baseball too seriously anyway.
I don’t wear player jerseys, don’t own any, but if I did the only one I’d wear would be Hank Aaron.
Continuing timo’s post from last thread, I dreamed last night that I bumped into Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. Literally ran into Jonah Hill, so hard that he fell down. I apologized profusely and told them I liked them in Superbad.
Not sure if it was posted in the last comments, but it looks like Aybar is accused of knocking his wife around:
Well the deal looked bad at first, but I guess Wren knew he needed to go.
“Pirates actually were so poor/cheap”
It seems that the players that are hurt by the Rule V draft are ones that are slightly behind on the developmental curve. That seems to be what happened with Bennett.
Within the context of Bradley’s article, I don’t really understand why he thinks that, unless James is unhealthy, Reyes/Carlyle/Bennett/Jurrjens are going to beat out James. I suppose Jurrjens might, but I can’t see them sending James down. Of course, Hampton probably won’t be healthy so James and Jurrjens will both make it.
A lot of it will be how they look in spring training. Reyes and Jurrjens are both really young and could show dramatic year-to-year improvement. Although I would be in favor of starting both at AAA to start the year, it would not shock me to see one of them push out Chuck.
It would, however, shock me to see Carlyle or Bennett push out Chuck.
What worries me is Wren continuing to talk about Carlyle. If we need Carlyle for starts, something bad has happened.
Yeah, Aybar was accused of assaulting his wife. (I posted on this on Chop-n-Change.) Apparently she agreed to drop charges, but she hasn’t done so yet.
The accusation is alleged, but what’s undisputable is that he’s in jail two months before opening day. It’s clear he’s still a very troubled man.
Yeah I made sure to put accused of in my post- he does seem to be a very troubled man- hope he can get some help.
Just read the C-n-C article. It’s debatable whether or not the front office knew about deep problems like this, but I agree that we don’t have this headache to deal with.
Maybe he’s talking up Carlyle to inflate his apparent trade value so we could get 4 packs of sunflower seeds and a roll of athletic tape out of him instead of just useless pitching.
I agree that I’m glad* we don’t have this headache to deal with.
it makes you feel better about trading away Aybar for nothing
I hope all of you realize what an important day this is. Many people are making decisions right now that could affect our lives for the next four to five years at least.
I know that some people don’t like to discuss these matters here, but I think all of us should pay attention and be glad that we live in a country where this is possible.
P.S. As always, go Braves!
Of course I refer to..
National Signing Day!
It’s tomorrow and I can’t wait..
What, you thought I meant something else?
I don’t feel better about trading away Aybar AND Fontaine for nothing, though it does appear the strategy of holding onto him through Spring Training to let him rebuild his value would have been a mistake.
From the previous thread, I am glad someone metioned Super Bowl XIII. I know it was a long time ago, but I recall a seesaw affair with lots of scoring. It looked like the last team to have the ball would be the winner. It was also filled with HOF legends. 35 – 31 was the final, I think.
From that article: “You can count on several things always happening, death, taxes and the Georgia Bulldogs always recruiting well.”
Hey, ya’ll: Vote!
I’m voting for Terrelle Pryor to choose Michigan. And also to not be ineligible due to recruiting violations. Unless he chooses OSU, in which case I vote for ineligible.
Just got back from vacation, I see we are well into the “I hope we never have to use these guys in an important situation” portion of the player reviews.
Itâ€™s tomorrow and I canâ€™t wait..
What, you thought I meant something else?
Don’t count on USC finishing 16th when all is said and done.
And yeah, get out there and vote. Nothing could be more important. As a Californian this is the only time my vote will really matter. Not only are we deciding between Hillary and Obama we are voting on how big a slave the state will be to the large Indian gaming tribes. Can’t wait!
As a Washington journalist, let me say: don’t let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter.
As a cynical jerk, let me say: I wish politics would go away and baseball would start already!
I just wish Hillary could stop crying, besides that, we shouldnt talk politics in here
As a country, we need more cynical jerks like you, AAR.
But I agree with the sentiments that NATIONAL SIGNING DAY is extremely important and so is voting. 😉
Let me clarify – I am not excited by Jeff Bennett because I think he’s a stud. I think he’s a useful, fill in chip and the kind of decent pitchers you like to have “lying around” in case of injuries.
politics??? i’m really trying to ignore the batch of ass-clowns running and i cant vote in primaries anyway because i’m regestered as an independant but i cant seem to shake the mental image of hillary throwing out the first pitch in DC…………i bet she throws like a girl
I am not sure where you live, but I found out something interesting about where I live, Virginia, in terms of our primary, which is a week from today – the 12th.
Apparently, no one in Virginia is registered for either party – the day my wife & I show up to our piolling place in Alexandria next week, we will be asked which party and handed a voting card for that party. Kind of cool to let us decided day of.
The history of assclowns in politics is a noble tradition as old as our democracy… and that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
The Pirates just signed a nice deal with Freddy Sanchez, two guaranteed years with an option for a third that automatically vests if he has enough PAs. He’ll get paid about $6 million a year, which is a great salary for a guy like him.
I like the standard that’s being established for short contracts with option years at reasonable prices for useful role players like him. I’m also a big fan of buying out pre-arb and arb-eligible years like the Indians did in the mid-’90s and we did with McCann, and the Tigers just did with Granderson — 5 years for $30.25 mill, which is fantastic. I think this is a really smart direction for front offices to take, and a way to avoid the kind of big-ticket Scott Boras free agents that everyone hates to have to rely on acquiring.
#31 – my apologies
34 — It’d be a decent signing if it weren’t the pirates. The guy can obviously hit, but not for power. It *seems* (meaning I haven’t looked into it) to only make them marginally better as a team to have him. Maybe it’s a good way to save face with the fans… but I wonder if it wouldn’t be worth more to buy a few million dollars worth of young arms and then somebody to develop them. I guess that’s asking a lot though.
all of that said, i’d agree that it was a pretty good signing. the pirates just aren’t in a place where they need role players.
I once played catch with Hillary and she throws a 92 mph splitter that drops off a table.
This is political, but factual (non opinion).
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, applies to all of the old Confederate States, plus New York City, and maybe a place or two. They were deemed to have evidence of past discrimination.
Under VRA, (to avoid the so-called “white primaries” which allowed only whites to register under a party [usually Democratic, ironically] thus picking the “nominee” before blacks could vote) subject areas are prohibited from restricting participation in primaries (by party afiliation or other). They are allowed to say that if you take a primary ballot for one party in one election, that you cannot vote in a run-off of the other party.
Next election, you can switch.
Here’s the thing, though: If you’re going to argue Jeff Bennett wasn’t ready for the big leagues when he was drafted by the Brewers, it’d be better if he actually pitched poorly, or was held out of games.
He pitched 71 1/3 innings in 60 games for the ’04 Brewers, and pitched pretty well for most of the season. He was involved in the “who’s going to close?” conversation in spring training ’05, before Turnbow emerged.
If you really want to see a guy who got destroyed by the Rule 5 draft, go to baseball reference and look up Enrique Cruz. The Brewers dragged him out of low-A ball, only got him 71 AB’s all season, and watched him hit .085. He’s had exactly 1 big league AB in the 4 seasons since.
Well, the role Sanchez plays for the Pirates right now is that of everyday second baseman, and he’s a pretty good hitter — doesn’t walk much, but he has 95 doubles the past 2 years, and a lifetime batting average of .310.
Also, Cliff, that’s fascinating. I hadn’t realized that’s why you could cross parties in a Georgia primary.
I don’t place a ton of stock in the actual ratings of those recruiting sites—I mean, this year’s Notre Dame team was loaded with top recruits. And UGA has had its share of relative disappointments (Patrick Pass, Danny Ware).
But it is nice to know that you’re highly regarded. I can’t wait to see AJ Green, Tavarres King & DeAngelo Tyson wearing Red & Black, but I’m very psyched that UGA scored the country’s top place kicker (Blair Walsh)—and he’s from Florida (nyuk, nyuk).
UGA peeps gotta watch this video of Blair Walsh. This kid’s leg is ridiculous. It’s like “Son of Flubber” stuff.
ESPN Braves fantasy preview: http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=mlbdk2k8atlpreview
Actually, the general rankings are pretty good for what they measure, football talent. They don’t adjust by likelihood that the guy will flunk out. If you consistently rank high, you will consistently win.
The rankings are terrible for saying #3 had a better class than #5. 10 places or so is a big difference.
The best class Georgia ever had is (surprise) 1980. Some kid named Walker, Parade Magazine Back of the Year, Winford Hood, Parade Magazine Lineman of the Year ( then, and I think, still, the only such “double”), Freddie “Spiderman” Gilbert, and the last scholarship used, some kid named Hogue from somewhere in Texas.
alex@34……………..i live in florida and we have to declare a party affiliation(or independant) ahead of time . i guess thats so the voters wont try to screw up each others primaries because on election day, we can vote however we want. the most interesting florida votes(to me, at least) are the ones trying to use public money to get real baseball stadiums built in miami and the tampa bay area. i’ve seen games at both of the current venues and they are horrible places to see a ball game. even though you can pretty much sit where you want.
Georgia always seems to have a good kicker. It surprises me that many schools pay no attention to such an important aspect of the game – especially considering how quirky the OT rules are
Bennett and Carlyle are so low on the depth chart that if either of them pitches any significant amount of innings as a starter, the Braves have had some serious problems and likely won’t make the playoffs.
Michigan pisses me off every year because we never recruit a decent kicker. It seems so foolish to consider a scholarship on a kicker to be a waste when a crummy kicker is much more likely to lose you a game, and a good kicker to win you a game, than a local 2 star O-lineman who’s never going to see the field.
41 — AAR, I’m on board with you as far as Sanchez being a good player and a good signing. Not disputing that. Just saying that I don’t see him as a main cog. He’d be a good signing for most teams. I just don’t see a big difference in the W column for the Pirates whether he’s there or not for the next 3 years.
I certainly wouldn’t hope to see the Pirates just throw up their hands because there’s nothing to do about the hole they’ve dug. Perhaps they’ll keep him for a couple of years and then be able to trade him because of his reasonable contract. What do I know about their plans?
I think there’s not a lot the Pirates can do right now. They’re basically where the Nationals were when Stan Kasten hired them — the farm system’s mostly a disaster and so’s the big club, other than the young pitchers, who may already have been screwed up.
Signing Sanchez doesn’t help them win too much now, but they’re not going to be remotely competitive for a while. He certainly won’t hurt them, and he’ll be a nice guy for fans to latch onto, while the club gets to retain his services at a very reasonable price. What they need is more players like him — modestly priced, useful guys that they can play on the field without screwing up any more prospects and finally trying to get their farm system going again.
The Nationals are off to a good start, I think. I like what Kasten’s been doing, and they had a pretty good draft last year. The Pirates have a great ballpark and some great history, and I think if they could ever start winning again they’d be able to convince a lot of Steeler fans who grew up rooting for the Bucs to come back again.
Sanchez doesn’t make them win. But if they’re going to win, they’re going to need people like Sanchez to put on the field till they can win.
My first day on campus in the fall of 1981, going into my very first college classroom (in the Physics Building on Sanford Dr.), the door opens & out walks Herschel Walker—big as life, wearing an Adidas sweatsuit. I almost tripped over my own jaw.
Also, here’s a nice Rich Lederer piece with a few different ways of looking at offensive productivity using plate appearances rather than ABs as a denominator: hit %, out %, walk %, advancement percentage, and bases per PA.
Chipper Jones is much in the top 5 of almost every single list, and in the top 10 or 15 of the rest. He’s really, really good.
Ill still take Chipper over Wright anyday
I also love it when Smoltz makes Wright look like Diaz on his worst swing. Its classic
Ill still take Chipper over Wright anyday
What about days in 2010 or so?
sorry, I’ll still take him today…is that better?
tid-bit for you
Unexpected expenses can come at you fast. Like, 101 miles per hour in a 65 MPH zone fast. Luckily for LeBron James, he’s making $13,041,250 in salary this season. That works out to:
â€¢ $159,039.63 per game;
â€¢ $3313.33 per minute;
â€¢ $55.22 per second.
So LeBron will have earned enough to pay off his speeding ticket of $259 after 5 seconds of Tuesday’s game — with $17 left over for gas.
being a florida state fan, i dont want to hear about any other school getting good kickers…………… in fact, i think the whole game would be better without placekicking. 4th and 8?? ok coach. punt it or go for it. thats your choices……… i mean, does anyone else have a problem with the game being decided by some little dork fron paraguay who isnt even a football player?
I guess the question is if you’d take Chipper the one day in three he’s out of the lineup.
As for kickers, the problem is that unlike other positions you pretty much need only one. You might be willing to spend a scholarship on a kicker, but are you willing to spend two or three to make sure you get one good one?
#60 – depends on whether or not he makes the kick
52 – AAR, I’m with you on that explanation. I think we’re basically saying the same thing, but you’re taking a more positive/optimistic angle and are being more explanatory. I guess you’re saying that he was a good sign and they need more of them and I’m saying he’s a good sign but not nearly enough. You’ve kind of explained what I only hinted at in paragraph 2 of 51.
How did you and I end up discussing the Pirates’ so much anyway? While they’re at it they should send us some of their young, signable pitching. heh heh.
No, barry, I’d rather not have just those two options. If I have a chance to go for a field goal, I’ll do it. I’d wager that I’m the only person on this blog that enjoys the kicking aspect of the game.
I mean seriously enjoys it and finds it an integral part of the game that should never even be thought to take out of the game.
Chipper Jones: .337/.425/.604, NL-leading 1.029 OPS, 29 homeruns, 102 RBIs in 513 at-bats.
David Wright: .325/.416/.546, .963 OPS, 30 homeruns, 107 RBIs in 604 at-bats.
Whose life do you know of, exactly, that is as big as Herschel Walker?
A guy next to my apartment my first year in law school dated the daughter of the dining hall manager at McWhorter Hall (God rest its soul). He said Herschel was at 237 forthe January 1, 1981 Sugar Bowl. I saw him come off the bus after the game and, except for his narrow waist, he looked like a nose tackle.
More to the point (because it’s the denominator in the stats on that page), Chipper Jones had 600 PA while David Wright had 711.
Which Herschel Walker?
I seem to remember some European country (I’ll have to look) that had tied traffic tickets to income so that the payment was a percentage of income rather than a flat fee.
I also think some Corporate Executive over there pulled a $22,000+ speeding ticket once. Hilarious.
Oh, make that a $103,000 speeding ticket in Finland.
Let’s see BronBron pull his shigetoshi hasegawa over there.
Triple-post, why not?
In Finland, if you get a traffic ticket, the fine varies, it is based on a formula that includes calculating the income of the offender (which is available via tax records that are public in Finland). Apparently many Scandinavian countries have this system but most of them have a max fine amount. Finland does not have a max.
Well, the court slashed it back, so it’s more of an eye-opener than actual precedent.
But that’s really funny. You know another thing that we have over Finland? Better weather.
Also, hilarious public uproar — when would you ever have thought that the people in a Scandinavian country would publicly defend a rich corporate executive?
well sam………..i can see that we’d never agree on that one. i really think that it would be a much better game without the kickers. of course it’ll never happen because not many people like changes, especially big ones. but i’d be thrilled to never see another PAT kick. if the object of the game is to score touchdowns, why reward failure with points ? its like giving a team .5 runs for loading the bases.
That was the Herschel who went to class & then ran over people on the football field.
Yeah, I saw Herschel in street clothes several times & he really did look like he should have had an S on his chest.
I had a good dorm friend who walked on (and made) the UGA team as a DE, a pass-rushing specialist. He had played at Pitt beforehand & had played with Marino, Hugh Green, Ricky Jackson, etc.
I remember him coming home one night after practice. He was a little woozy & he told me: “Today, I aborbed the hardest hit I’ve ever taken on a football field.”
“So, who got you?” I asked. “Was it Eddie Weaver? Guy McIntyre?”
“Nope, Herschel Walker.”
“You didn’t try to tackle him, did you?
“Nope, he was pass blocking. He came out of his stance, took one step, saw me and boom! I flew backwards and landed in a heap. I saw stars just like the Popeye cartoons.”
God bless Herschel Walker, whoever he may be this day.
DOB on Smoltz with a promise of more to come on Stockman & Morton.
Man, Smoltz is awesome. For his sake at the least, I really hope the Braves are able to make the playoffs this year. You just know he’d go out there and blow some team away. Big years from Mac and Frenchy will be important, but the emergence of at least one of Chucky or Jurrjens or Reyes or the rest will be almost as crucial.
Finland does not belong to Scandinavia. Just being a smarta$$…
Interesting DOB update on Chuck:
“But when he told a couple of us last week that the Braves might have him ease into the spring, that he might not be ready to pitch in games right away, and that he â€œhopedâ€ rest and rehab would be enough and he could avoid surgery, well, that made me start to envision worst-case scenarios, because frankly, itâ€™s usually the worst-case rather than best-case scenario that unfolds in these situations.”
John Smoltz wakes up pissing excellence!