Endorsement open thread

This weblog hereby endorses the Rays in the American League, for myriad reasons, plus who isn’t rooting for the Rays? It also endorses the Phillies, because the weblog hates the Dodgers more than anything except the University of Tennessee. Well, there are some things that the weblog hates more intensely, but not as often. Also, Phillies fans are really fun when they win, because they don’t know how to react.

The “this weblog” thing is kind of annoying, isn’t it?

177 thoughts on “Endorsement open thread”

  1. I’d like to see the Rays and Phils square off for the World Series, but let the Red Sox and Dodgers play a consolation series, just for fun.

  2. Rays and Dodgers. I hate the %^$#ing Phillies.

    Red Sox used to be sentimental, now they’re just annoying ’cause they think that 5 years of dominance makes up for 50 years of stupidity.

  3. I want the Phils b/c no team with 84 wins should be in the Series even if they are the best team right now. I want to see the Rays shut Red Sox Nation the f*** up although, in a way, it would be more fun to see the Red Sox lose to an inferior NL team (but it probably wouldn’t happen).

  4. I’m with chris in pulling for a Dodgers-Rays Series. I don’t really hate the Phils, but I don’t want another team in our division winning a championship, either.

  5. If the Dodgers play for the World Series, there is a chance Andruw gets a ring. That alone has me cheering for the Phils.

    Also, is it bad that despite my extreme hatred for the Yankees, I actually want them to sign Manny so he and A-Rod can it back to back?

  6. When I was a kid, I loved Brooks Robinson, so I liked the Orioles, too. Now I could care less.

    Similarly, when the Braves were in the NL West, the Dodgers were the extreme enemy. The very sight of Lasorda made me nuts.

    Now it’s just different. I like their stadium. I like Torre. I like some of their players. But they’re the Dodgers, so I can’t go whole hog for them either.

    If anyone hates the Yankees, they should know that the nightmare series for Yank fans is Boston/LA. It’s like a mini-’86 for them. Torre with Manny vs. Boston. (That would be a ratings bonanza.)

    Tampa/Philly would be a funky, probably entertaining series.

    But, most importantly, I’ll root for anyone but the Red Sox. The bummer is that I think they’ll win it all again.

  7. I feel the need to respond to Alex R. Comment from the last thread..

    “It does look like Auburn needs help with that whole “reading & writing” thing…just sayin.”

    Um, where did that come from? I’ve heard several Alabama fans make similar comments about Auburn being a crummy education, and I just don’t get it. Aren’t Auburn and Alabama consistently nearby in university rankings every year?

  8. Yeah, how can anyone here on Bravesjournal (assuming you are not a longtime fan of one of the other teams as well) NOT pull for Tampa? Clearly, the good guys here.

    I hate both the Dodgers and Phillies. I am torn…on one hand, it’s my natural inclination to root against all sports teams from the Philadelphia area. Those people are nuts.

    On the other hand, I have never liked the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez is a Scott Boras-run pig who tanked his performance to get traded, which makes him the lowest form of life in sports. Then again, I am sick and tired of Bosox fans and because Red Sox nation was annoyed, that made me happy.

    But seriously…I work in an office with two Sawx fans and these people never. shut. the. eff. up. ever. about. anything.

    The final straw as to why I’ll pull for anyone against Boston is when our front desk guy, a true Bostonite with the accent and everything, couldn’t even be “talked to” for an entire day when the Patriots got smashed a few weeks ago by the Dolphins. Really? Your team has won 3 Super Bowls and the world has ended because they lost once to the Dolphins?

    The arrogance of the Boston sports fan is that nothing else exists apparently except the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. And the Celtics only came back INTO existence, last year. :-)

    So, I am rooting in this order:

    1. Rays
    2. abstain
    3. abstain
    4. abstain
    5. Dodgers, I guess
    6. Phillies & Red Sox tied.

    If we get a Boston-Philly series, I say that’s akin to when Ohio State played Florida for the National championship – someone has to win and we ALL lose.

  9. Bethany,

    my opinion about Auburn was tainted when I was on the campus for a Georgia-Auburn game one year and I saw trailers…but it wasn’t old timers road tripping for the big game…it was where classes were being held.

    Also…my brother & I are Georgia fans and my dad is an Alabama fan – I grew up in a house where no nice thing was ever said about Auburn.

    You could get a Vanderbilt level education there, and I’d probably try and figure out a way to bash it. Sorry.

  10. I simply cannot argue with Dix’s logic at #7:

    “If the Dodgers play for the World Series, there is a chance Andruw gets a ring. That alone has me cheering for the Phils.”

  11. I have a long memory, and the Dodgers did a lot more to us than the Phillies ever could. Heck, I hold ’59 against them and I wasn’t even born yet. But I certainly have no problem with Andruw (or Furcal) getting a ring. Guy gives you ten good years and you hold it against him, sheesh.

  12. Alex R. Manny hit .347/.473/.587 in July with the Red Sox. I wish we had some players who could tank like that.

    I don’t think the fact that the owners have control of the local media and don’t want to upset Scott Boras (otherwise maybe he won’t get his clients to opt out and sign for them again) are any coincidence in how that played out.

  13. I’d pull for the Yanks and maybe even the Mets over the Sox these days. So I’m pulling for:

    1. Rays
    2. Dogs, I guess. I still like Andruw.
    3. Phils
    4. Armageddon, thus cancelling the World Series
    5. Red Sox

  14. Can’t do it-not an American League team!

    As a big fan of MLB history, I like the story better when the Dodgers are in the mix. I hope to be telling Dodger stories that match Torre’s Yankees.

    Holding my nose, but rooting for Manny.

  15. I’m rooting for the Rays beating the Dodgers in the WS. As others have pointed out, a Boston/Philly series is the worst scenario to come out of these play-offs. If it comes to a Boston/Philly series I think I would just ignore everybody else and root for Mark Kotsay to get a ring because he was pretty good for us this year and why the heck not. The only benefit to Phillies winning is how annoyed it would make Mets fans… but as it would annoy me too I’m not sure I could fully enjoy their fury (I have a good friend who is a Mets fan and her quote of the day is: “if the Phillies make the world series, I’m organizing a road trip to Philly that involves beer, gasoline and matches.”).

    Also, in the ex-Braves I’d be happy for if they won a ring Dodgers camp would be Furcal, Andruw, and of course Maddux.

    So my order is:
    1. Rays
    2. Dodgers (I recall the rivalry as well, but I also have family who are Dodgers fans and for their sake, and how much I dislike the other two teams, and for Furcal, Andruw, and Maddux’s sake)
    3. Mark Kotsay
    4. Phillies (which is to say I wouldn’t root for the Phillies because that is SICK!)

  16. #20

    Me too, Mac…me too.

    CharlesP…you just made a very compelling point about Maddux. While I am not Furcal or Andruw fan and could care less if they get another ring, I would root for Greg to get another ring.

    With the Maddux factor thrown in, the Dodgers are my clear #2 behind Tampa.

    By the way, the point about not being able to “root for the American League” is a fair point, but as the Tampa Rays are new in the playoffs, young and have no rivalry or animosity at all with the Braves, and the fact that we have a lot of animosity, perceived or real with the other 3 teams, rooting for Tampa outweighs my normal national league bias.

    If the Brewers could have somehow survived the Philly series, I could have pulled for Milwaukee, being the Braves former home and the fact that Baseball’s horrible commissioner is not officially associated with them anymore.

    Oh, and Mac, you have a policy of A) blocking cursing and B) blocking political discussions and I think you should add a 3rd amendment – C) blocking any nice things ever being said about that so-called man, Scott Boras, a man who has singlehandedly ruined the game of Baseball more than anyone.

  17. I normally would root for a “traditional” World Series but I can’t root for the Red Sox ever again–or at least not for 86 years. I am, however, reconsidering my anti-LA stance; Phillies fans are too annoying. The Braves rivalry with LA has been over for years and it would be nice for Vin Scully to get one more World Series.

  18. #21

    Jamie Kotsay in a champaigne drenched white shirt is a compelling defense of the Red Sox.

  19. It is true that the Met fans around here are really hating on the Phillies.

    Last week, I went into the deli loaded with Met-fan clerks. They all informed me that their worst-case scenario was Phillies vs. Anybody. They were rooting for the Cubs. (These people poison everything!)

    I should hate the Phillies more than I do, but I kinda like some of their players (when they’re not bludgeoning the Braves). I’ve heard horror stories about opposing fans going to games in Philly, but I’ve never had any bad experiences.

    Also, I have some cousins in Eastern Pa., who are genuine Phillie Phanatics, and it’s true: I don’t think they’d know what to do if the Phils actually won.

  20. Well, I’m pretty sure he’s a man. Never was a woman that ugly.

    Andruw and Furcal don’t have WS rings. (Andruw has several NL rings.) Maddux does have a WS ring.

  21. The Rays are fun to watch, but Greg Maddux, Andruw and, yes, even Furcal, are family. Dodgers over Rays in seven would be a delightful outcome to this south Georgia swamp cracker.

  22. Yeah, I’m rooting for the Rays and Phillies, I guess. What the hell, it wouldn’t hurt the losingest franchise in professional sports to win another championship.

    By the way, starting first baseman, Boston Red Sox: Mark Kotsay. Now there’s a way to overlook his crappy defense!

  23. By the way, what’s the over/under on number of additional home runs Andruw Jones hits before he retires?

    10? 100? Who the hell knows? What do you guys think?

  24. #30: I’d say 20. If he has a poor year next year he may be out of baseball by 2010.

    Hard to believe Furcal had never won a playoff series until this week. (He was injured when we beat the ‘stros in ’01.)

  25. I imagine if the Dodgers win it all, they will, spray Furcal with apple juice. You wouldn’t want to tempt the guy.

    It’s like Mac and I were talking earlier about the fact that David Duchovny was “released” today from sex camp, errrrrr, I mean, “sex rehabilitation”…I joked that his wife Tea Leoni is going to have to use ‘parental controls’ now on his laptop so he can’t surf for porn and all movies and cable will be removed from his house, save for like PBS and Disney.

  26. I understand that even upstandanding pillars of the community like Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, Bobby Dews and our President may have abused substances upon occasion.

    Bill Clinton, however, never inhaled. I don’t remember if i inhaled or not. The late 60’s and early 70’s seem to have disappeared from my memory.

  27. I have to argue with Bush being a pillar of society, a pillar of cow manure perhaps……

  28. sorry Mac, couldnt help it, it was like a Jo Jo Reyes fastball right down the middle, couldnt help but take a hack at it

  29. I really liked Andruw and Furcal, and I don’t dislike them, but I don’t cheer for them either. I just don’t like the idea of a guy (Andruw) that I still consider to be a Brave winning with another team. Its painful. No thanks. If Maddux want to win another World Series he can come back to Atlanta and do it.

  30. Furcal and Andruw both wore at various times my personal ‘favorite Brave’ crown and I wouldn’t mind at all if they got a ring with another team.

    But I still find it impossible to root for the Dodgers. I’m not physically able to do it. So bring on the Rays-Phils World Series.

    Leftfielder of preference, anyone?


  31. Andruw was THE defensive centerfielder for a decade. I liked Furcal too. If either the Rays or Dodgers win, I’ll be happy. If neither do, I really don’t care anyway.

    Here’s who I’d get to play left field, were the price right:

    1. Ryan Braun
    2. Magglio Ordonez
    3. Xavier Nady
    4. Jason Bay
    5. Jeremy Hermida (I know he bats left-handed, but still …)

    Don Sutton told us about wishes and buts, but it’s the off season.

  32. My formative years were spent in an area that was split between Tigers and Brewers fans but even as a youth I knew that the DH was just wrong. Basically I’m a Braves fan because of Skip, Pete, and Ernie. It certainly wasn’t the quality of baseball – I was only seven in 1982.

    Moved out west later but by then I was hooked.

  33. My Auburn buddies were CERTAIN that Tony Franklin would be gone this week.

    Hasn’t happened yet (but it’s only Tuesday) …

    Bad match.

  34. I’m quite intrigued with how Andruw does next year, because it isn’t the normal way people decline with getting slow and declining bat speed.

    He just seems to have a massive mechanical problem with his swing and his ass falling out of it. If he sorts it out he could become decent again, but it’s a question of whether he finds someone to give him the correct tips and him actually listening to them.

  35. I think Auburn is to blame for their offensive woes and not Tony Franklin. I agree it was a bad match, but I don’t think he’s getting a fair shot.

  36. Fun Frenchy stat of the day:

    Since World War II, there have been only 3 seasons in which a starting right fielder (with at least 600 PA) posted an OPS of .653 or lower: Jeff Francoeur in 2008, Bob Bailor on the awful pre-Bobby Cox 1978 Blue Jays, and Al Cowens on the 1976 Kansas City Royals (in a much-depressed offensive environment).

  37. When Fulmer goes, the rumor is Tennessee will go after:

    1) Bill Cowher
    2) Bob Stoops
    3) Will Muschamp

    So I guess Muschamp will be our next coach.

  38. i’ve been a redsox fan since i was a kid and people told me stories good and bad about Ted Williams.(and i actually got to see him hit in a couple spring games) anyway, i’d already picked the Braves for no apparent reason so i had to have an AL team to break my heart every year.i have no ties to Boston and only know a couple other sox fans. these last few years have made it almost worth the wait. i tried being neutral when the Braves and Sox play, but i catch myself wanting the Braves to win………..oh, and as much fun as Manny is to watch, the Dodgers must die.

  39. #53

    Not that I expect the same from Jeff Francoeur, but I remember that Al Cowens bounced back pretty well the next season. He had a career year, finished high in the AL MVP voting & the Royals won the AL West again.

    Of course, they blew it to the Yankees (again) after going into the last inning of the deciding ALCS game with the lead.

    And Bob Bailor was a prized Orioles farmhand who they lost in the expansion draft to Toronto. In the ’60s & ’70s, it seemed that the Orioles (and the Dodgers, actually) were just overloaded with young talent & they couldn’t keep everybody.

  40. Cowens did, actually, have a pretty nice year the next year. I guess what surprised me the most is that there have only been 3 such seasons in the past 65 years. Right fielders just don’t do that — and when they do, they’re sure as hell not given 600 PA to prove how bad they are.

  41. The Red Sox have been my AL team and I am not stopping now….Somehow I think that there is a danger that the World Series will turn into Manny ball….All that said, its hard not to like the Rays….

  42. C) blocking any nice things ever being said about that so-called man, Scott Boras, a man who has singlehandedly ruined the game of Baseball more than anyone.

    I don’t understand this line of thought. Boras is just getting his clients paid, which only seems fair seeing how the owners are raking in billions of dollars on TV deals alone.

  43. All Boras does is makes it harder for teams to keep their young stars, which in turn disappoints fans tremendously when they go play for someone else. The players who sign Boras know what it means, and they do it for a reason though. He sucks balls, but he’s not to blame for anything, he does his job amazingly well and within the rules. Even if Boras told him to tank, it was Manny who actually did it.

  44. Well if you believe the conspiracy theorists, Boras convinced Manny that the Red Sox hated him and that he wasn’t appreciated- this was so that his option would not be picked up and he would get a new contract, which works great for Boras seeing how he can only get paid with a new contract (since he wasn’t Manny’s agent during this one).

    Also being from Tampa- go Rays! Can’t believe they’d ever amount to this- it’s tough to root for anyone past the Braves, but I’m glad for them and happy for the city.

  45. Well, Boras may not get as much as he wants this year as the economic meltdown is likely to affect ticket sales next season I would expect. Some of these contracts may be substantially lower.

  46. Well, Boras may not get as much as he wants this year as the economic meltdown is likely to affect ticket sales next season I would expect. Some of these contracts may be substantially lower.

  47. FRranklin has been off limits to the media this week, I say if we lose to Arkansas he’s gone.

    Franklin has to bear a large share of the blame for the offense. He has a disturbing loyalty to Todd and his play calling has been mind boggling. He keeps running QB option runs WITH TODD.

  48. From the official site in a story about Brett Butler:

    “In 1982, while he was bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and the Majors, Butler was befriended by the late Skip Caray. The longtime broadcaster bought him a round-trip ticket to Richmond, Va., so he could see his daughter, Addie, for the first time.

    “That was the kind of person Skip was,” Butler said.”

    Just another piece of the legend, I guess.

  49. #54

    cowher is waiting for either:

    1.) O’Brien to wear out his welcome in Raleigh

    2.) Butch to leave UNC for greener pastures

    he’s played in the area and he has a MASSIVE house now in Apex i think. that’s pretty much between Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

    heck, the biggest rumor i’ve heard is tennessee firing fulmer and going hard after Butch. he wont go (i mean if he didn’t go to Arkansas…his alma mater…then why tennessee? we’re paying him ALOT right now and he’s got a good thing going in Chapel Hill).

    I think that Muschamp is their best bet, but they may want a proven coach. Cutcliffe, with what he’s doing at Duke…AT DUKE…is the best bet.

  50. I don’t really have a problem with Boras. The issue is that both the players and the managers have their own interests at heart rather than the interests of baseball. If it was the other way, you’d have some kind of massive revenue sharing arrangement and players allocated according to something resembling a fantasy auction keeper league, where each team has a fixed amount of money to spend every year, forefits whatever they don’t spent, and signs players to deals upon winning them. Well, maybe not exactly that, since it’d be nice for players to be able to have some say in where they play their home games, but it would be radically different from what we actually have.

    What we have instead is an adversarial system where both groups are looking out for themselves rather than the long-term interests of the sport. Why else would we have the wild card and crap like that?

    To go briefly off on a tangent, the wild card, to me, is like the reality TV of baseball. It was a cheap and easy thing to do that creates pointless drama but doesn’t actually make for a better product. What I mean by that is that, while both the wild card and reality shows generate a lot of public interest (ticket sales, TV viewers, ratings, etc.) and line the pockets of ownership/TV companies, they (IMO) hurt the core of the industry. In the case of baseball, it generates substantially more random (and therefore less talented) WS winners. It cheapens the regular season quite a bit, IMO. In the case of television, reality TV is detrimental to our culture, IMO. It feeds people’s desires to be petty and gossipy and is often times borderline gladitorial. So while both are good for the bottom line of each, I would be much happier if baseball teams were forced to win at least a 4 or 5-man division (or, better yet, a 7 or 8 team division!) rather than just slip in the back door and ride a hot 3 weeks to a championship. Similarly, I’d be happier if networks were forced to shell out some bucks to produce shows that had quality writing.

    Of course, not all of these problems are exclusive results of the wild card or reality TV. I mean, the 2006 Cardinals were division winners (although that, too, could be helped by returning to bigger divisions), and crap like 24 continues to generate top ratings despite being scripted like a mid-day soap opera with big guns, poison gas, and worse acting.

    But, my point is that, err…. oh, yeah. Boras is a symptom of the way the game is structured in baseball, and there’s nothing anyone can really do about it, since the two parties that COULD do something about it are more concerned (and defensibly so) about their own financial well-being that the purity of the sport that pays them oh so well.

  51. I’m a grad student at State right now, and if there was any way they could get Cower here, they’d show O’Brien the door yesterday.

    (Also, Apex is actually just SW of Raleigh; it’s closer to 40 minutes to get to Chapel Hill from there.)

  52. Right on, MRaver. I’m a traditionalist, I guess; but I too would prefer four eight-team divisions and a playoff system that required playoff contenders to ahave actually won their division. However, I fear that milk is spilt.

    I guess Boston is the last best hope for greed, avarice and the American way this year, both as the big money team and wild card entry. I would make them play every game of the ALCS in Tampa, if i were king.

  53. I think the best option for Tennessee if they were to fire Fulmer would be Jim Grobe. He is an experienced and successful head coach in a major conference; plus he has recruited across the Southeast.

  54. Coop:
    I’m all about tradition, but agree that milk is spilt. The wild card, in any league, is about another round of television revenue. I don’t believe any part of baseball is willing to forfeit that money.

  55. Eight four-team divisions is probably the best remaining option. That would leave the current three rounds of playoffs as is.

    With the economy appearing bleak for the foreseeable future, geographic alignment could cut down on travel costs, especially if we could scrap the inter-league play for a time. Some traditional rivalries might disappear, but new ones would emerge in time. An Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Washington division wouldn’t be too shabby.

    While we’re at it, let’s scrap the DH and add a 26th player to MLB rosters to soothe the union’s pains. If’s and but’s, candy and nuts. Merry Christmas.

  56. No way Cutcliffe comes back to Tennessee, especially if Fulmer is gone. Everyone was kind of happy to see him go. Butch Davis wouldn’t even really be on Tennessee’s radar. People around here think he is a crook and that he will get us put on probation.

  57. A break for UT this weekend: According to AJC, Dawgs’ LB Ellerbe probably still out with a knee issue. Not sure how many stunts you’ll see from Akeem Dent, so if I’m Fulmer I keep chuckin’ it & hope for the best.

  58. Two words for Tennessee: Mike. Shula.

    Lane Kiffen could be had. He was the SC OC for two years and you wouldn’t believe all the different ways he knows how to run a WR screen. A couple of times we even gained some yards.

    And there is no way that Vols fans could be as crazy as his previous employer.

    -This message paid for by the Committee To Keep Lane Kiffen From Ever Setting Foot On SC’s Campus Again-

  59. Ahem…

    A Thought Experiment: (To get away from football for a minute.)

    The padres call you (new position, Frank Wren’s barber, with authority to make trades), and say Peavy is available.

    What do you offer them?

  60. Diaz, Hanson, Gorkys Hernandez, and Lillibridge.

    I know Diaz isn’t worth a lot. But we’re likely—I hope—to non-tender him, anyway, and he does add some value. Besides, I don’t think a Hanson/Hernandez/Lillibridge package is a bad way to start the negotiations, anyway.

  61. Are the Padres looking for prospects or players?

    I’d give a great deal to land a healthy Peavy.

    If we somehow manage to hang around through August next year, can you imagine Peavy and a rejuvenated Hudson at the top of our rotation?

    In the words of Susan Sarandon, “Oh my!”

  62. Stu @ 84,

    On Diaz:

    I have been a fan. I appreciate his hustle and liked the fact that the Braves seemed to get a good one for nothing.

    IF I knew he could handle left field (the fielding part) as well as he has the past few years, I would tender him a one year contract and accept the arb. IF he has lost a little mobility, he is only useful as a RH pinch hitter / 5th outfielder / emergency catcher / second or third 1 B. And, for the Yankees to pay him 2.5 million or whatever for that is one thing. The Braves can’t afford to go there.

  63. Further on Diaz, Eric Karabell (ESPN fantasy guy) listed him as a likely turn around guy for next year.

  64. On Peavy, I am scared of his arm (or anybody else’s that has thrown a bunch or is expensive). I feel like the no trade Peavy has will box both the Padres (can’t take the best deal) and the acquiring team (have to extend or guarantee the option year) in a bad position.

    I am very firm tht I would rather deemphasize 2009 than hinder 2010, 2011, 2012, etc by a trade. That means I don’t want us to lose Hanson.

  65. Mac, @89,

    I know his knee re-hab went awful. Are you thinking it either won’t let him move or will make him too ineffective?

  66. Cliff, I like Diaz, too. I would hope the Padres like him as much as we do. But if we have a Pat Burrell type in LF, $2.5 million is too much to pay for a good pinch-hitter.

  67. btw, Tony Franklin has been fired. Not really a fair shake in my opinion, but they have been terrible

  68. A Bull Durham sequel? Jeesh, I dont think there is enough Botox for Sarandon and Costner

  69. So, Mac, the no-politics thing…I’d think it should apply to names, too, lest it get unseemly.

  70. If you could make a sequel to any sacred sports movie, what would it be?

    My pick: “White Men Still Can’t Jump,” about a prison basketball game (so they could get Wesley Snipes), with Woody Harrelson as a criminal in another prison who gets himself transferred to Snipes’ joint so they can hustle on the inside, Ving Rhames as the Shaq-like dominator on the other major prison pickup team, and Jon Voight as the evil prison warden who makes money by shaving points on the games before Woody transfers in.

    You guys?

  71. Lest we throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s remember that the innovative offense that Franklin tried to steal, package and market is currently going great guns in Lubbock, TX.

    Franklin’s a bum.

    The offense is still pretty valid.

  72. How about an updated “North Dallas Forty”, docudrama style:

    Jerry Jones — Burt Reynolds
    Wade Phillips — Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Terrell Owens — Djimon Hounsou
    Tony Romo — Christian Bale
    Adam Jones — 50 Cent
    Jessica Simpson — Ashlee Simpson

    and since John Matuszak parlayed his appearance in the original into an actual acting career, maybe there’s a spot for Tony Siragusa….

  73. Frankliln may not be that smart, but Tubby hired him and its his fault that their in this situation.

  74. just now on PTI, Richard Justice just said the following:

    “Furcal brings professionalism into the clubhouse, and everybody loves Kent”

  75. Auburn is in a tricky position, because we don’t have the receivers or QBs to really run the spread, yet they can’t recruit them without running it, apparently.

    Franklin may have sped up his dismissal with his love for Todd. The players were mumbling before the season started that there was a clear winner in the QB race, but the coaches kept pushing for a 2 QB system. I have a feeling that was Franklin pushing for Todd. But I am probably very wrong.

  76. I’m fine. (I’m not supporting the guy you’re insulting.) But there’s a pretty explicit no-politics rule here, and I think it should apply to all forms of expression. If anyone said, “John McCain is incontinent and incompetent” in the comments, he’d be asked not to do it again.

  77. @103-

    I wouldn’t blame Franklin, because I don’t actually think Auburn is running “his” offense. They’re running some half-assed version of it, because apparently he hasn’t done a very good job of selling the other coaches on it and they’re not on board, including the head coach. Tuberville’s basically on record as saying they’re just going to run the ball first and set up the pass, but that’s the opposite of the Franklin offense. Given Auburns tradition he was probably just the wrong guy to hire, and I’m curious as to who’s idea it was. I just don’t think they ever bought in and gave him free reign to run his system, which involves a lot of quick short passes. His is a passing spread, not a running spread and Auburn has not been pass first all season.

    It’s water under the bridge now, but I don’t think Auburn’s failing is all his fault.

  78. Perhaps, ububba, but it started off as Alzheimer’s ’08, so I assumed that each subsequent iteration was a barb from the same side. Either way, it’s political and invites more political-ness, IMO. Of course, it’s not my O that matters—just thought I’d raise the issue.

  79. Incontinence & Incompetence ’08!

    Driving home yesterday I was behind a older Camry that had two bumper stickers. One read “God Bless Sarah America” and the other read “Sarah Palin VP ’08 Pres ’12”

    It was a middle aged white guy driving the car. I found it interesting that he wasn’t even willing to give McCain the second term before promoting the erstwhile moose hunter.

    Not trying to cross the No Politics line but I found that guy really interesting. Of course his, nor my, vote really counts since we live in California.

  80. this appears to be the only safe place i can comment about Auburn since a casual comment i made a couple weeks ago, “damn, Bama looks like a badass team, i’m gad we played them last year” caused a mini-war here. my wife never attended Auburn, but she was raised in that culture . her dad and uncle played fotball there so i’m reserving my comments about their slow, boring team to this site

  81. Yeah, let’s talk about Auburn instead of politics. If you like, I just put up a great long post at Thomason Tracts, you can talk about that there.

    I have no idea what Auburn is going to do on Saturday. How do you fire your coordinator on a Wednesday? You’re still going to have to run his offense.

  82. I don’t hate much on Terence Moore. In fact, sometimes I like his style. I think of it as free jazz writing — the sudden shifts in tone and rhythm can be jarring, but I like the challenge of not knowing what sentence, phrase, or even word might come next, even as he pursues his typical hobbyhorses.

    But then I read a sentence like this:

    “Those Braves reached the World Series, and during it, Lemke wasn’t obscure anymore after hitting .417.”

    How many tenses does Moore employ here? Four? My god, it is just torturous.

  83. good question mac………..kinda like how does your OC quit to take a job at Georgia and still be coaching the team for a national championship game a few weeks later?.then he changes the #1, wide open offense in the country, lines the team up tight in the I- formation and tries to slug it out with Oklahomas #1 defense. …….i know Richt is a decent guy, but i’ll never forgive him for that. when a coach resigns, you should be changing the locks on his office by noon.

  84. If I were running Auburn — well, then, I wouldn’t have a soul, but for the sake of argument — I would have waited until after the Arkansas game, and then installed the option during the bye week. Auburn isn’t going to beat anybody throwing the ball, their best bet is to put Burns in and run it 45 times a gain.

  85. This is a good PR move. Arkansas is wretched, Auburn could beat them running the wishbone with ten guys. So they make a move, they bust up Arkansas, and the fans think everything is back on track. Then with the fans off their back, they have the bye week to try to actually fix things.

  86. Running the wishbone is extremely complicated. A simple option package, however, will work; the option has always worked on the college level, and it will always work, the problem is getting the recruits.

  87. You can’t fix slow but you can minimize the effects of slow, especially if you’re strong, which Auburn is. Auburn needs to just pick an idea and stick to it. It’s going to be ugly more often than not, but they have a talent advantage in a lot of their games and ought to be able to parlay that into victories if they stop getting in their own way.

  88. can you fix that offensive line?? Seriously though, how could Tubby expect someone to come in and change the offense from a two tight end/running back system to a spread offense in one, well not even that, half season? It cant happen

    Tubby got all excited about saying the word spread that he forgot it might take a while. Franklin, however, made some bad decisions and the offense got worse week to week. They have 4 decent playmakers on offense in Dunn, Fannin, Lester, and Tate and they had all 4 at wide out positions. (and the latter 3 cant hold onto a football) Unreal….

  89. #118–I looked for confirmation last night, but I was without luck. Someone on Talking Chop got the info out before Shanks….

  90. Back to baseball, if Towers called me up and said Peavy was available, I’d offer Francoeur, Reyes, and Lillibridge and hope he didn’t hang up.

    In all likelihood, to get a true, bonafide ace, it would probably take Hanson, one of Schafer/Heyward, and a promising A-ball pitcher. Steep price for one player. I’d be inclined to make a deal if it didn’t cost Schafer/Heyward/Freeman, even if Hanson *was* included. But I doubt Towers will be looking to give Peavy away.

  91. I’d love to get Peavy. Greinke doesn’t have Jake’s history, but he’d probably cost less in prospects; and Kansas City has an affinity for Braves players. If we could get them both, I’d be happy, but I think getting neither is a more likely outcome.

  92. I wouldn’t hesitate to trade Hanson to get Peavy, but I am sure that the Braves would have to give up one other star prospect. I wonder if we could trade Gorkys, Hanson and two lesser (maybe Lillibridge and Jo Jo or Lyman–to give them some California players) for Peavy. I can’t imagine the Padres would go for it….

  93. Dal Canton arrived in 1975, my second full year as a fan, and just as the franchise crashed. He was one of several veteran stopgaps we used to try and fill out a rotation behind Niekro and Morton, along with Blue Moon Odom and Ray Sadecki. I remember Ernie Sr. sounding excited about Odom and Sadecki — I had to take his word for it, because I’d never heard of anybody at that point. Dal Canton wasn’t as highly regarded, but ended up being a decent pitcher on two awful Braves teams. Which is funny for me to see now, because I had always lumped him in with the other two, who were clearly washed up.

    Looking at the 1975 BBRef page, we probably thought we had a decent staff going into the season. Knucksie, Morton, Capra fresh off an ERA title, and Ron Reed. Then we traded Reed and Capra got hurt a week later, and the carousel of suck began.

  94. If we could get them both, I’d be happy…

    That’s how I’d feel, too, Coop, multiplied by about a million.

  95. There is an informative article for BA subscribers on the Braves international signees this year.

  96. We signed a lot more international players (and spent a lot more money in the process) than anyone else in the NL East, that’s for sure.

  97. “The Braves didn’t dish out any seven-figure bonuses, but they made a strong impact in Latin America by acquiring two high-profile talents and diversifying by signing a solid mix of players. A 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Perez’s body doesn’t have much projection, but his present fastball velocity is already at 90-92 mph with a good breaking ball and a solid changeup. Perez, who hails from Santo Domingo, also has a good feel for pitching. Last year the Braves landed Columbian righthander Julio Teheran for $850,000, and they were active again in Columbia this year. Gamboa is a right fielder with above-average power from the left side and a strong throwing arm with good defensive skills. Garcia is a big kid at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, but he’s a 70 runner who can play center field. He’s a switch-hitter with plenty of tools, showing a good arm and power.

    Silva’s $225,000 signing bonus was the highest given to a Panamanian player this season. His 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame oozes projection, though he also has a solid feel for pitching already. His 87-89 mph fastball should increase as he fills out his frame, and he should continue to improve an average curve and feel for a changeup. De Los Santos has good hands and range at shortstop and a feel for hitting. Castillo and Nin each have good fastballs, though Nin relies more heavily on his two-seamer to get outs.

    The Braves also signed Panamanian catcher Christian Betancourt in March. Betancourt, who like Reds outfielder Juan Duran was born Sept. 2, 1991, signed for $600,000. Behind the plate he has an outstanding arm and consistently records above-average pop times. He has a good feel for the strike zone with gap power and was solid as a 16-year-old in the Dominican Summer League, batting .267/.328/.371 in 34 games. Betancourt was also a member of the Panamanian team at the Little League World Series in 2004 that reached the international semifinal.

    The Braves dipped into Taiwan as well in July, giving low six-figure bonuses to a pair of 18-year-olds, righthander Wei Cheng Huang and catcher Meng Hsiu Tsai. Huang is a strike-thrower with a fastball, curve and changeup; Tsai has some pop with good catch-and-throw skills.”

    They also have a mock draft up, which has us getting Matt Purke, which makes no sense as he isn’t from Georgia. Donavan Tate goes one pick earlier, which is probably just as well,

    “Barden said Tate reminds him of a current member of the Atlanta Braves who was a two-sport star in high school at Parkview.

    “He’s a lot like [Jeff] Francoeur,” Barden said. “He can run and throw and hit home runs. He may be a top five pick in baseball.””

  98. Which recent Braves numbers do you think will be retired?

    No doubt list (in order of sureness):



    The best pitcher of his generation
    and arguable all-time. Spending significant time with other teams is the only thing that casts any doubt on his number 31 being retired. If he goes in the HOF with an A on his cap he’ll probably have his number retired.


    The Braves haven’t retired any managers numbers but if they’ll do it for anyone it’ll probably be Bobby.


    Andruw Jones

    Was always a dissapointment to a large segment of fans despite his exceptional play. I think he deserves it but don’t really expect to see him gain this honor.


    Mark Lemke

    Didn’t do enough to earn a retirement but there is the off chance that enough Braves fans take to his crappy announcing skills and mount a campgain to have his number retired for his playoff clutchitude and announcing “contributions”. Basically, this is my chance to say that Mark Lemke = teh suk.

  99. Stu’s got the gist of the article in his post. There are two young Columbian outfielders that sound promising. It appears the Braves are leading the way in finding talent in Panama too. Overall there were nine players signed to deals in the six figure range.

  100. Mr. Swings,

    Numbers 10, 29, 47, 31 & 6 are gimmes, IMO.

    They’re all future Hall of Famers who will go into Cooperstown with that A on their caps. Of course, their numbers will be retired.

    Can’t tell you about #25 yet. I’d lean toward his number’s retirement, however, if not his Hall of Fame status at the moment.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if #16 was retired, but we got a long way to go on that one.

    Re: SEC Grid Note
    For UGA/Vandy people. Game time next week still undecided, either 12:30 or 8 pm ESPN game.


  101. Stu’s got the gist of the article in his post. There are two young Columbian outfielders that sound promising. It appears the Braves are leading the way in finding talent in Panama too. Overall there were nine players signed to deals in the six figure range.

    Good news is hard to come by these days but I like this a lot. This is a much better way to use extra cash than signing free agents to long term, overpriced deals.

  102. Yep, growing your own, as they say, is cheaper & way better in the long run.

    Usually, I much prefer the night games, but I’m with you on that 12:30 start time this go ’round. I gotta travel to Minnesota that morning & go out that night. I like the idea of chilling in the hotel & watching the game on my laptop.

    Last year, I watched the UGA/Florida game in a Minneapolis hotel room & I was jumping on the bed like a 10-year old.

  103. I would pay money to see ububba jumping on a hotel bed cheering for the ‘Dawgs. Just not against Florida…

  104. One time I was in a Dallas hotel room watching the Devils play Philly in a big NHL playoff game. Claude Lemieux scored an impossible goal through Ron Hextall & I was on the bed whoopin’ & hollerin’.

    In about 15 seconds, the maid opened the door, stuck her head in the room, saw me on the bed in my boxers & socks and said, “Are you OK?”

    “Yeah,” I said, “I’m just happy.”

  105. I’m also digging the Braves increased foreign investment mentioned above. It is a good way to build value without spending a lot of money and it has the added bonus of mirroring the demographic changes that are occurring across the state and region, which can only help grow the brand. Which, in turn, will help give us the resources needed to win.

  106. yep…..the braves should invest whatever spare change they have laying around in sending a team of scouts into the Peruvian Andes…………i hear theres an untapped well of Incan power hitters.

  107. What is this “body projects” crap?

    Does Lincecum’s body “project”? Give me talent every time.

    Maybe this explains why this new wave of talent we keep waiting on never seems to arrive.

  108. ububba,
    There is zero chance you will post a VU-related article before I’ve already seen and read it. :)

    PS: Unconfirmed word around campus is that VU’s about to lock Bobby Johnson up with something like a 5-year, $14 million extension with a sizeable buyout. Smart move—we’ve got the money, and we want to show him he’s loved before the other suiters come calling.

    PPS: An interesting question was raised yesterday on one of the VU message boards I frequent: Will this awful economy prevent schools—especially state schools—from being so willing to pay these ridiculous buyouts for coaches?

  109. I guess it would just depend on whether the school is making money off the football team or not. A team like Notre Dame’s that is able to support itself probably wouldn’t have a problem with paying a buyout. Smaller schools might not be able to absorb the hit.

    As for the coaches buyouts if they want to leave, the economy wouldn’t likely make a difference because they wouldn’t go unless the new job was going to net them more money.

    Somehow though I dont think the economy is going to affect college football coaches’ salaries much at all

  110. #169

    that is until Lincecum’s arm falls off…

    he has given the Giants 1.5 good years and with the # of innings he’s thrown, his body probably thinks it has been 5.

    gimme a guy who’s 6’3″ 230 lbs with an arm, and he will probably last 15 years pitching 200 innings a year. while he probably wont be like Lincecum in terms of #s, but he will be a .600 pitcher for a LONG time.

  111. I was really talking about a case like UT’s, where they might have to buy Phil Fulmer’s contract out ($6 million) to fire him.

    And I didn’t say it would affect the salaries themselves (although I think it’s wrong to assume it won’t).

  112. Very interesting article Mike. Though I think they’re using the raw figures for salary and not accounting for injury insurance and portions of salary covered by other teams… still fascinating breakdown.

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