95 thoughts on “Open thread”

  1. Strange list by DOB

    By David O’Brien

    February 1, 2009 6:51 PM | Link to this

    DOB—Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has a column up this morning that there are 227 major-league players that are out of options going into spring training. This exact figure would imply that there’s a list of said players; do you have access to that list, and if so, who are the Braves that are going to have to be kept or released?Tom

    Tom, ask and you shall receive (at least when I can make it happen). Here’s the list of out-of-options Braves, in alphabetical order: Anderson, Boyer, Gonzalez, Lowe, Lerew, Norton, Ross, Soriano, Stockman. [end quote]

    Why he would include Lowe and Gonzalez, and not include Chipper, who knows. I am surprised that Anderson doesn’t have at least 1 option year left.

    But, this means that Boyer, Larew, & Stockman are battling for roster spots. The rest of our young pitchers can be sent to Richmond.

    I really prefer to keep Stockman and Boyer, but if they are moved for outfield help, I am o.k. with it.

  2. i stated this on ajc’s website, but the braves have between 31 and 33 “true” candidates for the 25 man roster:

    starting pitching:
    lowe-secured spot
    vazquez-secured spot
    kawakami-secured spot
    jurrjens-secured spot

    kotchman-secured spot
    kj-secured spot
    escobar-secured spot
    chipper-secured spot
    prado- secured (unless traded)
    infante-secured spot
    mccann-secured spot
    ross- secured spot

    francoeur- unfotunately, secured spot
    diaz- secured spot
    norton-secured spot

    gonzalez-secured spot
    soriano-secured spot
    boyer-secured spot
    acosta-secured spot
    moylan-secured spot

    20 secured spots, with 13 to 15 competing for 5 spots. If the braves are going to lose some of these guys anyway, the time to trade is now. prado, campillo,carlyle, bennett, and anderson have some value. who needs a center fielder and a utility player?

  3. Ryan, Andruw and Tommy are not Braves at the moment. So they do not count. Lots of those guys have options left, so we don’t need to worry about losing them.

    I am surprised we still have option on Brandon Jones.

  4. hence the double question marks and hence the 31-33….although it should be 32-34. i think it’s inevitable that we sign both of those guys.

  5. I guess everybody underestimated that Cardinals team a little bit heading into the playoff.

    The Falcons loss to the Cards do not look bad at all now.

  6. ryan, my point is that the Braves have options on most of the question marks you listed above. Even if they do not trade away any of those guys, they are not going to lose anybody significant.

    I actually do not expect neither Andruw nor Tommy to be back. The chance of Ohman coming back is actually greater imo.

  7. Awesome game. That half-ending TD was just plain ridiculous. Harrison runs like B-mac. I can’t believe he made it to the end zone.

  8. The half-ending TD was pretty bad. Someone’s gotta knock that guy down. That’s what killed Arizona.

  9. Really, really good game, though a lot of the penalties were pretty dumb, especially early on. The roughing the passer was especially ticky-tac.

  10. I was pulling for the Cards, so I didn’t know if my view of penalties was a little skewed – but it really seemed lopsided in the penalty dept early. It evened out later, but it didn’t appear that the big penalties on the Steelers were ‘makeup’ calls or anything.
    And I know that it wouldn’t necessarily have changed the final outcome b/c it would still have taken a desperation play at the end – but I thought Warner’s arm was moving forward on the last fumble…

  11. I learned this morning that Ken Whisenhunt worshipped at the church where my wife and I are members when he was a Vanderbilt assistant coach in the mid-’90s. Given that, I’m sure he now realizes it was preordained that he would lose…

  12. FWIW, I’m surprised they didn’t review Arizona’s last play. I thought it was an incomplete pass. Could have had one last Hail Mary.

    Edit: I just saw Johnathan’s post, and I agree with him.

  13. Mac @ 2,

    Yeah, I thought Chipper couldn’t be sent to the minors, but why wasn’t he listed as “out of options if DOB was were going to list Lowe?

    I thought after they were called up, each year counted off an option year even if they weren’t actually optioned.

    Plus, IF the “227 players across MLB out of options” is correct, then it must not mean much if names like these are the names we are talking about.

  14. Assuming 7 bull pen, 25 man roster spots.

    1. Gonzo

    2. Soriano

    3. Moylan

    (I really think one of them will start year on 15 day disabled list, but neither on 60 day. We will see).

    4. Lefty (Ohman if signed, if not one of Logan, Ridgeway, or O’Flaherty, but all of them apparently still have options. By naming these 3 “lower lefties”, I don’t mean to say they are better than the next few, but they are more probable to make the roster).

    5. Bennett. Pretty good pitcher. Can do long work. Makes sense.

    6. Boyer.

    7. Carlyle, 3rd lefty, Stockman?

    Meaning, Gwinnett will have an awesome bullpen to go with an awesome rotation if a good bit of this talent isn’t traded.

    Also meaning, we probably need to move pitching to get something out of it. The Cardinals look like the best trading partner. They have riches where we are poorest (outfield) and they need some pitching. If they are now cold on trading Ludwick, one of Barden or Ivanhoa would still help us by strengthening the upper minors with a probably competent right handed hitting outfielder.

  15. another Super Bowl is in the books and it turned out pretty much as most people expected. the Steelers win with the differenc being a defensive touchdown……………. there were about a dozen people here to witness the unvieling of the “bacon explosion”. it came off the the smoker looking just like the picture. people circled the table warily eyeing it as if it was a hunk of raw plutonium. after i did a taste test, they attacked it like a pack of hungry otters at a sushi bar………… everyone seems to have survived although my friends from Pittsburgh appeared to slip into a pork-coma in mid 4th quarter but they recovered nicely by the end of the game.

  16. Not too much to add to Jonathon’s observations other than it felt like the Cardinals were playing at Cameron Indoor. Oy!

    Great game.

    What a total thug Harrison is. But he’s a Steeler, so I guess it’s all ok …

  17. I really would like to see Stockman get an opportunity this season. He’s got to stay healthy though

  18. csg.

    I believe Stockman could be an off the radar explosion, IF HEALTHY.

    Plus, if healthy, he could make it easier to consider trades of Bennett or Boyer (both of whom sould have trade value to a team looking for bull pen help).

  19. So – who believes David Justice?

    I do, but I’ve been disappointed before.

    On that subject, when did MLB ban steroids? When did they ban HGH?

    If somebody used either before the ban, why deny it? One of the foundational pieces of US Law is that you can’t be tried for something that wasn’t illegal at the time you did it, right?

  20. its not like these people think clearly anyways. They’re stupid for taking steroids in the 1st place and they’re even bigger idiots for lying to Congress about it

  21. Mac, have you ever seen the DVD that contains all of Costello’s music videos? It’s pretty fun. I got it on Netflix a while back and it was worth it just to hear all of Elvis’ commentary. He seemed particularly embarrassed about the way this one faded out…and I can’t say I blame him.

    If the Cards won’t trade Ludwick, we should look at Ankiel again. He’s a rental, but so is Nady – and Nady can’t play center.

  22. I just looked that up, Dix. That’s really crazy. Could you imagine watching the game, seeing Fitzgerald make that catch, and then all of a sudden, hardcore porn with a guy’s junk all over your TV. That would be awkward at a church Super Bowl party.

  23. I agree with the Ankiel idea. I think Ankiel would be cheaper than Nady, and the Cards are probably a little more desperate for… anything. But after mentioning Ankiel earlier in the offseason DOB has been silent on the matter lately, so I’m inclined to think that the rumor was just that. So it goes.

    And on penalties: I also thought the refs were Pittsburgh-biased for awhile, and we even got a line from Madden saying ‘Mike Holmgren feels Ken Wisenhunt’s pain.’

  24. Arizona’s video ode to joy.

    He was a very good player for the Braves & obviously had a great WS moment (and I’m grateful for that), but I never liked Justice, really. I found him to be an immature brat.

    Many years ago at a game at AFC Stadium, I sat next to someone who knew him well from Cincinnati and that guy essentially confirmed my feelings. I was hoping he’d say, “Oh, he’s really the nicest guy,” but he didn’t.

  25. I can’t stand Bobby Knight, but Georgia almost deserves him, especially if they decide to hire him. That ajc story really gives me the impression that Knight is a sad, sad man. It’s like he still wants vindication/validation, but he will never admit that his actions have often been very inappropriate.

  26. Early Thread Hijack:

    Resolved: The National League will be forced to soon adopt the Designated Hitter or face permanent relegation to the inferior league.

    Oui? Non?

  27. To (mis)quote Michael Bolton, why should we have to change our rules when theirs are the ones that suck?

  28. As a Vanderbilt fan, let me say that I do not want Knight in Athens. Three elite programs in one division is enough to have to deal with.

  29. Agree with you, Weldon. But that doesn’t change the fact that the American League is getting nearly all the marquee players and it’s primarily due to the DH.

    Why Bonds didn’t end up in the AL remains a mystery to me and it sure sounds like Dunn was made to be a DH.

  30. I think the AL needs to get rid of the DH. DH baseball removes the strategy from the late innings. Pitching changes, pinch hits and sacrifice plays are what make the game interesting. I feel like the DH rule would be like giving NFL teams unlimited timeouts in the fourth quarter.

  31. But does the DH really have anything to do with the AL being “superior”? I’m not a baseball historian, but I think the NL was basically dominant for twenty years after the DH was initially implemented. Is there any other evidence that correlates the DH to the rise of the AL in recent years?

  32. RE: Knight. Anyone else see the berserker gene that he passed on to his son this weekend?

    I hate the DH.

  33. If you think about it, a DH wouldn’t entirely be a good thing. It essentially means that you have to pay 10 spots on the diamond, instead of just 9. It means that you have one more guy you have to pay star dollars to, giving you less cash to spread around. It makes your team better — though not, obviously, relative to the other teams in the AL — but also gives you less financial flexibility.

  34. I’m with Weldon here, the balance of the leagues is a cyclical thing… and might I remind you that the NL actually won the World Series two of the last three years (also 3/6, and 4/8, and this despite not having home field advantage since 2001.)

    The All-Star game is an awful barometer, due to the nature of the choosing of lineups, and randomness involved in any one game, especially one game involving these kind of managerial rigors. However, since the implementation of the DH in the All-Star game the results are only 20-18-1 in favor of the AL.

    Simply put, the DH sucks, and I will stop watching Major League baseball if the NL ever adopts it.

  35. The world series has been split by the leagues over the last eight years. I don’t really understand this talk of AL dominance. It’s true that most elite players go to the AL when they are free agents, but that as more to do with the Yankees skewing the numbers. Of the teams that spend big bucks on free agents, most of them are AL clubs, but that has more to do with market sizes and ownership.

  36. Yeah, in a sense the all star game is a bit of a coin flip. Did y’all see the stat where the NFC representative to the Super Bowl has won the coin flip 12 years in a row?

  37. He (Justice) cheated on Halle Berry. What more do you need to know about the guy?

    Yeah, but the situation reminds me of a poster a friend of mine had in college that read: “No matter how good she looks, somewhere, there is a man who is tired of putting up with her $hit.”

  38. DOB has a new article up about increased optimism among the players, fans and organization. I just can’t wait till we get that bat we sorely need and hopefully retain Ohman’s services….

  39. What’s the third elite program in the SEC East?

    Something tells me Knight would fail at Georgia. I doubt he would relate well to the recruits in Atlanta. They should go after Anthony Grant.

  40. david15,

    I assume you take Florida and UK as the top 2. Tennessee is clearly the third. Has been for about 3 years, and this years struggles notwithstanding, I see no reason to assume they won’t continue to be in the near future.

    Vanderbilt’s on the verge.

    PS: “Elite” is probably the wrong word—too strong—but what I mean are programs that should fairly expect to be in the NCAA Tourney every year.

  41. There may be others, but the only marquee name I can think of that went from the AL to the NL is Manny.

    If ever there was a perfect DH, it’s Manny Ramirez.

    The fact that he quit on the Sawx seems to be having an effect on his marketability.

    Point is: it’s not just the All-Star game. The big-name talent is heading to the AL.

  42. If Dave had a problem with Halle, he should have dropped her, and I’m quite sure there would have been someone who wouldn’t have been tired of putting up with her. (Me, for example.) But running around on one of the most beautiful women in the world — and menacing her so much she had to get a restraining order on him — says a great deal about the kind of man Dave Justice is. I liked watching him play, but he’s not a good person.

  43. Most of these guys we cheer for are self-entitled jerks in real life. That’s why I’m hardly ever amazed at their off the field behavior.

    These guys were treated differently and lived within a different set of rules since it was discovered they could run, jump, and throw better than the other 3rd graders. And very few of them ever learned that there were consequences for actions.

    Is David Justice a jerk? Probably. But boy, he sure could hit baseball.

  44. Yeah, Stu, it’s definitional. I’d say elite is top ten program or higher. I’d definitely give you UK and UF, but I’m not sure UT was anything more than a one year wonder at that level. Pearl has a tough job recruiting against Calipari every year, as well.

  45. I agree with Jason. We don’t know what kind of people these athletes are that we root for. That’s why I root for the uniform and don’t really get too upset when players leave.

    Re: the difference between leagues. It’s not the all-star game or the world series that illustrates the difference; it’s the results of interleague play in which the AL has been crushing the NL.

  46. RE: 37
    Because of how long Georgia let the Dennis Felton experiment go on. He’s a good guy, but 15-15 seasons get old. As a Kentucky fan, I would love the opportunity to give Knight a hard time again. Too bad we’re just not that good still. Of course, in Kentucky, 20 win seasons are considered failures. Not so much at Georgia and I’m sure Knight could eke out that, barely.

  47. aside from a few live arms, the yankees pen is pretty weak. also, they would probably still be looking for a utility infielder after letting betemit go. if the braves could trade soriano and prado for nick swisher (putting about a million in the braves pockets), there could still be money left to sign ohman (4 mil), glavine (2mil), and a million dollar gamble on andruw. plus, it would help mac kick cancer’s ass not having to stress about prado committing prados.

  48. Incidentally, is anyone else slightly bemused by the fact that every single sportswriter and media pundit is calling last night’s game “the best Super Bowl ever!!!!”? Don’t get me wrong. It was very exciting, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, but aren’t we conveniently forgetting that this game sucked for three quarters? I would say it’s actually the lowest-quality game of the recent close Super Bowls, with the probable exception of the New England-Philly game. Last year’s game? Better. Pats-Panthers? Much better. Pats-Rams? Pretty much better in every respect. In fact, this game had almost the exact same ending as last year’s if you think about it, and last year’s was a better-played game throughout. How then is it possible that this one was better? And aren’t we conveniently forgetting all the missed calls, including the last one which robbed the Cardinals of a deserved last heave and was pretty much swept under the rug? The mindless hyperbole gets a little grating.

  49. So, because you think Georgia kept Felton for too long, they’re a loser program that “deserves” Bobby Knight, the sad man? That’s a rather haughty, superior judgment. Say, you wouldn’t happen to be a fan of…..ahhh, I see. Say no more.

    When were they supposed to have let Felton go? He had a grace period because of the Harrick debacle, after which we were improving. But it was clear to everybody last season that he’d been given enough time, and it wasn’t working out. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t the right hire at the time — he was. He had a Tubby-like resume, and we were glad to get him. Still, he was as good as gone. But then the SEC tournament saved him, and it should have. However, we flat-lined this year, and he’s out. I fail to see the fault in the decision-making at any point.

  50. I disagree that the last call was a bad one. Warner clearly didn’t have control of the ball after he got hit, and I thought his arm was still going back when the initial contact occured.

    I do agree that the calls were bad for most of the game. Still, very exciting game there at the end. And the pick 6 at the end of the first half was AMAZING to watch. I certainly don’t think it was a low-quality Super Bowl, but I think it was just a “really good” one rather than “great” or “best of all time”.

  51. Re: UGA hoops
    We’re a long way from the giddy days of Vern Fleming & Alec Kessler, aren’t we?

    A recent Mark Bradley column nailed it: Losing games is one thing—yes, plenty bad—but losing out on all the bigtime in-state talent is the ultimate program crippler.

    As much as anything, that’s what did in Felton, and he wouldn’t be the first UGA coach to have trouble in that department.

    Re: Super Bowl 43
    I say last night’s SB was Top 5, certainly. The end of each half was amazing. Hard to ask for more from a one-shot title game.

    Re: The Competition
    Mets apparently re-signed Ollie Perez at 3 yrs/$36 M.

    Re: DH
    DH bad. DH apologists hopelessly wrong. Bad gimmick. Not baseball.

  52. Tennessee is doing fine getting really good players to come play basketball. We are still having a good season and we lost 5 players out of our 10 man rotation from last year.

    The defense is getting better every game and the young guys are starting to get it.

    We need to make more shots from outside, but that might be coming around. Just ask the Gators.

  53. ryan c, no one will take Soriano until he proves he’s healthy. They still might not want him and that $6 mil salary and being a FA after this season. Bravos are stuck with him. However, I think Boyer and Prado is more than enough for Swisher

    I might be in the minority but I like having Prado and Infante on the bench.

  54. @43 (sorry, playing a little catch up, now)

    AAR – I was thinking the same thing. I am not sure how it makes an AL team better. Theoretically, they would not have as much left over to pay the fourth starter or the setup man.

    I think what makes AL teams better is that the two biggest payrolls in baseball (by far) are there.

  55. It was a very good ending, but the overall game was fair, sloppy, way to many penalties, my bar crowd was starting to gas out during the third quarter it got so slow, but the ending made up for alot.

    Cant wait for spring training, and a spring thaw around here.

  56. The Mets will get three very inconsistent years from him and he will drive all Mets fans crazy, which I love seeing.

    I also wonder why can’t the Braves take a chance on Hill.

  57. The Braves can’t take a chance on Hill because he’s a headcase gamble who’s out of options. There are more pitchers than rotation spots already, and, realistically, a contending team (obviously what Wren considers this) probably doesn’t want a high risk guy potentially bogging down the back.

    Baltimore is perfect for Hill. He’ll stay in the rotation when he has some bad starts on the rocky road back from mental difficulties. The collection of opponents will be strong, too, so he can take confidence in whatever success he may experience.

  58. Did Hill have options? I don’t think he did. And if he didn’t, well, he wouldn’t be worth that much to us.

  59. I didn’t really expect Perez to wind up elsewhere, but I also thought that the Mets would get the deal done for 3/30….

  60. Re: 61
    Well, the Jim Harrick decision was not a good one. Felton didn’t have the greatest record at WKU. Really, I was not sure why he was kept on at Georgia after 2007 (though sanctions handicapped him). Of course, Eddy Sutton was a bad decision for us. At least you have a decent history in football.

  61. Eddie Sutton was actually a great coach. Unfortunately for him and UK, he didn’t have a Fed Ex account. Those Emery pouches can be flimsy, especially when they contain 10 Gs in cash.

    But they did get Rick Pitino out of that whole thing.

  62. I like Hill and that big curve. Sounds like his mechanics went to hell and he lost his control. The O’s are a good place for him to land, so to speak.

  63. A good place for him to land — lovely park, fans who probably won’t turn on him, and a pretty guaranteed rotation spot — except insofar as he’s moving from the NL to the AL East, where Hill will pitch something like half his starts against the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays. Tough division to try to regain your confidence.

  64. @52: I think Johan Santana qualifies as marquee. (C.C. Sabathia too, though that one was clearly a rental situation… then again Manny might turn out that way too.)

    @60: I was astounded that anyone would’ve even began to consider it as “the greatest.” It was a good game, a pretty damn good ending, and I enjoyed it throughout, but it doesn’t come close to some of the recent ones you mentioned (don’t forget Rams-Titans btw.) I didn’t really have a horse in the race, and I don’t think it likely affected the final outcome, but I thought it was one of the worst officiated playoff games this year. The flag on the Harrison runback wasn’t thrown until Harrison is 3-4 steps into his return, but was supposedly for a foul before the pass!?! That flag took me completely out of the play, because I figured it had to be a holding penalty that was going to negate the return. The same thing happened at least one other time on big plays later in the game. The roughing the holder penalty was absolutely bogus, the roughing the passer call was even worse, and the refusal to review that last play is downright inexcusable.

    Oh, and I can’t wait to get another crack at Ollie Perez… he’s like my favorite Met to faceoff against since Trachsel.

  65. Rich Hill is talented, but he doesn’t suit our needs at all. With the starting pitching depth we’ve accumulated, it wouldn’t have made since to acquire talent just for the sake of acquiring talent. Now, if Rich Hill was in the same situation and talent level, but he was an outfielder, then he’d probably be in an Atlanta uniform by now.

  66. Even if Hill is out of option for the Cubs, I believe the team who trades for him (which is the O’s for this case) will gain one year of option in that player. That’s the rule I always know which exists on out of option players.

  67. No team has no many pitchers. Every team should look for as mamy useful arms as possible. Of course, the salary of Hill may be one consideration.

  68. Interesting, kc@87. That makes it an even better deal for the O’s.

    But as someone pointed out elsewhere, Hill+Pie would’ve gotten a pretty nice return just one year ago.

  69. Anyone else have MLB 2K8 for PS2? Anyone notice that Peter Moylan and Josh Anderson have a really good tan?

  70. #80

    ’04-’05 8-20 (2-14)
    ’05-’06 15-15 (5-11)
    ’06-’07 19-14 (8-8)

    Mike Mercer got hurt during conference play in ’07, but was supposed to return the following year. We also were supposed to get another year out of Takais Brown. Our two leading scorers. Instead, Felton gave both of them the boot just prior to the ’07-’08 season because they couldn’t stay out of trouble. It was only then that things started going downhill. We’d been steadily improving up until then, and people were generally happy with the job Felton was doing, although there were issues with in-state recruiting.

    There’s no shortage of morally bankrupt college basketball coaches, as we all know. Harrick was clearly slimy from day one. At least the revelations about Sutton were something of a surprise at the time.

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