248 thoughts on “Thomason released”

  1. About time!! Losing his hair, throws like a girl, we can surely upgrade the position.

    Unless this means Norton is staying.

  2. Good to hear, Mac. Hope you feel better. Here’s to a Bama win today!

    BTW, did anybody watch that ‘Dr. Pepper throw for the dough’ thing during halftime? That guy has gotta be feeling bad. You got out-thrown by:
    1. An Alabama alum
    2. A Med school student
    3. A girl

    (No offense to anybody, but that is hilarious)

  3. Re: Florida/Alabama game-

    The play calling by Addazio thus far has just been stupid. He’s calling pass plays more than twice as often as runs, which is the opposite of what UF usually does, and this despite Florida’s success on the ground in this game. For chrissake, can we run a sweep at some point? We’ve got some very fast backs. Or maybe Moody on the inside?

    If Alabama scores anther touchdown, on this next drive, there won’t really be time to run it any more, but common. Run the damn ball!

  4. Hope you continue to get well Mac.

    The Soriano thing makes no sense. He won’t close with Wagner here so that will hurt his future market value and surely he could get a multiyear deal with someone right now.

  5. I’ve read a couple of times that Saito is expected to close when Wagner can’t go or when Bobby likes the match up. I wonder how Wagner feels about that.

  6. I wouldn’t be worried about Soriano accepting. Seems like a negotiating tactic from the agent.

    Glad to hear the good news, Mac.

  7. There are five possibilities with Soriano –

    A: Soriano is simply trying to jump start other teams interest, and eventually turns down arb.
    B: He accepts, and is cut later
    C: He accepts and is traded
    D: He accepts and they keep him
    E: They reach a contract agreement, then C and D still apply

    Really not seeing a downside here.

  8. I would think that a 2 year deal around $6 million and the opportunity to close would be more enticing than 1 year, $8 million and very few chances–if any–to close.

    Worst case scenario, the Braves eat $1-2.5 million to unload Soriano and non-tenure KJ, which I believe makes them even.

  9. I think Texas would be the best team for Bama to play in the NC game. A Cincinnati or TCU matchup wouldn’t generate much interest and it could be a trap game for Alabama. The Texas / Nebraska game is almost the best case scenario for Alabama and Ingram. McCoy looks horrible and a low scoring Texas win may swing the Heisman vote to Ingram.

  10. Bama/Texas would be a repeat of last year’s title game. These Big 12 offenses don’t do too well against good defenses.

  11. Id let Soriano and his agent know that if he accepts the Braves will trade him to anyone they please or he can control that situation by going to FA

    Heisman talk – two weeks ago Ingram was leading most polls. He then had a bad game and Colt went off, today was the opposite. Ingram went over 200 total yds and 3 TD’s against the #1 defense in college football, Colt went for 180 and 3INT. Is Ingram the frontrunner again?

  12. It sounds like Ingram is the frontrunner for Heisman. McCoy and Tebow sure didn’t help themselves. It may come down to a race between Ingram and Spiller. The end of the Texas game was ridiculous. McCoy along with Mack Brown looked like they were taking clock management advice from Les Miles.

    As for Soriano: I don’t believe for a minute that he’ll take the arbitration offer. If he can get about $6 mil per year for 2 years as a closer I think he’ll take it in a heartbeat. I think his agent is just posturing at this point.

  13. Hey Jeremy – how’s that smart money looking now?


    edit – I was aware of the June 15 thing, but it still only puts them on the hook for about 1/2 the arb award, plus they get something for him when traded, so even if he accepts, they can mitigate the cost.

  14. Mac, good luck bro, my wife just had her Thyroid removed, both sides, due to cancer. Fun times, but she is doing well.
    If we have to keep Soriano it is fine by me. Who are we going to get for his money anyway?
    We could have the best 6-7-8-9 inning relief core ever if things worked out though.

    Just say no to Marlon Byrd and Cancer.

  15. first thing i saw this morning was the crisp new $20 that i won for betting whether or not St.Tebow would cry……..i was actually a ‘Bama fan for a week but now i guess it’s back to rooting for hopeless underdogs.

  16. Glad to hear it Mac. Hope you’re feeling better.

    let’s go TCU…

    with Texas almost getting beat (and, honestly, they should have lost that game) and TCU crushing everyone, do the Horned Frogs “leapfrog” over the Longhorns? I think that they might on the computers.

    would be nice to have a non-BCS team totally throw off the system.

  17. I can’t believe anyone would want Marlon Byrd.

    I think DOB is right, if the most Soriano can get on the market in 2YRS/11M, why not take 1YR/8M with the Braves?

    Here is Bowman’s spin on this:


    It reads almost like it was written by the front office begging Soriano not to come back.

  18. I’d take 2yrs/11m over 1yr/8m without even needing a moment to think about it. Also, I think he’ll get less than $8m in arbitration, he’ll probably get more years and more money per year as free agent (say, 3yrs/$18m). Soriano may not top an annual salary of what he might get in arbitration, but overall I think he’ll go with the long-run guarantee over one year at a higher salary.

  19. Glory, glory to Old Alabama! The game would have been different if Tebow had been allowed to heal Gator injuries on the sidelines, however.

    A Great Day for Braves Journal, Mac. Welcome home. Beat that crap like Bama beat the Gators.

  20. If he accepts arb you cut KJ. It’s not that huge of a problem, and four super relievers (when healthy) is better than three.

  21. A) Glad you’re home Mac.
    B) Unsure how I feel about Soriano situation (can’t imagine him taking it, but if he does we’d have one heck of a bullpen… though of the two Arb guys, it’s Gonzo I’d like to keep).
    C) I probably should just not check MLBTR until after Monday since now one has to assume Wren is going to wait until after the deadline before he signs anybody else as he may have an extra 6-8 million committed to the bullpen he hadn’t planned on… unless he’s trading Lowe… that would happen one way or the other right? So I should probably keep checking.

  22. Anybody else a little disappointed that Clemson couldn’t pull it out last night? I was looking forward to a Tiger-themed meltdown from Sam. :)

  23. “Well, C.J. Spiller had a cortisone shot to stay in the game. We all know cortisone shots are scientifically proven to give you special, mystical powers. So clearly Georgia Tech was cheated.”

    In other news, I’m thoroughly distraught, and I think we all know why. After all this… the Sugar Bowl?! Against the Bearcats or the Horned Frogs?! I’m gonna go cry…

  24. Glad to see you home Mac.

    The GT/Clemson game was terrific. So was Cincy/Pitt.

    So if your Soriano with an injury history you take 1 year 8 over 2 years 11 and leave 3 MILLION guaranteed dollars on the table? Ok, I reckon but not me.

    Shoot Texas will magically be better than TCU and Cincy in the BCS computer stuff. Count it. A gazillion dollars in advertising revenue, Texas supporters going to the game and stuff will easily erase the bad showing against Nebraska.

  25. no chance that TCU will jump Texas. As a Bama fan and watching Texas against a good defense, write me down as saying Id rather play them than TCU also

  26. Last night almost killed me. When Nesbitt didn’t make that fourth down, I didn’t like our chances. And then when they overturned the 2-point conversion, which was crap by the way, I just knew Clemson was gonna make their way down and win. Luckily they didn’t have any timeouts so they couldn’t run the ball.

    In the end though, fantastic game, fantastic outcome, Orange Bowl here we come!

  27. My only disappointment from last night was that Tim Tebow was not kidnapped by terrorists and beheaded at midfield. Otherwise, good night all around.

  28. Here’s how I’d like to see the BCS games shake out today:

    BCS Championship Game: Alabama vs. Texas
    Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. TCU
    Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Iowa
    Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Georgia Tech
    Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Ohio State

    I think a Florida-TCU game would be great to watch and a worthy consolation send-off for Tebow and the other senior Gators.

    I’m not as impressed with Cincy, but they’re still pretty good and to see their defense try to contain GaTech’s triple-option would be intriguing.

    That leaves Boise and Iowa for the Fiesta. I’d like to see Boise get a better matchup, but for an offense vs. defense matchup, that’s still not too shabby.

    That also leaves the possibility of one undefeated champion to rule them all, which is how I like it.

    (I think I’d be most disappointed with a Boise-TCU matchup in the Fiesta. They should get a shot at the BCS conference teams and Boise-TCU guarantees a ticked undefeated team. Just sayin’)

  29. Iowa going to a BCS game seems pretty boring to me. Most of their wins have been extremely close, even against teams like Arkansas State and Northern Iowa. Add in the loss to Northwestern and I just don’t like them in a BCS bowl. But, I guess outside of Penn State there really isn’t anyone else to choose, and Iowa beat Penn State, so there really is no one else.

  30. spike,

    Sharps also lost with Rutgers. Not a good day for them yesterday, though the public didn’t do much better with Houston and Texas failing to cover.

    The recommend line (from the Las Vegas Sports Consultants) for the title game is Alabama -4. We’ll see what the books open it at.

  31. Great to see you rally, Mac!
    Tide Rolls; Tide rules!

    Book recommendation: “Last Days of Summer” by Steve Kluger. Funny, sentimental book about major league 3rd baseman and 12 year old kid just as Amaerica gets ready for WWII.

    It’s an epistolary novel, too. Sorry if I spelled that wrong, Mac!

  32. Not that I really care one way or the other, but would you guys hate Tebow as much if he were not so public in his Christian faith?

  33. I think the majority of folks are down on the obsessive selling of the guy as a saint more than there being any dislike of Tebow personally (please note the qualifier “majority”). The coverage harps on his religion in an extremely holier than thou way.

  34. Let’s see: Kentucky beats UNC in basketball and Bama beats Florida in football. Was it the Schlitz commercials that said:

    “Boys, it don’t get no better than this.”


    (For you callow yutes out there, Schlitz was a popular (albeit terrible) beer at one time.)

  35. It’s not his religion specifically that irks me about Tebow. He’s free to practice any religion he wants in whatever way he wishes in this country, and bully for him if he’s so enthusiastic about his religion.

    The problem comes with the media coverage of him, which is borderline obsessive, frankly. Every time the Gators are on TV (and they are 90 percent of the time), no less than 70 percent of the commentator chatter is about how Tim Tebow is a better human being than I am. And it’s been like this for three freaking years! It came to a head last week when CBS didn’t even announce the game, so much as engage in a “Farewell, Tim!” broadcast that went so over the top that it would’ve been considered cheesy had the University of Florida been producing it. I think that everybody who is not a Florida fan is so far beyond being sick of it that they are now taking pleasure in his misfortune and rooting for him to lose.

    Also a little bit annoying is the holier-than-thou attitude of Florida fans who simply can’t understand why the rest of us aren’t kissing his ass. However, if Tebow played for a rival and Florida fans had to put up with all of this endless drivel, you can’t tell me they’d be too pleased about it, either.

    I don’t wish any ill will toward the man, other than being slightly amused that he lost last night. I’m just tired of hearing about him.

  36. @57

    It’s not his faith, it’s his self-righteousness. It’s the fact that he thinks being a football player gives him the bully pulpit to preach to millions of people. I don’t need a glorified throwing tight end lecturing me about religious faith every damned Saturday. For the most part, the Tebow hatred is mostly triggered by the fact that CBS announces his game as if the eastern sky were cracking open every single Saturday.

    It helps that it’s Florida, a program about as likable as Pete Carrol’s USC squads to anyone not directly associated with the program.

  37. Speaking as a Georgia fan, nothing could make me hate Tebow more than the fact that A) he plays for Florida and B) he has usurped Herschel Walker as The Best College Football Player EVER in the eyes of many. The self-righteous religiousity just gives me a convienient focal point for my ambient hatred, kind like Spurrier’s visor or David Eckstein’s tininess. Or anything about Joakim Noah.

  38. I don’t have a problem with Tebow, but the coverage is over the top.

    I get annoyed at Hollywood stars using their celebrity status to broadcast their personal opinions on anything and everything. So, I guess I should be annoyed, in principle, with him using his celebrity to share his personal beliefs. But, I guess I don’t let it bother me because so many others do it too…

  39. And as much as it galls me as an Auburn fan to say it, Walker was way better than Tebow.

  40. I can understand people no liking Tebow because of how much CBS and the rest of the media fawns over him, but he really does seem like a good guy. I’ve never heard a first-hand account of him or heard him say anything to make me think he’s not just a really nice person. Maybe a little too wrapped up in college football, but hey, around here, who isn’t?

    Perhaps growing up in Gainesville, I can’t really get why people hate Florida so much. I mean, is the same thing as hating the Yankees? I’m not sure if I’d compare them to USC, who I always thought was consistently overrated because they’d spend their seasons beating up on mediocre Pac-10 teams.

  41. I can’t really get why people hate Florida so much. I mean, is the same thing as hating the Yankees?

    Asked and answered, counselor.

  42. TCU struggled to beat very mediocre teams in Clemson and Air Force by 4 and 3 points. Don’t buy into the media hype that they can hang with any of the big boys.

    Texas also has won 26 of its last 27 games, Bama taking them lightly is a mistake.

  43. I like Tebow and wish more players were like him. Would we rather have players like Pacman Jones, Matt Jones, Ray Lewis?? People dont like Tebow because he’s vocal about his faith and successful at the same time. He’s had a platform for 4 years and never strayed from who he is, he’s never changed and that bothers people. He’s even a class act when he loses, more players/people should learn from him. He can be a role model for my child anyday.

    I do also agree that the media coverage of him is over the top, but hasnt he earned it? Two National Championships, in the top 5 of heisman races all four years, 2 sec championships, and a heisman award. He’s the best college player most of us have ever seen, he’s vocal about being a christian, and people just cant handle that fact.

  44. “Texas also has won 26 of its last 27 games, Bama taking them lightly is a mistake”

    Bama fans may be taking it lightly, but Saban will have these guys ready to play. Thats a guarantee

  45. People dont like Tebow because he’s vocal about his faith and successful at the same time

    Can you supply anything to support this conclusion?

    edit – considering the majority of his critics either attended or support schools in the heart of the most conservative and religious part of the country and are overwhelmingly Christians, I find this dubious, to say the least.

  46. Tebow is a tough competitor, but he uses his ‘faith’ to his advantage with the media. Tebow also can’t hold Vince Young’s jock as a player.

  47. Anyone else think they’ve got TCU-Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl so they guarantee less undefeated teams? It doesn’t feel right having two BCS-Busters playing each other. Especially since they played each other last year too.

  48. The bowls besides the Sugar and MNC game all suck. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for this dumb system.

  49. You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but when you state it as fact, with nothing to support it, it’s not unreasonable to ask what led you to this conclusion.

  50. my apologies, noticed that after I couldnt edit it. It is my opinion (not a fact) just based off comments Ive seen and heard

  51. so if Lackey exceeds Burnett’s $17+ mil per contract does that possibly help in moving Lowe? or does it just stay the same situation?

  52. c.shorter,
    Totally agree. Who cares?

    Tebow vs. Herschel
    Tim Tebow lost more games in his sophomore year (4) than Herschel Walker lost in his entire career (3).

    In Herschel Walker’s 3 years at UGA—he was the first player to leave school early—he never lost an SEC game. Not one. (18-0)

    Also, how can “the greatest player in collegiate history” not even start his freshman year?

    Tebow’s been a legendary player, but Herschel was better.

  53. The media is going to hand the nat championship to bama before the game is even played. Exactly like they did with USC before the 2006 Rose Bowl…

    Of course, Texas doesn’t have Vince Young this time around.

    @69–exactly correct–tebow shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as vince.

  54. Texas doesn’t have Vince, but they have the winningest QB in college history. Also the #1 rushing defense and #3 overall D. Of course, Bama has the #2 rushing defense and #2 overall D. Should be an awesome matchup.

  55. I’m skeptical of anyone who repeatedly cries in front of crowds and/or TV audiences. Plus, he’s a Gator. I mean, that’s enough.

  56. Good grief. Very disappointed with the TCU-Boise State Fiesta Bowl. That crapped up the Sugar and Orange Bowl matchups as a result.

    Plus, A) it settles nothing beyond: Who really should have been guaranteed the one non-automatic qualifier spot in the BCS.. prior to the Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and Nebraska losses?? ooooh, riveting; B) it’s a freakin’ rematch of last year’s Poinsettia Bowl — you know, the one America was begging to see; C) it guarantees one non-AQ undefeated to complain they got the shaft (and no real additional ammo to make the argument); and D) it robs us of a chance to see TCU and Boise State against Florida or some other major conference teams–I was really hoping for UF-TCU.

    For the Sugar Bowl, at least Cincy is undefeated so that gives something to the matchup that has no history and no other story line that I can think of this evening beyond, Florida dominance of the State of Ohio, again?? Perhaps.

    And if anyone can give an angle for the Iowa-GaTech game, lemme know. Tune in to watch the team that lost to Northwestern at home against the team that lost to Georgia at home. These were the two least interesting teams in the BCS, so naturally, you marry them in the Orange Blow… um.. yep, that’ not a typo.

    Love Alabama-Texas though. Awesome matchup.

  57. How could you possibly call GT an uninteresting team? Have you seen their offense this year? Just because they come from the ACC doesn’t mean they aren’t an interesting team.

  58. If Carlos Damn Silva can get 4/$48MM, how in the hell is Soriano not going to get his due on the free-agent market?

  59. You can talk about whether a player was better at a given time, but if you want to look at their full careers, Tebow’s right up there with Vince Young, and he’s closer to Walker than Georgia fans would like to think.

  60. C. Shorter,

    Definitely with you there.

    One Eye,

    You’re completely right. And the 2008 Utah Utes beat mediocre teams such as Air Force by only 7 and New Mexico by only 3. We all know how they couldn’t hang with the ‘big boys’ last year, right? And how the 2006 Broncos could only beat Wyoming by 7 and San Jose State by 3? And how they couldn’t hold with Oklahoma, right?

    Just because they don’t play in the SEC or Big 12 doesn’t mean that they are not good enough to hang with those teams.

  61. Mac, I am glad to hear that you are back home. I hope that by the time you read this you will be feeling better.

    Roll Tide!

  62. edit – considering the majority of his critics either attended or support schools in the heart of the most conservative and religious part of the country and are overwhelmingly Christians, I find this dubious, to say the least.

    spike, I don’t really get this point. If you’re talking about this board, there are an awful lot of SEC-school graduates who don’t exactly see eye to eye, theologically, with Tebow. If you’re talking about the sports-following world at large, (a) I reiterate the point about SEC-grad non-Christians, and (b) I’m not sure the majority of his critics come from the Southeast, like you seem to think.

    It’s not his faith, it’s his self-righteousness. It’s the fact that he thinks being a football player gives him the bully pulpit to preach to millions of people.

    Sam, how is he self-righteous? The media pumps him up as some kind of god, but I don’t think you can honestly say he touts himself as such. And he’s pretty obviously less self-impressed than several commenters on this very board.

  63. tebow couldn’t carry vince’s jock. vince was a better runner and a better passer. back to back 450+ total yard performances in the 2005 and 2006 rose bowls (rushing for 200 yards in each game). they damn near renamed the rose bowl after him.

    if vince would have stayed for his senior year he would have dominated like he did his junior year and, imo, would have gone out as the greatest college football player ever.

  64. 93—There are a lot of teams in the country who can knock an elite school off in a one-game deal. It happens all the time and will continue to happen in bowl games and other non-conference match-ups. I don’t think anyone disputes that.

    Whether the TCUs of the world could come close to a 12-0 record playing 8 games in the SEC or Bix XII is the question most wonder about, I think.

  65. @91

    Market isn’t the same; a fair number of guys with decent save totals are available, and really, only a few teams (Orioles, Nats, and maybe Cubs) have the cash to spend on a “premium” closer. Rodney, Lyon, Valverde, Gonzalez, Gregg, and Putz, are to a certain extent, all competing with Soriano for a limited supply of funds. Obviously, Soriano is better than most of those guys, but I could think of numerous ways in which he could be left high and dry in this market.

    In any case, making a guaranteed 8 MM dollars to play baseball is never a “bad” thing.

  66. Sorriano will cost himself money taking the one year deal. He will lose value being a 7th inning guy.

  67. Whether the TCUs of the world could come close to a 12-0 record playing 8 games in the SEC or Bix XII is the question most wonder about, I think.

    I hate these silly hypotheticals. If TCU were playing in the SEC or Big XII, they would be recruiting from a completely different talent pool. TCU/Utah/Boise/etc. recruit BCS leftovers and transfers. Of course they couldn’t compete under those circumstances.

  68. Though it complicates the budget, Soriano pitching for another contract is tantalizing.

  69. Stu,

    I get what you are saying, but knocking off a higher ranked team requires:
    1. More planning than the Higher-ranked team
    2. Better execution than the higher-ranked team

    Let’s take the Alabama-Utah game. Both teams had the same amount of time after the bowl announcement to prepare, and had the same amount of time to play in the game. Utah did both things better than the Crimson Tide, that is why they won the game.
    This applies to any game. Team A beating Team B means that on that given day, with their set of players, Team A is better. That’s why we have competition.
    Plus this whole ‘any team can knock off another team’ argument is exactly why teams like TCU and Boise get no respect. When they lose, it’s because they aren’t good, and when they win, it’s because they got lucky.
    Final point- no matter what, a team going undefeated means that it took care of business. The team that doesn’t go undefeated did not take care of business. In my opinion, the accolades must go to the team that did its job, not the one that didn’t. That may put me in the minority, but that’s what I believe.

  70. Today’s peculiarity: I’m looking over the shows I DVRd while I was in the hospital. They’re mostly either hospital shows (I hear this is a good “House”, but the plot’s about cancer!) or shows where various horrible things are taken out of people. I need to watch more comedies.

  71. BTW, I’m finally watching the SEC title game just now & have to say something nice about Florida: I actually really like those uniforms & helmets they were wearing in Atlanta this past weekend.

    A much, much better look, I think.

  72. Also, I’m downloading country music. (Rosanne Cash, George Strait, Alison Krauss so far.) Clearly, my system is still in shock.

    Also, I am up at 2:30 in the morning. Well, that will happen.

  73. hope Liberty is ready to increase payroll or our infield may look like Prado, Johnson, Yunel, Chip with an outfield of Diaz, McLouth, Heyward

  74. As Tim at MLBTR says… “I’m not buying this rumor” (unless it’s contingent on Soriano not accepting Arb… and even then it seems unlikely).

  75. Stu @95:

    Walking out onto the field with the bible verse eye black every game reaks of self-righteousness to me. The idea that I need a chronically concussed teenager whose only primary skill is running the spread option preaching to me about the vaguaries of love, faith and the mysteries of the universe is absurd.

  76. Tebow’s doing what he’s been called to do and trying to get a message across while having one of the biggest platforms in America, and while running the spread is one of the talents he does possess, Im guessing there are more. So now the worst thing that people can come up with about Tebow is that he shares his faith too much

  77. Well, OK, Sam, but it’s not actually self-righteousness. It’s “Look at Him,” not “Look at me.”

    But I’ve probably already crossed Mac’s line, so I’ll shut up.

  78. I say the SEC goes 8-2 in bowls. Kentucky will have a hard time with Clemson. Either Tennessee or LSU may drop their game. However, Tennessee fans are buying up Virgina Tech’s allotment. It is going to be an Orange out in Atlanta.

  79. Tebow’s so-called “self-righteousness” is 100X better than the countless arrogant celebrities who know nothing about politics or global warming (except what they learn by reading articles in their private jets), but who make it their calling to tout any political cause that will get them the most publicity.

    Tebow is imperfect (like all of us), but he’s lived out his values on the public stage pretty well so far. I can understand those who are tired of the media hype, but quoting a Bible verse has absolutely nothing to do with self-righteousness. He was anything but self-righteous in his very classy interview after the loss to Bama and was also classy last year in a victory.

    As an Alabama fan, I have to agree with what Nick Saban (quoted loosely below) said to him after the game: “You are a credit to the University of Florida and college football. Whatever you do, don’t change who you are.”

  80. @115

    It’s more “look at me, and see Him.” Which is pretty much the definition of self-righteousness. I don’t think football games are appropriate bully pulpits, regardless of one’s faith. If I want to be proselytized too I’ll go to church, or step down to the corner and talk with the smelly guy with the sandwich boards.

    Also, dude sliced up little boys penises. Creepy creepy creepy wrong.

  81. I’m sure we’ll continue to disagree on this one Sam and I won’t keep on, but seriously your biggest problem with him is really that he did a few circumcisions? I spent two years in the Philippines and there is a lot of need there – spiritual, financial, physical, … Our church doesn’t do circumcisions and I don’t honestly understand why the mission group did this, but it’s not a big deal. I’m sure Tebow, along with others in his group, provided a lot of other things, such as love, hope and physical support.

  82. @90, Mike N, I do not think that Georgia Tech is an uninteresting team at all. They have a unique and exciting offense and great coaching. What I did say is that they are in spot #9 of the 10 teams among this year’s BCS participants in interest for me, ahead of only Iowa.

    I was more interested in seeing more of the Yellow Jackets before they lost to the worst Georgia team in a decade. Their other loss was a suffocation by Miami so that just doesn’t impress.

    But they remain more interesting than Penn State or Oklahoma State or whomever this year, yes. It’s a pretty good team.

    My point was that I think there could have been a matchup that would have accentuated Georgia Tech’s appeal to some extent. My preference would have been for an offensive shootout with Cincy to determine if the Big East or ACC can claim supremacy this year. Now the Yellow Jackets don’t even get a conference champ. That stinks.

  83. The Bruney rumor makes no sense OTHER THAN in the context of a bigger move.

    Like, “Bruney and Swisher for Schafer and Dimaster Delgado” or some trade in which Bruney is only a piece. (and then only after arb deadline).

    MAYBE the Bruney deal is Yankees take Soriano with arb pending in exchange for Bruney. Then, it also makes sense.

  84. gah. The whole notion that Tebow is some tortured soul suffering for his religion is fatuous on its face. Whatever critics he may have are dwarfed by the number of supporters, for whatever reason. I find it just insane that that’s just not good enough for some, and they have to create this “poor Tim is being oppressed!” meme. What level of public adulation is required for you people?

  85. I don’t like Tebow because I don’t like people flaunting their religion (and/or politics) in front of everyone else. No one forced him to write biblical cites under his eyes. Once you do that, you better expect to get criticized. And I think it’s ironic that TD is citing Nick Saban–a guy with few scruples as far as I can see-in defense of Tebow, especially after Alabama won the game.

    It’s not like I hate him or want bad stuff to happen to him; I’ve just had enough of him.

  86. I love Sam Hutcheson right now.

    Not saying one way or another whether I agree, but I’m loving where this is going.

  87. Spike,

    I personally find Tebow a little annoying, but that is probably colored by my inability to stomach anything associated with the University of Florida.

    Tebow has been overglorified and overvilified. As Ububba pointed out, he IS NOT the college player that Herschel Walker was (or Billy Sims or maybe even Brandon Spikes on his own team). Put the talent collection Florida has had with another very good QB, and they would have won as many games.

    However, David Pollack (for just one) was almost as big of a player as Tebow and very noticeably initiated and discussed his religion. He rarely took a hit on it.

    There are about 3 things at work here.

    1. People are tired of Florida and hearing about Florida.

    2. Tebow’s media driven glory is excessive to his abilities (which are substantial, but just not that great).

    3. There is an embedded “anti born again evangelical or pentecostal Christian” feeling that is present and is whipped up to such a state with this one athlete because (a) he is so over exposed and (b) this feeling or movement is growing stronger in the U. S. (and even comparing back 5 years to David Pollack it is significantly stronger and more vocal. Can any of you imagine “Religiosity” being issued to movie theaters 5 years ago?).

  88. There is an embedded “anti born again evangelical or pentecostal Christian” feeling

    See this is what I find so crazy – sure, there is some of that, but it is so far in the minority compared to those who feel the opposite or have no opinion as to be de minimis by comparison. The thin skinnedness of his supporters is just breathtaking in this regard.

  89. I think I just have too short of an attention span. Tebow has been a media darling for 4 years. I usually only have to deal with media darling college football players for 2-3 years before they go pro where I can ignore them.

    Tebow’s seemingly unending public presence in all media outlets I enjoy digesting college football material makes me feel like I’m being forced to chew my food 32 times before swallowing. I’m done chewing after the 8th or 9th chomp and am ready to move on to the next thing.

    I also found it hard to relate to Tebow, since he basically always did the opposite of whatever I’d have done if I was in his position.

  90. Im done with the Tebow talk. Dude’s a christian and a good football player, I wish more guys were like him.

    on to baseball. Soriano can be traded before June 1st, but only with his permission. Im guessing a 6th or 7th inning role isnt as great as a 8th inning role with Boston or Yanks. So hopefully something like that can happen

  91. I’m thinking Soriano would accept a trade that puts him in the 8th inning somewhere good or the 9th inning anywhere. His value in free agency next offseason takes a hit if he spends a year in a 6th or 7th inning role, which is why, if we convince him that we will keep him in that role, he won’t accept arbitration.

  92. On the greater “Poor Tim is persecuted because of his religion” vibe, I’m with spike @129. This isn’t Rome before Constantine. Ain’t nobody throwing Christians into pits of hungry lions. What you’re sensing there is what we call thin-skinned victim complex bullshit, I believe. It’s a technical term.

    All of that aside, I look forward to Tebow’s looming Danny Weurffel impersonation in the pros.

  93. I’m not a Florida fan and I’m not trying to defend Tebow – just the unfounded hatred. Like I said, I understand those who are sick of the media hype. He’s a good fullback and a good, but not great qb. The combination he brings to the game is unique, but it probably won’t play well in the pros.

    I can’t see how you think Saban has no scruples. Yea, he lied in saying he wouldn’t leave Miami, I don’t make any excuses for him on that. When Saban came to Alabama, I had to take a wait and see attittude from a character standpoint. He’s been very classy regarding other teams and coaches and he seems to be running a clean program (both on the field and in recruiting). Alabama’s graduation rate has improved and there haven’t been too many team discipline problems outside of his first year when he had almost all Shula recruits. The only problems I’ve seen so far with him are that he can be pretty terse with the media and he seems to cuss quite a bit. I think I can live with these things. If I’m missing anything, please enlighten me.

  94. one good thing: if soriano does accept arbitration, we might finally match up with the yankees, and could pry swisher away: lowe+5 mil & soriano for swisher and a prospect (or even bruney, whom there seems to be rumors swirling about him already).

  95. Oversigning. That’s the only issue I have with Saban. The SEC has a new rule though that should curtail that problem from now on though.

  96. The continued HoF snub of Marvin Miller is nothing short of ridiculous.

    In the ESPN story, Tom Seaver nails it: You’d be hard-pressed to find too many more figures in the history of baseball who’ve had more impact than Marvin Miller.

    BTW, I’ve heard that Whitey Herzog’s book is an underrated gem. Anybody here read it?

    Brian Bruney’s got crazy heat, but he’s really wild. And he’s rarely healthy.

  97. Ububba,

    I may have misnamed the Bill Maher movie slightly, but that is the one I was intending to indicate.

  98. I wouldn’t say that “Poor Tim is persecuted beccause of his religion”. I’ll have to say though, that I’ve seen a lot of bigoted comments on this site for whatever the reason may be. I’m not thin-skinned, many of the reasons cited for hating Tebow (and wishing him ill) are just laughable – that’s all. I’ll shut up on this subject. Like csg said above, on to baseball.

  99. @139

    Tip-toeing the Thomason line between college football and politics/religion is one thing, but dude, do not trick me into clicking into a Taylor Swift video. That’s pretty close to an outright declaraion of war.

  100. There are worse things than a Taylor Swift music video he could have tricked you into clicking…believe me.

    Stu is still responsible for me being blind, after I dumped bleach all over my eyeballs after clicking a link he disguised.

  101. I don’t follow college football at all, and didn’t even know of Tim Tebow before this year, and already I’m sick of hearing about him.

    In other news, if Soriano accepts arbitration, he can’t be traded until June 1st without his permission.

  102. csg @131

    You are dead on. I think him accepting would make him a very valuable trading chip for a hitter.

  103. There is a hot rumor out there of a burrell to mets castillo to cubs and Bradley to rays swap, fwiw

  104. Anybody here a Georgia Southern fan?

    Very curious as to why they fired their coach. Clash of styles like Rodriguez and Michigan?

  105. There is no clash of styles re: Rodriguez and Michigan. Rodriguez’s style IS Michigan’s style now.

    There may be a clash at Michigan between Rodriguez’s style and winning football games though…remains to be seen.

  106. In other words, the Yankees told the Nationals the Braves were going to get Bruney to get a better offer out of the Nats. And, still, all they got was a PTBNL.

  107. @150: From SavannahNow.com…

    “STATESBORO – After his teams failed to make the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for three straight seasons, Georgia Southern football coach Chris Hatcher was fired Saturday.”

    GSoU expects to compete for championships in the division formerly known as D-II. They have a long history, from Erk Russel to Paul Johnson, of winning. Hatcher’s teams have missed the playoffs for three straight years and are beginning to get out-recruited by the other GSU – Georgia State opens football operations in 2010. Not really surprising that they changed coaches.

  108. Or the Braves were in on Bruney until Soriano started making noises about accepting arb, at which point the Braves went cold as a potential trade partner for Bruney’s salary. It’s a fluid environment.

  109. Actually Sam, GSoU is in the division formerly known as 1-AA, division II is something else entirely. 1-AA is now know as the Football Championship Subdivision or FCS (my city Chattanooga hosts the Championship game every year) and the SEC is now a part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

  110. ububba;
    I became a big Herzog fan after reading White Rat:A Life in Baseball, written with (by) Kevin Horrigan. It tunes in on the teams and concepts of Whiteyball.
    “You’re Missing a Great Game,” is more like having a beer with Whitey, which I’d do in a heartbeat, too.

    Best agrument from Whitey: His Royals teams got beat by the Bombers because the Yankees had door-slamming closers and he didn’t. Whitey takes some credit fot his 1982 trade to get Sutter (who he wanted) to give Milwaukee Rollie Fingers. He told the Brewers’ GM the trade would put’em both in the World Series.
    And it did!

  111. My bad on the D-II vs Division 1-AA. Do we know what sort of conference alignment GStU will be joining?

  112. Miller will never get in because too many people blame him because players get paid too much. (As if baseball players should be the only people in America that can’t choose where they want to work.) Plus he had a pretty abrasive personality, I think, which won’t help.

  113. Actually Miller asked that he not be on the ballot after this year. Whether the committee respects requests like that I don’t know, but there is that.

  114. David O’Brien

    December 7th, 2009
    2:59 pm
    Cox said Prado will be in the lineup somewhere, wouldn’t say absolutely 2B, but said he’d be starting somewhere.

    Of Kelly, Cox said, “Right now there’s some clubs knocking on the door for him.”

  115. @ajcbraves: Bobby Cox said Braves have not talked to Chipper Jones “at all” this winter about possibility of moving to 1B. Not happening, for now.

  116. And
    @mlbbowman: Bobby Cox was asked about what he would do if Soriano returned and he made it known Wagner is his closer “no matter what”.

  117. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but I’d hope that (absent another lefty K artist) an 8th inning with Utley, Howard & Ibanez might signal a call for Billy Wags.

  118. I stopped watching House when it got entirely too plot-conscious and stopped being funny. The writing was so good in the first few seasons, but when they got into that Cuddy having a baby plot, they lost me. The dialogue got really stupid, they were doing things for the sake of being dramatic, and the quality of the “House jokes” went downhill.

  119. @173,

    Bobby said he’d like to use him for two-inning saves. Here’s hoping his arm stays attached.

  120. Tiger Woods days are getting worse and worse, he may need some help. Apparently now 10 women have claimed to have had multiple encounters with the man

  121. Superstar athletes sleep around with beautiful hangers on? Next thing you’ll tell me is that musicians have sex with multiple partners, depending on what town they’re playing.

  122. Apparently now 10 women have been LINKED to Tiger Woods, not 10 women are claiming it. Several have in fact denied any involvement.

  123. I’d be damn proud and pleased with Tiger had he not been married. Dude shouldn’t have settled down if he wanted to continue chasing ass.

  124. @mlbbowman: W/o specifically mentioning Soriano, Wren said if either of his relievers accepts arb, he expects that reliever to later ask to be traded

  125. Whenever I see the name “Escobar” in a trade rumor, my heart stops for a second. It’s a relief to see it’s not our Escobar.

  126. I hope it’s Suh or Gerhart. McCoy has done nothing to impress me lately, and Ingram, good player that he is, is only on that list because Alabama is really good this year and he’s got a fantastic offensive line. Tebow, of course, has been good this year, but he didn’t have the statistical year he had in 2007, and frankly just hasn’t been as good.

  127. Thanks for the responses about GSU, guys.

    Another question: Did Hatcher continue to play the “Mike Leach” style or did he change to something else?


    And, btw, what’s wrong with having Soriano to back up or compliment Wagner (especially inasmuch as the latter is coming off of major surgery)?

    As I used to say back in the good old days, “I got no problem spending Ted Turner’s money.”

  128. It’s a problem if it prevents us from getting a right-handed power bat. A third (fourth?) elite reliever is less important than that bat.

  129. Heisman finalists released–Tebow, McCoy, Ingram, Gerhart, Suh.

    If there were any justice, Suh would win. Any doubts as to who will be drafted first?

  130. Saw Suh live in Columbia earlier this year vs Mizzou. He almost single-handedly beat us. With none of the other candidates really separating themselves number-wise, I don’t know how you could say he wasn’t the most outstanding player in college ball this year.

  131. #193, I love that near MVP part. Why didn’t he use that one to get Andruw a bigger deal?

    The winter meetings worry me, I don’t really like any of the options out there for the outfield and names like Marlon Byrd and Curtis Granderson are definitely scary.

  132. If Soriano accepts arbitration and we keep Lowe and Vazquez, we could have the most expensive bullpen in history. I know it won’t happen, but it’s kind of funny to think about. Of course, that would leave us with Brandon Jones in the OF due to financial constraints.

    I would love to see Ingram win the Heisman, but I won’t be heartbroken if he doesn’t win it. He wasn’t even in the conversation a few months ago – a top two or three finish will be great. Gerhart may be the most deserving of the 5. I keep on thinking about the regionality of the Hesiman. Will Tebow and Ingram split the southeast vote? If this happens, I would think it will go to McCoy.

  133. The best teams in college football this year were led by dominant defenses. Alabama, Texas, Florida, TCU–all had exceptional defensive units.

    To my way of thinking, in the year of defense the Heisman should go to the best defensive player in the country–Suh.

  134. If he doesn’t accept arb the O’s have expressed that they are “particularly interested”. And his agent had a meeting with Houston earlier today, supposedly. We’ll find out shortly, I guess.

  135. 205 – I still thinks it’s a play to get the market to move faster on him.

    As has been said, there a quite a few late inning relievers out there.

  136. Hatcher played to his teams’ ability in year one, adopting a more run/option oriented style due this senior QB. But he switched back to his Valdosta State passing game the last two years.

    2009 was only the third season since 1982 that GSoU had a losing record.

  137. I love Wren being a hardass. Link

    Is he implying that if they wanted to stay that they shouldn’t have reached the point of declaring free agency?

  138. from mlbtradrumors

    “Braves GM Frank Wren told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman he’d expect Soriano to request a trade if he accepts arbitration. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports expects this decision to go down to the buzzer.”

  139. Anyone want to take a guess of what signal Wren is trying to send to Soriano, and how Soriano’s camp interpreted it?

    Is it confidence that Soriano will receive good offers from other teams? Or a signal that he doesn’t want him back?

  140. Bowman says Boras told another team that Gonzo would decline:

  141. Well, it’s really interesting, now. Losing our first-rounder to the Red Sox stings more, that’s for sure.

  142. Stinks to lose the draft picks.

    I think it is worse that it might make Wren shy about offering arb, like Maddux did for JS.

  143. If he approves, can he be traded before his arbitration contract is set? Teams have hard-ons for the draft in these times, but we should be able to get equivalent prospects out of him.

    FWIW, DOB says Braves haven’t been told anything yet.

  144. if we find a suitor for lowe, payroll will be back down to 79 million for 20 players, leaving 16 million to work with…still not too bad.

  145. @229: We may well find a suitor for Lowe, but I don’t think they’ll find a suitor who will take on the entire contract.

  146. Gonzalez and Boras declined.

    I defended Frank’s signing of Lowe last year because at the time we needed him, but had we not given him that contract, I think we could be seriously competing for Matt Holliday right now.

  147. You know, I wonder why the Braves ever thought Soriano wasn’t going to accept arbitration. It seems like for the entire offseason, it was a foregone conclusion that they wouldn’t offer, because it was so unlikely he would turn down a $7-8 million salary…but then, all of a sudden, a week before the deadline, the rumors that they’re offering him arb leak out, and everyone, myself included, just sort of assumed they knew something we didn’t.

    But it looks like a pretty bad gamble at this point.

  148. It will all work out. The bp is better off, Lowe will be traded to eat some of the salary and the rest can be used to sign a bat

  149. There’s a reason everyone was assuming he wasn’t going to be offered arbitration. After the Juan Cruz saga last year, and considering Soriano’s (a) injury history and (b) high salary baseline heading into arbitration, I really would like to know which team(s) the Braves were counting on not being able to live without Raffy.

    Oh, well. Like I said, now it gets really interesting.

  150. I think everything will be alright. This just makes the braves even better. The Lowe/Vazquez trade was inevitable, we knew they weren’t in the market for any of the big fish hitters so I think this money is well spent.

  151. No, Gonzalez has a less-worrisome injury history, and his salary baseline for arbitration was significantly lower.

  152. It doesn’t make sense to me. When we start to see the deals some other relievers get I think this will look like a bad choice by soriano. Besides gonzo, he’s the best reliever out there

  153. Also, as bad a gamble as this may have been, I join Parish at 224 in hoping that this doesn’t signal the end of Wren’s offering arbitration to Type-As.

  154. It seems weird to me, in the sense that Soriano is getting ready to enter Rowdy Kyle Farnsworth land – He’ll take that big paycheck this year, but he’s likely going to be a 7th inning guy, maybe an 8th, and that’ll make him a lot less valuable next year, seeing as he probably won’t be coming off the stellar year he had this year.

    The good news is that, Pete Moylan is now theoretically the fourth best reliever in our bullpen. Possibly fifth, if Kris Medlen is able to progress significantly. Maybe Bobby will actually be able to manage a bullpen without Boyering everyone to death now.

  155. It seems weird to me, in the sense that Soriano is getting ready to enter Rowdy Kyle Farnsworth land – He’ll take that big paycheck this year, but he’s likely going to be a 7th inning guy, maybe an 8th, and that’ll make him a lot less valuable next year, seeing as he probably won’t be coming off the stellar year he had this year.

    Assuming he’s still on the team, Soriano will be the closer by May. Wagner and Saito will never hold up.

  156. Given Wren’s remarks, its hard to think that they saw this coming. I don’t think it has to be a bad development–but our priorities remain the same.

    It looks to me like Soriano should fire his agent. I find it difficult to believe that he could not find a club which would be willing to give him a two year contract.

    One more observation–Soriano came to the Braves at the cheapest of prices–HoRam–and now he is apparently having trouble departing. It makes me wonder if Seattle wanted to get rid of him and his agent fears that there is something about him that is unappealing to possible employers. From where I am sitting, Soriano has been a great reliever, so I remain a bit baffled….

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