191 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, all”

  1. Checking out for the holidaze.

    Thanks, Mac, for all your efforts through the trying times. Best to you. Your work is always, always appreciated.

    To all the other posters/contributors: Danke. It’s somehow comforting to know that there are other Braves psychos out there.

    And Coach, now that I know you’re my homeboy—I’m from South Columbus—let’s take a big Chattahoochee Chill Pill & not insult folks, OK?

    Passion is great, but let’s not poison the water we all gotta swim in. New Year’s resolution? Life adjustment? Favor for a homie? Let’s do it.

    Love,
    ububba

  2. Merry Christmas to all in Braves nation… and especially Mac, who makes baseball just a little more fun for all of us.

  3. Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate, everyone. Stay warm, don’t drink and drive, and if you have a wish to make, I’d encourage you to point the love in the direction of Chipper Jones’ bat.

  4. Merry Christmas as well.

    And to Spike, “165 – you left out 80 games of Frenchy. That will almost assuredly make them better”

    I left him out because I was referring to the 2009 Braves as they stood at the end of the season. That team, as improved as it was from the early season incarnation, was still not as good as the Phillies (in my opinion).

  5. Frohe Weihnachten everyone!
    Danke, Mac for this blog! Keeps me in the loops though I am far away from Braves land.
    All the best for you and for all other Braves posters. I am really enjoying your company!!

  6. That team, as improved as it was from the early season incarnation, was still not as good as the Phillies (in my opinion).

    Second half records – 45 – 31 and 43 – 31. But I don’t recall your original post saying anything about the phillies, only that the Braves were worse now than in 2009.

  7. this offseason reminds me of the beginning of major league…

    here’s a list of guys we’d like to invite to camp

    this guy here is dead.

  8. Merry Christmas to all!!! And though it’s not all I’m asking for, another 15 year run would be much welcome, beginning this year. Perhaps it could begin with a Troy Glaus slide.

    Thanks again, Mac, for everything you do. This has long been one of the places I visit most days, so thanks again for providing the place to hang out. Your hospitality is much appreciated.

  9. Today I received a baseball trivia book that spits out random questions (and takes your answers) by a little electronic device. 2500 questions and among the first few was who was the rookie pitcher that gave up a walk off home run to get the loss in an 18 inning playoff game against the Astros? Ugh. Bad memories. Well played, trivia book. Well played.

  10. Merry Christmas to everyone!

    It sure snuck up on me this year.

    I have not seen a Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation once all the way through and the big day is already here.

  11. saw Christmas vacation at least 3 times this yr (never gets old) and didnt watch the christmas story until tonight

  12. @21,

    A modern classic, though I can’t get enough of “It’s A Wonderful LIfe.” I appeciate it on a new level every year. Beautiful movie.

  13. 22,

    They won’t all be in Rome next year. Spruill will most certainly start the year at Myrtle Beach, as will Hoover. I could see them going either way (MB or Rome) with DeVall, though Rome is probably more likely, given the fact that he was injured for most of the year. Minor I could see starting anywhere from Rome to Mississippi. Randall Delgado spent all of ’09 in Rome. He was injured some, but he pitched well and made progress, I see no reason to send him back to the Sally League. Teheran and Vizcaino are basically the only ones virtually guaranteed to start the year in Rome.

    It’s still going to be a sick staff.

    What I project the staff will look like:

    Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Brett DeVall, Tyler Stovall, and Jeffrey Lorick. If DeVall is healthy, that is. Seeing as nobody really knows what’s up with him. If he’s injured, I’m guessing Brett Oberholtzer takes his place in the rotation.

  14. Merry Christmas, everyone. Mac and bravesjournal bloggers (with the exception of he we dont speak his name) are the best. Mac, I hope God brings you a quick recovery this upcoming year.

    I hope Wren has a Derosa or a Nady in his stocking.

  15. I just looked at the article about Wren’s best and worst deals. Frenchy for Church as one of the worst? I’m not buying that.

  16. woohoo! My wife got me MLBtv … okay, Wren, it’s even more important for you to put together a good team now that I’ll be watching instead of just listening in.

  17. Merry Xmas all. Wish us luck. We’re at 10 inches of snow here in KC and still going. Hopefully, you guys are having a good one.

  18. John Manual at Baseball America has a personal Top 20 Prospects list. I don’t totally agree — I think Bumgarner at #10 is awfully aggressive considering the diminished velocity, and is Aaron Hicks really the 18th-best prospect in all of baseball? — but it’s always interesting to see what they think.

    I’m still pissed off about the JV trade, but I’m with the above comments: I sure do like the thought of having a collection of a lot of the best young arms in the minors. We have a couple of guys who could crack that top 20 next year if everything breaks right.

  19. Wait, the Falcons have the Bills at home and then travel to Tampa? If they don’t go 9-7, I’m going to be really upset. Not as upset as the Vazquez trade, but man, something will get broken.

  20. I didn’t realize Matt Diaz lived so close to me in Lakeland. He’s probably the Brave I’d most like to hang out with.

  21. PW – With all the arms we have, I would not be surprised to see Teheran move up.

    I also think DeVall begins the year in extended ST. Replacing him should be Oberholtzer, Masters, or Crim.

    It will be interesting to see how all of this shakes out. Our rotations are getting crowded and we are set up to have our MLB starting five return in ’11. If we do not find a way to trade a Parr, Reyes, or Redmond soon, we will have to release them.

  22. Depressed. Depressed. My second cousin in Texas got a $175k ’08 Mercedes SL65 AMG for Christmas. I knew they had cash, but come on.

  23. PW – It all depends on who lines up where.

    You’ve got some guys from Danville who should be in the Rome rotation next year, by all means. Maybe, Vizcaino is the one who moves a little more slowly with the logjam in the lower minors.

  24. @spike

    You’re right, I didn’t say anything about the Phillies. My bad. But in any event this Braves team, as currently constituted, won’t win 86 games this year. Although Wren managed during the season to erase many of the “what ifs” that began 2009 he has now introduced a host of others. This team–again, my opinion–is much closer to the one that began 2009 than it is to the one that finished it.

    I hope I’m wrong. I hope that Chipper, Glaus and Lowe each regain their 2008 forms. I hope that the back end of the bullpen stays healthy. I hope that Hanson and Jurrjens keep improving while Heyward manages to make a difference in RF, at some point. And I hope Hudson comes back strong. But there are just a lot of “what ifs,” whether Wren is at fault or not, and when you look at the moves this offseason as a larger body of work it begins to dawn on you that while we could rationalize each one on its own terms, taken together they appear far less digestible. And it makes me sad. That’s all.

  25. Merry Christmas to everybody on the site! Including you, Coach and that guy from Portland who liked Frenchy way too much! And speaking of Frenchy, I don’t think that Santa brings presents to those who don’t believe in OBP.

  26. Best line from the Glossary:

    Francoeur, Jeff: AKA Jeffy, The Groundhog, Captain Underpants, Failcoeur, Francout, Out Machine, The Human Out, Whitey Mo Pena, Delta Flight .280 OBP, Stenchy, Stancoeur, Wancoeur, Francine, Fran Fran the GIDP Man, Benchy. (Added July 11, 2009 — V-F Day +1)

  27. Saw “The Blind Side” tonight. Thumbs up, especially the Tennessee orange jokes.

    Yes, all the showings of “Avatar” were sold out.

  28. I’m probably the only person around that didn’t care too much for Avatar. The action was great, just didn’t care much for the story line. Otoh, I really enjoyed Blind Side.

    Hope all had a wonderful Christmas!

  29. It’s one thing to sign a player who used to be good but has sat out two years with injuries. Kelvim Escobar has never been good and sat our two years with injuries. I will admit his 06 and 07 seasons were decent, but count me in as being unimpressed.

  30. Just listening to Peter Pasquarelli on the ESPN Baseball Today podcast from Christmas Eve. Talking about Troy Glaus he said (to paraphrase), “He doesn’t care about playing baseball, St Louis were shocked at how lackadaisical he approached his rehab and Tony La Russa barred him from road trips as he was a bad influence.”

    While I’m confident Bobby can manage him better, especially since it was a signing he pushed for, it’s not the best news to hear.

  31. Tebow took a piece of Meyer’s heart with him.

    So, who is the next Gator coach? Rumor is Charlie Strong hasn’t officially signed his contract at Louisville. Dan Mullen?

  32. I’ve never had a problem with Meyer. It’s a shock that he’s resigning and I have to say that this next year will be hard for his replacement. Not just because of losing Tebow, I think their defense will lose quite a few. Florida is loaded with talent, but I think next year will be a down year for them no matter who coaches.

    Why didn’t he announce his resignation after the bowl game?

  33. I am sorry to see Meyer go….

    #73–My guess is that he will use his decision to better motivate his players not to be complacent in his ‘bowl game’.

    I am guessing that Meyer will now join the ranks of college football commentators…..

  34. Wow. Terrible News. So… where do we go from here? Here’s my tentative lists of coaches I would want:

    Bob Stoops
    Chris Peterson
    Dave Wannstedt
    Dan Mullen

    No thanks on Charlie Strong…

  35. As a Gamecock fan, I can say that if we’re ever going to win the East, it has to be next year with a Tebow-less Florida and coaching changes, a Tennessee team under NCAA investigation, and a Georgia team we had the same record as this year and who we host next season.

  36. Nick’s report about Glaus worries the hell outta me. Doesn’t Wren do ANY background work?

    I’m beginning to think he simply stumbled into the lineup that worked so well the last half of the season.

    And, Nick, why do you think Bobby would have any better luck that LaRussa with this guy? Just because Sheffield didn’t axe-murder anybody while he was here doesn’t make Cox Nanny McPhee.

  37. Loved to hate Urban Meyer but will be sad to see him go under these circumstances.

    Any chance he takes a Coach K-like sabbatical and returns the following year?

  38. hank, per DOB, Bobby was the one who wanted Glaus here and apparently he took less to come play for Bobby. Why should we take Peter’s word for anything?

  39. Why didn’t he announce his resignation after the bowl game?

    Recruiting. It would be bad form to continue during the heavy recruiting season and have kids commit to a coach that won’t be there. It also gives UF juniors a chance to consider Meyer’s absence in their decisions to turn pro or not.

  40. 82 – The last two guys that have come to Atlanta with those kinds of reports have worked out pretty well. Sheff and Vazquez.

    Am I forgetting someone?

  41. I’m not as worried about Glaus’ attitude as I am about his shoulder. In any event, despite my criticism elsewhere, I like the signing and do hope they can get 130-140 games out of him.

    I’m most excited about Up In The Air. Looks great.

  42. Tried going to see Sherlock Holmes today with the fam but the only time we could go it was sold out. After that movie I’m not really sure what to look forward to. The A-Team movie comes out in June, and I actually am kind of excited about that.

  43. Well, I still haven’t seen the first Iron Man.

    As a Marvel Comics fan as a kid, I am a little hesitant about the movies.

    How is Iron Man, from a “purist” point of view?

  44. In seriousness, I bet it’s either Dan Mullen or the Utah coach.

    I imagine Bob Stoops is at the top of their list. As far as Whittingham goes (Utah’s coach), Florida’s president Bernie Machen came from Utah and is very familiar with him. I think he could be the next candidate in line if they don’t land Stoops.

    And LOL at the suggestion of Dave Wannstache.

  45. I’ve seen Muschamp’s name floated about elsewhere as well. But Texas has a lot invested in him as their next coach, so that’s probably a long shot.

    People have also mentioned Gruden and Shanahan, but Jeremy Foley ain’t stupid.

  46. @97,

    George Clooney only plays one role, but he plays it well. It’s a bit slow paced, but always engaging. Nice review, Alex R.

  47. It is encouraging to see even “mild interest” in someone of Uggla’s caliber after Wren announced he was done with major moves. Here’s hoping for DeRosa.

  48. I’m not against Uggla, but trading for him doesn’t make much sense to me. Why trade a few players for Uggla when we can get Nady or DeRosa on the FA market? I don’t see a lot of difference in DeRosa and Uggla as far as meeting our needs. We better hurry on DeRo, I’ve heard reports that San Fran is close to signing him, but who knows?

  49. Thanks, Rob!

    I think Clooney plays against type eeeevery so often; he was able to subvert a lot of his charisma effectively in Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck. But it doesn’t happen much. He’s good enough at that one part that he doesn’t need to do it too often.

  50. the Gators should bring back Galen Hall !………he looks so cool in those tight ban-lon shirts and he’s probably tired of hanging around Penn St waiting for Uncle Joe to retire or die.

  51. As someone who owned Spiderman #3, I can attest that Iron Man I is a hoot. Very watchable and Downey is perfect. (When is he not?)

    Looking forward to his portrayal of Holmes.

  52. Iron Man is the best Marvel adaptation made to date. As a comic book movie, it’s right there at the top.

  53. Wow. Meyer’s now not resigning, but instead he’s going to take a leave of absence. Uhhh… for how long?

  54. ESPN says for the entire 2010 season. That makes more sense to me. I don’t see any reason for a coach of Meyer’s caliber to end his career due to a non-life-threatening heart condition. Today’s medical technology makes such a thing not much of a deal.

  55. from what everyone was reporting yesterday, its just the stress of his everyday lifestyle thats caught up with him. No matter when he comes back, that stress will always be there

  56. Meyer is good for college football and the SEC, but this makes him look a bit like a jackass, especially in light of some of the comments he made only yesterday.

  57. so does this help or hurt recruiting for FLA? will kids go there not knowing who will be their coach from yr to yr, or if Meyer will ever return? seems like this is a nice move by the AD allowing it to happen, but could be a bad decision for the program

  58. I have to say that this probably hurts the Gators in recruiting and even worse on the field.

    As much as I would like to say my Vols win the east, Carolina is probably the front runner.

  59. I’ve never read any of the comics, so I can’t speak to how faithful it is, but Iron Man is a really fun movie. But there have been a lot of good Marvel adaptations, IMHO: X-Men 1 and 2, Spider-Man 1 and 2, Blade, and Iron Man. (X-Men 3 and the Blade sequels are watchable if silly; Spider-Man 3 is only watchable if you view it as a bizarre commentary on bad bloated action movies. The Ed Norton Hulk movie is mediocre.)

  60. The only Marvel adaptations that come close to Iron Man are the first two Spiderman movies. The tone, humor and story-telling in Iron Man make it the “Batman Begins” for Marvel movies, IMHO. Downey, Jr was born to play Tony Stark.

  61. This time of year is always tough as the hot stove completely shuts down for a good 10 days or so — evident by the blog’s digression into college football and rating the movie adaptations of Marvel comics.

    As a die-hard Spidey fan from the 80’s, I view Spider-man 2 as the pinnacle of comic book adaptations and Spider-man 3 as rock-bottom. Strange to see such extremes within one franchise. Iron Man was extremely solid. I doubt the sequel will be able to live up to the expectations set by the first one.

    Man, I hope the Braves aren’t done dealing this winter. I’ll consider Glaus a bargain if we can still solidify the line-up with another proven bat capable of 25 HRs who is not coming off of a career low or a year lost to injury. Wren has filled the stockings with “if”s and “but”s but I don’t feel very merry right now.

  62. I saw some of Spiderman 3 yesterday, but changed the channel. Was that Stan Lee making a cameo? He’s standing next to Peter Parker and says something about how one person can make a difference . . . .

    I just finished reading the novel Up in the Air, and I can’t wait to see the film. Clooney seems the perfect choice to play Ryan Bingham. I also recommend Walter Kirn’s memoir about his years at Princeton, Lost in the Meritocracy. A very insightful, humorous writer.

  63. I didn’t really like Sherlock Holmes. It wasn’t awful by any stretch, but it just fell a bit flat for me.

  64. My wife even liked Iron Man. After seeing Downey’s performance I can see why the dude still has a job. Very good movie.

    I want to see Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air. Thanks for the review Alex. Ububba thanks for the Blind Side review. My 17 year old enjoyed it.

    Man 4 kids can cause you to miss a lot of movies. There are a lot that I haven’t seen. Hell I JUST saw Sin City on Spike last night. I actually liked it.

    DeRosa is a better fit. But and I know I am repeating myself ad nauseum here, KJ is a better fit than he DeRo.

  65. I generally don’t go to the movies — shot immune system doesn’t help, but even when I’m not worried about that, it’s always such a big production. I bought “Iron Man” on Blu-Ray, and it was worth it.

  66. So, our current roster looks something like this. Decent, but it would look better with another bat of course.

    CF McLouth
    2B Prado
    3B Chipper
    1B Glaus
    C McCann
    SS Escobar
    LF Diaz/Cabrera
    RF Cabrera/Heyward

    bench
    OF Diaz/Cabrera/Heyward
    C Ross
    UT Infante
    UT Thurston
    OF M. Jones/NRI/Free Agent

    Pitchers

    RHP Jurrjens
    RHP Hanson
    RHP Hudson
    RHP Lowe
    RHP Kawakami

    Bullpen

    LHP Wagner
    RHP Saito
    RHP Moylan
    LHP O’Flaherty
    RHP Medlen
    RHP Chavez/NRI/Free Agent
    RHP Acosta/LHP Dunn/NRI/Free Agent

  67. I’m a Colts fan and I think we owe some apologies.
    After Peyton was pulled, up 15-10, the fans at the game booed our offense every time they came on the field.
    We can talk about how the game immediately became the equivalent of a preseason affair, but I thought the booing showed poor sportsmanship. Certainly not deserved by a team that had found a way to win every week up this point.

    Guess Hoosiers really don’t get football.

  68. Kind of a bummer, really.

    I get why the Colts would sit their best players—and Jets fans appreciate “the effort,” I’m sure.

    But, for me, the remainder of the NFL season (and post-season) just got a whole lot less interesting.

  69. I am a Peyton supporter and I think it was a chicken shit move by the Colts. They are basically shutting down and will come back to bite them in the playoffs. Plus, how is it fair to the other AFC teams in the playoff race to basically let the Jets win.

    You have a chance to go down as one of the, if not the, greatest team of all time, and you blow it to protect a few players, one of them who has never missed a game. Chicken Shit!

  70. I would have liked to see the Colts try to stay unbeaten, but I don’t buy the argument that they owed it to the rest of the league to keep their starters in. The Colts earned the right to do what they want by kicking butt for 14 weeks, and the other teams in the playoff race could have won a few more of their own games if they wanted to get in.

  71. #129

    I’m lucky that I can usually catch a weekday matinée. Plenty of empty seats. Otherwise, the cineplex experience would be unbearable.

  72. I got to looking at Florida’s player who are coming back and they may be better next year than expected. Their whole offensive line is coming back and most of their defense. They’re losing their top receiver, but running backs and receivers were not a strong point for them imo.

    I don’t think the interim situation will hurt their performance a whole lot. You never know, they could have a year similar to Tennessee after they lost Manning. Hopefully Addazio doesn’t pull a Phil Fulmer – I don’t think he will.

  73. #137 – exactly, the players are concerned with going undefeated through the reg season. If they win the super bowl they will still get in the discussion as one of the greatest teams of all time. They won what 25-26 straight reg season games. They earned the right to sit some players

    the rest of the league shouldnt let other teams decide their outcomes either

  74. @135 Right on, ububba. It is kind of a bummer.

    Here lately, the national guys have raised the spectre of the Chargers booting the Colts from the playoffs their last two meetings. And the Bolts are red-hot.
    The scariest thing for me is those national wags are comparing the Colts to another franchise that “only won one championship” during a supposed long window of opportunity.

    @136 Well said. Don’t ever again want to hear this team tell me “one game at a time” or “we’re gonna’ do our best to win the game THIS week.”
    ‘Cause it just ain’t so.

  75. So is anyone else convinced we are going to get one of DeRosa/Nady/Uggla and call it an offseason? Goodness I hope Wren doesn’t acquire Uggla.

  76. @141

    I think the “one game at a time” mantra goes out the window when they’ve played all the meaningful regular season games. At that point, it becomes folly to merely consider the next contest without regard for the bigger picture.

    Why not take Peyton Manning out after giving him enough reps to keep him in rhythm? That seems like the ideal way to prepare for the playoffs to me. If I was a Colts fan, I’d be disappointed in losing the perfect season but I’d be happy the new coach apparently has his priorities in order. The superbowl is still in play for them regardless of the outcome vs the Jets. If Manning goes down, the Superbowl goes with him, end of story.

    Peyton is solidifying his place among the all-time greats, as perhaps the best QB to ever play. More Superbowl titles will earn him that title. Look at how one loss and one injury have derailed Brady’s quest for that distinction. I’d wrap Manning in bubble wrap and do exactly the opposite of the Patriots at every opportunity.

  77. Thanks for the words on Iron Man.

    I go to the movies to have fun. I am not really a snob about movies being true to their original source, but I do recognize that expectations can shape your movie-going experience.

  78. @144 Thanks, Dix
    I think you’ve represented one side of the argument well. And as a fan of the team, I get that. To win the Super Bowl is the goal.
    But they also rested Dallas Clark, then Gary Brackett, etc.. At what point did they stop being the Colts?
    We knew a month early who’d be in the SEC championship and that the winner would probably be in the BCS title game. Why not rest Tebow or Ingram? Is it because going undefeated meant more in the college game? Probably a silly comparison.
    Let’s give Koby and LeBron some nights off,too.
    But don’t let Bill Russell hear about it. He’d never stop laughing.

  79. I was mostly disappointed that Jim Sorgi is on IR. It’s not really the end of the football season until Sorgi plays in a meaningless game while Peyton watches and giggles.

  80. And the Patriots didn’t lose that game because they went undefeated through the regular season.

    I frankly don’t understand why you’re in sports if you have the attitude the Colts coaching staff and front office had yesterday. It’s frankly just as likely to hurt them in the playoffs as it is to help them. Manning hasn’t missed a start since he became the full-time starting QB at Tennessee (beginning of sophomore year). Sure, I suppose it could happen, but there are ways to call plays where the chances of it happening are almost zero, especially given he’s never missed a start. Overlooked is how rusty they’ll be and how much momentum they’ll lose in just tossing the last two games of the season, and perhaps even the respect the players may have lost for the coach and front office. It was pretty obvious that no one was happy about that decision yesterday. If you have a player that’s questionable or something with an injury, you should definitely sit him, but I just can’t abide not even trying to win the game. To say that an undefeated season doesn’t matter the slightest little bit is ridiculous and frankly, like sticking your head in the sand. Where the hell is the competitive spirit? And the Colts do owe something to the rest of the conference, because we all know that if somebody did to them what they did to Houston and Pittsburgh, they would be pissed. What they have said is that they think they’re better and more important than the rest of the league.

  81. Is it because going undefeated meant more in the college game?

    Yeah, I think so, Kevin. The SECCG winner almost certainly wouldn’t playing for the “national championship” unless it was undefeated.

  82. Let’s be fair. I said it makes sense to rest the starters, after giving them enough reps to keep them sharp. That is specifically with the notion that too much time off will likely hurt them in the playoffs.

    Also, I don’t think that you’re not a sportsman if you’re not trying your utmost to win every game. There comes a point where the ultimate goal supersedes the immediate goal of winning the next game. In college football, that never happens. In the pros, it happens in week 15 for an undefeated team.

    Look at how many times Brian McCann will sit out when healthy in a given season. Those sundays off are games we might win if he plays, as he’s our best hitter. All of us know though that the team wins more games in the long run if he is rested and has fresh legs. Baseball may be a longer season, and it is impossible to win all games, but football in 16 games is more physically demanding than baseball over 162 (my opinion). Taking one half off in a 16 week season is like taking 5 games off in a baseball season. Who knows if the rest rejuvenates the players proportionally or not?

    5 games in baseball is more than the difference in many pennant races, but sometimes the situation warrants it.

    Finally, I don’t think anyone suggested that the Pats lost because they went undefeated. I think the point to be taken from that Superbowl loss is that their regular season accomplishments were rendered essentially meaningless by the eventual loss. A 13-7 season ending with a Superbowl victory is a better result than an 18-1 season resulting in runner up. The ultimate point being, if the Colts win the Superbowl, no Colts fan should be upset about losing to the Jets. If they don’t win the Superbowl, then beating the Jets wouldn’t mean anything either.

    It sucks to lose the shot at making history, but there’s no point for the coach to go against his instincts in pursuit of that history.

  83. I guess Colts prez Bill Polian is the killjoy here. He’s actually said that going undefeated wasn’t so important.

    [FWIW, LB Tedy Bruschi has said that the pressure of going undefeated was too much for the ’07 Pats. But really, they were just a ball-against-helmet circus catch away from 19-0.]

    As mentioned, I totally get the idea of the Colts resting their best players. Walsh & Parcells did it when they got a chance—other teams be damned—and won Super Bowls with the rested guys. Those teams weren’t undefeated, so… fine.

    Still, as a fan, watching an undefeated professional team try to go all the way is very compelling. And now, it just ain’t anymore. It’s just another season.

  84. Blah, blah, blah…the Colts.

    Do you guys seriously think these weak arguments make any sense?

    The Colts are better situated to win the Superbowl by playing their best players in meaningless games? The Colts should risk injury to their best players to improve the chance that another team gets in the playoffs? And the best…the Colts should go undefeated because it was important to Alabama in the NCAA season?

    The reason the game mattered to fans was that the Colts had a chance to make history. Can we stop wasting time on these other arguments?

  85. It’s the baseball off season…we’re supposed to waste time. I got about 7 paragraphs out of this debate. I haven’t put that much writing to Braves Journal in a while, so I’m glad the Colts threw in the towel and decided to try to let an inferior team into the playoffs to increase their chance of facing said inferior team in the playoffs, where they can destroy them at will.

  86. Also, I don’t know if you’ve perused any Colts message boards today, but I did just to see what their thoughts were, and to say that they’re monstrously pissed off would be an understatement. They’re mostly probably just venting steam like happens on this board whenever anything bad happens, but many of them seem to think that if they win the Super Bowl, it will make this game even more annoying, that sitting players has nothing to do with winning the Super Bowl (especially when you get a first-round bye anyway) and that if the Colts lose the Super Bowl after this, that everybody should be fired.

    And I can honestly say that if the Falcons (I know, the Falcons at 14-0 is a hilarious thought) ever did the same thing, I would pretty much feel the same way. To compare it to baseball is a little silly, because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. There is no team record in baseball that is as prestigious as an undefeated season is in football, so there’s really nothing to compare it to. The best I can do I think is if somebody was hitting .399 on the last day of the season and was benched to get him ready for the playoffs, except apply that to the whole team.

    It just seems to me like the decision is that of someone who thinks he’s the biggest genius in the world, and that all of his fans are stupid, all of his players are stupid and all of the outside football world is stupid, and that no one on Earth has ever been as smart as he was by making that decision. I would call it Beichick-ian, but Belichick actually decided to go for the undefeated season, so I guess it’s even more insipid than Belichick-ian. I’m not a Colts fan, but anyone who doesn’t feel just a little bit cheated (save for Jets fans, who were the sole beneficiary of this farce)…well, I hesitate to say isn’t a sports fan, but let’s just say is certainly more a fan of cold, utilitarian business decisions than anyone should be.

  87. 156 – I think you missed my point. I am not saying don’t talk about it, but dancing around the central issue strikes me as disingenuous.

  88. This was a fun discussion to read. Thanks guys.

    Ultimately, it’s a priorities issue. The Colts made it clear that their priority is winning the Super Bowl over potentially hurting that chance to win the Super Bowl by pursuing an undefeated season. The only people that have any say in that are the Indianapolis Colts. Not Roger Goodell, the rest of the NFL teams, or the fans. It’s their accomplishments, and they don’t owe anything to anyone.

    In a way, college football teams do it all the time. Florida needs to be undefeated to make it to the national championship, so once a particular game is in doubt, Tebow was gone. He only took about 60% of Florida’s snaps last year. The reason is when the #1 priority (the national championship) was in hand by winning that game, nothing else mattered. I guarantee Tim Tebow would have won the Heisman last year if he had the counting stats he would have had if he had played all the games.

    So back to the Colts, there are a lot of parallels to draw. I think the perfect season is kind of like Tebow’s Heisman. IF Florida had played all-out throughout the entire season (like the Colts not resting their starters), then the secondary accomplishment (the Heisman vs. a perfect season), would have been accomplished. And where it comes full circle is the downside to both things: injuries. If Tebow got injured, Florida wouldn’t have won the NC. If Peyton got injured, the Colts don’t win the Super Bowl.

    Sorry to hijack it with more Gator homerdom, but I see a connection.

    Re: Melky

    It’s crazy had a GOOD outfielder can’t seem to find a spot on the two teams he’s played for. When you take everything into consideration, Melky seems to be an above-average outfielder. He hits for average, has a decent OBP, can run, plays good defense, has a good arm, is well-liked in the clubhouse, and his “clutch” stats are good. And yet, he doesn’t do any one of those things particular great, and the team he played for and the team he plays for now essentially don’t want him. Very sad.

  89. I can’t believe those refs just moved the ball out from under A&M and immediately started the clock. That was just weird.

  90. Just tuning in, but looks like a good bowl game.

    On Melky: He is essentially a redundancy to us because we have Nate McLouth. It seems like another team might find more value in him than the Braves. I would be happy to see decent a middle infield prospect for him. Or a 3rd baseman (Vitters? Probably too much.).

  91. Rant coming…

    Just turned on the Bowl game to see A&M getting beat like a drum in a bowl that Mizzou should be in except for the fact that the Big 12 doesn’t give a F*** about teams that aren’t in Texas.

    So instead of a potentially decent Mizzou/Georgia game, we get to watch Georgia beat down A&M and will get to get up for Mizzou vs Navy…

    Mizzou was either fifth or sixth in the conference this year depending if you look at conference or overall record. In any case, they were 8-4 while Iowa State and Texas A&M were both 6-6.

    Yet if you go check it out Mizzou is in the #8 Big XII spot while Iowa State is sitting at #6 and A&M is at #7 because the system is a corrupt piece of shit.

    I hate the BCS so much. So much.

  92. But Rob, that’s just it – he DOESN’T have a good OBP, and if UZR is to be believed, rates as a so-so defender, with a good arm, as you noted. He hasn’t hit for average in four full ML seasons either. Sounds like someone else – but I digress. He has the potential to be a useful player, and is at an age where there is still upside, but hasn’t really shown much at any level other than a very short sample as a repeater in AAA.

  93. @171

    The system allows it. If there is actually supposed to be a tier system in bowls to allow for the best possible matchups, how can you just allow for arbitrarily picking teams with a total disregard for their actual performances during the season?

    We know the an$wer, but that doesn’t make it any less depressing…

  94. Yeah, but that isn’t the BCS, it’s the bowl system in general, a system which has never cared about having the most compelling matchups. It’s always been about money. A&M’s fanbase is a stone’s throw from Shreveport, so it was a pretty obvious choice. Of course, without bowls, Missouri’s season would have been over a few weeks ago, so I don’t really get the angst over not getting to go to Shreveport in late December.

  95. Can’t get over Mike Leach getting suspended for locking Craig James’ son in a closet.

    Laughing at idiocy?

  96. Fine. Then say that. But if it’s all true, why even have the tier system for bowls at all? You can’t have it both ways, and it’s the hypocrisy of the whole situation that really pisses me off.

    Also, it’s not the trip to Shreveport. As a Mizzou fan, I’d rather see Mizzou/Georgia than Mizzou/Navy…and the team played well enough to deserve that.

  97. Big 12 bowl ranking idiocy seems to be an annual event. Of course putting Oklahoma ahead of Texas last year was a bit more ridiculous.

  98. @178 – I would probably give it to the team that lost in the final seconds by a few points, rather than a team that was beat by 10 and clearly behind most of the game.

  99. Never heard anyone complain about not getting into the Independence Bowl before.

    But, um, glad we won & relieved to see the Joe Cox Era end (on a partially gift-wrapped high note).

    BTW, the only time in the past 50 years that Navy might’ve been better than UGA was when JFK was president & Roger Staubach was their QB.

    UGA might’ve had a “down season,” but let’s not get ridiculous. If those 2 teams played, you’d notice the talent disparity in about 3 snaps.

  100. Ububba’s right, UGA is easily a better team than Navy.

    Navy’s best win was either ACC’s Wake Forest or Notre Dame (aka crap). The Midshipmen lost to Hawaii and Temple!!

    Georgia’s best win was either ACC Champion Georgia Tech or Auburn. Isn’t Georgia Tech a better version of Navy in any case?

    You could argue that Navy is better than Georgia, but you’d be very wrong. As bad a year as the Dawgs had, that’s laughable.

    And the SEC does rock and rule. Four National Championships in a row (by three different schools!) and five out of six pretty much says it all. Yes, I’m calling it.

  101. DeRosa has had a nice career considering that he was simply non tendered by the Braves years ago. Good for him. I was in the minority of one that thought we should have kept him.

    @128 Prado backs Chipper up at 3rd. You let Glaus play 1b as much as possible so you don’t mess him up as he learns a new position. KJ backs up second and plays some left too. Assuming that the Braves don’t acquire an outfielder you can get Johnson some at bats in left and work Cabrera in when Chipper needs a rest. If Heyward destroys AAA pitching then when he comes up you platoon Diaz and KJ in LF. All moot of course because we’ll spend more money on a damaged player like Nady instead.

  102. We all wish DeRosa had done better when he was here, but the non-tender was absolutely the right move at the time.

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