Martin Prado

Martin Prado Statistics and History –

Prado has gone from a non-prospect potential utility infielder to a regular fairly rapidly. Two years ago, nobody thought he would be here, but after tearing up the league for much of 2009 the Braves gave him the second base job and let Kelly Johnson go. Despite last season, it’s not definitively clear that Prado is a better player than Johnson, but he really hasn’t done anything but hit since he made the majors. Prado’s career batting line is .307/.360/.451, and last year he hit almost exactly that, .307/.358/.464. It’s very much a batting average-driven sort of offense, something of which I’m not really fond, and it’s reliant upon a .336 career batting average on balls in play.

Prado resembles Matt Diaz in a way, and like Diaz does a lot of his damage against lefthanders, against whom he hit .301/.392/.531, with six of his eleven homers (in about half as many PA as against righthanders). Like Diaz, he hits for a high average against righthanders, but with less power and fewer walks. Given the Braves’ normal problems last year with lefties, that wasn’t a big concern, but might be this year.

I have been relentlessly critical about Prado’s defense, but he was pretty much average at second base last year (by range factor and plus/minus, the two things I usually look at). He does make some comical mistakes still, but those aren’t a big deal in the big picture. He’s a pretty good third baseman, but probably won’t play there any in 2010… Terrible baserunner, last year at any rate, slow (1 of 4 SB attempts, no triples) and while not too prone to getting thrown out, one of the many Braves who seemingly couldn’t score from second on a single, much less first on a double.

190 thoughts on “Martin Prado”

  1. i’m really anxious to see what prado’s power numbers will look like this year. i know most people think his hr total was a fluke, but his homers flew out of there pretty well. if he can put up his line from last year with 150 more at-bats, he could slot himself as one of the top 3 nl offensive 2nd baseman. can prado hit 20 homeruns? i doubt it, but it would be sweet.

  2. I hope Prado is the real deal. I thought he was returning to Earth when he went through that mini slump after the break but he rebounded. Fearless prediction: KJ will have a better year than Prado.

  3. Good write-up!
    I think any team with Prado is a better team, but any team with too many players like Prado has a problem.

  4. DOB:
    @ajcbraves: Braves are still pursuing Johnny Damon, and it could happen now that his price has presumably shrunk along with his market.


  5. Does anyone know what the TV broadcast schedule looks like for this year? Or at least how many games each station is going to carry? I assume Sports South will carry the bulk of the games but I would like to know how many SS, PeachTV (the old TBS), ESPN, and FSN will each be carrying. TIA.

  6. The more complete run-down from his blog:

    I’ve not seen or heard that ESPN report. But I’m told Braves are still trying to get Damon. When a Braves official told me a couple of days ago that they had not made an offer to Damon, that was true. But they also had not stopped discussions with Boras/Damon.

    This could happen. As I’ve tried to make clear all along on this one, both sides have been interested from the start. And now with Damon’s price down to a presumably suitable level….

  7. Smitty, six days ago:

    Kiffin comes in and lands a top ten class, has a winning record, currently has a top ten recruiting class. He take the NATIONAL CHAMPION to the wire (a decent kicker wins it)

    It doesn’t take a homer to read facts to see Tennessee is going to be fine.

    And before you start in on the “recruiting violations” bull shit, it doesn’t matter. Every school has secondary violations.

    Still laughing…

  8. well, unfortunately, Smitty now sees what we all see in Lane Kiffin.

    However, according to DOB and Stu’s post above the Braves are still looking at Damon and they should be. I didnt want Damon at first, but if thats our only option Ill take any upgrade that we can get.

    Also looks like Laroche has found himself a one year deal with Arizona

  9. Damon-McLouth-Heyward against RHPs, and Damon-Cabrera-Diaz against LHPs? Even better, leave Heyward down in Gwinnett until at least June.

  10. Supposedly LaRoche just signed with the D-Backs.

    He only got one year, so it is way less than his asking price.

    I wonder what they are paying him.

  11. 3 – I agree with your prediction. But KJ will have some park-effect help.

    As Mac said, Prado was largely a non-prospect. In 2006-7, he was on the radar of the Braves’ fan sites, but he slipped below in subsequent years. He has never gained any reall attention from the prospect gurus of the world.

    He has slightly improved all his rate stats since his jump to the Majors. Surely this has some platoon effect built in.

    I was thinking we were bound to see a major regression from Prado this year, but as I look at the stats, I think the regression will be more slight.

  12. Mac,

    I always pull for the SEC. However, I am pulling for anyone who plays SC.


    I understand why Kiffin left. The way and the timing of how he left is what sucks. Hell, three days ago I liked him. Now, I hope he burns in hell.

  13. Troy Calhoun has called a team meeting at Air Force. He is really high on Tennessee’s list. If things fall through with him, Cutcliffe will be the next target, ugh.

  14. @22

    They do, but he won’t run that at Tennessee. He was the Texans O coordinator and they threw a bunch.

  15. 24 Saw that on Talking Chop, but that can’t be right.

    Didn’t he turn down 2/17? Of course, under that circumstance a one-year deal makes no sense.

  16. I do want to reinforce the Diaz comparison — Diaz’s career rate stats are .310/.358/.459, virtually identical to Prado’s. (Obviously, that’s a lot less valuable in an outfield corner.) I think that, like Diaz in 2008, Prado might be prone to a disaster year where the singles don’t fall, though I don’t think that a complete wipeout like that (Diaz had other things go wrong even before he got hurt) is too likely.

  17. As I think more about the reports on the LaRoche deal, I am increasingly skeptical.

    I think this is BS.

  18. So far the only source MLBTR lists on it is a tweet by a Pittsburgh reporter right? and no amount is listed.

  19. What seems unlikely to me is that if Roachy was offered 2/17 by the Giants, he would not have agreed to 4.5 for one year this quickly.

  20. apparently a good thing we didnt offer arb. So, when do the I would rather have roach at $4.5 over Glaus at $2 post starts. Maybe I should?

  21. 16,

    Cabrera really shouldn’t play vs. LHP.

    Can we start calling a rumor that DOB constantly repeats, seemingly because he personally wants it to happen, an “Ohman” or a “Damon”?

  22. I’ll believe Damnon when I see it. I can’t see us offering more than 5 MM, and at that point, the Yanks would be stupid not to match..

  23. No interest in Damon. Slow, poor-fielding left-handed outfielders should not be in our plans.

    I really question Wren’s vision. He seems very hand-to-mouth to me.

    And, yes, I’d much rather have LaRoche for $5 million than Glaus for $2 million – especially if this really was going to be the year we muscle up to “win one for Bobby”.

    Wren seems bent on creating the perfect .501 team.

  24. At least we’re only paying 2.6 of Melky’s money… and as somebody on MLBTR pointed out, this means we can trade him without his permission (unlike if we’d offered arb)?

  25. This may just be a sample size issue, but few guys I have seen consistently rip as many seeing-eye doubles right down the line as Martin Prado. I think that’s one reason his relatively high BABIP will stick.

  26. 38,

    Adam LaRoche career stats: .274/.343/.491 in 3230 PA’s with 136 HR’s (4.73% of his AB’s).

    Troy Glaus the past 6 years: .259/.362/.503 in 2635 PA’s with 140 HR’s (6.24% of his AB’s).

    Adam LaRoche is a natural 1B. Troy Glaus is a natural 3B. Glaus is most likely an upgrade defensively over LaRoche.

    Adam LaRoche bats left handed. Troy Glaus bats right handed. Troy Glaus does something to fix the right handed power problem. Adam LaRoche does nothing of the sort.

    CHONE projects Adam LaRoche to be a 1.2 win player in 2010. The fans project Adam LaRoche to be a 1.9 win player in 2010. CHONE projects Troy Glaus to be a 1.7 win player in 2010. The fans project Troy Glaus to be a 2.2 win player in 2010.

    I think you’re wrong about this one.

  27. Trying to figure out in what way Damon is “slow”. He’s probably faster than any of our outfielders but Melky, and Melky can’t actually use his speed.

  28. PW – When you factor in the injury concerns, LaRoche seems like he would be the better choice to me.

    To be fair though, in my mind it’s close and if Roachy’s price was expected to be much more than 1 yr $5M, which it was, I start leaning towards Glaus.

  29. Has anybody started to run those “10000 seasons” programs yet? the ones that predict W-L based on players on the team, etc? I haven’t seen them, but I’d be curious to see how we shape up in them right now.

  30. if the braves sign damon, i sure hope they dont make the mistake of trading diaz. hopefully, we can hex some team into thinking melky is a valuable centerfielder.

  31. Was it AccuScore that did that? Trying to search for them and haven’t had much luck with “those things that predict and run a bunch of seasons MLB win loss” as search term *doh*

  32. BTW, DOB blog:

    Some of you suggesting Braves trade McLouth to fit in Damon, I wouldn’t expect that to happen. I think there’s better chance one of the others would be moved, perhaps Melky, if they need to trade someone.

  33. Trading Diaz to make room for Damon would indeed be a mistake, but I don’t think they’ll do that. Not with their stated emphasis on right-handed power this offseason.

  34. Might I be the only one with the temerity to suggest that we simply stand pat at this point?

    I don’t think there’s a magic trade to get us out of the Melky Mistake. I don’t think there’s a worthy free agent fit. Just go with what we’ve got until injuries hit or folks start to fall out of contention and look to trade then.

    Don’t want Damon.

  35. Damon > Melky.

    So, why not sign Damon and trade Melky?

    We get a bit better at the plate and get a prospect to boot. Of course, this leaves us without an immediately ready backup centerfielder (Infante in an emergency?).

    This also assumes we get Damon on a one-year deal.

  36. You know, if the Mets picked up Ankiel as their other/extra OF (and to cover when Beltran is out), and sign Molina… they won’t have a horrible line-up. Still have Santana and a crappy rotation behind him… but if they pick up Sheets on a discount they could potentially be “in the race”…. for 2nd place in the division.

  37. @18 Thats why I made the ‘fearless’ prediction. KJ gets to hit in Chase Field. I liked the name BOB better for the ballpark.

    Me thinks that rumored 2@17 offer the SF Giants made to LaRoche was bullshit. That or Roachy got confused and took the wrong medication. I think that he and his agent seriously overvalued his terrific 1/2 a season.

    Hankonly – no way man. Glaus is a gamble but the payoff could be great. Good roll of the dice by Wren.

    Damon for 1 year as a place holder for Heyward? Sure.

    Its been pretty humbling out there for some of the FAs out on the market this year.

  38. 44 – Roachy’s agent was putting 3 years 30 mil out there. His arb raise would have been at least 2x Glaus’ salary. No contest. Gamble on Glause rather than overpay for a 1b thats good for only 1/2 a season at a time.

  39. 44 – Roachy’s agent was putting 3 years 30 mil out there. His arb raise would have been at least 2x Glaus’ salary. No contest. Gamble on Glaus rather than overpay for a 1b thats good for only 1/2 a season at a time.

  40. Have you ever watched Damon in person? He’s one of the least natural outfielders I’ve ever seen.

    Watched him play a routine single into a triple at Fenway. Runs straight up all the time.

    As to Glaus: I hope you guys are right, but I KNOW that LaRoche helps this team but I HOPE Glaus is healthy enough (and still talented enough) to help this team.

    Do you really think Glaus will be a defensive UPGRADE at 1B? Are you basing that on the brilliant six games he’s had there?

    What little credibility Colin Cowherd had with me is now completely gone. He is seemingly proud of his role as the Monica Lewinsky of Southern Cal Football.

  41. 59,
    Yes, I think Glaus will be a defensive upgrade over LaRoche. As Mac noted, he’s a natural third baseman. His advantage in range (LaRoche has rather poor range), I think, will obscure any advantages LaRoche has.

    Far from a given, but I think he’s a defensive upgrade.

  42. Just noticed on the lower corner has shots from McCann’s softball game… the “front” picture is of Andruw.

  43. LaRoche may not have great defensive range, but I would prefer him to someone who has only played 6 games at 1B. Playing first base has its skill set requirments and I don’t think that any player is automatically or inevitably going to make the transition. Lets hope that he really is a defensive upgrade….


  44. #65
    Even if Glaus is a worse defender, defense at 1b isn’t that much of a difference maker. 1b is a hitters position. By your reasoning, if I get your statement correctly, we should have been better off with Kotchman, who is a better defender than LaRoche.

  45. Johnny: Where do you get that?

    Glaus is an excellent gamble at the price. Not sure I buy that he’s going to be an upgrade over LaRoche in all facets. But we got a righty, with greater power potential than LaRoche, who I believe will certainly be serviceable defensively. We got an insurance policy for him in Hinske. If he’s healthy, I love it. If he gets hurt, them’s the breaks. But we couldn’t have sat around and waited for LaRoche’s price to come down, we might have missed both Roche and Glaus and had to pay Hinske to be a starter. You can’t get in to that game.

    Damon is an obvious upgrade over Melky, and Schafer can be the backup CF. Blanco if you want Schafer hitting in AAA everyday. And Damon, even at 7 mill, if he keeps Heyward down until June, will save us millions on Heyward’s arbitration (preventing him gaining super-2 status.) And if we trade Melky to do it, that 7 would really be 4.

  46. @68
    jjschiller – I was responding to Stephen’s post #65. I think if you read both of them you will find that you and I agree. Also see my post #57.

    No to Damon at 7 mil. If he is willing to come in at 1.5 or 2, sure. Besides I am not putting too much stock into the Damon rumors. He was asking a lot and the Braves don’t have a lot to give.

    IMHO I see the starting OFers barring anything crazy happening in ST, as Diaz, McLouth, Heyward left to right. Again, IMHO, Heyward would have to flat out collapse to lose the starting RF slot.

  47. 69—That rumor was posted yesterday and hasn’t been picked up by anyone. I don’t think there’s any truth to it.

  48. That page also says that Calhoun would accept if Leach were to decline, which is apparently not true at this point, so that kind of shoots that to hell, doesn’t it?

  49. Also, Leach would be such an awful hire at this point in such a myriad of ways that I don’t even know where to begin. The main point is probably that even if you buy into Leach in a purely football way (which I do not, by the way), we simply can’t hire someone with the baggage that Leach has with the whole abuse thing after the Lane Kiffin fiasco.

  50. Hank, what happened with Cowherd? I was wondering what he was going to say about things after yesterday, but I didn’t hear his show today. I’m sort of a Colin Cowherd fan, myself.

  51. Off-topic.. er.. on topic??


    Japan’s Hall of Fame is tougher than ours
    Wed Jan 13,2010 2:00 PM ET By Craig Calcaterra
    Three players were inducted into Japan’s baseball hall of fame. One player who didn’t make it:

    Chunichi manager Hiromitsu Ochiai, a three-time batting Triple Crown winner, missed by one vote for the second year in a row.

    In addition to winning the triple crown thrice, Ochiai won two additional batting titles in non-Triple Crown years, two additional home run titles in non-Triple Crown years, was a two-time MVP, hit 510 home runs and had an OPS of .987 in a 20 year career that seems to have followed the usual sort of arc for a superstar. He also won a Japan Series as a manager.

    I’ll confess that I know nothing about the intricacies of Japanese Hall of Fame elections, but until told otherwise I’m going to assume that he either (a) was tied to some sort of scandal; or (b) that esteemed Japanese baseball writer Jay-san Mariottizuka mailed in a blank ballot.

    (thanks to Bob T. — who reports that, among the media, Ochiai had a bad reputation for being cocky, which probably explains all of this — for the heads up)

  52. #76 – Cowherd is awful. I remember earlier this season how he kept talking about how much better USC was than every team in the Nation including UF and Bama. He kept bringing up the fact that Bama hadnt beaten anyone and that they lost to La Monroe/Tech or whatever in 2007. Dont see how comparing a 2007 Bama team to a 2009 USC team is ever relevant. He also stated that no SEC team would go undefeated in the reg season not because of strength of schedule but because none of them were that good. Said USC was the team to beat this season and that they were the closest thing to an NFL team in college. He’s a USC homer almost as bad as Holtz is with Notre Dame

  53. I heard Cowherd say that Lane Kiffin was a great hire for USC and that he didn’t buy into the loyalty thing as being something to complain about. He said that Kiffin did a great job at Oakland, but failed because of a crazy owner. He then went on to say about how great of a recruiter Kiffin is and that he did a great job in leading UT this season. IMO, it sounds like Cowherd is smoking something funny.

    He also made an incredibly stupid and uninformed comment about Alabama last week (not disparaging, just stupid). He said that they are the slam dunk #1 team to start the season next year because they don’t lose anyone basically on offense or defense. He repeated this about defense two or three times. How does losing 9 starters on defense, including 3 All Americans and an All American fg kicker, qualify as not losing anyone? It would be nice if Cowherd actually had a clue about what he was talking about before he spoke, but that’s never been a priority for him.

  54. since football has to have preseason ranking for some ridiculous reason, you might as well have the National Championship team #1 till they lose. However, Cowherd doesnt do his research before he speaks and it shows.

  55. Cowherd is wrong a lot, and I disagree with him a lot, but that’s part of why I like him so much. He’s thought-provoking and controversial, and that’s exactly what makes a good talk show host, regardless of genre, in my opinion. He doesn’t have to be the best analyst; his job is to get people to listen to his show and stimulate interest, and he’s doing a good job of that.

    Another reason is that I met him when I was interning with ESPN Radio in my last semester of college. We were doing Radio Row at the Super Bowl in Tampa, and he was easily the most welcoming and helpful talk show guy I met. He took the time to talk to me and give me some advice when I was thinking for 20 minutes about pursuing a career in sports talk radio.

    If you live near Tampa, there’s a guy that comes on 1040 AM from 3-6 named Marc Bernarzyk. He’s a thought-provoking guy in the Colin Cowherd mold.

  56. The Lovie thing doesn’t seem real to me. It is growing because the Cutcliffe thing is so fucking stupid, that it might as well.

    Cutcliffe is like hiring Fulmer light. Ugh.

  57. I have wondered if the Vols would get ambitious and go for Bo Pellini. They probably would not get him, but the possibility of coaching one of great programs in the SEC has to be appealing. My guess is that Pellini would stay at Nebraska, but it might be worth some phone calls to find out….

  58. #66–I was happy to see us get LaRoche for Kotchman, but I think that to claim Glaus will be a defensive upgrade over the former is premature at best.

    First base is an ‘offensive position’, but really bad defenders at 1B usually don’t play or wind up in the AL as DHs…

  59. I’ve seen it rumored that they made initial contact with Pelini. I’d say longshot at best.

    The guy that I’ve decided to trust for basically no reason (everyone “knows” an insider on the Internet) is saying Lovie, Vince Dooley’s kid at LaTech, or Edsall from UConn, and they’re trying to get it done by noon tomorrow. There was apparently a “secret candidate” that could complicate things, but that’s assumed to be Lovie.

    Of course, you have the Knoxville media still saying Cutcliffe. I don’t really think they’re right, but that may be because I’m against it. Peyton Manning has apparently been lobbying for him, as well as some board guys who remain close to Fulmer. The other camp is aligned with the AD and looking at Lovie, etc. I think Cutcliffe would be more of a hire by the Fulmer camp for the next AD (Fulmer?) than a hire by the current one.

    Apparently there was a holdup due to Cutcliffe wanting to bring his own assistants from Duke (a couple of whom were on staff with him at Ole Miss and then at UT under Fulmer). That would be a disaster since there’s no way he can recruit at a competitive level in the SEC with those guys. Anyways, Knox media called it prematurely, so they may be trying to save face.

    I’ve even seen that they’re still trying to talk to Muschamp. I’d say Dooley and Edsall would be most realistic (and Cutcliffe, begrudgingly) if only because of where they’re coaching. Trying to keep low expectations, since there’s obviously quite a bit of misinformation and false-starting.

  60. Wow… this really is an awful deal for LaRoche. Makes you wonder if it’s true that the Giants offer was on the table at all.

    From MLBTR:
    9:25pm: LaRoche’s deal with the D-Backs has a mutual option for 2011 worth $7.5MM, according to Frankie Piliere of (via Twitter).
    2:08pm: USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that LaRoche gets a “$4.5MM base with a $1MM buyout.”

  61. Tommy Hanson showed up on the Hot Stove show on MLB Network last night.
    Talked some pitching-smart kid, gives McDowell lots of credit, then broke off a few curves during a Diamond Demo. The pitch is nasty. Al Leiter said he should’ve been ROY.
    One more reason I can’t wait for baseball!

  62. drewdat @ 85

    why Lovie? he’s a decent DC and a pretty bad HC. is it because of that one year (’93-’94) where he was the Defensive Backs coach in Knoxville?

    Cutcliffe could do wonders there.

  63. Kevin, the ROY loss won’t hurt as bad when he wins a Cy or three (oh how I would LOVE to have him win it in ’10 over the Phils new acquisition, and Lincecum).

  64. 90—Cutcliffe has already turned them down. I don’t know about wonders, but he definitely would have been safe.

    And who knows how Lovie would do in college? Your beloved Butch Davis was a much worse pro head coach than Lovie has been, and he’s pretty successful at the college level.

    Anyway, we’ve got Muschamp, Marrone, Calhoun, Smith, and Cutcliffe (that I know of) — who turns the Vols down next?

  65. #85 – I respectfully disagree. If you can hit the snot out of the ball in the NL you play LF RF or 1B or even if you are only mildly competent with a glove you can play 3b. As a total hater of the DH, yeah I agree in the AL its different.

    I agree that it stating that Glaus will be a better defender than LaRoche is a stretch. But defense at 1b just isn’t a deal breaker. Its a nice to have if your 1b is a plus defender but its very secondary to whether or not the guy can hit.

    If Glaus stinks it up, and I don’t think he will there are gonna be tons of folks saying, with the invaluable knowledge of hindsight, that we should have signed LaRoche. And I’ll be there to remind them of the context of events.

  66. Re: LaRoche v. Glauss and defense – The thing is that LaRoche isn’t a very good defensive first baseman to begin with. He catches what’s in his limited range, so he looks better than he really is. I don’t have the +/- numbers in front of me, but his are below average. I expect Glauss, who has been an above average defensive 3B to be a fine 1B.

  67. I won’t do my diatribe here, but I strongly believe that 1B defense is the most underrated activity in baseball.

  68. All of this talk about Glaus v. LaRoche defense is kind of irrelevant, considering as others have noted that 1B defense is really not a big indicator of team success.

    The big gamble is Glaus’ health. But, he passed his physical and we’re not paying him much. If he remains healthy this season, I think he will make Braves fans very happy at the plate. We’ve seen the LaRoche show before last season. Awful first half, above average/pretty good second half. Fair defense, potential to make some boneheaded mistakes. How soon we forget Bobby pulling him for not hustling.

    Bottom line: Healthy Glaus >> healthy laroche, especially in the context of this Braves team.

  69. Well, if our biggest debate is over the defense at 1B I think the team is probably better off than we thought. Important? yes, but a mediocre defensive 1B is a relatively small problem to have if all the other things are in place. Of course this could be the topic du jour because we’re all sick of looking at our outfield issues (in addition to being shocked at how little The Roach signed for).

  70. This probably won’t interest anybody, but I’ll share it, anyway: Nathan Dorris, the Braves’ 45th-round pick who went to Vanderbilt instead of signing, has been dismissed from the VU team and will apparently be pitching for a community college in Indiana.

  71. I don’t know much about the details, but I love the way that +/- makes adjustments for extra base hits down the line at first. Until reading the Fielding Bible II, I had never really even considered the difference in the kind of hits allowed by, say, a 1B and a 2B. Almost every hit a second baseman allows through is going to be a single, but first basemen have the opportunity to cut down on a lot of extra base hits. Seems obvious, but I’d never thought of it – and they account for it.

  72. I assume someone has said it already, but it bears mentioning that the Braves would have paid LaRoche +/- 9 mil in arb, or more than double what he got on the market. A good call by Wren to not offer.

  73. How do you suppose a buyout works with a mutual option?

    I wouldn’t think LaRoche would be entitled to $1M if the D-Backs wanted him back and he opted for free agency.

  74. Jack Clark really ripped into McGwire.

    Used to love his batting stance — with the little bat tick against his back.

  75. I’m positive that LaRoche would’ve accepted arb as he has many friends on the team and loves it in Atlanta according to most. The Braves I’m sure were very confident he would accept as well and we would be stuck paying $8-9 million for him.

  76. Tommy Bennett wrote a really good article on the risk associated with offering arbitration to a player at BPro awhile back. I don’t have a subscription anymore, alas.

  77. @95 I’d be interested in reading that.
    First basemen in my formative years were all named Boog or Stretch or the Bull. It left an impression.
    The first 1B guy I can recall being known for using his glove as his best asset was J.T. Snow. Even he leaves a peculiar legacy being the guy that:
    A) Scooped up Dusty Baker’s kid from home plate that game in the post season.
    B) executing the last successful “hidden ball” trick
    and C) Being signed by the Giants for one inning so he could retire AS a Giant in 2008. (Didn’t bat and all three infielders threw a ball in the dirt. Made the plays anyway!)

  78. Braves and Glavine talking.

    From Peanut:

    Along with talking to Glavine about the potential to serve as an announcer or a front-office executive, the Braves have also provided an offer that would allow him the chance to travel to their Minor League affiliates to serve as an instructor.

  79. @113 I hope they can come to an agreement. (Would’ve liked to have seen Tommy G. AND the Mad Dog together)…

    That sounds like a Sports Radio Talk show, doesn’t it?

  80. MLBTR has more deets on Roche… deal sounds better for him now than it did on first blush:

    LaRoche is guaranteed at least $6MM. He makes $4.5MM in 2010 and either earns $7.5MM through a 2011 mutual option or obtains a $1.5MM buyout.

  81. Regular topics of conversation on the Tommy and Mad Dog show:

    1. Golf
    2. Chicks Dig the Long Ball
    3. Javy Lopez’s Irritating Habits
    4. Golf

  82. 117 – That takes me back to a question I asked earlier – Can you consider a buyout guaranteed if it is attached to a mutual option?

  83. sounds as if Wren and Boras may be playing their cards against each other in the media.

    Boras is throwing out teams (Tigers) who apparently have no interest and Wren is getting his whipping boy (Peanut) to say we’ll only offer a mil or two. Gotta love it

    #119 – guess so. He’ll get $6mil for 1yr of service or $12 for 2

  84. Appearently no one has been offered the job “offically.” Cutcliffe was told he couldn’t bring his terrible staff with him, so he said he didn’t want it (all of the state cheered)

    Cutcliffe would be FUlmer light.

    I am not sold on Dooley, but it could be worse.

  85. I think Dooley a swing for the fence hire. Saban and Muschamp speak highly of him, he has a law degree, a great recrutier and I think his dad was a coach at some school in a small town in Georgia. (You’ll have to ask ububba lol)

    It could be a homerun hire or Mike Shula.

  86. I’m about to decide that I like the Dooley hire out of sympathy for him, given the ridiculously negative reaction it’s getting amongst the fanbase at the moment.

    First of all, as Smitty pointed out, no one really wanted Cutcliffe, even the people (like myself) who realized it was probably the most pragmatic move available. So Cutcliffe doesn’t take it, and these people expect….what exactly? Wasn’t it clear to everyone that Cutcliffe was the fallback choice? That if we could’ve made some huge splash hire that we would’ve looked into it before going after Cutcliffe? At this point, we’re pretty much grasping at straws. That people don’t understand that is a little bit perplexing to me.

    Secondly, exactly how is Dooley’s resume any different from Kiffin’s last year? Dad a famous coach, assistant and great recruiter on national championship program staff, losing record in limited head coaching experience. And yet everyone who wasn’t still upset about Fulmer seemed to love the freaking hire last year! This year it’s stupid and beneath us and proof that we’re no longer a high-caliber football program and blah blah blah… Dooley even has SEC-related experience, which Kiffin never did.

    Thirdly, I have to address the dumbass idea of all dumbass ideas amongst our fanbase today, which is keeping Kippy Brown as the interim head coach for the next calendar year, and then clearly next December everyone will be beating down our door trying to get our head coaching job. The theory being that it would damage the program less than hiring Derek Dooley as the full-time head coach. Yes, I know…absolutely brilliant, isn’t it?

    Also, for all you Alabama fans, people are comparing him to Mike Shula and calling that a bad thing. I’m pretty sure Mike Shula went 9 and freaking 3 most years, perhaps even 10-2 one year? Would that be such a bad freaking thing at this point?

    Just a little window into my own personal hell, which has been following this crap all afternoon. It almost feels like we’re in the middle of a baseball season and everyone on here is suggesting we move Chipper to first, or sign [insert name of 35-year-old Braves retread here].

  87. Dooley has resigned from Louisiana Tech and is going to be the next coach at Tennessee. Seems like old news, but the ones who were reporting it reported Cutcliffe, and Calhoun, and Muschamp… clueless.

    Timing was bad, presumably limiting our options, but I kinda like the hire. Most head coaches (ahem) don’t want to leave right before signing day and screw their program. Also, Kippy with a good staff would have been better than Cutcliffe with his Duke staff.

    First test is keeping the roster and recruiting class reasonably intact. He was a recruiting coordinator under Saban at LSU, so hopefully he’ll do well with that.

  88. I think Dooley is destin to fail, but that being said, it isn’t the worst hire they could have made. The timing is terrible, but who knows, he might do well.

    I am behind him and hope to God I am not wasting my next three falls.

  89. Mike Shula, for the record, was 26-23 as Alabama’s head coach. He went 10-2 in 2005. He was 4-7 his first year, and 6-6 the other two. His SEC record was 13-19. If that happens at Tennessee… Well, I won’t say I won’t enjoy it.

    However, Shula had never been a head coach, and had no college coaching experience. Dooley has been okay at a tough place to win. Not everybody with a famous daddy is the same.

    Added: Oh, and Dooley spent three years as an assistant at LSU under Saban, followed by two years with the Dolphins. He’s pretty much a Saban disciple.

  90. 128

    Mac, youre dead on about him. I am not sure he is going to get a real shot at it. I feel this might be a two year hire and him and Hamilton may get the boot.

    I know that’s not fair, but that is how it is up here. Fulmer is already behind the curtain with some of the boosters possitioning himself for the AD job. Then he will turn around and hire a “Cutcliffe” like guy, if not Cutcliffe.

    That is just how I see this going down. Fulmer really left the cupboard a little low on talent and had some poor recruiting classes towards the end where he couldn’t develop a lot of talent.

  91. Every moment, every headline has seemingly been a blow to Volunteer pride over the last three days.

    Dooley has a difficult stretch in front of him now, not only convincing the Big Orange faithful that he can succeed, but also in salvaging this recruiting season.

    I think it’s critical for Fulmer and those behind him to maintain a low profile now. I bet that some of the reluctance of possible coaching candidates to commit to Tennessee is the perception that the program is split into warring factions that may be impossible to reconcile for awhile.

    It will be impossible to maintain a level of cohesiveness if the new guy has to constantly struggle with that reconciliation. If Hamilton is forced out, it will be next to impossible for Dooley to succeed.

  92. Hamilton’s succes is directly tied to Dooley and he is going to be given a short amount of time to succeed in. He has to be a home run, or they both are done at Tennessee.

  93. meanwhile Lane Kiffin is 12-22 as a head coach and somehow keeps getting jobs. His teams will be okay as long as daddy is around to run the place. Seriously, USC just hired the Mike Shula of college football. Kiffin is living off his daddy’s name, hasnt had any real success anywhere, is returning to a school about to get slammed by violations (many probably because of him) and potentially has no possibility of success if they cut scholarships for any reason. However, like I said before the only difference is Shula is a good guy and didnt cause the problems at Bama

  94. I heard a Tennessee beat reporter being interviewed today and some of the stuff he said about Kiffin was bizarre. He claims that Kiffin’s #1 goal was to make Tennessee the USC of the south. Apparently when he first got there he replaced a lot of the UT highlight video with USC highlights. He also used a lot of the same chants and cheers that USC used and just replaced it with UT or something else. They had some kind of cheer at USC that said something like fear SC. Kiffin changed it to fear ST for Special Teams.

  95. also heard that Kiffin made this comment on Rome is burning today

    “Those UT recruits came to play for this coaching staff, not that yellow jersey.”

    two things – I thought it was more orange and this dude really pisses off everyone that he comes in contact with.

  96. Best of luck to Derrick Dooley—I still miss his Dad. In fact, I would miss Vince Dooley even if I thought Richt was a great coach.

    That said, Tennessee really can’t pass on the annoited ones….

  97. td – Not that weird.

    That’s been the story for a few days now, as reported by Tenn players.

    I think they’re thinking, “good riddance.”

  98. #134 + #135 + #137–Kiffin at least makes things easy. I have never liked USC, but now they will be more fun to hate than Notre Dame…..

  99. From what I’ve seen tonight, I think most Tennessee fans have put aside all the frustration they had about the situation this week, which was manifesting itself as negative reactions to the Dooley hire this afternoon, and most are at least cautiously optimistic. Regardless, the ’10 season has the chance to be pretty tough. Even before all this happened with Kiffin, there were some worries that we might take a step back given all the upperclassmen that were leaving. If Dooley can’t rescue this recruiting class and rescue it big-time, we might be in for kind of a rough season.

    In the long run, though, I think it has a chance to work out. The worries about his record at Louisiana Tech are kind of unfounded, in my opinion. First, it’s Louisiana Tech and you’re not really recruiting against other WAC teams…you’re recruiting against the SEC and maybe even the Big 12. That and getting people to even think about going to college in Ruston, La., is kind of a challenge, and that he won a bowl game with them last year is pretty impressive.

    I do hope he will be given a chance. Maybe I’m being naive, but even if Hamilton is fired and Fulmer becomes the AD (something I’m starting to become convinced is going to happen at some point, by the way), I don’t know why Fulmer would just ax Dooley as soon as he got there. Assuming Dooley is getting any kind of results whatsoever, and it’s only one or two years down the line, it would be pretty stupid to send us through all this crap again just so he could hire Cutcliffe.

  100. From what I’ve read and seen so far about Dooley he seems to be a class act. I’ll have to wait for a little while to make a final decision, but from the initial indications, anyone who plays Tennessee will no longer be my second favorite team. That honor will now go to USC. Heck, I may even pull for UT over LSU.

  101. Dooley kind of reminds me of Chizik. Both are great guys and represent their schools with nothing but class. As an Alabama fan these are the two schools Im suppose to hate, but even though Ill want Bama to win and expect them too I can still respect them now.

    but yes, my level of hatred for USC and Lane Kiffin are at an all time high

  102. Regular topics of conversation on the Tommy and Mad Dog show:

    1. Painting the outside corner
    2. How to surprise your team by accepting arbitration
    3. How to spit your fans in the face by choosing the Mets over the Braves because of money
    4. The good old days when Atlanta was more competitive in baseball than in football and basketball
    5. Mark and Heather

  103. I’m watching the Alabama-Arkansas basketball game and I’m really impressed with Alabama’s coaching. Alabama is not overly talented, but they come out every game and play solid defense and are aggressive on both sides of the ball. They have played a pretty strong schedule and they’ve had a shot at winning every game. If Grant can do a solid job of recruiting I think he’ll have a consistent upper-tier SEC program. As it stands now, I would give them about a 30 to 40% chance of making it to the tournament this year.

  104. I root for Alabama basketball because it’s fun to root for former Gator assistants, even when they’re at Alabama. :-)

  105. Best musician sightings at the NAMM show: Bootsy Collins, Lemmy, Bernie Williams (the jazz-guitar-playing ex-Yankee) and my personal fave, Melissa Auf Der Maur.

    Of course, lotsa guys rocking SD Chargers jerseys.

    Go Saints, I guess.

  106. I heard Cowherd say that Lane Kiffin was a great hire for USC and that he didn’t buy into the loyalty thing as being something to complain about. He said that Kiffin did a great job at Oakland, but failed because of a crazy owner. He then went on to say about how great of a recruiter Kiffin is and that he did a great job in leading UT this season. IMO, it sounds like Cowherd is smoking something funny.

    In fairness to Cowherd, all this is pretty true.

    Personally, I like the Dooley hire a lot. They were in an impossible situation, this is about as good as you could expect.

    #134 + #135 + #137–Kiffin at least makes things easy. I have never liked USC, but now they will be more fun to hate than Notre Dame…..

    I can understand not liking Kiffin. He’s pretty much begging for it. Don’t understand the dislike of USC (not for this anyway). That’s how the game works. I’m not going to waste anytime rooting against the Seahawks.

  107. @147 – I believe a team has to basically sell its soul to hire Kiffin and let him bring in a staff with guys like Orgeron on it. I can excuse Ole Miss for Orgeron because I don’t think they knew what they were getting into. I don’t think Tennessee had much of an excuse with Kiffin – they had plenty of time and good candidates out there, but chose Kiffin anyway. USC has absolutely no excuse.

    I don’t have any respect for Al Davis and he’s a terrible owner, but I believe him in at least one area. He said Lane Kiffin is a liar and that has been proven more than a few times. Kiffin’s charade of making outrageous statements and trying to claim that all publicity is good publicity was a joke.

  108. Has anyone else seen “Big Fan?” I was really disappointed with it after hearing so many great things. Curious to hear some other takes on it.

  109. @147 – I believe a team has to basically sell its soul to hire Kiffin and let him bring in a staff with guys like Orgeron on it. I can excuse Ole Miss for Orgeron because I don’t think they knew what they were getting into. I don’t think Tennessee had much of an excuse with Kiffin – they had plenty of time and good candidates out there, but chose Kiffin anyway. USC has absolutely no excuse.

    Well, I love that fact that Orgeron is back. He’s one of the top recruiters in the country as Ole Miss’ recent flirtation with relevance will attest. He just isn’t a head coach, but here he won’t have to be. I’m excited to see what Monte can do with the defense. There’s a lot of talent there but Carroll clearly wasn’t reaching this group of players.

    I doubt Lane is a long term solution here. If he doesn’t win he’ll be out quickly and if he does win I think he would try to get back into NFL.

  110. It just occurs to me that for the first time in my life, I’ll be rooting for Notre Dame over USC next fall.

    Vandy finally looks like the team I expected.

    Ole Miss has choked away two winnable games in a week.

    Georgia has choked away three winnable games in a week. Love their coach, though.

    Kentucky’s going to get beat very soon.

    What happened to LSU?

  111. Disagree on Kentucky. They play to the level of their opponent. Lackadaisacal against UGA and Auburn vs. inspired against Florida.

  112. yeap, they are, it seems.

    and Kensucky will get beat @ Tennessee.

    my Tarheels look very average. Help comes next year in the form of Harrison Barnes (#1 recruit and a silly skilled, 6’8″ SF), Reggie Bullock (#11 and a 6’7″ SG who can shoot the lights out) and Kendall Marshall (#24 and a 6’3″ PG who looks to pass and can handle the ball…something we’re sorely lacking at the moment).

    but it’s fun watching other teams…

  113. @160: My translation

    “Creo que le dijo ahi ‘mother fucker.’ Eso fue claro.”

    “I believe here he said to him, ‘mother fucker.’ That was clear.”


  114. Speaking of choking – how about those Cowboys.

    By all rights, they should be right in this game.

  115. @158-

    LSU is very thin this year. Brady left the cupboard pretty bare beyond the team that almost beat UNC last season in the tournament.

    Most LSU fans are expecting it to be a year or two before we’re any good. Johnson is a good coach.

  116. Cowboys fans, of course, are one of the groups that can’t admit that their team gets beat. It’s all about their failure, not the other team’s success.

  117. I can’t stand either of these teams, but clearly the Vikings are the better team–at home anyway. Next week, in an unfriendly dome, we will all see a very different Vikings team generally and Brett Favre in particular. Mark it down.

    EDIT: Any illusion that Favre and Childress are classy guys just went out the window on that last possession!

  118. Haven’t seen “Big Fan,” but do love Patton Oswalt.

    Re: Guitar Geek
    Never been. We do more DJ-gear coverage, so it’s a little off our radar. (NAMM has all kinds of instruments & gear.) But I do get a kick out of seeing the current or former stars of rock at the NAMM show.

    Typical scene: You’re trying to walk by the Peavey, Marshall or Fender booth & you encounter a long line of autograph seekers, there to see an endorser, usually a metal guy. You have an important meeting scheduled with someone on the other side of this massive booth, but you still have to walk through this craziness.

    The conversation might go like this:

    “Who’s that signing autographs?”

    “Oh, he’s the guy from Slipknot. When he’s onstage he wears a pig mask.”

    “Well, he’s in our way.”

    Re: UGA hoops
    Outside of Trey Thompkins, Georgia has little genuine talent. They also have very little depth. They basically play 7 guys. They have a walk-on playing point guard. They’re going to take their lumps this year.

    But they did beat Tech.

  119. I hate Favre (of course I hate Dallas more), but I actually like it when teams keep trying to score. The game is 60 minutes, if you don’t want to be blown out play better. And I think the play calling was all Favre, he was taking a beating on some of his throws today (some after the whistle) and I think he wanted that one.

  120. Mac – Not sure your comment was directed at me, but I am kind of rooting for the Vikes and the Bolts this year. At the time I posted that, the Cowboys were losing 20-3 despite having outgained the Vikes and generally controlled the game.

  121. I’m afraid I’m with Terry Bradshaw on the running-up-the-score issue.

    “The game is 60 minutes,” but when the game is decided well before then, it’s just scummy to do that. (And I hate the Cowboys.)

    Re: NFL Final 4
    If SD hangs on (and keeps getting breaks from the replay refs), next week’s lineup looks pretty entertaining.

  122. I stop it at “the game is 60 minutes.” It’s the defense’s job to stop the offense. If they can’t, tough crap. The team that’s down big is still using their first team offense, perhaps working on what may work in the next week. Why can’t the team that’s winning do that too, especially in the playoffs, where they’ll meet an even tougher opponent in the next week?

    When I played baseball, I didn’t have a problem with a team running up the score. What are they going to do? Bunt? Bear-crawl to first? Maybe we should have hit, fielded, and pitched better…

  123. If you don’t want to get scored on, don’t suck. It patronizes the players and the fans and disrespects the game to stop playing hard. I can see lightening up on a sacrificial lamb like La Tech at the college level. but in the professional ranks of any sport, no way. If I were a fan, and my team started taking a knee or whatever, I’d be furious – even more so if I had paid to get in. Mercy in the NFC semifinals? No way. I’d be more embarrassed if some one gave it to me. That would be far more insulting than playing hard for the full 60.

  124. Today, both teams fully demonstrated their ability to suck or dominate for the previous 59 minutes.

    When you’re obviously running up the score, as in throwing passes into the end zone when you’re up by 4 touchdowns with a minute to go, it’s entirely unnecessary.

    The only statement it makes is that you wanna rub it in. Some people enjoy it; I don’t.

  125. Ububba and I had this discussion when Florida ran up the score on Georgia last year. I agree there was a huge element of Urban calling timeouts to stick it in the eye of Georgia for the end zone-stomping thing, but Emmannuel Moody deserved those carries, and so I stood behind the decision.

    I don’t know if we can peer into the heads of Favre and Childress to fully know what they were doing. Favre’s career’s winding down, so maybe he just wants another playoff TD pass on his record. Like I said earlier, maybe they wanting to work on a formation they’re going to use against New Orleans. Maybe they hate the Cowboys. Who knows?

  126. Actually, I think I was fine with Moody’s carries & the timeouts. I just think using the end-zone stomping as a motivation for that game was kind of lame, considering they had 55 minutes to overcome a 7-0 deficit in a game that was played a year previous.

    I had more of an issue with Spurrier calling late-game, flea-flicker passes in Athens, trying to break 50 points.

    And FWIW, in the ’07 Jax game, Richt was up by 2 TDs and took a knee inside the UF 10 yard line to let the final clock run out. Different strokes…

  127. I’m with ububba. Frankly, I’m not even sure how this is a discussion. The game was over, and now–having achieved absolutely nothing–they merely look bad and have angered the football karma gods. Good luck in New Orleans douche-bags!

  128. The “don’t suck” argument carries no weight here. The Vikes ran a play-action pass with less than two minutes to go. Of course the Cowboys bit on it extra hard – no one passes after the two minute warning when they’re up 3 touchdowns. Why would they?

  129. For some reason the running up the score thing with the Vikings didn’t bother me too much. I hate it when they do it in college and think it’s classless. I guess I see it more as a business in pros and it’s not a big deal.

  130. So the “don’t suck” argument isn’t relevant for all the plays before a play-action? Maybe if the Boys got the job done earlier in the game, we wouldn’t be talking about a play-action with two minutes left. Look, if the Cowboys had a problem with them running up the score, get a better defense. Instead of Jerry Jones handing out an extension to Wade Phillips, maybe he should spend it on his defense. Boo-frickin’-hoo, they scored another touchdown.

  131. The “don’t suck” argument carries no weight here.

    Bullshit. The fans, the advertisers, and the rest of the consumers/sponsors of the sport did not pay for 45 minutes of real competition and 15 minutes of “please, take it easy on poor ole me”. To do otherwise is not only ethically bankrupt, but undermines the integrity of the product. Seriously, don’t suck if you don’t want to get embarrassed. Pull your goddamn team off the field if you think you can’t compete. Otherwise, take your lumps.

  132. Also, Tony Romo didn’t seem to have a problem with it since he hugged Brett Favre after the game. The players get it. Why don’t the fans?

  133. Those fourth-down-in-the-opponent’s-territory plays at the end of the game are tough. You can’t punt, and kicking the fieldgoal is also running up the score. I’m not sure what the Vikings could have done other than run the ball and just turn it over, and I don’t think they like to do that.

    I’m a little sensitive to the “running up the score” accusation after Alabama was accused of it in the NCG. Apparently, we were supposed to kneel down with a ten point lead, over a minute to go, and Texas still holding timeouts. And all we did was run the ball.

  134. Yeah, I’ll echo that and say that it’s different if Min could’ve just taken a knee and run the clock out. There was too much time left and, yeah you could just run straight ahead for a certain 1-yard gain as there are 10 guys in the box, but that’s not really football and if you kick a FG, you’re running up the score too.

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