298 thoughts on “$50,000”

  1. 50 gs isn’t that much to these guys. It’s possible Jeffy really is a nice guy and a lousy ballplayer.

  2. As mentioned in the previous thread, MLBTR has the Braves signing Kevin Gregg….OK–but then why put money on Proctor? Maybe to flip Venters or Kimbrel for a bat…or maybe its just MLBTR at the beginning of the Hot Stove….

  3. Morgan Ensberg blogged a while ago that batboys receive tips of several thousand dollars at the end of the season. 50.000 for a clubhouse guy seems a bit much though. On the other hand, I don’t buy the steroit theory either. You would have to be pretty dumb to take em these days.

    Oh, wait…

  4. I agree, the Frenchy “tip” appears fishy. If nothing else, I’ll bet that Samuels fellow probably has a good, trashy book in him. Maybe Frenchy just guaranteed he wouldn’t be in it.

    I ate Arby’s yesterday for the first time in about 20 years. And, of course, I was reminded that eating fast food (like airplane food) is usually a bad idea.

  5. I don’t have a problem with fast food in general, but the McRib just seems to make people go nuts around here like it’s the best sandwich in the world. I’m no food snob, but it tasted like rubber covered in BBQ flavored ketchup. Plus it didn’t have any pickles like they show in the commercials. >:o

    Also the Mets hired DePodesta.. as long as they have the Wilpons..

  6. I had a McRib the other day. Pickles do help, but I think I’ll keep it a decennial experience.

  7. btw, only fast foods that I eat

    Five Guys
    Jack’s – chicken fingers only
    Arby’s – French Dip only
    occassional Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich

    I hate McDonalds, Hardees, Taco Bell, and Krystals

  8. @5, in fairness, past a certain point it is all discretionary income, which is a lot easier to give away. Someone making 5M giving away 50k is not analogous to someone making 50k giving away $500 – although if he were making 10M per, it’d be a lot more believable as just a tip.

    /edit – and bear in mind, this is not Frenchy’s only revenue stream – he gets licensing money plus whatever endorsements he has left.

  9. Braves14,

    I hate to nitpick but I noticed your bowl projections. First the Independence bowl is no longer an SEC tie in. Second the Gator bowl now is and you left out the Birmingham bowl. But then that could have been on purpose if you don’t think enough SEC teams will get to 6 wins. Which is very possible.

    So taking your projections I’d say State to the Gator, Kentucky Liberty/Music City, Georgia Liberty/Music City. Birmingham unfilled.

  10. I get the feeling that Jeffy values the camaraderie of clubhouse life very highly. Camaraderie implies approval, and approval is catnip to Jeffy. So I can see him making the gesture just to do it. I can also see the clubhouse attendant telling Jeffy that 50 grand is customary, and Jeffy believing it.

  11. Hello French toast, whatcha knowin?
    I need 50 large to keep my flowers growin’
    Won’cha spare some change for me?
    Hick, I love you –
    Feelin’ groovy!

  12. From Bill James Online (subscription only):

    The number one talent producers in the major leagues, in terms of 2010 talent produced, would be the Atlanta Braves…

    The Atlanta Braves, on the other hand, have produced 19 players who were of contributing quality in 2010: Kelly Johnson (165), Adam Wainwright (158), Martin Prado (157), Jason Heyward (154), Adam LaRoche (145), Brian McCann (130), Neftali Feliz (115), Rafael Furcal (113), Tommy Hansen (103), Garrett Jones (82), Wilson Betemit (73), Bruce Chen (65), Chipper Jones (60), Andruw Jones (45), Kris Medlen (34), Matt Belisle (29), Kyle Davies (28), Jonny Venters (20), and Jeff Francoeur (6). They’ve let a couple of their really good ones get away (Kelly Johnson and Adam Wainwright), but, because the organization has been so productive of talent, they’re still in good shape.

  13. @19, My kid is a vegetarian 5 year old, and eats mainly edamame, fruit, soy milk, tortillas, cheese, carrots, and tofurkey. Damned right she gets a McFry every weekend.

  14. @12
    What state do you live in? I haven’t heard of most of those places. I’m jealous. I would kill to have so much as a KFC or a Wendy’s within striking distance.

  15. 14 — Yeah, I didn’t fill the Birmingham Bowl because I don’t think enough teams will be bowl-eligible.

  16. I had a double baconator from Wendy’s the other day and I felt sick for a couple hours afterward. I don’t know how anyone would be able to do the triple baconator.

    Not gonna lie, there are some Hamburger Helpers that I enjoy. I think Three Cheese and Cheesy Italian Shells are good. They’re cheap, easy to make, and pretty filling so I don’t complain.

  17. #25 – Birmingham, AL. Milo’s may only be in Alabama and they are known for their Sweet Tea. Pretty incredible stuff

    we have KFC here, but I honestly never think of the place

  18. Back in High School, McDonalds would have $0.39 cheesburger Wednesdays. I’d usually buy 5, because it would cost exactly $2.05. I don’t think I could do that anymore. Now when I get fast food, it’s usually Cookout, which is a North Carolina thing. Sometimes I’ll get a Cajun biscuit from Bojangles in the AM or something off the dollar menu from Wendy’s. As long as you don’t let them put too much mayo on everything, it’s not bad.

  19. speaking of good places to eat – I highly recommend Bonefish if you have one around. Dreamland is incredible also

    Im hungry

  20. Now, wait a damn minute.

    The Cam Newton story doesn’t pan out and no one is forming a lynch party for the yankees that pushed the story? (Pete Thamel – NYT chief sports muckraker).

    So sick of these bastards …

  21. “rubber covered in BBQ-flavored ketchup” may be the all-time best description of a McRibb ever.

    Bravo, sir. Bravo.

  22. Growing up in Chattanooga, I used to eat Krystal hamburgers for breakfast. (My mother’s taste in food isn’t that great, obviously.) And my pediatrician approved because it was protein. We have come a long way dietetically in the last 45 years. And I loved them but would never touch one again. (They don’t have Krystal’s up north but there are still some White Castles, I believe, which are essentially the same.)

  23. I am just a slum dog on this site.

    First, I get bombarded with how only certain “real” bands are any good” and the rest of music is “just junk.”

    Now, “all that fast food is junk.”

    I am just not culturally sophistocated enough to hang around here. I must apologize for my defective tastes.

  24. #33
    We don’t know that the Cam Newton story has or hasn’t panned out.

    That the root of the story may have been passed on by another SEC coach doesn’t make it any more true or untrue.

    We’ve seen a version of this movie before. Anyone remember Don DeVoe?

    For some sanity on the matter, here’s the take of a well-known UGA grad.

  25. Zaxby’s is the best fast food place in the world. IN THE WORLD. Buffalo finger plate, no slaw, extra toast.

  26. Tastee’s in Lincoln, Ne. Awesome loose-meat sandwich,and amazing onion chips with dip. If you’re ever in town, go there, the place only looks like it closed in 1974, believe me it’s open.

    The two chain fast food places I will eat at is Sonic——Great drinks, nice ice cream, decent burgers and chili dogs. Arby’s—–Roast beef sandwiches, and the jalopeno poppers are good. I would like to add Chick-fil-A, but since I’ve only been to one, and I can’t really say. I wish they’d bring one to Nebraska.

  27. @29
    Yeah, I’ve spent most of my life in the Northeastern US, so we just have the big dogs of fast food up here. You know MacDonalds, BK, taco Bell, KFC, Wendys and Arbys. Although theres a new chain that I think is national that’s popping up like weeds called “Pollo Campero” it’s like a latin flavored KFC. I’m jealous of the BBQ, Fried Chicken and general fast food you southern folk get to enjoy. Although we have the superior pizza, so it may even out.

  28. @39, but we do know that Thamel would not deny that Meyer was his source on the radio today on the Finebaum show (waiting for podcast/transcript to link).

    We also know that there has not been any investigation of Newton, only of Rogers, and yet Thamels story was headlined “Heisman Front-Runner Is Focus of Investigation”. The column itself is full of loaded implications like “There is a possibility that the N.C.A.A. investigation could jeopardize Newton’s eligibility this season.” despite Bond being the only evidence on this, and he has changed his story, what 3 times now.

    We also know that Thamel has been Meyer’s mouthpiece before during the Vol Pride affair.

    Thamel comes off very poorly here no matter what. He’s getting roasted a bit, and is acting like it’s ESPN’s fault somehow.

  29. ESPN not bringing back Joe Morgan or Jon Miller.


    Hooray for not rewarding mediocrity! Now they should fire Boog, who will go on a rampage severely injuring Chip Caray to the point where he can no longer broadcast, and then the Braves will hire him as their full time TV broadcaster for all time until the end of time forever.

  30. #45
    The fact that Meyer may be a source doesn’t mean anything to me (from a journalistic point of view), especially if there turns out to be validity to the story.

    If you’re a journalist and a story falls in your lap, no matter the source, you’re going to take a look & investigate.

    Ultimately, it’s up to you, your editor & your publication to decide if this is worth chasing to the end. (The legal department often has a say.) The idea that someone has an axe to grind is always the first level of BS detector. But, again, it’s not always about that; it’s more about getting someone to talk on the record.

    If he’s getting played by Meyer & things turn out to be completely untrue, then that could be his ass. But, as Barnhart writes, we’re not going to know that for awhile (if ever, actually).

    Of course, on the fan side, there are other implications to Meyer’s involvement, but it has more to do with the idea of glass houses.

  31. @47, we’ve had this discussion here and in person before, so I won’t go through it again, but the reporter bears some moral and public opinion culpability if he passes along as gospel fact, and lends the credibility of his news organization to, a story where there is both conflict of interest from the source, and a distinct lack of any corroborating evidence. He aired a serious allegation without any apparent vetting and weasel worded the article to maximize the scare quotes. His credibility is being publicly questioned, and rightfully so.

  32. What’s the conflict of interest from the Mississippi State source?

    That Auburn is in their division?

    Like I said, we don’t know the gospel truth right now. And like I said, if things turn out completely tits-up for the writer this could be his ass.

  33. Well I was referring to Meyer, but surely an allegation from a rival school alum (say, MSU)surfacing after Auburn is 9-0 with an ascendant Newton is a bit of COI, no? And there is no other evidence at this point. A single allegation from a single source, who has changed his story multiple times, fed to a NY Times reporter by the Florida head coach 5 months after the fact. Is that really enough run an article in the “Newton’s eligibility is in question!” vein, when the NCAA has known about this for months? Oh and the implication at the end of the article that the church got the payoff money was super classy too.

  34. And if it turns out to be true?

    “Conflict of interest” is something you can almost take for granted in a story like this. (I mean, relatively speaking, this is nothing. Was Mark Felt a conflict of interest?)

    The guy went on the record and alleged some pretty damning things about Newton’s dad. Then the source seemed to back off.

    What does that mean? Maybe we’ll find out.

  35. If what turns out to be true? The only allegation at this point is that Rogers shopped Newton to MSU. Everything else is innuendo at this point. There is NO evidence that he was shopped to Auburn. There is NO evidence the Newton family knew about Rogers alleged activities. There is NO evidence that the NCAA is investigating Auburn or Newton, or anybody besides Rogers at this point. I’d love to see some included in a story of this sort, but it’s too late for that now.

    If something does come of this, Thamel will still be ethically challenged from where I sit, but he could add damn lucky as well. 5 months and no more evidence? Good luck.

  36. My favorite part of the Newton story was:

    “Bond said the former teammate told him other schools had already offered $200,000, but since Newton really liked Mississippi State and had a relationship with head coach Dan Mullen dating to when both were at Florida, Mississippi State could get him for $180,000.”

    I like how there were several schools who bid $200,000. Probably like they were ordering off the menu – ‘Starting Quarterback – 200K’ – steep but we need one, maybe we can get them to throw in offensive lineman.

    Anyway, whatever Auburn paid it’s money well spent. They haven’t been relevant for years.

  37. Long past time for ESPN to shake up Sunday Night Baseball. I can’t help but be a little sad, though, as trashing Joe Morgan’s analysis dates back to internet infancy. When Derek Jeter retires, there are people who literally won’t know what to do with their days. So it goes.

  38. Wow, I am shocked ESPN dumped Morgan and Miller. I like Miller. Maybe Fox will take a hint and dump Buck and McCarver. They always blame the teams for poor ratings, but have they ever thought that no one can stand their announcers?

  39. Spike,
    The idea that an allegation can’t turn out to be true… I mean, what do you need to have explained?

    But that’s my point about the writer. If everything blows up in his face, that could be his ass.

    Yeah, 2004 was so long ago.

  40. @56 I think four straight top 15 years from 2004 – 2007 makes you relevant, no? They are 6-1 in bowl games since 2002 too.

  41. @60, I think you missed what I was driving at, but in any event, I think we’ve made our respective points here.

  42. I get your point, Spike. I think we just disagree on how much of this thing can be fully digested right now.

    But, y’know, it’s allgood: “War Eagle… fly down the field…”

  43. It’s just the Auburn curse – surrounded by high profile state schools like GA, FLA and ALA, they have it tough recruiting wise, and yet they hang in there pretty good, and whenever IT’S OUR YEAR! there is just always, always something. The stupid tie. Not getting a shot at USC, etc etc. It’s a hard school to root for.

  44. “The Cam Newton story doesn’t pan out and no one is forming a lynch party for the yankees that pushed the story?”

    I’d just as soon not form any “lynch parties,” especially for “Yankees.” I guess that’s just the historian in me.

  45. Frenchy paid the clubhouse guy $50,000 and the clubhouse guy gave it to an AU donor who then gave it to Cam Newton.

  46. UAH is no joke. We’ve played them for 3 years in a row, because Stallings loves how disciplined they are and wants the team to have to really focus in the exhibition.

  47. @30 OMG Cookout has the best milkshakes on the freaking planet. I got a chocolate peanut butter shake there in August and I’m still thinking about it.

    @66 Does that make Frenchy an AU booster?

  48. I was down 132-73 going into the Bengals-Steelers game. Had Palmer, TO, and Mendenhall going. I come all the way back to tie. One more rushing yard from Mendenhall and I would have won.

  49. So, another story leaks about Cam from Florida. Hmmm… More old news dug up to slander his name. Why didn’t Florida care about his cheating when he was playing for them, and why do they all the sudden care now?

    Screw you, Meyer. There’s a special ring in hell for you.

  50. Yep, someone read that first piece and decided Mr. Thayer Evans would make a fine mud receptacle. And indeed he is — he doesn’t provide the barest hint of the nature of his “source”. It’s not “a source at the University of Florida” or “a source familiar with Newton’s history”, just “a source”.

    That’s not just a stylistic matter. Giving at least a little flesh to a confidential source indicates the writer has ascertained credibility, but we don’t get that here. Nor is there any corroboration. What an easy way to make a name for yourself, eh?

  51. there is a special place for scumbags like Meyer and whoever else is responsible for these allegations at this point in the season. Im an Alabama fan and I dont understand why Florida is trying to do this to Newton. Also, who cares what happened two years ago with an 18yr old college student.

    Meyer is digging his own grave in the SEC title game

  52. @77, Seems like the amount of time these guys take to go from Edward Murrow to Judith Miller is getting shorter every year. Thayer looks like he is 14.

  53. @65,

    Good point. No one from the south should use the word “lynch” lightly.



    I agree about the music discussions here. I would be embarrassed to disclose my musical preferences to this group. :)


    Damn right, Smitty.

  54. Also, I know how we always like to compare RB’s here in the SEC. Pick the best group

    1. Auburn 2004 – Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams
    2. Alabama 2009 – Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram
    3. Arkansas 2007 – Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, and Peyton Hillis.

  55. @83 – Pass. While he may have something left in the tank, he hasn’t played in a year and a half, is pushing 40, and doesn’t provide anything other than emergency 1b back-up. Hinske may not be a better pinch-hitter than Delgado, but he does have enough utility in the field that I’d prefer him (or someone like him that can fake a reasonable major league defensive effort at more than one position.)

  56. “Mike Hampton, who pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings with Arizona last year, wants to pitch again and is drawing interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.”

    I laughed.

  57. It would be a better story if Thayer gave an idea of the nature of his source. However, chances are that he doesn’t get that source if he’s allowed to reveal where it’s from.

    But, in my mind, this is the more telling quote:

    “I wasn’t there,” the elder Newton said. “I cannot confirm or deny. At a time like this, I’m taking a defensive posture.”

    No denial. Says a lot.

    Is this a mudslinging campaign? Of course, it is. (On the fan side, one more reason to hate UF.)

    Are these allegations true? Perhaps.

  58. @90, but in this case it doesn’t matter if they are true or not, they aren’t even actionable. Leaving school one step ahead of honor code violations is not an NCAA sanctionable offense even if true. The only reason to run this story is to try and spike Newton’s Heisman chances, something Thayer has made quite clear he is in the business of doing.

    /edit – “No denial. Says a lot.”…like maybe, “I don’t know one way or the other, so it’s better to not say something that may be wrong”?

  59. So this is how November’s gonna be, eh? Urban and his merry band of hacks ‘n flacks (looking at you, Orlando Sentinel and AJC) will float a new rumor about Cam Newton every other day with the desperate hope that something- anything- will stick and the Gators won’t end up getting Nebraska-vs.-Spurrier’d in the SEC Championship Game.

    Hey, Gators, I think Todd Grantham just made another semi-inappropriate gesture! Time for another week of moral panic!

    In conclusion, Chris Rainey.

  60. Like I said, it’s a mudslinging campaign.

    The reason to run the story is that Newton’s a leading Heisman candidate with ethics issues that extend beyond the shopping-for-QB allegations & this new bit.

    Do these allegations advance the story? Of course, they do.

    Does the whole thing reek of a stench emanating from Gainesville. Of course, it does.

  61. sdp @89… I laugh too, though I guess pitching 4+ scoreless innings in a major league game is something I know most people couldn’t do… so I can understand he’s drawing SOME interest.

  62. I think what’s happening with Meyer is that after his “near death” experience, he’s come to know the Lord and is now acting to stamp out immorality in the world of college football.

    It was a sign.

  63. Of course I agree, but it certainly would seem in Thayer’s case he started from a conclusion and worked backwards. As you say, it may well pan out, but the process of rush to judgement via hearsay, anonymous sourcing, and multiple story changes on the part of the only guy on the record, and then seeing if it holds up seems hardly seems to uphold the best traditions of journalism, or even morality.

  64. If I was a baseball player, I would be trying to get on with Hampton’s agent. Screw Boras. This guy can take someone who might just be the world’s biggest hustler, and get organizations to pay him millions of dollars to almost assuredly get injured.


  65. @91,

    It’s ok. Not a big deal. Michigan State and Cuse both dropped an exihbition last year.

    This is a young team and there might be some early hiccups, but we will be fine before January 15. Don’t get your hopes up.

  66. Phillies showing interest in Cliff Lee?

    Are they trying to become the Yankees of the NL? Damn. I don’t even want to think about the Phillies with a rotation of Halladay/Lee/Oswalt/Hamels. The thought won’t even register in my brain. I don’t think I would watch baseball as long as they had that rotation.

    That’s good for what.. 142 wins?

  67. Spike,
    To me, from a journalistic point of view, the thing that would bother me is that the very guy who “broke” the latest bit of news is also the guy who wrote a column about it 5 minutes later.

    Regarding the previous QB-for-hire story, there’s no sports journalist in America (outside the state of Alabama perhaps) who wouldn’t pursue that story, especially if someone (like the MSU guy) would go on the record.

    That’s a devastating story, if true.

    How it’s been reported is certainly up for debate, but yes, this one could take awhile to sort out.

    BTW, on a baseball note:
    Marvin Miller up for Hall of Fame via newfangled vet committee. So is Steinbrenner.

    Miller in? Steinbrenner out?

  68. I don’t understand why getting hurt makes Hampton the “world’s biggest hustler.” The fact is, he could have retired years ago and lived a life of ease, but instead he seems desperate to still pitch. Just because the Braves didn’t get what they wanted out of him doesn’t make him a sleaze. And I can’t get this sympathy for the teams paying him; as if these teams are being forced to do it. The FO people aren’t children; no one is holding a gun to their heads. They obviously think he can pitch. The idea that an agent–whether Boras or anyone–can get teams to simply throw away money is pretty laughable. If they can, then shame on the team.


    Having Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt didn’t seem to help the Phillies in the NLCS. The Braves had, arguably, as good or better a rotation in the 90s (if you include Avery early and Nagle and Millwood later)and didn’t win 142 games.

  69. @104,

    Miller’s importance is obvious–although a lot of people don’t like what he did, the players were getting screwed royally before. Baseball is much better for it. Steinbrenner was also important; as obnoxious as he may have been and as many haters as the Yankees have, he made the Yankees relevant again and baseball is much stronger when they are.

  70. As a Bama fan I don’t have a strong opinion about Urban Meyer. It’s kind of funny to hear the angst that others are expressing. This is almost exactly the way most every Bama fan felt towards Phil Fulmer, and then Kiffin came along and it was almost as bad if not worse.

  71. @107 Love the bit in there about how Bond never actually spoke to Rogers about Newton.

    “Here’s what Bond told the WCNN radio show, Buck and Kincade, when he was asked about getting an offer from Rogers:

    ‘Actually, there were two people in between it but, basically, yes, that’s what happened.’ “

  72. Does anyone care that someone at Florida violated federal laws in leaking this information?

    Hell, I don’t even pull for Auburn (I’m probably a Bama football fan – UK grads gotta do something in the Fall), but this smear campaign is simply outrageous and, in my opinion, indefensible.

  73. I posted over at DOB’s blog and quickly remembered why I dont post over at DOB’s blog. I basically said I don’t want AAG playing SS next year, and someone tried to tell me I’m stupid because Alex is good for a .240-.250 batting average.

  74. @104

    To me, from a journalistic point of view, the thing that would bother me is that the very guy who “broke” the latest bit of news is also the guy who wrote a column about it 5 minutes later.

    It’s actually even worse than that. That hack didn’t publish his opinion piece as a follow-up to the story he broke — he wrote the opinion piece first, and evidently was then rewarded with the leaked cheating info.


    Looks like Mr. Doyel agrees with me @77:

    “And some fools believed every word of it. Read this utter nonsense — 750 words of non sequiturs, one after another — for an example of the blind following the blind. That story was so bad, so baldly unfair, that it was rewarded by someone at the University of Florida with a scoop: Cam Newton, allegedly, was accused several times of academic cheating while at Florida. “

  75. @110-
    It’s not a violation of federal law for some pissed off student assistant (or whatever those folks whose job it is to make sure college athletes go to class are called; I had to deal with them when a various scholarship athletes were in classes I taught) to give some gossip to a report. It may be unethical and against the rules of their contract, but it’s not a violation of federal law unless the actual documents were revealed.

    And not to defend the “journalism” involved with all of this, but I find it disappointing that people can in one breath refuse to believe unspecified/unnamed sources about Cam Newton while in the next believe similar sources about Urban Meyer implicitly. I realize a lot of people around here don’t like the guy on a personal level (though best I can tell, all he did was coach a team that stomped theirs repeatedly), but can we at least try to be consistent with what type of sourcing we think is acceptable and what is simply rumor mongering? (For my money, most of this whole thing has been the latter.)

  76. @109, that’s the thing – the sole on the record source has changed his story THREE times now

    1. Rogers told me this and I went to MSU with the info.
    2. I discussed this on a conf call with Urban Meyer and MSU and Meyer wanted to go to the NY Times.
    3. There was no conference call
    4. Rogers never talked to me personally.

    He’s lost all credibility at this point.

  77. similar sources about Urban Meyer

    But they aren’t similar sources. The author of the NYT story has gotten info before from Meyer, and would not deny Meyer was his source this time when asked directly. Meyer will not deny it either – their statement today was that they didn’t release student records.

  78. College football is a cesspool. Everyone is dirty-players, coaches, administrators. Whether or not the story is true, the idea that you have people at supposed institutions of higher education leaking stories and conducting smear campaigns, and the like is pretty poor comment on college sports.

    At least in the NFL, the money is over the table; but, of course, the NFL gets its players from colleges, allowing them to avoid incurring the expense of running a farm system as baseball does.

  79. @114 Auburn fared just fine against Florida, so my personal resentment has nothing to do with his success. The difference between Cam and Meyer is that I’m not seeing any ESPN articles saying Meyer should be fired for his supposed involvement, whereas we’re getting “don’t vote for Cam” articles and his name is being plastered everywhere with negative information attached.

    And if the actual documents weren’t revealed from Florida, then why is hearsay being reported as fact? For this to be newsworthy, they should have HAD to break federal law.

  80. And if the actual documents weren’t revealed from Florida, then why is hearsay being reported as fact? For this to be newsworthy, they should have HAD to break federal law.

    As Michael Scott would say, “Boom, roasted.”

    Speaking of Michaels, Wilbon will probably have an aneurysm on PTI over this story today.

  81. @120, that is an excellent point – either the reporter ran this with no corroborating documentation, or somebody broke the law.

  82. What involvement? There’s someone who said there was a phone conversation a year ago, and… that’s it. The internet wasn’t around (well, not this much) when Spurrier was the coach. Did people hate him this much, too?

    As to why hearsay is being reported as fact…. THIS WHOLE THING IS A GIANT TABLOID SCANDAL. These are sports reporters, not actual journalists. Yeesh.

    Spike- Broke the law for reporting uncorroborated reports?! Take a walk by a grocery store checkout line some time. Laws protecting freedom of speech in this country are very strong. It’s next to impossible to get in trouble for reporting things.

  83. “These are sports reporters, not actual journalists.”

    I am pretty sure you’d get an argument about that. Commentators get sort of a pass, but guys who report stories as fact not opinion are legally and ethically held to the same standards as the city beat guy.

  84. The stakes are rather different, but it’s essentially the same game.

    To quote Willy Wonka: “Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.”

    As I mentioned the other day, if these writers are getting played by Meyer & UF, then it’s their ass.

    If they (and their editors) aren’t (or weren’t) convinced that there’s validity to the QB-for-hire story, then that’s a bad career move. They must be convinced and, eventually, prepared to defend their stories beyond the confines of their building.

    I’ll reserve judgment for another day on the MSU guy who seems to keep changing his story. Right now, it sounds like his lawyer is trying to save his ass. But, as we’ve seen, that could change.


  85. Legend has it that a young LBJ, locked in a close race, sought advice from his mentor Sam Rayburn.

    Rayburn said, “We’ll spread the story that he has relations with farm animals.”

    Johnson (still young and not completely corrupted) replied, “I know that’s not true!”

    To which Rayburn replied, “You know that and I know that, but we’ll make him deny it.”

    I think that’s the thing that bothers me most – when the original Newton story began to fall apart, the muckrakers quickly tried to turn the story in a different direction to keep the opprobrium from drowning them.

    Personally, I hope Auburn loses their next two games and I believe his off-field missteps make Cam Newton a poor candidate for the Heisman.

    But he doesn’t deserve all this.

    And the people that caused this firestorm have acted with wanton disregard for the truth and deserve to be fired.

  86. Tron looks pretty interesting but I’m just not getting excited about it. Maybe because I haven’t see the first one? But the trailer for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie comes out before Tron so I’ll be excited for that.

  87. Podcast: Thamel in his own words on Newton story

    [audio src="https://podcasting.fia.net/6960/4551924.mp3" /]

    Transcript –
    1. It was really ESPN’s story, not mine. I was out first, but it’s really all them.
    2. Other people have been talking about this too.
    3. I only wrote it to expose ill-doings in college football, not to get Cam Newton
    4. I didn’t seem to hear your question about Urban Meyer, but Auburn is trying to distract from this story, and don’t ask me again.
    5. Who is Murban Geyer? Really – don’t ask me again.
    6. I have no Heisman vote, so wharrrgarrbl.


  88. Mike

    You haven’t seen Tron? Wow. That’s just, well, Wow.

    BUT, you’re excited about POTC 3? Do yourself a favor and rent Tron. Now.

  89. Last week’s story was legitimate news. There was certainly enough there to at least report it. As ububba said, there is no journalist in the country who would have that story fall in his lap and not report it with the details they had on it. And any journalist in the country who would not report that has no business being a journalist (yes, even one in Montgomery…nay, especially one in Montgomery). The writer probably went a bit too far with regard to Newton’s eligibility at Auburn, though I will point out that the headline is not written by the writer. But the story that Newton seemed to be shopped to Mississippi State for a lot of money is a story that has to be reported.

    As far as columnists writing opinion pieces stating that Newton shouldn’t get the Heisman, that really doesn’t have anything to do with the subject at hand. Opinion columns are just that. A columnist has to write however many columns a week. Eventually, he’s going to delve into some pretty lame territory. It’s pretty much unavoidable. And when he does, it’s just an opinion piece. It might not have any relevant facts or be particularly well-written, but it’s not an affront to journalism. It’s just a lazily written column.

    Now, this new story today is complete and total drivel. It’s written by a columnist who wrote one of the aforementioned columns lazily bashing Newton. It has nothing to do with Newton’s eligibility at Auburn. It’s not corroborated by an actual source. There really aren’t any specific details (the instances named are very general ways of cheating in college)… It’s tabloid journalism, plain and simple. And now, a few stories popping up this afternoon have quoted the Florida Student Conduct Committee as saying no allegations involving Newton had ever been brought before them. This story is pure garbage, basically, and really is an affront to journalists everywhere who do their job, including the guy who wrote the New York Times story last week. Because whatever you think of Thamel or the ESPN team that wrote their piece of it, there is no way they would ever have run with this story today. It’s blatant character assassination, potentially for the purpose of making oneself look good.

    Now mraver is 100 percent right that jumping to the conclusion that Meyer is behind this is just as spurious as the story itself. It’s only clear that someone from the University of Florida is behind it. Not clear at all who. But the story itself is horrid, in my opinion, and is really more at home with the supermarket tabloids than with any legitimate news source. Which of those you think Fox Sports is (I will note they have been very wrong on a number of breaking stories like this in the past), I leave to your discretion.

  90. POTC 4, actually. I know the second and third ones were nowhere near as good as the first one, but the first one is probably my favorite movie, so I hold out hope for the fourth one.

    And the first Tron came out 6 years before I was born! It’s just not a movie that has ever been at the top of my list to watch.

  91. http://auburn.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1150363

    Two independent sources with detailed knowledge of the UF academic discipline system during the period in question have disputed the Evans story. According to the sources, no allegations of academic impropriety regarding Cam Newton were sent to the Florida Student Conduct Committee at any time either during or after Newton’s time at UF.

    Thayer is going to have to put up or shut up.

  92. I’m not really expecting Tron Legacy to be any good, but I will admit that every single trailer that has come out for it has been freaking awesome.

  93. I hope it will at least be mindless entertainment and eye candy. If it happens to actually be a good movie, I will be thrilled.

    @134 If I wasn’t so mad about all of this, I’d enjoy watching the whole mess unravel.

  94. “Two independent sources with detailed knowledge of the UF academic discipline system during the period in question have disputed the Evans story.”

    But academic records are supposed to be sealed! We need Congressional investigations! This report means that a Federal crime has been committed! Send someone to jail for this immediately!

  95. Saying someone has a clean academic record is not an invasion of their privacy, I wouldn’t think.

  96. Spike, I was being facetious. Someone earlier was calling for federal charges to be pressed because an unconfirmed (and denied by UF) reports was published about Newton having academic problems at Florida. I thought that was silly. My post was making fun of it, not to be taken seriously.

  97. Ah, the old attack the messenger trick. Didn’t work for Reggie Bush, but, hey, go for it.

    The FBI getting involved is an interesting twist. Cam Newton sounds like a pretty interesting guy. I’m much more likely to read his memoirs than Tebow’s forthcoming opus.

  98. @148 I want to see ESPN posting that clarification.

    This is a story leaked 4 months late involving another school which now turns out to be just one guy saying something to another guy who passes it along to another, and major news sources have treated it like gospel.

    The cheating allegations are so messed up they aren’t even worth mentioning.

  99. Heard it from a friend who
    Heard it from a frieeend whooo
    Heard it from another that your father extorted cash from college athletic proooograaams.

    They say you’ve got an agent
    You copied papers on the weekends
    They’re talking about you, and it’s bringing me down.

    Well I know that neighbourhood
    The talk is cheap when the story is good
    And the tales grow taller on down the line

    But I’m telling you, Cam
    That I don’t think it’s true, man
    And even if it is keep making first downs.

    You take it, and you run, baby
    If that’s the way they want it, then maybe
    That Heisman trophy isn’t worth having around.

  100. Dear God, it’s really going to happen.

    Cam Newton gets suspended, Auburn loses to Georgia and Alabama.
    LSU wins out.
    12-1 LSU goes to the BCS championship game over TCU and Boise.
    And Les Miles, in his borderline mystical way, will somehow beat Oregon, leaving the Ducks standing around wondering, “What the hell just happeened?”

  101. you know, I really thought there was nothing to this reports…I may be changing that stance now. Too much out there at this point

  102. It would be great to be able to feel good about the best player on your team during the best season they’ve had in years. It’s too much to ask, I suppose.

    These latest allegations aren’t much different than the first leak. More old news drug out at the most convenient time. None of this should have ever been brought up at all, because despite this info, the NCAA still hasn’t gone after Auburn. I hope it’s not true.

  103. #154 – Of course there is. Spike’s delusional.

    because despite this info, the NCAA still hasn’t gone after Auburn

    No but they’ll have to now. Yahoo sports basically shamed them into going after USC. This story has legs, the NCAA will have to get involved at some point.

  104. @154, Some people think that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In my experience, where there’s smoke, there’s usually a small circle of individuals passing around the same source, each blowing smoke with his or her own unique flair.

  105. It’s time for somebody to go on the record with direct knowledge of something. I mean, if Newton has done this, what is the rationale for anonymity?

  106. It might be time for me to smugly point out that my school’s awful football team never has to face these sort of allegations. That’s one small perk of losing to Harvard every year: no one investigates your team for cheating. It’s sort of like The Producers.

  107. You would have to be pretty foolish to think that Cam Newton wasn’t get some kind of money to go to school at Auburn. It’s pretty blatant and obvious that the big stars at big schools get big money. Pretending that this doesn’t happen is just sticking your head in the sand.

  108. All of this controversy really is ruining my mood. This is my last month here, and I was thrilled with how the football team was performing. Even if this all turns out to be BS, it feels a little tainted. Maybe I should just avoid the topic, so I can enjoy the last few games.

  109. I don’t know why this feels tainted for you. This whole thing doesn’t pass the smell test in a number of ways.

    First, the amount of money is silly. For example, if you take Bowden’s claims as accurate, which I see as an improbable worst case, in 1992, a collective of Auburn boosters were paying $12,000-$15,000 for certain players. $15,000 in 1992 isn’t even $25,000 now. Eight times that much for a player unproven at the major college level? Sure, he’s worth that now, but was he worth that before the season?

    Second, who would pay this? Most of Auburn’s boosters lost a lot in the financial crisis, specifically the collapse of Colonial Bank. Even if there was a collective of boosters dumb enough to think they could pay players to play without damaging the program, I’d doubt they could raise more than $10,000 for a player viewed like Newton was viewed before the season.

    Third, ever since Rich McGlynn came on, there have been public signs of an emphasis on compliance. For example, during this incident, http://bit.ly/cm5ns8 , Auburn self-reported and self-imposed penalties. The NCAA got suspicious, as they do with any self-reporting, and investigated. Although they disagreed with the self-imposed penalties, they found that every violation was reported. There’s also the Komera incident where AU compliance, by all appearances, went far beyond NCAA requirements to the point of angering the coach. This isn’t a USC situation where compliance was acting blindfolded and handcuffed in quicksand. It really looks like compliance has actual power to overrule and discipline coaches at AU.

    I don’t buy a word of this. It’s all rumor. Even if it is true, if compliance did their job and Cam Newton knew nothing about it, I don’t see an issue. However, since it’s not true, that doesn’t even matter.

  110. @ 153 and 156,

    My answer to that is, “So what?”

    Unless anyone can can show proof that Auburn paid the guy to play football, then what does it matter what he and his dad said?

  111. so, with the positional depth being minute in the minors, should the braves reacquire andy marte and stash him away at AAA to see if they can spark his career?

  112. Marte sucks and they shouldnt waste their time. He’s had 6 attempts and has never hit .235 or gotten his OBP over .300.

  113. Hey, they lived at the same time, and by the end of 1945, neither of them could hear or see, so whatever.

    Also, the most known part of the Hellen Keller story involves her as a girl taught by someone named Anne. I make mental slips like that all of the time. It’s not like he didn’t correct himself as soon as the lapse was brought to his attention.

  114. Back page of the NY Daily News today shows a picture of Derek Jeter just missing a groundball to his left with a headline that reads:

    Fool’s Gold
    Voters Drop Ball, Name Jeter as AL’s Top-Fielding Shortstop

    Here’s John Harper’s story: http://tinyurl.com/27dx9pl

  115. by the end of 1945, neither of them could hear or see, so whatever.

    That’s some spike level snark right there mister.

  116. Best case: he makes AAA out of ST, and we have a left fielder in 2011.

    Probable case: he can’t hit a major league curveball.

    Worth a shot. You’re not going to find Roy Hobbs unless you look for him.

  117. Even if it is true, if compliance did their job and Cam Newton knew nothing about it, I don’t see an issue.

    No, at some point you are going to need some of it not be true for there not to be an issue.

    From ESPN’s latest collection of unnamed sources:

    After Newton committed to Auburn, another source said an emotional Cam Newton phoned another recruiter to express regret that he wouldn’t be going to Mississippi State, stating that his father Cecil had chosen Auburn for him because “the money was too much.”

    From 3000 miles away, I pretty much assume this stuff goes on all the time down there, especially with Junior College players. Cam must have burned somebody pretty badly because someone is making it his business to trash this kid at the worst possible time.

  118. Okay, I need someone to do for my annual Keltner List post. Taking nominations. Requirements: (a) they’re retired, (b) they have some connection to the Braves, and (c) they’re eligible.

  119. Robert,

    Like Jerry McGuire said, “Show me the moeny.”

    Until I see the money, I don’t believe this. It is all second/ third hand information and is about as reliable as my barber’s trade rumors.

  120. Not sure Justice is eligable, what about Marquis Grissom? Bret Boone, Mondi (ha ha ha) Steve Reed, Rey Sanchez and BJ Surhoff are all new eligable guys

  121. By “eligible” I mean he played ten years and isn’t banned. He doesn’t have to have passed the five-year waiting period.

    Justice and Lopez are both good ideas; I can make an argument for Lopez.

  122. Justice was always a solid contributer to playoff teams. He reminds me a lot of Robert Horry.

    Lopez had a short run where he was one of the top catchers in the game.

    Dennis Martinez would be a really good one

  123. Lopez’s closest comp is Jorge Posada, who will probably get into the Hall eventually. His next-closest is Campanella. And during his career, he mostly tracked Fisk and Hartnett; he lacks the extra stats those guys compiled at the end of his career, though. Butler is another good candidate. I’ll have to think about this.

  124. It’s funny, even Yankee fans don’t always mention Posada as a HoFer. But I do.

    I look forward to a Keltner List on him someday. For one thing, you’re talking about a guy with a career OBA that’s about 50 points higher than Gary Carter’s.

  125. @195

    Looks like all 5 of the writers also pickd a veteran RH reliever to the braves as well. That sounds like they’ve been sneaking peeks into the Frank Wren Playbook.

  126. @192
    El Presidente!
    I hate “if…then” HOF comparisons, but how could we consdier Jack Morris without comparing Dennis Martinez.

    Go Crime Dog!
    Go Murph!

    And go Marvin Miller!
    I know somebody here could make a lucid, eloquent case for why the Vet’s Commitee should elect him.

  127. #194
    I agree that the early ’70s Astros unis (with the shooting star) were my faves.

    That was my Little League team uni & I thought we looked sharp.

    I also liked the caps (the star with the H). The Astros Double-A team played in Columbus, Ga., my hometown, so I grew up wearing a cap with the star and a C.

    Somehow, they’ve looked ridiculous ever since.

    Also, those ’70s unis from San Diego & Cleveland were doozies.

  128. #197

    Seeing that Brian Fuentes is a LH pitcher, I don’t know what you mean by projecting the Braves to sign a RH pitcher. Methinks that they think that Wren wants a vetern reliever in the bullpen to pick up some slack at times.

    I think Gregg is ok. Would love to see what the Padres want for Bell.

  129. Mac is right – this soul-selling business is fascinating to watch.

    Les Miles will indeed find a way to win the National Championship with half of his fanbase wanting him fired.

    More likely, however, LSU will suffer the same fate as Georgia when they went to the Sugar Bowl and trounced Hawaii – finishing an oddly unsatisfying 2nd in the land.

  130. Royals just traded DeJesus to the A’s. No doubt clearing space for Francoeur, who is now officially a free agent after rejecting a minor league assignment.

  131. billy beane is up to something. he knows that dejesus could bring a decent return in a poor cf market.

  132. A’s are really active so far this offseason. I feel jealous, though I know it’s early. Also, our GM being active kind of freaks me out, so it’s just as well.

  133. @195 It’s not like they are experts, but Burrell is really a logical answer which I absolutely hate.

    I find the options of Wood and Fuentes to be interesting. They both fit perfectly to what Wren want: a late inning option with closer experience. I want Fuentes more than Wood though.

  134. @211 Last year I spent more than $10M for Wag and Saito. This year we are only signing one vet. I think we can afford them.

  135. @212. Matt Young may want a job and he’s doing great, but Canizares is doing even better. .500 OBP and a .500 Slugging percent is not half bad. If the guy could only field I think he could hit better than 90% of the left field candidates I’ve heard about. Also, it doesn’t look like too many Braves pitchers are doing themselves a favor in the winter league!

  136. Dang kc. You spent 10 million last year for Wag and Saito? Can you pony up 15 million this year for Werth? We’d love you forever, we promise!

  137. I know DeJesus isn’t the best player out there, but it’s notable that the A’s gave up very little to get him. I say it’s “notable” because it underscores how acquiring a decent outfield need not break the budget or take–I don’t know–years to do. I have said it before and I’ll say it again now: it is completely baffling how Wren has managed to fail over and over again to build a decent outfield.

    Moreover. This year, the Braves are hardly guaranteed the same type of production out of their infield that they have come to expect. Both 1B and SS could be no better than league average–or worse–while Chipper is coming off of a serious injury at 3B. It is absolutely imperative to improve the offensive production in the outfield. They need at least one above-average guy, maybe two.

  138. what about getting Alex Gordon for LF? he was tearing it up last year after being sent down…and he could be Chipper insurance at 3B too….just a thought

  139. Thanks to all veterans out there on Veteran’s Day. I know that you made sacrifices for all of us, and my saying thank you can never match what each of you has done and/or is doing now. But thank you anyway.

    Oh, and if you’re abroad serving now, stay safe and Godspeed home.

  140. DJ will cost 6M, is coming off injury, and is LH, and plays a passable CF. So, a better version of McLouth – but we seem to have one of those already and are stuck with him. He also had a year with the bat out of line with his career norms (127OPS+ to prior avg of 106). I think I am ok with not getting in on this in order to pursue a longer term solution (DJ is an FA after this year) via trade for a younger guy who’s a better bet offensively.

    This of course presumes some long term solution is being pursued…

  141. Did I hear that Uggla turned down the Marlins offer?

    What SeatPainter said – Thanks, guys!

  142. I have resolved to become sabermetrically literate this offseason.

    Is there a glossary of sabremetric terminology anywhere to be found?


  143. testing

    weird. Not letting me post a link.

    Anyway, try the one at fangraphs. Good luck – it’s a lot of info to pick up. I certainly understand just the barest amount.

  144. Yeah, I just kind of look stuff up as I run across it. It makes reading certain articles at BP an hour-long effort, but there’s just too much out there to become fluent unless it’s your exclusive hobby, you’re taking a class in it, or you are working with it professionally.

  145. This reads much more like spitballing than actual rumormongering, don’t you think?

    Thus it seems more likely that they would pursue somebody like Josh Willingham from the Nationals or maybe a potential leadoff hitter like Rajai Davis from the A’s.

  146. Honestly, though, if I didn’t have a job, I’d probably start with mastering the data. Download retrosheet and start asking historical questions that baseball-reference’s play index can’t answer. Like platoon questions.

    I’ve done a little of that, but I’m not very good, and I’m still excited when my basic stats derived from play-by-play match baseball-reference output. You can find out some really interesting stuff, but it takes a lot of time to master. I can barely manipulate the dataset, but if I was dedicating myself to the topic, I’d start with it.

  147. @233, That makes me extremely nervous. And the whole “we don’t need great hitters since our pitching staff is so good” is totally asinine logic considering the fate of the 2010 Braves. Man I don’t like Bowman.

    If Pat Burrell is our big acquisition, we’re in deep trouble.

  148. I don’t think that the A’s are trading Davis anyway.

    The L’il Jonny thing… If there’s anywhere in the minors where being an actual major leaguer would be a plus, I’d think it would be at the lowest level.

  149. why are we not willing to trade for BJ Upton? his BABIP was very low last year and had it responded to career norms, the guy would have been a top-5 OF in baseball.

    he’s still young, controlled for a few more years, fast, RH, plays good defense in CF (and probably better in LF), and has some pop.

    why, then, are we avoiding him like Lady Gaga avoids churchs?

  150. Upton is right-handed, an excellent defender, is still young and affordable. Also he’s fast.

    He’s like the anti-Brave.

    I just don’t see how the Braves and Rays match up. Pitching isn’t an area of need for the Rays.

  151. @344, that’s it exactly. I can’t think of anything we would be willing to trade for Upton that the Rays want.

  152. Well, if they’re letting Soriano go, a young relief ace would be a start — but, yeah, I dunno what else. Salcedo or Bethancourt, maybe?

  153. Timo and braves14 – thanks! Those really help.

    I had never visited FireJoeMorgan.com – much to my detriment. Anyone who hasn’t been there (it’s probably just me) should go now without passing Go.

  154. I have a hunch we would really regret letting Salcedo go.

    Think a package around Bethancourt / Moylan would work? I would also think the Rays would still value our young prospect arms.

    But, Teheran is untouchable in my book.

  155. Braves signed a very French-sounding Beau Torbet to a minor league deal. Going to solve everything, imo.

    More like Beau Torbomb. In a good way.

  156. Um, no one noticed that Bowman said in his second paragraph that “the Braves might eventually land…possibly another starting pitcher on the free-agent market,..” and didn’t stop reading right then? We have 6+ potential starting pitchers coming into ST and he thinks we might go after another FA starting pitcher? Wow. Maybe Bowman thinks we’re going after Cliff Lee.

  157. Maybe it’s Vasquez. McDowell had such good luck with him that maybe they think they can recapture the magic.

    If the money’s right, not a bad idea.

  158. @251, In all fairness, I think there’s a small chance the Braves offer Vazquez a deal and we may end up trading a SP like Hanson, Minor or JJ to get a bat. I hate defending that asshat, but that statement didn’t bother me.

    EDIT: I guess others think the same thing. :)

  159. I’d be ok with the gamble of signing Javy again and trading away a young arm. The problem is that JJ would probably be the one to get traded, and his value is low right now. I’m not sure the Braves would trade Hanson.

  160. This is likely blasphemous, but I think all of our starting pitchers are available for the right price.


    When will we know about Chipper?

  161. Yeah, it might be a legitimate second place from now on.

    It would be funny if he went to like 15 All-star games and didn’t start any of them.

  162. @257,

    I think McCann has come a long ways on D. He blocks ball a lot better, but his throwing is hit or miss. Sometimes he throws strikes to second. Sometimes Heyward is catching the throw.

  163. Still think we should give McCann some time at 1B. If not for now, for the future.

    I know Freddie’s left-handed, but he’s also barely old enough to drink. We need McCann’s bat every night and with Ross, we’re in good shape to have both in the game at the same time.

  164. McCann has taken strides behind the plate. He’ll never be great back there, but he’s certainly adequate. And he’s now actually a threat to throw some guys out. Not a huge one, but enough to keep baserunners honest. No way he’s moving any time soon.

  165. You heard it here first:

    Next week’s SEC Offensive Player of the Week will be Micah Powell from Vanderbilt University.

    “The Starmakers” strike again.

  166. How about…

    Cliff Lee pulls a Greg Maddux and resigns with Texas for a little less money than the Yankees are offering. No taxes and more comfort in Texas.

    The Yankees panic and sign Carl Crawford.

    The Braves trade Derek Lowe and a prospect for Gardner and start him in CF.

    The Braves sign Javy Vazquez and a LF.

    Pipe dream?

  167. That scenario obviously wouldn’t be ideal, Mac, but it wouldn’t be a catastrophe either.

  168. I don’t see Vazquez. The Braves could trade two pitchers and still have a perfectly acceptable rotation with Teheran available if someone goes down.

    I’d like to see what the Braves could get for Beachy.

    Honestly, the only real needs are LF, bullpen RHP, and a couple of bench bats. I’d love to upgrade shortstop, but I don’t see that happening. My gut says McLouth will be fine in CF.

  169. We need a power bat in the outfield and that is way more important that overpaying for javy Vasquesz

  170. @275 The idea isn’t acquiring Vazquez, the idea is getting a good defensive CF and taking money saved on Lowe to find a LF. Presumably Vazquez would be much cheaper than Lowe.

    However subbing Granderson for Gardner obviously hurts that idea.

  171. @279 clearly it has next to zero chance of happening, but that’s what makes the hot stove fun.

  172. If we got Choo, which would be awesome, we should just forfeit all games against left handed pitching for the season.

  173. I love Granderson as a person and a player. But his platoon split against RHP ain’t all that (although better last year) and he is owed a LOT of money going forward. 31M is a chunk for a guy that has had a scary loss of OBP for the last 2 seasons.

  174. Considering how left handed heavy we were this year, and how well we performed, I wouldn’t hesitate to get a lefty for the outfield is he’s a very good player.

    Yay for McCann!

  175. Bosh is soft. But Haslem is a player, and LeBron is a hell of a player. If LeBron can just cruise for a couple of quarters and pass dimes to Dwyane, letting Bosh and Haslem pick up some boards, and then decide whether or not he wants to hit fifth gear during crunch time, the team can win a lot.

    But if Dwyane decides to just jack up a bunch of threes like he did tonight, and the team decides that they just want to shoot jumpers instead of pounding the paint and rubbing everyone’s faces in how freaking talented they are, they’re going to look sloppy and lazy and lose.

    On a personal note, I’d like the Heat to win this year, because I’d like the Sports Guy to have to rein in his ego a little bit; the Book of Basketball was hideously unreadable in places, and his idea of “The Secret” is really, really hard to swallow. I love the guy, but I’d love him to be wrong about the Heat. Unfortunately, he may just be smarter than me.

    Also, I think we can all agree that a loss for Ray Lewis is a win for America.

  176. @234,

    The glossary is amusing, but I find the smugness and superciliousness a bit much. Frankly, these people come off as dicks. I mean, “forward-thinking people?”

  177. so, jeter wins a gold glove, yet even the yankees own beat writer knows it’s crap. via mlbtr:

    “Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes the Yankees must be prepared to ask Jeter to shift from his original position, just like Bernie Williams did.”

  178. @295

    I tired of FJM quickly for just those reasons. They performed a valuable service and were often funny as hell, but to spend as much time and effort ridiculing people as they did began to say more about FJM than it said about their targets.

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