262 thoughts on “L’il Jonny open thread”

  1. My father is the National Softball Association Regional Director. He’s over 5 states and runs tournament all throughout the southeast. At one point in time, I for sure thought I was headed for the same life as he. I’m glad I chose my own career path instead of being called “Little Joe” the rest of my life.

    Here’s to all the Li’l Jonny’s throughout the world. Hold your head up high…you deserve this.

  2. I love “Patches.” Did anyone see the Pawn Stars episode where a guy pawned his “Patches” Best Song Grammy for?

  3. I thought AAG played quite well defensively once he got over the spate of errors he made when he first came over. I have no problem with his defense.

    By the way, AAG, I just started readin “The Dead Hand” about the end of the nuclear arms race, which I believe you said you had worked on with the author at the Wash. Post. I just finished the anecdote about the Soviet officer picking up the false alert about U.S. missiles. It’s pretty chilling; good thing he acted as he did or . . .well, we wouldn’t be worrying about the Braves outfield situation today.

  4. #5–But the vast majority of players picked in the 8th round (and after) never make it to the majors….

  5. Seven of the thirty players taken in the eighth round of the 2002 draft — including Adam Lind — made it to the majors. A 20 percent return is waaaaaaaay too high to throw away a pick to make the GM happy.

    2002 wasn’t atypical. Eleven players made it from 2001, including Kevin Youkilis. Seven made it from 2000, including Dontrelle Willis and Brandon Webb.

  6. Marc, it’s a remarkable incident, isn’t it? It’s kind of sobering for a guy like me, who effectively grew up in the post-Cold War era, to try to imagine a world in which the near-annihilation of the human race was not only possible, but nearly happened a couple times.

    So the Mets have a new manager, and it isn’t Wally Backman: it’s Terry Collins. The GM who hasn’t had a winning team in 18 years hired a manager who hasn’t managed in 11 years.

    Does anyone know anything about Collins? DePodesta praised him as a talent evaluator, which is a fancy way of not saying that they thought he used to be a good manager.

  7. Yes–a team can find decent and on occasion great players with the 8th round pick–but most don’t. In fact, most of the players taken in the 8th round in 2002 did not even get to AAA–unlike Jonathan Lawrence Schuerholz who did….

  8. @8,

    With the Angles he had a player revolt and he quit. The team got mad a Mo Vaughn and he was forced to take sides, so he quit.

    With the Astros he was known for debating umpires, not arguing with them.

    I think he has a law degree and is a smart dude. I never though he was a great manager.

    If he had issues in the clubhouse (and as we all know that is a managers top job) then he will probably have some issues in NYC.

  9. BS. L’il Jonny only got promoted because of his father. He never hit, at any level. His career slugging percentage was .289. And, again, you have between a one in three and one in five chance of getting a major league player in the eighth round, and the Braves passed that up.

  10. L’il Jon is hardly the first to be born on third base and get drafted higher than he should have. The problem that I had, at the time, was you could make the case that he shouldn’t have even been drafted at all, let alone in the 8th round. He was drafted out of high school in the 37th round by, wait for it, the Braves. What exactly did he do to improve his stock while at Clemson ? Must have been the .651 OPS as a sophomore or the career high two home runs as a freshman. You’re telling me a guy like that isn’t available in the 15th or 20th round if you really need to take him ? No chance he would have kept moving up the ladder in the minors if he had a different last name. As Mac points out, it is particularly galling when you look and see real major leaguers being drafted in the same round, but even if one person on average makes the bigs in the 8th round, it’s still a bad pick.

    If you want to sign your son as a free agent and let him try and work his way up, that’s one thing, but when you use a draft pick that high you do a disservice to the organization. I’m sure White Sox fans feel the same way about Kenny Williams drafting his son in a similar fashion and giving his son a big signing bonus.

  11. Thanks, Smitty. I see a pretty harsh Bob Klapisch story saying essentially the same thing:

    The risk here? That the high-strung Collins, who alienated his clubhouses in Houston and Anaheim in previous stints in the ’90s, will once again fail to connect with his players. One industry official said, “Think of [Giants coach] Tom Coughlin with a bad team, and you have Terry Collins.”

    Collins’ volatile history doesn’t offer much in the way of optimism: He quit the Angels with 29 games to go in 1999 in the face of a player revolt, and again quit in a subsequent gig with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan in 2007.

    It was then that Collins essentially retired from managing, saying he’d lost his passion for it. Collins has a lot of explaining to do – starting with his penchant for quitting.

  12. The younger Schuerholz played at Auburn, not Clemson. With respect to his status as a prospect, if memory serves me right he had a reputation as a decent defender who could steal bases (if he could get on them in the first place). An 8th round pick? Probably about a 12th round pick would have made more sense. Nonetheless, the Braves have thrown away more and significant picks and had players who have been bigger busts….

  13. The difference is, those guys are busts. They were prospects who didn’t pan out. L’il JS wasn’t a prospect in the first place, ergo, he wasn’t a bust at all.

  14. @19 Agreed.

    Mac, I love your tweet about Seymour. Girls on college campuses everywhere should have to watch the clip so they can handle Big Ben when he’s on the prowl.

  15. What makes anyone think Hinske can still play 3B? I mean, if he had that skill, wouldn’t he have been out there in front of Troy Glaus in the playoffs? TROY GLAUS! I put the odds of Hinske playing another inning at 3B about equal to Little Johnny Nepotism ever making the draft board without his dad’s last name.

  16. The most disappointing thing about the 2010 season remains, for me, the fact that Eric Hinske didn’t get to enjoy some national hero worship after that Game 3 8th-inning homer. That was freaking epic, and it’s already been forgotten by everyone but Braves fans, because the lead was blown so quickly.

  17. Really? We’re complaining about the exact draft position of JS Jr in 2002?!?

    Thank God we are not fans of another organization. I mean, the Mets just hired Terry Collins (!) to be their next manager.

  18. #25

    On a similar note, I will always remember Glaus starting that late-inning 5-4-3 double play in Game 2 vs. the Giants.

  19. While it was a shitty ending, game 3 was pretty awesome to go to. Hudson was awesome, and that homer by Hinske nearly brought the place down. Easily the loudest game I’ve ever attended.

  20. Mets fans should be among the most excited fans in baseball. After decades of incompetence, they finally have a front office of smart guys who know what they’re doing. Looking down the road, they have a large enough payroll to be competitive every year. If the ownership doesn’t go crazy, I have a very real fear they could turn into another Red Sox.

    Of course, with the albatrosses they have, there’s going to be a couple of bad years, so they hired a manager who will alienate his players and will be able to take the fall for the next two losing seasons. Then they bring in a Valentine or an Acta or whomever for the 2013 season, and I’ll be depressed for a generation.

    I have a real bad feeling about the way the Mets are moving.

  21. Yeah, I’m good with giving Hinske a two-year deal for not a lot of money. Worst-case scenario is you eat the 2nd year.

  22. @28 – I still maintain he threw to the wrong base, but what a great play it was!

    Yes on Hinske.

  23. I can’t get too upset about Lil Johnny. It’s the way of the world. It could be a lot worse; look at North Korea-talk about nepotism. I’m pretty sure Jonathan Schuerholz won’t be threatening the world with nuclear weapons.

    AAR,

    The worst part, in some ways, is that we didn’t know about it. The world could have ended just out of the blue one day. At least during the Cuban Missile Crisis, people would have known what happened. I think this officer is a hero to humanity and it’s a shame no one has really heard about him. Fortunately, too, the system only indicated five missiles. He clearly understood that no one would launch an attack with just five missiles. If it had indicated more, he might have made a different decision. This was also in the context of the Able-Archer exercise where some Soviet officers thought that NATO exercises were a prelude to a nuclear strike. Of course, I know what would have happened; the Braves would have been on the verge of winning the WS and then–blewwy!

  24. 34—Prado apparently finished 9th.

    Posey finished 7th, and nobody has said whether Heyward received a vote. WTF?

  25. @37 Once, there was a Sportscenter report about how Vince wrote a note to his teammates before the season started. A sort of rah rah thing to start his second year. They interviewed him and shot footage of Young fumbling through the note he supposedly wrote himself like he’d never seen letters arranged in a line before.

    He’s a total idiot. Hopefully he can grow up, because I think he’s the best option for the Titans at QB.

  26. Young? From some reports today, it seems like he could be gone. His post-game meltdown might’ve sealed his fate with ownership.

    Historical Note: You’d be hard-pressed to find a QB/WR “combo” that’s exhibited more entitled, me-first behavior than Vince Young & Randy Moss.

  27. exactly, ububba. Give a few of these guys just a little bit of success and they feel like they are entitled to everything. Young feels like he’s bigger than his team and probably the game. What a waste of talent.

  28. csg,
    #41, True dat, and both occurred in the same season.

    Still, say what you want about Favre—he bores me to tears, too—he’s actually accomplished a few things in the NFL.

  29. @42, Moss is ….well words fail me, but he’s accomplished his share as well –

    NFL records

    * Most touchdown receptions in a season – 23 (2007)
    * Most touchdown receptions by a rookie in a season – 17 (1998)
    * Most seasons with 17 or more touchdown receptions – 3 (1998, 2003, 2007)
    * Most seasons with 16 or more touchdown receptions – 3 (1998, 2003, 2007)
    * Most seasons with 11 or more touchdown receptions – 8 – tied with Jerry Rice
    * Most seasons with 10 or more touchdown receptions – 9 – tied with Jerry Rice
    * Most games in a season with at least 2 touchdown receptions – 8 (2007)
    * Only player to have 1,600 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns in a season (2003)
    * Most yards receiving in a Pro Bowl game – 212 (2000)
    * Most touchdowns scored in first 10 games with a new team – 16 (2007)
    * Most 1,200+ yard receiving seasons to start a career – 6 (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)
    * Moss has averaged at least one receiving touchdown per game played in four different seasons: 1998 (17 TDs in 16 games), 2003 (17 in 16), 2004 (13 in 13), and 2007 (23 in 16)[78]
    * At the end of the 2008 season, Moss averaged 12.3 receiving TDs per season
    * Four 100+ yard games in his first four games with a new team in 2007
    * Youngest player in NFL history to record his 100th receiving touchdown – (29 years and 235 days)
    * Youngest player in NFL history to record his 120th receiving touchdown – (30 years, 313 days)
    * Fastest player to reach 5,000 career receiving yards – 59 games (broke record of 61 games by Jerry Rice)
    * Highest career yards per catch average for any player with 900+ receptions – 15.6 yards per reception
    * Youngest player to have 3 touchdown receptions in a game (21 years, 286 days)

  30. I was referring more to the Young/Favre comparison.

    But, yes, Moss has accomplished plenty of statistical milestones (including accumulating a decent-sized rap sheet).

    Moss is one of the most physically gifted football players you’ll ever see in your life. But as far back as high school, we could see that storm brewing.

    There’s a reason he attended Marshall, instead of Notre Dame & FSU. And if you can scare off FSU…

  31. carrol rogers has a new blog post up in place of DOB. chipper basically admitting that bobby lets the braves come into spring lazy and unfit…

    “I think guys were scared to death that we were going to have to show up in spring training and have to run a six-minute mile or a 30-second shuttle run, things like that,” Jones said. “We’re used to playing ourselves into shape throughout the course of a six-week spring training. The new-age managers like for guys to come into camp ready to play nine innings and 162 games first day of spring training, and that’s just not the way it’s been done here.”

    well, maybe it should be.

    oh, and matt young and barbaro canizares still really want a job…
    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=atl

  32. they’re professional athletes that get paid millions of dollars to play a game. the ability to hit a curveball or field the ball cleanly should be the focus in spring training. the conditioning should be a prerequisite to spring and should be present all year long.

    do you think martin prado would say something like chipper’s quote? i think not.

  33. “in shape” doesn’t necessarily mean “ready”… you can be “in shape” and spend all spring getting your baseball skills tuned up. “in shape” should, I think, be bare minimum for professional athlete.

    And I find the lack of mention of Diaz at all by Carrol to be a bit… sad/disconcerting/probably-should-be-expected-but-I-like-Diaz-and-hope-he’s-not-gone-even-though-I’m-not-sure-he-fits-anywhere-on-this-team.

  34. I wish journalists, reporters, etc. were held to the same standards as most athletes seem to be held to.

    I dunno. I just really don’t care if my team is viewed as “classy.” I mean yeah it’d be nice, but I’d rather have an entitled jerk who was very good over a decent player who is also a nice guy.

  35. There’s a difference between Auburn and Clemson ? My apologies. Just kidding Bethany. I don’t recall reading anywhere that Lil Jon was a prospect, but you have to say that he did make some good money as a rapper.

    So the Rockies had two of the top five position players and one of the three best pitchers and still didn’t make the playoffs ? I’m curious as to the last time that happened.

  36. mac,
    i’ve never asked you this before…
    why do you think the braves will regret trading gregor blanco. what can gregor provide the braves that matt young cannot? or is it just the unknown of what matt can/cannot do that causes you to doubt him?

  37. Blanco’s a natural outfielder, while Young (I believe) started out in the infield. And Blanco has shown the ability to survive on the major league level; most of this type of player can’t.

  38. If you’re a true American, pull for Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The terrorists win if Boise plays in the title game.

  39. A disappointing season from Tech can be turned into a success by keeping UGA from being bowl-eligible.

    And I’m really hoping for a South Carolina upset in the SEC Championship.

  40. #51
    Journalists and other working people are already held to a higher standard than are athletes.

    Athletes in professional sports and collegiate revenue-generating sports get away with much more than any working person could ever hope for.

    Let’s look at it this way: You think I’d get away with vehicular manslaughter? Think I’d have the scratch to buy off a family that my crew injured or murdered? Think I can get arrested for assault (more than once), then be rewarded with a college scholarship?

    No way. If I did something like that, I’d be looking for a new line of work, possibly something that entailed having my name (or number) on my shirt.

    One of the reasons why guys like Donte Stallworth, Ray Lewis & Randy Moss get so much grief is because, to varying degrees, they actually deserve it.

  41. @ 55
    If you’re a true American, ignore college football until a legitimate playoff system is instituted.

    *If you’re an alum of one of the eight schools whose programs are allowed to compete for a championship then root away, otherwise ignore it. I can understand rooting for your team to beat it’s rivals or win it’s conference, especially if you’re a fan of an SEC or Big 12 program, but this BCS crap is a joke.

  42. I hate playoffs. By definition, they involve diminishment of the regular season. And in college football, by virtue of the sheer number of teams, there will never be a meaningful way of determining who is the “national champion”. Just let it go, folks.

  43. and as far as an ethics competition between journalists and athletes – well let’s just say the winner is right up there with the tallest pygmy or the best dentist in London.

  44. Hoping that someone in the Pac 10 decides they need Bobby Petrino really, really bad.

    Want him as far away from the SEC as possible. He’s the Barry Bonds of football coaches – more talented than anybody and an insufferable jerk.

  45. Then why crown someone “national champion” at all? S**t or get off the pot. If you want to play the “this is how we do it” card then why not just go back to the way it was before the BCS with a handful of bowl games? I have no problem with the old system, it emphasizes conference and regional rivalries and I think that’s neat. But I’m not alone in thinking that it’s very lame that if you’re not one of the schools that wins regularly you can’t become a school that even gets to try to win once. I understand that there are always going to be teams whining about being excluded, if you have an eight team tournament the nine through twelve ranked schools will complain that they were the eighth best team and so on. Maybe Boise State isn’t as good as a 6-1 LSU or a 5-2 Alabama, but I for one would like to find out.

  46. Crowned or not there is not, and never will be, a “national champion” in college FB in any meaningful sense. Does anybody really want a 17 game college FB season just so 20 teams can bitch about how they should have been in the tourney, instead of a few griping about not getting into the “title” game? The problem with all these college fb “solutions” is that they don’t “solve” anything.

    And why the f should Stanford or LSU or Ohio State get a second bite at this? They all had their chance to TCB in the regular season and didn’t.

  47. whatever, TCU and Boise have played 1 quality opponent combined. That was the Boise victory over VT this season. TCU has done nothing to warrant a shot at Oregon or Auburn. Of course they’ll be ranked high, but its ridiculous to think they are better than some one loss teams that play good/great competition every single week. TCU’s big win is against Utah, who had it handed to them 28-3 style by Notre Dame and then they barely escaped San Diego St.

    where they screwed up in all this was allowing Boise and TCU to face off against each other in the BCS game last year. Let one of those teams play an Oregon and the other play Florida. Then we wouldnt be playing this what-if game every single season

  48. What happened last year when Boise State played Oregon ? Very few teams in the BCS conferences want to schedule Boise State or TCU. I don’t even blame them for not doing it, there’s no advantage for an SEC team to do it. I don’t know why UGA is doing it next year. If Boise State beats Nevada this week, that’s four out of the last six years they will have gone undefeated, at some point you have to give them a chance.

  49. @67
    So you’re in favor of returning to the pre-BCS system? No pretensions of a National Champion, additional importance put on regular season games…

  50. So you’re in favor of returning to the pre-BCS system? No pretensions of a National Champion, additional importance put on regular season games…

    Yep. Play the conference schedules, play the conf championship, play the bowls and let the writers and coaches vote. If it’s a controversy, who gives a crap?

    And baseball should return to four divisions, and LCS and a WS.

  51. Playoff, please…

    Does anyone really pay attention to those NFL Power Rankings? Neither do I. I don’t have to because they are mostly just some guys’ opinions, just like NCAA rankings.

    Out of 88 champs in 23 collegiate sports, Div. 1 football is the only sport that determines its “champ” that way. The whole thing remains ridiculous.

    Here’s Austin Murphy’s thought-provoking, pro-playoff story in SI from last week:
    http://tinyurl.com/264em5o

    #64
    Don’t forget ward politicians, used-car salesmen or nightclub owners.

    And I didn’t know I was so dirty (or short).

  52. I don’t even blame them for not doing it, there’s no advantage for an SEC team to do it. I don’t know why UGA is doing it next year.

    Fond memories of the ’08 Sugar Bowl against the last BCS paper tiger?

  53. @59

    Well I wasn’t really talking about what they can get away with, but rather what is expected of them by the public in general. Athletes are generally expected to be all around nice guys who never lie and are always selfless, etc. Yet sensationalist reporting and tabloids are praised by the public at large, regardless of how true or not true something is, or the effects it has on individuals.

    Not an indictment of anyone here because I think most here are smarter than that, just an observation in general that some comments inspired. An “argument against a hypothetical argument that was never made” as someone would put it.

    RE: NCAA Playoffs

    The system that I envision is a hybrid system where teams are still ranked, but the top 8/12/16/whatever teams (my vote goes in for an eight team playoff) are the ones that are in the playoffs. The ranking system itself could stand some work as well, such as making every human being that has a meaningful vote have to disclose their vote publicly, weighting down “undefeated-ness”, weighting up SOS, either doing away with or massively overhauling preseason rankings, etc. Maybe some kind of publicly available formula that accounts for and weights those kinds of variables and others.

    It would still preserve the importance of the regular season, providing incentive to not just schedule a bunch of boring cupcakes to maximize W-L records, and it would allow teams from non-AQ conferences a chance to actually prove they’re deserving against other teams from stronger conferences. Of course teams would still get left out and whine about how unfair the system is, but it would still be at least 4/6/8 times as fair as only two teams getting a shot at the NCG.

    All copyrights and trademarks pending.

  54. What Sam at #71 about baseball.

    In college football, no team wearing orange should ever be considered for the national championship.

  55. 73 – I certainly wasn’t referring to anything regarding Hawaii. I’m only referring to this year’s Boise State team. That would be like me referring to Utah beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, it doesn’t have anything to do with it.

  56. Of course UGA didn’t schedule Boise State because of the 2008 Sugar Bowl against Hawaii. Do I really need to say I was just being glib?

  57. BCS/Rankings Talk
    As it relates to Auburn, it occurred to me that the Tigers have both benefitted from & been made victim of the voters’ ever-changing moods over the years.

    In pre-BCS 1983, they played one of the toughest schedules you’ll ever see & finished 11-1, losing an early season game to Texas (11-1), but beating Georgia (10-1-1), Florida (9-2-1), FSU (8-4), Tennessee (9-3), Alabama (8-4), Maryland (8-4 with Boomer Esiason) & then Michigan (9-3) in the Sugar Bowl.

    But on Jan. 2, they ended up ranked behind Miami & Nebraska (both 11-1). Think those War Eagles might’ve given the Canes or Huskers a game, especially on a neutral field?

    For my money, that was the greatest Auburn team ever—Bo Jackson, Ben Thomas, Tommy Agee & Lionel James. Even the punter & kicker had NFL careers.

    But it seems as if they played one too many good out-of-conference teams that year. If they’d scheduled Memphis State instead of Texas, think anybody would’ve noticed?

    In 2004, the near-reverse was true. Auburn won all its games, but was penalized for playing nobody in its out-of-conference games, just like some schools are penalized for playing nobody in their regular conference games.

    The accomplishment (conventionally speaking) of beating 4 Top-10-ranked teams (at gametime) was outweighed by the 3 extreme-walkover games.

    This year, with the conventional wisdom being, “But we can’t leave out an undefeated SEC team anymore and, just in case, let’s start the drumbeat for a one-loss SEC school in the BCS title game,” we’ve really come full circle.

    The reasons behind it seem to keep changing, but the method of finding a genuine champion remains horribly flawed.

    And, of course, if Auburn’s involved, it’s always gonna get weird.

  58. Stu was asking about whether Heyward received any MVP votes. In all, three Braves received votes:

    Martin Prado finished ninth in the voting and his highest place was a fifth-place vote.
    Jason Heyward finished 20th in the voting, and his highest place was two seventh-place votes.
    Brian McCann finished 21st in the voting, and his highest place was a sixth-place vote.

    Posey didn’t finish 7th, he finished 11th, one spot behind Ryan Howard, one spot ahead of Matt Holliday, and two spots ahead of his teammate Brian Wilson.

  59. Feast on this:
    From MLBTR

    The Braves have signed four players, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (Twitter links). Outfielder Jose Constanza, 27, batted .319/.373/.394 at Triple-A for the Indians; 28-year-old infielder Ed Lucas hit .307/.398/.480 at Triple-A for the Royals; utilityman Wilkin Castillo can catch and play in the infield and outfield, but hasn’t hit Triple-A pitching and Shawn Bowman, 25, hit 22 homers at Double-A.

  60. cant blame wren for 2 of those signings (lucas and constanza), but the other 2 look hopeless. lucas has played 1b,2b,SS,3b,lf,rf, and cf. he also looks like he learned how to get on base pretty well (a .386 and .398 obp the last 2 years). when we send the royals something, it pretty much goes to shit quick. maybe the opposite will happen with this guy.

  61. I can’t wait to see this foursome introduced at the press conference. What do you think their numbers will be?

  62. People are clamoring about giving Matt Young a chance, now we have three or four players of Matt Young’s caliber competing for those bench spots.

  63. It’s always fun to watch several players scrambling for a spot on the roster in the spring, except when it’s Schafer being brilliant in the spring before getting injured and completely collapsing.

  64. I like what Wren is doing. Between these guys, the Independent League dudes and the actual farm system there’s a chance that one or two of these guys may, out of nowhere make an impact at the major league level. It seems like JS used this approach with pitchers, but with little success.

  65. so much like the royals to watch a guy struggle through the low minors then put together 2 strong years in the high minors and let him walk.

  66. Constanza put up Blanco numbers. Lucas can play short, but it doesn’t look like he is very good at it.

  67. I am now officially rooting for Ed Lucas –
    http://minorleaguesmajorproblems.com/testimonials/ed-lucas-royals-3b-prospect/

    Ed Lucas is a third baseman in the Kansas City Royals organization. Despite getting spotty playing time, Lucas has been one of the Omaha Royals’ best hitters so far in the 2010 season. The Dartmouth alum has been in the Royals organization since being drafted in the 8th round in 2004. He also likes to talk – in a good way – and answered a few questions about his experiences in the Minors.

    Have you had a living situation that sort of sums up what it’s like to live as a Minor Leaguer?
    In 2006, I was playing in a little town called Adelanto, California. We rented a house with five or six guys. Needless to say, there wasn’t really five or six bedrooms. So I ended up splitting the master bedroom with two other guys. Two beds. My bedroom was actually a mattress in the walk-in closet. It came furnished with an incredible view – my sliding glass door opened right into the bathroom. That was pretty good arrangements. Needless to say, over the last few years, I have bunked up in any number of different places.

    What’s something that might surprise the average fan?
    I would like to say something cool, like we have some sort of self-sufficient organic farm outside the outfield wall that we contribute compost to every night, and grow our own clubhouse spread, but that’s not really the case. It’s just the little things that I think people don’t really appreciate or realize what happens. Like, every 4th day, we’re waking up at 3:00 in the morning. This morning, we had a 3:30 wake-up call to catch a bus, and catch a plane. It’s just not as glamorous as everyone thinks it might be, but it’s a good time nonetheless.

    Is it a pain to pay clubhouse dues?
    Todd [the Omaha clubhouse attendant] does a great job. A lot of us don’t really have a lot of money, so we kind of depend on him as our father/mother/wives to support us. A lot of times, I won’t eat anything before I come to the field, and I’ll end up eating three meals here. It gets a little expensive paying clubhouse dues, but it’s well worth it in the long run because [the clubhouse attendant is] really taking care of all of my needs. It’s worth it, in my view.

    Any other stories that could show fans what the journey to the Majors is like?
    I’m sure there is probably any number of stories that I could use, but I probably shouldn’t tell any of those. For me personally, it’s just whenever anybody asks me my address. I’m like a nomad – I haven’t had an address for, like, 6 years. I still use my parents’ address, but I haven’t lived there for over five and a half years. So they continue to ship me my mail once a month for the last six years, even though I haven’t lived in Florida since then. It kind of gets a little depressing; I’d like a little place to call ‘home.’ But such is life, I guess.

  68. I’m really hoping Oregon and Auburn find some way to lose a game so we can have Boise State and TCU play for the MNC.

  69. While that would be pretty funny to see, it wouldn’t give Boise or TCU any legitimacy. I mean, it didn’t help Boise after last year. One of them has to knock off Oregon or Auburn for them to be taken seriously.

  70. I like all the minor league free agent moves too, including the independent league guys. Just one of those guys contributing at the Major League level makes it all worth it.

    Might explain the release of Kody Johnson.

  71. People will search and grasp for any reason whatsoever not to give either team legitimacy anyways. I remember people on this site brushing off Utah’s stomping of Alabama by claiming that Alabama both didn’t care and was at a complete disadvantage due to the fact that they were missing their right tackle. Some people just don’t want to admit that there are a few teams outside the BCS conferences that some years could easily hang with any team in the country.

  72. Has there ever been a worse idea (in sports) than expanding the NFL season to 18 games?

    It’s a Bataan Death March with 16 games and they want to ADD games? Make the goddam accountants who are pushing this do an Oklahoma drill and tell them to get back to us.

    Just because market research tells you you can sell a Baconator doesn’t mean you should do it.

  73. Say the top four win out. A PlusOne solves all.

    Oregon plays TCU.

    Auburn plays Boise.

    Winners play each other two weeks later.

    Rest of the Bowls remain as they are. (And as relevant as they are.)

    LSU complains, but they already lost to one of the Final Four so no one cares.

  74. Has there ever been a worse idea (in sports) than expanding the NFL season to 18 games?

    It’s barely more than halfway through the season, and my starting fantasy RBs are Keiland Williams, Mike Tolbert, and Christopher Ivory. And I’m in pretty good shape.

  75. Some people just don’t want to admit that there are a few teams outside the BCS conferences that some years could easily hang with any team in the country.

    See this is kind of my pet peeve – if you don’t have to take the physical pounding/injuries/potential losses that the major guys do week in and week out to just get to an NCS opportunity, no I don’t think you are legit. Boise/TCU have to play one or two games game all year against quality opponents. Join the Big 12 or Pac 10 or some league where you have to line up against blue chip kids week in and week out if you want to be taken seriously. Why the heck should somebody give you a non conference game when they are already committed to playing against quality programs?

  76. Say TCU, Boise and Oregon all drop a game in the biggest upset weekend in college football history; would that set up Auburn/LSU Part Deaux, Revenge of the Mad Hatter?

  77. @108, Why should LSU get a second chance? I’d rather see a one loss Oregon go, just to see if they are real or not.

  78. Unless all four lose (which is possilbe) then I think Oregon gets in and Auburn LSU battle for the number two spot. (I know that Auburn beat LSU, but…)

  79. If LSU ends up going to a better bowl than Auburn I am going to flip out. Not only did LSU not beat Auburn, LSU isn’t going to play in the SEC championship. No way.

  80. @112,

    If Auburn loses in the SEC Title game and LSU beats Arkansas, then LSU will go to a better bowl.

  81. #101 – James, its not searching at all. Yeah Utah beat UA 3 years ago, its doesnt change the fact that TCU/Boise have played 1, just 1, quality opponent combined this season. Like Spike said, its easy to get up and be ready for one game and then sitting back the rest of the year against very weak opponents. They need to play and beat good teams regularly if they want to be taken seriously. The media hype that TCU/Boise is getting isnt warranted at all. The media is trying to portray the biggest road win of the year being TCU over Utah. Thats a complete joke and embarrassment to college football

  82. A Championship game loss to carolina could bust Auburn’s BCS bubble.

    The loser of the championship game always gets screwed.

  83. @117

    I am with you, but I give Boise credit, they always come ready to play and they always seem to win that big game every year.

  84. 107 — I understand your point.

    But it’s not like AQ conferences are throwing open the doors to welcome every strong non-AQ program out there. Utah got into a “good” conference. There are others that are still left out. Not everyone is lining up to play them and forget a home and home. What are they supposed to do? Just wait it out until they get invited into a money conference?

    Personally, I’m not a fan of Boise St, but it’s hard not to root for them to try and crash the system. Don’t they get a shot? It’s not like they’ve never done this before. Give ’em a chance and see what happens.

  85. For the sake of argument, how many quality wins does Oregon have this year? 2? 3?

    Don’t get me wrong, that team is impressive. But they’re not exactly playing the toughest opponents every weak. [sic]

  86. @121

    True. Tennessee is the third best team they have played to this point and that is when the Vos were super awful. (Now they are just average at best)

  87. @107,

    Spike,

    By that standard, the World Series should feature two AL teams. The Super Bowl in the 80s would have been all NFC teams. Yes, the teams in the major conference have a tougher road, but they also have immense advantages in revenue and recruiting over the lesser schools. Even within the SEC, some schools have huge advantages over others; it’s not as if they are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers every game. Vanderbuit, (usually) Kentucky, and often Ole Miss are usually pretty easy wins for the SEC elite.

  88. @123, MLB and the NFL are organized completely differently with a much smaller universe of participants, and are professional sports – I really don’t see a parallel.

    As far as conference gimmes go, Ole Miss has the Pac 10 player of the year, for example, and a quick glance at The Rivals or some such would show the quality of recruits at Kentucky and MSU are head and shoulders over LA Tech and Nevada. They just aren’t comparable schedules in any meaningful sense of the word.

    edit – How well would MSU do in the WAC, maybe, MAYBE 2 losses? More likely one or none. Now put Nevada in the SEC West. Think they are still a one loss team?

  89. First, it’s pretty clear the trainer was trying to buy his freedom on behalf of an agent.

    Also, it sounds like it didn’t happen, and the kid is still in debt to Boras.

    I’m wondering how long it will take Boras to stop loaning money and move to loaning credits that can only be used at the BorasMart online store.

  90. Smitty, you’re right. Boise does show up to play against big teams and have been very successful in those games. I like their program, I just cant put them in at the top knowing that they are able to rest their starters after halftime week in and week out becuase of their lack of competition. They may be better than anyone in the country, but they have to find a way to prove it and face some better competition first.

    Outside of VT, here is their schedule.
    Wyoming, Oregon St, NM St, Toledo, San Jose St, La Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Fresno, Nevada, Utah St. That would be the equivalent of Florida playing Vandy every week

  91. He’s not an agent. He runs a talent academy and negotiates on behalf of its attendees, which is ABSOULTELY TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

    The agent in your article is Adam Katz, which makes me think that if the trainer had been able to buy Salcedo’s freedom, Salcedo’s agent would be Adam Katz.

  92. arb deadline is tonight at midnight I believe. I still think there is zero chance of the Braves offering Lee.


  93. He’s not an agent. He runs a talent academy and negotiates on behalf of its attendees, which is ABSOULTELY TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

    Right. He sells kids to to a middleman, who then sells them to an end user. You’ll forgive me for characterizing a person who advocates for a fee on behalf of someone else as an “agent”. He’s really Santa Claus, Albert Schweizer, and Hans Blix all in one.

    /I understand the sarcasm, but the opportunity to get in a Hans Blix reference was just impossible to resist.

  94. edit – How well would MSU do in the WAC, maybe, MAYBE 2 losses? More likely one or none. Now put Nevada in the SEC West. Think they are still a one loss team?

    I don’t understand this line of thinking. If MSU was in the WAC, they would be San Jose St. They wouldn’t have an SEC budget and SEC athletes if they were a WAC member.

  95. Also spike: In case you didn’t notice, after all the expansion hullabaloo Utah was the only non-AQ school to be added to a BCS conference. So don’t pretend like BCS conferences are begging Boise and TCU to join and they’re saying no.

  96. 140 – That is exactly the point – saying the SEC has a bunch of gimme in-conference games while touting the legitimacy of BSU/TCU is intellectually dishonest.

    /and 141, nobody said BCS confs were lining up to take in BSU. What does that have to do with anything? The fact is they aren’t in a good conference, too bad, but until then they lack standing based on w-l records. Unfair, perhaps, but not unmerited.

  97. Yea the whole ‘join a REAL conference’ bugs me too. Boise State can’t just up and join the Pac-10 or whatever conference you think would give them legitimacy. As of right now their only chance is to schedule tough out of conference teams, and no one will play against them.

  98. The guy’s a buscone. The word “agent” doesn’t begin to describe what they do. Many are charlatans, but they basically hold the kids’ lives in their hands. They’re surrogate parents, agents, trainers, fixers, svengalis, all rolled into one. Talent shows up pretty early — by the time the kid’s 13 or 14 you already know if they’re going places — and once that happens, they often see more of the buscone than their own family.

  99. 142 –

    Your post at 107 kind of insinuates that they should just shut up and join another conference. Too bad it doesn’t work that way.

    And yes, the SEC is a tougher conference than the WAC. The system is rigged that way. Still, Boise has destroyed everyone on their schedule.

    Also, I’m still laughing at 122.

  100. @146, they should. I didn’t say it would be easy,or even possible, but under the current system, that’s what they need to do. If the other kids won’t play with them I don’t know what to tell you. There’s no constitutional guarantee of fairness in NCAA football.

  101. The big problem Boise has wrt joining a BCS conference is their academic standards are subpar (they were a Div 2 school within the last 20 years) and their other sports programs are terrible.

  102. 102 and 103

    As a CPA I resent that you throw accountants under the bus for the 18-game schedule, we have nothing to do with it I assure you. :)

    And I know it’s comparing apples to oranges and I actually agree with the sentiment in both posts, but you do go straight from railing against the audacity of the NFL adding 2 games (or actually switching 2 games from preseason to regular season) and in the very next post ask for an extra college game.

    I still favor a 16-team playoff where all the minor 1-A conferences get an auto bid, if for nothing else than to legitimize the MAC being 1-A in the first place. Toledo could win every game they play 60-0 and still have no shot at a title in the association they are a member of. I agree, they wouldn’t deserve it over a 1 or 2 loss SEC team, but shouldn’t they begin each season with a chance?

  103. @144

    That’s a fabulous attitude.

    How about this? Auburn is now placed into a situation where there is no way they will ever be able to play for the national championship, no matter what they do. No matter how good they are. (I assume Auburn is your team, based on previous posts, but if not, insert your team here.) And all of the teams who can play for it will refuse to ever play Auburn, giving a bunch of lame reasons, and then tell Auburn that if they ever want to play for a championship, they have to play better teams. And this conversation happens every year for like five years, and you think Auburn is the best team in the country, but there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. And whenever you complain about it, fans of the teams “in the club” tell you to stop whining. That sound like a good time to you?

  104. Frankly, to most people on this site, the SEC isn’t only the BEST conference, it’s the ONLY conference. It just seems like a lot of people think the BCS championship game should be the SEC East vs. the SEC West every year.

  105. @153,

    That sounds about right. Most of the BCS title winners are the SEC Champ.

    It really is just domination.

  106. 152, It’s not my “attitude” – it’s the cold reality of a multi-billion dollar industry. I would love for some magikal way to determine the bestest team in the land, but there ain’t one, no matter who the BCS says it is. But to your point, FSU and Miami for example, both managed to get themselves regarded as national powers despite lack of power conference affiliation. ND too once upon a time.

    So yeah, stop whining. Or maybe you can think about how AU was denied a shot in 04, or how Miami jumped Auburn in 83. They sure are benefiting from this system.

  107. @154

    We’d better get moving, then. I have a feeling Hinske and Milwaukee would take to each other very easily….

  108. 158-And you can argue that Boise and to a lesser extent TCU have managed to get themselves regarded as national powers too.

  109. @158

    Those other schools you mentioned reveal the folly of this type of discussion. If Boise St. and TCU parlay their success into large-conference invitations, the “problem” isn’t “solved” — we just continue the same discussion with a new end point.

  110. Mac,

    You should dress like the Hamburgler.

    Spike,

    You should take a skeleton to the game and have people line up to have their picture made with the Bear.

  111. I just cant comprehend the love for Boise and TCU. Its absolutely laughable that some guys think Boise has had a better season than Auburn. I absolutely hate Auburn, but you cant even begin to compare their schedules and wins.

    Auburn has wins over #5,12,18,25 and are about to play #9 Bama in Tuscaloosa. One loss Auburn team still trumps Boise and TCU, IMO

  112. I don’t know if it’s that they deserve a shot over Auburn, it’s that people completely dismiss them as a really good team and that no matter what they do they will never be regarded as a top team. If Auburn slips up and somehow lose to Alabama and South Carolina and Boise makes their way into the National Championship, I don’t think there should be any complaints about it, but there absolutely will be. And if they were to somehow take down Oregon, people still wouldn’t give them the full credit that they deserve because “they didn’t play a strong enough schedule and were able to rest their starters.”

  113. Collins’ job is to lose for two years, take the heat for the losing off of the front office that needs about that much time to put things together, and become hated enough to be easily fired. He’s perfect.

  114. If Auburn loses, the bigger issue is if TCU gets into the game over Boise, which looks like a legitimately good team. Right now, Boise is below TCU in the BCS standings despite beating them in both polls.

  115. 162 those were my exact words way back at 67.

    In any event, I was answering whther it was posible for non power conf teams to get a shot, not advocating for the current system per se

  116. via talking chop…

    “The Atlanta Braves announced today that they will decline to offer salary arbitration to their five free agents before tonight’s midnight deadline. The five players include outfielder Rick Ankiel, right-handed pitcher Kyle Farnsworth, infielder Troy Glaus, infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske and first baseman Derrek Lee.”

    Gondeee also goes on to infer that the Braves must have offered arbitration to Diaz and Moylan. I’m not necessarily sure this is true. It looks like the piece was only meant for free agents, which Diaz and Moylan are not.

  117. 164 — I don’t think anyone has claimed BSU has had a better season than Auburn.

    It would be fun to see them play each other.

    The larger argument is that the system doesn’t work. There are many compelling arguments to support such a claim (some SEC fans of schools that get left out of the MNC game will even agree with that). The fact that non-AQs don’t get a chance to prove how good they might be is one of those arguments.

  118. Huff resigns for 2/20 with a 3m buyout/10m 3rd year option. Somebody got their WS share and then some.

  119. It is the sytstem we have in place, but that doesn’t make it right. Anyway, the thing I took most issue with is the assertion that Boise State or TCU fans should stop complaining about it and just accept their lot in life. Would you stop complaining about it?

    Anyway, in my opinion, Boise State absolutely deserves to be in the national championship game…not instead of Auburn, but instead of Oregon, whose resume really isn’t any more impressive than Boise State’s IMO (and I think Boise’s the better team anyway). But if the title game is an undefeated Oregon and an undefeated Auburn, that’s fine. But if Auburn loses (especially in the SEC Championship Game, which would make them not the champions of their conference) and goes instead of an undefeated Boise/TCU, or if Auburn/Oregon loses and LSU (not even their division champion) goes, it is an absolute joke. Anybody who thinks Boise State is not for real has simply not watched them play this year.

  120. Sorry, AAR. I watched some of that Harvard-Yale game. It was really striking how much smaller the players were than at the big-time programs. But it was fun to watch and, in some ways, more satisfying that watching the big-time programs.

  121. Six years? Are the Yankees aware that he’s 32 years old?

    Of course, they signed Sabathia until he’s 35. I guess you don’t care about extra years if you have infinite money.

  122. Heck, I am worried about them getting in if they ARE undefeated. I been bombarded all week with how BSU’s matchup with a world-beater like Nevada is going to boost their BCS standings. 5 of 6 computer rankings have Auburn #1, and they still can only manage a #2 overall.

  123. #176 – listen to ESPN radio. There were guys on there again today saying that Oregon is clearly #1 and there is no difference in the next three teams. A lot of voters have Boise ahead of Auburn.

  124. #179 – why would anyone want to watch them play Wyoming, La Tech, New Mexico St, Toledo, San Jose St, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah St, and Fresno? Its ridiculous to say or argue how good any team is while playing that joke of a schedule.

    Nevada lost to Hawaii, they are a joke too

  125. @178
    How great would it be if the Donkees turned around and offered him 7 years 140 Million?

  126. btw, jeter is stupid if he turns down the yankees 3/45 million dollar deal. in the latest part of this saga, cashman is challenging jeter to test the open market. i dont think there’s another team that would even sniff that deal.

  127. I find it amusing that the Jeter camp is having a hard time convincing the tabloids (or anyone else) that 3/45 is an “insult” to The Captain.

  128. Speaking of RedSox – I’ve always wanted to steal Yukilis from them. Is he locked up? (Talk about Chipper insurance …)
    ——–

    Speaking of Chipper. I know I am way too old to be this big of a sucker, but the conversation between Chipper and Uggla on Atlanta sports radio yesterday got me all fardup. Really hope to see those two play together.

    ‘Course I hoped to see Kanter play too, so I’m attempting to curb my enthusiasm.

  129. hank,

    From time to time, you ask contract questions for this board to answer. You should really familiarize yourself with Cot’s — it can answer pretty much all of those questions.

  130. Looking forward to the Ky/Wash game tonight hank, what do you think of their chances?

    Great win for Vandy the other night Stu. Not sure I agree with you having Tn 5th in the East, but this year, 5th in the East will be nothing to be ashamed of. I really think 5 teams make the tourney from the East.

  131. I really think 5 teams make the tourney from the East.

    Before the season, I thought so, too. Now, I’m not so sure. The West is so bad that those 4th and 5th teams in the East may have to win virtually all of their non-conference games and all of their games against the West to have good-enough-looking resumes.

    FWIW, if I’d known that Kanter would be ineligible and that Thompkins would get hurt, I probably would’ve projected UT 3rd. And I’m also already regretting buying into the Florida hype, a little.

    I am of course a homer, but I honestly believe VU is the SEC team to beat, right now.

  132. Dusty – without the Big Enes, we are quite vulnerable inside. As Washington isn’t big either, I expect a Suns v. Golden State type of game.

    Could be fun. Doubt we’ll win, though. We are talented, but young and small – not a good combination.

    Looking forward to the Duke v. KSU game. Wondering which coach will stroke out first. Those guys make Bo Pellini look like Cary Grant.

  133. Ahahahaha – http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=5843151

    “We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account,” Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. “We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

    Shorter Cashman – “This should un-baffle you.”

  134. I’m disappointed by the way Cashman, et al. are handling the Jeter thing. I was really hoping they’d end up dramatically over-paying for him. Looks like they’re instead going to take a reasonable approach. Maybe he just keeps accepting arbitration and the whole thing becomes a big(ger) media circus.

  135. They didn’t offer arb yet, and I doubt they will. Why would they? To pay him 21M (current salary) plus 20 pct?

  136. Bama fans will bet on the team no matter what and Auburn has been completely disregarded by the media at large in terms of actually being good. It’s the only way Vegas can get any action on both sides of the bet.

  137. Bama fans had nothing to do with it opening at -3 though. I do agree with both of you about Bama fans betting on them at all cost. I’ve also been told it takes $1 mil in bets for Vegas to move the line 1 point in either direction.

  138. I got to take photos of all of my Eephus League stuff today, if anyone would like to see.

    ” width=”480″ height=”270″ alt=”posters1″>

  139. Really, really stunning, Bethany. If anyone can bring back keeping score at the ballpark, it’s you.

  140. Aww, thanks guys, you’re the best. It was a fun project, I’m hoping to actually get some of the stuff made so I don’t have to leave it behind so soon.

    While I agree with Cashman not giving Jeter all the money he wants, it’s hilarious to watch them throw ridiculous money at free agents then try to squeeze Jeter. Squeeze isn’t really the right word, but yeah.

  141. @211 Thanks, not sure, right now I have to make them by hand.

    @212 Thanks as well! That’s good, at least. Get it over with quickly.

  142. Stu, looking forward to the Vandy/Mizzou rematch. Been trying to break down our schedule and I’m curious, how do you compare the this year’s Vandy team to last years? I remember Jenkins blew us up last year; seems like he’s the man now? The Carolina win looks legit, and the WVU loss seemed pretty competitive.

    We’ve got significantly more talent, but a lot less discipline so far. I’ve faith in Mike Anderson, but there’re a fair amount of new faces, and Mizzou’s defense takes awhile to learn. I imagine we’ll lose 1-2 we (on paper) shouldn’t before the Big 12 starts.

    I will say though, while it’s a pretty empty number, Mizzou is still 47-0 at home in the non-con under Anderson.

  143. More balance on offense and much better defense. A little more turnover-prone, though, which certainly doesn’t bode well against Mizzou. We’re very, very good, but I’ve viewed @Mizzou as the toughest non-conference game on the schedule, by far, since the schedule came out. I don’t expect to win, but it should be a fun game.

    We got jobbed in that West Virginia game.

  144. Alabama is legitimately favored in this game. Bama has allowed these points at home the past 3 years: 3,3,6,10,10,7,14,7,7,6,10,15,0,6,7,14,20,0,7 and 0.

    That’s an average of 7.6 ppg they have allowed at home the past 3 seasons with no team scoring more than 20.

    Will Auburn score 20, maybe, but I wouldn’t reasonably expect the type of scoring from them that we have seen all season.

  145. Seemed like it. Last second 3 is always brutal too.

    I’m nervous. We’ll probably be favored, but the wide open style you used last year was really effective against our press. Really like your coach too.

    Also, Dan Wheeler (type A FA) wasn’t offered arbitration by Tampa. Wonder what he’s looking for contract wise, but he’d fill out the bullpen nicely

  146. That Eephus League collection is really tight.

    Curiosity question: What cigars did you repurpose?

    The site is gorgeous, too, and it’s pretty involved for a single class project. Is this a thesis project?

  147. Six years? Are the Yankees aware that he’s 32 years old?

    If he changes his name to Kevin Brown, they’ll throw in the seventh year.

  148. UK isn’t doomed without Kanter. You can will in college hoops w/o a dominant center. Butler went to the Finals last year with a 6’8″ foul prone, unathletic, mustache-toting center. If Harrellson can give UK 7 and 7 every night, we’ll be just fine. Washington is a legit team and he went for 9 and 14 in 34 minutes.

    Homer alert – I love this UK team and think they’re the team to beat in the SEC. Great passers, good 3 pt shooting (last night aside) and good defense. This team is better suited to run DDO as well. Color me excited.

    And it pains me to say this, but Duke is really, really good. Love Irving.

  149. Thank you, Alex and Joey. Joey, I’ll have to get back to you on the cigars, I had my dad pick out some he would want to smoke. I’ve still got the original wrappers somewhere. It was a semester long project, and it is sort of like a baby thesis. You still have a class load and normally a thesis would be an entire year.

  150. 224—Washington, like UK, plays street ball. UK’s has better athletes, so they won. Last night’s game was so freaking ugly.

    UK, IMO, will be exposed by physical teams that are also well-coached, especially when Knight’s not on the floor. They aren’t nearly as good as they were, last year.

    Agreed about Duke, though.

  151. There would be nothing wrong with giving a seven-year contract to a 32-year old if steroids were still rampant and there were no random testing. Nowadays, though, a lot of players’ careers are ending a lot sooner. Lee may be one of the freaks who can pitch forever, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to pay him what he wants.

  152. Also, Lee’s career trajectory is unusual enough that I don’t trust he’ll retain his value for all that long. To me, Sabathia is the better long-term bet of the two (not that the Yankees have to choose between them).

  153. Dan Wheeler, because of both stuff and velocity, probably wouldn’t be the Billy Wagner shut-down reliever we’d be looking for, but he’d definitely be in the Saito mold of relievers we’ve signed in the past. A 2-year, $8M contract would a good deal for both.

  154. Wheeler, Putz, Uehera – Id take any of the three. These guys dont walk hitters and all have been closers at some point.

  155. White Sox offered arb to Putz, but Wheeler or Uehara would be good. For that matter, resigning Saito would be good.

  156. When it comes to acquiring new talent & actual long-term value, the Yanks don’t really have to play that game. It’s always about right now, especially when it comes to pitching.

    That’s why they blew away Sabathia (and all potential suitors) & that’s why they’ll blow away Lee.

    They have money to waste & they waste it all the time. To them, it’s like “shrinkage” in a retail shop. They play by a different set of rules.

  157. Feels like the Yankees FO are running their mouths a leeeetle bit too much. I agree with all they are saying, but they risk pushing their volatile and pushy fanbase into Jeter’s camp.

  158. Is it too much to ask of Joe Johnson to hit a clutch shot every now and then?

    Worst decision by an NBA front office in a looooong time.

  159. Along with promoting the nice-guy assistant of the guy the players disliked. Bibby must be benched immediately. And Marvin…ugh. He’s vaguely subpar at everything, just as he’s always been.

  160. The staff of life is hardly petty!

    I also have Thanksgiving tasks. In fact, I just got back from the store because I screwed up the first attempt at pumpkin pie, something I’ve made a half-dozen times. Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie mix not being the same thing…which I remembered just after I mixed 3/4 cup of sugar and spices into the pre-sweetened mix. Publix at 2:15 on the day before Thanksgiving was something I really would have preferred to avoid….

  161. 235,6, and 8 –

    I’ve been staying away from the Hawks here because I can’t talk rationally about them. From the Johnson contract, to their bizarre infatuation with worthless veteran bigs, to their inability to recognize the team’s biggest weakness–perimeter defense–to the refusal of the new coach to force the team’s offense to revolve around Smith/Horford, to his 2-foul rule for Horford and lack of accountability for Johnson and Crawford… I just can’t deal with it anymore.

    Thank goodness the Braves and Falcons are so soundly run.

  162. The Hawks are either terrible, or have quit before Thanksgiving on a season that ends after Memorial Day. It doesn’t really matter which it is, as the two choices are equally bad.

  163. That column, while perhaps coming to a more foreboding conclusion, pales in comparison to his column from the night before (right after the Celtics game), in which he pretty much tore apart everybody and everything having to do with the Hawks. (It’s linked in the column ububba linked.) It was, by far, the most scathing Mark Bradley piece I’ve ever read. Normally, he’s a little bit too optimistic for his own good. That piece read like it was written for the New York Post or something. When you have Mark Bradley tearing people apart, it’s probably not a real good sign.

  164. Dunno if you guys ever watch Showtime at the Apollo, but one of the two winners in the year-long competition this year was Nathan Foley, a 16-year old kid from Rockville, Maryland, who happens to be an ace guitarist. Great article about him in The Washington Post.

    How’d he win? By playing Eddie Hazel’s “Maggot Brain.” Only, like, the best guitar solo ever. And he totally kills it. That takes both chops and balls.

  165. I just glanced through the AJC blog. If you guys don’t hang around this weekend, I will be exceedingly grumpy on Monday. Of course, that will just make some of you happy, so I am not sure where I am going with this.

  166. Brian Kenny is talking about BABIP on ESPN Radio in regards to Jeter. Gentlemen, we’ve arrived. Maybe my friends will stop calling me a faggot.

  167. spike, Ill be around but since we will be pull ing against each others team on friday we may be avoiding each others comments. Hopefully, Ill be the happy one :)

  168. is Diory just a great AAA hitter or should he be able to make the transition to MLB with regular playing time?

  169. Random offseason thought, say Texas matches the Yankees offer/gives Cliff Lee a seventh year. One would think that the Yankeees would then move to the next best free agent in Carl Crawford. Say they get him. At this point, they’re sitting with four legit outfielders and an unfulfilled hole in their rotation.

    Tell me how a Nick Swisher/Derek Lowe trade doesn’t make sense for both teams? Both are dealing from a position of (perceived) strength and upgrade a position that needs it.

    At this point, the Braves still trot out Hanson, Hudson, Jurrjens, Minor, and Beachy with Medlen factoring in at some point during the second half. Swisher then makes the lineup potentially dominant. Braves also save 5 MM.

    Way to many ifs probably, but you never know

  170. I don’t think that the Yankees would trade Swisher. More likely Gardner would be on the block, or they’d trade Granderson and cash.

    There will be a new post up at 8 CT tomorrow morning.

  171. I can see that happening if they get a Crawford/Werth guy. But I’d think they would rather move Granderson in that case.

  172. I’d take Gardner, but Granderson is just a more extreme version of McLouth. In a good way defensively and vs. righties, but he’s even worse than Nate vs lefties.

  173. Id take gardner and put Nate on the bench. I just dont think the Yanks would trade a cheap guy thats putting up a .380OBP with that kind of speed. I bet it would be Granderson

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