LOOGY woogy

Braves to add Sherrill as third lefty reliever

Yes, the George Sherrill has been brought in to pitch to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the sixth and seventh innings. Congrats, George!

I’ll save it for the player analysis, but the idea that Sherrill pitched poorly in 2010 because Joe Torre misused him is… partially true at best. Sherrill pitched poorly in 2010 because he wasn’t pitching well. Yes, his numbers against lefties were pretty good and against righties were horrible, but his numbers against lefties were down from his career standard, and he hadn’t been that vulnerable to righties before. (His career OPS against righthanders is .800; last year, it was 1.223.) He was a terrific pitcher from 2008-09, closing for the Orioles, who play some pretty good teams with some pretty good righthanded hitters.

383 thoughts on “LOOGY woogy”

  1. Showed up fat last year, and stats indicate loss of stuff. This can happen to LOOGYs — the delivery angle can remain effective against lefties, but any drop in velocity or command can render them so helpless against right-handers that opposing managers can destroy them with pinch-hitters. It’s impossible to completely shield a LOOGY from RHBs.

    Early favorite for bete noire?

  2. Well, VU’s got a final four in the coaching search, it seems. Two would excite me; two would disappoint me. Fun times…

  3. sorry for the trio of post, but this is funny

    After #Braves instead signed veteran LH George Sherrill today, Ohman quipped via text to AJC: “Sherrill peed on my rug.” 2 hours ago

  4. I am actually quite happy that Wren is adding another veteran reliever to the pen, especially a lefty. I am not completely sold on Kimbrel. We need that third lefty in case we need Venters to close.

    Seems like we indeed want to keep Uggla for long term. I guess it’s a good news in a sense that we indeed do not have any righthanded power hitter coming up from the minor anytime soon. The question is whether Uggla has actually peaked.

  5. 16- I agree overall, but in strictly player development, I don’t know if you can say that. Royals farm is legit. Though it doesn’t hurt to be drafting in the top 5 annually.

  6. I suppose Sherrill is at best a risk–with a high ceiing (if he can return to his 2007-2009 form), but he was awful last year in a pitcher’s park….

    Meanwhile, I am afraid that the Braves will lose Scott Diamond in the Rule V. Diamond has at least the potential to be a #5 for somebody and his trade value might well go up over the course of the season…..

  7. Yeah, as bad as Moore has been, the Royals’ farm system is unbelievable right now. And I suspect that it’s about to get better once they unload Greinke. Too bad Moore can’t find major league value to save his life…

  8. @19 I think Diamond is a poor Chuck James. It sucks that we may have to lose him, but it reflects the depth of the organization.

  9. Geez, Vandy. We had that game won. All we needed was our best player to make one of two free throws.

  10. Birmingham mayor-for-now William Bell has signaled his intent to continue to support the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, even after the downtown park is built and the Barons move, meaning that collegians won’t have to worry about getting shot in the outfield.

  11. 28- Jump on Ellsbury?

    RE: Mizzou/Vandy. Great game. You guys are a helluva team. I feel fortunate Mizzou won.

  12. KC–Diamond has not been a dominant in the minors as James, but I think that the difference going forward is that he has a brain…..

    I agree about the pitching depth, but we should have found a way to protect Diamond and Redmond as well….

  13. 27—Pretty bad, but Taylor’s misses were hardly the only self-inflicted wounds in that game. Lots of missed opportunities and unforced errors. Ugh.

    On the bright side, we were pretty obviously more talented than the 15th-ranked team in the country, even missing one of our starters. This loss was avoidable and is painful, but I think — OK, hope — it will pay dividends, down the line.

  14. 31 – To be fair, over the past two years he has been one of the ten best players in the league. And it’s not like they can’t afford him, so it won’t break the bank.

  15. Well, Anderson’s teams always play better than their talent. (And I see Paul Pressey’s kid is on the team, as part of basketball’s continued efforts to make me feel old.)

  16. And another thing, which Joe Sheehan just pointed out on Twitter — Crawford’s defense isn’t worth that much in Fenway, and defense is a lot of his value.

  17. So are the Yankees gonna get any big-ticket free agents? Cliff Lee is far from assured of going there.

  18. 33- “Talent” is subjective. For example, your PG would never get a scholarship offer from Mizzou. Different schools recruit different things.

    Regardless, good luck the rest of the way.

  19. If the cost of signing Crawford is 7/142, then I hate to imagine what kind of numbers Jason might command in a few years. The Braves might save a huge amount of money by doing a long term deal sooner than they might have liked….The McCann deal looks even better….

  20. Stu, I guess we only have so many opportunities for “impressive wins” this year. We were so close but just blew one.

  21. We signed Sherrill for 1.2M, the Phils signed Dennys Reyes for 1.1M. Why can’t I be a lefty who can throw 90 mph?

  22. Melky will actually make Jeffy look better–both visually and in terms of performance….

  23. 46 – First they are going to bring Glenn Hubbard in to ‘work with Ned’ as a roving infield instructor and that will be followed by ……. Marcus Giles.

  24. If my calculations are correct, a Frenchy/Melky platoon would create a vortex of suck so deep it could potentially swallow all of humanity in its suckiness. I am concerned.

    Although on the plus side we can now vote on whether said platoon should be referred to as Frelky or Menchy.

  25. So in India, the domestic cricket league is called the IPL (Indian Premier League). It’s got an interesting twist on Free Agency. After the end of every season, teams can retain up to four players on their roster from the previous season at set pay amounts. The rest of the players are released into a pool where they are auctioned off to individual teams. The teams maintain a minimum and a maximum salary cap.

    Not this would never, ever, ever occur in any American sports league, as the player’s association would push against it, but I think that this would be an extremely interesting concept. If you were the Braves, which players wold you keep?

    Heyward
    McCann
    Hanson
    Prado/Hudson/Chipper?

    It’s a really intriguing idea. Imagine if the majority of your roster turned over every year, and new players were brought in to play every position. I think that this would get a lot more fans to the ballpark: How many more Braves games would you go and see if we were throwing Cliff Lee or somebody out there? The auction itself would garnish rating through the roof, and there would be a brand new appeal for each team every year.

    I would totally go for this idea.

  26. Is Carl Crawford really THAT good???? Dang. I don’t think so but I am sure JC will straighten me out.

  27. So the Red Sox are going to pay Crawford $20 million per year, and Gonzalez $22 million per year. I guess they’re not going to complain anymore about the Yankees’ ability to outspend the competition.

  28. scott diamond was taken in the rule 5 draft by the twins. seems strange that the braves didnt protect him. he put up pretty good numbers at AAA last year.

    now that i’m looking at the 40-man, i dont know who they could have left off. oh well…good luck, scott.

  29. 43—We’ve still got league play. This was a no-lose game for us, really. Nobody expected us to win, and it helps the RPI/KenPom-type numbers. Good experience, too.

    40—Same to you, Ethan. You’re right that Tinsley definitely isn’t a Mike Anderson-style PG, but FWIW, he was a consensus Top-100 player coming out of high school.

    I’m so excited about this season, though. There aren’t ten teams with more talent in the country, and of those more-talented teams, very few have the experience this VU team has. An effort like last night — where we clearly should win and somehow manage not to — are a little disconcerting, but hopefully it prepares us well for the road ahead. The ceiling on this team is extremely high.

  30. no, Carl Crawford isnt that good. Like Mac said, his value comes with defense. He’s only had an OPS over .830 once in his career. They wasted a lot of money, but they got their guy.

  31. I saw that the “major league phase” of the rule 5 draft has concluded. How do(es) the other phase(s) work? Are the Braves actually going to stand by and not acquire a loogy in this rule 5?

  32. DOB tweet:

    “Braves select RH Eliecer Cardenas from Minn., LH Rowdy Hardy from K.C. in Triple-A phase of Rule 5”

    I’ll bet anything these guys are gonna be totally BFFs.

  33. @57
    I think his value isn’t merely in his defense, but in his legs. There aren’t very many players who can hit like Crawford AND play great defense AND steal bases exceptionally well. I agree that it’s a bad signing however, most players lose their speed pretty quickly. If he has a string of leg injuries, be them hamstring or knee (which seems pretty possible for an outfielder between the ages of 30 and 37) and his foot speed is taken out of his game he’s going to be a 5-8 Million dollar player.

  34. Too bad the Braves did not protect Scott Diamond…..I would have held on to him and not Matt Young….

  35. Hardy is a 28 year-old in AA with Mike Hampton-like strikeout ability; Cardenas posted a 6.25 BB/9 in A ball last year. Too bad we couldn’t keep Diamond…

  36. #64–Young can probably make a contribution somewhere, but he is already quite old for a rookie. In addition, the Braves seem to be treating him like Brandon Jones; obviously, they were even less impressed by Diamond.

    I had wondered why they try to trade Diamond and KK to someone, since the former was a sure bet to get drafted today….

  37. 57 – Guys like him, I think, usually age pretty well, and he may not even end up playing LF. They could flip him and Drew. Overall, it seems like a good deal to me, not least because the Red Sox can pay both him and Gonzalez. Basically, they now have Crawford, Youkilis, Pedroia, and Gonzalez in their primes, along with a solid pitching staff and great defense. I have to think they’re the WS favorites now.

  38. Know a little about Hardy. The guy barely breaks 80 MPH with the fastball. The KC Star had an article about him a year or so ago with the general “underdog/overachiever” theme.

  39. If I was in Cliff Lee’s camp I’d up my asking price to 7 years 210 Million. I realize that even the Yankees won’t pay that, but they’ll come close (7 years 175 or 6 years 180) . He’s a must sign for them now, considering that the Red Sox have a much deeper rotation and have matched or bested them on both offense and defense.

  40. If the reports are accurate, it’s a world of awesome there are two teams bidding on Kawakami. If Wren can somehow come out of this paying $3 million or less, I’ll have even more respect for him.

  41. It couldn’t be any further from the truth. If Japanese pitchers value efficiency the way Japanese automobile manufactures do, shouldn’t a Japanese Greg Maddux be able to get through 9 innings on 70 pitches…instead of 2 innings on 70 pitches.

  42. I suppose on the level of personal exertion it’s more efficient to get those 70 pitches out of the way while you’re already standing on the mound. Maddux kept walking back and forth to the dugout like a sucker.

  43. DOB – Braves have something else that could be finalized in next week, but I get the impression that it’s a depth-type move for the outfield, not a front-line guy.

  44. On a strictly Karmic level (money and players traded aside) what is the exchange rate between KK and Nate Louth? Is one year of KK worse than two and a half years of Louth?

  45. But he won the Japanese Cy Young award!

    I will miss seeing his interpreter standing in the bullpen wearing that Braves polo shirt and hat that was two sizes too big for him.

  46. @77,

    I don’t see us adding any front line guys either. I think we will add a 4/5 OF and in the spring add a shortstop who can play d.

  47. The Orioles picked up JJ Hardy, perhaps we can add Cesar Izturis. I wonder if the Braves are going to use their bench like a bullpen the way Bochy did last season. By this I mean replacing defensive liabilities with strong defensive player once the team is leading after 6 innings or so.

  48. Speaking of locking up players.. Uggla’s demands sound a little more reasonable now, right? Corner OFs (and not even slugging corner OFs) are getting paid nine figure contracts over seven years. Does a five year, eight figure contract for a slugging MI sound so bad now?

  49. 84
    It would be good for parody but otherwise it wouldn’t be much fun. It’s fun to watching your organization develop player, guys like Prado, Venters and Medlen (three of my favorite braves) who come out of nowhere to become very good players would have already been moved to other organizations.

  50. I fear the Yankees and RedSox are pushing the market to unsustainable extremes. Like the Soviet Union, baseball may be in danger of “collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions”.

    What must Pujols (and his agent) be thinking right now after seeing the deals Werth, Crawford, etc. are getting? I’m not sure even Bernanke can print enough money to pay Albert next year.

    Maybe the effects of the “luxury tax” are enough to ameliorate the disparity between the Rockefellers (New York and Boston) and the Justhanks (Pirates, Marlins, etc.) but I just get the queasy feeling that a sport with a declining hold on the general public is painting itself into a self-absorbed Northeastern corner. To its peril.

  51. If Yankees somehow don’t wind up with Lee, do they trade for a pitcher? Would they trade for Lowe? 2/$30 is nothing to the Yankees..

  52. @86
    – Like the Soviet Union, baseball may be in danger of “collapsing under the weight of its internal contradictions”.

    I don’t want to get too political here, but it could be argued that this is true of the US and Global Economies. It’s possible that the seventh year that Lee and the Yankees are squabbling over will be completely moot.

  53. #87 – they can get a better value than what Lowe provides. I dont think we want both Minor and Beachy in our rotation either.

    oh yeah, they WILL get Cliff Lee

  54. If Lowe’s contract was gone though, the Braves could go out and get a Kevin Millwood or a Justin Duchscherer and still see a net gain of 10MM plus, and we still wouldn’t be looking at a rotation that included both Minor and Beachy. I’m not sure how the organization would use the new found liquidity, I suppose the possibilities are endless.

  55. @86, 88,

    Actually, the original reference was from Marx and referred to what he considered the inherent contradictions of capitalism. It was later applied to the Soviet Union as sort of an ironic parody of the original meaning.

    But, then Luke Scott probably knows more about this anyway as he has clearly devoted his life to a deep understanding of communism and socialism.

  56. @88 – Anything is possible. It’s also possible that Frenchy will hit 50 homeruns for the Royals this season. I don’t really want to read about that or the world economy collapsing on Braves Journal.

  57. #75 – Still laughing. Great line.

    Man I forgot about Pujols. First 30 or even 40 million per year player? Holy deficit Batman! Can the Cards sell bonds or notes? Will the Chinese buy Cardinal debt as readily as they have the U.S. governments?

  58. Think about it: The Royals might very well start an outfield of Francouer, Blanco and Melky.
    —————-

    Did I hear right – that Saltalamachia (sp?) is going to be the starting catcher for the RedSox?

  59. I hate to stay on the topic of impending gloom and doom, but when I saw that Francouer had signed with the Royals I felt as though some kind of prophecy had been fulfilled. Then, after waking this morning to find that Melky was also going to be dawning Royals Blue and remembering that Blanco was already in place there, I began to feel as though the rapture was coming. Could the mark of the beast be a starting outfield with a combined OPS of .666?

  60. So this is now four teams for Jeffy. I believe he has now fulfilled the tests for being considered a “journeyman.” Who knows how many more teams he will play for because someone gets the message that he sucks? Maybe he will be like those people that try to see a game in every big league park.

    Isn’t there some law against GM incompetence of this magnitude?

  61. Your 2011 Royals?

    CF- Blanco
    SS- Lil Tony
    2B- Marcus Giles
    3B- Marte
    1B- LaRoche
    RF- Frenchy
    LF- Melky
    C- Pena
    SP- Davies or Chen

    That isn’t too far from the truth.

  62. My 26-year old daughter lives in Kansas City. She and her friends go to about 10-15 games a year, they’re glad the Royals are lousy, it keeps ticket prices down, and she usually wears a Braves cap.

  63. via Bowman:

    “But for now, the Braves seem very reluctant to meet the Brewers’ request to exchange either left-handed pitcher Mike Minor or right-handed pitcher Brandon Beachy.”

    i hope this is a mistype and the braves didnt turn down beachy for cain.

  64. There’s no way Bob Stoops goes to Miami. I’m a Braves fan in OKC, recently moved from Nashville. Stoops owns this state, has tons of money and easy picking for Texas’ top talent. Miami would be a nightmare for him.

  65. So, Billy Wagner is still on the 40-man roster. That made sense…a month ago, but it doesn’t make sense when the Braves lose a decent pitcher because another pitcher that has announced his retirement hasnt filled out the official paperwork to be taken off the roster.

    so, is Billy being a little lethargic in his full-time farmlife, or is he having doubts?

  66. I think the Florida pecking order goes like this:

    Stoops
    Mullen
    Petrino
    Strong
    Panic setting in
    Shanahan
    Smitty
    Mac
    Stu

    Mac, if it gets to me, I’ll take the job, but I am running the program in the dirt as fast as I can. So don’t get your hopes up.

  67. I’m okay with Wagner still being on the 40-man. I’ll take a 10% chance on an elite closer this year over a 30% chance on an eventual league-average starter somewhere down the line. If either is unlikely, might as well shoot for the moon….

  68. If Wagner is taken off the 40 man before a certain date and decided to come back, he would be a free agnet and could sign with any team. That is why he is on the 40 man.

  69. The official site has Wren saying that the reason that they left Diamond hanging out was that they would not have been able to option him back to AAA without clearing waiver and that they felt they were more likely to get him back from an ML team that couldn’t keep him on the roster than to get him through waivers.

    The above could make sense, particularly since a playoff competitive team in the Twins did the picking.

  70. That’s only true if they take him off the 40-man. That means they either have other plans for that roster slot or are so sure they’ll get him back that they don’t want to burn one of his options.

  71. It looks like the former. Wren, via the official site: “We just didn’t think we could put together our roster this winter with all the spots filled.”

    He thought they’d have to outright him if they protected him, and he likes the chances of retaining him better as a Rule V pick. Makes sense.

  72. Yeah, the Braves wanted someone to take Diamond, because they don’t think he’ll stick in the big leagues yet and they’ll have a chance to get him back or work out a deal with the Twins to let them send him to the minors.

  73. If the Braves really wanted to protect Diamond, they’d have booted Wagner off the roster and protected him. They either didn’t care if he was taken or, as seems to be the general consensus around here, wanted him taken. Scott Diamond being drafted has nothing to do with Billy Wagner.

  74. If our biggest problem is whether or not we should have protected Scott Diamond, I think Wren is doing a damn good job.

  75. Well, we might have a new football coach pretty soon. The salary offer I’m hearing evidences a new era of commitment to football on West End…

  76. Greetings from Paris…

    #91
    I think Luke Scott has merely devoted himself to a lotta radio.

    My heart bleeds for my SEC bros from Gainesville. And on another note, good luck to Vandy.

    George Sherrill, then. One year of lefty lightning in a bottle. Fingers crossed.

  77. Well, since it’s going national, now…

    Gus Malzahn. Believed to have been offered close to $3 million in annual salary. Swinging for the fences, that’s for sure.

  78. I’m not sure he’d do great things, but I’m encouraged by the high-risk/high-reward approach. And, of course, the unprecedented financial commitment.

  79. Wouldn’t mind adding Kiehl Frazier or Michael Eubank to this recruiting class, that’s for sure…

  80. From SI:

    “When Atlanta asked Milwaukee about outfielder Lorenzo Cain, the Brewers asked for pitcher Mike Minor. The Braves offered pitcher Brandon Beachy instead. End of discussion.”

  81. That’s funny. If I had to take a wild guess on how a conversation about Cain would go, it would be exactly that.

  82. Mike Minor? C’mon guys. He was an overdraft. A #3-4 at best. Everyone thought so. A penny-pinching pick. Remember?

    We should be happy to get whatever we can for him

  83. Betemit is NOT the Royals’ best player. That’s Soria…

    Until Hosmer comes up. Him @ 1B, Moustakas @ 3B, Myers in RF, Gordon in LF, Colon @ SS and Lamb, Montgomery, Dewey in the rotation anchored by Grienke is a scary good team.

    Moore is filling out the team with guys he can cut easily.

  84. Malzahn? Excellent. That’s exactly the kind of thinking Vandy and UK need.

    Got to create a brand to recruit to.

  85. @143

    Hilarious.

    FYI, in 2010:

    Mike Minor, 22 (AA-AAA): 3.44 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9, 10.9 K/9, 3.17 K/BB

    Aaron Crow, 23 (A-AA): 5.73 ERA, 1.506 WHIP, 1.0 HR/9, 7.9 K/9, 2.20 K/BB

  86. @143, fair enough, in a way, but more people get killed going through green lights than running red ones. Should one run red lights more frequently then?

    @132 – Some of my friends sit around every evening
    And they worry about the times ahead
    But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
    And the promise of an early bed

  87. @143, that link is awesome. I’m glad I don’t know anything about amateur baseball and can not complain about picks.

  88. @144
    I think you misunderstood the tone of the comment. Also, we were discussing the position player lineup and specifically a lineup comprised of former Braves, so Soria isn’t really in the mix. If you were fielding a Royals team of washed up Braves, Betemit would be your best player. In reality they have several players who are better than the WB; including Billy Boneyard Butler, Greinke, Soria and Gordon.

  89. For some reason, I’m on the Royals’ mailing list. And for some reason, they seem excited about Melky. The headline is in 18-point font and all caps in the original.

    Royals agree to a one-year contract with OF Melky Cabrera

    The Kansas City Royals today agreed to a one-year contract with outfielder Melky Cabrera pending a physical exam. Consistent with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    The 26-year-old switch-hitting Cabrera played the 2010 season with the Atlanta Braves after spending eight professional seasons in the New York Yankees organization. He batted .255 in 147 games for the Braves last season, recording 27 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 42 RBI and 50 runs scored. The 6-foot, 200-pounder is a career .267 hitter with 117 doubles, 15 triples, 40 home runs and 270 RBI in 716 games in the Majors.

  90. @148, the hen is the wisest of all the animal creation because she never cackles until after the egg has been laid – Lincoln.

    Declaring one pick to be irrevocably better or worse after one year, when none of them has pitched anywhere near the pros is just as much fortune telling as the initial response to their selection based on their amateur numbers. Minor was always considered a more polished pitcher who would make it to the pros earlier. That this has happened is not particularly surprising.

  91. @152

    “Minor was always considered a more polished pitcher who would make it to the pros earlier. That this has happened is not particularly surprising.”

    I think what people are excited about is that we’re looking at a pitcher who was considered a polished high floor rather than high ceiling guy who has put up K rates of an elite pitching prospect. A K rate north of 10/9 in the high minors is pretty impressive, especially if the organization and scouts are correct in believing that he has a “feel for pitching.”

  92. Thanks Mac for the Coppolella interview, which does provide some real insight to the internal workings of the Braves and what they did with the Rule V draft.

    To come back to one of the thread’s themes, I don’t think that the Braves are very successful with the first rounds of the draft. However, they do much better than most organizations in later rounds. Hence, it would have been interesting to hear why they used a #2 pick on Todd Cunningham and why they thought they had a good reading on him. I am just glad that they got Lipka and followed with Simmons and Filak….

  93. @159, the Braves have been extremely successful in the 2000s with the first round of the draft. Like 7/9 made it to the bigs from 2000-2009. The average is like 60-something percent. Moreover, the likelihood of a star player is under 5%, and the Braves have had two (Wainwright and Heyward).

    Sure, the ’90s drafts are bottom-heavy, but the 2000s have been great in the first round.

  94. @160
    I don’t know what happened to Devine last season, I know he missed 09 with Tommy John surgery but I don’t know why he missed 2010. At any rate, prior to injury he was beginning to look like a relief ace.

  95. First round picks are not nearly as difficult–many of us picked Heyward as it was happening (a great moment on Braves Journal)but the Braves have not had much success in rounds 2-5. What found interesting about the interview was that Coppolella said that scouting high school players was very difficult. Nonetheless, the Braves have tended to stockpile high school arms–and many don’t pan out or develop far enough into being tradeable prospects.

    It looks to me that 2009 might have been a watershed, with the Braves moving away from drafts dominated by high school players to drafts which have more college and juco players.

    In any event, the impressive thing is how well the Braves have drafted in much later rounds….

  96. Good friend of the family is a senior in high school with a scholarship to a D-I baseball program.

    He recently got an in-home visit with a scout from an MLB team informing him they were likely to draft him high enough to make it interesting. (No money discussions were held.)

    Their argument for drafting high-schoolers and placing them immediately into the rookie league is that he’ll be taught using the team’s approach and won’t have to “unlearn” anything he got in college.

    I want to believe that playing in college is the best way to go for those young men who belong in college. But that may be my middle-class bias showing. (Strong believer in a college education even though most of you will tell me I really don’t have one.)

    Whaddayathink? College or straight to the pros?

  97. Baseball’s a hard life. Even in the best-case scenario, the kid will face a long slog for very little pay in the minor leagues, and an extremely high chance that he will never make it to the majors, let alone stick there. Baseball’s a hard life for the few people who make it to the highest level; it’s even harder for the many who don’t. Getting paid millions is nice, but living out of a suitcase for two decades and never getting to see your family is less so. For most players, though, they’ll just get paid the minimum wage to live out of a suitcase and never see their family. Depends on his priorities.

    If baseball’s the only thing that will make him happy, then he should go for it. If he’s not sure, college will allow him to keep up with baseball while pursuing other interests.

  98. Depends on the college and how well they develop players. Kids don’t go to Vanderbilt, for example, and lose money. Sowers, Alvarez, Price, Flaherty, Weathers, Minor, etc., have all turned down big sums and ended up making even bigger sums.

  99. I would find it very difficult to advise a kid not to go live the life of a D-1 scholarship athlete for at least a couple of years if he had the chance to do it.

    Is he a pitcher?

  100. Tough call – Getting some decent amount of dough for college/nest egg for an 18 year old kid in exchange for a couple of years in the minors, even if it didn’t work out, would be a great experience. It’d be like being in a touring rock and roll band for a couple years and actually getting paid for it. Not to mention injury can strike anytime and end the party (and the scholarship), and if you do make it, you’ve gotten a few years closer to the big payoff earlier in your career. As others have noted though, being a BMOC is not without it’s rewards, and can significantly increase the initial (and sometimes only) payout.

    All things being equal (monetary value of college ride vs signing bonus of similar amount), I’d probably opt for the pro route. You can’t “teach” being 18 years old, and there’s a non-trivial chance that you’d wash out in college, or reduce your standing in the draft.

  101. 140 – That article is hilarious. I can’t wait for the Cardinals to turn Rasmus into a slap hitter.

  102. Interesting to contrast the Cards’ approach with Rasmus with the Reds’ approach with Jay Bruce, a prospect of similar stature and similar problems — huge power, too many strikeouts, and lots of promise but hasn’t totally put it together at the pro level. While the Cards are still dicking Rasmus around, the Reds are giving Bruce $50 million and telling him he’s going to be on their team for the next 6 years.

  103. @176
    I know, I was tickled pink. My brother sent me a link to an EBAY auction of a complete set of baseball cards for the 2010 Braves, and the top card was none other than one Nate McLouth. Maybe he has a really powerful PR machine on his payroll or something….
    I paused it and looked at the lineup on the scoreboard
    Prado
    Infante
    Heyward
    McCann
    Gonzalez
    Venters
    Diaz
    Freeman
    McLouth

    Interesting.

  104. 172 — Nice comparison, ububba. I have a good friend that was the drummer for a band in LA (After Midnight Project). He’s my age (early 30’s) and just had his third little girl and he decided to hang it up. His band was getting more popular, but the lifestyle was difficult to keep up with and have a family too. So he’s doing studio work and production stuff now. He gave it a good shot and loved it. Time for something different.

  105. #167–justhank–Your friend should be told that this is a nice problem to have. Many players will sign with the club, as long as they have their college expenses covered (whcih Mac recommends). That said, the odds against success are high–even for extremely talented players.

    “High enough to make it interesting” sounds great, but that is not the same thing as saying 1st to 2nd round or “top 5 rounds”. The best piece of advice I could give would be for your son and his friend to wait for draft day and then investigate the history of the last 10 years of the draft. This is not a difficult assignment because the pattern qickly becomes very clear–after the 3rd or 4th round the odds of success (i.e., a major league career) are unfavorable. They are even smaller after the 10 round. It will be useful to pay particular attention to where your friend is drafted because it can be a pretty good indicator for what might be his trajectory.

    Sometimes people on this blog (and others) get frustrated with prospect talk and use the analogy of a lottery. Its not–the teams normally have a pretty good idea of what they are doing and what a given player’s odds are….

  106. Sandy Alderson yesterday did a 45-minute conference call with Mets bloggers only…no traditional media. He said, “I think you guys represent the most extreme element of the fan base, and if I’m right it’s more important that I talk to you than any other media.”

    Extreme, baby.

  107. Rany should really crawl out of Moore’s lower back. He was a good writer once, but his blog stinks like Jessica Simpson’s ass right now. I mean, how can you defend a deal “because it’s only one year” (think about that!)?? And on top of that – money and years considered – he’d rather have Frenchy than Diaz. Ugh.

  108. And this…

    The Royals just signed an incredibly versatile outfielder – hits both ways, plays all three outfield spots – who’s in his mid-20s, who’s been a slightly below-average hitter for most of his career – for $1.25 million. I don’t just like this move – I really like this move. It’s a small transaction, but the Royals just signed a good fourth outfielder for peanuts.

    …about Melky!!!! I don’t know what Rany is smoking these days, but he’s not himself anymore.

    Truth is, the Royals just signed an incredibly fat outfielder – who hits no ways, plays all three outfield spots poorly – who’s in his mid-20s, who’s been a sucker for most of his career – for $1.25 million. I don’t just laugh about this move – I really laugh about this move. It’s a stupid transaction. The Royals just signed a rock in the outfield for more than a million f***ing dollars.

  109. I liked the article. The gist is that the Braves West aren’t blocking their minor league talent. Rany is praising Moore for not screwing up the impending arrival of all those high draft picks.

  110. I see his point, but he does prattle on. I’m sure his regular readers are disappointed in being denied a rant. Posnanski had a similar take.

  111. @182 It’s ok Stephen. Diamond put together some pretty good stats. However, I have been very careful with rushing to judement on soft-tossing lefties putting up awesome stats ever since the days of Chuck James. THis is the same reason why I am very happy to see Minor is picking up his velocity since joinning the Braves. The chance of soft-tossing lefties having a successful major league career is rather slim. Another example is Matt Harrison. Diamond MAY potentially become a useful player who can provide a club with some depth, but he will hardly be a difference maker.

  112. Did anyone tell Dayton Moore that the Braves traded for Ankiel because nobody can bear watching Melky playing centerfield anymore?

    Cameron? The guy will be 38 by the start of next season. I really don’t think he can play centerfield anymore.

  113. So… completely off-topic, but has anybody here had any experience with NO-xplode or NeuroXplode in the past? I started lifting about five months ago after years of bony skininess. I want to start using supplements, but honestly, most reviews online and the salesmen at supplement stores don’t really care unless I buy the product.

    I’ve been taking protein for a while, and I don’t want to get into any steroids, but I’ve heard that any nitric-oxide based pre-workout supplement is great for providing energy during lifting. Any advice? Thanks a lot!

  114. This kills me, now the “will brett favre play?” saga is stretched out another day. Favre is such a jerk, he never misses a start, but never makes a practice too.

  115. Wow, that’s nuts. Really messes up my fantasy football though, because I’m not sure Steve Smith will start. So if I leave him in and he can’t play I have no one to replace him with! :(

  116. Seems like a good hire for UF. It’d be even better if we manage to poach Alabama’s defensive coordinator. :-D

  117. @ 206: I’ve used NO Shotgun (not sure who makes it) off and on (more specifically, when I have spare cash) and I can definitely tell a difference in energy, reps, etc. If you drink it then something comes up where you can’t workout within 30 minutes or so, though, be prepared to feel a little weird! I have friends that swear by NO Xplode, I’m sure it’s essentially the same stuff.

  118. #206 – Ive used NOexplode, Superpump250, and Jacked. Those are the primary 3 preworkout supplements on the market. Check out the reviews on all of them at http://www.supplementreviews.com. Jacked is by far the best product of the 3 when your comparing prices and performance. Its easier on your stomach too. (N.O. can cause some bowel issues), Jacked wont

  119. Plus, that website is good when trying to locate the cheapest place to purchase a product also. It will show you every website that sells the products and their prices.

  120. Sciambi’s doing courtside interviews for the Harlem Globetrotters…. looks like another rebuilding year for the Generals.

  121. Where are all the basketball fans on Braves Journal? Why aren’t they hear bowing down to the Vols they said were the fourth/fifth best team in the SEC East?

  122. I’m a huge basketball fan, but I’m a Syracuse fan… if anyone wants to talk Big East I’m all over it. Also, if there are any Michigan State fans, I was at the game on Thuesday, how in the world were you outrebounded by Rick Jackson alone? I wouldn’t want to play Michigan State again though, I think they deserve to be ranked in the top 10 regardless of that loss.

  123. Thanks for the advice, guys. I think that I’m going to buy both Neuroxplode and N.O., and just switch month to month.

    In other news,

    The Jets: The football version of the Mets.

  124. Big East talk? Let’s see – oh yeah, SEC won the BE / SEC Challenge. Is that what you meant?

    Seriously, the ‘Cuse, UCONN and, dammit, Louisville look pretty good.

    Pitt can’t be as bad as they looked yesterday but the Pearls looked amazing.

    Haven’t seen Georgetown yet. What do they look like?

    St. Johns may actually be decent this year.

    Syracuse has got to be the biggest team playing this year. Easy Final Four pick.

  125. Thanks for all your comments about our family friend and his college / rookie league dilemma. Greatly appreciated.

    He’s a catcher, btw.

  126. @224
    Honestly I haven’t seen many games, most of the Big East games that have been on TV where I live have been against non conference regional rivals who suck, so it’s hard to know who’s good until conference play actually starts. Pitt ALWAYS exceeds or meets expectations. Georgetown looks pretty strong, they have three seniors and a junior from last years team, so they look to be tough, WVU is experienced too. I’m not so sure about the Cuse this year, I mean they were so old and polished last season (basically three 5th year seniors), I guess any young tea, will look sloppy by comparison this early in the season. They really can’t shoot though, I think they’ve been largely overrated around college basketball, it all depends on how good the freshman class is (4 freshman are in the rotation plus Triche; a sophomore who has struggled through the end of last season and this one so far). It certainly won’t be an easy conference to do well in for Cuse.

  127. I could easily see fredi using the whole bullpen in a 9-inning game even after the SP goes 5…
    1. Derek Lowe pitches 5 innings
    2. Scott Proctor pitches 2/3 inning.
    3. Sherrill comes in to get 1 out (end of 6)
    4. Moylan faces 2 RH opponents
    5. O’Flaherty comes in to get one out (end of 7)
    6. Linebrink comes in to get 2 RH
    7. Venters faces on LH batter (end of 8)
    8. Kimbrel comes in for the 1,2,3 save.

    The Braves might have 4 pitchers with 80+ appearances this year.

  128. Bill James: “The worst pitching matchup of 2010, in terms of the record of the starters, occurred in the nation’s capitol on September 5, and featured Jason Marquis against Charlie Morton. Marquis finished the season 2-9 with a 6.60 ERA; Morton was 2-12, 7.57.”

  129. @206

    Let me agree about Jacked. I’ve used Nano Vapor, NO Plasmacore, NO Xplode, NO Shotgun, various energy drinks,, and Jacked, and Jacked is by far the best. It tastes good, it gets you jitter-less intense workouts, and like csg said, it’s easier on the stomach. I think it also keeps you from getting puffed up from the retention of water.

    I’ve even gone against the standard and have taken Jacked for about 6 months straight. They say you’re supposed to cycle 6 weeks on and 6 weeks off but I haven’t bothered. Don’t get lemon lime though; it tastes like death. Fruit punch is good.

    If only I could get back in the shape I was in about 3 months ago when I stopped working out. A recent breakup with my girlfriend will definitely help!

  130. @231 If there is one thing which I note Wren is better than JS, it’s Wren’s ability to build a bullpen.

  131. #223
    Tomorrow, my office should be a major center of Jet Panic. Pretty much every Jet fan there is also a Met fan. Should be rather amusing.

    Re: SEC hoops
    Happy that the Dogs are 6-2, especially considering they didn’t have their best player for the first 4 games.

    What’s weird is that they’ve won 5 of those games by a grand total of 10 points. One of their losses was double-OT. Lotta close games that they somehow won.

    Their next 5 games come against smaller schools that are a combined 21-26, but 3 of their first 4 SEC games come vs Kentucky, Vandy & Tennessee. Looking forward to it, too.

  132. @234
    I agree, I think he does a good job with the bench too. It seems as though he puts more thought into contingencies and insuring depth in case of worst case scenarios. Scheurholz, especially at the end of his run built so many teams that just could not sustain the loss of a key player.

  133. so, rumor via twitter that the braves are calling up the yanks about lowe being a backup plan if the yanks miss out on lee. seems strange and i dont know if it’s valid, but i dont see how this could help the braves out for this year considering all of the big free agents are gone. anywho, here’s the link.

    also, funny stuff from talkingchop blogger NYRoyal..

  134. @237 I am dreaming, but if we can free up $15m…just imagine, we can outbid pretty much every team for Zack Greinke if we choose to do so. And Greinke will actually cost less than Lowe.

  135. thanks Stu. All the rivals guys, as of 30 minutes ago, are saying he hasnt agreed to anything either though. Im hoping you’re right

  136. You’d have to know something most don’t, which is definitely possible.

    Either way, Will Muschamp will change everything.

    I’m glad that Tommy Tuberville and Mike Leach are still on the block. I like the Al Golden, Will Muschamp, Gene Chizik, Skip Holtz, Gus Malzahn kinda hires. These are all up-and-coming coaches, and it’s clear these guys are getting opportunity over guys who have had failure at some point in their careers.

  137. You’d have to know something most don’t, which is definitely possible.

    We at Vanderbilt are in the business of knowing things the rest of the conference doesn’t. ;)

  138. Trading Lowe and then acquiring Greinke doesn’t make sense to me. If we traded Lowe we’d be able to fully take advantage of our greatest asset; lots and lots of cheap, good, young arms. Replacing Lowe with a similar contract not only negates the financial windfall, but depletes out depth of future arms. The future arms are our key to keeping a good team together in 2013 and forward. You’ll have Lowe, Hudson and maybe even Chipper (possibly as much as 37 million) coming off the books with Delgado, Teheran, Vizcaino, Medlen, Beachy, Kimbrel, Venters, Hanson and Minor all somewhere between League minimum and ARB 2 prices, with Jurrjens the only one making big money. This gives us the flexibility to hold onto our young players who are getting expensive, extend some guys and aggressively pursue key free agents who really fit into our team. The next 5 years are really exciting, we look like the RAYS of the last 5 years only we have a nice mid market payroll to play with and we have a good team on the field for the young guys to break in to.

  139. Yes, but I also know he’s something of a headcase. If the deal was to trade Lowe away and get Greinke in return then I’m there. But trading away Lowe for probably nothing, and then trading away a nice prospect package (Teheran would have to be involved) doesn’t seem so productive to me.

  140. @247 Teheran is the one I wouldn’t trade under any circumstances. Delgado + Minor are exactly what I have in mind too.

  141. Wow, I’m really glad I didn’t go to Vanderbilt. The inferiority complex in sports and the superiority complex in education might have suffocated me (no offense meant at all, Stu).

    If the choice is between having Lowe for 15 million for the next two years or nothing for the next year and then 15 million to drop in the 2011 off-season… it’s interesting. However, if the savings could be converted into immediate long-term contracts for Prado, etc., it might be worth it to lose some strength on our 2011 team to gain some on our 2012 team.

    The idea of a rotation of Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Beachy, and Minor doesn’t appeal to me, either. Even if the saving were used towards signing a SP for the rotation, Carl Pavano or Jeff Francis aren’t an upgrade from Lowe (in my opinion).

  142. He’ll never make it to Oakland. The Niners, Browns, and Titans all are 5-8, and the Vikings will probably be 5-8 after tomorrow night, and I think all will wind up with worse records than the Raiders. One of those teams would draft Newton even if the two I mentioned above pass.

    The funniest outcome, even funnier than him being a Bengal, is if he got drafted by the Broncos and Tebow became his backup.

  143. Wow, I’m really glad I didn’t go to Vanderbilt. The inferiority complex in sports and the superiority complex in education might have suffocated me

    While 243 was intended as a joke … that’s actually a pretty fair and concise description, heh.

  144. @251
    I’m a Bills fan Mac, and it’s looking like they WANT Luck, hopefully they don’t continue being world beaters (winners of 3 of their last 5). The Bills aren’t THAT bad, they should have won both of those OT losses (one on a dropped wide open pass in OT against Pitt and the other they kicked a fieldgoal against Baltimore and a timeout was called, then missed on the next one…)

  145. Stu,

    I’m all for watching my 2-10 college team from my 600,000 mansion rather than cheering for my 12-0 college team from my 500-a-month apartment (the first of which most Vandy students will do, and the second of which most …. graduates will do). So congrats on that aspect; the education is infinitely more important than the sports program.

  146. 259—I’m all for not spending nearly that much on a house, and for devoting most of my VU-sports-caring time to basketball and baseball, where the decks aren’t stacked so against us.

    But, Gus Malzahn is exciting.

    Oh, and if you spent 5 days on campus, you’d be kicking yourself for going elsewhere.

  147. you’re right Mac… balls. I don’t like Newton…maybe they’ll keep Fitzpatrick and try to build a defense.

  148. Alright, alright, the $600,000 house was probably a stupid example. Just trying to point out that an average graduate from Vanderbilt is probably more likely to be a little more self-driven and better educated than one from Ole Miss, and therefore would have better prospects for a higher paying job. Of course, that’s a generalization and probably is completely wrong, anyway. That being said, I honestly wanted to go to UGA for my undergrad. Love the atmosphere, love the Bulldogs, love the Braves, love GA. But I couldn’t afford it.

  149. The Patriots get the Raiders pick anyway. But I’m thinking Newton could go to the Cardinals or the Titans. Maybe the Bills if they want to trade Fitzpatrick.

  150. It’s easy to say college will always be there, but, realistically, that’s not necessarily true. Life happens, people get married, etc. It may not be practical to go back to college even if the money is there. I think if someone is really interested in getting an education and having the college experience and has interests beyond playing baseball, he should probably go to college. If, on the other hand, baseball is his dream and he is offered a lot of money, go for the money.

  151. 277—“pretty much every person on Rivals”? No. The Auburn site published a story that he’s staying; the people saying he’s staying are using that. Here are some things I know:

    1) Malzahn verbally accepted the agreement.

    2) Vanderbilt notified the other three finalists for the position that they’d found their man.

    3) Jeffrey Lee (the publisher of that Auburn article) is a fan-boy with a horrible journalistic reputation.

    A thing I don’t know: What has happened since late last night. It’s possible that Sexton/Malzahn made further demands after finding out that the other coaches had been released, since Malzahn hadn’t actually signed the deal, yet. It’s possible that Jeffrey Lee has bad information. It’s possible that Jeffrey Lee is making stuff up. I really don’t know.

    I do know that Vanderbilt hasn’t been told anything different from the Malzahn camp. I also think, if this doesn’t work out, the being-polite-and-notifying-the-other-candidates-that-they’re-out-before-Malzahn-signed-anything maneuver will look like an all-time epicfail, which would fit pretty well with VU football history.

    Let no one say it isn’t interesting, though!

  152. Too many media outlets. I remember when ESPN was talking about Rich Rod to Bama. They said he on national television that Rich Rod was on the plane heading to Tuscaloosa. Its a great thing that he never got on that plane.

  153. Well I have to say, it’s a bit odd that this is still unconfirmed if in fact the offer has been accepted.

  154. FWIW, now Jeffrey Lee is saying that Malzahn is going to accept a raise to $1.3 annually and will be staying put

  155. @286, on the contrary, if he is able to do anything next year (assuming Newton leaves and he stays) his stock will go through the roof.

  156. Big 10 has come up with the name of its two divisions for next year, get this:

    Legends and Leaders Divisions

  157. #289
    Boy, that’s very ’70s/’80s NHL, if ask me.

    “So, are they in the Norris Division? Or the Campbell Conference? The Smythe? Or… oh, hell with it…”

    Prepare for confusion.

  158. If the Big Ten could do us all a favor and take the rod out of their ass, it would be appreciated. How about either North-South or East-West? Either would work, for the most part, and would not make you look like massive tools.

  159. I kinda liked Snore and Yawn, myself.

    Or Ugly Cheerleader Division and Really Ugly Cheerleader Division.

  160. #289–You are almost making me happy about the limited college footbal coverage in this part of the world…..

  161. I propose the Big 10 break down into “gets their asses kicked by Texas and UCLA” and “gets their asses kicked by the SEC” divisions.

    Szymborski has the Braves’ 2011 ZIPS up at BTF.

    Nate McLouth L CF 29 .247 .339 .425

  162. Well, three non-Auburn sources in the past 15 minutes have said Malzahn’s staying at Auburn. Like I said, this whole ordeal seems to fit perfectly with VU’s football history.

  163. Not sure. I’ve heard conflicting things on what happens if Malzahn said no. I do know that they had already courtesy-called Franklin to tell him they had a deal with Malzahn, which is what got that Washington Post story rolling, yesterday.

    I’m still holding out (extremely faint) hope for Tommy Bowden, whom I would have preferred over even Malzahn, but it doesn’t look like he’s seriously in the picture, at this point.

    It will be interesting to hear just how all this went down, that’s for sure!

  164. We get 4 SEC/Big 10 bowl match-ups:

    Florida/Penn St
    Alabama/Michigan St
    Mississippi St/Michigan
    Arkansas/Ohio St

    #299
    I very intentionally forget which teams are in each ACC division. For me, it’s kind of like mixing up Vermont & New Hampshire.

  165. @301, If true, that’s a big help. With Newton and Fairly going in all likelihood, along with most of the O-line, it’s going to be a tough season next year.

  166. What happened to the supposedly inevitable lockout next year? Does that affect the draft? Spike’s right, next year is going to be very tough.

    I graduated today, so this news is the best graduation gift ever! Thanks Auburn!

  167. It looks like the Phillies might be in on Cliff Lee:
    He liked Philly, Philly liked him, Philly has shed payroll….

  168. Meet the Mets’ new bench coach: Ken Oberkfell.

    I know he won a ring in St. Louis, but to me he’ll always be the poster boy for the Bravos’ ’80s ineptitude.

  169. @314, where did you see this? Heymann has been getting all sorts of snark from other journalists for mentioning the possibility of a “mystery team”.

  170. It’s just speculation from Joel Sherman, but it makes lots of sense to me:

    “There is a lot of buzz on the Phillies. I have it on strong authority that Phillie officials loved Lee and he loved playing there (that bodes well, for what it is worth, Lee being comfortable in a large, northeast city). The Phillies have shed a lot of money this offseason (Werth, Jamie Moyer, J.C. Romero) without doing anything significant.

    On the surface it does not seem vital to add another high-end starter when the Phils already have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. But the presence of Lee would give them arguably one of the best rotations ever. What if they were, for example, able to trade most of the salaries of either Raul Ibanez or Joe Blanton to provide additional funds to go after Lee and try to extend the best period in franchise history with a super rotation. Or maybe the Phillies could sign Lee and use Hamels or Oswalt to trade for a high-end, righty-swinging bat to play the corner outfield.”

  171. Not sure how or why Kansas State is ranked higher than Tennessee. They have a loss and they really have looked terrible.

    I really don’t care, we have an RPI of 2 and they play a tournament at the end of the season.

  172. Phils have 142 million already committed, and haven’t finished signing their own guys yet. Do we really think they will go to 170m in payroll?

  173. The Rankings are so meaningless this time of year, I find it’s best to ignore them. Syracuse is ranked 5th in the country and they have no outside shooters.

  174. @326
    Perhaps, they can afford it. They sell out every game and have similar media revenue streams to the Red Sox. Also, they may look to deal Oswalt for offense. The Roy Halladay move last offseason was something of a shocker, I could see them doing something similar this offseason.

  175. They can sign Lee, but I would imagine that Oswalt or Hammels and Ibanez would be headed to New York for Granderson or Swisher and some prospects.

  176. 322—I was referring to the time Huddy lashed out at DOB for prematurely reporting the Griffey stuff…

  177. C. Shorter: wait until more than three people vote, we’ll go down…

    On the subject of Lee and the Phillies, I think I finally understand what every other team in the NL East in the 90’s felt about the Braves.

  178. Congratulations Bethany!

    Stu – the same Tommy Bowden that failed at Clemson? (Ok failed to meet their lofty, unnattainable expectations).

    Phillies with Lee? Yikes!

  179. 333 — Just joking on the irrelevance of polls at this point in the season by mentioning a poll that never has relevance.

    But as long as Fredette’s healthy and they keep playing defense, they’ll be pretty good.

  180. I could see smart leaving. There were some rumors a few years ago he was headed to Knoxville to work with Chevis.

  181. Im not sure why Smart would go to UF for a lateral move at this point. He may want to coach with Muschamp, but I dont see how he’d benefit from that career decision.

  182. Smitty, thats the word from everyone outside of Tuscaloosa regarding all of Nick’s assistants. Kirby Smart wouldve left for UGA last year if he hated Saban.

  183. Kirby Smart wouldve left for UGA last year if he hated Saban.

    Not if he wants to be the head coach there someday.

    Smart followed Saban to the Dolphins and then back to college at Bama. I doubt he hates the guy.

  184. Heyman: “still hearing rumblings of 3rd team in lee mix. word is offer much lower than NYY’s, but it’s also a place lee loves”

    Sounds to me like Lee’s agent is trying to milk a few extra bucks out of the Yankees.

  185. Xmas Gift Dept.
    Just began the Keith Richards auto-biography, “Life.” It’s really terrific so far. The first chapter alone is off-the-charts entertaining/hysterical.

    If you know any Stones fans, this is about the best gift you could get them these days.

    BTW, Marc S, I did enjoy the Mantle bio immensely.

  186. 344—Don’t think it’s a done deal that they go after Franklin, at least not right away. But I’m not sure what they’ll do next. I know everyone at VU thought they had Malzahn … because Malzahn told them they had him. (Note that he first approached VU, without Auburn’s knowledge, with interest in the job.) Just couldn’t bring himself to sign the contract, apparently.

    Really weird, but what can you do?

  187. Lee is a mercenary.

    I am not sure about this at all – whatever the reasons were for his being traded, his being a mercenary or not has nothing to do with whatever business decision these teams arrived at that involved trading him (or more precisely, his contract). He’s only been an FA a sum total of 1 time. In what other instance did he display mercenary behavior?

  188. I wouldn’t call him a mercenary, but what we know of his extension talks with previous clubs shows that he’s looking for a huge contract, not a discount to play in a place of comfort. I’m not going to judge him, but it seems to me like Lee’s agent is talking through Heyman.

  189. what we know of his extension talks with previous clubs shows that he’s looking for a huge contract, not a discount to play in a place of comfort.

    Exactly. He hasn’t had much of a chance to display mercenary behavior on the market — but he has made it eminently clear that he’s not looking for anything other than a maximum payday, and, until the Rangers, no team that has employed his services has believed that they could sign him to a long-term extension.

  190. He’s got a ton of leverage right now. Might as well use it.

    And for those of you who just can’t live another day without another Brett Favre update: He ain’t playing tonight.

    Maybe he’ll finally go away.

  191. they’ll probably let him give 3 to Adrian Peterson and then sit, that way his little streak continues. What is it now, 297 straight?

  192. Asking for market value makes one a mercenary now? Not many folks qualify as a non-mercenary under that construct.

  193. At least the Yankees know they are not bidding against themselves.
    ————-

    Same thing happened to us, Stu. Norm Chow verbally accepted the UK job but his family didn’t want to move. So we ended up with Rich Brooks. Oy.
    ————–

    I just don’t think Craig James is worth it for ESPN.

  194. Maybe mercenary isn’t exactly the right word, but it gets close without hitting on the real issue – the special relationship fans develop with players (there’s no real analog to fans in the military sense of “mercenary” – soldiers are anonymous numbers linked to a nationality, not individuals who millions of people like to imagine they have personal relationships with).

    I think there’s a spectrum across which athletes appreciate their role in the lives of fans who invest time and emotional energy (rationally or not) in the athletes’ actions (basically loyalty I guess). A simplistic endpoint analysis would have Chipper on one end and maybe Mark Texeira on the other. I admit to not knowing a single thing about either one’s real motives, but it’s fact that one took less money to remain with a single team, and the other moved as quickly as possible to a maximum payday.

    Athletes have the right to seek as much money as they can get. It is indeed a free market. But after a certain level, each additional million means less and less – the value of money to an individual isn’t linear – and while ignoring one’s relationship with and responsibilities to fans probably isn’t morally wrong, it’s at least irresponsible.

    /hand-wringing moralization

  195. Look, I don’t have anything against Lee other than a sense of gratitude that the Braves aren’t trying to spend $160 million on the guy. He has every right to want as much money as possible. But from everything I have heard about the man, I understand that he is absolutely committed to making as much money on this free agent contract as possible, and the actual destination is of secondary importance.

    I don’t mean the word “mercenary” in a purely pejorative sense. I simply mean it descriptively: the dude is chasing the dollars.

  196. That’s not the first time I’ve heard a Kentucky fan complain about Rich Brooks. It’s always struck me as incredibly bizarre, as well.

  197. They announced that Favre was inactive tonight as “breaking news” at the beginning of the local newscast this evening. Such is living in Wisconsin…

  198. I’d take Rich Brooks over Norm Chow.

    There is a reason Norm Chow has never been a head coach. It is because he is a giant asshole.

    Pete Carroll ran him off because he made Lane Kiffin seem like Mother Teresa

  199. From Royals.com:

    Francoeur, who’ll play all of next season at 27, is still pretty young himself — another reason that Moore signed him along with center fielder Melky Cabrera, who’s 26.

    “It makes perfect sense for us,” Moore said.

    Truer words have never been spoken.

  200. and i hate to be all doom and gloom, but we will be looking up at the phillies again if they land cliff lee.

  201. The Padres got Jason Bartlett for two relievers I’ve never heard of, Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos. He’s actually kinda good — couldn’t they have gotten more?

    Also, I’m officially admitting that my Cliff Lee bluster was basically wishful thinking. I hope hope hope he doesn’t go to Philly.

  202. interesting…rosenthal, supposedly had this tweet: “It’s (almost) official: Lee has reached a tentative agreement with the #Phillies, he is waiting to see if the #Rangers will offer 8yrs. #MLB”

    then this came out: “Ken_Rosenthal I have not tweeted anything new on Lee since story I wrote earlier. Anything else is a fake. #Phillies #Rangers #Yankees #MLB”

  203. @379: Someone created the account KenRosenthai in which the character “i” shows up just like an “l” with Twitter’s font. It wasn’t Ken Rosenthal.

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