SEC picks

Like I would skip Tennessee week. Road teams in disgusting orange.

Alabama 87, Tennessee surrenders in third quarter to join Big East.
Kentucky 18, Jax State 13
Arkansas 38, Ole Miss 10
LSU 27, Auburn 12
Vandy 27, Army 20

212 thoughts on “SEC picks”

  1. Tennessee in the Big East makes more sense than Texas A&M in the SEC.

    Re plate discipline. This seems to me to be partly a function of a hitter’s other skills. I always felt that Francouer’s problems were, to an extent, related to his relative lack of bat speed, meaning that he couldn’t wait on the pitch. Guys like Bonds or Aaron, Williams, etc., were able to wait longer and therefore their pitch recognition (both type and location) were better.

    I don’t think you can teach a guy to be something he isn’t, especially at the major league level. You can teach a pitcher different pitches, but it’s much more subtle with hitting.

    As for Bonds, he clearly would have been a Hall of Famer under any circumstance. He had hit over 40 home runs a couple of times before he supposedly used steroids. I don’t have much use for Bonds but he is absolutely one of the best players ever. But I don’t think he was top 5 or 10 until the home run proliferation and you can make up your own mind about whether that was steroid-induced. (My feeling is that the steroids helped him avoid the effects of aging–a significant impact to be sure–but didn’t cause the home runs.)

  2. While we will never go to the Big East, I might be up for surrendering in the thrid quarter.

    My hope is to beat the spread.

  3. Personally, I think steroids helped pitchers more than hitters. Many feel that the Rocket started using roids from Toronto on.

    So if you look at what he did before Toronto, he would still be a HOF, and possibly a top 5 pitcher.

  4. @4
    I agree. Especially for pitchers like Clemens who got most of their velocity from their legs. Those are some of the biggest muscle groups in your body and his were like tree trunks.

  5. I remember a story about Clemens — in the clubhouse after his own start would dial up the stationery bike to its highest setting and do 60 minutes.

  6. Mac, do you really think Kentucky can score 18 points? Maybe if Washaun fumbles at horribly inopportune times again. More likely he’ll try to surpass his last performance against the Cats wherein he scored FIVE touchdowns.

    I watched the end of the LSU v. UT game last night. Anybody else have a problem with how Les Miles handled it? Kinda Spurrieresque, if you ask me.

    Why do I get the feeling that Arkansas is going to throw a wrench into the “SEC wins another National Championship” scenario?

  7. Great article about the Bourn trade. Kudos to Wren for not caving.

    Astros: Wade text message – We’ll look. We would have interest in a package of [Randall] Delgado and [Mike] Minor.

    Braves: 1:30 p.m. Wren text message – We see Bourn valued down a level from Pence for our club. We like the run production and power of Pence, and Bourn is a run creator. That doesn’t do as much for us. That is too rich for us. Thanks, Frank.

  8. No joke. The Rasmus trade might not look great long term, but for this season, it sure has given LaRussa the ability to perform the bullpen machinations that he gets off to. (last night notwithstanding)

    I still don’t really understand why Teheran wasn’t used out of the pen in September.

  9. Sam, from the lsat thread: if the two best pitchers of the last 20 years were Maddux and Pedro, where does that leave Clemens?

    Slotted in at #3. Folks who do a bigger steroid-discounting than me might drop him behind Randy Johnson, but I don’t personally. Peak value, it’s probably Pedro, but career value total over the last 20 years I can’t think of anyone better than Greg Maddux.

  10. @12

    Maddux 3-year peak, 1993-1995, in ERA+: 172, 271, 262
    Pedro 3-year peak, 1999-2001, in ERA+: 243, 291, 190

    Maddux best year, 1994, came in a strike shortened season.

  11. I’m currently at Wisconsin, but I don’t have much attachment to the athletics programs of the grad schools that I’ve attended.

  12. Maddux; 678 IP from 93-95
    Pedro: 546 IP from 99-01

    Maddux: 533 ERA+ 94/95
    Pedro: 534 ERA+ 99/00

    Me settle for a tie.

  13. @2
    Thanks AAR, for bring this up. Bothered me all day, even though Maddux is my all-time favorite.
    I think Sam’s point about Bonds topping all others is a good one. I couldn’t make a case for anybody else without inviting laughter. (example: Yaz?)

    But pitchers are different. In my lifetime, I’d have to add Gibson, Seaver, and Carlton.
    Choose any criteria or stat, you’d have a pretty good argument for several pitchers.
    Probably won’t see another Bonds for awhile.

  14. @13

    I’m also a Wisconsin grad student–for another two months, anyway–and since I did not have a legitimate football program at my undergrad institution, I generally root for the Badgers.

    But I won’t defend their non-conference scheduling, which is ridiculous. Nor will I defend the Big Ten this year, which seems even weaker than usual. It’s too bad, too, since Wisconsin really does look amazing this season.

    Also, while I’m on the topic of Wisconsin, Bud Selig is going to write his memoirs… in my department, down the hall:

  15. Braves hired Walker as hitting coach and Scott Fletcher as assistant hitting coach and advanced scout.

  16. per DOB…

    Wren believes Fletcher’s new hybrid position will allow the Braves to view more games played by upcoming opponents, by watching up to 10 games instead of attending one series, while also giving them a second coach to help out hitters and more quickly notice what opponents are trying to do to get those hitters out.

    Wren estimated that “six to 10″ other teams have an assistant hitting coach, though some don’t use that title. Mike Gellinger served as Walker’s assistant hitting coach in Chicago.

    “Having another set of eyes is a big deal,” Walker said. It’s worked well for us in Chicago. And Scott [Fletcher] is a dear friend.”

  17. @22,

    Don’t we have TVs? Do the Braves not have a guy who does nothing but watch other teams play?

    I would like to offer my services. I will take the job and move to Atlanta and do noting but watch other temas and note what the hitters and pitchers did. I will do all of this for $75,000 and benefits.

    The fact they don’t have someone with Direct TV’s MLB Package watching games is stupid.

  18. I don’t know that you can get the detail of what a pitcher is doing pitch by pitch from TV coverage. You sort of need to have the angle from behind the plate, and “catcher cam” isn’t terribly popular these days.

  19. Well, the Braves apparently believe that a hitting coash really matters. At least thats what I got out of DOB’s article. They sure are laying a lot of blame on Parrish. Although, I’ve never put too much stock into whomever the coach is I’m all for the move. Hey whatever it takes.

  20. RE: Maddux v Pedro – it really comes down to fan allegiance on those two. Both had stretches where they were simply in another league, whatever league you’d get promoted to when you “have nothing left to prove” at the Major League level. At their peaks, those two made ML hitters look the way Julio Teheran made AAA hitters look this year. You sort of watched them and thought “they should probably be promoted now.”

    RE: Bonds – obviously no other player is going to drive the sheer distaste that Bonds engenders, and people who hate him are going to use the steroids crutch to prop up their hatred, but at the end of the day, he’s quite probably the best baseball player since Babe Ruth. Unless he was better than Ruth. All due credit to the other demi-god, inner circle greats notwithstanding. Bonds was an inner circle, no doubt about it HOFer *before* he got pissed off about the PR McGwire and Sosa were getting in 1998 and decided to hit more HRs.

  21. RE: Greg Walker and his new “assistant hitting coach”, all I take away is “they’re trying to figure something out, and they’re being creative if not cutting edge about it.” Good on them. They have a damned fine rotation if Hanson is healthy. A little hitting would be nice.

  22. I have the unique experience of believing with all my heart that Bonds was the best hitter in my lifetime and the most ungrateful asshole in my lifetime.

  23. Did anyone ever hear the angry message Barry left on one of his mistress’s answering machines? He sounded like a seriously mentally disturbed person. I heard it on a radio talk show and never heard it again.

  24. 20 — Adam M, two more months? Good for you.

    I think you had brought up Selig writing his memoirs at UW before (pretty sure that’s how I knew about it). If he’s funding the professorship for sports history, I can’t imagine they’ll find someone that would grill him on public financing of stadia.

    Maybe he and Paul Soglin can get together and reminisce. (I once met Soglin to help him set up his course site. We talked about our childhood heroes the whole time — Minnie Minoso and Dale Murphy.)

  25. @30 – yeah, that was sick – quite nearly worse than Alec Baldwin’s tirade against his daughter.

  26. Bonds–not a nice guy. I heard a story about him visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed in Washington from someone who worked there. Not a pretty picture. Sounded like someone told him he should go so he went.

    But there are a lot of assholes in life and that shouldn’t be the determining factor of being in the HOF.

  27. Joe DiMaggio, not a nice guy. Ted Williams, not a nice guy. Ty Cobb once beat a cripple in the stands of a game. Bonds wasn’t paid to be a nice guy.

  28. No, but he could be surly and he held out for more money a lot. I of course, have no problem with that. Marilyn filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty.

    In his third year, Dimaggio asked for $40,000. Ed Barrow said that this was almost what they paid Lou Gehrig. Dimaggio: “Mr. Barrow, there is only one answer to that, Mr. Gehrig is terribly underpaid.”

  29. DiMaggio was aloof and high-handed, as noted. Many suggest that he was more than mentally abusive to the women of his life. Some say he was mobbed up a bit. Which is to say, he was an egotistical super-athlete and behaved like Achilles, much like Barry Bonds.

    Bonds was Bob Gibson with a bat, plus a chip the size of his dad’s anger on his shoulder his entire career. Bob Gibson is valorized for being a tough guy and hateful. Bonds had to play in the modern media age, so he is hated.

  30. There is difference between being a “not nice guy” (i.e., a dick) and coming off like you’re a psychopath. Has anyone heard those voicemails? They made my skin crawl.

    “Some say” a lot of things about a lot of players. Who knows if all the things said about Ted or Joe are true? But in the case of those voicemails, Bonds said it himself, loud and clear. They’re a real window into his true character.

    I only actually heard them once on a radio talk show. Now apparently all we have is transcripts, since I’d guess Bonds’ lawyers got them sealed up so as not to prejudice a jury. The transcripts don’t do them justice, and they would definitely prejudice a jury.

  31. Bonds said some ugly things to his mistress when she was selling him out to yellow journalists. Shocking. DiMaggio said some ugly things to Marilyn when she was boffing JFK.

  32. I’ve got to say that I like the whole hitting coach / assistant hitting coach thing. In the past with Pendleton I kind of recognized a strategy for approaching different pitchers. The only strategy Atl seemed to have last year was “be aggressive”.

  33. Wow, what a finish to the MichST/Wisconsin game. It appeared that the replay official got that one right.

  34. Wow, what a finish to the MichST/Wisconsin game. It appeared that the replay official got that one right.

    Has there ever been a worse use of clock management than Wisconsin showed during that drive? Even Andy Reid was watching that game and wondering “wait, the Badgers just called timeout? WTF?”

    I think I’m done with sports for awhile. Good luck to everyone’s preferred SEC teams, etc. I need a break.

  35. Playing LSU must be terrifying. Auburn couldn’t get out of there fast enough and they’re a pretty physical team.

    I think time stops when LSU comes to Tuscaloosa. Could well be one of those that’s talked about for decades.

    So, if Stanford, Clemson and OSU lose one and Bama beats LSU by a field goal, is there a return match for the championship?

  36. OSU and Clemson could get overlooked if Bama/LSU have only one loss, IMO, if its a close matchup. I think they are the best two teams and there’s a wide margin between themselves and the next few teams.

  37. I can’t believe how angry it makes me when Tebow does well, or even “well”. I think I may have a problem.


    Happy Birthday DadBoner! Sounds like he has a real humdinger of a night set up, you guys.

  38. @56, I’ll presume sarcasm, but it’s funny how quickly those “leadership” questions died.

  39. Difference between Gibson and Bonds: Gibson grew up in a ghetto and came up in the fifties and had to deal with racism on a daily basis. He had a reason to have a chip on his shoulder. Bonds was the son of a major league star, went to Arizona State and, while I’m sure he dealt with racism, never had to go through what Gibson did. And, no one ever actually said Gibson was a dick off the field. He was tough and was known to throw at hitters but I never heard anything bad about him. No doubt that Bonds’ warts were more exposed because of the time he played in and that players in earlier periods were protected from that kind of scrutiny (just like presidents). But comparing him to Gibson seems wrong.

  40. Yes, please elaborate on what was overrated. I mean, it did take him til, like, the 7th inning to get his first bomb, and the third was a solo shot, so maybe that means it was overrated. Where were the homers in the first six innings?!

  41. @64: Tom Verducci: “Lincoln at Gettysburg. Hendrix at Woodstock. Pujols at Arlington.”

    It was a historic performance, no damn doubt, but it was a full ass-kicking put on the Rangers by the Cardinals, not just Pujols. They win the game without Pujols last night.

  42. Three homers- Ties a record
    Five hits-ties a record
    Six RBI- ties a record
    Most total bases-sets a record

    Who has had a better World Series game at the plate?

  43. It doesn’t matter what the Cardinals did; it’s about what Pujols did. The North wins the Civil War without the Gettysburg Address, Woodstock is still a historical event without Hendrix, but it doesn’t make those performances less historic.

  44. Reggie Jackson, Game 6, 1977:

    Pitch 1 – Ball
    Pitch 2 – Ball
    Pitch 3 – Ball
    Pitch 4 – Ball
    (Walk, scores on Chris Chambliss’ 2-run HR)

    Pitch 5 – HR (2-run)
    Pitch 6 – HR (2-run)
    Pitch 7 – HR (solo)

    Seven pitches, no strikes, 3-HR, 4 runs scored, 5 RBI.

    Nothing against Pujols’ performance in Game 3, but it’s not Reggie.

  45. Put another way, Reggie Jackson hit *every pitch that was in the zone out of the park.*

  46. As a side note, Jackson also homered in his last AB of game 5 (also the first pitch of the AB) which gave him HR on 4 consecutive swings.

    But here’s my view of the context of their two games: in 77, the Dodgers took a 2 nothing lead… then Jackson walked and scored on a homer that tied it… The Dodgers took the lead again.. And Jackson hit a 2-run shot to take the lead… After that, Jackson just kept burying the Dodgers deeper and deeper with every AB, the game was never again in question. LA wouldn’t score again until the 9th, when they made a 8-3 game 8-4. Is it worth noting that minus Jackson’s 5 RBI, LA wins 4-3?

    In Pujols’ game, the Cards scored 5 times before Texas got on the board.. with Pujols singling twice, once being erased on a DP, once scoring.. but then the Rangers had staged quite a comeback.. The Cards led 8-6 when Pujols hit his first HR, which was really the back breaker. He’d go on to hit 2 more HRs in garbage time.. He turned an 8-6 slugfest into a 16-7 blowout. Is it worth noting that without Pujols 6 RBI, St. Louis still wins 10-7?

    I don’t know.. A 3-HR game is a 3-HR game. But there’s a pretty solid argument that Jackson single-handedly buried the Dodgers (in the deciding game of the World Series) and that Pujols just piled on in game that just completely fell apart (and a game that only gave St. Louis a 2-1 series lead.)

  47. Win Probability Added tells the tale succinctly, if you’re into that kind of thing. Pujols scored a 0.211 and Reggie scored a 0.386.

  48. @75

    That is the best argument so far.

    Pujols tied or broke four records in the game (and not BS ones either)

    Reggie’s home runs might have ment more overall. But it was not a better offensive output in one game.

  49. Pujols had a good game. Reggie hit every strike thrown him out of the park. Reggie wins.

  50. Not to mention the small detail that Reggie’s heroics were in the deciding game of the World Series.

  51. My son reminded me that he and I went to the Braves v. Rangers game wherein Uggla missed a game-winning homerun by two inches. Now the Cardinals are close to winning the World Series and we’re not.

  52. Pujols had a fantastic game. All time great having an all-time great night on the big stage. Good for him.

    Just not as good as Reggie’s ’77, that’s all.

  53. Pujols had a good game.

    Okay, I’m persuaded that Reggie’s game was better, but that doesn’t mean one has to downgrade Pujols display of baseball badassery.

  54. If you need to believe that, go ahead Smitty. Some folks need to deny reality in order to preserve their fairy tales.

  55. Re: 3-HR WS Games
    As long as we’re picking gnatshit out of pepper, here’s Babe Ruth’s effort from Game 4 of the 1926 WS: 5 PA, 3 HR, 2 BB, 4 RBI.

    BTW, helluva game from Derek Holland last night. But I sure hope he’ll reconsider that butt-hair mustache.

  56. BTW, helluva game from Derek Holland last night. But I sure hope he’ll reconsider that butt-hair mustache.

    Dear professional athletes: Just because you’re super talented at a specific athletic skill or function, such that you have made the major leagues before you can legally drink*, doesn’t mean you have the right to wear ‘facial hair’ in public. When you grow up, the gods will grant you the right to wear a beard like a man. Until then, wash your baby-fat face off and stop pretending you’re grown.

    *In Kris Medlen’s case replace “drink” with “drive” and keep him the hell away from Derek Lowe.

  57. I’ve been cringing at chipper’s nasty chin-thing for the last couple years.

    I thought those things were only for fat guys who needed to create the illusion of a chin (see Blanton, Joe)

  58. @74, but if you are into WPA as the arbiter, there are a LOT of guys in front of Reggie too. I really don’t have an opinion as to “which performance was better?” but it seems that the definition of “better” needs tightening before you can answer, and if you choose impact ahead of offensive output, there are enough others that ahead that it’s sort of moot.

  59. Some folks need to deny reality in order to preserve their fairy tales.

    Spreading sunshine wherever he goes.

  60. Just looking at the facts. He did more.

    Okay. You clearly need it more. I’ll toss you that bone.

  61. You’ve really settled into your “role”, as you call it, here. It’s definitely improved the tenor of discussion.

  62. @91

    Just addressing the “game impact” aspect of the performances that was being discussed. Pujols’ third HR, the one that cemented his game in the pantheon of individual performances, was the equivalent of a champion weightlifter inviting children onto the stage to hang off his biceps while he flexes for the crowd.

  63. I’m a perfectly civil man, Spike. Do we really want to have another conversation about me? Do I fascinate you *that* much?

  64. @88,

    c’mon Sam, he is just kidding. People make comments about other people’s physical appearance every day. He isn’t saying he doesn’t have the right to wear whatever he wants, just that he looks stupid. That’s called an opinion.

  65. I’m quite serious about people who can’t grow beards not wearing beards. If the gods fail to serve you with full manhood, stop pretending otherwise. Not all men were meant to carry swords.

  66. @100, it seems to be your favorite topic. In any event, I love posting at Braves Journal. Sam’s Daily Manifestation Of His Sense Of Outrage not so much, so it”s academic anyway

  67. You focus on me too much, man. We were having a perfectly civil back and forth about great performances in WS games. You turned this into another referendum on the moral tragedy that is my continued existence, buddy.

  68. As a bystander and one who could honestly care less, it looked civil until someone’s opinion turned into a fairy tale comment. Carry on.

  69. If Georgia doesn’t beat Florida this year, I’m pretty sure Mark Richt’s head will explode.

    The Dawgs have already had that game where they looked cursed (South Carolina) where every mistake turned into points and not just a minor setback (e.g., fumble bouncing directly into the arms of the SC defender as the seas parted for his way to the endzone, etc.) so maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to play with their heads somewhere other than in the darkness.

    Nah. Gators by 14.

    So, who does Vandy chop block this week?

  70. @109,

    Will Georgia’s D-Coordinator try and fight Muschamp? Will they use the chop block excuse if they lose?

  71. 109—Same team we’ve chop-blocked the past two.

    It would be good for people who claim to be football fans to learn the difference between “chop blocks,” “cut blocks,” and “clipping.”

  72. @111

    I agree 100%. At the game the Georgia fans started using that as the excuse about the time Vandy picked in the ball off at the one yard line.

  73. SEC Football
    Hot and tangy as barbeque spare ribs
    Fresh as coeds in in cut-off tops
    Loud as two marching bands that can’t stand each other

    But can’t really call it a season until Stu posts that Florida fans picture. Where are you Rob Cope…?

    Thanks for bringing this into my life, guys and gals.

  74. #114
    Natty Light!

    It won’t just be Richt’s head that’ll be exploding.

    But the sad fact is that Richt has beaten UF exactly as often as his 2 predecessors did, combined.

    This year’s Jax game appears to be giftwrapped, just like last year’s. But, just like the Gator Nation in the Dooley Era, we’ve been conditioned to expect just about anything at this point.

  75. What does it say about UGA that after two devastating, blow-out losses followed by the frustration that was the Auburn game, I’m still feeling pretty confident going into Jacksonville?

  76. Phils could look a lot different if Howard misses some time. Isnt Rollins and Ibanez FA’s now also?

  77. I’m not sure I’m moved to help someone whose first musical purchase was “Disco Duck”.

    Some things even youth can’t excuse.

  78. #128
    Tough racket these days, even when half your store is comic books, novelties & graphic novels.

    First musical purchase (with mom’s money): Paul Revere & The Raiders Greatest Hits LP

    First musical purchase (with my own money): a 45 of “Tumbling Dice” by The Rolling Stones

  79. Someone whose first musical purchase (mom’s money) was “Mr. Jaws” is in no position to criticize a “Disco Duck” owner. First album purchase of my own was ELO’s “Out of the Blue”, I think.

  80. I think we’re better than last year and Florida’s probably worse, but more than likely something crazy will happen causing us to lose and me wanting to kick a sick puppy.

    I’d be lying,though, if I said I wasn’t excited.

  81. Thanks for that piece, Sam. I can’t remember my very first purchase, but I’m pretty sure it was Weird Al. The first album I remember owning was “In 3-D,” which my best friend gave me as a gift when I was 7. I bought all of his albums through Running With Scissors. He was my first two concerts, too.

    I spent a lot of my childhood in Atlanta’s wonderful used CD and record stores. Not so much Criminal; a hell of a lot more in Wuxtry, whose Atlanta branch was just down the street from me, but also Wax ‘n Facts, Full Moon Records, and Ella Guru. A lot of memories flipping through the used racks in those places. I grew up in ’em.

    By the way, really dumb question: I never listened to Guadalcanal Diary. Where should I start with them?

  82. AAR,
    Yeah, “Walking in the Shadow…,” that’s really the one, easily their most realized work.

    They were really good at skewering the suburbs & lampooning some elements of life in the South, and they should know. Growing up in Marietta will do that to some folks.

    “Watusi Rodeo” video:

    If you can find the “Watusi Rodeo” 4-song EP, it was pretty good for its day.

    The second LP, “Jamboree,” had a few good tunes like “Cattle Prod” & some of the re-recorded stuff from the EP, but overall it’s not nearly as good.

    “Cattle Prod” video:

    BTW, they were a really good live band, too. I once saw them open for X at the Agora, and they held their own (no easy feat).

  83. Jean shorts AND a belt, Rob Cope? How do you keep the ladies from tripping over each other?

  84. Pujols made them throw home to get Holiday to second.

    I wonder what it was like the Pujols invented baseball?

  85. Pujols… at this point, is he one of the top ten greatest hitter to have played the game?


    I’m definitely missing quite a few names, but how many of those guys would you take Pujols over?

  86. I can’t watch the game. Did TLR really put in Lynn just to IBB Kinsler and then take him out for Motte?

  87. Pujols… at this point, is he one of the top ten greatest hitter to have played the game?

    At this point in his career, as a 31 year old, Frank Thomas was a better hitter than Albert Pujols. It’s a bit early to start listing Al with the demigods of the game. If he maintains through his decline phase he can probably make the top 20 all time. Maybe higher. Right now, he’s a reasonable impersonation the Big Hurt before Frank became mortal as a 32 year old.

  88. By FanGraphs’s wOBA, Pujols is eighth:

    wOBA is a rate stat, so Pujols is not punished for having a shorter career. Instead, others are punished for having had a decline phase (as in Frank Thomas). Still, wOBA gets a little closer to the truth than would, say, offensive WAR, which is cumulative. The decline phase tending to be being less of a drag on a rate stat than an incomplete career is on a cumulative stat (Pujols is 40th in offensive WAR, and is clearly having a better career than Rod Carew or Jim Thome).

  89. @146
    The talk show blather this morning has the Cardinals blaming a poor phone connection for the above mentioned pitching boo boo.
    Here I thought TLR used telepathy to make pitching changes.

  90. @131
    My first music purchase: Cosmo’s Factory by CCR
    Bought it on vinyl
    Then bought it on 8 track
    Then bought it on CD
    Will download it someday, I’m sure.
    Not getting older, just upgrading technology.

  91. @153,

    I was following him on Twitter and he appears to be a self-righteous ass.

    Really, his track record in the game is short and not that good.

    I think he is the Tim McCarver of the Inside Baseball crowd.

  92. Fox really, really has to replace McCarver next year. There are sooo many more gifted baseball announcers out there.

    Quite frankly, TBS did a better job – hell, a MUCH better job.

  93. Mr. Terd is destroying the AFL:
    18/39 2 triples, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 4BB 1.230 OPS

    Gilmartin is also pitching well after a rough start.

  94. @158

    There are ten guys with an OPS above 1000, and another 10 in the 900s. The hitters seem to be ahead of the pitchers in the 2011 AFL. Certainly bears watching, but he’ll have to either learn OF or 3B to have more value to Atlanta than he would have as a trade chit.

  95. So, what do you think will happen to Hinske:

    “Hinske has a $1.5 million option with a $100,000 buyout.”

  96. Braves will keep Hinske in 2012.

    Ryan, the Braves would have to pay $10mil of Lowe’s $15 to unload him. Thats with getting nothing in return.

  97. Plus the Braves will have to throw in a good prospect to sweeten the deal. Again nothing in return. The better the prospect the less money the Braves have to pay of Lowe’s contract.

  98. Unless the Braves feel like they need a RHB in that role, I don’t know why they wouldn’t exercise the option on Hinske. League-average hitter with some pop who accepts a reserve role and is a good teammate.

  99. @164
    ok. if true, would you rather have…

    1. lowe in the bullpen with payroll incredibly tight
    2. lowe traded and have an extra 5 million?

  100. Bill James on a recent BJ topic:

    “About 1970 baseball took a poll of sportswriters to name the greatest living ballplayer. Joe DiMaggio won the poll. For the rest of his life DiMaggio insisted, as a condition of his making an appearance anywhere, that he be introduced as the greatest living ballplayer, excuse me, the Greatest (echo) Living (echo) Ballplayer—even if he was being introduced in front of Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron and God Almighty. When he heard this in the press box Tom Boswell would always ask in mock alarm, “Oh, did Willie die?””

  101. I don’t think the Braves trade Lowe if they have to pay 2/3 of his salary.

    They will hold out for a better deal at the break and keep Lowe as a backup starter in the pen for $5M.

  102. Last I looked the Yankees had an ever-expanding CC, a petulant pitching princess and NOBODY else.

    When money means nothing, why wouldn’t they take a chance?

  103. The most amazing thing about Bonds was the way he could expand his head to the size of a basketball, seemingly at will. I mean what was going on inside there?

    There’s no way Joltin Joe could top that.

  104. @169

    With that scenario, the Braves would have…

    61.5 million committed to 7 players (Chipper Uggla, Hinske, Ross, McCann, Hudson, Diaz)

    Approx. 18.5 million to 5 arb-eligible players (Bourn, JJ, Prado, O’Flaherty, Medlen)

    About 4.5 million committed to some combination of 10 pre-arb players(Freeman, Heyward, Hanson, Beachy, Venters, Kimbrel, Vizcaino, Teheran, Minor, Hoover, etc…)

    84.5 million to 22 players. Without payroll increase, that’s still only 6.5-7 million wiggle room. Better than nothing…

    Lowrie for Jurrjens would save 2 million and give us about 9 million to sign a RH OF bat, moving Prado back to rover.

    Get it done, Wren!

  105. @154 Kevin, Cosmo’s Factory was a great album. CCR had a fantastic rhythm section. John Fogerty gets all the credit, and he was a helluva songwriter with a distinctive voice, but the rest of the group more than held up their fair share.

    As long as first album, I’m not quite sure what it was, but I know Herb Alpert’s WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS was one of them, what a fantastic cover.

    Other fanciful covers, Mama Lion Gatefold cover (decent music), Mom’s Apple Pie (horrible music), Electric Ladyland, and Blind Faith (I actually bought this at K-Mart!!!

  106. @132 Speaking of Dickie Goodman aka Mr. Jaws. I have his great 45 Batman and his Grandmother, and would love to have Ben Crazy or Convention ’72.

  107. @176
    The extra year that Lowrie is under team control might balance out the trade. I’d also like the Braves to sweeten the deal to get Reddick. How ’bout Lowrie and Reddick for Hanson?

  108. Lackey to have Tommy John. The more and more I think about it, the more I see us hooking up with Boston this offseason.

  109. @ 179

    Don’t know much (or even anything about Reddick), but I would rather trade Hanson than JJ. This is purely a personal druther. Now let me check out Reddick.

    Edit: Yes, I like your second trade much better, thank you.

  110. Don’t ya love it when you come home to a big ol’ deuce dropped right in the middle of the master bedroom (carpet, no less) with shit-paw prints scattered throughout the house? The frickin’ dog never walks in his crap when outside but decides to spread his glory in all 1800 square feet of the house.

  111. Dammit, Ryan – now Sam will give us seventeen paragraphs of how cats are the superior pet.

  112. Found myself getting excited about Heyward’s second all star selection and push for MVP next year this morning at a completely inappropriate time during an interview. I think the healing process is complete after the meltdown. That was pretty painless as far as bad breakups with baseball seasons go.

  113. Id still rather trade JJ over Hanson. I guess I like K guys more than pitch to contact guys. I also dont think the Braves want to deal with having to put Lowe in the pen and all the questions that will surround that decision. With our pitching depth, I think he’s gone.

  114. per DOB…

    #Braves moved speedy prospect Matt Lipka from SS to CF in Instuct.Lgue, and he took to it well, impressed. He’ll be a CF in ’12 in minors. 5 hours ago

  115. @190 The Braves must be impressed with Simmons enough that they don’t want Lipka wasting anymore time there. But that bring down his value a bit.

    @180 I am sure they would love to have Lowe back!!!

  116. @186

    I would never argue that cats are superior pets to dogs. I’d simply point out the incontrovertible fact that people who prefer cats are superior to people who prefer dogs. HTH!

  117. I think the Lipka move was a long time coming. I remember when they drafted him, it was thought he would probably move to CF.

  118. AAR @194 – er, I’m not quite sure how to respond to that other than to be troubled by the apparent thought process experienced by the creator of that site.

    How deeply must that guy feel like the Ultimate Loser?

    HB, Stu!

  119. Happy B’day Stu! You will find yourself watching the history channel a lot more. However, Pawn Stars and Gold Rush are decent shows.

  120. Hirpy Bathday, Stubert!

    Need a little baseball edgymucation people. I posted this over at CAC and I really can’t wrap my head around the concept that Prado lost value immediately when he moved to LF. Here’s the post…

    Another thing that frustrates me when discussing Martin’s value diminishing when he moved to LF is that I think it’s an outdated concept. Is it still true when 2b are putting up superior, or at least comparable, offensive numbers to LF? Adding to that, according to Fangraphs, Martin’s playing an above average LF, and when he was at 2b, he was below-average.

    In 2009, Prado ranked #31 among all qualifying NL players in OPS, which was 4th best among 2nd baseman. If he would have mirrored that offensive production in LF, he would have been ranked 4th best among LF.

    In 2010, Prado again ranked #31 among all qualifying NL players in OPS, which was 2nd among 2nd basemen. That year, he would have been 6th among LF.

    If Prado, the mark of consistency until 2011, would have put up his normal .800-.825 OPS, he would have ranked 4th among LF and anywhere between 1st and 3rd at 2b.

    In conclusion, if Prado were to have put up his normal offensive production with above average defense, then how is his value decreased by moving to LF? If anything, his value would have increased because of his ability to play 3b,2b,1b, and now LF.

  121. Happy Birthday, Stu! and thanks for all of the pictures and links you’ve posted this season.

  122. Just got production pieces of my first ever injection molded parts in. While we celebrate Stu’s impending death, I feel like I’ve just been born into the world of engineering.

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