287 thoughts on “Kimbrel wins ROY”

  1. From a random web page:

    Frank Robinson (NL, 1956), Orlando Cepeda (NL, 1958), Willie McCovey (NL, 1959), Carlton Fisk (AL, 1972), Vince Coleman (NL, 1985), Benito Santiago (NL, 1987), Mark McGwire (AL, 1987), Sandy Alomar (AL, 1990), Mike Piazza (NL, 1993), Tim Salmon (AL, 1993), Raul Mondesi (NL,1994), Derek Jeter (AL, 1996), Nomar Garciaparra (AL, 1997), Scott Rolen (NL, 1997), Albert Pujols (NL, 2001), Evan Longoria (AL, 2008)

  2. Shame or sham?
    How many places do they vote on? If it’s just your top two, then I guess no votes for Beachy isn’t too bad.

  3. Glad that Kimbrel won unaminously, but also shocked that Darwin Barney and his sub.700 OPS and Kenley Jansen and his 53.2 innings got votes over Beachy.

  4. Kimbrel choked the wild card at the end though. He sucks. Fire Wren for having a rookie in that situation.

    (Just kidding!)

  5. Worley and Ramos had very good years. I don’t know if Freeman would make my top 3.

    I think it’s kind of crazy that Kimbrel is unanimous in a year with multiple really good candidates.

  6. Morosi says the Tigers are interested in Prado. He lists Delmon Young as a possibility coming back but doesn’t know if the Braves would be interested in Young.

  7. Why do all the Prado rumors involve us getting absolute crap in return? Seth Smith would be relatively exciting compared to Delmon Young. Prado is pretty good, hopefully he isn’t traded just for the sake of being traded.

  8. From what I’ve read in random DOB tweets, it would be Smith plus another player, possibly an OF prospect.

    Delmon Young is awful. Please no.

  9. That’s a very impressive list he joins of players to win the award unanimously. Every single one of those players became at least a very solid player for multiple years, and many were/are HOF caliber. Also note that he is the first pitcher of any kind on that list (not just relief), and also the first Brave.

  10. The first pitcher to win the Rookie Of The Year award unanimously in THE HISTORY OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

  11. In the Unanimous thread in the Pitchers forum of the Rookie Of The Year message board, he could totally post, “First!”

  12. The only reason to trade Prado would be if you think you can get someone comparable in the OF for a cheaper price tag. It kind of makes me wonder if the Braves are looking to land a free agent or trade for someone that costs a bit. Both would be interesting.

  13. If these rumors are correct, the Braves must think that Prado has an attitude problem (maybe he complained about playing left field after doing it for awhile) and want to dump him. Or maybe they’re not correct. Anyway, if you’re concerned about attitude, you’d hardly trade for Delmon Young.

  14. 1B, 2B, C locked down for awhile (along with very good pitching). Nice foundation. Need to finish strong.

  15. I am beginning the process of saying goodbye to Martin Prado. The writing is on the wall. Emotional barriers are in the planning stages, with construction set to begin on the next sunny morning.

  16. Seth Smith?
    Delmon Young?

    Those cant be real, please say they are just speculation by writers without a shred of truth.

  17. Enrique Puljos is one mean sand-bagging machine. His minor league sand-bagging numbers off off the charts.

  18. Why do all the Prado rumors involve us getting absolute crap in return?

    Just repeating this out of shared frustration.

    I’m with you. He’s certainly my favorite player on this team.

  19. Who cares about DOB’s opinion? We only care about the news right?

    I agree with Mac, there must be something they don’t like about Prado if they really want to trade him away this bad. Otherwise, I can’t think of a better candidate to replace Chipper at third base.

    Keep the Prado indeed.

  20. 41,

    It’s alright. If they’re going to cancel one of the major 5 (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and Nascar), I’d rather it be the NBA or redneck racing.

    24,

    When did the reports of Prado not taking the adjustment well come out? I thought it was reported that he was quite happy to help the team in any fashion after he was asked to move. Is this just reporters fueling the fire?

  21. The sad thing is its fairly substantial for guys like Kobe, Steve Nash, and Ray Allen to lose a year. If Stern takes it to the mattresses, the NBA will break the players. The players association is deluding themselves by thinking otherwise.

  22. @41 Turns out the NFL has the smartest people among four major sports. MLB has finally learned from its mistake. NHL did not learn from baseball’s mistake. NBA is not learning either baseball or hockey.

  23. If by “smartest people” you mean the “weakest player’s union” I suppose. Not sure how baseball made a grand “mistake.”

  24. @47

    You nailed it. This has far more to do with leverage and the strength of the unions, not “intelligence.” Now, I don’t think the NBAPA has played this well–they should have decertified in July–but I’d be willing to bet that the NFL would have had a far longer lockout had the NFL players’ union been stronger.

  25. I trust that Wren will not make any of the ridiculous trades for Prado that have been rumored. I assume these silly trial balloons are floated either by other GMs or by media with nothing better to write. Prado may not be as good as he was in 2009-2010, but he is, at worst, a valuable utility player. Maybe they will trade him for Yunel Escobar.

    Re NBA: I don’t understand the negotiating strategy that says your offers get worse as time goes by. Obviously, the NBA is trying to intimidate the players, but it seems like a pretty dumb idea to alienate your “partners” even more. If the NBA owners are struggling financially, don’t sign mediocre players to idiotic contracts. And it’s pretty hypocritical for Stern to say the players should have decertified earlier; if they had, he would have said they weren’t bargaining in good faith.

  26. @50

    Really both sides made mistakes. There is no doubt the strike and missing the World Series was stupid.

    It really hurt the game. It was a mistake. I think if you sat down all of the people involved they would say they wished they had done things diffrently.

    They should have extened the CBA to the end of the season (they ended up starting the 1995 season under the old CBA anyways)The replacemnet player idea was stupid. Both sides negotiating in the media was stupid. So on and so on…

  27. Playing the chaos game is scary indeed, but I’m hoping that somehow when the dust settles the Spirit Group will have escaped and taken Joe Johnson’s contract with them.

  28. @52, well, the owners goal was to get a salary cap, which they didn’t, and lost the revenue from the season anyway. The players goal was to avoid one, and clearly it was worth a half-years pay to do so for most of them. The owners badly miscalculated regarding public sentiment and player solidarity and paid a heavy price (580M). I think the players would absolutely do it again, if similar circumstances arose.

    /Judging from attendance, it doesn’t appear that the game was particularly “hurt” by the strike, considering they were up 20% by ’96.
    http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/1990-99attendance.htm

  29. @54 Yeah, I think fans sometimes conflate their own dissatisfaction with the strike with the players’ aims. The players absolutely got what they wanted, and ultimately, baseball survived without too much pain. The league has been remarkably prosperous in aggregate over the past 15 years – something Selig likes to mention a lot.

    The problem for the NBA players is that the economic fundamentals of their league are different, that the small market owners have much more leverage than did the MLB small market owners, and that the longer this goes on, the greater the chances are that (1) Stern loses complete control of his caucus, (2) and the league breaks the Union. Ultimately, the players cannot win a staring contest with the Cleveland/Atlanta/Phoenix/Milwaukee/etc. owners who have zero economic incentive to go back to the status quo, and every incentive to dramatically restructure the system. It may not be in Miami/Chicago/Los Angeles’s interest to lose a season, but so long as the smaller market owners remain unified this thing will keep going–and the terms will keep getting worse for the players.

    I read somewhere that certain owners would be willing to forfeit two seasons if that’s what it took to break the NBPA. Frankly, at this point, the only thing that can save the players is an independent arbitrator.

  30. 56, I would agree with that analysis (and you may well be completely correct), but I think the fact this is a lockout rather than a strike is going to make a difference in the outcome.

  31. As mentioned above, the 1994 strike was a win for the MLBPA on virtually all counts, and hasn’t had any notable knock-on effects for baseball in general. We lost a World Series, but the players maintained their rights to offer their services on a free market (after six years of indentured servitude) without having arbitrary “salary caps” imposed on their value.

    The problem with the NFL and NBA is that the players’ associations for those sports are weak.

  32. NFL players have a shorter career so strikes are more expensive. The marginal players were replaced quickly. NFL spends little to develop players, unlike baseball. Makes a difference. Bunch of NBA teams were losing money. Strike only hurts a hand full of teams, all the players.

  33. Jim Bowden declares a trade is in the works, Prado for Delmon Young… Luckily, Jim Bowden is a certifiable idiot. So he could be wrong.

  34. A below average fielder and below average RH hitter that can hit lefties well is just what we need to compliment Matt Diaz.

  35. What sucks more about the rumored trade is there arent hardly any prospects in the Tigers org that would make the deal worthwhile. Just sucks all around.

  36. @69
    I can’t see us going after another potential SP or someone as low in the system as Castellanos.

  37. Young for Prado striaght up makes [ChrisTraeger]litrally[\ChrisTraeger] no sense for Atlanta. The cost will be similar, there’s no performance-based reason to prefer Young, and you lose positional flexibility. I don’t get it.

  38. #71–When we traded for Vizcaino he was quite low in the system. That said, we have Drury and I don’t see the Tigers trading either….

  39. @63–spot on. Plus, Prado is versatile and apparently well liked by teammates. He’s also under team control for 2 years instead of 1 for Young.

  40. Peanut says it ain’t happening

    http://twitter.com/#!/mlbbowman/statuses/136513055390576640

    Small minority of Wren’s staff has unsuccessfully pushed for Young last 2 yrs. Didn’t work. Nothing changed. Won’t be a Prado-Young deal

    And DOB, in a typical fashion, was for it before he was against it –

    Prado for Young straight up makes no sense for #Braves, esp. w/ Young projected to make more than $6 mill in arb. (Prado about $4.5 mill)
    9 minutes ago

    What chutzpah.

  41. @77 That was exactly my reaction upon reading that tweet. Who are these people? And can we send them to the Phillies?

  42. I’m actually pleased to hear of this small minority. It gives me an entity to attach my disgust to when DOB or Bowman tell us that certain members of the organization think we should do things like try to get something back for Heyward while he still has value, or other such idiocy that I’ve read in the last 6 months. If there’s a group of dumbasses that wants Delmon Young and Frank Wren isn’t a member of it, then maybe none of the dumbass ideas attributed to the front office comes from Wren.

  43. Wren should blame any bad idea that comes out of the media on this unidentified small minority.

  44. You know what makes the $10 million owed to Lowe next year look ok? The Dodgers owe $11.5 million to ManRam & Andruw.

  45. In 2009 Delmon Young walked 12 times 416 plate appearances. That is enough to make Jeff Francouer blush. Is the small minority that wanted him the same group that brought us Melky Cabrera?

  46. The Braves attendence was certainly hurt by the lockout at least in the short run. They were virtually selling out every game before the strike and attendence was significantly down afterward. They got a spike from moving to Turner Field but I don’t think it has ever been the same since the lockout. I assume that the fan base in Atlanta is pretty anti-union/player. Toronto was drawing 4 million pre-lockout and it dropped off after that–some of that was due to the team’s decline, but they were coming off consecutive WS titles. The lockout killed baseball in Montreal (granted, it had help from MLB and ownership)but it certainly helped the Braves because the Expos were a powerhouse and were pulling away before the lockout. I think work stoppages hurt all sports other than the NFL which is pretty much immune to anything short of finding that it was an Al Quaeda network and even then . . .

  47. Wren said he wanted better AB’s from top to bottom of the lineup next year. I doubt he thinks Young will help us achieve that goal. Id still like to keep Prado around and I dont think the $4 mil for him and his versatility is too much. I doubt the Braves would like the attitude difference moving from Prado to Young either.

  48. Hanley Ramirez Not Thrilled About Making Way For Jose Reyes

    The Braves already got Uggla for nothing from the Marlins. How about Ramirez for Prado and Chris Jones?

  49. I think work stoppages hurt all sports other than the NFL which is pretty much immune to anything short of finding that it was an Al Quaeda network and even then . . .

    I’d also include college football, although we have a great test case coming up with Penn State about how far that goes, the whole “don’t get caught with dead girls or live boys” scenario coming literally true.

  50. @92 – nah, Vandy will be a steamroller by the time Conference play rolls around and will just evicerate everybody.

    Of course, by then the SEC will have had yet another embarrassing November / December and we’ll get four teams in like usual.

    Maddening.

    If you all think I’m an SEC Football homer, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Every year the SEC has AT LEAST six teams that should go. We get four. The Big Self-Fulfilling Prophecy gets ten. Aaargh!

  51. I really think there are three good SEC teams this season. Florida, Vandy and Kentucky. Someone else will probably step up and sneak in the tournament.

  52. You refer to Babaloo Tiexiera, who once traded an 1855 Sweden Three Skilling Banco, Yellow Color Error for three swigs of warm sarsaparilla?

  53. Possibly (but only possibly) an offspring. The Babaloo Tiexiera of whom I’ve heard tell helped settle the Dakota territory back when a Swedish skilling was the going rate for a swig of warm sarsaparilla.

    Records are spotty, though. Not much left of the Old West..a few crumblin’ buildings, dusty mementos, and legends…lots of legends…though not all of ’em square with the facts….

  54. Quick poll. In 5 years, Craig Kimbrel will sign a contract worth ______ million over ______ years.

    60/5, is my guess.

  55. @103 – I think that was Danny Gans who also had a variety act in Vegas for years.

  56. @106,

    Based on the Pappelbon contract, assuming no major injuries, and assuming almost as good of production as this past year, 5 years at total of 100 million.

  57. 98—Bama should be really good, too.

    Mississippi State and Arkansas are going to be really good on some nights.

  58. Career OBP
    Delmon Young .321
    Jeff Francouer .314

    Career OPS
    Delmon Young .749
    Jeff Francouer .746

    The fact that some in the organization want Young is scary.

  59. In 5 years, Craig Kimbrel will sign a contract worth way too many million over way too many years , hopefully with some other fool team.

  60. I like Sam’s JD Drew idea. Lowest cost, we keep prado, and if Prado or JD recovers form, you can live with the other one not.

  61. I figured I could make an argument for Jason Bay and the Mets paying a lot of his salary. I honestly thought his dropoff was due to playing in NY. However, his away stats are absolutely brutal the past 2 years. He was solid before signing that contract.

  62. If they trade Prado, I imagine it’s to free up the salary to add a bigger bat, either in LF or SS. I would also imagine that, at the time of said hypothetical Prado deal, Wren would already have an idea of who he was getting.

  63. @115 – Shanks is not good. His recent twitter tirade about doubting Heyward’s desire to play baseball was just inane. There’s a reason he’s writing for a paper in the country’s #122 ranked media market (well, tv anyway).

  64. @119, I just found that article. He writes all of his articles like Facebook updates, typos and all. How does he have a job?

  65. I landed here about three years ago and I haven’t read anything from Shanks since. Truthfully, I had forgotten about him.

  66. Bill used to be alright to discuss things with in the internets. He hasn’t improved his game as a professional writer, and that is a damning indictment I’m afraid.

  67. Shanks used to be an okay source, when he had a monopoly on minor league info.

    Seems like he lost sight of his competitive advantage. He would have real in depth info on our top 100+ minor leaguers. Now you can get better info than Shanks provides for free on Talking Chop.

  68. Boy, the more I think about it Hanley for young pitching would really be a win-win for both teams – shame we have the one manager who makes it an impossibility.

  69. Anybody on here from the south eastern part of GA? My family is from St. Mary’s, but don’t know a whole lot about it.

  70. Maybe something, most likely nothing

    MLBTR –
    •Braves GM Frank Wren and agent Adam Katz are now meeting in Milwaukee, tweets MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. Katz represents Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

    Different update –
    •The Rockies don’t feel as though they have to give up a center fielder to get Martin Prado from the Braves in a trade, so there is still hope for a deal, Renck tweets.

  71. Assuming you could sign him for a Chapman like contract (6/30) and were comfortable with his age and scouting reports, he would be a good candidate for the Braves

  72. Hey, um. I live in Macon. It’s not that bad, y’all.

    115: “This is quite possibly the worst sports article I’ve ever written, and I read a lot of Mark Bowman.”

    You mean “read” not “written”, n’est-ce pas?

  73. @115 – “This is quite possibly the worst sports article I’ve ever written”

    So are you admitting to us that you’re Bill Shanks? Ouch!

  74. Unless he has any awareness of the Braves’ relationship with Yunel Escobar.

    Hope he doesn’t like to try and come home on a sacrifice fly in a blowout, jump up and down in the on-deck circle, draw images in the dirt with his bat and/or flip his bat after a hit; otherwise he’s outta here for scrap pieces.

  75. Anybody on here from the south eastern part of GA? My family is from St. Mary’s, but don’t know a whole lot about it.

    What would you like to know, sir?

  76. Hey! Tallahassee has its virtues, particularly if you’re a nature lover. It has some cool neighborhoods too.

    Panama City, however, is a pitstain of a town.

  77. 135-

    I’m from St. Simons, though I moved to Missouri years ago and now get back there once or twice a year.

  78. Greetings from Seal Beach, CA (home of Mark McGwire)…

    Re: Crap Town Sweepstakes
    I’ll guess that few of you have been to Moultrie, Ga. (home of Ray Goff)

  79. @147 we were stunned at what a hole Panama City is. Especially for a tourist town.

    Lima OH. The inflamed Boil on The buttocks of Ohio. Borrowed from a MASH episode.

  80. #115: “This is quite possibly the worst sports article I’ve ever written

    RobBroad4th is Shanks?

  81. Moultrie is home to Jimmy Bryant, the finest picker to ever hold a telecaster, and a really pretty Victorian jail. Inside could use a bit of work though

  82. Moultrie is way down the list of South GA’s problems for sure. Sparta and Wadley might both be below the minimum size limit for worst GA town consideration, but they’re deserving anyway.

  83. If it’s Southeastern Georgia you’re looking for, I can do you some Southeastern Georgia. I can tell you pretty much every track between the Okefenokee and the Moody Swamp in my sleep.

    The low-down is that there is one city in the state – Atlanta. There are then various minor city-like entities – Rome, Macon, Albany, Valdosta, Brunswick. Then there’s Savannah, which is a vibe all it’s own.

    The southeastern quadrant – the Coastal Plains as they say – are dominated by Savannah as far as “cities” go. The Golden Isles are nice, but people usually go north the the pretty sands of the Carolinas or south to Florida for beaches. St. Mary’s isn’t a city so much as a largish town. If you’re not from there – with living memory of being there – there’s little reason to go there.

    The basic culture from Macon to Orlando is the same. I call it Florigia. It’s best to break the two states into four cultural centers – Atlanta, Florigia, Mouseville and Miami.

  84. At a blackjack table in a Biloxi casino a few years ago I sat with a couple of Moultrie fellows. They asked where I was from, and when I replied “Atlanta” they smirked and one of them said, “Atlanta…is that in Georgia?”

  85. @158 – Athens. I’ve spent a good amount of time there over the past 5 years or so and the one thing I can say is that it feels like the place I should be from. Whatever that means…

  86. I love Athens, too, but the booze et al culture there would have seriously damaged me had I stayed much longer. Having it at arm’s length is the way to go.

  87. Running joke with my buddies is Sparta would be the easiest town to take over in the state. If you’re in South Georgia do yourself a favor and pick up a Peach Magazine. It is the most hilariously terrible magazine ever made.

  88. @Panama City
    Destin’s not much better. I live in the middle of the 2 in a glorious area called 30A. Truly unique.

  89. Sam, good division of FL and Ga. but you miss the beauty of the area down highway 19 if you don’t detour East a bit. While attending U of FL my buddies and I would wander over to the beaches (Clearwater, ST Pete, Down to Ft Myers, Naples, boca grande, always stopping off 8at Sarasota (where I life guarded at
    Lido Beach one Summer.) Farther North
    is Homasassa Springs, crystal River and beautiful fish and wildlife preserves. I just prefer the west coast of FL with its white sands and clear water compared to the East Coast. Ga and Fl are truly 2 great states to travel.

  90. Gotta disagree. Panama City and Destin are like night and day. Panama City is like a run down trailer park.

  91. The Astros are moving to AL West in 2013. That’s awesome. Can’t wait to have the Braves NOT playing at that stupid ballpark again.

  92. Destin has become nothing but a tourist trap (outlet malls, chain restaurants, mass-produced food, go-karts, putt-putt) and is very much becoming what Panama City was 30 years ago. Give it time, csg.

  93. @144

    Just wanted to get people’s take on the area. Never heard anybody on here talk about that part of GA. Just curious. Use to go all the time when my grandmother lived there, but havent stayed in years. I know it really changed when the naval base came.

  94. I just prefer the west coast of FL with its white sands and clear water compared to the East Coast. Ga and Fl are truly 2 great states to travel.

    We vacation in Ponte Vedra every year. I love travelling *thru* Florigia, including the waters of the St. Mary’s River and the Okefenokee. And if you’ve never been to Moody’s Swamp, you’re missing one of the last great natural conservancies in the state. (Moody’s is the last natural long leaf pine forest left down that way, if you’re into the nature thing. Don’t go at dusk or dawn because the wild hogs *will* consider you an option for dining if you’re not careful.)

    With that said, every time I go down that way to visit family who still live in those swamps… Gah.

  95. 168 — I support the candidacy of my childhood hero as well. Wonder why the organization is writing a letter this time around. Have they not in the past? What has prompted this one? Curious.

  96. @170 – A guy I work with tells a story about going to Panama City in the 80s and stopping by a place called the “Snakeatorium” or something like that. He says they had a bear in a cage next to which was a soda can machine and running into which was a PVC pipe, so visitors were supposed to buy a can of Orange Crush for a quarter and then pour it down the pipe for the no-doubt-hyperglycemic bear to drink. Was this a real place? I want to call BS on him, but it seems kind of plausible for Panama City.

  97. There is nothing from Panama City in the 1980s that I would not believe happened. A caged bear with an Orange Crush is how we beat the Ruskies.

  98. The weird thing about Florida is that north of Orlando, it’s the deep South and south is a mix of Havana and NYC–at least that’s Miami where I lived. Finding natives in south Florida–there must have been some but I never met any.

  99. @179 – That’s what I mean by Florigia. Native Floridians, as opposed to Miamians or those sad shells of former human beings that live in the wastelands of Kingdom of the Evil Mouselords, are near impossible to find south of Orlando. Maybe a few pockets on the southwest coasts going toward the keys, but they’re dying out too.

    Miami is Miami. Up the Atlantic coast from Miami it’s all snowbirds all the time until you get past Boca, at the very least. Hell, Daytona is about half snow-bird and half NASCAR at this point.

  100. @179
    I relatively agree with your viewpoint, but there are many places in Northern Florida that have a rich, thriving, diversified population where people aren’t constricted in their viewpoints. I live in one where conservation and preservation of nature is of the utmost priority and individually owned businesses thrive. Most of these little nooks are beach towns.

  101. DOB with a hunch that, due to Wren’s dead silence, something is in the works. I can’t tell if he’s leaking info or if this is a sincere “hunch”.

  102. @179, I’m one. Child of NY/PR transplants. We say that South Florida is so far south it’s north again.

  103. Native Floridian here. From Fort Myers.

    East coast Florida and West coast are pretty different animals.

    You can take the east coast, from West Palm Beach south, under the Everglades and back up the west coast through Naples, and Bonita Springs for that matter, and call that “Miami.”

    After Bonita Springs, going back north, you’ve got various shades of Tampa until you hit actual Tampa.

    If ever you go more than 60 or so miles inward from the shore, you’re in the South.

  104. Speaking of South Florida: Reyes AND Pujols? They’re kidding, right?

    Just what we need. Hell, it will be worse than the American League East.

  105. @182, this is the same guy who on consecutive days said Delmon Young “makes sense”, “makes some sense” and “makes no sense” for the Braves. I don’t find him terribly useful as a source of tea leaves any more.

  106. Hey, who remembers that “female” athletic director from high school every body was always raising eyebrows about?

  107. @188 – Never been to Fayetteville, but if it’s anything like Rocky Mount, NC then it must really suck.

    Holly Hill, SC is a town I drove through (in my air-conditionless car) exactly once on a 105deg Sunday in ’07 when the Braves were playing the Rockies and we got one of the seven innings of Octavio Dotel that Kyle Davies turned into. Dotel blew the save in a game started by both Chuck James and Corky Miller (ugh) right before my radio reception went out. Frenchy scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th, but I didn’t hear it. I vowed never to return. That had to be the worst place in the country. South SC is everything bad about south GA but poorer, more remote, hotter (at least that day) and just generally more terrible all around.

  108. Most of SC, but particularly the southern half of it, is the same culture as southern GA and northern FL. ” rel=”nofollow”>This map is a little out of date, I suspect, but it’s a good starting point. Appalachia actually runs further up into “Yankee” than suggested here, I’d argue, and Miami has claimed a larger slice of south FL at this point. But it’s a good start.

  109. Re the Hanley Ramirez thoughts: Wasn’t one of the main reasons that Fredi was let go by Florida that he could not get along with the team’s best player–Hanley Ramirez? So, quash those hopes.

  110. Whoever threw Sparta, GA, into the ring for worst city in GA gets a second from me. I did some campaigning there for my congressman a few years back. Desperate. Drive through there all the time between Macon and Augusta. Just a sad little town. It’s the only city of any size in Hancock County, which I think is the poorest county in all of Georgia.

    I’m a native Floridian, fourth generation of settlers that moved from the panhandle around Blountstown down to Indian River County in the late 1890s. Pretty much agree with jjschiller’s assessment of Florida in 184. Florida’s done a lot of changing since air conditioning and mosquito control was invented. Founded on commercial fishing, ranching, agriculture and more mining than anybody would ever guess, it’s now all about tourism and accommodating Yankees who want to stave off death a few years longer than if they stayed where they’re from.

  111. Cordele, GA is pretty grubby as well. First thing you run into once you get off I-75 is housing projects on the right and a cemetery on the left. Then it’s a couple miles into town and a maze of decrepit railroad tracks. Shirtsleeves appeared to be prohibited the last time I was there.

  112. Playoffs expanded in 2012: Two WC teams per division. Wild Card teams will face off in a “ONE GAME SUDDEN DEATH!!!!” match to face division winners. Interesting….

    I do like one thing about this system. It makes winning the division much more meaningful.

  113. Having grown up in Gainesville and gone to school in Sarasota, I’d say jjschiller’s assessment is spot on. Tampa Tampa down through Sarasota down’t really fit into the “Florgia” or “Miami” cateogry very well. And of course, Gainesville is quite its own thing. You can’t really conflate it with Bronson, Archer, and the like that surround it.

    The really great experiences in that area between Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando are the springs and rivers. So many great places to cool off during the summer! I’d recommend an innertube ride on the Ichetucknee to anyone.

  114. sansho1 at 194,

    I resent that. Our railroad tracks are not decrepit. We have ICC approved speed limits approaching 65 mph through town. This is one of the most important rail junctions in the southeast (seriously). You can’t move a train from Jacksonville (or points south in FL) to Atlanta (and most places in the midwest beyond) without sending it through Cordele. NS runs 20 trains a day and CSX 45 a day and the local line 1 or 2 a day with daily trips to and from the Port of Savannah starting next week.

    As to the rest, you may have a point.

    I also nominate Athens (on the good list). But, since I bleed black with my red, I am probably biased.

  115. Bad list of Southern cities
    Dahlgren, VA (some may not officially consider this Southern, but it’s bad)

    Good list
    Louisville, KY
    Charlotte, NC

  116. I like that it makes the WC more of a true crap shoot. Win your division or flip a coin to see if you get in. That’s not optimal, but it’s better than today.

  117. Greenville, SC has a nice little downtown.
    Pearl, MS is nice in spots.

    Eufala, AL may be the worst place on the planet, counting war zones.

  118. I agree that Eufala is bad unless you’re a bass fisherman, then it’s great.

    I remember going to a restaurant between Evergreen and Brewton. I knew we shouldn’t be there when the waitresses started fighting and one threw a wet dish towel at the other.

  119. @192

    Out of curiosity, what’s so great about Acworth?

    My nomination for worst place is Anniston, AL. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the last 20 years who’s not just gotten off at the freeway exit, but actually gone into town. Had I not known differently, I’d have thought a bomb had gone off or some weather calamity had occurred.

  120. ‘South SC is everything bad about south GA but poorer, more remote, hotter (at least that day) and just generally more terrible all around.’

    I agree but you have to leave out the pockets of Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and Beaufort.

    Chattanooga, TN ?

    Best city in the South, Charleston SC.

  121. @192,

    Smitty,

    When I was growing up in Chattanooga, I would have burst out laughing if someone had said it was one of the best of anything other than pollution and boredom. But I am amazed at what has happened to Chattanooga in the last 10-15 years. The only bad thing is they exchanged Engel Stadium for that boilerplate park on the hill (which seems exactly like the park in Wilmington, DE that we pass on the way to Philadelphia).

    My remarks about Florida weren’t mean to be pejorative, just a statement of fact. I think I knew one person who was a native Miamian when I lived there. At times, you could easily feel that you weren’t in the United States. But there sure were a lot of gorgeous women.

  122. Amazing transformation in Chattanooga. Used to be an armpit, now is one of the best kept secrets in the South.
    ——————

    I’d rather they did the best of three for the WC, but I guess this will do.

    Are they expanding interleague play? I thought I heard rumors to that effect.

  123. I like Panama City Beach (own a townhouse there) but then again I also like Tim Dorsey novels so maybe I just dig the weirdness of Fla. PCB is *trying* to revitalize itself but I fear they are trying to become another Destin (ewww). The St. Andrews area of Panama City is nice and if you know where to look there is some good stuff from way back before it became “tourist-y”.

  124. Engel Stadium was great. When I was in college, UTC would let studen’t go play games there. It was fun.

  125. And I have to agree with Stu (doesn’t happen very often, so I figure I should point it out when it does). In the largest-city-in-the-state division of the worst southern city discussion, Memphis and Jackson absolutely take the cake. Rendezvous rib joint is the only thing that saves Memphis and gives Jackson the “award”.

    As far as best southern cities go, I’ll recuse myself from an Atlanta discussion. Having lived here my whole life, I can’t really be unbiased about it, though I obviously think it belongs on the best list. Outside of that, Charleston, Savannah, Nashville and Charlotte are my favorites. Honorable mention goes to Little Rock, which I found to be surprisingly nice, especially along the riverwalk area. It doesn’t make the list because the city gets a bit overshadowed by the fact that you’re in Arkansas. But if you must be in Arkansas, Little Rock is quite nice.

  126. Little Rock was surprisingly nice when I went last year, but it’s just so ungodly far from anywhere other than Memphis. We drove south from there down to Vicksburg and went through a place in northern LA called Lake Providence, which is one of those unfortunate towns that competes with Kiryas Joel, NY for poorest in America. That was one sad place.

    Greenville, SC is the nicest city in the South. Everyone I’ve ever met who knew it loved it. 4 hour drive to the beach, 30 minute drive to the mountains, 2.5 hour drive to Braves games. Perfect.

  127. Little Rock and Fayetteville, AR are cool towns.

    I love Memphis. There is a lot to do there and some really good food and music. They have one of the best zoos in America. Mud Island, Sun Records and Grace Land are all must see places.

    Sure, if you go the wrong way, you might die. That just kind of adds to the excitment.

  128. Good discussion today.

    Good
    Oxford, MS
    Bardstown, KY
    Greenville, SC
    Carrboro, NC

    Bad
    Macon
    Memphis
    Houston

    I hate Houston with such passion. I shudder anytime I travel there for work.

  129. I don’t really know anything about Biloxi other than the casinos, but I had a hell of a time there for Spring Break 2010 so I’ll throw that into the good pile.

  130. @218-

    I live in Raleigh, and while there are certainly places in Durham you’d rather avoid, they’ve also got some really cool places. In particuarly, the area around the new Bulls’ ballpark is nice. They took some old tobacco warehouses/cigarette manufacturing buildings and turned them into restaurants and bars. It’s a cool little place, immediately adjacent to the big performing arts center and the ballpark. Occasionally they have free music on a lawn there. All in all, a great place to spend an evening.

    ETA: Asheville is also very nice. Great beer in that area. (And RDU, too, as it happens.)

  131. I’d like to visit Eufala just to see Shorter Mansion. I’d be curious to know what it was like back when the Shorter family had some sort of prestige and influence. heh heh. For generations we’ve been a long line of varying degrees of redneckery.

    Case in point… I grew up in Lynchburg, VA.

    Though part of me would like to get back that way or to an even smaller town.

  132. LOL @ DOB thinking that Wren’s on to something. Its the offseason and we have 37 players on our 40 man roster. He better be working on something.

  133. Sickels has his Tampa Bay rankings up. Stu weeps:

    6) Mikie Mahtook, OF, Grade B: Good career start in the Arizona Fall League but everyone hits there. Grade could go higher once he faces better pitching. Strong across-the-board tools and really blossomed as a hitter the last two seasons at LSU. Still can’t believe he lasted to the end of the first round.

  134. Sansho1 at 199,

    No offense taken. We have issues.

    But, decrepit railroad tracks aren’t one of them.

  135. Memphis was ok when I went to college there in the 70s but going to the Rendezvous was an adventure back then. You sort of took your life in your hands to go there back then but it was worth it. (I understand the neighborhood is much better now.) A few months ago I connected on Facebook with a friend from college that I had not spoken to since college and the first thing he said to me was “Rendezvous ribs.”

  136. @226 – I was in Pepperell, MA last week, about an hour from Boston. I had no idea how pretty the area was, even well after peak leaf season. Topographically, it reminded me of northeast Alabama but obviously much more dense and the residents seemed somewhat well educated and fully toothed. I could definitely live there if not for the winters.

    Good luck with the interview.

  137. Oh, and bad cities in the South, Franklin VA:

    It doesn’t matter if you have the most awesome city in the world, if you have local police running speed traps you can go to hell. And that means you, Franklin, VA. I really needed that $200 you sucked out of my wallet a few years back.

  138. Great thread.

    @231, I was just saying to my wife, sharing the tread, that soul food is the one thing about Macon that definitely does not suck.

    @207, I have family in Anniston. It has been an absolute hellhole for as long as I can remember. Even “The World’s Largest Chair” is just shitty. The old Korean place out by the base is still one of the saddest restaurant experiences I have ever had. And hey, while we’re in that part of the state, Gadsden and Attalla (“Birthplace of Alabama Power”) both deserve dishonorable mentions.

  139. @233 – Anniston and Gadsden are sad, sad places, no doubt, but the scenery in those parts is redeeming. SR 9 from Piedmont to Heflin is one of the best roads I’ve ever driven. The southernmost ridges of the Appalachians meeting the coastal plain offers a lot of flat drives through river valleys with mountains on either side, or conversely, really good views out across the plain from not really very high mountains. Proximity to these places has made the rural west GA experience bearable for the last couple of years. That said, I’d never want to actually live in them.

  140. I agree with Sam that the new wild card system places more of a premium on winning the division. But it makes an already unfair system even more unfair, especially given the disparity in interleague schedules. If you are in a weak division, you can win 85 games and get in, no questions asked. If you are in a strong division, you can win 92 games (or more), not win the division and then get eliminated in crap shoot by an 82 win team. Or, alternatively, an 85 win team wins a divison and two 90+ win teams have to play to get in. Of course that can happen today.

    I really don’t have a problem with wild cards as long as you have this division set up that almost guarantees weak division champions–who, of course, may get hot and win the World Series. I would rather see two large divisions, which would at least make it less likely for crummy teams to win divisions.

  141. @235, you are so right. It is beautiful country. I live on one of those southernmost ridges (next to the highest point in Greene County, GA, whoo) and it reminds me a lot of that part of Alabama. Just gorgeous, unless you live there. Sparta is in the next county over and yeah, whew, there’s a lot of abject poverty out here. Almost third world, at times.

  142. @236 et al, it just seems odd that the new way to improve the “fairness” of the playoff system involves bringing in an even worse team into the mix.

  143. @235

    GA Hwy 1 northbound between Bremen and Buchanan opens up into one of the most unexpectedly gorgeous views I’ve ever seen. It really is beautiful country.

  144. @179

    A doctor client of mine, from Mississippi, and a current Pensacola resident, told me, “In Florida anything south of Orlando is terrible…and Orlando ain’t worth a damn either.”

  145. I have more of a problem with crappy division winners getting into the playoffs than I do with a potentially excellent wild card team making it. But then, I think divisions are stupid on the whole. I suppose my argument really derives from that belief.

  146. You look at the Dodgers and you see they have the best pitcher and possibly the best overall player in the league. Yet, there ended up near .500. This shows baseball is a team game at the end of the day. Deep roster is critical to a team’s success…at least for the regular season.

  147. Would you be ok with baseball embracing a status of “richest, most successful niche sport”?

    I’m beginning to think that any efforts to be “more like football” will ultimately prove counterproductive.

  148. @245 That’s what I have been reading. More and more people are saying that it’s stupid for baseball or Selig to try comparing itself to football.

  149. @233

    The world’s largest chair is actually why I got dragged past fast food row and into town. I don’t know when they took that picture, but it doesn’t come anywhere near accurately representing the amount of rust and bird crap on that thing.

  150. So my Sports Illustrated arrived today, and L. Jon Wertheim, David Epstein, Jack McCallum, Tom Verducci, and Terry McDonnell all check in with something to say about Penn State, and their coverage is up to SI’s lofty standards. Joe Posnanski, the reporter already on the ground, does not check in. He has nothing to file?

  151. I’m planning a honeymoon along the Blue Ridge Parkway next year.
    Appreciate any suggestions in that beautiful area, even about which season.

  152. @251 – Fall trips up the Parkway can involve stop-and-go traffic. Spring is a good value time to do it – you get the superior vibrant colors of emerging life instead of the orangish and reddish browns of death and decay, and leaf-viewers aren’t clogging up the road.

  153. I agree with Pete. Spring and summer have much less traffic. I used to live in Harrisonburg, VA and have spent a lot of time on the Parkway. I highly recommend it.

  154. KevinLee@251,

    If you really want to ride the length of the Parkway, I agree that a Fall trip would be an annoyance (for traffic reasons).

    For luxury near the trail, I doubt you can beat Grove Park Inn on the northern outskirts of Asheville. For out of the way spots, my knowledge is more south of Asheville.
    Except, the scenic beauty is as spectacular where Interstate 77 leaves Virginia to North Carolina as many of the more celebrated scenic routes. If you get a non foggy day, you can see the plain past Winston Salem and Pilot Mountain looks like a pimple on the face of the earth (in a good way, though that sounds impossible).

  155. Heading over to Orange-land tomorrow for the Vandy-UT game. First time to go to Neyland Stadium. Anybody have any good suggestions for parking, or where we might find some other Vandy fans tailgating?

  156. 257—I think a bunch of VU fans — I can’t make it, unfortunately — are gathering at the Goal Post Tavern around 1 and then moving on to various other activities, including tailgating, after some drinks.

    A VU alum owns The Grill at Highlands Row, too, and I know he’ll give you some deals if you’re wearing VU gear.

    258—Butthurt. 38-8.

  157. Well, the identity of one of the moronic Small Minority in the Braves’ front office has come to light.

    “Back in 2009, Fregosi was in the Metrodome on a scouting mission. It was midsummer of Delmon Young’s second season with the Twins. The outfielder was such a disappointment that he was in the lineup only part time.

    I was giving Fregosi a negative review of Delmon — particularly the manner in which he was getting tied up with his swing as he tried to inside-out pitches to right field.

    “I’d take him,” Fregosi said. “He hits more 400-foot home runs foul to right field than any righthanded hitter in history. He’s strong. He has bat speed. Delmon will figure it out.”

    I reminded Fregosi of that conversation last week.

    “I give the Twins a lot of credit on Delmon,” Fregosi said. “After that first season he had for them, there are clubs that would’ve moved him. The Twins hung with him. Worked out OK for them, I’d say.”

    And it took real baseball men — not dweebs married to OPS and other phony numbers — to read the bat speed and understand Young was worth the wait.

    Ugh.

  158. I wonder what weeping and gnashing of teeth went on among the Small Minority when Wren shipped Frenchy out in ’09. That must’ve been quite a blow.

  159. @257

    I will be there too. My brother goes to Vandy and is pumped. I feel better about it now that it looks like Bray is going to play.

    You should head down to the Old City to pre game. Lots of cool places to eat.

  160. Dweebs married to OPS?? Yikes! No wonder we give people like Francouer such a long leash. Its probably why we end up with bench players like Todd Pratt, Corky Miller, Chris Woodward, Jack Wilson, and starters like Melky Cabrera.

  161. For dweebs, OPS is more like a rebound relationship after they break up with avg/hr/rbi.

  162. @266 – True, but Fregosi did think more highly of Delmon than the writer who said that, which is much scarier to me.

  163. If Swisher is really on the market then I imagine it would be for pitching. Jurrjens is probably about as good a starter as there is on the trade market. So I would like our chances.

  164. If JJ doesn’t get one year of Nick Swisher you just keep JJ. Swisher would be a good OF option, no doubt. That’s a lot of years of a upper tier starter for one year of a mid-tier hitter.

  165. per mlbtr

    Brian McCann was set to earn $8.5MM next season but “maxed out” his contract incentives related to Silver Slugger awards and All-Star appearances, so the star catcher will earn a total of $11.5MM in 2012. O’Brien said the Braves haven’t discussed a long-term extension with McCann but the team usually doesn’t pursue such negotiations until later in the winter. McCann is under contract through next year and the Braves have a $12MM club option on McCann for 2013 that looks like a lock to be exercised.

  166. This is the #2 team in the country?

    Iowa States losses
    37-14 vs Texas
    49-26 vs Baylor
    52-17 vs Missouri
    33-17 vs A&M

  167. lol @ the 28pt favorite OSU

    Herbstreit said today that he asked Gundy what they were worried about before this game. Gundy’s response…”Nothing”

  168. As much as I would love a Bama-LSU title game, why does Alabama (or Oregon, for that matter) deserve another shot with LSU? They both had their opportunities to beat the #1 team; give it to a one-loss squad that hasn’t had the chance yet.

    Let’s say Alabama or Oregon play the Tigers in the championship game and LSU loses. What does that prove? To me, going 1-1 against a team in a season shouldn’t mean that you’re conclusively better than the other team.

    If Houston wins out, they should get the opportunity, in my opinion.

  169. Being Overly Reductive Is Fun: Did Jadeavon Clowney’s sack/forced fumble of Aaron Murray cost UGA a shot at the national championship?

  170. No way ever to know who the best team is. It’s 12 games. 12. Maybe Oregon had a bad day against LSU, or OSU, in the wake of a recent tragedy, wasn’t right when they played Iowa State. Trying to draw conclusions from these singular events is impossible, no matter how many computer algorithms we employ. In the end, it’s all just a bunch of partisans utilizing tortured logic that they’ve dressed up as reason.

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