476 thoughts on “I don’t really have anything thread”

  1. You could complain about having to face LSU in the BCS Championship game – stupid rematch, they should’ve let the Tide play Oklahoma St.

  2. Say Alabama wins 17-10. I hate that this sounds like boxing, but there would be no chance for a unified title, and wasn’t that what the BCS was created to prevent? Stupid BCS. I think we can all agree on that.

    Also, Va Tech over Boise/KState is unconscionable.

    Maicer Izturis is now my top choice for a SS trade. Carlos Guillen is also intriguing for a utility guy

  3. As the Marlins continue on their quest to become Latin America’s Team, it occurs to me that it is a brilliant, brilliant move on their part.

    Blatantly appealing to ethnic loyalty, the Marlins can actually become a significant long-term player in Major League Baseball.

    Doubt me? Check the attendance figures whenever a Latin American soccer team shows up in LA.

    All in, Marlins. Or, todos entran.

  4. Got a feeling this will be a dull winter. Then again, I think I read on twitter that ten teams are in on Jurrjens.

  5. Ten teams. That is exciting enough to make me almost forget that we’re apparently starting the season with Pastornicky at short.

  6. Hairston just signed with the Dodgers and apparently we should get good value for JJ

    per mlbtr…The Reds are “very interested” in trading for Braves starter Jair Jurrjens, tweets SI.com’s Jon Heyman. They could face stiff competition though, as Heyman adds that ten teams are involved.

  7. I know it’s been nice to have Wren make his big moves early in the off-season, but I kind of like the wait and see approach this year. With so much apparent interest in JJ, Prado and the younger arms I feel like he could really pull off a great deal a later in the winter.

  8. Now even the Marlins are spending. The next thing we know, the Braves will have the lowest payroll in the NL East.

  9. We would have money to spend if Chipper would retire like he needs too .. then Prado could play 3rd and we would have about 10 mil or so to sign an OF with some pop … but no Chipper wants to be selfish and keep us again from being whet we could be .. Chipper please call it quits now !!!!

  10. Funny because Chipper was one of our three best hitters last year. (Though admittedly that’s not saying too much)

  11. Adam, of course we know that. But fact is fact. It’s just an uphill battle to compete with four divisional teams who can spend more than you do.

  12. @15, 16 Chipper can still hit. There is no doubt about that, but he is like a catcher at third base which means we can’t depend on him to be in the lineup everyday. We are now only expecting he and McCann to play about 120+ games each season. I believe this is essentially what is dragging this offense all year long and will be the same as long as Chipper is still playing. If our core beying Chipper and Mac can produce, we will survive the regular season and we would have a great offense when the playoff come, but that didn’t happen last season. We now have to solve the same problem again this year.

  13. Chipper – .275/.344/.470
    Prado – .260/.302/.385

    Yeah, lets boot one and give the hot corner to the other. I may be alone here, but when Chipper goes I hope we can find a better bat at that spot compared to Prado. Im a huge Prado fan also, but I dont want him there as our long term solution.

  14. I’d generally agree w/you csg, but the 3B position has been pretty weak the past few years. Because of that, I feel a healthy Prado’s bat plays at 3B a lot better than most alternatives I can think of.

  15. I don’t think we need to treat Prado as a “long-term” anything. But I certainly wouldn’t mind letting him hold down the fort for a couple years.

    It’s sort of a similar situation to the DeRosa thing, where we handed him the 3B gig after he’d been a very good sub for us for a couple years — and even though DeRosa crapped the bed, I think it wasn’t a bad call.

    But, unlike DeRosa, Prado has already had about one and a half fine years as an everyday player.

  16. DeRosa had some good years, albeit with other teams.

    I have faith in Wren. I think he knows it will be very hard to compete if we go with the status quo. But it’s hard waiting for the actual deal to be made.

    I don’t see the Reds having anything we want. Heisy? Stubbs? I dunno.

  17. @20 yeah, good. I’m a bit nervous by the Marlins’ reported 10-year offer to Pujols, though. We’re reaching the point where the only good NL teams may be in the east.

  18. Chipper Jones is still twice the player Martin Prado could ever hope to be. The idea of booting Chipper from the team is asinine.

  19. I guess this will be a big year with Prado. I hope he and Heyward both can bounce back.

    With Prado, maybe he’ll be attempting to bounce back for another team.

  20. I’m not going to worry about the Marlins until Vazquez decides to return.

    EDIT: Last year, I was a part of the Cliff Lee “mercenary” thing, so I probably should stop typing.

  21. The 10 yr Marlins offer to Albert makes a lot of people very nervous. The East is going to be ridiculous. Maybe the Cards will give up all hope if Albert signs elsewhere and then they can trade us Holliday and eat all of his salary.

  22. I expect Chipper to do what nearly all other Braves icons have done — hang on too long.

    Edit: Also, Prado was every bit as good a player as Chipper in ’09-’10. This is not an insult to either.

  23. I don’t know about the Marlins. They want to tie up 320 million for 6-8 years in two aging players that are reaching the end of their primes. Both have missed a bunch of time over the last few years as well.

    I don’t care where they play, it is hard to draw fans in Florida to watch baseball. After this season they will be looking to cut payroll again.

    They may make a splash and be good for one season, but I for on am more worried about the Nats.

  24. I think the Braves should hold a jersey burning for Chipper’s no. 10 so he will know he should leave. He’s obviously been such a burden on the Braves for 16 years. Too bad he’s not a Hall of Famer or something.

  25. Hey, it’s his right to play, and he has a contract that allows him to continue to do so. A contract that he’s reworked to the team’s advantage (at the time, anyway). But it’s foolish to pretend there’s no price to pay for emotional attachments.

  26. It’s even more foolish to pretend that Martin Prado could carry Chipper Jones’ jock. Even Old Feeble Zombie Chipper is better than Prado. Chipper’s earning his $15 mil per based on past performance, certainly. He’s no longer a $15 mil per player on the field. But Prado is hardly a $5 mil per player at this point.

    Yes, Chipper is old. No, Chipper is not the problem. The problem is that the Braves super-stud can’t miss 21 year old RF prospect tanked horrifically and their steady-as-she-goes generally reliable utility guy sucked as well.

    You don’t improve the Braves by punting Chipper Jones. You improve the Braves by getting a real LF and sending the utility guy back to his utility role, and hope to high heavens that Heyward is more 2010 than 2011 going forward.

  27. I haven’t said Chipper has been a problem. He’s held up remarkably well. I do believe he’s going to be a problem before all is said and done, because it’s human nature for him not to want to walk away, and human nature for those who love him not to want to let him go. The die is cast — he has a contract. I happen to believe in the adage that it’s better to say goodbye a year too early than a year too late, but that’s not how this organization operates. With the approval of most of its fans, I’m sure.

  28. Cant we just sign a darn LF, keep Prado and JJ until the regular season when we know if Huddy and Hanson are healthy and other teams are insanely desperate.

  29. @36, Nice use of the Fredi-an ‘you’ as well.

    I wonder how people who watch the Braves could think Chipper is The Problem. It makes me wonder how these people function in other aspects of their lives.

  30. Chipper is under contract for two more years:

    2012 – $13 mil
    2013 – $7 mil team option*

    The 2013 option becomes a vesting player option, guaranteed at $9 mil if Chipper plays 123 games next year, $10 mil if he plays 128, $11 mil if he plays 133, $12 mil for 138, or the full $13 mil if he plays 140 in 2012.

    There are other kickers for the vesting option as well, but they all key on average number of games played from 2011-12, and since Chipper only played in 126 games last year he’d have to play more than the straight “games played” target to push his two year average above the “average games played” target.

    So, Chipper will get paid $13 mil next year. He will probably get paid $9 mil in 2013. Then he will retire, or sign a low annual $$ contract for another year. Probably, he’ll retire.

  31. Most interesting is that the Marlins’ offer does not include a full no-trade clause. But I’d feel a lot better if they didn’t sign him at all.

  32. Just wondering. Is it good for Baseball to have stacked East divisions in both the AL and NL and then a huge dropoff after that outside of those divisions?

  33. Is it good for Baseball to have stacked East divisions in both the AL and NL and then a huge dropoff after that outside of those divisions?

    2011 – NL Central defeats AL West, 4 games to 3
    2010 – NL West defeats AL West, 4 games to 1
    2009 – AL East beats NL East…
    2008 – NL East beats AL East…
    2007 – AL East beats NL Central
    2006 – NL Central beats AL Central
    2005 – AL Central beats NL Central
    2004 – AL East beats NL Central
    2003 – NL East beats AL East
    2002 – AL West beats NL West

    I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

  34. All that’s truly needed by the Braves is a real left fielder. Is that asking too much?

    Until the Braves get a real ownership group rather than Liberty, quite probably.

  35. Junk article about Pujols signing with Marlins:


    But, Rosenthal says the sticking point is the no-trade clause:

    “Pujols wants protection for first five years, then 10/5 rights would kick in. #STLCards expected to talk again with Pujols camp today. #MLB”

    Also, Hanley doesn’t want to move to 3B. Hopefully that situation unfolds in dramatic fashion that results in the Marlins forfeiting all rights to play baseball in 2012. Somehow.

  36. Marlins should sign Pujols and then trade Gaby Sanchez for Prado. The Marlins would also include a copy of “How to Play LF for Dummies” for Gaby to peruse over the winter.

  37. The Reds usually have some bats and are often available for a roll in the hay – anybody of interest there?

    Wonder if Votto could play outfield? (Google tells me he has a dog named Maris, btw.)

  38. I have to think Hanley would be on the block in that scenario. There’s no way to keep Reyes, Pujols, Hanley, Stanton, and Morrison together through ’14. Is it possible that those with a jones for talented, frosted-tipped malcontents prone to tanking could finally find some peace?!?!

    In music news, Shonna Tucker out, David Barbe in (tho possibly temporarily) with the DBTs. Might as well — he was a de facto member anyway.

  39. Let’s get Quentin. Quickly. Or Alexei Ramirez. Yeah, that’s right, I just started that rumor.

  40. So is this team competing for third place with the Nationals if the Marlins get Pujols?


  41. Before you guys start printing the Marlins’ World Series tickets, you might take into consideration that they finish THIRTY GAMES OUT last year. The Braves, who were in second by 13 games at the end of it, were still ahead of the Marlins by 17 games.

    Obviously signing a couple of star free agents helps their cause, but they need a LOT of help. And after Josh Johnson and maybe Anibel Sanchez, there’s not a lot of help for them in the rotation. They may go all in on the “bash bash bash and pray” strategy, but I’m not sure that even Pujols + Reyes makes up 15 games, much less 30.

  42. Just to be sure, have we decided that Fredi and Hanley can or cannot coexist?

    As I’ve learned in recent years – and has repeatedly been beaten into me by such mental giants like “DOB” – it doesn’t matter whether you win. It matters only that you “play the game the right way.” It also matters that an organization keeps its most loyal employees happy – not because those people will in turn help it win; as I said, winning is secondary. No, keeping them happy is an end unto itself. Thus no Hanley. Fredi must remain happy.

    And in that sense, we are winning. The Marlins, on the other hand, are losers. Get it?

  43. As I’ve learned in recent years – and has repeatedly been beaten into me by such mental giants like “DOB” – it doesn’t matter whether you win. It matters only that you “play the game the right way.”

    This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve read on this site in at least a few months.

  44. @67 – My brain hurts now.

    The Marlins may not suddenly be a great team if they sign Pujols, but it would be a hell of a town in which to be a sports fan. LeBron, Wade, Pujols, Hanley, Reyes….that’s some serious f’n talent.

  45. We do have a recent counter-example of that philosophy, in Wren’s dismissal of Parrish the day after Fredi’s endorsement. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he’d be willing to trade for just about anybody and expect some degree of professionalism about it. Chipper may be sacred, but Fredi is surely not.

  46. #68 – I think it was 100% sarcasm

    Oh. If so, my apologies. I have a hard time keeping up with the sarcasm vs. the occasional outburst of doom and gloom that sucks the oxygen out of the room and renders otherwise rational people grunting cavemen of brooding despair.

  47. Hanley with his head on straight would sure solve a lot of problems. (But I’m the same guy that chased that crazy blonde all those months expecting her to change, so what do I know?)

  48. I wonder if the fact that Barkley was left off the Heisman invite list means he might return to Kiffindom?

  49. Chipper may be sacred, but Fredi is surely not.

    Chipper earned something.

    As for Hanley vs Fredi, I strongly suspect that if the Braves were to trade for Ramirez you’d hear nothing but glowing reviews of the player from his once-and-future manager.

  50. Heyward for Hanley and LoMo.

    75—Don’t think anybody doubts that. The (valid) question is whether Fredi’s presence prevents a Hanley deal in the first place.

  51. Stu, I doubt Frank Wren is sitting at his desk thinking “I want this guy, but gosh, what would Fredi think?!” Fredi is not Bobby Cox.

  52. No, but Hanley might be thinking “I ain’t gonna play for that guy again no matter what”.

  53. 77—Obviously not. But he may well be thinking, “No way I’m going after Hanley, because I already know what Fredi thinks of him.”

  54. So:

    Heyward for Hanley & LoMo;
    Jurrjens for Heisey & Frazier; and
    Prado for Smith & Wheeler.

    Get ’em done.

  55. Or he might be thinking ‘I am not going for Hanley becuase he isn’t available.’

    @65 – agreed. They need pitching too. Putting fannies in the seats of the new ballpark is probably secondary to winning anything.

  56. Agreed on the “fannies in seats” bit. The Marlins’ offseason is about marketing as much as winning, if not more so. It’s about being the MLB equivalent of the Heat or the Eagles. I expect it will end about as well as either of those “superteams” too.

  57. Rumor is that the Braves are pursuing a trade for Matt Thornton. Seems like an odd thing to do considering the real problem is offense, but it could take stress off the top relievers.

  58. It’s my feeling that anyone who thinks the Marlins are trading Ramirez to a division rival in a year in which they’re obviously trying to compete has a few screws loose in the first place. Fredi’s history with him is basically irrelevant. If Ramirez is traded, it’ll be to Anaheim or Milwaukee or someplace.

    The only way the Braves get their hands on Hanley Ramirez is if they pull a Napoli and get some other team to be a middleman. And what are the chances of that? Even then, you probably wouldn’t like the price.

    In other, non-ludicrous news, Rotoworld is reporting by way of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Braves are working on a Matt Thornton trade.

  59. Good, because that made zero sense.

    Edit: Welcome to UGA, Keith Marshall. Hold up one second while Carlton Thomas finishes clearing out his things….

  60. I thought it made some sense, assuming the Sox were eating a good chunk of his salary.

    I was hoping it was a deal for Thornton and Quentin. :)

  61. Welcome to UGA, Keith Marshall.

    Nothing creeps me out more than recruiting season in the SEC.

  62. Thornton was pretty bad last year, which was masked somewhat by 12 of his 34 runs allowed being unearned. I just think we’re too fully stocked in the pen to do anything other than sign some organizational filler free agents for cheap.

  63. I want LoMo more than Hanley, unless we can get Hanley for a 2011 price instead of a 2009 price. Hanley’s had two straight years of regression. (If getting Hanley meant that we’d fire Fredi, I might be more in favor. Then again, there’s no guarantee that we’d get a manager who didn’t suck more.)

    On the other hand, Morrison is a fine player whom ownership despises, so I’m hoping that Loria might force a trade.

    Of course, I’m happy to wait and see whom Ozzie alienates, so we can swoop in.

  64. We do have a recent counter-example of that philosophy, in Wren’s dismissal of Parrish the day after Fredi’s endorsement.

    True. But I don’t see Hanley coming to Atlanta, even so. And it does bear mentioning that DOB continues to mock anyone who expresses curiosity about Hanley Ramirez’s availability on the grounds that he and Fredi can’t coexist.

    re: Marlins pitching. It’s just not as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Last season, the Marlins posted about league average numbers on the pitching side of the ledger, and that was without Johnson for most of the year. They’ll get him back and have added Heath Bell. True, they could definitely use an innings eater, but I’d say that their signing of Pujols would give the NL East two 95-win teams and hurt the Braves in numerous ways. Certainly, none of that is to say that Florida will win the pennant, or even the division. It is to say that they’re more likely to do so than the Braves.

    @100 Forgot about Sanchez, who they’d lose. Then again, they probably would trade him for pitching, so there’s no way to know what they gain from such a swap until it happens. If it happens.

  65. #93
    Then, I’d guess you never attended Catholic school.

    A less-than-great week has turned into a good one.

    And, if he wasn’t already, this signing officially puts Isaiah Crowell on notice.

    I’m rooting for you, homes, but you gotta grow up some time.

  66. Hanley would be nice, but unfortunately the Braves have the one manager that seems to make it near impossible.

  67. Nate says ‘Shiver me timbers’

    “Hanley: I’m shortstop or I’m nothing!” Gee this is a surprise given Hanley’s reputation as a team first guy.

  68. Maybe Hanley, Ozzie, and Reyes can make a real world together. Oh, and LoMo can live there too. I would watch that.

  69. Stu,you got no response, and I am the King of No Response. Could we clear Bourn, Prado and JJ off the books and afford Rollins? Move him to 3rd when Chipper is finished his HOF career?

  70. #112 – I agree and I dont think many people are going to want Rollins at age 37 and 38 making $12-15mil either

  71. I think the Marlins should sign both Pujols and Prince. It would be cool to see Prince playing leftfield.

  72. @115 That’s where Hanley will play! Or Hanley can now play second base.

    Can we finally get a deal done for Carlos Quentin once and for all now that the ? Wait, how much will he make?

  73. Mets trade Pagan to Giants for Torres/Ramirez. Shame – I know I’ve mentioned before I liked his game, and he could have been a useful piece around here.

  74. I like Pagan, too. Actually, there was a point when I got him confused with Torres. Late blooming CFs (but would occasionally play a corner OF) with speed, a little power, and excellent defense. Great in 2009-10, not so good in 2011.

  75. So Wren says that a backup SS is our priority?????? If we aren’t in the Willingham/Cuddyer sweepstakes then what the hell?

  76. @124

    I think that means they are going bring the kid up and let him play some. It would be hard to platoon a shortstop. It would probably be a Belliard/Blauser situation.

  77. @124

    When negotiating, it’s best if you don’t create the image of need. If you make it known that you are desperate for an OF or a starting SS, then the people who have those commodities to deal will raise their asking price in order to gouge you in your time of need. It’s far better to create the sense of calm and negotiate from a position of “yes, we could probably use something like that, but the price has to be right.”

    There’s a hose out back where you can put the fire on your head out.

  78. I usually don’t have a problem with any of the writers at SI, but Andy Staples’ recent slog of articles filled with snide, sideways criticism of Alabama-LSU in the NCG are becoming annoying.

  79. Opinions regarding the BCS seem to mirror our opinions of any other election – we only consider it a fair and worthy institution when it produces the results we prefer.

  80. @126, Right. Not that Wren is fooling any GMs, I’d imagine.

    I don’t know how anyone could think OF is our top priority, when we’re penciling in Pastornicky to start. Wren’s public take on it all but says that Pastornicky is currently the equal of the Ronny Cedenos of the world, and in reality, even that might be pushing it at the moment.

    I’m all for making deals from a position of strength and getting fair or better value. But that’s not always possible, and we are trying to win now. I’m hoping this SS bluff pays off, and we don’t end up making a deal a month into the season when it’s clear from Pastornicky’s performance that he’s inadequate and everybody knows for sure that we’re up sh*t creek. This may actually be the best leverage Wren can get, when Pastornicky is an unknown.

  81. The ironic thing is that I understand a few years ago the SEC tried to push for plus 1 championship game but it was rejected by other conferences. Good, bad, or ugly, the SEC has been the primary benefactor from the BCS as it stands now.

    My plan would be to add another game and see how it works, then when people start screaming, go to an 8 team playoff. I think a playoff with more than 8 teams would hurt the bowls and cheapen the regular season.

  82. Unless he gets blown away by a deal, Wren will almost certainly wait until CJ Wilson and Mark Buehrle sign. Removing the top two free agent starting pitchers from the list of options makes the teams that need starters but didn’t get those two more needy, and thus more likely to give us more for our surplus of starters.

  83. I really like the way Wren is negotiating and trading. As Sam wrote @126, you don’t shut out your need. I have no doubt in my mind, that Pastornicky will not be our starting SS.

  84. I just think it’s funny that the only person Wren is likely fooling with these statements are Braves fans themselves. “Wren’s fine with starting the season with Pastornicky? Oh, OK.”

  85. @133, the two blocks the Rocks can bust, Tulo and Gomez, ain’t going anywhere. I really don’t think the Braves needs match up to the Rockies particularly well as the prospects of theirs we covet don’t really help for 2012 – Arenado is a couple of years away, and even if Wheeler is ready now, I am not sure his bat projects to the upgrade in LF Wren is looking for. Absent a big FA signing, I am not sure they are looking for prospects in return for Prado/JJ

    /Guess I left out Blackmon, but although more advanced than Wheeler, still doesn’t have any assurance of being an upgrade in LF, although I like his minor league OBP’s.

  86. I have no problem with Wren’s approach but it would be fun to see the Braves be a player occasionally for the big names. At least it would make the offseason more interesting. Although there really aren’t any big names available at the positions the Braves need.

  87. Well, I guess we are all just waiting for the meetings to end and Frank Wren having his “presser”…
    “We couldn’t find a way to improve our club”, “We feel very comfortable with the guys we’ve got coming back” , or “I like our team the way it is”.

    Begin banging of Braves fans heads into the collective wall in 1…2…

  88. #122-123
    Apparently, the Mets weren’t crazy about Pagan’s attitude, work ethic or head-up-his-ass mental errors. Sound familiar?

    Plus, they wanted to overhaul the bullpen.

  89. dammit. I guess I devolved there to ‘typical AJC poster’. The lack of news is starting to get to me. In Frank I trust.

  90. So what do we think about Beltran? After his lousy start in SF, I lost track of his performance.

    Is he done?

  91. I’m warming up to the idea of a year of Beltran. Prado and Jurrjens for one or two really good prospects would free up the money for him, so you’d be better next year and after that, assuming both Beltran and the prospects panned out. I’d rather keep Prado and still get Beltran though.

  92. I had forgotten CB had the “no arb” clause in his deal – that makes him quite a bit more attractive indeed, but I have to wonder what length and value deal he is willing to accept. Probably 3yrs/45m at a minimum right? I don’t think Liberty will spend that for him.

  93. Sad face.

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    #Braves haven’t said. I heard problem staying on field. RT @arevirmada: @ajcbraves Any particular reason #Braves have no interest in Lowrie?

  94. @145 – I’d also love to have Beltran on a one-year deal, but apparently he’s asking for something like 3 years, $45M. I’d be happy if we could get him for, say, 2/30, but I doubt Liberty wants to spend that kind of money.

    EDIT: you beat me to it, Spike.

  95. What a player and their agent thinks they’re worth, and what they actually get, are usually two different things.

  96. @149, to get him on a one year would cost you more than that.

    @152, I certainly agree. Every FA prediction I’ve seen has him at 3/45 or higher. I am not sure what number he’s asking for right now. He has a lower cost of ownership though, as he does not cost draft picks to sign and can concievably get more than a comp for this. He’s in the top 5 FA in this years class too.

  97. Beltran, Willingham, Cuddyer. Are there any other power hitting FA outfielders out there now? Any bad contracts? Head cases?

    I too would love to see Beltran in a Braves uniform. Ain’t gonna happen though. Not at 3/45.

  98. So we’re going with a Diaz / Constanza platoon in LF on days when Chipper is out?

    Part of me likes that combo better than Prado in LF anyway. Can’t escape it, Prado had a very disappointing year.

  99. Bow Tie says that Buehrle signed with the Marlins, 4 years, $58 million. That does take a name off the table for teams that need a pitcher, so increased demand for Jurrjens.

  100. Buerhle’s signing with the Marlins should also put to rest the possibility that they sign Pujols – so great news for the Braves (at least as far as the next couple years are concerned).

  101. You knew that was coming. After the first judge made a mockery of the bail hearing, he was definitely going to be re-arrested to give the state another bite at the apple.

  102. Looks like Pujols will be back in St Louis, thats a good thing. I dont really see how Wren can find an impact bat by just trading Prado unless its a team that needs to cut payroll and can afford to make a move like that. Unless he plans on packaging both JJ and Prado together.

    JD Drew should be a low cost option if we want to platoon someone with Diaz.

  103. Greetings from Miami…

    Going to the hotel, I asked the cabbie, “So what’s the talk with Albert Pujols down here.”

    “Who’s Albert Pujols?”

    Haitians are into soccer, not baseball; I should’ve known better.

    BTW, it seems that the Marlins “will listen to offers” for Hanley.

  104. I really wish I could read something into this.

    ..When I asked if any player became available today that #Braves like whom they didn’t know would be available, Wren said yes, one did…. 32 mins ago

    ..Don’t know, #Braves say not interested. RT @justinfromga: @ajcbraves ESPN saying Marlins shopping Hanley after signing Buehrle. Any truth? 38 mins ago
    #Braves manager

  105. I’d love to see Fielder wind up with the Mariners. A vegan slugger in run-starved Seattle? He’d be a superhero. And not like that guy who keeps getting beat up in Pioneer Square, either — the real thing.

  106. If the Marlins get CJ as well, we are going to have to get a serious RH bat. I like the idea of Cody Ross more and more…

  107. Maybe he’s setting up for a massive recruiting push based on the clear availability of immediate playing time.

  108. That’s disgusting, but at least he’s out of the NL.

    Edit: Maybe disgusting is the wrong word. It’s at least disappointing.

  109. Pujols to the Angels makes sense. He can transition to DH for the last few years of the contract. Do the Cards go after Prince now?

  110. @187- I initially read that as “Robert Fick” and was seriously ill until I realized it wasn’t 2003.

  111. We should be on the phone with the Angels right now! They now have major logjams in the OF as well as 1b.
    OF: Bourjous, Wells, Torii, Trout, Abreu
    1B: Morales, Trumbo, Pujols

    I’d take any one of Trumbo, Morales, Torii, Bourjous, or Trout.

  112. @194 – I don’t know about Morales in LF. He missed all of 2011 with that broken leg, so I’d be really hesitant to ask him to run around in the OF like that. But that’s what physicals are for.

    Trumbo is probably not an option, but I suspect Torii Hunter of the 287/389/497 vs LHP is available now. The Angels now have:

    Pujols/Morales/Trumbo/Hunter/Wells/Trout to fill 1B/RF/LF and DH. Trout’s going to play, I have to assume Trumbo’s going to play, which means Morales/Hunter/Wells are going to be splitting the DH/1B at bats not going to Pujols.

  113. If the Angels don’t get CJ Wilson they’ll want another starter. Jurrjens might get you Torii Hunter and most of his salary paid for or Morales. Might have to give up one of the three kids for Trumbo.

  114. This seems good. We just have to hope Beane doesn’t get there first with Cahill or Gonzalez. Or Alderson with Niese.

  115. Trumbo of the .291 OBP last year? Yuck. I’d be ok with Torii Hunter, though if he fell off a cliff, Garret Anderson Pt.II would be a really depressing turn of events. Bourjous would be a really good get, but he would require one of the four young pitchers plus Jurrjens, at least.

  116. Jurrjens won’t lack for suitors. But truthfully, if Hudson may not be ready for opening day, and if Hanson’s shoulder is still balky, I’m good with holding onto him – or at least holding onto him until someone is willing to offer a monster package.

  117. According to Knobler, the Angels “aren’t trading anyone”. There are going to be some seriously upset veterans on that team.

  118. Bourn

    + our pitching and bench.

    Good enough if everyone stays healthy and performs up to expectations?

  119. A nightly lineup for the Angels:
    1. Bourjous-CF
    2. Aybar-SS
    3. Pujols-1b
    4. Trumbo-DH
    5. Trout-LF
    6. Hunter-RF
    7. Kendrick-2b
    8. Izturis-3b
    9. Ianetta-C

    Bench: Morales, Abreu, Wells

    There are going to be some very upset veterans!

  120. Man watching Pujols leave the Cardinals makes me really appreciate Chipper for sticking around. You think guys like Pujols are lifers. Oh well.

  121. @210
    I really don’t think it is good enough. We’re one injury away (or Chipper’s normal 30-40 games sitting) from having serious hole(s). That’s factoring in that Pastornicky can hack it offensively and defensively. If we stand pat, I think our offense will be hurting.

  122. Hopefully the Cardinals’ fans are feeling some of that sting now.

    Though in seven years, they’ll likely be glad it’s not their team paying Pujols $25,000,000 a year.

  123. @210

    It wasn’t good enough last year. We will make an upgrade.

    No way the Angels don’t move at least one of those guys

  124. Almost good enough. September collapse aside the team at one point in time had the 3rd best record in MLB. And that was with Prado, Chipper, McCann, Jurrjens, Heyward, Hanson missing a lot of time. Add to that that Uggs and Heyward were there but not playing well for significant stretches. All that being said I can see where the Braves could see standinp pat as an option if a good return for Jurrjens or Prado doesn’t materialize. Quality starting, relief, depth at pitcher can make up for a lot if weakness in the lineup.

    I want them to get a decent defender at SS and a hitter in LF but I also don’t want them to give away Prado or Jurrjens either.

  125. Moreno bought the Angels for $180MM in 2003. Today he spent $325MM on two players. I’m not sure what debt he assumed in 2003, if any, but it’s still crazy.

  126. @217
    I’m not going to go into the “doom & gloom” saga about so and so not hitting or everyone on our team coming down with the injury bug, but I will say this: the Nationals and the Marlins are going to be much improved. Right now, we’re not.

  127. the Nationals and the Marlins are going to be much improved.

    PHI 102 60 .630 —
    ATL 89 73 .549 13.0
    WSN 80 81 .497 21.5
    NYM 77 85 .475 25.0
    FLA 72 90 .444 30.0

    Are the Nationals 9 games better? Are the Marlins 17 games better? “Much improved” is a sliding scale.

  128. 221,

    I’m with you in that I still think that we’re much better than the Nats and the Fish; however, some of those wins are coming from us. For every 9 game improvement that the Marlins and Washington undergo, that takes one win off our expectancy.

  129. With Wilson and Pujols off the board, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief about the Marlins. It was a little scary there for a while; but now with the smoke clearing, all they got was an over-hyped, overpaid shortstop, a mid-tier starter and a good relief pitcher. They’re paying a lot for the privilege too.

  130. The Marlins offered Pujols $275 million? And approached $100 million for Wilson? I know they were insisting upon retaining the rights to trade either player, but who was going to eat those contracts in 2-3 years?

    Maybe Loria just has a lot of money, and is now, with the taxpayers footing the bill for the new stadium, willing to spend it.

  131. Loria is in the chicken and the egg situation. His shiny new ballpark won’t generate revenue very long if once the newness factor wears off. Creating some vibe with some high profile acquisitions is a way to get fannies in the seats. To get to where he has some money he has to spend some. Don’t like the guy much but he is a smart business man.

  132. I’m expecting a good year from Freddie. He is not being mentioned much, but I think he has the potential to be a really good hitter.
    If the Braves were to trade Jurrjens, I’d like to see them sign Vasquez. With Lowe gone they could use another vet, and Vasquez was really throwing well last year.

  133. @221,

    Id say the Nats have a shot at 90 wins, depending on who all they sign.

    Are we a better team?
    You would have to figure Chipper regresses some. McCann is probably at his peak. Heyward, Prado and Freeman are unknowns at this point. Bourn will probably get better or stay the same. Same with Uggla. Who knows who is going to play short.

    We really need to upgrade our bullpen so we don’t have to ride three guys. Our starters will have to go long too.

    When had were rolling last year, we were doing it mainly on the arms of three young pitchers who stayed healthy. They were clearly tired in September and it hurt. What are the odds all three stay healthy this year? I say one of them goes down

    Right now, as it stands. We are probably only a slightly better team. And chances are we over performed early in the season last year.

    We have to get a RH bat, a short stop and a middle releiver.

  134. @221
    Are the Marlins 17 games better than they were last year? Not yet. However, they were a better team last year than what their record indicated. Their lineup is solid and they’re one pitcher away from being able to match our starting rotation.

    Washington hasnt made any big splashes yet, but will likely sign a legit #2 to go between Strasburg and Zimmerman (Oswalt?). Add in a top notch first baseman (whom they’ve been rumored to be after), a full year of Strasburg, a CF upgrade, and they might just be 9 games better than last year’s team.

  135. They’ve had Alcides Escobar, Yuniesky, and now AAG over three seasons. Talk about not being able to learn from your mistakes.

    EDIT: And we get a draft pi–oh, wait…

  136. The Marlins spendthrift model over the last who knows how long helped them win two World Series. My guess is that the free spending Marlins may have a decent team for a few years, but will ultimately turn into the Mets. It looks like to me they’re looking to spend a lot of money fast without a strong business model to back it up.

  137. The Marlins are improved. They’re not 17 games improved. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the Nats will be notably better aside from a year of Strasburg. If they sign other players then we can think about how that improves them, but as of yet, they’ve not done that.

    What I think I see here is a lot of assumptions that everything will go right for the competition, but nothing will go right for the Braves. Jose Reyes will be a 5 WAR advantage and Hanley Ramrirez will bounce back from two consecutive years of decline, but we can’t assume Heyward will rebound or Uggla will be a 3-4 WAR player again. Strasburg will push the Nats further but Hanson won’t improve and whomever replaces Lowe won’t be better than him.

    I don’t know, it just feels like a lot of doom and gloom around here these days, and I don’t really see why. If the Marlins had signed Pujols as well, then you’d be talking about a real, near-15 game swing for them. But they didn’t, and if they end up trading away Ramirez they’ve only improved by the difference between Heath Bell and last year’s closer + the difference between Mark Burhle and Javy Vazquez (1 WAR.)

  138. Oh, we clearly have a good team. We also have an incredible wealth of young pitching, the most valuable commodity in baseball, and it would be cool if we could strengthen our team too, especially considering that everyone in the division other than the Mets is starting to look kind of scary.

  139. I expect better years from Prado and Heyward if they avoid injury bug. We have people in system better than Lowe was last year. Medlin could start if needed. There are relievers in system that are better than Linebink and company.

  140. #210 – This team appears to be built to be just good enough to get to the playoffs, same as last year. Everything will have to work out perfectly for the Braves to make a serious run. I just dont see how the Braves can realistically pencil Pastornicky in at SS. I think he can find us a big addition. Ive got hope at least.

  141. Aside from the SS situation, Heyward and Hanson need to step forward and realize their potential. That’s the key.

  142. This team appears to be built to be just good enough to get to the playoffs, same as last year. Everything will have to work out perfectly for the Braves to make a serious run.

    This seems counter intuitive to last year’s reality. In 2011, it required a collapse of absolute historic proportions for Atlanta to miss the playoffs. It required that for the last month of the season, everything go *wrong.*

    If we assume that everything doesn’t go wrong for a month, the same team would make the playoffs. Right now, division looks to be about even to where it was last year. The Marlins have picked up a few wins, but the Mets have dropped about the same amount.

    I don’t think everything has to go perfect for this team to avoid an epic collapse and miss the playoffs in 2012.

  143. #245 – I dont know if you cant expect the back end of the bullpen to be as good as they were last year either. This team won so many close games because of a career year from possibly all three of O’Ventbrel and an CY young caliber first half from JJ. They were a borderline playoff team last year after 162 games, same probably for 2012

  144. If the Marlins are healthy…
    A full year of Josh Johnson adds 4 wins
    Mark Buerhle probably breaks even with Vazquez
    Jose Reyes adds 4 wins (over Hanley’s ’11 performance)
    Hanley Ramirez adds 2 wins (over Bonifacio’s ’11 performance)
    Heath Bell adds 1.5 wins (over Oviedo’s ’11)

    If they go hard after another SP or 1b upgrade, they could easily be 14-15 wins better than what they were last year.

  145. I was listening to something on my ipod, and they were talking about how sometimes teams that win championships make the mistake of bringing back the same roster the next year and expecting the same results.

    Is it possible the Braves will have completed one of the biggest September collapses ever and bring back essentially the same roster expecting DIFFERENT results?

  146. Its crazy to see the Marlins offers to Wilson and Pujols, I guess they just couldnt make these offers with no trade clauses. Good for us.

    Reported offers
    Pujols – 10yr/$275
    Wilson – 6yr/$99

  147. #248 – Well, I look at it like that. The Braves benefited last year from a lot of great pitching performances and they missed a lot of wins from their piss poor offense. The pitching will regress next year, most likely, and the offense should be a touch better with some bounce back performances, most likely. After 162 games you get a pretty good idea of what you have and in 2011 that was a borderline playoff team. If you bring back the same roster you still have the same borderline playoff team.

    Dont get me wrong, I think the Braves CAN make the playoffs and be a good team. However, they shouldnt bank on and Id rather us have the opportunity to be great. Ive got trust in Wren to do what it takes to make us better.

  148. I must say, I’m starting to look forward to Sam’s posts. They may represent the single greatest turnaround in Braves Journal history. Now, if we can get the same type of change from Heyward, all will be good.

    As we all pray for Mac, please slip in a thought for my wife of 26 years (poor thing) diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last month. So far, she is sailing through chemo. Thank you.

  149. One of my clients has asked me to put together a “Hitler YouTube” for a presentation. Can’t wait.

    Someone should put one together with Sam as Hitler.

  150. My Predictable Predictions:
    1. We sign Cody Ross very soon.
    2. We trade Jurrjens and Conrad to an NL team for prospects.
    3. We sign Nick Punto as backup SS.

    Do these moves make us better?

  151. Conrad isn’t really worth anything in trade.

    We really need Heyward play at least at his 2010 level next year, preferably better.

  152. Praying for all to go well,Mark.

    Reyes contract is seriously back loaded. Over 20 million for his age 32/33 seasons.

  153. @251 “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” As much as I hate espn, I applaud the Jimmy V week. It’s too bad my ‘Cats couldn’t pull one out against Stu’s Commodores.

  154. Read on BA that players taken a second year in Rule 5 do not have to be offered back to their former teams. If correct then Fish may be headed for Gwinnett.

  155. I’m definitely late to the discussion, but I was thinking about Albert’s contract.

    John Mozeliak Nov. 16

    “I don’t think we need to divorce ourselves from that,” Mozeliak told Crasnick. “The fact is, he’s an iconic player. He’s been the face of this organization for a long time. To deny that or fail to recognize it, I just don’t think you’re looking at it through the proper set of lenses.”

    “I would like our fans to know that we tried our best to make Albert a lifetime Cardinal but unfortunately we were unable to make it happen,” said Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr.

    Really? The Cardinals’ payroll was 110 million this year. From 2000-2011, they’ve had a payroll inflation of 5% per year. Conservatively, let’s estimate that their payroll increases at a rate of 4% per year over the next ten years. From 2012-2021, that would give them a total payroll of $1,361,611,648 over the next ten years. A bump from their current offer (10/220) to the Angels accepted offer (10/254) would be 34 million over the life of the deal and would constitute 2.4% of their payroll over the next ten years.

    That’s it. 2.4%.

    If that’s the different between Bill DeWitt’s ‘best effort’ and ‘needed effort’ for the face of the organization who might have, arguably, an outside chance to be the best player ever to play baseball or at least in the top-5… well, that’s pathetic to me. And it would be completely understandable why Albert left.

  156. That’s definitely one way to look at it. On the other hand, maybe that’s the type of thinking that keeps the Cardinals from turning into the Cubs. The Cubs are perpetually crushed by long-term contracts given to veterans who, while they may play up to their contract for a few years, become millstones to the organization for years afterwards. Meanwhile, Cardinals fans can be secure in the knowledge that they will get to see a competitive team, year in and year out, because they always have.

    Pujols’ agent’s job was to leverage to the greatest possible extent the iconography of Pujols to the Cardinals against 29 other checkbooks, from which it was practically guaranteed that at least one desperate suitor would emerge. The service he provided was to shepherd the auction into an irrational realm, where the bidding becomes less and less about the intrinsic value of the property.

    To a fan, the difference between 10/220 and 10/260 can be ignored at the moment the bidding ends. He’s euphoric! They won! But if that gap represents the difference between a responsible appraisal and an irrational need not to be the one to blink — well, that line has to exist somewhere, doesn’t it?

  157. @271 But isn’t Pujols in a completely different league than the types of players the Cubs sign? As desert said, Pujols isn’t just a great player, he’s one of the best to ever play the game.

  158. I hate to think about how Pujols would have suffered by making only $22 million per year with the Cardinals. Bottom line is the Cardinals put together a great offer that was a very high risk – especially in years 6-10. I think Pujols wanted to leave and even if the Cards would have matched the Angels offer it wouldn’t have been enough. At what point should the bidding war end? As pointed out above, there has to be an ending point.

  159. @269

    No. Contrary to your emotional dislike of the Escobar deal, the idea that Alex Gonzalez is the equivalent of Brooks Conrad is absurd on its face.

  160. @272

    Pujols has an outside chance at being one of the all-time greats. He has a better chance of being Frank Thomas. Which isn’t an insult. Frank Thomas was really, really good. But he wasn’t Babe Ruth.

  161. I hate to think about how Pujols would have suffered by making only $22 million per year with the Cardinals.

    So, let me ask you this. If a competitor for your current employer came walking up to you and said “hey, if you move to California and do the exact same job for me that you’re doing for this guy, I’ll pay you $44 million more than him” exactly how likely is it that you’d walk away?


  162. Slightly off topic, but is there any difference between Hanley or Michael Young demanding a trade after being asked to change positions and Pujols leaving the Cardinals over 30million? Both situations represent a player prioritizing the maximization of his own value over the best interests of roster construction, right?

  163. @277 – That’s just absurd – of course any one of us would go anywhere for $40million over ten years. That would be roughly a one hundred-fold increase over what I’d make over the same time. For a 15% increase over my current employer’s offer (which would represent a substantial raise over what I’m currently making itself), I’d think long and hard about the effect of my leaving on those around me. That’s the situation with Pujols, not just “FORTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS.”

  164. @277. If a competitor offered me $500,000 more to move to California, I would be very tempted to take it. If a competitor offered me a 16% raise over my current salary to move to California (the difference between 220 mil and 256 mil) I would say absolutely positively no way.

    I don’t fault Pujols for leaving. He made a business decision that he felt was in his best interests. As I said, I just think he wanted to find a reason to leave and there had to be a cutoff for the Cardinals. It is definitely not a slam dunk that this will be in the Angels’ best interests over the life of the 10 year contract. The same can be said for the Cardinals calling a halt to the bidding war.

  165. Also, what is this “effect of … leaving on those around me?” Is Al Pujols now a public servant of some sort? Does playing 1B for the Cardinals now hold some sort of special moral cachet or something?

    He’s a baseball player. He took his skills to the open market and made a decision on his next employer.

  166. I am one of the biggest Big Hurt fans outthere – but Pujols has already passed him in fWAR and is about a season away from Franks career oWAR total. He has much better rate stats (albeit pre-decline phase, yes, but they are a LOT higher – 170 to 156 OPS+ for example), and is a much better defender. He’s really headed for Jimmie Foxx territory with about 3 or so more 5 WAR seasons. Let’s not forget – he’s just 32, and quite likely has several HoF quality seasons left.

  167. Don’t mean to get political, just pointing out the similarity of the “value of an extra dollar” argument.

    I personally find it hard to imagine a scenario where someone offers me an extra $44 mil on top of ANY previous pay and I say, “meh, naw, I’m good.” $44 mil is $44 mil.

  168. @283 – That’s exactly what I’d argue – “first baseman for the Cardinals” exists in a completely different universe from “engineer in rural west Georgia.” Pujols (and any other baseball superstar) has the opportunity to get paid unfathomable amounts of money thanks to a system built on the backs of fan support. He gets paid $50,000/hour because of a relationship that’s built with those who want to watch him play; I get paid <1/1000th of that strictly based on the services I can provide to my company – my time converted to the dollars the company can squeeze out of it. These are not equivalent situations in any way. Add to that the fact that Busch Stadium, the venue in which Pujols was able to put on his displays of arbitrarily lauded skill, was partially publicly funded, and you get a situation in which he owes something extra to the community that enabled his wealth.

  169. @283 – Totally agree. Pujols owes nothing to the Cardinals, other than the effort he put it for the time that they were paying his salary. It’s a silly argument anyway, as if any of us have any perspective on the merits of leaving our current job for a 40 million dollar raise.

  170. @287 – Slippery slope, there. So Pujols is now accountable for how the stadium was financed? I guess he shouldn’t have left St. Louis because a Cardinals season ticket holder sold a kidney to afford his tickets.

  171. @287 – You sound like you think MLB players are paid for via tax receipts. They’re not. They’re paid for via cash from the private owners, who make their cash in large parts via deals with basic cable providers. Pujols was paid for by the money you paid Comcast, who paid ESPN, who paid MLB, who paid Arte Morales (in addition to his cash from parking lot empires in Southern California.)

    Now, if you want to argue that the cable packages should be broken into a la carte selections so you get to know, up front, that you’re paying $30 per month to fund ESPN’s contract with the league and thus fund player salaries, or if you want to argue against publicly financed stadiums, I’m all for that. But Al Pujols isn’t a public servant of the city of St. Louis. He’s a highly skilled athlete who lost millions and millions of personal income to the STL Cardinals during his first six years in the business, because they had exclusive “rights” to his services and didn’t have to pay him market value for them. The idea that he owes STL or Cardinal fans anything more than the two World Series that he’s already delivered is absurd.

    (I’ll back out of this one too, as it has political potential too I suppose.)

  172. For $26M/year Cards can either retain or sign a bunch of free agents over the next ten years. Pujols may be worth more that that for a few years but contract will be Cubs like eventually.

  173. @292 – He’s not 100% accountable to the public, certainly not, but I do think that some percentage of his success is due to the people of St. Louis. I personally think that the percentage is high enough to make up a 15% difference between the exorbitant, life-altering offer he got from St. Louis and the insane, multi-generational-wealth-creating package LA gave him, but I don’t have an exact number and I’m not sure one could be derived.

  174. I do think he had every right to leave, but I also think Missourians have every right to be pissed off at him.

  175. Certainly the ability to extract public funds for stadium construction impacts the balance sheet of a franchise, which in turn impacts the roster budget. But Pujols is no more responsible for that system than any other player — other franchises have been able to swing similar deals without an Albert Pujols to anoint as the enduring face of the franchise. In fact, as I mentioned above, the Cardinals are one of the few franchises who engender long-term goodwill among fans/voters regardless of the makeup of their roster, because they’ve succeeded across several generations.

    Pujols gives back in the way that many very wealthy people give back — through a highly visible charitable foundation. That’s the system we have.

  176. @292–Very good points, and I agree completely. (and without getting into politics, I suspect that mine differ greatly from yours, and yet here we are agreeing. Yay for baseball!)

    Another way to think about the “extra money” is that ballplayers like Pujols know that they have been vastly underpaid at the beginning of their careers. So for them, that “extra money” isn’t extra at all–it is money that they have earned, money that has been denied them. Sure, Pujols doesn’t “need” the money, but that’s not the point. A man will fight for nothing as strongly as he will fight for that which he feels is rightfully his, and has been denied him.

  177. @294

    He’s not 100% accountable to the public, certainly not, but I do think that some percentage of his success is due to the people of St. Louis.

    Maybe I’m being pedantic – it’s happened before – but I can’t quite fathom how this statement makes any sense. Pujols was taken with the 402nd pick of the 13th round of the 1999 draft. If he had been taken with the 401st pick by the White Sox would have have been less successful? From what you’re saying, it sounds like you want to assign his “success” to the people of STL, which is a little odd to me.

  178. Conrad, whether we want to admit it or not, is a valuable bench player that is still cheap. He’s just as valuable as Eric Hinske and, like Hinske, his teammates seem to value him. Consider Conrad a “throw-in” on the Jurrjens trade (to a team with an unsettled bench).

  179. I do think that some percentage of his success is due to the people of St. Louis.

    His financial success would have duplicated in any city he played in. His athletic success is completely his own.

    /298 beat me to it.

  180. Pujols had the right to leave St. Louis, and people there have the right to not like him for it. What else can be said beyond that?

  181. 298 beat me to it.

    On today’s very special episode of Friends, Spike and Sam agree on something.


  182. Interesting…per mlbtr

    The Rays have authored another precedent-setting contract, locking up 22-year-old phenom Matt Moore for at least five years, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Moore has just 17 days of big league service time (plus ten innings in the postseason), but the Rays committed $14MM for Moore’s next five seasons.

  183. This Fangraphs article postulates that Beltran may only get 1/12 or 2/20 out of the current market. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-strangely-thin-beltran-market/

    If that’s the case, I’m very much in favor of signing Beltran – I would probably even go 2/24 or something. The Braves have gotten terrible offensive output from our outfield for far too long. The cascade effect would work well too – Prado could return to being a super-sub and (hopefully) become the line drive machine we all knew and loved in ’09/’10. Between Chipper, Beltran and JHey, I’m sure they would be plenty of ABs available to Prado filling in at those positions.

    Anyone know how much salary room the Braves would need to clear in order to afford, say, $12M for Beltran this year? By all estimates, JJ will make $5M in 2012. If I were the Braves, I’d look to swap him for a prospect, and I’d even consider a bigger deal (adding in, say, O’Flaherty) if the return was nice enough.

  184. 14/5 = 2.8; so an average annual cost of 2.8 mil per year.

    Compare that to standard process, which is to pay crap the first three years and then pay 3-7 mil in the last three arb years.

  185. My kid got his first recruiting letter yesterday (WVU). I know they send them out bulk rate, but still kinda cool.

  186. If Beltran’s cost falls to those prices, it would be a real failure of leadership not to get in on that. Of course, I would be the first to concede that Frank’s vision is cramped from both above (liberty) and below (a manager that nobody is really convinced uses his assets all that well), so it probably won’t happen

  187. Greetings from Atlanta…

    Beltran? Intriguing, yes.

    Re: Pujols

    To borrow a phrase from my Jewish friends, I just ask: Is this good for the Braves?

    It’s hard to think it’s bad that Big Albert is leaving the NL. (Plus, now there’s a new force to scare Yankee fans, which doesn’t really break my heart.)

    That said, it’s not unreasonable that Cards fans (who seem incapable of hating anything other than, maybe, the Cubs) feel wounded by this. Sports, IMO, are more fun when you have an emotional attachment. I see no problem with that, even though I certainly agree that Pujols has nothing left to prove in that town & he doesn’t “owe” anybody. Time for a very lucrative Act II.

    And all the best to you & yours, Mark (and Mac).

  188. @313 – I guess I’m arguing that the existence of the emotional attachment has an actual value that’s being ignored. It leads more people to pay more money to watch the sport, which effectively increases salaries for all involved. Pujols might’ve maximized his deal, but he did so in an unsustainable manner, meaning to say that if everyone before him had simply followed the money as he did, then there wouldn’t be as much money available for him now. Players and fans are partners in making the players wealthy and the fans happy – it would behoove both to remember that.

  189. @314, you notably leave ownership out of the equation. As they are ultimately responsible for the product and the fans happiness, why are you balancing the budget on the back of the players earnings and not the owners?

  190. A minimum of $400,000 a year is “crap”?

    How much do you think the Yankees would pay Jason Heyward to leave Atlanta and play for them next year?

    The difference between that number and $400K is the definition of “crap.”

  191. Thank you, ububba, and everyone else. Dee’s reaction to the news of her illness has been inspiring.

    Beltran sounds good, but how many key parts of the lineup can you have that only play 120-130 games? Prado, the super sub, could wind up with more at bats than Chipper & Beltran.

    Has anyone else picked up the the Braves are not really in love with Bourn? Fredi listed the key Braves he had talked to recently, Bourn’s name was missing.

  192. Well, if the Braves want to keep Bourn, the name of the game is to give Boras as little leverage as possible. Refraining from saying complimentary things about Bourn to the media could be a sign that we want to keep him. (Or that Fredi doesn’t remember all 25 players on the team. Whichever.)

  193. Id say Beltran and Prado are both going to give you a 120-130 game season. Both are injury prone, but Id find a way to sign Beltran and move Prado back to the utitity role. Thats a big bat that will give you a lot of production when he’s playing. Its a lot better than a Cody Ross.

  194. How much do you think the Yankees would pay Jason Heyward to leave Atlanta and play for them next year? The difference between that number and $400K is the definition of “crap.”

    Players know the system going in; no one held a gun to any of their heads and forced them to choose a career in MLB.

  195. Prado might be injury-prone — certainly he’s at risk for broken fingers with the headfirst slides. But I wouldn’t necessarily dock him for the staph infection. When I think “injury-prone”, I think more of chronic problems like ligaments, tendons, or balky backs than broken bones or fluke illness. Beltran and Chipper obviously fit the bill….

    Edit: @321…okay, but we can hold a gun to their heads and force them to stay put?

  196. Prado is unlucky maybe not injury prone, but he’s somehow guaranteed to miss some time with something it seems.

  197. Bourn’s a useful player, but he’s not the kind of guy you need to fall in love with. A lot of his value in Houston was park related, and I doubt he gives the Braves those same slash stats in 2012.

  198. To pararaphrase BP. Its not the dollars its the length of the contract stupid. Yeah Beltran for 2 years 20 or 24. That would be great. Keep Prado to sub for both him and Chipper. Great idea. So of course it means it won’t happen.

    PeteOrr – dude, bless your old fashioned loyalty is important heart but in the real world you have to look out for number 1. Albert Pujols leveraged is wonderful God given ability to the max. I congratulate him.

  199. #328 – Well lets make a realistic offer to them then. How about Teheran, Pastornicky, Vizcaino, and a filler?

  200. Some D and “not suck offensively” is what I’m looking for. But I’m expecting a lot of people to have the same disappointment about Bourn as they had with Nate McLouth’s 2009.

    Turner Field is death to Punch-and-Judy LHB, and it doesn’t have the odd OF dimensions that Minute Maid has, which reduces Bourn’s likely double/triple totals.

  201. There’s a band that’s played in Nashville a few times in recent years called The Old Rugged Cross Dressers, and that’s by far the best band name I’ve ever seen. Hazmat Modine may be second, though.

  202. I think that it’s also important to remember that the Cards completely fleeced Albert over his last deal. They’ve had (arguably) the best bargain in baseball in Pujols over the last 11 years. If you believe Fangraph’s numbers, there were years where he should have been payed 30 million more than he was.

    In that case, If you’re talking loyalty, the Cards should have exceeded the reported Marlins’ 275/10 deal. Of course, people are going to say that the Cardinals have no such obligation.

    In that case, Pujols has no obligation. Loyalty works both ways, and it doesn’t seem that the Cards were interested.

  203. I think a 10yr/200mil+ offer shows plenty of loyalty. People, thats a freakin ton of money. Albert has the right to take the best offer, which he did, but it doesnt mean that St Louis wasnt being loyal by any means.

  204. •RT @clarkspencer: #marlins final offer to albert pujols was $201 million, NOT $275 mm 2 hours ago

    Peanut: Unfinished business: Wren said he would be content if he adds nothing more than a backup shortstop before the start of the season. But there is seemingly no doubt he will explore all options to add a right-handed bat that could provide an immediate impact.

  205. All this “content with the current team” spin brings back memories of Bowman saying Schuerholz was fine with Reitsma as the closer going into 2006.

  206. There is less than 1% chance that the Braves don’t either trade for a RH OF or get in on a FA RH OF.

    Of course, there was also something akin to a less than 1% chance that they piss away last year’s WC too…

  207. BP and Cool Standings give the Braves a 97% chance of acquiring an impact outfield bat.

    Aren’t the Astros moving into the AL West soon, with the Angels? They just can’t get away from Pujols.

  208. Re: Pujols and 16% raise:

    Sam said “I personally find it hard to imagine a scenario where someone offers me an extra $44 mil on top of ANY previous pay and I say, “meh, naw, I’m good.” $44 mil is $44 mil.”

    It goes without saying that I would move my family for $44 million. Do I move my family to CA for a 16% raise? No, of course not.

    But Warren Buffett might quibble with you. He still lives in Omaha, NE. Would Warren Buffett move his family from Omaha to LA if he could make an extra $4.4 million a year? That number doesn’t represent to Warren Buffett what it does to me and you and apparently to Albert Pujols.

    I don’t see how one can argue that dollars have an absolute value. It seems so obvious to me that they don’t. Albert Pujols and I have this in common: We both have $500. Albert can, and probably often does, spend $500 for a single meal. I’ve got $500, so I could do that, too! But because $500 represents a greater portion of my total value than it does of Pujol’s, he would do that and I never would. $500 means less to him than it does to me. It follows that, while of course $44m means exponentially more than $500, it means less to Pujols than it does to me. This is because $44m represents 100,000% of my earning power. It represents 16% of Pujols earning power. Of course it’s relative. This seems obvious to me.

    Of course, all of this is assuming the “all things being equal” which isn’t fair for anyone to assume. All things might not be equal apart from the $44m.

    He made the decision for his reasons, and more power to him. We can’t assume he left because $254 is more than $210. But if he did, it’s not unreasonable to question it. It is, after all, only 16%.

  209. Why is the player expected to suffer the 16% pay cut instead of the organization that is ultimately responsible to the fans for its product?

  210. Maybe the Cardinals dont want to be in a situation like the Yanks are with ARod. Think about this for a moment.

    Arod is 36 and played in 99 games last year, his slash line .276/.362/.461. This is his remaining contract.

    2012 – $29m
    2013 – $28m
    2014 – $25m
    2015 – $21m
    2016 – $20m
    2017 – $20m

    It sucks for the Cardinals and the fans right now, but 4 or 5 years from now the Cards probably did themselves and their fans a favor.

  211. DOB – Will getting Colvin ease #Rockies reluctance to trade Wheeler? If so, maybe match w/ #Braves. S.Smith & Wheeler principles in deal for JJ? 22 mins ago

  212. 344,

    If you believe that the increase his power output in 2011 is indicative of an actual change, that seems to be a pretty good deal for Atlanta. If, however, this year is just smoke, then you’re looking at acquiring a (soon to be) 24 year old with three mediocre minor league seasons; and, Colorado would be receiving the best player in the trade (by far).

    I wouldn’t do it.

    Also, I don’t understand the fascination with Seth Smith. Prado > Smith. Bourn > Smith. Heyward > Smith. Hinkse > Smith.

  213. With the $264M contract I look at it as a 5 year contract for $175M and a second 5 year contract for $89M with some of the salary defered

  214. Greetings from Athens, Ga…

    I joke with my Yankee fan/friends that, well before his player contract is up, A-Rod will become the YES Network’s most expensive color commentator.

  215. Punto would be a nice fit, actually. But I’d feel a lot better if they signed Beltran and used Prado to back him and Chipper up. Another possibility, as discussed on CAC, is trading Jurrjens to the Reds and bringing back a guy like Drew Stubbs in the deal.

  216. Wren said he wanted better AB’s from top to bottom in his lineup. I dont see Wren wanting to add a guy like Stubbs to help fix that problem. Stubbs struck out 205 times last year, cant hit RH’d pitching, and at times he can make KJ look like the most consistent hitter in the league.

  217. Yeah, but he’s an excellent defensive outfielder, hits lefties well, is cost controlled for four years, and has a lot of room to grow. More importantly, he can be a 3-4 win CF if they let Bourn leave after next season.

    The problem with bringing in Beltran is that there will still be no backup CF. I’d still rather have Beltran, but I don’t know how you address that issue. Maybe you don’t.

  218. His defensive numbers have dropped dramatically since 2009 with the more playing time that he’s getting. Last year he posted a -2.5UZR -2.2UZR/150.

  219. I don’t understand the fascination with Seth Smith.

    Smith made $429K last year. He’s eligible for ARB1 this year. Not sure where he’ll fall for arbitration figures, but call it 3 mil in a rough math scenario.

    Prado would make at least 4.5 mil in 2012.
    Jurrjuns is going to break 6.0 mil in 2012.

    Sign Punto to a contract not exceeding what Alex Gonzalez made last year.

    Trade Prado and Jurrjens for Smith and Wheeler (no cost to the MLB roster.)

    Call it 10 mil out, 3 mil in. Net 7 mil or so.

    Add in Kenshin Kawakami’s 7 mil.

    14 mil. Call Carlos Beltran.

  220. DOB putting a feeler out there…

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    Still say Carlos Lee makes some sense for #Braves if #Astros pick up more than half the $18.5 mill he’s owed in last yr of contract

  221. Maybe as a last resort. He was never worth that ridiculous contract, but he’s retained more value than I would have thought.

  222. Jurrjens for Swisher makes a lot of sense for both teams, especially if the Yanks are going to re-sign Andruw.

  223. Lee split time between LF and 1B last year, but he played 134 in LF in 2010 and 154 in 2009. He’s a horrible defender out there, but he can fake the corner well enough to go out there.

  224. I’m not buying Carlos Lee.

    For some reason, the defensive stats really liked Lee last year, even though they’ve mostly hated him since he left the White Sox in 2004. For that reason, he was worth 3-4 WAR last year after having been worth negative WAR in 2010 and under 2 WAR in 2009.

    If his defense last year was a fluke in the data — and it almost certainly was, because he objectively sucks at defense — then he’s a sub-2 WAR player, which is to say, not better than what it’s reasonable to expect Prado can provide.

    Also, this is one of my favorite Christmas songs, for real: “Merry Christmas (To All of the World),” by Jean Beauvoir (formerly of the Plasmatics). From the Little Steven-produced Christmas with the Kranks soundtrack.

  225. Carlos Lee is a terrible LF. The Field Formally Known as Enron has that ridiculously close LF wall, plus Bourn was running down everything in left-center for most of the year, and Lee still couldn’t handle the postage stamp that was his responsibility.

    And do they make kosher steroids?

  226. I’m not getting the Aaron Rodgers connection…

    I hope you happen to be a Steelers or Vikings fan or something..

  227. 373,

    Nope, I’m not. I must sound like a pretentious idiot, but there’s just something about the guy that I don’t like. You know, there are just public figures that strike you the wrong way? For me, Rodgers and Braun are two of them.

  228. Hmm… Interesting question for you guys. After seeing the overwhelmingly negative reaction from Brewers’ fans after the news of Braun’s positive test was made public, I’ve been wondering how I’d take the news if it happened to a popular Brave. How would you react if McCann tested positive for synthetic testosterone?

  229. Aaron Rodgers is quiet and doesn’t broadcast his faith in order to garner undue spotlight.

    Aaron Rodgers has never electrocuted a dog to death.

    Aaron Rodgers has never raped a college student that we know of.

    Aaron Rodgers is the most talented quarterback in football.

    I hate the idea of my favorite team having to beat Rodgers with any frequency over the next few years, because that’s going to be difficult to do. But to hate Aaron Rodgers as a person is about as backwards as I can imagine.

  230. @378

    Plus, Aaron Rodgers’ State Farm Discount Double Check commercial is the best athlete endorsement commercial out there currently, now that Peyton’s on the DL for MasterCard.

  231. Cheese intolerance. It happens. Regrettable, but it happens.

    Freddie Freeman sure makes this off-season easier for the Braves. Hope Heyward is watching Freeman videos.

    Man, we are still too left-handed (especially for our Division).

  232. @377 – It is my belief that Brian McCann’s excess natural testosterone is drained monthly, and supplies the less fortunate over the entire eastern seaboard, possibly including Ryan Braun.

    So, I would be surprised.

  233. So Manny’s been reinstated and, according to the ESPN news writeup, must serve a “50-game suspension.”

    Now, I am confused (nothing new, natch) and need help working through this. When I think of the word “suspension”, in baseball terms if a Mets player gets tossed from a game for, let’s say, throwing like a girl, and then gets suspended for 5 games, he has to serve 5 games at the team’s expense, where the Mets must play with 24 instead of 25 players.

    Furthermore, when I think of the word “game”, I think of a particular team’s “games”. How are we to look at it in any other way? In an average week, one team might have two off days whereas another has none.

    So when the new report says Manny’s got to serve a “50 game suspension”, do they mean “days” instead of “games”? And why should the team that has him not have to suffer in the same manner as a team that loses a player for getting suspended for on the field activity?

    So the clock starts ticking when the first pitch is thrown on opening day, 50 days later he gets to start playing, and the team that he plays for (whether it’s the same team he was on when he got suspended or a new team he signs with) doesn’t have to worry about losing a player off their roster?


  234. I don’t think the team has to play one man short, though. When Manny was suspended in ’09, the Dodgers brought up Xavier Paul to take his roster spot (at least, that’s what the game logs from ’09 seem to indicate).

    Is this different from shorter suspensions? Do teams ever have to play a man down due to any suspension? I honestly don’t know.

  235. No, he has to sign with a team, and then he can start serving the suspension. It doesn’t count if he’s just sitting there without a team and the season starts. He has to be on a team. And if your point is that Tampa Bay should be hurt by this because that’s the team he was on when it happened, I really don’t agree. Individual player suspensions have almost nothing to do with the team. They’d have been able to replace him on the roster, anyway. The real question is why is it 50 games and not 100? That was his second offense, it’s supposed to be a 100-game suspension for that.

  236. Cody Ross wants 3yrs/18 million. For 4 straight year, aside from last, he was well worth that. I’d give it to him.

  237. Players do and should have the right to do what they want and if they want to go for the money, fine. But, to say that the difference between $220 million and $250 million makes any difference to someone’s life is laughable. Whether or not the Cardinals “fleeced” Pujols or not is beside the point. At this point in his life, Pujols could play for a dollar a year and still be fabulously wealthy. Obviously, he felt put upon by the Cards and left. But, acting as if he had no choice; as if he had some sort of obligation (to his family? to other players? to an abstract concept of justice?) is absurd. Cal Ripken stayed in Baltimore when he was probably underpayed and I don’t see him lining up for food stamps. Same with Chipper. The whole point of free agency is to give players choices; that doesn’t mean they have to take every single dollar available. Now, maybe Pujols really didn’t like St. Louis that much and, obviously, he was pissed at the Cards. But I can’t buy this idea that he had no choice because, by god, it’s $40 million more. What is he going to do with the extra $40 million? I say the same thing about the CEOs who want to extract every possible dollar. Why?

    I am disappointed that Pujols left because I don’t think there was any need to do so. So, he was going to be “underpaid” relative to other first basemen. Big deal. If your entire self-worth is wrapped up in that, I find that hard to respect. I’m not saying Pujols owed it to the fans of St. Louis to stay–obviously, fans are loyal only to the extent that the player performs well-but you can’t have it both ways. Athletes want fans to develop an emotional attachment to them but when it’s time to make some more money, oops, who cares about that?

    I’m sorry but the country has become suffused with the idea that the only measure of worth is money. And, you are some sort of sap if you don’t take the money. Pujols had a nice thing in St. Louis; it’s not like it was Boston or NY or Philly where the fans boo if you strike out once. He had a chance to be a true icon in a true baseball city. Now, he’s just another ball player who is going to end up being grossly overpaid when he is 40. And, please don’t compare this to you or I changing jobs for a raise. That’s a silly comparison.

  238. Then what about changing jobs because you’ve done all there is to do in a particular place? You seem convinced he left because of the money, but what if he’s enticed by the challenge of succeeding on a new team in a different league? Maybe he feels like climbing a new mountain, after having climbed the same one over and over again.

    I’m not saying I know this is his motivation, but it might be. And if it is, I would understand that. The analogy to one of us changing jobs works in that respect. Rich people can’t feel as though a situation has become stale?

  239. But, to say that the difference between $220 million and $250 million makes any difference to someone’s life is laughable.



  240. Aaron Rodgers is quiet and doesn’t broadcast his faith in order to garner undue spotlight.

    Aaron Rodgers has never electrocuted a dog to death.

    Aaron Rodgers has never raped a college student that we know of.

    Right, because these are three similar things.

    Tebow has just as much right to be as openly religious as he wants as anyone else does to b*tch about it publicly on the internet.

  241. Because he wasn’t worth it. Just because LA WOULD stroke that check, doesn’t mean anyone else SHOULD.

    Could Liberty Media stroke a check for Teixeira? Sure, but they shouldn’t.

  242. @393, but come on man, it’s just 30M dollars – it can’t possibly make any difference to owners who have way more than that. I mean, they owe the entire value of their franchise to the FANS. If they had any kind of loyalty to anything but the almighty dollar, it wouldn’t be an issue.

  243. Other people’s money sure is fun to spend. I loved it when we were spending Ted’s. I look forward to the days when we are spending Mr. Blank’s.

  244. Theres no reason to think Pujols self worth is all monetary. He may have thought Mike Soscia’s Angels have a better chance of winning than do Mike Matheny’s Cards.

    The only point I’ve made here is that 1) Pujols doesn’t owe he people of STL anything and 2) it’s easy for a bunch of Internet GMs to tell a man to just walk away from an extra 40 mil just because.

  245. As for Rodgers, I’ve simply listed a few reasons why Rodgers is a better person than othe NFL quarterbacks.

  246. ” rel=”nofollow”>this guy) among NFL quarterbacks.

    Gunner Kiel’s gonna be a pretty great guy, too.

  247. Yes, it is easy for me to tell a guy who is making $220 million that another $40 million doesn’t make much difference. You can’t tell me that he is going to notice it. It makes no possible difference to his life. And it’s got nothing to do with how much money the owners have. I agree-Pujols owes nothing to the fans but these players want it both ways–loyalty and emotional investment until it comes time for them to get more money. Pujols took out an ad in the St. Louis paper to talk about how he loved the fans and how tough a decision it was. Bullshit–if he loved them so much, why not say, I’m already making within the top 1% in the world, so I will stay.

    Frankly, my argument is more about a society that says it’s absolutely ok-and even admirable- to try to wring every single possible dollar than it is about Pujols. I don’t have any sympathy with the owners certainly–the Cardinals are playing in a tax supported stadium and squeezing every nickel out of their fans. Pujols deserves his money a lot more than these CEOs who ruined the country but still want their bonuses. And I agree that playes should be able to get what the market bears. But, in what other country would people seriously argue that it makes sense for a guy to turn down $220 million. Money should give you freedom to do what you want, but here it seems as if the dynamic is, the more money you have, the more money you have to make.

  248. I just boil it all down to a simple maxim: “All rich people are evil.”

    It’s a lot simpler that way, even if a little extremely cynical.

  249. In what othe country? Seriously? In ANY other country where there’s an offer of $44 million more elsewhere.

  250. Frankly, my argument is more about a society that says it’s absolutely ok-and even admirable- to try to wring every single possible dollar than it is about Pujols.

    I agree – it was incredibly cynical and unseemly for the Cardinals to try and wring every last dollar to line their own pockets at the expense of a fan icon like Pujols when at least three other teams had established his market value as well beyond that.

  251. “I’m already making within the top 1% in the world”

    Him and most other Americans. What’s your point?

    And yes, another $40 million will make a difference in his life. Keep in mind, this is a guy who, at the end of his new contract, may never earn another dollar in his profession. When you divide the money he earns now with the number of decades it will be expected to support him and his family, another $40 million is a very real difference.

    Also, we’re all talking about Pujols’ contract as if he’s actually going to see $250+ million in his pocket, but that’s never going to happen. He’ll be lucky to get half his contract once the tax collectors are done raiding his account.

  252. As a former IRS agent, I can tell you with certainty that people with $250M can afford to prevent their accounts from getting raided by tax collectors.

  253. I know that this discussion is getting perilously close to politics, but…

    I take Albert at his word when he says it wasn’t just about the money. He seems to believe — fairly, in my view — that the Cardinals lowballed him for a long time and he felt insulted by that. Over the course of his career, Albert has established that is a man who takes quick insult whenever he perceives that he is being undervalued. He has used this to fuel himself throughout his career, and it’s worked well. The upshot is that he signed with the Angels for $44 million more.

    I’m sympathetic to what Marc is saying; I think it’s too easy to equate people’s value to the amount of money they make, especially in a day and age where nearly every argument has a chance to get overheated and boiled down to simplistic talking points.

    But… eh. I can’t get too worked up about this guy leaving, even if he is an all-time icon after he had the greatest decade any hitter has had since Babe Ruth, and even if he would have been the greatest Cardinal of all time if he had just agreed to take slightly less money. I had to watch Tom Glavine and John Smoltz leave. I know what Cardinals fans are going through, I just don’t think this is a uniquely tragic situation.

  254. these players want it both ways–loyalty and emotional investment until it comes time for them to get more money

    Whose loyalty are you referring to? The Cardinals organization? Show me where Pujols said the Cards’ offer represented disloyalty. The fans? Show me where Pujols said the fans owed him undying love.

  255. these players want it both ways–loyalty and emotional investment until it comes time for them to get more money

    I am belaboring the point, so this is it, but good lord – teams are perfectly willing to jettison iconic players past their sell-by date due to age or injury routinely, and fans are willing to boo Joe Mauer for having the temerity to try and play through an injury for their benefit. The concept of loyalty seems decidedly one sided here.

  256. “I’m already making within the top 1% in the world”

    “Him and most other Americans. What’s your point?”

    Right, that’s a great analogy. Someone one who makes, say $100,000 a year and someone else who makes $20 million. You can’t seriously see it as the same thing.

    “And yes, another $40 million will make a difference in his life. Keep in mind, this is a guy who, at the end of his new contract, may never earn another dollar in his profession. When you divide the money he earns now with the number of decades it will be expected to support him and his family, another $40 million is a very real difference.”

    Are you out of your mind? You are saying he and his family can’t live on $220 million? First. do you really think he will never make another dollar.

    What you really seem to be saying is that Pujols’ children, his children’s children and their children should never have
    to do anything in their lives.

    I just find this whole idea that a guy making $220 million is going to struggle ludicrous.

    “Whose loyalty are you referring to? The Cardinals organization? Show me where Pujols said the Cards’ offer represented disloyalty. The fans? Show me where Pujols said the fans owed him undying love.”

    I was referring generally to the fact that players seem to want fans to invest in them emotionally but then ignore that when it is time to leave.

    “I agree – it was incredibly cynical and unseemly for the Cardinals to try and wring every last dollar to line their own pockets at the expense of a fan icon like Pujols when at least three other teams had established his market value as well beyond that.”

    Apparently, there is something wrong with me. I have this idea that $220 million is a lot of money but apparently I’m wrong. Can’t live on $220 million because somewhere down the line in the seventh generation of Pujolses, someone might actually have to get a job.

    I have no problem with players making lots of money–they deserve it and have the right to get it. But I’m tired of hearing that market value is the only value that means anything.

    At some point, you can’t just look at relative value. At some point, look at the absolute numbers. He is rich and would be rich if he stayed in St. Louis. He had a chance to do something unique. If he wants to go for the money, so be it, I’m not saying it’s not his right. But he could have done something different and I’m sorry he didn’t. If you really think he would be getting screwed by only making $22 million instead of $25 million a year, then I’m missing something.

  257. It’s a zero sum game – I just can’t figure out why you’ve got a moral problem with person A (Pujols) making 40M more, but not person B (Bill DeWitt).

  258. @409

    Don’t let facts get in the way of ideological grievances. Pujols will lose half his money to tax collectors because… well, he just will!

    By the way, are there a lot of tax collector-musicians? I demand to know more.

  259. Look, Pujols has every right to do what he wants and he has earned that right-more power to him. I’m just saying I am disappointed that he didn’t look beyond the money. I just think that $22 million a year is plenty for anyone; if he wants to make more that’s certainly his right, but there seems to be an idea that he had no choice. That’s just a personal opinion. It’s got nothing to do with what Bill DeWitt is making; the owners are jerks themselves for using tax payer money to benefit themselves. But not every decision has to be based on making a few bucks more. And, it’s not like these are the United Auto Workers in the 30s or even ballplayers in the 1960s.

  260. Marc, you never responded to my suggestion that Pujols might have also been motivated by seeking out a new challenge. You seem sure he was motivated solely by money, solely due to the fact that he took the highest offer. You’ve taken the one fact we have at our disposal, and adorned it with a bunch of judgmental guesswork. You seem to have spent no time considering any other possible motivation.

  261. For most of these high dollar guys I would imagine it’s about quality of life, in addition to the cash. Ignoring the money, where would you rather live, SoCal or St. Louis?

  262. Look, Pujols played out his contract, he gave the Cardinals every chance to get an extension done before the year started, and the Cardinals decided that they wouldn’t extend him.

    Now, when he hits the open market, he has every right to sign with whichever team is willing to extend him an offer he deems acceptable. He decided that the Cardinals offer, taking his history with the franchise into account wasn’t as good as the Angel’s offer.

    So, if you think he’s a mercenary-well that doesn’t change my life one bit. If you think he’s exercising his collectively bargained right to test free agency, that won’t change my life a bit either. In the end, the only person Albert Pujols has to satisfy is Albert Pujols.

  263. Of course I don’t care in the least why Albert signed with the Angels but imagining the flip, if you are a money-hungry, attention-whoring bastard, where are you gonna have a better chance to tap “the biz”, SoCal or St. Louis?

    It is irresponsible not to speculate.

  264. @418,

    Sansho, you are right. Maybe what you are saying is correct. Maybe he did want to go somewhere new. If that’s the answer, so be it (although I rather doubt it). My more general point was to the idea that seemed to be expressed that Pujols almost had no choice to go because the Cardinals were low-balling him. I think he did. But, yes, if he went for another reason, that’s a different story. All I’m trying to say is, if I’m making a lot of money, I wouldn’t see the need to make decisions based strictly on finances even if I felt I wasn’t being treated completely fairly. If I was happy playing somewhere, screw the money. Obviously, not everyone agrees and maybe I wouldn’t either if I was in his shoes but that’s how I feel now.

    I agree with Seat Painter; I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I don’t see players as heroes (or role models) and they shouldn’t see fans as their friends.

  265. 424,

    From a perspective of ‘parity’, the argument for killing the trade is absurd. Most analysts liked the trade for New Orleans, and disliked it for the Lakers. In this case, it really seemed like the owners were hellbent on controlling player movement.

    From a perspective of finances, each other owner had an absolute right to reject the trade. The trade would have the Hornets taking on nearly 70 million in salary over the next four years had it occurred. The owners have to foot the bill for the Hornets, as the league owns them. They can make the argument, from an ownership perspective, that the trade was not favorable for them.

  266. Pujols annoys me more than anything with his dragging “God” into the whole quarter-of-a-billion-bucks “dilemma.” That’s all I’ll say about that.

  267. James said the secret to a winning team was to trade older players a year before they declined. Pujois will decline before the end og this ten year contract.
    $254M will allowed Cards to hire many good players over the next ten years. Spending has allowed Yanks and Red Sox to win all the WS in this century, not.

  268. Spending has allowed Yanks and Red Sox to win all the WS in this century, not.

    Those two teams out of thirty have won fully one-third (four out of twelve; 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2009) of all World Series championships since 2000.

    Or, if you want to get technical and start from 2001 for “this century,” those two teams have won over 27% of World Series titles in that time frame.

  269. Hearing people whine about Pujols reminds me of the Chris Rock bit about being rich and being wealthy.

    “Shaq is rich, but hte guys who signs Shaq’s checks is wealthy”

  270. @419

    The worst part of that link? Mac states, “and the Braves weren’t willing to give up Horacio Ramirez.”

    Quick! To the Delorean! We can get to John S before it’s too late…again.

  271. Wow. Interesting to see people make so many assumptions about what it’s like to make 25 million dollars a year on here, and then have the gall to criticize a financial decision that someone makes in that situation.

    He left. Get over it. You don’t have even the slightest inkling of an idea of what his motivation is, or even what he intends to do with the extra 40 large. Maybe he is giving it away, who knows. Of course if he did I’m sure someone would find a way to criticize him for it.

  272. There comes a point when the price is too high. Cards made a business decision that the contract could cripple the team sometime in the next 10 years.

  273. Look, the system is what it is. The Cards got Albert for what, ten years?-and it was probably one of the best two to three ten year stretches in the history of the game. They won two World Series-as many as the Yanks or Sawx, and by any set of metrics you’d care to name (that apply to baseball anyway), Pujols was vastly underpaid.

    Anyway, Albert doesn’t owe jack to anyone, he’s done what he was contractually obligated to do wrt to the Cardinals. Judging him on the basis of what you wished he would do is your right, of course, but don’t expect me to agree with you on that.

  274. So if McQueary really didn’t see Sandusky in the act but only saw him exiting the shower, does that materially change anything about the Penn State story?

    I mean, was that the only solid piece of evidence they had? I can’t imagine all the other charges would lack foundation.


  275. Stu, this is what I could find.

    – The Brewers had a need at the hot corner after Casey McGehee disappointed in 2011. The arbitration-eligible McGehee could still be used at first base if the Brewers decide not to non-tender him tonight or trade him this winter.

  276. @438 – I’d never heard of this Bailey Quarters until just now – thank you so much. She has joined the pantheon of 60s-70s sitcom actresses that I have major crushes on the younger versions of. It’s now Sally Field, and Mary Tyler Moore, and her.

  277. @448 – I don’t believe this changes the case substantially, but it would change the case for firing Paterno.

  278. Yeah, there are more than 10 victims of Sandusky willing to testify now. Possibly even his own grandson.

  279. The case for firing Paterno and the rest of the PSU powers that were is simple: forced early retirement is not proper nor adequate punishment for a known child rapist, and they all knew what the hell Jerry Sandusky was.

  280. PeteOrr, I’m more than glad to educate you on what it was like going through puberty in the late 70’s.

    Other 60’s-70’s hot sitcom actresses:

    Valerie Bertinelli – One Day At A Time (number 1 on the hit parade)
    Dawn Welles – Gilligan’s Island (Number 1A)
    Barbara Feldon – Get Smart
    Susan Dey – The Partridge Family

    None of The Brady Girls ever grabbed my attention as much as the above four.

  281. Well, he did say sitcoms. And Dey and Feldon were in reruns by the time I was old enough to start appreciating them. (Although Smithers and Bertinelli were on right during my early teen years.)

  282. Hmm, the only thing I knew Valerie Bertinelli from was her award winning (I assume) role as Gloria on the last two seasons of Touched by an Angel that effectively got the show canceled. I thank my parents everyday for forcing 9 seasons of that show on me as a kid. Good to know she had an attractive youth!

  283. Speaking of Touched by an Angel, an excerpt from Wikipedia’s synopsis of the series finale:

    “When she returns in the morning, however, the cell is empty. The citizens decide not to search for him, and it is revealed that Joey inadvertently caused the explosion after the devil tricked him into turning the boiler to high to warm some kittens he’d found.”

    Sounds like a sitcom to me.

  284. @455
    Old enough to have seen most of them first-run!
    After 45 years, about every day I Dream of Jeannie, Barbara Eden.

  285. Barbara Eden, oh yes. Diana Rigg was a good discovery for me too. Wow, this is turning into a productive day.

  286. Can’t forget the lovely and charming Marcia Strassman aka Nurse Cutler on MASH aka Mrs. Kotter….

  287. Karen Valentine on Room 222, anyone?

    Sorry for all the posts, fellas, but I’m having some very strong flashbacks right now.

  288. More on that bastard Pujols – “The Cardinals’ ten-year, $210MM offer to Pujols included $30MM deferred without interest”, tweets Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  289. @467 – I actually kind of came around on this over the weekend. Chipper taking a hometown discount to stick around is heart warming, but I’m sure there was a point below which he would’ve felt insulted as well, and it’s not really fair to expect it of a player at all. Kind of just a bonus if it happens.

  290. How many failed trades will Stern and the owners have to orchestrate before the only remaining trade partner is the Hawks???

  291. @431 – Considering that we got Rafeal Soriano for Horacio later on, I’m glad JS didn’t make that move.

  292. Not a sitcom but Victoria Principle of Dallas fame. Smoking.

    and I’m with ya – Mary Anne over Ginger.

  293. Between the point shaving, conflicts of interest, salary caps, and rampant favoritism in officiating, how does the NBA have any standing as a professional sport anymore? I don’t see how anyone can stand to watch it.

  294. well it would have been nice if over the hill Chipper would have just retired and then we could have used that money to sign Aramis Ramirez and had this lineup.

    1.Bourn – cf
    2.Prado – lf
    3.Ramirez – 3b
    4.McCann – c
    5. Uggla – 2b
    6.Freeman – 1b
    7.Heyward -rf
    8.Pastornicky -ss

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