143 thoughts on “Merry New Year!”

  1. To rouse myself from this Robitussin haze long enough to root on the Dawgs, then retreat once again into said haze.

    My top 5 movies of 2012:

    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Master
    Jeff, Who Lives At Home

    (6-10: The Dark Knight Rises, The Color Wheel, Bernie, The Bourne Legacy, The Raid: Redemption)

    Plenty of room for Lincoln, Holy Motors, Zero Dark Thirty, and Amour once I see them.

    Worst: Casa de Mi Padre

  2. Can we drum Les Miles out of the SEC?

    I know Almighty TV decides this, but sure wish they’d stagger the start times so we could at least see SOME of the SEC-tie-in games.

  3. I’m not a big Bond guy — haven’t seen one since The World Is Not Enough, which was brutal. I’ve heard Skyfall is the best one in a long time, though. I’ll probably rent it.

  4. I thought “Skyfall” was good, but “Casino Royale”–the first Daniel Craig Bond film–was fantastic. I didn’t love Lincoln, but I enjoyed, perhaps in spite of my better judgment, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

    I very much want to see Beasts of the Southern Wild.

  5. Casino Royale was fantastic? Ugh, we’ll have to disagree on that one. NOTHING in that movie made any sense, they didn’t even get the poker game right (which was a Baccara game in the novel to begin with, but nevermind), and the villain looked more funny than scary – kinda gay, actually (I’m talking about Le Chiffre of course, not the real, main villain, who did not appear in the movie save for the last 10 seconds).

    Anyway, I appreciated your opinion. And happy new year everyone.

  6. I loved Casino Royal. The opening sequence I’ll put up against any other set piece out there. Just amazing from start to finish. I thought the rest was coherent, too, and Vespa was the most attractive Bond girl ever, IMO. I’m pretty sure I liked it more than Skyfall, which felt too much to me like, “Hey guys! Let’s try to take Ledger’s Joker and make him a Bond villain!”

    I do agree however that the whole “crying blood” thing was lame. But I’ll forgive them that since they got just about everything else right. And following Brosnan’s poor final entries didn’t hurt.

  7. Beasts of the Southern Wild was good. The 6-year old girl in that movie was absolutely extraordinary.
    So was the 5-year old boy in Looper, a very good movie, and a mindscrew on the level of a mid-budget Inception.
    For pure action, I adored The Raid: Redemption and Premium Rush, and loved Haywire. I really liked Django Unchained.
    For sheer insanity, I adored Killer Joe.
    I liked Magic Mike and really liked Bernie.
    Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, and the Hobbit were gorgeously filmed and incredibly flawed in their execution.
    Skyfall, Argo, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and Men in Black 3 were very competent action movies. The Bourne Legacy and The Avengers were okay action movies. Total Recall was awful.
    21 Jump Street, John Carter, and The Man with the Iron Fists were hamfisted but enjoyable. Silver Linings Playbook was decent.
    Cabin in the Woods was a fantastic horror-comedy, and a worthy heir to the Evil Dead trilogy. Seven Psychopaths didn’t have a lot of substance, but was a lot of fun.
    I really loved The Pirates: Band of Misfits. Brave and Wreck-It Ralph were both just okay. ParaNorman was blah.

  8. Ugh. The Dark Knight Rises. What a disappointment. Prometheus might be a flawed movie but I found it infinitely more entertaining, and the art direction is so much better there’s no use in even comparing it to DKR.

  9. I love Casino Royale. I suspect the fact that it was infinitely better than the Brosnan offerings has something to do with it. Bond was cool and Vesper was excellent.

    I liked Skyfall. The villain was great. Ending sequence was a bit over the top (a bit?), but an enjoyable movie. Better than Q of S. I need to see it again to see how much I really like it. I wonder if reading about Craig’s discontent with the burden of the role just before seeing it made me enjoy it any less. Dunno. (I know he’s not the only Bond to feel that way. No big deal, really.)

    I don’t really go to the movies very often. I’m just not that into them (and I’m a cheapskate). But I make it a point see the Bond movies. It also just so happens that my wife has been pregnant each time we’ve seen a Bond movie together. That’s quite the franchise to keep up with!

  10. I’m not entirely sure that Rex Reed likes movies. I think of him as the Skip Bayless of movie critics.

  11. Skyfall was excellent. I can’t wait to see Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln.

    I resolve to get mlb.tv so i can watch the Braves.
    Exercise more consistently.
    Read Braves Journal every day.
    Give up swearing, somewhat.
    Enjoy my twin daughters final HS year.

    Finally, well done Northwestern Wildcats!

  12. I resolve to will the Braves to win the 2013 WS. I also resolve to accept disappointment better. Happy new year, all!

  13. My 2013 resolution is probably not going to hold up. I’m trying not to read so many music bios/memoirs. Usually, I try to read one “serious” thing, then reward myself with something lighter (like the Keith Richards book).

    But you know you’ve gone off the deep end when you see the Peter Criss memoir (!) in the bookstore and think, “Oh, that would probably be entertaining.” But, already, I’m into the Neil Young memoir… and I can’t put it down.

    Caught “Zero Dark Thirty” last week. Real good, especially the final 40 minutes, and especially considering that you already know how it ends. But to offer a full review/explanation would veer into political discussion, so I’ll hold off.

    Couple of crazy games today. Glad to see the Dogs really “finish the drill,” but that Carolina game was nuts–Jadeveon Clowney, you have my full permission to join the Kansas City Chiefs.

  14. @21-

    I couldn’t believe the dude from Michigan got up. Clowney’s hit was clean but at full speed I halfway thought the tailback’s head was still in that helmet- I’ve never seen a helmet come off like that, like it was fired from a cannon.

  15. I can’t believe I like this Bond conversation go on all day. I’m probably one of the biggest Bond nuts out there.

    Casino Royale, in its context, is probably the best Bond movie out there. I wouldn’t disagree with anyone being disappointed with the franchise as the Brosnan era progressed, and Die Another Day was probably the worst Bond movie (A View to a Kill, maybe?). With CR, they tried for the first time to get James Bond correct, based on Ian Fleming’s design of the character. As a result, Casino Royale is probably one of the most exciting Bond movies in terms of plot, action, and the performance by Daniel Craig. The problem with QoS was the direction of the character becoming more of an angry, self-loathing Bond instead of the balance that was struck in CR.

    In Skyfall, they finally strike the balance. Daniel Craig’s Bond is meant to be the “blunt instrument” that is so tormented by his occupation that he looks to sex and alcohol to distract him. But what the public also wants is the one-liner, glib humor that has set Bond apart from the Jason Bourne style of action hero. Skyfall takes all of that, adds an excellent director and cinematographer, a plot that (while slightly recycled in more ways than one) has suspense, misdirection, and some nostalgia/winks to the previous Bond eras.

    If you were annoyed with the Bond franchise during the Brosnan era, the Craig era should cause you to take a second look.

  16. Unfortunately, you’d need to offer the latter. The edit button literally is only available in a package of plugins that costs several hundred bucks a year.

    Most of the Brosnan Bond movies sucked, but Goldeneye was good, and I think it has one of the best Bond villains of all.

  17. I’d gladly pay $25 a year to be able to fix some of the dumbass things my brain tells my fingers to type.

  18. @30 If you had told me 5 years ago that Peter Jackson would make a Hobbit film and I’d have absolutely no desire to see it, I’d have told you you were crazy. Seems from everything I’ve read and seen that he totally mucked it up.

  19. It’s definitely a cut below LOTR, but still good by the standard of movies made these days, just speaking for myself. I am as big a Tolkien nut as their is, and really, hewing to the storyline isn’t that big a deal to me. I just wanted to see the books imagined visually by artists who were committed to the story and had an unlimited budget. I’ll go see all the films. It seemed to me, though, in the Hobbit, Jackson didn’t trust the story as much as he should have and grafted some things for mass appeal purposes, ironically making it have less in doing so.

  20. @32

    Cosign. I’m gonna try to keep an open mind when I see it, but just the fact that it’ll be eight hours long instead of the three or four hours it merits is distressing.

  21. @30 – I’ve heard that too from professional movie reviewers. Now that would be a nice job to have. Although restaurant reviewer would be my preference.

    Just to let y’all know I’m not illiterate but I cannot type worth a damn.

    Personally I think that Craig is the best Bond.

  22. @36 I agree with you about Craig. I have absolutely no attachment to the older movies because of my age and the fact that I’m not, you know, a dude, and those films are painfully misogynistic. I loved Goldeneye but I really like the new feel the Craig films have, and I thought Skyfall was just about perfect. High stakes but still just the right touch of fun and the ending had me totally geeking out.

  23. @33
    400-450, not 150.

    My opinion of the movie was that the 48fps was too dynamic to make the story believable. It was like seeing everything in real life, only on a set, especially on the scenes that were close and intimate (in the beginning at Bilbo’s house). I hope that’s an adjustment they’ll make when releasing the next 2.

    More on added plot… Tolkien has had many pieces of his works that paralleled Bilbo’s journey that were published later by his son, Christopher. Peter Jackson admittedly borrowed from these works, as well as created some added storyline (the opening scene was from “Unfinished Tales of Middle Earth”, I believe).

    There were also parts from the Silmarillion in the movie, one being the discovery of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur by Radagast. In Tolkien’s books, this happened a thousand years prior to the tale of The Hobbit and not by Radagast but by Sarumon and Gandalf. For those that read the Hobbit only and didn’t read all of Tolkien’s works, these added pieces probably led to some serious head scratching but hopefully Jackson starts to bring them together in the 2nd book.

    All in all, The Hobbit was a good, but frustrating movie for me, a serious Tolkien fan. It’s Tolkien’s children’s tale and should have been told as such. An adventure, just not one as epic as what Jackson wanted it to be. Two movies would have sufficed.

  24. @41, I certainly didn’t mind added language and imagery from other parts of the Tolkien mythology – it was the grafting on of just hit you over the head dialogue to explicate every possible emotional point. The whole Thorin saying “I was wrong about you” to Bilbo bit was just nauseating. The White Council, which could have been awesome, was played for laughs with the dumbass mushroom comment from Saruman while Galadriel and Gandalf are having some private telepathic conversation two feet in front of him. The underground fight was like some ridiculous chase scene from Temple Of Doom. As much as I would go see it knowing all of this, the additional back story was definitely not additive in many places.

  25. Back to New Years Resolutions:

    I resolve to not dump my wife and start dating Taylor Swift.

    I resolve not to buy any Phillies, Mets, Marlins, or Natspos merchandise.

    I resolve to continue to read the Braves Journal, and to continue to moan about our lost Edit Button.

    I resolve not to complain (too much) when Uggla strikes out (again) in one of his cold streaks.

    I’m REALLY not sure where that Tay-Tay resolution came from, as I’m DEFINITELY not in Ms. Swift’s preferred male demographic – those men too young to purchase alcohol in the US. But anyway, it sounds wonderfully off-kilter, which is a good way to begin 2013 – The Year of the Running Bear.

  26. Edit: Also, I’m not related to the Kennedys, another strike against me in T.Swift’s mind.

    Darn Edit Button.

  27. Completely agreed with spike at @42. Missed opportunity that unfortunately smells entirely like a cash grab — there’s just no intellectually honest way to say that the Hobbit, even with all of the extra material from elsewhere in the canon, should be a trilogy.

    The riddles scene with Gollum was great, though.

  28. But they left two out! How can you do that whne you are trying to make three movies? It was stuff like that which really bugged me.

  29. Spike pretty much nailed it @42. I have no problem with embellishing the story in order to draw out the universe and tie it in with the larger Tolkien-verse of Middle Earth. I agree that in a movie, we should *see* Radagast and the White Council, rather than be told about them. But that doesn’t mean you collapse all of the events into the same time frame.

    Unless, you know, you just want to film a chase seen with a sled pulled by rabbits, I guess.

    By far, the worse element of The Hobbit was the needlessly inserted “Pale Orc” chasing them. It literally eviscerates the entire narrative of The Hobbit. It is no longer a quest/adventure of growth and becoming (you know, like “The Hobbit”) but is rather a run/evade chase movie. (Like, oh, “The Blues Brothers.”)

    So, in short, The Hobbit was terrible because it was nothing more than a three hour sequence of gauzy plot exposition (of the most heavy handed variety, as Spike notes) intercut with chase/battle set pieces that looked to be explicitly designed and filmed for how well they’d translate to WB theme park rides.

  30. I thought The Dark Knight Rises, while obviously not on the level of The Dark Knight, was an excellent way to finish this trilogy. The story and dialogue left a bit to be desired but there were some really great scenes that we got to see for the first time in a Batman movie.

  31. Yeah, there was just no need for Azog, especially when you’ve got Smaug as a real enemy and The Necromancer as a parallel enemy. Azog was dispatched in a single sentence in the book. The movie would have done well to do the same.

    I also didn’t like Dame Edna’s Goblin King.

  32. Read “The Hobbit” in the 9th grade, never went back (despite a relative amount of peer pressure from Zep & Rush fans), never saw the movies.

    However, I did just see a University of Michigan football helmet rolling down my street…

  33. Just back from Django Unchained. Expertly made, of course. Good performances. Great music. But I dunno…I think the Tarantino thrill is a little bit gone for me. I tire of the brutality, the level of which was the only surprise in the entire movie, and the script was a significant step down from Inglorious Basterds.

  34. If anything, I think the closest analogue to Nazis would be the fallen Numenoreans, such as those led by Ar-Pharazon, whom Elendil and his father Amandil opposed. Under the influence of Sauron, they turned away from worshipping Illuvatar to worshipping Morgoth, and attempted to enslave Middle Earth.

  35. So does DOB, if you don’t mind a paragraph or two before in which he displays the cultural sensitivity of the Frito Bandito, and a couple after in which Captain Obvious retuns to his creepy middle aged “hepster” persona.

  36. There was never any doubt that Gattis was going to have to “prove” himself in spring training. And I think he will.

  37. @65, Maybe so, but remember this is a front office that penciled in the Rev over Simmons last spring, when Simmons was clearly the better talent. They have an order that they have mapped out and it takes something extraordinary to change the map.

  38. How do you get blow out so badly by a team that cannot run the football *one bit* and can’t block your pass rush *at all*?

    It does not make sense. All you have to do is cover their receivers for more than 4 seconds and it’s a sack. I mean seriously. Are our corners that bad?!

  39. So the talkiing heads want us to be content with an $83 mil payroll and internal options for LF, but then warn us about our expectations fornour only decent bat for that position. Unreal

  40. UF won those big games this year because their defense stopped some good offenses, not so much because of Driskel or any bevy of playmakers. He’s certainly not the QB you want when you’re behind all night. Gotta have some kind of vertical passing game.

    I saw enough of his games this year & L’ville was correct to blitz him all night. He really can’t throw downfield with much accuracy, he telegraphs everything & he’s oblivious in the pocket. The 2 big INTs were totally on him–hopelessly inaccurate passes.

    But, really, they lost tonight because they just never covered those short & medium routes. That’s what I found most surprising.

  41. Me as well, ububba. It seemed like on those two first half drives where Louis marched down the field, Florida was playing back on the receivers in a soft-ish zone. So there was always something for their (quite accurate) QB to hit underneath when he was forced out of the pocket. End result: two loooooong drives that ate clock and put Florida down huge.

    Not getting a TD on the first “real” drive Florida had, when they moved the ball 80+ yards but just got a field goal because of 20 penalty yards, including two real dumb ones from inside the 20 also hurt. If it’s just a two-score game, I don’t think Florida abandons the run the way they did, and there was no doubt in my mind that we could’ve run on Louisville all day. And then there was that way-too-desperate onside kick to start the next half….

    I mean, at some point you’ve got to trust that your defense is going to make plays. (Which, BTW, they eventually did….) It’s a 14 point game, so if you go out there and get a stop, you get the ball back, and can march the ball down the field on the ground and bring it within a score with plenty of time left. I just don’t get it. (‘Course, not like the coach was anticipating getting TWO personal fouls on the play, either.) Frankly, it felt like Florida got out-coached quite hard that game. Strong had his team better prepared and had a good game plan while UF panicked early and it possibly cost them the game.

  42. @66
    Am I the last person to find out that The White Bear used to work in Yellowstone National Park?

  43. Lousville’s QB is a stud. No shame in losing to that guy.

    Fangraphs has a nice piece up about Freeman: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/freddie-freeman-and-embracing-the-teases/

    @71 The org isn’t going to be eager to make a risky move considering Wren’s “do nothing” approach worked out last year. The problem is we lost a lot this year and I just don’t think we’ve done enough to replace it. At this point I’m terrified that Constanza or Schafer is going to start the year in LF.

  44. Gattis hasn’t done anything above AA. He should have to show he can play left field and hit at a higher level before we name him to the All Star team.

  45. @81 Then who plays left? Basically the only options besides Constanza is to put Prado there and start Roadrunner at third, which I am not comfortable with in any way.

  46. @83

    There is still a lot of time before Spring Training.

    It might be best to let Gattis get some ABs at AAA and let ConRado FrancHonson play for a few weeks.

  47. @71&80
    Take a gander at the offseason trends for OF…
    C. Ross- 3/26

    Trade market:
    Choo was an overpay that would’ve costed at least Delgado
    Span would’ve costed us more than Delgado/Teheran (I’m assuming that both have lost stock with their less than spectacular 2012s)
    Wil Myers wasnt a match

    Aside from Torii, which of the above scenarios would’ve been acceptable to the board here? There has been a lot of overpaying thus far and I don’t mind Wren staying put if it means he keeps the core of this club together. Of the remaining free agents, Hairston is interesting but seems redundant with R. Johnson already on board. After trading Hanson this offseason and moving Vizcaino last season, Wren should be skeptical of trading anymore pitchers unless there was a serious return, and I don’t think there would be. Both Maholm and Hudson will be free agents in 2014 and that’d leave Beachy, Medlen, Minor, and Delgado/Teheran/Gilmartin/Grahan for 2014. I’m sure both Hudson and Maholm, being southern boys, would be interested in returning for 8-10 million a year but those 2 leaving after this year has to play in the decisions of the organization. The farm isn’t what it used to be and selling low to fill a hole in 2013 makes us much worse in the future.

  48. Gattis needs to spend much time with McCann/Perez this offseason working on his catching defense and game calling, so he can start the season splitting time with Laird. If he proves more than worthy at the plate and adequate behind it, then find a place for his bat when McCann returns. It’d be a welcomed luxury to have 3 worthy catchers on the roster so Fredi doesn’t have to go all Ross on us and be afraid to burn one when a PH need arises.

  49. Im not asking Gattis to be an AllStar, Im just asking him to outperform Constanza and Fransisco. It shouldnt be that difficult of a task. If he cant and we are standing pat, then it will be a long season.

  50. @85 I agree that I’d rather us stand pat than go after anything you’ve listed. Justin Upton is the guy I’d try to trade for, and the fact that he hasn’t been moved yet is probably indication that the D Backs want too much for him. So odds are you are correct, and there’s just nothing available that suits the team’s needs.

    I think the part of this that irks me is the magically shrinking budget, which used to be 12 million, then it was 10, and now it’s 8. And the stupid extension for Janish. And all the chatter about a “leadoff hitter”. And we overpaid for the backup catcher. Bah.

  51. #88 – Very good points. Im not going to miss Hanson all that much, but the talking heads then were telling us that the move was to free up even more $$ to fill the LF job. At that time we had $14mil to spend, now its less than $10.

    The biggest problem I have is our bench. Pagnozzi, Constanza, Janish, Pena, and Schafer are all potential options. Janish has no place on this roster as a bench guy.

  52. @80
    You’ve harped on losing a lot but haven’t addressed the gains…
    1. Full year of Andrelton
    2. Full year of Maholm
    3. A real RH setup man
    4. Full year of R. Johnson

    Bill James predictions has Freeman being worth 1 more WAR than last year, McCann seriously rebounding back to around 4 WAR, Heyward, Upton, and Uggla slighly improving (about .5 WAR each), and Simmons being worth 5 WAR. I’m not saying I believe all of these things will occur, but I do have faith that our team is equally as good as last year’s team as constructed.

  53. The Red Sox will scout right-hander Javier Vazquez in Puerto Rico on Friday, according to Victor Ramos of Solo Beisbol (on Twitter, Spanish link). An industry source confirmed the news to Rob Bradford of WEEI, who notes that Vazquez has been throwing a fastball in the 92-93 mph range in recent workouts. Vazquez said earlier this week that he would consider a return to MLB and would like to play for a contender. Here’s more from around baseball.

  54. I do have faith that our team is equally as good as last year’s team as constructed.

    I wont disagree with you, but we are missing two big leadership type players with Chipper and Bourn. Even Bmac if he is out rehabbing in the minors for the month of April. It will be interesting to see if Heyward/Freeman can pick up that role.

    With all of that being said…being as good as last years team puts us in the potential wild card spot, not a division winner.

  55. @92 yeah but…

    1. Andrelton is certainly going to save a lot of runs on defense and therefore is a huge gain over the Rev. But I don’t expect him to provide anything on offense based on what I saw after his honeymoon phase was ended by the injury.

    2. I thought everyone was griping about Malholm’s 2012 being a aberration when we traded for him? I think having Malholm for the year will be offset by regression from Medlen (I love him but I don’t expect him to keep being the best pitcher in baseball), and Hudson (age). If Minor has it figured out then I’m stoked about the pitching staff. If he doesn’t? We had really high highs (Beachy, Medlen, Minor’s last few months) and low lows (Hanson, JJ, Minor’s first several months) from our rotation last year and it’s hard to guess what they will do next year.

    3. The bullpen is definitely improved from last year.

    4. What did Johnson do for us, exactly?

  56. @94

    I agree. I think the lack of having someone like Chipper come up in the late innings when we need a quality AB could be huge.

    Heyward and Freeman have to step up early in the season and show they can have the patience to be the leaders on the team.

  57. When you combine Beachy’s 1st half and Medlen’s 2nd half, you probably end up with a top 5 pitcher. There will be a drop off in their production, but anyone can replace JJ’s innings.

    Beachy/Medlen –
    16-6 219IP 152H 52BB 188K

  58. Chipper was a “leader” only because he was old and had tenure. He was not a “leader” by character or personality type. Never was over the course of his career.

    I have no idea how a guy who was with the team a total of 1.5 years could be considered a “leader.” I never heard anything about Bourn being some sort of clubhouse presence, either in Houston or in Atlanta.

  59. @97, using their starting stats only, you get very close to a Cy Young – 160ip at 1.5ERA, 14-5, 150k’s.

  60. Our approach the last many years, to my eye, has been to try to put together approximately the same level of team as the previous year, and to 1) expect improvement from the younger players (reasonable,) and 2) nothing to go wrong (unreasonable.)

    And the results have been about what one would expect of such an approach.

  61. If Gerardo Parra is truly going to be the D’backs 4th OF, I’d be all over that for LF. He’s this year’s version of the 2012 Angel Pagan, talented and undervalued. He will be coming into his peak seasons, is cheap for 3 more years, and plays outstanding defense. His platoon and home/road splits are pretty severe but I’d be willing to look over that for a chance to have him man LF on the best defensive team in the majors. Just like Pagan, could be a bust, but I think he’d be a worthy risk. It seemed to work out for the Giants.

  62. In regards to Bill James projections, we should probably temper our expectations on Simmons being a 5WAR player for next year. I hope he’s spot on, but we should realize that there was only 23 players last year that were 5 win players or more.

    I guess its worth noting that the Angels and Brewers led of all the teams last year in WAR.

  63. Louisville fan here, so I am still buzzing from last night’s win. Who’d have thunk it? The play book to beat the cards all year has been to run it up the gut so I was really surprised that the gators started throwing so much even with three quarters left to play. Great game though and I think both teams have a lot to look forward to in 2013.

    On to the bravos. I to am holding out for a real LF option before ST. Even with expected improvements and regressions I don’t think this lineup looks as good as last years and last years got us a wild card spot and a couple measly runs off Kyle Loshe.

    My only concern with the pitching staff is that I don’t know if I would bet on any of our starters to hit 200+ innings. Hudson is just too ‘seasoned’ to count it as a lock and the other guys haven’t done it yet. Might not be the end of the world but it could stress the bullpen a la 2011 which we all loved. Of course a real LFer could help the offense create some more blowouts and rest the pen that way…

  64. I’ll say this, Mike. Your QB is legit. If he’s been throwing with that kind of accuracy all year, he really deserved more hype than he’s gotten. (Though clearly last night will change that.) Louisville’s got some pass rushers up front, but it seems like in a closer game, you might’ve had trouble stopping the run. Judging from the running game, it seems like losing your #1 back earlier in the year really hurt, too.

    All that said, you guys must be ecstatic about Charlie Strong. He was a great assistant under Meyer, and I’m glad to see he’s having success.

  65. James’ projection for Simmons is very optimistic. I don’t expect him to generate that much offense but isn’t it probable that he’ll be better than pastonicky/janovich?

    The team as constructed right now can compete. Its reasonable to figure that Reed Johnson comes within spitting distance of his career numbers but depending on the Road Runner to hit enough has me worried. Realistically I don’t think the team goes to ORB. I think the Bear starts in AAA unless he has a monster spring training. Still hoping for a miracle trade for a real LFer though because if Francisco has a bad spring, then what?

  66. I think Andrelton can come very close to replicating his offense from 2012. There was an expectation when he was called up last year that he would be unable to hit major league pitching, but I don’t know where that came from, other than just being received wisdom that got passed along without examination. Maybe it was the one HR in 2011 that people fixated on…but it’s not as though that one HR was accompanied by a .260 BA w/ 18 doubles. He hit .311 with 35 doubles that year. A 21-year-old middle infielder with Andrelton’s physical frame who can hit 35 doubles has some projectible bat authority. And I liked what I saw of his swing.

  67. That’s really impressive. He’s not a big guy, so I’m not sure what the NFL prognosticators will say about him, but he was good at extending plays in the pocket. Get that guy a real offensive line, and he’s a Heisman candidate. Hell, at this point he’ll probably be on people’s preseason lists at is it. >_<

  68. As another lurking Louisville fan, I’m still stunned. Teddy is legit and has been all season (though his numbers dropped off a bit when he got hurt in the last few games of the season, he still beat Rutgers on one leg & w/ one arm) & our receivers are as well, but I didn’t understand either why Fla. didn’t pound us more on the ground. We played a better all-around game defensively than I’d seen us play all year (and frankly, I had no idea we had it in us this year), and I was amazed how much penetration we actually got, but still I think you’re right, there was a mismatch to be exploited there. Also, it’s certainly an easy thing to second-guess, but I also didn’t understand that onside kick to open the 2nd half–with a defense as vaunted & talented as Florida’s, why not try for the stop/to pin us back? But whoaman, getting to see Charlie so fired up after the game was so, so neat. It’s fun to be able to root for such an incredibly cool dude, esp. after Petrino & John L. (who left us at halftime of a bowl game), and with the moral knots we tie ourselves into daily in defending & rationalizing Pitino.

    Onto Braves Matters & the 2013 gains–we do get a half year of Beachy also, right? are there any updates on where he’s at in recovering? What do folks expect from him? Is the first year back from TJ always relatively rough, or have there been exceptions?

  69. Is the first year back from TJ always relatively rough, or have there been exceptions?
    Would Strassberg and Medlin count

  70. Is the first year back from TJ always relatively rough, or have there been exceptions?

    I’d say that Stephen Strasburg and Kris Medlen in 2012 were two pretty successful exceptions. The doctors like to say that TJ isn’t “routine,” but it’s getting more and more routine, recovery times are decreasing (they used to say 18 months, now they say 12 months), and it appears that pitchers are getting back to full strength faster, too.

    Obviously, nothing is a given — Beachy is a pitcher, so there’s always at least a 0.1% chance that he’ll just spontaneously combust — but the odds are pretty good that he’ll come back and be pretty close to the guy he was before he went on the DL.

  71. I’m not his doctor, but I thought I read that Beachy is expected back towards the end of the season.

  72. Id expect Beachy back around the All Star break. If everyone is healthy and performing will Maholm get traded or who goes to the pen?

  73. Facing a surplus of outfielders following their deal with Cody Ross, the Diamondbacks are once again “very much open” to talking about trading Justin Upton, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (all Twitter links). Their specific demands have changed, Olney notes.

    Get Upton in LF and Gattis behind the plate

  74. #117
    Muschamp certainly panicked, and after the onside-kick fiasco, I was getting visions of a burnt-up Wile E. Coyote. Still, on the Shaky-Decision Meter, I remain in awe of Les Miles’ New Year’s Eve performance.

    You have the ball with a 2-point lead and about 2:45 left—-the other team has all 3 TOs left. You have to run the ball. At least once, right?

    No, let’s surprise them with a pass. Fine, complete—-it’s now 2nd and 2. Great situation for LSU! A run must be next, right? A first down can come very close to ending things, but even if you don’t get the first down at all, Clemson will burn one, maybe 2 TOs.

    No, let’s keep passing. Other than a turnover, what’s the worst thing that can happen here?

    Correct, grasshopper: Two incompletes, a punting situation, the clock doesn’t move, and Clemson keeps all their TOs.

    Clemson deserves all the credit for hanging around & pulling that game out, a great win for them, but that was a Statue-of-Liberty-sized gift.

    I will say this: When it comes to “I-Never-Would’ve-Thought-Of-That” moments, Les Miles rarely lets me down.

  75. Les probably forgets that he has 2 or 3 stud running backs. But, but Mettenberger is suppose to be that “special talent” top QB. Ha, now people think Dooley is a great coach.

  76. When did Gattis work in Yellowstone? I worked there got several years. Wonder if we ever crossed paths. I’ll definitely be rooting for the guy.

  77. I couldn’t agree more about Muschamp and Miles. Les has done a lot of really strange things, but 3 straight passes with 2 or so minutes to play was amazing. If Clemson has to burn all of their timeouts I just don’t see them winning the game – epic stupidity!

  78. Les hoists himself on his own petard too often, but Muschamp is simply in over his head.

    I gleefully await the gnashing of Louisville teeth when Florida hires Chollie at the very first opportunity.

  79. @120 – I like it. But that leaves us flat broke and unable to do very much if what we have to trade away for Upton bites us in the derriere.

  80. Tonight’s game is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. Two very different programs, two very different coaches whose teams are distilled reflections of their head coaches’ personalities to a greater extent than that of any other non-SEC program. Oregon is favored by more than a touchdown (rightly, I think), but maybe the old fox Snyder can come up with something to slow them down just enough.

  81. Having watched their Baylor game, I really have my doubts about that.

    Nonetheless, I’ll be rooting for KSU & against the techno-puke unis.

  82. Anyone else think Chavis might be tired of having to carry the whole load?

    If ever he wanted to be a head coach, now’s the time.

  83. I have no idea who in their right mind would give Johnny Chavis the keys to the car. He is absolutely not head-coach material.

  84. @131

    I love Chavis. But Stu’s right, he ain’t a head coach and there is a reason why. He knows it too.

  85. @101 – Yes, that’s fair to say that’s what has to be done.

    My main thought at the time was the notion that because x, y, and z bad things that happened aren’t likely to happen again, doesn’t mean that a, b, and c bad things that are going to happen should be discounted.

    We seem to have to operate on a best case scenario model that is rarely going to hit.

  86. 118 — It’s unlikely that everyone will stay healthy and performing. Probably will need him.

  87. @138 i was excited until i saw that it was Rosenthal.

    Sorry to bring up SEC football again, but I’m really digging the hires Gus has made at Auburn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *