Reminder: Dugout Central Challenge picks due Thursday

by KerryWhisnant

As announced a week ago, the deadline for entries into the Third Annual Dugout Central Challenge is noon, CDT on Thursday March 31. I’ve received two entries to date — not counting mine since it’s not ready yet. All you need to do is predict the number of regular season wins for each of the thirty MLB teams. Entries should be sent to me at whisnant@iastate.edu. Anyone can enter, so let’s see those predictions!

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235 Responses to “Reminder: Dugout Central Challenge picks due Thursday”

  1. Kerry Says:

    Just for the record, only Jon Ellis and John Bowen have sent me predictions so far.

    Feel free to use this article to continue any discussion you like, but get off your duff and send me your predictions :-)

  2. Chuck Says:

    Too much pressure now, Kerry.

    I mean, I had to completely re-do my Milwaukee picks after they picked up Nyjer Morgan today!!

    :)

  3. John Says:

    Hahaha.

  4. Bob Says:

    Kerry, I sent mine in. And in Red Sox news, Matt Albers and Dennys Reyes made the squad while Okajima and Alfredo Aceves were optioned to Pawtucket.

  5. Bob Says:

    The Dodgers agreed to a 3-year extension with Chad Billingsley.

  6. Cameron Says:

    VERY smart move if you ask me. Let’s face it, he’ll always be #2 with Clayton Kershaw in the mix… But Billingsley’s a pretty fucking good #2 starter.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Another HR for Alex Gordon today.

    Royals hit four..off some AA bums from the Brewers.

    I hate split squad games.

  8. Cameron Says:

    Only 6 HR for Gordon (probably 7 now, dunno when stats are updated)… But he’s hitting .353 with a 1.220 OPS.

    ….PLEASE let this be his full season line! I’m about ready to kill a chicken to do it. If it’ll help you hit a curveball, I’m sure it’ll help you hit lefties too.

  9. Cameron Says:

    Oh, speaking of lefties, how’s Gordon doing against his Kryptonite right now?

  10. Chuck Says:

    He’s killing them.

    The HR today was against a lefty. The other night, two doubles off Madison Bumgarner, both off curveballs. I saw him get a homer and double off Ted Lilly and a triple off Matt Harrison.

    Kila hit a missle to dead center, about 425 feet.

    Francoeur and Escobar hit homers too. Escobar’s cleared the bullpen in LF. I didn’t think he had that kind of power.

  11. Cameron Says:

    He doesn’t, but even a pitcher can hit a ball 400 feet if he gets a lucky ball. It’s not a sign of things to come, but hey, nice shot nonetheless.

  12. Chuck Says:

    I saw Brett Eibner for an at bat too. I think you had mentioned him awhile ago.

  13. Chuck Says:

    Highlights.

    Gordon’s homer isn’t here, but the other three are.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/search/media.jsp?game_pk=305929

  14. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, Eibner profiles as CF with a bat, though I think his glove is a bit questionable. After looking things over again and people being so high on Giavotella (not to mention CF being absolutely logjammed) that he may get lost in the shuffle. If Gordon can keep this up, that’s him and Wil at the corners… And THIS as the CF mix.

    Derrick Robinson
    Brett Eibner
    Jarrod Dyson
    Lorenzo Cain
    Alcides Escobar

    I like Eibner, but I fear he may be a bench bat.

  15. Cameron Says:

    Just saw Kila’s center field bomb. I’m really torn on Kila. On one hand, he’s not as complete a player as Eric Hosmer and his bat isn’t as good as Butler’s to win the DH spot.

    On the other hand, when he makes solid contact he beats the living fuck out of that ball. I remember seeing him in a game in ‘09 and even on a double he still produced a bat crack that sounded like a cannon shot. If I had to draw a similar comparison… Really, the only other guy with the pure muscle that makes a ball come off the bat like that is Mike Stanton.

    He’s not nearly as good as Stanton, but he can make the ball hurt.

  16. Chuck Says:

    Yost apparently had a change of heart..Kila’s the everyday first baseman.

    You’re right, though, he’s just keeping the position warm for a year.

  17. Cameron Says:

    He’s keeping the position warm here in KC, but I hope he has a good career somewhere. He seems like the kind of player Billy Beane loves, someone who has good qualities (Kila’s great power stroke), but other teams just gave up on him. Given the fact that Daric Barton has a pretty weak bat, I could see us trying to pick something off Oakland in a low-yield deal.

    Though trying to do a package deal to sntch Michael Taylor (a guy who I think has real stud potential) and sending Hawaiian Punch over there wouldn’t hurt. Given the depth, I wouldn’t put it past saying that outside of top minors talent (Julio Teheran, Mike Trout, Martin Perez), we could prospect-for-prospect trade about anyone away from any team with the right package.

  18. Chuck Says:

    I heard today the Royals are trying to trade Lucas May. Both he and Brayan Pena are out of options.

    Pena and Treanor will be the catchers until Kendall comes back around May first, then one or the other gets traded.

    Treanor’s a solid ML backup. Today was his first day in uniform and he already knew the defensive signs and was taking charge on the field…and KC had their opening day lineup on the field.

    That was impressive.

    I had heard the Yankees had a scout following the Rangers the past couple of days, ostensibly looking at either Treanor or Taylor Teagarden.

    Treanor was the regular catcher last year for a World Series team, and while he can’t hit, he’s a solid, dependable veteran catcher. CJ Wilson gives Treanor as much credit as anyone for the year he had last season.

    That said, I think he’s the one out when Kendall comes back, only because Pena has the best bat of the three.

    He’ll be a good manager someday if that’s what he wants to do.

  19. Cameron Says:

    I like the fact that KC won’t go without a serviceable catcher… But I still think that it wouldn’t hurt to hit catching in the next draft or two. While Salvador Perez is good, I haven’t heard anything really outstanding about him in one fashion or another. Then again, he’ll be an everyday guy and really that’s all you need with this depth.

    …Come to think of it, what should KC focus on this next draft or two? I still say hit RHSP as hard as you can right now.

  20. Jim Says:

    A season defining trade between the RS and Rockies – NOT

    RHP Daniel Turpen to the Rockies for Class AAA catcher Mike McKenry

    IIRC correctly Turpen came to the Sox in last years deal that sent Ramon Ramirez to the Giants. Turpen was then claimed by the Yanks in the Rule 5 draft and returned a couple of weeks ago. The Sox have been looking for a stop gap in the minors if either Tek or Salty were to be injured.

  21. Cameron Says:

    Matt Treanor has been named the Opening Day catcher. He catches the RHP, Pena catches the LHP. Also, Billy Butler is batting cleanup for Alex Gordon this year.

  22. Bob Says:

    Jim, you are correct. It is a season defining trade!!!

  23. Bob Says:

    Actually, not sure there is a deal.

  24. Bob Says:

    The Blue Jays acquired Jayson Nix.

  25. Chuck Says:

    See why I haven’t turned in my predictions yet?

    First Nyjer Morgan, then Jayson Nix.

    Nix might cost the Jays a couple of wins.

    :)

  26. hossrex Says:

    My only pick is that the dodgers lose more than 90 games this year.

    Same talented core of the pitching staff who’ve proven to be career under-performers… and that’s NICER than anything that can be said about the starting fielders.

    If 13 wins and 175 innings pitched out of a starter who still makes 30-ish starts is impressive to anyone, I got cash to put on the season.

    I’m starting to appreciate dennis… typing this shit on a phone is hard.

  27. John Says:

    Oh look, it’s hossrex.

    Missed you buddy

  28. Cameron Says:

    Hey Chuck, Alex Gordon is batting third in KC this season (at least to start off). Now, I’ve been burned by Alex Gordon one too many times to be optimistic, but what do you think he can do? If I was to be generous…

    I’d say about a .270 batting line and he still has 20-20 ability.

  29. Chuck Says:

    The press notes at the game on Monday quoted Yost as saying the lineup on the field would be the opening day lineup.

    Butler third, Kila fourth and Gordon fifth.

    I’d say you’re numbers are (understandably) conservative.

  30. Cameron Says:

    I read earlier today that Yost shuffled the lineup.

    Aviles
    Cabrera
    Gordon
    Butler
    Kila
    Frenchy
    Who Cares
    Shoot Me
    We’re Fucked

  31. Chuck Says:

    I did see the boxscore today and it pretty much matched what you have..Gordon did hit third.

    I like it.

  32. Cameron Says:

    Ah, here we go. I pulled this from the Royals website. Yost set the roster up. The only top prospects that broke camp with KC were Jeremy Jeffress, Tim Collins, and Aaron Crow as relievers.

    Lineup

    1 – Mike Aviles, 3B
    2 – Melky Cabrera, CF
    3 – Alex Gordon, LF
    4 – Billy Butler, DH
    5 – Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
    6 – Jeff Francouer, RF
    7 – Alcides Escobar, SS
    8 – Matt Treanor, C
    9 – Chris Getz, 2B

    Rotation

    1 – Luke Hochevar, RHP
    2 – Jeff Francis, LHP
    3 – Kyle Davies, RHP
    4 – Bruce Chen, LHP
    5 – Vin Mazzaro, RHP

    Bullpen

    CL – Joakim Soria, RHP
    SU – Robinson Tejeda, RHP
    SU – Tim Collins, LHP
    MR – Sean O’Sullivan, RHP
    MR – Aaron Crow, RHP
    MR – Kanekoa Texeria, RHP
    MR – Jeremy Jeffress, RHP
    MR – Nate Adcock, RHP

  33. Cameron Says:

    And the bench (had to get the 25 man roster pulled up)

    Bench

    C – Lucas May
    C – Brayan Pena
    C – Jason Kendall (DL)
    UT – Wilson Betemit
    OF – Gregor Blanco
    OF – Jarrod Dyson
    OF – Mitch Maier

    Uh… I have a 28 man roster right now, so expect a few more DFAs on that bench.

  34. Cameron Says:

    Wait… I just realized that out of ALL the SP prospects we have, Aaron Crow broke camp.

    Not Mike Montgomery, Tim Melville, John Lamb, Chris Dwyer, or Danny Duffy.

    …Way to go, kid. Talk about progress.

  35. Chuck Says:

    Blanco got released, and May will be gone, either by trade or release, by game time on Thursday.

    I like the “new” bullpen.

  36. Cameron Says:

    The new blood gives it a bit of life. Hopefully it will bail out the rotation a bit.

  37. Cameron Says:

    It seems the Braves are going back to the closer platoon they had in the Mike Gonzalez/Rafael Soriano days as both Craig Kimbrel and Johnny Venters are listed as closers on the depth charts.

  38. Cameron Says:

    In order to fix the roster overflow, KC optioned Vin Mazzaro to Omaha until April 16th, when he’s expected to start vs. the Mariners.

  39. Chuck Says:

    Kansas City is not going to finish last.

    Cleveland is so bad it’s almost impossible to be worse, but the Royals turnaround starts now.

    Next year at this time, we’ll be talking about them as the 2008 Rays.

  40. Cameron Says:

    Cleveland still has a lot of upside, but with the pitching and the fact that a few guys are still hurt… I’ll say KC finishes 4th in the division. I won’t give them a winning record, but they’ll be better than I gave them credit for.

  41. Bob Says:

    The Giants released Jeff Suppan.

  42. Cameron Says:

    Why does Jeff Suppan still have a job?

  43. Bob Says:

    As of now, he does not.

  44. Lefty33 Says:

    Don’t feel bad for Sup as the Brewers still had to pay him $2 million this year as part of his release last year.

    It still amazes me that the Brewers gave him $42 million dollars.

    He was a .500 pitcher and had a career ERA over four and they give him a contract that even had Kei Igawa scratching his head.

  45. John Says:

    Easily the worst contract in team history. Also the biggest deal in club history (at the time. Still the most dollars/year for a multiyear deal).

    But, not even close to the worst deal made in that off-season. The Giants signed Barry Zito, the Astros signed Carlos Lee, and the Cubbies signed Alfonso Soriano.

    The difference is, everyone except the Brewers knew Suppan would be a bust.

    At least he gave back to the community, like pretty hardcore.

  46. brautigan Says:

    Was Lorenzo Cain that much of a bust to start the season in Omaha? I mean, would you not want him to see major league pitching to improve his game or another season of AAA pitching that won’t do much at all?

  47. Chuck Says:

    He just got beat out, Braut.

    Other than Francoeur, no one was guaranteed a starting OF job when spring training began.

    Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera went out, played their asses off, and won jobs.

    It’s as simple as that.

    Mitch Maier had to get the reserve spot because he’s out of options, but the CF job was clearly Cain’s to lose…and he did.

  48. Chuck Says:

    Found this on Bleacher Report.

    Note the author.

    Interesting read.

    :)

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/649339-discussing-and-debating-short-hops-and-sabermetrics

  49. John Says:

    It baffles me that the Royals went and signed Francoeur.

    Like.

    Why?

    Save that money to tack on to the massive arbitration payments you’re going to have to make in a couple years.

    Not signing one of the games worst position players.

  50. Seven Says:

    “Other than Francoeur, no one was guaranteed a starting OF job when spring training began.”

    I’m with John in asking why? Why would any team sign Francoeur for $2.5M, let alone guarantee him and only him a starting job in their outfield? What more can this guy do to prove he’s not a capable everyday Major League player? How many teams will he fail in that role with before A) no more teams will make him an everyday player and B) he’ll accept a platoon role?

    It’s weird, I used to hate Francoeur and thought he was the most overrated player in the game back when everyone fell in love with him 5 years ago. Then, when he joined the Mets (my favorite team), he started to grow on me like he did with everyone else. He’s a likeable guy. He has a rocket for an arm. He has power. He DOES have value.

    But look at his splits and watch his at bats. Total career and every individual year. He can’t hit power righties, it’s that simple. But he keeps hypnotizing these teams with that great smile and charm of his into making him an everyday player and he keeps getting exploited. I don’t get it. I guess I can’t blame Frenchy if someone’s going to pay him, but it work out better for him and the team he’s on if he’d only go to the plate 400 times a year against the right pitchers.

  51. Chuck Says:

    Good question.

    I don’t have the timeline handy, but my assumption is the Royals signed Francoeur before the Greinke trade.

    If they had made the trade first, would the Royals have signed Francoeur knowing Lorenzo Cain would offer similar production at a fraction of the cost?

    I thought he played pretty well in spring training. Maybe I’m falling victim to his hypnotic ability like Seven referred to, then again, maybe he’s just one of those players who performs better when he blends in with the crowd instead of being counted on to, you know, play well.

  52. John Says:

    Enjoyed the interview, I’m probably gonna get that book!

    Casual observation: Shaun writes “Q” for whenever its his turn to speak, but most of the time there’s no question asked.

  53. Bob Says:

    The Phillies released Luis Castillo

  54. John Says:

    That was a magical tenure. 11 days, maybe?

  55. Bob Says:

    9 days. And the Mets still need a second baseman.

  56. Chuck Says:

    “The Phillies released Luis Castillo”

    That means Utley’s out until at least the All-Star break, and the Phillies are going after Micheal Young.

  57. brautigan Says:

    I guess with Francouer we see what value he can and should have and realize without a better approach at the plate, this IS what his value is. A great defender, ok slugging and crummy walk rates. That is what Francouer brings to the Royals.

    Chuck: I hear what you’re saying about Cain, but if he is the center piece of the Greinke trade, do you not think the Royal fans deserve to see Cain in CF every day? Right now, Kansas City will have Escobar at SS (he won’t be sending Royal fan into bliss right away unless Royal fan pays close attention to defense) and Jeffress in the bullpen. Royal fan will think “did we get taken in the Greinke deal?” And the short answer is “yes”. Cain deserves to play everyday in CF, and not in Omaha.

  58. John Says:

    How well did Cabrera do over spring training, Chuck? Better than Cain? Well enough to make you think he’s any different than he was before, with the yankees and braves?

  59. Lefty33 Says:

    “That means Utley’s out until at least the All-Star break, and the Phillies are going after Micheal Young.”

    The local rumor is August.

  60. Lefty33 Says:

    Jaime Moyer will be a talking head on Baseball Tonight this year.

  61. Bob Says:

    Cool.

  62. Raul Says:

    The discussion between Shaun and Alan Hirsh on Bleacher Report was interesting and I enjoyed it.

    It was a big long.
    And it seemed to me like Shaun got owned. Hirsh seemed to have had an answer to everything.

  63. Raul Says:

    I think Jesus Montero’s failure to step up and take the back-up catching job this Spring has sealed his fate.

    He’s going to be traded.

    I think the Yankees will find power at some other positions and would rather have Romine or Sanchez develop into their future catcher.

    My guess is Cashman will kick the tires on Felix Hernandez and everyone except Banuelos and Sanchez are fair game.

    Maybe Cashman can sucker the Mariners into taking Joba and Montero. Probably not though.

  64. Raul Says:

    Early reports are the Giants will make Brandon Belt their starting first baseman.

    Glad I picked him up.

  65. Jim Says:

    Chuck @ 48 & Raul @ 62 – As part of the baseball special issue of today’s Mpls Star Tribune, Pat Reusse relays a conversation with Jim Fregosi regarding sabremetrics, short preview is Fregosi doesn’t think much of stat heads.

  66. Chuck Says:

    “And it seemed to me like Shaun got owned.”

    Different site, same result.

  67. Chuck Says:

    Braut, I agree with you.

    Cabrera finished second and Gordon sixth among all ML hitters in average, and Gordon led in walks.

    It’s not like Cain stunk up the joint, he was a pretty respectable .289, but when you have two guys putting up numbers like Cabrera and Gordon did, it’s kind of hard to justify sending them down.

    John, Cabrera showed up to camp in the best shape of his life and went out and won a job. If you put a tuxedo on a pig it’s still a pig, so I don’t expect Cabrera to hold the job for long, but it’s a good story nonetheless.

    If you read Joel Sherman at the Post or Mark Feinsand in the Daily News, you’d think Joe Girardi ran over their dogs when the Yanks sent Montero down.

    The bottom line with him, and I’ve been saying this for awhile, is Montero will NEVER be the everyday catcher in New York. They’ll dig up Thurman Munson before giving Montero the job.

    He can’t catch. He can’t throw. I’ve seen dead bodies move more.

    Designated hitters grow on trees…the Yanks went out and gave a washed up Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez million dollar contracts to be backup position players and to get occassional DH time instead of having Montero play four days a week.

    If that doesn’t tell you what the Yankees REALLY think of him, then…

    Why did the Mariners trade Cliff Lee to Texas?

    Because they liked Justin Smoak better than Jesus Montero.

    If that doesn’t tell you what everybody else thinks of him, then…..

    The Mariners aren’t going to trade Felix, but I’m not lost on the fact Don Mattingly’s the manager in Los Angeles and their starting catcher is Dioner Navaro.

    Montero and Joba for Chad Billingsley?

  68. Raul Says:

    Billingsley signed a 3 year extension today.

  69. Chuck Says:

    Montero and Joba for Cole Hamels?

    Montero for Mark Buerhle, even up?

    Montero for Fausto Carmona, even up?

    Montero and $20 million for the rights to Yu Darvish?

  70. Chuck Says:

    I had to print Shaun’s interview, I can’t read anything that long on a web page.

    Fifteen pages in Word.

    I knew from thumbing through it was long, but, damn…

  71. Bob Says:

    Speaking of Yu Darvish, I wonder what will happen this year in Japan regarding baseball. I could see players saying no way. Heck, 2 days ago I read that trace amounts of radiation were detected in Reno, Nevada.

  72. Bob Says:

    Kerry, with less than 24 hours to go, how many people have entered?

  73. Raul Says:

    I don’t like Fausto Carmona. Decent sinkerball but I doubt he’ll ever put it together like Brandon Webb did.

    That you would consider shipping Montero for Mark Buehrle…holy crap. Buehrle is only 32? He’s been around forever. I thought Buehrle was at least 35. He’s pitched at least 200 innings in every full season of his career. That is impressive.

    The Giants don’t have a need for Montero at all. I suppose they could take a flyer on Joba. But I have always had an interest in Jonathan Sanchez. He has always seemed to me like Oliver Perez. Both have good stuff, but Sanchez appears to be putting it together in a way Perez never did.

    Buehrle is interesting if only because the Yankees could take the money off the White Sox’s hands and they could use a veteran lefty — especially with Sabathia opting out.

  74. Chuck Says:

    I had thought about maybe Sanchez or Cain, and you’re right..the Giants have no need for Montero.

    Jon Heyman picks Buster Posey for MVP and Brandon Belt for ROY.

  75. Chuck Says:

    I don’t like Fausto Carmona either, just throwing out (or up) names.

  76. Chuck Says:

    “Heck, 2 days ago I read that trace amounts of radiation were detected in Reno, Nevada.”

    Doesn’t have anything to do with Japan.

    Years and years of nuclear testing in Nevada is responsible for that.

  77. Raul Says:

    It’s funny how my stance has changed.

    I was pretty high on Montero 6 weeks ago.

    Now, I’d consider moving him for just about any #3 or #4 starter.

    Montero for Bronson Arroyo? Done.
    LOL

  78. Raul Says:

    Hey,

    Speaking of Cleveland…
    What’s the scoop on that Drew Pomeranz kid?

  79. Chuck Says:

    Don’t know, really.

    He had two ST appearances totaling three innings…(with five K’s).

    Pitched well, but infrequently, so he really wasn’t a consideration for a roster spot.

    Not sure where he’s going to end up, either. Probably High A.

  80. Raul Says:

    As of yesterday, 10 players have 20+ strikeouts this Spring.

    Pedro Alvarez – 27
    Adam Dunn – 27
    Jack Cust – 24
    Drew Stubbs – 24
    Ryan Langerhans – 23
    Mark Reynolds – 23
    Xavier Paul – 21
    Tyler Colvin – 20
    Carlos Pena – 20
    Mark Trumbo – 20

    How the hell do you strike out so much when you will have Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen on base in front of you…like all the time?

    Damn you Pedro Alvarez.

  81. Chuck Says:

    How do you strike out so many times when half your at bats come against guys who got their uniforms from the team shop?

  82. John Says:

    I don’t think anyone will trade an established starter for montero. I think they’ve seen the signs as easily as all of us.

  83. Bob Says:

    The Astros waive Ryan-Rowland Smith. Wonder if Seattle needs a pitcher.

  84. brautigan Says:

    Bob: Not since Pineda made the starting 5. The Mariners are “ok” for starting pitching right now. There are other teams where catching is a more pressing need. Hell, Pittsburgh just trade for Ronny Paulino, that shows you how bad major league catching is right now.

  85. Raul Says:

    In an article on Bleacher Report last week, the following paragraph was written about Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr.

    “In his book Love Me, Hate Me, Jeff Pearlman tells a story in which Bonds met with Griffey and confided in his longtime friend over dinner that he was about to start taking some “hard-core stuff.” Bonds was jealous of the attention that McGwire and Sosa received, feeling that he was the superior athlete and ballplayer and was not receiving his due recognition. While Bonds chose to elevate his game by cheating, Griffey chose to stay clean.”

    — Start taking some hard-core stuff —

    For people who suspect Bonds was using SOMETHING before 1999, starting to take some hard-core stuff might mean Bonds was willing to go to the next level. And that he was already using some PEDs.

    Interpret that however you like. But when I read that, I didn’t think Bonds went from clean to hardcore juicer. When people use drugs or steroids, they usually experiment at first. I think he was on something and he made 10 louder — to reference Spinal Tap.

    So for those of you who think he was clean before that, I respectfully disagree.

  86. Chuck Says:

    I had heard that story before, Raul, and NOT from the book.

    And I agree 200% with what you say..if anyone believes Bonds was clean before 1998 or ‘99, then, well…..

  87. Cameron Says:

    “I’m with John in asking why? Why would any team sign Francoeur for $2.5M, let alone guarantee him and only him a starting job in their outfield? What more can this guy do to prove he’s not a capable everyday Major League player? How many teams will he fail in that role with before A) no more teams will make him an everyday player and B) he’ll accept a platoon role?”

    Because our alternative was Mitch Maier. He’s a platoon guy at best.

  88. Cameron Says:

    And Chuck is… Half-right about Cain’s reason for starting in Omaha. Cabrera lit the place up in ST but also the fact that Cain had a short stint in the majors last year, my thinking is that…

    Well, let’s face it. The Royals are cheap and we’re not contending this year. Cain has the potential to stay in Royal blue through the upcoming dynasty years and they’re pausing his arbitration clock to keep things going. If we get hot, he may get called up.

  89. Chuck Says:

    Royals designate Lucas May for assignment.

    I was on that one, huh?

    Giants designate Travis Ishikawa..I guess that cements Brandon Belt’s roster spot.

  90. Cameron Says:

    And lastly… I’d believe that Bonds was on some sort of steroid before ‘98. Then again, I could plausibly say just about anyone was on something back then because the junk was everywhere with no penalty. What did McGwire admit to taking during a press interview? I know it wasn’t Deca-Durabolin, it was something weaker, a muscle enhancer that may or may not be legal under the current testing now.

  91. Chuck Says:

    I’m pretty sure Dayton Moore could give two shits about Lorenzo Cain’s arbitration clock.

  92. Cameron Says:

    May accepted the assignment? Nice, I thought he was out of options.

    And god DAMN Brandon Belt, welcome to San Francisco. The only thing is there MIGHT be a hitch here, as the Giants like Pat Burrell in left and Mark DeRosa’s been taking ABs at first base and he may be there instead of Brandon. If he breaks camp with them though, the kid is a true beast.

  93. Cameron Says:

    Dayton Moore couldn’t care.

    David Glass’s tight ass doesn’t want to pay him a cent more than he has to.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Okay, I checked the situation. Brandon Belt has indeed made the Giants Opening Day lineup.

  95. Chuck Says:

    “May accepted the assignment? Nice, I thought he was out of options.”

    He was out of options…that’s what designated for assignment means.

    He could have accepted the assignment or become a free agent.

    Belt isn’t going to ride the pine in San Fran..he’s the starter at first base.

    Burrell plays left, Huff goes to right, DeRosa to the bench.

  96. Cameron Says:

    So DeRosa goes from the DL to the bench. Is that an upgrade?

  97. Chuck Says:

    Beats getting DFA’d.

  98. Kerry Says:

    @72

    Bob, we only have 5 at the moment, including me.

  99. Cameron Says:

    Knowing how much DeRosa’s going to make, I think they’d rather have him on the roster in some capacity and help the team instead of paying him 6 million dollars and not even being in San Fran.

  100. Chuck Says:

    DeRosa’s a solid utility guy..can play both OF corners and every INF position except short.

    He’s insurance for Sandoval and for the injury prone Freddy Sanchez.

    I’ll bet he still gets over 400 PA’s.

  101. Cameron Says:

    Juan Uribe and Miguel Tejada can’t play short anymore either, but that didn’t stop San Fran either.

  102. Raul Says:

    ESPN.com ran a poll on which players will win the major awards at seasons end.

    12 said Robinson Cano will win the AL MVP.
    15 said Adrian Gonzalez will win the AL MVP

    One guy picked Gio Gonzalez for AL Cy Young
    One guy picked Zach Britton for AL ROY

    No real surprises for the NL Awards, except a few guys picked Craig Kimbrel for NL ROY, one guy picked Wilson Ramos, and another guy picked Jason Heyward to win the NL MVP.

    Most people had the MVP going between Troy Tulowitzki and Albert Pujols.

  103. Raul Says:

    Buster Olney picked Ivan Nova as his AL ROY.

    I don’t think Buster Olney watches much baseball.

  104. Cameron Says:

    “I don’t think Buster Olney watches much baseball.”

    You JUST noticed that?

    I also saw MLB Trade Rumors did some picks and they seemed… Less insane.

    AL MVP

    Adrian Gonzalez – 4 Picks
    Carl Crawford – 3 Picks
    Evan Longoria – 2 Picks

    NL MVP

    Albert Pujols – 5 Picks
    Troy Tulowitzki – 2 Picks
    Prince Fielder – 2 Picks

    AL Cy Young
    -
    Jon Lester – 4 Picks
    Justin Verlander – 3 Picks
    David Price – 2 Picks

    NL Cy Young
    -
    Roy Halladay – 6 Picks
    Clayton Kershaw – 2 Picks
    Tim Lincecum – 1 Pick

    AL Rookie of the Year
    -
    Jeremy Hellickson – 5 Picks
    Michael Pineda – 1 Pick
    Mike Moustakas – 1 Pick
    Chris Sale – 1 Pick
    Kyle Drabek – 1 Pick

    NL Rookie of the Year (Okay, it gets insane right about here)
    -
    Freddie Freeman – 3 Picks
    Brandon Belt – 3 Picks
    Aroldis Chapman – 1 Pick
    Brandon Beachy – 1 Pick (Eh?)
    Brad Emaus – 1 Pick (What?)

    World Series Champions
    -
    Boston Red Sox – 4 Picks (2 over the Brewers, 1 over the Phillies, 1 over the Braves)
    Atlanta Braves – 1 Pick (Over the Red Sox)
    Chicago White Sox – 1 Pick (Over the Phillies)
    Philiadelphia Phillies – 1 Pick (Over the Athletics)
    New York Yankees – 1 Pick (Over the Reds)
    Milwaukee Brewers – 1 Pick (Over the Red Sox)

  105. Raul Says:

    I have never heard of Brandon Beachy.

  106. Cameron Says:

    He’s the guy who beat Mike Minor for the 5th spot in Atlanta’s rotation.

  107. Mike Felber Says:

    It was Androstenidine Cameron. Like most all Precursor/prohomones completely legal until ‘03.

    Though I did not like it, & Andro might not do much but increase estrogen levels, it was fully legal then. OTHER P-Hormones are highly effective.

    The phrase “Start using some hard core stuff” does not really give anyone any good idea if he was using anything at all before.

    Or he may have been using a P-Hormone, something completely legal, that I could not blame him for,

    Bonds has been very well investigated, & there is no objective reason to condlude he used before the ‘98-’99 off season. Neither was there a performance change or size alteration.

    To imply folks are naive if they do not conclude firmly that something lacking any real evidence is true, is a kind of reflexive & irrational cynicism.

  108. Cameron Says:

    There was a gradual bulking up… Pretty much as soon as he landed in the Bay, Mike. You look at the skinny kid that was a 2 time MVP in Pittsburgh to the tank he became in San Francisco, there was a noticeable (though not quickly produced) bulking up. Then again, that sort of size increase is normal from a guy going from his early 20s to his early 30s.

    Thanks for the Andro thing BTW, that may have been the so-called “light stuff” that is being accused of here. It was legal and I can’t punish a guy ex-post-facto for protohormone abuse. Still, knowing Bonds from the (rough) psych profile I’ve gathered from his interaction with the press, fans, and fellow players I can say he’d be the kind of guy to take that stuff to get an edge and a leg up on his peers and the impact players in his family had (I believe he’s related to Willie Mays somehow, I know he’s a cousin of Reggie Jackson). Guy was a three-time MVP, had an all-star father, Hall of Fame relatives, and he gets overlooked because a couple guys shot needles up their ass and hit home runs like crazy. With the kind of pressure he’s putting himself to make sure he’s the center of attention again, damn the consequences. He’s been the best everywhere he went and he wanted to do it again.

    …I’ll say it. Barry Bonds is a fucking narcissist.

  109. John Says:

    “He’s been the best everywhere he went and he wanted to do it again.”

    And, to be fair, he succeeded. Lots of people roided up or used greenies or done other things to cheat, but no one has ever dominated the game like he did, at least not in the integration era.

    “I believe he’s related to Willie Mays somehow”

    Mays is Bonds’s Godfather.

  110. John Says:

    Bryce Harper is owned in 3.2% of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues.

    Fuck the heck?!

  111. Bob Says:

    They might be keeper leagues.

  112. John Says:

    Yeah that’s probably it.

  113. Raul Says:

    The other side of what Mike calls “irrational cynicism” is “gullible”.

    Bryce Harper has been in baseball for 8 minutes.
    Please.

  114. John Says:

    I don’t have the patience for keeper leagues.

    I want my fake baseball team to win THIS SEASON.

    I have no idea if I’ll commit even the slightest effort in future seasons.

  115. Bob Says:

    I have never done a ESPN league. but if you have a bench spot or two, not uncommon to keep a high-profile minor leaguer. Not saying it should be Harper, however. Perhaps Anthony Rendon.

  116. Lefty33 Says:

    “I have no idea if I’ll commit even the slightest effort in future seasons.”

    Exactly right John.

    Hell, the DC league last year showed that most people won’t commit the slightest effort come July let alone next season.

  117. John Says:

    I never do either.

    Part of it is that, the last couple summers, I’ve been on ships come summer time (same with the people I generally play against). So, we stop caring.

    And also, baseball season is so long. I love it from a fan’s perspective, but I just can’t bring myself to care about my fake team for a 162 game season (I suffer enough with my real team!). Rarely will I be like, well shit, Granderson is facing Lester tonight, and he sucks donkey dick against LHP, so I’m gonna drop him down and acquire Franklin Gutierrez for a game or something.

    Fantasy football is so quick. 17 weeks. Figure out when certain players have byes. Take 3 minutes out of your week and make sure everyone on the roster is healthy and has a game that week. Done. Sunday, I can watch the game results come in as I watch the games play out.

  118. Raul Says:

    I’m wondering if baseball should go back to AL and NY umpires.

  119. John Says:

    Why is that?

  120. Raul Says:

    I don’t know.

    I was just thinking…why did they change it?
    Or…why didn’t they change it decades ago?

  121. John Says:

    I was like 9 or 10 at the time, but wasn’t there like an umpire strike or something like that?

    I don’t really know, I’m pretty sure it was a financial thing. Maybe a flexibility thing. Maybe it was there because of interleague play. Maybe I should just go on wikipedia and find out.

    I’m renewing my MLBtv subscription package; MiLBtv is just an extra 10$! Good deal…

  122. Chuck Says:

    For those who can’t wait for Kerry to post our season predictions, here’s something for your reading pleasure.

    I have the Rays finishing last in the AL East.

  123. Raul Says:

    Yeah Chuck, there will be a lot of disagreements with that one.

  124. Chuck Says:

    Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    IMO, you can’t lose what they lost and be competitive, especially in their division.

    And it’s not like the other four teams didn’t get somewhat better.

    I have them pretty close to .500, so it’s not like I think they’re going to turn into the Astros overnight, but it is what it is.

  125. Seven Says:

    For those who can’t wait for Kerry to post our season predictions, here’s something for your reading pleasure.

    I have Chuck finishing last in the contest.

  126. Seven Says:

    Man I already hedged on the Phillies in my revised submission Kerry, but I already regret not doing so even more. I really think that offense is going to struggle without Utley.

    And I immediately regret not being a little more bullish on the Giants. With Belt at 1st, a rebound from Kung Foo Panda,and a full season from Posey, their offense will be better. Full seson from Bumgarner too, that rotation will be just as good.

    I feel like I want to flip flop those two win totals already.

  127. Raul Says:

    The Rays are very dependent on Evan Longoria. If he goes down for a month or something, they are finished — no matter how well Price and Hellickson pitch. They’ll be behind all the time and it wil catch up to them.

    I don’t think the Rays will finish last, but they have little margin for error.

  128. Seven Says:

    Chuck, how are the Yankees better this year?

    The bullpen is obviously better/fantastic with Soriano, no doubt. How did the Yankees improve on offense? Do you buy Nova as at least a legitimately mediocre big league starting pitcher?

  129. Raul Says:

    That depends on how you define “mediocre”.

    Nova is the 4th starter. What does your typical #4 starter give you? I don’t know.

    The Rays’ #4 last year was Jeff Niemann and he posted 174 innings and a 4.39 ERA.
    Can Nova do that? Who knows?

  130. Raul Says:

    Son of a ….

    Heyward went deep in his first game….again.

  131. John Says:

    man, DoD bandwidth blows.

    All I saw was A-Rod’s at-bat.

  132. Bob Says:

    I told you all. Heyward will be MVP.

  133. brautigan Says:

    You know, I don’t know who the wild card will be in the AL, but I have a sneaky feeling the Yankees won’t make the playoffs this year.

  134. Raul Says:

    Easy there, Bob.

    It’s barely half a game.

  135. Kerry Says:

    Chuck: “For those who can’t wait for Kerry to post our season predictions, here’s something for your reading pleasure.

    I have the Rays finishing last in the AL East.”

    Chuck, you were the only one to have them sub-.500. Nobody else has them below third.

    Seven: “For those who can’t wait for Kerry to post our season predictions, here’s something for your reading pleasure.

    I have Chuck finishing last in the contest.”

    That was cruel. Looking over the entries, I’m not so sure that will be true. But I’m not mentioning any names…

    I may not get a chance to write up the DC Challenge article for a few days, as I’m very bust with work right now (I had to read a 184-page thesis the other day for a thesis defense, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg). We have 6 contestants this year. That’s down from last time, but we do have the two returning champs (Patrick sent me an entry this morning).

  136. Chuck Says:

    “I have Chuck finishing last in the contest.”

    Back to defend my title.

  137. Chuck Says:

    Rays signed Wade Davis to a seven year, 35 million extension.

    That was brave.

  138. Kerry Says:

    “I’m very busy” (so much so that proofreading is not an option, apparently)

  139. Seven Says:

    Raul, personally I would define mediocre as a typical #4 starter. ERA in the mid 4’s for 180 innings. I don’t think he’s capable of that.

    Even if he can post that ERA, he’s not going over 180 innings. With Nova IN the rotation, who the hell is behind him? Colon? I was actually impressed by Colon the one game I saw this spring, but c’mon he’s 37 years old and hasn’t pitched in 2 years.

  140. Seven Says:

    Chuck you know I’m just busting your balls. I fully respect your opinion.

    “That was brave.”

    on whose part? The Rays or Davis and his agent?

  141. Raul Says:

    Freddy Garcia is behind Nova.

    Is Nova going 180 innings? No.

    Can he make 30 starts going 5 innings? That’s 150 innings for the year. You have to hope he can go a third or two longer and let the bullpen go from there.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Hey, Bob, Curtis Granderson hit “another opening day HR.”

    Is he your AL MVP?

  143. Chuck Says:

    No worries, Seven, I got it.

    Appreciate the kind words.

    “on whose part? The Rays or Davis and his agent?”

    The Rays.

    In seven years, Wade Davis will be the number one starter on Raul’s slow pitch team.

  144. Raul Says:

    …number 3 starter.

  145. Kerry Says:

    Regarding opening day HR, Rolen has hit 6, Posada 4. Granderson has 3 now. Pujols has none (but his teammate Yadier Molina has 2!).

  146. Kerry Says:

    The Yankees just won. They brought in Rivera to begin the 9th with a 6-3 lead.

  147. Bob Says:

    No. Longoria was my prediction before the season.

  148. Chuck Says:

    “They brought in Rivera to begin the 9th with a 6-3 lead.”

    That’s his job, racking up saves with three run leads.

    Padding his HOF vote totals.

    Excuse me for a second while I go puke somewhere.

  149. Kerry Says:

    That got the desired response :-)

    One of these days I’m going to do a simulation on using your top reliever when he’s really needed, regardless of inning, just to try to show how much of a waste it is to use your closer in situations like what the Yankees did today.

  150. Raul Says:

    @ Kerry #149:

    You mean the way relievers were used for over 100 years before the 1980s?

  151. John Says:

    I would talk, but I barely beat out Chuck last season.

    Both of us would’ve been closer predicting every team to go 81-81.

    That’s what you get for betting on obp killers.

  152. Kerry Says:

    Raul, that might be overstating it (did they even use relievers before 1900?), but certainly not the way they do it now.

  153. Raul Says:

    Fair point.

    Anyway, I don’t think you create a position for a player to come into, and then pay that player 15 million dollars just to do one, specific job in a specific situation.

    It’s like paying a punter 15 million to punt.
    Actually, punters do more work than relievers in baseball.

    Nevermind.

  154. Chuck Says:

    Work with me…

    Yanks are up on Boston, 3-2 in the fourth inning.

    Sox have the bases loaded and none out.

    Girardi brings in Mo, who strikes out Ortiz and gets Drew to hit into a double play.

    Yanks win, 7-2.

    Who is to say you couldn’t credit Rivera with a save?

    I mean, the final score is irrelevant at that point, right?

  155. Raul Says:

    I don’t think it’s necessary to even have stats for relievers.
    Holds, Saves…get rid of them.

    Innings, Hits, Walks, Strikeouts — and maybe BAA for lefties and righties.

    That’s it. If you can’t evaluate a reliever on that you shouldn’t be in baseball to begin with.

  156. Raul Says:

    Well,

    John Axford blew a win for Yovani Gallardo by allowing 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th.

    I guess Takashi Saito was so winded by his 18 pitches in the 8th inning…what with next game on Saturday night.

    Brewers 6
    Reds 7

  157. Chuck Says:

    Exactly the reason why I didn’t pick the Brewers.

    They’re going to score a ton of runs and Greinke’s going to have a big year, but their bullpen blows.

    As Axford proved today.

    Isn’t Saito like 125 years old? What the hell is he still doing in the league?

    Oh, wait. He made the Brewers bullpen. Never mind.

  158. Chuck Says:

    Jeff Francoeur just went yard.

  159. Raul Says:

    I’m looking forward to Kershaw and Lincecum on the mound tonight

  160. Raul Says:

    Nationals had 5 hits today, Espinosa had 2 of em.

    :-)

  161. Bob Says:

    “I’m looking forward to Kershaw and Lincecum on the mound tonight.”
    So am I.

  162. John Says:

    “As Axford proved today.”

    One game sample space. Axe proved nothing. Other than that Ken Macha’s brilliant strategies are alive and well.

  163. Chuck Says:

    Glass half full…

  164. Chuck Says:

    Melky Cabrera had three hits.

    Alex Gordon had three K’s.

    Royals had three errors.

    Maybe it’s the weather.

  165. John Says:

    Jason Heyward is a bigtime homerun hitter…as he proved today.

    Same with GoGo Gomez

  166. Chuck Says:

    “One game sample space”

  167. John Says:

    That was exactly my point.

  168. Chuck Says:

    Thing is, Heyward will hit at least one more HR this year.

    Gomez peaked on opening day.

  169. John Says:

    Yup.

    For the second year in a row.

  170. John Says:

    The Phillies signed Ronnie Belliard.

    There’s your 2nd base solution. All taken care of.

  171. Jim Says:

    If the the Yanks use Soriano strictly as a setup man, rather than use him to stanch a big inning whenever it occurs, Giradi should be convicted of managerial malpractice.

  172. Chuck Says:

    “There’s your 2nd base solution. All taken care of.”

    They said the same thing last week.

  173. Raul Says:

    I have to say, for a guy who was a catcher in the major leagues….and who had a good reputation among pitchers…..and considering how well catchers tend to do as managers and coaches…..it’s absolutely shocking how poorly Joe Girardi has managed the Yankees over the last few years.

    It’s my opinion that the Yankees win in spite of Girardi, not because of him.

  174. John Says:

    I remember Girardi’s first stint as a manager in 2006 with the Marlins.

    That team had like a 15 million dollar payroll and 10 rookies. It was ridiculous. And they finished about .500; I was impressed.

    I’ve been less impressed with Girardi since then because of both his (more high-profile) moves with the Yankees and because a lot of those guys (Hanley, Uggla) were and still are terrific ballplayers.

  175. Chuck Says:

    “It’s my opinion that the Yankees win in spite of Girardi, not because of him.”

    Yep.

    The ‘98 Dbacks were an expansion team and stunk worse than the local landfill.

    Jerry Colangelo goes out in the off-season, spends $150 million dollars, the next year they win 100 games and make the playoffs.

    And for that, Buck Showalter’s a good manager?

    Bongo the Chimp could have taken that team to the playoffs.

    Matter of fact, Bongo the Chimp would have beaten the Mets.

  176. John Says:

    Tejada just an easy DP ball into right field. Instead of inning over, the bases are now loaded.

  177. Raul Says:

    Yeah Tejada got lazy and slung it into RF.

    And I don’t know what Posey was thinking just now.

  178. Chuck Says:

    Chuck: Giants finish second in the West.

    Reason: Burrell, Sandoval, Huff and Tejada wear leather.

  179. John Says:

    Man, Sandoval’s in much better shape. Also just made an outstanding stab, saved a couple runs for now.

  180. John Says:

    Yeah, I wonder about that outfield. Torres is going to have to cover a LOT of ground.

  181. Raul Says:

    Sandoval did lose a lot of weight. He still has 40 pounds to go.
    He’s 240 NOW.

    He’s gotta get at least 20 pounds lighter, and probably 40.

  182. Chuck Says:

    “He’s 240 NOW.”

    And he’s what, 5′11″?

    The guy loses about 35-40 pounds and no one notices..that, my friends, is FAT.

  183. Raul Says:

    Absolutely.

    You’re a professional athlete. And you’re not a football player. If you were 5′11 and 210 and played free safety or runningback, I suppose that’s understandable.

    But you’re a 3rd baseman. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect you to be around the 200 pound mark, or lighter.

    I mean, Jeter’s over 6 feet and he’s like 195 or something.

  184. Cameron Says:

    It’s like Ralphie May says, “If you lose a whole fat man and you’re still fat that’s just pathetic.”

    And how sad is it when you lose Juan Uribe as your everyday shortstop and get WORSE on defense?

  185. John Says:

    Jeter’s not what I would call muscular though.

  186. Raul Says:

    Neither is Pablo Sandoval.

  187. Chuck Says:

    BJ Surhoff and Brandon Inge were catchers who were moved to third base.

    Neither of them looked like they got into a burrito eating contest with Andre the Giant.

  188. John Says:

    “Look at Lincecum. Out there cheering with his teammates. It’s that kind of fabric that got them to the World Series.”

    Really Bobby? I thought it was the pitching, call-up of Buster Posey, and revival of Aubrey Huff.

  189. Raul Says:

    lol @ John.

    You want to go back to the days of Haray Caray?

    Artie Lange had a bit about how Haray Caray was basically an ex-Clansman in a broadcast booth.

    Artie Lange:

    “Harry Caray would get on the mic and say things like: If this guy wins 20 games this year, I’m a China-man.”
    “You gotta give it up to a guy who says China-man after like, 1930.”

  190. Cameron Says:

    “BJ Surhoff and Brandon Inge were catchers who were moved to third base.

    Neither of them looked like they got into a burrito eating contest with Andre the Giant.”

    Nah, Andre wasn’t a burrito guy. He was a drinker. Sad story behind that one, it was because he was too big to go out and enjoy the nightlife like he wanted to. He really wanted to see a Broadway show, but he was too big for the seats and blocked everyone’s view.

    Anyway, I know beer can give you the gut and seeing the potbelly that Panda has, he tried to beat Andre’s record.

    197 16-ounce beers. He’s also done 119 12-ouncers and once drank 127 beers in a Reading hotel bar, passed out, and was left there because no one could move him to his room.

  191. Chuck Says:

    “once drank 127 beers in a Reading hotel bar.”

    Sorry, Cam, but I’m calling bullshit on that one.

    That’s a six pack an hour for 24 straight hours.

    When I owned my bar and was in prime drinking shape, I could do a case in a 12 hour period, but that was with breaks in the middle and a couple of half pound burgers mixed in.

    In a 12 hour period, Andre would be doing a 12 pack.

    I don’t care how big he was, not buying it.

  192. John Says:

    He weighed 600 lbs.

    I’ll buy it.

    You owned a bar? Cool.

  193. Raul Says:

    In college, I saw two buddies split a 30-pack in a few hours.

    127 beers is a lot. I’ve seen the documentary on Andre the Giant and by all accounts, no drinker was even in his league.

    But most of them admit that it’s hard to truly verify how much Andre could drink because nobody could ever keep up with him. They’d all pass out.

    If I recall correctly, Andre did not really prefer beer though. Not that he didn’t drink beer. I just think (if I remember correctly) that he was more of a wine guy.

    Andre was 7′4 and 500lbs. At least that’s what he’s listed.
    I’ve seen guys at less than half that weight drink themselves into oblivion.

    I would believe Andre could probably down 40-50 beers.

  194. Chuck Says:

    “You owned a bar? Cool.”

    Co-owned.

    More restaurant than bar, but, yes, I did.

  195. Cameron Says:

    The 197 16 ounce has been verified by two eyewitnesses (Mike Graham and Dusty Rhodes). Andre was about 550 lbs. at his peak, but the dude had gland problems out the ass and due to his size, he was able to do that easy.

    He was a wine guy from what I remember (though that may just be me thinking of him since he was French), but he got depressed a lot and just wanted to get blitzed.

  196. Raul Says:

    http://image2.findagrave.com/photos/2006/1/4359_113623514683.jpg

  197. Cameron Says:

    He was billed as 7′6″ at his peak I believe… But racking my brain, I think he was only about 6′10″ in actuality.

  198. Raul Says:

    Andre was incredible. They said his strength was off the charts. If you pissed him off, you’d better run for your life. I’m amazed that he was such a peaceful dude doing wrestling for a living.

  199. Cameron Says:

    I’ve heard some fun stories of him. If you did piss him off, he’d get you back in some fashion.

    My favorite story is near the end of his career when he was feuding with The Ultimate Warrior (and he has a ton of funny stories… Though more funny as in a sad funny). Warrior was getting put over as the next big thing and he was wrestling a series of shoes with Andre. Andre liked to do a spot where got tied up in the ropes after getting knocked back by Warrior’s clothesline. Andre told him what to do, but Warrior was too stiff and legitimately knocked him down with the clothelsine the first time. Andre told him off and the next night he said don’t do it again, but he did. The third night, Andre just held out his fist and Warrior got knocked the fuck out by running face-first into Andre’s fist.

    The night after, Warrior was afraid to even be in the same ring with him.

  200. Raul Says:

    LOL

  201. Chuck Says:

    Me and a few buddies went to see Andre in the early ’80’s, before the WWF got really big.

    The show was in a high school gym.

    We went to see Manute Bol too, when he was at Bridgeport. Bol was alot taller than Andre.

    No way was Andre 7′6″, but I’d bet my house he was at least seven feet, maybe 7′2″.

  202. John Says:

    You would bet your house on a lot of stuff. I’m surprised Shaun doesn’t own it by now :)

    Speaking of which, you owe me 50$

  203. Raul Says:

    Tall and Skinny always looks taller than Tall and Fat.

    Not debating that Bol wasn’t taller.
    But I’m 6′4 and my friend’s cousin is 6′2 and everyone swears he’s taller than me.

  204. John Says:

    Easily the worst article of all-time:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/sports/baseball/27score.xml

  205. Chuck Says:

    “You would bet your house on a lot of stuff. ”

    Absolutely..on stuff I’m guaranteed to win.

    Not interested in owning a boat, though, in case you were curious.

    “I’m surprised Shaun doesn’t own it by now”

    Shaun couldn’t pick his ass without a five page instruction manual.

    “Speaking of which, you owe me 50$”

    Doubt it, but humor me anyway.

  206. Raul Says:

    NO MENTION OF GRIT FACTOR???????????????????????????????????????????

  207. Raul Says:

    LOL @ Shaun couldn’t pick his ass without a five page instruction manual.

    (Ray Liotta in Goodfellas)

    Hey Chuck, you really are a funny guy!

  208. John Says:

    Gardner was the opening day LFer for the Yankees. Hell, he was the leadoff hitter.

  209. Chuck Says:

    You’re right, John.

    email your address and I’ll send you a check.

  210. John Says:

    Nah. Our spirited banter is easily worth 50$ to me.

  211. Mike Felber Says:

    Thin does look somewhat taller than broad or fat.

    SI had the Andre 127 beer in Hotel bar story years ago. Given his freakish size, natural strength, & the other drinking stories, I absolutely believe it. The alcohol tolerance you developed Chuck is about to be expected from an average guy who “trains” for it. The outliers can do a few times that, due to both ability to put in that much liquid & alcohol tolerance.

    I did not mean Bonds had literally no size increase Cameron. Though his gains were moderate for a modern, weight trained fitness fanatic athlete, until after ‘98 season. I hated the precursor hormones, but IF he used that, or Creatine, I could not fault him. It was fully legal & available at every GNC type store in America.

    That is a great photo of Andre. Just the visible part of his hands are crazy big. The Ultimate Pick Up Artist.

  212. John Says:

    So, of John Axford’s 21 pitches, he only threw 3 breaking balls. Pretty unusual for him. Also helps explain Hernandez going yard off him.

    Mark Kotsay was hitless today. Corey Hart better hurry back.

    I really hope Counsell can start 75 or so games at SS.

  213. Cameron Says:

    You’d rather have Craig Counsell’s bat than Yuniesky Betancourt’s glove? Ouch. That’s a tough call.

  214. John Says:

    Or Counsell’s bat for that matter.

    CC Last 3 seasons: .259/.349/.356 (90 OPS+)
    YB Last 3 seasons: .262/.288/.384 (80 OPS+)

    Thing is, Counsell’s 40. Not a lot of spring still left in that step.

  215. Cameron Says:

    Holy piss… I just remembered how ungodly atrocious Yuni’s walk rates are.

  216. Cameron Says:

    Also, I don’t know how I overlooked this, but both Tim Collins and Aaron Crow made their MLB debuts last night. I couldn’t find video of Collins, but I saw Crow pitch. He’s got this nice little sinker. It looks like a four-seamer with life, but it’s too slow to be an actual heater. It doesn’t really have the break of a majors-ready sinker yet…

    But then again, he struck out Howie Kendrick, Torii Hunter, and Vernon Wells while getting another batter out as well. Not bad for your first day.

  217. Bob Says:

    The Yankees parted with Hughes, Nova Montero and Joba for King Felix.

    April Fools!!!!!!!!!

  218. Jim Says:

    That’s a trade that only a deluded Yanks’ fan would believe could be accomplished. Mariner fans would be at the team’s business office with pitchforks.

  219. Cameron Says:

    Found an interesting little piece. It mentioned that about two thirds of all players who had a slugging percentage .200 points higher than their career percentage had a breakout regular season. This was pretty evident as the theory was first mentioned after studying Jose Bautista and his .900 slugging 2010 Spring. With that, here’s guys who have breakout potential based on the differences between their 2011 Spring SLG and Career SLG listed by point difference.

    Jake Fox – .413
    Kila Ka’aihue – .406
    Coco Crisp – .373
    Chris Davis – .363
    Travis Buck – .359
    George Kottaras – .351
    Melky Cabrera – .348
    Rajai Davis – .328
    Carlos Gomez – .318
    Alcides Escobar – .316

    I could see Fox forcing his way to Baltimore in some capacity this season. Even as a utility role, given the age of their roster, he’ll play every day. Kila has the potential and I could see it coming. The only other real guys I think could break out based off what I think their potential is are Travis Buck, Rajai Davis, Chris Davis, and (maybe) Alcides Escobar. The other guys may or may not break out and I could be completely wrong. I just found an interesting little study I wanted to share.

  220. Chuck Says:

    Did you hear the story with Fox the other day?

    Exhibition game, Orioles up on the Tigers 13-3, eighth inning, no outs, runners on second and third.

    Fox swings at a 3-0 pitch.

    Not only did Jim Leyland go bonkers, so did Buck Showalter. Fox ended up drawing a walk, and by the time he got to first base there was a pinch runner waiting for him. When he got to the dugout, Showalter was waiting for him and ripped him a new one right there in front of everyone.

    Unwritten rule says you don’t swing 3-0 with a ten run lead, but Fox is trying to make the team and it’s an exhibition game, so, big deal.

  221. Cameron Says:

    Knowing Fox, yeah, I could definitely see him doing that. Though at the same time, you’re up by 10 in the eighth. You could have swung at intentional walk balls and got yourself K’d and you’d still win. It’s an unwritten rule, but if you’ve got a pitch you think you can drill, swing at it.

  222. Bob Says:

    Lou Gorman passed away today. R.I.P.

  223. Cameron Says:

    Um, in happy news, Phile Niekro turns 72 today.

    Is it just me, or is Phil Niekro a prime example of using win-loss records to evaluate pitchers as absolute horeshit? He seems to get lost in the shuffle of all-time greats because of several seasons where he lost 20 games. …He played for the 1970s Braves. A rotation full of Greg Madduxes couldn’t save that team.

    Well, that and he’s a knuckleballer. Knuckleball pitchers seem to get shafted by the mainstream praise in general. Niekro never won a CY, even though he probably deserved a couple. Then again, the closest a knuckleballer ever came to winning the Cy was Early Wynn, and Early used the knuckler as a 4th pitch.

  224. John Says:

    Yeah I agree with Chuck about Fox. It’s spring training. He’s trying to show what he can do, not show up the opposing team.

  225. Lefty33 Says:

    Bob Purkey could have won the CYA in ‘62 and he threw a knuckler a fair amount of the time but got overshadowed by Drysdale just based on name value alone.

    Not that I’m one to quote or reference Bill James very often but in his one of his books he has a few pages about knuckleball pitchers and on why one has never won a CYA and his theory is that they mostly have played for bad teams where GM’s and managers take a chance on a guy that a good team never would.

    That’s how a guy like Niekro pitched forever in Atlanta when they sucked.
    Sure he wins 19 in ‘79 but he also loses 18 while posting a sub. three ERA. The teams were just that bad.

    Niekro only was in the postseason twice in 24 years, Hough three times in 25 years, Candiotti twice in 16 years, Wilhelm once in 21 years.

    For the most part I think his theory makes some sense.

  226. Lefty33 Says:

    On a humorous side bar, want to guess who is two for two today off of Roy Halladay?

  227. Chuck Says:

    Haha, that is funny.

    Cardinals lose Matt Holliday for up to a month due to an emergency appendectomy.

  228. Raul Says:

    Mariano Rivera has faced 4,582 batters in his career.

    A figure less than half of what Jon Lieber faced in his career (9,300), and about 400 fewer batters than Dontrelle Willis has (4,991).

  229. brautigan Says:

    But Raul, Mariano has gotten 4,533 of those batters out.

  230. Seven Says:

    Lefty, I seriously thought you were poking fun at Angel Sanchez having 2 hits off Halladay. It’s pretty pathetic for the Astros that I’m equally surprised by their #2 hitter reaching base twice off Doc as I would be by their pitcher.

    How do you bat Michael Bourn and Angel Sanchez 1-2 in a batting order and expect to win. Oh wait, they are winning, which means Brad Mills will think he’s a genius and keep doing it until June when both have OBP’s under .300

  231. Lefty33 Says:

    Yeah that’s it Seven, Myers was two for two with a successful sacrifice today.

    To me this is what the Phillies are going to be doing a lot of this year.

    Not hitting and having the pen implode to lose them games.

    JC Romero and David Herndon this Bud’s for you.

  232. Lefty33 Says:

    Interesting line on Myers today.

    He went seven and gave up three hits and struck out no one.

    But overall he treated Philly like his bitch.

  233. Raul Says:

    I don’t mean to disparage Mariano Rivera.
    I think he’s been very consistent and great at his job.

    It’s just shocking to me how little closers pitch.

  234. brautigan Says:

    I was thinking Myers was a good hitting pitcher.

    I was wrong.

    Career: .130/.172/.154

    that’s almost Bob Buhl territory.

    (Bob Buhl .089/.129/.091)

  235. Lefty33 Says:

    What an ending.

    Myers leaves after seven and Houston is up 4-2.

    Mills leaves Lyon in for a shelling in the ninth and they lose 5-4 after he gives up three runs on six hits in 1/3 of an inning.

    Brad Mills ought to be the first manager to get fired this year. His choice to leave Lyon in the game, hell to even bring in Lyon, borders on assinine.

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