Free Agent Talk: Michael Bourn

by JohnBowen

Well, it’s January 14. Pitchers and catchers report in just under a month – or, in the case of the New York Yankees, pitchers report.

Still on the free agency board is speedy center fielder Michael Bourn. The 3-time stolen base king and defensive standout is coming off a career-best 6-WAR season and is represented by Scott Boras, long known for scoring lucrative deals for his clients.

Bourn apparently wants a 100 million dollar contract. I also would like 100 million dollars, and it looks like I have roughly the same shot at getting it, although his former team, the Braves, was willing to splurge 75.2 million dollars over 5 years on the less valuable B.J. Upton.

Bourn has a couple of road-blocks in his way of landing a deal thus far. One is that he simply is not a powerful bat; the past 3 years have seen him hit .279/.346/.376 with just a total of 13 home runs, and a roughly league average 98 OPS+. Now – does Bourn make up for these things by doing other things? Yes, yes he does – he is the only player in baseball to be worth both 25 base-running runs and 25 fielding runs over the past three seasons, even turning in +3 dWAR seasons in both 2010 and 2012.

Here’s the problem though: Bourn’s contributions are limited by the extent of his speed. As long as that’s in full force, he’s a valuable player – take that away, and you take away the stolen bases, the extra defensive plays, the doubles (85 since 2010), the triples (26 since 2010), and the infield hits (109 since 2010). Take all that away and you’re left with a player who can flat-out has no business in a Major League lineup.

A leg injury is probably unlikely, depending on Bourn’s strength and conditioning program. But it’s likely enough – especially on the wrong side of 30 – that committing to a long-term deal might not be the most prudent move in the world.

It’s no wonder Boras wants to get his 30-year old client locked up long-term, and it’s no wonder that big league teams simply aren’t biting at a potential 5-year pact.

There may very well be a team willing to shell out a 15-20 million per season for Bourn, but none with any foresight should go for more than 3 years. Some possible destinations:

Texas Rangers: They have struck out consistently this off-season, failing to re-sign Josh Hamilton, failing in their quest for Zack Greinke, and failing (at least thus far) to land a trade for Justin Upton. All they’ve been able to do is sign a quite possibly crippled Lance Berkman – and with Hamilton not only leaving but taking his powerful bat the rival Angels, the Rangers need to do more work if they want to make a fourth consecutive playoff appearance. With the Rangers having money to spend, adding a stud defensive player with speed could help bump them up a notch in the standings. With Craig Gentry currently #1 on the depth chart, and a defensively challenged Nelson Cruz in right field, Bourn would be a nice fit.

Chicago White Sox: The Chicago White Sox finished just 3 games behind the AL Central Division champion and ultimately AL champion Detroit Tigers – and did so with  Alejandro De Aza in center field and Dayan Viciedo in left field. Bringing in Bourn would allow the White Sox to transition De Aza to left, or possibly platoon him with Viciedo and give the White Sox a major presence at the top of their order.

Philadelphia Phillies: The Philadelphia Phillies missed the playoffs in 2012 for the first time since 2006, finishing at .500. On the bright side, they will (hopefully, of course), be getting full seasons from Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and hopefully more than 25 starts from the great Roy Halladay. On the less bright side, their current projected outfield consists of  rookie Darin Ruff, consistent disappointment Domonic  Brown, and the recently acquired Ben Revere. Now, maybe Revere was acquired with the idea that he would blossom into Michael Bourn (he has similar skill-sets, and is far ahead of where Bourn was at age 24). But in the short term, the Phillies should want to try and win while their high-priced talent is still somewhat capable – which could be a rapidly closing window. A signing here would allow Bourn to return to the team that originally drafted him back in 2003. However, Philadelphia may be weary of another big signing – they currently have 7 players in their 30’s making more than 10 million dollars a year.

Those are my picks, with a potential deal being somewhere in the range of 3 years, 50 million dollars. Where do you think he’ll end up?

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504 Responses to “Free Agent Talk: Michael Bourn”

  1. Chuck Says:

    I don’t see Bourn getting a multi-year deal at this point, I think Boras will make him sign a one year deal and try his luck again next year.

    I think the Rangers and even the Phillies would rather make a move on Justin Upton then sign Bourn long-term.

  2. JohnBowen Says:

    I thought that too – until that Seattle almost-deal.

    If that’s the actual asking price for Upton – remember, the deal only fell through because Upton had Seattle on his no-trade clause – then there’s no way either of those teams would want to part with the kind of talent necessary to bring in Upton.

    It sounds like Olt and/or Profar would be the starting point for Texas, and they’d be silly to do that.

  3. Bob Says:

    Texas makes the most sense to me. They can afford to part with a draft pick with their deep system, plus Nolan Ryan knows that they have had a weak off-season losing Hamilton to a rival and Grienke rejecting their overtures.
    Bourn is the one talent that can somewhat negate that, unless they are going to part with a Seattle-type package for Upton.

  4. Bob Says:

    John, you beat me by seconds.

  5. JohnBowen Says:

    “I think Boras will make him sign a one year deal and try his luck again next year.”

    Wrong side of 30 to be doing that move – I think.

    Coming off a good year Boras should try to capitalize right now. If he had come off a few terrible years, maybe sign a 1-year deal to prove himself.

  6. Chuck Says:

    I think the Victorino deal kind of screwed Bourn, that’s what he should have gotten..now he’ll want more, and he’s just not worth it.

    Which is probably why he hasn’t signed.

  7. Lefty33 Says:

    Zero chance that Philly makes a play on him, especially a long term play.

    1. Like you already mentioned, they already have a player that is identical in Revere.

    2. The Phils are more then likely not going over 178 for anyone let alone way over 178 for a player that is identical to someone under team control for the league minimum for the next few years.

    3. The Phils more or less shun all Boras clients regardless of who they are and whether or not they could help the team. It’s not by chance that aside of Brown they have no one on the 40 man roster who is a Boras client.

  8. Chuck Says:

    “It’s not by chance that aside of Brown they have no one on the 40 man roster who is a Boras client.”

    Also not a coincidence he seems to be on the short end of the stick most of the time when it comes to personnel decisions.

  9. Bob Says:

    The Phillies did however sign Aaron Cook.

  10. Raul Says:

    Michael Bourn is exactly the kind of player the White Sox would sign.

  11. Bob Says:

    And Vicente Padilla signs in Japan. I guess if the Sox want one more pitcher to augment their staff it is Javier Vasquez. Since Lohse will cost them a pick.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Wil Myers will start the season in AAA.

    I saw the Super Two date next year is May 14th, which means Myers will be the Rays RF on May 15th.

    At the latest.

    By that time, James Sheilds and Wade Davis will be a combined 2-11 with an ERA north of 5.00.

  13. Cameron Says:

    Rage…

  14. Chuck Says:

    Easy there, big fella..you’re an Indians fan now.

  15. Bob Says:

    The Mariners acquired Morse. Just getting details.

  16. Bob Says:

    Appears to be a 3-way deal.

  17. Raul Says:

    I swear if the Mariners gave up Walker, I’m personally going to assault Jack Z with a cue stick.

  18. Bob Says:

    They gave up John Jaso.

  19. Raul Says:

    Oh ok. Makes total sense.

    A DH-type player who can OPS in the mid-800s for a third string catcher.
    Does Jaso have another skill I’m not aware of? Does he know how to clean bathroom tile? Those showers get pretty dingy in Washington.

  20. Bob Says:

    Oakland is the 3rd team, and I believe Jaso is goin g to the A’s.The A’s gave Washington the prospect they parted with for Gio Gonzalez las t year. A.J. Cole.

  21. Chuck Says:

    Holy shit at this Mantei Teo story..this guy makes Lance Armstrong look legit.

    What a dumbass.

  22. Bob Says:

    I agree. That is so fucked-ip. Still in the process of learning it. Will read DeadSpin later.

  23. Chuck Says:

    Morse started his career with Seattle..he was nothing.

    I hate to use the dreaded “s” word, but unless your name is Mike Felber, it’s really not hard to figure out.

    I think Jack Z is showing signs of Alzheimers.

    First, there was the system rape on the potential Upton deal.

    Now, he trades his starting catcher.

    Really? Unless he has something else up his sleeve (like Zunino winning the job in ST), he’s going into the season with Montero as his starting catcher?

    Does he plan on Morse DH’ing, after he said he wouldn’t, and Montero catching? Montero is the only catcher on the 40 man right now, if Zunino doesn’t make the team…

    Is he fucking high?

    And if he doesn’t DH, where is he going go play?

    First base is Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak. Probably eliminates Mike Carp from the picture, but he can only play LF (barely) or DH.

    The M’s also got Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez for LF/DH. Plus Eric Thames.

    They already have Saunders, Gutierrez, Wells and Peguero.

    Jack has to have something up his sleeve..he’s too smart for this.

    Either that, or he’s Donald Sterling in disguise.

  24. Raul Says:

    If I remember correctly, Mike Morse was a shortstop.

    And so was Gary Sheffield.

  25. Chuck Says:

    You would be correct

  26. Bob Says:

    The Red Sox and Napoli have a 1-year deal.

  27. Raul Says:

    On the train now coming back from NYC and passed Yankee Stadium.
    How much longer until Spring Training?
    I need a beer and a dog.

  28. Chuck Says:

    There were guys on the field at the Royals complex yesterday.

  29. Raul Says:

    I hope they were pitchers. KC pitching needs to improve if there’s any hope of winning.
    The hitters should be okay.

  30. Raul Says:

    I think Gordon hit 50 doubles last year. Probably the highest total for a Royals player in 35 years.

  31. Chuck Says:

    Gordon hit 51..franchise record.

  32. Chuck Says:

    They were pitchers

  33. Mike Felber Says:

    Uh, thanks for the especially gratuitous jibe Chuck-since you use that word all the time, presumably absent hating to do so, that was a tortured way to call me clueless. My art rag is goin’ national, so I don’t mind being called naive.

  34. Raul Says:

    Salty agreed on 1 year deal with Sox for 4.5M

    Will Venable re-signs with Padres for 2.675M. Sigh. I know I could play better than Venable. Dear lord. I’m in the wrong business.

  35. Chuck Says:

    You’re welcome, Mike, anytime.

  36. Chuck Says:

    “Dear lord. I’m in the wrong business.”

    You ain’t lyin’.

  37. Chuck Says:

    Interesting comments on the SABR members blog yesterday regarding PED use by Bagwell and Piazza.

    I had thought about posting snippets here but it was too long and removing pieces would have changed the overall meaning.

    One of the things said was the guy who ended up contracting to write Piazza’s bio wasn’t the original choice, he backed out after Piazza “repeatedly refused to come clean regarding PED use”.

    The guy also claimed to have an affadavit signed by a former MINOR league teammate which documents Bagwell’s steriod use BEFORE he got to the major leagues.

  38. Raul Says:

    They have a beer can with a syringe in it?
    Otherwise, Bags and Piazza are clean and they put up those numbers having never even done a single bench press or wind sprint

  39. Raul Says:

    Matt Garza and the Cubs agreed to a one year, 10.25M deal

  40. Chuck Says:

    Rick Reilly this morning compared Armstrong to a serial killer..instead of ruining lives with a gun or poison, he used fame, fortune and the legal system.

    I didn’t see the interview..I want to wait til after tonite then see them back to back.

  41. Chuck Says:

    “Matt Garza and the Cubs agreed to a one year, 10.25M deal.”

    Overpay..

  42. Raul Says:

    Well Armstrong didn’t kill anyone, so I’m not making that connection.
    But he did ruin several lives and was a massive douchebag.

    *correction, he still is a massive douchebag.

  43. Mike Felber Says:

    But just now & previously it was who gives a **** about Armstrong. Now you want to want to not only comment on, but see his interview AND the Reilly response. You care about it, & it was always an interesting story. Reilly has done sone good ones, I used to read him in SI all the time when i subscribed (mostly on) & off for decades.

    Well let us see the actual evidence Raul. Nobody here has said Piazza must have used. Let us see the Bags claims too. If he was using at all in the minors, it certainly was not to much effect then.

    I dunno why you add the no exercise claim-yes I do, sarcasm that does not apply here-if they were clean it would be much more necessary to lift hard. Wind sprints are irrelevant.

  44. Raul Says:

    I dunno why you add the no exercise claim-yes I do, sarcasm that does not apply here-if they were clean it would be much more necessary to lift hard. Wind sprints are irrelevant.”

    I know you don’t.

  45. Chuck Says:

    I don’t give a shit about YOUR opinion of Armstrong, Mike.

    And, yes, until he spoke, what is there to give a shit about?

  46. Raul Says:

    Buster Posey hit .336/.408/.549 last year.

    He gonna top that in 2013?

  47. John Says:

    If it was just a matter of him doping, I’d still hold Armstrong in a high regard for overcoming cancer to do what he did, not to mention the money his organization has raised for cancer research.

    Plus, it’s not like any of his vacated Tour wins woukd go to clean bikers. The best clean biker probably finished like 109th every year.

    But he sued innocent people and ruined lives to protect his lies and his reputation. Now he has neither, and he can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

  48. Chuck Says:

    “If he was using at all in the minors, it certainly was not to much effect then.”

    Because it doesn’t work overnight.

    Geezus..being the expert on the subject you claim to be, I’d figure you’d know that.

  49. Chuck Says:

    “Buster Posey hit .336/.408/.549 last year.”

    No, I’ll take the under on all three.

  50. Chuck Says:

    Agree, John.

  51. Cameron Says:

    I’m with Chuck on Posey. Hell of a year for him. I can see him OPSing about .900, barring injury. And hate to say it, after that total destruction of his knee by (I think) Scott Cousins, I’m gonna be wary of Posey, especially with him playing catcher.

  52. Bob Says:

    He ( Armstrong) is gutless. He testified before Congress in 2005, but the Statute of Limitations is good for 7 years. Timing is everything.

  53. Chuck Says:

    I’m kinda looking forward to the WBC this year..probably because I’ll see some of it live.

  54. Raul Says:

    Ok, so he built up Livestrong through a lie.
    The ends justify the means?

    Whatever, a few comments about non-baseball related stuff is fine, but I feel this is getting to be a bit much.

    I think Posey can have another top 5 MVP season, but no repeat.
    I’m thinking that maybe Matt Kemp or Andrew McCutchen can put it together for an entire season.

  55. Raul Says:

    Over/Under 35 HR for Adam Dunn in 2013?

  56. Bob Says:

    OKay. NLMYP? In no order whatsoever
    1. Kemp?
    2. McCutchen?
    3. Posey?
    4. Braun?
    5. Harper?
    6. Kershaw?
    7. Stanton?
    8. Who else has a shot?
    9. And under for Dunn.

  57. Raul Says:

    Yeah, I begrudgingly have to put Braun as one of the frontrunners also.

    Stanton has no shot, because no one is voting for an MVP from a 40-win baseball team.

  58. Bob Says:

    You have hte Marlins at 40 games? Damn,I had them at 32 in advance of Kerry’s cotest.

  59. Bob Says:

    Meant to type you have the Marlns winning 40 games?

  60. Chuck Says:

    #55

    under

  61. Raul Says:

    What is this, Bob?
    The Price is right?

    I bid $2 and you bid $1?

  62. Chuck Says:

    “#5. Harper?”

    LOL

  63. Raul Says:

    No way Harper gets any MVP votes ahead of Strasburg.

  64. Chuck Says:

    No way Harper gets any MVP votes.

  65. Bob Says:

    No way Rizzo does not get antsy once Strausburg hits 175 innings.

  66. Raul Says:

    Raul Ibanez got MVP votes, dude.
    I’m not putting it past anyone to throw one Harper’s way.

  67. Raul Says:

    I don’t understand this innings crap.
    If Strasburg is gonna break, he’s gonna break.

  68. Mike Felber Says:

    The exercise claim is not pertinent. Even th lifting, since some guys can get that way clean-not like he looked anything like Jay Cutler or Ronnie Coleman.

    You did not care at all until Armstrong spoke? OK Chuck. With all the progress you have made, why not choose to avoid causing strife & reciprocal disrespect-even if you can count on me being restrained & polite-by telling me you don’t give a shit what I think?

    You are well aware that this is not right.

  69. Raul Says:

    “The exercise claim is not pertinent.”

    You addressing it wasn’t pertinent. Because it was a joke comment by me to fucking begin with.

  70. Chuck Says:

    Rizzo said on MLBNetwork the other day Strasburg has no pre-set limit this year, but they will “monitor” him starting at 200.

  71. Raul Says:

    Right, because 200 is a magic number.

    If they’re going to monitor anything, I’d rather they look at pitch counts than innings limits.

    30-pitch innings hurt you more than 250 total innings.

  72. Bob Says:

    If they were truly concerned about him, they would “moniter” him from the day e reports.

  73. Raul Says:

    The Nationals want to protect Strasburg?

    Monitor his conditioning, because the more tired he gets as the season and games go on, the poorer his mechanics will be, and he’ll hurt himself.

    You concerned about his arm? Don’t ask the kid to throw 40 sliders a game.

    If he’s gonna get hurt, he’s gonna get hurt. But simply saying “Oh, he’s at 210 innings, he’s done” is fucking stupid.

  74. Chuck Says:

    “Don’t ask the kid to throw 40 sliders a game.”

    Especially when you can stand on the mound and tell guys you’re throwing a fastball and 95% of the league still couldn’t hit it.

    Raul’s right..it’s not about innings, it’s about pitches.

    Although that 75 count limit on the pitchers in Colorado might be the dumbest fucking thing I ever heard.

  75. Bob Says:

    Craig Biggio’s son Cavan could be a 1st round pck this year.

  76. Chuck Says:

    I was watching one of those Mafia documentaries last night and never made the name connection..one of the top prospects in the Rangers organization is Joey Gallo.

    I’m sure no relation or it would have come out already, but, interesting nonetheless.

  77. Raul Says:

    Joey Gallo?
    My Cousin Vinny?

  78. Chuck Says:

    #37 & #75.

    One of the comments the guy made in his post on the SABR blog was “the only evidence I could find of Craig Biggio using anything was a DUI arrest”.

    The fact he ignored Biggio, or didn’t look as hard at him as the others goes to credibility, so that’s another reason why I decided not to go there.

  79. Chuck Says:

    The head of the Columbo family.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Gallo

  80. Chuck Says:

    “Craig Biggio’s son Cavan could be a 1st round pck this year.”

    Could be, doubt it though.

    Gary Sheffield’s son is a first round lock, however. Unless his arm falls off.

  81. Raul Says:

    What position does Sheffield’s kid play?

  82. Chuck Says:

    pitcher.

  83. Chuck Says:

    http://www.perfectgame.org/players/playerprofile.aspx?ID=301870

  84. Raul Says:

    I’m not a scout but I saw something that he grades out as a 10?
    I didn’t even know grades went that high.

  85. Chuck Says:

    The scout scale is actually 1-10, not 2-8.

    I’ve never come across anyone who uses it to that extreme, but I have a copy at home with all the descriptions on it.

    Some guys will use half numbers instead of round numbers just to save room, plus a guy below a 3 probably can’t play anyway, so why grade him?

  86. Chuck Says:

    From Baseball Intellect.

    The scale is defined as follows:

    10 – Hall of Fame Player
    9 – All-Star Player, Among the Top-5 at Respective Position, #1 starter
    8 – Above Average Regular, Borderline All-Star, #2 Starter
    7 – Average – Above Average Regular, #3 Starter, Elite Reliever
    6 – Average Regular, Left-Side Platoon, #4 Starter, Good Reliever
    5 – Below Average Regular, Good Bench Player, Right-Side Platoon, #5 Starter, Average Reliever
    4 – Utility Player, Average Bench Player, Swing/Long Man, Below Average Reliever
    3 – Below Average Bench Player, AAAA Player, Replacement Player Level
    2 – Organizational Depth, Below Replacement Level Player
    1 – Career Minor Leaguer

    The “2-8″ is condensed, something like this;

    80 – Outstanding
    70 – Well-above-average
    60 – Above-average
    50 – Major league average
    40 – Below-average
    30 – Well-below-average
    20 – Poor

  87. Chuck Says:

    Watch the video, then read what the kid wrote.

    Everyone has to start somewhere, but I don’t think I was ever this bad, especially after doing it for three years.

    Either that, or my expectations are too high.

  88. Raul Says:

    The very first thing I noticed about that prospect is his elbow cocks before each pitch.
    Maybe it’s not a big deal if you can hit, but holy fuck is that annoying. I’m not sure why he didn’t address it in his “scouting report”.

  89. Chuck Says:

    I saw that too.

    Kid is a douche..if he wants to make himself look like a tool..be my guest.

  90. Chuck Says:

    Joe Morgan had the elbow cock or flap..but he did that as a timing thing, kind of what Gary Sheffield does with his hands.

    Once the pitcher starts, they stopped.

    This kid appears to use the cock as a way to start his bat, which isn’t good.

  91. Raul Says:

    Well that, and the kid swung over a lot of pitches in that video.

    I’m not qualified to call a kid a scrub after one 2 minute video, but he sure didn’t look like good.

    That said, this guy appears to be “scouting” players by reading and Internet videos.
    And if you’re a real scout, you’re hitting the road and watching guys live, maybe multiple times.

    You can’t get a feel for a player through the Internet.

  92. Chuck Says:

    The kid was at the park, and he did take the video.

    “Well that, and the kid swung over a lot of pitches in that video.”

    Watch his feet.

  93. Raul Says:

    I don’t know what you’re seeing, Chuck, but when I look at his feet, his front foot step is very sloppy and in the at-bats with live pitching, it’s like he’s trying to time it.

    Just put the foot down already.
    Even the way he pops his hips is sloppy. No good turn and his back leg just looks lazy. Where’s the stability and balance?

    Someone teach that kid to hit liners to right-center. Maybe he’ll learn some balance.

  94. Raul Says:

    I don’t doubt the kid has power. But I don’t see a balanced, comfortable hitter at the plate.
    I see an antsy pull hitter praying to God the pitcher throws one up and in.

  95. Chuck Says:

    “I don’t know what you’re seeing, Chuck, but when I look at his feet, his front foot step is very sloppy and in the at-bats with live pitching, it’s like he’s trying to time it.”

    Well, yeah, in a way that’s what you’re supposed to see..if he was doing it correctly.

    The dude is 6′4″, 225, and hits like Jose Altuve.

    His feet are too close together, and while his stride is towards first base like it’s supposed to be, he has no width, so he can’t get his left hip out and around his left knee.

    If you look at the game action clip, he’s out in front too much and and locked, so all he can do is chop with his hands.

    Remember what happened to Alex Rios when he first went to the White Sox? They turned Dave Winfield into Dave McKay.

    I hate open stances..any hitting coach who teaches that should be fired immediately.

    The video of that kid is proof it doesn’t work.

  96. Raul Says:

    Good point.

    But what I meant to say by “he’s trying to time it” is he is trying to figure out when to put his foot down. I wasn’t really taught to try and figure that out. I put my foot up during the pitcher’s windup and get it down as he is about to release it. Generally, it’s a natural thing. A pitcher would have to have some really long windup to throw me out of sync with it. And even so, if you have good balance, you could put your front foot down an hour before he releases the ball and still explode through the ball when it finally does come.

    Your point about his feet being too close together is a good one. With his body, he should have no problem hitting for power, so he could spread his legs and get a stronger base.

    Ken Griffey Jr used to have a stance with his feet a bit too close together…but….he was Ken Fucking Griffey, and by the time he swung, he had put his feet in a place of great balance.

    I just did a quick Google search for Ken Griffey Swing and came up with this on youtube…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3NF23Cs1m4

    FUCKING BEAUTIFUL.
    His bat wags before the pitch is released but once it is…no bat movement…no waggle…no elbow twitch….just straight to the baseball. Fucking A, I think I just got a boner.

  97. Cameron Says:

    Every time I bring up beautiful swings, I mention Ken Griffey. My stepdad said Hank Aaron was born to hold a baseball bat, but I think more than anyone it applies to Griffey. That swing…

  98. Cameron Says:

    #68 For a second, I thought you meant the QB Jay Cutler. Then I remembered there’s a bodybuilder with the same name. Though to Cutler’s credit, he looks like a prototype NFL QB. …You know, when he’s not on his ass staring up at the lights.

    #74 The Sandy Koufax approach you mean?

  99. Raul Says:

    Much as everyone hates Manny Ramirez…god damn it I love his swing.
    Juice or not, that swing was perfect.

  100. Cameron Says:

    Who has the best “all or nothing” swing you’ve seen? By that, I mean the swing that you see it and you see a hole a mile wide, but at the point it does hit, you know that baby’s gone. I say that about Jose Bautsita a lot. It’s a slow, long uppercut that you can easily get over or under, but that sweet spot sends shit straight to the moon. Historically, I’d say Mark McGwire. He swung like a damn butcher, but if you got anything near that contract zone, the ball was absolutely pulverized.

  101. Mike Felber Says:

    To me his swing looked short & sound, & Big Mac worked hard on itr. Just not graceful like a Griffey & Strawberry, & the effect greatly enhanced by PEDs.

  102. Raul Says:

    I don’t know, Cam.

    But Mark Teixeira has the ugliest swing I can think of right now. That weird back leg crap he does.

  103. Chuck Says:

    RIP Earl Weaver

  104. Raul Says:

    That’s tough news.

    Can anyone explain to me why Weaver retired so young?
    He was only in his mid-50s when he gave it up. I guess if he didn’t want to manage, that’s one thing, but coaches these days routinely work into their late 60s and 70s

  105. Chuck Says:

    This guy had a pretty sweet swing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hSNO_PhSnI

  106. Raul Says:

    The old days, when players wore stirrups

  107. Raul Says:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130118&content_id=41022808&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    Yeah, going to war is slightly more distressing than deciding to attend Florida State

  108. Chuck Says:

    “But what I meant to say by “he’s trying to time it” is he is trying to figure out when to put his foot down.”

    Right. If you watch the video, he has a different setup and stride between the game and bp sessions. That jumped off at me even moreso than the elbow cock..it points to lack of confidence for one thing.

    “I put my foot up during the pitcher’s windup and get it down as he is about to release it. Generally, it’s a natural thing.”

    I went back and looked at the video again and you’re right, there are a coupe of sequences in the game action where his turn started before he put his foot down, so even though you can’t see the pitcher, that shows his timing is off”.

    Why? Couldn’t tell you. He’s probably cheating off something, which goes back to the confidence thing.

    “His bat wags before the pitch is released but once it is…no bat movement…no waggle…no elbow twitch….just straight to the baseball. Fucking A, I think I just got a boner.”

    I got a boner reading your description of Griffey’s swing.

  109. Raul Says:

    Happy 34th birthday, Byung-Hyun Kim. The 2001 World Series was awesome because of you.

    Happy 44th birthday, Orlando Palmeiro.
    Happy 42nd birthday, Phil Nevin.

    Technically, Orlando Palmeiro had a longer career than Phil Nevin. Orlando played 13 years, Nevin 12. But Nevin appeared in 1,217 games to Palmeiro’s 1,206.

    Happy 51st birthday, Chris Sabo. Seems to me, statistically, that Sabo was a pretty good player. I mean this SOB won the goddamn 1988 ROY with 46 steals as a 3B. Or maybe he did it all because of a corked bat. Who knows?

  110. Chuck Says:

    2010 Rising Stars game.

    Game is over and we’re heading downstairs from the press box. At the bottom of the stairs, if you walk straight ahead for 20 feet there’ a door which takes you to the concourse inside the stadium.

    If you take a U-turn and walk ten feet, there’s a door which takes you outside to the VIP lots.

    To the immediate right is a door to the home clubhouse, to the right of that is an elevator that takes you downstairs to the visitors clubhouse.

    To the left is a waiting area and the stadium offices, so after games it’s usually pretty crowded with people going or coming to various areas.

    I come down the stairs and as usual there’s a bunch of VIP’s..Walt Jocketty, Mike Rizzo, Mike Port, Roland Hemond, Steve Cobb, a couple of managers and quite a few scouts and media.

    Just as I get to the bottom stair, the crowd parts like the Red Sea, and here comes Earl Weaver. He was scouting the game for the Orioles.

    You want to talk about seeing a bunch of well dressed major league executives turn into babbling idiots…

    No one called him “Earl”, it was “Mr. Weaver”

    He walked right by everyone (with a bodyguard) shaking hands, to the people he knew he said their name, to those he didn’t, he called everyone “son”.

    As he walked by the staircase, I leaned over the rail, “Hi, Mr. Weaver”, he reached up his hand, “How ya doin’, son?” and kept going.

    He’s about 5′6″ too.

  111. Raul Says:

    I’ve seen Weaver curse umpires out. I wouldn’t call him Earl, either.

  112. Chuck Says:

    According to Dan Plesac, Weaver was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean as part of the Orioles’fan fantasy trip.

  113. Chuck Says:

    RIP former Yankee Fred Talbot.

  114. Raul Says:

    The hits keep on coming

  115. JAD Says:

    NPR similarly reported that Earl Weaver died on a cruise in the Caribbean sponsored by the Orioles, cause of death unknown. Bad call?

    Not sure if it was a Roger Angell article in The New Yorker or an interview on the Ken Burns production of Baseball (or both), but it is worth revisiting his reporting of why Earl Weaver used a World Series loss to proclaim why “baseball is the greatest game.”

  116. Cameron Says:

    The Ken Burns documentary is one of my favorite movies ever.

  117. Chuck Says:

    First Earl Weaver and now Stan the Man.

    Two HOFers on the same day.

    That, my friends, truly sucks.

    RIP Stan Musial.

  118. JAD Says:

    “Two HOFers on the same day.” — the antipathy of this year’s BWAA HOF ballot.

  119. Chuck Says:

    Sandy Alderson at the New York Baseball Writers Dinner tonight

    “I have been in contact with several outfielders I met on the internet”.

    LOL.

  120. Mike Felber Says:

    Stan the Man too! Wow.

    Bill James had Musial # 10 all time-# * amongst MLB players in 2000. Take out PEDs & Bonds & Clemens maybe have not passed him. I would place Musial around # 10 all time. Great longevity despite missing a year to WW2.

    %, 3, 1 & 5. THAT is how high he ranks in Blank ink, Gray ink, HOF Monitor, & HOF Standards, respectively. A career 159(!) OPS +.

    http://waswatching.com/2013/01/19/stan-the-man-how-great-he-was

  121. Mike Felber Says:

    JAD, I do not recall you from before. Are you new here? I am an NPR junkie myself. My brother is often on “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell me”, on there & 100 + radio markets. Who are you?

  122. Mike Felber Says:

    5, 3, 1 & 5.

  123. JAD Says:

    Adam Felber is quick and funny on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. He wins frequently and seems to have quite the competition with Charlie Pierce, the regular commentator on Only a Game.

    I made a few comments when this site linked from Baseball-Reference and a handful more this past year. Just a Mets and sometimes Blue Jays fan from the Bronx, L.I., and Buffalo.

  124. Bob Says:

    What a sad day yesterday.

  125. Mike Felber Says:

    Thanks JAD. He has a surreal 1st novel “Schroedinger’s Ball”, covering quantum phsyics, friends from Cambridge, a woman with a 1/2 hour orgasm, a rat names Lester, & the patois of many genres. Google it for great reviews, Amazon to NY Times.

    I grew up in LI, folks moved from Westbury to Jericho when i was very small. Transferred from Northeastern in Boston to SUNY at Buffalo. In a rent stabilizd place in Hell’s Kitchen for years. Started & run HK: ArtiST Festival here in ‘09, spin off magazine, about to sign a contract for national distribution.

  126. JAD Says:

    Thank you, Mike. I will keep an eye out for “Schroendinger’s Ball” (in bookstores and libraries, not online) and your HK festival and magazine.

  127. Mike Felber Says:

    Much appreciated JAD. Just send you E-mail to be added to the newsletter list for info on on the festival magazine, & next in a bit over a month, the launch party at Empire Room/Empire State Bldg. Bar. . Raul & anyone else ~ NYC area, you are most welcome to receive my propaganda & attend these free events. There will be performances throughout.

  128. Bob Says:

    Congrats Mike on your contract.

  129. Raul Says:

    Appreciate the offer and invite, Mike.

    I’m not really artsy. I mean you put a piece of abstract art in my face and right or not, I’m calling it bullshit.

  130. Cameron Says:

    Modern art, where you can turn a piece of driftwood, a paper cup, a nwespaper, and a dead ladybug into 25 grand. …And no, that’s not a joke. I saw that once.

  131. Raul Says:

    You’re in the wrong goddamn business, Cam.

    What’s your twitter handle?

  132. Mike Felber Says:

    Abstract is only a single genre of many amongst even modern art. Also while there is a good amount of more or less Emperor has no clothes & pretension in art, there is so much more, beauty, truth, & inexpressible subtleties & grandeur of the human spirit-sometimes in non-figurative art too.. Though we have much realism & surrealism (my favorite). And I hesitate to add, nubile ladies, artists art.

    And Cam, tons of great artists struggle to survive. I include the performing arts, I have 30 hours of parties to feature them at my dog & pony show/weekend. You cannot judge a whole human endeavor by some trendy folly, any more than judge the dedication & integrity of most athletes by the worst, laziest & most abusive yahoos.

  133. Cameron Says:

    I know how hard it is, Mike, but I brought it up because the art world is the only thing I’ve seen where something that bizarre is met with that degree of success. It’s about fifty cents of material turned into 25 grand. Only in art does shit like that happen.

    Then again, you can turn something simple into a phenomenon. Look at Piss Christ. Gotta love art.

  134. JAD Says:

    Throwing a knuckleball, a curveball, or a spilt-fingered fastball, and then having someone trying to hit it for another to catch it and throw it against that someone now on the run has its abstractions that can transform into millions of dollars. Yet there are many struggling baseball players, too. Perhaps art is found in whatever one appreciates.

  135. Raul Says:

    Except art is like 98% subjective whereas baseball has hard, quantifiable aspects.

    I’ve seen art done by fucking 5 year olds that has sold for thousands of dollars.
    Go ahead and put a 5 year old in the batters box against Sabathia.

    Yeah, you can’t lump that 5 year with ManRay…but you get the point.

  136. Chuck Says:

    Art is where the term “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” comes from.

  137. Bob Says:

    1. The Astros signed Bedard.
    2. The Reds signed Armando Galaragga.
    3. The Jays signed Mark DeRosa.
    4. Who is the most famous player named Art? Howe???

  138. Raul Says:

    Arthur Ashe?

  139. Bob Says:

    I will accept that answer.

  140. Chuck Says:

    Artis Gilmore?

    Art Donovan?

  141. Chuck Says:

    Phillies sign Delmon Young for $750K.

    Was really a one million deal, but Phils took $250K off the top to cover the extra items needed on the postgame spread.

  142. Chuck Says:

    Brewers sign Bobby Crosby to minor league deal with spring training invite.

    Hasn’t played in majors since August, 2010.

  143. Bob Says:

    1. Jason Motte and the Cards agreed to a 2-year deal.
    2. Kyle Farnsworth is nearing a decision.
    3. See you guys tomorrow.

  144. Chuck Says:

    “Kyle Farnsworth is nearing a decision.”

    On whether to get another tat?

  145. Mike Felber Says:

    Some of y’all have a mostly stereotypical view of art. Calling it all subjective snobbery is an uninformed cliche, just as simplistic as the portrait you give of child -like work gaining financial traction.

    Cam, almost any field you can think of allows those without talent to get rich & famous sometimes. And even sometimes hugely destructive forces to profit exponentially more than art does. Ponzi schemes, S & L, Madoff, innumerable scams, music mediocrities, biz. leaders that are mediocre or failures making millions/golden parachutes, decent at bets athletes making millions, tons of commercial products, that even if not literally toxic, are as foolish as pet rocks, mich of pop culture…WAy more than 1000’s of $ made.

    JAD is right, & thanks for the note, I added you to the list. Also Raul, there are so many “objective elements to art. Perspective, dynamic tension, proportions, rendering lighting, how to prepare canvases & material for sculpture/casting, elements of symbolic meaning, techniques of expressionism…

    Like cooking is an “art” too, but should not be demeaned because it takes a fraction of the time as most art. Thee is plenty of science involved: just because the opinion of the end product is also subjective does not mean that gourmet/Chuck’s cooking is just the same as rock candy, because some kids prefer crystalline sugar.

  146. Raul Says:

    “Some of y’all have a mostly stereotypical view of art.”

    You mean like the struggling, starving artist cliche that you, yourself brought up? Or does that actually have a lot more truth than artists are willing to admit?

    “Calling it all subjective snobbery is an uninformed cliche”

    Right. Because it’s not like I didn’t just fucking say that you can’t lump in a 5 year old bullshit artist with ManRay, but ok.

  147. Mike Felber Says:

    I said some of you Raul, I am very, very careful to attend to details. Though I did correct the notion that it is 2% objective. Even abstract art, 1 of so many genres, has theory behind it. But the most extreme conceits are given PR, the vacuous & silly, yet much of the pub lic is responsible for lazily dismissing art in general due to fun stories where an elephant’s work was well reviewed for his aesthetic sensibility.

    Yes, there is a lot of truth to the struggling artist meme. To recognize a problem & how we do not value or support art as well as other enlightened societies is essential. I did not claim you were a vulgarian.

  148. Mike Felber Says:

    I think we should contemplate just how great a guy Stan The Man Musial was. Nobody had a bad word to say about him. Never high handed or ego bound. Never thrown out of a game (Weaver at least 91, often calculated to rally his players).

    We all know how great a player he was. What is rare is to be equally great in being decent, humble, hard working & kind.

  149. Chuck Says:

    Raul…did you check out Bourdain’s new show last night?

  150. Raul Says:

    I didn’t. I wonder if I can find the show online somewhere.

  151. Bob Says:

    Do you have “On demand?” Watch it that way.

  152. Chuck Says:

    abc.com…click on “watch episodes” at the top and it takes you right to the page..click on “watch premiere”.

  153. Cameron Says:

    You know what I just realized? The MLB in the 1970s and the NBA in the 1990s were awfully similar.

    -The all-time greats were still there at the start, but they were getting older
    -New styles of play were being introduced
    -Athleticism was becoming more important to the game
    -The uniforms looked really freakin’ goofy.

  154. Chuck Says:

    Brewers called today..going on Friday to take my piss test for ST.

    They asked if I had some time next week to work a couple of days for Fantasy Camp.

    Spring Training has arrived.

    Yeeehaaa.

  155. John Says:

    I’m trying to think of things I wouldn’t give up to have Chuck’s job for the next couple months.

    I think I will make a weekend trip or two down to the grapefruit league. Should be fun.

  156. Mike Felber Says:

    Good observations Cam.

  157. JAD Says:

    One of the most memorable plays I have seen in baseball was the first time watching Ichiro, seeing him race across right field to snare a line drive for the third out and then flinging the baseball into the stands in a move that I could only describe as ballet, a term I would also use watching Bill Mazeroski turn a DP. Tossing a baseball into the bleachers with amazing aplomb is not statistical quantified, but it is a stroke of magic that enthralls one in this great game.

    As a teacher/tutor of SAT & GRE math, I get the sabermetrics, but the numbers do not reveal everything that transpires on the diamond or measure the pleasure of watching a game unfold. “Quantifiable aspects” do not predict with the same kind of certainty of a Nate Silver poll whether a pinch hitter will succeed or if the lefty specialist out of the bullpen with strike out the lefty slugger with the game on the line.

    If there was never a box score, there would still be art for art’s sake and baseball for baseball’s sake. And thanks, Mike Felber. It seems you’ve got my back like the pitcher who knocks down the guy on the other team to protect his teammate — another part of the game that does not show up in the box score.

  158. Cameron Says:

    I think I remember the play you were talking about. It was an A’s game, I think it was Tejada that got nailed.

  159. Bob Says:

    Upton to the Braves. The Braves have a great outfield. Still getting details on the entire package.

  160. Chuck Says:

    Just as I’m writing “expect Justin Upton to be traded today”, my phone beeps with Justin Upton being traded today.

    He goes to Braves with Chris Johnson for Martin Prado, pitcher Randall Delgado, SS Nick Ahmed, RHP Zeke Spruill and 1B Brando Drury.

  161. Raul Says:

    LOL

    So the Braves get rid of Randal Delgado and Tommy Hanson for a reliever they never needed and Justin Upton — who could be MVP-caliber one year, and Nelson Cruz the next.

  162. Chuck Says:

    “and Justin Upton — who could be MVP-caliber one year, and Nelson Cruz the next.”

    “and Justin Upton – who could be MVP-caliber one year, and BJ Upton the next.”

  163. Bob Says:

    1. Nyjer Morgan will play in Japan.
    2. Farnsworth will play in Tampa.

  164. Chuck Says:

    Five bucks says Morgan is back in the states by July

  165. Bob Says:

    Why?
    1. Japan deports him or some team here wants his talents?

  166. Chuck Says:

    He gets kicked off his team for being an asshole.

  167. Chuck Says:

    “some team here wants his talent”

    If he had any “talent” he wouldn’t be in Japan

  168. Lefty33 Says:

    The only thing that the Braves have assured themselves of by acquiring Upton today is that they will likely be numero Uno in MLB next year in K’s. Because of that, they’ve got no shot at either the division or at doing anything in or around the playoffs.

    To show you how much the game has changed, for the worse, over the last thirty years. When the Phillies won the WS in 1980 they made a ton of contact as a team and they struck out the least in the whole sport that year with 708.

    The core five of the Braves lineup in ‘13, Heyward-Freeman-Uggla-Upton X 2 struck out 739 times last year. It blows my mind to think that in thirty years we’ve come to a point of such undisciplined hillbilly baseball where five guys can K more than a whole WS winning team did and pundits think that the Braves somehow improved and/or that they’ll actually have a shot at making some noise this year in the NL.

    LOL!

  169. Raul Says:

    Well….strikeouts don’t matter. As long as every time you make contact, you hit a homer.

    Look at it this way: The fans will appreciate the lovely breeze in those summer months from all those strikeouts.

    I don’t understand how a batter can go up to the plate with the same hitting approach with 2 strikes as he does with 0 strikes. It just baffles the fuck out of me.

  170. Bob Says:

    In honor of Earl Weaver http://youtu.be/QWQbN0jFo_k

  171. Chuck Says:

    Musial struck out 379 times in 22 years.

    Over the last three seasons, 11 players have combined for more.

  172. Raul Says:

    Shut up, Chuck!

    Musial would have been better if he struck out more!

    Sorry. My body must have been possessed by some jackass from Bleacher Report.

  173. John Says:

    “the Braves somehow improved”

    They did improve.

    “they’ll actually have a shot at making some noise this year in the NL.”

    I would give them about a 75%+ chance of making the playoffs.

    “The only thing that the Braves have assured themselves of by acquiring Upton today is that they will likely be numero Uno in MLB next year in K’s. Because of that, they’ve got no shot at either the division or at doing anything in or around the playoffs.”

    Just like the A’s had no shot at the division last year when they set the AL Record for K’s?

    But at least the team whose record they broke didn’t win their division.

    Nope, just kidding. The 2010 Rays struck out 1292 times in 2010 and won the AL East.

    But certainly a team like the Rays can’t make any noise in the playoffs. Unless it’s 2008, and they finish second in the league with 1224 strikeouts, and win the pennant.

    But certainly, no team that leads it’s league will ever win a World Series, right? Unless you count the 2004 Red Sox, who did just that.

  174. Raul Says:

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t hinge any argument on the 2004 Red Sox.

    A team that would have been swept out of the ALCS had Joe Torre not been a total dumb ass.

  175. Chuck Says:

    #172..LOL

  176. Chuck Says:

    So, the Yanks choke job in 2004 was Torre’s fault?

    There’s a new one.

    THAT sounds like something from a jackass at Bleacher Report.

  177. John Says:

    11 wins is 11 wins.

  178. Raul Says:

    Disagree all you want. But when you have a tie game and a runner on 1st and that runner is Ruben Fucking Sierra and it’s extra innings and you have Kenny Lofton on the bench and you don’t put him in to get a runner in scoring position, you’re a fucking asshole and you cost your team the series.

    Funny thing, the Red Sox had the exact same situation, only they actually did pinch run with David Roberts and won the game.

  179. Raul Says:

    “11 wins is 11 wins.”

    …I suppose it is.

  180. Chuck Says:

    The runner wasn’t Sierra..it was Posada.

  181. Lefty33 Says:

    “I would give them about a 75%+ chance of making the playoffs.”

    And that’s based on ???

    Wait let me guess, zero like everything else you’ve got.

    The Braves have an all or nothing lineup and that kind of an undisciplined team does not win in the postseason nor does it usually get to the postseason unless it has exceptional pitching to compensate for its offensive inefficiencies.

    That team will be 100% unable to manufacture any runs and if they are not putting up a 4th of July worthy bomb fest every night they are going to lose a ton of close games and whined up being a very mediocre team.

    While their pitching is good, it’s not that good and the best they can hope for is to sneak into the last wild card spot and even then they’re no better then a
    1st round knock out just like…

    “Just like the A’s had no shot at the division last year when they set the AL Record for K’s?”

    The 2012 A’s, that get knocked out every time they make the playoffs in the 1st round because of the same issue. The ’12 A’s were 2nd in the AL in ERA, ERA+, and WHIP and that is why the made the playoffs. There offense meant squat in the equation.

    Ditto that for the Rays as to why neither they nor the A’s will ever win a WS.

    The Rays got to where they did in ’08 based on being 2nd in the AL that year in ERA, ERA+, and WHIP. Give them a more league average staff and they finish 4th in the AL East but their exceptional pitching allowed them to go up there and hack away like some Bugs Bunny cartoon while still staying in games if they could manage a run or two.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3I1hlNEdC4

  182. Raul Says:

    Nice, but long read on Bill Walsh on ESPN.com

  183. John Says:

    Wanna know the historical correlation between strikeouts and scoring?

    Zero. Nada. Nil.

  184. Chuck Says:

    If MLB outlawed strikeouts, runs scored would increase.

    So there is a correlation.

  185. John Says:

    If MLB outlawed strikeouts? What do you even mean? Like three strikes doesn’t make an out? Because yes, run-scoring would go up…except that you’d be playing an entirely different game, and it would take a million hours to play.

    What a joke of a statement.

  186. Bob Says:

    Lars Anderson was released by the Diamondbacks. Bet he ends up in Boston. I meant Pawtucket.

  187. Raul Says:

    Lars Anderson. This guy is gonna be on his 5th team or something in 2 years if he gets picked up.

  188. Bob Says:

    I think Boston, Cleveland and Arizona. He was never traded to Oakland.

  189. Raul Says:

    Oh ok.
    3 teams plus whomever picks him up next.

  190. Bob Says:

    At least 5 cities if you include minor league cities.

  191. Bob Says:

    The Yankees signed Dan Johnson to a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite.

  192. Raul Says:

    Yeah I saw that the other day. Or was it today? My concept of time is off lately.

    Johnson is basically an automatic out with the bat, but he’s never really gotten the chance to play full-time, so who knows?

    Austin Romine is slated to be the starting catcher, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he failed to win the job out of Spring Training.

    After all, it wouldn’t be the first time a Yankees catching prospect failed to win a Major League job that was his to lose.

  193. Chuck Says:

    Shoulda waited a couple days on Johnson..they could have had Anderson.

  194. Raul Says:

    I thought Dan Johnson caught for the Marlins.
    I guess I was confusing him for Charles Johnson — in 1997.

    Anyway, Charles Johnson ended up leaving the Marlins in 1998.
    When Johnson returned in 2001, he basically took over Mike Redmond’s job. The same Mike Redmond who is the current Marlins manager.

    FYI – Charles Johnson is one of 3 players to catch 100 games in a season and not commit an error. The others? Mike Matheny and Buddy Rosar.

    Johnson also caught AJ Burnett’s, Kevin Brown’s and Al Leiter’s no hitters.

  195. Chuck Says:

    Wow, dude, you really are off…

  196. Raul Says:

    Absolutely right, Chuck.

    You should never mix up Johnsons.
    Lesson learned.

  197. Lefty33 Says:

    “Johnson is basically an automatic out with the bat, but he’s never really gotten the chance to play full-time, so who knows?”

    I’ve seen a lot of Johnson over the last three years when he was in Durham and Charlotte and he’s nothing special.

    Johnson was the F/T 1B for the A’s for two years and he never hit enough to keep the job. The Rays gave him the starting 1B job in ‘11 right out of ST and he rewarded them for that choice by going below Mendoza for 6 weeks until they sent him to rot in AAA for the rest of the year.

    He’s got great AAAA power but at the major league level he really doesn’t do
    anything well. He’s not a superior defender, he can’t run, he can’t hit for average but because of that power and because he hits LH teams keep giving him chances.

    The one good thing that I can say about him was that in 2010 he won the AAA home run derby and dude, he golfed a couple that seriously had some big distance.

    The other wierd thing about him as a LH is that he actually hits LHP better than he hits RHP. The guy turns 34 this year and I look forward to watching him play this year, for Scranton, all season.

  198. Mike Felber Says:

    You got it Jad, am there for you. Though as my Sister said on stage when doing stand up (she had gotten me several days working the door of a couple places, inc. where she had her comedy show), instead of the high hard one I am likely to jus’ calmly scold the baddies until they beg for a beating instead!

    =Roger Angell was amongst those great at communicating the lyrical & mythical aspects of baseball. The old sportswriters really shone-read the book about my Avatar, “Baseball’s Big Train”, by his Grandson. And some of the old players like Cobb were surprisingly articulate, though you wonder how much some of their quotes were “massaged”. Even George Will, teased for being a baseball nerd, has an effective poetical streak about the game.

    There really is nothing like the grass. slanting light, seeming slow motion unfolding of events…The contrast of hope, expectation, hard driving play & a waking summer reverie amidst even the most draatic & tense moments, like a slugger on deck & approaching the plate with an important game on the line.

    Beauty is found in multifarious forms. The most hard bitten macho guy may have, nay must have, the spiritual Yearning of hope & appreciation of Beauty latent & inchoate in the very fabric of the game.

    What did that pointy head dweeb say? Ah, but you cannot tell me that Time itself cannot pause for the Transcendent.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnR4G6i7mqM

  199. Cameron Says:

    Just got news of the Upton trade. Been a recluse for the last few days. Seems my depression is getting worse somehow. I’m back, though. As for that trade… Arizone got fucking hosed. Again. These guys are on par with the goddamn Royals in terms of trading ability.

  200. Chuck Says:

    The Outdoor Channel is showing “Major League Fishing” right now.

    I bet Bob is glued to the screen.

  201. Chuck Says:

    “And some of the old players like Cobb were surprisingly articulate, though you wonder how much some of their quotes were “massaged””

    Their entire lives have been massaged, why not their quotes?

  202. Chuck Says:

    Hang in there Cam..it could be worse.

    You could be Lance Armstrong or Manti Te’o.

  203. Cameron Says:

    Ah, Manti Te’o. Lose-lose situation there. Either he was in on a stupid prank and he looks like an idiot, or he’s really that gullible and he looks like an idiot. Gotta love it.

  204. Mike Felber Says:

    Cobb’s vicious, violent & racist behavior has been well known. Though he also had a keen baseball mind, & someone like him could be intelligent & articulate but not be a well integrated personality. Though I would not be surprised at some “massage” either.

  205. Cameron Says:

    Considering Cobb’s upbringing, him being a violent racist was almost a forgone conclusion. Late 19th century Georgia with two parents who hated each other to the point one killed the other, dude was fucked.

  206. Mike Felber Says:

    That is pretty much true. Some extraordinary folks extricate themselves from terrible circumstances, but it is not to be expected.

  207. Chuck Says:

    Te’o was in on the whole thing right from the beginning…there’s NO WAY he didn’t know.

    No one is THAT stupid or gullible.

  208. Chuck Says:

    “Cobb’s vicious, violent & racist behavior has been well known.”

    That’s the point..much of what has been said about Cobb (and others) are either exaggerated to the point of almost being more untrue than true, or are just outright myths.

    Just like Babe Ruth’s called shot is a myth.

  209. Chuck Says:

    “We wanted to change the dynamics of our team, and we’ve done that. We needed to get more contact type hitters which would give Gibby more options on offense and to cut down on the strikeouts which lead to alot of wasted opportunities.”

    “We definitely lost some power by losing Upton, but in looking at our depth now I believe we’ll score more runs than we have in the past because we’ll have more opportunities”.

    Kevin Towers

  210. Bob Says:

    @ 200. No, I missed it. Now I am fucking pisssed at myself. And on a Friday to boot. Just for that, rum and coke instead of fucking red wine.

  211. Chuck Says:

    Didn’t some champ fisherman get suspended for giving steriods to earthworms?

  212. Raul Says:

    Go home, Chuck. You’re drunk.

  213. Chuck Says:

    LOL..It’s 11 am…the only time I’ve ever been drunk this early is not going to bed from the night before.

  214. Raul Says:

    Did the Mets sign Michael Bourn?
    I just want to confirm if they made a stupid decision or if they are thinking of making a stupid decision.

  215. Chuck Says:

    They’re thinking of making a stupid decision.

    They’re negotiating with MLB to not have to forfeit their first round pick.

    If they win, it will confirm beyond any doubt Sandy Alderson works for MLB and not the Mets.

  216. Raul Says:

    The Mets are dumb.
    Michael Bourn is barely worth Victorino money. And not worth a top 11 draft pick.

    It’s a damn shame. 30 years ago, the Mets were one of the best drafting and scouting organizations in the game.

  217. John Says:

    Only once has Upton even been in the top-10 in strikeouts. He was fourth on the Diamondbacks last year. Seems like a weird reason to be so hell-bent on trading him.

    They got a sizable haul for him, more than I think he’s actually worth. But this image of him as Black Mark Reynolds is just silly.

    Of course, when Towers makes remarks about Upton’s lack of grit…well, I shouldn’t even go there…

  218. Chuck Says:

    That’s what happens when you live and play in the largest market and have no money.

    The Mets looking for players is the equivalent of Mike looking for dinner.

    Alderson’s dumpster diving for players.

  219. Chuck Says:

    Strikeouts aren’t the only reason, John.

    But Towers couldn’t very well go on radio and said they traded him because he was an immature douchebag.

  220. Chuck Says:

    Upton’s averaged 133 strikeouts per season..that’s too much..regardless of where he ranks against other guys.

  221. Raul Says:

    133 is too much for Upton.

    If he was going down 133 times and putting up Alex Rodriguez MVP numbers….but he isn’t.

  222. Chuck Says:

    Agreed.

  223. Raul Says:

    I don’t understand this enabler attitude people have with players who strike out a lot.

    Why do people just accept that striking out is ok? You’re an athlete trying to be the best you can be. Every single year, the goal is to get better.

    You know what Ted Williams wants to do after hitting .406?
    He wants to hit .407. That’s how it works.

    If Adam Dunn strikes out 160 times a year, how the fuck would he be worse if he struck out 130 times? The argument we hear is that if he strikes out less, he’d hit less. It boggles the fucking mind that people can think this way until I realize they don’t play baseball, don’t understand hitting mechanics and don’t understand hitting approach.

    Albert Pujols strikes out like 60 times a year. Who in their right mind thinks he is a better player by striking out 120 times a year?

    You hear all the time: strikeouts don’t correlate to runs.
    That’s disingenuous to say. Especially when the people who say that constantly cum in their pants over OBP.

    You know what’s better for the team than whiffing on a 0-2 curveball in the dirt? Hitting the ball over the SS for a single and getting on base.

    Great hitters take what they are given. They don’t insist on swinging like a dickhead regardless of the count and situation in the hopes he will be successful once a game.

  224. John Says:

    Whatever dude.

    If there was a correlation more than zero, I would care. But there’s not. So I don’t.

  225. John Says:

    http://www.betfirms.com/hitting-correlations-runs-scored/

  226. John Says:
  227. Raul Says:

    None of that addresses the point, which is typical every time this comes up.

  228. Raul Says:

    You people assume that you just can substitute strikeouts for other outs.
    As if players are incapable of improvement.

    Maybe if some of these stat heads spent 5 minutes in the minor leagues, they’d learn something for once in their lives.

  229. Chuck Says:

    “I would care. But there’s not. So I don’t.”

    Sure you do..otherwise there would be no posts 225 & 226.

  230. Mike Felber Says:

    Sure Ruth never called a shot. Yet I never heard the claim that the stories about Cobb were exaggerated. I am open to the evidence. Did he not attack & justify pummeling a 1 arm man in the stands, strangle the wife of an elevator operator after she spoke up against Cobb’s racist attack, have a pitched battle where the bulky catcher of the Tigers threw him all over the locker room when he would not stop attacking him, etc. let alone the gun play towards his biographer in his dotage…He was friends with Williams until the latter dared suggest that Rajah was a better hitter.

  231. Mike Felber Says:

    We have a continuing definitional problem in the endless debate about K effects here.

    Start with correlation does not = causation. Yet it is also true that striking out less seems not to be an indication of a better hitter overal-& sometimes the opposite is the case.

    The question is, while hitting for power does make it more difficult to minimize Ks, how much of the usually worthwhile trad eff is preventable? This depends upon the player. What are their purely physical skills including hand eye coordination? I think that this is not so amenable to much improvement, but plate approach & discipline, & sometimes swing mechanics, often can be upgraded.

    There are some guys who K a lot who cannot improve this absent sacrificing power & overall productivity. Others could, & would translate more of those Ks into hits. Who could fix what & to how much if any + effect is difficult to determine.

  232. Raul Says:

    There are some guys who K a lot who cannot improve this absent sacrificing power & overall productivity

    Absolutely wrong.

  233. John Says:

    748 piece of data over 25 years and no statistical evidence to support a claim that strikeout rate has a meaningful impact.

    748 fucking data points.

    There’s actually a slight negative correlation. Of course, this doesn’t mean K’s actually HELP you, but it’s probably indicative of the fact that teams that build their offenses around not-striking-out, as opposed to actually having good hitters, are gonna struggle.

  234. John Says:

    The Indians finished third-last in the league in K’s last year (2nd second last in runs scored, with 667).

    They have since traded away a 150-strikeout hitter, but acquired a pair of 200-K guarantees and Nick Swisher, who K’d 141 times last year.

    So, they’re probably going to place close to the top of the league in K’s this time around.

    I’m gonna put the over/under on their runs scored for the season at…667.5 runs. Any takers?

  235. Raul Says:

    Waiting for the argument that Dunn striking out less makes him worse.
    …………

  236. Chuck Says:

    “I’m gonna put the over/under on their runs scored for the season at…667.5 runs. Any takers?”

    No, because their environment is different.

  237. John Says:

    Environment? What?

  238. Raul Says:

    What’s this I’m hearing about A-Rod being out the entire year?

  239. Cameron Says:

    @232 I dunno, have you seen Ryan Howard’s bat since he’s been making more contact? Ks are down, but so is everything else. Him not going all-or-nothing anymore is cutting his power down.

  240. Raul Says:

    Howard’s K’s are down?
    He struck out 99 times in like 12 games last year.

  241. Cameron Says:

    71 games, actually. His last two years, he’s actually been south of 180, which he hadn’t done since he was 25. He was also south of 120 RBIs and 40 HRs for the first time since turning 25 as well.

  242. Bob Says:

    Since Ryan Kalish needs surgery again, the Sox signed Ryan Sweeney.

  243. Cameron Says:

    Not a bad signing, I’ve always been a Sweeney fan. Not the best bat, but he can catch, throw, and run pretty damn good.

  244. Chuck Says:

    Brian Cashman;

    “There’s a chance ARod could miss the entire season”.

    The way he’s played the past two years, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  245. Cameron Says:

    You know who’s really happy about A-Rod not paying? The payroll department.

  246. Chuck Says:

    “Environment? What?”

    Translation:

    “Oh, fuck, sabermetrics doesn’t measure intangibles, and since an admission of being wrong would dis the movement, I’ll just respond with an irrelevant question.”

  247. Chuck Says:

    Um, ARod gets paid regardless of whether he plays or not.

    If he’s on the 60 day DL, 80% of his salary is paid by workman’s comp (MLB insurance), but the money still counts against the Yanks’ payroll.

  248. Raul Says:

    Boston kept Kalish and got rid of Josh Reddick. Which was dumb.

    They traded Reddick to get Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney…only to realize Sweeney sucks. So they cut him in November. And now he’s back?

  249. Raul Says:

    Those splits stunk for Reddick last year:

    1st half: .268/.348/.532 with 20 homers.
    2nd half: .215/.256/.391 with 12 homers.

    Hopefully he can regain his 1st half form in 2013. Kid was a 17th round draft pick. I kinda root for a guy like that.

  250. John Says:

    Ah, intangibles.

    Because Hunter Pence won the WS.

  251. Chuck Says:

    “Because Hunter Pence won the WS.”

    So did Craig Counsell.

    Twice.

    With two different teams.

  252. John Says:

    Cool, well you take those guys, I’ll take Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez, and beat you 9-2 every game, intangibles be damned.

  253. Chuck Says:

    Tool.

  254. Raul Says:

    Intangibles don’t mean anything, unless you have to pick a quarterback between Eli and Peyton Manning for a playoff game.

  255. John Says:

    If you woupd actually pick Eli, you should be institutionalized.

  256. Raul Says:

    Those two wins vs Green Bay burn deep, don’t they?

  257. John Says:

    If Jermichael Finley could catch, or Nick Barnett knew to fall on a football, Eli’s career eould be exactly the same – and no one would think of him as a great clutch performer.

  258. Raul Says:

    No credit where it’s due, huh?
    Salud, Johnboy. It takes a special kind of hate to refuse to acknowledge Eli was instrumental in his SB wins and has a history of good performances in crunch time.

    #discountdoublecheck

  259. John Says:

    Chuck does that all the time with ARod, who has a better October OPS than “Mr. OCTOBER”

  260. Raul Says:

    Ultimately wins matter. MLB isn’t like the NFL.

    If you’re going to sit there and take solace in the idea that maybe 99 times out of 100 Nick Barnett falls on that football, well…that’s really all you can cling to…because he didn’t. And they lost. And Eli was better than Brady when it counted.

  261. Raul Says:

    BTW, it’s unfair to compare OPS between a SS and a 3B.
    I mean unless you’re in the habit of comparing stolen bases between a CFer and a 1B

  262. John Says:

    Mr. October is Reggie Jackson. Derek Jeter is captain clutch. And ARod has better clutch numbers than both.

  263. Raul Says:

    I’m not gonna sit here and act like the shit Arod gets is fair, because it isn’t.

    You’re looking at career clutch stats defined as “late and close” and A-Rod clearly out-performs Jeter.

    You look at career ‘2 outs, RISP’:
    AROD: .267/.397/.461
    Jeter: .306/.404/.430

    That’s what I suspect people mean by being more clutch. Jeter gets the hits that A-rod doesn’t.

    As far as postseason batting
    AROD: .263/.369/.464
    Jeter: .308/.374/.465

    And when you’re a middle of the lineup guy, batting like your SS is going to be seen as a bit of a failure.

    Those are the breaks, kid.

  264. Cameron Says:

    @247 Given how old he is, what are the chances an injury that ends a whole season for him ends his whole career? No more money on the books, no more marketing bonuses.

  265. Raul Says:

    I don’t think Alex would go out that way.
    It would have to be a catastrophic injury for him to walk away.

    It’s not like he NEEDS the money, but this guy could just rehab for two years if need be and pocket 50 million…and THEN retire if it was really not working out.

  266. Cameron Says:

    I don’t think he’d retire, and I don’t think he’s at the point where he’d be missing the year even. But I think it’s clear he’s not finishing his contract at this point.

  267. John Says:

    Well…that should’ve been clear in 2008.

  268. Raul Says:

    One could hope he doesn’t intend on finishing his contract.

    Hell, I don’t even like the Teixeira contract. And if they give Cano 100 million, that will be another shit show.

  269. Chuck Says:

    Ed Bouchee died yesterday.

    Goddammit.

    Nice guy.

    Article explains in more detail than I was willing to share about his being blackballed.

    http://m.spokesman.com/stories/2013/jan/25/bouchee-dies-at-79/

  270. Chuck Says:

    “If Jermichael Finley could catch, or Nick Barnett knew to fall on a football, Eli’s career eould be exactly the same – and no one would think of him as a great clutch performer.:

    If the NFL didn’t enact 162 rules to protect the passer and pussify the quality of play, Brett Favre would have spent 12 years with the Toronto fucking Argonauts jerking off to his Doug Flutie poster.

  271. Chuck Says:

    “And ARod has better clutch numbers than both.”

    Oh, so clutch exists now, dickwad?

  272. Chuck Says:

    Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were HOFers before they ever touched steriods.

    ARod wasn’t.

    Fuck him.

    Discussion over.

  273. Raul Says:

    I don’t know when Arod started juicing, but he was a stud from the beginning.
    You’re out of your mind there, Chuck.

  274. Cameron Says:

    Unless A-Rod had been juicing since high school, I’m with Raul on this one. Dude was putting up MONSTER numbers in Seattle and even without steroids would’ve wrecked shit in Texas.

  275. Mike Felber Says:

    Of course. Though I am surprised that Raul actually contradicted Chuck. Sign of the apocalypse, 12-12 12 was just a ballpark figure, par4don the pun. Should be just bold facing unsupoorted premises to contradict me.

    I saw merit on both sides, & a difference in what perspective the K question is looked at. But if you try to sell me that ALL players can significantly r3educe Ks absent sacraficing power & productivity (in part because they draw more walks:

    No (Andrew) Dice (Clay).

    It was a wild thing…several short months ago I am sitting on a stoop absorbing the last of the sun, maybe reading on West 54th Street. an old woman with a ‘lil dog I know a bit,comes by, staying in a Church nearby, chats me up. I swear it struck me even then how sudden & out of left field, apropos of no prior conversational thread, she mentioned that she loved ADC & years ago saw of his specials. I believe she indelicately referenced the “Old Rover gave her a bone of his own” conceit. But most memorably, a completely random reference.

    Shortly after she left I wandered back, 1 & 1/2 minute walk away to my friend’s pizza restaurant across from me on 9th Avenue. Luciano is outside, introduces the guy sitting at the open to the street table…Andrew Dice Clay.

    Would not have recognized him years later, though my Lou did right away. He was a bit cranky about getting attention. I honestly was unsure if he was the real deal. Walked across to my home, but stood outside my place for a bit. Dice walked over, from a laundromat that in ‘95 the Letterman crew found me & brought me on the show to get my shorts to put on Richard Simmons…

    Anyway he was nice, had lost weight, spoke for a while 7 was real, not a bombastic prick at all.

    But the incident was uncanny, a bit like the Jung story with a unfathomable coincidence ending with a Scarab at his window. Spooky synchronicity.

  276. Lefty33 Says:

    “Whatever dude.

    If there was a correlation more than zero, I would care. But there’s not. So I don’t.”

    Actually John-boy there is a correlation between teams striking out and not winning the WS versus teams that do win the WS and avoid striking out. I’ve explained it here a few times over the last few years but as usual you’re too ignorant, which is funny as you always want to come across as “Mr. Metrics”, to see that the stats don’t lie.

    If your team K’s a ton of times you obviously blow of shit of load of scoring opportunities and over the course of a season it fucks you in the ass and you will not win, period.

    Your examples of the A’s and Rays are irrelevant because while they struck out a ton, they were either weakly bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs and/or only went as far as their excellent pitching took them before they got exposed as a completely unbalanced team.

    Give any of those teams a league average staff in ERA, ERA+, and WHIP and they finish in 3rd-4th place so far back that it’s comical.

    “@232 I dunno, have you seen Ryan Howard’s bat since he’s been making more contact? Ks are down, but so is everything else. Him not going all-or-nothing anymore is cutting his power down.”

    Howard is still very much going all or nothing. That hasn’t changed.

    What has changed is that he has lost all ability to hit LHP because of his lack of plate discipline in terms of pitch selection.

    When he won the MVP he was hitting in the .260-.270 area against LHP. In ’11-’12 that went down to .224 and .179 respectively. That where Howard’s power numbers have gone.

    “71 games, actually. His last two years, he’s actually been south of 180, which he hadn’t done since he was 25.”

    That’s very much a loaded statement.

    He missed 10 games in 2011 and struck out 172 times. Wanna bet that he gets to 180 if he plays in like maybe three more games? In 2010 he missed 20 games and struck out 157 times. Again, if he plays 159+ games like he did in ’06-‘08’-09 he would have gotten to 180 with ease.

    Last year he was on a pace to blow Mark Reynolds single season record away and his numbers across the board were the worst he has ever put up. Now of course I realize that he was injured and all but his Achilles injury does not effect his ability to have some sort of discipline at the plate and to not be lunging at every off speed pitch in the opposite batters box that is thrown to him by an opposing LHP.

    Howard can go all or nothing at pitches IF he is swinging at quality shit.
    When he’s lunging and waving at anything and everything that’s where the problem lies for him and a lot of these other slugger and wanna be slugger types where they screw themselves out of doing anything productive AB after AB by wailing away at pitches that they couldn’t hit with a boat oar or a seven iron.

  277. Lefty33 Says:

    FYI John-

    Only two teams, the ‘95 Braves (1st in MLB that year in ERA, ERA+ and WHIP) and the ‘04 Red Sox (2nd in MLB that year in ERA+ and WHIP) have won the WS over the last twenty years when putting up a top ten season in K’s.

    Over that same twenty year period more than 2/3 of the teams that won the WS were 22rd or below in their respective championship seasons.

    Still think K’s don’t matter? Still think that K’ing all the time is the way to success?

    If you do, aside of being a total retard, then I guess your next argument will be that winning doesn’t matter either. (And by winning I’m talking the WS. Not getting bounced in the DS round.)

    While it can be done, how many teams are able to put together a staff that is superior enough to overcome their own offensive inefficiencies and one-dimensionalness?

    The answer is that over the last year twenty years you’ve got a one in ten chance.

    If I’m a GM, I like my odds putting together a different type of team then one that whiffs all the time. (aka the 2013 Braves)

  278. Chuck Says:

    Mike

    Read this.

    http://sabr.org/research/georgia-peach-stumped-storyteller

    Be happy to further dismiss any remaining falsities floating around in your head later.

  279. Chuck Says:

    The problem with the 748 data points, like most saber efforts, is they’re undertaken by people who don’t understand the subject matter.

    Why compare strikeouts to other outs?

    In that regard there is little difference, as would be expected.

    You need to take 50 strikeouts off Mark Reynolds’ and put those extra AB’s as balls in play.

    I can’t fathom the lack of intelligence one must have to look at that and say there wouldn’t be a difference in scoring.

  280. John Says:

    “The problem with the 748 data points, like most saber efforts, is they’re undertaken by people who don’t understand the subject matter.”

    Or, you can take 748 teams, and replace 200 of their strikeouts with other outs, or other outs with strikeouts and notice, ahem, NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE IN SCORING.

    “Still think K’s don’t matter?”

    Yes

    “Still think that K’ing all the time is the way to success?”

    …no

    “Only two teams, the ‘95 Braves (1st in MLB that year in ERA, ERA+ and WHIP) and the ‘04 Red Sox (2nd in MLB that year in ERA+ and WHIP) have won the WS over the last twenty years when putting up a top ten season in K’s.

    Just to clarify: 748 data points is meaningless, but 20 indicates something? Do you have any idea how insane that is? Not to mention that you’re comparing the AL and NL together, which is asinine once you realize that the pitcher bats in the NL.

  281. John Says:

    “If the NFL didn’t enact 162 rules to protect the passer and pussify the quality of play, Brett Favre would have spent 12 years with the Toronto fucking Argonauts jerking off to his Doug Flutie poster.”

    You do realize when Brett Favre started his career right?

  282. John Says:

    Also, the average life expectancy of a retired NFL player is like 58. It’s not pussification, it’s common fucking human decency.

    And also, the 1972 Dolphins would have lost to this year’s Jaguars like 77-3.

  283. Bob Says:

    That’s because Garo Yepremian is a stud.

  284. Lefty33 Says:

    “Do you have any idea how insane that is? Not to mention that you’re comparing the AL and NL together, which is asinine once you realize that the pitcher bats in the NL.”

    So in John’s world winning is not important.

    It’s all about the style of how you lose.

    Make sure your team’s uniforms look good, your players are roided up and feared because winning a WS doesn’t matter. Just put on a good show with caveman hillbilly fence swinging.

    18 of the last 20 WS winners (both NL and AL teams) have proved that stiking out is bad yet you the clueless assclown differs?

    Nice job Shaun, sorry I meant John, way to live with blinders on to the facts while you mindlessly stick to your talking points. Wake up to how the game IS played and not how YOU want it to be played.

  285. Bob Says:

    6 players from the 72 Dolphins team are in th HOF, plus Shula.

    1. Nick Buoniconti
    2. Czonka
    3. Griese
    4. larry Little
    5. Paul Warfield
    6. Jim Langer
    7. Wonder how the 2012-2013 Jaguars will fare.

  286. Raul Says:

    When the 72 Dolphins went undefeated, teams just didn’t pass the way they do now.

    It was a totally different game. With different rules, different everything. I would bet there wasn’t a 270 pound player in the game then.

    Comparing them to the Jaguars is silly.

  287. Bob Says:

    I did not make the initial analogy. Just responded to it.

  288. Bob Says:

    And there was no viagra to give the players extra pizaz as has been mentioned by some player recently. The 1972-1973 Dolphins were superior to their peers, the guys they should be measured against.

  289. Raul Says:

    I know Bob.
    I was just saying.

    Even in the 70s people realized that Dolphins team wasn’t as good as the Steelers or some of those Cowboys.
    But 17-0 is 17-0.

    You can only play the games on your schedule.

  290. John Says:

    “18 of the last 20 WS winners (both NL and AL teams) have proved that stiking out is bad yet you the clueless assclown differs?”

    20! A sample of 20! That doesn’t *prove* ANYTHING.

    I’m looking at a sample of 748 data points. That’s a statistically significant sample. 20? Meaningless.

  291. John Says:

    “Even in the 70s people realized that Dolphins team wasn’t as good as the Steelers or some of those Cowboys.
    But 17-0 is 17-0.”

    Right – it’s not like they could have done any better than they did, at the end of the day, with a win being a win and a Super Bowl being a Super Bowl.

    For what it’s worth, I’ll take the 1985 Bears over any team. They slipped up once (against the Dolphins, interestingly enough), but flatout dominated and were just orders of magnitude better than the competition. They outscored their opponents 91-10 in their three playoff games.

  292. Bob Says:

    And Walter Payton should have scored a TD instead of that fat fuck. What Ditka did was fucking bullshit at the highest levels.

  293. Bob Says:

    Today’s question on ESPN. “Would you want your favorite team to draft Manti Te’o in the first round?” How on God’s green Earth in South Bend are 40% of people saying yes. I do not want the Dolphins or Lions drafing him period.

  294. Cameron Says:

    He’d be a good fit for them, but they don’t need him as much as a CB (Detroit) or WR (Miami).

    As for me. …Dude, KC. QB or bust.

  295. John Says:

    My favorite team got suckered in by the college-style read option to the tune of 45 points in the divisional round. Who cares if he’s a moron and/or psychopath?

  296. Raul Says:

    Between tackling real players and imaginary players, Manti Te’o is gonna lead the NFL in tackle for years.

  297. Cameron Says:

    “Or, you can take 748 teams, and replace 200 of their strikeouts with other outs, or other outs with strikeouts and notice, ahem, NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE IN SCORING.”

    So a groundout that moves a runner up from second to third, a deep fly that lets a runner tag from third or a sac fly has the same impact on scoring as a K. …Right…

    Only thing worse than a K is a DP. Granted, some guys Ks I can take because when they hit they HIT but you can’t universalize striking out as a good thing. Not everyone is a 26 year-old Ryan Howard. Most guys look a lot more like Joey Gathright than Joey Votto, they don’t have that ability. Take every ball you can get.

  298. Cameron Says:

    @295 While a good ILB would be nice, Te’o’s not falling that far, imaginary girlfriend or not. My money’s on DE in Green Bay. After how hard your line got fucked with injuries this year, you need it bad.

  299. John Says:

    The history of baseball suggests that generating more “productive outs” over strikeouts is like the 11th most important thing an offense can do.

    Generating a lot of walks, on the other hand, is like, number 3.

  300. Raul Says:

    Look man, GB just doesn’t commit to the run. That’s their problem.

    Same shit happened with Marino in Miami.
    You can say they need offensive line help, and they do, but linemen like to run block. And when they go back to pass protect 40 times a game, the quarterback is gonna get hit. Doesn’t matter who is back there.

    So GB needs line help and defensive help. RB isn’t really that big if a deal. History has shown you can get a decent RB in almost any round of the draft.

  301. John Says:

    I mostly agree. A good, serviceable running back shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, but our two RB’s by the end of the year had started the year as cut from a practice squad (Grant) and selling used cars (Harris).

    We tried to commit to the run for the reasons Raul talked about, and it rarely took off, forcing Rodgers to sling it more than you’d like because of the damage to the O-line.

  302. Cameron Says:

    @299 And K’ing more and taking more walks are related… How? Like, at all. That made no sense. Whatsoever. None.

  303. Raul Says:

    FWIW, Finley should be cut or traded.

    I’d rather have a TE who doesn’t bitch about passes…goes hard on his blocks and catches what is thrown to him.

    Rodgers is too accurate to deal with so many dropped passes. And he doesn’t need a “Tony Gonzalez” type TE. Just a solid blocker who can convert the 3rd and 4.

  304. Cameron Says:

    I think Finley’s a free agent. No worries.

  305. Raul Says:

    Oh ok.

  306. Cameron Says:

    And everyone can use a Tony Gonzalez tight end. Then again, he’s only the greatest tight end of all timetotallynotsayingthatbecausehewasoneoftheonlyreasonstowatchthechiefsthelasttwodecadesandi’mpissedatlantalefttheplayoffsbecausetony’snotgettinghisring.

  307. John Says:

    Nah, we signed him to a 2-year deal after he dropped four 3rd down passes in a single game against the Giants.

  308. Raul Says:

    Anyway, talking about GB reminds me of Matty Flynn.

    Poor guy couldn’t get through with Rodgers in GB. Gets sent to Seattle only to have Russell Wilson have a great rookie year and win a playoff game.

    Doubt Seattle moves Flynn but he could end up like Matt Schaub. Riding the bench, wasting good years.

  309. Raul Says:

    I’m not saying Flynn is a great qb. I clearly remember knocking him down a peg last offseason. But what I am saying is he deserves a shot.

  310. Cameron Says:

    Really? …Well, shit. Sorry dude.

    If it makes you feel any better, my buddy Scott at Draft Countdown has Green Bay drafting a TE first, Zach Ertz of Stanford. Reliable pass catcher, big body type. Scott’s got pretty good drafts. I remember one year he got close to half the first round right.

  311. Cameron Says:

    Flynn’s put up, what, a 500 yard game before? Not worth the contract he got, but worth a look as a starter somewhere.

    …Trade him to Arizona. Their QBs were Kolb, Lindley, and Skelton. Guys so bad they’d get booed off the Chiefs. And our starter for half the year was Brady Quinn.

  312. Raul Says:

    Didn’t Quinn play at Notre Dame?
    He sucks. Hopefully Te’o sucks too.

    It’s wrong to say that but it wouldn’t be a first for me.

  313. Cameron Says:

    One of the beterr QBs in Irish history, but yeah… Dude peaked in college.

  314. Raul Says:

    “Dude peaked in college”

    Just like every Duke basketball player ever.

  315. Cameron Says:

    Yeah, but Duke has some pretty good records for solid NBA players. Maybe not superstars, but long careers. Look at Shane Battier. Not great, but how long has he been playing now, 12 years?

    …Then again, Duke doesn’t turn out superstars. Kansas? We do on occasion. We gave the world Paul Pierce. Now he’s winding down, there’s T-Rob in Seattle (sorry, jumped the gun, I mean Sacramento) and he WILL be a beast.

  316. Bob Says:

    1.Grant Hill was decent.
    2. The Rangers signed Jeff Baker. Have to assume that when combined with Beltre, the Rangers will part with someone like Olt.
    3. The Mets have interest in Oswalt.

  317. Cameron Says:

    Hill is still playing in the NBA at 40. That’s not decent, that’s fucking amazing.

  318. Raul Says:

    College basketball should force these kids to play at least 3 years.
    I’ve gone back and forth on this issue.

    And often people will say “these kids come from poor families and going pro can help these families financially”

    I have no doubts of the merit of that argument. But the bottom line is, colleges aren’t supposed to exist to serve as a stepping stone towards the privilege of playing a professional sport.

    Now there is the problem of money in college sports and that is something that needs a solution, but it’s a separate issue entirely.

  319. Raul Says:

    Mike Olt is 24. He probably needs some time at AAA (where he’s never played) but I’d certainly want him.

    Beltre is 33 and will be 34 in April.
    Always better to get rid of a guy too soon than too late. And Beltre’s stock is high right now.

  320. Bob Says:

    For some reason, I have not heard of teams clamoring for Beltre. Perhaps if Anaheim runaway with the division, he could be gone in July. Though I wonder if they would trade Olt now and Beltre later.
    Hence the Baker sign, with someone like Kinsler or Profar at 3b in 2014.

  321. Raul Says:

    Well, does anyone think Beltre’s value will ever be higher than it is right now?

    Him not being on anyone’s list is because they aren’t shopping him.

    Who is manning 3B in Baltimore? He could fit there if by some miracle the Orioles are competitive again this year.

  322. Bob Says:

    See you guys on Monday. Or possibly late tomorrow.

  323. Raul Says:

    Have a nice weekend Bob.
    Super Bowl next week!

  324. Cameron Says:

    And I’m the opposite on that Raul. I argue these kids are only going to school to play ball, why force them to jump through hoops to do it? They won’t be as good as the guys who went to college, but that’s on them. They’re the players who’re gonna end up broke anyway, why try and change the fact that 99.9% of these guys are gonna fuck up? Most of them aren’t getting degrees anyway, why ADD to the hoops they need to jump through instead of removing them. Most of these guys will be Byron Mullens instead of Kevin Garnett, but I say they want to sabotage themselves, let ‘em.

  325. Raul Says:

    I know Cam.

    I see both sides of the argument.
    It’s just that these one-and-done guys are taking a limited number of scholarships from people who could use them.

    I could be convinced of either argument.
    The whole thing is messy.

  326. Cameron Says:

    Well think about if high schoolers could go back in. How many more scholarships go back into the pool?

  327. Cameron Says:

    Just remembered, Jayhawks have another stud entering the draft this year in Ben McLemore at guard. Haven’t seen him ranked lower than fifth in a mock. Great when he’s parked on the wing and taking shots. We may have another first rounder in seven-footer Jeff Withey too, potential double-double guy and shot-blocking machine.

  328. Chuck Says:

    “Or, you can take 748 teams, and replace 200 of their strikeouts with other outs, or other outs with strikeouts and notice, ahem, NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE IN SCORING.

    You’re an engineer in the goddamn US Navy and probably have an IQ close to 748..and you can’t figure out that more balls in play equates more scoring?

    A lot of talk on the local radio here about Matt Flynn coming to AZ. I think it happens. He’s making too much money to carry a clipboard.

    Olt is going to be a really good player, probably not quite Evan Longoria, but he’ll be an All-Star and could lead the league in homers. The Rangers know it too, otherwise Justin Upton would be looking for a house in Arlington.

    I think college scholarships should be considered a contract. It has a monetary value, so why not?

    If you cancel a contract, it costs you..like cancelling a cell phone or gym membership.

    Sure, you can go into the draft after your sophomore year, but you owe the two years free ride you just got.

    The Dolphins played in the National Football League, today it’s more like the National Fairy League.

    It’s not even close to the same game.

  329. Cameron Says:

    “A lot of talk on the local radio here about Matt Flynn coming to AZ. I think it happens. He’s making too much money to carry a clipboard.”

    A QB named Matt will start in Arizona next year, but it ain’t Flynn. It’s Barkley. Have fun with another USC fuckup.

  330. Raul Says:

    I’m not sure how that would work — charging players for leaving early.

    It could make some players give the idea turning pro a lot of thought. If you are a basketball player who declares for the NBA…and you don’t get drafted..and have to pay back $40,000…that’s a hell of a burden. You better hope that NBA D-league contract or those European basketball teams pay well.

  331. Cameron Says:

    Some of the Euro teams do play well if you get up there. Guys in clubs like Real Madrid (Spain) and Liutivos Rytas (Lithuania) make their players millionaires.

  332. Cameron Says:

    So seems Manti Te’o told the truth in an interview with Katie Couric about what happened. It seems that he believed she was real for… About four months. After he learned that she was fake, he lied about it to save face.

    …Let’s face it, you’re looking like a dumbass in this situation no matter what. Glad he at least came out and said “Yeah, I was trying not to look like a complete idiot. Sorry.”

  333. Chuck Says:

    I don’t buy that for one second.

    I think the whole thing was his idea and the Tuiasosopo guy is the stooge, not Te’o.

  334. Raul Says:

    I still think he knew about it from the beginning.

    But even if he didn’t, he did know at some point. And he used it as a way to increase his stock and standing in the media.

    Think about it another way:

    What would be worse? Looking like a gullible idiot? Or having it come out that you purposely played the media to boost your own agenda? How do you think people would respond to the latter? And more importantly, how would the media respond to him for the entirety of his career knowing that he used them?

    I’m not feeling sorry for any media types who felt stupid for having bought into this lie.

    But I’ll say this much: Talented as this kid may be, I wouldn’t want him on my team. He’s an idiot and he’s a distraction.

    We aren’t talking about a Ray Lewis-type talent here. This kid can go play in some wasteland like Arizona or Jacksonville and prove himself there. But I wouldn’t want him in a contending locker room.

  335. Cameron Says:

    Look, I’m gonna take Te’o at face value here. Call me naive, but I think he really was just trying to save face. Would you want it coming out to the news yo got duped by your cousin into thinking you were dating someone long-distance? With how high-profile he is, he was gonna look like a laughingstock if this blew up in his face. And it did. But if all it is is him just trying to cover his ass, it only hurts him a little. He also has a LONG history of off-the field characteristics and leadership qualities that are a mile long. The only guy in this draft with intangibles in Te’o’s league is Matt Barkley, who volunteers free time to build homes for needy families in Africa.

    If he makes it to the playoff teams in the draft, I’ll be shocked. And not talking a Ray Lewis talent? I’ll disagree. This is going to be a 100 tackle guy in the NFL.

  336. Raul Says:

    What possible reason would his cousin have to create a fake account, start a relationship and dump him?

    None. This Tuiasosopo guy is a patsy.
    He’s probably taking shit…he’s going to take A LOT OF SHIT…and in a year, under the table, Te’o is gonna set this guy up with a Cadillac Escalade or something.

  337. Raul Says:

    Sammy Sosa says he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
    He and Mark McGwire.

    He also said the Cubs should retire his number.
    He also said he is leaving the door open toward running for President of the Dominican Republic.

    Sammy Sosa is one crazy sumbitch.

  338. Cameron Says:

    You obviously don’t have the same kinda dick cousins I do Raul. I can totally see this happening because he thought it was funny to dick around his famous cousin. Shit, I know I’d embarrass my family if any of them were famous. Then again, my family isn’t what you’d call “normal” or “functional” or “not trying to kill each other”.

  339. Cameron Says:

    Frank Thomas says he believes he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

    …Given the writers’ determination to stick it to steroid users, I wouldn’t be surprised if Thomas, a man vocal against PED use and with no smoke I can remember, I could easily see him getting in first ballot as a statement pick. Do I think he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer on normal merit? …He could’ve been. If he stayed healthy and didn’t have that dead period in the late 90s/early 2000s. Normal circumstances… If Robbie Alomar can get in on two ballots, no excuse Big Hurt can’t.

  340. Cameron Says:

    Sorry for the spam, but I just noticed that Anaheim plans to use an OF of Trout-Bourjous-Hamilton

    …Is this a good combination? Who’s the best arm of those three, I don’t know. I’d guess Trout.

  341. Raul Says:

    Thomas will be elected.

    Deserving or not is another issue. People will debate that.

    I just think Frank Thomas was a jerk.

  342. Mike Felber Says:

    Interesting long story Chuck, thank you.

    So Al Stump was a fraud, liar, forgerer, likely a thief-I guy that. And Cobb did not act so outrageously at the end of his life, while Stump even lied about all te time they spent together.

    And Cobb did not kill a man-in self defense. And was not mean to kids, & signed autographs. OK but the article does not deny his violent & crazy side in all the stories that were well known way before Stump was on the scene.

    It is interesting that the article reinforces my statement that Cobb & some of the old timers were quite articulate-maybe his quotes did not tend to be massaged after all. I quote:

    “…Anybody who has ever read Cobb’s writings knows that he would not write in such a fashion. Cobb was well-versed in the art of the written word and would never write crude comments such as these”.

  343. Raul Says:

    With outfields you’re typically concerned whether guys will catch the baseball. Arm strength isn’t that much of an issue, unless you have a player with a historically shitty arm, like Bernie Williams or Johnny Damon.

    Bourjos has no business in that lineup. If he sees even 50 games this season, it’ll be because Vernon Wells got traded, or Vernon Wells hits .220.

  344. Cameron Says:

    “or Vernon Wells hits .220.”

    So Bourjous is starting?

  345. Mike Felber Says:

    Who are your family Cam, the Manson cult?!

    Sosa is a bit shy of a load. But why is Thomas not a good guy?

    his Defensive War is -23.2(!). And he did fad considerably in the new century/in his 30’s. But even with all that, penalizing him for DH duties too, he seems to deserve his almost exactly 70 WAR. And clearly a HOF level peak.

    It is just really hard to have a 156 career OPS + & over 10K AB & NOT be HOF worthy! I mean Dick Allen had the same OPS + (yet more slugging heavy, not as valuable as OBP heavy), in 7315 AB, & a very similar defensive rating per game. And HE is generally considered at a good HOF candidate, & at usually least borderline by those who would not induct them.

    You add the better part of 50% more AB (Thomas), & it is a no-brainer. 14th all time in OPS + in over 10K AB is HOF all the way.

  346. Cameron Says:

    No, just a bit fractured. I’m in the “Black Sheep” camp and a majority of my family is either in the “rich white douchebag” camp or “toothless redneck” camp.

  347. Mike Felber Says:

    Then you are doing pretty wel psychologically for a young fellow, especially considering the circumstances! Now your fortunes are improving?

  348. Cameron Says:

    Eh, I’m self-aware enough to know that I’m fucked up. I’ve rededicated my studies from business to social work. The work the agency that’s provided this housing for me is doing has been really inspiring, and it helps me give back, which helping people is something I love doing.

    And also, I’m going to be in a feature piece for our local news come April. They want to do an interview on those facing social stigmas and the challenges faced by having one. Being a mental health agency, they approached us and they came to me with the offer. I’m excited.

  349. Chuck Says:

    I wouldn’t vote for Frank Thomas..a terrible defensive player and too much DH time for me.

    He’ll get in obviously and I won’t lose any sleep over it either.

  350. Chuck Says:

    Plate appearances as a DH:

    Frank Thomas: 5698

    Dick Allen: 0

  351. Chuck Says:

    Hamilton LF, Trout CF, Bourjous RF?

    I don’t think so.

  352. Chuck Says:

    Cobb was an intelligent guy, he was a multi-millionaire businessman and investor whose inner circle included the Ford family, FDR and Eisenhower.

    You don’t get to that level in life as a racist murderer.

    Cobb wasn’t different than anyone, he was just more noticeable because of his stature and fame.

    When you see the word steriods Barry Bonds is the first name you think of, but he wasn’t the first player to use or the only player to use.

    He was the most prominent and gained the most.

    Same thing.

  353. Cameron Says:

    Other way around Chuck, Trout-Bourjous-Hamilton left-center-right.

  354. Chuck Says:

    No way.

  355. Chuck Says:

    Stallone’s new movie is called “Bullet to the Head”.

    Is that his way of him announcing his retirement?

  356. Cameron Says:

    That was my thought too, but who in that group plays right? In essence, it’s… Everyone says Hamilton’s a centefielder, but I count him as a left fielder. Who do you play in right, Trout?

    Also, Bullet to the Head looks GLORIOUSLY stupid. It looks awful, but awful in all the right, mindless Sly movie ways.

  357. Len Says:

    In reference to those early 1970’s Dolphins, those were some great teams. Their record from 1970-1975 was 67-16, .807%. They won 2 Super Bowls, 3 AFC Championships, 5 AFC East Division titles. They actually tied for first in 1975 with the Colts with a 10-4 record but the Colts won the division because of tie breakers used at the time. They didn’t even make the playoffs that year because there was only one Wild Card back in those days. And that 1975 team lost 2 HOF players Czonka & Warfield and they also lost Jim Kiick to the WFL.

    Other than those HOF players mentioned they had great players like Jake Scott, Bob Kuechenberg, Dick Anderson and Mercury Morris on those teams.

  358. Mike Felber Says:

    Cobb was in large part of product of his times, but he also was violent & vicious at regular intervals. His teammates mostly hated him but felt compelled to defend the honor of the white man in their strike. I do not know if he & Speaker were guilty of betting on baseball, & he had much to recommend him-smarts, business savvy, & one of the very greatest players ever. But even without teh Stump fabrications, he was 1/2 out of his mind in some conduct/on some issues.

    The Big Hurt was a pretty bad defender, but similar to many other corner position manglers. You would have to take Killer & many other out of the HOF for that-unless you just levie an absolutely usury fee-like penalty for playing DH a lot.

    It is a real position, like it or not, & if you are transcendentally good at hitting you can add enough value even as a f/t DH. He also hit better when playing the field. Sheffield was someone who seems to have been poor enough-worse than Thomas, historically bad-to have “fielded” himself out of the HOF.

    But he also had a 140 OPS +. That is not the same as 156. f Sheffield had the same weighted OPS +, I think he would be worthy too.

  359. Mike Felber Says:

    Tel us about that feature story Cam!

  360. Cameron Says:

    It’s just one of those local news pieces where they dedicate it to interviewing local agencies like animal shelters or whatnot. Since this agency helps people with mental disabilities, the news approached us to see if they could have one of the clients talk how it feels to deal with social stigmas regarding mental illness. I still don’t know all the details since it’ll be in a couple of months, but I’m excited.

  361. Chuck Says:

    For the longest time, MLB has fought with issues dealing with racism. The first African American player was 1947, the first Puerto Rican player was 1951, the first black coach was 1962, the first manager was 1975.

    And despite all this, the founder of the MLB Alumni Association was an African American..Chuck Hinton.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hintoch01.shtml

    Hinton passed away today.

    RIP

  362. Chuck Says:

    I don’t expect you to change your beliefs, Mike.

    You live in a cocoon of skepticism by nature that doesn’t allow you to think outside the box, or consider opinions or even facts outside of what you’ve programmed yourself to believe.

    To each his own.

  363. Mike Felber Says:

    That is not true Chuck. I do not know if you are referring to Cobb or Thomas, but when presented with good evidence, I have changed my beliefs-I believe more often than you. The Thomas matter is opinion only, & your that a man with said AB & OPS +, clearly superior to Martinez & I believe EVERYONE who DHed that much, is pretty unusual.

    Likely you are referring to Cobb. I SPECIFICALLY said OK, the stories about his violence when he was dying, & the alleged murder (which I had not been aware of),& being mean to kids (though I was not referring to that)” seemed FALSE, as was much that was fraudlent related to Alvin Stump & his memorabilia scam.

    That is not remotely the conduct of someone who “lives in a box” & “does not change their beliefs”. By nature & Profession I also have never been accused of not thinking out of the box. i cannot help thinking you arer projecting your own intransigence here.

    There are numerous contemporaneous accounts of his violence & mental state, & you present no evidence to contradict that this is true. But it is entertaining reasonable complexity of thought to say he was also impressive, articulate, & even civilized in other contexts.

  364. Mike Felber Says:

    It also is a contradiction to claim or believe I could be both extremely naive & extremely skeptical. You believe in a Straw Man-not lying, but you have a fixed image of me that is psychologically convenient. Even after I thank you & acknowledge the truth of the delimited claims of the article. I suppose if you did not agree I would be credulous for accepting them. But it is easy to confirm that Stump was seemingly a pathological, self serving liar.

  365. Cameron Says:

    You know what’s funny? I was thinking about my annual AL Central writeup and so far, here’s what I have.

    1. Detroit
    2. I have no goddamn idea
    3. Minnesota

    …That’s the thing about the AL Central. It gets weird at times. And by times, I mean days ending in a Y.

  366. Cameron Says:

    Thomas had potential to be the best player of the 90s if he was healthy I think. Those early/mid 90s years of his? DAMN! Imagine his career if he had a decade of those.

  367. Raul Says:

    All around defense matters. So as great as Frank Thomas was with the bat, the 90s belonged to Griffey and Bonds.

    Now the interesting thing is, who would people say was the 3rd best player of the 90s? Hard to say, if you’re not including pitchers.

  368. Chuck Says:

    I have less of a problem with Frank Thomas than I would with say Edgar Martinez.

    Frank still had seven years or so where he was a regular first baseman and had put up HOF caliber numbers for the majority of them.

    Will he get in? Yes. Is he first ballot? No.

  369. Raul Says:

    Interestingly enough, Frank Thomas’ career WAR is 67.2 — the exact same as Larry Walker. That’s more than HOFer Reggie Jackson and less than non-HOFer Lou Whitaker.

  370. Chuck Says:

    I would have thought he was higher than that..which then justifies the opinion that despite his offensive numbers he’s overrated.

  371. Raul Says:

    Well,

    It probably brings a smirk to John’s face to see WAR (or perhaps more accurately, dWAR) being utilized in a post on Dugout Central. I’m at the point where I don’t have an issue looking at it, but I’m certainly not comfortable hinging an argument between players on it.

    Offensively, Thomas was a monster. No doubt about it.
    A lot of people will probably look at him in the same light as Mariano Rivera — that is, a certain HOFer. But on some level feel uncomfortable voting for them.

  372. Chuck Says:

    Yeah, I would agree with that.

  373. Raul Says:

    Bobby Abreu hasn’t signed. At 38, his career is likely over.
    No, he isn’t a HOFer.

  374. Lefty33 Says:

    Abreu probably plays this year if he is realistic about what he is capable of at this point. If he is willing to accept a platoon role along with signing a low base/incentive laden deal then he’ll find a home somewhere. But if he thinks he’s going to get 600+ AB’s somewhere as a F/T starter then you’re right that he’s done.

  375. Lefty33 Says:

    The Phillies have signed shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to a minor-league deal. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training.

    They also signed Chad Durbin.

  376. Raul Says:

    The Phillies have signed Yuniesky Betancourt.

    BETANCOURT.

    Seriously, how is this not part of some grand scheme to put that widely-hated Betancourt of Dugout Central on every Major League team us readers are fans of?

    Cameron’s Royals. John’s Brewers. Lefty’s Phillies.

    It’s only a matter of time before he gets signed to platoon behind Robinson Cano.

  377. Cameron Says:

    Who cares? He’s not my problem anymore!

  378. Mike Felber Says:

    I agree that given defense & Dh Bonds & Griffey were better. But we normally refer to rWAR, & Thomas has a 69.7 there. That WAS where Sweet Lou was, but he got a 1.7 upgrade when they slightly revised the system. Though given peak value Thomas is rated a bit better by a reasonable reading of WAR.

    Actually those who believe defense, running & dh must be factored in should feel vindicated by WAR. The highest seasonal WAR he had was 7.0, & twice led the league amongst position players. Does that not feel about right?

    3rd best position player of the ’90s could be Baggy, though he came in ‘91, he was good immediately. Though this is largely an artifact of how peak matches up with arbitrary dates.

    I did not realize that Paul Molitor is at 72.5 WAR. A .306 BA in fairly neutral offensive environment is great, & in over 12K AB!

  379. Raul Says:

    Molitor was a DH.

  380. Mike Felber Says:

    Moliter was a DH for less than 1/2 of his career. The question either way is did he create enough value to deserve his election. He was quickly elected & I think it was a good choice.

  381. Raul Says:

    No.
    The question was about great players in the 1990s, during which Molitor was a DH.

    No one has debated Paul Molitor’s HOF candidacy on this website in 4 years.

  382. Chuck Says:

    Molitor played 1495 games in the field and 1188 as a DH.

    He’s not in the Hall without it..I would not have voted for him.

  383. Chuck Says:

    Thomas isn’t a HOFer without the DH, but clearly had better years on the field than as a full time DH.

    Molitor is the other way around, he had some good seasons as a full time player, but he put up stupid numbers as a DH.

    I’d almost vote Thomas if given the choice of picking just one.

  384. Mike Felber Says:

    A question was who was the 3rd best position player of the ’90’s. Which I addressed-my final 2 sentences were clearly not answering that question, & Molitor’s career excellence obviously does not lend itself neatly to one decade.

    I knew that you would not find him worthy Chuck. You are not so much “small Hall” as anti-specialist roles! But if we grant career value & WAr dispensation for a grueling position like catcher-& we all do-we gotta allow somthing for the greatest players at a particular role.

    So to me Mariano is even more qualified than Moliter. Though I notice he lost a few WAR points in the new rWAR, & he never has enough IP to have a good peak. It is a philosophical difference about how to measure different contributions & honor relative excellence.

  385. Mike Felber Says:

    Well Molitor had his best o WAR & OPS + when he was overwhelmingly in the field, yet the DH did give him some excellent later years. Though other than a 118 game 161 ‘87, his best OPS + was 147, excellent, but not exactly Thomas/stupid level.

  386. Chuck Says:

    The ’90’s didn’t exist.

  387. Chuck Says:

    Molitor and Thomas were All Star caliber players before getting hurt and being forced into the DH role.

    Mariano was a closer from day one, sort of like Edgar Martinez was a DH from day one.

    It’s not even debateable that Molitor is more worthy than Mo.

  388. Mike Felber Says:

    You done got into Grandpappy’s (sic) Special Reserve early again Chuck, huh? ;-0

  389. Mike Felber Says:

    Sure it is highly debatable. Granted those players all created more overall & peak value than Mo, who could not do so averaging ~ 60 IP per year.

    I think that resting an argument on leverage is shaky, yet many will consider how relatively great he was in the role, & not blame him that he had so few IP. Though I respect just measuring total value in most cases, we do make exemptions for certain things, war years, catchers…

    Though i am not saying it is a no-brainer either way.

  390. Chuck Says:

    If/when they get in, Hoffman and Rivera will be the least deserving.

    They’ll make Mazeroski look like a slam dunk.

  391. Cameron Says:

    If Frank Thomas and Paul Molitor were in the NL, I still think they would’ve been able to play. Dude, if Greg Goddamn Luzinski can be and everyday fielder for over a decade in the 70s on turf, anyone can with a good enough bat.

  392. John Says:

    However, both would have gotten hurt, most likely.

    Molitor was always getting hurt as a Brewer – unlike Thomas, he wasn’t a bad fielder per se. Just incredibly brittle.

  393. John Says:

    Mariano’s body of work makes him about good enough. This can’t be said of any other modern closer.

  394. Bob Says:

    1. Nick Johnson retired.
    2. The Cardinals signed Ronny Cedeno.
    3. The Yanks signed Juan Rivera.

  395. Raul Says:

    Juan Rivera???? This must be one of those pity signings that George was fond of doing when he was alive.

    Nick Johnson was the sabermatrician’s wet dream. Lots of walks, little of anything else.

  396. John Says:

    …including salary, which is kinda the point.

  397. Raul Says:

    It had nothing to do with his salary.

    Perhaps you’re a bit too young to remember this, but Nick Johnson was a highly-touted prospect. This is like 1999 or 2000, before anyone ever heard of Billy Beane or Michael Lewis. Before the general pubic even heard of sabermetrics or any of that stuff.

    People already knew Johnson was good for getting on base and he could hit. The Yankees had envisioned an infield of Nick Johnson and Erick Almonte at 3rd base. Before it became clear that Almonte couldn’t hit for shit and that Johnson was brittle so they shipped him to Montreal for Javier Vazquez.

    Johnson became a cheap commodity because he was brittle. Not because anyone undervalued walks.

  398. John Says:

    I think it was a little of both.

  399. Raul Says:

    …Meh, maybe it was a little of both.

  400. Chuck Says:

    The Brewers are interested in signing Nick Johnson Jr.

    In Arizona, he’s better known by his real name, Lyle Overbay.

  401. Raul Says:

    I’m trying to think if Drew Henson was there when Johnson was in the Yankees minor league system.

    I seem to remember Henson was the heir apparent before A-rod got there. But maybe my timing is off.

  402. Raul Says:

    Ha. I felt like Lyle Overbay was another version of Sean Casey.
    Big dudes who could make contact, but with their size, should have been hitting 25 bombs a year.

  403. Chuck Says:

    Henson was a couple of years behind Johnson, although they were teammates in AAA Columbus for most of the 2001 season.

  404. Chuck Says:

    In the last few days, Peter Gammons has made Twitter references to Tito Nanni and Ken Linseman.

    Got to love that old fart.

    You think Olney or another of those so-called “insiders” ever heard of either one?

  405. Raul Says:

    I’m sure they didn’t.
    But then again, neither have I.

  406. John Says:

    Lyle Overbay was with the Brewers in 2004-2005. He was part of the trade where the Diamondbacks sent their entire infield to the Brewers in exchange for Richie Sexson…who got injured for the rest of the year in April.

    Overbay has been more of a doubles hitter – he hit over 50 in his first year with the Brewers…but has never really been able to homer much.

  407. Raul Says:

    Any time someone says the name Lyle, I’m reminded of Lionel Hutz on the Simpsons.

    That show was really funny once.

  408. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes it was Rau.

    C’mon Chuck, Mo has over 20 WAR points on Maz. whose best year was 4.6. These seem about right for both.

    I am still reeling from your trippy statement about the ’90’s being fictive. Thomas should get all the more credit for being clean. Please explain.

  409. Bob Says:

    Well ken Linseman was a hockey player for the Bruins ( and several other teams) so I suppose the baseball insiders would get a mulligan for not following hockey too closely. I always give myself a mulligan when a boxing tangent surfaces.

  410. Chuck Says:

    Nanni was a topic of one of the original blog posts here by one of Pags’ former writing cronies..former Yankee teammate and teammate with Nanni in Seattle Mike Blowers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tito_Nanni

    Nanni was the sixth overall pick in 1978 by Seattle and is considered one of the worst picks in history..he was chosen before Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken Jr, Kirk Gibson and Dave Stieb.

    Matter of fact, the M’s were going to take Gibson and the scout who followed Nanni bet his job that Nanni was the better player.

    He lost.

    Nanni played in the EL in 1981 and 82..where he was a teammate of Harold Reynolds, who references Nanni on air when talking about overrated picks.

    I met Reynolds when he was with ESPN at Mariners camp and we ended up talking about his playing in Lynn (I was there working for the EL) and Nanni.

    I’ve seen him four or five times since then either working for the network or in uniform as a spring training instructor. People will yell at him when he goes by, “Harold, sign my ball”, stuff like that.

    I wait til he walks past, then say, “Tito Nanni”.

    Works every time.

    Linseman played in the AHL for half a season in 1978 with Maine before getting called up to the Flyers.

    He was a pain in the ass, the only one of his several nicknames that’s printable is “The Rat”.

    He had a couple of good brawls with Frank “Never” Beaton who played with the Rangers farm team in New Haven, which is where I was based.

    Beaton was known as a fighter and while he had some WHA/NHL experience, he couldn’t do anything else well enough to stay there..unlike Linseman.

    I remember the Rangers calling up Beaton specifically when they played Philly, just to fight Linseman, then send him back down.

    I remember after the 80 Olympics Dave Silk came to play in New Haven. After a week of doing Carson and stuff like that, he played his first game and stunk the joint up, yet after the game all the reporters and cameras were around him.

    Next day at practice, Frank beat the crap out of him.

    “The rah, rah shit is over..you’re a hockey player or TV star..pick one”.

    That was that.

  411. Chuck Says:

    “I am still reeling from your trippy statement about the ’90’s being fictive.”

    Doesn’t take much to trip you.

    “Thomas should get all the more credit for being clean.”

    Assuming he was…

    “Please explain.”

    You’ve been here how long now?

    It’s probably a safe assumption to say there were fewer clean players than dirty players in the fifteen years between say 1987-2002, and you have to throw the blanket of suspicion over everyone.

    Thomas’ career arc leads me to believe he was clean, but since the whole league was dirty he doesn’t get a pass.

  412. Raul Says:

    “The rah, rah shit is over..you’re a hockey player or a TV star..pick one”.

    Sounds like Frank Beaton should have had a talk with Gary Carter, rest his soul.

  413. Bob Says:

    Were there fears that Gibson was going to play wide receiver in the NFL instead of baseball? Should look that up myself.

  414. Bob Says:

    You know, i really did not care about who wins the Super Bowl this year, but after reading what Joe Flaccosaid, fuck him. Football at times is played in cold-weather. The frozen tundra anyone The pussification of football is clear with his statements. Football is played outside. In Pee-Wee, in high school and in college. The SuperBowl should be as well.
    Just fuck me. Go San Fran.

  415. Chuck Says:

    Here we go again.

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/

  416. Raul Says:

    Could you post a link to what Flacco said, Bob?
    Thank you

  417. Raul Says:

    Shit.
    Damn Chuck. Didn’t think I’d read that today.

  418. Chuck Says:

    #413…Yes, Bob, that was Gibson’s leverage with the Tigers. He was a pretty good WR at Michigan State.

  419. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8892985/joe-flacco-baltimore-ravens-rips-plan-play-2014-super-bowl-njhttp://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8892985/joe-flacco-baltimore-ravens-rips-plan-play-2014-super-bowl-njhttp://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8892985/joe-flacco-baltimore-ravens-rips-plan-play-2014-super-bowl-nj

  420. Bob Says:

    Sorry for the multiple posts

  421. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2012/story/_/id/8892985/joe-flacco-baltimore-ravens-rips-plan-play-2014-super-bowl

  422. Cameron Says:

    As if I didn’t have enough reasons to hate Joe Flacco. The asshole just piles it on. In addition to being one of the worse crunch-time quarterbacks in the NFL, the guy is an absolute MORON to top it off.

    “”We’re gonna celebrate the game here. We’re gonna celebrate the weather here. We’re gonna make it a great experience,” he said.”

    Party hard asshole, the only other party you’re gonna have is Ray Lewis’ retirement praty.

  423. Cameron Says:

    Protip to Ray Lewis partygoers. Wear a stab vest.

  424. Raul Says:

    If there was any hope that Alex Rodriguez could clean up his image and still get elected to the Hall of Fame, that hope is gone today.

  425. Bob Says:

    The Mets signed Scott Atchinson

  426. Raul Says:

    I understand that fans aren’t thrilled about bundling up for the cold weather.
    But that hasn’t really stopped fans from attending playoff games in January. The Super Bowl will be just fine.

  427. Chuck Says:

    This steriod story is killing me.

    I think I’ll shut the computer off and go do something productive, like wash the car.

  428. Raul Says:

    When you shared the link, there wasn’t much news on it at all. Around noon ET, it took over Twitter and the rest of the Internet.

  429. Mike Felber Says:

    No need for the gratuitous paternalism Old Man.

    Now I suspected that is what you meant by an imaginary ’90’s, but it was unclear. The Trip(py) pun was clever, i will grant you that.

    But I am the one who is stressing to reserve judgement when others damn some with imaginary,/trippy or non-existent evidence. While anyone COULD have used then, if there is no evidence they did, & there is not even any development that there is a good chance COULD have been PED related-such as Thomas always being a Hoss…

    We are only being fair to assume they are clean. ESPECIALLY someone like Thomas-& Schilling, whatever personal animus folks have, or however annoying he is-those who were highly unusual in taking the initiative, repeatedly, to condemn drug use in baseball.

    I also have seen no god evidence-& have thrown this out on multiple forums, WHETHER more players were clean than dirty during the ‘roid era. If you include dabbling, there is a good chance, but really we do not know if it was under 30% or up to 80% who at least tried the forbidden fruit. It was a lot though.

  430. Raul Says:

    David Ortiz condemned steroid use.
    Didn’t mean a thing for him. Doesn’t mean anything for anyone else.

    Claiming shit, vehemently in public doesn’t mean anything.
    Case in point: Catholic Church and sexual abuse.

  431. Raul Says:

    Now it’s alleged that Ray Lewis used an illegal substance during his recovery.

  432. Mike Felber Says:

    I gotta differ with you a bit big guy.

    It does not PROVE anything. But those who are proactive in condemning something, not just when accused like Pharmstrong: that is a different story. A guilty as sin accused individual or religious institution (though that is also denial), means nothing at all. But those who choose to put themselves in the spotlight, not just those who must react to charges-then it is reasonable to assume-absent rare contrary evidence-that they are not liars & cheats.

    Since the usual mode, human nature, is to shut up unless challenged-then they may deny, deny deny. But if you put your ass on the line voluntarily & repeatedly-that is a risk the guilty are ill advised to take, & not the psychological tendency of a liar to do.

  433. Raul Says:

    It’s easy to put yourself on the line after retirement.

    And it’s easy to put yourself on the line after you accomplished what you wanted in the game.

    Unless you’re Rick Helling, I don’t give a shit what you claim regarding PEDs.

  434. Bob Says:

    The Mariners signed Kelly Shoppach. After parting with Jaso, this signing was almost forced.

  435. Raul Says:

    Shoppach had like one good year with Cleveland.
    For his career, he’s a .226/.314/.418.

    Offense wouldn’t be a big deal for most catchers but Shoppach isn’t anything special behind the plate, either.

    Actually, let me take this criticism back. It’s not like the Mariners are offering him 8M per year. As a cheap option, he’s not bad.

    Career splits have him at
    vs RHP — .203/.290/.368
    vs LHP — .267/.358/.510 — which is damn near all-star level for a catcher.

    It’s obvious how he should be used.

  436. Chuck Says:

    I told you guys Montero wasn’t the starter after Jaso left.

    First Mike Zunino, then Ronny Paulino, now Shoppach, then they’ll try and talk Dan Wilson or Dave Valle out of retirement, failing that they’ll see if that Cryocell place where Ted Williams is can do something about bringing Gerry McNertney back to life.

  437. Chuck Says:

    “Unless you’re Rick Helling, I don’t give a shit what you claim regarding PEDs.”

    Rick “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” Helling?

  438. Raul Says:

    To my knowledge, Helling was one of the only outspoken players against steroids, and he did that shit in the late 90s.

    If there’s evidence Helling himself juiced, I’m all ears.

  439. Mike Felber Says:

    Way too cynical. So instead of credit that a star goes out of his way to condemn PEDs-when almost none speak out unless accused/they have to in their self interest-you cannot grant that these rare folks are even at least likely to have used? That cheaters just do not tend to have it in their self interest & psychological makeup to draw this attention to themselves?

    No, while nothing can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, the skepticism should be leveraged towards firm conclusions of cheating on flimsy evidence. Not that someone like Thomas “could” have used.

  440. Mike Felber Says:

    Er, I meat to write “at least clearly less likely to have used”.

    Which they are.

  441. Chuck Says:

    You know what?

    I honestly don’t care anymore about any of this.

    Armstrong…Ray Lewis..ARod…some track guy or golfer.

    They don’t care if I’m sprinkling Sensa on my salad, why any of us care what they do?

    We all use our own intelligence, with a little common sense thrown in, to formulate our own opinions on this stuff which is our right to do.

    Twitter yesterday was embarrassing, with everyone trying to out-do each other, even those paid to write about it.

    If you believe ARod used only between 2001-2003, and if what was said yesterday surprised you, then you’re either ignorant, naive, stupid, or a combination thereof.

    If you believe Armstrong won seven straight Tour de France races legitimately in a sport where everyone else is cheating, same thing.

    If you believe a 37 year old man can tear his tricep muscle and be active again in ten weeks with no residual effects, much less playing in the NFL, then the same thing.

    Seriously people, two weeks to pitchers and catchers..we made it this far..hang in there.

  442. Chuck Says:

    The top prospect list on MLB.com has scouting numbers now..some of them are, ahem, questionable.

  443. Chuck Says:

    But it’s still a subjective process, so they’re not really meant to be definitive anyway, just an estimated direction.

  444. Bob Says:

    I had the top 2 right. I had Myers ahead of Taveras, otherwise I would have hit the last 5 correctly. That list was also very high on Billy Hamilton.

  445. Chuck Says:

    I agree with everything you said Bob.

  446. Raul Says:

    Yeah this steroids stuff is getting old.

  447. Raul Says:

    I mean it IS old.

  448. Mike Felber Says:

    The only reason to disbelieve rather than reserve judgement on further PED use by A-Rod is a big one-his dishonest & shifting stories. Even before his confession there was enough evidence on Pharmstrong, & it being such a grueling race with so many cheating already made 7 titles clean very unlikely. Folks generally would need to research how severe a Triceps tear can be before deciding if that quick recovery is possible. But those using also tend to get injuries that are uncommon without PEDs-muscles tearing off bones amongst them, since the muscles get so strong so rapidly, & the tendons & ligaments cannot keep pace.

    I have had little injuries & strains over the years from lifting hard, but never anything like tearing a muscle clean off its moorings! But it is only right to care-if there was no penalty & social opprobrium, the corruption & warping of the game for all, & effect on innocent players, would be much greater.

  449. Chuck Says:

    I don’t care that Barry Bonds took steriods, what he does is his business.

    What I do care about is he made a mockery of the record book, as did Sosa and some others.

    I’m personally offended by the fact that players had to cheat to put themselves on the same pedestal as those who didn’t, and by the fact there’s a large percentage of the population who don’t seem to care.

    I have an old game on tape at home, during the game Mickey Mantle hit his 370th career homer (in September, 1961), which passed Ralph Kiner for ninth place on the all time list.

    You know where Kiner ranks now?

    73rd.

    In the first 41 years of the lively ball era, nine guys hit more homers than Kiner.

    In the last 51, he’s been passed by 62 players.

    Sixty-two.

    Say what you want about Kiner’s HOF status, but if you expect me to believe he’s been passed by 62 better players, sorry, brah, save it.

  450. Mike Felber Says:

    Amen on all scores Chuck.

    Mantle said that the hardest shot he ever hit was that corker he hit in the 11th inning off the top of a newly installed facade at Yankee Stadium. though onlookers swore it was still rising, that must have been an optical illusion from viewing it from below, because the shot would have to have been 700′ or so if it was still ascending.

    But few have hit any 500′ shots, even wind aided, with a wood bat. Mantle had a whole bunch of ‘em, Ruth more.

  451. Chuck Says:

    At the time he retired, Dave Kingman was the only guy with more than 400 homers not in the HOF, and people use him as the classic example of the prototypical DH..big bat, no defense guy.

    I got news for you, there are a lot of guys who have passed Kingman on the list and who either are or may be HOFers down the road who couldn’t scratch his nutsack.

  452. Bob Says:

    LOL

  453. Bob Says:

    LOL.

  454. Bob Says:

    The Orioles signed Manny Delcarmen to a minor-league deal. I forgot he was still playing.

  455. Mike Felber Says:

    Well I am with you on all that except the praise for Kingman seems a Bridge too Far. Kingman could only hit, had a 115 career OPS +, .302 OBP(!), & his best WAR years? 3.9, then 2.4 & down.

    Who is worse than Kingman with more HRs?

  456. Chuck Says:

    When Kingman “retired” in 1986, he was fourth all time in strikeouts…he’s now 14th.

    In the first 117 years of major league baseball, three guys struck out more than he did.

    In the past 26 years, there have been ten.

    There have been 216 150 strikeout seasons in history.

    In 16 years, Kingman had two.

  457. Chuck Says:

    We don’t use those statistics here to determine how good a player was, Mike.

    I’m with you on the .302 OBP, nothing else matters.

    He changed lineups, he impacted games.

  458. Mike Felber Says:

    Right, many since had worse control of the strike zone. It is just that Kingman was pretty unproductive. Big Mac was also all or nothing, but the huge difference is not just that the latter was even better at HRs, but significant difference in average, & huge in walks.

    Of course ‘roids added to his luster, but he was naturally better than Kingman.

  459. Mike Felber Says:

    Some here use WAR, even you sometimes. It usually is a good approximation of value, if there is an objection, you can point to the component(s) that are off.

    But we can just see he could not field or run, & had a slugging heavy 115 OPS +. He had some impact, but he is just amongst the very worse of the power hitters that have come down the pike.

  460. John Says:

    “I got news for you, there are a lot of guys who have passed Kingman on the list and who either are or may be HOFers down the road who couldn’t scratch his nutsack.”

    Incorrect.

    Dave Kingman is far and away the worst player with over 400 home runs.

    The only player of those 50 with a lower career WAR than Kingman is Adam Dunn, who is still active.

    Kingman has the lowest OBP by 21 points, the lowest OPS by 8 points (to a shortstop).

    Just because he played in the 1970’s and 1980’s doesn’t mean he’d magically hit .330/.440/.690 if transplanted to the present day.

    He sucked then, and he sucks looking back.

  461. Chuck Says:

    I’m not saying Kingman’s a HOFer by any means, all I’m saying is he probably wasn’t as bad as his reputation has him.

    The fact that Mark Reynolds or Dan Uggla walk 40 more times a year than Kingman did is pretty irrelevant to me.

  462. Chuck Says:

    Well, John, if all you’re using is WAR, then you’re right.

    Can’t argue with you there.

  463. JohnBowen Says:

    “The fact that Mark Reynolds or Dan Uggla walk 40 more times a year than Kingman did is pretty irrelevant to me.”

    Yeah, who cares if they reach base more often.

  464. Chuck Says:

    Yankees are talking to Travis Hafner?

    Sigh..

  465. Chuck Says:

    Was on another site the other day and this young sabermetric punk was trying to show up the smart people with the walk crap, and someone told him “walk fetish” is a punk band.

    LOL.

    “Get your tickets now for the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour, with opening act Walk Fetish”>

  466. JohnBowen Says:

    I think “scoring” is the actual fetish, and the so-called saberists are the only ones who notice how often walks come around and score.

    Might not be exciting or give Chuck the ED cure he’s looking for, but that’s life.

  467. Chuck Says:

    Move along, John.

  468. Mike Felber Says:

    Comedy at its finest! Meanwhile my shipment of magazines was 2 daaaze delayed. Gonna get them in storage now.

  469. Chuck Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mike.

    Not sure how I’d get through the day without knowing that.

    Wow..hope I get a magazine in the mail today.

  470. Chuck Says:

    Baseball America in the mailbox today..not a total loss Mike, although I just throw them away when I’m done with them.

  471. Bob Says:

    I am sure you were hoping for Mike’s magazine over BA, but a spoiler alert for his art magazine. Vincent Van Gogh slices off his ear.

  472. Chuck Says:

    Was he filleting a trout?

  473. Bob Says:

    Probably. I slice my ear whenever I clean and cook fish.

  474. Mike Felber Says:

    Art is your thing, right…Though if you ever go loco/have a brain transplant & w3ant an issue, hopefully it will be some where near you. I know I will get some nation al & Canadian distribution. Though lucky for you I am putting the whole magazine up online very soon-parts up already, many links to spreads-then take down when we start selling to through say the Apple App. online.

    I am kicking butt because a few of the magazines were damaged. And other petty issues. Yet most are safely stored in the Texas warehouse of my printer. I have moved boxes around for daaaze here when biz. reneged on storage promises in trade, now committing the cardinal sin of paying for it.

  475. Raul Says:

    What the fuck are you talking about?
    Slicing ears?

  476. Bob Says:

    Just honoring my favorite artist ( and the only one I can name) Vincent Van Gogh.

  477. Chuck Says:

    Soooooooooooooo….

    Apparently this Tuiasosopo dude has the hots for Te’o, as in likes his dates to have external plumbing.

    The whole fake girl thing was his way of fulfilling part of a relationship he could never consummate.

    It was phone sex.

    February 16th can’t get here fast enough.

  478. Cameron Says:

    And this guy is Te’o’s cousin. …Fuck, someone get me a DeLorean, I’m hitting 88!

  479. Raul Says:

    From sports illustrated:

    Thomas Dotterer, a 77-year-old college baseball coach, was shot in the eye last Wednesday during a liquor store robbery. He was back at work yesterday and said the shooting wasn’t nearly as bad as a recent WWE event.

  480. Bob Says:

    Good for Thomas.

  481. Chuck Says:

    Happy Birthday Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks and Nolan Ryan.

  482. Chuck Says:

    Bill James is a confirmed guest at the SABR Analytics Conference.

    I’m so depressed I can’t go.

    There’s some guy on HHS who claims to have a handsigned letter from James that he’s holding on to so he can “pay the college tuition of his yet to be born grandchildren”.

  483. Bob Says:

    He would be better off with a Clayton Kershaw signed baseball card. Like me.

  484. Chuck Says:

    You sure it’s real, Bob?

  485. Bob Says:

    No. But I felt it was a worthwhile risk.

  486. Raul Says:

    I’m fairly certain that a signed letter from Bill James will be worth slightly less than a Family-Sized pack of Peanut M&Ms

  487. Raul Says:

    I’m not saying Bill James hasn’t made contributions to baseball.
    Whatever you think about his rankings of the players, his Historical Baseball Abstract has some good & interesting anecdotes about players, owners and different eras of the game.

    I can’t imagine his signature would ever be worth anything, though.
    This isn’t Robert Creamer or someone like that.

  488. Raul Says:

    I’m sure the same people that are surprised Alex Rodriguez was taking steroids as recent as last season still deny the likelihood that Mr. Out-Of-Nowhere Jose Bautista also took PEDs.

  489. Bob Says:

    I thought it was sweat from a deer antler, not some shit made from a mad scientist. Though who the fuck knows anymore?

  490. Raul Says:

    Dan Marino banged a CBS employee and had a child with her.
    Word is he paid her millions to keep quiet about it.

    I remember Marino’s last game against the Jaguars. At least the story shows he can still hit the receiver now and then.

  491. Bob Says:

    And this receiver may have been more fun than Clayton and Duper.

  492. Raul Says:

    I don’t necessarily have an issue with the story coming out.
    20 years ago, these stories about a player’s private life would have remained private. Today, things have changed. I can accept that. But the NY Post shared a photo of the child in the story, and to me that is crossing the line.

  493. Chuck Says:

    Wow..a pro athlete with an illegitimate child. Go figure

  494. Chuck Says:

    Colin Cowherd…”ARod did in five minutes what the Yankees have been trying to do for five years…get rid of him.”

  495. Raul Says:

    Colin Cowherd is an idiot.

  496. Chuck Says:

    I’ve seen James walk through a ballpark and not be recognized.

    Granted, it was spring training, but you’d think out of 10,000 people someone would, especially considering he’s about 6′4″ and looks like Grizzly Adams.

  497. Chuck Says:

    That’s true, Raul, but he’s right.

  498. Mike Felber Says:

    Those are some good dry zingers. Yet I do not know if recognizability always translates into the demand for an autograph.

    I am not much of a candy fan, but i alwats liked peanut M & Ms.

  499. Chuck Says:

    Would you ask someone you don’t recognize for an autograph?

    Facepalm.

  500. Mike Felber Says:

    If I collected or cared about autographs, sure.

    Say it is a renowned scientist or some field related to writing or research. Maybe you greatly respect the work but the figure is modest, & the field not given to celebrity status.

  501. Raul Says:

    The guy said he wanted Bill James’ autograph as it it would be valued high enough some day to put his children through college.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see the silliness of that idea.

  502. Mike Felber Says:

    Yes Raul, I did not defend that ridiculous notion. The cost of just one child in community college is pretty exorbitant (absent scholarships or other funding sources).

    You are ~ NYC. If you wanna come to my launch party, Friday March 1 6 Pm ’till 2, or 4 if the bar justifies it. The Empire Room, Street level Art Deco style bar of the Empire State Building, entrance on West 33rd Street West of 5th Avenue. No cover, many performances, body painting & art creating.

    And Raul: the arts attract a goodly # of nubile grrrrls. My conceit is that I got into the arts due to the lack of competition (so many male artists are gay).

  503. Raul Says:

    Appreciate the invite, Mike.

    I’m not sure I’ll go but I’ll forward the info to some of my friends in Queens who may be interested.

  504. Mike Felber Says:

    Cool, thanks, all are welcome, with their guests too. Just more dressy than jeans, T-Shirts & sneakers, given the semi-elegant venue. Though Biz. casual is fine.

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