Ken Rosenthal is full of it

Yahoo! Sports – MLB – INSIDE DISH: Braves made pitch for Soriano

I think someone mentioned this in a thread. Supposedly, the Braves offered Marcus, Sosa, and a prospect for Soriano and Kevin Mench. I don’t know where Rosenthal got his information but it makes no sense.

1. Soriano makes $7,500,000 this year. Marcus makes $2,350,000. Sure, the season’s about 2/3 over, but it’s still better than a million dollars difference, more next year. Sosa will make maybe $100K more than Mench over the rest of the season.

2. Soriano is a terrible defensive player, while Marcus is a good one. The Braves wouldn’t compromise their defense at a key position this late in the season unless absolutely necessary.

3. Soriano is a pain in the ass. The Braves wouldn’t compromise their chemistry either, unless it was a big upgrade.

4. Soriano isn’t a noticeably better hitter than Marcus. Soriano has hit .280/.316/.540 this season playing his home games in the best hitter’s park in the American League. Giles has hit .298/.376/.462. 60 points of OBP for Marcus versus 78 points of slugging for Soriano is at most a wash. When you take the parks into account… Soriano has actually been a lousy player on the road this year, .236/.274/.404.

I see three possibilities. One is that the Rangers approached the Braves who listened politely, discussed it, then declined. The second is that the Braves were mostly interested in Mench, a cheap young player, and were going to flip Soriano elsewhere and install Orr or Betemit at second base, using the savings to re-sign Furcal. The third, and most likely, is that Ken Rosenthal is full of it. You’d be insane to trade a guy making $2.35 million for a guy making $7.5 million who is a worse hitter and a worse fielder.

Postscript: Trading Sosa, in combination with Colon, who was probably on his way out after the San Francisco incident, would have left the Braves with only four starting pitchers (Smoltz, Hudson, Ramirez, Davies) until Hampton and/or Thomson returned. They could afford to make another callup until then but it would have been awfully risky unless they got a pitcher for Soriano.

68 thoughts on “Ken Rosenthal is full of it”

  1. It’s not the pitcher thing that bugs me. They still have someone like Chuck James tearing up the minors they could call up in a pinch. It’s really the Soriano thing. It’s just not like the Braves to trade for an overhyped, overpayed player when they have a younger, superior alternative.

    Sosa isn’t as good as his numbers, and I can see the Braves trying to turn that into an outfielder, but losing Marcus for a one-year rental downgrade, coupled with Sosa, just seems way, way too expensive for Mench, who also has park-inflated numbers.

  2. Getting Mench and flipping Soriano for pitching would make sense – the Twins and Cubs were supposedly offering good young pitchers, and who knows – maybe the Mets would’ve offered Heilman plus Milledge for Soriano. But it’s a risky move for this season, however much sense it makes going forward.

  3. Option 4 – JS floated the rumor to jack up the price on Soriano to either (a) make the Mets overpay for him, or (b) back off from getting him

  4. That’s possible, Colin. Or option 5: He was willing to make the deal in order to keep Soriano from the Mets. I think that one is a real longshot, though… One last note: It will be interesting to see if anyone will claim Soriano on waivers. At the least, he should get through the AL.

  5. There are a lot of teams with money that could use Soriano. The Mets, obviously. The Cubs could still be “in it”. The Nats, though it’s hard to tell exactly how much money they’re approved to spend. The Yanks could think about moving him to the outfield. The Sox could use him at second until Bellhorn comes back, then move him to right.

    I think it’s pretty certain he’d be claimed if put on wavers. To many teams with money could use him for them ALL to pass.

  6. Ken Rosenthal and I communicate sporadically via e-mail. I sent one off to him saying that the Soriano + for Giles + deal he wrote about is a clear fignment of someone’s imagination and one probably thought up by one who doesn’t follow the Braves. I brought up the intangibles that Marcus brings to our table while Soriano is probably the opposite regarding those characteristics.

  7. I’m pretty sure that’s a no. I’m certain that the Braves wouldn’t pull him back. Maybe the Yankees will be so desperate for pitching that they’ll take him.

  8. I’m not one to discount the intangibles, but it’s the tangibles that concern me — production and money. And they say “bad deal” even if Mench would help the team.

  9. Mac, what “incident” with Colon in San Francisco?

    I agree about Rosenthal…he made it up. I think the truth is closest to the Rangers’ John Hart calling John Schuerholz (I hear they’re friends) & JS went “uh, huh, uh huh” and maybe even thought about it for a second just to taunt the Mets.

    (and by the way, couldn’t you have totally seen the Mets overpay and deal like David Wright & Victor Diaz for Soriano & Kenny Rogers!).

    Anyway, I am happy with grabbing Farnsworth…and yes, I actually think there will be a team to grab Kolb if we place him on waivers. I am praying so.

  10. What about this disturbing tidbit from

    Brian Jordan’s left knee has been feeling better and he could begin a Minor League rehab assignment within the week.

    Who would we send down? Johnson? Francoeur? Ugghh, I had hoped we wouldn’t see Jordan until September at least.

  11. If a team is going to grab Kolb off waivers, we will probably find out real soon.

    I think that either Rosenthal, or his source, simply doesn’t know the difference between an “idea” (possibly put out there simply to induce some response) and an actual trade offer. I don’t know how these things work, but I imagine that “ideas” fly all over the place.

    It will be interesting to know what, if any, reply you get, Michael.

  12. How about this idea. I know it’s radical, but when Jordan comes off wavers … how about …

    We go with FIVE outfielders and one fewer pitcher?

    I know, I know, what if we’re in Colorado and a game goes 14 innings? Well, LaRoche can always be brought out in an emergancy.

  13. Er, I meant when Jordan comes off the DL.

    Then the Braves can start two righties against a lefty.

  14. Well, they aren’t going to cut to eleven pitchers until Farnsworth’s appeal is heard and rejected. If then.

    Alex, Colon apparently got bitchy when the Braves called him up during their long road trip only to not use him and send him back down. It apparently didn’t sit well with Bobby and Leo.

  15. I must be naive because I was under the impression that Jordan more or less fell upon his sword to make room for the rookies; that, in effect, there was nothing really wrong with him physically. Ditto Eddie Perez. By placing Jordan and Perez on the DL, Cox was giving them a chance to end their playing careers with some small measure of dignity.

  16. Well, Jordan and Perez are actually hurt. Perez likely can’t play, even by his standards. Recall the circumstances of McCann’s callup; Perez was actually activated when Estrada went on the DL, but then went right back on without playing because he can’t throw. Problem is that his shoulder is completely shot now and he’ll likely never be able to throw. Besides, Smoltz likes working with McCann, and I don’t think they’ll mess that up to activate Perez.

    Jordan’s injury is “chronic”, which means it’s not likely to get better without surgery. He can play through it, but not well. Remember, rosters expand in thirty days.

  17. Right now I don’t know up from down, so who knows? I’ll get my bearings once I make rent. (Which should be a lesson to anyone out there who doesn’t use their English degree as a stepping stone for law school or some other noble pursuit, though this is not to say that building a life around literature doesn’t have its rewards–it does–but they won’t pay the bills. Alas, the life of a freelancer is frought with peril. Jenny, are you listening?)

  18. Thanks, Mac, for clarifying that. Who else besides Marte do you expect will be called up?

  19. Way off topic, but I have a question. Can anyone tell me why earlier stadiums (Shibe, Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium) had ridiculously huge centerfields? Shibe Park’s was 468, Yankee Stadium’s was 490, and Polo Grounds was something similar to Yankee Stadiums (I don’t feel like looking it up). They would also almost come to a V in dead center. Anyone know why?

  20. They had to build them the way city blocks were set up. I know that doesn’t make much sence, but that is one of the reasons.

  21. Rosenthal doesn’t know jack. I stopped reading him a long time ago because he just makes crap up. We may have made an offer for Mench straight up for Sosa and then the Rangers, obviously on crack, tried to shove Soriano into the deal. But most likely I agree that this is just pure hearsay.

  22. According to Nemec and Wisnia’s 100 Years of Baseball, stadiums like Shibe, the first concrete and steel stadium, “were situated as close to the centers of the cities as possible. As a result, not only were all the new parks enclosed, but they were limited in size by city lots and streets.” Crowds were large in that day, approaching 30,000. Fans would sit in an outfield that was roped off; a ball hit over this rope would be called a home run (p. 46).

    Nemec, David, and Saul Wisnia. 100 Years of Baseball, Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd., 2002.

  23. Pena will be called up, probably. Jordan will be activated, but I wouldn’t expect much. Thormann, maybe, after Richmond’s season ends. Pitchers.

    A lot of those parks also had very short foul lines and often one really small field (ala Fenway Park). You can’t build them that short anymore. Well, unless you’re Philadelphia and lie about it.

  24. Wow David, way to use the correct source info! I fell like I am reading a term paper :-)

  25. Hey fellas, sorry to be a link whore, but my first column “in relief” of JC at Sabernomics is up, ironically enough about relief pitcher usage. Not much there about the Braves, but go read it anyway (after you peruse the fine pages of the BravesBeat network) and tell me that I suck.


  26. The corollary to the city-block parks was that either the right- or left-field line would be very short. 280 to 300 feet was not uncommon down one of the lines. The deep center fields is the main reason that the record of 36 triples in a season is pretty much untouchable.

  27. Ah, very true. 36 triples is definately untouchable. Though it is kinda fun to have Furcal on your MVP Baseball 2005 for PS2 team and play your games in the Polo Grounds. Not that anyone cares, but players play him inexplicably shallow and all you gotta do is hit a medium fly ball to center and you can run for days. Beautiful, people, beautiful.

  28. The Astros got a waiver from MLB. I don’t like it, but at least they asked. The Phillies just lied about the size of their park. Someone should lodge a protest before a game there.

  29. Did anyone see Stephen A. Smith’s new show? It is horrible! He had Allen Iverson on, i coldn’t understand either one of them. It was an ebonics mummble fest.

  30. It was awful, but I had no problems understanding either of them. I wish I did, though, so I wouldn’t have listened to SAS’ self-rightous pontificating in his opening monologue or his completely unfunny humor. Only SAS could take a charismatic and engaging character like Allen Iverson and make him sound like a self-absorbed whiner.

    The show ended up being a total snoozefest. I only watched it so I could legitimately fill out a survey on it and express how completely boring it was. Fortunately, after his horrific opening, SAS mostly shut up. At least his voice was mostly absent, used only to ask AI completely inane questions and guide him away from any interesting topics.

  31. I fall in with a JS’s viewables.We are positively necessary big bat or clutch hitter in the playoff.Well, that’s no wonder.If possible, Kevin Mench can hit 30 Home Runs and 100 RBI as well the corner outfielder.He bears a good character.His hometown Delaware is near the Atlanta. I really want Kevin Mench who is productive.BUT he is untouchable!-_-;Tom Hicks is dumb.SORRY TO HIM.Plz wheedle Mench out of him.

  32. Clutch hitters in the playoffs are guys like the Lemmer, Counsil in Arizona, (Furcal, Andruw, and LaRoche last year) everyone is going to pitch around Andruw and Chipper this year. I bet the two of them see only a few pitches to hit at all. The real key to our line-up in Octocber is getting Furcal and Giles on base. We need runners on first and second when the big thunder comes up in the order.

  33. Sounds like Thomson is getting closer to returning based on the report in the AJC.

    Do you think that Palmeiro’s steroid positive could be the result of taking the drug he endorses? Looking at the incredibly long list of drugs considered “steroids,” some of the ingredients are similar. I mean, it is supposed to boost your confidence, so couldn’t it theoretically make you more confident at the plate?

  34. It sounds like he was pretty squirrely in the call yesterday… saying something about confidentiality rules preventing him from naming the specific substance that he tested positive for. This strikes me as a load of BS. Any confidentiality arrangement is supposed to protect the player, so if the specifics could somehow be spun in a positive light (e.g. blamed on v!agra or some other substance clearly ingested innocently) I think someone would make sure we knew that. We know he’s guilty… he admits that… but he offers nothing to mitigate it, which indicats to me that there is nothing that would mitigate it.

  35. It confuses me how Palmeiro could unknowingly ingest steroids. Anybody with an ounce of common sense knows that anything you get at GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe is likely to have extraneous chemicals in it. If stupid Joe Shmoe knows this, does Palmeiro really expect us to believe that he was that ignorant? He gets paid millions and it’s part of his job not to make mistakes like this. Ignorance is not an excuse.

    My theory is that his masking agent didn’t work. I hate to give any credit to Jose Canseco, but he did accuse Palmeiro in his book and Palmeiro’s numbers went up starting in 1993, when he met Jose Canseco. You can’t condemn someone on circumstantial evidence, but it’s piling up like Mount Everest and where there’s smoke…

    I just can’t believe the absolute balls of Palmeiro to get up in front of Congress and unequivocally deny steroid use. It’s the only thing that gives me pause, and it’s the thing that makes me feel the worst because if he lied then, how low can he go? How much benefit of the doubt does he deserve? Is character enough? I don’t think so. I’m sick, but I think he’s a cheater.

  36. There’s only one question I have for Palmerio:

    “Why didn’t you just use hGH like Bonds? That doesn’t show up in urine tests, and it’s probably more effective than whatever got you caught.”

  37. Balls? I don’t think so. Mucha concha is more like it. (Trans: He’s full of it.)

  38. In Palmeiro’s defence, he did go to Mississippi State.

    Now when Jose Canseco talks, I listen!

  39. I think the bar needs to be uped to get in to the HOF. There are too many really good player getting in. It is a place for great players, not just really good ones. Dale Murphy was great, Palmiero is not. So who cares if he hit 500 home runs with the last place Rangers and O’s? DId he win an MVP? Was he a guy that struck fear in the heart of the other team? No and no. This whole roids thing will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  40. The steriod thing is a mess for the HOF. Too many guys that we’ll never really know about. But if it costs him a spot, it’s impossible to feel sorry for Palmeiro. The players had two years to figure this out, and from what I’ve read the longest detection period is something like 1.5 years.

  41. Slow around here today. If you guys have time, make sure to go by Sabernomics and read my article. It’s saberlicious. Thanks for your comments urlhix.

  42. Palmeiro never even finished higher than 5th in MVP balloting.

    I hate to point it out, but these baseball players aren’t a bunch of rocket scientists. Most didn’t go to college, and even though Palmeiro did, it was MSU for crying out loud. Just because a guy makes millions doesn’t make him the smartest guy on the block.

    I will preface this with the following; Cal Ripken is a great player, a great person and played with a lot of respect for the game. I saw him speak at a conference and he is about as articulate as Huckleberry Hound. He kept getting hung up trying to think of a substitue for a cuss word when he was telling baseball stories, and he just wasn’t a good speaker. I know that’s not how you measure intelligence, but when a guy is giving a speech to a bunch of business people and talking to them about how to be successful in life, you hope that he gives you something to go home with other than stories about how he thinks the F bomb got on his brother Billy’s bat.

    All that to say is we give the players a little too much credit for knowing what they are and aren’t ingesting. If I’m a guy from the mean streets of Puerto Rico and ate soap to make my stomach feel full when I was a kid, what are the chances of me taking something wrong?

    And Joe Schmoe doesn’t know any better than Rafael Palmeiro what’s in many supplements.

  43. Guess what, we got another suspension. Ryan Franklin of the Seattle Mariners. I’m afraid that’s not the last of them either.

  44. Gosh, Kyle. You are such a whore. Good and interesting article, though.

    You’re right, bwarrend, of course. MLB has an issue here. This thing is obviously not well thought-out, and there really should be something that better articulates what is illegal and how you can come across it. Also, a list of approved substances, as recommended in this article is a must. And I’ve seen on indication that the players’ association is doing anything to help either.

    All that being said, I still won’t cut Palmeiro any slack. He has the resources to figure these things out for himself… or at least have someone figure them out for him. Of all people, he should have been particularly conscious of what he was ingesting and how it might affect a drug test. At least enough to have something more concrete to say than “I don’t know how it happened”.

  45. Let’s put it another way. You go up for a job that you desperately want, but there’s a drug screening required. You’re willing to take it and legitimately believe you’re clean. If you failed, you would be accouting for every muffin you’d eaten and every smoke-filled venue you’d been in or near over the last month, wouldn’t you? You would have something to say other than “I don’t know how it happened.” Even if that something was just that you think maybe some of the smoke from your stoner neighbor’s place seeped under the walls of your apartment or that the lady selling brownies outside the IGA last week did have kind of a glazed look in her eye and you slept for 19 hours after you ate one.

  46. I liked your article Kyle

    I wish we would catch Osama soon. I can’t handle much more of this T.O. reported today! Larry Brown had oatmeal for breakfast! and Palmeiro did roids! How much more can they beat these horses? Can they not report other stories? The woman sitting in for Dan Patrick today (can’t think of her name) a three hour show, spent the first hour and a half on Raffy (of Raf-i-el as she said) then 30 minuets on T.O. and she just said, “WE are going to spend the next hour talking about Raf-I-el Palmeiro for the next hour. Then she has been interjecting her opinion for the last few minutes, for the third time in the show.

    Boy I wish the Yankees would play the Red Sox soon so ESPN would have something to report!

  47. I agree creynolds, he is ultimately responsible for his actions. I’m not saying he’s innocent, because if he thought it was something accidental or explained, he would’ve said so rather than claiming ignorance. It’s probably much more serious than that.

    Even if it was innocent, it wouldn’t change the outcome for him or one of us. Sometimes you gotta live with the company you keep and the decisions you make like buying homemade brownies or even brownies from a deli.

    It makes me think of the Seinfield epsode where Elaine testes positive for opium after eating the poppyseed muffin. I can hear Peterman talking to Raffy now “My boy, it reminds me of the time when I was playing cricket with the Saudi Prince. He hit a nasty wicket and I knew right then he had been seduced by the Juice, the Roid, the Elixir of Strength.”

  48. I’m not sure that Peterman has time to spare from his dancing career to enlighten Mr. Palmeiro, but I can surely picture it.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever been called a whore. Odd feeling.

  49. Good old Peterman. It’s sad to see that guy doing lame commercials and dancing for donuts now. Oh well… I guess all good things must come to an end.

    I hate all the steroids crap. Even more than the general idiocy, it’s probably the main reason I haven’t watch more than maybe a few minutes of BBTN in any given week this season. I just can’t stand it. Stuff like this, coupled with the deadline being over, have brought just about any interesting discussion of baseball to a grinding hault since yesterday.

    But I will say that I did like Will Carroll’s UTK article today, which laid all this out pretty well I think. Read it while everything’s still free over at BP.

  50. Will Carroll’s UTK article indicates that maybe Palmeiro may have been on cocaine. Maybe he should come out and say soemthing like that, it would save his HOF chances.

  51. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what’s in the GNC supplements. I myself have no clue and I’m terrible at chemistry, so I wouldn’t be able to figure it out. But I do know that the stuff in the bottles could have something “extra” in it. I don’t know what that something is, but I know it could be there. My point is, you don’t have to know what’s in the supplements, and that fact enough should make you be wary. Maybe I’m a fanatic, because I NEVER take any kind of drug unless it’s a namebrand or prescription I recognize and can look up (no Safeway aspirin for me). But I just can’t believe Palmeiro would be this stupid.

    My biggest question is, if he’s so ignorant and innocent, why doesn’t he say something? Say what he took? It’s his medical records, he can say what he wants, and hiding behind a “confidentiality agreement” that would be easy to break just makes him look even more guilty. It’s possible he got whatever it was from a teammate and is trying to protect them. I don’t like tattlers, either, but I could easily see my way around that this time.

    I’m disgusted. And I still believe my failed masking agent theory.

  52. Article today says Palmeiro tested postive for the same steroid that cost Ben Johnson his sprint gold – one that is apparently pretty potent. Not exactly something you would get in a dietary supplement, kids.

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