Open thread

Still thinking about the Schuerholz thing. I probably need to get out my copy of Built To Win, though it’s not actually very good. Anyway, discussion question: Can the Rockies be stopped?

181 thoughts on “Open thread”

  1. Shows how much serendipity there is in the current playoff system. Could have been us just as easily as the Rockies. But can they have EVERYTHING go thier way for 7 or so more games? GMs are right if they are building their teams to just make the playoffs. It is clear that once you get there ANYTHING can happen.

  2. Speaking of GMs building teams… I have to wonder what’s going to happen to this Rockies team after the ride is over (regardless of the outcome). I’m enjoying watching their incredible streak of playing out of their minds – but I also wonder about what’s going to happen after.

    There are a few different scenarios of what could happen whether they steamroll through the series or don’t quite reach the top of the mountain (this is as I see it right now, pulling ideas out of the air – please suggest others or contradict these, because I haven’t really thought it out, nor do I know how the organization operates):

    Scenario 1 – The feeling is that this is an amazing team and they have to keep it together. I have no idea what the contract situations are for the key players here. But the general idea is that they may extend or give contracts to the heroes of this onslaught, because, hey – look what this team did together. This is flawed – they’re not a complete team; they’re on fire right now. They’d still need to continue to add pieces. But the fans in Denver would probably be pleased with it.

    Scenario 2 – They pay for free agents to help sustain this level or push them over the top. Perhaps not a bad idea to get a name or two, but they’d have to overpay. This would go contrary to their youth movement that has been working well. But Denver fans would probably be pleased.

    Scenario 3 – Despite the high level of play he still performs at and despite the sentimental connection to him, perhaps the best thing, long term, is still to get out from underneath Helton’s contract. Denver fans would be livid.

    Like I said, I’m just now coming up with these – interested to see what you think.

  3. Murph,

    I think it would be crazy to get rid of Helton. They are a young team that is built to play in that park, hell they have the best defense in the history of baseball.

    If they can keep it going and win out, they will have pulled off one of the greatest streaks in professional sports. I don’t think their starting pitching is all that great, but hey they are getting the best out of what they have.

    I also would like to hear what Harold Reynolds has to say about the Rockies after saying that they could never advacnce in post-season play in that ball park.

  4. The pitching looks so good right now because of the defense. They set the Major League record for Fielding percentage this year, and their fielding in the playoffs won at least two games, not the pitching. They turned double plays that looked impossible to get out of several jams and were flying all over the field.

    If they keep that up, their golden.

  5. Smitty,

    He’d probably say something like, “That Rockies ballgirl has a nice rear.”

    Andy,

    Who, other than Helton, was a Manning backup?

  6. agreed that their defense is stellar. and the fact that most of the team is so young is such a plus financially (for the next few years).

    i just think that the money spent on helton would be better spent on pitching. assuming that they can lure FAs there with their recent success.

    i wonder how close they really were to unloading Helton on the Sox before the season started.

  7. But our bullpen has a long way to go before it’s as good as the Rockies’ pen.

    Didn’t the Braves have the lowest bullpen ERA in the NL this past season?

    It’s been rumored a lot that Brian Fuentes will be available this offseason. Any ideas what it will take to get him?

  8. back to the original question — I hope they can’t be stopped because it’s been fun to watch. And I’d love for the NL to win another series.

    I cheer against the Sox now (new yankees), so I’m pulling for the Indians. But would it be more fun to have the Sox fall to the Rockies?

  9. sorry if already posted…from MLB rumors

    Last Friday, former-Braves GM and current team president John Schuerholz appeared as a guest on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN radio show.

    Schuerholz, on super-agent Scott Boras, and his suggestion that Alex Rodriguez could be worth $30 million per season, while speaking to Cowherd…

    “I think it’s obnoxious…for someone to suggest that this is a valid salary level for a professional athlete, no matter what kind of voodoo economics they can do in analyzing the books of MLB, it’s absolutely asinine…

    “When he presented us with that kind of offer with Andruw Jones, we found it so ridiculous and obnoxious we didn’t even respond. It didn’t even rise to the level of requiring a response. It’s just idiotic.”

  10. Dan, I don’t actually know the answer to that question, especially not if you start controlling for park effects. But just ask yourself: how many relievers did we have this year that you’d trust with a close lead in a playoff game, other than Peter Moylan and Rafael Soriano?

  11. AAR,

    I’d put some trust in Acosta or Ascaino. If he was pitching for us, I’d like Dotel too. There would be no trust for Yates.

  12. I’m rooting for the Rocks, but yes they can be stopped. Both Cleveland and Boston have far superior starting pitching and as good and probably better offenses. I remember thinking the Braves couldn’t be stopped in ’96 after they won the last 3 games of the NLCS and took the first 2 games of the WS at Yankee Stadium. I don’t need to remind any of you what happened next.

  13. Braves fan here, living in Colorado. Is the playoff atmosphere electric at Turner Field, like it has been at Coors? Having gone to the playoff games, I find baseball that much more exciting in the postseason, because EVERY pitch matters.

    I think the comments on the Rockies defense are spot-on, but may be dismissing the bullpen a bit. The Rockies have stockpiled power pitchers, which I think has been one of the Braves’ downfalls over the years, especially in the playoffs. These guys thrown strikes AND can get a strikeout when necessary. They also have 2 young SPs that any Braves fan would die for in Jiminez (sp??) and Morales, not to mention a budding ace in Francis. They’ve built the team the right way, from within. After the game, it was interesting to hear a split reaction to the owners (maybe 40/60 % split on booing/cheering). Will they pay to keep the homegrown talent? From some of their recent comments, I would guess that they won’t keep everyone. Holliday is a Boras client, so he’s looking to get P-A-I-D.

  14. Thanks, bamachum. I have no recollection of Smith as a football player, but I had heard that several days ago but had since forgotten.

  15. I’d say that both the Tribe & the Sox should beat Colorado. But what the Rockies are doing is destroying any conventional wisdom & defying all logic.

    The way things are going, I wouldn’t be shocked if they next swept the ’27 Yankees. (“And Fogg wiffs Gehrig for the second time!”) Hottest team ever.

  16. Let’s hope that the Rockies don’t lose their momentum awaiting the outcome of the ALCS. It didn’t do the 2006 Tigers any favors to get nearly a week off.

  17. I was just going to respond the same Rob, the biggest obstacle for the Rockies is the time off. Sure it can give their pitchers some much needed rest, but the adverse affects could be they look back and start to celebrate what they have already accomplished, instead of just living in it.

    They will be able to read and hear and endless stream of praise between now and the start of the series, and that could be bad. The best outcome for them would be a quick end to the AlCS.

  18. Both the Indians and the Sox would be hurt by the NL games they’ll have to play in the World Series, as their DHs are their best hitters. Most likely they’d put Hafner or Ortiz at first and lose Garko or Youkilis (both of whom bat in the top 5), but they’ll be hurt offensively and defensively.

  19. Cowherd: “Is anybody worth $30 million a year?”

    Schuerholz: “I think it’s obnoxious. I admire and respect Alex Rodriguez as much as any ball player that has played the game. But for someone to suggest that this is a valid salary level for a professional athlete, no matter what kind of voodoo economics they can do in analyzing the books of MLB, it’s absolutely asinine. It only takes one team to have the wherewithal with that player, and then that player and his representatives think ‘Well, this is what the market value is.’ It’s crazy, and so is that level of compensation.”

    Cowherd: “What do you say when an agent presents you with such a high offer?”

    Schuerholz: “When he presented us with that kind of offer with Andruw Jones, we found it so ridiculous and obnoxious we didn’t even respond. It didn’t even rise to the level of requiring a response. It’s just idiotic. And I suppose there is this theory of some agents out there, that as long as there is one person that has idiotic thinking, that’s all they need because it drives the market to where they want it to go. But there’s no validity to it at all.”

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/watchdog/blog/2007/10/when_i_heard_the_creepy.html

  20. Youkilis can play third, but Boston would then lose Lowell’s bat. Garko might be able to play in the outfield somewhere, but Cleveland could be looking for defense with Guitierrez.

  21. Dan,

    That is pretty interesting. I guess you would not expect a GM/President to say anything but that. It is definitely an interesting topic. It is always so difficult to quantify what anyone person value is. I have read previous studies about the value a particular player. I have always been interested in what the value of a superstar player over the value of a replacement level (average MLB player) would be.

  22. I cannot see anyone beating the Rockies at this point. As much as I like baseball this has always been one thing that I have never liked. We have a 162 game schedule and yet we cannot even figure out who the best team in the division is, much less the pennant or the WS.

  23. About JS,

    Somoene asked on Baseball Fever what Schuerholz would be making as a team president. I guess that query is trying to peg Schuerholz as a hypocrite.

  24. I actually liked the Built To Win book. I read it in maybe 3 days, however I am an avid reader. And also, I thought it was good for the reason its a good management guide. I think it shows you can do a lot with what you’re given.

    As for the Rockies, I think they will take the world series. The American League doesn’t deserve the title of World Series Champions.

  25. If that is really what JS thinks, then I am glad that he stepped down when he did. $30 million today is no more ridiculous than when Nolan Ryan got the first $1 million deal in 1979. Baseball is big business; it is booming right now, and that is going to filter down to the players. A-Rod is going to get a $30-million deal, and it has nothing to do with Boras or the Yankees.

  26. Why does the American League champ not deserve to win?

    The AL is far superior to the NL, and should win in five. I hope it does not.

    Also 1M in 1979 is far less than 30M in 2008 after adjusting for inflation.

  27. JC,

    I am not saying you are wrong, but is $30 million today the same as a $1 million back then. I don’t know. I just think it is interesting that we take these things for granted when it comes to baseball economics. Is there any source of information that would prove this correct? That would be an average of 13% increase a year.

    It is also probably a lot of politicking by JS, as his new role as President. It is obviously in his best interest to keep salaries at a minimum. I still would not mind having him as our GM

  28. I think JS slams Boras now because he can.

    The A-Rod dog-and-pony show is going to be nauseating, but someone is going to pay. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

    I’m off to Amsterdam for the week. Go Tribe.

  29. I did not mean to imply that $30 million in 2007 = $1 million in 1979 (that is not true!), only that the shock value of the event is the same. People thought that contract was insane, now Sturze gets $1 million not to pitch. I was asked by several reporters this year to calculate A-Rod’s value over the next few years. Based on historical growth in salaries and objective measurements that translate performance to dollars I was getting estimates in the low-to-mid-30s.

  30. Ububba,

    I am pretty jealous. Have fun in Amsterdam. I am already tired of the play it has gotten on Sports Center. I will be in Vegas next weekend.

  31. JC, I would never ever ever presume to tell you your business when it comes to salaries in baseball. (Speaking of which, what happened to the Sabernomics salary calculator? I was just looking for it a couple days ago and couldn’t find it.)

    But I believe it’s true — and please correct me if I’m wrong — that it’s virtually impossible to win with one player’s salary sucking down 25% of your payroll. A $30 million A-Rod would do that to all the teams in baseball but two, and even for them he wouldn’t be just a drop in the bucket.

    So, while salaries are creeping ever upward toward $30 million, a large proportion of contracts at the previous high-water mark have been regretted by the GMs that gave them out, and caused a certain amount of lasting fiscal damage or salary tax indenture to their franchises.

    I’m thinking of Helton, Giambi, Hampton, Abreu, Mo Vaughn, Kevin Brown, Chan Ho Park, and a special section for Yankee bad contracts for starting pitchers: Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright.

    So, even though the salaries are undoubtedly climbing that way, they’re doing so to the detriment of the health of the franchises that pay them, which Schuerholz is understandably angry about. I think you’re right that that’s the way the salaries are going, but I don’t think he’s wrong to hate that fact.

  32. huh?

    any in HISTORY?

    ummmmm….

    Jimmie Foxx – 1932 Philadelphia A’s
    (.364 Batting Average, 58 Home Runs, 169 RBI, 151 Runs, 438 Total Bases)

    Babe Ruth – 1921 New York Yankees
    (.378 Batting Average, 59 Home Runs, 171 RBI, 177 Runs, .846 Slg. %, .512 OBP, 457 Total Bases, 44 Doubles, 16 Triples, 17 Stolen Bases, 145 BB, 1.359 OPS)

    Rogers Hornsby – 1922 St. Louis Cardinals
    (.401 Batting Average, 250 Hits, 46 Doubles, 14 Triples, 42 Home Runs, 152 RBI, 450 Total Bases)

    Hack Wilson – 1931 Chicago Cubs
    (.356 Batting Average, 56 Home Runs, 191 RBI, 146 Runs, .723 Slg. %, 423 Total Bases)

    Chuck Klein – 1930 Philadelphia Phillies
    (.386 Batting Average, 250 Hits, 59 Doubles, 40 Home Runs, 170 RBI, 158 Runs, 445 Total Bases)

    Mickey Mantle – 1956 New York Yankees
    (.353 Batting Average, 52 Home Runs, 130 RBI, 132 Runs, 112 BB, .705 Slg. %.)

    I would say all of these were better than 2002-era Bonds SPECIFICALLY because:

    a.) the ball was not “juiced” as it was post-strike

    b.) the players were not “juiced” as they have been post-strike

  33. Chris, all of those other than Mantle were pre-integration, so there’s really no comparison. And juiced or not, Bonds was head and shoulders (har har) above his competition in a way that NO baseball player ever has been, before or since, not even Ruth.

    Also, his OPS+ in 2002 is the single highest OPS+ ever recorded.

  34. MLB Trade Rumors made an interesting point (which it does on occasion) about the $30 million A-Rod talks. How many teams would pay $30 million on one player when they could spread out the risk and buy two $15 million players? If A-Rod gets hurt and misses a season, it’s safe to assume that that particular team will have a tough time recuperating.

  35. Oh, and whoever said that A-Rod would be the first $25 million + player in history to bat eighth in a postseason game, you’re hilarious. That thought still makes me chuckle.

  36. Not to give him too much credit, but he was doing that and all he had was one legitimate player in the lineup besides himself, Kent. He got one pitch a game and absolutely killed it. I know his team lost in the WS, but I still thought that he should have won the WS MVP. He was an absolute monster, and if it was not for the terrible job by the bullpen in game 6 they would have won everything.

  37. Chris, the ball was much more “juiced” in the 1920s and 1930s than it was in 2002. OPS+ is era- and park-adjusted, and the three highest OPS+ numbers of all time are Bonds in 2002, Bonds in 2001, and Bonds in 2004.

  38. My previous point, though, was that with the exception of 2002 Barry Bonds I don’t think you can possibly win with a quarter of your payroll going to pay one guy’s salary, even if it’s Alex Rodriguez. (The Rockies may prove me wrong, but the point still sort of stands.)

  39. Leaders in OPS+
    Through 2006, according to http://www.baseballreference.com the career leaders in OPS+ (minimum 3000 plate appearances, active players in bold) were

    Babe Ruth, 207
    Ted Williams, 190
    Barry Bonds, 182
    Lou Gehrig, 179
    Rogers Hornsby, 175
    Mickey Mantle, 172
    Albert Pujols, 171
    Dan Brouthers, 170
    Joe Jackson, 170
    Ty Cobb, 167
    The highest single-season performances were:

    Barry Bonds, 275 (2002)
    Barry Bonds, 262 (2001)
    Barry Bonds, 260 (2004)
    Babe Ruth, 256 (1920)
    Fred Dunlap, 250 (1884)
    Babe Ruth, 239 (1921)
    Babe Ruth, 239 (1923)
    Ted Williams, 235 (1941)
    Ted Williams, 233 (1957)
    Ross Barnes, 231 (1876)
    Barry Bonds, 231 (2003)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On-base_plus_slugging

  40. So I was just looking through the Rockies’ stats on baseballreference and realized that Mark Redman pitched 19.1 innings for them this season…which brings me to this question…if they win it all, do they give him a ring?

    Scary though. (g)

  41. Didn’t the Rockies have Redman on the postseason roster for the Division Series against the Phillies?

  42. @Mark,

    How is it superior then? Do you really like the DH? The Braves = National League. In case you forgot. ;)

  43. Clint Hurdle’s move last night in the bottom of the 4th (pinch-hitting Seth Smith for the starting pitcher with runners on 2nd & 3rd and two outs)is what makes the NL great. He had to way the opportunity cost of going 5+ innings with his bullpen verses the chance of getting a run(s) at a crucial point early in the game. What makes it even better is the same scenario in mid-June when EVERY SINGLE run isn’t as important as it is in the playoffs.

  44. Mark Redman was scheduled to pitch game four of the NLDS against the Phillies if it got that far.

  45. What is the best-case timetable for Mike Gonzalez to return?

    Moot point, but for curiosity-sakes, what about Hampton?

  46. AAR,

    The Rockies may be winning against your 25% rule, but Helton’s contract is approx. 25% of their payroll, but not of their budget. They could afford to have a much higher payroll, they just decided at some point a few years ago not to go all crazy with contracts like they had been doing for a time with nothing to show for it.

    Most of the time a huge contract like that could handcuff a team, but the Rockies have more money to spend if they felt like it I think.

  47. bamachum,

    From what I can understand: best case for Gonzalez is June, worst is All-Star Break-August. If Hampton can pitch, he’ll start, but that’s a BIG BIG BIG if.

  48. 62,

    I think Hampton will be ready for the Old Timer’s game in 2025. Even then, no telling if he’ll blow out his arm in Old Timer Spring Training.

  49. I would assume a 30 million dollar salary that also happens to be 1/4 of payroll doesn’t really mean much, since the team would still have 90 million to spend on the other 24 guys.

  50. Glad to see the Rockies make it, Clint Hurdle is a local guy from Merrit Island here in FL. As for the Indians, bleh, the lesser of all the evils I suppose, but I hope the Rox win it.

  51. I don’t mean this to be a political commentary but my understanding is that JS is a friend of Rush Limbaugh and is pretty conservative himself. If so, it’s pretty hypocritical for him to complain about the workings of the free market (since conservatives presumably believe in the market). Boras simply takes advantage of how a (relatively) free market works. A-Rod will get what he will get–if owners overpay to the point that it is detrimental, that just means they are bad businesspeople. Obviously, Boras throws out figures to start the bidding–it’s called negotiation. Where does JS get off saying this or that figure is ridiculous? I agree in general that it makes no sense for a team to pay such a large percentage to a given player but that’s not Boras’ problem; it’s up to the teams to make rational business judgements. I guess JS would like to go back to the days of the reserve clause when there were no problems with salaries.

  52. Not to defend JS too much but if Boras can “throw out figures to start the bidding” then JS should be able to say those figures are crazy in order to attempt to lower the bidding (and perhaps help some of the other GMs/owners come to their senses). I think JS is doing the same thing Boras does just from the other side of the fence. In a “free market” both sides should be able to do things to try to influence the market in their favor.

  53. Marc,

    He can still say the figure is ridiculous because he knows how he can’t or won’t pay a particular salary. We would say a high starting bid for Andruw Jones would be ridiculous. Anyone would.

    At worst, I’d say Schuerholz is doing the same things we do when we’re frustrated. Remember the last time he complained about baseball’s economics?

  54. If Ichiro is worth $20 million/year, then it doesn’t seem all that unreasonable that Arod would be worth $30+ million or that Andruw would get $20 million. Boras’ demand for Andruw looks a lot more ridiculous after the season Andruw just put up than it would have if he had put up his typical season. For a team like the Braves who have a total payroll around $100 million or less, then yes paying those kinds of salaries would be ridiculous but not for the Yankees, Sawx, Mets, Angels, etc.

  55. Re: #71
    I don’t think “free market” arguments apply. Baseball is too much of a “closed” system (that’s probably not the right term, but hopefully context will make it clearer) to be considered truly “free market”. Many writers talk about baseball and that salaries are set by the free market, but that is really not the case. There are several factors that come into play that keep it from being so. First is the fact that MLB is basically a monopoly. In a true free market, there are few barriers to entry, and companies can enter & exit the market with relative ease. In baseball, A-Rod (or whoever) has few options. If he wants to play professionally (and certainly, if he wants to maximize his income), he’s basicall stuck with playing for MLB. Players can’t start their own competing leagues, they can’t really “innovate” in any meaningful way like a company in a free market would be able to do. They can threaten to go to Japan (though, obvsiouly, the trend is for Japanese players to come here, so again that is not much of an alternative). So there is not really a choice for players if they want to play where they will get the most money. Meaning they have to play within the rules of the MLB monopoly.
    Both sides have input into those rules, with the negotiating process, but even those rules further skew the “free market” process. And mainly I am thinking of the arbitration process. In the free market, an outlier contract (a ground-breaking contract like A-Rod, stupid contracts like Eric Milton or Darren Dreifort or dozens of others) affects market salary surveys; but because these surveys are usually averages based on hundreds of companies & thousands (or more) of individuals, the effect of those outlier contracts have less of an effect on moving average salaries. However, in MLB, these contracts have a much larger effect on the general population (and their salaries), because of how the arbitration process tends to look at how players of comparable performance were conpensated.
    I know I did not post this in the best way possible (I’ve never been a good writer), but hopefully there enough to get my point across.

  56. And, to further clarify, I’m not saying it’s not a free market at all, because there are obviously aspects of it that very much apply. But it’s not truly a free market, in the classic economic sense (or, I’d argue, even in the sense as generally understood in the American economy today).

  57. Jonathan;
    Re: #77 &#78

    I think you made your points pretty well. I’m glad the subject means enough to you that you want to get it right.

    I’d like to discuss one point, though. Could the players start another league?

    The money that MLB is making these days is amazing. There’s so much, I can’t help but wonder if some entreprenuer (maniac) might not convince an ego-driven group of star players that they can be player-owners. The maniac would point out how unevenly revenues are distributed in MLB and try to exploit that.

    I know it’s not practical, but is it possible?

  58. They actually tried that, didn’t they? It was called the Players League. It didn’t make it past its inaugural year of 1890.

    In other words, baseball’s been immune to antitrust challenges since the year the Sherman Act was passed.

  59. It would still be extremely difficult for a new competing baseball league to pop up and survive. The Players League didn’t. The Federal League didn’t. The Pacific Coast League couldn’t get “promoted” to a major league.

    On a related note, there’s an attempt to start another football league: the All-American Football League. We’ll see how long that lasts if it ever gets off the ground.

  60. Jonathan, I completely agree with you that MLB does not represent a free market. Labeling MLB as such typically belies a misunderstanding of either economics or MLB. It is more like a single company that operates within a free market competing with the NFL, NBA, Hollywood, etc. for our entertainment dollars.

    The Royals are not an entity which competes freely with the Yankees. The Royals are more like the Kansas City office of MLB. They cannot up and move to New York to take advantage of a larger media market and compete more effectively on a payroll or salary basis with the Yanks. They cannot move anywhere without MLB’s approval.

    Yes, the franchises have separate owners, but it is more like a collective ownership of MLB with varying shares or stakes.

  61. The fact the XFL fizzled was sort of baffling on one level. I mean, if breasts couldn’t sell an alternate football league, I’m not sure what the hell will.

    On the other hand, the Arena football league has sort of survived, and the CBA might have done so as well if Isiah Thomas hadn’t had better ideas.

  62. Pretty far off topic, but I was bored in class and looking at stats and I looked at Bert Blyleven’s stats. Is there any reason why hes not in the hall of fame?

  63. Because he didn’t “seem” like a Hall of Famer, and unlike Sutton didn’t get to the magic number. There’s a whole Blyleven-for-the-Hall movement.

  64. It’s a well known fact that baseball writers look at mostly the wrong statistics when deciding who gets in the Hall of Fame, wins the MVP, etc. Hence wins, something a pitcher only indirectly controls, are much more respected by voters than strikeouts which a pitcher completely controls.

  65. A question…what is our expected payroll budget for next season? Is it really supposed to be a 10-15 million dollar increase?

    Also, what players are due for pay raises/arbitration/etc.?

    Jeff Francoer?
    Tim Hudson? raise
    Matt Diaz?

  66. Up for arbitration:

    Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano, Matt Diaz, Oscar Villarreal, Willie Harris, Tyler Yates and Lance Cormier.

  67. Re #93;
    Mark Cuban is exactly the kind of owner that a new baseball league would need to attract. The Players League and the others failed for some very good financial reasons. Mostly, nobody wanted to watch them. Has that changed?

    A fan’s argument against new league might lie in missing the history and the historical perspectives that the wealth of baseball stats provide. There’s a few good ones within this thread. Without them, it’d be hard to convince many people the new league is really baseball.

    But how many blowhards that claimed to turn their backs on baseball after the strike really meant it? How many people out there wouldn’t care if there was another reserve clause?

    Could we live without a century of smarmy Yankee fans or long-suffering Cub fans?

    Better yet, could they get enough pitching?

  68. There’s never enough pitching.

    Actually, Ron, I would argue that wins are a pretty good measure in most cases for Hall of Fame consideration. They tend to even out over a pitcher’s career (few are as unlucky in their choice of teams as Blyleven, or as lucky as Sutton) and unlike most other stats there’s little era adjustment involved — there’s a finite number of wins available, and the number has only shifted on a couple of occasions. There are fewer big winning seasons now, but on the other hand careers are longer.

    Blyleven is 26th on the career wins list. Of the 25 ahead of him, 20 are in the Hall of Fame. Clemens, Maddux, and Glavine aren’t eligible yet. Tommy John, who had one more win, should really be in the Hall too, but Blyleven is a superior candidate for several reasons. Bobby Mathews is the only other exception, but his 297 wins came in the nineteenth century and most of them in questionable leagues; he won only 55 games in the National League.

  69. Because I know that they regard “wins” with a hatred usually reserved around here for words like “Phil Fullmer,” I just fired off an email to one of the Firejoemorgan.com guys asking them to respond to your comment about wins being a good metric to determine HoF eligibility for pitchers.

    I’m hoping this ignites a huge fight. Just be forewarned.

  70. haha, AAR, that’s a pretty good baseball/blog practical joke. Also I have an incredibly lame sense of humor (There are two fish in a tank, one of them turns to the other and says, “hey do you know how to drive this thing?”). Awesome.

  71. Okay, ermoore, I’ll bite.

    A grasshopper walks into a bar.
    The bartender says, “Hey, we got a drink named after you.”
    The grasshopper says, “Really? You got a drink named Murray?”

  72. Hence wins, something a pitcher only indirectly controls, are much more respected by voters than strikeouts which a pitcher completely controls.

    The wins thing hurts him some but what hurts him more is that in 23 seasons he only made two all star games and only four times did he receive any Cy Young votes (winning none).

    Some voters (including me theoretically) have trouble voting for a guy if he wasn’t considered a top player at the time he played.

  73. I should add that most of the players directly behind Blyleven are in the Hall of Fame:

    27. Robin Roberts+ 286 R
    28. Fergie Jenkins+ 284 R
    Randy Johnson* (43) 284 L
    Tony Mullane 284 R
    31. Jim Kaat* 283 L
    32. Red Ruffing+ 273 R
    33. Burleigh Grimes+ 270 R
    34. Jim Palmer+ 268 R
    35. Bob Feller+ 266 R
    Eppa Rixey+* 266 L

    (Pluses are HOFers.)

    Johnson isn’t eligible, but should make it easily; Mullane is another guy like Mathews, a nineteenth century player whose big years came in marginal leagues (the American Association, in his case) and won only 81 games in the NL. He’s a better candidate than Mathews, IMO. I would rank Kaat third behind Blyleven and John among eligible HOF candidate pitchers, but ahead of Tiant.

    This doesn’t list all the Hall of Famers who won fewer than 265 games, including Hubbell, Gibson, Marichal. It’s not a be-all and end-all, and those guys are clearly real Hall of Famers.

    If you want to stir up the FJM people more, how’s this: If I could know only one thing about a HOF candidate pitcher, I would choose his career win total.

  74. Just because I am bored, I was thinking that in the hypothetical new league discussed above, they could always go back to the pre-1968 mound height. There’d be enough pitching then, kinda-sorta. Obviously the amount of pitching wouldn’t change at all, but to the casual observer it would look like it did.

  75. In regards to the free market discussion, yes, it is true that MLB is more a monopoly than a free market; some of the points and analogies drawn here are excellent.

    But I think folks are missing the forest for the trees. Jonathan’s point actually makes the case even more strongly against JS’ comments. As many have said before, Boras is merely taking advantage of stupid owners’ willingness to pay large salaries. So while the market is as large as the dumbest owner is willing to pay, what we have here are some pretty stupid owners. Just imagine what Boras could get if this really was a free market.

    Oh, and as a historian, references to the Sherman Act make me smile.

  76. Mac,

    I appreciate your observations on wins as a career stat. I know you are highly saber minded (and I am). However, part of the HOF is the magnitude of the body of work. Part of it is “How good were you when you were good?”

    Even though wins rarely tells you who THE BET pitcher is in a particular year, as compared to all other career info, it is the one single best. Striekouts, innings pitched, black ink, gray ink, they are all significant, but no one of those holds a candle to wins.

  77. Is there, right now, a more pathetic professional sports town than Atlanta? The Braves were mediocre and missed the playoffs; the Falcons are a mess and, after being embarrassed on national television this week, have benched the QB; and the Thrashers, who are the only winless team in the NHL, just fired the coach. That’s right Atlanta sports fans, the Hawks – yes, the Hawks! – are your last chance for a winner. Yikes.

  78. Well Adam M, in all fairness, the Braves didn’t really lose on the same scale as the Falcons or Thrashers currently are. I mean, we missed the playoffs, but we still had a winning record. Not that that is good enough, just that the Braves standard for success is much higher than the standard for the other Atlanta sports teams.

  79. AAR,

    Sorry for the misspelling. Actually, mistyping. When you are pusihing 50, you really can’t see worth a damn. That came on around 42 and it is, so far, the biggest aging pain in the ass there is. A little gray, a little thing hair, no problem. When you can’t read the numbers in the phone book, that is a problem.

  80. Which set of weird streaks will break:
    Tuberville undefeated at Auburn as a double-digit underdog
    Tuberville 5-0 at Auburn versus top-5 teams

    LSU hasn’t lost a Saturday night home game since 2002
    The home team has won every game in this series since 1999

    Another odd stat – since Muschamp arrived at Auburn (start of ’06 season), only 3 times has Auburn allowed more than 20 points in a game. All 3 times, Auburn lost.

  81. Was that Jeff Schultz comment directed at me? I’ve never actually read the man; I stick with Sekou and DOB, thanks very much. It’s just hard not to notice… especially when all of my friends are taking jabs at my teams. And of course the Braves are better than the disasterous Falcons and Thrashers, but my point was merely that even the previously-dependable Braves aren’t playing right now. Next year, though.

  82. Here’s a newish baseball economics site I ran across via Deadspin…

    squawkingbaseball.com”

    Interesting stuff on Boras and A-Rod in some of the older posts.

    Also, basketballprospectus.com is up and running with some in-depth previews of the ACC and PAC-10.

  83. I agree baseball is not a classically free market but, realistically, very little is in the U.S. All markets are constrained to some extent by rules, asymetries of information, etc. The point I was trying to make is that salaries in baseball under the current system are largely determined by the laws of supply and demand. Players have an advantage to some extent b/c the supply of MLB caliber players is limited. Obviously, if there were lots of A-Rods around, he wouldn’t be able to get $30 million. As for the reserve clause, it was used by owners to utterly exploit the players. Unless you think that all employers should be able to determine what they pay without any recourse by employees, the reserve clause, IMO, was wrong.

    I agree with Parish’s point about baseball being more like a single business with different divisions, say GM. That’s why I wouldn’t be opposed to a salary cap as long as players had some free agency rights. I just don’t think it’s fair for MLB to be able to dictate salary.

  84. There are no free markets anywhere. Pure myth.

    As far as salary caps go, any employee should be able to negotiate for what they are perceived to be worth (or more if they are actually savvy negotiators, heaven forbid). If an employer doesn’t think it is a fiscally responsible move for their business then don’t make the deal.

    I really don’t understand the attitude that agents shouldn’t negotiate for the max that they can get for their players.

  85. And that’s not directed at you personally, Marc. Your post was just the launching pad for a few Meta things I’ve been mulling over the A-Rod, Boras conversation.

  86. i guess JS might believe that agents shouldn’t be lying snakes whose sole purpose is to pad their own pockets for the sake of a franchise.\

    look. one large contract is the death knell for a professional team.

    give me many 8-12 million dollar players over one 26 million dollar player any day.

    the rockies are proving that.

    arod singlehandedly sent the rangers back 5 years in development (well, ok, Tom Hicks did that, but still).

    Bonds has never won anything.

    Hampton’s contract in Colorado was a black hole over the entire Rockies franchise until after the all star break THIS YEAR.

    Arod will never win anything if he continues to demand the highest contract in baseball.

  87. How can you say ARod never won anything? He got to the playoffs every hear he was in New York.

    As for never winning “it all”, that’s got nothing to do with his contract. The Rangers were never even close (not like they were ever “one decent FA that they can’t afford b/c of Arod” away or anything, and if the Yanks wanted anyone… well, they got him!

    Big contracts are only bad when management views them as an alternative to building a good team. You can build a farm system with a big name eating up a lot of your ML payroll (Yankees, Rockies, etc.) or you can build a farm system with no one eating up your ML payroll (D-Backs, Marlins, Twins). The bottom line is you’ll have a chance to win if you build a strong organization. Signing one guy to eat up half your payroll is probably not a good plan, but common, don’t blame the player for this!

    (And on the other side, it’s not like management in Colorado or Florida is hurting for dollars, either.)

  88. I have to say I actually am looking forward to the Hawks’ season. They should have a good chance of making the playoffs in the weak East. In any case they are a fun, young team to watch.

    I’m not really upset about the Falcons either. It was increasingly clear Vick was not a quarterback who would consistently lead them to the playoffs. Having a terrible year with him in jail is just what the team needs to get a high draft pick they can spend on a real quarterback instead of a running back who occasionally throws the ball.

    The Braves were a little disappointing to be sure. I can’t help but look at Colorado in the World Series and think that this Braves team was better and could have gotten there instead. There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about next season, and I look forward to seeing how creative Wren will be in upgrading the starting pitching and bench.

  89. re: Blyleven

    I just looked up Blyleven’s career stats and he had 287 frickin’ wins to go with his 3701 Ks and 60 shutouts. Anyway you look at it he should be in.

  90. @127,

    Chris,

    Somebody like JC would know how to get an exact answer for this, but I would pose that, of truly fair market players, the highest paid are usually worth more in positive effect on a team (probably most appropriately measured by “win shares”)than the sum of multiple players making the same total salary.

    Remember that players signed to contracts during or before arb eligibility are not truly fair market contracts. I am not including them (McCann, Blanton, Haren, whoever). Just fully eligible free agents.

    Why? Because replacement level truly does exist. That is, a player that can be easily found with a certain presumed minimum production. So value only adds to your team when you are V(alued) O(ver) R(eplacement) P(layer).

    Three 7 million pitchers (say Eric Milton, Wakefield, Marquis) would not help the Braves (and several other major league teams as well). The Braves have internal replacements that are not yet free agents that can equal or exceed those pitchers’ performances, for less money. So, if the Braves had 21 million to spend on pitching, it would make more sense to spend it on Johan Santana than three low mediocre pitchers.

    The question is answered differently for each team. The other key issue on what you pay a big dog is how good of a dog do I have now. The Braves would not add as much value adding A-Rod as the Phillies. Currently, the Braves could add a lot of value with a Torii Hunter or Aaron Rowand(still might not be the right move, however).

  91. Maybe but first they would have to give up a lot of value in prospects to acquire Santana and paying him $21 million would almost certainly prevent the Braves from re-signing Teixeira or signing a solid #3 or #4 pitcher such as Glavine and trading for a reasonably priced temporary centerfielder until Shaefer is ready.

  92. @125,

    Chris,

    Previous was mis directed at 127 by this idiot.

    @131,

    The comparison was dollars for dollars with hothing else (no prospects on EITHER part of the deal). I guess nobody knows what Santana will offer to sign for next year, but 20 million has been mentioned.

  93. Three 7 million pitchers (say Eric Milton, Wakefield, Marquis) would not help the Braves (and several other major league teams as well). The Braves have internal replacements that are not yet free agents that can equal or exceed those pitchers’ performances, for less money.

    Really? Who are they? We could have used them this season.

    If any one of those three guys are on this year’s team we probably make the playoffs. League average innings eaters a quite valuable when the backup plan is the Davies-Cormier-Carlyle-Reyes crapfest.

    The Braves single biggest problem is that the farm is not turning out a sufficient quantity of major league caliber arms. This problem is not unique to the Braves of course, which is why guys like Marquis and Milton are very rich.

  94. Hunter seems wildly overrated at least offensively from a quick glance at his stats from recent years. With Shaefer here in a year or two, there doesn’t seem to be much sense in overpaying for a centerfielder.

  95. i see us signing a pitcher (or two)…

    glavine and someone???

    and…idea time…

    renteria, reyes and blanco to toronto for rios

    move frenchy to cf…

    ok ok…i know…pipe dream…

  96. also…

    just because one goes to the playoffs, does NOT mean they have won anything…

    arod is this generation’s ernie banks, except for the fact that he’s changed teams and that he has smelled the playoffs…

  97. Baseball isn’t golf. Arod can’t win a championship by himself. He hasn’t performed as well as Yankees fans would have liked during his time with the team but then neither did the other 24 guys the last 3 years.

  98. Ewing was never nearly as good of a basketball player as ARod has been a baseball player. He was never the best player in the game (always Jordan or Olajuwon during his prime), never one of the three best. He might have been one of the five best on a couple of occasions. He was never even the best player at his position (Olajuwon or O’Neal were).

    Moreover, a basketball player has far more impact on the game than a baseball player. A single baseball player can’t drag an ordinary team to a championship. Basketball players do on occasion. LeBron got to the finals last year with a supporting cast of essentially replacement-level players. Jordan won his titles with one other Hall of Famer, one all-star (Grant or Rodman), and a bunch of role players.

    If you wanted to compare ARod to any basketball player, it might be Wilt, who played a long time and put up incredible numbers before he finally won a title.

  99. Mac, I think Bonds might have dragged the 2002 Giants awfully close to a championship — and Pujols last year won one. There was no one even close to as good on either player’s team. (The Giants had Jeff Kent, while their best pitcher that year was Kirk Rueter. The Cards had Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, and a whole lot of dog doo.)

    Of course, this is the NL, the teams suck, but still, I think that you could argue that those two guys pretty much picked bad teams on their backs and took them all the way.

  100. Of course, this is the NL, the teams suck, but still, I think that you could argue that those two guys pretty much picked bad teams on their backs and took them all the way.

    Absolutely. That ’02 Giants team was Bonds (MJ), Kent (Pippen), and filler. I guess Robb Nen was Horace Grant. If not for some Scott Spiezio magic, they win it all.

  101. I think that the Giants were a better team than you give them credit for, at least at the end of the season — when they’d added Lofton and Schmidt. They had several above-average players after Bonds and Kent.

    You left out Edmonds for the Cards, but it’s probably true in that case. Okay, teams don’t generally get dragged to championships, and this requires the rest of the division to be horrible so an 83-win team can get into the postseason.

  102. I sense Mac morphing into “The Tide Guy” with his mixed sports and pop culture insights on s major sports internet site.

    Everybody hasn’t had to endure the “Bama got cheated out of a National Championship”, “What happened to the Braves” etc. schtick.

  103. They had several above-average players after Bonds and Kent.

    They had a lot of guys we’ve heard of but they didn’t have much production. Thier next best position player was Reggie Sanders at 107 OPS+, not above average for a corner outfielder. Benito, Aurilia, David Bell, J.T. Snow, not much there. Good bullpen though. Rotation made all their starts if nothing else.

  104. The math is pretty simple. One basketball player equals 20% of the players involved in a game. Position players are 11% of offense each as hitters. Starting pitchers are 25% of starting pitching or 20% or so of all pitching in the post season.

    No, no matter how good a baseball player, they can’t pull a team up like Michael Jordan.

    However, for me personally, if I got to pick one basketball player in his prime (and I know Mac was trying to illustrate people with worse teammates) I would take Magic. He could play as an All Star at all positions. He raised his teammates even more.

  105. Joe Torre turned down the Yanks….hahah, thats classic…glad to see him do that…

  106. That is classic. It will be weird to see a new Yankees manager. It feels like Torre’s been there forever. No weirder than seeing a new Braves GM, I suppose.

  107. Santiago was well above-average for a catcher; Aurilia probably slightly above-average for a shortstop (in the NL, anyway). Also, you’re looking at the overall stats. At the end of the year, they’d replaced their biggest sinkhole, Shinjo, with Lofton in center. Bell at third was adequate. Their only real problem spot was first base. As noted, their bullpen was excellent, and they got all but four starts from their top five starters. Not a great team, but a good one, without major holes.

  108. Don’t blame Shinjo. Didn’t he openly protest batting eighth because it was a disgrace in Japan? I think I remember him with the Mets asking to bat ninth.

    I could be making this up.

  109. Just want to say that I am glad Torre told the boss to shove it. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to deal with Steinbrenner when you clearly don’t have to.

  110. Anybody else see these rumors of Roy Clark to the Giants to be Sabean’s assistant GM? Scary thought.

  111. Well, Steinbrenner’s not someone anyone’s going to have to be dealing with much any more.

    So long, Boss. It was nice knowing you, back when you were in your right mind.

  112. what’s the hype with jordan schafer? he is a class A-ball player with one successful season under his belt. at best, i see him as a regular mlb player in 3 years. he is HIGHLY overrated. we need a center fielder who can give us at least 2 years of service. please,someone explain his new ranking as the braves #1 prospect.
    http://thebaseballcube.com/players/S/Jordan-Schafer.shtml

  113. ryan c,

    My guess is that it’s by default because the Braves did trade away their consensus top three prospects for Teixeira.

  114. If I have to read how much ARod chokes any more I’m gonna vomit (ok, that’s not true, because it will never ever die). The Yankees were brought down by two terrible performances by Wang, faced two of the best pitchers in baseball, and had a collective letdown by their highly-paid lineup. ARod wasn’t great, but he wasn’t anywhere near as ineffective as Jeter or Giambi or a number of other guys wearing pinstripes. If not for him, they would never have been there. In fact, if not for ARod this season, the Yankees would have been almost irrelevant.

    I don’t think ARod or anyone else deserves $300 million. I don’t think ballplayers “deserve” $1 million, if I’m simply using my moral economy as the arbiter. But if anyone deserves to get paid the most in baseball, it’s him. And if an owner is willing to pay him, that’s the world we live in.

  115. Oh, and I’m kind of excited about the Hawks too. I mean, I’m not getting my hopes up – I still think Knight is an idiot, or crazy, or both, and I’m not exactly sold on Woodson, and the frontcourt is still way too lean to bang with the best (Horford will need some time, as does S Williams, and they still need another big body in there even after those guys develop) – but this team should be fun and competitive. That’s more than you can say for the previous eight seasons.

  116. I don’t get calling Schafer overrated. How would you even know at this point?

    And I agree with Adam M about A-Rod and the Hawks.

    BTW, I was in Little Rock today and learned that the highest paid athlete from Arkansas in 2007 was Joe Johnson. Found that interesting. (Torii Hunter & Pat Burrell were 2nd and 3rd.)

  117. Stu,

    I think the reason he is being called overrated is because you don’t know at this point. I was wondering that myself after looking at his stats. He has a mid-800s OPS at a level he’s repeating, and it’s A ball, so I don’t see what the hub-bub is about either, to be honest. Couple that with Keith Law saying he basically looked over-matched, and I don’t really know what to think. With that in mind, since he’s in A-ball and he’s not a 1000 OPS guy, then I suppose the reason he’s the #1 prospect is, as someone said, by default.

  118. The fact that you don’t know what he is is exactly why you shouldn’t be labeling him overrated. If you don’t know what he is, you don’t know how he should be rated.

    And since I’m the one who originally quoted Law, I should note that his opinion is literally the only one I’ve read that wasn’t gushing with praise.

  119. Well, it kinda goes both ways. Yeah, I suppose you could say that if you don’t know what he is, you can’t say he’s not the #1 prospect. But on the flip side, isn’t that lofty expectations/praise for someone with one above-average season? I can see where someone would say he’s overrated considering how highly he’s rated based on relatively small production to back it up.

    And yeah, I know you were the one who quoted Law, so that’s why I said it. I happen to really like Keith Law, so if he says that Schafer looked over-matched, then I’d be inclined to believe him. But, if this means this discussion is going to go on and on, I will say that he’s not overrated.

  120. Just for kicks and giggles:

    In my Baseball Mogul game, I’m in the 2015-16 off-season and Kyle Davies is SO good, he’s demanding a $30.3 million / 6 yr. contract. ;)

  121. Just returned from Luxor (where I did not have internet access for 5 days) and discover that LSU has been upset, the Rockies in the World Series, Ohio State #1, Joe Torre out of a job, England on the verge of another soccer catastrophe and Boras demanding 30 million for A-Rod…I am happy to report that in the Valley of the Kings—not more than 15 yards from King Tut’s tomb I met the unexpected: a Braves fan! Someone from the UGA Alumni Association—it is a great pleasure to find Braves fans where you least expect them….I recommend the site to all—even if most of the tombs have been pillaged by grave robbers—which reminded me of Scott Boras.

    Going back to this thread (and others) I have to agree that much of the time Boras is just doing his job. Sure, if Boras did not exist there would be someone else just like him. However, Boras not only did the job of `superagent’ but he redefined the position—and unfortunately baseball with it. Boras’s impact has already been immense and wide ranging. To cite just a few instances, Boras changed the way many teams think about arbitration, signing free agents and the June draft. In fact, Boras is so feared that he has begun to dominate the June draft in absentia. Given this thread, it then makes sense for me to predict that Boras will one day be an HOF inductee—and by that point he may already own the HOF!

    I am not a Boras fan—hardly: he is wily as he is ruthless. I would not be surprised to see him decide that the Braves cannot talk to Tex (this was Bobby’s complaint—with Boras management is not even allowed to speak to the player) until after 2008—just as he would not let the Braves sign UGA pitcher Josh Fields last June. At least I am confident that he will get some team (probably the Cubs) to overpay for A-Rod….

  122. the only way the Cubs get Arod, imho, is if Mark Cuban decides the Mavs are great but something needs to occupy his time in the summer months.

  123. ps–

    this from baseball america:

    After Braves’ outfielder Jordan Schafer slammed into a wall in Peoria, it took three days until he was ready to get back after it again. Even if he was taken off the field on the back of a four-wheeler and directly to a local hospital for tests.

    “The ball was hit in the left-center gap and I play deeper here than I normally do because of how much the ball carries out here,” Schafer said. “I thought I had room. I usually know how many steps it takes to reach the wall from where I’m positioned.

    “But this time, as soon as I jumped for the ball–I caught it and then boom!–I crashed into the wall. When I first got up, my shoulder was really bothering me and I was kind of dizzy and nauseous and stuff. I tried to stand up and I had to sit back down.”

    Schafer underwent a CAT scan and a full physical examination before being cleared to come back.

    “I look at him and just kind of marvel at not only his ability–this guy can hit, hit with power, run and has an outstanding outfield arm–but his desire to be in the lineup every day,” Franklin said. “It doesn’t matter what league it is. It doesn’t matter that he just got done playing for six months straight. Jordan Schafer wants to play.”

    After ranking as the No. 1 prospect in the high Class A Carolina League during the regular season, Schafer was hitting .333/.370/.542 in 24 AFL at-bats for the Javelinas.

    now…say what you will, if Franklin says that, no matter what stats you use, we have a keeper in Schafer.

  124. I wonder if when Bobby Cox retires ESPN will devote as much time to analyzing his career and who the Braves will hire to replace him as they are doing for Joe Torre. Oh who am I kidding… of course they won’t.

  125. Hoping to hear from ububba today on what’s being said about Torre in those parts.
    I was confused by what the Yankees offered him. It sounded strange to me. Incentive-laden contracts? If they wanted to make a change, why not just make it?

    I hope Joe just rides off into the sunset. I sure don’t want him managing against the Braves!

  126. Ryan, Rob, Stu,

    I am sure you guys know that prospects, especially young ones are often ranked according to their potential, their tools, rather than their statistics in their short careers. Scouts are crazy about Schafer’s tools. He is one of those 5-tool guys you hear about. While this does not make him a sure thing, it does make him one of the top prospects in baseball. It’s not just atrition on the Braves’ farm. He was rated the number one prospect in the whole Carolina League and Baseball America will most certainly rate him in the top 50 prospects in all of baseball and they will be right to do so.

    So, I do not think he is overrated. But, I do think we will have to wait and see what we have at the major league level. Not even top-5 prospects are a sure thing. Look at Andy Marte or Wilson Betemit.

  127. #174, it seems pretty clear that they made the offer in the way they did with the expectation that Torre would reject it. Why you might ask? Probably because there was so much sentiment on the team and the city to keep him that they didn’t have the guts to outright fire him. So instead they basically told him, “Thanks for your twelve years of service and winning 4 titles. We think you are overpaid and therefore lacking the necessary motivation to win another title. Therefore how about a 1 year deal with a 29% cut in base salary and $1 million bonuses if you make the playoffs, make it to the LCS, and make it to the World Series?” If Torre accepted it, he basically admitted he had been a bad manager for the past 7 years. It’s no surprise he rejected it which is what the Yankees wanted all along.

  128. Buy low?

    Given how poorly they’ve playing for the Red Sox this postseason, I wonder if we could get the Sox to pay J.D. Drew and Coco Crisp to play for us like they did for Renteria. From what I can tell, it would be easy for Theo to sell that one to Sox fans.. hehe.

    Drew played like a beast for us in 2004 (.305 AVG/.436 OBP/1.005 OPS) and is only 31 years old. Coco is among the best defensive CFs in MLB. A Francoeur-Crisp-Drew OF would be pretty tight.

    Then we’d just need to put the rest of our focus on the starting pitching.

    Of course, this is just wishful thinking. We’d have to give up one or two top prospects (Schafer?) and I doubt Boston would pay contracts like last time.

    Or just Schafer for Drew and lotsa cash. A Brandon Jones-Drew-Francouer OF could be nice.

    Maybe they’d even go for Matt Diaz instead of Schafer? Diaz can hit, but we need a CF.

  129. I agree that Schafer should not be considered overated–he is a prospect. Most prospects do not reach their potential and as long as that is understood, it is easier not to suffer from undue expectations. These prospect lists are fun because they serve as talking points–but as Parish observes they are not adequate indicators of future performance.

    All of that said, I like Schafer because of his make-up: from what I have read over the years (since he was drafted in 2005)he is an intense, serious and hard working player. The fact that he went to Myrtle Beach and put up good numbers (actually great for the park) should not be taken for granted. Neither Campbell nor Kala–who many placed on lists far above Schafer–can make the same claim. I might add that his stock has gone up: when he was first drafted scouts compared him to Mark Kotsay; now I read that he is a “Grady Sizemore clone”.

    At least at this point in his your career he looks great….lets hope that he continues to develop with the Braves…

  130. Completely agree with you, Parish. That was what my point was supposed to be, only I didn’t take the time to write it out as thoughtfully as you.

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