280 thoughts on “Worst. Book. Ever.”

  1. The book is by Emma Span, yet another precocious and precious twentysomething Brooklyn writer.

    Here’s a representative sample of the wisdom on her blog:

    I’ll leave you for the moment with a hilarious Dan Cook quote, apologizing in advance lest you laugh too hard and possibly injure yourself or disturb your coworkers:

    I went over to the mall, I had to park nearby in a…in the parking structure. You know when you park you the parking structure you…you go on up and it’s like 40 stories and you always to park up on the fuckin’ roof. What do they pave that with, what is that, not concrete. Whatever that’s paved with you could be driving five miles an hour it sounds like your in a chase scene from Chips like errrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh! I’m backing up! Errrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh! What the fuck is that!

    Amen, brother.

    Now, if you think that I’m just jealous someone around my age is successful — especially someone who misspells Dane Cook’s name in a pathetically abortive attempt to reduce him to size — well, you’re right. Sue me.

  2. I would have gone for that book as worst of all time. The one guy I want to tell me how to live my life..

  3. so what would you offer?

    Cubs To Make Offer For Crawford?
    A trusted reader dropped me a line regarding a Bruce Levine appearance on ESPN Radio 1000. Remember, Levine was the guy who scooped the Jacque Jones trade.

    Levine reported today that the Cubs are putting together a package of young talent in an attempt to acquire the Rays’ Carl Crawford. That would leave the Cubs with a speedy, athletic outfield of Alfonso Soriano, Felix Pie, and Crawford.

    The emailer says today’s report did not mention names. Ronny Cedeno would certainly be a useful addition for the Rays, and you’d have to expect some premium pitching heading over as well. I’m thinking Rich Hill, Carlos Marmol, or both. The problem with these proposed blockbuster deals is they often open up new holes. Thoughts?

  4. My guess is that Pie would be included in such a deal. And I have a hard time believing the Cubs will give up Hill.

  5. I’d start with Lillibridge and James and maybe a reliever if I had to. Devine? Too much? Not enough?

  6. I just know that Tampa Bay is stacked in the outfield and that they wanted James last year. I think they need a closer and a shortstop.

  7. How come is the wort book? Oh, wait,,,,HAAHAHAHA..Sorry, Mac. I can’t stop laughing…I’ve been a little depressed lately. You really make me laugh today. What a day!!

  8. Per ESPN:
    Lloyd Carr retires. #1 candidate at Michigan is Les Miles.

    Which means Tuberville to LSU, Richt to Auburn, Bob Stoops to Georgia..

    Right?

  9. Wryn, wishful thinking??? Richt to Auburn, maybe FSU. Auburn should be looking at the coach in ATL who may have had enough.

  10. I think Auburn should take a serious look at Neil Callaway. Look at the job he’s done with UAB this year, I mean they’ve been competitive in at least 1 or 2 games. If not him, Rush Propst and his many wives are available

  11. Revisiting the 3B Gold Glove debate, David Pinto’s 2007 results are in. Yeah, he calls it his Probabilistic Model of Range, Smooth Distance Model, so your stat geek punch line is already provided:

    http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/023949.php

    He takes errors into account in this ranking — it’s not just a range factor. Just throwing it out there. Long story short, he’d rank NL 3Bs thusly:

    Zimmerman
    Feliz
    Ramirez
    Wright
    Rolen
    Ensberg
    Chipper

  12. Man, he has Garrett Atkins at the very bottom, even worse than Ryan Braun and Miguel Cabrera. I’d heard he was overrated defensively — hell, the World Series announcers were saying he was a great defender — but the worst third baseman in baseball? Wow.

    Also, interesting that Wright is ranked that high. David Wright a better defensive third baseman than Scott Rolen? Never thought I’d see the day.

  13. This is way off topic, but i remember maybe 10 years ago, i saw an old (maybe late 70’s/early 80’s) TV movie (i think) that was about an outfielder for the Braves chasing Roger Maris’s homerun record.

    I was wondering if anyone else has seen or heard of it, and was trying to remember what the name of it was.

    Pete and Ernie were in it I believe.

  14. Wow, that was quick, thanks Mac.

    I don’t really remember it, maybe that’s a good thing.

    The thing that got me thinking of it was I had some early 80’s Braves baseball cards and was thinking of the old baby powder blue road uniforms and I remembered the movie.

  15. I’ll go with T.O. because he didn’t have the foresight to buy me off with a rubber tomahawk at Cub Scout camp.

  16. Damn, take a look at the FA list, we need to sign Glavine and Mahay. It is a weak crop overall, I would like to sign Dotel as well, just make it incentive laden.
    rambling pre-coffee thoughts.

  17. I remember hearing on-air once, that Pete and Skip got a royalty check from their appearence in ‘The Slugger’s Wife’ for $38 and change. I hope they invested it wisely….

  18. Speaking of baseball movies, what do you guys think are the best baseball scenes in a movie. Not the best movie, but the best scenes?

    I think that in For The Love Of The Game would have been one of the all-time classics IF they had only shown the game Kevin Costner’s character pitched, and had left out all that romantic side-plot trash.

    And the top of the 9th scene in Major League, to me, was top-notch. Charlie Sheen actually looked like a pitcher. (Yeah, yeah, I know he was a high school pitcher.)

    Anyway, what are your favorite baseball movie scenes?

  19. …which is more offensive, Chief Nocahoma, or Terrell Owens?

    Owens.

    Heck, I wish they’d bring Cheif Nocahoma back. He’d be much better than the Braves’ current mascot “Homer”, who’s just a big rip-off of Mr. Met.

  20. The scene in “Bull Durham” where Crash Davis has Nuke LaLoosh hit the bull mascot on purpose.

  21. Far and away, the best baseball scene in a movie is the end of the Naked Gun – the bloopers, Leslie Nielsen butchering the national anthem, the exagerated calling of strikes. A true classic.

  22. @43 – While ‘Bull Durham’ is a classic, I just can’t see Tim Robbins’ mechanics and think ‘good’ baseball scene.

    The mound meeting though….

    :)

  23. On his blog, JC has an interview with Keith Law. Very interesting, especially his comments about Schaefer and Francoeur.

  24. I guess I’m different: Chief Nocahoma. I’ve been disgusted by that since I was a little kid. TO is just an ass.

    And as for the book that started this thing, how could something not out for 18 months already have cover art?

    Baseball scene: I’m with Stu. That scene gets me every time and I think I’ve seen it more than 20.

  25. The good news for Skip is that his “Slugger’s Wife” cameo got him onto IMDB:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0136023/

    I have to admit that I had no idea he did a V.O. for an episode of “Married w/ Children”.

    Al Bundy – huge Braves fan?

    Mark Richt to Auburn – that one made me roll on the floor and laugh for ten minutes. You’ve got to be kidding me.

    And the one place he might consider, FSU, might have been an option if Georgia weren’t doing far better and the fact that they recently upped his contract.

    Mark Richt isn’t going anywhere unless we fire him.

    But Tuberville will almost certainly take one of those 2 Big 12 jobs at either A&M or Nebraska.

    Les Miles will definitely take the Michigan job (and let’s face it, with the timing of Saban coming back to the SEC west, he knows the competition is too deep – he can waltz into the pathetic Big 10 and dominate immediately).

    And Bobby Petrino will be the next Auburn coach – I have no doubt. The Falcons experiment was a bad fit from the start and Auburn opening up for the former coordinator who’s proven himself as a great college coach, will be too tempting for him not to jump back.

    Maybe Petrino’s 1 year exit will finally get get ESPN and certain fat, hack Miami sports writers off Saban’s back.

  26. @40,

    Seat Painter, despite the fact that the movie “For the Love of the Game” was INTENDED to be a romantic movie, it can’t get better than Vin Scully calling a great game.

    I have often wondered how much of Scully’s dialogue was written by him. If someone else did it, they hit his style perfectly. All of the words just flow.

  27. T.O. vs. Nacahoma

    Owens is far more offensive. One is a mascot, the other is a dispicable, loathsome human being.

  28. People talking Richt move don’t know what they are talking about. His whole family has moved to Athens. His dad lives with him. One sister lived in a garage apartment and was going to grad school the last I knew. Another sister is married to Brad Johnson and the last I heard they were building their retirement house outside Athens.

    IF FSU calls at the right time, he would consider. I don’t think he would consider Miami. If he was being treated badly, sure, he would consider. But not now.

    And on Tuberville, I think that Auburn puts more money, prestige, and control out there and he stays.

    Why would you want to try to fight to bring up Nebraska? They got by with their awful location and terrible weather by getting just enough southern black recruits up there to keep them competitive and by corn feeding those big old Midwestern farm boys. Iowa with Kirk Ferentz and the Mountain West schools like Boise are nibbling them to death on those linemen now.

    A & M has better prospects. There is a lot of talent in Texas. The key would be to do something partial gimmick to get enough of a recruiting in road to compete there. Still, why would Tuberville want that head ache?

  29. I think Richt’s new contract has some rather onerous provisions about him leaving and coaching at another school.

  30. Wryn’s just one of those people—literally all of them have ties to Auburn—who think the Auburn job is better/more prestigious than the UGA job.

  31. Also, on ESPN (yes, Insider, unfortunately), Law ranks the top 50 free agents and Glavine is ranked 50th. He suggests that Glavine might end up retiring at mid-season because he will be so bad. I think that’s an exaggeration, but it does give me some pause about signing him.

  32. i don’t see why Tub would leave and certainly don’t see why Auburn would look to replace him. I’m shocked that they’ve won as many games as they have with Brandon Cox behind center.

    I still think it’s a bad idea to sign Glavine right now. it looks like we’ll have to drop a bunch of cash and lose our draft pick to the Mets. I’d rather trade for someone or get another free agent that can jond the party at #3+. I do think Glavine would be valuable as a mentor/ coach to the young pitchers on the staff, McDowell has yet to really show much of a contribution. But the whole mentor thing could be moot if we trade james, reyes, or any of the other young ones.

  33. per mlb rumors….

    Tom Glavine’s agent Gregg Clifton meets with Braves’ GM Frank Wren this afternoon. They’ll talk money. Wren is expected to offer $8-10MM for ’08 plus a mutual option for ’09. Glavine isn’t a lock for the Braves – three other teams are interested. The pool includes the Mets, Phillies, Nationals, Cardinals and Astros.

  34. Amen, Cliff.

    Plus, unlike most coaches that are swayed by money above all else (and keep in mind, UGA is paying Richt handsomly in a long term deal…) Richt is extremely religious and spends his offseason building homes in Honduras.

    He really is the type of guy who lives up to the great deal he’s been given and the part about moving his entire family to Athens is 100% the case.

  35. re coach poll

    I have no great opinion or insight as to who might be the greatest ever, but I have a hard time buying that Hayden Fry and John Robinson are in the top 16….

  36. Stu,

    I guess Auburn people live in a little bubble then?

    Heck, even if you want to go ahead and just call the Auburn and Georgia jobs even (and I don’t think they are), the H,S. football talent level is superior in the state of Georgia than it is in the state of Alabama.

    This is not a knock against the in state talent level in Bama – it’s definitely a top 7-8 state for HS talent. But Georgia dwarfs Alabama when it comes to population size (Atlanta alone does this).

    That’s why, every year when Auburn plays Georgia, you hear Verne Lundquist talk about how “half of Auburn’s team is made up of Georgians” while every year, Georgia typically only has a handful of players (this year just 1) from the state of Alabama.

    Auburn has to recruit inside Georgia, Georgia doesn’t have to recruit outside the state of Georgia for about 90-95% of it’s class to get a top flight recruiting class.

    So, even if you want to rank the Auburn and Georgia jobns as even, it simply doesn’t make any sense for Richt to make (at best) a sideways move to basically make his recruiting work, twice as hard??

    (again, I want to be clear that I am stating to this not to dis Auburn, it’s just a black & white issue in terms of the amount of top flight kids available in each state.)

    As to why Tuberville would leave, that’s simple – the SEC is loaded with tough opponents 1-12. Hell, when Miss. State is at 6 wins and bowl eligible before the end of the season, then you have no gimmies anymore in this conference, especially since Vandy and Kentucky have no proven the last 2 years they are tough teams every week.

    The only team that is really beatable every week in the SEC is Ole Miss – and they have had a solid program in the past so they could come back.

    In the Big 12, half that conference (at minimum) is a joke every year. You could curl up in a ball, dead, and win 7 games without even trying in the Big 12.

    The people who compare the SEC and the Big 12 are basically just idiots who want to believe the Big 12 is remotely competitive…it’s not. They may win an occassional game head to head, so be it, but week to week, the conferences are not close.

    Tuberville can waltz into Lincoln or College Station and be a savior and for most years, only worry about OU and Texas. (the Kansas and Mizzou stories are nic ethis year, but these are not the norm).

  37. re: Glavine

    I think he re-signs.

    I read the Law top 50 free agents column as well and my only conclusion is that Law is a BITTER METS fan who was probably angry about Glavine’s start in Game 162.

    Glavine is not what he may have been in the late 90’s, but he’s still good for 15-17 wins a year and very competitive and quality in the majority of his starts.

    For a 1 year deal, the Braves could do a lot worse than a proven winner like Glavine.

  38. Random question: Does Rob Neyer hate the Braves?

    He absolutely never talks about them. Like, at all. I always scan his chats and columns and blog posts for any references to the team or Braves players, and there’s just never anything there. It’s really started to annoy me, even affecting my opinion of Neyer, as I’m sure is obvious from this paragraph.

    Is he still mad at John Scheurholz or something?

  39. I read that Glavine comment. Notice that Law directly compares him to Steve Carlton, as in he didn’t know when to quit. Carlton had an injury-filled 1985 and that ruined the last two years where he thought he could still pitch. He was 13-7 with a 3.58 ERA (101 ERA+) in 229 innings in 1984.

    Is his comparison valid? I don’t think it is. Glavine did lead the Mets in IP with 200 1/3 last season, but he doesn’t have to pitch that much with the Braves. Why is he going to get injured NOW? Just because he’s 42? That’s like saying that Greg Maddux is going to get injured even though he has no injury history.

  40. @62
    it doesn’t look like tubs and crew have had any problems recruiting in any state…if he leaves he leaves. I think anyone who loves to compete would choose to compete with the best… in college football that’s the SEC.

  41. beedee,

    As a Georgia fan, I am obviously no Auburn fan (plus, Bama is my 2nd favorite team) but even I wouldn’t call Tub a quitter if he takes more $ and goes to the Big 12.

    Yes, the SEC is the best – we will always have the best conference because we have the best fans anywhere and make Big 10 tailgating look like a 2 year old’s birthday party.

    That being said, besides more money and a longer contract that he’s likely to get in Lincoln or College Station, it’s hard to blame him for making that change.

    First, when he was 13-0, Auburn got screwed and passed over for the National championship – by a Big 12 team. A conference where it’s far easier to run the table (exhibit A: KANSAS!)

    Second, on a few occassions, Auburn leadership played footsie under the table with Bobby Petrino and have made Tub feel like a guy on the hot seat a few times – although he’s had a pretty successful run there despite that.

    He has multiple reasons (not the least of which with Saban in Tuscaloosa, Tub will now have a far more difficult time recruiting and competing with Bama and LSU) to take a Big 12 job and call it a day.

    As much as I don’t like Auburn, I wouldn’t criticize him in the least for making a move like that.

  42. Stu-

    I have actually been complaining to mac about Rob Neyer for years now. I have even emailed Rob directly in the past and pointed this out and he denies it – but it’s actually been something I’ve noticed for a very long time.

  43. Glavine & Carlton are dramatically different types of pitchers. Power vs. guile.

    Carlton was similar to Mariano Rivera in the sense that you knew what pitch was coming, but you still couldn’t hit it. When Carlton lost it, he lost it completely.

    When Glavine goes, I believe it’ll be a matter of degrees. Let’s hope it begins in 2009.

  44. @67
    i can’t help you with your fandom ;) and hear your points, obviously i’m not much of a bama fan and have no love for saban. uga has always had a (second) place in my heart. That said, this is the same shit we here every year about Tubs so i’ll believe it when i believe it.

    speaking of believing it…it’s freak’n 70 degrees out!

  45. beedee-

    I can’t rtemember what part of the country you said you live in, but it’s mild here in D.C. today too rather crazy for Mid November!

  46. Why would Tuberville leave Auburn for a Big 12 school? That would be a bad move. i could see him going to Arkansas.

  47. I couldn’t. That would make far less sense than A&M, which, to me, already makes far less sense than staying where he is.

    Butch Davis is the big-name coach who could head to Arkansas.

  48. Stu,

    You really buy Butch taking the Carolina job and then all of a sudden, pulling a Dennis Erickson and leaving ASAP?

    I thought the reasons I explained Tub’s logical departure from The Plains made sense as to why he’d leave Auburn for a Big 12 school.

    But I also wouldn’t blame him for staying. In fact, i would respect it, especially because it’s a lot harder to come by wins in the SEC than the Big 12. (Again: KANSAS)

    Speaking of the idiots out there who would dare try & claim the Big 12 is better than the SEC, the king idiot himself, Lou Holtz, was the guy who did that on TV.

    I think if poor Mark May has to sit by that moron 1 more week, he might take hostages.

  49. Butch is an Arkansas guy, Alex. It would make sense.

    And I get the reasons for going to Texas A&M—I just don’t think they’re numerous or substantial enough to justify leaving an SEC powerhouse.

  50. I’m a Bama fan, but I like Tuberville (even though he’s beaten Bama like a drum). It looks to me like Tub’s agent is floating his name around for the A&M job so he gets the biggest raise possible. I’m not even sure that Tub is a candidate. I think the only way Tuberville leaves for anywhere (A&M would be the most likely choice) is if there is still some residual damage left from trying to fire him a few years ago.

    As for Law’s assessment of Glavine, I’m in total agreement with Alex R. I don’t think anyone (including Glavine) can know how much he has left, but most signs are that he can be effective next year. Glavine was smart enough to modify his approach a few years ago when things weren’t going well and he’s been an improved pitcher since then. The last 3 games of 07 may be a sign of things to come, but I see them more as a sign of a tired arm. Several pitchers have suffered through that over the last month of the season.

  51. Alex,
    i’m in Chattanooga, and if i had to sit next Lou Holtz for more than a minute i would have to dawn a spit shield and would probably take lives.

  52. It’s a scam. A-Fraud is just upset that the Yankees not being part of the bidding is hurting how much money he and his rat agent can get in the free agent market. He’s trying to sucker the Yankees into making an offer and showing interest so Scott Boras can use them as the leverage he originally intended.

    The market for him is reportedly cool right now. I can think of no better justice in regards to Rodriguez than him making less money per year than he was slated to in his old contract before he opted out.

  53. Seriously, beedee…I think Mark may should be a yearly candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize being forced to sit next to ‘Grandma’ Lou Holtz.

    I don’t know how you can have a guy on Television who can 1) barely talk 2) says raving, nonsensical things 3) always sounds drunk and 4) is completely biased for and against certain teams (his hatred of my Dawgs is almost comical to me).

    Bu then again, I look at that list and Woody Paige somehow gets the chance to talk 5 days a week – and though I’ve never met anyone who actually watches “Cold Pizza”, I hear bristol also still employs that gigantic fool, Skip Bayless.

    Seriously, could you imagine, Bayless, Holtz and Piage doing a show together? (it certainly couldn’t be in High Def.) it would blow out your circuits.

    re: Pay-Rod

    Whether we believe Pay-Rod or not, this only further hammers home the point how evil Scott ‘Lucifer’ Boras is for Baseball and long term, how damaging he is to his clients.

    Look how many times his clients have had to do an end around on Boras because he only cares about bleeding teams dry, rather than negotiating fair deals with teams his clients may ACTUALLY want to play for.

    If you look at the Andruw and A-Rod situations this winter, Lucifer will finally get his comeuppance and these situations will leave him with a lot of egg on his evil face.

    Plus, if Lucifer gets knocked down a few pegs, maybe it can help the Braves slightly when trying to negotiate with Lucifer on the Tex contract. Maybe.

  54. Alex,

    Why would you respect someone for running away to an easier league? If he went to the NFL, that would be one thing. (Of course, is it even clear that the NFL is a better league than the SEC? It probably has the same academic standards for its players.)

  55. Don’t confuse respect with ‘understanding’. I wouldn’t disprespect it, but I would understand it.

    Plus, if he took the Nebraska job (and no way Callahan survives after that Kansas game) there’s a job that during the Tom Osbourne era, was one of the best programs in the country – it would be hard to call it ’embarrassing’ if Tub took the job in Lincoln.

  56. Stu, my perception of “justice” may be warped, but I can think of no better justice than for al-Qaeda to play Florida in an empty Swamp where the Jumbotron plays nothing but Dane Cook commercials and “This is Our Country.”

  57. Sam,

    What I’m saying is that I don’t think Glavine will lose it so dramatically next year. The comparison’s interesting, but, no, I don’t entirely buy it.

  58. AAR,

    As I have previously stated, if Al Queda played Florida, I would honestly have to think about who I would root for.

    And c’mon…if we shaved Osama’s beard, he could suspicously look like Urban Meyer.

    If they played Dane Cook commercials, wouldn’t that effectively empty the stadium?

  59. jesus

    BUTCH IS NOT GOING TO ARKANSAS…

    the BUY-OUT is, now that i read it, 3.75 MILLION. if arkansas can come up with that, take the PR hit for firing a guy who’s done everything they wanted and then hiring a guy who’s, based on doing this, nothing more than a mercenary who will leave once the cowboy job opens up, then good for them.

    UNC will hire paul johnson or make a BIG run at Mike Bellotti at Oregon or Leech at Texas Tech.

  60. As someone who’s married to an Oregon Duck, there is no way in hell Belotti leaves Oregon, especially for UNC.

    Oregon is backed financially at all turns by PHIL KNIGHT, you know, that “dude” from Nike.

    They now have the richest athletic department in the country and facilities so spectacular, they are going to be able to recruit with pretty much anyone.

    They would probably have to go at least a $1 million higher on Belotti’s current salary for him to leave.

  61. I doubt Davis would leave UNC after one year, but why would Bellotti, Johnson, or Leech leave what they have for UNC? I could possibly see Johnson leaving, but not for UNC. Bellotti, absolutely no chance he would leave Oregon for UNC

  62. Buyouts do not mean anything in CFB. They are always negotiable. I would be surpised if Davis left UNC for Arkansas. I think there is enough talent around the area. It also looks like UNC is finally making an effort to put in the money to make UNC an elite team in the ACC. I really think this team is going to be a player in a year or two.

  63. Holtz hates Georgia because Richt was able to do what he could not; elevate a program to the top of the SEC. Holtz’s USC program remained the 4th best in the SEC East while Mark Richt won two SEC titles.

    Tom Osbourne will definitely get rid of Callahan. If he can’t get an experienced coach like Tubberville or Rich Rodriguez I think he should go after a young spread offense coordinator. Someone like the Florida O-coordinator (I think his name is Dan Mullen) or the Oregon offensive coordinator or Cincinnatti head coach.

  64. This was on mlbtraderumors.com and is funny as hell.

    Mets Close To Deal With Castro
    UPDATE, 11-14-07: Ken Rosenthal agrees, it looks like a Torrealba/Castro tandem for the Mets. Interestingly they’re expected to split playing time about evenly. Creative!

    FROM 11-13-07:

    The Associated Press is reporting that the Mets are close to re-signing catcher Ramon Castro. I’d figured Castro would ask for starter money, but maybe not.

    The Mets also plan on making an offer to free agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba, according to ESPN Radio (hat tip to MetsBlog). Torrealba currently has a two-year, $6MM offer on the table from the Rockies. If he’s a man of his word, he’ll give the Rox a chance to match the Mets’ offer.

    Torrealba and Castro could combine to really shut down the running game, though both had off years in that department in ’07. Torrealba’s problem can be attributed to a lingering strained shoulder. Castro’s, I have no idea.

  65. Hate,

    Believe me, I get why that drunken fool Holtz hates UGA, obvious jealousy, but that doesn’t mean that moron should be on Television every week.

    ESPN is embarrassing themselves with Holtz on.

  66. I hate listening to Holtz on tv until he gives his pep talk. Those are priceless. As long as he keeps the pep talks up, I vote to keep him on tv.

  67. Plus, since he picks against us every week (he may have picked us to beat Western Carolina, in fairness) it just keeps making him look crazier & crazier, seeing as we are 8-2.

    But also, Holtz does always sound like he has tobacco and batteries in his mouth. Why is that?

  68. As someone who’s married to an Oregon Duck, there is no way in hell Belotti leaves Oregon, especially for UNC.

    Exactly correct. Oregon is a fabulous job. Belotti would be a fool to leave, and he’s not a fool.

    Nike would never let him leave anyway.

  69. He has a speech impediment. He should not be allowed to have a job speaking on television. It doesn’t make any sense- you wouldn’t let a blind man drive a bus just because he knows a lot about how they work. And that analogy is giving credit to Holtz for knowing football, which I question sometimes.

  70. Clarke,

    Again, if ESPN is willing to let Woody Paige ramble insanely 5 times a week, I guess we shouldn’t be suprised they let Holtz ramble on Saturdays.

  71. Alex,
    I agree with you, but it’s not just the rambling- Lou Holtz slurs his speech when he talks. Hell he could be the smartest person in the World, but he shouldn’t be allowed to speak on Television with a speech impediment.

  72. As someone who’s in favor of the Mets signing people who suck, I’m completely behind the Mets offering Yorvit Torrealba $5 million a year. Yorvit Torrealba is capable of making Paul Lo Duca look like a good hitter, and deserves a starting job about as much as Vance Wilson did.

  73. That’s a fair point – I guess Holtz sounds a lot like Paige. Paige’s speech impediment isn’t as noticeable, which is why he just sounds completely drunk and slurs everything.

    Holtz sounds drunk, but you’re right – it’s an actual speech impediment and he’s hard to listen to.

    How the hell did he walk in all those living rooms over the years looking & sounding like that and still convincing 18 year old kids and their parents their sons should play for him in either South Bend or Columbia?

  74. AAR-

    You think there’s any chance then we could also convince the Mets to take Chris Woodward back?

  75. Alex,

    Who did you root for in the Ohio State-Florida game? If you rooted for Florida, does that mean you hate Ohio State (or the Big 10) more than Al Quaeda? :)

    Man, people sure take stuff on ESPN personally.

    As for Glavine, although I brought up the Law statement, I think he is probably a reasonable risk (and I emphasize the word risk)given that the expectations would be fairly low. All you are really asking for is someone that can keep you in the majority of games he starts. Does anyone know how Glavine’s stats compare to Jamie Moyer, who is even older? If Moyer can still be reasonably effective, I don’t see why Glavine can’t be as well.

  76. Marc,

    I am not sure if you were a regular yet on BravesJournal, but you have no idea how much dislike Mac and I have for several of the ESPN ‘Talking heads’ – this runs deep for us; so much so we had a little fun with it a few years back:

    http://www.braves.net/bravesjournal/bristol/

    In the National championship game, I stuck my fingers in my ears, squeezed my eyes shut and went “nah nah nah nah nah” for about 3 1/2 hours.

    Believe me, Ohio State is down there with Florida in my book.

  77. Aram,
    There was a time when Baba Wawa had something to say.

    ESPN is best ignored. If that’s where you get the majority of your info or those people color your opinions, I don’t know what to tell you.

    There’s a great big world of information for you. You just have to make the effort to find it.

  78. @91

    Yes, we DO play football here in Chapel Hill. But most of you folks call it women’s soccer…

    OK, all jesting aside, I hope Davis stays here, because, if he does, I really think in another 2 years, UNC will be fighting for the ACC championship.

  79. Amen, Ububba. ESPN has been terrible for years, Sportscenter is unwatchable, and they’re even making ESPNews unwatchable as well. The whole network is a joke.

  80. Seat,

    If UNC is playing for the ACC title in 2 years, it says more about the state of that conference than about Butch Davis.

    I think Oklahoma just scored another touchdown on Miami. Whoops.

  81. Aram,

    Screamin’ A. Smith just texted me a few minutes ago that he disagrees with your assessment.

  82. From Keith Law:

    I saw him [Schafer] in the Arizona Fall League and was disappointed at how short he fell of the hype. The ball comes off his bat well, but the part of his swing leading from his set point to contact isn’t consistent, and it gets long because he loads so deep. I like that he uses the opposite field and I think there’s 25-homer power in the bat, but Sizemore is one of those guys who’s just an obvious star, who stands out immediately when you see him take BP or shag flies. Schafer isn’t like that. That doesn’t mean he’s not a good prospect – he is. But he’s not Sizemore and he’s not one of the ten or fifteen best prospects in baseball.

    Ouch.

    I still like Schafer, and Law isn’t foolproof. But, its interesting

  83. he’s got a definite anti-braves center fielder bias. I bet as a young center fielder he aspired to play for Atlanta, and when they passed him up in the draft he vowed to hurt Braves center fielders, the only way he knew how… internet thugging them on his blog.

  84. Alex,

    I agree about the talking heads on ESPN. Almost everyone sucks and I get tired of all the anchors doing the same schtick. (maybe that’s my age.) Chris Berman needs to retire. Woody Paige and Skip Bayless are just complete morons. The only ones I like are the guys that do straight analysis, like Ron Jaworsky. Oh yeah, I do like Susie Kolber!

    But I think people tend to read anti-Brave bias into everything they read or hear on ESPN. It seems like pretty much every fan thinks ESPN is biased against their teams.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to root for Al Quaeda against Florida but I probably would root for the Soviet Union if it came back. :)

  85. I think Keith Law is a buffoon. His top-50 free agent list is the silliest thing I’ve ever read. He thinks Aaron Rowand a fourth outfielder.

  86. indeed i am. but have you ever seen keith law and jayson stark in the same place at the same time? Im just saying… think about it.

  87. Maybe Wren will do the ARod-Yankee thing with Andruw. No, I’m just wishing.

    When Spurrier was with Florida, I hated both him and the Gators. Not that he’s with South Carolina, I like him. Still hate the Gators though.

  88. Maybe Petrino’s 1 year exit will finally get get ESPN and certain fat, hack Miami sports writers off Saban’s back.

    Right, because the situations are totally the same, Alex.

    Auburn couldn’t afford Petrino anyway.

  89. ESPN really IS biased against everyone’s team… Unless their team plays in New York or Boston.

    Keith Law is interesting to read, but I take his player evaluations with a grain of salt. Anyone who writes for ESPN is paid to be inflammatory. That’s why he doesn’t ‘take the middle ground.’

  90. If it really is coming down to a one-year deal for Andruw, I’d welcome him back with open arms.

    But if it requires a RAISE, I’ll pass.

    I’d go so far as to actually call and offer him one year, $12.5 mil, no negotiations, just to see if he’d bite.

  91. Speaking of ESPN personalities who have hung on WAY too long, I’m dreading college basketball getting into full swing only because we’ll be subjected to Vitale’s endless schtick for another year.

    Screamin A, Suburban Stu, You’re with me Leather and Dukie Vitale need to be encased in a prism and shot to outer space like Zod and his henchmen in Superman 2.

  92. Steven A. Smith is my Facebook friend and he invited me to join a group asking what rapper owns Philly. Enough said.

  93. Could we offer 1yr/10 mil to Andruw with incentives? If we are making this our last run with Tex Chip Smoltz Andruw Hudson and Glavine, we might as well try. Thats only if Wren has the feeling that Tex wont stay

  94. RE: Holtz and UGA
    guys i’d be shocked if holtz even knows that uga even exists, it seems like he can barely remember what he’s talking about from sentence to sentence . long term memory is probably erased after each pint of “fighting cock”

    weather has turned to shit here…there goes my ride. it’s supposed to drop 25 degrees tomorrow so back to reality.

    Florida vs Al Queda would depend on if it had any bowl implications

  95. I agree about ESPN – their bias isn’t just against the Braves – they just love Boston & NY teams above everyone else ;-)

  96. … and Durham, NC.

    Like Saturday Night Live, some of the original characters were classic. Watching Charlie Steiner was worth the price of your cable bill.

    Favorite sports scene? Here’s an odd one, but it has stayed with me all these years:

    Anthony Perkins (as Jimmy Piersall) climbing the fence in “Fear Strikes Out”.

    Either that or the scene in “The Natural” that focused on Barbara Hershey’s black fishnet hose …

  97. beedee,

    Al Queda is playing Notre Dame in the Toilet Bowl this year; the game will be on ESPN2 on December 27th at 1:30 AM.

  98. could Notre Dane lose to Duke this weekend. I can the ND faithful still have love for Charlie Weiss? I mean the guy is suppose to be an offensive guru and they are terrible. The average game score is losing 32-14 . How can any college football team only avg 14 points per game with that schedule. Take away their 1 – 44 point performance against Navy and their average is 11.5 pts per game. Keep up the good work Weiss and I hope you always stay there

  99. Another great sports scene is when Paul Newman finally decides to play the Hanson Brothers in Slapshot.

  100. mlbtraderumors.com is now reporting the Mets are offering Torrealba a 3 year, $15 million deal. Apparently, I did not get that memo about money becoming meaningless as compared to a player’s value.

  101. good ole Ty, and I’m more than happy with them being stuck with Weiss. Their recruiting can only get worse after a season like this. Losing to Duke and Stanford to end the year would be awesome. Hoepfully they’ll stop getting TV coverage and NBC will have more exciting games for us to watch.

  102. Alex R, being a Spurs fan like me, I thought you might like this:

    NEW YORK — The NBA has spoken with the Los Angeles Lakers about a comment coach Phil Jackson made following Tuesday night’s game in San Antonio.

    The Spurs made 13 3-pointers in their 107-92 victory, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters.

    “We call this a ‘Brokeback Mountain’ game, because there’s so much penetration and kickouts,” Jackson said. “It was one of those games.”

    “The remarks are in poor taste, and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future,” league spokesman Brian McIntyre said.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

  103. This A-rod situation may turn out to be a good thing for baseball. If he really does negotiate this contract with the yankees without Boras and loses $20 million or more that he could have had with an extension; that would be awesome. I hope it happens, and sets a precedent for the future of the game.

  104. Keith Law is fine. Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean he is trash. And I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that he has seen more of Schafer than all posters on this board, combined.

  105. If A-Rod is really going for less than $25 mil a year, the Braves should put in an offer. That is a tremendous bargain. He’ll probably pay for himself next year in revenue, and after that he can move from SS to 1B, and we let Tex walk.

    I still think he’ll sign for more than 30/yr for at least eight years. Somewhere.

  106. Totally agree, JoeyT. That’s what I’ve been thinking since reading this thing, and that’s exactly why I’m so skeptical that he’ll sign at a discount.

  107. #154 – yep same here

    Mac, didnt you make this an “Arod to the Braves” free zone? If not, can you?

  108. UPDATE: An official statement from A-Rod – he and his wife spoke with the Steinbrenners today. Contract talks are expected to continue and it looks positive. I’m also getting emailers from readers who have heard from John Sterling, Yankees radio announcer. Sterling apparently has a source close to Rodriguez saying that the chance of A-Rod re-signing is 101 on a scale of 1 to 100. So there you go.

    UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal notes that A-Rod would need to fire Boras for the Yankees to exclude him from negotiations. Otherwise, it would be a violation of the Basic Agreement.

    Please, please, please fire Boras. I would laugh until next season is over

  109. FWIW, I’m cool with any A-Rod discussion. He’s another one of those players that I find somewhat fascinating, but for reasons beyond the usual stat/value talk.

    He is exactly what WFAN’s Steve Somers calls him: The Lighting Rod.

    And this whole “fire-Boras” thing is getting hysterical. Could he have overplayed his hand with A-Rod? Looks that way…

    I’ve enjoyed my 4-year A-Rod soap opera, but personally, I’ve always thought that he should go to a place with fewer expectations for the team as a whole, a place with fans who root for you no matter what. Yankee Stadium is not that place; I always thought that Anaheim fit the bill.

    But if it’s top dollar that he wants beyond all else, it looks like the Yankees might be the highest bidder after all. Funny how things work out.

  110. I will be shocked if the Angels do not end up with AROD. They have been trying for years to get a bat behind Vlad (Garret Anderson does not count, he is a joke for that purpose) but Stoneman keeps refusing to give up his young talent even when they seem to reach their peak values. Now they have a chance to get not only the best FA hitter, but the BEST hitter in baseball (perhaps history, in some senses, again depending on how he finishes) and they don’t even need to give up anything off their own roster. Moreno seems to have unlimited funds when he wants to use them and loves to one up the dodgers, who just hired Torre. It seems all too perfect to me…

  111. oh and also that whole laid back atmosphere in anaheim that will make it way easier for him to thrive.

  112. They have been trying for years to get a bat behind Vlad (Garret Anderson does not count, he is a joke for that purpose) but Stoneman keeps refusing to give up his young talent even when they seem to reach their peak values.

    I doubt it. Stoneman can never pull the trigger on anything big. He only got Vlad because the Dodgers ownership was so screwed up at the time the Angels were the only credible offer left.

  113. @ #94

    Holtz hates Georgia because Richt was able to do what he could not; elevate a program to the top of the SEC. Holtz’s USC program remained the 4th best in the SEC East while Mark Richt won two SEC titles.

    Well, to be fair to Holtz, he did take an 0-11 team and made them a team competing to go to a bowl every year.

  114. @ 162. Yeah, but the new GM came from within the organization, so perhaps the same philosophy is still there. Seems kind of dumb, though.

  115. Although I agree that the Angels would be amazing suitors for A-Rod, I can’t kick about the success they’ve had.

    And I always enjoy going to see them play the Yankees. I like the way they put pressure on the defense by taking extra bases & challenging outfielders to throw them out.

    They do need another big bat, though.

  116. If they do sign Arod or trade for Cabrera, does that make Chone Figgins available? I know they have said they would use him at 2nd, but maybe they’ll use Aybar there and trade Figgins to recoup some talent.

  117. I may declare a no-Figgins zone. Figgins had a nice year, but it’s all batting average. He hit .330, but he’s not really a .330 hitter, and when he goes back to his usual .290 his OBP and SLG will go back to his usual .350 and .400. Oh, and he turns 30 in January.

  118. Mac – I couldn’t disagree more. Figgins would be a great pickup, certainly an upgrade offensively over mr. 222.

    #147

    Aram – that’s hilarious. I am sure Phil was saving that one. Ha.

    (and big one for our Spurs tomorrow night at hateful Mark Cuban and his Mavs).

    I wish A-Rod would fire Lucifer and then all his clients would follow suit. That would be the gift in life that would keep on giving.

  119. I agree on Figgins Alex…of course depending on what it would take to get him. I think he’d be a good stopgap for us. Certainly better than the Kotsay/Willie Harris/Baldelli suggestions I’ve read. Plus his versatility would go a long way

  120. a-rod rubs people the wrong way — whether it’s media spin or his own personality or whatever. and for some reason it irked me that his favorite player growing up was my hero too — dale murphy.

  121. Bobby won’t utilize that versatility, not to mention the insinuation that he’d be the every day CF, who isn’t going to play a lot of games at other positions.

    Figgins is a career .290/.354/.400 hitter. Andruw had a bad year, of course, but he’s been a far above average hitter over the course of his career. Figgins’ OPS+ is 99. His range factors are only a little better than the league. Andruw, in his terrible year last year, hit 26 homers, or one more than Figgins has in his entire career.

    Basically, if you took Andruw and subtracted nearly all his power, most of his defense, and a good chunk of his walks, but added twenty-five points of batting average and a bunch of not-particularly-important stolen bases, you’d have Chone Figgins. He’d be a slight improvement on Andruw last year, but not worth giving up anything of consequence to get. Pass.

  122. Didn’t Stoneman recently resign as Angels GM?

    That would be a good point. Forgot about that. Maybe the new guy will be different, although it sounds like ARod is headed back to the Yankees.

  123. I think Figgins makes around $4 million next year, which also makes him around $9 million less than Andruw as well.

  124. Wow, that was a horribly structured sentence on my part…

    And re: versatility Mac, true he would be the everyday CF and thus would not play a whole lot of games at other position, but the fact that he could fill in at those positions is a plus to me. For example if Chipper gets hurt and Willie Aybar craps out again, Bobby would have the option of shifting Figgins to third and letting someone like Brandon Jones cover CF for a couple of weeks. I’d take that over a Chris Woodward-type filling in at 3B.

  125. Count me out on Chone Figgins. Sure he’s fast and he’s versatile, but speed is overrated, and Bobby doesn’t do versatility. As Mac said, he’ll probably be out in center field and he won’t be used all over the diamond the way he is in LAA. He’s not that great of a hitter, and sticking him out in CF instead of an middle INF position will diminish his offensive contribution. If he made the league minimum, maybe, but he’s making $4M and that isn’t cheap enough to justify giving up something of value. He’ll pretty much be Willie Harris with 30 more points of BA and $3.5M more in salary.

  126. Sure speed is overvalued, but it’s definitely not worthless, especially for a team that can’t bunt.

  127. Well I doubt Figgins would lose a lot of value over the course of one season. We could trade for him and let him control CF for one year, letting Hernandez and Schafer develop for one more year. After the year trade him to someone and acquire back whatever we lost in the previous trade. He wont kill us out there and he’s a lot better than Harris

  128. need someone’s help with this…

    per mlb rumors…

    Yanks Want Lowell For First Base
    A new twist! Dan Graziano reports that an Alex Rodriguez signing wouldn’t stop the Yankees from pursuing Mike Lowell. They’d like Lowell to play first base for them. A big part of it would be to take Lowell away from the Red Sox, it appears. Of course the Red Sox would get the Yankees’ 28th overall pick next June as a consolation prize.

    Graziano admits signing Lowell to switch positions would be tough, as teams like the Angels and Dodgers will be after him. According to a Boston television station, Lowell has already received offers from the Braves, Angels, Cardinals, and Yankees. Each is supposedly a four-year offer between $55-60MM. Color me skeptical of that particular rumor, but you never know.

    Anyway, the Yankees dropping $50MM+ on Lowell just to thwart the Red Sox seems kind of irresponsible to me. Here’s what they’d have:

    Did anyone just read that Lowell has received offers from the Braves? Why? Where would he play? He cant pitch and doesnt play CF, any thoughts, or am I missing something

  129. haha…

    Nike would never let Belotti leave?

    You’ve got to be kidding, right?

    Phil Knight has invested in Orgeon, sure, but NIKE is HEAVILY invested in UNC. Don’t use NIKE as a reason Belotti won’t leave, for NIKE want’s UNC to be a national matter in all sports (we still sell more apparel than all the PAC-10 combined), football included, than some connection with one coach. They make more money at UNC that with any school, so, don’t use NIKE as a reason if you don’t know.

    Leech and Johnson BOTH applied for UNC last year. For those who don’t think so, you need to look no further than their applications, that are public record. They both would leave simply for one reason: it’s a sleeping giant.

    we play football in chapel hill…UNC has, what, the 4th most graduates playing in the NFL now…yeah, just cause we lose alot don’t mean we don’t play.

  130. I definitely don’t undervalue speed. It’s a plus. I’ve seen the Angels win too many games using it and I saw the Whiteyball St. Louis Cardinals baffle, bewilder & bedevil teams with it.

    In the real world, it helps, whether it’s taking the extra base, running down flies, beating out ground balls or stealing a base at the right time. It may not be the most important aspect of a player, but I’ll damn-sure take it when I can.

    Yes, Figgins would be a way better utility guy than Woodward or some of the others we’ve endured (save Betemit), but, no, not at that salary.

  131. This from the AJC

    First baseman Mark Teixiera will become a free agent after the 2008 season and will command a hefty pay raise from his $9 million a year. Fortunes have fallen on the Braves recently and team CEO Terry McGuirk says the club will spend “many millions more” on player payroll.

    …things may be looking up.

  132. mlb rumors

    The Braves have “many millions more” to spend on players this winter. One emailer suggested that maybe the Braves will offer arbitration to Andruw Jones and he’ll accept.

  133. ARod is getting around Boras to get the deal done, Andruw should have done the same thing a long time ago.

  134. @ 171–Mac,you’re spot on–Figgins is low value.

    Re the possibility that the Braves have offered Lowell 4 yr/50 mil–I doubt that rumor is true. It just doesn’t make sense in terms of fit with the Braves needs. Lowell had a good year in 07, but four years is risky. Even teams with needs at 3B should be reluctant to offer 4 yrs to Lowell.

  135. I would never offer Lowell 4 yrs – he benefitted greatly from that short porch in left field at Fenway. I’d be hesitant to put him anywhere short of Minute Maid Park and Citizens Bank.

  136. I agree about Figgins.

    I don’t like the annual Carl Crawford rumors either. Especially if we had to give up pitching.

  137. csg–I have been watching and complaining about Dixon (a bad choice for a 5th round pick–he will turn 23 in January and had not played baseball in several years) since June. However, over the last few weeks I have enjoyed the fact that the Braves may well have drafted the next Heisman trophy candidate….

  138. I don’t hate Boras with the passion of a thousand suns like some do, but it would be totally hilarious if A-Rod punked him. Not to mention a brilliant PR move on his part.

    Consider me a pass on Chone (Lowell too, even though it’s fake).

  139. Didn’t Figgins give an interview and talk about having an imaginary friend? If so, I bet he can outplay Woodward.

  140. This is really quite stupid, but Mac may like this.

    I’m playing the 1985 season as the Braves on Baseball Mogul. I’m playing against the Dodgers in Fulton County Stadium and Murph just smacked a 3 run shot off Jerry Reuss to break a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the fifth.

    Skip ahead to the 9th, Dodgers end up tying and go to the 10th, Dodgers score, Braves up, Runge doubles, and scores on a single by…Dale Murphy.

    Bottom of the eleventh, Steve Howe pitching.
    Chris Chambliss walks.
    Terry Harper singles.
    Glenn Hubbard singles, scoring Chambliss.

    BRAVES WIN.

  141. Wow.

    Next day in-game.

    Mahler takes on Valenzuala.

    Mahler only gives up two runs in 9 innings, but Fernando’s no-hitting the Braves, for 8.2 innings, that is until Murph blasts a triple off the wall in center. Horner singles him in, then Chambliss doubles Horner in, Valenzuala out, Niedenfuer in, he gets out of the inning.

    Nothing happens in the tenth, Gene Garber pitches out of a Dodgers threat by striking out the side, most miraculously.

    Forster and Dedmon blank the Dodgers in the top of the eleventh.

    Bottom of the eleventh, Murph leads off and promptly on the first pitch, in his classic style, launches a moonshot over the fence to right-center off Bobby Castillo.

    BRAVES WIN.

    Second walk-off extra inning win in a row.
    6th straight win against the Dodgers.
    5 games ahead of the Dodgers with a 15-7 record, in first place.

    Murphy is the man.

  142. Too bad the ’85 season didn’t have enough of those moments. I seem to remember the Dodgers (and a lotta teams like the Cards & Mets) stomping our guts out that year.

    I also have that 1985 season in APBA and, aside from The Murph, the Braves are just brutal.

    In real life, however, they give us a memorable 4th & 5th of July.

  143. Ububba,

    I took a look at the game log for the ’85 Braves on BR, and it looked pretty bad.

    At the same time, I kinda wish I was old enough to have been through that nightmare that was the ’80’s for the Braves. That way the success of the early ’90’s would have meant a lot more. Even then, I didn’t really pay attention ’til the ass-end of ’95. So in retrospect, last two years not counting, as a die-harder, I’ve only known the good days, when we (usually) coasted into the playoffs to get our asses whipped by the wild-card team or the Yankees in the series.

    Used to be I’d try to guess how many games we’d win the division by. Now I’m wondering if we can win more than 85 games in 2008.

  144. 7NEWS SOURCE: Four teams offer Lowell 4-year contract

    BOSTON — 7Sports has learned that Mike Lowell has received contract offers from four separate MLB teams: the Braves, Angels, Cardinals, and Yankees.

    A source close to the Lowell side of the negotiations tells 7Sports that each offer is a 4-year contract, worth between $55-60 million.

    http://www3.whdh.com/news/articles/sports/BO66884/

  145. I must be missing something but Lowell to the Braves has to be patently false. And stupid.

    Let’s start with the fact that he’s OLD. He is not going to repeat the numbers he had this past year and it would be asinine for any team to give him more than 2 years, especially the Braves (though I imagine the Sawx will give him 4 – fine).

    But more importantly, WHERE WILL LOWELL PLAY? I am sorry, has he been taking center field lessons? Really?

    The fact that some of you in here are discussing Lowell to the Braves proves that many we’ll believe any BS story that’s put out there – Mark Teixeira and Chipper Jones – the 2 biggest reasons why there’s no traction to Lowell coming to the Braves.

    Speaking of BS rumors people are passing around this site that have ZERO traction, Mike Belotti leaving Oregon for UNC.

    Besides the fact that my wife is an alumni of Oregon and is in fact still heavily involved in the DC Ducks alumni group here in the DC area, she laughed her a– off when I told her that rumor (well, she is 8 1/2 months pregnant so she didn’t laugh TOO hard!).

    Belotti is entrenched in the community of Eugene as much as Mark Richt has become entrenched in Athens. Probably 2 of the most stable coaching situations in America.

    And let’s talk about Phil Knight…HE’S FROM OREGON. Sure, he wants his Nike gear all over the world and he wants as many colleges to be Nike schools as possible (Georgia, of course, is proudly a Nike school!) But just because Michael Jordan played at UNC, that doesn’t mean Phil Knight, lifelong Oregonian and lifelong Oregon Ducks, is going to suddenly convince Oregon’s coach to skip across the country to mediocre UNC.

    It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Phil Knight gives gazillions to Oregon; in fact, he’s so obssessed with athhletics in the state, he actually GIVES MONEY to Oregon State – the Ducks’ hated rivals. Why? Because he wants the state to be strong all the way around. This is a fact.

    Phil Knight is one of the richest guys in the world and a Ducks fan – ergo, the Ducks in recent years have possibly the best facilities (training rooms, practice fields, equipment, locker rooms, etc.) in the country for football. Facilities that are in fact even nicer than USC or Ohio State.

    The point? Mike Belotti isn’t going anywhere unless Phil Knight and the University agree they want a new coach.

    Let me say this again – there is less than a 0% chance that Mike Belotti leaves Oregon for UNC. Phil Knight is a Duck and even has all his biggest Nike stores in Eugene and Portland FOR A REASON.

  146. The Braves would have to really be flush with cash to get Lowell.

    While it’s certainly not true, I would think maybe Lowell plays left field or something and then plays third base in 2009 and beyond. The Braves let Teixeira walk next year and have Chipper Jones play first.

  147. Alex R..

    I agree with you that Belotti ain’t coming to UNC. However, IF Butch lraves for Arkansas, the UNC job is the type of job that could entice a coach to move to a school with the potential to compete for a BCS berth in one of the weker BCS conferences.

    Anyway, back to the Braves, who the heck would believe the Braves have ANY interest in signing Mike Lowell??? I mean, he’s a nice player, but absolutely the wrong fit for Atlanta’s 2008 roster.

  148. The Braves have offered Lowell a contract? I doubt it–but I do believe that journalists have invented stories before–even bad ones….

  149. Let me say this – there is less than a zero percent chance the Braves have offered Lowell a contract or have any interest.

    He’s slow and old. Why would we attempt to overpay him for 4 years to “Klesko around” in left field? That’s just nuts.

    I am pleased to read in the AJC about Liberty feeling “flush with cash” and after the dark era of the evil AOL-Time Warner years, Liberty, THANKFULLY, has been an extremely positive experience. Liberty – major upgrade over AOL-Time Warner.

    But despite this, they don’t want to spend their money stupidly?? I don’t think anyone should be giving an old guy like Lowell 4 years (this guy couldn’t hit out of a paper bag 2 years ago) and now all of a sudden everyone’s in love? Plus, we don’t even have an open position since he’s not going to be put in left.

    seat painter-

    I agree that UNC has the chance to be an attractive job. But I will admit that if Butch Davis leaves after only 1 year, it’s going to harm the UNC program and set it back for several years.

    I mean, they finally get their first real coach since Mack Brown left (Bunting was horrible), plus, with FSU and Miami a shadow of themselves, the ACC is wide open for anyone to take, but any progress Davis is already making in year #1 will be set back if he leaves.

    I get that he has an Arkansas connection – I just don’t think it’s a very attractive job. I mean, sure, Davis is a good coach and a good recruiter and maybe he’s be better on the sidelines than Houston Nutt, but there’s still no way Arkansas is going to be ahead of LSU, Bama or Auburn.

  150. i’m not hold’n my breath on this new cash…i hope it’s true but until they flash it we’re still stuck @ 80M.

  151. I know we have all heard about A-Rod reportedly going back to the Yankees, and negotiating directly. It seems this has caused an image problem for his agent Scott Boras, and some sort of embarassment. Does anyone think this will lead to different approaches in how his player approach free agency, specifically Teixeira? I am just wondering if this incident will enter either of their mindsets and allow us to negotiate before he becomes a free agent.

  152. Mike Lowell… that makes no sense at all. Sounds like something an agent dreamed up and leaked to the media to try to convince the Yanks and Sawx to increase their offers.

  153. Ron,

    It’s the same rumor mill that says the BRaves are a player for A-Rod.

    I ‘heard’ the Braves are also going to sign Roy Halladay, Grady Sizemore, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz. This will all happen in the next 24 hours.

  154. The Lowell story sounds like an agent is making it up. I would be shocked if the Braves wanted Lowell for one year, much less four.

    Dustin,

    As bad as the 80s were for the most part, the 70s were even worse: 16 game losing streaks, Ted Turner managing the team, attendence in the hundreds of thousands. I remember coming in from class one evening when I was in college and turning on the game–the Braves were playing the Big Red Machine (clearly, they should never have scheduled that team) and it was 23-5, Reds in the fourth inning. It was dreadful; you are lucky, you missed many years of incredibly bad baseball. (Although, in a way, it was so bad, it was fun.) I remember an article in those years in the AJC Sunday section in which the writer suggested ways in which the Braves could start winning–as I recall, his main suggestion was to get baseball to change the rules just for the Braves so that the other team only got two strikes and the Braves could walk on three balls. Still one of the funniest articles I ever read. If you had told someone then that the Braves would one day be a dominant team, winning multiple championships, they would have had you committed.

  155. @221

    Your post causes me to issue a mea culpa. I have to cop to not being a Braves fan forever. In the 70’s I was a Pirates fan, and the Bucs still are my second favorite team.

    It started in the Fall of ’71, when I was 7. I went to the NC State Fair, and my parents took me to see Bob Hope perform in Dorton Arena. He asked who won the World Series game that day. I, as a seven year old, didn’t even know that the World Series was going on. Someone yelled Baltimore, and Bob said, “Good, I hope they win.” Everybody started cheering, and I, in a moment of 7 year old inspired contrariness, decided that the Pirates needed someone to pull for them. So I did. And I pulled for the Pirates through all those mid-70 years when they’d fight the Phillies for the right to get decimated by Cincy in the playoffs, and on through the ‘We Are Fam-i-lee’ Series.

    I stayed a Pirates fan right up until we got cable in Pilot Mtn, NC in 1981 and I started watching Murphy and Horner, Knucksie, Hubbard, Chambliss and Watson, Garber, and the Fat Tub o’ Goo, and the rest of those characters on a regular basis. With my favorite player (Willie Stargell) starting to not play on a regular basis, it was natural to start rooting for the other class act in the NL. Anyway, I’ve stayed a Braves fan since then. I never suffered through the ’70s after Hank left, but I feel I’m not a bandwagon fan since I did put up with the Albert Hall years.

    Mea culpa over.

  156. On reflection, can you believe that an act of Bob Hope’s magnitude would’ve played the NC State Fair? Times sure have changed.

  157. It would be great if we could sign Grady Sizemore and Roy Halladay: we could move Sizemore to third, Chipper to first, put Teixeira in the bullpen, and Halladay could play center field.

  158. That Lowell rumor is absurd, and it doesn’t even make sense to lie about the Braves making him an offer when there are so many teams who are actually looking for a third baseman.

  159. Seat Painter,

    Interestingly, Bob Hope was a part owner of the Indians in the 50s and there is a famous “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy is at a Yankees-Indians game and causes Hope to get hit on the head by a foul ball.

    AAR,

    Why couldn’t Halladay pitch every fifth day and then play centerfield the other four? Babe Ruth used to do that.

  160. i was a more dedicated fan of the braves when they were terrible in the 80s. Watched them every day. they were bad, bad teams.

    funny memory just popped into my head — as a family we used to wonder if murphy getting his mole removed affected his swing. i can’t remember when that happened…

  161. Wow…I say the words, “Roy Halladay” and all of a sudden, the joke grows life ;-)

    I have been a Braves fan since the early 80’s because I was born in 1975. I have to admit I didn’t start to even care about Baseball until around 1983!

    (for me, it all started with winning Baseball cards during my Friday Cub Scout meetings – the head of our troop was a huge Braves fan and I was good friends with his son so we started to watch the Braves on TBS all the time, with baseball cards in hand).

    I still say my most vivid memory of the 80’s Braves was Big Bob’s 4 homer game on a Sunday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

    (I also have this memory, tell me if it’s correct or not, of Murph having a bandaged hand with stiches but hitting a dramatic home run anyway?)

  162. mlb rumors…

    Orioles are trying to give Bedard an extension. The Orioles, I will say it again, are gun shy to trade anyone. The wont trade Tejada, even though his skills are diminishing, while he still has trade value. The wont trade Roberts or Bedard either. Didnt all the Orioles fans walk out of one game in the 3rd inning last year or the year before?

    Question: What team has the worst upper management in the game?

  163. Murphy3Ever-

    Holy schnikeys – JINX!

    We picked out the same random memory of the 80’s around the same time :-)

    But I have to admit, I thought Murph had those hand stitches because he went back on a fly ball and sliced his hand on the outfield wall, leaping over for a catch?

  164. With the Royals hiring Dayton Moore, and Pittsburgh cleaning house, Baltimore, in fact, may stand alone with the worst management.

    Then again, as long as the Tampa Bay RAYS exist (don’t forget to drop the Devil!), they are probably the worst.

  165. I have a memory that I want to check to see if it is accurate:

    I seem to remember that in one of those 100-loss years, Neikro had 19 wins going into the last series of the season at Houston.

    Didn’t he start all three games in an unsuccessful attempt to reach the 20-win mark? Or is this just some dark psychic manifestation of being a Braves fan back then?

  166. Stu,

    Sorry – my bad, but yeah, I do remember the face mole.

    Do you remember him slicing his hand, though, on the outfield wall and coming back as a pinch hitter with stitches to hit a game winning homer?

    I have a vivid memory of this…

  167. On another subject, how did Melvin beat out Clint Hurdle exactly for Manager of the Year in the National league?

    Don’t get me wrong, Bob Melvin did a terrific job and deserved to be in the top 2-3, but how did Hurdle not win?

    He had even less talent, far less pitching (no Brandon Webb on that team) and managed to sweep Melvin’s D-Backs out of the NLCS?

    I probably would have voted in this order:

    1. Hurdle
    2. Bob Melvin
    3. Charlie Manuel

  168. Hankonly, I think I found the season you’re looking for: 1978 (the only year Knucksie won exactly 19).

    He entered the month of September 16-14, then on Sept. 1 went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs to fall to 16-15. It was a tightrope walk from there, and he pitched complete games in 4 of his next 7 starts, as well as the first 10 innings of a 12-inning game.

    On Sept. 5, he pitched a complete game 3-hitter and won. September 9, he went a paltry 6.2 innings and gave up 3 runs, but the offense scored 7 runs and raised his record to 18-15.

    Then wins became a little harder to come by. The next game, Sept. 13, he pitched ten innings giving up no earned runs, but got a no-decision. On Sept. 17, he went 8.1 innings, gave up 1 earned run, and won his 19th game.

    Then his next three starts, Sept. 21, Sept. 26, and Sept. 30, were all complete games, and the Braves got shut out in each one of them. In those games, he gave up 2, 1, and 4 earned runs, respectively.

    His final stats on the season: 19-18, 334.1 IP, 248 K, 102 BB, 2.88 ERA, 1.19 WHIP. By the way, he was 39 years old.

  169. Also, from 1977 to 1979, Niekro made 129 starts, so it’s not surprising you remembered him starting every game. I doubt there’s been another player to string together 3 straight years of 40+ starts since the dead ball era.

  170. Put me in the pessimistic camp when it comes to the Braves spenging “many millions” more. Nowhere does it state the Braves are adding payroll, and it could very well just mean their going to spend the money that was going to Andruw. Hell, we’re supposedly going to spend “many millions” on Tom Glavine, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

  171. Alex R., I think Hurdle was a victim of the same early ballots that doomed the Rockies SS. If the writers had waited until the very end of the season, it probably would have been the two Rockies. A couple of weeks earlier, the Rox looked out of it, and Melvin had an obscenely young club leading the NL West.

  172. Football question:

    My RB situation sucks, but which two do you start

    Rudi Johnson
    Kenny Watson
    Travis Henry
    Priest Holmes

    Would you start Cotchery over Burress this week?

  173. “Padres Look To Extend Peavy
    Jake Peavy will soon add a Cy Young to his resume, and the Padres would like to explore a contract extension with him. Under his current contract, Peavy will earn $6.5MM in ’08 and $11MM in ’09 once he wins the award. The Padres would like to extend him for the 2010 and 2011 seasons and possibly more.”

    So I’m guessing all these teams that said their aces were available have decided otherwise!

  174. I’m confused…when do the sports writers put their ballots in?

    If they do it before the end of the season, the great genius BUD SELIG needs to fix that.

    If you ask me, it’s embarrassing when people who should obviously win awards, don’t, because it’s all done too early? I mean, why exactly do they put the awards in so early anyway? Makes no sense.

    Wait and see the whole picture – what Hurdle did is one of the best managing jobs I have seen in years in either league. That team has NOTHING and the only reason they got stopped in the endis because of Bud Selig’s and Fox’s mandatory 8 day layoff before the world series.

    Of course, these are the same writers who just inexcusably gave David Wright a gold glove because of his offense. Someone needs to explain that one to me. (and Chipper).

  175. Alex R.

    I remember the home run you are talking about. Murph had a long consecutive game streak going, and it looked like it was going to be over. Then he not only pinch hits to keep the streak alive, but homered to boot. Seems like he got the hand caught between sections of the plexiglass in the outfield fence the night before.

  176. Burress has had lotsa big plays this year. He’s more apt to score a TD than Cotchery.

    Alex R.
    I was at that game in ’85 where Murphy hit the HR. It came off Dwight Gooden & it was a late-inning pinch hit appearance to keep his consecutive-games streak going. It was a pretty electric moment.

    Seat,
    Love the Bob Hope story. When I was very little I liked the Orioles because my dad (from Viet Nam) sent home a reel-to-reel tape of Brooks Robinson saying hello to me. Brooks & some other ballplayers were doing a USO tour after the 1966 season. Mel Allen’s on it, too, and I still have it.

    When the 1970 series rolled around, I was 7 and I remember it. Loved those Earl Weaver teams.

  177. #251- thinking the same thing, I really hate those H&V predictions on Espn. I actually hate Espn’s fantasy football. Nothing ever gets updated. On Sunday they’ll have players that are inactive for the games listed as playing.

    Any ideas on the RB’s

  178. I don’t have any of those backs and not a huge fan – the Bengals situation is kind of muddled based on health. I hate to offer advice. Play Henry if he was actually going to play – besides, he needs the money for 77 children.

    csg – I am in 2 fantasy leagues and both are CBS sportsline – I can’t bring myself to use any other site!

  179. I would definitely start Holmes, and Henry if he is going to play. Cincy can’t run the ball, so if I had to choose between the two I would go with Watson since he is the better receiver of the two. Normally Burress over Cotchery, but Burress didn’t look all that healthy against Dallas.

  180. I heard CBS was the best – will use them next year. I just wished ESPN would give better updates, another reason to hate ESPN

  181. I was in Pittsburgh last weekend to visit my ailing uncle, and we watched the Steelers beat the Browns. Good for his health, I think, though it was a bit more of a nailbiter than it should have been. I mentioned the huge year Burress was having for the Giants, and he said, “Yeah. Still dropping passes, though.”

  182. Im just glad Andre Johnson is back, dude is a beast when healthy. Burress has been down the past 3 weeks, but way too much upside to bench him I think. My problem is that I have 3 Giants in 1 league and dont have better replacements and no one wants to trade. Shockey, Jacobs, and Burress and I cant bench any of them

  183. Nike would never let Belotti leave?

    You’ve got to be kidding, right?

    Phil Knight has invested in Orgeon, sure, but NIKE is HEAVILY invested in UNC.

    Alex R already covered this, but no I wasn’t kidding. It would be impossible for Nike to be more involved with a university than they are with Oregon. Oregon athletics is basically their guinea pig for what they put out to the rest of the country. That’s the reason they wear a different uniform every game. They are trying to find one that isn’t God-awful ugly.

  184. Robert is dead on.

    To put Phil Knight’s relationships with the 2 universities into context, if Phil Knight was the U.S., Oregon would be Great Britain and UNC would be like Kenya.

    It would just be another country we have an occasional relationship with, like hundreds of other countries, whereas Britain is the US’s top ally in the world.

  185. Additionally, Phil Knight’s money was responsible for putting the “Joey Harrington for Heisman” billboard in Time’s Square back in 2000.

    Phil Knight IS Oregon.

  186. Robert,

    To me it is more interesting that we are even talking about Belotti taking a more lucrative job anywhere. I guess everyone forgets, but his rep until this year has always been a good coach who could never win the big one.

    I think the guys who is apt to be the big superstar out of that coaching staff is Chip Kelley the OC. I really think his stock is going to take off.

  187. Sorry if this was already posted but I like Keith Law’s take on Francoeur in his interview with JC:

    I know everyone’s all excited because he upped his walk rate, but seriously, 37 unintentional walks in almost 700 plate appearances is unacceptable for a corner bat. He does have legit 30-homer power, and like a lot of players of this type he’ll have a .300/.335/.550 year somewhere along the line, but the volatility in his average and the ceiling on his OBP will always keep him from becoming a star.

    Can we have that .300/.335/.550 year next season please? Smoltz won’t last forever. He can go back to sucking after that.

  188. Further on the Oregon / Nike connection.

    The Nike shoe was invented by the Oregon track coach. He was 60 ish and had been there 20 years and was as accompished as a track coach as anybody in the country.

    The movie of about 10 years ago “Prefontaine” (about the runner Steve Prefontaine”) has some great stuff about that in it. The coach put a rubber compound in a waffle iron and pressed out the soles. Then he hand sewed them for Prefontaine to run on.

    Either Knight or another original founder of Nike was on that track team. The coach was an early part owner and was bought out for what, at the time, was big money.

  189. Additionally, Phil Knight’s money was responsible for putting the “Joey Harrington for Heisman” billboard in Time’s Square back in 2000.

    They were pretty full of themselves back around that time period. Some of the older buildings downtown here (LA) are available for advertising. Oregon (Nike) was renting them out a covering them with huge images of the current Oregon players with somewhat menacing catch phrases. You couldn’t miss them if you were driving on the 5 or 10 freeways through downtown. These ads were basically three blocks from USC’s campus.

    Then Pete Carroll arrived, beat them up, stole their lunch money and they haven’t been heard from since.

  190. Cliff, thanks for bringing up the Prefontaine flick/story – there were 2 movies made about the subject at the same time. One with Jared Leto (never saw that one) and the other one (I did see) was with Billy Crudup as Pre and Donald Sutherland as the track coach.

    And yes, Knight was on the track team – the whole impetus for Nike even being born all happened in Eugene, Oregon. Believe me, this is a great source of pride for my wife, who grew up in Eugene.

    They even have a great little pizza place on the U of O campus called, “Track Town Pizza”. We also got married in Eugene and couple with many visits there (my wife’s mom still lives there), I have definitely learned the whole U of O/Nike backstory to a tee.

  191. Alex R.

    The thing about UK is really on point. The U. K. is the U. S. “alma mater” just as Oregon is Phil Knight’s alma mater.

  192. I would definitely take that from Francouer. That would definitely put him at the top half for RF in the NL.

  193. Well, Robert, except for the fact that the Ducks beat up little Petey and his Trojans this season.

    The Ducks have definitely stuck around my friend.

  194. Alex R.,

    Lee Ermey played the track coach (and he was great) in the one I saw, so I guess that is the Jaret Leto version. I used to follow Prefontaine as a high school track participant (hurdles and not too good) at the time. Leto (or whoever) looked so much like Prefontaine it was eerie.

    For the rest of the Board, Prefontaie was to Olympic athletes what Marvin Miller was to baseball players. Every damn one of them ought to honor him. Prefontaine forced all sorts of changes in the AAU and the Olympic movement to allow them to make a living and have decent training facilities (in addition to being America’s alltime best middle distance runner).

  195. Robert,

    Let me also add that this has nothing to do with the Oregon program being full of themselves – sure, a billboard may seem cheesy, but they have been promoting themselves so they stay in the public conscienceness.

    The pacific northwest is an area of the country that does seem to get lost in the suffle sports-wise, but Oregon has had a strong football program for several years now and deserve their due – and hey, this is coming from a Savannah boy who’s a lifelong SEC/Georgia fan.

    And the promoting hasn’t stopped for Braves draft pick/Oregon QB Dennis Dixon, they are actually running commercials for his campaign.

    Hey, it’s Phil Knight’s money and he should spend it however he chooses.

  196. I should have said they haven’t been heard of until now. Good for them. The Pac-10 needs another team to shine at the national level. Cal and UCLA have proven time and time again that they will crap the bed when the stakes get too high.

  197. Cal’s been a pretty good football team for a while now, and are definitely neck and neck in the Pac 10 with the Ducks and Trojans.

    UCLA on the other hand is like the Clemson of the west coast – one week, they are giant killers, and the next week, someone mediocre is burying them.

    I suspect Karl Dorrell’s job status is extremely tentative at this point.

  198. Cliff,

    My Grandfather was a track star at Ohio University and used to run with Jessie Owens so I definitely have always had a great appreciation for the track worl – that’s cool that you ran.

    I do like to run for excercise, but I was never remotely fast enough to do anything but run in my spare time ;-)

    Maybe I will have to check out that other Pre movie – R. Lee Ermey is awesome.

  199. The Clemson-UCLA connection is perfect. Well done. The ‘who the hell knows what to expect from these guys this weekend’ division of college football. Lots of talent, not much coaching.

  200. So good to hear people talking about Pre! I owned a “Stop Pre” t-shirt, although I never rooted against him.
    If you read his quotes, there’s a striking similarity to the almost masochistic discipline of Lance Armstrong. As Lance gets deeper into marathon training, I often wonder what Pre would have to say to him.

    How fast was he? 6 miles in less than 27 minutes.

  201. Considering what a gaping hole the ACC is in without any really great teams, Clemson had an easy opening in the last few years with those running backs, to step in and rise to the top.

    Never happened. Tommy Bowden is nothing more than a middle of the road coach and I would be stunned if he lasted 1 or 2 more years there.

    I think a strong coach can win at a place like Clemson, with a huge, hungry, southern fan base (which I guess includes Jeff Francouer) that has the luxury of ACC competition every week. The right coach could easily win 10 games a year there.

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