This might be a good time for an open thread

You probably know that the Braves have waived Cormier in preparation for giving him his release. I’m a bit surprised that they couldn’t find a taker, but not too surprised.

198 thoughts on “This might be a good time for an open thread”

  1. Does anyone else have the feeling we’ll sign So Taguchi now that the Cardinals have released him? Maybe it’s just a feeling I have trying to fill in center field while Schafer prepares for the big leagues.

  2. i would. why not 1 year of patterson? i mean, if he wants 3, sign him to that and trade him next year (assuming his value is high then). who’s to say that schafer wont regress? if so, we may need an extra year of someone’s services, and i would MUCH rather have patterson than taguchi.

  3. I honestly don’t think I could stand watching Corey Patterson play baseball every day. The last time he was in the NL, teams were pitching around Neifi Perez to get to him. He was just about the worst player I’ve ever seen.

  4. All eyes are on the Vick sentencing this morning.

    Let’s hope this experience changes this young man’s life, he is allowed a chance at redemption AND he makes better decisions when he get another chance.

  5. “Let’s hope this experience changes this young man’s life, he is allowed a chance at redemption AND he makes better decisions when he get another chance.”

    if his buddies who confesed and helped with the investigation got 18 months, I dont see how he could get anything less than 2.5 – 3 yrs. But, yes, hopefully he’ll learn from this horrible mistake

  6. In unrelated news, Eric Gagne got 1 year for impersonating a closer. The Brewers were the unlucky recipient of his services, paying $10 million. And to think for only a few million more they could have had Mike Hampton.

  7. I’m sure it will change his life because he won’t likely do this again. I love animals and can’t imagine anyone doing this. But, on the other hand, Vick and the others got caught, to some extent, in a cultural and political firestorm. To some extent, Vick is being punished because he didn’t have the mindset of an upper middle-class suburban white person. I’m not saying he is being punished because he is African-American but I suspect that a lot of people in the inner-city don’t consider the charges to be that big a deal (although it’s not politically correct to say that).

  8. At 7: what a shame he resigned with the Nationals. I’m sure Wren was waiting to swoop down and grab Langerhans again.

  9. I posted this in a previous thread, but I figured I’d stick it in here as well. (That’s what he said)

    Anyone else on here want to join my Yahoo! NCAA Football Bowl Pick ‘Em league?

    It’s a free standard league. Enjoy.

    Group ID# 11745
    password: kutztown

  10. just wondering, but how much time do you think that you and I would get for the same charges that Vick was facing? I dont think it would’ve been 23 months

  11. “To some extent, Vick is being punished because he didn’t have the mindset of an upper middle-class suburban white person.”

    You have got to be kidding me.

  12. Vick is bening punished because he made millions of dollars a year, but thoguht risking it for a few grand was a good idea.

  13. And with that said, I wonder if Florida would have won the national title last year if one of Noah, Horford, or Brewer had left early. The reason I ask is that it would be nice for Florida to have at least one returning, full-time player. Walter Hodge doesn’t count. What do you guys think?

    Also, label me surprised Vanderbilt is so good. I wanna remember even Stu thinking they wouldn’t be this good.

  14. Good old Buster

    “The Brewers’ need for a reliever was one of the biggest holes left unfilled among the contending teams. Here are the others:

    1. Mets: Frontline starting pitcher
    2. Padres: Outfielders, in left and center; second baseman
    3. Dodgers: Starting pitcher
    4. Angels: Hitter (third base or shortstop; Miguel Tejada still makes sense)
    5. Cardinals: Starting pitchers, resolution to Scott Rolen problems
    6. Giants: Power bat, closers
    7. Mariners: Starting pitcher
    8. Phillies: Starting pitcher
    9. Cubs: Left-handed bat”

    I guess we’re not a contender, or have no need greater than the Dodgers’ need to add a starter to a rotation with Penny, Lowe, Schmidt and Billingsley.

  15. Smitty,

    We will whip you guys this year. You’ll see.

    Rob,

    I didn’t realize AJ Ogilvy was going to be such a force right away. He’s already the best big man in the SEC. Our defense needs work, but our offense is pretty tough to stop. Should be an exciting year.

  16. That’s unfortunate. When I think of how I’m going to step out of this world, falling to my death at a football game isn’t one of them.

  17. Ububba,

    One would think that alcohol was heavily involved in all three incidents, especially the riding a dumpster down the concourse.

  18. Marc –

    I completely agree with you. Of course, Vick was also an idiot, as at some point you’ve got to take some responsibility (which is what he is now doing, or being forced to do) – especially when you sign a $130 million contract.

    And I’ve grown to loathe Buster Olney.

  19. Hate to say it, but the releiver position is still the biggest hole left unfilled for the Brewers. You know, Wickman is still available for the small price of a year’s supply of Popeyes and Blue Bell Ice Cream, Double Chocolate Chunk flavor.

    On Vick, he’s no different than many a lottery winner. He didn’t know how to handle the success and all of that cash. He got busted because he ran a large dogfighting ring, not because of his celebrity. He got what he got because he failed a polygraph in October after pleading guilty and couldn’t stop smoking weed.

    It’s a sad story, regardless of how you feel about him. Wasted his talent like Maurice Clarett, Art Schleister, JD Drew, etc.

  20. @14, @19,

    Also add rural area. In Surry County, there are probably quite a few prominent white people who were at least aware of the dog fighting operation and probably a few were spectaors or promoters.

    Despite what you city slickers think, it hasn’t been that long ago that cruel animal sports were at about the same acceptance level as marijuana use or profligate sexual behavior. That is, quite a few people participated, just not in the open.

    Here in the Big Deal, right downtown, there was a backstage area behind a movie screen that was used as a cockfighiting venue into the 1950’s.

  21. Oh Danny Kolb… you silly tub of goo!

    How are those Little Debbie Chritmas Tree Cakes I sent to you?

  22. Chris Sabo appears again! I hadn’t thought about him in years and now he’s shown up a couple of times in the last few days.

    At the end of Olney’s blog he gives a youtube reference to a new cup — the Nutty Buddy — and Chris Sabo makes an appearance! crazy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C9aiWr0Vfg

  23. I noticed a pair of Nike Vicks on Ebay the other day. Why am I so tempted to get them “just because”?

    They could be a sweet white elephant gift…

  24. I agree with Cliff; not to say that dogfighting isn’t reprehensible but legal requirements often change quicker than mores. That’s not excusing Vick but I wonder how much he would have gotten for vehicular homicide if he had been drunk and killed someone in an auto accident. As I recall, Leonard Little of the Rams did less than Vick is getting for this.

  25. Nice use of the word “rejoinder.”

    I’ll have to scroll back up to check, but I don’t think I was trying to win an argument. Actually, I don’t think there was an argument at all. Based on that statement, I really thought you might be kidding. It reeked of facetiousness.

  26. I know Smitty was just kidding, but I couldnt see him being any better than Anderson or Blanco, etc…..I still would like to see a Figgins or Crisp in center next year…..but, if this is what we have to go with (the internal options) i can live with it….

  27. concerning 41

    Smitty, you must have put some “extra ingredients” in those cakes and partook right?

  28. #46 – Figgins will not be in Atl. Apparently the Angels wanted Aramis Ramirez for him. Price is too high

  29. Peanut has a new mailbag up. In it you will learn that Soriano is the closer, Javy Lopez won’t be a Brave next year, and Infante will be a utility player.

  30. (report inappropriate content)

    I am a Met fan, but unless Dayn means a free for all three team race, ending in crazy style with the Mets winning, I have a hard time believing the Mets will win this over the Braves. I don’t think the Phils have improved much, but I think if the
    Dayn Perry at Fox pegs the Braves behind the Mets, then the Phillies. His read is funny. Here is a Mets Fan’s reaction:

    “Braves get back Hampton, and Glavine gives them 10-15 wins, it will make the race difficult. Dayn may be right, but it is way to early to make predicitions.”

  31. Dayn Perry, sheesh.

    The Braves have always liked Mench, from what I’ve heard. But it’s pretty clear now that he was a creation of Arlington, and that he’s not a worthwhile hitter in a major league corner.

  32. I’ve got our CF solution right here: just play four outfielders… fudgit!

    Right-to-left: Francouer-Hampton-B. Jones-Diaz

    count it!

  33. Whichever of Blanco and Anderson hits better in spring training should be the starting CF if the Braves don’t trade for anybody better. Shaeffer should at least start the year in AA. If he’s crushing the ball and the interim CF sucks, Jordan can be called up in June. Brandon Jones will be platooning in LF and Francoeur is fine where he is in RF.

  34. I just think Hampton should have to do *something*

    Besides, his arm is worse than Juan Pierre’s? Nero, please. ;)

  35. Thanks for including Blanco in the poll; like Ed Giovanola in the Belliard days, the Braves seem to have forgotten that he exists. Not that he’s guaranteed to shoot the lights out, but he’d be a huge improvement on Anderson or Harris.

  36. #14

    I didn’t think you were being facetious, Marc, I just couldn’t disagree with someone more than giving an excuse to abuse animals.

    I don’t care that this maybe a norm in certain rural or lower income areas – it’s still common sense about not abusing dogs. It’s sick and indefensible and I am only sorry Vick didn’t go to jail longer.

    The only way you beging to set any kind of limits as a civilized culture is to start throwing people in jail who commit these despicable acts. Just my 2 cents.

  37. I’m shocked that people are pissed that Olney thinks the Braves are pretty much set as-constituted. Frankly, it’s nice to not have any glaring needs on the team.

  38. I’m very curious to see what happenes with cuban defector Alexei Ramirez. There is little to no information about him available, but he’s an intriguing option. If the braves could get him for something like 5-7 million per year for one or two years he may be a worthwhile gamble.

  39. Mac, that may be true, as his career home/road split is awful, but his LHP/RHP splits are also pretty stunning. He has a career OPS over .900 against lefties, and hit over .900 against them last year too. He still might be a good situational hitter if he could be had for cheap.

  40. Wren should put in a call to Kris Benson, see if he’s looking for a cheap 1-year deal to be a number 4 and push chucky back to 5…..either way, we’d have Anna around! ha.

    Just halfway kidding on that comment…again, another starter (with decent potential not named Hampton) would be nice.

  41. I’m too lazy and don’t care enough right now to look, but are Blanco/Anderson lefty and righty? If so I’d say platoon.

  42. Back when I was a budding journalist, I was cornered by a couple of my wife’s uncles at a cookout in Warner Robins. These guys were ex-military and retired developers, who were right at home at the country club or shooting quail at some exclusive retreat.

    They didn’t want to talk to me about that, though. They wanted me to do a story on cockfighting in the area. And not an expose — an appreciation. They claimed stridently that cockfighting got an undeserved bad name in the press, and that it was a legitimate and popular diversion in the area. They mentioned specifically that it appealed to people (okay, just the men) of all socio-economic strata.

    Domestic tranquility took precedence over investigative reporting at the time, so I politely declined. But it was an eye-opener for me. You can make the argument that cockfighting and dogfighting are (literally and figuratively) different animals, and I would agree.

    The “sport” itself is not a black or white thing, or a rich or poor thing — it’s a country thing. But you shouldn’t kid yourself that expectation of punishment isn’t different. The old fatcats I talked to were in no danger of going to prison, even if they got caught fighting dogs. It would have been a wink and a nod, and they’d be back in their beds that night.

    News flash — two years in the slammer IS a long time.

  43. I watched Zep’s “The Song Remains the Same” again tonight. A pretty mixed affair, but a laugh, nonetheless, especially those preposterous “fantasy scenes.” Remember, this is before Spinal Tap.

    As a child of the ’70s, I got my fill of Zep. I liked ’em and all (and, yes, they do stand up well after all these years), but punk rock showed up at the right time for me. Considering that Zep didn’t put out a real record for about 5 years, the idolatry had begun to bug me.

    I’ll never forget seeing the flick as a midnight movie with a bunch of stoned friends/Zep heads (circa ’78/’79). When the opening credits rolled, they got up and applauded Jimmy Page’s name.

    I sunk in my chair, semi-terrified that the theater people would bust us for the bottle of Southern Comfort we had snuck in. I mean, we must’ve smelled like a bucket of Janis Joplin.

    Cut to the next scene: Bonzo’s interminable drum solo for “Dazed & Confused” and my very stoned pals were very much asleep. I probably wasn’t that far behind them, but for some reason, at that very moment, I felt a little more justified listening to The Ramones.

  44. Alex,

    I certainly didn’t mean to excuse what Vick did. I love animals and it broke my heart to see what they assholes did. But I bet not many people know that dogfighting is a federal offense (I’m a lawyer and I didn’t know). This isn’t like running drugs or even using steroids. Mores change and Vick, to some extent, got caught up in those changing mores without the wherewithal to realize what he was doing. Dogfighting is not something that educated, upper middle class, suburbanites do, so it’s rather easy to condemn it. Hunting, on the other hand, is something that middle class people do and that seems to be ok, even to the point of using high powered weapons against deer and having TV shows about it. I’m not saying dogfighting and hunting are necessarily the same thing, but I’m not sure why it’s ok to shoot deer and not ok to have dogs fight other than one is legal and the other isn’t. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and nothing excuses the willful cruelty (and the utter stupidity)that Vick displayed but you have to recognize there is a class issue involved here.

  45. Marc,

    A deer is in the wild, in its own home and you have to invade without it becoming aware. A deer can run away, and usually does.

    A dog, you brought in to the world and tied it up and ritually abused it its entire life in attempt to develop a certain reaction, and then it didn’t act the way you wanted it to, so you murdered it by hanging it, slamming it on the ground, or electrocuting it.

    It isn’t even about the dogs that get the chance to fight for their lives. That’s cruel enough, and should also be a crime. The cruelest part though is the murder of the dogs that Vick and his cohorts deemed unworthy of that chance.

  46. “I’m not saying dogfighting and hunting are necessarily the same thing, but I’m not sure why it’s ok to shoot deer and not ok to have dogs fight other than one is legal and the other isn’t.”

    I can’t believe that I am even taking the time to respond to this, but in brief:

    Hunting of deer or other wild game is not even remotely comparable to fighting dogs for sport. First of all, the harvesting of wild game serves as a means of population control. Because of human encroachment into natural habitats, wild animals such as deer severely overpopulate the areas that are still untouched by man, which leads to a decrease in food sources, which leads to the animals being undernourished. Killing deer helps to control the population, which leads to healthier animals. I don’t think the killing of (somewhat) domesticated animals is serving as a means of controlling any overpopulation problems, nor is there a shortage of food for these dogs. Also, most hunters that I know have their deer meat processed, put it in their freezer and eat it, or sell/give it away to others to eat. There are also programs where deer hunters are given the option of donating some/all of the meat to food banks. Dogs killed in dogfights aren’t being eaten, but rather their carcases are probably being tossed in a dumpster somewhere. Also, the proceeds from many of the taxes/stamps/licenses that deer hunters are required to pay for are put directly back into wildlife conservation. Where do you think dogfighters are investing their earnings?

  47. So Fido walks up to his doggie dish, bends down and starts happily chewing on a Milkbone…

    A few seconds later, a metal hook is jerked through his jaw and into his eye-socket, poking the eye outward while Fido’s full weight is lifted by this hook off his feet and through the roof where he immediately begins to suffocate, all the while writhing in agony on the barbed hook.

    ….

    Now, I love me some fishing, but the point is we do have different standards for different animals, and it’s all rather arbitrary.

    At least in the case of hunting or fishing the object, ostensibly, is to gather food, but neither is really necessary to feed yourself anymore and many people engage in these activities for sport and entertainment.

    The end result is still dead animals, and while I do feel that dogfighting is much worse, I can’t say that I have a compelling argument for that other than setting up one animal to hurt or kill another vs., um, us doing it seems more wrong somehow.

  48. While you can say that what meat we choose to eat in our culture was arrived at arbitrarily, the choices have been made, and we’ve built around those choices to the point where there’s no turning back. And as Tennessee Brave points out, there is a legal and cultural system of expectations that’s been built by and for responsible hunters.

  49. I am not saying that hunting is as bad as dogfighting, but I would dare say that most hunters aren’t doing it because of their desire to help control the deer population–they are doing it for sport. The fact that deer can run away is irrelevent. In fact, forcing them to run for their lives is pretty inhumane too, IMO. Most hunters, it seems to me, enjoy the thrill of the hunt. I doubt it’s as much fun from the animal’s perspective. If you really wanted to simply control the animal population, I suspect there are more humane ways to do so than having hunters running around with high-powered rifles.

    I’m not defending what Vick did or trying to defend dogfighting. I agree that it is worse and more cruel than hunting but it’s a matter of degree, not of kind. I’m just saying that how we look at what he did is colored by our backgrounds and class.

  50. jjschiller makes a good point of distinction in that dogfighting isn’t some instantaneous or short-period act, but a series of abuses over time that culminates into a final act of violence.

    And as Tennessee Brave mentions, there are other positive benefits that can be associated with hunting and fishing that can not be extended to dogfighting. Plus, the end provided for in hunting and fishing *can* be food, whereas the end to dogfigthing is merely brutality, or bloodsport.

  51. Sansho,

    I’m not advocating making hunting illegal. You are correct about hunting being a part of the culture. All I’m saying is that you need to look at Vick’s actions in context. He is going to prison for two years while a drunk driver that kills someone gets less. (Leonard Little got 90 days.) I think Vick should be punished but I can also understand why he would be saying WTF?

  52. Marc-

    Perhaps a comparison more people here could get behind would be to bull fighting. I know a lot of people who find it completely unconscionable, but in Spain and other places, it’s entirely part of the culture.

    I do agree that to an extent, there is an issue about different cultures within different classes in the US, but at the same time, many laws are based around the culture of a given group of people, and there may be other groups who have different cultural values which disagree with it. Abortion is an example, where people from more religious backgrounds (and you can break it down further than that) view the issue differently than individuals from non-religious backgrounds. Smoking laws, too, if you want something marginally less controversial.

    Anyhow, I guess my point is that I just don’t see this as a super-unique situation except that it’s a sports star rather than just some guy.

  53. sorry, btw, Jox Sports in B’ham said that the Michigan AD called LSU again yesterday. Miles is the leading candidate again, even after he signed his extension. The new contract has the same buyout, $1.25M and he can only leave for the Michigan job

  54. I believe that Tony Franklin, Troy OC, is now the new Auburn OC or is close to being named the OC. Just what I was told

  55. OK, no more about Vick. I’m not a Falcons’ fan, never particularly liked him and am not going to lose any sleep over him being in jail. I certainly never meant to defend him. Spring training starts in six or seven weeks.

  56. csg,
    For what it’s worth, I’m hearing Tony Franklin too. The final three were Gus Malzahn (yeah right), Clemson’s Rob Spence, and Troy’s Tony Franklin, who was UK’s offensive coordinator with Lorenzen.

  57. About 10 years ago, I went to the bullfights in an old coliseum in Valencia, Spain. I had visions of Hemingway.

    But after I saw what was really happening—um, it’s not exactly a “fair fight”—I started rooting for the bulls.

  58. Johnathan,

    No, it’s not reasonable at this point to expect the Braves to do anything to sign Fukudome, especially since the Padres are making one of the “biggest offers in team history”.

  59. Elbow surgery ended his 2007 season, but he led the league in slugging, I think. That would mean that he would probably have some decent doubles power here in the States.

    So, yes, I think it’s reasonable to believe that he’ll produce like Matsui. I think he’s a better fielder, though.

  60. It probably means that he will get every opportunity to make it out of Spring Training. Sounds like they view him as likely to start as Anderson or Blanco. Starts his clock early, but oh well.

  61. @88 Miles can leave for any job he wants to. It’s just that if he leaves for Michigan he has to pay 1.25M, if he leaves for any other reason or any other job he’ll be in breach and have to pay damages, so basically he won’t be doing that.

  62. Not sure if anyone else has seen this or not, but over on Talking Chop they have the link to a YouTube of Mike Hampton pitching in his 1 inning in the Mexican League. If any of you “old timers” don’t remember what Mike looked like when he pitched back in the day you can find it here:

    (the injury occures at 4:30 in the video)

  63. There is no reason that I can think of to add Schaffer to the 40 man a day before he is going to be either (1) on an active season 25 man roater or (2) subject to Rule 5 draft (next November / December). Maybe some of the hands here can come up with a reason.

    Yes, somebody has to be released or traded.

    I have an unfortunate feeling that it will be Aybar. The Braves don’t take well to loss of self control and they may have tried to trade him with no takers. STILL I think you have to bring him to camp and see if lightning strikes and you can get something back.

  64. Marc –

    I understand your point. It’s too bad that people either get lost in the details or, far worse, conflate a complex perspective on a multi-faceted issue with the condoning of a horrible act. It’s the worst kind of reductivism, as it is disingenuous and cuts off conversation. I love dogs and I don’t like Mike Vick either; but I can also see that this is and always has been about more than dogfighting. But hey, call me a dog-killer or moral relativist or whatever else passes for “healthy” debate these days.

  65. So far in the This Year in Baseball Awards on mlb website, two awards, two Red Sox. Any coincidence?

  66. I still think Francoeur in CF would be the best option. To compare his fielding to Andruw isn’t fair because there aren’t five other major league CF out there that compare to Andruw, fieldling-wise. I think he would be every bit as good as Edmonds, without the injuries. It’s worth a shot, and you could pick up Griffey Jr for a year or two and let him play left field until he gets 3,000 hits. That would put bodies in the seats, which would offset what you would pay for his services. By then, Shafer hopefully would be ready and you could move Franoeur back to RF.

  67. Can’t find any verification anywhere that the Braves have 40-manned Schafer… If they did, count me with those who don’t know why they would.

    I had a question about 40 man rosters that someone here might be able to answer.. I read that the Yanks want to release Pavano, pay him his money, and then sign him to a minor league deal. The reason is supposedly that releasing him frees up a roster spot, and if he remains in the organization they can collect insurance on the salary.

    My question is this, if he’s on the 60-day DL, isn’t he already off the 40-man? Isn’t that the major distinction between 60-day and 15-day? If players on both DL’s have to be on the roster, why not just leave your injured on the 15 day DL forever, in case they are available on day 59?

  68. Yeah I have been looking and see no indication that they have moved Schafer to the 40 man, also when did Terence Moore get invited to this party?

  69. Re 108 – The DL essentially expires at the end of the season. anyone still DL’d goes back on at the start of next season.

  70. Adam,

    I appreciate that you understood what I was trying to say, probably inartfully. And, yes, the debate was civil which I appreciate.

    As for CF, I don’t see the point in spending the money on Griffey. He isn’t really that good anymore. I think Francouer should stay in RF. He has enough things to work on offensively without having to learn a new position as well.

  71. francouer should stay in right! I understand why people might think he should shift there but I agree with Marc that Jeff has enough to work on offensively that we don’t need his mind to be on his defense in CF.

  72. I had a dream last night that the Braves were facing Andruw Jones’s new team in the last innings, except it was the Nats instead of the Dodgers. In the dream, Andruw golfs a breaking ball out of the park–the ball actually bounces in front of the plate!–for a 1-0 Nats win. I don’t know who was pitching, though I want to say it was Alejandro Pena. I was really depressed until I woke up, and then laughed myself back to sleep at the absurdity of the dream. It wasn’t the unexplained return of Pena to MLB at 48 years of age that struck me as absurd–it was Andruw hitting a low breaking ball. He only hits hangers.

  73. Mark,

    Your dream was right in one respect, though. Andruw would definitely have swung at the pitch.

  74. Andruw’s line next year

    .350 .415 .590

    and we all cry all year about how bad TP was with him. he and Boras then opts out of the contract and gets a 8yr/24 p.yr with the Yanks

  75. CSG, does Andruw’s new contract really have an opt-out clause?

    I was about to say, you’d think the Dodgers would have learned after the J.D. Drew fiasco, but frankly, they’re probably lucky J.D. left. I’d sure as hell rather have Kemp and Ethier in the outfield wings.

    Jeez, signing Juan Pierre was dumb.

  76. #114,
    shouldn’t that be a ground-rule double? And given that Andruw never hustles, the OF might get the ball back and gun Andruw out at home before he makes it here.

  77. #117 – I dont think it does, just made my scenario sound sooo much better.

    Meanwhile, all of our speedy CF options are hitting a combined .210-.220, but are playing good defense

  78. @92
    ububba,
    Hemingway or not, when you go to a man vs. beast square off you should know what your getting. when i was racing in europe we took time off to run with the bulls(against our director’s wishes)…now that is excitement and stupidity at its best.

  79. beedee,
    I believe that if you’re gonna stick the bull like a pin cushion before the event, the matador should be forced to defend himself with nothing more than Styrofoam.

  80. Will Muschamp to become head coach at Arkansas? Has anyone heard this? Someone in mty office swears it’s legit…

  81. From WFAN:

    MLB has the Mitchell Report now & the commissioner is reviewing it for 48 hours.

    It will contain 60 to 80 names & it will be released to the public on Thursday.

  82. Wow. If the Razorbacks pull that one off, I’ll be impressed. Figured Petrino would hop back to college, but after one year! And to Arkansas??! Okay.

    I wonder who Auburn fans would prefer. Petrino or Tuberville? Hmmm..

  83. good for the SEC, lose Big O and pick up Petrino. Aubbie fans you were that close again to getting Petrino. Probably stings a bit, but good for the SEC

  84. mr. schneider, i only hope i never have to depend on an attourney that cant see the difference between deer hunting and dog fighting

  85. I’m going to enjoy Petrino trying to run a spread passing offense with Casey Dick at quarterback and a receiving corps mostly suited for blocking duty. But then, I’m bitter. That man is the worst NFL coach I’ve ever seen, and I remember Marion Campbell.

  86. It can’t be any worse than trying to run it with Chris Redman and The Slew Of Pooh at the NFL level, though, can it?

  87. I’m also waiting to see if he gets attacked the same way Saban did. Yeah, right.

    Petrino quits Falcons to take Arkansas job | ajc.com

    Owner Arthur Blank said he spoke to Petrino on Monday, and that Petrino assured him that he would be back for his second season with the team.

    “I feel real fortunate that we have a terrific guy leading our football team,” Blank said on Monday.

    How did Blank get to be so rich if he’s that stupid?

  88. The Brewers just DFA’d Matt Wise, and I kinda want him too.

    First Mench, and now Wise. Is there something wrong with me if I keep wanting castoffs from one of the NL’s more disappointing teams last season?

  89. Yes, there is, AAR. Buster Olney implies that we don’t have any weaknesses and you want to add this garbage?

  90. Can’t blame Petrino. Gotta bail from that scene.

    Little Rock must look like an oasis, even though I guess he’s gonna take a pay cut.

    BTW, who’s going to coach the Hogs’ bowl game?

  91. ububba, they said the O coor. would coach it. I dont blame Petrino for leaving. He was given Joey Harrington and told good luck. He has two terrible RB’s and no offensive line. they’re just bad and I dont see them improving for quite a while. Roddy White is the bright spot on the team. I’ve heard that several players actually hated playing for Petrino. probabaly a good move for both sides. Maybe the college coaches will quit this moving to the NFL thing

  92. csg, who is the second terrible RB? You can’t be thinking of Norwood — the guy’s averaging over six yards a carry for the second year in a row. He just can’t get in the game.

  93. sorry, my bad. I was just ranting and got a little carried away. Crumpler has been bad this year to add on to the pile. Norwood and White are the only bright spots

  94. Norwood’s been great, and Petrino won’t play him. How is that anyone’s fault but Petrino’s? Is Rich Mackay down there forcing him to run what’s left of Warrick Dunn into the line twenty times a game?

  95. I’m also waiting to see if he gets attacked the same way Saban did. Yeah, right.

    Saban was attacked for saying eight words, not because he bailed. Everyone knew he was in over his head at the NFL level. He also had as much power as a head coach can have in Miami, whereas Petrino was simply the coach.

  96. Who ARE college coaches that have moved to the NFL and have actually been successful? I suppose you’d have to define “successful,” but there can’t be many.

  97. Honestly, Vince Lombardi couldn’t have succeeded as Falcons coach this year.

    I hope Petrino’s a better Razorbacks coach than Houston Nutt, who is mostly notable for his ability to wring an 8-5 season out of any team, regardless of talent level.

  98. Well, I’m sure he will be attacked.

    The situations are still completely different. It really wasn’t some vast conspiracy by the media against Saban.

  99. Tom Coughlin has been pretty successful at both levels. Granted, he only coached at college level for three years.

  100. Well, I’m a Dolphins fan, so I hate his guts for running our franchise in the ground and then bailing. I think he could’ve succeeded in the NFL. He was a superb X’s & O’s coach, he was just a terrible talent evaluator. Had he opted for Brees instead of Culpepper, he’d probably still be coaching Miami.

    Jimmy Johnson once said the biggest difference going from college to the NFL was that in college you get 25 first round picks a year, whereas in the NFL you get one.

  101. Stu, if you think this team has no weaknesses, I’m happy for you, and there’s nothing I can say. But I still feel like we could use a bit more stability in our bullpen, and Wise has been a pretty solid guy in his career, horrible second-half blowup last year notwithstanding. (Of course, you could say a somewhat similar thing about the guy who’s replacing him, Gagne.) He hasn’t been overused — he has never pitched more than 64 1/3 innings, and has pitched about 160 innings the past three years, which ain’t bad. And he’s only 31.

    I bet he has a little more in the tank. Trouble is, a lot of teams would probably like him, so we’ll have to offer him something like $2 million. I’d say he’s worth it for any price $1.5 million and below. (After all, we gave Sturze $750,000.)

  102. Hmmm. Blanco’s line in Venezuela is still looking pretty good. .322/.425/.454. If that could translate to .280/.380/.410 I’d be happy, especially with what he brings defensively and speed wise.

    @161
    I’ll probably be struck down for saying this, but I feel pretty optimistic about the bullpen this year. You figure they will keep 7. Soriano, Moylan, Ohman, and Acosta are probably locks. For the final three I don’t feel badly about: Boyer, Devine, Bennett, Ring, Yates. One or two might implode, but I doubt all of them will Plus, you expect Gonzalez to be a factor at some point.

  103. Ethan,

    I agree with you about the bullpen, actually. The biggest weaknesses on the team are center field and starting pitching, and that’s where it ends.

  104. Wow, I am still stunned by the news that Petrino is going to Arkansas. The SEC is going to outrageous in the near future.

    For those who say the Petrino situation is totally different than the Saban situation you are wrong. The media asked Petrino if he was going to take another college job, and he said the usual coach speak about how he was happy where he was and this was his dream job. I do not blame him for leaving, but if you want to stand on your pulpit in condemn one man, at least be consistent.

  105. Wow, I am still stunned by the news that Petrino is going to Arkansas. The SEC is going to outrageous in the near future.

    For those who say the Petrino situation is totally different than the Saban situation you are wrong. The media asked Petrino if he was going to take another college job, and he said the usual coach speak about how he was happy where he was and this was his dream job. I do not blame him for leaving, but if you want to stand on your pulpit in condemn one man, at least be consistent.

  106. It really wasn’t some vast conspiracy by the media against Saban.

    Wasn’t it?

    And isn’t it, though?

    Saban stayed with the Dolphins through the end of last season instead of bailing. He tried to fend off the inquiries of the Miami media as every other coach has ever done (no comment, won’t discuss it, etc.), but they just wouldn’t drop it.

    Their intention wasn’t to discover “the truth,” it was to put Saban in a no-win situation. Either he could say he was leaving and watch his team check-out on the rest of the season –or– he could say he was staying when he knew there was a *possibility*, though not a certainty, that he could be leaving.

    When anyone is looking into another job possibility, it’s not in the best interest of the individual or even his employer to make it known. It undermines the current position. Especially with Saban looking to “step down” back to college ball, it wouldn’t have worked. What NFL player is going to take his coach seriously after that?!

    Saban let Huizenga know what was happening and had the owner’s blessing to leave.

    The fury over Saban’s leaving the Miami Dolphins is *solely* media fueled, mostly because they looked like asses by mocking Alabama for thinking an NFL coach of Saban’s caliber would “step down” to a college position.

    Half the Miami fans wanted Saban gone anyway.. until he actually left them.. for Alabama. Who’s the injured party here?

  107. Saban let Huizenga know what was happening and had the owner’s blessing to leave.

    Patently untrue. Huizenga entrusted him with his entire franchise two years prior, built an indoor practice facility at Saban’s urging, renovated the stadium. Huizenga certainly didn’t support his leaving. What really happened was after stringing Huizenga out for a few days making a decision, Saban finally said he was leaving. But like a little boy, told Wayne he’d stay if he wanted him to. Letting a guy leave because he wants out isn’t exactly giving him a blessing.

    And don’t give me the trying to fend off the media excuse. Nobody made him say “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach”. His no comments and I don’t want to talk about it sufficed just fine.

    But yeah, poor little Nicky Saban. . . getting blasted by the media. I feel so bad for the little fella.

  108. Everyone knew he was in over his head at the NFL level.

    I don’t know about that. He took Joey Freakin’ Harrington and a crap team (obviously) and shut out Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the world dominating New England Patriots last year 21-0. Everyone forgets that.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=261210015

    Again: Joey Harrington!

    Saban took over a terrible 4-12 Miami team and lead it to 9-7, just missing the playoffs in the stronger AFC. Then the Culpepper debacle took the team back to 6-10 in 2006.

    Saban split 2-2 against Belichick and the team no one can figure out how to beat anymore.

    He didn’t fail in the NFL so much as he decided he preferred college and left the challenge. Maybe he ultimately would have succeeded, maybe not, but he made a decision to leave it unanswered.

  109. This Petrino thing is getting slimier by the minute. He’ll get his.

    And some of that Saban backlash comes from LSU fans. That certainly wasn’t a media creation.

  110. P.S. He would have succeeded after some heavy roster overhaul.

    Luckily, he’ll be succeeding for the Tide instead.. again after some roster overhaul that’s much easier to manage.

  111. Cary,

    As I said above, I think Saban could have succeeded at the NFL level. He was a terrible talent evaluator. Ronnie Brown and Channing Crowder are the only legitimate starter caliber players he drafted in two years.

  112. who was the last college coach to actually obtain a decent nfl team? its seems like all these high profile coaches are leaving for the worst NFL gigs and suffering becuase of it. Saban, Petrino, and Spurrier are great coaches and probably would do reasonably well if they didnt get the crap teams aka Atlanta, Miami, and Washington. Its a hard move for anyone and you can see these guys didnt want to deal with it, frankly I dont blame them

  113. The LSU fan reaction is more bizarre. He left them to try the NFL. He didn’t like it.

    His agent approached him with the Alabama opportunity because he knew Saban was unhappy. It’s not like Saban came to Alabama with hat in hand.

    Saban then took the Alabama job. Um, was there an opening at LSU??? No.

    So the problem is one of.. fear. Pure and simple.

  114. Jeremy,

    You’re probably right on that point. Despite what Bill Parcells says about buying the groceries if you’re doing the cooking, the NFL front offices seem to work better when a group is in charge of getting evaluating/selecting players and another group is in charge of coaching them while providing some input into the selection process.

  115. And dumped all the vets, played all the kids and traded Herschel Walker for a billion draft picks.

    I don’t think what Johnson did could ever happen now.

    Cary,
    I agree. Saban had a hard time deferring to others on personnel matters. He reportedly didn’t have a very good relationship with Randy Mueller, which is odd because he hand-picked him to be his right hand personnel man.

  116. Since I’m on an Saban-apologist roll…

    Saban is a helluva coach, but he’s tough to root for, especially after that “9/11 & Pearl Harbor” speech.

    The reports on that were way overblown. Far be it for those reporting to use their brains (no slam on ububba at all), but Saban did not equate a football loss to Louisiana-Monroe to Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Give me a break.

    To wit, on PTI (which I usually love) they did the Saban “9/11-Pearl Harbor” story and Michael Wilbon went ballistic. He has blind hated for all things Saban because he thought he was bullying to the Miami press (fair enough–he’s a journalist and he’s particularly sensitive to that).

    In the *very next segment*, they discussed FSU LB Geno Hayes’ comments that “Tim Tebow is going down.” But here, they actually decided to use their brains and note that Hayes’ did not actually mean that they were literally going out merely to injure Tebow. It was simply hyperbole.

    My question, where were their brains in the previous segment? Why didn’t they (and many others in the national media) use their powers of intellect to devine that there was no literal linkage intended in Saban’s statements. Clearly there was none.

    It was a poorly conceived thought, but nothing more. It didn’t warrant 1% of the media coverage it received. It was simply another chance to flog Saban for making them look like fools when he took the Bama job.

  117. Sorry, I don’t buy this “college coaches can’t succeed in the NFL” stuff. Just because every single pro football analyst parrots some variation of “this is the NFL”, “welcome to the National Football League”, “if you want to succeed in this league…”, “they ain’t playing tiddlywinks out there”, and on and on every 5 seconds, doesn’t mean there’s some mystique about it.

    And what’s so “college” about Petrino, anyway? If he’d been hired as an NFL head coach after 2001 (his third year as an assistant), he’d have been called a pro guy. But since he went back to college, he changed somehow? I’m no fan of Petrino, but anybody would have failed with this roster.

  118. A lot of this is just Saban not being a very likable guy. He’s boorish and does bully the media, among others. Of course, you could say the same things about Belichick.

  119. Cary,
    I saw the entire press conference & Saban deserved what he got. Before that bit, I didn’t care about Saban one way or the other, but now I think he’s a putz.

    You cannot use those examples in any kind of football-related analogy & not expect to get roasted for it.

    If a guy did that in a bar, at the very least, I’d certainly say, “That’s a bad analogy.” But I’d probably say something else.

  120. Cary,

    I appreciate you being a Saban apologist. RTR!

    I am still trying to get my mind around this Petrino situation. Can anyone think of a two day stretch of time that has ever been this bad for one franchise?

    I am going to look at the positive, and say that this wraps up the #2 slot in the draft for the Falcons. Hello, Darren McFadden! I think he is someone who would generate a ton of energy for the Falcons. What does everyone else think?

  121. In the first three rounds of the last eight NFL drafts, the Falcons have selected exactly one offensive lineman (the late Travis Claridge). Back when they used to use first round picks on the OL, they’d get guys like Kenn, Fralic, and Whitfield.

    Since there doesn’t appear to be a franchise QB in this year’s draft, I say they should do the unsexy thing and get Jake Long from Michigan. Then next year, if they can get another stud offensive lineman early in the first round, do it again.

  122. Star college players fail to pan out in the NFL all the time, while unheard-of’s sometimes flourish. There is a difference in the skill sets that are required to succeed between the two levels.

    Why would the same not also apply to coaches? Some can succeed at either level, but it does not surprise me that most are best suited for one or the other.

  123. Re: Falcons draft, I agree with sansho1. If there isn’t a QB that you really like, you are better off getting some line help rather than spending the pick on an RB. Many very productive backs are selected later or even undrafted. After QB, OL is the key to offensive success IMO.

  124. Not to completely dismiss that notion, but the Falcons did take Justin Blalock with their 2nd round pick last year. If Darren McFadden is still there at number 2 you have to take him. He is the closest thing to a sure bet in this coming draft. He is easily the best running back to come out of the SEC since Bo Jackson.

  125. I want to know how a coach like Petrino or Saban can look a recruit or his college players in the eye and tell them not to quit. It seems as if it’s ok for men in their 40s and 50s to sign contracts, make commitments, and then, when things don’t turn out the way they want, to bail. I have nothing but contempt for people like Saban and Petrino. I understand they didn’t like the NFL because they don’t have total control over professional players like they do over 18 year olds. Petrino didn’t even have the decency to wait a day before holding his press conference at Arkansas. These coaches always talk about integrity and accountability and character, but it apparently only applies to the players. They would sell out their mothers to get another buck or to get a better job. What if a player said, in the middle of the season, I don’t feel like playing here anymore so I’m quitting? Since when did contracts become just pieces of paper that coaches can just disregard when it suits them? Sure, the Falcons are a lousy franchise and it’s probably a lousy job and a lot of bad things happened this year. But Petrino knew what he was getting into (except for losing Vick). He bailed on Louisville after signing a long contract and then bailed on the Falcons when things went bad. Some integrity, huh? And isn’t it wonderful how these colleges are willing to prostitute themselves and encourage this kind of behavior to help the football program. And people cheer. It all disgusts me. As bad as the NFL might be, at least it’s not as corrupt and hypocritical as college football, especially in the South.

    Sorry for the rant. You can have the SEC–it’s nothing but a cheater’s league.

  126. I generally agree with your sentiments there, Marc, although I much prefer the college game itself to the pro game.

    I will say that Vanderbilt shouldn’t be included with the cheaters in the conference. There’s a reason—and yes, there are others, too—why.we can’t really compete with the other schools in football.

  127. Stu,

    I agree; Vandy is in a different category. That’s also why Tech left the conference years ago.

    And I didn’t mean to say that only the SEC cheats; it’s all of college football. I went to the U of Miami as well.

  128. this petrino thing makes me wonder why anyone bothers with a contract for a coach. maybe they should just pick them up on the corner every day and pay them like day labor. as it is, they’re just running amoc like a bunch of rich whores and gypsies. anybody want to bet where les miles is working next year?

  129. seems like some of the pitchers on Mitchell’s list are head problems; Rocker, Fawnsworth and Clemmons. Canesco threw out his arm trying to pitch BTW

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