Stupid Wren

You know, normally I’d start player analysis writeups in about a week, but with two positions not officially settled (though I expect Jones/Diaz platooning in left) I don’t know if I should. Opinions?

169 thoughts on “Stupid Wren”

  1. Position writeups are always one of my favorite offseason rituals — helps the next 6 weeks till minicamp go a lot quicker. And I think we’re settled at enough positions that you could justify starting, and just leave CF and LF for later, along with the bench. (Though I think you’re absolutely right about the Jones/Diaz platoon.)

  2. Well, start with the players that we know are going to be starting, and in time, the roster will probably take shape.

  3. While I think Wren is capable of being a terrific GM for the Braves, I am sorely disappointed that he A) wasn’t able to land (yet) a better Centerfielder and B) that we weren’t able to land Erik Bedard, who seems ripe for the taking.

    I realize there’s still time for a few more things to happen, but I am surprised at the lack of movement on Center.

  4. Please start now. I’d like to be reminded of the seasons the young infielder’s had last year. Barring ridiculous platooning, the Braves have a keystone combo that could be something special.

  5. Yeah, it’s probably because I lack information, but I’ve been somewhat disappointed that we haven’t at least been a part of some the discussions.

    Frittering away attention on Javi and Glavine seems like rounding up the usual suspects to me.

    And, yes, please start asap with the player analyses.

    Thanks again for this wonderful blog.

    Happy New Year, y’all!!

  6. Diaz should be given the 1st opportunity to be the everyday LF’r. Jones should play every 5th day to see what he can offer

  7. #7

    100% in agreement with this. Diaz has absolutely earned the opportunity to be an everyday left fielder.

  8. I’ll probably start posting them next week. One reason to start early is because I have comparative leisure right now but won’t in a couple of weeks.

    Apropos of nothing, Kelly Johnson’s most-similar player list. I think this has been posted already, but it’s an odd group.

    1. Joe Crede (965)
    2. Wilson Betemit (964)
    3. Whitey Kurowski (958)
    4. Randy Jackson (954)
    5. Jeff Kent (953)
    6. Ty Wigginton (953)
    7. Hank Thompson (953)
    8. Max Alvis (953)
    9. Jack Lohrke (952)
    10. Darrell Evans (950)

    That’s through Age 25.

  9. Sorry for beating a dead horse one more time, but my only other theory on Thom Brenneman last night is that he’s just an angry drunk.

    He sounded (by the 4th quarter) like a guy on a major bender after he found out his girlfriend has left him. Charles Davis started to become his life coach by the end.

    I also think it’s a mistake for Fox (in general) to be handling the BCS games when they don’t do any other college games all year.

    It would be like having all these presidential primaries the next 2 months in various states, and then having the 2 conventions in Guam and the Virgin Islands.

  10. I am ready for the season.
    No complaints about Wren here, SP are too expensive for us since the Tex trade,either in money or prospects.
    I would love another SP but I also do not want to bleed the entire minor league system dry, we need cheap homegrown replacements to ease the pressure of the big contracts like Tex, Frenchy, Soriani and such will command in the near future,

  11. That’s a real weird comp list, but I imagine that if KJ posts another solid “Chase Utley lite” line at 2B, it’ll sort itself out into something remotely sensical.

  12. Boys, boys. Let’s not get carried away. KJ has much to prove before the word “Utley” appears in the same sentence, even with the qualifier.

    Free Diaz! Only BC can keep him off the leader board.

  13. just wondering….why does college football cram a couple of crappy games in between the BCS games? Why arent the BCS games the last 5 games played?

  14. #15

    I was thinking the same thing. What a “letdown” not to just go BCS games, 1-5 with no interruptions. However, it’s not like the BCS games have been much of anything this year.

    Frankly (I am being serious) I am more interested in following the Iowa caucuses Thursday night instead of the Va. Tech-Kansas Orange Bowl. (Dennis Kucinich and Duncan Hunter have as much a chance to win as Kansas.)

    I suspect another mismatch in that game. Kansas, just like Hawaii, beat absolutely NO ONE all year, and Virgini Tech, like Georgia, got a better & better as the season went along.

  15. 13 & 14,

    Somebody (maybe me?) linked something in here about 2 months ago that compared Utley to Kelly Johnson by age. I think it came from The Hardball Times.

    Basically, KJ is (offensively) ahead of Utley compared to all common ages and on almost exactly the same plane or grade on his rising performance line.

  16. Yeah, the phrase “Chase Utley lite” isn’t mine, though I don’t remember where I first heard it. He’s surely a long way from being a perennial 30-100 guy, but he’s a terrific offensive second baseman, and right now I have more confidence in him being able to keep his level of production (and even increase it) than Marcus Giles.

  17. at #15, I would guess the BCS doesn’t want all of the top teir games in a row because it could closely resemble a dreaded playoff.

    Those two games are probably scheduled to break up the week of hype prior to title game or mess up bowl pick ’em leagues across the country.

  18. The BCS games were scheduled this way to keep close to their traditional New Year’s dates. Later, they added the championship game, and lesser bowls took advantage of the week off. The BCS doesn’t have any control over them.

  19. I guess that makes sense, hell maybe next year all 119 teams will get to get in a bowl…why not add another 34-35 bowl games. We could have a Braves Journal.com bowl game and get Duke and Notre Dame to play again

  20. I think we are going to give the Schaffer kid a chance to get the CF job in the spring.

    Georgia and Tennessee really made the SEC look good yesterday, Florida, not so much.

  21. Mac, Please start the player write ups. One thing to look forward to during an Ohio winter.

    On Wren. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get more seriously into the Haren sweepstakes and that apparently (although one really never knows) we aren’t trying for Bedard. but I am not giving up. I hope that Wren understands that this team should be in win now mode.

    Diaz SHOULD be the full time LF this season.

    I don’t know if he is going to be as good as Chase Utley but KJ as he is right now is a pretty good player. Certainly better than Joe Crede.

  22. #23

    Smitty, I agree overall and especially that 6-2 record heading to the Monday game.

    But I can’t say Tennessee’s win was any more impressive than Bama, Auburn, UK or MSU. The only “dominant” win was Georgia’s.

    But if could take Bama’s first half and combine it with Tennessee’s 2nd half and Auburn’s O.T., that would be a great SEC game :-)

  23. I will take any blame/credit for the Utley comparisons. I think KJ is a special player with All-Star ability. I cannot wait to read the write ups. CFB is coming to a close and there will be nothing to look forward to until the Braves play again.

  24. The lineup:
    ss Escobar
    2b Johnson
    3b Chipper
    1b Teixiera
    C McCann
    rf Francouer
    lf Diaz
    cf Anderson/Schafer/Blanco?

  25. I also think it’s a mistake for Fox (in general) to be handling the BCS games when they don’t do any other college games all year.

    Sure it is, but to be clear, Brenneman and his partner calls games all year long on the Big 10 Network (Your home for Iowa at Minnesota!). So they at least have been involved in the season.

    Those two guys were behind the mic for the App State-Michigan game.

  26. Noted, Smitty.

    And let me add that Tennessee should get a gold star this year for beating a pretty tough Wisconsin team.

    One thing I kept hearing on the broadcast was Wisconsin’s supposed ‘sterling’ record against the SEC (though they left out the 0-2 against Georgia part) and even though my sister-in-law is a Badger and I have a bunch of Badgers amongst my friends, I was definitely pulling for the Vols. Happy they won.

  27. They loop the big highlights of the App. State/Michigan game on the TVs on display at Best Buy, so I get to watch the blocked kick at the very end about 30 times a shift to console me about losing to Michigan. That was a really exciting game, and Brennaman’s calls aren’t that bad.

  28. Apparently the Rockies are looking into Marcus Giles: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7858578

    Given Coors Field’s success in appearing to rejuvenate the careers of second basemen who suddenly lost all ability to hit (see Matsui, Kazuo), maybe they’ll be able to help Marcus stay in the league. As it is, he’s about six months from a one way ticket to the Long Island Ducks.

  29. AAR, late congrats on your gig at Chop-n-Change.

    On Giles, I was thinking the same thing when I read it on cnnsi.com. After he sucked so bad last season he was headed to quad A hell. Maybe he gets his stroke back at Coors. Talking about diametrically opposed hitting enviroments. Petco to Coors? its almost like a controlled experiment.

  30. Baseball can’t come soon enough. I don’t have much to offer about the Braves right now. To me, it’s a bit of a deadzone until we get a little roster movement.

    My take at the moment: They can win the East as currently constituted, but I definitely wouldn’t expect it. We’re not done in the outfield & I’d like to pick up another pitcher, either for the bullpen or the rotation.

    I like the lineup. I like the moves we’ve made. I’m actually excited about seeing KJ & Yunel next year.

    Forgive me if I feel a tad unfulfilled by the Georgia win. They played an almost perfect game, but you could see that that game was over in 5 minutes.

    As I said, when the bids were announced: This is a no-win situation for Georgia. Even if they hammer Hawaii, it’s basically met with a collective shrug, even from Georgia people.

    Although I mostly loved the 5 hours of Georgia coverage, Fox killed me with the commercials last night. And the halftime—do we need to see 3 marching bands?

  31. The thing that killed be about last night, ububba, was not just Brenneman’s drunken outrage at the audacity of Georgia for blowing out Hawaii, but the fact that they “promised” an 8:30 PM EST kickoff (still too damn late in my book) and we saw kickoff at close to 9:00 PM EST.

    FOX pulls the same sh– with the MLB Playoffs and World Series so I shouldn’t be surprised. But why is it I can watch a Georgia game in the Fall on CBS and it take an hour & a half less. It kills me.

    As I am one of the few people on here who’s an NBA fan (of my Spurs) so that will have to keep occupied on the sports landscape until March – when we get March Madness and Spring Training.

  32. I realize we have the NFL until early February, but since I don’t have 1 NFL team I care that much about, with Fantasy football over it’s hard to stay as invested in the league.

    Add to that the overall lack of suspense of a likely Pats Super Bowl win over some lesser NFC team. And even if the Pats are stunned by a Jacksonville or Indy, I don’t see any way for any NFC team to beat them, either.

  33. Alex,

    Well, it’s FOX–do you need to know more?

    I was watching a replay of Game 1 of the 1970 World Series on NBC and, of course, it’s funny to see the rudimentary graphics and that the game was played in the day. But several things really struck me: (1) NBC didn’t spend 2 hours having experts pontificate about who was going to win, introducing the starting lineups and giving the life story of each manager and player, and (2) the announcers (primarily Curt Gowdy) didn’t feel compelled to overwhelm the viewer with their incredible knowledge of the game on every pitch.

  34. Johnny (#29), I think you’ll see them switch Chipper and Tex. At least, they should. Tex is the better hitter at this point.

  35. Wait – Marc – are you saying that Tim McCarver pontificates!?!?! He seemed so reserved and shy…

    Ahhh, day playoff baseball…heck, they even had that in the 80’s. I don’t know why this game sticks out but I distinctly remember watching a 1986 ALCS game in Anaheim between the Red Sox and the Angels and the late Donnie Moore giving up a home run to Dave Henderson.

    The reason the game pops into my head because it was an LCS game and it took place in the afternoon. Myself and millions of other kids could easily watch – therebye (ahem, BUD) creating legions of new, young fans to love Baseball for years to come.

  36. It going to be interesting how the platoon works. Brandon Jones has shown a reverse split through his minor league career.
    The other option would be to cycle Brandon Jones between LF and CF ( in CF against LH starting pitcher ), and get subbed late in the game by Blanco or Anderson.

  37. full on w/ the player analysis! something to whittle away the hours..

    about the bowls: i say enough with the college football talk. this is a braves website, right?

    about the braves, i’d like to see a vet CF for a year, maybe, give the other guys another season.. a coco crisp kind

    and diaz for lf

  38. Mac,

    I would choose Rafael Belliard over Keith Lockhart. I would choose a lump of coal over Lockhart.

    Plus, Treadway’s a Dawg.

  39. Re: Lineup in # 29.

    I was going to say that Bobby would swap Francouer and McCann simply because he doesn’t like having that many lefties in a row, but Chipper and Teixeira are both legitimate hitters from either side, and Tex is actually a little better for his career against lefties. Actually, I still think Bobby would bat Francoeur 5th.

  40. Sam @42

    Tex is a very good hitter, but Chipper’s numbers last year were great. Chipper is still a better hitter than Tex, not by a long way, but there is a difference. Chipper is the perfect three hole hitter and Tex is a prototypical 4 hole hitter.

  41. That’s one helluva poll. Guess I’ll go with Treadway. Lockhart’s crappiness is too fresh in my mind.

  42. Actually, I still think Bobby would bat Francoeur 5th.

    Last year, Bobby batted McCann 5th if the starting pitcher was a righty, and Frenchy 5th if a lefty.

  43. I think the poll’s unfairly rigged against Lockhart. For him to have a chance, you’d have to pit him against someone like Ray King or Roberto Hernandez.

  44. Okay, here’s the schedule:

    Jan. 7: Brian McCann
    Jan. 8: The Great Backup Catcher Logjam, or Nothing Better Happen to McCann
    Jan. 9: Mark Teixeira
    Jan. 10: Kelly Johnson
    Jan. 11: Chipper Jones

  45. However, the difference is all caused by 2007. In 2006, Diaz actually hit better against righthanders. Those two seasons are most of his career…

  46. I really think the backup catcher position is the most important position on the team. I can how so many people get upset about who we acquire/dont acquire for that all important role. (btw, I’m being sarcastic)

  47. And whatta career! He’s got a .320 career average — read that again — and that’s dragged down by 3 years in KC and Tampa Bay where they didn’t realize that he couldn’t see.

  48. Matty has a BABIP in the 370s in his 2 seasons with Atlanta. Given that he is a GB machine who doesn’t run too well, thats one amazing stat

  49. Maybe Lockhart (like Belliard) was some kind of good-luck charm, but I voted for Treadway.

    He hit .320 for the ’91 team, was born in my hometown & played ball for my alma mater. FWIW, I know people who went to high school with him in Griffin & they said he was a helluva nice guy.

    Marc,
    I love to watch the replays of the old ballgames. SNY & YES are pretty good at showing old Mets & Yanks games, although they seem to show the same games over & over.

    (Call me a glutton, but I’ve watched way too many ’96 & ’99 WS replays—certainly enough to consider hiding all my steak knives.)

    I hear that SNY is rolling out some newer “Mets Classics,” so I’m waiting to see some 1969 NLCS action. Despite the sweep, #44 had a big series.

  50. When I was a kid, the World Series was played during the day and kids would sneak in radios to school to listen. That was a hell of a lot of fun that kids today will never experience. Somehow, even though we couldn’t watch the weekday games, the World Series seemed more special then.

    Ububba,

    I love watching anything that is what I call pre-Viet Nam vintage (1964 and before). Not that much available but occasionally will see something.

    As for 1969, I think it was the LCS against the Mets that really gave Hank national exposure for the first time.

  51. Marc,
    I remember those days, too. But if I had a transistor radio running in class, the nuns would’ve thrashed me. I’d go home looking like Gerry Cooney.

    So, in October, as soon as my school let out at 3:15, I’d run across the street to an RCA/Magnavox dealership that a family friend ran. I’d plop myself in front of the tube & watch a lotta A’s/Orioles or Reds/Pirates LCS games.

    It was the beginning of a tough era for the Braves, but, thankfully, things got better eventually.

  52. Yanks and Mariners are out on Santana talks, only the Mets and Red Sox are currently competing

  53. I just noticed someone on a Brewers blog wondering where Tony Graffanino was. My first thought, “Why the hell do Brewers fans care? Wait, did he play there too?” I certainly will say I never would have thought he could hang around the majors for a decade after Atlanta scrapped him, but he’s carved out a very productive little career as a journeyman utility infielder. (Career OPS: a surprisingly unterrible 90.) I have to say, I’m proud of him.

    I’d sure take him over Keith Lockhart.

  54. The sad fact is that, in ’98, Tony G got a chance to beat out Lockhart, who put up a 257/311/388 line.

    But Tony was 211/275/318 & our brief post-Lemke merry-go-round at 2B began the next year with Boone.

    The bright side: We did get Remlinger in the Boone deal.

  55. @42 Sam, respectfully. Chipper is a better hitter than Tex. Chipper should be lumped in with all the great MLB offensive superstars. I guess because of his recent history with injuries he is not.

    Treadway.

  56. I voted for Lockhart, just for kicks. Treadway was better in what playing time he got, but he was just PUTRID in 1992.

  57. Alex – I’m a Badger and, to be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed with the team this season, especially the defense. I could go either way on Tennessee, but what I saw was a poorly-coached, talented Tennessee team hold on against a lesser opponent who controlled the ball and most of the game for much of the 2nd half.

    Oh, and yeah, I’m a hoops fan too and am happy that the NBA is finally moving in the right direction. But I sure do wish ST would hurry up and get here (along with an actual CF).

    Happy New Year everyone.

  58. 75 — Adam M, I’m sort of a badger too (I don’t really claim that much allegiance to the grad schools I’ve gone to)… and I was hoping the badgers would pull off the win, even though I hadn’t picked them too.

  59. Adam M-

    My wife wasn’t pleased that I was rooting for one of Georgia’s enemies (Tennessee) over her sister’s schools (and yours) in Wisconsin but it’s this whole conference loyalty thing. (well – I do make an exception for Florida…)

    That being said, the Big Ten was pretty bad this year so it’s hard to gauge how good or not good Wisconsin was, but outside of the Dawgs, they’ve had a good record over the years against the rest of the SEC so I did consider it a quality W for the Vols.

  60. ***WARNING — COLLEGE FOOTBALL POST***

    Boy, did Stoops ever blow that one. Going for two and then trying an onside kick was like a semaphore to his team that he didn’t believe they could hang with WVU. Game over, dude.

  61. sad thing is that WVU interim coach is about to hang 50+ on Oklahoma and then lose his job…the state of college football

  62. AAR,
    You mean the NY Dolls? Tough call.

    I loved ’em both, but the Pistols meant more to me because I was aware of them while they were happening. The Dolls were over by the time I discovered them.

    And do you know where the Sex Pistols played the first of their very few US shows?

  63. Personally, I would also like to see an upgrade in center field, but right now I don’t really see an upgrade over internal options on the free agent market. Unless Wren can make a trade completely out of left field that no one is seeing, (Idea: if he’d take Ramirez for Soriano, Bavasi might go for James for Jones!) I would prefer to just stick with what we have. Someone might step up, and at the very least, there are enough options that defense shouldn’t be an issue.

    @42 I would also agree Chipper is a better hitter than Tex, although Tex does have more raw power at this point. Also, I think seniority will play out here as Chip gets off on hitting third.

    NOTE!! I just saw this today and hadn’t realized it. Soriano is an UFA next year. Does anyone actually think the Braves will pony up and keep him? Personally it seems againt their MO to me, espeically with Gonzalez coming back from TJ surgery, but I’m curious to see what everyone else thinks.

  64. I was surfing Wikipedia the other day and somehow I came across Kevin McGlinchy. Does anyone know what happened to him? I remember him being a good reliever for a year or so.

  65. ububba,
    @ 83, the Pistols 1st US tour date was in Atlanta at the Great SouthEast Music Hall. Unfortunately I was a little young to see the show, but I did get a chance to see them in NY in 1996(?) when they did their 1st reunion tour. I was there on biz trip and saw Rotten sitting in the bar and as I was walking by I heard him talking and he kept saying “Some people”. When I got to the elevator, I saw Steve and Paul and was able to score tix from them.

  66. I am dismayed that 32 of you would choose Keith Lockhart over anything. I think I would rather have Rosie O’donnell playing utility infielder than ever seeing Lockhart again.

  67. Mac,

    Nah, I didn’t walk five miles in the snow. I’m from Tennessee, we didn’t get that much snow. But I did have to fight my way to school through 12 bullies. :)

  68. #86 – I dont see them paying big bucks for a reliever/closer when they have plenty of bullpen arms at this point. Then again they may have plenty of cash after Hampton is gone and possibly Tex going to the Yanks or someone else. It’s interesting, none the less

  69. i lived in a small town in upstate new york and i walked aboiut 1 mile to scholl thru the big-time snow. they used to put a single b&w tv in the cafeteria and let anyone who wanted to watch the series go in the for the afternoon. one day, for some reason, the game was running late, or at least past school hours and they chased us out of there. while i was hustling home, i missed mazeroskis homer that beat the hated yankees. i still have a pic of yogi, with his back to the plate, watching the ball sail over the wall at old forbes field.

  70. football rant….my apologies….

    Following up on csg at #94, just a few thoughts on Bob Stoops and Oklahoma (and congrats to Stewart who deserved the job after last night).

    I am starting to wonder now if Stoops is an extremely overrated coach.

    Don’t get me wrong – he has a National Title and a tremendous won-loss record at OU. Nor do I think they should replace him or could they really find a better coach.

    All that having been said, look at the ’04 National title game (where Auburn belonged over OU) and how bad they were, the Boise upset last year (and as Georgia showed Tuesday night, the athletes from the WAC should not be able to measure up to athletes from schools like OU or UGA) & now last night’s game, I think it speaks volumes about Stoops as a head coach.

    Mark Richt, Pete Carroll and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, like Stoops, were all understandably disappointed with their Bowl selections.

    Georgia, USC and Mizzou all went out and made big statements and detroyed their opposition.

    Oklahoma, a team I said had the best argument for the BCS Title game besides Georgia (and over LSU as well) went out & laid an egg, big time. (if anything, West Virginia should have been even more distracted and disappointed considering they blew their shot at the national title game with the Pitt loss and then their head coach deserted them after they had re-upped him 1 year earlier).

    I guess my point is I question how Stoops has been coaching and preparing his team for Bowls the last few years.

    I also question how good Stoops is at getting his teams to “bounce back” from bad Bowls or bad regular season games. USC and Georgia had dumb losses this regular season, but made it to BCS Bowls and won big.

    Oklahoma had losses like Stanford and South Carolina in the form of Colorado, and even managed to beat Mizzou a 2nd time in the Big 12 title game, only to be embarrassed by WVA.

    I guess I would have thought that after the Boise game last year, Oklahoma would have come out with a lot more heart.

  71. Ububba, yeah, I prefer the Dolls to the Sex Pistols, as I generally prefer New York punk to London punk. Just a personal preference. (Of course, Steve Jones and Paul Cook played on Johnny Thunders’ first solo album, so I guess it was a small world after all.)

    And I never got into Public Image Ltd at all (or Big Audio Dynamite, for that matter) so I really don’t know much about them. Do they hold up?

  72. Oklahoma gets their name in the cap every year no matter what, kind of like Notre Dame. Once they get put on the big scale they flop. This is just another example of how ESPN and other Sporting News influence the games way too much. I dont want to say Stoops is overrated just yet, but his last few big time bowl games have been very very ugly

  73. csg-

    It’s fair to say that USC and Georgia have made their cases for pre-season top 5, and I would say Missouri no worse than #5 – #7 with Chase Daniel coming back.

    I mean, if any of these 3 teams had massive graduations/player losses then you factor that into a pre-season rank, but the Dawgs, USC and Mizzou all had big blowout Bowl wins and all return key players. That should mean something in pre-season ranks.

  74. On the flipside, I am hoping that the Florida and Oklahoma losses mean they won’t just be given a free ride on pre-season rankings. I am not saying they both won’t be major contenders – they will – but the way they played (especially Oklahoma – Florida at least was competitive) should in turn affect them on pre-season ranks.

    If the BcS is going to continue to mire us all in this antequated and asinine system of meaningless games, the least they could do is have ‘some’ meaning when teams reutnr in August.

  75. “It’s fair to say that USC and Georgia have made their cases for pre-season top 5, and I would say Missouri no worse than #5 – #7 with Chase Daniel coming back.”

    I would say that I agree with you on this. However, at the same time I really have a problem with preseason ranking and I dont believe teams should be ranked until after the 5th or 6th week. Teams should be evaluated by their performances on the field.

  76. 84 — Ethan, why overpay for Soriano when you can groom Yates for the spot? doh!

    I don’t think the Braves will spend much to keep Soriano, and I think that’s wise. They’ll promote from within or find another cheap option like Soriano has been.

  77. 100 — i absolutely agree. in theory a high preseason ranking could completely affect the whole system throughout the season and to its end. i really don’t know what they’re basing the preseason rankings on… how last year’s team did? how few starters were lost? i know that whole system is subjective, but that seems especially egregious.

  78. I also have a problem with pre-season rankings, but look at how pre-season ranks were used as an excuse to put LSU in the BcS Title Game.

    If this is the system, we’re stuck with, where everything is put on pre-season ranks (and Florida could start an all girls team and would still get a pre-season top 5, the national media is so in love with them) then yes, I want Georgia to start off in the top 5 – because if we lose down the line, then in theory they should just keep moving us back to #1 like they kept doing with LSU, right?

    I mean, that made perfect sense after their O.T. loss to unranked Arkansas – to put them back to #2, 8 days later.

  79. @100

    I agree completely with that. I think that time period would allow voters to be more objective and all the preceived notions that voters have through the offseason would be disregarded by the time it was actually time to vote.

    That being said it will never happen. The marketing for the rankings is too big and generally big marketing=big money.

    I think everyone knows what will win out in college football versus money. Or actually, if someone does know something, please let me know. lol

  80. I watched the pre-game show on ESPN last night before the Fiesta Bowl and Lou Holtz actually admitted he never gave Georgia any respect. He said he wrote Mark Richt a letter to aplogize. I have called Holtz out on this before, but appreciate his apology on air.

    Alex, unfortunatley on this same show Holtz and May were already talking Florida up next year. Having the Heisman winner returning will definitely help Florida. Hopefully Georgia will be the highest ranked SEC team and can go into the season as the highest ranked team in the “best conference”.

  81. That LSU loss to unranked Arkansas looks pretty bad now. I hope LSU wins just to add to the BCS confusion.

  82. Really LSU is the most deserving team in the game!

    UGA DIDN’T EVEN WIN THEIR DIVISION!!! (Go Vols)

  83. If I hear “Boomer Sooner” one more time, I’m going to do something heinous.

    Hell, I thought UT was bad with their incessant “Rocky Top” but the OK band made the Big Orange look discreet …

  84. Smitty,
    Technically, Georgia is East co-champ. Tennessee went to Atlanta on a tie-breaker, but whatever. I’m not complaining about it. Vols won & continued to win in freaky fashion down the stretch—good for them.

    Another Example of a Flawed System: Richt feels like he’s gotta beat Hawaii like LSU beat Notre Dame last year in order for next year’s voters to “remember” how good they are. Full-on goofy.

    Speaking of mindless hype…

    I went through YouTube last night, just looking at some of the “Sugar Bowl Tribute” videos—I particularly liked “Georgia on My Mind, as Heard By Colt Brennan”—but the one that I really remember is some pre-game show with Mark May.

    He gave this rambling account of how much trouble Hawaii’s passing game would give Georgia, how Georgia hasn’t seen a QB like him, blah-blah, but he never mentioned how they were gonna block the Dawgs.

    I mean, the guy was a great lineman & that’s the most basic question in football. Talk about mindless hype.

    AAR,
    PiL’s first album was great and I liked some of the later stuff, but it’s certainly an acquired taste–arty, angular, somewhat atonal; BAD had its moments, but you gotta kind of look at them in a dance-rock context, not punk/new wave so much.

  85. Georgia’s national title hopes went down the tube 6 October in Knoxville, Tennessee. Georgia looked like a high school JV team in that game.

  86. No, technically, Georgia is not East co-champ. The tie-breakers are there to settle the champs. (And it’s not like this was some obscure tie-breaker…UT thumped UGA and that’s why they went to Atlanta.)

  87. wow…smitty…lot of bitterness today. Maybe you should jump on the Duke bandwagon? ;-)

    But while I don’t deny how bad the Tennessee game was, I will say that Georgia turned their entire season around on October 7th and never looked back.

    Vaunted LSU lost to an unranked Hogs team 8 days before being placed in the national title game. Even if you want to make the case against Georgia for the BcS Title game, the case for LSU was downright flimsy.

  88. Well, I stand corrected—they technically are a co-champ of the East.

    Still doesn’t defeat the point that they couldn’t earn their way to the Dome & therefore don’t deserve a shot at the title, though.

    I honestly don’t care either way. (Although I will say that all the UGA fans’ moaning about how they got jobbed lack clarity of thought.) As a Vandy fan, I feel about the same toward both programs this season—we shoulda beaten ’em and didn’t. Hooray for basketball.

  89. Georgia is my 2nd favorite team to Vandy, but I find the Georgia whine on here a bit ridiculous.

    Unlike most teams in crappy BCS system, Georgia had a chance to defend its claim to a shot at a title on the field. In response, the Dawgs did not just lose, they got trounced by the Vols. In the SEC East, you know you probably have to beat the Gators and the Vols to get to Atlanta. The Dawgs did not and lost what amounts to a playoff game.

  90. The Bulldog Nation putting the obnoxious meter into the red? No way.

    Look, fans love their teams. What do you expect them to say? And with 17 of 22 starters returning next year, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last you hear from them.

  91. The White Sox are apparently determined to win this year, which is an odd choice for a team that lost 90 games and finished 24 games out last season. Not that Swisher is likely to fall apart soon, he’s just 27, though he does have old-player skills.

    The Moneyball Draft is now just Blanton. For how much longer?

  92. Swisher similar batters through Age 26:

    1. Phil Plantier (961)
    2. Bob Allison (961)
    3. Jose Cruz (956)
    4. Frank Thomas (951)
    5. Austin Kearns (950)
    6. Glenn Davis (949)
    7. Bob Robertson (945)
    8. Jay Gibbons (943)
    9. Bo Jackson (942)
    10. Pat Burrell (940)

    That’s the other Frank Thomas, and Cruz the younger. Allison and Thomas had some good years to come, but it’s not a pretty list.

  93. Man, Gio Gonzalez sure is well-traveled… now the A’s get him, after the White Sox traded him in the Jim Thome deal, then got him back in the Freddy Garcia deal.

  94. I think the White Sox got took.

    Jim Callis just yesterday indicated that Gio and Los Santos were both likely 3 starters and I don’t know if his star has faded but Sweeney was once like Marte lite.

  95. Gonzalez could be really good. These are the kind of deals that I really wish happened more with the Braves. I don’t even know about the other pitcher, but Gonzalez for Swisher already seems like a steal for the A’s.

  96. Mac, you’re right Blanton will be next. There is really no reason to keep him or Houston Street for next season. I’ll take either

  97. Schedule:

    Jan. 14: Yunel Escobar
    Jan. 15: Omar Infante
    Jan. 16: Scott Thorman
    Jan. 17: Other Infield Possibilities

    These, and the ones I listed at #55, are all drafted (meaning I’ve written them and plan to polish them later but probably never will).

  98. And I’m going to put Francoeur right after the infielders, so he’ll go up Jan. 18. After that, I’m going to skip to the pitchers and come back and tackle the rest of the outfielders later.

  99. It will be interesting to see what the mainstream press has to say about the Swisher deal. Really AL Marlins West. But since it is the brilliant and popular Billy Beane doing the teardown rebuild and not the noxious loathsome Jeffrey Loria trying to extort Miami out of a stadium, Billy will get a pass. Don’t get me wrong Loria is the inflamed pussing boil on the buttocks of baseball but in reality each team is really trying to do the same thing. For the Marlins its worked with 2 World Championships within recent memory.

  100. ububba,
    @89, Roseland Ballroom. That’s right! Pulled a complete blank on it for a minute. Can’t say much too bad about GA since Auburn got thumped pretty good by them.

  101. Actually, Peter Angelos is the inflamed pussing boil on the buttocks of baseball (but Loria is next).

    Which is one reason why I really want to steal Bedard …

  102. I respectfully disagree. Loria successfully killed baseball in Montreal and he is trying really hard to do it in Miami too. But at least Loria can make a decision. He tells Beinfest to trade em all away and thats what Larry does. Angelos and his incompetent spawn think that the O’s are a rotissirie team. Thats why they’ll hold on to Bedard until its too late.

    I wonder if the next book about Billy Beane and his modus operandi will be entitled ‘Trade away your stars for a shitload of prospects and hope 2 or 3 of them stick’ A little windier than Moneyball.

  103. Well, the A’s will have a very nice crop of young people all coming up around the same time, again, so they’ll be able to be competitive. Especially in a division with a Bill Bavasi team and a Tom Hicks team. And those Angels are looking a little long in the tooth offensively, as well.

  104. Just listened to SI baseball guy Jon Heyman on WFAN. Lotsa Hall of Fame talk. Says he thinks Rice & Gossage will get in this year.

    Says he voted for Rice, Gossage, Dawson, Morris, Parker & Concepcion. Says he considered Murphy, Mattingly & Blyleven, but they “just barely missed.”

    Basically said A-Rod should just stop talking because he’s the most disingenuous guy in baseball.

    Said Santana may stay in Minnesota. Said Rolen will go to Milwaukee or a West Coast team. Said Rolen’s agents aren’t that smart because “they could’ve had a $150 deal from Philly” but they fouled that up.

    sansho1,
    That’s some yummy steak, and certainly rare.

  105. ‘Trade away your stars for a shitload of prospects and hope 2 or 3 of them stick’

    I’ve heard arguments that say the Braves should do this because they claim the Marlins are talented and cheap and they stay that way.

  106. Well, here’s my ballot:

    Goose Gossage
    Bert Blyleven
    Tim Raines

    on-the-cuspers I’m voting for
    Alan Trammell
    Dale Murphy

    on-the-cuspers I’m not voting for
    Jim Rice
    Dave Parker
    Davey Concepcion
    Andre Dawson
    Harold Baines

  107. Did Heyman ever have any credibility? He is the definition of “front running bandwaggoner”

  108. “Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)” by Elton John from the Rock of the Westies album.

    Alex R,
    BTW, the somewhat obscure REM song Fox played during the Sugar Bowl was “Bad Day.” And yes, that video starred Colt Brennan.

  109. It might’ve gotten some play where you live or lived, but it never charted in the US. It was one of their least-successful singles chart-wise.

  110. Interesting. It got play in both Athens (duh) and Nashville, though in Nashville it was on the outstanding independent radio station. I like the song, FWIW.

  111. iTunes, baby. Or you can buy “In Time: The Best of REM, 1988-2003.”

    Though it sounded a lot like “It’s the End of the World As We Know It,” I like that one, too.

    From what I understand, they wrote it in the ’80s & didn’t actually record a version they liked of it, so they scrapped it for many years & released it on that best-of.

  112. Say what you want about Beane, but he made a real steal. Sweeney is probably just another prospect, but those 2 pitchers have outstanding potential. Fautino is raw, but one of my favorites.

  113. apparently Auburn’s Muschamp had interviewed at Texas today. I’m guessing thats for the D Coord. position. That will be a big loss for AU

  114. #147-

    ububba…good call by the Superdome.

    When 3 of your best players are Smoltzie, Chipper and Glavine, and the possibility of Teixiera not resigning, how can we NOT be in win now mode?

  115. We’ve got a good BCS game now by the way.

    Kansas leads Virginia Tech 24-21 with 3 minutes remaining in the Orange Bowl. OT??

  116. Awesome. Kansas gets into victory formation, so a couple of players go for the gatorade/ice water for Mangino.

    Denied! Two Kansas guys (assistant coaches?) stop the players before the jug-o-liquid even gets off the ground.

    Thank god. That “celebration” is so played, it’s pathetic.

  117. I agree with the comments earlier about Bob Stoops but maybe the same could be said for Frank Beamer. No offense to the Va. Tech fans on here (and they certainly had a lot to overcome this year), but VT always seems to stumble down the stretch. I was not very impressed with Kansas; VT’s offense was terrible. I only watched the second half and I thought it was a pretty bad game although relatively close compared to the other BCS games.

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare Billy Beane and Loria. The A’s have kept the team together for several years; the Marlins break up the team as soon as they win the World Series. It doesn’t seem unreasonable for the A’s to start rebuilding now. But, there is no doubt that Angelos is the worst owner at least in baseball if not all of sports. He milks revenue from Camden Yards and then claims that the reason attendence is falling is the presence of the Nationals in Washington even though the O’s haven’t had a winning season in 10 years. And he has managed to drag down the Nationals as well by forcing baseball to give him control over the TV package. That’s chutzpah. I’m a Braves fan, of course, but I really hope the Nats make the playoffs before the O’s.

  118. Frank Wren has done an excellent job so far and I agree with every single move that he has made during this off-season.

    The acquisition of Glavine , Jurrjens and Ohman add depth to the rotation and bullpen. Omar Infante and Josh Anderson strengthen the bench , defense and team speed.

    The two main strengths of a solid baseball team are pitching and defense. Frank Wren has made a concerted effort to address both of these areas and he has succeeded thus far.

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