253 thoughts on “Un action film de Mac Thomason”

  1. I normally think that most of the bloggers on the AJC’s website are idiots, but this one of the best posts I’ve ever seen anywhere:

    >Roger Clemens Yesterday (as played by Jack Nicholson) Clemens: You want answers?

    Congressman: I think I’m entitled to them.

    Clemens: You want answers?

    Congressman: I want the truth!

    Clemens: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has baseballs. And those balls have to be hit by men with bats. Who’s gonna do it? You? You,Congressman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for steroids and

    you curse HGH. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that HGH, while illegal, probably sells tickets. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, sells tickets…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that mound. You need me on

    that mound. We use words like fastball, slider, splitfinger…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent playing a sport. You use ‘em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and falls asleep to the Sportscenter

    clips I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat and dig in. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

    Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

    Clemens: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

    Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

    Clemens: You’re g* right I did!!

  2. I saw Pettite interview clips this evening on ESPN, and I must say, I gained more respect for him than I thought I would have. He handled that press conference with quiet dignity and grace.

  3. Dignity & grace? I’ll grant the bit about grace, but Pettitte is still lying about one thing: There’s no chance that he only used HGH twice.

  4. So, apparently Ryan Langerhans has a legit Facebook. I added him back in the day thinking it was bogus, but I was checking it out, and he’s got these pictures of him, Adam LaRoche, and Chipper going hunting. Pretty cool stuff.

  5. Another fringe topic…it’ll be interesting to hear what Smoltz has to say about Gagne, whenever someone gets around to asking him about it, given how publicly competitive Smoltz was during their respective heydays as closers.

  6. Pettite admitted using HGH but apparently he didn’t inhale and didn’t like it and therefore he doesn’t consider it cheating or something.

  7. Mac, the other videos were good. They were novel and cute and what not, but you’ve really outdone yourself here. Nice job!

  8. hence my team name for fantasy this year:

    Andy + Roger = BFFs?

    and our league name refers to Roger’s butt cyst. Good times all around.

  9. From the previous thread,

    I agree with JJSchiller about Andruw. It’s not a matter of trying to hit everything the other way, it’s a matter of staying on the ball. It’s also a matter of, if you are going to be a pull hitter, having the discipline to lay off balls that you can’t pull with any authority. Robert’s response to anyone that disagrees with him seems to be sarcasm but it seems obvious to me that pulling off the ball and dropping to one knee is not a good way to hit, which Andruw did a lot last year. It may well have been due to injuries but the fact that Andruw had fewer pulled hits last year than in his good years doesn’t invalidate the thesis that his approach was screwed up last year. Simpson may well have harped too much on Andruw going to right but given how he actually hit last year, it might have been worth trying something different. And, despite what Robert says, it is quite likely that if you stay on the ball longer, rather than pulling your shoulder out, you will be able to pull the ball with more authority. So, yes, Andruw probably had more weak hits to right (primarily because defenses played him to pull)because he was not staying on the ball. Perhaps he was pulling off to compensate for his injuries but the point is, just because you are a right handed pull hitter doesn’t mean that you should try to jerk every pitch to left field.

    As for Memphis-UT, GO TIGERS GO! As a Memphis alum, nothing would give me more pleasure than to kick UT’s arrogant ass.

  10. Tennessee Brave,

    When I was at Memphis (Memphis State back then in the 1970s), I don’t think UT wanted to play us in basketball, although they did in football (because they knew they would win). Of course, as an SEC school, UT could not deign to recognize Memphis State as being in the same universe. (Actually, though, we had a fair amount of success in football against SEC teams other than UT; we beat Auburn once early when they were highly ranked (although Auburn ended up having a bad year)and beat Ole Miss a couple of times while I was there. And one of the best games I ever saw in person was a game against Mississippi State when Mississippi State drove 90+ years in the last few minutes to win.)

  11. @21

    Agreed. Some of his stuff annoys me, but he’s a good writer. That article is up there with anything he’s ever written though.

  12. Marlins to move downtown?
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i-McFVLZeVHuwY2C9kbNjSnEwqeAD8USAT2G0

    I have a very good friend who lives on the Broward/Dade border & he tells me that the biggest issue for the Marlins drawing fans is the retractable roof, not the location of the stadium.

    If you’ve ever been to South Florida, rain is a constant possibility (even though it often rains for 15 minutes, then blows over).

    Stu,
    UT could beat UGA, Memphis & UT-Chattanooga 50 times in a row and they’d still be wearing a color not too far from what you find in baby diapers.

    And we’ve broken their hobnailed hearts as much as they’ve broken ours. It hasn’t been a one-sided rivalry in a while.

  13. ububba,

    Tennessee fears Chattanooga!

    Tennessee is 20-15-2 all time vs. UGA, plus the Vols kept the pups from the National Title game.

  14. You know what else keeps away Marlins fans – the crappy team and the even worse neighborhood it is in. As someone who has been to Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphins stadium to see games during the day, I would not want to go there at night.

  15. Ububba,

    Not only does it rain almost every day in Miami in the summer for 20 minutes, it becomes even more humid (if that’s possible) afterward. I would think it would be the humidity more than the rain itself that keeps people away. Sitting outside on a summer night in Miami is incredibly unpleasant.

  16. A retractable roof (like they have in Houston) would be a great idea in Miami. Doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen, but downtown Miami has undergone a lot of renewal (clubs, bars, restaurants, etc.) in the last few years.

    FWIW: According to WFAN’s Met beat reporter, reliever Duaner Sanchez has dropped about 25 pounds from his ’06 playing weight. Hmmm…

  17. Given his workloads in LA, it was pretty to predict Duaner’s arm would fall off. (162 innings in 2004 and 2005.) As we learned from the Villarreal experience, sometimes hamburger arms don’t regain full strength. He’ll be useful for them, but I seriously doubt he’ll be as good as he was in 2006.

  18. i grew up in miami in the 50’s and 60’s and never lived in an air-conditioned house, went to an air-conditioned school or rode in an air-conditioned car. now they need a climate controlled place to watch a ballgame? i agree that their current place is horrible for baseball and not much better for football but i bet fewer people want to go downtown than want to drive almost to broward county. after the way the management has jerked the fans around, (garage sale, anyone?) i think the marlins are probably doomed.

  19. barrycuda,

    I lived in Miami in the 80s. I can’t imagine life there without air conditioning during the summer. You must have been a hardy breed. I sort of agree with your point about the Marlins. My friend who lives in the area thinks everyone is so disgusted with the Marlin ownership that they have lost the town. No one cares about them anymore. Of course, a new stadium might change that but there is an awful lot of bitterness there. And Miami isn’t the greatest sports town in the best of circumstances. It seems to me that baseball just assumed that, since there were a lot of Latin people in Miami, they would naturally show up to watch baseball and didn’t really do anything to really prepare the city for baseball.

  20. Mac,

    Jake R’s first day of daycare today (tough day especiqlly for his mom) so I have been distracted the last 24 hrs. – but great job with the video; your best work yet.

    Now if you could only rip off an NBC show people actually still care about…

  21. Alex, let me assure you that day care is the greatest thing in the world. The kids love it moms love it and you’ll love it to. It took me a long time to agree to do it, but after a week, I was kicking myself for not starting sooner. Your child will get socialized and build up his immune system, your missus will get to reconnect with the rest of the world and you’ll get to bask in the glow of a serene household again.

  22. Spike, I have two kids and I sympathizee with Stu’s comment. I am not saying you or anyone else has to.

    We (and certainly others we know) have made some sacrifices to give our preschoolers at least one full time parent. The sacrifices are financial. While you can always make more money, it is very difficult to get the time back.

  23. Good lord, I didn’t mean to start a philosophical debate about the good and bad of daycare for children.

    My first thought is ‘to each their own’. If you are a family with a stay at home mom or dad – great. If you are a family who chooses a nanny or an au pair – great. If you are a family like us who chooses daycare – also great.

    It’s up to each family to decide what’s best. Not only has my mother-in-law successfully run a daycare in Oregon for the last 25 years, I agree with Spike’s assessment about the socialization among other kids that starts at an early age.

    In Jake’s first 3 months, his mom and I have already taken him out with us many times, to get him used to being among people and in noisy situations, so he grows up laid back about going out and being around people. That’s our belief.

    Also, while my wife & I both make a decent living and are fortunate to be able to afford covering our mortgage & car payments, we also live in the incredibly expensive (AAR, Marc Schneider and others in this area can attest to this) Washington, DC area (only behind NY and SF in most expensive places to live) and daycare for us is also more affordable than one of us not working or a nanny.

    But I digress – it’s really not up to the bloggers of BravesJournal how Jake R. is raised, but Stu, just because you wouldn’t use daycare for future ‘little Stu’ (man, that will be one precocious little guy), doesn’t mean it’s not what my wife & I feel most comfortable with.

    There are millions of successful, smart and happy adults who went through daycare. I’m surprised you wouldn’t respect families to make up thir own mind what’s best for their little guy or gal?

  24. I don’t think sending your child to day care is tantamount to someone else raising your child. That’s a little bit of reach.

  25. probably the biggest freedom we have left is being able to raise your kids as you see fit. although theres a certain presidential candidate who thinks she knows better than you.

  26. Alex is correct; it’s very expensive here and two incomes are often necessary. My daughter was in child care and has turned out to be a happy, well-adjusted kid who does great in school, has terrific friends, and loves playing softball (I wish they let girls play baseball) and basketball. I certainly don’t feel like she has been raised by other people. That doesn’t mean it’s the right decision for everyone; there is no one right decision. Personally, as an only child (as is my daughter), I think daycare socialization would have been good for me.

    Now, back to the Braves. Hampton says he is getting stronger. So I guess we can mark him down for 30 starts and 15 wins, right? At least by the Bobby Cox-only say good things about everything-meter. :)

    Can someone tell me why Rob Neyer thinks the Mets are so good? He says they have a chance at 100 wins. I understand Santana is a big upgrade but I don’t see it. I think the Braves, Mets, and Phillies are very similar teams.

  27. Because they are the Mets and they have Delgado, Pedro, O Hernandez, Wagner, Alou, Beltran, Santana and a host of young superstars. So they are the best team in the NL and will win 100 games and sweep all the way through the World Series. Santana will win 32 games, and Pedro will have a decent comeback year and only notch 22 victories. Meanwhile the rest of their rotation will struggle and only win 53 games between them holding them back from winning even more games. Their bullpen is a shutdown bullpen with Sanchez coming back and Randolph became a different manager over the offseason, so he has cut out all his mistakes. Thats right the Kool-Aid has been stirred and the national media is drinking it like crazy.

  28. As much as we ALL respect Johann Santana, if you look at his 2007 numbers, there’s no guarantee he’s going to waltz into the NL and suddenly be the top starting pitcher.

    I would guess he’ll be a great #1, but there’s no guarantee as shown to be mortal, p,enty of times.

    The rest of their rotation is still a huge question mark and outside of beltran, reyes and Wright, I don’t think they can heartily rely on their lineup for 162 games.

  29. Justin,
    You forgot to mention that Beltran, Wright, and Reyes will also all 3 tie for the Triple Crown and win the MVP. Then Santanna/Pedro will share the Cy Young as they march to victory. Boy! The Kool-Aid sure does taste good:)

  30. The NL East is gonna be extremely tough to win this year. There are too many ‘ifs’ to get too high of hopes this season (I think I’m setting myself up to not be so disappointed). We certainly have as good of a chance as the Mets or Phillies, no matter what Jason Stark says. The Mets could win 100 games or they could win 89 and not make the playoffs. I’m gonna vote for 89.

  31. Parish,
    I completely agree with you. My wife and I don’t yet have any children, but we anxiously await the day when we do.

    Alex,
    I apologize if I offended you. The remark was intended as a response to spike, but when left alone, it does look a little bit crude. I simply wanted to raise an issue on the other side of the put-your-kid(s)-in-daycare argument, one which is very important to me. I was not and am not disputing that it’s your choice how to raise your son.

    And let’s hope that any baby I have looks and acts like my wife, or nobody will ever consider it precious.

    CJ,
    Well, it’s not like somebody else completely raising your child, but it certainly puts a lot of responsibility for teaching/shaping on someone other than the child’s parents and certainly deprives the child of time which would otherwise be spent with said parents.

    Marc,
    When are two incomes “necessary,” especially for an attorney, no matter in which city you live? As Parish notes, certain other financial sacrifices may well have to be made, but those are hardly an impossibility. And there are other ways of providing social interaction for an only child besides placing him/her in a daycare center.

  32. @56 and @57,

    I don’t see it either. And, I particularly don’t see it (other than bias or loopiness) based on the way Neyer usually analyzes things. The Mets run differential (Neyer’s key stat)last year was less than the Braves (72 v. 77 or something like that). Therefore, going into off season, the teams are substantially even. (wins change in ALL CAPS, with PLUS being up for Mets and MINUS being up for Braves)

    1. Mets lost Glavine. Glavine gave them 23 or so quality starts. If Santana is healthy, he will give them 23 to 25 quality starts. He will probably pick up 3 to 4 wins extra in the extremely quality starts. PLUS 3

    2. Mets get Pedro back for a “full” season. Here is where Braves fans and National media differ. I don’t see Pedro as any better over the whole season than a 4 to 4.5 ERA and wonder if he can get over 150 innings. I expect further injury problems. Overall, Pedro is a wash to their “cover” guys last year. PLUS 0.

    3. Glavine replaces last year’s fifth starters. I expect Glavine to overall be slightly less than he was last year. However, even assuming that, 180 IP of 4.25 or so with 18 or so quality starts out of 3 or so is a major upgrade. MINUS 2.

    4. Braves pen lost Wickman (with Soriano going there, a plus by itself). Everybody else that pitched last year is back and Gonzo is probably back in June. Lots more high minors guys available to bakc up the returnees. MINUS 2.

    5. Age and performance changes on 2007 Mets position players. Based on the age curve, expect Alou to drop, Church will match Greene, Beltran even, Wright was too high to expect him to go up, Reyes likely to be up, Delgado likely to be slightly up, whole season of Castillo won’t add any, Schneider way behind LoDuca. PLUS 0.

    6. Age and performance changes on 2007 Braves position players: C, up moderately, 1B, up overall 150 ops. 2B: up slightly: SS down significantly, but not tragically, 3B, slight overall drop but close because backups are so much better, LF even or up, CF, up by OBP enought to offset any total OPS loss caused by SLG, RF up slightly. MINUS 2.

    Even with Santana, I don’t see how the Mets have improved themselves that much. Their age at a lot of positions is a big problem. They are counting on a lot of rebounds and improvements. That 95 wins assumes that almost no bad things happen. Further, other than trading F-Mart in season for a missing piece, where is their wild card that might push them higher. They don’t have one.

    The Braves COULD have a significant problem and survive. We have the following possible wild cards to push us up.

    a. Schaffer is lights out.

    b. Stockman is healthy.

    c. Hampton is healthy.

    d. Javy is back and either shores up the back up role or gets traded for another piece.

    e. Kotsay returns close to his 2005 form (my above does not account for that).

    f. Chipper plays 150 games healthy.

    g. Brandon Jones is a big time player.

    h. Francoeur makes a big jump (not a little one).

    i. McCann goes back to 2006 McCann (I assumed split the difference).

    j. Some of our extra pieces get dealt for more useful extra pieces before season starts.

    Going in, Mets look like a 90 or 91 win team. So do the Braves. Significant injuries can knock the Braves down (the worst would be Chipper or Tex or Smoltz). Significant injuries almost certainly would knock the Mets down (they don’t have as many back of the rotation, back of the bullpen, and bench options that we have on roster and in AAA).

  33. Neyer’s going by BPro’s projected standings with just a bit of his own feeling mixed in, isn’t he? I agree that Santana doesn’t add 10 wins to that team.

  34. It will take some breaks for us to catch the Mets this year, but it’s hardly impossible. Here are the biggest variables for the Mets as I see them:

    1. Oliver Perez’s fragile psyche
    2. Alou’s health
    3. Pedro’s health

    I think we know pretty much what to expect from most of their position players (I’m going with a slight rebound for Delgado). I put Alou’s health over Pedro’s in agreeance with Cliff’s point — when healthy Alou remains, almost unbelievably, a stellar offensive player. The dropoff between him and his backup would be larger at this point than that for Pedro IMO.

    Having many friends with young children but none of my own, I’ve learned that my opinions about child-rearing have no standing. It’s a purely philosophical topic for me, and an overwhelmingly practical topic for them.

  35. My thought is that the Mets were headed for a 3rd to 4th place finish (.500 or below) in the division until they got Santana. He will definitely provide a big lift, but the Mets won’t miraculously be transfromed into the best team in baseball either. As has been said, the Braves, Mets and Phillies now have a pretty much equal chance of winning the division, with injuries and “surpises” (both good and bad) being the determining factors.

  36. It’s a purely philosophical topic for me, and an overwhelmingly practical topic for them.

    One’s belief system should shape his practices, not the other way around.

  37. “One’s belief system should shape his practices, not the other way around.”

    It’s impossible for your beliefs to not shape your practices. If they are by definition what you believe in, then they are what guide your actions.

    Oh yeah, Mets Suck!!!
    This is a belief and therefore completely shapes my practices. When I see the Mets, I throw-up in my mouth.

  38. Stu,

    First, I said any future “Little Stu” would be PRECOCIOUS, not PRECIOUS ;-) Big difference – ha. Just kidding of course but I had been clear which word I used…

    But let me just say again, how insanely expensive the DC area is and frankly, I am not sure there is an area with more daycares, per square capita, than DC – the waiting lists at a lot of these places are over a year long. We couldn’t even get Jake into our top choice because the waiting list to get in was 2 years.

    It’s hard to live in the Washington, DC area and own property here and not have 2 incomes coming in.

  39. One’s belief system should shape his own practices.

    I’ve never said otherwise. You clearly missed my point.

    It’s impossible for your beliefs to not shape your practices. If they are by definition what you believe in, then they are what guide your actions.

    Disagree completely. People, myself included, frequently act first and then recalibrate their beliefs to include what they’ve done in their “acceptible” category.

  40. It’s hard to live in the Washington, DC area and own property here and not have 2 incomes coming in.

    I’m sure that’s true, but I don’t think it detracts from my point.

    First, I said any future “Little Stu” would be PRECOCIOUS, not PRECIOUS…

    Heh. I hope not. Hopefully he’ll be able to better read for comprehension than I did here by age 26, though.

  41. AAR,
    Thanks for the help.

    Mac,
    Is that an always or a usually? I think that’s the default mindset, but I think it’s possible to overcome that practice, at least sometimes, when the effort is there.

  42. Mac,
    Pretty much like all these ESPN(and other) “experts” that are picking the Mets to win this year(and pretty much every other year). They want the Mets to win, pick them, then come up with justification for why.

  43. #73

    Mac, that’s probably true for almost anyone.

    I have to be honest and say that I was not overjoyed by the thought of daycare, initially.

    My wife grew up in a very “pro daycare” household, and I wasn’t really sure what I thought the best course of action for Jake was, prior to his arrival.

    The fact is, my wife has always been very career oriented and definitely not the stay-at-home mom type, but since Jake’s arrived, she and I have both become rather obssessed with him, and yesterday was a very tough day emotionally for her dropping him off at daycare.

    The good news is that she’s well respected enough at her job, that she negotiated to go back only part time for the rest of February and March (she’s working 3 days a week) and will still be home with Jake 2 days a week – until she’s back full time in April.

    Then there’s the whole other problem that Jake’s daycare and our townhouse are each in different parts of Alexandria, while our jobs are both in downtown Washington. The whole thing has been very hard and a LOT to get used to.

    Sorry for the personal digression, but I think I mainly wanted to relay to you, Stu, that it’s never a perfect world to figure out what’s best for your kids – you just try and do what’s best for them and for your house.

    You and your wife will I am sure be dealing these decisions soon and I certainly wish you guys luck when that day comes. And for the record, you’ll LOVE becoming a dad. :-)

  44. …it’s never a perfect world to figure out what’s best for your kids – you just try and do what’s best for them…

    Totally agree, Alex. Therein lies the rub.

  45. It’s default behavior. You can correct for it, and sometimes people change their minds — but generally, we don’t think through our decisions, at least not consciously.

  46. …but generally, we don’t think through our decisions, at least not consciously.

    The perfect line to follow the bit on Chuck James.

  47. Everyone’s going to make their own choices. Thank goodness. My wife stays at home with our little guy. We think that’s best for us and for him. It takes lots of sacrifices… like living below poverty level while I’m still in grad school. That’s ok. We get by. We didn’t want to wait to start our family until we were more set financially because we’d rather make those decisions when we felt like we (personally) were ready for them instead of what circumstances dictated. That’s our decision. And seriously, it’s going to be a long time before I ever make any money in my line of work anyway (teaching… college level). Heh heh. So we’ll hold off on purchasing a home and so forth. We’ll most likely even have another before I finish school. And my wife probably won’t go back to work until the kids are older. That’s our decision and we think it’s a good one for us. I think it could be a good option for others (doesn’t work for everyone) too, but thank goodness we all have the choices to make on our own and figure out what works best for us and our kids.

    Not sure why I felt like sharing all of that. Is it time for a group hug? heh heh. But I do appreciate others sharing too.

    Go Braves.

  48. I love it when dramatic tangents are followed by “Go Braves” around here. Rob Copenhaver does it frequently, and I think others do it, too. Seriously, I love it. It’s like the organization is responsible for bringing together all of these different people from different backgrounds with different views—who probably would never willingly get together otherwise. Can the Mets say that? No! All Mets fans are the same: ignorant, loud, annoying and ignorant.

    Go Braves!

  49. I hope for an improving economy, a better healthcare system, an end to terrorism and more jobs in the U.S. economy for our citizens.

    Go Braves.

  50. Typical Mets blog, of course:

    “I hope for the prince of darkness, random acts of violence, our economy and healthcare system to be curshed, and chaos and disorder in the streets!

    Go Mets!”

  51. 85 — ha!

    I hope for world peace, a strong economy, and a great future for my children (although we all have different opinions on how to reach such objectives). I even hope that Mets fans can find a way to be happy despite supporting a bad team.

    Go Braves.

  52. My wife grew up in a very “pro daycare” household, and I wasn’t really sure what I thought the best course of action for Jake was, prior to his arrival.

    Taking a break from reading people various views on hitting, a.k.a. a mishmash of stuff I’ve also heard on TV…

    Alex, please don’t let the Stu types make you feel guilty or whatever about sending your young one to daycare. Like Spike, I was reluctant and kept my little one home for some time. Once I sent her, it wasn’t a week until I was kicking myself for not sending her earlier. Her language and a social skills just took off. And yeah she was sick for the first six months because her previously sheltered existence made her immune system weak, you get past that.

    Go Braves!

  53. it looks to me like the braves are better than the mets at every position except SS and CF. i dont even mind the starting pitcher matchups. i’ll take my chances with smoltz, hudson and the rest against santana, whatevers left of pedro and the rest of them. billy wagner is a stone killer but he cant keep it up forever. or can he?

  54. Thanks Robert, but I didn’t take offense. It created a worthwhile discussion point on an issue facing a lot of young families. I mainly just wanted to point out to Stu that each family faces a tough decision that he will also be going through in a few years.

    The immune system argument was another plus for daycare – I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have talked to so many other daycare or past daycare parents (one of my colleagues was just saying this morning about her own kids when they used to be in daycare) and stated exactly what you did – getting sick helped build their immune system.

    As for Jake, he’s now entered into the stage of cooing a lot and smiling back at us (possibly the greatest feeling ever, by the way) and I think this can only be enhanced in the presence of other little babies. Jake also has a very sweet nature in general so I think he’ll do just fine in a group environment.

  55. I mainly just wanted to point out to Stu that each family faces a tough decision that he will also be going through in a few years.

    Just to be clear, I was and am well aware of this. Again, I’m not arguing about whether the decision is tough or not.

  56. My wife made the choice to stay home with my 4. I could bore y’all by extolling the virtues of the stay at home mom but as others have said its a choice so I won’t. Ironically, IMHO, the time you need a parent to be at home with the kids is when they are teenagers.

    Go Braves!

  57. I hope Fred Wilpon chokes on a salt chunk on a soft pretzel and spends the next five minutes coughing embarrassingly in a business meeting until someone gets him a cup of water.

    Go Braves.

  58. Until recently (The Omar Era) when the Mets began to spend scads of money on players, Met fans referred to Wilpon as “Fred Coupon.”

    Most of that came from their brief & failed dalliance with A-Rod (before he signed with Texas).

    Back in ’02, I went to a Braves/Mets game & had seats right underneath Wilpon’s box. There was a moment in the 7th inning when Wilpon leaned over & began to toss out bags of peanuts to the fans underneath. Apparently, he does that often.

    Anyway, I caught one of the bags & had the feeling that John D. Rockefeller had just given me a dime.

  59. @93,

    My consternation isn’t directed to Wilpon, but to the idiot reporter Davidoff.

    The Phillies or the Braves winning seems about as likely as Art Howe winning American Idol.

    What is that guy smoking, drinking, taking, or whatever?

  60. Havent posted in a while, just a few thoughts on todays topics:

    DayCare: As much as I dislike doing it, we have to. My wife I and I both work, and we have limited family resources in the area. We did however, look hard for a facility that we thought best matched our religion and standard of care for our kids. In other words, we heavily over-pay

    Wilpon: We have 162 games to play. To think that he or anyone else can predict what the standing will be like in October, I need them to fill out my next lotto ticket.

    Other Stuff: Went to Nationals work outs in Viera today, saw Ray “Burger” King, and he has lost 30-40lbs and looks good. Nick Johnson however, looks like he ate Rafael Belliard…..

  61. These kinds of reports are par for the course in spring training, but here you go:
    ——————–
    Yunel Escobar (SS) ATL – Feb 20

    Escobar has added a significant amount of muscle his upper body during the winter, in preparation for his first full season as an everyday player with the Braves, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

    ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Escobar projects as a potential line-drive hitter atop the Atlanta lineup, but it’s possible that he’ll develop some more power now that he’s filling into his frame. He’s a nice sleeper in NL-only and deeper mixed leagues.

  62. Honestly, why is it so hard for the writers to see that Escobar is likely to be as good as Renteria this year, or maybe better? It is absurd to assume that we saw Escobar’s career year last year, at 24, while adjusting to the majors and shuffling around the infield. The only real downgrade is CF, and Andruw’s 313 OBP/411 SLG from last year isn’t that much better than what we’ll get from Kotsay/ Anderson.

    If we had this year’s depth of starters ready last year, we’d have won the division. We were four games under our projection last year. Dammit, this is a 90-win team with some upside if Schafer or Blanco or a fifth starter busts out.

    To the frustration of the Mets! (And Phillies, Marlins, and Nationals.)

  63. I believe it means that the player can’t declare free agency that year, but the team has to guarantee a contract for a certain amount — like at least the average for the top five players at the position, or something like that.

  64. People forget, we saw Edgar’s career year last year, for all intents and purposes. It was his highest BA ever, second-highest OBP, second-highest SLG, fourth-highest homer total though he only played 124 games, etc. He’s not as good a player as he was last year, and I doubt he will hit that well next year or ever again. Yunel may not have the career Edgar has had, but Edgar isn’t at his peak any longer either.

  65. Ububba,

    I’m just skimming, but it appears you left Syracuse off your list of schools that wear a certain color. Seemed like a strange one to miss.

    Besides, Tennessee had a better recruiting class than E. Carolina this year, take that Skip Holz, the 3 stars are heading to Knoxville.

  66. I for one am not ashamed to say that I was highly upset that Escobar was being platooned with Kelly last year, because of all the AB’s he was taking away from Kelly. I will be glad to root for Esco this year in the hopes that he is an above average offensive short stop for the next 4-6 years.

    Now if Josh Anderson is a platoon partner for Diaz this year, I can’t even begin to describe how insane that will make me. I think the FREE DIAZ! campaign should begin immediately.

  67. No, only when their contracts are up. Meanwhile, teams can release them any time during the offseasn. It is the official position of this blog that the NFL contract rules are a violation of everything good and decent and go directly against several thousand years of mutual obligations and duties as the cornerstone of society, but also that discussing this will inevitably be counterproductive and lead to ill will so we probably shouldn’t.

  68. Mac,
    Agreed, but I’m with you on that topic in a big way.

    doubledawg,
    At that point, I was suffering from a case of Orange Overload.

    And that Syracuse mascot…wow.

  69. In other words, we heavily over-pay

    Now that’s funny. Well done.

    Honestly, why is it so hard for the writers to see that Escobar is likely to be as good as Renteria this year, or maybe better?

    Maybe because Renteria was pretty awesome his two years in Atlanta and they have no idea what to expect from Yutility? I could see Esco being as good this year as Renteria is this year. I can’t see either one being as good as Renteria was last year.

  70. mac described the franchise tag accurately…there are two types (one being exclusive and the other requiring two first round picks as compensation)…it is used on ONE potential free agent each year per team if that team cannot negotiate or will not negotiatie a long term deal with said player.
    it allows them to pay said player the average of the top 5 players at his position on a one-year deal that is guaranteed salary (it also should be noted that it must represent 120% of the previous years salary as well)…teams can continue to negotiate on long term deals with franchise players until july 15th at which point the contract stands for the entire season and negotiations cannot continue until after said season…

    the big numbers with NFL contracts are the amounts of guaranteed money, particularily signing bonuses but also vesting roster bonuses and performance bonuses that are considered likely to be earned…this is in opposition to other pro sports that guarantee the full amounts in contracts, as base salaries for any player are not guaranteed (with exception to veteran players on the roster as of week 1, who have that entire seasons base salary guaranteed at that point)

    the argument over guaranteed contracts is a touchy one (i will say that holdouts represent a breach of contract that players undertake, although not to the extreme owners do so releasing players)…as in im not touchin it

  71. I’m not as sanguine on Escobar as DOB is. He has a major man crush going on there. I truly don’t get BP though. I really think that they despise guys that don’t walk a lot. They do have a point though. What if Escobar is blocking a better defender with a more rounded skill set in Lillibridge? I guess its a nice problem for the Braves to have.

    NFL contract rules. Mac, since you’ve stated your opinion, me no touchy.

  72. I dont want to continue this NFL discussion much furter, but one last question.

    If a team cant place a tag on a player until his contract is up, can they continue to place a tag on the same player each offseason? Or is it like a one time thing?

  73. @120/121. The team can place the Franchise Tag on a player for more than one year in a row. However, there is a limit to the number of years in row they can place on the same player. It’s either 2 or 3.

  74. alex r — you’re right, it’s a great feeling when your son laughs and coos at you. and it sucks when they’re sick (our little guy has a fever tonight).

    and, yes, we need some baseball around here.

    Go Braves!

  75. I went up in the Andes today – about 20 miles through a rutted cowpath to a lonely RF transmitter site. From the top while I was looking down on the city, the station keeper asked what I thought about this years beisbol season. Just when you thought you’d heard it all…

    ps – I would never, ever question anyones decision about the right thing to do wrt to their child. I just know a lot of folks my age (mid 40’s) who beat themselves up about the daycare issue, and I think there is no reason for it.

  76. Sansho1, Mac, others … anyone out there know where I can get some Derrida for Dummies? I’m not the best critical reader in the world, but still, I’m not picking up what he’s putting down. It really doesn’t help that I’m not very interested in critical theory, but I should have his differance business at least making some sense to me at this point. Any tips?

    Speaking of critical theory, I once read an interview with the Ageless One in which a reporter asked of all the pitchers he had faced, which was the most difficult. Julio replied that he didn’t hit pitchers, he hit the ball — it’s all about seeing the ball. I immediately thought of Foucault and Bartes and the death of the author. I was surprised at the connection… and then worried that my thoughts on lit were creeping over into baseball in that way. heh heh.

  77. you know, james did pitch 160 innings of 4.24 era ball last year while reyes pitched 60 innings of 6.22 era ball. i still don’t understand the james hate. i know he doesnt go deep in games, and i know he has a tendency to give up the long ball, but there is not much proof that any of the other options can do a better job than chuck.

    chuck has now pitched almost 300 innings of major league ball with a 4.00 era. chuck shouldnt have to “win” a spot in the rotation. he should at least be penciled in as the #5 guy. sam, i’m not trying to be a smartass, but what makes you think that jo jo will do a better job than chuck? in every category in the minors, chuck outperformed jo jo by a pretty significant margin.

    to me, it’s just silly to say a guy will do a better job than another guy when there is no proof whatsoever.

  78. I gotta’ think if the 5th starter spot is between Reyes and Jurrjens that Jurrjens will win it. My guess is that both of them will make the team (since Hampton won’t be ready either – most likely he’ll never be ready) and Reyes will be sent down when James is ready.

  79. Yep, my brain makes me think that. Although I still think that James is worse than he appears, I said that because I’m basically frustrated like everyone else. I don’t really know if Reyes will do any better. The only thing I can point to is that he seemed to have a better September.

  80. I am grateful for the disucssion about childcare. I don’t believe that there is a single right answer; in any event, it is very timely for us: we are expecting our first child in July and only last weekend we decided that we would bite the bullet and get a live in maid soon after our baby is born. The worst of it for us will be the loss of privacy, but we are both working and my wife’s job is going very well. I really liked Johnny’s comment that it might be the case that kids need their parents more in the teenage years. Time will tell….

    Otherwise, I can’t wait for the start of baseball season either…

  81. Let me echo Stephen by saying I liked the childcare discussion. I’m fairly young, and Lord willing, won’t be having any kids for a while. With that said, it was an issue I hadn’t thought of yet.

    Based on the eclectic responses we got on the matter, there doesn’t seem to be a universal answer to the issue. If you’re very financially stable and you can afford for one parent to stay home, then obviously you would. That way, as Stu said, you are raising your kids, not someone else.

    Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t afford to have one parent stay at home, so my siblings and I were put in daycare. The points that have been made about socialization and health system immunity seem to be pretty valid with me. I don’t know if this was because of daycare, but I am definitely a people person and I’ve been pretty darn healthy all of my life.

    Like I said, it seems to be a “case-by-case” deal with parents. There are drawbacks and positives for each one. Thanks for the discussion guys.

  82. Oh, I forgot to mention this (no pun intended): I got three concussions from daycare, and after the second, my parents had threatened with a lawsuit. So while the socialization and immune system reinforcement were pluses, three concussions in a couple years isn’t good for the ole noggin. Of course, I’ve had 4 since then, so I think I’m at 7. Is that bad?

  83. I would rather see both Jo Jo and Jair getting seasoning at AAA. However, if one of them has to start with Atlanta, I think I would go with Jo Jo Reyes…

  84. Escobar is a weird case. Most of the prospecting stuff I’ve read doesn’t really see him as more than a utility guy. The belief tends to be that Lillibridge will replace him sooner rather than later. If you go only on his stats, you have to think he was WAY over his head this year, but at the same time, I tend to think Escobar is the type of player for whom the stats don’t paint a very complete picture, what with him having to learn how to live in America and learn how to hit professional (Major/Minor League) pitchers at the same time. Basically, the Braves organization seems VERY high on him, so for the time being, I’ll take that and run with it. But I wouldn’t exactly be surprised if he hit .280/.340/.390 or something like that.

    All I’ll say about childcare is that I think parents tend to think they have a lot more influence on how their kid turns out than they actually do. They can have some effect on the margins, but I think by and large who a kid turns out to be is beyond their control. I think the literature on the subject backs this up at least somewhat.

  85. 136 — I’ve enjoyed the discussion too. But, just to point out, you don’t have to be well off to have a parent stay at home. It certainly would make it much easier to do so, but not necessary. If it’s what you want to do, then you can make it happen.

    For what it’s worth, my wife was tinkering with the idea of taking some on-line classes to work on a masters, but decided against it. She decided the timing wasn’t right for her (I would’ve gotten behind her either way). I think she eventually will though and she’ll eventually get back to working too, but I couldn’t tell you when that’ll be. That type of decision will probably be just as important as the decision to stay at home or do daycare. We’ll see how it goes.

    By the way, 7 concussions?! You, Trent Green, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, et al. should start a club.

    And… (wait for it)…

    Go Braves!

  86. Don’t forget Eric Lindros, Rob!

    C. Shorter, I’m not nearly as up on lit theory as these other guys… I acquired an early allergy to French and German philosophers that has served me quite well late in life. I’m a little more favorably disposed toward the Russians, even though they’re usually too smart for me to understand. Still, if you’re going to read lit crit, you might as well read Bakhtin.

    Go Braves!

  87. if anyone cares Ryan Howard won his arb case and got $10 mil, that should hurt them a little. They were only offering $7

  88. #136 & #143 – I would definitely agree that you dont have to be well off in order for one parent to stay home. You just have to be very careful in the way you spend your money. Its makes you live within your means. You cant get caught up in the wordly things and you (parents) have to be willing to make huge sacrifices. With all the horrible day care reports of people shaking babies and hitting them these days, I want my wife taking care of our kids at all cost, no matter what sacrifices we have to make

  89. I only take childcare advice from Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff – not Flair. Sorry.

    #137

    Rob – does that make you the Troy Aikman or Steve Young of daycare? I guess it depends on whether you’re a righty or a lefty! Ouch – 7 concussions? Were you on Ridalin after that?

  90. I feel that Rob clearly has not been able to fully achieve the stardom he was destined for and thus is probably the day care Pat Lafontaine. Aikman and Young both lived up to their potential despite the brain damage.

  91. Bret Hart was the SEC of professional wrestling. Flair, probably the Pac 10. Owen Hart obviously was the Southwest Conference.

  92. See, ric flair, Mac has a rule against talking politics. He has no rule against talking childcare. It’s his blog, if you’ll recall.

    Don’t you love it when the new guy tries to enforce his own rules?

  93. Ric Flair, since I will assume you’re NEW and not a longtime Bravesjournal poster under an assumed name, Mac has a few basic steadfast rules – NO politics and NO bad language.

    Am I leaving anything out?

    Oh yes, if you’re a Mets fan or you want to go on and on about the Red Sox, please do that somewhere else.

  94. #161

    C’mon, Stu, you can’t possibly compare Politics and child care? They are clearly at different levels in terms of potential ‘controversy’.

    You may disagree on child rearing methods with me or with Spike, but it didn’t lead to any animosty – politics, if left unguarded, would I am sure lead to a major smackdown in here.

  95. Ric Flair’s birth name is not known due to a scandal at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. His adopted parents named him Richard Fliehr.

    No wonder he doesn’t want to talk about child care…

  96. Yeah, but she’s doing well otherwise.

    Um, sorry to be so shameless, but I just posted something on Chop-n-Change about my choices for who should play the Atlanta Braves in a summer blockbuster. (Sample: Scott Thorman should be played by Rick Moranis.) We’ve talked about movies in here a lot, so I know it’s a subject some of you will have strong feelings about. Please, by all means share them.

  97. Nature Boy, none of us actually care who your presidential candidate is and I think it’s safe to say that all the presidential candidates have supporters in here.

    So, again, if you don’t follow Mac’s rules, he will block your posts. Just a heads up my friend.

  98. #169

    Ok – my bad. I actually thought you were being sarcastic about how Mac picks and chooses whats safe and not safe. No worries.

  99. No, everyone in Bravesjournal is equal except for Mac since this is his site. Mac would state the same thing as would Stu, AAR or anyone else. I am merely trying to curb the controversial stuff before Mac takes action. I am not trying to be a jerk – just stating facts.

  100. Really I just got here how do you know that. I have been reading this stuff for years. I just never posted before.

  101. Actually, for the record, I may have known Mac a long, long time, but people like Dix, Stu, ububba, csg and others have been posting a lot more the last few years than me. So I am more middle of the pack in this room.

  102. I am also not allowed to rip Andruw Jones. I want to state for the record I have stopped a while ago on that one :-)

  103. I work for a bank, but its raining outside and I’ve finished all my appointments for today. Just chilling in the office.

  104. I work for the GBI as a message board troll trying to trap pedophiles in the act. I’m only here when I’m working.

  105. #187 & #190

    I echo AAR and Robert – I sit in front of a computer all day as I am the head of Business Development for an Internet Company in Washington.

    Half the time I am posting, I am on the phone with a potential client.

  106. Correction: Ric Flair is still wrestling.

    From Wikipedia:

    Despite his age, less-than-chiseled physique, and being past his prime as a “main-eventer,” Flair is still a capable performer.

    I feel bad for him now.

  107. #188

    Stu, yeah, it’s definitely a head scratcher.

    Sadly though, despite the fact that the real Ric Flair is in his 60’s, he appears to be unwilling to retire.

    Flair is the Joe Paterno of Pro Wrestling.

  108. @190, and if you didn’t post here, neither would I.

    Why would that be? You are probably the most entertaining poster we have.

    Off topic – as if there is a topic – when I log on to the front page of my favorite USC website and read this:

    Corona Centennial LB Vontaze Burfict was scheduled to visit USC today for a meeting with Coach Pete Carroll but it didn’t happen because he couldn’t get a ride from his uncle. The meeting will be re-scheduled for next week.

    It’s ok to laugh right? How bad a person does it make me? A ride from his uncle? How bad did they shame this uncle by putting this right on the front page? I know it’s a kid and his future and maybe he’s got a bad family situation, but…ah the hell with it…I laughed.

    I hope we bring this kid in just for his name alone – although I’m not exactly sure how you would pronounce it.

  109. I’d like to talk sports for a minute:

    I think Marisa Miller totally dominates this year’s SI Swimsuit issue.

    That is sports, isn’t it?

  110. Marisa Miller’s swimsuit photos reveal that she would be quite adept at caring for/feeding a child.

    There ric flair, it’s permissible.

  111. @201,

    Robert,

    I don’t know how to pronounce that name either, just make sure you don’t flip the vowels in the last name.

  112. Whoa on the new look, Mac.

    For those interested (aren’t we all?), DOB has a good rundown of what the 25-man roster stands to look like at the beginning of the season.

    Teaser: Javy’s a very good bet to make the team.

  113. @203 – The purist sport of all.

    @135 – Your teenagers don’t need you. You just need to be all in their s*&^t to make sure that they don’t f(*& themselves (and by extension you and your wife) up real bad with a horrific mistake. And even with all the good home learning you instilled, lots of dilgence and some trust………

    As for having the means to have a stay at home mom, sometimes the economics favor the mom (or whoever makes the lesser) staying home. We came to the conclusion that my wife would just be working to support day care. For us it didn’t make sense for her to work outside the home. But 4 kids 2 years apart does that for you.

    The DOB blogs are entertaining. Not the replies but his observations.

    Go Braves

  114. Re: DOB’s Roster column

    yes, always entertaining stuff from DOB.

    He still seems to be under the mistaken impression that Mike hampton will be the #4 starter. Perhaps he needs to watch one of Mac’s home made videos for a demonstration as to why this isn’t realistic?

    But if somehow Hampton managed to get into the rotation – unscathed – I find it interesting that DOB projects Chuckie James on the outisde looking in. Can’t imagine James is headed back to Richmond. But I agree that I think Jurrjens will be the better pitcher.

    I still think very little of Ohman for the bullpen, and predict Royce Ring will be the better pitcher. I have seen absolutely nothing from Ohman that makes me think this guy will be any good at all.

    I also think DOB needs to stop risking jinxing the Braves and saying the words, “if Teixeira gets hurt”. Scary stuff, David. If Tex gets hurt, the season is done.

    I also still can’t believe Diaz is going to get platooned – again. Whom does this man have to kill to be given the chance to play everyday? I would also add that I hope like hell Thorman isn’t on the roster – he sucks – and DOB is very upbeat about Javy. I think it’s likely Brian Jordan Part Deux.

    Just “my” observations…

  115. I have no excuse for being on here, though I’m not on here near as much as the “working folk.” I’m just done with classes for the day, and I don’t have practice until a little later.

    Quick question: that’s not really Ric Flair, is it? I swear it seems like people are really thinking it is. I dunno.

  116. Gee, Mac, thanks for the compliment – I’d have to give the illustrious Chipper spot to AAR. I’m probably Charlie Leibrandt, at best.

  117. I’ll put waiver claims on being Glen Hubbard. We’ll see how that goes. Ric Flair might claim to be him too — but, to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man! woooooooooo!

    Go Braves.

    And I’m posting despite having plenty of work to do before class tonight. It’s all on my own time, though, I guess.

  118. I’m Keith Lockhart and yes I have the pictures.

    Dix what the heck does that mean?

    I (sheepishly) even post from home. I know get a life.

  119. I even post from my BlackBerry while at Vanderbilt basketball games or on the pooper. Or, as Dix can attest to, when friends are visiting from out of town and we’re in the car on the way to dinner.

  120. I’m Kelly Johnson, former leftfielder, current second baseman, and great leadoff man. I’ll guide the Braves to the Series this year.

    And then I’ll wake up.

  121. AAR,
    I didn’t read the Gary Sheffield story. I’m talking about Sheffield in general.

    He used PEDs & said he didn’t, and his implying that Joe Torre was a racist was pathetic.

  122. That’s all right, Chris. Normally, hating yourself is a sign of poor self-esteem, but we all hate you too, so your self-esteem is just right.

  123. csg – That list is somewhat bogus. For example, it lists Gil Meche and he is on year 2 of a 4 year contrract.

  124. “Because, Gary, lots of people think you’re a me-first, clubhouse-cancer douchebag—that’s why. You’re a great hitter, but nobody likes you.”

  125. There was also the little matter that Sheffield was 35 when he signed that deal. Tejada and Guerrero wouldn’t be 35 at the ends of their contracts.

  126. Let me clear up the AAR-ububba argument:

    Sheffield and BorASS are BOTH bad people.

    But if I have to pick sides, I am unquestionably picking Sheff’s.

    Yeah, Sheff’s not a nice guy, but he hasn’t been one of the 3-4 people who have helped ruin Baseball into the cesspool it is – like BorASS.

    I’d have to think long & hard if given the choice of siding with Borass or say, a terrorist. (not really, of course, I mean the terrorist didn’t help ruin Baseball…)

  127. gee, it sure is nice to have a visitor from the world of wrestling. (or the world of steroid monsters in their underwear rubbing all over each other)……….and no ric, i dont work. i’ve finally escaped after 35 years of being caught in the greasy maw of the construction business.

  128. Good names have been taken: but I am not going to be NY METS….maybe….I know I am Kevin Barry….its a good thing that I don’t have a connection in 2008 to the Atlanta Braves….

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