Braves 4, Marlins 2

ESPN – Marlins vs. Braves – Box Score – August 28, 2008

One of my rules is to never count out the Marlins, but they sure look done. You just can’t get beat by Charlie Morton if you want to stay in the race. Charlie faced the minimum through five (he allowed one hit, but got a DP) and had a 4-0 lead. Of course, he immediately blew half of it, giving up two runs in the sixth, but did get the elusive quality start and the win.

Martin Prado, slugging first baseman, drove in the first run of the game with a second inning single, then made an all-important PRODUCTIVE OUT moving Josh Anderson from second to third in the fifth. Of course, Brian McCann had to spoil things with a three-run homer, but don’t let that detract from the PRODUCTIVE OUT. Anderson had a hit and two walks and obviously should be a major building block based upon this evidence.

Tavarez actually struck out the side in the seventh. Very few things are actually impossible. Bennett pitched the eighth, and Gonzalez struck out the side in the ninth for the save.

75 thoughts on “Braves 4, Marlins 2”

  1. “Anderson had a hit and two walks and obviously should be a major building block based upon this evidence.”

    you just couldnt resist letting something positive slide without a sly comment.
    i dont think anderson should be a building block, but he could be a good piece if he keeps his obp around .360-.370. as i mentioned in my previous post, he could be a decent addition with a francoeur-less outfield and 2 power corners. blanco should keep a roll on the team, but it should be limited to a 4th outfielder.
    anderson’s success is, of course, pending until further evidence, but he’s shown steady improvement.

  2. I’ll be absolutely floored if Anderson posts an OBA higher than .360 over a ML season. With his speed and defense in the OF, he’d hardly have to hit a double the whole year to be an above-average ML player.

    The .355 OBA he’s had in Richmond this year is the best high-minors performance of his career. To expect a 26-yo minor leaguer to make the jump to the bigs and IMPROVE is beyond optimistic. Anderson’s upside when we got him was 4th/5th OF with some contact skills, speed, and defense. That’s about where he is now. It’s funny. He’s probably better than the current incarnation of Juan Pierre, but that guy gets payed millions while Anderson will be lucky to acquire the ML service time to make it to arbitration.

  3. Hey, some guys don’t figure it out for a while. Maury Wills wasn’t an everyday player till he was 27; neither was Tony Womack. Sometimes speedsters take a while to get it into their heads that their entire game is drag bunts, slow grounders, and Baltimore chops.

    (It’s understandable why they’d resist, as it must be slightly humiliating to admit to yourself that your entire existence is based on cheap hits, sort of like being the sort of person who plays Sagat in Street Fighter, stands at the edge of the stage, and does nothing but alternate high and low fireballs.)

    That’s Anderson’s game. He’s a punchless burner. If he can learn how to get a couple dozen infield hits a year, he can be an effective major leaguer. If not, there are a bunch of kids just as fast from the Dominican who are just as capable of not taking a walk.

  4. You’re probably right, mraver, but what do we have to lose in giving him a shot? It’s not like we have anything better to do than see if he can play. He might not get on base as often as Blanco, but he’ll steal a few more bases and play better defense (by reputation). The Darren Bragg Memorial Battle for long-term fourth outfielder status is joined!

  5. Blanco only gives you above average speed, a good bunter, and a decent OBP %. His defense is bad and he has one of the most inaccurate arms Ive ever seen (its not even a strong arm at that)

    I havent seen Anderson play, but Im sure he can give you exactly what Blanco does, so why not give him a shot

  6. Y’all sound like the Monday morning coaches calling for the backup QB.

    Blanco has a better minor league track record, a year of being a useful big leaguer (Anderson has none), and is younger than Anderson. I don’t see the comparison.

  7. Okay, folks. I guess I’m going to give this college football season a shot. I haven’t given a damn about it in a long time, but at this point, I think I may be interested. I really can’t get into it without pulling for somebody, though. I have a handful of candidates and maybe you guys can help me pick one. The candidates are (in alphabetical order): Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee. I suppose I might be talked into Florida. Maybe.

    Any thoughts?

  8. Billy-Jay,

    Red is more classy than orange. Have you ever seen a fall fashion line based on orange?

  9. we are drafting Grant Green with the intention of moving him to 3B; trading KJ going and with a Prado/Infante platoon next year until Lilli gets his head straight.

    Green will be in the Majors by the start of 2010 (when Chipper rides off into the sunset).

    We sign Crawford to man LF and be a stabilizing influence in our youth movement.

    Sign Derrick Lowe for 3 years.

    Sign Oliver Perez to 4 years.

    Resign Smoltz to an incentive-laden contract (to be our Closer/Right-handed setup man); and Glavine to something similar (to be our #5).

    Using Anderson/Blanco as our CF and the hole that is Frenchy as RF but tell him SPECIFICALLY that we don’t mind playing Schafer in Right (his defense is just as good as Frenchy’s…and who know’s, his bat couldn’t be any worse).

    so

    Anderson/Blanco
    Escobar
    Crawford
    Chipper
    McCann
    Kotchmann
    Frenchy
    Prado/Infante

    decent to me

  10. Thanks, Cliff. That’s as good a reason as any, I think.

    I’m looking for a bit more input, though. Maybe I’ll just follow those three/four and whittle them down by who loses first.

  11. And the rotation is:

    Jurrjens
    Lowe
    O. Perez
    Glavine
    Campillo

    With JoJo, James, and Morton in Gwinnett Co, and Hudson perhaps coming back in Late August. Not a great staff, but not terrible either.

    (Braces for hails of derisive laughter.)

    What about offering Hampton one of those Smoltz/Glavine incentive-laden deals? I mean, he certainly has worked hard to make it back this year, when he could’ve just hung it up and rested on his 120 million haul. Yes, he may not have anything left, but if he’d sign for a million guaranteed, with loads of incentives, I don’t see how having him as an option would scar anyone for life.

  12. Interesting piece from Stark… well mainly interesting for the info on the batting title race in the NL
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3557223&type=story

    In one corner, you have Chipper, who, until Wednesday, had held the highest average in the major leagues for 132 days in a row — the longest streak in the 48-season expansion era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    These guys were destined to get mixed up in an epic batting race one of these days, weren’t they? Heck, they have the two best averages in the big leagues since Opening Day 2006, Opening Day 2007 and Opening Day 2008. And, amazingly, there is only a one-point difference in their averages over the last three years, a five-point difference over the last two years and a one-point difference this year (.357 for Pujols, .356 for Jones).

    Of course this is pretty interesting too:

    • One more time: Meanwhile, friends of John Smoltz and Tom Glavine continue to report that both want to return to Atlanta next year for low-guarantee, incentive-packed deals as long as it’s even remotely possible for them to pitch. In part, it’s because they feel remorse for collecting $22 million this year and contributing just five wins and 18 starts. But in part it’s also because these guys are such good friends, they feel as if they were cheated out of one last season of playing with each other. And they’d love a mulligan, in more ways than one. “If they want to come back, and you’re the Braves,” one NL executive said, “I don’t know how you would say no.”

  13. How exactly does that improve the team? To reiterate, you’re advocating:

    – starting two backup infielders at 2nd base
    – signing a left fielder with no power and no on-base skills who has to hit .315+ to be a useful player
    – sign two league-average starting pitchers

    I don’t see how that would at best marginally improve the team while spending $ 40M (and blocking some of our youngsters). Besides, I think it’s pretty much a given that Schafer will start in CF next year. If you assume he doesn’t, who plays center? None of the players on your list are really capable of that.

    Edit: That was in response to Chris.

  14. billy-jay,

    It’s all about the Gators man. Best fans. Loud, energetic stadium. National title hopes this year. Great quarterback with character, we’re loaded on offense, and we’re going to be a fun team to watch. What more can you want?

  15. Carl Crawford hitting 3rd would be a complete disaster. For a team that needs power, signing him would be about the worst thing we could do. Playing him in LF would only exacerbate the problem. As long as we’re on the topic of low OBPs, Crawford has never reached .360 at the ML level, and this year he’s at .319.

    I’m not saying he doesn’t have any value. I’m just saying he doesn’t have very much. And that we could get away with signing some backup corner guy and platooning him with Brandon Jones or something, and the net production would probably be similar.

    Also, I really don’t want Ollie Perez to be a guy I’m relying on to pitch well.

    Oh, and I’d be fine bringing Glavine and Smoltz back on incentive deals. Not a lot of cost in doing that, and it would give the young rotation some stability (in theory…).

  16. The idea of signing Ollie Perez and Dereck Lowe doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. Ollie was Cy Young against us in 07, but has been a bit inconsistent in general. Dereck Lowe isn’t bad (he could be 16-9 this year if his team had done better offensively for him), but is also no spring chicken in baseball terms. With the two of them you’d have filled in the middle of the rotation, but not the front end. At that point we’re either going to be relying on Smoltz/Glavine as a stopper, or Jair as the stopper… and I don’t think that’s a smart move.

    On offense, is there a presumption that Milton Bradley will re-sign with Texas? His offensive numbers seem pretty good, I recall nothing of his defense… wait do I remember correctly though that he’s had behavior/attitude problems?

    Pat Burrell? He’s got some power we’re lacking, though his BA is pretty weak (well, not weak compared to Francour or ’07 AJ, but…).

    Any idea who might be a trade option?

    FWIW somebody (I think it was Stark) has said that most teams consider Tex to be a 5/90 guy… would we bite at that price? should we?

    —————————————————
    I just had a nostalgia thought. We’ve got expanded rosters coming up, and no chance to take the post season, so couldn’t we sign Julio Franco for the rest of the year at league minimum so the old guy can get his chance to play in the bigs when he’s 50?

  17. I’d happily give Smoltz and Glavine cheap, incentive-laden deals, provided that in the likely event that neither of them pitched long or effectively, it didn’t cost us much.

    Oh, here’s something else fun from Jayson Stark’s piece:

    Scouts who have followed the Pirates have been buzzing about Andy LaRoche’s lethargic play since he arrived from the Dodgers, who traded him because they had the same concerns.
    “To see that effort level is really disappointing,” one scout said. “I’m stunned that the effort level has been so poor. To see a kid hitting .170 and not running ground balls out, it’s hard to fathom. This isn’t the kind of player this team needs. They need more dirt balls and fire guys who scratch and claw.”

    A lack of hustle from a guy named LaRoche? Say it ain’t so!

  18. How does an incentive laden deal work for Smoltz/Glavine/Hampton? I thought you can’t tie it to number of wins or innings pitched and such… post season success? awards?

  19. To quote Eddie Epstein (an independent scout who consults for several teams),

    If you’ve got a guy who’s 23 or 24, and has been a professional player fro four or five years, I don’t care what the scouts think. I can look at the numbers.

    Josh Anderson is a terrible hitter and has no future as an everyday regular player. He should never bat higher than eighth, so as to minimize the number of outs he makes. I don’t need to look at him any more. One month of good play doesn’t cancel out six years of craptacular minor-league play.

  20. Johnny @ 16,

    How do you define good?

    Schafer has been at 800 or better OPS since returning off suspension. Mostly ranging from 800 to 900. He also had a similar Arizona Fall League showing last fall as one of the youngest players there. (league is sometimes pitching challenged because of innings limits but usually a good selection of pitchers)

    He is a plus plus defender in center.

    His only hole, looking at possible ML play, is hitting lefties. He is still struggling around 600 ops. Against righties he is and has been, since suspension, near 1000).

  21. @21,

    Charles P,

    You cannot use specific league performance statistics in an incentive laden deal. Like, ERA,strikeouts, K/9 (or HR’s for hitters, etc.). You can use games and innings played, started, and finished (I am pretty sure). You can give performance bonuses based on League award votes as well as actually winning the award. (Cy Young votes, Cy Young winner, Rolaids fireman, MVP etc.).

    I found Stark’s info on Glavine and Smoltz interesting. IF they would take 1 million each and IF Liberty would commit the “bonuses”, if any, as “extra special money” then I say do it.

    BUT, to be competitive, Braves have to spend payroll dollars wisely. If you can get Lowe and Perez for wht you can get CC, maybe that makes sense. But, no “no trade” clauses and no backloading.

  22. @17:

    Thanks, Rob. I’ll keep the Gators in the mix a bit longer.

    Here’s the background (for those interested): I have lived in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, but haven’t lived anywhere close to there in a long time. The only team I really cheered for growing up was Auburn (and I ushered a few Auburn games as a Boy Scout), but I don’t feel much of a connection to them these days. Mom lives in Tennessee and buys me UT stuff. I can sing “Rocky Top,” too. I always root for SEC vs. non-SEC, but these days, I don’t really have a favorite.

  23. I know you can give incentives based on innings pitched because there have been controversies in the past about pitchers who did not meet the incentives because the team stopped pitching them. I’m assuming that’s the kind of thing the Braves would give Glavine and/or Smoltz.

    They won’t take a million. In the context of baseball players, that would be insulting (I know, I know); it would be like asking a professional to work for $100 a week. They might take $3-5 million or something like that with incentives.

  24. Okay, folks. I guess I’m going to give this college football season a shot. I haven’t given a damn about it in a long time, but at this point, I think I may be interested. I really can’t get into it without pulling for somebody, though. I have a handful of candidates and maybe you guys can help me pick one. The candidates are (in alphabetical order): Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee. I suppose I might be talked into Florida. Maybe.

    Any thoughts?

    Vanderbilt! We’re the only clean team of the bunch! We have integrity and a roster full of likeable, articulate players! We have likeable coaches! It’s easy to get a cheap ticket if you want to watch us in person! We’re 1-0 already!

    None of the teams you mention have all of those things, although all four will finish with (much) better records.

    We sign Crawford to man LF and be a stabilizing influence in our youth movement.

    *Sigh.* Once again…Carl Crawford is not a free agent after the season. And Carl Crawford is a lefty with no power.

  25. See if the Dodgers will assume Druw’s salary and swap him straight up for Frenchy. We pay for the Lilburn Flash.

  26. Yeah, billy-jay. Root for Vanderbilt and you will be able to live with yourself. Think of the principles, the ideals.

    Consider it a quixotic arrangement, much more original than bandwagoning with some team that’s likely to finish in the top ten in the nation.

  27. My comments about Anderson (who is nothing more than a fourth outfielder) were an obvious parody of how any player who comes up from AAA and has a good game is automatically talked about as a building block. Morton and Reyes have been examples earlier this year. Kyle Davies, in his time, was a AAA messiah.

  28. Thanks, Stu (and Parish), but I’ll be lucky if I catch a game or two on television (I live in Tokyo).

    And, since I’m here asking for help picking a team to cheer for, I don’t think I can avoid the bandwagon tag.

  29. Self-righteous Vandy fans. Love it.

    My comments certainly weren’t self-righteous. They were about the integrity and likeability of Vanderbilt’s players, not myself.

    I continue to be amazed at the hostility you show when the issue Vanderbilt’s integrity relative to the rest of the conference—an indisputable notion, I might add—is raised. It’d be one thing if we were doing this and still whipping the cheaters, but we’re not—I really don’t get why someone who cheers for his team based on the quality of the athletes and football has such trouble with fans who cheer for their team for other reasons.

  30. There’s no such thing as a bandwagon Vanderbilt fan, anyway. Too much heartbreak on the field/court—you really have to be committed to stick with us.

  31. I disagree that Morton should be thought of in the same context of Anderson. Morton’s got fantastic stuff, and for five innings, you saw it tonight. It’s true that he may never get confident/consistent enough to be a quality big-league starter, but he’s not a guy like Anderson, whose upside has been realized and is really not that impressive.

    And I disagree with JC about Anderson. He’s not a “terrible” hitter. He’s just not a good one. I do agree that he’s definitely not a guy you want playing ever day (or even very many days). I don’t mind running him out this next month (though there’s no way he should take away ABs from Brandon Jones, who should be getting reps at the ML level to see if he can turn things around), and I don’t mind him hitting leadoff in the crappy lineup we’ve been fielding lately.

    But he’s not someone who will be anything more than the 24th or 25th man on a team, and on a squad with Gregor Blanco, he really doesn’t even fit there.

  32. AFL rosters have been released, and there’s a bunch of interesting Braves prospects that’ll be making the trip.

    Headlining the group is Tommy Hanson. He’s pitched 130 innings so far this year, and I guess the Braves are hoping to stretch him out a bit. A strong performance could help get him to Atlanta by mid-2009.

    Kris Medlen will also be there, and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s starting or relieving. He’s really excelled in the starter role in Mississippi, and I was surprised to hear that the Braves still see him as a reliever long-term.

    The recently-acquired Stephen Marek will also be playing this autumn, and I’m guessing the Braves want to get a better handle on his ETA.

    Tyler Flowers and Brandon Jones are the position players the Braves will be sending. I’m interested to see what Flowers’ power numbers look like after getting out of Myrtle Beach. He walked a ridiculous amount last year, and the AFL will be a good test to see if he can maintain that against stronger pitching. Brandon Jones will be looking to bounce back, and I would expect his performance to effect how the Braves view their LF situation going into the free agent season.

    Last year, Braves fans will recall Jordan Schafer having a very strong performance in the AFL last year, helping to propel him into “top prospect” status among the people who watch such things. Seeing something similar from Tyler Flowers (who, like Schafer, will not have played above A-ball before heading to Arizona), Jones, or one of the pitchers is not out of the question.

  33. And, since everyone else is too embarrassed – go Cocks! We really proved SEC dominance, I guess. The fifth best team in the SEC east is 34 points better than the fifth best team in the ACC Atlantic.

  34. Mraver, I thought Van Pope was going too.

    Also, I thought I remembered seeing another pitcher on the list of Braves. Heath, I think.

    Not sure thabout B. Jones being there. Should he maybe be replaced with someone who has not already played in the Bigs?

  35. @25

    This is all based off my swiss cheese memory of earlier discussions and quick googling for incentivized mlb contracts… so take it for what it’s worth. All the “innings pitched” and “starts” based incentives I have found are used as triggers for options for the next season (I’ve not done an exhaustive search mind you), or pay rate for the next season. I think that’s why there was all the legal wrangling to allow the Yanks to pay A-Rod for breaking HR records… they had to classify the bonus in terms of promotional value or something and not actual home runs.

    I’d love it if we COULD build the contract with a $3M base and incentives that make it so if we get 2007 Smoltz (quality starts/wins/etc) he gets paid, but if he falls apart the team isn’t on the hook for so much salary they can’t do mid-season “fix it” deals.

    I thought Coops idea was interesting… Let the Dodgers have Francour for ’09 and we get Andruw back, but the Dodgers pay for the Andruw Salary and we pay for the Frenchy one.

  36. Why would the Dodgers do that? At least Andruw has shown that he can be productive at the major league level.

  37. AJC reporting the Gwinnett stadium cost has increased by 50%. That was as easy to predict as a Frenchy K.

  38. Stu,

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking players/teams/organizations with character. Hopefully that’s obvious. In fact, I like Tebow so much because he is not only a great player but a great person. But if Tebow sucked, I wouldn’t really be a fan of his. It’s like Chris Reitsma. Chris Reitsma’s a great Christian guy from accounts I’ve read, but he’s a bad baseball player, and so I’m not a big fan of Chris Reitsma. What gets me about Vandy fans is this notion that because they have class and integrity, billy-jay should root for them, even though they are not a good football program. And then it’s the “everybody cheats but us so we’re better than them” stuff that I’m not a really big fan of.

  39. I’d do a Frenchy/AJ swap and even pick up AJ’s full salary, if LA included something useful. Like Matt Kemp.

    /not going to happen, though

  40. now I wouldn’t pick up AJ’s 18M salary… and of COURSE the swap isn’t going to happen… I just said it was INTERESTING as an idea, not likely at all.

  41. I don’t know, csg. He’s a blatant homer, but so is Brian Jordan. Jordan, god bless him, looks nervous and has something of a stuttering issue. Holtz might says stupid stuff that we know isn’t true, but his pep talks are awesome.

  42. I’d pick it up along with a good, cheap player. You get one good player, one formerly good player who has a possible chance at being not bad. And the big money is only for one year. A year that’s already a lost cause. Might as well make it a Remember the Good Ol’ Days Tour by adding Andruw to Glavine and Smoltz.

    I’d do that before dropping 4/$80 on Dunn or Burrell. But as you say: not likely.

  43. What did JC have to say about Gwinnett before? (I apparently missed it). I’m looking forward to having it near me (about 7-10 miles from my house).

  44. And then it’s the “everybody cheats but us so we’re better than them” stuff that I’m not a really big fan of.

    I know you’re not a fan. I wouldn’t be, either, if I were a fan of one of the dishonest teams. Confronting harsh realities is tough. I remember the mixed feelings from before I attended VU, back when I was a die-hard UT fan.

    What gets me about Vandy fans is this notion that because they have class and integrity, billy-jay should root for them, even though they are not a good football program.

    I find this both hilarious and strangely disconcerting. You are suggesting that it’s objectively wrong to root for a football team unless they win. All that matters is wins, and not the people involved. I mean, I know this is a common sentiment among some ignorant rednecks around the South (and other forms of ignorant people in other parts of the country), but it actually shocks me to hear someone who’s generally reasonable and educated (and, not to mention, someone who advocates a certain faith) put down another team’s fans because they root for a team that can’t win, even though they’re pulling for high-character guys.

    It’s one thing to just grow up a Florida (or Alabama or Georgia, etc.) fan, or to be an alumn, and say, “Yeah, I pull for the team I’ve always pulled for, but I recognize how someone who starts out with a clean slate and is looking for people, not just a team, they can root for, might not naturally end up a fan of my school.”

    But to say, as you are, that one should not cheer for a team simply because that team is not a winner strikes me as incredibly…I don’t know…”deplorable” is probably too strong a word. But I can say with certainty that there’s absolutely no merit to such an opinion.

    I expect you’ll be leaving the Braves’ fanbase in the near future. They’re not winning, and I can’t understand why anyone would expect someone to root for a team if it isn’t.

  45. Thanks to whomever mentioned the original article on AJC… because of that I saw that David Duchovny is now in re-hab for a sex addiction. He’s married to Tea Leoni… do we blame him for having this problem?

  46. Thank ye Mac… I hadn’t heard what the financial deal was on it. I’m not a fan of govt paying for stadiums. (though admittedly I’ll be a weak protester of it if I go to games there as a plan on).

  47. Thanks to whomever mentioned the original article on AJC… because of that I saw that David Duchovny is now in re-hab for a sex addiction. He’s married to Tea Leoni… do we blame him for having this problem?

    I saw a movie about a year or so ago—don’t remember the name, but it also had Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup in it—in which Duchovny played a sex addict. How sad.

    EDIT: Trust the Man is the name of the movie.

  48. As I understood what Stu was saying, he wasn’t saying that character and integrity were the only criteria when choosing a team to root for but that one could use it as a criteria, in the same way that, to some people, a politician’s extramarital affairs might be a reason to not vote for him and to others it wouldn’t be. It’s just another in a panoply of factors one might consider if winning isn’t the only criteria. He was simply saying “why not root for Vandy because they are clean” in the same way that someone else might say “root for UGA because they are really good.” As for not rooting for players who are nice people but not good players, I understand that because, at least in the majors, it’s a business, but I think a lot of people might root for someone like Pete Orr, for example, because of how he has battled to play in the majors even though he obviously isn’t a great player.

  49. Marc, I think that’s why I’m a big fan of Diaz. I hate that he regressed AND got hurt this year, but I’ve always liked that he hussled (likewise while Thorman wasn’t very GOOD, I respected that he was TRYING really hard).

  50. I think there’s also a difference in the sort of cheering you do for an individual, as opposed to the sort of cheering you do for a team.

    You can like an individual and pull for him—even be a fan of his—but want him off your team because he thus far hasn’t figure out how to help it win.

    When you’re a fan of a team, though, you don’t just drop it because it doesn’t perform. At least, “good” fans don’t. As you say, Marc, there is more than one factor that plays into being a fan.

    As far as Vanderbilt goes, yeah, I’d love to get every single one of the most athletic guys who can qualify academically and stay out of prison, and who aren’t interested in taking illegal gifts to come to school. But there aren’t a lot of those guys. We get a few, sure (and we’re starting to get a lot more), but I’m a fan of Vanderbilt, first and foremost, and so I pull for even the crappier players for the simple fact that they put on the Vanderbilt uniform.

    And, while I’d of course like (love) to win more games, it feels good to know that we’re doing things the right way, and that if we ever do break through, boy, will we have earned it. And I think the doing-things-the-right-way factor is a legitimate one to consider in choosing a team to pull for.

  51. @66

    Charles, speaking of hustling, I was at the Nats-LA game the other night and Willie Harris impressed me when he ran from left field to back up third base on a throw from right. It’s not exactly something Manny Ramirez would do. I don’t think hustling trumps talent–clearly one would rather have Manny in LF than Willie Harris–but it’s nice to see. The problem is a lot of people, it seems to me, root for great players and then conflate that with them being good guys. For example, Joe DiMaggio became a beloved figure but he really seems to have been pretty much of a jerk.

  52. Fair enough Mac, though I was referring more to the image I have of Thorman running down the first base line trying to beat out even the most obvious out… and he never looked fast, but he was hussling, and I appreciated THAT.

    Good points Marc and Stu. I want my team to field the best it CAN, but not without consideration of the people that comprise it (hence I’ve always been opposed to those people who said we should get Bonds because we needed power).

  53. Oh, Stu. If you only knew the kinds of sports teams we have here at my college, and my absolutely obnoxious, unwavering fandom that continually results in frustration, a lost voice, dollars spent in face paint, and a deep love for the girls and guys on those teams, you wouldn’t say what you just said. In some of our sports, we are a proverbial punching bag for JuCo and NAIA schools around the southeast. To say that I only attribute wins and losses to the criteria of how I feel about a team shows how ignorant you are to my situation.

    I cheer for an SEC team in college football that is no doubt shifty in their recruiting and academic practices. And honestly, I don’t care. I don’t look to the University of Florida or any professional sports organization for moral credibility or direction. I would like to think that Urban Meyer is above that, the way I actually do think that Mark Richt is, but I know he’s probably just as slimy as Nick Saban, Phil Fulmer, Bobby Petrino, Les Miles, etc. The point is that SEC football is corrupt. There’s so much competition to get and keep a 5-star recruit that, unfortunately, it appears as if you have to, unless other variables being in place.

    Let me clarify what I said earlier. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at values and virtues, but I think that Florida brings much to the table for a fan without, unfortunately, possesses those things. And if character and integrity is what we’re looking for, and we could flip the sport to baseball (we have no football team), then we should all be a fan of Clearwater Christian College baseball. Yeah, we suck, and I’m one of the worst players on the team, but you’ll never find a better group of guys.

    Hopefully that clarifies what I was trying to get across earlier.

  54. To say that I only attribute wins and losses to the criteria of how I feel about a team shows how ignorant you are to my situation.

    No, it shows that I read your previous post:

    What gets me about Vandy fans is this notion that because they have class and integrity, billy-jay should root for them, even though they are not a good football program.

    Now, you toned it down in the next one, and that’s fine, but let’s not pretend like what I said above wasn’t warranted based on comments which you yourself typed.

    As for your second post, I don’t disagree that Florida brings a lot to the table. I would expect to you try to convince billy-jay that those factors should weigh more heavily, which is exactly what I tried to do for VU in my post, which contained no self-righteousness and no condemnation of any other team’s fans.

    As for the CCC baseball team, I’m sure they deserve fan support, too, among fans of whatever division/conference they’re in. billy-jay, though, implied that he was interested in a D-I school—and he specifically mentioned only SEC schools—so I threw Vanderbilt’s name into the ring, because, quite frankly, if integrity is something you’re looking for in a college team, you can’t do much better.

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