Cocktail week picks

Home teams in italics.

Alabama 34, Ark. St. 13
Georgia 52, Florida 50 (3 OT, Jacksonville)
Tulsa 35, Arkansas 27
Kentucky 23, MSU 10
Ole Miss 31, Auburn 20
LSU 38, Tulane 21
South Carolina 34, Tennessee 15

163 thoughts on “Cocktail week picks”

  1. No way UF doesn’t make the two-point conversion. :-)

    What an awesome game that had better be!

  2. mraver, you’ve got it wrong.

    Florida will score first and miss the PAT. UGA will then score on its possession and go for two for the big FU to UF

  3. On UGA / UF. I saw a very interesting stat this week. UGA has won the last 9 games Stafford played where the team was ever within 7 in the final period.

    Tebow is 2-5 whenever UF is not more than 7 ahead or 7 behind in the 4th quarter.

  4. Georgia scores first in triple OT on a seven-yard Moreno run, then Stafford hits Green in the back of the end zone for the two. Florida converts on fourth-and-goal from the three when Tebow breaks a tackle and hits Harvin on a dumpoff. But they call a QB draw to convert the two, and Georgia reads it and Tebow is stuffed.

  5. And this will still not dissuade Meyer from running QB draws on have-to-have-it short-yardage situations.

  6. Regarding points, I would definitely take the over in the UGA/UF game. Regarding punts, I’d take the under.

    If the Dawgs are going to keep the score down even a little bit, Moreno has to run on them like he did last year & we’ll need to see more solid contribution from Caleb King. Stafford, of course, can’t have any of his big mistakes.

    The O-Line still isn’t perfect, but it’s improved recently and Bobo seems to have called the right kinds of plays to create space for Moreno. Another big part of this one will be UGA minimizing UF’s return game. Hopefully, we’re just talking about kickoffs.

    Bottom Line: I don’t really see either defense keeping up much with the other group. You’ll see NFL speed on one side, NFL skill on the other. I think this one’ll look like OU/Texas from a few weeks ago, but maybe even better.

    I’ll say UGA 45-41, and I’ll be watching from the Sunshine State. Off to Miami…

  7. This, from FiveThirtyEight.com, is one of the funniest opening lines I’ve ever read:

    GAMBLY AND WHORISH, Nevada is one of 2008’s biggest battlegrounds.

  8. lets see

    Norton hit .316 w/ 3hr and 18rbis as a PH
    Ohman our most consist reliever and held LH to a .200 avg
    Julio’s line was 12IP 9H 1ER 8BB 19K (but usually in mop up roles)
    Tavarez – yeah dont see him returning

  9. @13: 50%

    Vasquez anyone?

    He’s been the personification of mediocre the past few years. But he’s been healthy and is “only” owed an average of 11.5 MM over the past two. They said they want a middle infielder for him. KJ maybe? I remember that Bobby loved the guy when he was with the Expos.

  10. no, to trading KJ for him. I would move Lilli or Prado plus a relief prospect. The White Sox dont want him, he was terrible down the stretch.

    When teams know that other teams are just trying to slash payroll, how much value does that take away from said player???

  11. If Schuerholz was still GM, the Braves would get Javier Vazquez. Schuerholz seemed to have a real thing for him.

  12. I don’t really want to, but there’s not much else going on today and I just threw it out there. Prado? Granted Vasquez is mediocre, but he’s not bad, and you could pencil him in at the #3/4 spot and get 30+ starts and 200 innings.

    Part of the issue of why the team failed last year was the overuse of the bullpen, and this would definitely help with regard to that. Trading KJ is definitely overkill, especially as this seems like a salary dump. However, it’s only a two year commitment and we are going to need a few starters.

  13. I would not mind trading Prado for Vasquez, mainly because it would mean we could not waste KJ in a similar deal.

  14. Vasquez has a no trade clause to the NL. He’d ask for more money or some kind of compensation to come to ATL

  15. My understanding is that it’s as simple as that he doesn’t want to too far from his family, which is somewhere in the eastern US. He had trouble being away from them when he was pitching in Arizona, IIRC.

  16. Dix,

    Nice joke wiki edit. It’s pretty common for people in places with communist or socialist sympathies to name their childern or places after heroes of the revolution. Despite the relatively recent rise of Chavez, communist sympathizers have long been present throughout Latin America. I guess this is pretty rapidly going outside the realm of relevant topics for this forum so I’ll just move on and assume nobody knows. Maybe I’ll try to hit some Pelicans games next year and see if I can ask him about it because Gorkys doesn’t seem like a typical hispanic name.

  17. If you were going to name someone after a communist icon (and this is different than socialism despite what some politicians seem to be implying these days), I would think it would be something like Vladimir or (especially in Latin America), Fidel. A writer is really kind of stetching it it seems to me. I never thought of Maxim Gorky as an icon that would inspire communist sympathizers to name their children after him.

  18. @32

    I was just taking a WAG but Gorky was pretty popular at least during the Stalin years. They renamed Gorky’s hometown Gorky and the Soviet airforce named a big ass plane after him.

  19. The depravity of the Phillies knows no bounds. Listen to the heathen mob applaud his disgusting comment. I think the NFL bans you for life for this kind of thing.

  20. http://tinyurl.com/5lfh7s
    here’s my 2 cents on the above article, however it would require a bunch of “ifs” becoming non-“ifs”. here goes nothing (don’t hate me):

    ok, here goes my two cents for the braves offseason:
    trade francoeur to the royals for some pitching (preferably a guy that could step into the rotation) and put andruw in right field (after the dodgers eat 8-10 mil of his salary and accept a mid-level prospect for us taking him off their hands), bring schafer up to play center, and trade for maggs to play left. then, put diaz in the position he needs to be in (role player/backup), trade kj, tyler flowers, and a couple of low level prospects for peavy, sign smoltz to an incentive laden deal at 10 mil max, and acquire a legit #2 starter.
    andruw would be a risk but i would rather see andruw in right field than francoeur. at least we would have the best defensive outfield in the majors.
    here’s how the starters would look:
    schafer
    escobar
    chipper
    maggs
    mccann
    andruw
    kotchman
    prado

    peavy
    #2 starter
    jurrjens
    campillo
    smoltz/hanson/morton/reyes

    i like it.
    i am not on board with andruw being done. he has become lethargic and lazy. if he has any self-worth left, he will work his butt off this year and have a productive 2009. let’s hope, for the team that chooses to hire him, that this is true.

    however, the above scenario is my 2nd choice. my first choice would be to “rebuild the fan-base”. the braves need some controversy in the clubhouse to stir up a stagnant fan-base. sign manny ramirez!! he’ll put people in the stands, be ridiculous, piss people off, and make the braves organization something it hasnt been in 10 years: exciting.

  21. Of course he’d like to come back to Atlanta… Bobby would put him right back in the lineup at clean up.

    I do hope he gets into shape this off season. At least come back with something somewhat respectable.

  22. #35

    I’m the last person to get offended at that kind of thing, and yet my first thought after seeing it was that I miss Dale Murphy.

  23. Not everyone will be as classy as the Murph… but a little bit would be nice. Not that I really expect it, but I still get disappointed at a lack of it.

  24. Fielding Bible results are in:

    http://tinyurl.com/5hd24k

    The good news: Escobar finished third among SS, Teixeira and Kotchman were 2-3 in 1B.

    The bad news: Francoeur tied for 13th among RFs, and KJ was not among the 22 2Bs who received at least one vote. Even Uggla got one.

  25. oh my god……….a baseball played talked like a real person. in public, no less. its hard to believe that anyone is seriously offended by that. and if they are, as George Carlin would say……….F** ’em

  26. Can anyone seriously want #25 back in an Atlanta uniform?

    His year makes Phrenchy’s look Chipperesque.

    Go forward, not backward. THIS year was the grasp at fading glory and look what it got us.

    Keep Yunel, KJ, McCann, Jurrgens, and Hanson and build from there.

    As much as I’d love Peavy (and I would REALLY love Peavy), you can’t act like the Yankees with a Cardinals payroll and expect success.

  27. #13–I have a feeling that we will only see Norton back. I would be happy to see the Braves re-sign Ohman–even though I think his main value could be in a trade next season at the trading deadline. In other words, the Braves could sign him to make the trade that they should have made this summer.

    I would also be willing to take a chance with Julio….

  28. Confession time:

    1) The first thing I did after Sid’s slide was to run out into the street and yell “World Series, m*****-f*****!!” at the other people who ran out into the street.

    2) I watched the Utley clip just having returned from seeing Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which is about as raunchy as it gets.

    3) I love George Carlin. Under “Occupation” on unimportant documents I will still occasionally write “Foole”.

    All that said, say you’re Chase Utley. You’ve just been introduced by Harry Kalas, a paragon of class. You’re looking out at a large crowd that includes no small number of parents with their kids. And the best you can do, after having a couple of days to think about it, is “World fucking champions”?

    Hey, I’m not offended, I’m just judgmental. Most people only get a few chances to show publicly whether or not they possess any class. That’s why I thought of Murph — I’m sorry he never got to make such a speech.

    I suppose I should be relieved that at least it wasn’t Jimmy Rollins who said it. The cultural arbiters would have been out en force….

  29. Wow. I missed that he did that. I don’t really expect these guys to be diplomats, but is too much to ask that they have an ounce of common sense?

  30. barrycuda… it’s not taking offense, it’s being disappointed. If I were there with my son, I’d be even more so. I don’t think it’s ridiculous to expect a little bit of decency and civility in public. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Again, disappointing.

  31. Well, I was hoping Georgia would at least take a physical or mental toll on the Gators. We’ll lose by 30+ next week.

  32. I turned off the Gator/Dawgs game already.. Just saw the score on SI.com.

    If anyone’s watching on TV, can you tell me if the dawgs rushed the field after their first TD again this year?

    Muahahaha

  33. Braves14’s updated SEC bowl projections:

    Sugar: Florida 12-1
    Fiesta: Alabama 12-1
    Capital One: Georgia 10-2
    Cotton: LSU 9-3
    Outback: USC 8-4
    Peach: Ole Miss 7-5
    Music City: Vanderbilt 6-6
    Liberty: Kentucky 7-5

  34. It would be Penn State and some other undefeated team or Southern Cal probably if Florida beats Alabama.

  35. I bet we get to 7-5. 8-4 is still a real possibility if our kicker regains his early-season form. In our last 3 games (UK, UT, Wake), 20 points probably wins the game.

    NOTE: I won’t be shocked if we finish 5-7. The point is that we have a very favorable schedule after hosting UF next week.

  36. A 1-loss Florida team would certainly play for the championship unless both Penn State and the winner of this game in Lubbock stay undefeated.

  37. I’ve got Vandy beating Tennessee to get to 6 wins. Two others are certainly winnable, but I’ve got Kentucky and Wake winning them right now.

  38. I dunno. Southern Cal’s basically blowing out everyone on their schedule after that early season loss, and they’re higher than Florida at the moment.

  39. I think the SEC has earned the benefit of the doubt in the close calls. Besides, UF would have to go through Bama, which would certainly provide enough justification to jump USC, who doesn’t play anybody from here on out.

  40. That’s a good point. If Alabama wins out though, then all these hypotheticals are out the window.

  41. Wow. What a day of college football. That Texas-Texas Tech game was incredible. Oh, and the Gators didn’t fare too poorly either. Too bad FSU lost; we could use the out-of-conference strength of schedule points that Pac-10 fans cling so closely to.

  42. Texas Tech–Texas will long be remembered. For whatever reason the TV package we have here has had 3 Texas Tech games–they are the real deal.

    I would rather see Alabama or Florida play Texas Tech for the national title than have play Penn State. Now, it would be fun to see the SEC thrash the Big Ten for the national title for the third straight year, but if Texas Tech goes unbeaten they will certainly deserve to be there.

    Penn State’s schedule is very soft by comparision….

  43. Heh, Stephen. Me and a friend were literally talking about what you were just saying. Penn State may not deserve to be in there if they win out, but Texas Tech definitely does.

    It’s gonna get really complicated. If Alabama or Florida win out, I’d be inclined to say that they deserve to be in the championship. But what about Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Penn State, etc.? Who gets in? Texas has beaten Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Missouri. Are you going to tell a one-loss Texas that they don’t get in, but a one-loss Florida does, in a down-year SEC? Of course, Texas Tech still has to play Oklahoma and OK State, so this argument may be shifting dramatically.

    I’d hate to be one of the voters this year.

  44. Yeah–the Big 12 is a great football conference–and especially this year. A showdown between the best of the SEC and the Big 12 should get the job done–but as you suggest it may never happen.

    Let me add that USC (its not their fault that UCLA and Notre Dame suck this year) plays an even softer schedule than Penn State. My nightmare is Penn State playing USC for the national title….

  45. The problem with the whole situation is that the BCS just crumbles when there are several REALLY good teams. When the BCS was created, did they really think that every year you’d have two teams that were head-and-shoulders better than the rest of college football? Based on history, that was a really naive idea to have.

    I realize that this will actually get a bit simpler, since Texas Tech plays OK and OK State, so one of those already one-loss teams are going to get knocked out of the equation, or Texas Tech won’t be undefeated. Shoot, if Penn States gets upset somehow, and Florida beats Alabama, then you’ve got a big mess on your hands: 5 or 6 one-loss teams from legit conferences with legit schedules. Yikes.

  46. If either Alabama or Florida run out, they ought to play in he title game. They can’t both run out.

    IF neither runs out, then we’re in for some major controversey this year.

    If Texas Tech runs out, they deserve to be in as they will have beaten some excellent teams to remain undefeated. I would rank Texas Tech #2 behind Bama and ahead of Penn State right now if I were doing the polls. I subscribe to the “who have you beaten” theory of ranking teams with identical records, and among the undefeateds, Bama and Texas Tech have the best wins.

    Some interesting things to consider.

    *Texas cannot even play the Big Twelve title game now unless Texas Tech loses twice.

    *Oklahoma can only make the title game if they beat Texas Tech and if Texas loses another game.

    *Florida’s resume now looks better than Oklahoma’s, pending OU playing games against TT and OSU.

    *Florida is all but guarunteed a spot in the SEC title game

    *If LSU beats Bama, LSU would be in the drivers seat to play Florida in that title game, and one loss Bama would not be able to win the SEC title unless Troy, Mississippi, or Arkansas knocked off LSU. Both LSU’s losses came to the SEC East.

    *If Oregon State runs the table, USC does not win it’s conference.

    *If Penn State runs the table, it wins its conference.

    I know a lot of people think any team that plays for the National title should have to win it’s conference. Right now though many of the one loss teams are in position to fall short of conference titles, which might have a big impact on who gets in.

  47. If either Alabama or Florida run out, they ought to play in he title game. They can’t both run out.

    IF neither runs out, then we’re in for some major controversey this year.

    If Texas Tech runs out, they deserve to be in as they will have beaten some excellent teams to remain undefeated. I would rank Texas Tech #2 behind Bama and ahead of Penn State right now if I were doing the polls. I subscribe to the “who have you beaten” theory of ranking teams with identical records, and among the undefeateds, Bama and Texas Tech have the best wins.

    Some interesting things to consider.

    *Texas cannot even play the Big Twelve title game now unless Texas Tech loses twice.

    *Oklahoma can only make the title game if they beat Texas Tech and if Texas loses another game.

    *Florida’s resume now looks better than Oklahoma’s, pending OU playing games against TT and OSU.

    *Florida is all but guarunteed a spot in the SEC title game

    *If LSU beats Bama, LSU would be in the drivers seat to play Florida in that title game, and one loss Bama would not be able to win the SEC title unless Troy, Mississippi, or Arkansas knocked off LSU. Both LSU’s losses came to the SEC East.

    *If Oregon State runs the table, USC does not win it’s conference.

    *If Penn State runs the table, it wins its conference.

    I know a lot of people think any team that plays for the National title should have to win it’s conference. Right now though many of the one loss teams are in position to fall short of conference titles, which might have a big impact on who gets in.

  48. #79–Thanks for showing us some of the less obvious wrinkles. All of this is one more reason to be happy about upsets….

  49. Alabama’s #1 in the coaches’ poll. I do believe this is the first time the Tide has been #1 during the season since Coach Bryant was running the team.

  50. *Florida is all but guarunteed a spot in the SEC title game

    They control their own destiny, but if they blow it against Vanderbilt, it could get really interesting. At that point, you’d have a 3-way tie atop the East.

    *If LSU beats Bama, LSU would be in the drivers seat to play Florida in that title game, and one loss Bama would not be able to win the SEC title unless Troy, Mississippi, or Arkansas knocked off LSU. Both LSU’s losses came to the SEC East.

    No. LSU would have to beat Bama, and Bama would have to lose again—is Auburn their only other remaining conference game?—for LSU to win the West. Total conference record is the primary factor.

  51. I was not aware that all SEC games counted, I thought just the West/East ones for respective spots in the champ game. Sorry for screwing it up and thanks for clearing it up.

    That gives Bama a much more likely shot at the title game.

  52. I’d like to see the BCS National Championship Game be a rematch of the 2005 Cotton Bowl. Bama 13-Texas Tech 10.

  53. i’ve watched TT play 3 games now and its hard to imagine anyone shutting them down. and the five weeks works both ways. i’ve got no love for the big 12, but i really think they might have the best 3 teams in the country.

  54. I’m pretty sure this game wasn’t on anywhere but here in Atlanta, so I don’t know how many people saw it, but not only did the Raiders have 77 total yards for the game, they had -2 total yards at the half. That’s minus-2, just to confirm that the dash wasn’t a typo. And while you let that sink in, they had three first downs the whole game. They had zero first downs in the first half to the Falcons’ 20. And at the end of the first half, they had had possession of the ball for five minutes total. The Falcons had possession for 45 minutes over the whole game.

  55. Some coaches are just historically much better compared to the rest when they’re given time to prepare. Urban Meyer had won 18 straight dating back to his Utah days when he had more than a week to prepare. Michigan snapped that last year. We hung 63 on Kentucky after having two weeks to prepare. That’s not saying much, but we also had just beat LSU pretty bad.

    Looking at our schedule, we’ve had it pretty easy this year. We only play 3 currently ranked teams during the regular season. Usually we get a ranked Tennesee and some combination of the usually ranked Auburn or Arkansas.

    I’ve been unfortunately arguing with a fellow SEC homer friend of mine that the SEC is simply not that good this year. I think the Big 12 is loaded.

  56. The Big 12 probably does not play defense like the SEC, but when I have been able to watch Texas Tech I have been impressed. They have some serious hitters….

  57. Can we really say that the SEC plays defense the way UF (and UGA for that matter) have been shredding people lately?

  58. I don’t think you can. The SEC hasn’t shown much in the way of defense this year. Of course some teams do have really good defenses, but on the whole it hasn’t been up to the level the SEC usually plays. A lot of that is LSU’s fault though as they usually have one of the most devastating defenses and this year they are more ordinary.

  59. Mike Leach is NOT, i repeat, NOT going to go to Tennessee.

    The guy’s from Susanville, California and has NO CONNECTION whatsoever to SEC football. Now, they might WANT to throw 7 million a year at him and, well, that would be tough to say no to, but it’s going to take him a few years to get things in place. By that time, the Boosters in Knoxville will want his head. Only place I could see him going is to USC when/if Carroll goes Pro or OU when Stoops wants a big payday in the pros (he was an assistant there).

    I mean, they’re giving Fat Phil a hard time for 2 losing seasons (when many of his recruits are not panning out recently). What will happen if Leach’s offense scores 30 points a game but his defense gives up 50?

    Muschamp is a pretty viable option. However, he’s got a defensive pedigree and has no D1 head coaching experience. Let him get his feet wet at a smaller place before you throw him in the lion’s den that is Tennessee football.

    Todd Graham at Tulsa is a name that Vol fans should get to know REAL well.

    As for Pinkel, keep dreaming, Vol faithful. He’s got more UW connections that you could possibly imagine.

    If I were a Vol Booster, I’d go HARD after Mark Mangino.

    ps–Penn St’s gonna get SCREWED this year.

  60. The guy’s from Susanville, California and has NO CONNECTION whatsoever to SEC football.

    You mean other than his years spent as Kentucky’s OC under Hal Mumme?

    Graham (Tulsa) and Peterson (Boise State) are the two names I’m hearing most, but I think Edsall at UConn has a very good chance of being the next UT coach, given the UT President’s relationship with him from his time there.

  61. If I were a Vol Booster, I’d go HARD after Mark Mangino.

    Not a bad idea—they wouldn’t even have to buy new clothes for the HC.

  62. If only she’d gone back to her maiden name after the divorce, we could (legitimately) refer to that basketball court as The Head.

  63. I don’t think anyone in college is playing defense these days because the spread offenses are so far ahead of the defenses. It reminds me of when Texas introduced the Wishbone back in the sixties (yes, I do remember the sixties) and they (and others) were just rolling over teams for several years. IN fact, Tennessee played Texas in the Cotton Bowl and got killed. It’s probably going to take a while for teams to figure out these offenses. I do wonder how many of the QBs putting up the big numbers are really NFL material and how many are just system guys. It seems as if Stafford is a big-time NFL prospect but I don’t know about the others.

  64. Does Fulmer retire from coaching?

    Hopefully, Tajh Boyd – who just committed, Je’Ron Stokes, Jerod Askew, Marlon Walls, D.J. Hunter, and David Oku all decommit and go to Michigan instead.

    Especially Askew and Walls. We need linebackers like Mary-Kate needs a sandwich.

    And on an unrelated note…Allen Iverson to the Pistons for Billups and McDyess. Why? Stupid Pistons, I loved Billups

  65. Maybe the Pistons go (Incredibly-) Small-Ball?

    Stuckey, Iverson, Hamilton, Prince, Wallace?

    That team would at least score. If they’re just going to insert Iverson at PG, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

  66. MLBTR has the Braves as intersted in Tavares from Colorado.

    Initial response:

    “Why?”

    then

    “God no”

  67. I think Amir Johnson is starting for Detroit annd McDyess was coming off the bench. Stuckey was supposed to keep Rip and Billups’ minutes down this year.

  68. I like Chauncey too. He’s owed $39 million over the next couple of years, Iverson $20some (this season). Apparently they think Iverson is the answer (no pun intended) in the pursuit of another title… plus it gives them a little more flexibility to build around Stuckey in the future.

    Do I think it’ll work? Probably not this season. But I’m just guessing that’s how they see it.

    Too bad Amir Johnson can’t stay on the court any longer than a few minutes without fouling out… he was going to be my fantasy sleeper.

  69. Apparently Stephen A. Smith is seeing it that way too (120), with emphasis on Billups being a better fit in Denver than Iverson because he’s a natural 1. That makes sense to me. Wow, Stephen A. making sense to me…

    Even though it’s always seemed Denver was just trying to outscore opponents. Is a scoring machine a better fit or a more natural distributor that can score? Dunno.

  70. I don’t think a lot of guys will decommit from UT. If you are a QB, you could start next season.

  71. The odd thing is that both Billups and McDyess are former Nuggets. Actually, this is Antonio’s third stint with the team while Billups went to Colorado.

  72. @108 – Doesn’t Penn State have a number of undefeated season in which they did not win the NCAA title?

  73. Personally, I think Penn State is going to the Championship game. They don’t seem to have a real challenge left on their schedule. The same cannot be said for the Red Raiders or the Crimson Tide. I think it is pretty likely that at least one of those teams loses a games and quite possibly both.

    To me, the team most likely to get screwed is a (or several) one-loss team(s).

  74. Just heard from a college buddy living in detroit. McDyess will be waived and will try to resign with the Pistons.

    Don’t know if the Fuhrer Stern will allow it though.

  75. Know what would kick ass? UF winning out, Texas Tech losing one, and an SEC team smoaking a Big 10 team for the national title again.

    The best part is, everyone from the Big 12 to the Pac 10 would be pissed because of how clearly stronger their conferences were than the Big 10 despite their lack of national title representation.

  76. I think they actually do, but PSU used to be an independent. They haven’t been undefeated since joining the Big Ten. Both remaining big time undefeateds deserve it over PSU though based on who they’ve beaten.

  77. IF Joe Pa were to make it to the title game… what are the chances that he’d be on the field instead of in the booth?

  78. They haven’t been undefeated since joining the Big Ten.

    They were in the Big Ten in ’94 when Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter, Bobby Engram and Kyle Brady played Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

    (I was, for some reason, a PSU fan back then.)

  79. MLBTR lists the Braves as one of the suitors for Willy Taveras. What a dumb move–Taveras is worse than the two mediocrities–Blanco and Anderson–that the Braves have available to play CF. Why trade for a guy who had a 56 OPS+ last year? Even La Machine d’ Outs had a 72.

    Sorry if someone has already commented on this rumor–I don’t have time at the moment to scroll through all 132 comments.

  80. Yeah, that year both #1 Nebraska and #2 PSU were undefeated but one loss Miami ended up playing Nebraska in the bowl game.

  81. What is the combined OBP of a hitting order that could possibly feature Willy Taveras, Jeff Francoeur, Casey Kotchman, Khalil Green and the pitcher?

  82. 139–I dunno, but there’s a good chance the pitcher would have the highest obp of the 5

    Never say never, but count me among those against trading Escobar for Peavy. There’s no obvious replacement. Although I’m a KJ fan, trading him would make more sense with Marvelous Martin Prado waiting in the wings.

  83. …Marvelous Martin Prado waiting in the wings.

    If a player like Prado counts as “waiting in the wings”, couldn’t the same be said of Lillibridge or Infante?

    I like the Escobar for Peavy thing. The Padres probably wouldn’t do it for Kelly Johnson and giving up Escobar is likely better than Hanson or Heyward.

    2010: Peavy, Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens…

    Here is the rumor today from MLBTradeRumors:

    12:08pm: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says Towers still considers the Braves the best match for a Peavy trade. Cafardo says the Braves appear willing to trade shortstop Yunel Escobar. He adds that the Red Sox haven’t been ruled out but they’re far down the list.

    http://tinyurl.com/5c3uvz

  84. I just loath the idea of losing escobar, he’s one of the bright spots on this team looking to the future, especially since we have legitimate prospects at short “waiting in the wings.” The only way that works is if we go out and sing Edgar Renteria, Rafael Furcal (out of our price range) or Cesar Izturis who can’t hit a lick but plays good defense.

  85. Just got back from Miami Beach, where I had a wonderful time—save about 3+ hours on Saturday afternoon. (Looks like we’ll get a chance to extend our bowl streak vs. the Big 10!)

    So I’m in a nightclub late Friday night. It’s semi-work-related, so I’m chilling in the VIP area near the DJ booth. And who walks into the area with his crew? None other than Andruw Jones.

    Most folks didn’t seem to recognize him. It was Halloween & people were in costumes that ranged from generic bimbowear to Clockwork Orange outfits—just a zoo. Everyone’s attention was elsewhere.

    But Andruw was sporting a spiffy black hat, was in jeans & looked very much in shape. Did not look corpulent at all. And he didn’t drop any cocktails, so his hand-eye coordination seemed fine.

    In clubs or wherever, I never bother celebs. But after 2 or 3 beers, I figured, “Oh, why not? On my way back from the bathroom, I’ll just ask him how he’s feeling, offer brief pleasantries and say, ‘Thank you,’ in Dutch.” Perfect.

    Of course, that was the time that he & his crew cut out after hanging for about 90 minutes. Just as well, I suppose. His bodyguard probably would’ve mangled me like a paperclip.

  86. fascinating ububba… especially in light of the “he wants to come back to Atlanta” thing on mlbtraderumors and all the comments referring to how much of an overweight bum he was (for the record I always liked andruw, and still do, though I think both parties made the right decision at the time of separation… but if he’s willing to come back in 2010 at a nice hometown discount AFTER showing he can hit again in 2009… I’d be OK with him taking up a roster spot).

  87. just going through DOB’s blog and have some interesting things from him today…

    3:42..I’ll check into the Willy Tavares rumor. It’s really not far-fetched, if Braves want to get a leadoff guy because they don’t believe have one right now or aren’t comfortable with the limited experience of the ones they have. This would not be the “power-hitting OF” they’re seeking folks, so relax on that. This would be another piece, if there’s anything to it. I’ll check after I get over there…

    5:49..Braves are NOT going to trade Hanson. Period….Don’t believe everything you read. I’m told Braves aren’t one of the teams interested in Willy Tavares.

    5:51..By the way, figure I’m hearing for A.J. is four years and about $18 mill per. For Lowe, maybe three years at $16 mill per.

  88. I did finally get my Sabermetric Encyclopedia, but I still don’t have time to write at length. Anyway, worst slugging percentages, Atlanta Braves outfielders, 1991-2008 (Min. 300 PA):

    SLG YEAR SLG
    1 Gregor Blanco 2008 .309
    2 Otis Nixon 1993 .315
    3 Otis Nixon 1991 .327
    4 Otis Nixon 1992 .346
    5 Jeff Francoeur 2008 .359
    6 Marquis Grissom 1995 .376
    7 Ryan Langerhans 2006 .378
    8 Willie Harris 2007 .392
    9 Lonnie Smith 1991 .394
    10 Kelly Johnson 2005 .397

    Kotsay was 18th. Blanco’s is actually the worst since 1978 (the immortal Barry Bonnell) and the second-worst since 1969.

  89. The Barry Bonnell mention comes at a perfect time for me. I am actually sitting in a burger joint listening to Steve Martin sing “King Tut.”

  90. Worst on-base percentages, Atlanta Braves outfielders, 1991-2008 (Min. 300 PA):

    1 Jeff Francoeur 0.293 2006
    2 Jeff Francoeur 0.294 2008
    3 Reggie Sanders 0.302 2000
    4 Jermaine Dye 0.304 1996
    5 Andruw Jones 0.311 2007
    6 Andruw Jones 0.312 2001
    7 Marquis Grissom 0.317 1995
    8 Brian Jordan 0.320 2000
    9 B.J. Surhoff 0.321 2001
    10 Andruw Jones 0.321 1998

    Kotsay was 21st. Francoeur’s is, naturally, the worst since the aforementioned Barry Bonnell in 1978. Funny how these things work, ain’t it?

  91. I can remember when Barry Bonnell had the chance to be ‘the next Joe DiMaggio’….

  92. I can see us going after Oliver Perez this winter if only for the fact he gives us a left handed pitcher in a league with Utley, Howard and numerous switch hitters.

    Can’t see Bobby being too wild about his walks though.

  93. When I see Blanco’s stats, they do remind me of Otis a lot.

    Please, no Oliver Perez…please no…

  94. Blanco proved to be a better player than many of us expected, but he has yet to became the threat on the basepaths that Otis was. Nonetheless, Blanco had a solid rookie season….

  95. I second the motion by kc… PLEASE no Oliver Perez. He gives us and the Yankees fits, and otherwise the only ones he consistently gives fits to is the fans of the team he’s playing on (when it’s the Mets it’s funny, if it’s us I’ll be less amused).

    A bit depressed by the word from Boras that Maddux is leaning toward retirement. While he’s not the dominant Maddux of old.. he actually had an arguably better line than Randy Wolf and Bronson Arroyo, who wouldn’t be bad in the 4 spot of a rotation. Granted, I fully respect the mans decision to spend the time with his family… the kids are only young for a while, and he’s made his money, and if the only viable teams for him (due to desire to be close to family/home) are ones that suck it’s probably much less fun to go out and play. I’d just like to see him get another 8+ wins and tie or pass Spahn on the wins list. (of course I’d like Glavine to get another 6 and tie Seaver on the list too, but signing him seems more of a gamble for a team than signing Maddux would… if he would sign somewhere). Of course it would be tough to have a better “go out at the top of your game” final start than the one Maddux had in September where he went 6 innings on 47 pitches and gave up no runs…

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