151 thoughts on “Jeff Francoeur vs. Rufino Linares”

  1. I think you have to give Jeff some credit for the two 100 rbi seasons. Linares never approached anything like that.

  2. Rufino who? I barely remember the guy. Jeffy gets my vote regardless.

  3. I know this is not popular to say on this blog, but Francoeur was bad, only not as bad as many over the last 25 years. It seems that especially before 1992 we had some historically bad pitchers and even since then, guys like Albie Lopez and Kolb have carved a niche for themselves in terms of badness.

    I definitely had to vote for Francoeur on this though. Rufino was one of my favorite Braves – I know he was bad in hindsight, but he was a likeable bad in the midst of a team full of bad players. I even wrote a poem about him for a grade as a freshman in high school. One time a bat (the kind that flies) dropped on the field. Seeing Linares run out and pick the bat up with a towel and then offer it to a group in the stands still ranks as one of the funniest Braves moments I’ve ever seen. The fans were freaking out!

  4. Frenchy in what should be a land slide.
    Large sample size of suckiness is too much to ignore.

  5. Rufino Linares had the single best postgame interview line in Braves history. brought in to play left field in a game the Braves ran out of players, he made a diving catch to end the game. Asked about it later” “I see ball. I dive for ball. I look in front of me. No ball. I look behind me. No ball. I look in glove. Ball. I say: Rufino — you one lucky guy.” Best major league quote ever.

  6. To be honest, if I were Wren, I’d put Lowe on waivers a la Alex Rios and hope someone bites. If anyone does, I’d sign Jason Bay to the same deal Lowe had. I’d trade KJ for whatever we could get…maybe the potential Conor Jackson deal regains legs. Trade Church to the Royals…surely we could get as much as the Mariners did for Betancourt.

    Then hash out your bullpen out of the options of Wagner, Soriano, and Gonzo

  7. @ 9 – Agree fully on the Linares quote – I didn’t realize other people still remembered it.

    The other quote from him that I really liked was when he was asked about hitting right handers and left handers pretty much the same. His reply was, “it don’t matter to me, right-hander, left-hander, I just heet the ball.” The funny part came when he was asked another question, something like, “The team seems to be playing well at this point, what do you think the Braves chances are of making it to the post-season?” His reply (I don’t think he understood the question) was, “it don’t matter to me, right-hander, left-hander, I just heet the ball.”

  8. Nelson Cruz
    Home .286 .362 .568
    Away .235 .320 .432
    Pass – the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington effect inflates a players numbers much like Coors Field does.

    Rivera had a good season which means that his 2010 will be bad judging by his career pattern. He is pretty much a better version of Jeff Francoeur, batting average driven offensive contribution, better power but again over his career he has followed a good season with a stinker so who knows. I wouldn’t trade anything really good for him.

  9. I’d never heard of Linares. The stats Mac posted for him look worse, but… how could I not vote for Jeffy? Jeff might get a pass from me should he advance to go head to head with Hamster or Norton but not now.

  10. Mac, do we get your SEC predictions today? I’m curious to how bad you think you destroy us tomorrow.

    My guess: 21 to 7.

  11. I understand why we might want to get rid of Lowe and his contract, but who would take him? Because it’s a rather poor contract from a team’s perspective, it would have to be a rich team that can absorb those contracts.

    Besides the Mets, who would want him that can afford to spend bad money on him?

  12. SEC predictions, Home teams in CAPS.

    Alabama 34, OLE MISS 12.
    ARKANSAS 51, Auburn 49
    Vandy 14, ARMY 12
    Houston 28, MISS ST 20
    SOUTH CAROLINA 23, Kentucky 21
    Florida with Tebow 42, LSU 20
    Florida without Tebow 28, LSU 27
    Georgia 23, TENNESSEE 9

  13. I wholeheartedly agree with the Francouer sucks fraction on here, and that Rufino Linares was a popular player, but ability-wise these guys weren’t close. While, Jeffy turned out to be a colossal disappointment,he had (2) seasons where he drove in over 100 runs, Rufino was never an everyday player for a reason (actually two—he couldn’t field, and for a guy that was in the majors for his bat, he actually couldn’t hit) I had to vote for Linares, the poll is for who was worse,not who you couldn’t stand.

  14. In the past the Braves haven’t eaten portions of contracts to move a player, at least I cannot recall us ever doing that. But that doesn’t mean that Wren won’t try. IMHO we had better get used to Derrick Hampton (Lowe) for a while. In a good economy the absolute dearth of quality FAs this off season would make a guy like Lowe more marketable. But his age, performance this season and that contract will make a lot of folks wince before they entertain a trade.

  15. The vast majority of fans seem to have short memories when it comes to player performance, and the idea of getting rid of Derek Lowe is not well thought out.

    That said, over the last eight seasons including 2009 Derek Lowe has averaged 15 wins, 10 losses, 33 starts and 206 innings. Lowe’s 2009: 15-10 with 34 starts and 194 innings. Not to mention his 21 quality starts and team record of 21-13. I can live with the 4.67 ERA for one season.

    But I had to laugh when Frank Wren called him an Ace pitcher in spring training. In a word, NO, Lowe is not that guy and hasn’t been for a while. But he is a durable, reliable work horse who will win when given good defense and run support. Yes, the Braves overpaid but that isn’t Lowe’s fault. It’s the price for good pitching these days.

    And for those still in doubt concerning my opinion……..

    Javier Vasquez’s ERA last season in Chicago: 4.67, the very same as Derek Lowe this year. Vazquez bounced back, I suspect that Lowe will do the same.

  16. Vazquez Home/road splits for 2008 were:

    Home 4.28 ERA, Road 5.10 ERA


    Home 2.94 ERA, Road 2.80 ERA

    Derek Lowe’s 2009 split:

    Home 4.28, Road 5.05

    Mac, the Park has NADA to do with it, both pitchers had tough years ERA wise no matter where they pitched.

  17. I’m laughing Mac. I really am. Is Alabama slighty below or well below the Mason/Dixon line?

  18. If you don’t understand that there’s a significant difference between two percent below average and eleven percent below average, I can’t help you.

  19. I suspect that Derek Lowe’s ERA in 2010 will be well below four point whatever and it can’t help but make the Braves playoff bound.

  20. @27

    Well, if you “suspect” it…we should all rush to Vegas now.

    Lowe could be a useful part somewhere, but there are much better allocations for 15 MM

  21. I’m concerned about the UA/ Ole Miss game. Ole Miss is not a top 5 team (like some people were trying to say early on), but I also don’t think they’re as bad as they looked against South Carolina.

    I think Ole Miss will be out to prove something and will give Alabama all they can handle for 2 to 3 quarters. I still think Bama will win, but I don’t think it will be easy. Bama didn’t look good against UK and the impact of losing Hightower on defense may be pretty big.

  22. The one thing I really like about the team going into next season is that the premium position (C, 2B, SS, CF, and SP’s) are already filled.

    Even though we’re not a playoff team…I like the position we’re in.

  23. I’d say they only open positions are RP,1B and LF at this moment, and they may all be filled by internal options.

  24. Would a one year deal for Dye be an option? He’s coming off a brutal 2nd half, but one figures he’ll have to improve on the .269 BABIP. Even if fades again in the 2nd half of next year, you’d figure that by then Heyward would be ready. An added benefit is that the Sox won’t offer arbitration so we’d not lose a pick.

    To be honest, I’m a little scared of trading with Texas again…(I wonder if this is how a Detroit fan feels about us?)

  25. There really isn’t any need for the Braves to sign an outfielder. Diaz, McLouth, Heyward should work fine. They could even keep one of Church and Johnson around in case Heyward needs a few months in AAA before becoming a big league starter (Schafer is another option). Spend the money on a first baseman instead.

  26. Why should we be scared to trade with Texas? Other than the fact that they don’t have anything we want. Geez Ethan.

    Internal options. (Simply won’t happen I know)
    Chipper 1b
    KJ 2b
    Escobar SS
    Prado 3b
    McCann C
    Diaz LF
    McLouth CF
    Church RF – place holder for Heyward who comes up in June after destroying AAA.

    A death by a thousand singles and doubles offense for sure but a better way to start the season than by hoping that Francoeur’s one decent season was more of an indicator than his 2 awful ones, Schafer was what the scouts said he’d be and Garret Anderson was more than a corpse.

    I know that this won’t happen so don’t start throwing rocks.

  27. Johnny,

    That scenario could actually happen if payroll is cut or capped. Assuming our pitching remains intact, that team could actually contend for a WC slot.

    Would probably just about match this season’s totals.

    Not what I want, but not a bad worst-case scenario.


    Hey, td – that stout UK defense will make anybody look bad. Nope. Can’t do it.


  28. Hank,
    Gotta root for the home state Gamecocks on this one. But if the historical pattern holds true they’ll crap their dress after the big win at Ole Miss and laugher against SC State.

    Ok how many folks here would hate me for adapting a team coached by Steve Spurrier?

    More opinion on the likes of Rivera and Cruz. I wouldn’t trade Kawakami for either of them.

  29. my every-guy-on-ESPN impression:

    “No way that anyone in the NL can beat the 1-2 punch of STL! … and Pineiro isn’t a bad #3 either!”

    I’m not saying their SPs lost the game but it’s a pretty stupid thing to say. In other words, they were saying “The game is 6 innings long and every ball in play is an out”

  30. As Mac said, few players ever have the opportunity to have a season as utterly destructive to their team as Francoeur did in 2008. While his 2007 (and half-season in 2005) raise his career stats to less-awful levels than Linares’s, he personally made every soul-crushing out in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Considering all the losses he handed us on a silver platter, the least he can do is lose this poll.

  31. “it don’t matter to me, right-hander, left-hander, I just heet the ball.”

    This reminds me of an interview with Julio Franco in which the interviewer asked him which pitcher was the most difficult to hit in his opinion. He answered that he didn’t hit the pitcher, he hit the ball. Sounded so Barthes or Foucault to me — death of the pitcher, or it doesn’t matter who is pitching. Anyone happen to have a link to that interview?

  32. Haven’t seen this mentioned here but this could be bad.

    Rosenthal has the Nats interviewing Braves’ scouting director Roy Clark to be their Assissant GM.

  33. #40
    No kidding. There were years when we had 1-2-3-4 guys better than what the other clubs rolled out & we all know how those series sometimes ended.

    BTW, I like the way Torre is running his team this week. He seems to be making sure he’s got his best guy on the mound as often as possible, conventions be damned. As much as any manager, he understands how fragile these Division Series can be.

    And interesting that it’s the first time Torre & LaRussa have ever faced off in the post-season.

    Re: Jeffy
    Frenchy had his moments, but overall his legacy is mostly bad. I remain relieved I don’t have to think about him much anymore.

    Re: Minnesota Wrecking Crew
    Off to The Bronx where the Pinstriped Panzer Division takes on a pair of homeless guys with Styrofoam swords.

  34. @43

    Don’t like that news at all.

    Pay him whatever he wants JS. Can’t lose Roy.

    Speaking of which, I’m wondering what kind of payroll we’ll be working with next season. Looking at Cots, when you throw in Hudson’s option, we’ve committed to around 61 MM before arb raises to Moylan, KJ, Diaz, and Church.

    Matty should get a fat raise, but KJ and Church won’t, and Moylan’s a reliever and they always get screwed in arbitration. Say 13 MM between the 4.

    So we’re looking at 74 MM. If we stay at last year’s 97 MM payroll, that’s about 23 MM to get a 1B, and OF, and figure out the relievers.

    This is the year to make a run though; after this season JJ, Escobar, and Prado are all arb eligible, and they will make some money.

  35. Unless Pujols or Fielder is available, I want LaRoche back.

    Or, if Chipper actually prefers to play 1B …

  36. Remember when I told you guys that no way we should pick up Abreu because he was way too old and would be a waste of money?

    Uh, duh, anybody want my views on the direction of the stock market?

    Over 100 RBIs. Not bad for a has-been.

  37. Per John Heyman of SI we are going to be in on Matt Holliday. I dont see it, it hasnt been the M.O. of this organization to spend the big $$ on one player.

  38. Spike, I know who you work for, the horns are a dead give away!

    As for Nelson Cruz, the potential trade will involve Kawakami or not at all.

  39. no chance at getting Holliday. What team wont explore that idea? When that 1st Red Sox, Cards, or Yanks offer comes in then we’ll look somewhere else.

  40. Per John Heyman of SI we are going to be in on Matt Holliday. I dont see it, it hasnt been the M.O. of this organization to spend the big $$ on one player.

    Seriously? Did they not just spend $15 mil per year for four years on one of the top free agent pitchers on the market? Yeah, I think they did. And that’s pretty much par for the course. Atlanta has always had two or three high salary guys – Chipper, Smoltz, Hampton, Glavine, Maddux, Sheffield, Galarraga, etc. It’s simply not the case that they don’t invest on free agents.

    Atlanta has cleared or can clear the following salaries this winter:

    Hudson – 11 mil (or Vasquez for the same cost)
    LaRoche – 4 mil (prorated for his time in Atlanta)
    Soriano – 6.1 mil
    Gonzalez – 3.45 mil
    K Johnson – 2.825 mil
    R Church – 3.375 mil (they sent cash to cover Francoeur’s salary)
    G Anderson – 2.5 mil
    G Nortion – 0.8 mil

    Call it 33.5 mil, give or take. Add in another mil from Kenshin Kawakami’s contract (he made 7.66 this year, 6.66 the next two years.) Add in another half mil for dropping Jeff Bennett and replacing him with Manny Acosta.

    You have 35 mil.

    McLouth gets a 2.5 mil raise.
    Infante gets a 375K raise.
    D Ross gets a 200K raise.
    Assume Diaz doubles his salary in arb. Add 1.2375 m.
    McCann gets a 2 mil raise.
    Double Escobar’s contract. Add 425K.
    Double Prado’s contract. Add 415K.

    Subtract and round. You have 27.75 to spend on free agents.

    You need a 1B, a LF and a closer.

    12 mil per for Matt Holliday.
    8 mil per for LaRoche.
    7 mil for Billy Wagner or to bring Gonzalez back.

    Heyward waiting in the wings. Go to war with the best team in the division.

  41. Frenchy was , for whatever reason, given plenty of rope to hang himself (and he did) but anybody who thinks he’s anywhere near the top 20 worst-ever Braves hasn’t been paying attention for long.

  42. I see an inverted version of the MVP “but what’s value really mean” conversation. Is it “worse” to be truly talentless in few at bats, and likeable while being so, or is it really “worse” to be, well, Jeff Francoeur. Tough call.

  43. Linares had similar plate discipline to Francoeur. The guy hit a lot of line drives (with no HRs) and his BA was up around .300 at times. This was a big deal for Atlanta at the time. As I remember, he broke his leg and this pretty much finished his career. Francoeur’s 2008 season was worse than anything Linares did before he broke his leg – at least when you consider the number of plate appearances Francoeur had.

  44. Sheesh that A-rod. A True Yankee would have hit a 3 run homer and finished the game right there. What a stat padding fraud.

  45. So does that pull A-Rod’s lifetime playoff average above the Mendoza line?

    Cheap shot. I know.

    Hey, anyone that would do Madonna deserves it. And the clap. The really funky, Old Testament Kabbalah clap.

    Just thought of something: I bet ububba is on that list. If so, I take it back.

  46. Checked in for the A-Rod nod, not disappointed.

    Been amusing myself by letting my wife (w/roots in the TC) know “Oh, your Twins are gonna win”, and then “Oh, your Twins are going to lose” on repeat for the last hour or so…

  47. So does that pull A-Rod’s lifetime playoff average above the Mendoza line?

    Cheap shot. I know

    A-Rod career postseason – .285/.376/.483

  48. Just got back from the Yankee game. (For some reason, I always seem to catch the craziest ones.)

    This was heard on the 4 train returning from the game with delirious fans:

    One fan: “Could you believe A-Rod tonight?”

    Another: “About freakin’ time!”

    Another: “Yeah, don’t wait 5 years ’til you hit another one, Alex.”

    Kinda kidding, but not really. They still don’t care what he did with Seattle, nor should they.

    But what I found most amazing (although I probably shouldn’t have) was that when Cuzzi the LF ump blew that call on the Mauer hit, Yankee radio announcer John Sterling didn’t mention it at all. Like it never happened.

    It’s like Pinstriped Pravda.

  49. I really have no rooting interest in the series per se, but that blown call was just egregious. The outfield umpire really is only out there to judge THAT PARTICULAR PLAY AND HE STILL GOT IT WRONG. They should be replaced by robots or cameras or something. Just mind blowingly bad.

  50. I honestly believe MLB actually AIMS for a call to go wrong once in a while. I mean, nobody is telling an ump to blow one or anything like that, but the technical equipment to call balls and strikes correctly – not to speak of calls like the one on Mauer’s double – is readily available. WHY don’t they use it? It’s like the Amish people not using cars.

    The only reason I can think of is that they want people to talk about baseball, and blown calls are always a good reason to talk about.

  51. If Lowe were filling an empty spot in the rotation, I could agree with coach that it’s enough that he’s a serviceable workhorse, but he’s not. In order to pitch Lowe we’d have to bump a better pitcher from the rotation, which would be stupid if we can avoid it. So of course you try to dump his contract somewhere. The question is how much can we afford to eat, or at what amount does doing so become more expensive than the opportunity cost of giving up one of our better alternatives?

  52. I will say that having a discussion this year about which pitcher(s) we need to trade so we can settle our rotation is a lot better than last year’s “How are we going to fill out the 3-4 spots around Jair Jurrjens?” discussion.

  53. Glad to see Georgia’s defense winning the “who sucks more?” battle with Tennessee’s offense.

  54. Jeff Francoeur
    Swings and misses for sure
    Though with the Mets one day
    He hit into a triple play.

  55. Looking at the UGA-UT score, I’d say this cements Willie Martinez’ fate, but a closer look at the numbers actually makes me wonder if Mike Bobo just put his job in jeopardy. That was one sorry, all-around performance.

  56. I told Alex R. that he should get UGA fans together and flood the AD’s phones on Monday with demands that he make Richt do something about Martinez.

  57. Kentucky Football Fans – the Charlie Browns of the SEC.

    Think the SEC would allow us to change our name to the Braindead Dumbasses?

    Army? Really?

  58. on the main website. kris medlen wrote about his first year in the bigs. a little confusing of a read, but not bad. here’s my favorite part:

    “I went through the whole first half questioning my ability. Then I got a spot start in Colorado, when Javy Vazquez hurt his abdominal muscle and David Ross was catching. I gave up a home run and then went 1-2-3, then gave up another home run and went 1-2-3. Ross yelled at me in the dugout and said, “You don’t have to be such a baby! You don’t have to give up a run to go out there and show you can get dirty!” I sat there and thought, “He’s right.”

    The second half took off after that, and I had a “Hit it if you can” attitude. Ross getting in my face helped a lot.”

    i guess he was right. check out his first half and second half splits. he figured something out. walks were cut in half while his ks/9 went up. i really would like to see him start on a regular basis one day.


  59. Yep, Alabama went and got themselves a real head coach and look what has happened.

  60. Preliminary predictions for next week’s Alabama/USC bloodbath? I’ll say 35-10 for now.

    How have 20% voted for Linares? Did gadfly stuff the ballot box?

  61. As for the Twins/Yankees game last night, BLEEECH! What a disappointing performance from Ron Gardenhire’s team.

    The Yankees didn’t win, the Twinkies showed up and choked away what should have been a series tying contest. As it is, down 0-2 with three to play, they are all but dead. The Yankee storm troopers will march on to the ALCS.

  62. Per Ken Rosenthal:

    The Braves could lose their scouting director to a division rival.

    The Nationals have interviewed Roy Clark, the Braves’ scouting director since 2000, according to major-league sources.

    Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is trying to hire an assistant GM, and Clark has ties to team president Stan Kasten from their days together with the Braves.

  63. @67 make that .290/.379/.503

    Basically the mendoza line, indeed. I’m with Spike: few A-Rod bashers ever let logic or evidence get in the way of their arguments.

  64. So, is Alabama #1 simply because you’re an Alabama fan, or because, objectively, Alabama is the best team in the country? Florida just beat the #4 team in the country. Until they lose, I see no reason to conclude that they’re not the best team in the country, especially since they beat the “#1 team” in the previous season.

  65. I don’t think LSU is that good. I had them seventh, I think, and wasn’t too wild about that — I feel better about ranking them in the top ten now than I did before, actually. I think Alabama is the best team. I should point out that they blew out my #3 team, and just went into a top 20 team’s house and beat them 22-3.

    I’m hardly alone in this — Alabama is #1 in the Blogpoll, for example.

  66. I’ll post my SEC power rankings later, but don’t want to take away from the current discussion of Mac’s top 10.

    I think Florida has to be #1 now after going into #4’s house and holding them to 3 points in a win.

  67. Good for Blogpoll. Even on that list, Alabama and Florida are neck-and-neck, and the difference between Alabama and Florida is half that of Florida and Texas. So, a bunch of blogs say Alabama is better, and that out-weighs almost everyone else?

    Florida just went into one of the toughest places to play in college football and absolutely dominated. No one in college football will score much on Florida this year. Their defense is simply too good.

    Alabama is an excellent team and it will be a great game in December, but their offense is only marginally better (and McElroy did not have a good game today), and their defense won’t sniff Florida. Florida also has one of the best return men and perhaps the best special teams in the country. I’m not seeing anyone being better than Florida right now.

  68. Or Florida just scored thirteen points against an LSU team that gave up 23 to Washington and 26 to Mississippi State. And if you don’t think Alabama’s offense has improved, or that their defense is on a par with Florida’s, you aren’t paying attention.

  69. It really doesn’t matter which one is #1 or #2 now because they’re probably going to play head-to-head in the SEC championship. (Unless LSU, Auburn, or South Carolina win out knocking off one of them in the process)

  70. Mac, Florida’s defense shut Alabama down last year, and they’ll do it again this year. Alabama just gave up 20 points to Kentucky a week after Florida kept them to 7 at Kentucky. Don’t get carried away here. Alabama’s an excellent team but they are not better than Florida. I thought we already proved that…

  71. Look, Rob, I just think Alabama is better this year than Florida. I think Florida’s the second-best team in the nation. And if each team keeps winning — and I think they will — they’ll settle it in Atlanta.

  72. We’ll see in December. But when a defense brings 22 players back, then yes, what they did last season sure as heck matters. We may not be able to put as many points up as we did last year, but we’ve had 61 defensive drives, and we’ve given up 2 touchdowns. That’s not bad.

  73. @111, wrong. Pure and simple revisionist history.

    If Florida “shut Alabama down last year,” then I guess it’s fair to say that Alabama “shut Florida down last year” as well. In the 2008 SEC Championship Game, Florida had 19 First Downs and 358 Total Yards while Alabama merely had, oh, 18 First Downs and 323 Total Yards. Not a big difference there.

    Then there’s the matter of Alabama’s 20-17 lead over the Gators with 10 minutes remaining in that game. It wasn’t quite the blowout no-hoper that some Gator fans now claim. Florida came out on top, but were fortunate to win as either team could have come away with it. It was an awesome game.

    Alabama fans look forward to the rematch. It should be another great game.

  74. 2008 SEC Championship Game box score


    Rob, for what it’s worth, I’d rank Florida #1 right now if I was voting in one of the major polls, but I personally believe Alabama to be the better team, through bias as well as supportable argument.

    I’ve said before that the SEC will settle in as Florida being the dominant East Division team (well established since the early 90s) and Alabama being the dominant West Division team (historically established and reasserted as of 2008) with occasional, but not sustained, challenges from Georgia and Tennessee in the East, and LSU and Auburn in the West.

  75. Soooo….

    How about those Tar Heels! Best team in the Southern Conference! (2-0, bay-bee!)

    Umm, what do you mean we’re in the ACC?

  76. Why the braves shouldn’t be scared to trade a pitcher….
    Kris Medlen.

    info that i gathered from his piece on the home page:

    In his own words, Kris talks about becoming comfortable in any pitching role, and his transitions from the minors to the majors. The writing is a little confusing, but it’s always a good read when it comes from the actual player. It’s pretty obvious when looking at Kris’s 1st half and 2nd half splits that the kid figured something out (link to his bio can be found under his picture). Trading one of Lowe, Kawakami, or Vazquez is not as risky as perceived with Kris Medlen able to step in as spot starter. The kid is going to be something special. Maybe even “Tommy Hanson” special

    kris medlen vs tommy hanson… let me say this: tommy hanson is a better pitcher than kris medlen right now, but look at the similarities of these 2s minor league career numbers:

    hanson: 2.52 era 1.05 whip 10.7 k/9 22 years old
    medlen: 2.42 era 1.08 whip 10.4 k/9 23 years old

    obviously, people that rank the prospects of a franchise know what they are doing, but i’m not quite sure what makes these two so much different. tommy hanson pitched a lot more innings than kris medlen, but you must remember that medlen was originally a shortstop converted to a pitcher and for the most part, those guys start in the bullpen.

    in the minors….
    both pitchers struck out a ton of people
    both pitchers walked very few
    both pitchers have a full arsenal of pitches

    in the majors…
    both pitchers struck out a ton of people
    both pitchers walk rate decreased as the season went on
    both still have a full arsenal of pitches.

    it will be interesting to see what happens with this kid’s career.

    note that i am not advocating a trade of vazquez. i just think that it’s silly not to explore a trade simply because the pitching depth of our rotation will be hit. i believe that medlen, given the opportunity, can be just as effective as a spot starter/long relief guy as kenshin kawakami. the ideal trade would be to trade lowe and put kenshin into the 5th starter role or maybe even alternating medlen and kenshin’s roles depending on the stamina of each pitcher. having 4 sub-3.50 era starting pitchers and one that hovers around 4 will most definitely be an elite pitching staff. even if one of the players gets hurt and medlen has to step in to the rotation, he has the ability to be a sub-4.00 era guy. i like our depth and it’s not going to take a big hit if a trade were to occur.

  77. In order for a trade of a starting pitcher to make sense, the Braves would need to get a hitter back that is better than Adam Laroche because otherwise they could just decline Hudson’s option and re-sign Laroche for the same or possibly less money. So yeah if Fielder for Vasquez or Kawakami for Adrian Gonzalez or Lowe for Berkman is a possibility, then by all means Wren should look at it.

  78. Nevermind that Florida had 50 first place votes, Alabama got 10! In the Harris poll, Florida had 97 last week and Alabama had 5. Coaches poll, Florida had 57 and Alabama had… one. But hey, Alabama had 10 in the AP poll! Plus, they ALMOST beat Florida last year, and “almost” beat Utah! And come on, THEY BEAT NORTH TEXAS! North Texas almost beat Louisiana-Lafayette this week! Someone give Nick the glass ball!

  79. I’m just kidding Mac. I would, however, like to know why the lone person who voted Texas #1 last week no longer felt they were this week. They played very well against Colorado. Of course, you don’t have a quality win until you knock off the North Texas Mean Green. I believe they courted 4 of the finest 3-star athletes in this past year’s recruiting class. I think they’ve solidified themselves.

  80. Texas was terrible against Colorado. As a rule, if you’re losing at halftime to a team that lost to Toledo by a score of 54-38, the voters are going to punish you.

  81. Texas went off in the second half. Just like Florida did in the SEC Championship last year. Just sayin…

  82. @128, Exactly! I’m sure that’s sarcasm, but..

    2nd Half yesterday
    Texas 28
    Colorado 0

    2nd Half, last year’s SECCG
    Florida 14
    Alabama 10

    Texas dropped and likely lost its first-place vote because it doesn’t have a resume this year, 2009. The wins are over:

    #100 Louisiana Monroe
    #74 Wyoming
    #34 Texas Tech
    #87 UTEP
    #103 Colorado

    Compare to Alabama:
    #4 Virginia Tech
    #111 Florida International
    #110 North Texas
    #48 Arkansas
    #58 Kentucky
    #23 Ole Miss

    Compare to Florida:
    #FCS Charleston Southern
    #75 Troy
    #46 Tennessee
    #58 Kentucky
    #13 LSU

    At a certain point in the season, say mid-October, you give more weight to results than expectations, particularly when the expectations (pre-season polls) were essentially similar (UF#1, TX#2, AL#5).

    A win over Oklahoma would give Texas two quality wins, but still lesser quality than Alabama’s.

    #1, #2, #3, whichever for the Crimson Tide is fine with me. It’s one of those right now for everyone and will shake out by season’s end. Just don’t lose. If you lose, you put your fate in the hands of others (see 2008 Texas Longhorns).

  83. just wondering why a one loss USC team (to Washington) is ahead of a one loss Miami team (to #5 Va Tech)

  84. Cary was referring to the second half performance of Texas, not what the score was at the half.

    Florida dominated the fourth quarter in score, momentum, and time of possession in last year’s SECCG. It was mostly sarcasm, but that’s definitely true.

  85. braves14’s SEC power rankings: (last week’s ranking in parenthesis if changed)

    1. Florida (2)
    2. Alabama (1)
    3. LSU
    4. South Carolina (6)
    5. Arkansas (8)
    6. Auburn (4)
    7. Tennessee (9)
    8. Georgia (5)
    9. Ole Miss (7)
    10. Kentucky
    11. Mississippi State
    12. Vanderbilt

  86. Alabama dominated the third quarter in score, momentum, and time of possession in last year’s SECCG. That’s definitely true.

    The third and fourth quarters comprise the 2nd half.

  87. @140, I don’t think he’s out of line at all. He and Mac(and I) just differ in opinion and recollections (something to do with our respective fan allegiances largely). It’s just a little friendly jibber-jabber.

    You know how it’s hard to make out tone on internet postings. He’s just making his argument with a little sarcasm for humor.

    Name-calling though, not quite cool.

  88. Haha. I just got called a douche on the internet. My work here is done.

    I was hoping you wouldn’t bring up the third quarter, Cary. That was exactly what happened. Alabama owned the third quarter; Florida owned the fourth. Fortunately, we won.

    We know how the polls work. Florida won the NC and brought back almost their entire team (except the receiving game), and so until they lose, they’re #1. If Alabama (or Utah, just sayin) or Oklahoma or Texas won, they would deserve the #1 ranking. They’re up top until someone knocks them off. And it better not be Vanderbilt. I’ve never witnessed a loss at home in person, and I’ll be at that game. No need to start then.

    I was looking at a poster in my room this afternoon after we talked on here, and I do concede that we don’t look as good as we did last year. LSU and Tennessee both played us really tough this year, and that simply didn’t happen last year. Of course, we also had LSU at home last year, but we had Tennessee at home this year. No way we lose to Ole Miss if we played them this year, though.

  89. #133 – barely losing to a team who lost 15 of their last 16 games coming in is worse than getting hammered vs a top 5 team

  90. Florida has a very good defense and a good offensive line. The thing that they’re missing from last year is a game breaking receiver. IMO no one has stepped up to take Percy Harvin’s place and their offense is simply not as good as last year.

    As far as Bama goes, their O-line is definitely weaker than last year, but they’ve got excellent rbs, good receivers and an above avg qb. For most of the year, their defense has looked about as good as you can look.

    If Bama were to play Fla next weekend, my money would be on Bama. Injuries and overall improvement will decide who wins the SECCG. If Bama’s o-line develops more consistency, I don’t think anyone will stop them.

  91. More evidence that Mac is crazy. He agrees with CBS Sportsline’s Dennis Dodd ;)


    Evidence so far points to Bama as No. 1

    Alabama is No. 1, and right now, it doesn’t matter. The argument will be decided on the field. From here it looks like for the second year in a row, the winner of that SEC title game goes to the national championship game.

  92. ..and College Football News


    1. Alabama 6-0
    Last Week: W, at Ole Miss 22-3
    This Week: South Carolina
    Why the ranking is too high: For the first time, the passing game showed a few holes. Greg McElroy wasn’t razor-sharp against Ole Miss and the offense had to settle for too many field goals. It didn’t matter in the easy win, but now isn’t the time to start slipping in any way. It’s nitpicking, though. Bama is playing better than anyone in America.

    2. Florida 5-0
    Last Week: W, at LSU 13-3
    This Week: Arkansas
    Why the ranking is too high: This might sound crazy for an offense that’s among the top five in the nation in scoring, yards, rushing, and efficiency, but does Florida really have what it takes to keep up the pace in a true shootout? The best offense the Gators have faces this is … Tennessee?! Arkansas might have a puncher’s chance to pull off the upset.
    Why the ranking is too low: Defense and the lines. The offensive and defensive fronts manhandled LSU, and while the offense might not have the wideouts or quite enough explosiveness through the air, it has dominant lines. Hog QB Ryan Mallett should be under pressure all game long.

  93. Why the ranking is too high: the only touchdown Florida scored on Saturday involved a blatant offensive pass interference non-call.

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