How to cheer up the Mets fan in your life

If you’re like me, you have friends and family who are, through no fault of their own, Mets fans. They’ve had a bit of a rough year. Here are a few things you can say to them to cheer them up:

  • “Hey, you were in first place until your entire team got hurt.”
  • “That Jeff Francoeur — what an arm! Am I right?”
  • “While it’s true that no Met has ever thrown a no-hitter, at least Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden threw them for other teams.”
  • “Sure the new park is tough to hit in, but at least it isn’t a smelly dump like the old place.”
  • “You did finish ahead of the Nationals.”
  • “It’s good that Ed Kranepool is the Mets’ franchise leader in hits, otherwise nobody would remember him.”
  • “At least another New York team won the World Series.”

171 thoughts on “How to cheer up the Mets fan in your life”

  1. I’m sending all of these to my Mets fan friend RIGHT NOW… and I’ll save them to use on the brother in law during my Xmas trip to upstate NY

  2. You ought to disown your sister or your wife, whichever one is responsible for bringing a Mets fan into your family.

  3. Repost from last thread:

    I’m a little worried about the Hawks being good. Does that mean I need to start paying attention to basketball again?

    The Falcons are starting to justify my pessimism. If they finish 8-8 or 7-9, I am going to be mega-pissed.

  4. The Falcons have never had consecutive winning seasons.

    Also, the Atlanta Hawks have never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs.

    Would be nice to shed both sets of shackles this season.

  5. From the previous thread:

    The Wells contract is a prime example of irrational exuberance. Other than 2003 and 2006 he has very Francoeur like numbers.

    Question: Does Andruw even play next year?

  6. He wants to I think, and I believe I heard somewhere that he was willing to sign a minor league contract now… He also played in McCann’s charity Softball game.

  7. The way the dollar is falling, Carlyle will probably be making more (in real terms) than Lowe.

    Where did Jamarillo go?

    I still want DeRosa. Starting right-fielder (or 2B) until Heyward gets here and excellent Chipper insurance. Right-handed bat. Some power. Great teammate.

    Signing DeRosa and LaRoche isn’t earth-shattering but (with our pitching) makes us damned formidable – and doesn’t cost us anything but money.

  8. I believe Rudy Jaramillo went to be the hitting instructor for the Cubs (if that’s who you were asking about).

  9. Grienke was by far the best pitcher, glad to see someone outside of NY or BOS getting recognition. Man I miss those Frenchy for Grienke rumors

  10. Well, earlier this year, Zack Greinke was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, a magazine published in NYC & populated by Red Sox-rooting Ivy Leaguers.

  11. Saw Greinke live 5-6 times this year. Just a fantastic season. Kind of reminded me of a meld between Maddux and Smoltz back in the day. Control not quite as good as Mad Dog and stuff not quite as electric as Smoltzie, but really had the total package last year.

    Well deserved.

  12. Excellent list, Mac.

    I have a friend who just moved to America from Australia two years ago and decided to adopt the Mets as his baseball team. Toward the end of this past season I asked him, “How ’bout them Mets?” He shakes his head and tells me that the Mets are a soulless, heartless organization and that he’s decided to root for the Yankees instead. I still have a thing or two to teach him about baseball methinks.

  13. I had a dream Vazquez was traded to the Nats. Can’t remember for whom but the same dream involved witnessing a rape so I don’t have a damn clue what to think.

  14. Well, about the Hawks: You know you’re probably a pretty good team when you play as terribly as we did last night and still win.

    The Hawks, while always my NBA team (I’m from Atlanta, there really wasn’t any way anything else was happening), have also always been pretty much at the bottom of the hierarchy of teams that I care about. There’ve been several years where I cared more about the Thrashers, and I’ve always cared more about the U.S soccer team, and I’m not what one would call a diehard about either of those, just to give you an example. But even I’m starting to get a little excited about the Hawks this year.

  15. My latest Trade Machine creation: Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, Mo Evans, and a future first-rounder for Steve Nash and Robin Lopez.

  16. No, believe it or not, more people than just Bill Simmons play around with that thing. It’s actually quite helpful, if you’re the sort who likes imagining trade scenarios.

    On that note, the most realistic CP3 trade scenario I can come up with is: Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, Randolph Morris, and draft pick(s) for Paul, Hilton Armstrong, and Devin Brown. Morris and Brown would be in the deal for purely financial reasons. Armstrong would be in the deal for mostly financial reasons, but also because the Hawks would need a post player for the rotation if they were getting rid of Smith.

  17. DOB:”Players switch agents to Boras when going to free agency for 1st time for one reason, and it ain’t to give current team a hometown discount.”

  18. if church gets non-tendered or traded and we pick up an outfield bat, matt young might need to be considered for center field backup duties/5th outfielder. that kid can play.

  19. Kansas City Fails To Pick Up Option On Royals | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source

    KANSAS CITY, MO—In an expected move Wednesday, the City of Kansas City declined to pick up their 2010 option on the Royals baseball club, ending the team’s 41-year tenure with the Missouri municipality. “It was time to move in another direction,” Kansas City mayor Mark Funkhouser said at a press conference. “There were some vested incentives that would have automatically kicked in if the Royals had finished higher than last place, or won more than one championship in their existence. But we just couldn’t afford to make another mistake like that 18-year extension back in 1991.” The Royals have generated some mild interest from other cities, including Portland, OR and Copenhagen, though the Danish capital is said to be leaning heavily toward acquiring a public pool or parking lot.

  20. so, if the braves re-sign laroche, sign derosa, find someone to take lowe’s salary, trade for some bullpen help, and sign billy wagner, is that a successful offseason?
    we are rumored to be in on derosa and wagner.

  21. ESPN just reported the VORP for the three best AL Pitchers. Let me repeat that, ESPN just reported the VORP for the three best AL Pitchers. That is all.

  22. The Falcons will be luck to go 9-7…

    We should offer Gonzo arbitration….

    Kimbrell has been really rocked in the AFL. Again, the problem is control….

  23. @39…Thanks, very interesting. Does anyone know Matt Young’s story? Impressive Winter League so far 5 HR, .436 OBP, .966 OBPS.

  24. Kimbrell is 21 and has played in seven leagues from rookie to AAA over the last two seasons. He throws really hard and has a big sinker to go with it. He can and will strike out a ton of guys once he gets a little time to settle in. He’ll be fine, I think, and if he can get it done at Richmond early, you might see him by the ASB.

  25. Thanks, Spike. Looks like he pretty much hit everywhere in the Minors. He’s 5-8. So was Giles, right?

  26. Fyi – On winter league stats, Ernesto Mejia is a free agent.

    Also, Kimbrel will need more time in the minors than that. At least a year. His control issues are pretty significant.

    Matt Young’s main problem (for the Braves) is he’s left-handed.

  27. Really? .400/.400? We’re talking about a 4th/5th outfielder in Young, one who can run and play center.

    If his bat were more complementary to our lineup, he might be a decent bench option.

  28. there is now a 100% chance that Gonzo will be offered arb, prob close to a 100% chance that Boras will laugh at that. Gonzo will get a 3yr deal somewhere

  29. Parish – I believe I said 400/400 in AAA. I don’t think he has proven that that gaudy OBP is maintainable at a major league level. If big league pitchers aren’t afraid of you hitting for power, they will knock that bat right out of your hand.

  30. Actually, I am back now. I was there for a trade show and some sales calls. My territory is EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) so I usually go somewhere once a month. While my job doesn’t send me to nifty musical shows, it has put me on a first name basis with hotel bartenders around the world.

  31. So, I’m wondering to myself who this Bruce Pearl guy is. That’s when I turn to my old pal Google who is quick to inform me that he had a fairly creepy moment with Erin Andrews that’s preserved on Youtube for future generations. Or until ESPN makes a copyright claim and it gets yanked. Lulzy.

  32. Oh, please do.

    UT is about to land Tobias Harris, which is a real coup, but he’ll only be around for a year, so it’s not too scary.

  33. Jason Marquis thinks the Mets would be a “perfect fit.” In the sense that, like Jeff Francoeur, he’s a mediocre former Atlanta farmhand with a wildly overinflated sense of his own worth, looking at a team that loves overpaying for crappy veterans, yes, it is a perfect fit. I’m looking forward to seeing the Mets sign his checks.

  34. 56,

    I would never give any reliever (with the possible exception of Mariano Rivera) a 3-year deal. Especially someone as injury-prone as Mike Gonzalez. Look at his injury history:

    Sep 23, 2009: Missed 6 games (back injury).
    Sep 17, 2009: Back injury, day-to-day.
    Jul 19, 2009: Missed 3 games (left elbow injury).
    Jul 16, 2009: Left elbow injury, day-to-day.
    Jun 18, 2008: Missed 72 games (elbow surgery).
    Mar 22, 2008: Elbow surgery, 15-day DL.
    Oct 1, 2007: Missed the last 123 games of the regular season (arm injury).
    May 16, 2007: Arm injury, 15-day DL.
    Apr 23, 2007: Missed 4 games (left elbow injury).
    Apr 19, 2007: Left elbow injury, day-to-day.
    Oct 2, 2006: Missed the last 34 games of the regular season (left elbow tendinitis).
    Aug 28, 2006: Left elbow tendinitis, 15-day DL (retroactive to August 25th).
    Aug 27, 2006: Arm injury, day-to-day.
    Jul 19, 2006: Missed 2 games (left groin).
    Jul 17, 2006: Left groin, day-to-day.
    Aug 16, 2005: Missed 48 games (sprained left knee).
    Jun 23, 2005: Sprained left knee, 15-day DL.
    Apr 30, 2005: Missed 5 games (right knee injury).
    Apr 22, 2005: Right knee injury, day-to-day.

    Giving relievers like that 3-year deals is how you quickly end up in Jim Hendry land.

  35. 68—I don’t think there’s a chance in the world that a good offer is coming his way.

    And, unless the offer came from Clemson, there’s very little chance he’d accept. This administration has been incredibly loyal to The Deuce, and he’s happy here.

  36. Johnson’s been great for Vandy (this year notwithstanding). But the sparse crowd on a beautiful Senior Day seemed to sap his and his team’s spirit during a game in which the opposing coach time-warped back to 1936, giving the Dores a great chance to win. (They politely declined.)

    If Stanford can do it, Vandy can do it. (Sounds good, but is it true?)

    More appropriately – if Northwestern can kinda do it, Vandy can kinda do it. (There’s a battle cry for ya.)

  37. Yeah, it’s been a long year, and Senior Day didn’t make it any better. You obviously haven’t watched us play recently, though—and why would you have?—because that’s the same sort of “spirit” we’ve been showing since our trip to West Point. It’s been a lost season for quite a while.

    Neither Stanford nor Northwestern plays in the SEC East. Stanford is also in California and has a much more prominent national academic reputation than Vanderbilt does. I do think we should be able to get to a point where we’re going to bowl games every other year or every third year, but, given the restrictions we place on ourselves and the conference in which we play, I don’t think we can hope to ever be more than “competitive”.

    We’ve got to get better about scheduling, though. It takes a great Vanderbilt team to win 3 conference games, and there’s no reason we should be scheduling teams like Wake Forest and Georgia Tech—or, despite how glad I am for the opportunity to have tagged along, away games at places like West Point—if we’re serious about making bowl games with any sort of regularity.

    On Bobby, again, he’s not going anywhere. I promise. We’ve been loyal; he is loyal.

    (And, for the record, Brooks did what he needed to do to win. We couldn’t stop the run, and we were creating turnovers when you passed. We knew we could do that going into the game. He was smart to just keep right on running.)

  38. I agree with Stu about Bobby Johnson and Vandy. I think the Doors should pick one half way decent out of conference team to play and load up on MTSU’s and UTC’s. Maybe they could get something going with UAB, So. Miss or something. There is no reason Vandy should be putting Ga Tech on the docket.

    I think if Johnson didn’t go to Clemson, he isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

  39. Yeah, the UT game last night was wonderful. It was 57-8 with 3:08 to go in the half when UNC-Ashville got their first FG. This team could be really great, starting four seniors and back to the pressing ways that were absent last year. Really I’m just hoping the SEC as a whole is back, too. Could possibly see 5 tourney teams from the SEC East.

    Oh and the Mighty Mocs got a big win against ETSU. 2-0!!

  40. Dusty,
    Y’all—UT, that is—will be great if you get your PG issues resolved. I think that’s a pretty huge “if,” but even taking that into consideration, I believe UT, and not UK, should have been the preseason favorite in the East and the SEC as a whole.

    As for the SEC, LSU’s win over WKU was nice, but the conference has already got some *bad* losses. I think the aggregate product is a whole lot better than it was last year, but the reputation isn’t being helped much by these first few games. Lots of chances over the next couple of weeks to change that perception, though.

  41. As a student at UGA, I’ll be the first to admit that we are a very bad basketball team. I was at the Wofford game last night and couldn’t believe how terrible our free throw and three point shooting is. Felton didn’t leave much to work with. That being said, in a couple years we should see a big turnaround because Mark Fox is an excellent coach and recruiter.

  42. Johnny, it does relax them some compared to the general student population, but the standards are well above the NCAA minimums, which is what the other 11 schools in the conference adhere to.

  43. Ok Stu thanks. I just remember that it was plainly said at both Duke and UVa that if the student had ‘special talents’ that the academic standards were relaxed.

    I’d have to agree with you that Vandy in football at least has a daunting challenge to be competitive. More so than Northwestern or say Stanford.

  44. After the Jan Kemp episode, Georgia’s academic standards for athletes were higher than the rest of the conference, save Vandy. When Michael Adams became the school’s president, that changed.

    Trace,
    Georgia basketball is always kind of bizarre. It was basically crap for 50 years until coach Hugh Durham put the program on the map by landing Dominique Wilkins, Vern Fleming, Terry Fair & Eric Marbury (Stephon’s older brother).

    After that, the program had a decent amount of success (NIT Final 4 in ’82, SEC Tourney title in ’83, NCAA Final 4 in ’83, some NCAA appearances in the ’80s into the early ’90s, an SEC regular-season title in ’90). Like a lot of schools that finally experience some high times, that wasn’t good enough, so they dumped Durham. (Kinda like Auburn & Tuberville, IMO.)

    Since then, the program has been really schizo. It’s been: a time share for a coach who was never going to stay (Tubby); a testing ground for a coach who probably wasn’t ready (Jirsa); and a doggy-doo sandbox for a coach (Felton) trying to clean up someone else’s mess (Harrick).

    And the really funny/sad thing is that Harrick was probably the best X-and-O guy of the bunch.

    Here’s to you, Mr. Fox. Good luck…

  45. @67 Tobias actually denied the UT speculation today, but that could just be lip service.

    He is announcing tomorrow afternoon in NYC, which is where Syracuse will be playing, another school that’s high on his list. Not sure if there is anything to read into that…

  46. I almost bought a car today from a car salesman who had an autographed Bruce Pearl picture in his office. For that, he had to bump the car down 3 grand. That’s what he gets…

  47. Ububba,
    I also think a lot of it has to do with the perception that UGA doesn’t support basketball. An empty arena is a big turnoff to recruits. My thing is, if “football schools” like Tennessee and Florida can do it, I don’t see why UGA, a school with an enormous in-state talent base, cannot.

  48. The Hawks waxed the Heat — well, there’s still a minute and a half left, but a pretty easy win, looks like. The evidence continues to suggest that this is a really good ballclub.

  49. Trace,
    I was at UGA when Dominique was there & we didn’t fill the place for November games vs. Wofford then either. Tech, yes; SEC games, yes.

    Things generally heated up in January. You’re not going to have your ace recruits coming to a December game vs. Albany State anyway. (Back then, we’d play Tech in The Omni the week between Xmas & New Years–that was the game to see.)

    My point was: UGA has had success with hoops in the past & it can again. The biggest problem now is that the Harrick fiasco set UGA hoops back dramatically–at least until it gets a program-changing player or two.

    I mean, that’s the main reason why Felton’s not there anymore. Fox has got to get players. He has to be the new Hugh Durham. And really, it only takes one great player to change things.

  50. @87

    Rumor is that he committed last night when he was at the UT game.

    UGA could have a good team if they would improve their basketball facilities. There is a ton of in state talent, but their gym is a dump.

  51. Stu,

    I agree, UT point guards will make or break the season. I think we have up graded the position and we are shooting better from the outside. Plus, we are quicker on defense and can use Bruce’s press again.

  52. Last night Emirates News got my attention when they had an interview with ‘Dr. Dale Murphy’ who was identifed as an expert on starting new businesses….Didn’t look or sound like ‘the Murph’…

    Kimbrell definitely has command problems and I hope that the Braves have not overused him in 2009. I agree with Parish that he probably needs at least a year in the minors and that means that solving the bullpen situation is even more critical than it may have appeared a couple of months ago.

  53. 91 – I was at the Tech game over the weekend. That’s a good team and that place was pretty empty for Florida A&M.

    Stephen – Kimbrel looks like he could be counted on to walk the bases loaded causing us to use another reliever in most of his appearances.

  54. Hit up the Jazz/Toronto game with a BYU professor (and his daughter!) today- Carlos Boozer is the man! I didn’t think that the Professor (one of the higher profile ones here) was going to come through and actually accept my invitation to the game, but it was freakin’ awesome!

  55. Stegman is up for renovations starting may 1. Complete redo of the interior including the court area and the concession hallway. The practice facilities at the adjacent student athlete complex is pretty impressive

  56. 100 — Desert, which professor? Just curious.

    Went to a couple Jazz games back in the day. It’s fun to be at an NBA game, but Jazz fans drive me nuts. I’m not a Jazz fan, but I like D. Williams and I like to see them do well.

  57. Anyone read Rosenthal’s latest article about Scott Boras and his “Fuzzy Math” argument with MLB? Has anyone (besides Steinbrenner) done more to ruin the game of baseball? What a giant douche.

    Mac – If the Hawks can beat my Magic, then I’ll believe

  58. so when Grabow is getting 2/7.5, do people really think Gonzo cant get a 3rd yr on a deal. Offer him arb and let him leave. What a terrible deal for the Cubs and not a good way to start off the FA reliever market, IMO

  59. FlaBravesFan,

    I have read (and meant to link Rosental’s version) yesterday.

    I don’t have access to it, but IF Boras is accurately portraying the publicly available financial information on the Braves (as to what is available and what the available stuff says) then Boras is dead, spot on.

    He says Braves posted revenue of 180 million, payroll 95 million, and that total minor league ops and other operations should be 30 million. That would leave a net operating income of $55 million. This is consistent with (actually a little high for) the “adjusted real” purchase price (they actually were part of a complicated stock swapwith lots of extra assets as further noted below) of the Braves of around 400 million and is consistent with what Braves SHOULD be earning based on Forbes / Fortune (I forget which one) rating of value of the club.

    Where he COULD be wrong is if he is including in revenue, non operating revenue (interest, gains on stock, etc.). As sold, the Braves came with 2 billion in extra liquid assets. Those should be generating something. Even at 2%, that is 40 million by itself. But if Boras made that mistake (and if he made it, it wasn’t really a mistake) then that would say Liberty (and Time Warner before them) is operating Braves at a cash flow break even over 6 to 8 years.

    Do I think it is more likely that Boras is wrong or that Schuerholz is “mis-stating” in saying that Braves made “nowhere near that much money”? I would bet on Boras.

  60. Does Boras have any statistical backing to his $30M operating cost figure? it sounds like he just pulled it out of thin air… which sort of makes his whole argument BS (though thinking somebody should run an MLB team as a non-profit is pretty danged silly too).

  61. I wouldn’t be laughing at the Mets at all. They had a similiar year in 09 that the Braves had in 08, and just like the Braves it killed their post season hopes. Jeff Franceour regained his swing and confidence in the big Apple, and with the core memebers of the team coming back in 2010 (Reyes, Wright Beltran) they should be pretty good. Now they are being linked to bringing in either Bay or Holliday which will defintely boost their offense, and are said to be in the market for Lackey or Pienero which will be a nice compkimentary piece to go along with Johann Santana. With a healty Reyes, who was born to play in Citifield with the huge outfield gaps, I expect him if healty to have a monster year. No, the Mets are going to be tough next season. I think the Phillies and the Mets will be in contention, and am not sure about the Braves. I have a sense that we Braves fans are going to seriously underwhelmed at some of the moves made this offseaon. I fear we are not going to properly address the need for a power hitter.

  62. Just reading a Bowman blog post on Mike Gonzalez.

    Can we agree to change a phrase (My proposal follows. Certainly you may have a better one)?

    “Type A Free Agents usually earn a team a low first round or high second round pick and a sandwich pick”

    And replace the inaccurate:

    “Type A Free Agents earn a team a first round pick and a sandwich pick.”

    The latter statement is so clearly not so that it is absurd that most journalists seem to routinely use it.

    “Usually” is added because a team (like Yankees last year) may sign more than one Type A and doesn’t have but 1 first round pick to give.

    And nobody ever gets the high first round picks. If the pick is #17 that is vastly different in value than #3. And if what is actually received is second round #5, that pick will probably be behind 10 sandwich picks making the player a theoretical “#45 player” (not sounding much like a “first round pick”).

  63. From the official site:

    “As this year’s free-agent season begins, it appears they could be one of a number of teams that show patience before attempting to attempting to fill their specific needs.”

    Mark Bowman makes more typos than any other professional writer I’ve ever seen. It’s a little embarrassing. Spell check is no substitute for proofreading.

  64. Also, Bowman, who appears to be as close to an insider as there is reporting on the Braves, is saying Braves aren’t really concerned about getting an outfielder because they think Heyward is ready from day 1. That is the first time I have seen that.

    Is it (1) disinformation put out by Braves execs to lower expectations of free agents or (2) a possible hint that a “big time bat” (A. Gonzalez or Derrek Lee) might be doable for first base or (3) a real take on Heyward’s readiness and the ML staff’s view of that?

    Right now, if I thought it likely that Heyward might be ready on April 1, I would tender Church and try to sign Dye for 4 or so for 1 year. Then, Dye / Church platoon with Diaz going right to left (Dye plays left always and Church plays right always) until June 10 to make sure Heyward is really ready. The “loss” on Heyward’s year 6 by playing him in April or May is worth probably 5 to 8 million. 8 pays both Church and Dye.

  65. Jason Bay turned down a four-year $60 million contract with the Red Sox. I think it’s safe to say we won’t see him in a Braves uniform next year.

  66. 104 — Desert, that’s out of my field, so the name doesn’t ring a bell. That’s cool that you got him to go to a game with you.

  67. Here’s a question: What do the Braves have to do to have a “successful” offseason?

    I think dumping Lowe and signing Wagner is a start…

  68. Successful off season to me means:
    A) Having a closer (be it Gonzo, or Wagner, or somebody else legit)
    B) Getting/keeping a bat (be it LaRoche at 1st, or somebody in the OF)

    For me “dumping” Lowe is only successful in that it frees the money for A & B. If they do A & B but still have Lowe on the roster (and haven’t traded away JJ or Hanson) it will be OK. Best semi-plausible case scenario is probably trade Lowe for an OF bat and sign LaRoche and Gonzo, though you could trade him for a comparable 1B and sign Wagner/Gonzo without it being a failure. If our 1B is at least LaRoche an OF of Diaz/McLouth/Church/Heyward should be workable with a rotation of Hudson/Vasquez/JJ/Hanson/KK (and Medlan to fall back on).

    I think Mets won’t suck next year, but with as many holes as they have in that rotation I don’t think they’ll be favorites either. I think the Phils are favorites based on Lee/Hamels/Happ and their offense, Braves are close behind due to rotation, and then Mets/Marlins are a bit behind them. But, I think any of the four could run away with it if they put together a nice streak of guys playing their best baseball.

  69. @119,

    Weird way to answer, but I think this is it.

    Get team payroll into a range of 95 to 100 million and have, on aggregate, a little better (3 to 5 win)cast than what you finished with last year.

    I think getting too many specifics makes it too hard of a test. Like “must get a 900 ops right handed hitting outifelder.” Off season could still be a success without that specific, depending on what other specifics there are.

    But some specifics to make the above work would probably include:
    1. keep one of Gonzo and Soriano or bring in by FA or trade a credible closer.
    2. Either sign LaRoche, trade for a good to great 1B, or pick up a good to great 1B via FA.
    3. Move an expensive pitcher, preferably Lowe.
    4. To the extent that money is still available after 1-3, get a major or a complementary (Dye or such) outfield bat.

  70. I want no part of Dye. He’s old, had a terrible second half in ’09, and is a DH at this point. No, thanks.

    And the Braves will NEVER get Bay or Holliday, we’re just not that kind of club. In the real world, we might be able to re-sign LaRoche and get/keep a reliable closer. That’s it.

    Unless we strike gold with Heyward, we won’t have a better team in ’10 than in ’09.

  71. I wonder if JC will respond to Neyer. (see Neyer’s “sweet spot” blog post from Thursday evening.)

  72. Tom, I think having the team we ended with last year vs the one with Frenchy & missing Hudson & with KK learning the MLB Ropes would be enough to make us a passable club.

  73. 123—I may be overly sensitive because of bias—I like JC and am easily annoyed by Neyer—but I got the sense that that was Rob’s (passive-aggressive) way of firing a shot across JC’s bow following the Hakes-Sauer/Tango saga. I get the feeling that some prominent sabermetricians out there don’t appreciate JC’s refusal to toe their party’s line.

    I could be way off, though.

  74. I like JC and I, generally speaking, like Neyer too (though he does grate sometimes and doesn’t seem to think much of our favorite team). I’m just curious to see if JC will respond and clarify (to Neyer and to some of the comments) or just keep on keeping on.

  75. MLBTR says Stark says: “The Braves would like to trade for a cleanup-hitter and are expected to try to extend Javier Vazquez if they can move Derek Lowe and his contract.”

    MLBTR also says: “An MLB executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Yankees plan to pursue free agent relievers Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez. “

  76. AP sports writer says:
    “Johnson, Lincecum’s teammate this year in San Francisco, and Sandy Koufax are the only other pitchers to win consecutive NL Cy Young Awards. Johnson won four straight from 1999-2002 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Koufax was honored in 1965 and 1966 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

    Greg Maddux says:
    “WTF?!?!”

  77. How’s this for a middle ground between Neyer and JC:

    The “myths” Bradbury pointed address common themes that beat writers and fans over-use when discussing trade possibilities. For instance, people try to “buy low” and “sell high”, but just because a player has a good year doesn’t mean you can do this. First, you need yourself to decide that he’s not as good as that year might indicate, and then you need to find other teams that disagree with you. This can be quite difficult. If a pitcher was obviously ERA-lucky, every GM in the league will be aware of this.

    On the other hand, different teams evaluate players differently, and some times deals can be made because of this. But it’s not ’cause a guy had a lucky (or unlucky) year that such a thing happens, as the overly-simplified writings of the sports media often claim.

  78. Thanks for the link, Mac. Here’s more from Darren Daulton, published author:

    Just to think several years ago I could not turn on a cyber machine (computer), now I am utilizing this technology to reach out to people who have experienced different phenomenon, and to let you know that it is perfectly normal and you are not alone.

  79. 125, exactly. The only question is: Will that be good enough to hold down the Phillies and reloaded Mets? In case of the Phillies, I don’t think so.

  80. Thanks, Chad… it was great.

    On Rob Neyer, I think that his ‘response’ to Bradbury’s fourth point is not an argument another way, but just a slightly tweaked explanation of Bradbury’s argument. I don’t really care about point three, as assigning ‘winners’ and losers’ from trades does not have an effect on whether current or future trades are actually made, but rather it just allows for more interesting discussion in a game thats close to our hearts.

    My real beef with him is at point two, as Neyer only thinks enough to create an argument to be able to make his own point and insult Bradbury’s logic. If players enter the game of baseball (from the minor leagues), then it follows that players leave the game of baseball. And until somebody shows me a specific study that shows that a continuing trend of position players in baseball play one certain postion (for example, for the last ten years the majority of players entering baseball are left-fielders or whatever), I have to make the conclusion that equal amounts of players enter and exit baseball at a certain position over a period of time. So technically, Bradbury is correct. Openings in certain positions for teams are sometimes filled with minor-leaguers or players already on the active roster (and these replacements from the active rosters necessarily create openings on teams), but also, players leave baseball at that same rate, depressing the supply of players available for a certain position, evening things out.

    That’s theoretical, of course, and we don’t live in a theoretical world. But then again, its logical, and apparently Rob Neyer doesn’t live in a logical world, either.

    Thoughts?

  81. Jay (CA)

    Hey Jim, with the Braves having a surplus of pitching and holes in the outfield and closer, do you think a package centered around Sherrill and Ethier could nab Hansen?
    Jim Callis (2:38 PM)

    No team is going to trade a good young pitcher who’s as inexpensive and talented as Hanson.

  82. What would it take, in addition to Jurrjens, McLouth, and Freeman, to get Gonzalez and Heath Bell from the Pads?

  83. desert,

    Almost no economic markets truly function without impingements or meet the “rational economic decisionmaker” standard. The remaining reserve clause (pre FA players) cause a market inefficiency. There is a way for a team to get a player for less than the “fair market value.” Players now make so much (even in the depressed maket) that they stay in the market longer (Craig Counsell, Tom Gordon, Junior Griffey).

    So, FA’s are playing musical chairs. Sure, if there are lots of FA’s there are lots of potential landing spots. But FA’s don’t want to take a deal for less than “their full value.” So, whenever significant numbers of cost controlled players project on an MLE basis as being almost as good as the bottom part of the FA class at a position, then having a lot of FA’s will depress the market.

    But Neyer was not living up to his standards. he usually stresses “looking deeper and not going off first impressions”. However, the attack was mostly on an over the top scan and reflected no analysis.

    mraver is close to where I see it. The wholesale assumption of GM’s being stupid and making bad moves is silly. It is more a difference in valuing systems and scouting nuance that produces different team approaches.

  84. Stu,

    Freeman has almost no value to the Padres. If they move A. Gon, they are puting Kyle Blanks at first and he has 5 cost controlled years.

    McLouth will cost the same payroll (or maybe a little more) than Gonzalez. He doesn’t solve their problems. They would value Schafer higher with 6 cost controlled years left.

    JJ makes sense for the Padres. Schafer makes sense. Medlin makes sense.

    Because we have 4 cost contolled years of JJ, I would not trade him for even a player as good as A. Gon unless it was even up. P. W. has his estimate of J. J.’s surplus value on his site at $43 million and he thinks JJ is a lesser pitcher than I do. A. Gon is 2 years worth 30 to 40 over what he will get paid (a little over 10) and then 2 draft picks (no first half of first round picks).

  85. Good points, Cliff, particularly about Freeman. I think it would be well worth losing Jurrjens to get Gonzalez and Bell, though.

    Hey, the Royals are stupid. What would it take to get Billy Butler and Joakim Soria?

  86. For us? Any 5 random guys off the roster.

    The defensive and offensive upgrade over Garrett Anderson in left field will probably be worth 3 wins, even more if we get Mike Cameron and move McLouth to left.

  87. Actually, Rivera doesn’t look any better than Hart. Konerko’s the best fit of those three, IMO, but I’d rather just dump Lowe’s salary for an OK prospect than try to acquire a “power hitter” for him. If that’s possible.

  88. But, of course, the biggest news in the state of Georgia today is the sudden death of UGA football mascot, Uga VII.

    http://tinyurl.com/yk2latp

    And what I love about all the various Uga stories & TV coverage through the years is how they always give the dog’s “record.” For example, Uga VII was 16-7 during his tenure & most UGA people don’t even blink at such a notion.

    Years ago, I was taking a NYC-based co-worker on walk through the UGA campus. We stopped on the bridge at Sanford Stadium & I showed him the burial site of the various Uga dogs just inside the fence.

    “They bury the mascots here?”

    “Well, yeah. Why?”

    “You people are crazy.”

  89. Because we have 4 cost contolled years of JJ, I would not trade him for even a player as good as A. Gon unless it was even up.

    Put the period between ‘him’ and ‘for’ and you’ve nailed it.

  90. @144,

    which LF are you going to get defensively that is +20 runs? McLouth might be worth a +10 in a corner but you’d give up 10 runs positionally anyway….im still in favour of moving him to left or right and getting cameron though, i can get behind that value-wise.

  91. Did I mention that I saw a study that concluded Rivera was the worst baserunner in all the Majors last year?

    I am not sure we can have him on the same team with Yunel.

    I could get on board with the Cameron idea, though, expecting a low cost short term commitment.

  92. I think we should hit up the Twins and the Indians. I don’t know for what. But we got Jurrjens from the Tigers for a guy we needed to get rid of anyway and we got Vazquez from the White Sox for a couple of prospects we didn’t need and the Royals will take anything from us basically. Time to raid the rest of the AL Central.

  93. Thanks guys for the heads up on Neyer. I hadn’t seen that. I posted a response there. Rob’s always been very good to me, so I don’t really have any problem with him disagreeing with me.

  94. Civil discourse, a welcome idea.

    Heard Jon Heyman on WFAN today. He mentioned the notion of Lowe to the Yankees, but didn’t really follow up on it, mainly because the conversation turned to Roy Halladay.

  95. Just read Peanut’s latest about trading a SP. He said Braves will want ML ready player(s) for Vazquez, but would take low minors prospects (read as ‘garbage’) for Lowe. Might even be willing to eat some of Lowe’s contract.

    The Braves also seem to be saying that they expect a trade market for Lowe to open up once the better free agent starters, Lackey basically, land somewhere. So they say they’re willing to wait.

    Here’s my question though: if we’re willing to dump Lowe for the money it frees up, but we have to wait forever for that to happen, what will we use the money for? Isn’t timing an issue here?

  96. Maybe. But the Braves were always more likely to add a bat via trade rather than free agency — there aren’t many good hitters available — so there’s more time.

  97. But they’re not really going to land a good bat for Lowe, are they? Is the trade for a bat a second trade, after dumping Lowe? If so, who are we trading? I have a hard time seeing how this plays out.

  98. Personally I would rather do a straight salary dump with a Lowe trade rather than take on a bad contract.

  99. After scanning the FA market I think the Braves most prudent moves would be to keep what we got if possible. Re-sign Church and offer Laroche, Gonzo and Soriano arb and deal with it.
    If they take it, we get one year of each, great, if not, we get the picks.
    We have room for raises so keep them for a year and as the season progresses then make a move.

  100. Smitty,

    Take a look at Konerko’s home / road splits. I thought he was a good choice until I did that. As I remember, his 3 year moving average ops outside U. S. Cellular was about 790.

  101. Hey, billy-jay, here’s the VU baseball team’s schedule for their trip out your way:

    Sunday at Hosei University, 10 p.m.

    Monday vs. Aoyama Gakuin University, 7 p.m.

    Monday at Meiji University, 11 p.m.

    Tuesday at Waseda University, 9 p.m.

  102. Well, bear in mind that virtually every player hits better at home. Having said that, I want no part of Konerko. He’s older and liable to get worse not better. I’d say an OPS+ of about 115 is the best you can hope for there. I’d rather throw the money at LaRoche and salary dump Lowe. Higher upside, and some residual trade value should Freeman evolve into the real thing.

  103. Please everybody stop with the Jurrjens and Hanson trade possibilities. Just the thought of trading them is making me ill.

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