Live! From Kansas City!

ANNOUNCER: From Kansas City, it’s the Jeff Francoeur show, starring Jeff Francoeur! I’m your announcer, Melky Cabrera, and tonight, Jeff’s guests are: Miley Cyrus! Verne Troyer! And The Baseball Project! And now, stand and cheer, here’s Jeffy!

[AUDIENCE GIVES FIVE MINUTE STANDING OVATION]

Jeff Francoeur: Thanks, thanks everybody. I know I deserve it, but it’s nice to be appreciated. Welcome to the show, we have a good one tonight. So, Melky, did you have a good weekend?

MC: I did, sir.

JF: That’s good. Went to Arthur Bryant’s again, did you?

MC: Uh… yeah.

JF: And they had to drag you at closing again, right? [MELKY LAUGHS] I don’t want to say Melky eats a lot, but when they say he’s a threat from both sides of the plate, that means he eats with a fork and a spoon at the same time. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS UPRORIOUSLY] You may not know this, but Melky’s contract has a weight clause. Or it did, until Melky spilled barbecue sauce on it. [LAUGHTER] Speaking of contracts, you heard about this Cliff Lee thing?

MC: I may have heard something about it.

JF: Yeah, Lee turned down more money from the Rangers and the Yankees because he loves Philadelphia. You may say that now, Cliff, but wait until the rash forms. [LAUGHTER] Hey, Rangers, you’re spreading all this money around and Lee doesn’t want it, why didn’t you call me? I’m working on a one-year contract here! But I love it here in Kansas City. Of course, it’s a pretty small market, so it’s not exactly what I’m used to. With the Mets, I tipped the clubhouse guy $50,000. Here in KC, the standard tip is “Don’t go in the bathroom after Melky.” [LAUGHTER] We’ve got a great show tonight, folks, Miley Cyrus is here! Give it up for Jack McDowell and the I Take Music And Everything Else Very Seriously Band!

[JACK MCDOWELL PLAYS GUITAR FOR SEVERAL MINUTES. FINALLY THE DIRECTOR CUTS HIS FEED.]

JF [SEATED AT DESK]: Thanks, Jack. As the audience may or may not know, I am a Gold Glove winning outfielder. But Melky’s the real glove man, he’s a centerfielder. Tell us about fielding, Melky.

MC: Well, you need to be an athlete, of course, but really, it’s a matter of instincts.

JF: Really? Well, let’s take a look at Melky doing some fielding last year in Atlanta.

Throw Melky throw!

JF: Doesn’t look like your instincts were working too well there! [LAUGHTER] Stick around folks, we’ll be back in a bit with Miley Cyrus.

[COMMERCIALS]

206 thoughts on “Live! From Kansas City!”

  1. The Jeff Francoeur Show is brought to you up Pepcid AC, Cocoa Puffs, and the number zero. Take it away, Jeffy!

  2. Creativity, surely thy name is Mac Thomason.

    On another vein, I think a link to “the Glove” was found by me on this site. Short version, it is a box you put your hand in, and then under suction, your hands heat transfer rate goes through the roof. Reducing heat like this improves performance. I haven’t seen anything banning it for NCAA.

    Last year at women’s NCAA tennis championships, the last players standing in the third set winner take all included a girl from Georgia who was at Stanford. The commentators mentioned “the Glove” with the score about 5 – 5 and the visual showed it. The Stanford performer promptly pummeled her previously close competition.

    Question: is Stanford’s football resurgence partly the influence of “the Glove”?

  3. @14 I’d say a fly.

    I was informed today, the last day the school is opened this year, that when I come back to my job in the spring I’ll be making half of what I was. 10 dollars an hour for a flash/web developer with a BFA? This is not a good day.

  4. Melky would be ideal relief pitcher when bean ball is required, if he can hit batter. No one would imagine it was intentional.

  5. When I read on MLBTR that Wood has already made nearly 70M in his career I was surprised. I thought he’d had a couple decent contracts, but due to injury and such hadn’t cashed in that much. So I poked around baseball-reference at the career salary figures of a few guys…. Now I’m depressed.

  6. 23 I loved that, it seemed to always happen when he was on the mound. I wonder if he ever requested that Bobby leave Melky out of the lineup on days he was pitching.

  7. By the way, Aaron Gleeman notes that Carlos Gomez, who used to post at Baseball Think Factory and Hardball Times, “has been hired as the Diamondbacks’ international scouting director.”

    I started reading Gomez because Stu was a huge fan. As Gleeman says:

    I loved Gomez’s articles breaking down pitching mechanics on Baseball Think Factory (and also The Hardball Times), and from reading his comments on various BTF discussions threads I also know that he’s a really smart, interesting guy who combines a ton of traditional baseball knowledge with an open mind to sabermetrics.

    Cool stuff.

  8. Damn. Thanks for posting that, Mac. My favorite quote about Captain Beefheart was from Matt Groening, about his album Trout Mask Replica:

    So I bought it. I took it home, I put it on. It was the worst track ever. They’re not even trying! They’re just playing… randomly. But then I thought, Frank Zappa produced it so maybe if I play it again, and I thought… It sounds horrible but they mean it sound this way. And about the third or fourth time it started to grow on me. In the fifth or sixth time, I loved it. And the seventh or eighth time I thought it was the greatest album ever made. And I still do.

  9. I saw it on Twitter first… you probably know that fake Twitter death reports are a thing, and we had one on Morgan Freeman just yesterday. So that’s the first reaction, “maybe it’s fake,” then it was “no, he’s not a big enough name today for a fake death report.”

  10. On the last thread, I posted about a game that I went to in NY vs. the Mets where I remembered Jose Capellan giving up “9 runs in 2 innings” as a starter. I re-checked and found out that I saw six Braves pitchers that day: Jose Capellan, Travis Smith, Tim Drew, Dan Meyer, Roman Colon and Juan Cruz. Isn’t that a weird combo? Wonder what happened to all these guys.

    Oh, and Capellan actually gave up only 7 runs – in 1 inning.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN200409160.shtml

  11. Tennessee lost to the Charlotte 49’ers tonight. That’s not a premise to a joke or anything, just passing along information. Hilarious, wonderful, and incredible information.

  12. Now, wait a minute.

    Even for UT Basketball, this is a bit much.

    The team that beat Pitt was a damn beast. Once is an aberation, twice is a habit.

    Actually, it’s a tradition. Now, when they beat UK (and Vandy) in Knoxville it’ll drag the whole SEC down.

    Pearl, who was untouchable a week ago, now looks to be really, really fired.

  13. Jose Capellan. Ah! Forgot about him. He really couldn’t do anything else but hit 100mph on the radar gun.
    Did you know that he was signed by the Royals as a free agent? Well, of course he was.

  14. OMG. (And that’s only the second time in my life I ever typed “OMG.”) This comedic piece above made me realize for the first time that Jeffy and I have the same initials. Where did I go wrong? Where do I go to change my initials without changing my name?

  15. Thanks, Mac. Fortunately, Jeffy’s middle name is Braden, and my middle name, while not Mondesi, is unusable. (The same name as the Eight Is Enough Guy. As far as I’m concerned, one Jeffy is plenty.) So as long as I go with three initials, I’m good.

  16. Wow, my Magic just pulled off a huge trade,reacquiring small forward Hedo Turkoglu and also getting Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark in two trades with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns. The Magic dealt Rashard Lewis to Washington for Arenas, giving them a dynamic guard with more scoring punch. Orlando then executed a six-player deal with the Suns where they will get Tukoglu, Richardson and Clark in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus.

    Wow, how to see Pietrus go, and Gortat, hard to find a good back up center, however, Carter and Lewis were the most ridiculous contracts on the team. Neither player was worth what they were getting oaid.

    So verdict, does this put the Magic back in the hunt for the ECC?

  17. Mike Jacobs signed with the Rockies. It’s too bad he never played in Atlanta, he would have made a great Royal.

  18. Apparently Greinke was traded for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Jeremy Jeffress, AKA two glove guys who can’t hit and a guy who got busted for weed.

    I understand that Dayton Moore wanted guys who were major league-ready, but that can’t possibly have been the deal with the best talent on the table. (Sure, Cain and Escobar have nice tools, and both are very nice pieces, but neither is a superstar. They are basically the definition of “major league-ready,” with all the positives and negatives that conveys.)

    Of course this is entirely an unsubstantiated, unofficial rumor, so the Furcal Rule applies.

  19. At first blush, that looks like an awful deal for the Royals. There have to be a couple of actual prospects in the package. Dayton Moore was talking 5 pieces a couple of days ago (according to Jayson Stark).

  20. Well, I’ll say this about the haul the Royals got: it’s exactly what they needed. They’ve got legit, top-teir prospects at the corners and on the mound. Where they needed guys was up the middle, particularly at SS and CF. Escobar and Cain are good fits, and they’ve got upside. The Royals have a chance to be really, really good from like 2012-2016.

    I like the deal for them.

  21. Nobody is confirming that. I doubt it’s true. This would be a terrible deal for the Royals. The Brewers fans can only DREAM this would come true.

  22. Maybe Wren told Moore to include Cain in the deal so that he can be shipped to Atlanta as compensation for KC being allowed to acquire Melky??

  23. “The Brewers acquired ace righty Zack Greinke from the Royals, confirm’s ESPN’s Buster Olney. Milwaukee will reportedly send shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi to the Royals for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, and $2MM. Credit Jim Breen of Bernie’s Crew with the scoop last night, with an assist to Andrew Wagner of OnMilwaukee.com.”

    Id be a pissed off Royal fan

  24. So the Royals traded their two best players and they only got two decent prospects? I think MLB is trying to move the Royals to Portland or something.

  25. Like mraver, I think it’s a good deal for the Royals. It fits their needs well, and I think they’ll be the team to beat in that division in 2013. You have to look at the trade in context, and also understand that Greinke, despite his great 2009 season, wasn’t going to command the kind of haul everyone here seemed to assume he would. He has two years left on a deal that will pay him an affordable, though not cheap, $27 million.

  26. Is it fair to say that the National League has the best pitchers now? Maybe they’ll stop calling it “the other league”.

  27. I’d like it a whole lot more for KC if I knew they had to trade Grienke, but I’m not sure that’s the case. Certainly they’re accommodating him, but I don’t recall him DEMANDING to be traded.

  28. I like the deal a lot more with Odorizzi in there. Jeffress has big-time stuff, but considering his problems, I wouldn’t want him to be the only prospect in there. And yeah, whether or not they ever develop into impact hitters, Cain and Escobar are major upgrades over what the Royals had — in particular, Cain prevents them from handing a full-time job to Melky Cabrera, which is maybe the best thing anyone could ever do.

    It’s an interesting deal, because they didn’t just try to go for a huge blue chip-type package. But it’s not a bad deal.

    Thing is, the Royals will need to get some of their big-time hitting prospects into the lineup sooner or later, so that the future actually arrives and the rebuilding finally ends.

  29. Yep, Greinke demanded a trade.

    Also, nobody is mentioning the fact that KC also received one of the Brewers’ top pitching prospects, Jake Odorizzi. He had a nice year in A-ball and projects to be a mid-rotation guy down the line.

  30. The Royals need to stop trading for A-ball pitchers and stop playing for three years from now. That is what they have been doing for 15 years.

    They needed to get young guys they could put in the line up this year. Bigger prospects that have proven themselves in higher levels of the minors.

  31. 77 – Odorizzi was not mentioned in the original post. That certainly makes this a better deal for the Royals. Also, including Bethancourt is not necessarily a bad thing. He was due to make about $5M in 2011 and Escobar makes him superfluous.

    I still feel the Royals could have done better. They traded with a team with one of the worst farm systems in baseball. The Yankees and Jays, other mentioned suitors, have two of the best farms in baseball.

    They got guys that fit their needs, but did they get the best players available? It feels a bit like getting Marek and Kotchman for Tex because we had to have a ML 1st baseman in the deal.

  32. OK, Greinke’s off the board.

    Pretty sure the Yankees will be making a move for pitching. Whither the Empire?

  33. Derek Lowe may actually have trade value now that Greinke is off the board. Im sure the Yanks would have interest, but it may have to wait until Pettitte decides his future. Yanks may also target Matt Garza, but the Rays would ask for a ton in return. So does Wren trade Lowe to free up the salary space or wait until next year when Medlen, Teheran, and Delgado all become options to fill a void?

  34. 80
    The Alex Gonzalez trade too, although that was mid pennant race. That’s the only thing I don’t like about Wren’s General Management so far. I’m a firm believer in getting the best player available, be it in a draft or a trade. I was just talking hoops with a friends of mine, and we were discussing how the OKCT effed up by acquiring Harden in the draft because he fit their needs, when Steph Curry was clearly a better player.

  35. The Royals might have positioned themselves well for 2013, but why would a Royals fan want to go to a game in 2011? At least, when Greinke pitched, you could go to the K, have a nice time, and watch a solid major league pitcher. Man, I feel for Royals fans (both of ’em).

  36. Reason #94 on why I love Braves Journal – I just realized that there’s a archive category titled Francoeur Sucks.

  37. Lowe might bring a nice return now, or KK or for that matter. Just as long as we get salary relief and an OF. No need for a SP in return, I think Beachy or even Delgado maybe ready for that role.

  38. According to my STL connection…(he was the beat writer for the Hornets, but now is doing Colorado sports, but is a huge Cards fan due to growing up in STL), Mather hits LHP very well. If Fredi uses his players correctly, he could have a pretty solid lineup against LHP. I would love to see the Braves get a bit aggressive with David Ross and have him play some innings at first. His bat is only being used once every 5-6 games and that is truly a waste.

    Mather’s numbers in ’10 against lefties:
    vs Left .311 103abs 32hits 7 doubles 1 triple 3hr 17 rbi .398 obp .485slg .884ops

    If used correctly, it looks like Mather could be very useful.

  39. I like the move for Milwaukee too. They’re putting together a pretty decent rotation this off season.

  40. I would like to see Ross catch 5 or so more games. McCann would benefit from the rest during the long season

  41. From the Royals, who are still inexplicably sending me emails: “The group of players coming to Kansas City includes shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, right-hander Jeremy Jeffress and right-handed top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi.”

  42. @88
    Decent rotation, unfortunately they are going to war with a shortstop named Yuniesky, he’s not very good.

  43. I like the trade for both teams actually – KCR get 23M in salary relief from Greinke/Betancourt over 2 years, a cheap shortstop who can pick it, a good CF prospect, and a couple of live arms. Milwaukee lives in a division that is never out of reach, and Fielder/Weeks are in their walk years, so they are making a push now. I’d probably like it more if they had a CF replacement ready, but maybe they aren’t done yet.

    With health and any luck at all, the Royals will have a very good team in 2012 or so.

  44. Thank you, Adam. As a 27yo in AAA (and PCL at that), you have to take it with a grain of salt, but it’s much more encouraging than his ML splits.

  45. spike, my friend was referring to his years in the minors. i realize his MLB stats are not very eyecatching. he said he recalled mather consistently slugging over .500 against lhp but can’t point me to a site that does the dirty work. the only thing he could give me was what adam provided.

  46. So when are people going to start giving the Falcons props for sort of being awesome this year? Everyone still talks about them like it’s a fluke.

  47. From the Royals’ point of view, I think they can certainly get better prospects in return if they didn’t attach Betancourt to the deal. I guess Moore achieved both salary dump plus getting decent prospects in return.

    My Greinke is over. Good deal for the Brewers.

  48. Falcons aren’t a fluke. They’re a ruthlessly efficient machine right now & they’re in terrific shape to play at home in the post-season.

    Nonetheless, experience always reminds me not to get too giddy about this franchise.

    I still have scars from January 4, 1981.
    http://tinyurl.com/288j27p

  49. So, this means we have officially won the NFC South, right?

    And if we only win one more, we’ve got home field throughout the playoffs, right?

    Sorry for being dense, but I’m with Mac – I’ve watched way too much Falcons football to believe any of this.

  50. Dang, ububba – that very play (Cowboys late td) was running through my mind.

    That is second only to the Laettner shot. (The last-second LSU touchdown – aka “The Bluegrass Miracle” – is in there somewhere but it’s too embarrassing to relive.)

  51. The Falcons’ magic number is one, and they have Carolina in Atlanta to close the season. If Ryan and Turner remain upright through the Saints game, they’d be hard-pressed to lose to the Panthers no matter what happens next week.

  52. @99 I know, the Falcons are not supposed to be this good. I am worried about the Eagles and…yes, Mike Vick.

  53. The 4th quarter of that Giants/Eagles game today was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. Vick was out of his mind. Even before the punt return, he practically won that game by himself.

    justhank,
    I was at that game.

    Drove up from Columbus the week before & camped out for tickets. Drove back for the game—got a speeding ticket on I-85 in Troup County on the way. (Lucky they didn’t put me in jail, actually.) Then, my pals & I froze our asses off at the game. We didn’t mind… until the end.

    The 100-mile drive back seemed like forever. About every 20 miles, somebody would just mutter, “Man, that sucked” or “Just how did that happen?”

    That football season was a thrill ride for Georgia folks. Not only were the Falcons winning game after game, but UGA went undefeated (#34 was a freshman that memorable year). It seemed like both teams would go all the way. The Falcons, unfortunately, didn’t cooperate.

    Fingers crossed this time.

  54. the simpsons’ episode where lisa coaches bart’s baseball team using sabermetrics is on right now.

  55. Great episode. I believe it is called “Money Bart.” By the way, in the scene where Frink and his nerdy friends are discussing Cliff Lee and Greinke is already dated.

  56. Well, the situation is obscured by the Panthers’ win today, but I read that piece and he thinks Fairley or Luck, depending upon what they really think of Claussen. I think they’ll take Luck. And I’m still thinking Cam = Bengal.

  57. I dont like taking QB’s early in the draft. If you can build a great OL or DL then everything else can fall in place. Luck cant win games for them if he doesnt have time in the pocket.

  58. A thought occurred to me just now…

    Would it be ruthlessly efficient, or painfully stupid if Sandy Alderson sent Johan Santana to the Yankees, if he could get them to take a bad contract, too?

    The Mets do have some money coming off the books after this season, so they aren’t desperate for salary relief, and with Wright and Reyes, they have some good players to build around.

    But at the same time, they aren’t going anywhere for a year or two, and getting a few prospects helps. Plus, I think the more money they can give the new smart baseball people, and the sooner, the better off they’d be.

    Just an interesting what-if, I guess.

  59. I don’t think Santana would pass a physical. I could see the Yankees picking up Bay anyway, and he’s the only really bad contract they have left. Perez and K-Rud come off the books after 2011.

  60. Santana makes a ton until 2013, with a 2014 option. A lot of people are concerned about his lack of velocity . I think he’s probably one of the least tradeable players in baseball right now. He’s a $12-14m player making double that. Id be calling them if I was the Mets. I honestly dont think they could get more than some salary relief for Johan.

    His remaining contract

    11:$22.5M, 12:$24M, 13:$25.5M, 14:$25M club option ($5.5M buyout)

  61. @116,

    If you have the number one pick, you have to take the best player or trade down.

    I think the Colts would disagree with you. However, I agree, for the most part.

  62. 2008-2010
    Johan Santana: 600IP Era+ 142
    Cliff Lee: 667IP Era+ 142
    C.C.: 720IP Era+ 142
    ZackG: 651IP Era+ 133
    TimL: 664IP Era+151

    I don’t think he’s a 12-14m player.

  63. I dont see how you can compare Fairley to Luck though, its whoever can make an immediate impact I guess. Some people hated the Mario Williams pick and some loved JaMarcus Russell and Alex Smith. Yes, the Colts would disagree with me.

  64. Johan Santana

    Fangraphs
    2009 – 2.7WAR = $12 mil
    2010 – 3.5WAR = $14.2
    2011 projection – 2.7WAR = $12

    Baseball Reference
    2009 – 3.6WAR = $14
    2010 – 4.4WAR = $18

    He may not be as low as $12, but he’s not a $20+ pitcher anymore. He’s a very good pitcher, but his K numbers have dropped significantly.

  65. Santana’s probably not going to pitch until June/July next year.

    #127
    Helluva column & he nailed it. I’ve never seen a game like that one either.

  66. The Falcons just find a way to win. I do have the feeling that the Eagles and Saints are better. As are the Pats and Steelers.

    I thought the Falcons wrapped up their division today. Is that right? No one is saying it. I do know that one more win equals home field throughout the playoffs.

  67. No, if the Saints win next week and the last, and the Falcons also lose to the Panthers, the Saints would win the division. It’s unlikely, but not impossible.

  68. It’s increasingly hard for me to imagine a scenario in which the Eagles lose again before the Super Bowl. Then again, they’ve fooled me before and Andy Reid is prominently involved.

  69. If you watched the first 52 minutes of today’s game, it’s very easy to imagine the Eagles losing. They were sloppy with turnovers, their secondary was horrible & Vick took a bit of a beating.

    That’s why the end result was so astonishing.

  70. Cy Young award winning pitchers are the new market inefficiency, within the trade market anyway, particularly ones with two years remaining on their contract at below market price.

  71. I sure hope all these pitching prospects are going to be good. The more I think about it, I’m quite confident that if Wren could have found a taker for Lowe’s salary, he would have gotten a deal done for Greinke. It makes sense that the Braves were linked to Cain, they were probably trying to get him from the Brewers to spin him to the Royals. Dayton Moore probably told Wren he had to get a CF back and probably didn’t want Schafer. When looking at the package the Brewers gave up, there’s no way a prospect like Delgado, Minor or Vizcaino + Schafer and a random arm that Dayton liked wouldn’t have been enough to get a deal done. We can debate whether or not it would have been worth it to make the trade from a Braves point of view (if the money was freed up by trading Lowe), but I’m pretty sure that would have been enough to get the deal done.

    I hope we don’t look back two years from now if the Phillies win the next two division titles and the wild card comes from the NL Central, and wish we would have traded Vizcaino, JJ Hoover, random arm that Dayton likes and Jordan Schafer for two years of Zack Greinke. It looks like he was certainly there for the taking.

  72. Shameless plug coming…

    One of my best buds, Chad Gibbs, author of “God and Football” was on ESPN the other day discussing Cam Newton from an Auburn fan perspective. Pretty cool. Also, his book would make a good Christmas present. He writes for Zondervan and the book is a great read. Here’s the link to the espn and you can buy his book off of Amazon or anywhere else books are sold.

    http://www.chadgibbs.com/2010/12/13/the-worldwide-leader-and-me/#more-1484

  73. “If you watched the first 52 minutes of today’s game, it’s very easy to imagine the Eagles losing. They were sloppy with turnovers, their secondary was horrible & Vick took a bit of a beating.”

    And that’s the point: if they could be so bad for so long, and yet still win against a good team on the road, how can you knock them out? That’s to say nothing of Atlanta’s recent inability to beat them.

  74. Here’s what I am missing on the Falcons and the division title:

    Last week everyone was saying that the Falcons only needed to win two out of three to win home field advantage. That is, they could still lose to a Saints team that swept its last three games and win the division via tie-breakers. The Saints would have to outperform us by two games. The Saints have now spotted us a game by losing to the Ravens, meaning it is impossible for them to outperform us by two games over the last three. So, has a tie-breaker shifted somewhere? Or do we still need to win a game to break the hypothetical tie?

    I suppose it’s the latter, but I cannot put together the details.

  75. Nevermind. I get this now.

    The Saints are still only a game behind in division and conference records, so they could still pass us in those tie-breakers in the last two games.

    They spotted us a game, but it was the one they could afford to lose.

  76. #138
    The Eagles got smacked around & the ending was just freaky. Too many things, like colossal Giants mistakes, had to happen exactly as they did. Those last 8 minutes won’t happen again in any NFL game, probably for another generation.

  77. I’m having an increasingly hard time understanding why people continue to think the Falcons are actually the third-or-fourth-best team in the NFC. Not only have they won eight straight, but they’ve only been in real danger of losing once or twice in the last month-and-a-half. They are as solid as it gets. I’m getting a little sick of this “they just find a way to win” BS. It’s condescending and lame. There are a bunch of people implying yesterday’s 16-point win at Seattle, in which they led by 24 at one point, was largely based on lucky breaks and bad calls. The freaking AP write-up read like it was written by a snarky pessimistic columnist. It’s getting kind of absurd. Did they win some games earlier this year with some lucky breaks? Sure. But we’ve come to a point now where the Eagles pulling a victory from as far out of their backside as it is possible to pull one yesterday was all created by the Eagles’ greatness, with no luck involved, and the Falcons’ dominating 16-point road win was largely luck, because that’s the ready-made storyline that was started early in the season, and Lord knows we can’t change that up at any point.

  78. The ’98 Falcons were luckier in two respects. They played a weaker schedule. Also (and I have to think this is somehow historic), of the 51 fumbles over the course of the season, the Birds recovered 39 of them.

    At the same time, as good as Ryan has been, Chandler had a better year. His yards-per-attempt that year was the highest in “modern” NFL history at the time, and still has been bested only by Warner in ’00. Betcha didn’t know that!

  79. I was just listening to NY Sports Talk radio (WFAN) and they were talking about how underrated the Falcons are. They said basically that if they win homefield, which they probably will, they’re going to be a major favorite for the Super Bowl. Believe it or not guys, NY Sports radio is buying into an Atlanta team.

  80. What makes this Falcons team less than inspiring (for the scribes who don’t watch every game) is that these Birds are so methodical.

    They don’t have the same big-play capabilities as the Eagles. They don’t have the big-mouth coach like the Jets. The don’t have the pedigree or star power of the Pats. Aside from the oft-told story of their post-Vick rebuilding—very 2008—they don’t make for good copy.

    They just pound you and convert 3rd down after 3rd down. Before you know it, they’re in the Red Zone, knocking on the door.

    Of course, if the Eagles visit the Dome for the NFC title, it’ll be a game that transcends football. It’ll be a bit of a morality play.

  81. Bill James sums up the Royals: “The difference between being a Royals fan and having a brother who is a drug addict is that, as long as you don’t actually go to the games, it’s cheaper; otherwise I suspect it’s much the same experience… The funny thing is that there is a great fan base here; there are still millions of people in this area who are passionate about baseball. They’re very bitter, now; they’ve worked past the blaming the Yankees, blaming the money part of it, and have begun to understand that the core problem isn’t money, it’s stupidity. You can have all the money in the world, but if you think Jeff Francoeur is a good player, you’re still going to lose.”

  82. #103 +#149–The scar still stung 15 years later: not long after Leyrtiz’s his HR, I began to think that the 1996 World Series would end a bit like the Falcon’s-Cowboys playoff game did in 1981.

    Vick playing against the Falcons to get into the Super Bowl almost has that feeling of inevitability to it–if so, I just hope we play a lot better than we did the first time we played the Eagles….

  83. Dayton Moore may be terrible at evaluating ML talent, but he’s built a hell of a farm system down there. If Cain and Escobar can just hit for league avereage in the bigs, they are going to have a solid offense by 2012.

    1B/DH Butler
    2B Callaspo
    3B Moustakas
    1B/DH Hosmer
    RF ?
    C Myers
    LF Gordon
    CF Cain
    SS Escobar

    They have a couple of A-/B+ high level pitchers too, plus what they got back for Dejesus and Greinke.

  84. #102–Frenchy has really outdone himself and as Bill James (whom Mac quotes above) points out–Royals fans know their baseball. How long does he last in KC?

  85. I can’t believe the auidence gave Jeffy a 5 minute standing ovation.
    That’s longer than any single at bat he’s ever had.

  86. Don’t forget, the Royals have very passionate fans who not only liked, but praised the Jeffy and Melky signings. No pity for them!

  87. Brian Cashman just announced he probably isn’t going to go out and get the Yankees another starter: “Could I go out and get a starter? Yes, I could. But there’s just not much out there. I have March, April, May, June and July, really, to come up with someone.”

    I hope someone puts some subliminal Lil Jon on his iPod so he realizes he just needs to get Lowe

  88. Well, Bobby played his fat ass over Diaz. It was cosmically fitting that Bobby’s last out was made by Melky.

  89. What is it with SEC basketball teams? Gators thump Kansas State and lose to Jacksonville!?

    I still think UT, Vandy, UK, UGA, UF and (maybe) Arkansas are good enough to make the NCAAs – but we’re not doing ourselves any favors.

  90. Ugh, Nats signed Rick Ankiel for 1/1.5 with incentives. I had hoped I wouldn’t have to see him play again.

  91. Just saw Steve Phillips at a Dicks sporting good in Danbury Connecticut.

    (INSERT JOKES BELOW)

  92. I would have liked to have had Ankiel back for that kind of money. Anyway, he’ll be somewhere else by August.

  93. I just watch the replay of Eagles-Giants game. How on earth can you freaking defend against Vick?

    @152 Stephen, how funny that when Vick was playing for the Falcons, he could never beat the Eagles. Now, he is playing for them and will stand to play against the Falcons.

  94. It’s annoying when guys who should be in the Hall don’t make it, year after year — but it’s way annoyinger when guys who should be in the Hall of Fame fall off the ballot, like Lou Whitaker. If Foxx had fallen off the frigging ballot in 1947, I hope I would have the decency to invent a time machine, go back to 1947, and write a really bitter letter to the editor.

  95. Double X is my favorite ballplayer from that era. In all fairness, that ballot is stuffed w/HoFers, and clearly they were working through backlog of qualified inductees, but still…Jimmie Foxx only got 6.7% of the vote.

  96. does anyone else get the feeling sdp posts with his iphone and hits the wrong app sometimes? that’s the only thing that can explain the above question.

  97. #180–Actually, given this thread–thats JF’s question….I just hope there is no connection with #169….

  98. I didn’t stay up for the eclipse, but I did get up… made hot cocoa and then woke up my 13yo and 7yo boys, and my wife (we let the 5yo sleep) and we all stood/sat on the back deck for an hour or so and watched it go dark/red before the clouds totally blocked it off (if it hadn’t been so cloudy we’d have brought out the telescope) and we all went back to bed… which was a DUMB idea for me as I had a hell of a time waking back up for work and am now a bit zonked for the day. BUT, it was pretty cool to watch it with the family.

  99. On a completely different matter, I finished “The Dead Hand” in which AAR got cited in the acknowledgements. Congratulations, AAR, for being involved in such a great book. I lived through the events described but it was a lot more chilling reading it because there were many things we did not know about, such as the almost accidental nuclear war and the Soviet biological program. I mean, some of these things were even worse than Bob Horner’s injury. Great book!

    And, Ububba, you mentioned a while ago finishing the Mantle biography. I ended up feeling sorry for Mantle and his family but it was also amazing how he got away with things that would be all over the headlines today.

  100. The reason I do not think the Falcons are the best team on the NFC is probably because I watch them every week. I have seen all the breaks that have built our wins. I know the streak of no turnovers.

    I do realize that some of the same things have happened recently to give the Saints wins over the Cowboys and Bengals. And the Saints seem to have played a weaker schedule. So, maybe we are better.

    But that Philly game does not inspire confidence. They beat us without Mike Vick.

  101. Our cornerback play has improved since the first Philly game. Grimes is out of his mind right now — he’s the only NFL corner to have six passes defensed in a game this season, and has another game with five (which only three others have done this season), all in the last three weeks. If he’s not an All-Pro, then I don’t understand what I’m looking at.

  102. #191
    Those plays Grimes made in the Tampa game were amazing.

    #189
    Marc,
    I hear you about Mantle. The story arc kind of reminded me of that ’80s WW2 submarine flick, “Das Boot”—rough waters, shining glory, depths of misery—and then remption… immediately squelched.

    In bio-ville, I’ve gone from Mickey Mantle to Keith Richards. I think I see a pattern here.

  103. #194
    Well, Mantle wasn’t very rock-n-roll. He liked sappy country music.

    And believe it or not, Keith Richards was a Boy Scout.

  104. I was projecting 27 for JH and 18 for FF-just wanted to get some other thoughts. If anything, I thought I was being too optimistic.

  105. I’ll be the first to take a Michael Wilbon-ish PUSH on the 45 combined HRs for the Heyward/freeman pair.

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