Huston Street's available?

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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:10 pm

01/14/2008 10:00 AM ET
Mailbag: Is Jeter a Hall of Famer?

I was wondering if Derek Jeter's numbers would be Hall of Fame worthy if his career were to end today. He's not a power hitter, doesn't steal a ton of bases and he's had only one season with more than 100 RBIs. I know he's a great leader and great hitter for average, but does he have enough to make the Hall of Fame?
-- Elizabeth C., Scarsdale, N.Y.

The knee-jerk reaction is to say, "of course," but let's look at it. Even though it's easy to project Jeter eventually reaching the 3,000-hit plateau, he would still appear to have a near-sure shot at Cooperstown five years down the road if he retired today. If he does reach 3,000 hits, Jeter would be the fourth shortstop to accomplish the feat, joining Honus Wagner, Robin Yount and Cal Ripken Jr. -- Hall members all, even though Yount left shortstop after the 1984 season.

Realistically, it's just so difficult to imagine voters snubbing Jeter when his day comes, the same way it would five years after Mariano Rivera retires. The official rules of the Hall of Fame stipulate that "voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

OK, so let's look at that. Jeter's reputation as a leader, clutch performer and contributions for the Yankees' 1996-2000 World Series dynasty would readily outweigh any arguments some make now about his defensive abilities. Jeter's skills are backed up by eight All-Star selections and two Silver Slugger Awards, among other categories. He has clearly been among the upper echelon of players in his era.

Using a quick glance at tools found online, the sabermetrician Bill James has a few formulas to determine the quality of players' careers and likelihood of Hall of Fame induction. To date, Jeter measures in the class of average Hall of Famers, scoring a 50.9 (the average Hall of Famer is a 50; Babe Ruth is a 100) and is far and away considered a lock for induction, scoring a 221.5 (a likely Hall of Famer is more than 100).

Without belaboring the point, Jeter should do just fine when Cooperstown calls. With a career .317 batting average and 162-game averages of 208 hits, 122 runs scored, 17 home runs and 82 RBIs, Jeter has done fine for his role and shouldn't have much to worry about if he decided never to play another game. Luckily for the Yankees, that isn't the case.

If Joba Chamberlain struggles as a starter, would there be any possibility of the Yankees putting him back in the bullpen midseason?
-- Jesse C., Belleville, N.J.

It seems that way. The Yankees are going to proceed cautiously not only with Chamberlain but also with Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and the "next wave" as well, swearing that they have pre-set innings limits to watch closely. The Yankees will prepare Chamberlain as a starter during Spring Training, and odds are that he'll at least open the year in the rotation.

From there, it's anyone's guess. The fact that Chamberlain was so dominant last season until the midges attacked in Cleveland bodes well for his credibility as an insurance policy. You'd better believe that Chamberlain's 0.38 ERA as a big league reliever is going to serve as some pretty persuasive talk-radio ammunition should Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins have any trouble holding up the bridge to the ninth inning.

I don't understand why the Yankees let Andy Phillips go. He played perfect defense for the team last year, and aside from his home run total, he beat or matched almost every offensive stat from his 2006 season in roughly half the number of games played.
-- Mike B., Southwick, Mass.

It's easy to root for a guy like Phillips, a legitimately good guy who has had to endure so much heartache. Phillips declined an option to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this offseason and elected free agency when given the chance, and he has found a new home with the Reds, with whom he may have a better shot at making the Opening Day roster.

Have a question about the Yankees?
Bryan HochE-mail your query to Yankees beat reporter Bryan Hoch for possible inclusion in a future mailbag column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
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With Jason Giambi, Shelley Duncan and Wilson Betemit all under contract, there just seemed to be too many cooks in the kitchen at first base -- actually, some would say there still are. Phillips did the Yankees a favor by going to Triple-A last year and, after working into their starting first baseman for a stretch, likely would have seen playing time in the playoffs if he hadn't been injured. Yet even Phillips would agree that a fresh start might be just what his career needs.

I am glad that the Yanks are leaning away from trading for Johan Santana. Do you see the Yanks going for Bartolo Colon or Livan Hernandez and putting Mike Mussina in a relief role because of his struggles last season?
-- Anthony B., Nutley, N.J.

Never say never on Santana, but for the moment, all seems to be quiet. As far as picking up Colon or Hernandez, the Yankees' mind-set seems to be more toward beginning to lean on the young guys. Senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner insists the Yankees will have the best pitching in baseball within two or three years, and if that's going to happen, it might as well begin taking form now.

One Spring Training battle to watch is Mussina vs. Kennedy. There were so many days last March that Mussina said he was frustrated by inconsistency and felt rushed on the mound -- complaints he also made later in the year. Manager Joe Girardi does envision Mussina in the rotation, but if Mussina struggles in Grapefruit League action and Kennedy is showing promise, that could make the decision tougher.

Apparently the Yankees are beginning to finally drop out of the chase for Santana. Was the issue for the Yanks including another prospect or two? I think that you have to acquire Santana now, especially with the Twins' talks with the Mets heating up.
-- Zach G., New York, N.Y.

All along, the concern has been the price for Santana, both in terms of players and the large contract extension he'd be due. I disagree with you on the Mets. The days when the Yankees would ante up the bidding to keep the Mets off the back pages seem to have passed. If Santana goes to the National League East, the Yankees would only have to worry about him once or twice a year. Don't you think the Red Sox and Yankees could both find a few reasons to smile if Santana wound up in Queens?

What plans do the Yankees have in the near future for Brett Gardner? He had a great season in the Arizona Fall League.
-- Jeff S.

Gardner projects to see Major League duty someday in at least a reserve role, possibly as soon as this season. The Yankees' outfield picture is the same as last season, but Gardner could be a fourth outfielder eventually. He's got speed, can hit for some contact and can flag balls down. Put it this way -- Kevin Thompson logged 23 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2007. Gardner could fill a similar role


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:13 pm

ESPN is reporting that the Yankees have again pulled their offer for Johan Santana off the table.
The Yankees will not restart trade talks with the Twins unless Hank Steinbrenner has another change of heart, a baseball official with knowledge of the talks told 1050 ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand. The Yankees' offer for Santana was believed to include Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and one or two prospects.
Related: Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:25 pm

Packers, Giants Have Plenty In Common
Vince Lombardi Assistant Coach For Giants

The Packers and Giants have quite a bit in common -- both past and present.

Vince Lombardi was an assistant coach in New York before becoming Green Bay's head coach

The Giants traded Ryan Grant to the Packers in September, and five of the first eight post-season games for the Packers were against the Giants.

In 1939, the NFL championship game was held at State Fair Park in West Allis, and the Packers shut out the Giants 27-0, gaining revenge for a loss to the Giants in New York the previous year in the championship game.

Green Bay has won four of the five playoff meetings between these two teams.

Lombardi's Packers crushed the Giants 37-0 in the 1961 NFL championship game. They also beat the Giants in New York the following year.

This season, the Packers stomped on the Giants on Sept. 16 in New York, 35-13. Brett Favre also set the career mark for wins by a starter that day.

Distributed by Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:28 pm

question for all - If the Red Sox are so great than aand the Yankees so bad that they may finish 3rd than why did the Sox only win the division by 2 games?

2nd question - Who had the best record after the all star break? I seem to remember that be these poor pitiful Yankees.

every year we hear how the Sox and Blue Jays are better and we be lucky to make the playoffs yet when was the last time these teams di not make the playoffs?

Blue Jays - last year

Red Sox - 2 years ago

Yankees - 1994


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:29 pm

I donít see how the Yankees can top Hughes.

They arenít trading Joba or any of their high class really paid players. They may trade Matsui but is there really any incentive for the Twins to take it?

Lester, Lowrie, Crisp & Masterson


Gomez, Guerra, Mulvey & Humber.

Close one.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:35 pm

Comments by Al Harris that He's confident that his Green Bay Packers will win at home against NY Giants

On defense, the Giants are fast up front and beat up in the secondary. They'll need a fast track to get to Favre on Sunday. I checked the long-range forecast on, and the temperature at kickoff at Green Bay will probably be in the single digits. "Nice," Packers cornerback Al Harris said from Green Bay after he finished watching the Dallas-New York game.

Nice? Harris is from South Florida.

"I know, but I converted," he said. "We're going to love being at home. It's big. We don't have to travel. We can play on grass and our fans will be crazy. But the Giants are a really good team. Playing at home will really help us."

Here we go again -The Giants are underdogs and pick the GreenBay Packers to win

"Other than the Giants are on a roll, Green Bay should win the game handily," the executive said. "Unless Green Bay just turns it over and does some stupid (expletive), I would say Green Bay looks pretty good right there. I would say I'd be shocked if Green Bay doesn't win. It could be a blowout."

It will be tough for a team to go into Green Bay and beat them," said Jim Colletto, who last week was promoted to offensive coordinator in Detroit. "The fans and Lambeau and the weather and the environment will all be a factor, but you can't predict how games go. It's going to be a good game because one of the strengths of the Giants is they have great pass rushers."

"Green Bay needs to spread them and out-throw it," one personnel man said. "With the secondary the way it is, it's highly unlikely they can win."

One of the scouts said he distinctly recalled that Manning's productivity has diminished in bad weather


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:54 pm

ve to travel. We can play on grass and our fans will be crazy. But the Giants are a really good team. Playing at home will really help us."

Here we go again -The Giants are underdogs and everyone are picking the GreenBay Packers to win

"Other than the Giants are on a roll, Green Bay should win the game handily," the executive said. "Unless Green Bay just turns it over and does some stupid (expletive), I would say Green Bay looks pretty good right there. I would say I'd be shocked if Green Bay doesn't win. It could be a blowout."

It will be tough for a team to go into Green Bay and beat them," said Jim Colletto, who last week was promoted to offensive coordinator in Detroit. "The fans and Lambeau and the weather and the environment will all be a factor, but you can't predict how games go. It's going to be a good game because one of the strengths of the Giants is they have great pass rushers."

"Green Bay needs to spread them and out-throw it," one personnel man said. "With the secondary the way it is, it's highly unlikely they can win."

One of the scouts said he distinctly recalled that Manning's productivity has diminished in bad weather

As a Giants Fan, I hope they beat the Packers....



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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:56 pm

Catching a new challenge
Packers will have to slow Giants' charge
Posted: Jan. 14, 2008

Green Bay - Ken Whisenhunt remembers vividly what it was like in 2005 when he was serving as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the team won three straight road playoff games and then Super Bowl XL over the Seattle Seahawks.

"Sometimes, when you get into those modes where you're playing on the road, much like we did with the Steelers in '05, you get a mentality," Whisenhunt said Sunday night. "And that helps you be successful."

Whisenhunt, who just completed an 8-8 debut season as coach of the Arizona Cardinals, sees a parallel between the New York Giants squad that will meet the Green Bay Packers Sunday in the NFC Championship Game and the Steelers of coach Bill Cowher that won it all.

"That looks to me what the Giants are doing right now," Whisenhunt said. "It doesn't matter who's playing and what's going on, doesn't matter what the conditions are, they have confidence in what they're doing.

"There's one or two teams each year that finish strong like that. Maybe that's what's working for the Giants right now."

The Packers (14-3) have been established as 7-point favorites over the Giants (12-6), but a personnel director for another NFC team doesn't think the spread is big enough.

"Other than the Giants are on a roll, Green Bay should win the game handily," the executive said. "Unless Green Bay just turns it over and does some stupid (expletive), I would say Green Bay looks pretty good right there. I would say I'd be shocked if Green Bay doesn't win. It could be a blowout."

Since the present playoff format went into effect in 1990, the top-seeded team in the NFC had been 17-0 in the divisional round. The Giants snapped that streak Sunday with their 21-17 upset victory over the Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

"How many people were thinking the Giants were going to beat Dallas today?" Carolina coach John Fox said. "I'm sure Green Bay will be favored, but when you get into this tournament, anybody has a shot. The Giants have good players and are well-coached. The whole playoff thing is about who's playing best."

In 2000, Fox was defensive coordinator for the Giants when they went 12-4 and reached the Super Bowl. He said the current Giants were comparable to that team.

Nevertheless, the odds are stacked heavily against wild-card teams that are forced to win three games on the road. The Giants are just the second wild-card entrant in the NFC since 1990 to reach the title game. The other was Fox's Panthers in 2005, who beat the Giants and Bears on the road before being eliminated in Seattle, 34-14.

"The Giants have won nine straight road games," said Bobby DePaul, director of pro personnel for the Chicago Bears. "This team is resilient."

Under the current format, three AFC wild-card teams since 1990 have advanced to the championship game. The Steelers of 2005 were the only team to win.

Since wild-card teams first were added in 1970, only four have reached the Super Bowl: Dallas in 1975, Oakland in 1980, New England in 1985 and Pittsburgh in 2005.

"It will be tough for a team to go into Green Bay and beat them," said Jim Colletto, who last week was promoted to offensive coordinator in Detroit. "The fans and Lambeau and the weather and the environment will all be a factor, but you can't predict how games go. It's going to be a good game because one of the strengths of the Giants is they have great pass rushers."

The Giants, according to Colletto, "overran" the Cowboys' offensive line Sunday, and that unit "is one of the better lines in the league," Whisenhunt said.

Defensive ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, the Giants' only Pro Bowl selection, crash from outside. Backup end Justin Tuck applies pressure from inside on passing downs and defensive tackle Fred Robbins also is a capable bull rusher.

"That's what they do," one scout said. "They rush the passer. Now they've started blitzing more. The coordinator (Steve Spagnuolo) came from Philly and does a good job changing it up. It seemed today like he felt he had to blitz because of their secondary but they were getting pressure with four as well."

Chad Clifton will oppose Umenyiora. Mark Tauscher will get a rematch against Strahan, a probable Hall of Fame player who was held without a pressure by Tauscher in the Packers' 35-13 victory at Giants Stadium in Week 2.

"I think Clifton is probably as good as you get," St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "The right tackle (Tauscher), they'll have to help him out a little bit because of the guy over there. Inside is the issue."

The Giants need a stiff pass rush because their secondary lacks speed and might not have starting cornerback Aaron Ross, who has a shoulder injury.

"Green Bay needs to spread them and out-throw it," one personnel man said. "With the secondary the way it is, it's highly unlikely they can win."

The matchup at quarterback between Brett Favre and Eli Manning could be a mismatch, although Manning has reduced his mistakes in the last month.

"You have to handle the running game, No. 1, and put pressure on the quarterback," Haslett said. "It probably will all fall on the quarterback, how he plays. The last three or four weeks he has been efficient. Now he's going to have to do it big time this week."

One of the scouts said he distinctly recalled that Manning's productivity has diminished in bad weather.

As for Favre, Haslett called him the best ever to play the position. When Spagnuolo ended up blitzing on 28.2% of passes in Week 2, Favre shouldered the responsibility for the extra man and completed passes before the rush could reach him. His passer rating was 112.4.

"He's a Hall of Fame quarterback that's in a zone right now," DePaul said. "There's no telling what he's capable of doing right now. He is riding into the sunset, as they say."

Also working against the Giants is the fact they've played two games in eight days, including an emotional battle against an archrival from the NFC East, and will have one fewer day of rest than the Packers this week.

"The one thing you don't know is how much of a toll it took on them physically today," Whisenhunt said.

No matter which team advances Sunday out of Green Bay, Fox is picking unbeaten New England to win the AFC and the Super Bowl in Phoenix.

"New England is just so darn good on offense," he said. "They've got a third-down back, a tight end, an 'A' wide receiver and their slot receiver creates nightmares for people. And their quarterback's pretty good. So's Green Bay's.

"But you really don't know, and all we do is look at tape. We do this every day. It's kind of amusing sometimes.

"The NFC Championship Game should be a heck of a game. They all are. There's so much at stake. That's what makes it so exciting."


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:59 pm

Players shouldn't sit alone on congressional hot seat

By Howard Bryant

Updated: January 14, 2008, 2:34 PM ET

Despite the high entertainment value of the bizarre catfight between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, the announcement that their appearance before Congress had been postponed until next month was the best possible news for anyone interested in steak over sizzle.

Only the Powers That Be -- commissioner Bud Selig, MLB Players Association head Donald Fehr and former Senator George Mitchell -- will testify at the House Committee on Government Reform hearings Tuesday, and for the first time since the Mitchell report's release real questions can be asked of the only people who actually have the answers.

The question is whether committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and ranking minority Republican Tom Davis -- their roles were reversed during the last go-round -- really want answers or just an opportunity to flash the secret Capitol Hill handshake to Mitchell, who for so long was one of them.

At present, the entire discussion of the Mitchell report has been painfully similar to the dialogue that preceded it: Get the players. Mitchell said it was never his intention to focus only on the players, but that is precisely what has happened. Because management, ownership and Mitchell himself have gone largely silent and unchallenged, the end result has nevertheless been the same.

Will San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan ever face the kind of scrutiny some Major League Baseball players have faced so far?
Waxman and Davis have never had a better opportunity to refocus the discussion. If they don't take advantage of it, their credibility could dip to the same level as Selig's or Mark McGwire's: all talk and no action.

Ostensibly, the goal of congressional involvement beginning with the March 2005 hearings had been to make the connections that gave birth to the steroids era -- connections that men like Selig and Fehr said did not exist. But despite the fact that the most revealing and thorough sections of the 409-page Mitchell report revolve around the culpability of management, this latest interpretative dance of the report has circled around only Clemens and the players.

The goals of the report, and the interest of Congress, were to find out which players were using performance-enhancing drugs, how the pipeline for steroids into major league clubhouses was created, and how steroid and growth hormone use was allowed to continue.

The proof of an organized, tacitly acknowledged drug culture exists in the Mitchell report, officially stamped by Selig. But curiously, no one has asked for an official, under-oath explanation from upper management. In some cases, personal trainers served as conduits, while general managers and owners allowed the pipeline to exist, circumventing their own rules by making personal trainers team employees over the objections of their own medical staffs.

Waxman, a critic of Selig who famously suggested three years ago that it might be time for Selig to resign, must now ask Selig how the San Francisco Giants, especially general manager Brian Sabean and owner Peter Magowan, have been allowed to skate despite their revealing and devastating appearance over pages 121 through 135 of the report. That free pass extends to Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein; his top scout, Ben Cherington; the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office; and a host of scouts for various major league teams whose culpability was exposed by Mitchell with apparently no cost to them or their teams.

Henry Waxman

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., will chair Tuesday's hearing, which includes Don Fehr and George Mitchell in addition to Selig.
Waxman and Davis need to ask the commissioner why, as Clemens and scores of players fight for their reputations, he has chosen to avoid disciplining -- or barely acknowledging -- the management side of the ledger.

The public has demanded accountability from Barry Bonds, yet the sport has seen no greater cowardice than Sabean's and Magowan's actions detailed in the Mitchell report. It describes how Giants trainer Stan Conte told Sabean that Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, approached players about selling them anabolic steroids, and Sabean did nothing about it. In an apparent attempt to deflect blame for his decision to put Anderson on the Giants' payroll, Magowan stated in the Mitchell report that he asked Sabean if his team "had a problem" with Anderson, meaning if Sabean knew that Anderson was dispensing steroids. It is a conversation, according to the report, that Sabean "strongly denied" ever took place. It is a game of passing the buck that requires answers.

As much as any team in baseball, the Giants, who were once on the verge of leaving town, profited from performance-enhancing drugs, but have been held the least accountable.

"Our organization has diligently and fully cooperated with Senator Mitchell throughout his inquiry," Peter Magowan said the day after the report was released. "We believe that Senator Mitchell's thoughtful and comprehensive report will serve as a meaningful tool in the fight against the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The report clearly demonstrates the pervasiveness of the problem. The Giants accept our fair share of responsibility."

Magowan has taken no responsibility. He hasn't answered the question of how and why he allowed his portion of the drug chain -- granting access -- to exist. Yet the light continues to shine on the players.

Clemens' war with McNamee landed them both before Congress, but New York Yankees executives have not been asked to testify about their decision to succumb to Clemens' wishes and put McNamee on their payroll, giving McNamee, like Anderson, team-sanctioned access to build a client list from inside their clubhouse.

The result is a certain predictability about the coverage of the steroids era and the game's strategy for dealing with its fallout. We're also left with a nagging pessimism that Congress has far less interest in confronting the critical elements of the report than with punishing Clemens for having the nerve to question it -- and Mitchell, a former member of the Capitol Hill club -- publicly.

In a sense, it is the most American of reflexes: focus on the individuals while leaving a corrupt culture intact.

[+] Enlarge
Theo Epstein

Tom Szczerbowski/US Presswire

Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and other front-office executives should be questioned about what they knew, too.
Following the Pete Rose betting scandal, baseball removed pay phones from clubhouses to discourage the placing of bets. After the cocaine convictions of the 1980s, the game posted signs on the door of every clubhouse prohibiting entrance to anyone not affiliated with the team, the league or the media.

But in the late 1990s, to create perks for star players, teams such as the Giants and Yankees allowed star players to give clubhouse access to their entourages. Bonds cronies Greg Anderson and Harvey Shields became team employees. McNamee joined the Yankees, and according to the report was paid by the Yankees and Clemens personally.

By doing so, front-office executives of teams provided a ready-made client list for steroid dealers like Anderson and subdistributors -- McNamee served as a conduit for the indicted Kirk Radomski -- like McNamee.

While Clemens has watched his reputation crumble, the Yankees' front office must take some responsibility for exposing players to steroid distributors and compromising the positions of the team's own trainers. According to page 170 of the report, "In 2000, the Yankees hired McNamee as the assistant strength and conditioning coach under Jeff Mangold. According to McNamee, the Yankees hired him because Clemens persuaded them to do so. In this capacity, McNamee worked with all of the Yankee players."

But at the bottom of the page, footnote No. 388 states that "in his own interview, Mangold was reluctant to discuss McNamee in any respect."

Epstein and scouts from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Florida Marlins should explain their discussions regarding the steroid use of players they sought to acquire, such as Paul Lo Duca and Eric Gagne.

In the case of the Giants, Sabean would not back even their own trainer, Stan Conte, in standing up to Bonds, even if it meant allowing a steroid dealer access to his players.

Page 122 of the report states:

"During spring training, Conte met with Giants general manager Brian Sabean to express his concerns about the presence of Anderson and [another member of the Bonds entourage Harvey] Shields in the clubhouse, weight room and other restricted areas. Conte felt strongly that personal trainers should not have such access, particularly where, as here, he viewed the trainers to be unqualified.

"Sabean told Conte that if Conte objected to Anderson and Shields' being in the clubhouse, Conte should order them out himself. Conte said he would do this if Sabean would support him when Bonds complained, which Conte believed would be the result of his actions. Sabean did not respond to this request for support, leading Conte to believe that Sabean would not do so if Bonds protested. Conte therefore decided to take no action to deny Anderson or Shields access to restricted areas."

[+] Enlarge
Brian Sabean

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The public deserves to hear what San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean would say under oath about steroids in baseball.
Page 124 of the report states:

"In August 2002, the Giants were visiting Atlanta for a series with the Braves. At the time, Anderson was traveling with the Giants. Conte recalls that during this series a Giants player asked Conte about anabolic steroids. Conte refused to identify the player, citing athletic trainer privilege. According to Conte, the player told him that he was considering obtaining steroids from Greg Anderson and wanted to know the health issues associated with the use of steroids. In response, Conte explained at some length the health hazards of steroid use and lectured the player about the unfairness to other players posed by the illicit use of steroids. Conte believed that it was "a good lecture" and that he put considerable doubt in the player's mind.

Conte stated that he reported the incident to Sabean within an hour. He told Sabean he was concerned that Anderson might be distributing steroids to Giants players. While he refused to identify the player who had approached him, Conte otherwise described the conversation to Sabean in detail. Sabean suggested Conte confront Anderson and Bonds about the matter, which Conte refused to do. In Conte's view, it was not the responsibility of the athletic trainer to discuss such an issue."

Yet none of the owners has been called to testify or make a public statement. None has faced public accountability from millions of compromised fans and a distracted press corps that can maintain its attention level only if the conversation remains about star players instead of the front-office machinery that enabled much of the behavior and did as much damage to trust in the game as did star players' falling from grace.

And Mitchell never discusses in depth the implication of that steroid pipeline in the report or that Selig, by approving player contracts that allowed entourages access to team facilities, also is responsible.

Selig is the owners' commissioner, and as such must be asked why Magowan allowed his team to employ a steroids dealer and why Sabean ignored his responsibilities to Conte. If the answer is as it appears -- they were all too afraid to upset Bonds -- they are not qualified to be leaders and should not have their positions. The truth -- that Magowan profited from Bonds to such an enormous extent that he was willing to facilitate illegal and unethical activities by ignoring them -- deserves to be heard as much as which trainer injected which star player.
If not, Waxman needs to call Magowan and Sabean and ask them, just like Clemens, to testify under oath. Bonds and Clemens shouldn't be taken off the hook. But if Congress and the public want the truth instead of merely a Clemens soap opera, some owners and general managers need to be put on it.

Howard Bryant is a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine. He is the author of "Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball" and of "Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston" He can be reached at


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:18 pm

Do you remember when Green Bay Packers and their players under investigation for bounty allegations from Nfl?

NFL officials are investigating whether Green Bay Packers players offered payments to teammates for achieving specific defensive goals.

League rules prohibit teams and players "from offering or accepting bonuses to a player for his or his team's performance against a particular team, a particular opposing player or players, or a particular group of an opposing team."

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the investigation Monday.

ESPN reported that Packers defensive backs offered to pay the team's defensive linemen $500 each if they were able to hold Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson under 100 yards rushing two weeks ago, and another $500 for holding Carolina to under 60 yards rushing as a team on Sunday.

I'm worried about this at all.. What If Defensive Lineman from Packers gets $1000 to stop Eli and passing for 100 yards and Jacobs for sixty yards?


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:20 pm

Cano takes positives from trade talk
Rumors involving friend Cabrera prove demand for outfielder
By Bryan Hoch /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The clock continues to tick with the start of Spring Training growing ever closer, but as of early Monday morning, the Twins' biggest issue of the offseason had yet to be resolved.

Johan Santana was still a Twin.

Since the middle of November, the No. 1 topic on the minds of Twins fans has been the status of the club's ace pitcher. And as the days pass by with no resolution, fans seem to be growing restless. The waiting game for a trade isn't quite so easy now, judging by the dozens upon dozens of e-mails that I received about Santana this past week.

So, with Santana watch still in full force, let's dig into this week's edition of the mailbag to see what else is generating buzz with the Twins.

It appears that the Twins' squeeze tactic has only resulted in them getting less for Johan Santana. What do you think?
-- Joe C., Southold, N.Y.

I don't know if I would classify what the Twins have been doing as a "squeeze tactic," Joe. The club has shown quite a bit of patience in waiting for the deal that it feels is right, and it is not settling for anything less.

Could the waiting end up hurting them? Absolutely, if they try to enter the season with their ace and Santana then refuses to waive his no-trade clause. Do I think that will happen? Not really. I still expect that a deal will be completed before the team heads to Fort Myers for Spring Training. The news last week that the Mets have emerged as a serious contender for Santana shows that teams desperate for starting pitching could enter the mix at any time. And that could, in turn, re-energize the interest of a team like the Yankees.

The Red Sox and Yankees have not budged in their offers, but the presence of other teams could change that -- especially when it comes to those Bronx Bombers. Despite all the comments from Hank Steinbrenner about his team see-sawing about whether to stay in the race, the Yankees are still considered to be very much in contention for Santana. And the Mets are not to be taken lightly considering their strong desire to make a splash following a disastrous finish to the '07 season. The Twins likely will not get exactly the deal that they wanted out of this, but the hope is still to get one that's pretty close. How it will all play out remains a big question mark, but more should be known in the coming days or weeks. As always, stay tuned.

If the Twins don't acquire a primary leadoff hitter before the start of the season, who would they most likely use? I think possible candidates are Brendan Harris, Mike Lamb, Delmon Young, or maybe even Joe Mauer.
-- Hardt B., Grant, Minn.

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The ideal situation for the Twins would be if they can obtain a center fielder who also would fill that table setter spot. The only real hole that remains for the Twins right now is in center, and the expectation still is that it will be filled in a Santana trade.

So let's look at the possible center field options that have reportedly been offered up in trade proposals so far. In the Mets' proposed offer, the Twins would get Carlos Gomez, who is considered to be a leadoff-type hitter. Known for his speed, Gomez would give the Twins a threat on the basepaths -- even if his career .339 on-base percentage in the Minors is less than ideal. The Yankees' Melky Cabrera has also spent some time in the leadoff spot. His numbers have not been particularly stunning when hitting first in the order, but there are people who believe he could develop into the role. Either of the center fielders featured in the Red Sox two offers, Coco Crisp or Jacoby Ellsbury, would also provide a top of the order hitter that could help balance this current Twins lineup. But all of this is just speculation, of course, because the Twins still have Santana and no deal has been made.

If the season started today, Jason Pridie would likely be in center. If Pridie is in center, or the Twins somehow acquire a center fielder that does not fit the table setter role, then I think the likely other choice for a leadoff candidate is Brendan Harris. Mauer would still appear to be the best fit in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot, and both Delmon Young and Mike Lamb are expected to hit more in the No. 6-8 range in the lineup.

With Bert Blyleven not making the Hall of Fame yet again this year, when do you see him finally being elected into Cooperstown?
-- Ryan J., Hermantown, Minn.

Blyleven's bid may have fallen short for the 11th straight time, but he took a huge step in his campaign this year. Blyleven saw a 76-vote increase, bringing him to 61.9 percent this year after tallying just 47.7 percent in '07.

It still seems a long-shot that Blyleven will get elected next year. He has a ways to go to reach the 75 percent required for entry into the Hall of Fame. But he's inching closer to it. And judging by past history, once a player tops the 70 percent mark, it's pretty much a lock that he will subsequently get inducted. With just four more years of eligibility on the ballot, I expect that Blyleven's vote totals will continue to increase. The closer a player gets to his final year, the more it seems that writers are swayed to include that player on their ballot. It might not happen in '09 or even the year after, but I do believe that we will see Blyleven in Cooperstown before all is said and done.

Francisco Liriano has nasty stuff, but I have heard that the way that he throws is hard on his arm. Would there be any chance that the Twins would trade Joe Nathan and make Liriano their closer? I could see him having a career like Mariano Rivera as a closer.
-- Brandon K., Farmington, Minn.

I think it's too early to dismiss Liriano as a starter and try to make him into a closer, Brandon. Before his surgery, Liriano clearly showed that he possesses the type of stuff to make hitters look foolish. And it's tempting to think of him as a closer because his penchant for striking out batters would play well in a late-inning spot.

But Liriano is much more valuable as a starter if he can indeed hold up in the role. While the Twins know they can't completely change Liriano's violent pitching motion, they are going to try to tweak it. On top of that, Liriano will also cut down on the amount of sliders that he throws to take some of the pressure off his elbow.

It's true that elite closers aren't everyday commodities, but the Twins have had a history of finding arms that can fill in that ninth inning spot. Having a left-handed starter that can overwhelm a lineup and elicit the look of fear in a hitter's eyes, like Liriano did in his '06 rookie campaign? That is not something that you can find every day.

Now that the Twins have signed both a shortstop and third baseman, what's likely to happen with Nick Punto? I think his speed, range, and stellar defense would make him an ideal second baseman. What do you think?
-- Don F., St. Cloud, Minn.

Punto's playing time appeared to take a severe hit when the Twins signed Mike Lamb to be their everyday third baseman. Earlier in the offseason, it seemed that Harris might be shifted over to third and Punto could fill the role at second. But now the Twins seem ready to use Harris at second, Adam Everett at shortstop and Lamb at third, which leaves Punto without a starting position. Punto's defensive prowess at all three positions should provide him with plenty of chances for at-bats next season, but to earn playing time, he will have to show that the offensive woes of 2007 are behind him. The Twins front office has high hopes that Punto will bounce back in '08, and if he does, expect his time on the field to increase.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:22 pm

Cano takes positives from trade talk
Rumors involving friend Cabrera prove demand for outfielder

NEW YORK -- No matter which way the Johan Santana sweepstakes shake out, Robinson Cano seems ready to spot the silver lining.

While acquiring the left-handed ace would have given the Yankees a sizable winter boost, Cano believes the club's prospects for 2008 remain strong -- though he'd rather not see Santana wind up with the Red Sox.

"We've got some great players," Cano said. "If we don't get a deal, we've got to play with our guys. In baseball, you never know what's going to happen. You've just got to keep fighting and play hard."

"It's a great deal if we can get Santana. We need it. We need a No. 1 guy like him. ... If [the Red Sox] got Santana, they're going to be a way better team. I hope we get him. It's not a good idea for us if they get Santana."

Cano made an appearance on Monday at the Center Grove Elementary School in Randolph, N.J., speaking to approximately four dozen children in a gymnasium while offering a few pointers on baseball basics.

News of the Yankees' reported withdrawal from discussions with the Twins regarding Santana should provide Cano's good friend, Melky Cabrera, with some relief. The second baseman said that continued rumors over a potential trade with the Twins had drawn Cabrera's attention over the last several weeks.

"It's like I tell him -- don't pay attention to the rumors," Cano said of Cabrera. "If you get traded, just keep playing. He wants to be a Yankee; he said he doesn't want to leave. I told him, 'If you have to leave, keep playing hard. You never know. You might come back.'

"I love Melky, but he [would] play every day in Minnesota. If the deal is going to be great for him, I'll be happy. That's what I told him. If you're going to play every day, you prove to yourself that you can be in the big leagues. You don't want to be sitting on the bench."

Cano, 25, said he has spent the majority of his winter working out in the Dominican Republic. His brief run with the Orientales Estrellas of the Dominican Winter League drew attention when the Yankees instructed Cano to leave the team last month.

Cano had been cleared to play six games in the league to test an injury suffered in September -- a pulled an abdominal muscle that no longer feels painful, he said -- and was sternly reminded of his limit when general manager Brian Cashman noticed Cano had already played in 10 games.

"I was really surprised," Cano said. "I didn't know they were going to call. But they are my boss, so I do whatever they want me to do. I just [went] home and kept working."

Cano, who batted .306 with 19 home runs and 97 RBIs in a career-high 160 games for the Yankees in 2007, said that he has interest in signing a deal to remain in New York for the foreseeable future.

Both Cano, who is arbitration eligible this year, and his agent, Bobby Barad, said that no dialogue has been opened with the club regarding a new contract.

"I would like to go long-term, but they haven't said anything yet," Cano said. "I hope it happens. If not, I'll just keep playing."

Cano said that he was "excited" to hear news of the Yankees' reuniting with Alex Rodriguez, saying that the reigning American League Most Valuable Player has helped both Cano and Cabrera with advice on and off of the field. He also spoke briefly with new manager Joe Girardi when their paths crossed in the Dominican Republic, and he is optimistic about the team's outlook.

"I think he's going to do the job," Cano said of Girardi. "You see the job he did with the Marlins [in 2006]. He's a great man. It's going to be different, but I think he's going to be a great manager."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:28 pm

2008 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1
By Papa Weimer
2008 NFL Draft Order Player School
No. Team Order
1 Miami Dolphins (###) Glenn Dorsey LSU
2 St. Louis Rams Jake Long MICH
3 Atlanta Falcons # Darren McFadden ARK
4 Oakland Raiders # Chris Long VIRG
5 Kansas City Chiefs # Brian Brohm LOUI
6 New York Jets Sedrick Ellis USC
7 New Eng. Patriots (from 49ers) (###) James Laurinaitas OSU
8 Baltimore Ravens Matt Ryan BC
9 Cincinnati Bengals Malcom Jenkins OSU
10 New Orleans Saints Kenny Phillips Miami
11 Buffalo Bills Mike Jenkins SF
12 Denver Broncos Calais Campbell Miami
13 Carolina Panthers Andre Woodson UK
14 Chicago Bears Ryan Clady Boise
15 Detroit Lions Sam Baker USC
16 Arizona Cardinals Vernon Gholston OSU
17 Minnesota Vikings DeSean Jackson CAL
18 Houston Texans Jonathan Stewart Oregon
19 Philadelphia Eagles Lawrence Jackson USC
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Malcom Kelly OU
21 Washington Redskins * Llimas Sweed TEX
22 Dallas Cowboys (from Browns) *(###) Aqib Talib KAN
23 Seattle Seahawks * Felix Jones ARK
24 Pittsburgh Steelers * Jeff Otah PITT
25 Tennessee Titans * Kentwan Blamer NC
26 New York Giants * Dan Conner Penn St.
27 San Diego Chargers * Ali Highsmith LSU
28 Jacksonville Jaguars * Keith Rivers USC
29 Green Bay Packers * Derrock Harvey FLA
30 Dallas Cowboys * (###) Rashard Mendenhall ILL
31 San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) * Antoine Cason ARZ
32 New England Patriots * spy gate - whoop! Hrdkncks
* -- Subject to playoffs
# -- Subject to coin flip
### -- I think pick will be traded

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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:30 pm

Chris Long brings a lunchpail work ethic and an impeccable pedigree from his father, Hall of Fame end Howie Long. The Tuna opts for the safe pick here, but there is no doubt Long is a great talent who can be the cornerstone of a rebuilding defense with great pass rush skills and 2-gap experience.

NFC West
Rams War Room Discussion:

The Rams consider an OT here, but Orlando Pace isn't ready to hang it up yet so they address the defensive side of the ball. Their aging defense desperately needs playmakers and Ellis should provide one. He's a very solid run stuffer who has the skills to push the pocket as well. Adding Ellis allows Adam Carriker to move to his more natural end spot.

NFC South
Falcons War Room Discussion:

The Falcons had a disasterous season, and seek a new beginning with the top offensive prospect in the draft: the electric Darren McFadden. With elite speed and cutback skills, he resembles a bigger Reggie Bush. While QB remains a major need, the Falcons look to address their other holes with their two second round picks. Not only will he excite the fanbase, but he will make things much easier on the Falcons future QB.

AFC West
Raiders War Room Discussion:

Al Davis loves great athletes, and Dorsey definitely fits the bill. Add to that the need to replace Warren Sapp, and this pick works out great for Oakland. Glenn is the rare player that can eat up double teams in the run game yet provides a dangerous pass rushing threat as an every-down DT.

AFC West
Chiefs War Room Discussion:

Herm Edwards has drawn the ire of fans after the Chiefs once dominant offense has faded quickly into just a memory. A big cause of this however was the retirements of key offensive linemen that formed one of the best OL groups in recent years. Bringing in a stud OT like Jake Long is a dream pick for this franchise.

AFC East
Jets War Room Discussion:

The Jets lost a bundle of close games this season after last year's surprise playoff run. There were multiple problems with the team, but the most glaring weakness was a pass rush that at times was non-existant. Enter pass rusher extrordinaire Vernon Gholston. He will need time to adjust to OLB, but should be a force right away bringing the heat on opposing QB's.

AFC East
Patriots War Room Discussion:

With the expected departure of Asante Samuel, the Pats will have a glaring hole in the secondary that needs to be filled. While some might consider this a reach, the Pats front office has rarely cared about the pundits, and draft the players that fit their needs and system. CB Jenkins should grow into another fine Patriots DB in the mold of Law and Samuel.

AFC North
Ravens War Room Discussion:

Out with the old and in with the new in Baltimore. The new coaching staff is elated to find the top QB prospect still on the board and waste no time sending the card in to be announced. Matt Ryan comes into a great situation where he has a chance to start and win right away.

AFC North
Bengals War Room Discussion:

It would be hard to be much worse on defense than the Bengals were this year. While things may improve as their young secondary gains experience, the fact remains they are woefully thin at LB. A chance to get a stud LB and local talent like JL is just too good to resist.

NFC South
Saints War Room Discussion:

While many expected the Saints to go defense last year, they gambled on some suspect defensive free agents and drafted offense early on. This was a disaster as their secondary was probably the worst in the NFL and the team bumbled to a 7-9 finish. An elite man-to-man cover guy like Mike Jenkins fits their system well and provides an instant upgrade for the their lackluster defense.

AFC West
Broncos War Room Discussion:

With Matt Lepsis' recent retirement, the Broncos suddenly have a huge hole at LT. Mike Shanahan will not want his young QB spending half the game on his back, and so jumps at the chance to draft a potential franchise LT in young Ryan Clady. Ryan has rare agility and good size, and should start quickly.

NFC South
Panthers War Room Discussion:

The loss of Mike Minter turns an already weak secondary into a unit in desperate need of reinforcements. The Panthers braintrust would be overjoyed to see an elite physical specimen like Phillips fall into their slot. Sam Baker gets a look, but safeties like Kenny are few and far between. While he is raw and underacheived a bit in his junior season, he compares well athletically with other Miami studs like Ed Reed and Sean Taylor.

NFC North
Bears War Room Discussion:

Word out of the Bears War Room is the man they wanted was Ryan Clady to shore up a rapidly aging OL, but with him off the board they go with Plan B and take a chance at a potential franchise QB in Andre Woodson. While there are major concerns with his slow release, he has all the tools you look for in an elite signal caller.

NFC North
Lions War Room Discussion:

While some voices on the Lions staff argue strongly here for a prototypical Cover-2 MLB in the person of Dan Connor, the disaster in the secondary must be addressed. Cason doesnt bring elite speed, but with his superb instincts in a Cover 2 system he can be a longterm fixture of the caliber of a Ronde Barber, CB Tampa Bay.

NFC West
Cardinals War Room Discussion:

The Cardinals could go several directions here depending on how their complex offseason situation resolves itself, but its clear they could use an explosive pass rusher to take their young defense to the next level. The raw but very gifted Harvey steps into a good position, learning from veteran Bertrand Berry while being groomed as his eventual replacement.

NFC North
Vikings War Room Discussion:

While HC Brad Childress has publicly supported incumbent QB Tavaris Jackson, they are clearly one player away from being a playoff team. Brohm is a potential franchise QB. Combining a great arm with ideal size, Brian could prosper in the NFL with the Vikes strong line and powerful running attack giving him support.

AFC South
Texans War Room Discussion:

With Peyton Manning and Co at the top of the division Houston has geared up to stop the high powered attack in Indy with their recent draft picks. In this case, it's time to compliment that young, improving defense with an elite young back to grind out yards and add another dimension to that offense. Enter Jonathan Stewart who combines power, speed, good hands, all into a stocky 235 lb frame.

NFC East
Eagles War Room Discussion:

With Jevon Kearse's career derailed by age and injury, Andy Reid stays true to form and drafts in the trenches early. Here the pick is the mammoth DE Calais Campbell. His sheer size and speed may demand double teams, and he could be a force at LE stopping the run in the offense heavy NFC East.

NFC South
Buccaneers War Room Discussion:

HC Chucky Gruden has been working to rebuild the Bucs OL thru the draft for several seasons now. At LT however, they tried to patch in the injury riddled ex-Giant Luke Petitgout. This failed, so now Tampa looks to seasoned USC OT Sam Baker to fill this key spot. Sam is an experienced LT with the all the skills, but needs to build consistency.

NFC East
Redskins War Room Discussion:

The Redskins had been hoping a top DE would fall to them in this spot, but lacking that they opt for a top talent in Dan Connor. Connor represents great value at this point, and should be able to step in right away as a starter at OLB, and has the ability to move inside if London Fletcher runs out of gas in the future.

NFC East
Cowboys War Room Discussion:

The Cowboys appear poised to return to the glory years, but there remains work to be done in Dallas. Terrell Owens has done a good job filling the Michael Irvin role, but the team is old and thin at WR. In the old days, the Cowboys had the speedster Alvin Harper, and hope the explosive Jackson can reprise this role in the 21st century with his 4.3 speed and great return skills.

NFC West
Seahawks War Room Discussion:

With former all-pro Shaun Alexander on the roster, this may seem like a strange pick, but Mike Holmgren already did the same thing when he drafted the young Alexander to replace the aging star RB Rickey Watters. Mendenhall is a potential franchise back with a rare combination of power, speed, and vision at his disposal. He is also a great receiver, something Alexander never was.

AFC North
Steelers War Room Discussion:

While they had problems in the secondary, the offensive line play really held back Pittsburg much of this season, with Big Ben running for his life much too often. A mammoth OT from nearby Pitt, Otah combines the size and power of a great RT with the feet of a LT, perfect for the Steelers power offense. Whether he ends up at RT or LT, he should be a major addition.

AFC South
Titans War Room Discussion:

Vince Young had a down year by any account, but jinxes and injuries aside, there is a definite lack of downfield weapons. After passing on Dwayne Bowe last year, the Titans make the move and grab Early Doucet III in the first. Early is a solid possession receiver with good hands and solid skills who could step into a starting role right away.

NFC East
Giants War Room Discussion:

Rivers serious knee injury clouds his prospects a bit, but even if he isn't back to 100% by drafttime, when healthy he was a probable top 20 pick and would fill a huge need for the LB-starved Giants team. He has tremendous speed and is a solid tackler with Pro-Bowl potential.

AFC West
Chargers War Room Discussion:

While the Chargers have solid talent at CB with Cromartie's emergence, Jammer has had problems in man coverage and seems like he might be a better fit at safety. The Chargers consider a LB here, in the end they see Thomas as a steal at this point. He has ideal size and speed, and with some technique work can be a solid starting CB.

AFC South
Jaguars War Room Discussion:

The Jags defense has been one of the best in the NFL, but an upgrade at the Mike spot would be very welcome. Rey is a top-flight talent with ideal size and good speed who can come in and play right away in the center of the Jags defense.

NFC North
Packers War Room Discussion:

The Packers put a lot of pressure on the CB's in their defensive scheme. They need to be able to lock up in single coverage against the bigger receivers in the NFL, yet be good enough tacklers to support in the run game and bring down ballcarriers in the secondary. Talib comes off a great bowl game and brings great size, speed and athletic ability to infuse the aging Packers secondary with youth.

NFC West
49ers War Room Discussion:

Since there are no #1 WRs on the board, the 49ers are forced to look elsewhere. Some might say go OT here, but there are plenty on the board and the 49ers pick again in 8 picks, with Bell maybe not lasting that long. 9ers go with what worked last year and pick the perfect complement to Pat Willis by selecting ILB Beau Bell from UNLV. Bell is big, fast, flies to the ball, forces turnovers, and is very good in coverage - a weakness in Willis' game.

NFC East
Cowboys War Room Discussion:

The Brady Quinn trade gave them the opportunity to upgrade their WR situation, here with the second first Jerry Jones looks to his alma mater for a replacement for the departing Julius Jones. Felix has world class speed, but can run between the tackles and catch the ball as well. With some work on blitz pickup, he should impact right away.

AFC East
Patriots War Room Discussion:


AFC East
Dolphins War Room Discussion:

No comment from War Room



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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:32 pm

2008 NFL Mock Draft *Updated 14 January 2008

2008 NFL Mock Draft
Team Pos Player Comments:
1 DT, Glenn Dorsey, LSU Bill Parcels will look to convert the Dolphins to a 34 defense, so he will need a bigger defensive front seven. He might try to trade down to get some extra picks. If not, Dorsey could play the nose tackle position.
2 OT, Jake Long, Michigan The Rams get a future pro bowl tackle to replace an aging and oft injured Orlando Pace.
3 QB, Brian Brohm,
Louisville A franchise quarterback to replace Michael Vick. Coach Bobby Petrino ran off to Arkansas, but Brohm is still the closest thing to a franchise QB in this draft.
4 RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas McFadden is is considered the best player in this draft. He will take the heat off of JaMarcus Russell. The Cowboys might try to trade up here and get McFadden.
5 OT, Sam Baker, USC This is a little early for Baker, but the Chiefs are desperate for a tackle and might reach a little here for an elite lineman like Baker.
6 DE, Chris Long, Virginia This makes sense, Long ranked 3rd in the nation with 14 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2007. He is too good to pass up and the Jets don't want him to fall to the Pats.
7 DE, Vernon Gholston, Ohio State From San Fran: A big, fast, pass rushing defensive end that can be converted to outside linebacker. The junior Gholston was dominate towards the end of the 2007 season ranking 4th in the nation with 13 sacks.
8 QB, Matt Ryan, Boston College Brian Billick is gone and the Ravens need a new QB. Ryan struggled a little down the stretch, throwing a few to many interceptions, but make no mistake, he has an NFL caliber arm and the Ravens desperately need a QB.
9 LB, James Laurinaitis, Ohio State The Bungles need help all across their defensive front seven and the junior Laurinaitis is the best defender left on the draft board.
10 CB, Mike Jenkins, South Florida Jenkins is a speed demon and will give the struggling Saints a potential shut down corner in their secondary.
11 OT, Ryan Clady, Boise State The junior Clady has already declared for the 2008 NFL Draft and could be a top ten pick. He would be able to anchor the tackle spot for the Bills for years to come.
12 DT, Sedrick Ellis, USC "Baby Sapp" is a penetrating defensive tackle that is very productive. In 2007 he recorded 8.5 sacks. The Broncos defense was horrible against the run last year.
13 DE, Lawrence Jackson, USC Jackson has quietly put together a great season in 2007, recording 9.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
14 QB, Andre' Woodson, Kentucky Grossman's days in the NFL look numbered, he lacks consistency and takes too many sacks. Woodson is his opposite, calm and consistent.
15 S, Kenny Phillips, Miami (Fl) A talented junior safety with great range. He didn't have the season that many thought he would, but he is still an elite talent.
16 DT, Kentwan Balmer, UNC Balmer is under rated, but he has excellent potential. Offensive tackle is also a possibility for the Cardinals.
17 DE, Calais Campbell, Miami The junior Campbell (6' 6" 278 pounds) is expected to declare early. He recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks in 2007. He might go higher due to his potential.
18 OT, Gosder Cherilus, Boston College The Texans still have trouble protecting the quarterback and really need to upgrade their poor offensive line.
19 WR, Limas Sweed, Texas Sweed suffered a season ending wrist injury early in the season, but he should be healthy enough to to a full workout before the draft. The Eagles need a big, fast, go-to receiver.
20 DE/OLB, Derrick Harvey, Florida Harvey, teamed up with last years #1 pick Gaines Adams should give the Bucs one heck of a pass rushing duo.
21 LB, Dan Connor, Penn State The Redskins need an infusion of youth to their linebacking corps. Connor is an elite run stopper and was the winner of the Chuck Bednarik Award.
22 WR, Mario Manningham, Michigan From Cleveland: A big play receiver to eventually replace Terry Glenn. Manningham finished 2007 with 67 catches for 1,096 yards and 11 TDs.
23 RB, Jonathan Stewart, Oregon Fast Willie Parker has battled injuries and needs a back-up and Stewart is a proven workhorse. He set the Ducks' single-season rushing record with 280 carries for 1,722 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007.
24 WR, DeSean Jackson, California The speedy Jackson would give Vince Young a legitimate deep threat and give the Titans a potential pro bowl return man.
25 TE, Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M The junior Bennett (6' 6" 255 lbs) has loads of potential. Now that he has officially declared you will be hearing more about Bennett being an early round selection for the 2008 NFL Draft.
26 LB, Erin Henderson, Maryland The Giants get a speedy linebacker that can come in and start right away. The talented Henderson has declared for the draft as a junior.
27 OLB, Bruce Davis, UCLA
Davis would give the Jags an elite pass rusher. He will be converted to outside linebacker in the NFL. Wide receiver is also an option.
28 OT, Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh The Chargers offensive line needs an infusion of talent. LT Marcus McNeil has been inconsistent. Otah would give the Chargers a monstrous presence on their O-line at 6' 4" 335 lbs.
29 RB, Kevin Smith, Central Florida The junior Smith decided to go pro. In 2007 he led the nation in rushing and came up 61 yards short of breaking Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 2,628 yards in a single season.
30 OT, Chris Williams, Vanderbilt From Indianapolis: The Niner's line really struggled this year. Williams (6' 5" 320 lbs) could hold the left tackle slot. RT Joe Staley was inconsistent as a rookie.
31 TE, Fred Davis, USC The 6' 4" 255 pound Davis has really seen his draft stock rise this year as USC's top receiver with 55 catches for 794 yards and 7 touchdowns. Brett needs more weapons and upgrading at TE is due.
32 Forfeited Per NFL penalty, the Pats will lose this year's first-round draft. The Patriots got caught videotaping signals from the New York Jets' sideline during New England's 38-14 win September 9th at Giants Stadium.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:52 pm

Somebody else who sees thru the smoke

The New York Mets are "Charlie Brown" according to the Subway Squawkers of the Ny Daily News.

From that blog: "Psst, say the Twins. Over here! Your missing piece. Your ticket to the World Series. But as soon as you make a bid, the Yankees or the Red Sox will outbid you. Especially the Yankees. The offer they keep pulling off the table is already better than what the Mets can come up with. So if the Mets make their move, back comes that offer."


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:54 pm

For Mets, Johan Santana is Lucy's football

Psst, say the Twins. Over here! Your missing piece. Your ticket to the World Series. But as soon as you make a bid, the Yankees or the Red Sox will outbid you. Especially the Yankees. The offer they keep pulling off the table is already better than what the Mets can come up with. So if the Mets make their move, back comes that offer.

If it just came down to money, the Mets would actually be in a much better position. Despite Hank Steinbrennerís arrogance that the Yankees are in the best position to offer Santana the huge contract extension, the Mets have finally shown in the last few years that they are willing to outbid other teams and are even willing to overpay for a Pedro Martinez. If Santana were a free agent, I could see the Mets making some crazy offer (though crazy is increasingly hard to define these days in baseball) of something like 8 years, 25M a year. Depending on who makes the final call, the Yankees could still match or top it, but the Mets are so much more desperate for Santana than the Yankees or Red Sox that I would not be surprised to see the other two teams backing away and pointing out how often those big contracts for pitchers actually work out.

But if itís a question of prospects, are the Yankees really going to let Santana go to the Mets (or the Red Sox for that matter) over whether or not someone like Ian Kennedy is in the deal?

And if the Mets do somehow come up with enough prospects to satisfy the Twins, and Charlie Brown is actually allowed to kick the ball, then Charlie Brown will end up with a torn hamstring because the Metsí already thin system will be completely depleted. For the last two years, a pennant contender has been forced to bring up the likes Jose Lima, Chan Ho Park and Brian Lawrence. If Santana could be had for two of Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey, I would do it, because the odds of any of these pitchers turning into the next Santana are small. But with starting pitching at such a premium, you might not want to trade three No. 2 or 3 starters for one ace.

Iím just glad that baseball doesnít allow the trade of draft choices. I could see Omar pulling an Isiah and making an Eddy Curry-type deal in which he threw in future number ones for Santana. This year, according to, the Mets have three top picks, their own at 22, the Bravesí pick at 18 as compensation for Tom Glavine, and a pick in the compensation round following the first round, also for Glavine, which at this point is the 34th pick.

Two top picks for Tom Glavine? How great is that!

The best-case scenario is if Brian Cashman, after years of throwing tens of millions of dollars at the likes of Jeff Weaver, Kevin Brown, Javy Vazquez, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa, actually has discovered fiscal responsibility just at the time when someone comes along who is actually worth all that money.

But otherwise, I still think Lisa is more likely to end up doing the Snoopy dance over the Yankees getting Santana while Lucy pulls the ball away from me one last time.

Speaking of Glavine, Lisa, Tony Romo could also learn something from the Bravesí free agent prize. Glavine would not have been sheepish after the devastating loss. He would have had no regrets because, after all, itís only a game.

But watching T.O. in the postgame made me realize that the end of the Metsí season could have been even worse. At least Paul Lo Duca didnít start crying and telling the media, ďThis is not about Tom. You guys can point the finger at him, and if you do that, itís really unfair. Thatís my teammate. Thatís my pitcher.Ē
By Jon Lewin on January 14, 2008 3:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:08 pm

In Air: The Michael Kay Show :: STARTS: 4:00 PM FINISHES: 7:30 PM :: Listen Live
SportsClicker By Andrew Marchand
Hughes, Yankees out; Mets are leaders, if Santana is dealt
Johan Santana

The Mets continue to remain confident that they may land Johan Santana. Since before the Winter Meetings, the aggressive Omar Minaya has used a strategy to overwhelm the Twins with more of a willingness to deal prospects than either the Red Sox or the Yankees.

Minaya wants Santana badly, but he won't give up everything for Santana. Minaya has remained consistent that he won't trade Jose Reyes. That is still the case and is not changing.

Now, according to a baseball official who has been briefed on all of the trade discussions between the Mets and Twins, Minaya told Twins GM Bill Smith at the Winter Meetings that he did not want to give up his two top outfield prospects, Fernando Martinez and Carlos Gomez, in the same deal.

However, at that point, the Red Sox and Yankees were clearly the front runners for Santana. The Yankees were offering Phil Hughes in a package and now may not even do that deal. The Red Sox seem lukewarm, not budging on their Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester packages.

This leaves Minaya ready and maybe willing to swoop with Martinez and Gomez to land Santana. It seems like everyone - the Yankees, the Red Sox - are rooting for Minaya to succeed.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:09 pm

Hughes, Yankees out; Mets are leaders, if Santana is dealt


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:21 pm

Red Sox Prospects Blog | News
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Interview with Baseball America's Jim Callis recently had the opportunity to share some thoughts with Baseball America's Jim Callis on the Red Sox farm system. Jim Callis is the Executive Editor at Baseball America who also was a contributor towards the 2008 Prospect Handbook.

JC: Only 14 questions? I expected tougher grilling from! With that said, I'll throw in two bonus answers to a couple of things people have discussed on message boards or emailed me about: Masterson vs. Lowrie, and Bowden ranking as low as No. 7.

A.) Ranking prospects is purely subjective, and a lot of times there's no right answer. We know, with 99.999999 percent certainty, that Clay Buchholz is a better prospect than Michael Rozier. But Masterson vs. Lowrie, especially because it comes down to a pitcher vs. a position player, really it comes down to gut feel. Just because I put Lowrie after Masterson, it doesn't mean I don't like Lowrie. I do. I've talked to enough people who think he can play a passable shortstop in the majors (though you'd want someone better defensively) and he'll hit more than most infielders. I think he'll hit enough to play second base and third base if you wanted him to. And though I projected Masterson as a setup man in Boston, that doesn't mean that's all he could be. I think he has a special sinker with an uncanny combination of velocity and movement and that he could be a No. 3 starter if needed or a closer if needed. Both guys are probably more valuable to other teams than they are to the Red Sox (other than as trade bait) because the Red Sox don't have the openings to maximize their talents. Including them both in the various rumored Johan Santana trade proposals is what makes Boston's offers the best I've seen rumored, and you could rank them in either order and defend that decision easily. My gut feel said Masterson.

B.) I don't understand why so many fans seem to think that Bowden had a disappointing performance at Portland. His hits allowed were a little up, but his other numbers were just fine--and he was a 20-year-old in Double-A. He was obviously outstanding at Lancaster, probably the most difficult place to pitch in the minors. I think he's a solid prospect, and he ranked seventh on my list only because of the depth of the system. I think there's a good chance that Ryan Kalish will be a star, and that's why I put him ahead of Bowden. The other guys were all no-brainers: Buchholz, Ellsbury (don't need to explain those two), Anderson (you guys know I love him), Masterson (as explained above, while he may be a setup man in Boston, he's really more than that; his sinker is better than any of Bowden's pitches and he has the same strong makeup), Lowrie. Bowden has a chance to be a No. 3 starter, as he has two solid pitches (fastball, curveball) and really competes. He doesn't have that one true out pitch to profile him as better than that. Nick Hagadone (whom I ranked at No. Cool has better pure stuff and he's a lefty, and Oscar Tejeda (No. 9) could be Miguel Tejada if he reaches his ceiling. Those guys have better chances of becoming stars than Bowden, but I gave Bowden the nod because he has had success in Double-A.

SP: You had Argenis Diaz rated 12th in the Red Sox farm system. Is this because of his performance in the HWL and what are your overall views on him?

JC: I wouldn't say it's just because of how well he played in Hawaii, but that did open my eyes. The Red Sox touted Diaz last year as a spectacular defender, and his performance in Hawaii led to some encouragement about his bat. (Though how good overall competition is in HWB, that's hard to say.) Boston sees him as the kind of guy who can develop into a Gold Glove shortstop and hit for a high average, though he won't have much in the way of power and doesn't walk a ton.

SP: Josh Reddick had an excellent year in his first full season of professional baseball. What do scouts see as his key development needs as his progresses up the levels? Where do you see him compared to the Sox other highly regarded OF prospects?

JC: Reddick is a tremendous pure hitter, and as I wrote, the Red Sox initially took him as a draft-and-follow in 2006, then signed him immediately after watching him homer off Ross Detwiler (the No. 6 overall pick in 2007) in a summer game. I have little doubt he'll hit, and he'll have some power, too. He makes contact so easily that the biggest key will be toning down his aggressiveness a little bit. He gets himself out on pitcher's pitches early in the count at times, when he'd be better off letting them go by, and more advanced pitchers will be more than happy letting him do that. He's not the all-around athlete and player that Jacoby Ellsbury or Ryan Kalish is, but Reddick might be a better pure hitter and he definitely has more power. The guy he's most similar to is Brandon Moss, but Reddick's bat is better. He doesn't have the strongest arm in the system, but it's solid and incredibly accurate.

SP: The Sox have commented that they've seen improvements in Jason Place's "smoothed-out" swing in the HWL. Is this view shared by scouts, or is he the same player he was all season?

JC: I've heard the same, but I'll be honest . . . I think it's a huge red flag when there's a position player taken high in the draft and repeated comments that he's going to have to overhaul his swing or make major adjustments at the plate. Do those guys ever really work out? Greg Golson of the Phillies comes to mind, and I want to do a column on this at some point. After hitting .214 with 160 strikeouts in low Class A, Place doesn't just need to improve. He needs to improve drastically. I think 2008 will tell a lot about his future.

SP: Ryan Kalish showed great potential in 87 at-bats during his stint Lowell before breaking his hamate bone. Now that he has recovered from the injury what should we expect of him in 2008?

JC: I think he'll be the best hitter on the Greenville club. I could see him hitting .300 with about 10 homers, 25 steals and maybe more walks than strikeouts. He'll play a quality center field, too. There's a reason the Twins are trying to get him in the proposed Santana trade.

SP: Out of Brock Huntzinger, Austin Bailey, and Drake Britton which has the highest upside and why?

JC: Good question, and I can't believe I couldn't find room for any of those guys in the Top 30. The highest upside belongs to Britton, a lefthander who threw in the low 90s and touched 94 mph as an 18-year-old last summer. He did a better job of staying on top of his pitches, which made his slider better too. I've heard a lot of nice things about Bailey, who isn't a lefty and doesn't throw as hard, but he has a good arm and has had a lot of success in the vaunted East Cobb amateur program. I had one scout whom I really respect say Bailey reminded him a lot of fellow Alabama native Jake Peavy. And Huntzinger is pretty good too, similar to Michael Bowden, a fellow Midwest product.

SP: Can you talk about Che-Hsuan Lin's tools and the player he can become in the future?

JC: His other tools are ahead of his bat right now. He has the strongest outfield arm in the system, he has plus speed and he projects as an above-average center-field defender. At the plate, he has some projectable power and some willingness to use the whole field. Like a lot of young guys, he needs to improve against breaking balls. If he can, he should hit enough and become a pretty good player.

SP: Obviously they will never state it publicly, but do you sense any feeling of regret from the Sox regarding their inability to sign some big names in this year's draft? Who takes the blame for Hunter Morris?

JC: Not really, honestly. On Hunter Morris, that was a situation where the Red Sox felt he and his people had agreed to one price and Morris and his people believed they had not, and the two sides couldn't overcome that. I don't think Boston has much regret though, because they get the same pick (84a) in the 2008 draft and they signed a high school first baseman they're thrilled with in Anthony Rizzo. And though it seems like the Red Sox were somewhat more conservative in 2007 while the Yankees spent a lot more money, two things haven't gotten a lot of play. First, New York overspent on guys seeming because it can, and I don't think the Yankees' overall haul is that impressive for the cash spent. Second, Boston went over slot to get Ryan Dent, Will Middlebrooks, Rizzo, David Mailman, Bailey and Britton. I'm not saying this class will be as good as the Red Sox' 2006 draft class, but it could be similar in that a year from now, a lot of the later-round picks could look pretty good. Boston didn't sign a lot of intriguing names who slipped because of signability: Justin Grimm, Jake Cowan, Scott Green, Jaren Matthews, Matt Presley, Yasmani Grandal and Nick Tepesch. But in most of those cases, the Sox were taking a flier in case the players reduced their asking price and/or lessened their desire to go to college. I think those gambles are always worth taking. Tepesch was going to Missouri, even if he got offered $1 million. Grandal wanted $1 million, and his bat just isn't that good yet. Matthews agreed to terms, then changed his mind. The one Boston probably regrets the most is Green. He was good but not great in the Cape Cod League, and he wanted the same money Nick Schmidt got in the first round from the Padres ($1.26 million). The Red Sox went up to $800,000 on him, and they'll kick themselves if he emerges as a first-rounder this spring. Of course, you can make the argument that Boston can easily afford the extra $426,000 Green wanted, or the difference between the value they put on, say, Grandal and his asking price. I'd love to see a study that if a team (especially a wealthy team) thinks a player is worth X, how much higher over X it should go to make sure they get the player rather than lose him. Whew, that's a long answer.

SP: For an undrafted free agent, Hunter Jones has moved quickly through the system. Is there any chance that he could end up helping the big club by the end of 2008 and what does the future hold for him with the Red Sox?

JC: Yes, I think there's a good chance he'll be in Boston by the end of the year. He's a versatile reliever in that he can go 2-3 innings at a time. He won't be more than a middle reliever, but his deception and command can make him useful in that role. I think he offers more than Javier Lopez does, for instance.

SP: The Lancaster park effects are undeniable, but Zach Daeges put up big numbers there. What is your read in his (actual) offensive potential? Is he good enough to potentially hold down a corner OF spot?

JC: I liked Daeges even before Lancaster boosted his numbers. He has a legitimate bat. He's limited to left field, though, so he can really hit. I think he has the chance to develop into what Brandon Moss has become (though not a right fielder). Daeges is more of an extra outfielder for a contender like Boston.

SP: What do the Sox see in Michael Almanzar that caused them to pay so much more for an international free agent than they're usually willing to spend?

JC: They love the bat. He already has legitimate bat speed gap power as a 16-year-old, and as a 6-foot-5, 180-pounder, he can get a lot stronger. He could be a big-time power hitter five years from now. His arm is another plus tool.

SP: Itís obvious the Red Sox can dish out the cash. With that said how would you rate their signings on the international free agent market compared with other clubs and are they doing enough on that front?

JC: This is a hard area to evaluate, because with most of the signings, you don't really know how good the players are until five years down the road. But the Red Sox seem to be making a strong effort, landing Tejada, Almanzar, Lin and the since-trade Engel Beltre in just the last two years. They also made the huge investment in Daisuke Matsuzaka and a smart pickup in Hideki Okajima.

SP: Will George Kottaras or Mark Wagner be the heir apparent to Jason Varitek? Could it eventually be Ty Weeden even though that he is years away?

JC: I think Wagner is the best catching prospect in the system. He's the best defensive catcher in the system, and he has a solid bat. Kottaras came on in the second half last year, so his season wasn't as bad as it might have looked. He's still a fringy defender, though, and I don't see him as a regular. Weeden has the highest ceiling of all the catching prospects, with big-time power. Other guys worth watching are Dusty Brown, Jon Egan and Jon Still (though I see him as more of a first baseman).
SP: Would you say that 2008 seems like an important year for Kris Johnson? Do you expect him to take the next step now that there should be no lingering effects from Tommy John Surgery?

JC: I wouldn't say it's a crucial year, because he pitched well and made good progress in the last two-thirds of the 2007 season. Once he stopped being intimidated by Lancaster, he was fine. He has his velocity and command back, and his changeup is fine. He just needs to regain the curveball he had before the Tommy John surgery, and once he does that, I think he'll move quickly.

SP: Chris Carter....Does he have a place with the Red Sox in 2008?

JC: Only if an injury strikes and even then, he's brutal defensively. So if Kevin Youkilis got hurt at first base, I'm not sure Carter would be the no-brainer replacement. Even if Coco Crisp or Jacoby Ellsbury got traded, Brandon Moss would be next in line if an injury opened a spot on an outfield corner. Carter has an interesting minor league resume, but it's going to be very difficult for him to crack the Boston lineup.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:25 pm

For the second time this offseason, the Yankees have pulled their Phil Hughes-centered trade offer for Johan Santana off the table.

The Yankees, then, will not restart trade talks with the Twins unless Hank Steinbrenner has another change of heart, a baseball official with knowledge of the talks told 1050 ESPN Radio's Andrew Marchand.

If I were the Twins I'd be dialing Theo's phone immediately. The fact of the matter is, the Yankees and Red Sox aren't going to fold like the Twins were banking on. A package of Lester, Coco, Lowrie, Masterson is the best offer on the table (if it still is), and if they wait much longer they could hurt themselves even more. Unless another team sweeps in unexpectedly I don't see where the Twins think they will get better value, because I don't see any package the Mets could offer trumping the Sox.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:30 pm

Couldn't resist a second quote from BP Sheehan:

statham (Toronto): Are we getting regular enough updates from Hank on which way he is leaning on a Johan trade? Should we ask for more?

Joe Sheehan: The chain of events that led to the Steinbrenner sons running the Yankees will, a half-century from now, be seen as the beginning of a very dark period for this Yankees.

They don't know what they're doing, and they're very aggressive about it.

Found this at should answer your question and then some.

Will (PA): Who would you take: Buchholz or Hughes? Explain as well.
Kevin Goldstein: Buchholz. Explaination: Better stuff.

bucket (seoul, korea): how about this? lester? or kennedy?
Kevin Goldstein: Lester -- when in doubt ALWAYS take the power arm.

Jay (Madison): Joba, Clay, Phil. Who's the best in 08 and who's the best beyond?
Kevin Goldstein: I'll take Clay, Joba, Phil for both answers. Love all three.

Seymour (Brooklyn): Lester over Kennedy because he's a power arm? When in doubt should you always take the guy with bad control too?
Kevin Goldstein: Bad? That's a bit much. He has average control, while Kennedy is obviously plus-plus. His stuff far surpasses Kennedy, and in the majors, stuff plays.

TonyPenaHuntsQuail (CT): Thanks for answering my question, what yankee prospects, if any, are flying under the radar, players with a legitimate chance at becoming usefull big leaguers; and are Humberto Sanchez and Tim Battle amongst them?
Kevin Goldstein: Battle, certainly not. Sanchez, maybe -- if he can stay healthy and lay off the buffet table, he should be a fine reliever.

Thanks, Ibrokeben5.

That's about what my order would be except I'd rate Joba/Clay about even. Note: That's not to say I think Hughes or Kennedy suck by any means as some here think. Hughes still has top of the rotation potential and Kennedy has #3 potential.

To be fair, that's 5 pitchers, three of which are Yankees. At this point in their careers, I'd rate a trade of Buchholz, Lester and Bowden (similar profile to Kennedy but better) for Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy as close to even with a slight edge to the Sox.

oh come on! AMarshal clearly didn't mean he felt Hughes sucked. Hughes wasn't on the list because he wasn't eligible anymore. AMarshal was simply being sarcastic.

In Lester's last few games in the playoffs and the series, his power arm was starting to re-emerge. Might be wise to remember that as a lefthander who can push it up to 92-94 mph, he's a fairly rare commodity. The questions always had to do with his secondary stuff and, at least in the fourth playoff game against Cleveland, he was in control of his slider and mowed the Indians down.

We need to remember that he's all of 23 years old and was still recovering from his chemotherapy when he shut down Colorado. He probably has a very promising career barring injury and in a "normal" rotation might very well project as a #2. Right now the Sox rotation is hardly normal, not with players like Beckett, Matsuzaka, and Buchholz filling slots and future HOFer Schilling plus 17 game winner Wakefield rounding it out. The truth is that the Sox have six starters, all of whom are capable of winning 15-18 games, not to say it will happen, but that's what they're capable of, Lester included.

Jay (Madison): Joba, Clay, Phil. Who's the best in 08 and who's the best beyond?

Kevin Goldstein: I'll take Clay, Joba, Phil for both answers. Love all three.

That's funny. I thought he rated Phil over Joba in his Yankees Future Shock article. Maybe he thinks they are interchangeable?

I don't think he's significantly behind Joba and Clay.

I think I take Hughes over Joba at the moment, until I see Joba start once a week and mix his pitches up more. There is a tendency to hype up our own guys and crap on the Yankees guys around here, but that's natural and often justifiable. I think Hughes is going to be a hell of a pitcher in 2 or 3 years, I think Clay is slightly better right now than Hughes and Joba (at the moment) slightly worse, but my opinion on any/all of them could change in the next year or two when they all get a full major league workload and we watch them pitch a lot more.

I agree....we have to see if Joba (the Hut) can really maintain his mechanics and stuff over the course of 6 innings plus. I bet you the Yanks are a little concerned too if he is really ready to handle this kind of load and this young age. I sort of doubt he is, but as Hank said: "we don't want to waste an arm like his in a set up role". If I am the Yankees, I'd be somewhat worried heading into spring training about the rotation (and actually the bullpen too!). You can count me in as one who thinks Hughes is going to be (eventually) real good. He may even win 15 this year, but I doubt Joba does.

The difference between them and Marte (others too), of course, is that Clay, joba, and hughes have all had periods of success at the major league level. Marte, as I recall, didn't even put up GREAT numbers in the minors, he just projected well.

I agree with your general point though. no prospect, no matter how far along or impressive, is a sure thing, even without consideration for injuries. On the other hand, as Hamilton showed this year, sometimes it just takes certain players a little bit more time to realize their potential.

Just to add to the decisions on Clay vs Joba, Both John Manuel (who wrote the mfy top 10) and Will Lingo took Joba on this past week's Baseball America podcast. FWIW Jim Callis took Clay. I think they're so close that health is probably going to be the biggest determinant between who winds up on top...

The Red Sox are in the fortunate position of not having to push their rookies. Imagine how much pressure there will be in New York. Girardi is following a popular, successful manager with a string of playoff appearances. By signing the free agent Yankees, the sons have made George look like a spendthrift, $220m and counting. Cashman has new idiots to deal with and will probably be the scapegoat in a house cleaning if the Yankees don't make the playoffs. The young pitchers will also be under a lot of New York pressure and statements like Hank's " We will have the best pitching in baseball in 2-3 years" doesn't help their situation.

This year there are two strong teams from the central and a strong competitor in their own division. Five good teams, only four make the cut and one (Angels) pretty much has a free pass. Girardi has a reputation of overusing young arms and that was in a situation where he was in complete control and there was relatively little pressure. They might kill their entire future this year.

How many innings did Joba pitch in 2007??

Not very many, was it? And his end of the season was very carefully monitored use out of the Yankee pen. I can't believe that the Yankees would turn him completely loose in 2008 as a starter; they'd be asking for injury. And yet, LCBF makes a good point about the pressure to succeed.

And for those who say "don't worry about the innings, it's the pitches" remember that Joba's innings in 2007 were relatively easy ones.

The pressure to overuse from a game perspective.
First, look at the situation, like the Red Sox, the Yankees have 6 starters to work with:

Pettitte 213 Innings last year --- has yet to start age related regression in either quantity or quality so none should be anticipated.
Wang 199 Innings last year --- although he has had some career injuries, no reason to believe he won't pitch 200+ innings.
Musina 152 Innings last year --- clearly age regressing in both quality and quantity, no reason to believe it won't continue at a faster and faster rate.
Hughes 73 Innings last year (carreer high 146 in 2006) --- should be held to limited innings but not disasterously low.
Chamberlain 112 Innings last year (carreer high 118 in 2005) --- should be held to low innings. He's a strikeout pitcher which means more pitches per inning not less. Kennedy 165 Innings last year (carreer high) --- potential innings horse, 200 innings this year wouldn't be unreasonable, especially since he's a "finess" pitcher and not a power arm.

Unlike the Red Sox, the odd man out will have to be in the pen since the Yankees have a poor bullpen. Farnsworth can be counted on for a high innings count but at about major league average, Hawkins will be lit up in the AL east (less than average NL reliever with a bad history against the AL east, a signing that made me scratch my head and wonder what the hell were they thinking).

Since 6 of the 9 hitters in the Yankee lineup are clearly in age related decline, the offense should continue to regress and since the offence around arod (not regressing) will be less, expect ARod to have less RBI opportunities and be pitched around a lot more in the next few years. Net effect on the pitching is that the Yankees will have fewer laughers to rest their starters and put in the even worse relievers they will have on their staff.

If the Yanks get Santana at the cost of 2 pitchers, it puts one less arm in the bullpen and, since Kennedy is typically the player mentioned, there goes a lot of innings. That's why they are balking at including him in the trade proposals, it's not so much that he's good, it's more that they desperatly need him.. Additionally the $25+m additional payroll will be magnified by the luxury tax.

As far as free agents, they either have 1 or none left because of other signings and, there aren't any good bullpen arms available now. The pressure to get a lot of innings from their young starters is going to be great.

Edit add: Their problem is compounded by the fact that neither Hughes nor Kennedy fit the typical reliever profile, they're both far better suited to be starters which means Joba might have to set up for Rivera again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If any GM bases his actions upon the whims of a Steinbrenner than that man is a fool.

Quoting myself: "I was just meaning that I think Hughes is underated in general here."

I doubt if any serious baseball follower would think Hughes sucks. My use of the word sucks is about equivalent to AMarshal2's use of the word. I only responded to "Nobody said he sucks".

I think "here, in general" Hughes is considered significantly below Joba and Clay. I agree with below but not significantly. Maybe (ceiling, not a prediction) the difference between a no brainer all star and a borderline all star.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:42 pm

Ken Rosenthal was on Sny Met Hot Stove, He says Johan will be on Mets becayse They need him the most. He predicts Johan will land with the Mets


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:50 pm

Braves deal reliever Devine to A's for center fielder Kotsay

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves completed a trade for center fielder Mark Kotsay on Monday, dealing reliever Joey Devine and a minor league pitcher to the Oakland Athletics.

The deal was finalized after Kotsay, who played only 56 games last year, was examined by Braves doctors. He had back surgery last spring, missed the first two months of the season and returned to the disabled list with back spasms in August.

The Braves received cash, with Oakland expected to pick up a sizable portion of Kotsay's $7.35 million salary in the final year of his contract. He is eligible for free agency after the 2008 season.

Atlanta was eager to find a replacement for perennial Gold Glover Andruw Jones, who left to sign a two-year, $36.2 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 32-year-old Kotsay is known for his defense, recording double-digit assists six times in his career. From 1998-06, he averaged 141 games played, 529 at-bats, 71 runs, 11 homers, 60 RBI and a .286 batting average per season.

He batted just .214 last season, however.

"Mark is one of the most accomplished defensive center fielders in the game and is a true professional," general manager Frank Wren said in a statement. "We feel that we have added another quality baseball player to our club."

Devine, the Braves' top pitck in the 2005 amateur draft, went 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA in 25 games over parts of three seasons. The hard-throwing right-hander is best known for giving up grand slams in his first two big league appearances, then an 18th-inning homer that ended the '05 division series against Houston.

The Braves also sent Jamie Richmond to Oakland. The 21-year-old righty was 16-7 with a 2.48 ERA in three minor league seasons with the Braves.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press


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Re: Huston Street's available?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:53 pm

It's official: Cards trade Rolen for Glaus

4:45 p.m. update:

It's official: The Cardinals announced early tonight they have traded third baseman Scott Rolen to Toronto for Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus.

The Cardinals will wait until Wednesday for a formal news conference about the trade, out of respect for the family of longtime front-office employee Marty Hendin, who died Saturday night. Mr. Hendin's visitation and funeral service is Tuesday.

The Blue Jays are expected to hold their press conference Tuesday.


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Re: Huston Street's available?

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