Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:54 am

Please Vote for Joba over Buccholz. Everyone wink


http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846#

The case for Buchholz

In his first three professional seasons, Buchholz is 22-11 with 378 strikeouts in 309 innings. In his six career stops -- with Lowell, Greenville, Wilmington, Portland, Pawtucket and Boston -- opponents have hit .219, .211, .182, .180, .221 and .184 against him. Buchholz began his college career at McNeese State as a shortstop, and he's extremely athletic. He has a four-pitch arsenal, and his curveball and changeup are so good that his fastball (which registers in the 90-94 mph range) is generally regarded as his third best pitch. It's no wonder that when the Red Sox made a play for Johan Santana, they made it clear from the outset that Buchholz was off-limits.

The case for Chamberlain

He sailed through three minor league stops last year, whiffing 135 batters in 88 innings before emerging as a bullpen sensation in New York. Chamberlain's 15 1/3 scoreless innings stretch, to begin his career, was the second-longest such streak in Yankees history --surpassed only by Judd ''Slow Joe'' Doyle's 18 scoreless innings in 1906. His fastball and slider both grade out near the max on the 20-80 scouts scale, and the Yankees have the option of plugging him into their rotation or keeping him in the bullpen as a bridge to Mariano Rivera. Right now, it looks as if he'll be a starter in 2008. While the Yankees were willing to part with Phil Hughes in a Santana deal, they told Minnesota that Chamberlain was not up for discussion.
The Choice

We talked to nine non-Red Sox or Yankees personnel people, and the verdict was decidedly pro-Joba. While most baseball talent evaluators predict stardom for both pitchers, seven of the nine preferred Chamberlain. So we'll go with the Yankees guy as well. Let the debate (and the angry e-mails from Red Sox fans) commence.



Vote: Which young pitching prospect would you rather have?


http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/jobavbuchholz.html

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:04 am

Joba Chamberlain vs. Clay Buchholz in a matchup of American League Rookie of the Year candidates


http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846#

The case for Buchholz

In his first three professional seasons, Buchholz is 22-11 with 378 strikeouts in 309 innings. In his six career stops -- with Lowell, Greenville, Wilmington, Portland, Pawtucket and Boston -- opponents have hit .219, .211, .182, .180, .221 and .184 against him. Buchholz began his college career at McNeese State as a shortstop, and he's extremely athletic. He has a four-pitch arsenal, and his curveball and changeup are so good that his fastball (which registers in the 90-94 mph range) is generally regarded as his third best pitch. It's no wonder that when the Red Sox made a play for Johan Santana, they made it clear from the outset that Buchholz was off-limits.

The case for Chamberlain

He sailed through three minor league stops last year, whiffing 135 batters in 88 innings before emerging as a bullpen sensation in New York. Chamberlain's 15 1/3 scoreless innings stretch, to begin his career, was the second-longest such streak in Yankees history --surpassed only by Judd ''Slow Joe'' Doyle's 18 scoreless innings in 1906. His fastball and slider both grade out near the max on the 20-80 scouts scale, and the Yankees have the option of plugging him into their rotation or keeping him in the bullpen as a bridge to Mariano Rivera. Right now, it looks as if he'll be a starter in 2008. While the Yankees were willing to part with Phil Hughes in a Santana deal, they told Minnesota that Chamberlain was not up for discussion.
The Choice

We talked to nine non-Red Sox or Yankees personnel people, and the verdict was decidedly pro-Joba. While most baseball talent evaluators predict stardom for both pitchers, seven of the nine preferred Chamberlain. So we'll go with the Yankees guy as well. Let the debate (and the angry e-mails from Red Sox fans) commence.



Vote: Which young pitching prospect would you rather have?


http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/jobavbuchholz.html








Welcome to The Show! Jerry Crasnick is stopping by Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET as part of our ongoing Hot Stove Heaters chats! Check back each day for a new topic and a new chat! Take it away, Jerry!

Last week, we focused on the past and present in the first of ESPN.com's Hot Stove heater debates, with a difficult judgment call on Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

Today, it's all about the future, with Joba Chamberlain vs. Clay Buchholz in a matchup of American League Rookie of the Year candidates. From a purely entertainment standpoint, this one is a heck of a lot more fun than Bud Selig vs. Henry Waxman.

Both pitchers made impactful debuts in 2007. Buchholz threw a no-hitter against Baltimore in his second big league start, and Chamberlain was basically untouchable until a swarm of midges descended from the skies and attacked him in the Division Series in Cleveland.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:06 am

No , Even Espn talk to nine non-Red Sox or Yankees personnel people, and the verdict was decidedly pro-Joba. While most baseball talent evaluators predict stardom for both pitchers, seven of the nine preferred Chamberlain. So we'll go with the Yankees guy as well. Let the debate (and the angry e-mails from Red Sox fans) commence.

;-D

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:09 am

Buccholz? Biggie what's your reason for picking Clay over Joba?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:10 am

You forget about The Mets Rob, They can spend the Money like Redsox and Yankees for Johan?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:17 am

The reason is Joba has better fastball than Clay.. Espn- " His fastball and slider both grade out near the max on the 20-80 scouts scale, and the Yankees have the option of plugging him into their rotation or keeping him in the bullpen as a bridge to Mariano Rivera" Clay had a criminal record for stealing laptops and computers even though He's was a rich kid.


From Jerry Crasnick today's chat


http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846

Steve (Boston): While Joba has a great future ahead of him, I believe that Clay has better raw stuff. Joba has great velocity but does he have an out pitch as nasty as the Bucholz Curve?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:07 PM ET ) Steve,

Chamberlain's fastball and slider both grade out near 80 on the 20-80 scouts scale. You don't get any better than that. He didn't use his curveball or changeup out of the bullpen, but he'll have both in his arsenal if he goes to the rotation. I still think he's good enough to blow hitters away throwing the fastball and slider 90 percent of the time.




http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846

Doug (Boston): Clay has no weaknesses, Joba cannot pitch with insects around.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:13 PM ET ) Doug,

Here's an interesting thing about Buchholz: Two scouts told me they're a little concerned because he pitches with an extremely high arm angle. Apparently some people in baseball think that can lead to shoulder problems. Buchholz also has a very wiry build -- a la Bronson Arroyo. Some talented evaluators look at his body type and wonder if he can consistently handle a big workload.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:27 am

MLB 2K8 Q&A: Ben Brinkman on 2K8's New Features
2K Sports unwraps the first details on Major League Baseball 2K8 in this Q&A with Ben Brinkman.
By Staff, GameSpot
Posted Jan 11, 2008 12:32 pm PT

http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/sports/majorleaguebaseball2k8/news.html?sid=6184600&tag=topslot%3Btitle%3B5&page=1


2K Sports has been making the most of its position as the sole third-party publisher of MLB-licensed games. Last year saw the release of not just the latest in its long-running MLB 2K series but a couple of additional hardball titles: The Bigs and MLB Power Pros (an MLB-styled take on a long-standing Japanese series), two very different takes on the national pastime. Now, with 2008 here, we turn to the next game in 2K Sports' MLB series, Major League Baseball 2K8. To get the first details on what looks to be a groundbreaking year for the series, we contacted MLB 2K8 producer Ben Brinkman. As he told us, it seems that the 2K Los Angeles development team has been busy overhauling practically every core aspect of the game, adding a bunch of new, fun-sounding features in the process, as well as getting set for the debut of the MLB 2K series on the Nintendo Wii.

GameSpot: Let's start with your thoughts on MLB 2K7. In hindsight, what worked for you in that game and what didn't turn out the way you'd hoped?

Ben Brinkman: With 2K7, we knew we had a long way to go from 2K6 to get to where we wanted this game to be. The late release of 2K6 also left us with a shortened development cycle for 2K7, so it was important not to get too ambitious. The main thing we wanted to accomplish was to get the gameplay headed in the right direction, and I think we did just that. 2K6 had a lot of issues with user responsiveness and just bugs, where, for instance, sometimes you could throw the ball to a base and the player would just not catch the ball for no discernable reason. We wanted to make sure the game played a good, solid game of baseball and that our customers wouldn't have to purchase new controllers after chucking their old one across the room in frustration.


It may be winter outside but, in the minds of the developers of MLB 2K8, it's always midsummer.

One part where we felt 2K7 may have come up a little bit short was the realism aspect. This is, after all, a simulation sports game, but 2K7 didn't always feel like playing a true-to-life game of baseball. Three aspects of this are really easy to point to: too many home runs, too many spectacular wall-climbing catches, and too easy to pinpoint your pitches. The goal for 2K8 was to create not just a fun game of baseball, but also a very realistic one. And we are very pleased with the results.

GS: What new features will find their way into MLB 2K8?

BB: Well, to start we added 90 minor-league teams to the game, including authentic uniforms, many authentic minor-league stadiums, and a few generic ones as well. Going hand-in-hand with that, we had to do a ton of work on the franchise mode, so you can expect a better and much more complete experience there.

We've also added many new unlockable "special" teams incorporating both current and legendary players. We've also got a pretty cool new approach to unlockables in general. We've implemented a new baseball-card system, in which you can earn players' cards by completing certain tasks. You can then sell duplicate cards for credits to buy new card packs, which consist of 10 cards and may include a stadium or special team. But by far the coolest part of the card system is the online card battles. When you have enough player cards to fulfill the requirements of a full team, you can then combine your cards to create a team and take head-to-head against other gamers' card teams online.

On the gameplay side, the big push was for realism. One area we knew we could improve from 2K7 was the hitting engine. Why am I able to hit an opposite-field home run on a pitch that jammed me off the handle of the bat? This shouldn't be. So first off, we completely gutted and rewrote the hitting engine, and the results are outstanding. Along with this, we tweaked the swing stick from 2K7 to increase your control and give it a better feel overall. This is dubbed "Swing Stick 2.0." The idea was to give batting more "oomph" when you swing. Baseball swings consist of two motions: back and forward. Basically we took the power swings from the swing stick and made them the default way to swing, minus the loft and power boost. We think it makes swings far more responsive, rewarding. and natural. Everything from going the other way with an outside pitch to checking your swing feels natural. My favorite is ripping that pitch in down the line. There is just something extremely satisfying about that!

We've also designed an entirely new and unique pitching interface which is unlike anything that's been done before. The main input comes from the right analog stick. The execution involves matching a gesture to throw the desired pitch. This enables a lot more granularity from the input than a digital face-button approach. We'll reveal more on this later. I know this might be met with mixed opinions on the message boards, but do us a favor and wait for the demo before you rush to judgment. We've spent a lot of time and iterations on this and, frankly, I will never pitch using buttons again. I really love it.


Finally, there is also a new right-stick throwing interface in the field. While you may have seen similar mechanics in the past, we've put a new spin on it which we believe is pretty innovative in its own right. The biggest goal was to give more control to the user and have the results be intuitive and realistic, and we're really happy with it.

Having said all that, we will still provide the option to choose between the pitching, batting, and throwing interfaces from previous years, but we believe once you've used the new ones, you won't want to go back

GS: Of the features you just mentioned, which one was the top priority and why?

BB: The hitting engine and the pitching interface were the top priorities. The hitting engine was important because the interaction between batter and pitcher is so integral and crucial to the game of baseball. If that doesn't feel right, then that's a pretty big blow to the realism. We got on it early (as soon as 2K7 shipped, in fact), because after ripping out and rewriting so much code, we wanted to make sure we'd have ample time to tune it and make it feel right. We've been very happy with its status for a while now. I think our batting just feels right-on this time.

The new pitching interface was another top priority because it's a crucial part of the game and the new design was such a big change. Once again, we got on it early, with the idea that it would need several iterations to make it feel good. This worked out, as we were able to get something in early and then just keep getting feedback and keep making adjustments, until we finally have something now that we are really happy with and really excited for you guys to get a chance to play with.

GS: How often do you and/or the development team refer back to MLB 2K7 (or other previous games in the series) when creating the most current game in the series? Is there any feature or aspect of a prior game that inspired something in 2K8?

BB: Not really. We try to take what we learn from previous games and carry them forward (both what we did right and what we did wrong). But as for the game itself, we like to keep moving ahead and focusing on new ideas to build bigger and better games.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:28 am

GS: One of the focal points for the MLB 2K series has been the pitching and batting interfaces; almost as if the series has been searching for an "ideal interface" that hasn't been arrived at yet. How has pitching and batting evolved for 2K8, particularly from a control/interface standpoint? How close to "ideal" is this system in your opinion?

BB: As with anything, a lot of it is subjective, so it's tough to say that any one interface is ideal. Everyone has a different opinion of what they want. But we feel that 2K8's interfaces produce a very fun and realistic version of baseball. For me, this year I have as much fun with pitching and batting as I did with MVP Baseball 2003. MVP's controls captured the pitching and batting interface on PS2 and Xbox. I believe our controls in Major League Baseball 2K8 have done the same on the PS3 and Xbox 360. That's a lot to say, but like I said earlier, play the demo and try them for yourselves and you'll see what I'm talking about.

We had a simple tenet we frequently visited throughout production of our new interfaces: "When you give up a HR in the bottom of the ninth, you will be swearing at yourself, rather than at some behind-the-scenes calculation that you feel is giving you a raw deal." The opposite applies for hitting. Let me tell you something: when you throw a perfect pitch and the batter is fooled, or when you are looking dead red and you get it and rip a liner to win the game, it's pretty d*** satisfying.

GS: Signature styles have been another recurring theme in 2K sports titles of late. We saw some of that in MLB 2K7, with accurate pitcher deliveries and prebatting rituals for hitters. How have things improved on this front for the 2K8 entry?

BB: It's just blown out. You will be hard-pressed to find a starter without a dead-on signature animation. If a player has a unique stance or delivery, we tried to get it captured and into Major League Baseball 2K8. I think you'll be very impressed.



page 2 of 2

GS: What have you done with game physics, particularly with regard to fielding?

BB: We felt that the ball "floated" a bit too much in 2K7, and we were able to uncover some inaccuracies in our physics model. For example, things that may have been left out in lieu of frame rate due to the weaker processing power of the Xbox and PS2. We have a much more accurate physics model as a result, and the ball will behave very realistically, be it a line drive down the line, bouncing off the wall, or a throw skipping off the grass. A fun thing we added is a simulation of surface irregularities; basically small pebbles on the infield dirt that might cause the ball to take a slightly different hop. The result is much more realistic-looking grounders and more fun in fielding.


GS: Will there still be an icon to assist in fielding, or is a new system in place this year?

BB: The icon is a thing of the past. I think one of the reasons it was there in the first place was the lack of responsiveness on dives and wall climbs in previous iterations of the game. It's not intuitive to press the dive or wall-climb command several steps before you'd want that action to occur, so the icon was there as a guide. These actions are instantaneous now, so there is no need for the icon. If you press right trigger or R2, the fielder will dive for the ball immediately. If you guide your outfielder to the wall and the timing and positioning are appropriate, up he goes.

GS: Have there been any changes to the base-running controls?

BB: Yes. There is an all-new and more intuitive base-running interface. Runner selection has been moved to the left stick, and you have the option of using the face buttons to set the destination base directly. Plus, you can still use triggers and bumpers to advance all/retreat all, the same as last year.

GS: What can you tell us about artificial intelligence updates this year?

BB: Due to the new throwing interface and the push towards more realism in general, we had to make a ton of updates to the playbook. As a play unfolds, it will much more closely resemble a real game of organized baseball. The most noticeable updates are fielders backing up throws and the use of relay/cutoff men. In 2K7, the playbook was not advanced enough for this and we didn't have enough time to get it where it needed to be, so we simply disallowed throws to bases that were not caught. If you threw to a base and the player covering didn't catch it, that was a bug. In 2K8, these throws will occasionally go far enough offline that they will be uncatchable. The cool thing is that the AI is advanced enough now to appropriately back these throws up and, as a result, runners will rarely be able to take an extra base. Throws can go in all directions now, including throws that require the first baseman to scoop the ball.

GS: What's new with the presentation? Are Jon Miller and Joe Morgan still handling the booth duties?

BB: Yes, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are back on duty this year, and we've added some great new stuff with Jeanne Zelasko and Steve Physioc, who will be providing some midgame insight from the studio. We've also added new batting and fielding camera options, as well as a real-time news ticker, which most gamers have already seen in other 2K Sports titles. The entire front-end menu system has also been redone in a fashion similar to our franchise menu system from 2K7.

GS: Tell us about the online options. Will you be supporting leagues and/or tournaments? Will 2K Share be supported?

BB: Yes, leagues and tournaments will be fully supported. We've also added some fun new lobby types, such as strikes only, to help gamers pair up with people that want to play the game in a similar way.

GS: This will be the first year for a Wii entry in the MLB 2K series. What can you tell us about that version and how will it be taking advantage of the Wii's unique capabilities?

BB: We are very excited about the Wii this year. Our game is the only simulation experience on the Wii console and offers a different kind of baseball experience for those looking for more depth in their baseball game. As far as the Wii's unique capabilities, we've incorporated all of the Wii's unique controls into our game, making for a very cool baseball experience.

From the very first time the player starts the game, they are presented with a menu where they can use the pointer in our easy-to-use point-and-click interface. The Nunchuk controller is used to move around the interface if they do not want to use the pointer. More importantly, the gameplay is full of Wii-specific controls.

One thing to note is that you play with the Nunchuk and Wii Remote connected at the same time, as they are both used to complement each other during gameplay. Both peripherals are used when pitching, batting, baserunning, and fielding. These controls really make for a very exciting and fun experience for players

GS: In 2007, 2K Sports has recently expanded its baseball lineup, with the addition of titles like The Bigs and the Japanese-developed MLB Power Pros. What are your thoughts on those two games, particularly with regard to how/if either game influenced the direction of MLB 2K8 or future installments?

BB: Both of those games are great and are a lot of fun, but each is trying to create a very different sort of baseball experience. With MLB 2K8, we take the idea of being a sports simulation game very seriously, and as a result we make every effort to capture the utmost realism of major league baseball, from the way each player looks and moves to the specific mechanics you use to control the action, right on down to the exact detail of every stadium.

GS: Will the recent controversy regarding the steroid scandal in MLB affect the MLB 2K series (or baseball games in general) in any measurable way? For example, do you foresee any drastic "recalibrations" of certain players' ratings as a result of all the controversy?

BB: No. Our games won't be affected by the controversy. We're only concerned with making the most fun and most realistic baseball games we can.

GS: Will there be an Xbox 360 and/or PS3 demo available?

BB: Yes, there will be demos for both 360 and PS3. We are putting the finishing touches on them now and hope to have them out in early February. I think everyone will be very happy when they get their hands on it.

GS: Thanks, Ben.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:32 am

Santana talks continue

http://www.twincities.com/ci_7972337?source=most_viewed&nclick_check=1

The Boston Red Sox remain keenly interested in trading with the Twins for pitcher Johan Santana, and if reports Monday that the New York Yankees have taken pitcher Phil Hughes off the table are accurate, there would seem no chance that Santana will end up with the Yankees.

The Yankees, however, denied they have withdrawn from trade talks with the Twins.

New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya remains very interested in acquiring Santana, but it's unclear whether he has enough to offer for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. The Twins are believed to insist that outfielder Fernando Martinez be included in any deal with the Mets.

"If I tried commenting on all the rumors that come out of New York and Boston, it would be a full-time job," Twins general manager Bill Smith said Monday.

Smith, who drove to Mankato on Monday for the opening of the Twins' caravan tour, wouldn't give any hints as to the status of the Santana talks, but he did indicate they continue.

"That doesn't help the process," he said.

Martinez, 18, who played at the Class AA level last season, is the Mets' best position prospect and is expected to play at Class AAA New Orleans this year. The knock on him, though, is that he hasn't been able to remain healthy. He played in just 60 minor league games in 2006 and in 75 games last year. Although he can play center field, his best position is as a corner outfielder.


Santana, 28, wants at least a five-year guaranteed contract, but lately there has been concern expressed by baseball officials about whether his elbow would remain healthy for five, six or seven more years.

There was whispering that a Santana trade was ripe just before Christmas, but now it wouldn't be surprising if the left-hander ends up going to spring training with the Twins. If the Yankees were to drop out of the bidding, the Twins' leverage with the Red Sox would seem to decrease.

Some people believe that the closer the Twins get to spring training, which is less than five weeks away, the better the chance that Santana might decide to invoke his no-trade clause and simply pitch this season in Minnesota for $13.125 million.

There also has been talk recently that the Twins won't hesitate to trade closer Joe Nathan, 33, who can become a free agent after this season, for the right package.

"That's exactly what I mean about not commenting on all these rumors," Smith said.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:35 am

Two scouts according to Mr.Crasnick chat today that They compare Clay to Bronson Arroyo.

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18821


Joshua (Canton, MA): I think you meant to say Buchholz has a wiry build like Roy Oswalt.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:20 PM ET ) Joshua,

No, Buchholz is listed at 6-3, so he's significantly taller than Roy Oswalt. I heard Arroyo, Matt Clement and Jack McDowell mentioned as similar body types to Buchholz.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:38 am

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=337559172094111872&postID=8939753564826004270


jb said: "Yankees don't want to give up Hughes anymore.

Red Sox don't want to pay him, the only reason they'd trade for him is to block the Yankees.

Unless the Twins are going to sit around and hope the Yankees put Hughes back on the table, he's either coming here or staying home."


I agree with you that if the Yankees are no longer willing to deal Phil Hughes, it is very unlikely Santana will be a Yankee.

However, I have seen NOTHING that would suggest they are not... The only thing the Yankees have done is pull their offer. Why did they do that? Steinbrenner says because the Yankees "were unwilling to be played against other teams."

More revealing still were Steinbrenner's comments yesterday. After saying the Yankees were probably going to stay with what they have, he added that things could obviously change and that "IT WAS UP TO THE TWINS."

Combine that with the repeated comments from Steinbrenner about how he believes the Yankees had made the best offer, he believes the Twins know that, and he expects the Twins will check with the Yankees before they do anything...

Every attributed quote I have seen from the Yankees regarding this thing makes it very clear that they are willing to do now what they were willing to do at the winter meetings.

Unless somebody pops out of the wood work with something unexpected (the Mets dealing Reyes would qualify), I find it nearly impossible to believe Santana won't end up in the Bronx

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:40 am

I think it's close.. I really do. I think pure upside, Joba gets the node because he has two plus-plus-ultra plus pitches with his fastball, and slider. His curveball shows the promise of a plus-plus pitch, and his changeup is still under construction, but according to Nardi, he's made great strides with it.

I'd go with Joba just because he has that ridiculous upside.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:46 am

and Hanks attitude isnt going to change any minds.

Yanks are hated b/c they not only won, but did so by overspending and gloating about it by their arrogant owner.

Im not saying Hank cant do the job and do it well, but many of us are tired of seeing the yanks have to overpay in terms of dollars and players whenever a trade or free agent comes into view. Maybe, if there were less arrogance and attitude from the ownership, and less talking in general about their startegies, maybe the hositility would lessen over time. Not gonna happen, if anything what Hank says is more irritating than when it came from his father b/c his father established himself. Hank hasnt done that yet.



Thank you.

I fail to see how Hank could be "outsmarting" everyone by literally detailing everyone in the Yankees organization's opinion on Santana and giving a week by week breakdown of their thoughts and strategy on the matter. I mean, I think there's a reason we've read so much about some dissention in the ranks between Hank, Hal and Cash (we shouldn't read anything about that if things were run properly BTW).

Not to get off topic too much....but when did Hank become the go-to guy? Where is Hal? Aren't their roles supposed to be equal?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:48 am

We want Santana
We will not deal untouchables
Philip and Melky, OK
We want answer by Monday
Psyche, take your time
We aren't really interested
Psyche, we actually are, here's Marquez
Take it or leave it
Okay, fine we'll continue talking
We want something done soon
Not interested anymore, we aint desperate hahah!!!
We never had an offer on the table
We still want him, nothing is final

Pure brilliance. Wink

I don't know how the Twins haven't accepted one of Yankees' offers yet. They would be crazy not to trade for Phil Hughes he is the best player they have been offered in any deal. The Sox's package is okay but it lacks a phenominal prospect; Masterson probably has the highest ceiling of the group and many people predict him to be a reliever; Lester, Crisp, & Lowrie are far from guarenteed producers at the MLB level.

Hughes is the best player in the package, but the Sox have the next four best. Melky blows and Marquez isn't as highly rated as any of the Sox prospects in the deal. I hope the Yanks do trade Hughes though. He is going to be a great one and I will laugh at them for years to come when Hughes is an ace and Joba is a set up guy (having failed miserably as a starter).

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:48 am

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846

mike (newport beach, ca): what do you see from hughes and kennedy as 4-5 starters? also talking about the perfect mechanical delivery and what do you see for mark prior in sd? you were talking about violent deliveries ie joba and lincecaum but prior was deemed to have the perfectly sound delivery and he had arm trouble

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:43 PM ET ) Mike,

I think Phil Hughes is ready to step in and do a nice job at the back of the Yankees' rotation. Does that mean, say, a dozen wins? That sounds reasonable if he stays healthy. As for Ian Kennedy, I've gotten some mixed reviews on him. A couple of scouts told me they actually prefer Jeff Marquez -- the other prospect whose name was mentioned in the Yankees' Johan Santana package -- to Kennedy.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:50 am

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846

mike (newport beach, ca): what do you see from hughes and kennedy as 4-5 starters? also talking about the perfect mechanical delivery and what do you see for mark prior in sd? you were talking about violent deliveries ie joba and lincecaum but prior was deemed to have the perfectly sound delivery and he had arm trouble

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:43 PM ET ) Mike,

I think Phil Hughes is ready to step in and do a nice job at the back of the Yankees' rotation. Does that mean, say, a dozen wins? That sounds reasonable if he stays healthy. As for Ian Kennedy, I've gotten some mixed reviews on him. A couple of scouts told me they actually prefer Jeff Marquez -- the other prospect whose name was mentioned in the Yankees' Johan Santana package -- to Kennedy.

Marquez's former first round sandwich pick which Yankees got for losing David Wells when He signed with D-backs. Meanwhile Masterson is drafted in later rounds. Oops.. Meaning that Marquez is better talent than Masterson. According to scouts and Baseball America , Masterson's future role in will be in The Bullpen/Setup meanwhile Marquez is #3 or #4 starter in Big Leagues.

Yes Better pick, better talent.

That's according to BA not by me, Marquez can be #3 starter in future.

I still think The Twins wants Ellsbury in a package instead of Crisp. They want younger guy like Ellsbury so They can control for six years. Crisp's contract too expensive for Twins liking and He had no arm.. Meanwhile Torri Hunter had a good arm and can hit homeruns unlike Crisp.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:51 am

Hey, there used to be a blog that I went to that kept me up to date on all this Santana/Yankees/Twins/Redsox/Mets stuff. I cant remember the name. Does anyone remember the name of that blog?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:53 am

Randy Goes To Washington


http://waswatching.com/

Via Jayson Stark's live blog during today's congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. -

First special guest stars spotted in the peanut gallery: Nationals president Stan Kasten, Orioles managing general partner Peter Angelos and Yankees president Randy Levine, all seated in the Bud Selig Fan Club section.

I wonder why President Bluster is there? Kissing up to Bud?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:55 am

Hearing in progress



http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3197192&name=congressional_hearings

posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | Print Entry
filed under: MLB

Editor's Note: Jayson Stark is blogging live during today's congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., which includes commissioner Bud Selig, MLBPA executive director Donald Fehr and former Sen. George Mitchell.

Click here to send Jayson a question related to the hearing.

1:41 p.m. ET
Ohmygosh. We've had some actual levity.

Asked by Rep. Danny Davis what they were doing "as a team" to make things better, Fehr expressed unprecedented amusement.

"In my 30 years in baseball, I don't think anybody has ever previously referred to us as a team," he quipped.

"Nor will they again," said the other half of this noted comic duo, the commish.

Quite a moment, even though the audience didn't exactly roar.

1:36 p.m. ET
This was an interesting twist. We were told before the hearing that Selig wouldn't necessarily endorse outsourcing baseball's drug-prevention program, even though the Mitchell report had recommended it.

When asked about it directly, though, the commish had a different response.

"I really believe this program is working, but that's a very fair question," he said, "and is one we will fairly evaluate, because we need to be totally independent."

Well, if they need to be, what needs to be evaluated? I don't get it.

1:33 p.m. ET
Selig and Fehr have said all day they "take responsibility" for this mess. They've never quite said what that means. But they were just asked, point-blank, if they felt "complicit" in the rise of drug use in their sport.

Their answers were vintage Don Fehr and Bud Selig.

Fehr, at his legal best: "We didn't pay attention soon enough. If that fits your definition of 'complicit,' then yes."

Selig, at his spin-doctor best: "Yes, I take responsibility. If I take responsibility for all the great things that have happened in the last 16 years, I certainly take responsibility for this."

So they sure cleared that up, huh?

1:26 p.m. ET
Don Fehr just made a point I never thought I'd hear made in this setting: Suppose it turns out that HGH has legitimate, therapeutic medical benefits, if used in modest doses?

He said he was speaking just for himself, not for the union, and said he wasn't endorsing this use. But he said he'd had an "incident" in his family that made him wonder whether HGH might help an elderly person recover from a broken hip.

Fehr said he didn't know if anyone had ever done that research. But I met a guy on my vacation last week who has a background in pharmaceutical science, and he told me that in limited doses, HGH could be practically a miracle drug that could greatly help athletes and other people to heal, and could dramatically improve quality of life.

So when you hear repeated stories of players who tried to obtain HGH for healing purposes, obviously many of them have heard the same tales of the potential benefits of HGH.

Like Fehr, like those players, like members of Congress, I have no idea what's accurate on that front and what isn't. But I'd sure like baseball to look deeper at HGH and let the world know -- publicly -- whether the people who attempt to use it for therapeutic reasons might actually have a legitimate basis for doing that.

1:12 p.m. ET
Now we're getting into the thick of this blood-testing mess.

Rep. Stephen Lynch asked Selig and Fehr point-blank: Even though there's no blood test for HGH now, why don't you gather that blood now and test it retroactively?

"I know that when players know they can be tested for HGH, you'll see use [of HGH] drop," Lynch said.

Selig couldn't say, "I don't disagree with most of what you've said" fast enough. But Selig sounded like a guy who wants to store tests but can't figure out how to do it.

"I'm not a medical expert," the commish said. "Frankly, if there was a way to do it, I'm not adverse to doing it. But I've taken the best medical advice I could get from people. If I really felt there was a way to do it ... of course we'd do it."

But if you thought Fehr would head down that path, guess again.

"I'm not aware of any test, or any practice, that says you can store and test at a later time," Fehr said. "And it troubles me to do that."

He then played the Lance Armstrong card, mentioning that "we had issues in this country with stored samples that were looked at years later in Lance Armstrong's case."

All Fehr would commit to -- again -- is that if a valid HGH test becomes available "we have to look at it very hard."

So for all those people calling for the storing of blood as a deterrent, my bet is that you'll never, ever see that -- not in this sport.

12:54 p.m. ET
Do these members of Congress ever watch SportsCenter?

Both Rep. Christopher Shays and Rep. Diane Watson referred to the commissioner as Mr. "SELL-ig."

Give these people some pronunciation lessons, willya?

12:53 p.m. ET
Back to Fehr's big gripe:

In court, a player who was accused of doing something legal would get a chance to confront the people making the charges, review the evidence directly and cross-examine all witnesses.

But in the case of the charges leveled by Mitchell, "all we could do is question the same guy [Mitchell] who is serving as judge and jury."

So was that enough reason for the players to provide essentially no cooperation with the Mitchell investigators? Probably not. But it's a more valid reason for players to be wary than a lot of people acknowledge.

12:47 p.m. ET
It's heating up. Rep. Mark Souder looked Selig and Fehr in the eye and said, flatly: "The leadership part is missing."

He then grilled the dynamic duo about whether they were staying ahead of the curve.

Genetic doping? Selig gave a very general answer about how he'd hired people to look at everything. Fehr was on top of that one, though, saying that he'd spoken to a group years ago in which he'd forecast that "genetic doping would make what we see now look quaint."

Is baseball looking at substances such as creams and vitamin B-12 that disguise steroid use? Selig's reply was that this was "an evolutionary process." Fehr, on the other hand, said baseball had a list of all masking agents.

Then Souder got into a really sticky area -- whether baseball could use spikes in statistics to target a player for more testing? Selig said he thought that would be a reason to do more testing.

Fehr never talked about that one. But my guess is, if that any player suddenly started being tested weekly because he'd just hit a bunch of home runs, the union would question that development big-time.

12:27 p.m. ET
Ever wondered what the union's biggest gripe was with the Mitchell report?

If you guessed it was the lack of personal blame heaped on Selig, nope. Fehr told Rep. Tom Davis it was that Mitchell didn't let players know in advance what he intended to charge them with.

Mitchell said earlier he told players he would present them with those charges when and if they met with him. But players weren't going to go down that road.

Makes you wonder whether Mitchell's level of cooperation from players and the union would have been much better if he'd agreed to take that step. But we'll never know now.

12:18 p.m. ET
Don Fehr's statement didn't embrace blood testing for HGH quite so emphatically.

"If a valid blood test becomes available, we will consider it in good faith," Fehr said.

But he expressed skepticisim that that would happen any time soon. So clearly, this union isn't committing to anything that isn't specifically laid before it and ready to be applied. Anybody who expects them to do otherwise hasn't followed the way this union conducts business.

Why do we think this won't be the last time Fehr hears about this topic today?

12:06 p.m. ET
Two highlights of Bud Selig's opening statement:

The commish finally took the heat. Selig said he has "personally agonized over this a thousand times over what I could have done differently. And I accept responsibility for everything that happens in our sport." Selig didn't say exactly what he wished he'd done differently or what he was responsible for on this front. But he needed to say this -- not today, but years ago.

The commish indicated baseball would embrace a blood-based test for HGH -- at least if "a valid, commercially available and practical test for HGH becomes reality."

11:48 a.m. ET
The early winner of the Most Vociferous Baseball Basher trophy: Rep. Betty McCollum.

Check out some of the catchy phrases used by McCollum in her statement:

"Fraud." She dropped that one several times.

"Criminal conspiracy." Rep. McCollum said she believed that baseball engaged in a "criminal conspiracy to defraud millions of baseball fans of millions of dollars over the past 15 years."

"Cheating for profit." Very pithily phrased.

"Law-breakers and co-conspirators." Rep. McCollum said that baseball was "filled with law-breakers and co-conspirators who actively ignored the problem and continue to fuel the problem."

Mitchell listened to all this, then attempted to make the point that "this is not unique to baseball." But Rep. Waxman then jumped in to interrupt that point. Not interested. Mitchell was asked to answer the question he was asked.

So if anyone thought the baseball delegation was going to have any chance to argue that it has caught up with the other sports or isn't that different from the other sports, well, maybe not.

11:40 a.m. ET
It was only a matter of time before somebody played the inevitable Roger Clemens card. If you had Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton in your Clemens pool, congratulations. You're a winner.

But while Norton had a chance to posture, she turned into the star of these meetings. She asked excellent, tough, specific questions about the credibility of Clemens and his accuser, Brian McNamee.

Asked if anything had happened since the report that caused him to question McNamee's credibility, Mitchell replied: "Since our report was issued, Andy Pettitte said Mr. McNamee's statement about him was true. So that confirmed his testimony."

Norton didn't accept that answer, however. She followed up by asking why Mitchell believed McNamee was credible in his account of Clemens' drug use specifically.

Mitchell reminded Norton that McNamee had made an agreement with federal prosecutors that made it clear that if he lied, he faced further charges -- and that before each of his three interviews with the Mitchell investigators, he was informed by federal agents that any false statements could lead to criminal charges.

"Thus," Mitchell said, "Mr. McNamee had overwhelming incentive to tell the truth."

Mitchell then told a story we hadn't heard before. He said that just before his report was finalized, his staff went back to McNamee one last time and read him a verbatim account of how his testimony was characterized.

McNamee was then asked whether he was "comfortable" with that account. And, according to Mitchell, McNamee said he was, except for "a couple of minor suggestions." So it's noteworthy that McNamee was given a chance to back off before the slop hit the fan -- and didn't.

Rep. Waxman then jumped onboard. He brought up Clemens' repeated public denials of these charges, then asked Mitchell if, despite those denials, he was still comfortable with McNamee's account of Clemens' drug use.

"I believe the statements provided to us were truthful," Mitchell replied, succinctly.

So if this was the first public litmus test of whether elected officials and baseball officials believe Clemens' attempt to deflect these charges, the clear verdict is:

They don't. Emphatically.

11:16 a.m. ET
Rep. John Yarmuth brought up one of my own pet topics -- the motives of players who use HGH.

It should be obvious by now that many players have come to believe that HGH carries almost magical healing powers. So they sought it out not because they were trying to hit 50 homers but because they were trying to recover from some sort of injury, or just make it through the long season.

Mitchell corroborated that theory. And I'm glad he said, a couple of times, that "this subject is more complicated than a simple phrase [i.e. "cheating"] represents."

There were many reasons, Mitchell said, that players sought out these drugs. And one of them was just to keep up with the competition.

"I don't think anybody who gets to the big leagues needs steroids to hit or throw a baseball," Mitchell said. "What they were looking for was a competitive advantage in a highly competitive situation."

He reminded the committee that "the motives of individuals who took [these drugs] was not always identical."

That's a major gray area in this discussion that gets glossed over way too often.

11:08 a.m. ET
Most ominous words of the day: Rep. Stephen Lynch suggested Congress might want to do its own version of the Mitchell investigation -- except that investigation would pack the power of subpoenas "and possible criminal charges."

Mitchell then reminded Lynch that it has long been "the policy of the United States Government" to target dealers, distributors and manufacturers of illegal drugs -- not individual users.

But Lynch didn't back off, even an inch.

"These are adults," he said, who are "deciding to use drugs because it provides ... a distinct monetary advantage." These are not innocent kids being preyed on by sinister drug dealers, Lynch said.

Don't dismiss the danger in those words. If Congress decides to launch its own investigation, it will make the Mitchell report look like a high school term paper.

10:53 a.m. ET
Rep. Christopher Shays has been MLB's No. 1 basher on this committee for years, and he couldn't wait to pound away again.

"Why should cheating be a matter of collective bargaining?" he pontificated at one point, before launching into a Black Sox reference.

But Shays then made it obvious how little he actually follows baseball.

You might not have known, for instance, that that Black Sox reference involved the "1919 Chicago Black Hawks."

And when Shays attempted to grill Mitchell about whether Rafael Palmeiro was using steroids when he got his 3,000th hit, Shays wound up bungling Palmeiro's name ("Palmeiree"), later referred at one point to his "300th hit" and later by asking whether Palmeiro tested positive before "he concluded his 3,000th hit?"

What baseball fan talks like that, anyhow?

Seems to me that if anyone in Congress is going to lecture baseball on how it runs its sport, that congressman ought to demonstrate at least some basic familiarity with the sport. Keep that in mind as you listen to Shays wax poetic throughout the day -- and afterward.

10:45 a.m. ET
A precursor of a question Selig and Fehr can expect later in the day:

Rep. John Tierney reported that medical-use exemptions for the use of stimulants such as Ritalin had risen from 28 in 2006 to more than 100 in 2007. Tierney said he viewed that number as "an exceptionally high percentage" of players being exempted.

Mitchell's response was that his report didn't deal with amphetamines, so he had no knowledge of that issue. But Tierney made it clear he'll be revisiting this issue with Selig and Fehr. Can't wait to hear that explanation.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:01 pm

But BA Jim Callis said He would pick Clay over Buccholz

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:07 pm

Chris don't be ignorant, Clemens is a Redsox, Did He pitch for them and came up thru their system?

According Mitchell Report, Mcnamee get it from Radomski who's former Mets Clubshouse attendant. Radomski was drug dealer...

Chris, you forgot about Loduca's name? He was former met remember?

How about Guillermo Mota who Omar sign and traded him to Brewers?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:08 pm

ESPN Web
Chat with Jerry Crasnick

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18846

Welcome to The Show! Jerry Crasnick is stopping by Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET as part of our ongoing Hot Stove Heaters chats! Check back each day for a new topic and a new chat! Take it away, Jerry!

Last week, we focused on the past and present in the first of ESPN.com's Hot Stove heater debates, with a difficult judgment call on Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

Today, it's all about the future, with Joba Chamberlain vs. Clay Buchholz in a matchup of American League Rookie of the Year candidates. From a purely entertainment standpoint, this one is a heck of a lot more fun than Bud Selig vs. Henry Waxman.

Both pitchers made impactful debuts in 2007. Buchholz threw a no-hitter against Baltimore in his second big league start, and Chamberlain was basically untouchable until a swarm of midges descended from the skies and attacked him in the Division Series in Cleveland.

The case for Buchholz

In his first three professional seasons, Buchholz is 22-11 with 378 strikeouts in 309 innings. In his six career stops -- with Lowell, Greenville, Wilmington, Portland, Pawtucket and Boston -- opponents have hit .219, .211, .182, .180, .221 and .184 against him. Buchholz began his college career at McNeese State as a shortstop, and he's extremely athletic. He has a four-pitch arsenal, and his curveball and changeup are so good that his fastball (which registers in the 90-94 mph range) is generally regarded as his third best pitch. It's no wonder that when the Red Sox made a play for Johan Santana, they made it clear from the outset that Buchholz was off-limits.

The case for Chamberlain

He sailed through three minor league stops last year, whiffing 135 batters in 88 innings before emerging as a bullpen sensation in New York. Chamberlain's 15 1/3 scoreless innings stretch, to begin his career, was the second-longest such streak in Yankees history --surpassed only by Judd ''Slow Joe'' Doyle's 18 scoreless innings in 1906. His fastball and slider both grade out near the max on the 20-80 scouts scale, and the Yankees have the option of plugging him into their rotation or keeping him in the bullpen as a bridge to Mariano Rivera. Right now, it looks as if he'll be a starter in 2008. While the Yankees were willing to part with Phil Hughes in a Santana deal, they told Minnesota that Chamberlain was not up for discussion.

The Choice

We talked to nine non-Red Sox or Yankees personnel people, and the verdict was decidedly pro-Joba. While most baseball talent evaluators predict stardom for both pitchers, seven of the nine preferred Chamberlain. So we'll go with the Yankees guy as well. Let the debate (and the angry e-mails from Red Sox fans) commence.

Vote: Which young pitching prospect would you rather have?

Archive: Hot Stove Heaters

Actually a Yankee Fan(New York): Are you even going to tell us why seven of nine evaluators picked Joba over Clay? A deeper analysis and some quotes would have been nice considering you are not a talent evaluator yourself. Where is Keith Law when you need him?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:01 PM ET ) Dear Actually,

Well, if I had given a detailed explanation with quotes at the outset, there wouldn't be much need for a chat, would there? We'll address some of the questions now.

Wayne (Hackettstown, NJ): Will Joba's arm be okay for 200 innings of 100 MPH fastballs all season long?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:03 PM ET ) Wayne,

This is obviously the big question with both guys: Can they handle a Roy Halladay-Brandon Webb type of workload? That remains to be seen. But Chamberlain's fastball and slider are overpowering enough to blow away hitters even if he's pacing himself over 6 or 7 innings. I don't think you'll be seeing him throw 100 mph as a starter. But 95-97 is more than enough to get the job done.

Chris (Atlanta, GA): So, what reasoning did the 2 out of 9 give to substantiate choosing Clay over Joba?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:05 PM ET ) Chris,

A lot of teams were scared off drafting Chamberlain out of Nebraska because he'd had some knee and arm problems. But he's really gotten himself in better shape in recent years. The kid weighed about 280 when he played for Division II Nebraska-Kearney. He was big enough to blot out the sun.

Steve (Boston): While Joba has a great future ahead of him, I believe that Clay has better raw stuff. Joba has great velocity but does he have an out pitch as nasty as the Bucholz Curve?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:07 PM ET ) Steve,

Chamberlain's fastball and slider both grade out near 80 on the 20-80 scouts scale. You don't get any better than that. He didn't use his curveball or changeup out of the bullpen, but he'll have both in his arsenal if he goes to the rotation. I still think he's good enough to blow hitters away throwing the fastball and slider 90 percent of the time.

Sci, UT: Are people down on Clay because of his size, stuff, make up, or what?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:09 PM ET ) Sci,

Buchholz had an off field issue at McNeese State where he was arrested for stealing some computers. But the Red Sox, to their credit, did a lot of homework and determined it was a one-time lapse in judgment. From everything I've heard, the kid is a hard worker and exemplary citizen. He made a mistake and learned from it, and it's no longer an issue.

Jayson (Boston): Boston shut Clay down when he had a hot hand and the Sox were headed to the playoffs. New York had its famous "Joba Rules" limiting action for Chamberlain. Which pitcher is likely to break free of these restrictions first? Will the depth of Boston's rotation allow Buchholz additional time to develop, or will it unnecessarily hold him back?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:11 PM ET ) Jayson,

I think both teams are going to monitor their pitchers' workload closely this season. Buchholz shut it down at 148 innings last year with shoulder fatigue, and Chamberlain threw 122 innings during his four stops. There's no way either guy makes the quantum leap to 200 innings. I think maybe 160-170 innings for Chamberlain and a little more than that for Buchholz.

Doug (Boston): Clay has no weaknesses, Joba cannot pitch with insects around.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:13 PM ET ) Doug,

Here's an interesting thing about Buchholz: Two scouts told me they're a little concerned because he pitches with an extremely high arm angle. Apparently some people in baseball think that can lead to shoulder problems. Buchholz also has a very wiry build -- a la Bronson Arroyo. Some talented evaluators look at his body type and wonder if he can consistently handle a big workload.

Ben (SF): Joba, Clay or Lincecum?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:15 PM ET ) Ben,

I'd rather not expand this debate to guys already in the big leagues, but I will say that Felix Hernandez and Tim Lincecum's names both came up frequently when I talked to scouts. Believe it or not, King Felix is younger than both Chamberlain or Buchholz. Amazing.

Drew (Bedford, NY): You mentioned that on the 20-80 scale Joba's Slider and fastball are an 80. Where on the scouting scale do Buchholz's pitches fall? What about Joba's Change and curve?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:17 PM ET ) Drew,

Buchholz's curveball and changeup both rank around 70. His fastball is slightly below that. I guess Joba's curve ranges from above average to hellacious depending on the day. His changeup is a work in progress.

Chris (Worcester, Mass): Chamberlain has the clear upside. He is a year younger, and has velocity on his pitches- a trait that cannot be taught like control. Many will point to Buchholz's no hitter, but I do not see that as a guarantee that he will do well. Other rookie no-hitters include Wilson Alvarez, Bobo Holloman, Bumpus Jones, and Bud Smith. Recognize any of those names? Probably not.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:19 PM ET ) Chris,

Good point. But Christy Mathewson and Vida Blue threw no-hitters as rookies, and they turned out to be pretty good.

Joshua (Canton, MA): I think you meant to say Buchholz has a wiry build like Roy Oswalt.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:20 PM ET ) Joshua,

No, Buchholz is listed at 6-3, so he's significantly taller than Roy Oswalt. I heard Arroyo, Matt Clement and Jack McDowell mentioned as similar body types to Buchholz.

Jeremy (Long Beach): I know this isn't a conversation about Felix...but can we PLEASE stop calling him "King", he has great stuff but has not produced anything consistent! He has to earn that title

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:22 PM ET ) Jeremy,

Good point. I'll refrain from further royalty references in relation to Felix. On the other hand, he's still 21 years old and he did go 14-7 last season. I'd take the kid.

Lou (NJ): I know you may be high on Joba but many of your colleagues think he is over hyped. What are your thoughts

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:24 PM ET ) Lou,

It's natural that any kid named "Joba'' who throws 100 mph and pitches in New York is going to get a lot of hype. But geez -- the kid was up for two months and barely allowed a run. As long as he stays healthy, he has a chance to be terrific. The only question is, will he be a starter or a closer longterm? But that's a pretty nice problem for the Yankees to have.

Gary (Philly): Any news about Clay being the fastest runner in the Red Sox organization?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:26 PM ET ) Gary,

Buchholz is a fantastic athlete. He's quick off the mound, he' has a good move to first base and he can field his position. And as the story goes, he ran the fastest 60-yard dash on the Lowell Spinners roster in 2005. Apparently his teammate Jacoby Ellsbury didn't run that day because of a balky hamstring. But some Red Sox people think it would be a heck of a race.

Garrett (Stratford): Where do you think Chamberlain would help the team more. In the rotation or bullpen?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:30 PM ET ) Garrett,

Since Mariano Rivera is going to be around a while longer, it boils down to Joba Chamberlain starting or pitching in a setup role. I'd obviously take him as a starter. If he's closing, maybe the answer is different. I know there's a school of thought that 200 innings in the rotation outweighs the value of 70 innings in the bullpen -- even in a closing role. But in light of the contribution Jonathan Papelbon has made to Boston's pen, I'm not sure the answer is so automatic anymore.

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:08 pm

Stephanie,New Mexico: I think Joba has staying power due to his body type. Since he such strong legs,what are your thoughts?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:31 PM ET ) Stephanie,

The scouts I talked to all said that Buchholz and Chamberlain both have good, "clean'' arm actions, although Chamberlain's delivery might look a little violent at times. But I think you're on to something: Joba has such a strong foundation with his legs, it has to help.

Todd (NJ): There is a lot of discussion of Joba being a starter, but is there discussion of how Buchholz would do as a 8th inning set-up man?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:33 PM ET ) Todd,

The Red Sox were kicking around the idea of pitching Buchholz in relief in the postseason until he shut it down with shoulder fatigue. But no, I don't think there's any sentiment at all to use him in the bullpen this season. He's a starter, no ifs, ands or buts.

Homer Baily (Cincinnati, OH): What about me, I had some issues with control in my debut but all pitchers do. I have nasty stuff!

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:36 PM ET ) Homer,

I asked baseball people which other kids in the upper minor leagues are closest to Chamberlain and Buchholz. Your name was mentioned, along with Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and David Price, Jake McGee and Wade David of Tampa Bay. The scouts also really like Phil Hughes (although his pure stuff doesn't measure up to Chamberlain's).

Phil Hughes (New York, NY): How did I get left out? A lot scouts tend to view me as a better long term option than Joba or Clay.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:36 PM ET ) Phil,

See above answer.

Vinny (NY): At what talent level of a starter does having a closer like Mariano outweigh having that starter? Would you choose a great closer over a number 2 starter? Where is the cut off line?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:38 PM ET ) Vinny,

Great question. I don't know if there's a cut and dried answer to it. The Red Sox clearly felt that having Papelbon as their closer outweighed the contribution he might make as, say, their third best starter. It's easy to say that closers are overrated. But if you're playing in a big market like Boston, New York, LA or Chicago and you're a contending team with a bad closer, it's going to be a huge problem.

Teddy (Los Angeles): If I was choosing today, and today only, I would take Buchholz due to his overall arsenal and his somewhat proven ability to be a starter at the big league level. Chamberlain was as dominant as they come in his bullpen role, but I am curious to see if his stuff is as good when he needs to go 7 or 8 innings. I think we make it sound too easy for switching a prospect to the bullpen and then back to the rotation. I am just not sure Chamberlain can be as good of a starter as Buchholz, yet anyways, and that is the deciding factor. A top-tier starter is much more valuable than a top-tier reliever.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:40 PM ET ) Teddy,

You make some good points, but I'm not sure anybody is sold on Clay Buchholz's durability at this point, either. He was a shortstop in college and in his three professional seasons he's thrown 41, 129 and 148 innings. Is he a 220-inning a year hoss? That's not a given by any means.

mike (newport beach, ca): what do you see from hughes and kennedy as 4-5 starters? also talking about the perfect mechanical delivery and what do you see for mark prior in sd? you were talking about violent deliveries ie joba and lincecaum but prior was deemed to have the perfectly sound delivery and he had arm trouble

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:43 PM ET ) Mike,

I think Phil Hughes is ready to step in and do a nice job at the back of the Yankees' rotation. Does that mean, say, a dozen wins? That sounds reasonable if he stays healthy. As for Ian Kennedy, I've gotten some mixed reviews on him. A couple of scouts told me they actually prefer Jeff Marquez -- the other prospect whose name was mentioned in the Yankees' Johan Santana package -- to Kennedy.

Greg (Orchard Farm): Why are we having this conversation now? Clayton Kershaw will be better than either of these guys.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:46 PM ET ) Greg,

It's such a crap shoot with kids in the minors, really. Clayton Kershaw is supposed to be great, but Greg Miller and Edwin Jackson got a lot of hype and sure didn't amount to much. It's all about health, maturity and the ability to make adjustments when you're talking about prospects. We'll see on Kershaw.

Andre GA: speaking of young pitchers ... what do you see of Pelfrey becoming (best case scenario) and just how good is this D. Guerra?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:47 PM ET ) Andre,

There are a lot of questions about Mike Pelfrey because of his lack of a breaking ball. Some people think he winds up in the bullpen. Maybe he can do some tinkering and be an Aaron Heilman type. As for Deolis Guerra, I guess he's pretty good. But he's only 18.

Chris (Atlanta): Per Teddy's comments, it is to be understood that Joba does have a decent arsenal himself is it not? He does have five pitches (althought his changeup is iffy) does he not? And although Clay may have a better curve and changeup, Joba has a better Fastball and Slider. My point is that it should not be assumed that Clay has a better overall arsenal as Joba has more than his FB and Slider but only uses them when Starting.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:50 PM ET ) Chris,

I know Jim Palmer used to say that if you can locate your fastball, you only need one complementary pitch. Of course, that was Jim Palmer. But I once saw Jason Schmidt dominate a postseason game with a fastball, a changeup and an arm that throbbed so much he couldn't bear to throw his slider. If you have two pitches as dominant as Chamberlain's fastball and slider, why use the changeup and curve as anything more than "show'' pitches?

eric (nj): Thanks for the Chat! Had Clay not already thrown a no-hitter, who would you say was more likely to do it in their career based solely on their "stuff"?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:50 PM ET ) Eric,

Probably Joba. But give him time.

Mils (Boston): I believe Baseball America independent scouts have Clay ranked ahead of Joba going into next season as the #2 prospect in baseball behind jay bruce, any reason why those scouts would be different then the 9 (7 of which liked joba better)?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:53 PM ET ) Mils,

Baseball America's four editors -- Jim Callis, John Manuel, Will Lingo and Chris Kline -- split on Joba vs. Buchholz. I know Callis prefers Buchholz, while Manuel favors Joba. And by the way, those guys are both passionate about it. I think we need to arrange a steel cage match between them so they can duke it out.

Kris (San Fran): Any concerns that Joba will still be spooked by that "bug breakdown" in the playoffs?

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:55 PM ET ) Kris,

No way. I was at Jacobs Field covering that game, and I was amazed at how poised the kid was. He stood before the media throng, held himself accountable and didn't make any excuses for his performance that night. In a strange sort of way, Chamberlain showed a lot of character with his ability to handle failure in that game. I know the scribes were impressed.

Ian (New York): Clay = four starts against crappy teams when the Sox were about to clinch. Joba = 24 innings of a tight pennant race and only pitched when the game was on the line. No comparison. Joba rules.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:56 PM ET ) Ian,

Let me guess, you're a Yankees fan, right?

jeff(MD): Besides his fastball, Joba doesn't have anyother pitches as refined as Clay Buchholz. I'm sick and tired of listening to new yorkers over-rating their prospects.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (1:59 PM ET ) Jeff,

I went into this with an open mind, and people whose opinions I respect -- scouting directors, talent evaluators who saw both guys in the Eastern League, etc. -- gave the nod to Chamberlain by a substantial margin. That doesn't mean Buchholz won't be terrific, or even that Joba will be better than Buchholz. But I was surprised at the pro-Joba level of sentiment out there.

Adam (syracuse, ny): watching Joba pitch last season, I can't say there's a smoother delivery other than MO's.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (2:00 PM ET ) Adam,

Yeah, when I used the word "violent,'' that wasn't the best description. But any pitcher who throws 100 is going to put some effort into it. For what it's worth, Chamberlain gets high grades for repeating his delivery consistently. That's very important.

SportsNation Jerry Crasnick: (2:01 PM ET ) Thanks for the emails, everybody. It was a lot of fun. Let's now return to Henry Waxman, Bud Selig and our regularly scheduled programming .

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:10 pm

Jets pick Gholston or Laurenalitis at pick #6?

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Re: Twins betting Santana Stakes still 3-horse race

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:13 pm

Rem, Are you referring to Joba's Fat and Chunky? He did lose some weight, He was at 280 Lbs last year.

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