Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:02 pm

Triple-A roster news from Chad Jennings


http://pinstripespa.blogspot.com/

Chad really does an amazing job with his blog, and he gets great information about both the New York and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. He got plenty of news today from an interview with Yankees farm director Mark Newman:

P.J. Pilittere will be the starting catcher for the S\WB Yankees to begin the season, and Francisco Cervelli will head to Trenton. Newman did not rule out a promotion for Cervelli at some point in 2008, and I think he'll be up by mid season.

Pilittere hit .261/.318/.336 last season for Double-A Trenton, and has apparently received much praise for his game calling ability and fundamentally sound defense.

Meanwhile, Newman was sort of vague when asked about the relief potential of some of Daniel McCutchen and and Heath Phillips. While he did not deny that McCutchen could be used in relief at some point, he mentioned that he will probably start the year in a starting rotation. Whether it is in Trenton or Scranton is still to be determined.

He also seemed to imply that Heath Phillips will be used in a relief role, and Newman seemed confident that the former White Sox prospect will be bullpen bound.

Other left hand options could be Chase Wright, Kei Igawa or Sean Henn. I'd go with Wright or Phillips.

Also, Newman does not think Bronson Sardinha will return to the Yankees organization.

That is pretty much the important stuff from Chad's Q&A session with Mark Newman. I'm pretty excited about the potential competitions for roster spots this year in spring training. It should be fun to watch players compete for a bullpen and bench spot.

Ht - Pinstripes PA

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:05 pm


Pilettere to start in Triple-A, at least for now


http://emedia.thetimes-tribune.com/Blogs/SWBYankees/tabid/552/Default.aspx

With so many big league jobs up for grabs, especially in the bullpen, its way to early to know exactly what the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster will look like on opening day. But we already know the candidates.

Yankees farm director Mark Newman said this afternoon that the Yankees are satisfied with the minor league moves they've made. The team doesn't anticipate making anymore minor league moves, except for the possible addition of a veteran catcher to start in Triple-A, but that move might not happen until much closer to opening day.

"We'll see what happens during spring training," Newman said.

Here's Newman's take on a few minor league matters.

Who's catching in Triple-A?

Pilittere.jpg

For the time being, Newman's answer is simple:

"Right now it's Pilittere," he said.

P.J. Pilittere (left) hit .261 with two home runs and 16 doubles as Double-A Trenton's starting catcher last year, but he also helped the pitching staff to a league-leading 3.18 team ERA. For now, Pilittere is in line to be the Triple-A starter, but Newman didn't rule out signing a veteran catcher before the team breaks camp in Florida.

As for Francisco Cervelli, he's not on the Triple-A map. At least not yet.

"He would go to Double-A," Newman said. "He's an outstanding defender. You may see him at some point during the year."

Also forget about catcher Eladio Rodriguez, who was one of two players the Yankees signed out of the Israeli Baseball League. The other is an Australian outfielder. Newman said he's not sure where either player will start the year, but it won't be Triple-A.

"They shouldn't be on your radar yet," Newman said.

Rotation or bullpen for Dan McCutchen and Heath Phillips?

McCutchen.jpg

Hope you weren't expecting an answer to that question, because Newman left the door open to either possibility for both pitchers. The one that probably interests Yankees fans the most is Dan McCutchen (left), so we'll start with him. Although McCutchen's future may be in the bullpen, it seems more likely that he will at least begin this season as a starter. Newman didn't say whether it would be in Triple-A or Double-A.

"A lot of people in the organization think heíll be a reliever at the big league level, and a good one," Newman said. "Typically those guys are starters for us. Odds are heíll be starting at least at the beginning of the year.Ē

As for Phillips, I threw his name into a question about a group of potential Triple-A starters. I know I've asked Newman before, but I wanted to check with him again. Would Kei Igawa, Chase Wright or Heath Phillips be considered left-handed relief options?

"I would say Heath Phillips, certainly," Newman said.

Doesn't rule out Igawa or Wright going to the bullpen, but it also doesn't indicate the Yankees are leaning that way. Phillips, on the other hand, suddenly looks more like a bullpen candidate than a Triple-A starter.

What about the guys who didn't get invitations to big league camp?

Whelan.jpg

In this case I'm talking about Kevin Whelan and J.B. Cox.

I was surprised Whelan (left) wasn't on the list of non-roster invitees. He had a good year in Double-A, and there are plenty of minor league analysts saying Whelan could play a role in the big leagues sooner rather than later. I asked Newman whether Whelan was on track to start the season in Triple-A, but Newman didn't commit to it.

"He's in the mix," Newman said.

As for Cox, he's coming back from surgery, so it's not really surprising that his name wasn't on that list of 26 non-roster guys. Newman reiterated what he's said before about Cox coming to Triple-A.

ďHe wonít start the season there," Newman said. "But he could be there.Ē

Beyond catcher, are the Triple-A position players set?

Green.jpg

Depends on what you mean by set. The options are in place, it's a matter of deciding who makes the big league bench and who moves into the Triple-A lineup.

Nick Green (left) has an out in his contract that he can excercise if he doesn't make the major league club. There's no guarantee he'll use it, but there's also no guarantee he'll be open to a Triple-A assignment. If Green doesn't make the big league roster-- and either Cody Ransom, Alberto Gonzalez or Bernie Castro does -- the Yankees could be scrambling for another Triple-A infielder. For now, though, the team has the pieces in place to fill the big league utility job and still have a strong starting infield in Triple-A.

The outfield is in similar shape. Justin Christian and Brett Gardner will fill two of the Triple-A spots, with right field probably going to Jason Lane. Even if Lane makes the major league team, it seems he would have to beat out Shelley Duncan to do so, leaving Duncan as the Triple-A starter in right. Greg Porter is also a Triple-A outfield option.

If the Yankees need to round out the Triple-A roster, Newman said outfielder Matt Carson and infielder Carlos Mendoza -- each of whom was in Double-A last year -- could be Triple-A candidates. Ramiro Pena, he said, would have an outside shot at Triple-A.

One last thing, what about Bronson Sardinha?

"I don't think he'll be back," Newman said.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:17 pm

Jan 16, 2008 4:37 pm - Read: MetsBlog Q&A with Y!ís Jeff Passan


http://www.metsblog.com/



...posted by Regis Courtemanche...

Öi was fortunate to recently have a Q&A with Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff PassanÖ

Öfor those of you not familiar with his work, passan is an award-winning reporter, who previously was the national baseball writer for The Kansas City StarÖhe graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in journalismÖ

His work can be found here.

Regis Courtemance, from MetsBlog:

You write columns, and a blog for Yahoo! Sports. In what ways does blogging differ from traditional writing? Also, in your opinion, why have many sports writers started blogs of their own?

Jeff Passan, from Yahoo! Sports:

Iíd like to think that it doesnít differ, that an individualís writing style transcends platforms, but Iíd be wrong.

Blogging is a completely different animal than the traditional stories offered by sports journalists - superior in some senses, inferior in others - and itís one with which Iím still trying to figure out my strengths. I know I can parachute into a ballpark and write a good story about a player, a team, a manager. Iím not so sure I could consistently put out a good blog, because there are so many routes to take, and I canít say which suits me best.

Do you go the Will Leitch route and kill Ďem with laughter? Or the David Pinto route and pound the news? Or the Buster Olney route and aggregate like an RSS reader? Or the Fire Joe Morgan route and rip apart all the garbage? Or the Carlos Gomez route and analyze mechanics? Everything - and I mean everything - in the blogosphere is accounted for.

One thing I can say: Iím a bit more casual in blogs - jokey, snarky, whatever the word du jour may be ó because itís one of the freedoms that blogging provides, and the one onto which Iíve glommed. Does it work? Jamie Mottram tells me so, but I think heís just being nice.

In 95 percent of the cases, sportswriters start blogs because their editors tell them to. Like a few thrown-together blogs are going to drive traffic and be a cure-all for feeble Web operations. I love newspapers, but most placesí Web philosophies are laughable.

Regis Courtemance, from MetsBlog:

As a fan, the Metsí inability to make the playoffs last year has increased my sense of urgency in terms of a ďwinning nowĒ mentality. There have been many Johan Santana rumors, but if the Mets donít acquire Santana, what can GM Omar Minaya do right now to improve the team? Based on your answer, which players do you think he should be targeting?

Jeff Passan, from Yahoo! Sports:

Right now, Jay Payton is penciled in as the Oriolesí opening day center fielder. Wouldnít Carlos Gomez look nice there? And Phil Humber or Mike Pelfrey sounds better than Garrett Olson as the No. 5 starter? How about Fernando Martinez repeating Double-A at 19 years old?

Now, Iím not sure that package would be enough to land Erik Bedard, but Omar ought to be killing his cell phone battery trying.

Because, frankly, I donít blame you for wanting to win now. The Metsí payroll is over $100 million, theyíve got the best left side of the infield in the National League and arguably the best in baseball - the other borough might argue - and they could have won the pennant again last season in a weak NL had they not done that accordion job.

Bedard is a legitimate No. 1 starter with two years before he hits free agency. Yes, heís going to make a killing in arbitration, but to the Mets, that doesnít matter. A rotation of Bedard, Pedro, Maine, Perez and Duque is enough to complement that lineup.

egis Courtemance, from MetsBlog:

Last season, many readers of MetsBlog were critical of Manager Willie Randolph - particularly of his in-game strategy. What do you think of the job Willie has done since being named Metsí manager in 2005?

Jeff Passan, from Yahoo! Sports:

Willie never struck me as a master strategist. Letís remember, his only coaching experience came under Joe Torre, whose ability to keep egos in check was, and continues to be, his greatest asset as manager. In-game maneuvering isnít exactly Torreís forte, especially when it comes to relief pitchers.

Because I donít see the Mets every day, I canít say with nearly the authority of a 162-game die-hard that Willie is a bungler. The problem is that the Mets hired Willie knowing that he wasnít Knute Rockne, that in times of angst he wouldnít stand up and give a fiery speech. Itís Omarís job, then, to ensure that at least one of the players on his 25-man roster will do that.

Beltran isnít the answer. Delgado wasnít. Wright was too young. Same with Reyes. Not Pedroís style. Maineís, either. Who is the firebrand in that clubhouse? Wagner, I guess, but he spouts off about anything, so thereís a cry-wolf syndrome with him.

I do wonder: If the same situation crops up again this year, will Willie change his tune? Because this time it could mean his job.

Regis Courtemance, from MetsBlog:

Pedro Martinez made a remarkable comeback at the end of last season. What are your expectations of what Pedro will be able to accomplish in 2008?

Jeff Passan, from Yahoo! Sports:

I love watching Pedro pitch, because heís got an absolutely brilliant mind for it. If I could pick anyone not to play in Rock, Paper, Scissors, it would be Pedro, because just when I think Iíve got his pattern downÖ

That said, seeing him throw 88 mph is, in a way, sad. Itís not that Pedro isnít effective. No, heíll nibble you to death with that 88, hit the Flushing dot on a Queens map if you asked him to, and if he stays healthy - an Empire State Building-sized if - he should win 15 games and post an ERA around 3.50.

Regis Courtemance, from MetsBlog:

No pressure, but as of right now, who will win the NL East next season?

Jeff Passan, from Yahoo! Sports:

Hmmmmm. Head or heart here? Head says the Mets. Better lineup (by a sliver), better pitching (by a sliver), better defense (their defensive efficiency was quite a bit higher), equally mediocre managers and more chips to play with should they need to make a trade.

Heart, however, says the Phillies. I love Jimmy Rollins. I know. He makes an embarrassing number of outs. He also catalyzes an offense with Hall of Fame-caliber bats hitting third and fourth, and to see him in that clubhouse is to see a real leader. Iím not saying Rollins in a Mets uniform would have saved them from the collapse. Actually, yes I am. There are some people who just inspire, and there is no way to measure that, no metric to apply to it, no statistic to derive from it. They win, and thatís that.

Plus I think Brad Lidge is due a nice comeback, Carlos Ruiz a breakout, Shane Victorino a 60-steal season, and the rotation gets a nice injection with Brett Myersí return.

AgainÖhead or heart? I went with my heart last year when I picked the Phillies - and trust me, I heard from a lot of your readers, particularly after the way the Mets manhandled them in April. I learned a dozen new synonyms for moron. But I stuck with the Phillies and it paid off. So what the hell? Iím going against my better judgment - Charlie Manuel is their manager, after all - and picking PhiladelphiaÖwith the right to change my mind after seeing both teams in spring training, when I make my real picks.

Öthanks again jeffÖall the bestÖ
Posted in Mets on January 16th, 20

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:23 pm

From Classless Mets Fan

Nyfs Forum

Forty Seven says


"I'm going to assassinate Hank Steinbrenner if the Yankees swoop in now and gobble him up"



Wow..





rnstache wrote:
georgenyc wrote:
Quote:
But one National league exec said that the Twins would be better off taking the Mets' offer, assuming Minnesota can accept the idea of a longer-term rebuilding project after losing centerfielder Torii Hunter to free agency. That exec said that Guerra is a potential gem, a kid with tremendous upside.


Who sai dthat ?


It was in that SI story.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:29 pm

Cowboys coach says Romo re-injured thumb in loss to Giants


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/news/story?id=3199765



Just like last season, the Dallas Cowboys' early ousting from the NFL playoffs might be due to Tony Romo's hand.

A Cowboys coach told ESPN's Ed Werder that Romo re-injured his right thumb in the team's 21-17 NFC divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants, causing swelling in the thumb for much of the game. Romo's thumb was hurt on his second throw when blitzing Giants' safety Michael Johnson swatted at the ball as he ran past the quarterback, causing a strange incompletion for Romo.

Tony Romo

Romo

Romo finished the game 18-of-36 for 201 yards with a touchdown but was sacked on each of the Cowboys' two final drives. The Cowboys' season ended with Romo throwing a fourth-down pass into the end zone and cornerback R.W. McQuarters stepping in front of Terry Glenn for the interception. It marked Romo's second straight disappointing finish to a playoff game, following his flubbed hold of a short field goal in Seattle a year ago.

Romo first injured his thumb in the Cowboys' 10-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 16. Romo finished 13-of-36 for 214 yards in the loss, with a career-low rating of 22.2. It came in front of his parents and his newest A-list girlfriend -- Jessica Simpson, who tugged the front of her pink No. 9 jersey, then mouthed the word "Romo!" when cameras spotted her.

"If we go on and win the Super Bowl, the loss is a good thing," Romo said after the Eagles' game. "If we lose first round of the playoffs, the loss is not a good thing."

Romo played in the Dec. 22 game against the Carolina Panthers and was 28-of-42 for 257 yards with a touchdown and an interception as Dallas won 20-17. But he was 7-of-16 for 79 yards and an interception in the Cowboys' last regular-season game, a 27-6 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Romo was also pulled in the third quarter with Washington up 20-3 as the Cowboys rested anyone who was questionable with an injury because it had clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

In his playoff debut last season, Romo bobbled the snap on a 19-yard field goal attempt with 1:19 left that would have lifted the Cowboys past the Seattle Seahawks. Instead, Romo's bobble led to a scramble that ended 2 yards shy of the end zone and a yard short of a first down, preserving the Seahawks' 21-20 wild-card win.

"I know how hard everyone in that locker room worked to get themselves in position to win that game today and for it to end like that, and for me to be the cause is very tough to swallow right now," Romo said after the loss to Seattle. "I take responsibility for messing up at the end there. That's my fault. I cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win, and it's going to sit with me a long time."

The Cowboys' latest playoff loss was bigger because "America's Team" seemed pointed toward a ninth trip to the Super Bowl, maybe even a sixth championship.

"It hurts," Romo said after the loss to the Giants. "It's tough right now."

Dallas tied the most wins in team history with 13 but followed it by tying an NFL record with a sixth straight playoff loss. Romo fell to 0-2 and coach Wade Phillips finished his first year with the Cowboys by falling to 0-4 in his playoff career.

There are other dubious footnotes for Dallas, like being the first No. 1 seed in the NFC to lose in this round since the NFL went to the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and being the seventh team to lose a playoff game against a team they'd beaten twice in the regular season; the '98 Cowboys did it, too.

Romo came in looking to make up for last season's finish, to prove his sluggish December was no big deal and to quiet everyone who accused him of mixed-up priorities for Simpson on the beach in Mexico last weekend.

He couldn't do it, but it wasn't all his fault.

The offense stopped drives with penalties, while the defense kept New York drives alive by drawing more flags. There also was sloppy tackling on defense and special teams, dropped passes and wasted timeouts.

Despite the mistakes, the Cowboys had the ball with 1:48 left and only had to go 48 yards.

A Brett Favre-esque scrambling shovel pass by Romo to Jason Witten got the Cowboys to the 22 with 31 seconds left, then came more mistakes -- another false start, a short pass that forced Dallas to use its final timeout and a pair of poor throws, a ball in the end zone that Patrick Crayton seemed to give up on before futilely speeding up and the final play, caught by McQuarters.

Still, Romo is the marquee man and the most likely to be blamed, though not by Terrell Owens.

Owens, who made good on his vow to return from a high ankle sprain sustained three weeks ago, cried behind dark sunglasses with a quivering bottom lip while declaring, "You can point the finger at him, you can talk about the vacation, and if you do that, it's really unfair. That's my teammate. ... We lost as a team."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

8 comments on "Cowboys coach says Romo re-injured thumb in loss to Giants"

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* Romo's INT sends Eli, Giants to NFC title game
* Source: Romo likely to play with thumb contusion

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:44 pm

NFC championship week: Wednesday practice report

http://blogs.jsonline.com/packers/archive/2008/01/16/nfc-championship-week-wednesday-practice-report.aspx


By Greg A. Bedard
Wednesday, Jan 16 2008, 12:33 PM

Green Bay - NFC championship week is here. Man, that's cool to just say. Not for any Packer-related reason. Just cool in general.

This is what went on inside the Hutson Center:

*
Everyone was in attendance at practice, however...
*
C Scott Wells practiced briefly and then watched from the sidelines before leaving after jog throughs. We'll monitor this. Jason Spitz moved to center and Tony Moll played right guard;
*
LB Nick Barnett left after jog throughs. Didn't appear injured;
*
DE Michael Montgomery seemed to be taking it easy but took part;
*
WR Koren Robinson (knee) took part sparingly and then left after jog throughs;
*
TE Bubba Franks (knee) went through jog throughs and then left for treatment;
*
CB Jarrett Bush still seems to be bothered by his calf strain. He was limping pretty good;
*
Speaking of limps, CB Will Blackmon practiced under the watchful eye of coach Mike McCarthy and ran with a distinct limp. He seemed to move better as he warmed up, but he's not 100 percent. He'll likely be watched throughout the week;
*
McCarthy got after the troops, specifically the offense line. On one running play, Daryn Colledge pass blocked and was immediately yanked for Allen Barbre. Colledge went back in on the next play.


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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:46 pm

January 16, 2008
Injury news promising
http://blogs.nypost.com/sports/giants/archives/2008/01/injury_news_pro.html


By PAUL SCHWARTZ

The midweek injury news coming out of the Giants New York Giants is, if not optimistic, certainly promising. The Giants need all hands on deck for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Green Bay and, although they won't have all their players available to face the Packers, they might have some of their injured defensive players ready for action.

Rookie cornerback Aaron Ross Aaron Ross went down last Sunday against the Cowboys with a dislocated right shoulder. He was out at practice today, wearing a protective brace under his jersey. Tom Coughlin said he expects Ross will be able to play Sunday.

Cornerback Sam Madison Sam Madison was able to practice on a limited basis but did not exactly look loose and agile. Madison has missed the two playoff games with a strained abdominal muscle and probably is a long shot to make the game at Lambeau Field. If he progresses during the week he might have a shot.

Right tackle Kareem McKenzie last week re-injured a sprained ankle thatís been nagging him but he was able to practice.

Kevin Dockery, the Giants nickel back, has a strained hip flexor, did not practice and has virtually no shot at playing.

In order to prepare as best as possible for the artic conditions they'll play in on Sunday (minus-13 wind chill is the forecast) the Giants did practice outside, although the sun was shining and the temperature of 40 degrees actually was quite comfortable and not at all similar to what awaits the Giants in Green Bay.

Coughlin, standing in front of a massive local and national media contingent, was at ease, talkative (for him) and not at all tight or evasive. Asked if he is enjoying this, he said, "Every second. Can't you tell?" Then he broke into a broad smile.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:47 pm

Transcript: Coach Tom Coughlin

http://www.giants.com/news/transcripts/story.asp?story_id=26582

Do you expect Sam Madison, Kevin Dockery, or any of the other injured players to practice today?

Madison is going to do individual and see where he goes from there. Who else do you want to know about? Dockery, no; (Kareem) McKenzie, yes; Aaron Ross, yes.

What about Plaxico Burress?

It depends on how he feels usually. That is the way it is. Today, at this point, no, but sometimes when we get up to the field he feels a little bit better and does a few things.

Will Aaron Ross have to wear a harness?

I think we are going to brace him, yes.

Can you talk about the challenges of going to play in the elements in Lambeau Field?

That is the first question. What we prefer to do really is to focus on the things that we can control. We have no way of controlling that, just as we didnít when we went to Buffalo, just as we didnít when we went to Chicago, so we will practice outside today and we will do whatever we think is necessary from that standpoint. We need to focus on the Green Bay Packers team, which is a very good football team.

Will you practice outside all week?

I will take it one day at a time.

How do you try to get to Brett Favre since he is so good against the pass rush?

He has done that all year, 19 sacks is all they have, he has 15 sacks against him for the entire season. They have done a real good job pass protecting and he does get rid of the ball very well. The only thing you can do, we have faced that the last two weeks, and you just have to keep coming. You have to keep coming and hoping that you have an opportunity to disrupt or get a hit on the quarterback. It may not be a sack, but you keep the pressure coming so that at the right time it is there.

How satisfying is it for you to see Eli playing like he has been?

Well, he has really taken control of the game, control of himself, control of the offense, if you will, and he has played very, very well. He has done the things we have had to do in order to win. He has performed in the pressure of a two-minute drill, he has performed in the green zone when he has had to with the clock being an enemy, so he has done the things necessary for us to win, and it is a great time for him to be playing that way, letís put it that way.

Is there a sense that he has turned the proverbial corner in his career?

I am a one game at a time guy. I have always thought he has had a great career coming and for the last three years he has been the quarterback of a team that has gone to the playoffs. I just think that he keeps getting better and better, and that is an important thing for all of us.

An overall assessment of the Packersí defense?

They are very good; they are very, very good. You canít find an areaÖtheir third down defense is exceptional, and no team in the league has been over 50 percent on third down against them for an entire season. They are a stout front, their linebackers are very, very good, their corners are very aggressive players, the safety (Atari) Bigby is down in the front being physical, Al Harris is physical, so they are a very good team.

How timely has it been to get the kind of production you have been getting out of Steve Smith?

The question was asked about Steve and Steve had played and performed very well in preseason, then had an injury, performed very well during the course of the season and had an injury, so it is a matter of him getting back, getting back into a routine, being a part of the offense again, and again he played very well the other day. We had planned for him to be in that situation and he performed well and it was again, another plus for our team.

Did you see the kinds of things that Ryan Grant is doing now in the preseason?

We always thought Ryan Grant was a very good football player. The response to your question, Ryan performed and played very well during the preseason. We had a position, as anybody who scouts or knows football can relate to, that had five or six NFL football players and that was one of them, that was the position for us. Now you would like to have it everywhere, but that is not the case. This year in our training camp that was the case so we knew that there was no question that Ryan was a NFL player. We hadnít seen the development in terms of a ball carrier but we had seen all the other things. He had done an outstanding job on special teams and when given the opportunity he had done well in all areas.

How did that trade come about? Did they ask for any running backs other than Grant?

No. You would have to ask Jerry (Reese). To my knowledge they wanted one guy.

What has it been like watching Eli Manning take all the criticism that he gets?

Not easy, not easy, but watching him handle it, that was very reassuring. He is very strong, he is the kind of guy that doesnít have the valleys and stays away from the peaks as well. He handled it, I thought, very, very well. I am sure inside he was churning away, but on the outside he did very, very well with it and was a great example for everybody.

How satisfying has this season been for you personally?

You know, Bob, I am not going there. This is not about me, it is about our team, it is about the New York Giants, it is about our players and our coaches, and the challenge that you get each week in the National Football League and the attempt to lead your team successfully each time out. That is what this is all about, it is not about me.

What do you tell Eli about playing in the kind of weather that is forecast for Sunday?

The thing that I told him yesterday was that our team is not going to entertain a whole lot of questions or spend a lot of time talking about the weather. It is what it is. There is not a whole lot we can do about it; two teams have to play in it. We have been resilient in the weather, in all kinds of weather; we have gone from a wind chill factor in Buffalo that was very, very cold to Tampa for a playoff game. We have had those kinds of games and so I think we will perform very well whatever the weather is.

What about the contributions you have been getting from Amani Toomer in this postseason?

I sit behind Amani on the plane coming back and he is really wired, he is excited, and it is a great thing to see; him enjoying it. Strahan and him were back and forth across the aisle and really talking about our team and about the playoffs and it is really great to see those guys enjoying it as much as they are.

Are you enjoying it?

Every second. Canít you tell?

With Kareem McKenzie having the ankle injury, are you having to help him more by lining a tight end next to him?

By protection, by formation, we do help when you have the great pass rushers on the outside on both sides, so some of that is all game plan regardless of whether a guy is 100 percent or not. We are playing against two or three good pass rushers again. Some things we will do, a lot of it just can be as much as another body spaced in there.

Talk about Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw complimenting each other?

They have complimented each other very well. Bradshaw, when utilized, has done very, very well, and the two of them create some problems for the defense because of the style in which they play. I think when we do use them both and we do use them in a capacityÖ the interesting thing is both of them can do a lot of things. Jacobs can catch the ball, Bradshaw can run inside, obviously Jacobs can run inside, so they both can do a little bit of what the other guy does so you are not restricted in any way in terms of play calling. You saw the four-minute aspect of the game in Tampa where Bradshaw was the four-minute back.

How much of the Vince Lombardi mystique was still prevalent when you were an assistant coach in Green Bay?

It is still there. You canít miss the name. Lombardi Drive, there it is, you canít miss it. The idea of coaching in Green Bay for me at that time as a young coach, having literally idolized Coach Lombardi all those years, I think my last year in college playing was í67 and, of course, that was the heyday of the Packers teams. Everything that he did you hung on every word and read all the books and did all those kinds of things. There is no question that he is alive in Green Bay, there is no doubt about it, and it is always that way.

Do you have any memories of the Ice Bowl?

Yeah, the quarterback sneak.

Was your end in Green Bay a crossroads for you in your career?

The way it ended in Green Bay? That is a pretty boring story really. The great thing about it is that I ended up here.

Is it right that (Forrest) Gregg just left without telling his staff?

He just left. (That is a conversation) for another time.

Are you a believer in putting footballs in the freezer?

As much as I am putting the ball in the water and going out to the practice field, which you asked me the same question. I donít think we are going to have the ball in the freezer, but we will get some work today. The wind is supposed to be around 10-12 and that is what it is supposed to be at game time.

What about going up against Brett Favre?

Great football player, still playing at a very, very high level. Obviously when he made the play the other day, the impromptu play to (Donald) Lee, it just brings back all the ideas of it doesnít matter what chronological number you put it on, he is still very athletic and very difficult to contend with because he will move in the pocket. You put the tape on and you see him run the ball, you see him break out, he does whatever he has to do to help his team and what a tremendous example he is for all the young people.

Do you think Eli gained anything from playing against Favre earlier this season?

I think there is something for everybody, all of us, to gain when we watch him over the years. I remember when we went up there in í04 and beat them when Kurt (Warner) was starting. Favre got hurt in the game, if you remember, came back in and threw a touchdown pass. I am not sure he remembered the touchdown pass.

Any new thoughts on the road winning streak?

Not any news ones. I hope you donít ask me to repeat the one I have answered every week. I think it is just a matter of the grit, the determination, the character, the leadership, the toughness, and the mental toughness. In a lot of ways when we come out and we get booed, we are kind of interested in how high the volume of the boos are.

Is it worth looking at the tape of the game from earlier this season against them?

Yeah, it is. For sure, it always is. The individual matchups, all that type of stuff and it is good to compare where they were then and where they are now. Second week of the season but nevertheless.

What has to change from that game?

The fourth quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter it was 14-13. A lot happened that wasnít very good for us in the fourth quarter.

Did you spend any time when you were in Green Bay studying the history of the Packers?

I read, as I said, the ĎWhen Pride Still Matteredí book, the Maraniss book. That book says it all for me. I was aware of everything and occasionally you would spend some time with people that really knew, Carol Daniels had been Coach Lombardiís secretary and she was still there at the time.

What about the success of this team being tied to the lack of penalties this season and the evolution of lowering the penalties?

Penalties lose games. I think there is an accountability, there is a responsibility, to each other. They happen; it is unfortunate but they do happen in the course of a game. They are very regrettable for the player that does get penalized because of the way he feels about not letting the other guys down, but the whole team concept has helped an awful lot in that area as well.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:49 pm

Transcript: LB Kawika Mitchell

http://www.giants.com/news/transcripts/story.asp?story_id=26587


January 16, 2008

Q: How much has this defense changed since the first game against Green Bay early in the season?
A: A whole lot; weíve made so many adjustments since then. Weíve learned how to work together. We know what (Steve Spagnuolo) expects from us. He knows what kind of weapons he has on his defense, and he uses them all well. I think thatís the biggest thing; weíve gained a lot of experience with each other, and weíve gotten a lot better.

Q: Is this a fun defense to play in?
A: Yeah, itís an aggressive defense. If youíre a defensive player, thatís the kind of defense that you want to have, one that will let you fly around, make plays and use your ability. I think it can only benefit the scheme.

Q: Do you have to be on your toes against a guy like Brett Favre, who doesnít do things traditionally?
A: Yeah, heís a little bit like the guy from last week but obviously a different animal. Heís a future Hall of Famer. He does everything extremely well. The way he controls the tempo of the game with quick snaps, hard counts, no huddles, that type of stuff, he does a great job, and I think thatís the biggest thing you have to prepare for.

Q: How exciting is it to be in this game?
A: Itís exciting; itís exciting to have the opportunity, and Iím going to enjoy every step of it. Hopefully we can keep the thing going.

Q: Is it funny to you when you think about how things have worked out coming here from Kansas City?
A: Yeah, I would say that going to the NFC Championship is a lot better than a 4-12 season. It definitely benefited me and my team more on this side.

Q: What is your mindset on the weather in Green Bay?
A: After the Washington game that was here at home, I will be dressed extremely warm and make sure I have as much clothing on as I can have on. But I donít think itís going to affect the game too much. It might affect some of the little things depending on the wind, maybe the kickers and things like that, but Iím not looking for it to really bother me too much.

Q: Do you think your offensive linemen will stay sleeveless as they have said they will?
A: Probably; they take a lot of pride in that, but myself, I donít, so Iíll make sure Iím as warm as I can be.

Q: What do you remember about Ryan Grant?
A: From what I remember, itís the same thing that you guys see. Heís a hard worker; heís an extremely smart guy, so itís pretty much everything that you guys have seen. Thatís what he did for us.

Q: Can you talk about his cutback ability?
A: Yeah, I think he just fits well into that scheme. Thatís the whole thing that they try to do. They have a good set of offensive linemen that can actually run that scheme and some of the play-action things that Brett does along with it. Theyíre somewhat similar to the Denver Broncos in a way, which Iím used to playing, but obviously a little bit different with the West Coast style.

Q: What is it about being strong on defense on those final drives in the fourth quarter?
A: Itís something that we actually work on in practice and something that we take a lot of pride in, being strong in the fourth quarter. If you want to win games, especially at this time of the year in December and January, you have to be able to win in the fourth quarter.

Q: How did you turn that into a strength of the defense when it was a weakness in the past?
A: I guess we just fed off the criticism and we evaluated ourselves and saw what we needed to see. We have a lot of veterans on this defense, and if youíre a veteran then you know you have to be able to win in the fourth quarter.

Q: What is the coldest game you have ever played in?
A: I think it was the Washington game; it felt the coldest. I donít know degree-wise, but it felt the coldest.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:50 pm

Transcript: Packers Coach Mike McCarthy

http://www.giants.com/news/transcripts/story.asp?story_id=26586

January 16, 2008

Q: Could you just tell us what attracted you guys originally to Ryan Grant. How did the trade transpire?

A: We have to give credit to our personnel department. We felt all along, particularly through training camp, that the Giants had a very healthy situation at the running back position. Ryan was one of the players that we tracked during that period of time. We were fortunate enough to trade for him after training camp.

Q: Could you go over your injury situation, if there is one?

A: We are extremely healthy. This is the healthiest that we have been all season. If there is someone you want to inquire about, I can tell you about. But we had a couple of guys that were limited today. But we are very healthy.

Q: Was Charles Woodson a full go?

A: I expect that Charles will go. He did not practice today. He went through the jog thru segments and then went to rehab.

Q: Is it more of the toe or the knee?

A: Just probably a combination of both; combination of both.

Q: What has changed about your team and the Giants since that game in the early part of the season?

A: A number of things. Starting with the offensive side of the ball, I think we are playing much better up front. We are running the football better. Ryan Grant is a big part of our success in the run game. Our perimeter group has been consistent throughout the year. And we are pleased with the way the quarterback is playing. Defensively, it has probably been our most consistent group out of all three areas, starting with our defensive line and when we are healthy in the back end we have put together a very good string of football games here down the stretch and special teams has improved all year.

Q: What about the Giants; what did you notice changing about them?

A: First of all, I respect, I like the way the Giants play. I think Tom Coughlin does an excellent job. I have always had a lot of respect for Tom. I like the way their offense and defensive line plays. They are very physical up front. The quarterback is playing better. They are running back by committee. They have veteran receivers that have big play potential. Their secondary I know has had some injuries, but they still come up and challenge you, and a big part of their success is their pressure packages. Their special teams are very good. Jeff Feagles does a great job with the ball location and the punting. It is a very well rounded football team.

Q: What do you see in the quarterback when you say the quarterback is playing better? What do you attribute that to?

A: Eli was hurt the first time we played them. And actually I thought played fairly well in that game in Week Two. And he is making plays. He is doing a great job of managing the football game; keeping them in favorable down and distance. And converting third downs. I thought he has been very smart and accurate with the football.

Q: Do you have the mindset, or does your team have the mindset, that cold weather is an advantage at Lambeau for you, especially given Brettís record in it?

A: Definitely. Home field advantage is what we are focused on. I think it is an advantage for any football team. It is definitely going to be cold here Sunday. It doesnít necessarily need to be that cold, but it is going to be cold. And we feel that is an advantage. But we are focused on the little things because we know at the end of the day that is what it comes down to; itís playing smart, fundamentally-tough football.

Q: Other than being used to the cold, what is the secret to succeeding in cold weather?

A: The secret? There is no secret. Both teams have to go out in the weather and play. And that is my experience with it. Once again, it is going to come down to the fundamentals, doing the right things, staying focused and not letting the weather be a factor.

Q: What do you think makes Brett so effective, though, when the temperature dips?

A: Probably he is used to it and he has played in it more than his opponents. He has been playing for 17 years so his wealth of experience benefits us in a number of different situations and playing in bad weather is one of them.

Q: Do your receivers have an advantage having played in the weather over the Giants receivers?

A: Coming from New York, Iím sure they have had their share of windy days, particularly in the Meadowlands, and some cold weather games. So I donít view it as a big advantage as opposed to someone coming from South Florida.

Q: Does the Lombardi mystique still exist in Green Bay?

A: I hope so. He is a big part of our history; the foundation of the Green Bay Packers, Curly Lambeau. We have an incredible history and tradition here. And it is really the responsibility of everybody in our organization today to uphold that tradition.

Q: There is talk about a contact extension for you. Are you in any way surprised at how well it has gone so quickly there for you?

A: Are you talking about our success on the field?

Q: Yeah.

A: I wouldnít say I was surprised. I think we are on schedule. It is something that when we put this thing together we always planned on doing the things possible to put you in position to win championships. We have been fortunate with the players that we have drafted and brought in here; and really the development of our younger players from year one to two, in my view, is a big part of why we are here today because it has given us the ability to have depth and improve areas such as special teams, offensive line and some of the areas that needed improvement from last year.

Q: You are from Pittsburgh; there are a number of successful coaches and players from Pittsburgh. What do you think it is about that area that lends itself to producing so many good football people?

A: I think the one common thread between people from western Pennsylvania is the blue collar approach. They have a strong work ethic; doing things the right way, getting their hands dirty. Iím sure that has something to do with it.

Q: Ryan has had his share of adversity in the past. He cut his arm up in í06 and such. Do you think that has helped him as far as developing and focusing and dealing with the pressures of starting?

A: I think it has definitely helped him because he has had adversity in his career. He is also coming from an organization that has a lot of success, that has a lot of history. So he was able to be around good football players and was in a good system. Just my experience with Ryan is he is a very mature young man. I know he is in his third year but this is really his first opportunity to play as a starter. I really like the way he handles his business on a daily basis. He is very consistent and a very hard worker. And he is definitely not taking his success for granted.

Q: Were you a little surprised, though, that a kid like that doesnít let things get too big for him; the gravity of the playoff game and such?

A: Well, we are just in the beginning of this process. I thought he handled it very well going into the Seattle game. And he has another week of challenges ahead of him with all of the attention that he has received from his performance this past week. So Iím very impressed with how he has handled it so far.

Q: The announcers of the game gave you a lot of credit for going right back to him after the early miscues. Is that a reflection of how you feel about him or is that a reflection of your philosophy in general?

A: I think it is a reflection of how I feel about Ryan and the importance that he was involved in our game plan. He was obviously a big part of our game plan and I wasnít at that time ready to just go away from it. I felt the first turnover was just one of those plays where I wrote it off as an anomaly. The second one was just poor technique. He had his pads too high. The conversation that I had with Edgar Bennett that I was comfortable moving on and I really didnít think about pulling him at all. There was so much time left to play. The one positive aspect of his two turnovers is they happened so fast in the game.

Q: Obviously Favreís talent speaks for itself. But how much does his passion for playing the game Ė how much does that elevate your team?

A: I think Brettís passion is a big part of who he is both personally and professionally. He definitely exhibits that every time he takes the field. He is a very competitive person at practice and everybody knows what kind of competitor he is on Sundays. And I think it is something our players draw off of. And it is a great example for younger players that have come into this league. If you look at our first and second-year players, they are a little bit spoiled in a sense because of the success we have had so fast. But a big part of it is when you have individuals like Brett Favre out there leading the charge.

Q: Has he become more patient this year as a quarterback?

A: I think there is some truth to that. He is doing a very good job of managing our system. In fairness to him, everybody is talking about this year compared to other years. This is really his first opportunity to run a spread offense as much as we have in certain segments of our season. So I think there are some things schematically that he has been able to benefit from. But I am very pleased with his patience and his ability to manage some of the defensive looks that we get at the line of scrimmage.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:00 pm

So you saying Crisp will be The Savior for the Twins right Rem and help their Offense? :wub:

They just traded Garza, and Liriano is coming back from Tj surgery. Don't you think They want a future ace #1 like Hughes and Future #3 like Marquez over Lester who projected to be #3 starter?

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:06 pm

None., I don't have have opinion right now . I can't think and I'm braindead.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:11 pm

RiverAve Blog had interesting take on Melky



http://riveraveblues.com/2008/01/16/much-ado-about-melky-2002/#comments

Heís only 23
- Heís already an above-average outfielder
- His stats compare well with Bernieís
- We donít need a 40-homer hitting center fielder

All of these points are valid, though they each have holes in them. Letís go point-by-point.

Heís only 23

Since this is objective, thereís no denying it. The implication, though, is that heíll improve over the next few years as he grows into his frame and continues to learn the game of baseball. Itís nice to assume that, but not every young player improves.

Take Melkyís most similar players through age 22. Yeah, itíd be superb to have him turn out like Chet Lemon, Harry Heilmann, or Roberto Clemente. Hell, Iíd even sign up for Sixto Lezcano (a few well above-average years, average or above most others) or Max Carey (almost perfectly average).

But then you get guys like Rick Manning, who was good in his age 20 and 21 seasons, but completely sucked after that. Surely there were Indians fans back then saying ďoh, heís only 22, heís going to improve.Ē And they saw him turn into a liability. Same with Cliff Heathcote. Solid first three seasons, and then off to the realm of mediocrity.

Just because a player is average when heís young does not necessary mean that heíll improve. As evidenced above, for every Chet Lemon thereís a Rick Manning. Melk could reasonably turn out to be either one, or he could split the difference. But in any event, his growth as a player is not guaranteed.

Heís already an above-average outfielder

If youíre talking strength and accuracy, I have no defense. We saw it constantly from Melky over the past two seasons. Heís got a cannon, and he can put the ball on button. Problem is, thatís not all there is to being a good center fielder.

Now, heís young and decently speedy, so he can use that to make up for poor initial judgments on flyballs. However, there are plenty of pitfalls that come with this. Some day, his legs arenít going to be what they once were. This could be because of injury or the natural tolls of age. But whatever it is, unless he learns to take better routes to flyballs, heís not going to be a complete outfielder.

Melky ranked in the lower half of the league as a center fielder in Dave Pintoís PMR. Now, this isnít exact, nor is it all-telling. But itís one measure that shows him getting to fewer balls, on average, than his peers. Even Zone Rating has him barely in the top-half of the AL, though he does look better when compared to the entire league.

In regards to defense, we often find ourselves trusting our eyes more than anything else. What I see with my eyes is a guy with decent range, but who rarely gets a good first step. He suffices in center for now, but unless he improves his skills at tracking flyballs, heís going to become a liability out there one day. Thankfully, odds are that day doesnít come for a while.

His stats compare well with Bernieís

As you saw earlier this week, we we donít buy into that logic very much. The game does extend beyond stats (hence the successes and failures of Melkyís most comparable list).

Weíve often mentioned the size difference between Bernie and Melky. Most places have this as three inches, though itís probably closer to four. But in any regard, thatís not the issue. You can look to their swings as evidence of their dissimilarity.

This would be a whole ton easier if we had side-by-side animations of their swings, but suffice it to say that theyíre not a whole ton a like. Bernie always had a short, compact swing. He had a sharp pivot on his back leg, and kind of threw the bat through the zone, a la Johnny Damon (though their swings arenít comparable in many other ways). This is actually why Bernie declined so rapidly in his later years. He relied on his killer bat speed, for which he utilized his legs, abs, lower back, and arms. Once one of those cogs started to weaken, as they are wont to do when youíre over 30, his swing started to come apart.

Melky is frequently referred to as a ďslap hitter,Ē mainly for his lack of power. To me, though, this moniker is well-deserved because of the way he swings his bat, not the result. To me, he looks all arms. He tosses the bat through the zone like Bernie and Damon, but he doesnít utilize his core muscles as much as Bernie. Or at least thatís how it appears.

We donít need a 40-homer hitting center fielder

Traditionally, center field is a defensive-minded position. However, that doesnít mean that you donít need heavy hitters in that position. For an example, we need to look no further than the Yankees dynasty. You know why the Yankees were able to succeed on offense during that time? They had heavy hitters in traditionally defensive-minded slots. Bernie in center, Derek at short, and Mariano Duncan (simply amazing in Ď96) and Chuck Knoblauch at second.

So when we had to skimp in other places, like when we had Chad Curtis in left field, we could handle the offensive drop-off. When you have well above average players at certain positions, it lessens the need for superstars at others. How did the Yanks win the World Series in Ď99 and Ď00 with such a below-average offensive third baseman? Because we had Jorge catching, Bernie in center, Derek at short, and Knobby at second. Then all you need are average players at the other positions, because youíre generating so much more offense compared to the rest of the league from the premium positions.

No, itís not critical to have a slugging center fielder on a championship team. But it sure does help. Yeah, we have a well above average third baseman, which helps offset the lack of production from some other positions. But itís then tougher to field a league-average first baseman and corner outfielders (relative to their positions).

By no means do I want Melky to fail. Heís a New York Yankee, and goddammit, I hope he turns into Bernie Williams times a hundred. But thereís a point where what Iím seeing doesnít match up to the hype.

So Iím not writing him off. Iím just remaining very skeptical until my eyes see otherwise.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:12 pm

Hughes > Lester

Marquez> Masterson

Smile

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:13 pm

RiverAve Blog had interesting take on Melky


http://riveraveblues.com/2008/01/16/much-a...-2002/#comments

Heís only 23
- Heís already an above-average outfielder
- His stats compare well with Bernieís
- We donít need a 40-homer hitting center fielder

All of these points are valid, though they each have holes in them. Letís go point-by-point.

Heís only 23

Since this is objective, thereís no denying it. The implication, though, is that heíll improve over the next few years as he grows into his frame and continues to learn the game of baseball. Itís nice to assume that, but not every young player improves.

Take Melkyís most similar players through age 22. Yeah, itíd be superb to have him turn out like Chet Lemon, Harry Heilmann, or Roberto Clemente. Hell, Iíd even sign up for Sixto Lezcano (a few well above-average years, average or above most others) or Max Carey (almost perfectly average).

But then you get guys like Rick Manning, who was good in his age 20 and 21 seasons, but completely sucked after that. Surely there were Indians fans back then saying ďoh, heís only 22, heís going to improve.Ē And they saw him turn into a liability. Same with Cliff Heathcote. Solid first three seasons, and then off to the realm of mediocrity.

Just because a player is average when heís young does not necessary mean that heíll improve. As evidenced above, for every Chet Lemon thereís a Rick Manning. Melk could reasonably turn out to be either one, or he could split the difference. But in any event, his growth as a player is not guaranteed.

Heís already an above-average outfielder

If youíre talking strength and accuracy, I have no defense. We saw it constantly from Melky over the past two seasons. Heís got a cannon, and he can put the ball on button. Problem is, thatís not all there is to being a good center fielder.

Now, heís young and decently speedy, so he can use that to make up for poor initial judgments on flyballs. However, there are plenty of pitfalls that come with this. Some day, his legs arenít going to be what they once were. This could be because of injury or the natural tolls of age. But whatever it is, unless he learns to take better routes to flyballs, heís not going to be a complete outfielder.

Melky ranked in the lower half of the league as a center fielder in Dave Pintoís PMR. Now, this isnít exact, nor is it all-telling. But itís one measure that shows him getting to fewer balls, on average, than his peers. Even Zone Rating has him barely in the top-half of the AL, though he does look better when compared to the entire league.

In regards to defense, we often find ourselves trusting our eyes more than anything else. What I see with my eyes is a guy with decent range, but who rarely gets a good first step. He suffices in center for now, but unless he improves his skills at tracking flyballs, heís going to become a liability out there one day. Thankfully, odds are that day doesnít come for a while.

His stats compare well with Bernieís

As you saw earlier this week, we we donít buy into that logic very much. The game does extend beyond stats (hence the successes and failures of Melkyís most comparable list).

Weíve often mentioned the size difference between Bernie and Melky. Most places have this as three inches, though itís probably closer to four. But in any regard, thatís not the issue. You can look to their swings as evidence of their dissimilarity.

This would be a whole ton easier if we had side-by-side animations of their swings, but suffice it to say that theyíre not a whole ton a like. Bernie always had a short, compact swing. He had a sharp pivot on his back leg, and kind of threw the bat through the zone, a la Johnny Damon (though their swings arenít comparable in many other ways). This is actually why Bernie declined so rapidly in his later years. He relied on his killer bat speed, for which he utilized his legs, abs, lower back, and arms. Once one of those cogs started to weaken, as they are wont to do when youíre over 30, his swing started to come apart.

Melky is frequently referred to as a ďslap hitter,Ē mainly for his lack of power. To me, though, this moniker is well-deserved because of the way he swings his bat, not the result. To me, he looks all arms. He tosses the bat through the zone like Bernie and Damon, but he doesnít utilize his core muscles as much as Bernie. Or at least thatís how it appears.

We donít need a 40-homer hitting center fielder

Traditionally, center field is a defensive-minded position. However, that doesnít mean that you donít need heavy hitters in that position. For an example, we need to look no further than the Yankees dynasty. You know why the Yankees were able to succeed on offense during that time? They had heavy hitters in traditionally defensive-minded slots. Bernie in center, Derek at short, and Mariano Duncan (simply amazing in Ď96) and Chuck Knoblauch at second.

So when we had to skimp in other places, like when we had Chad Curtis in left field, we could handle the offensive drop-off. When you have well above average players at certain positions, it lessens the need for superstars at others. How did the Yanks win the World Series in Ď99 and Ď00 with such a below-average offensive third baseman? Because we had Jorge catching, Bernie in center, Derek at short, and Knobby at second. Then all you need are average players at the other positions, because youíre generating so much more offense compared to the rest of the league from the premium positions.

No, itís not critical to have a slugging center fielder on a championship team. But it sure does help. Yeah, we have a well above average third baseman, which helps offset the lack of production from some other positions. But itís then tougher to field a league-average first baseman and corner outfielders (relative to their positions).

By no means do I want Melky to fail. Heís a New York Yankee, and godd*mmit, I hope he turns into Bernie Williams times a hundred. But thereís a point where what Iím seeing doesnít match up to the hype.

So Iím not writing him off. Iím just remaining very skeptical until my eyes see otherwise.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:19 pm

The Twins just recently drafted Ben Revere last year and traded for Jason Pridie from Rays. Revere will be ready two or three years from now, don't you think Twins wants pitching return for trading Johan Rem? Smile

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:21 pm

http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/team/draft.jsp?c_id=min

Ben D Revere L/R 5'09" 165 1988-05-03 1 CF 06/12/2007

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:26 pm

Source- SI


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/01/16/scoop.wednesday/

The Yankees remain in the mix, though some of their execs are apparently more interested than others. Senior VP Hank Steinbrenner has generally been a "yes'' vote, while GM Brian Cashman and general partner Hal Steinbrenner appear to be leaning toward a "no,'' although there is a sense among those in the know that even Hank may be "retreating,'' which means the Twins' chances of landing both young righthanders Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy as part of a package are surely nil.


Meanwhile, a source familiar with the Mets' thinking says he "seriously doubts'' that team decision makers will include both their top outfield prospects -- 22-year-old Carlos Gomez and 19-year-old Fernando Martinez -- along with pitching prospects Deolis Guerra, 18; Phil Humber, 25; and Kevin Mulvey, 22. New York would give Minnesota one outfielder or the other, but not both.


The Mets, though, are said to want to limit their offer of an extension to Santana to five years, and an executive with another team wondered why Santana would approve a trade to a team that won't offer the six years he's thought to be seeking. Word is that Santana wants close to $150 million over six years, with perhaps $5 million coming in a signing bonus, to bring his 2008 salary in line with baseball's highest-paid pitchers -- Carlos Zambrano and Barry Zito.


If the Twins are convinced that none of the three Santana contenders will accede to their demands, they will have a tough call on their hands. Some execs from other teams say that any Yankee offer that includes Hughes is the best one, while others favor the Red Sox's package with Lester. But one National league exec said that the Twins would be better off taking the Mets' offer, assuming Minnesota can accept the idea of a longer-term rebuilding project after losing centerfielder Torii Hunter to free agency. That exec said that Guerra is a potential gem, a kid with tremendous upside.

It's sound refreshing to hear that Hughes favors over Lester, right Rem? :yes:

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:32 pm

The Twins' tough call
Best offers for Santana are likely already on the table

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/01/16/scoop.wednesday/


There is a diminishing belief that the Twins will get exactly what they want for lefthander Johan Santana, baseball's best pitcher. Of course they could also surprise folks and decide to keep Santana, who turns 29 on March 13. But if they do that they're taking two major risks: 1) That Santana hurts his value, or himself, once he starts pitching again; or 2) That he retracts his approval of a trade (he has full veto power), a real risk in that he may as well just wait for free agency the closer he gets to it.

The Red Sox's two proposed packages, one leading with 24-year-old lefty Jon Lester and the other with 24-year-old centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, have not changed for several weeks. So it's doubtful that Boston will sweeten its offers.

The Yankees remain in the mix, though some of their execs are apparently more interested than others. Senior VP Hank Steinbrenner has generally been a "yes'' vote, while GM Brian Cashman and general partner Hal Steinbrenner appear to be leaning toward a "no,'' although there is a sense among those in the know that even Hank may be "retreating,'' which means the Twins' chances of landing both young righthanders Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy as part of a package are surely nil.

Meanwhile, a source familiar with the Mets' thinking says he "seriously doubts'' that team decision makers will include both their top outfield prospects -- 22-year-old Carlos Gomez and 19-year-old Fernando Martinez -- along with pitching prospects Deolis Guerra, 18; Phil Humber, 25; and Kevin Mulvey, 22. New York would give Minnesota one outfielder or the other, but not both.

If the Twins are convinced that none of the three Santana contenders will accede to their demands, they will have a tough call on their hands. Some execs from other teams say that any Yankee offer that includes Hughes is the best one, while others favor the Red Sox's package with Lester. But one National league exec said that the Twins would be better off taking the Mets' offer, assuming Minnesota can accept the idea of a longer-term rebuilding project after losing centerfielder Torii Hunter to free agency. That exec said that Guerra is a potential gem, a kid with tremendous upside.

The Mets, though, are said to want to limit their offer of an extension to Santana to five years, and an executive with another team wondered why Santana would approve a trade to a team that won't offer the six years he's thought to be seeking. Word is that Santana wants close to $150 million over six years, with perhaps $5 million coming in a signing bonus, to bring his 2008 salary in line with baseball's highest-paid pitchers -- Carlos Zambrano and Barry Zito. Santana's trade value is limited because he is so close to free agency and will command an extension at essentially market value.
Around the Majors

ē The Scott Rolen for Troy Glaus trade makes sense -- for the Blue Jays, anyway. They get the better defensive player and a player not involved in the steroid mess. (According to SI, in 2003 and '04 Glaus received multiple shipments of steroids through an allegedly illegal Internet distribution network.) Execs were accused of looking the other way during the Steroid Era; now some of them are disregarding what we already know. You'd think if any team would be sensitive to the issue it might be the Cardinals. Apparently not.

ē The Braves helped themselves with the pickup of Oakland's Mark Kotsay, who isn't Andruw Jones but is nonetheless an excellent defensive center fielder.

ē Righthanders Kyle Lohse and Livan Hernandez remain unsigned. Either could be a candidate for the Mets if they fail to land Santana.
Hollywood Meets Major League Baseball

A great and worthy annual event, the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation annual dinner, is to be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and will feature Bud Selig and Tommy Lasorda as presenters; Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Buddy Bell's family, former Braves chairman Bill Batholomay, longtime baseball man Preston Gomez, scouts Ralph Avila and Eddie Bockman and many others as honorees; plus TV stars Tim Allen and Mary Hart as emcees and Larry King as a host -- not to mention the greatest collection of sports and entertainment memorabilia ever sold at silent auction.

The event is spectacular, as I can attest after attending last year. I brought a friend of mine, who snapped up mementoes left and right. Many of those on display were eye-catching. Jane Seymour memorably paid $3,000 for Michael Jordan's White Sox jersey.

What's best is that the proceeds go to a worthy cause: down-and-out scouts. Over five years more than 30 scouts have been supported by this event, which was begun by former baseball agent, current White Sox executive and all-around baseball lover Dennis Gilbert, who, according to one event organizer, personally donated $100,000 to the cause this year. Tickets go for $300, $500 and $1,000 for the dinner, with cocktails slated for 6 p.m. and dinner for 6:30. A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased by calling 310-996-1188.
Signing off for Stu, great sport, great man

My heartfelt condolences go to Sandy Nahan and the rest of the family of Stu Nahan, a wonderful man, beloved sports announcer and treasure in the Los Angeles area who died of lymphoma at 81 last month. Nahan was an alltime great as an L.A.-area sports anchor for more than three decades (1968-99) with KTLA-TV, KNBC-TV and KABC-TV, but was nationally known for roles in movies; he played himself in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, an announcer in the Rocky movies and a presenter in Brian's Song. I got to know Nahan in the last year of his life, and he was as kind and fun off the air as he seemed on it.

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:31 pm

Robertsonís deal good news for Wang

January
16

The Tigers avoided arbitration with Nate Robertson by signing him for three years and $21 million.

Robertson has more service time than Chien-Ming Wang. But he is 29-32, 4.33 over the last three years. Wang is 46-18, 3.74.

Arbitration figures will be exchanged on Friday. I would expect the Yankees to strike deals with Wang and Robbie Cano before it gets to a hearing. But if Nate Robertson is worth $7 million a year, what is CMW worth?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2008 at 5:56 pm by Peter Abraham.
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13 Responses to ďRobertsonís deal good news for WangĒ

1. Seth January 16th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

In this market, Iíd be SHOCKED if he didnít get 10 a year.
2. Jim PA January 16th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Pay the man what heís worth and move on. This guyís going to be solid as a rock for years to come.
3. kd January 16th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

10 a year seems about right. he might make the argument that pavano and mussina made 21.5 together and did less than he did. he would be right
4. Ratachewy January 16th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Should we expect the cracked fingernail / skin blister problem to be a recurring one for Wang every year?
5. Alan January 16th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Itís a good thing we didnít sign Santana. (half-joking)
6. from Captain Clutch to Derek Choker January 16th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

actually mussina did more in the playoffs when it counts. wang is a choker and should be paid like one (minimum)
7. Fran January 16th, 2008 at 6:19 pm

I agree that 10 milion a year sounds about right for a front end of the rotation guy. I think that would be a fair deal for both the Yankees and Wang.
8. saucy January 16th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

imo, 10 a year seems a little much at this point. iím guessing heíll get more like 3/25M
9. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Save the Three Musketeers! January 16th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

How does Robertson pitch in the postseason?
10. Blargh January 16th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Nate Robertson:
Year Round Tm Opp WLser G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H ER BB SO
+óó+óĖ+ó+ó+óĖ+ó+ó+óó+Ė+Ė+Ė+Ė+óĖ+ó+ó+ó+ó+
2006 ALDS DET NYY W 1 1 11.12 0 1 0 0 5.2 12 7 0 1
ALCS DET OAK W 1 1 0.00 1 0 0 0 5 6 0 3 4
WS DET STL L 1 1 3.60 0 1 0 0 5 5 2 3 3
+óó+óĖ+ó+ó+óĖ+ó+ó+óó+Ė+Ė+Ė+Ė+óĖ+ó+ó+ó+ó+
3 Postseason Ser 2-1 3 3 5.17 1 2 0 0 15.2 23 9 6 8
11. Blargh January 16th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Erm, that was ugly
Gist of his 2006 postseason being:
ALDS: 5.2 innings, 7 earned runs, 12 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout
ALCS: 5 innings, 0 earned runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
WS: 5 innings, 2 earned runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
12. G. Love January 16th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Wangís going to get a big chunk of change. I donít think the Yankees want to even step into the arb room since they treated him and positioned him as their #1 last year not to mention 2 19 win seasons.

Iím more worried about Cano being shown the money than Wang.

On a different note, how much better would you feel about the Yankee bullpen if they went out and signed Dotel and Jeremy Affeldt who are both still free agents?

Personally, I think we should go after Dotel to set up since we paid him all that money 2 years ago to rehab. No one is giving him closer money or guaranteeing him the 9th right now. He should be content to set up and contribute on a contender.

As for Affeldt, I would just like to have one lefty in the pen. Heís better than Henn.
13. Blargh January 16th, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Hmm, quick recap of starting pitcher contracts this offseason (ignoring options; using cbssports):

Brandon Backe (Astros) - 1 year/0.8 million
Matt Clement (Cardinals) - 1 year/1.5 million
Tom Glavine (Braves) - 1 year/8 million
Kuroda Hiroki (Dodgers) - 3 years/35.5 million
Greg Maddux (Padres) - 1 year/10 million
Andy Pettite (Yankees) - 1 year/16 million
Nate Robertson (Tigers) - 3 years/21.25 million
Mark Prior (Padres) - 1 year/1 million
Curt Schilling (Red Sox) - 1 year/8 million
Carlos Silva (Mariners) - 4 years/48 million
Josh Towers (Rockies) - 1 year/1.8 million
Kip Wells (Rockies) - 1 year/3.1 million
Dontrelle Willis (Tigers) - 3 years/29 million
Randy Wolf (Padres) - 1 year/4.75 million

Probably missed a couple of starting pitchers (for one, cbssports didnít list the money amount on Mark Redmanís contractÖah well)

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:34 pm

Heath Phillips - R - NYY - Jan. 16 - 2:13 am et

Yankees invited LHP Heath Phillips, C Kyle Anson, C Jason Brown, INF Bernie Castro, OF Justin Christian, OF Colin Curtis, INF Eric Duncan, OF Brett Gardner, RHP Daniel Giese, INF Nick Green, RHP Alan Horne, OF Austin Jackson, RHP Steven Jackson, OF Jason Lane, RHP Daniel McCutchen, RHP Mark Melancon, C Jesus Montero, C P.J. Pilittere, OF Greg Porter, INF Cody Ransom, RHP Darrell Rasner, C Austin Romine, RHP Scott Strickland, OF Jose Tabata, LHP Billy Traber and INF Marcos Vechionacci to Spring Training.
Phillips and Rasner should have signed with teams with less pitching depth. Rasner, especially, could be a useful fifth starter, but he'll need multiple injuries in order to get another shot with the Yankees. Besides Phillips, the most notable imports are Strickland, who could be a serviceable middle reliever given the chance, plus the two infielders, Green and Ransom. Either could be a better choice than Alberto Gonzalez when a spare is needed. Jan. 16 - 2:13 am et

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:42 pm

Favre addresses the New York Media

http://www.packersnews.com/includes/newspaper/blogs/insider/index.shtml

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- So much for all that hoopla over last week's Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald story about Brett Favre's future.

In a conference call with reporters at Giants Stadium, Favre said emphatically that he has not made a decision about whether to return next season or retire.

When asked whether the success of this year's team and the appearance that it should be competitive again next season would make him more likely to return, Favre said: "I haven't looked at it any differently than in previous years. The only difference is we're still playing. This time last year I was having to think about my future much earlier than I have this year.

"The choice would be, oh yeah, why wouldn't he (come back), but to be totally honest with you, I haven't thought about it," Favre added. "It's been a blast. It's been a wonderful experience. I'm not even worried about next year, which is great."

The subject of Giants defensive end Michael Strahan's record-setting sack of Favre in the 2001 regular-season finale came up again when Favre was asked if he laid down in order to let Strahan his 22 1/2 sacks.

"I think I've said that numerous times: I didn't lay down," Favre said. "It's not something he and I discussed previously or whatever. It wasn't like we had a formal pact. What he did that year, what he continues to do is outstanding."

-- Rob Demovsky, rdemovsk@greenbaypressgazette.com

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:43 pm

http://www.packersnews.com/includes/newspaper/blogs/insider/index.shtml
Favre speaks
It was virtually standing-room only in the Lambeau Field media auditorium when Packers quarterback Brett Favre addressed a mix of Wisconsin, New York and national media this afternoon. He spoke for more than 21 minutes -- that's a lot, even for Favre -- on a variety of topics. Here are a few highlights.

On whether he thought he'd return to the NFC championship game: "I'm not going to say I never thought it would happen. But you guys thought I was crazy when I said this was the most talented team I felt I had played on. Did we put it together as fast? I don't want to sound like I'm totally surprised. But I knew it could happen. The question was could I last."

On how his experience benefits the rest of the team: "... The only thing I try to get across to these guys, and I don't know if I necessarily do it verbally or should do it maybe more, I don't know, is that you gotta treat it just like another game. And some people may look at that and say, well, it's not just another game. Well, it's not in the sense it's a championship game. And it potentially you win this game you go to the Super Bowl. You lose, you go home. No different than last week. But you have to approach it from a physical and mental approach like you do any other game. Now, that's the way I do it. I can't prepare any more for this game than I did for the Giants the first time we played them. That game, to me, was equally as important as this one. And I know some people may think that's crazy, but I think in order to get to this game, you have to play those games as if that's the last game you play. And with that in mind, you gotta have fun. And I'll be the first to tell you I love to have fun and enjoy it. But I was joking with some of the guys. The old rookie wall, you hear guys hit the rookie wall. I hit the 17-year wall a long time ago."

On an ESPN the Magazine story last month that depicted his relationship last season with then-rookie Greg Jennings as icy: "I thought that the story was all over the top. I thought I was made out to be a jerk, which I may be. Maybe I think highly of myself. A little too highly, I don't know. ... I know what I said in the article, what was asked of me. Of course, not everything that is said is put in there. But I thought our relationship was fine. Did I go out of my way to sit by Greg in meals, to take him under my wing, to congratulate him every time he made a play in practice, no. Did I do that purposely to, you know, this is the way it is, this is the way it's going to be, absolutely not. ... I knew right away the guy could play. You can tell when guys have talent and their character and stuff like that. I thought highly of him right from the start. But I was not going to go out of my way. Now, did he take offense of that? I don't think so. But that may have been his first impressions of me. But I think our relationship from the start was, has it grown or evolved into something better? Sure it has."

-- Tom Pelissero, tpelisse@greenbaypressgazette.com

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Re: Latest mock draft littered with juniors, linemen

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:54 pm

Okajima- "It's great that Japanese fans will get to see the No. 1 team in the world"

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/01/16/ap.okajima.ap/index.html?eref=si_mlb

Okajima- "It's great that Japanese fans will get to see the No. 1 team in the world," Okajima said. "It will be a great experience for me and the other players as well.

Two world series, The Redsox suddenly have become a number #1 team in the world not the Yankees?

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