My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

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My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:54 pm

My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett


http://waswatching.com/

Many like to credit G.M. Brian Cashman with rebuilding the (recent) Yankees through the amateur draft and Latin America signings. Or, they like to give credit to Cashman for rebuilding the (recent) Yankees via his allowing the Yanks’ scouting head, Damon Oppenheimer, to have complete autonomy over the amateur draft, and ditto for Lin Garrett, the Yankees international scouting director, in signing Latin prospects.

When I think about this, three words come to mind: Idea, Work, & Credit. Perhaps this is best explained via an analogy.

Let’s assume that you work for a New York based pumpkin retailer. Let’s call it “Yankee Pumpkins” – and you’re an A.V.P. at the company.

Let’s also assume that all of your pumpkins come almost exclusively from New York farms and wholesalers. That’s your main pipeline for pumpkins.

Let’s also assume that, one day, your boss (who is a V.P. at the company) comes to you and says “You know, things here are O.K., but, we need to do better in terms of acquiring pumpkins. I’ve heard that there are pumpkins in New Jersey that are better than our pumpkins, less expensive than the ones on the New York exchange, and that are in great abundance, if you know the right places to look and what to look for...so, I want you to run with this one. Go to New Jersey and find us better pumpkins.”

So, you do it. You spend the next 8 weeks hitting every pumpkin farm in Jersey. You pound the pavement and beat the bushes. You work seven day weeks and put in 12 hour days. And, in the end, you find a pumpkin source in New Jersey that will best serve “Yankee Pumpkins” now and in the long term as well.

When you tell the V.P. of your findings, he gives it the green light. And, he reports back to the President of “Yankee Pumpkins” with the good news.

Now, how do you think this works at this point? If “Yankee Pumpkins” is like any company that I’ve ever worked at in the last 23 years, when the V.P. reports back to the President, he’s going to say it was his “idea” (which is true) and also take the “credit” for the results and the impact to the company. However, bottom line, the V.P. did none of the “work.”

I think anyone who’s been in this spot, where they’ve done the “work,” would agree that, in the end, they are the party that deserves the “credit” (for the findings) – regardless of who had the “idea” and gave them the permission to run with it.

Sure, recognition is due for realizing that improvement is needed. And, recognition is due for empowering your staff. But, at the end of the day, when it’s time to hand out the true “gold stars,” they should go to those who did the “work” and who deserve the “credit” for turning things around – rather than them going to the higher-up who had the “idea” that something needed to be done.

This is why I cannot sign-on with those who like to “credit” G.M. Brian Cashman with rebuilding the (recent) Yankees through the amateur draft and Latin America signings. Maybe it was Cashman’s “idea.” But, Damon Oppenheimer and Lin Garrett did the “work.” If the Yankees recent moves via the amateur draft and Latin America signings make a difference in Yankeeland, Oppenheimer and Garrett, in my opinion, deserve the “credit.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:55 pm

What's your source for saying that Oppenheimer and Garrett have "complete autonomy"? I'm not debating that fact yet, but I'd like to see something to back it up.

Posted by: Ben K. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 12:49 PM

agree, Ben.

and not for nothing, but this is how it works with any major corporation, not just the Yankees and their GM...

you've got the lower level workers who do the labor, bust their asses to do the grunt work, and the upper level administration who basically manage over their individual projects, and make sure that everything is getting done correctly and efficiently. when something is broken, they implement new policies and take a step back to see if it works... when it doesnt, they come up with a new plan.

isnt that what's going on here?

Posted by: TurnTwo [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 12:59 PM

So, then, you would agree that Theo Epstein deserves none of the credit for Beckett, or any of the recent drafted prospects like Buchholz, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, Papelbon, etc? What, then, is he doing differently than Cashman? And is the only reason he should keep his job is because he was lucky enough to have most everything work out for him in 2007, despite the failures of Drew and Lugo, which were pretty much his big contribution to the team?

Frankly, you're running around in circles like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to divert ANY real credit for Cashman. I know you would love to have him gone, for some reason I really don't understand, but please explain to me the difference between Cashman, a 'bum' GM by your standards, and Epstein, which I can only think you hold in extremely high esteem.

Posted by: Andrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:02 PM

~~~What's your source for saying that Oppenheimer and Garrett have "complete autonomy"? I'm not debating that fact yet, but I'd like to see something to back it up.~~~

Here's one source on Damon Oppenheimer:

http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2007/08/damon_oppenheim_1.html

"One of Cashman's best decisions -- way before the Joba Rules -- was to give Tampa-based Damon Oppenheimer complete autonomy over the amateur draft, which resulted in an '06 bonanza, as Chamberlain came 20 picks after USC product Kennedy arrived."

and, here's another source on Lin Garrett:

http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/07/what_no_shakira.html

"The Yanks went for quality and quantity when the July 2 international signing date arrived. Not only have the Yankees signed catcher Jesus Montero for a reported $2 million bonus (Yankees international scouting director Lin Garrett declined to comment on signing terms), but they have signed eight players total, three from Venezuela and five from the Dominican Republic. And Garrett said he hopes the organization is not done yet, as general manager Brian Cashman authorized the international scouting department to be aggressive this summer."

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:02 PM

Why stop at Oppenheimer and Garrett? What about the lowly area scouts who drive across the country and sit through 2 high school games during the day and a college game at night to watch these kids? They're the ones who recommend the players to Oppenheimer and Garrett, they're the ones risking their reputation everytime they pick a player. All Oppenheimer and Garrett do is follow their advice, and all Cashman does is follow their advice.

A GM, scouting director, etc is only as good as the people working for him. Cashman absolutely deserves a piece of the credit for Joba, Hughes, Montero, Tabata, etc, but just a piece. Ditto Oppenheimer and Garrett. It's the scouts behind the scenes that deserve most of the credit.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:03 PM

Steve, I know something about running a business and if the buck stops at the VP's desk, then he deserves the credit or the fault. Let's turn it around. Suppose those guys that went looking for pumpkins screwed up and landed bad pumpkins. The VP is the one who will ultimately take the grief for giving them the task. So, if it works, he gets credit...if it fails, he gets the blame. A good VP will let credit stream down to the guys that got it done. Give credit to Cash for understanding that there are guys better suited than him to go find those pumpkins and for letting them loose, knowing if the pumkins were rotten he'd take the arrows.

Posted by: #15 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:04 PM

~~~So, then, you would agree that Theo Epstein deserves none of the credit for Beckett, or any of the recent drafted prospects like Buchholz, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lester, Papelbon, etc? What, then, is he doing differently than Cashman? ~~~

I can't say that Epstein is not running the draft and signings for the Sox - and, I never claimed that he was or was not. I'm only talking about the Yankees here.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:05 PM

I would just like to know the difference between Brian Cashman and any other GM in baseball. No GM, except perhaps Billy Beane, make the picks. The guy overseeing the draft for the Sox is some guy named McClaude, or something. If anything, the most a GM does is set a general tone for the draft, and work out deals for the players.

Posted by: Andrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:09 PM

~~~It's the scouts behind the scenes that deserve most of the credit. ~~~

Somewhat, but, don't Oppenheimer & Garrett have to read the reports from the scouts and then make the final yes or no call? The buck stops with them.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:10 PM

Also, Garrett was fired from his position of VP of Int'l Scouting over a year ago. I believe he's still with the team in some capacity though. I don't have time to verify this, so feel free to correct me.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:10 PM

~~~The VP is the one who will ultimately take the grief for giving them the task. So, if it works, he gets credit...if it fails, he gets the blame. ~~~~

In the case of the Yankees, will he get the blame?

If so, then why has Cashman not taken the blame for Andy Brown, Drew Henson, David Walling, David Parrish, John-Ford Griffin, Brandon Weeden and Eric Duncan?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:13 PM

It is a first principle about any business that the key to being a successful executive is to hire, retain, and supervise talented people. As such, to discount Cashman's role in this process runs to counter to everything ever taught in both Business Management 101 courses and higher level management courses taught in B School.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:16 PM

~~~Also, Garrett was fired from his position of VP of Int'l Scouting over a year ago. I believe he's still with the team in some capacity though. I don't have time to verify this, so feel free to correct me.~~~

FWIW, Garrett was signing players as late as the summer of 2006. So, if any of the players in the system, from Latin America, do well, they were under his watch.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:18 PM

~~~It is a first principle about any business that the key to being a successful executive is to hire, retain, and supervise talented people.~~~

And, for that, I'm willing to credit Cashman. But, I can't give him credit for retooling the team - since he's not the one picking the players that everyone says will carry the Yankees in the future.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:21 PM

I actually wonder if anyone knows whether Cashman was the person who gave the ok to sign drafted players to over slot bonus money. I have had the feeling over the past few years that Cashman has been handicapping himself, trying to save money rather than using the powerful financial resources of the Yankees. It appears to me almost as if he is trying to prove to the rest of the baseball world that he can win without using the Yankee money. So I am not certain whether we can even give credit to Cashamn for signing the drafted players.

Posted by: Ference [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:41 PM

"And, for that, I'm willing to credit Cashman. But, I can't give him credit for retooling the team - since he's not the one picking the players that everyone says will carry the Yankees in the future."
____

Cash himself has admitted that talent evaluation is not one of his strengths, but as long his plan yields positive results, does it really matter that he is responsible for implementing an overarching plan as opposed to micromanaging every aspect of a GM's job?

For example, it was Cashman's decision to place an emphasis on allocating more resources toward drafting high ceiling players with signability issues. But he understood that Oppenheimer was better suited to select which players the money should be spent on.

That seems to be a case study for how a good organization should be run.

Posted by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 2, 2008 01:42 PM

I happen to agree with Steve on a good amount of this....I guess I am the only one here who does..

I was going to elaborate on my point of view but Rich beat me to the punch by 2 minutes. I agree with his analysis of the situation. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and should have a job curtailed to those.

For instance (i think i remember him saying it once) but Steve has a job in HR, (correct me if I am wrong) which obviously suits a strength because he obviously can write well; hence he has a blog.

Cash's strengths it seems is dealing with different personalities and having the ability to (when in complete control) not making a panic move. Talent evaluation on the other hand... goes to Opp... since we know nothing about the man.. its hard to evaluate Opp's ability to manage people. It really goes both ways.. and I think this really is an interesting argument dealing with the future of the Yankees.


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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:57 pm

Frankie (Westford Ma): The Red Sox are a top 10 organization true or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) We ranked their farm system No. 2, behind the Devil Rays, in the Prospect Handbook. That much I do remember.


If The Redsox are number #2 in prospect handbook, What are the Yankees?

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:06 pm

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18658

Frankie (Westford Ma): The Red Sox are a top 10 organization true or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) We ranked their farm system No. 2, behind the Devil Rays, in the Prospect Handbook. That much I do remember.


James (Cali): The Sox are ranked number 2, because of depth, high ceiling talent or both?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Both. You have to have both to rank that high.

Devito-Ma: Where do Yankees rank behind Rays and Redsox in prospect handbook?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) John Manuel has kindly IMed me our Top 5: Devil Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Yankees, in that order.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:09 pm

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18658

Chris, (Staten Island, NY): Jim, don't you think the Yankees would be in better shape moving into the new stadium in 2009 if they passed on Santana even if it means he lands in Boston. With $65 million coming off the payroll after next season(not including Pettite), they could easily sign Sabbathia and/or Teixeira. How does a rotation of Sabbathia, Pettite, Joba, Wang and Hughes strike you with Kennedy, Horne and Sanchez in the pen as depth?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:02 PM ET ) As good as Santana is, his cost is going to be so high that, yes, you can make the argument that the money could be spent more efficiently. But the one mistake people make is assuming that a team will just be able to automatically sign any free agent they want. What if those guys don't want to play in New York? What if the Red Sox or Mets or Cubs throw big money at them?

Mike (Carbondale, IL): For an early prediction, who are your 8 playoff teams?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Without having given it much thought: Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles in the AL. Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Arizona in the NL[/quote].

Jim Callis hates the Yankees so much ,He had to pick The paper champion Detroit Tigers over Yankees making the playoffs next year? The Yankees are being disrespected here. I'm sorry but you don't win on paper , you win by playing on the field.



Frankie (Westford Ma): The Red Sox are a top 10 organization true or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) We ranked their farm system No. 2, behind the Devil Rays, in the Prospect Handbook. That much I do remember.


James (Cali): The Sox are ranked number 2, because of depth, high ceiling talent or both?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Both. You have to have both to rank that high.

Devito-Ma: Where do Yankees rank behind Rays and Redsox in prospect handbook?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) John Manuel has kindly IMed me our Top 5: Devil Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Yankees, in that order.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:10 pm

I hate claiming bias, but Callis seems to consistently undersell the Yankees and overrating the Sox. Not to say that his prediction will be wrong, but the Yankees made the playoffs last year and finished two games behind Boston and Cleveland, and none of the teams seem to have changed much. I think Detroit will be more competitive, but they have bullpen problems and rotation question marks. It is a hard call, so I cant fault him for that, but I find that he usually makes his hard calls against the Yankees

Callis’ last question of the day- link is in post # 28

Devito-Ma: Where do Yankees rank behind Rays and Redsox in prospect handbook?

Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) John Manuel has kindly IMed me our Top 5: Devil Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Yankees, in that order.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:12 pm

Chat with Baseball America's Jim Callis

http://yesnetwork.prospero.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&nav=messages&webtag=yesnetwork&tid=34487


Welcome to The Show! On Wednesday, Baseball America's Jim Callis will chat it up with SportsNation. Ask any question and he will try to answer - big leaguers, prospects, draft picks ... anything goes!

Send your questions now and join Jim on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!

Baseball America Archives: Chats

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:00 PM ET ) Happy New Year, everyone. As I sit here basking in the glow of Georgia's dominant Sugar Bowl performance, I'll answer your questions. Bring them on.

ricky , dearborn heights , mi: With the trade for Renteria,Jacque Jones , Miguel Cabrera and The D-Train make the Tigers the favorite to win it all this year? If not who?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:01 PM ET ) I'd still put the Red Sox slightly ahead of the Tigers. I like their pitching better. Not convinced Willis is going to far real well in his first taste of the AL.

Chris, (Staten Island, NY): Jim, don't you think the Yankees would be in better shape moving into the new stadium in 2009 if they passed on Santana even if it means he lands in Boston. With $65 million coming off the payroll after next season(not including Pettite), they could easily sign Sabbathia and/or Teixeira. How does a rotation of Sabbathia, Pettite, Joba, Wang and Hughes strike you with Kennedy, Horne and Sanchez in the pen as depth?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:02 PM ET ) As good as Santana is, his cost is going to be so high that, yes, you can make the argument that the money could be spent more efficiently. But the one mistake people make is assuming that a team will just be able to automatically sign any free agent they want. What if those guys don't want to play in New York? What if the Red Sox or Mets or Cubs throw big money at them?

Steve H. Las Vegas, NV: Jim, What do you think will happen with Andy LaRoche...if he becomes the everyday guy, what kind of ceiling does he have?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET ) I like LaRoche, think he can hit .280-.290 with 25 homers once he gets going.

Jordan, New York, NY: Julio Teheran is a young kid I've read a lot about, I even saw someone say he has the best stuff he'd ever seen of a 16 y/o...is he in the class with a felix hernandez (at the same age of course)?

Jose Lopez, Seattle, WA: Will I ever rebound to become the All-star I was before....and what's wrong with me anyway?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) Plate discipline. Your all-star season wasn't very impressive to begin with, and unless you hit .280+, you don't have the OBP or power to be a positive on offense.

Josh, Skokie, IL: How do you think Carlos Quentin will fare thisa season on the South Side? Can he turn into the star player he was originally pegged to be?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:06 PM ET ) Yes, he can. I love that trade for the White Sox and think he will rebound this year.

Mike, Schamburg, IL: Who has the higher ceiling...Gio Gonzalez, or Fautino De Los Santos? And can either of them be a #1 or #2?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) de los Santos probably has a little higher ceiling, but I'm trusting Gonzalez more. I think they're both No. 3s, most likely.

J.J. (CT): Jim, how is Led Lowrie's defense at SS? Could he play SS at the MLB level and be good at it? Thanks.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET ) It's decent enough. Lowrie could get the job done, but you'd probably want a better glove at SS. That said, he'll hit better than most SS.

Dustin, Austin TX: Can Brandon McCarthy return to being the guy he was in the minors when he lead all of the minors in K's...can he at least be a quality #3?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET ) Be wary of guys who post big minor league numbers without the stuff to match. McCarthy's big strikeout totals were in large part due to deception, and he hasn't had the same effect on big leaguers. I think he can be a No. 3, that's probably the best-case scenario.

Walter, New Orleans, LA: Does Jeremy Hellickson have enough stuff to be one of the starters for the Rays? Is he in the class with or close to the mcgee's, price's, davis'...or is he really far behind....who's in the World series 2010 rotation?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:09 PM ET ) He does, his stuff is very good, though the Rays have a lot of candidates. That 2010 rotation is going to be: Kazmir, Price, McGee, Davis, Garza. Nice rotation.

Dave Staten Island,New York: Hi Jim, Happy New Year to you and yours! A fast one for you. Who helps their big club the most this season: David Price,Evan Longoria,Luke Hocevar,Ian Stewart or Jay Bruce? thanks, Dave

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:10 PM ET ) Thanks, Dave. Jay Bruce, provided the Reds give him the opportunity. Longoria would be my second choice.

Steve ATL: Happy New Year, Jim, Sox Come out Thursday. I know you love Lars, but what do you think about Mailman, Rizzo, Almanzar and Place? Any with star potential?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:11 PM ET ) That reminds me--I'll be doing a Red Sox prospects chat at baseballamerica.com on Friday. I'd rank those guys (and I did in the Prospect Handbook): 3B Michael Almanzar, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Jason Place, OF David Mailman. May be selling Mailman a little short there. The Red Sox are very enthused about Rizzo.

Gerry, Toronto: Jim: When will the book be back from the publisher? Where does the Jays organization rate? What do you think of their 2007 draft class?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:13 PM ET ) The book should be back from the printer in mid-January. Stupidly, I did not bring back a copy of the org rankings from Durham with me, but I can tell you the Jays were near the bottom. I did like the diversity of their 2007 draft class and I'm not worried about their collective lackluster debuts.

Mike (NYC): But Jim, I thought you said the starter (and winner) in Game 7 of the 2010 WS was going to be Jeff Niemann!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET ) That was a year ago! No longer!

Joe (Billings, MT): Jim, followup to your response on Walter's question. Do you think Shields will be traded by then or filling a different role?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:14 PM ET ) Oh, overlooked him. The Jays have more quality arms than rotation slots, we'll just have to see how it shakes out.

Josh Chicago: 5 years down the road which team looks better from the Danks/ Masset for McCarthy deal? Chisox or Texas?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:15 PM ET ) White Sox. I think Danks will outperform McCarthy, which is what it will come down to.

Jonathan (Whittier, CA): Jordan Schafer, is he the 2nd coming of Grady Sizemore?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) That's asking a little much, but that's a realistic ceiling. Let's see Schafer do it again this year, though.

Ray, Burlington, NJ: Will Andrew McCutchen ever hit for power?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) Yes.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:16 PM ET ) I think he'll be at least a 15-20 HR guy.

Steve(virginia beach, Va): Happy new year Jim! In two years who's the better player? Justin Upton or Jacoby Ellsbury?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:17 PM ET ) I like Jacoby Ellsbury, but this isn't close. Ellsbury will be an all-star caliber CF, but Upton will be on his way to becoming one of the best players in the game.

Nils (Stamford, CT): Hi Jim, your answer for the Julio Teheran question didn't get posted. What do you think of him?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:18 PM ET ) That's odd. Here was the question: Jordan, New York, NY: Julio Teheran is a young kid I've read a lot about, I even saw someone say he has the best stuff he'd ever seen of a 16 y/o...is he in the class with a felix hernandez (at the same age of course)? . . . My answer: That's an interesting comp. I haven't heard of a sub-18-year-old pitcher with Teheran's stuff since Felix Hernandez. Very interested to see how he performs this year.

Chris ( S.I. N.Y.): Jim i ordered the Prospect Handbook. How long before i get it? What's your take on this Cuban player the White sox Signed last week? Happy New Year To you and your family.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:20 PM ET ) Thanks, Chris. If you ordered the book from us, I believe you'll have it before the end of the month. Alexei Ramirez is maybe a little better version of Tadahito Iguchi, more of a good complementary player than a real star. He'll hit for average, with some pop, probably begin his career with the White Sox as a CF and could move to the infield down the road.

Mike (Carbondale, IL): What's your opinion on Sam Fuld? Some of the Cubs brass seems to favor him over Felix Pie...who do you favor?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET ) I'm not sure Pie's aptitude is equal to his tools. But Fuld is an extra outfielder, his bat would be exposed if he played regularly. He'd be nice to have coming off your bench, not so much in your lineup.

Paul (Saint Paul): Hi Jim, Happy New Year! If the Mariner's let Brandon Morrow develop (as a starter, in the minors), how high is his ceiling?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:22 PM ET ) I think he's going to be better off in the long run as a reliever. I don't think he has the third pitch or polish to make the same impact in the rotation, and he's always been more effective as a reliever.

Robert, Temecula CA: I've seen a lot about Gonzo and Anderson in the Haren deal, but what about Chris Carter? Can he make it to the show and if so what kind of impact?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:23 PM ET ) Interesting power, but he's a few years away AND defensively challenged. I don't see him as a frontline guy.

Tom (Seattle): So now we are hearing out of Seattle that in a trade to land Bedard, the M's are more reluctant to part with Morrow than Jones. Is this posturing? Can they get a deal done without dealing both?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:25 PM ET ) I think that's true. When I was helping XM with their Rule 5 coverage, we had Bill Bavasi as a guest and he said Morrow was untouchable. They're planning on putting him in the rotation, and Bavasi looked at dealing Morrow like just dealing one starter to get another, even if the guy is an ace. The Orioles wanted to trade Tejada, so maybe that was a factor, but they took a bunch of second-tier guys for him. The Mariners could put together a package with Adam Jones as the centerpiece and get Bedard without including Morrow. Maybe they add Chris Tillman and another intriguing arm.

Brad, Columbus OH: Can you give me any insight on Cory Luebke with San Diego and formally OSU?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:27 PM ET ) In the two years Luebke factored into my Ohio draft coverage, the feedback I got was that he was a lefty with decent stuff who knew how to pitch. The Padres think he has better stuff than I did, and they're very happy with him.

Tom (Seattle): Doesn't Ellsbury seem very similiar to Jeremy Reed? What happened with him, anyway?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:28 PM ET ) Uh, no. Maybe similar hitters, but Ellsbury is a much better runner and defender than Reed was. Reed didn't hit, so he's in purgatory with the Mariners.

Mike (Framingham Ma): What is wrong with Daniel Bard? i know you were never big on him, but will he ever reach close to his potenial?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:29 PM ET ) The Red Sox are close to just keeping him in the bullpen full-time. His problem is he's essentially a one-pitch pitcher with shaky command, and that doesn't work as a starter, and that doesn't work in the launching pad that is Lancaster.

Adam (Philly): What do you think about Brett Myers moving back to the rotation and aquiring Lidge from the Astros?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET ) I like both those moves. I think Myers can help them more as a starter and I think they got Lidge pretty cheap. I have not been impressed with any of Ed Wade's moves as Astros GM so far.

Gus - NY: Happy New Year Jim. what do you think of shelly duncan? AAAA power hitter or decent enough MLB'er? thanks

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:30 PM ET ) More of a 4-A guy, maybe a bench guy in the majors.

Jimmy (South Ridgeford, PA): If McCutch is at 15-20 hr, how many SB? Does he project to be a Carl Crawford kind of offensive player?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) Yeah, that's a good comp for McCutchen's ceiling. He could be a 40-SB guy.

Doug (NY): Where does Austin Jackson begin the year...AA? Do you see him in the Bronx in '09?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) Double-A, yes. Maybe late 2009, but he's one of those guys I want to see duplicate his 2007 breakout before I go nuts about him.

Nick (Milwaukee): How many questions in the hopper today?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:32 PM ET ) Not many. Are you guys still nursing New Year's Even hangovers? I have less than 200 half an hour into the chat!

Mike (Carbondale, IL): Carlos Marmol was awesome in relief last year. Can he take the next step and become an elite closer?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:33 PM ET ) Yes, his arm is that good. He'd be yet another example of a devastating setup man graduation to closer.

Jim, Minneapolis: Is Jason Pridie legit? What sort of player do you think he'll amount to?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:34 PM ET ) I don't like him as much as John Manuel does, but I'm not sure anyone likes him that much. Pridie could be a solid regular.

Ben (Minneapolis): What can you tell me about Ozzie Lewis? Is this a guy that will help the Twins by the time their new stadium is complete in 2010?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:35 PM ET ) Nah. Just an older guy who beat up on younger competition in the Appy League this year.

VK (DC): Troy Patton is 2nd tier? BA has him as the O's #3 prospect ahead of Billy Rowell. Explain?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:36 PM ET ) Not all No. 3 prospects are created equal. Patton is a No. 3 or 4 starter at best.

ro (NYC): What do you make of Carlos Gomez's season? I expect to see young players struggle with off speed stuff but not only did he struggle with the off speed stuff, he looked overpowered by average MLB fastballs. The only way he was getting on base with any consistency was via the bunt. I think the Mets traded the wrong OF prospect. Thoughts?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET ) Lots of Gomez questions . . . Most rookies struggle in their first taste of the majors, but I've never been that high on Gomez. He's more toolsy than skilled. I think Milledge is more talented, but his makeup is a disaster, too. I think the Mets just wanted to get rid of him.

Jack (Richmond Hill, NY): Do you see the Mets being able to deal for a starter with their prospects or are they going to be stuck signing a washed up free agent?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:37 PM ET ) I think I get this question every week . . . I'm not as high on Gomez, Pelfrey, Humber and most of the Mets prospects as others might be. Their packages don't seem too enticing to me.

Eddie (Fresno): Jim, What hitter, available at #5 in the June draft, would be able to get the the majors the quickest and help strengthen the anemic Giants offense? Also, how long until Villalona is in SF?

S

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:12 pm

portsNation Jim Callis: (2:38 PM ET ) Maybe a first baseman like South Carolina's Justin Smoak or Miami's Yonder Alonso. I think Big V could move quick, maybe even get there at some point in 2010.

Harold, Ft. Worth, TX: What kind of power do you think Loney will provide? He showed some unexpected power when he came up last year.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) I think he can be a 20-25 HR guy.

Dan (San Francisco): You see Lincecum as a reliever like Morrow, right?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:41 PM ET ) Noooooooo. He might wind up as a closer, but I think Lincecum can easily succeed as a starter.

Mike (Carbondale, IL): For an early prediction, who are your 8 playoff teams?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) Without having given it much thought: Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles in the AL. Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Arizona in the NL.

Matt (Brookline, MA): Where can Brett Sinkbeil put himself with a full, healthy season? Close to the bigs, right?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:43 PM ET ) Yep. He didn't have arm problems, so I'm expecting a bounceback.

Matt (Brookline, MA): What ever happened to Cliff Pennington? Is he officially a bust, or is there at least 5th infielder status he could get to?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:44 PM ET ) Bust. I'm not sure what happened, because he had a good debut and I thought he was going to be at least a solid regular.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) Let's head to the lightning round . . .

Dan (Cleveland): Who has a higher ceiling, Trevor Crowe or Chuck Lofgren

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) Lofgren, easy.

Randy (VA): Final verdict on Madden 2008 was...

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:45 PM ET ) Haven't played enough and my skills have atrophied. Right now I would say "frustrating."

Drew (FL): Felix Pie vs. Hunter Pence

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Pence.

Dennis (Connecticut): Hey Jim, I can't wait for the handbook. Can you tell me who will be better FMart or Gomez in 2 years?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Martinez.

Ben (SF): Fred Lewis, Rajai Davis, Nate Schierholtz: Which one has the best chance to be a regular major league starter?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Schierholtz.

VK (DC): I understand that not all #3 prospects are created equal, but you have Patton rated ahead of Billy Rowell, whom BA has touted as one of the best hitting prospects in the nation. Has Rowell's star fallen that far?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:46 PM ET ) Wrong verb tense . . . We had touted Rowell as one of the best hitting prospects in the 2006 draft. His star has fallen a little.

Tom: (Revere, MA): Mike Moustakas or Matt Wieters: Who debuts with better numbers?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Moustakas.

Michael (Wayland MA): Lars Anderson or Will Middlebrooks?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) Anderson.

Sean (Seattle): Edgar Martinez - HOF?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:47 PM ET ) If the Mariners hadn't cost him 1500 AB by waiting too long to bring him up, yes. But they did, and I don't think he'll get in.

Brian(WVU): WVU or OU?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) I think both those teams are overrated--that's the SEC in me talking. I'll take Oklahoma, sorry.

VK (DC): Wrong verb tense? You're a nerd. Albers or Patton?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:48 PM ET ) No name calling! Albers.

Andrew (Clev): Barry Larkin or Omar Vizquel. Either a HOFer?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Larkin yes, Vizquel no. I don't buy the Vizquel proponents at all.

Gray (Chicago): On or off the Brandon Wood bandwagon? Seems to be getting light of late.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Still on. But I'd like to see him get and keep a regular job with the Angels this year.

Jennifer (Boston): Why don't you have a pic at the top of this chat like everyone else does?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) ESPN has never asked me for one, that's probably why.

johnny (Rutland): Which would you be more likely to watch Georgia vs USC or the actual National Championship game OSU vs. LSU?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:50 PM ET ) Well, I'd watch both. But Georgia vs. Southern Cal, the two hottest teams in the country, would be priority No. 1.

Patrick (Brooklyn, NY): A-Rod = first 100% first ballot HOF'er?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) No one will ever get 100 percent, because there will always be crusty old guys who believe no one deserves it. Shoot, with all the righteous indignation the balloters work up, A-Rod may not even get in if Canseco names him in his upcoming book.

Please tell me that isnt you Smile: http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/20/200383.jpg

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:52 PM ET ) That is me, with the photo stretched out of normal proportion. And I wear a tie maybe 2-3 times a year at most.

Rich (Bayonne, NJ): At First Base for the Yankees on opening day 2009 is _______________.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) Mark Teixeira or someone else not currently in the organization.

Andrew: Robbie Alomar HOFer?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) In my book, yes.

Frankie (Westford Ma): The Red Sox are a top 10 organization true or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) We ranked their farm system No. 2, behind the Devil Rays, in the Prospect Handbook. That much I do remember.

Art (Kolin, Czech Republic): yes or no for the HOF for Raines, Blyleven, and Trammell?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) In case I haven't been clear, these are my opinions, not necessarily how I think the voting will go. All three of those guys are HOFers in my book.

Randy (Indy): Who on the Tigers farm should I keep an eye on? Is there anyone left?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) Rick Porcello, than a steep dropoff.

Chris (CT): West Virginny keeps it within 3 touches tonight...true or false?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:54 PM ET ) True.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): Better upside in Atlanta: Devine or Jurrjens?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Jair Jurrjens. Better Scrabble score, too.

James (Cali): The Sox are ranked number 2, because of depth, high ceiling talent or both?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Both. You have to have both to rank that high.

Jack Bauer: We are being delayed this season until it can run un-interrupted, good call?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Yeah, that's fine. Hopefully the script will be better this year, too.

CJ Boston: Happy New year JC toughie here We expect your A game on this Q >> Wieters vs Salty? Rowell vs Vitters? Moustakas vs Wood? Kershaw vs Kazmir? GO DAWGS

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET ) Salty (that's a tough one, could go either way). Vitters. Moustakas. Kazmir. Yes, go Dawgs!

Chris (CT): How do you think the voting will go?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:57 PM ET ) I think Gossage will get in, and maybe Jim Rice, that's it.


Mike (Ma): I'm a member of baseball american, and love your website, but sell me on why I should purchase the prospect handbook? How much new material is in it that I can't get off the website?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) We have detailed scouting reports on the Top 30 prospects in each system, not just the Top 10 (like you get on the website). There's a bunch of other cool stuff crammed in their, like retroactive draft evaluations, plus Top 100 lists for both college and high school prospects for the 2008 draft. Get to baseballamerica.com or call 1-800-845-2726 immediately to order yours!

Jason (San Diego): Padres system in a nutshell?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Improving.

Erik (Papillion, NE): Which Chicago team will have the better year next year?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:59 PM ET ) Cubs, easy.

Steve (Athens): UGA III or UGA IV?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) Aren't we on UGA VI now? I've lost track of my UGAs.

Tony Almeida (Parts Unkown): You're better off staying home Jack. You don't wanna mess with this!!!

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:01 PM ET ) How are you even alive?

Devito-Ma: Where do Yankees rank behind Rays and Redsox in prospect handbook?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) John Manuel has kindly IMed me our Top 5: Devil Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Yankees, in that order.

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) That's it for this week . . . See you guys next Wednesday.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:14 pm

Frankie (Westford Ma): The Red Sox are a top 10 organization true or false?
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18658

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:53 PM ET ) We ranked their farm system No. 2, behind the Devil Rays, in the Prospect Handbook. That much I do remember.


James (Cali): The Sox are ranked number 2, because of depth, high ceiling talent or both?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:56 PM ET ) Both. You have to have both to rank that high.

Devito-Ma: Where do Yankees rank behind Rays and Redsox in prospect handbook?

SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) John Manuel has kindly IMed me our Top 5: Devil Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Yankees, in that order.


Redsox are number 2? The Redsox have better farm system than Yankees?

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Yankees In Talks With Twins About Santana Part X

http://forums.nyyfans.com/showthread.php?p=4821980#post4821980


This man speaks blasphemy against Holy Ellsbury! Blasphemy! What an abmonation! Non-believers such as this Sean Deveney will be smoten in due time!

"Look, I know Boston fans are caught up in Ellsbury worship right now, but he is not going to hit .353 forever. He is fast and exciting, but Sox fans haven't seen him in a slump, nor have they seen him handle 162 games for Boston. Fans like the energy and enthusiasm he brings. I say, if you want energy and enthusiasm, buy a six-pack of Duracells and watch Regis and Kelly. Ellsbury has very little pop in his bat and, at age 24, that's not going to change. Who's to say he's the All-Star the Fenway faithful envision?"




This man speaks blasphemy against Holy Ellsbury! Blasphemy! What an abmonation! Non-believers such as this Sean Deveney will be smoten in due time!

"Look, I know Boston fans are caught up in Ellsbury worship right now, but he is not going to hit .353 forever. He is fast and exciting, but Sox fans haven't seen him in a slump, nor have they seen him handle 162 games for Boston. Fans like the energy and enthusiasm he brings. I say, if you want energy and enthusiasm, buy a six-pack of Duracells and watch Regis and Kelly. Ellsbury has very little pop in his bat and, at age 24, that's not going to change. Who's to say he's the All-Star the Fenway faithful envision?"

That was the blind squirrel's one nut in that article, I thought.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:21 pm

Sean Deveney says- Why won't anyone pony up for Johan Santana?


http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=332061

The Yule logs are but ashes. The fruitcakes are being digested, a process that will continue until July. The Moet bottles are empty, giving off a nauseating, sour smell that really makes you wonder how the stuff possibly tasted good the previous night.

Baseball generally goes into hibernation for the last two weeks or so of December. But, alas, the holidays are over. Spring training is but seven weeks away. Let's get that pilot light going on the hot stove again, shall we? We'll start with the biggest question (on-field, at least) looming over MLB: Why the heck hasn't anyone traded for Johan Santana?

It's funny, because Santana is widely regarded as one of the top three pitchers in baseball -- if not No. 1. He turns 29 in March. He is 93-44 in his career with a 3.22 ERA. He has pitched 200-plus innings the last four seasons and has struck out 1,381 batters in just over 1,300 innings. He is, by any measure, a top-shelf ace, a general manager's dream.

But no one seems to want him. The Twins offered a four-year, $80 million extension, but billionaire owner Carl Pohlad would offer nothing longer, despite the fact that he'll have a new stadium in 2010. The Yankees offered the Twins a package that included outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitcher Phil Hughes, but they refused to include Ian Kennedy and are said to be wary of the luxury tax ramifications that would come with giving Santana the seven-year, $150 million deal he warrants. The Red Sox are offering packages that include Jon Lester or Jacoby Ellsbury, but not both. Word is, they'd prefer not to get Santana but are keeping their noses in the talks in case the Yankees relent and sweeten their offer.

Other teams have shown interest -- the Mariners, Mets and Angels -- but they haven't shown the Twins the right offer.

Am I crazy? We're talking Johan Santana, right? He's an ace, a durable lefty available in a market in which back-of-the-rotation starter Carlos Silva signed for $48 million over four years. It's the same market in which Barry Zito, coming off three very average seasons, received $126 million over seven years. How is it that teams are not falling all over themselves to get Santana?

"I think there are a couple of reasons," says one NL executive. "For one thing, the Zito deal is scary. What if you pay him all that money and he falls apart? And there's free agency. Why clear out your best prospects for someone who you can sign next winter?"

Valid points, but again, this is Santana. He is not showing the signs of decline that Zito was showing before signing with the Giants last offseason. And yes, he will be a free agent next winter. The idea, though, is to give him a contract before he hits the open market. It sounds so simple, but no one has done it.

The Red Sox won't include both Lester and Ellsbury? Why not? They think they're good enough to repeat as champs next year without Santana? Maybe. But is anyone all that afraid of a postseason 1-2-3 of Josh Beckett (scary), Curt Schilling (will he make it to October?) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (who faded in '07)? Couldn't they use a legit No. 2 to back up Beckett and keep pressure off Matsuzaka?

Look, I know Boston fans are caught up in Ellsbury worship right now, but he is not going to hit .353 forever. He is fast and exciting, but Sox fans haven't seen him in a slump, nor have they seen him handle 162 games for Boston. Fans like the energy and enthusiasm he brings. I say, if you want energy and enthusiasm, buy a six-pack of Duracells and watch Regis and Kelly. Ellsbury has very little pop in his bat and, at age 24, that's not going to change. Who's to say he's the All-Star the Fenway faithful envision?

As for Lester, he still needs to cut down on his walks and solve his consistency problem. If he does that, he could be a lefthanded ace. Or, the Red Sox could just skip the "ifs" that come with Lester and trade for Santana. A lefthanded ace.

The Yankees don't want to give up Ian Kennedy? The guy has tremendous potential, I understand that. Five years from now, Kennedy could be better than Santana. But Santana is in the prime of his career, with several good years ahead of him. It's not as though you're dealing for a 35-year-old. This is the best lefty out there, and he could be pitching in Yankee Stadium. It's a no-brainer. Santana might never lose at Yankee Stadium. And who'd want to face a trio of Santana, Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte in the playoffs?

The Mets won't trade Jose Reyes? For Santana? Reyes is an amazing young talent, but again, Santana is a lefthanded ace. Why is there even any discussion? It's much easier to replace a shortstop than a starting pitcher. The Mets still think they're the class of the National League, but who's their 1-2 punch in the rotation? Pedro Martinez, coming off shoulder surgery, and John Maine? That's not getting you past the Diamondbacks. Might not even get you past the Phillies and Braves in the division. Tom Glavine is gone and, let's face it, Oliver Perez is not going 15-10 again next season.

The Dodgers are out, the Angels ambivalent, the Mariners timid. These teams should be faxing a list of their top 10 prospects to the Twins with a note reading, "Take your pick." They should be ponying up a contract Santana can't refuse.

I feel bad for new Twins general manager Bill Smith. He already has watched Torii Hunter and Silva leave, and now he is facing a gaggle of GMs struck by a bizarre fit of restraint, even though Smith is trying to move a player for whom teams should be mortgaging the farm (system). Smith is being patient, hoping that, as the offseason dwindles, one of the bidders will crack and change its offer.

In other words, now that the holidays are over, Smith is hoping some team will come to its senses and realize he is offering Johan Santana.

Can someone here please email Mr. Deveney? His email address sdeveney@sportingnews.com

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:27 pm

Twins Beat reporter La velle Neal are reporting that Mariners are not in running for Santana sweepstakes

http://nc.startribune.com/blogs/neal/?p=303

Solid points, but you also understand where teams are coming from if they have to give up a big package AND lock up Santana for $20-25 million annually.
Also heard today that the Mariners are NOT in the running for Santana. It’s the Mets, Yanks and Red Sox.

Sporting News Sean Deveney says Why won't anyone pony up for Johan Santana?

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=332061

The Yankees don't want to give up Ian Kennedy? The guy has tremendous potential, I understand that. Five years from now, Kennedy could be better than Santana. But Santana is in the prime of his career, with several good years ahead of him. It's not as though you're dealing for a 35-year-old. This is the best lefty out there, and he could be pitching in Yankee Stadium. It's a no-brainer. Santana might never lose at Yankee Stadium. And who'd want to face a trio of Santana, Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte in the playoffs?


Last edited by on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:29 pm

Tyler says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:00 am

MEOW

jama says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:02 am

Any word on Nathan?

Tyler says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:05 am

Are the M’s becoming serious contenders for Santana?

jama says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:18 am

LEN III

If you were a betting man, when, if ever do you see Santana getting dealt? If it is going to get done doesn’t it have to happen in the next month?

BC Beneke says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:33 am

Hey LaVelle, heard you on Danny B’s show last week. Good baseball conversation as always!

Can the Strib do something about the people impersonating others on here because it’s a mild form of identity theft, and if we can have some kind of login system set up where this is our name, and it can’t be taken by others and slandered, and dragged down I’d appreciate it.

Now onto baseball.

Not sure how many of the almost 1000 comments on your blog you read through… hoping you have a life and not that many… but the prevailing change came about…

WE all seem to be tired of the Red Sox, and bored to tears of the Yankees and want to find a way to get Seattle to do a trade for Santana.

Do you think that they would A) be interested, and B) do you think that Johan would ok a deal to Seattle?

ERic says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:35 am

wow, this is some great coverage……

liondragon says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:51 am

tyler look rasmus up in minorleaguebaseballs website. www.milb.com

MJ1 says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 11:57 am

oh wow…LENIII..thanks for such great coverage…hope you didnt get up too early for this…..arrrghhhh!!!! small market team…small market coverage i guess…….

Tyler says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

ouldn’t it be possible that there is nothing to report? How about we calm down MJ

Tyler says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

*couldn’t

MJ1 says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

LEN is sure on it today…what a scoop…….

should be ashamed……

Rick Blaine says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Does any one think there is any chance we sign Santana to four or five year deal?

I would be out of character– and load a lot of our payroll in one player, but I have a feeling that it could happen.

At this point– I think that center field is Jason Pridie’s position— unles he falls flat on his face this spring.

The line up looks to be:

Pridie CF
Harris 2b
Mauer C
Cuddyher RF
Morneau 1B
Young LF
Kubel DH
Lamb 3b
Everett SS

With the top bench players- Monroe, Punto and Redmond.

MNGopher says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Let’s just use public money to fund Santana’s contract extension… Add a few more hundreths of a percentage to the Hennepin County sales tax and call it the Santana Tax - then we can all move on.

Bruno says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Everything that can be said about the current situation has been said numerous times in numerous different ways, it’s the middle of the offseason and NOTHING NEW is happening.

All this and MJ1 is whining about not getting enough free blog coverage. Spoiled brat.

Tyler says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:07 pm

All for it MN Gopher, all for it.(I think it might break a few MLB rules though).

dan at work says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

check out sporting news, great new santana article, scathing other teams for not ponying up their farm systems, if only the dodgers, bosox, mariner, or yankees gm felt the same way, avaible on web site.

fargo says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

LaVelle, did you read Seth Speaks on the 31st? He braeks down the possible players the Twins could get from the Mets

gobbledygookguy says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

it may not be so far fetched a santana tax:
Posted: Wednesday January 02, 2008 05:35AM ET
The Yankees and hundreds of their VIPs will get free valet parking for the next 40 years, courtesy of New York taxpayers. The startling revelation of yet another subsidy for the richest team in baseball is buried deep in the fine print of a $237 million tax-exempt bond offering that city officials quietly issued the week before Christmas. The documents say a $70 million state subsidy for parking improvements for the new Yankee Stadium (slated to open next year) has been earmarked for a new 660-car valet parking garage where virtually all the spaces will be reserved for the free, year-round use of the Yankees and their VIPs.

New York Daily News

liondragon says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

fargo,
can i get that link? i dont know if i read it or not yet..

La Velle says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:51 pm

By the way, I did ask someone about Seattle being a serious player for Santana and get a big, fat, `negative,’ in response. I know many of you were wondering about having Adam Jones in Twins gear, but it looks unlikely. I was told the Yanks, Mets and Red Sox are the three teams being taken seriously now.

Christina says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:54 pm

La Velle,
what is the holdup? Are the twins waiting for the other teams to improve their offer? Do you see this trade happenning soon?

Trade Morneau For Pitching says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:55 pm

It is not inconceivable that prior to the trading deadline of the 2008 season, Baker, Bonser, Slowey, Perkins, and Liriano could all be back at AAA.

The Twins need pitching, and also if the young pitchers are to survive, they need to make a dramatic improvement to the fielding.

One way to accomplish this would be to move Mike Lamb to first base and trade Justin Morneau. That would improve both corner infield positions, and Morneau could net the Twins a legitimate starting pitcher.

Another avenue would be to trade Cuddyer and move Delmon Young to RF. Cuddyer may also net the Twins a starter. Players like Span and McDonald could handle LF and CF.

The Twins should definitely dangle Morneau and Cuddyer in front of other teams to see if some trades could be made to fill the gaping holes on the current roster.

It would be wise if both players (Morneau and Cuddyer) were traded before the trade deadline next season.

dan at work says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 12:58 pm

craig, did u change your name again.

Jon says:

January 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Morneau to the yankees for Ian kennedy or Chien ming Wang. they need a first baseman.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:31 pm

I think Santana's elbow is in question. After striking out 17 Texas Rangers on August 19th Santana was 2-4 down the stretch giving up 4 runs four times. Just in case that elbow is showing wear and tear I believe GM's are being very cautious here. Also in 2007 he gave up 33 homeruns....I really believe this has kept teams from giving the Twins what they want.
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It's the uncertainty of the financial investment
RiCkL-7 on Tue Jan 01, 2008 08:33 pm
The above post points out some statistical points on why teams are afraid but I truly believe it is the ludicrous amount of money for a pitcher that might not even want to be back with the team in 2009. Too risky in this new Red Sox/yankee mentality of home grown talent before trading away the farm like they both tried in the 90s.

Lester, Ellsbury, and the other 2 players that it would take to get him could add up to more wins at a lesser salary combined for the next 3-4 years.

GO BOSOX!!!
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What are you smoking???
dale3rulzBlog on Tue Jan 01, 2008 08:37 pm
Look, I know Boston fans are caught up in Ellsbury worship right now, but he is not going to hit .353 forever. He is fast and exciting, but Sox fans haven't seen him in a slump, nor have they seen him handle 162 games for Boston. Fans like the energy and enthusiasm he brings. I say, if you want energy and enthusiasm, buy a six-pack of Duracells and watch Regis and Kelly. Ellsbury has very little pop in his bat and, at age 24, that's not going to change. Who's to say he's the All-Star the Fenway faithful envision?

Are you serious? Why give up a promising young player for an aging pitcher with probably only a few years left before he is Schilling. Giving the Twins Ells and Lester is ridiculous. The Sox would be hard pressed to top the "GagMe" mess from last year, but that deal could do it. Even as a Sox fan I am tired of the money they and the "Spankees" are paying for championships, but why can't we keep the young players we have, develop them and play them. I can understand a few free agents now and then, but a team of free agents gets old.
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Re: What are you smoking???
therainman on Tue Jan 01, 2008 09:36 pm
dale3rulz wrote:
Look, I know Boston fans are caught up in Ellsbury worship right now, but he is not going to hit .353 forever. He is fast and exciting, but Sox fans haven't seen him in a slump, nor have they seen him handle 162 games for Boston. Fans like the energy and enthusiasm he brings. I say, if you want energy and enthusiasm, buy a six-pack of Duracells and watch Regis and Kelly. Ellsbury has very little pop in his bat and, at age 24, that's not going to change. Who's to say he's the All-Star the Fenway faithful envision?

Are you serious? Why give up a promising young player for an aging pitcher with probably only a few years left before he is Schilling. Giving the Twins Ells and Lester is ridiculous. The Sox would be hard pressed to top the "GagMe" mess from last year, but that deal could do it. Even as a Sox fan I am tired of the money they and the "Spankees" are paying for championships, but why can't we keep the young players we have, develop them and play them. I can understand a few free agents now and then, but a team of free agents gets old.


He's 29! most good pitchers can be effective into their fourties. I think he can be a huge boost to any team that takes him. mlb has turned into a game where hitters are just clobbering pitchers, so I think any time you can get a guy as good as santana you've gotta take it.
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Jose Reyes?
Got Corns?Blog on Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:41 pm
Im sorry but Santana at 29 with all those innings on his arm is an accident waiting to happen. I agree with you on the Yankees and Red Sux trades but is it really a good idea to give up arguably the best young shortstop in the game for somebody who could cost 150 mill and blow his arm out in preseason? Its ok to trade some prospects for him but if your going to be giving up a guy like Reyes it should probably only be because you cant afford him or he dosent want to be on your team.
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Re: Santana
slouch on Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:56 pm
privey wrote:
I think Santana's elbow is in question. After striking out 17 Texas Rangers on August 19th Santana was 2-4 down the stretch giving up 4 runs four times. Just in case that elbow is showing wear and tear I believe GM's are being very cautious here. Also in 2007 he gave up 33 homeruns....I really believe this has kept teams from giving the Twins what they want.


That's an incredible medical diagnoses! When I watch games and players, unless I actually see something like a guy holding his elbow or the trainers and manager checking out his arm, I generally don't assume that a pitcher is having elbow problems. You might be on target with that, of course, but he also struck out 35 batters in September -- which might be a tough task with a bum elbow.

Yes, he gave up 33 home runs last season -- but he STILL posted a 3.33 ERA! For a pitcher to post on of the lowest ERAs among starters DESPITE giving up 33 dingers probably relieves a lot of concern any GM's might be experiencing...
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gymromeBlog on Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:14 pm
Santana has lead the Twins to how many World Series Titles? Zero Zip Notta. Great pitcher and great stats. How did he do straight up against other aces? Somebody named CC kicked his butt multiple times. Santana has been a great pitcher but he has not elevated his team. Why give up the cream of the farm system for a risk that you can sign long term without having to lose anything. This is why the offers haven't been overwhelming. Teams are looking at the Zito deal and others and realizing it is a bad risk.
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Re: Jose Reyes?
slouch on Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:18 pm
Got Corns? wrote:
Im sorry but Santana at 29 with all those innings on his arm is an accident waiting to happen. I agree with you on the Yankees and Red Sux trades but is it really a good idea to give up arguably the best young shortstop in the game for somebody who could cost 150 mill and blow his arm out in preseason? Its ok to trade some prospects for him but if your going to be giving up a guy like Reyes it should probably only be because you cant afford him or he dosent want to be on your team.


While I might not be anxious to trade Jose Reyes for any player, I think you are barking up the wrong tree by arguing against making a trade for Santan because of this kind of injury. Since the guy does not have any kind of injury problems in his career, why would you be more concerned about a season-ending injury to a veteran pitcher than to a relatively inexperienced shortstop? Don't you think that a guy whose game relies on speed and stealing bases risks leg, hand, or shoulder injuries? And let's face it -- Reyes is a .280 hitter who HAS to rely on his speed; if he starts pulling groin muscles, he's not going to have much value to a team.

The point is, worrying about a potential trade by speculating over possible injuries to players who haven't show such predisposition doesn't make too much sense to me.
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oufan199 on Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:19 pm
As a lifelong Yankees fan, I relish the idea of having a No. 1 starting pitcher, and a left-handed one at that. But two stats from Santana's 2007 season stand out: his mediocre 15-13 overall record and his almost-unbelievable 0-5 mark against division-rival Cleveland.

Perhaps the Yanks and Red Sox aren't sure Santana can handle the infinitely hotter pressure-cooker of the Big Apple or Beantown.
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stielthBlog on Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:35 pm
Lets say Santana goes to the Yankees......then what? its still not a complete world series guarantee isnt it? beckett can match santana i think wang has better talent than matuzaka....but there is more to it than one ace like the yankees weak bullpen.......all you talk on this article is compare stars like reyes and say "but he is a lefthanded ace what more could i say?" well i can say that reyes gives mets the offense production and trading him will give them a void in the lineup and decline the productions of those below him........and with the addition of santana it still does not stabilize the rotation enough......pedro's shoulder can fall under pressure......maine and perez is inconsistent and hernandez is not getting any younger.........


all i m saying is that its not entirely right to rip up your prospect system for one guy.....

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:37 pm

QUOTE
It’s Jan. 2 and baseball is back in business after a break for the holidays. What does this mean for the Yankees? Probably not a whole lot.

There are no indications that the Yankees will suddenly get back into the mix for Johan Santana. It’s more an issue of the contract extension that he would demand than parting with prospects. The Yankees aren’t eager to invest $120 million in a pitcher.

http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/01/02/baseball-gets-back-to-work/

Source: Peter Abraham - LoHud Yankees Blog

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:37 pm

18 Responses to “Baseball gets back to work”

1. Drew January 2nd, 2008 at 11:31 am

I’m available if Cash needs me. I’m faster than Posada, a better fielder than Giambi, humbler than A-Rod, and in better shape than Pavano.

Probably still can’t hit a curve ball though Sad
2. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge January 2nd, 2008 at 11:39 am

Did Andy Phillips sign anywhere?
3. Joe Go (Cano fan) January 2nd, 2008 at 11:50 am

Can’t wait for the contracts of Cano and Wang hope the Yanks give them long deals if not they are probably getting over 7.5 million each maybe over 10 i read somewhere
4. Phil January 2nd, 2008 at 11:54 am

I wouldn’t hold your breath on long-term deals for Cano and Wang. That’s not Cashman’s MO.
5. Keith Waters January 2nd, 2008 at 11:59 am

You think the Yankees and Cano/Wang going to end up at an arbitrater Jeter won when the Yankees wanted to give him less Cano is a former all-star already and lead 2nd basemen Wang has 38 wins in 2 seasons who’d you think has the upper hand?
6. Manny Headstone January 2nd, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Long deals for Cano and Wang . “That’s not Cashmans MO” Sometimes he’ll have to change that like when he has two great players only getting better and now they are pretty good already It’s time to sign a contract before the prices go up just think about it if wang wins 20 wins the next 3 years he’ll have 98 wins in 5 seasons if he wins 19 its 95 now thats a huge contract coming
7. Money Man January 2nd, 2008 at 12:13 pm

The fans want contracts signed, it makes sense to sign them now, 6-9 years Cano 4-5 years Wang makes sense. It doesn’t mean that it will happen but be sure he’s thinking about it.
8. Wangers Curve January 2nd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Your right. It’s not like Wang and Cano are going to get a one year less than contract worth deal they’ll be worth between 8-11 million signing Wang to a 60-70 5 year deal and Cano to a 7-10 year deal worth 85-120 million would only be better for the yankees. The prices on contracts will probably get bigger and bigger now that baseball is making more money and these 2 players are only getting better its a no-lord deal. So do it Cashman
9. Wangers Curve January 2nd, 2008 at 12:25 pm

A no-lose deal
10. Hil Evilton January 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

That’s still doesn’t mean Cashman will do it you know the Yanks there are rules who cares if We’ll have to pay more later. Does it look like the Yankees won’t have the money for them then? Cashmans way of thinking
11. hmmm January 2nd, 2008 at 12:38 pm

“A no-lose deal”

right, unless he gets hurt.

i would start talking with Cano’s agent, but hold off on Wang for another year.

the Yankees would be smart to see how Wang performs this year. every additional data point is worth a ton to the Yankees, more than the additional dollars that waiting may cost.
12. Justin (just sign the **** contracts already) January 2nd, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I’d do it if I were in Cashmans shoes. It makes sense every side you look at it you get a great pitcher that want’s to stay with the team anyways and a great 2nd baseman who is a good batter getting better . Just do it already Cashman .
13. Joey B January 2nd, 2008 at 12:45 pm

“A no-lose deal unless he gets hurt” every contract has that problem that still doesn’t mean don’t sign a contract they both have proven enough maybe give wang another look this year but for sure sign up cano
14. hmmm January 2nd, 2008 at 12:53 pm

““A no-lose deal unless he gets hurt” every contract has that problem”

yes, but you are missing the point that Wang is NOT a free agent.

Wang HAS to play for the Yankees for the next 3 seasons no matter what.

you can’t compare him to “every contract”.

in this case, assuming the injury risk isn’t necessary for the Yankees YET.

but i would start talking to Cano.

pitchers are simply worse investments than position players. it is just smarter for a rich team like the Yankees to wait on giving Wang a long term contract. if it costs them a little more, so be it.
15. Joey B January 2nd, 2008 at 1:34 pm

So you’re saying wait on Wang cause we got the money and he’s not going anywhere? 2 years 38 wins not enough proof he’s good? Now that he’s developing a new pitch you think that will only make him worse? AND just cause the yankees are rich doesn’t mean they should waste it. Sign Cano for a long deal and Wang for a 3-5 five year deal cause he’s pitcher. Some teams sign players with years to go till free agency just cause he’s a lock till then doesn’t mean Wait till then. Sign them Cashman
16. whoa January 2nd, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Peter,

What makes you think that the major impediment to a Santana deal is money rather than Hughes?
17. SAndMan January 2nd, 2008 at 2:54 pm

I think were still in the mix for Santana.If not we would have said were out.The door is still open.I mean I remember 2 years again Cashman saying Johnny Damon wa not really someone we have to have and we were fine putting Bubba Crosby in center.Well lucky that didn’t happen.

Just get Santana and get it over with.
18. CoRP January 2nd, 2008 at 3:18 pm

This comments section reads like Charlie’s diary in Flowers for Algernon…at the very the beginning
.

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In the playoffs, the only guarantee is that there is none

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:41 pm


In the playoffs, the only guarantee is that there is none

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/columns/story?columnist=sando_mike&id=3177144


Defense wins championships in the NFL -- except when teams known for offense enjoy Super Bowl success.

Home-field advantage is everything in the playoffs -- except when a wild-card team wins it all.

Teams geared to run the ball and stop the run win in the playoffs -- except when passing teams emerge with the Lombardi Trophy.

Super Bowl teams tend to have established franchise quarterbacks -- except when they employ journeymen.

Even the most time-honored playoff mantras aren't immune to exceptions. Some hold up to scrutiny better than others. Some are outdated. Some are outright myths. At the least, the game has changed enough over the years to warrant revisiting them.

ESPN.com analyzed every team in every season from 2000 to 2007 to see how strengths and weaknesses translated to playoff performance. A goal was to project which teams might enjoy playoff success based upon characteristics evident during the regular season.

To that end, we measured each of the 254 teams during 2000-07 in 36 statistical categories tracked by the league (18 on each side of the ball). Statistical analysis revealed which categories correlated most strongly to regular-season victory totals. We then noted how many playoff games pre-2007 teams won, and which teams won and lost Super Bowls.

Alas, no single factor determines whether teams win playoff games and Super Bowls. Some simply tend to be more important than others.

Our findings:

1. Conventional wisdom: Defense wins championships.
Verdict: TRUE

Scoring defense is far more important than yardage-related indicators.

The 30 teams that allowed the fewest regular-season points since 2000 won 38 playoff games and appeared in eight Super Bowls, winning five. None of the 35 remaining statistical categories, including point-differential per game, produced such telling results.

Since 2000, only the 2006 Indianapolis Colts won a Super Bowl after allowing more than 17 points per game during the regular season. They allowed 22.5, but their defense improved once safety Bob Sanders hit his stride late in the season. The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears combined for one offensive touchdown in postseason losses to the Colts.

The Colts allowed only 16.4 points per game this season, fewest in the league. The Pittsburgh Steelers (16.Cool and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16.9) also held teams below 17 per game. The New England Patriots (17.1) were close behind. But New England, like the Colts last season, built its reputation on offense.

"Some guys are going to gasp and put their hands to their mouth, but defense is more important than offense," former Buffalo Bills coach and general manager Marv Levy said.

"Don't apply for a job and tell that to the owner. The owner will say you are playing not to lose.

"Good defense keeps the other guy out of the end zone, yes," Levy said, "but you also give your own offense a chance to fail without getting into dire straits. And when you've got defense, you're getting takeaways, and man, does that make a difference in where you take over the ball and your opportunity to score after that."

Proclaiming that defense wins championships doesn't diminish the importance of other aspects of the game. Offensive categories have become more strongly correlated with victories over the past two seasons, particularly with Tom Brady and the Patriots' posting a 16-0 record this year.

2. Conventional wisdom: Home-field advantage means everything.
Verdict: FALSE
Road teams won three-fourths of wild-card playoff games following the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Two years ago, the Steelers kept winning on the road right through Super Bowl XL in Detroit, where a decidedly pro-Pittsburgh crowd cheered them to victory over Seattle.

Baltimore won two road playoff games before beating the New York Giants in the Super Bowl following the 2000 season. The next year, eventual champion New England won the AFC title game in Pittsburgh. A year after that, eventual champ Tampa Bay won the NFC title game in Philadelphia.

Home teams have won 20 of 28 divisional-round games since 2000. But one home team lost in the conference championship round for six consecutive seasons until Chicago and Indianapolis won at home last season.

3. Conventional wisdom: Teams must run the ball and stop the run.
Verdict: FALSE

Running the ball and stopping the opponent's run is always a good idea. For unknown reasons, teams that have done so most convincingly haven't gone very far.

Fifteen teams since 2000 have rushed for more than 140 yards per game while holding opponents below 100 yards per game. Of them, the 2005 Seahawks were the only one to win more than one playoff game. The others, including the current Minnesota Vikings, combined to win five.

Thirty teams since 2000 have outrushed their opponents by at least 40 yards per game (not counting the Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Steelers this season).

Those teams won 22 playoff games and went 2-2 in Super Bowls (two of those teams -- Pittsburgh and Seattle -- played one another in Super Bowl XL). That's not bad, but numerous competing indicators produced similar results. The 30 highest-scoring teams over the same period won 23 playoff games, including two of six Super Bowls, for example.

Possessing the NFL rushing champion doesn't mean much come playoff time, either. The past seven Super Bowl champions were led in rushing by players who ranked 18th on average among the NFL leaders.

No NFL rushing champ since Denver's Terrell Davis in 1998 has won a Super Bowl in the same season. Back-to-back rushing titlist LaDainian Tomlinson will try to break the streak this season, but his San Diego Chargers haven't won a playoff game in more than a decade.

Five teams since 2000 gained more yards rushing than passing during the season. Three won at least 10 regular-season games, but only the 2004 Atlanta Falcons won a playoff game, and they were one-and-done.

4. Conventional wisdom: Balanced offenses always have an advantage.
Verdict: FALSE
Truly balanced teams generally aren't very proficient through the air. But even teams with highly productive passing and running games have struggled to win in the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles were the only team this season to average more than 230 yards passing and 120 yards rushing per game. They finished 8-8.

Fifteen other teams have hit those averages since 2000. Eight finished the regular season with double-digit victories, but together these 15 teams won only five playoff games. Of the group, only the 2001 St. Louis Rams reached a Super Bowl, and they lost.

The least balanced offenses haven't fared much better. The current season produced five of the 17 largest pass-rush yardage imbalances since 2000. The 2000 Rams were least balanced, followed by the 2005 Arizona Cardinals, current Patriots and current New Orleans Saints.

The other 12 least-balanced teams went 0-2 in Super Bowls while winning nine playoff games.

5. Conventional wisdom: Super Bowl teams usually have franchise QBs.
Verdict: TRUE.

Plenty of teams have won championships with caretaker quarterbacks, but not so much lately. Brady, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and the Colts' Peyton Manning have won five of seven Super Bowls this decade, though Roethlisberger struggled.

This season, the top two seeds in each conference feature quarterbacks with contracts befitting franchise players, even if Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo has yet to win a playoff game.

Baltimore's Trent Dilfer and Tampa Bay's Brad Johnson won Super Bowls during relatively short stints with their teams, against the broader trend.

6. Conventional wisdom: Momentum is crucial heading into the playoffs.
Verdict: TRUE or FALSE
Home playoff teams have enjoyed their most success in the divisional round, after having a bye week to rest. The time off presumably would hurt a team's momentum, but not enough to offset the apparent advantage of extra time.

The best teams tend to win no matter the time of year. Recent Super Bowl winners often finished the regular season strong.

The 2000 Ravens won their final seven. The 2001 Patriots won their final six. The 2003 Patriots won 12 in a row following a 2-2 start. New England won eight of its final nine a year later. The 2005 Steelers won their final four after a three-game losing streak, outscoring opponents 115-33.

Two teams have won Super Bowls since 2000 without finishing strong. The 2002 Bucs lost in Weeks 13 and 16. The 2006 Colts lost four of their final seven.

7. Conventional wisdom: Anything can happen in the playoffs.
Verdict: TRUE.
The Steelers won a Super Bowl as the AFC's sixth seed two years ago, defeating top-seeded Seattle. In 2003, Carolina parlayed a wild-card victory into a divisional-round upset over a 12-win Rams team averaging nearly 28 points per game.

The 2001 Patriots were anything but a dynasty when they shocked the heavily favored Rams in the Super Bowl. Those Rams, considered close to invincible coming off a 14-2 season, resemble the current Patriots far more closely than any team this decade.

Of the 254 teams that have played during 2000-07, the current Patriots are No. 1, with an average ranking of 11.6 across the 10 categories that correlate most strongly to total victories. The 2001 Rams ranked 12.9 on average. None of the remaining 252 teams averaged higher than 32.8.

The 2001 Patriots ranked 116.6 on average in these categories (point differential per game, points scored per game, points allowed per game, yardage differential per game, yards per pass attempt, time of possession, yards per game, yards per play, first downs per game and passing yards allowed per attempt).

8. Conventional wisdom: Special teams are one-third of the game.
Verdict: FALSE.
Chicago's Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLI, only to watch Indianapolis blow out his team from there. The 1972 Redskins blocked a kick in the Super Bowl, but Miami won the game. We remember Buffalo's last-second Super Bowl miss against the Giants because it was dramatic -- and unusual.

The 15 highest-ranked special-teams units from 2002 to 2006, as defined by the Dallas Morning News' well-regarded point system, won anywhere from two to 13 regular-season games. Five of the top 23 appeared in Super Bowls, and special teams certainly played a role.

But offense and defense matter more from play to play. There's a reason specialists are among the lowest-paid players in the game.

Conclusion
Teams exceptionally strong in specific areas can sometimes win championships in spite of shortcomings that might derail others.

Defensive dominance carried the 2000 Ravens. New England's passing game has been prolific enough this season to make potential flaws appear imaginary.

The Patriots' previous Super Bowl winners ranked among the very best teams of the decade in forcing opponents to settle for field goals, and they were not alone. Teams that ranked among the top 30 since 2000 in red-zone defense have gone 5-1 in Super Bowls.

But the proliferation of offense in the last two seasons is changing things. The Colts won it all last season despite ranking 215th this decade in red-zone defense. The current Patriots rank 212th.

Defense has won its share of championships, no doubt, but the Patriots haven't had to bother with such details while scoring nearly 37 points per game.

No team since 2000, save for the 2001 Rams, has approached their level of dominance. Those Rams lost in the playoffs only when faced with a New England defense that allowed only 17 points per game during the regular season. The Patriots won that Super Bowl, 20-17.

Very few current teams fit into the same class defensively. The Colts, Steelers and Bucs come closest. Each allowed fewer than 17 points per game during the season. Green Bay (18.2) was better than Dallas (20.3) on that front, but the conversation keeps coming back to Indianapolis.

The Colts finished this season ranked third among all teams since 2000 in the 10 categories most strongly correlated to winning. Dallas ranked 12th, Green Bay 20th -- highest among current NFC teams.

But these Colts also led the league in scoring defense. That gives them an edge.

The bottom line: The NFC might have little to say about which team is best this season.

Bring on the Colts and Patriots.

Mike Sando covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:46 pm

Buzz: It’s Mets, Yanks, Sox for Santana
http://www.metsblog.com/2008/01/02/buzz-its-mets-yanks-sox-for-santana/#comment-74277


In his blog for the Star-Tribune, La Velle E. Neal III writes that the Mariners are not in the running for LHP Johan Santana, concluding, “It’s the Mets, Yanks and Red Sox.”

In the comment’s section, he adds that the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox are the only teams being ‘taken seriously’ at this point.

In a post to Seth Speaks, a popular Twins blog, mostly about minor leaguers, Seth Stohs writes…

“If the Mets would offer Carlos Gomez, Mike Pelfrey OR Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and one other prospect, I think that the Twins would have to consider it. If that prospect was Deolis Guerra, they would be silly to say no.”

…i have a feeling it will take one additional prospect, or maybe even a guy like Aaron Heilman as well…i mean, after all of that has been said and written, i just can’t see the Twins accepting a four-prospect package from the Mets, but that’s more opinion than fact…

…as of today, the only buzz i can pick up in new york is that the Red Sox, Mets and Yankees continue to take issue with dishing out a seven-year contract for any player, let alone santana, if for no other reason than the deal will never get insured…

…from the Sox and Yankees point of view, with insurance, plus the luxury tax and his salary, santana will technically cost roughly $30 million per season…

Similarly, at his blog for the Journal News, Peter Abraham writes, “There are no indications that the Yankees will suddenly get back into the mix for Johan Santana,” mostly because of financial reasons.

Lastly, In his recent article for SNY, Ted Berg argues against trading for Santana, while adding that any one of Pedro Martinez, John Maine or Oliver Perez could be the front-line starting pitcher the team is need of.

…sure, but santana will be that guy…and will be added to pedro, maine and perez…seriously, it’s hard to deny how significant the four of them could be…and while i’d miss a few of the youngsters needed in a deal, i’d get over it…

…again, the way i see it, unless the Mets are certain that one of pelfrey, humber or mulvey will eventually be as good as santana, who is not yet 30 years old, then, given how important this coming season is, minaya must pull the trigger…

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:48 pm

Get to Know ‘Em:

Mets Prospects

http://www.sethspeaks.net/

Late last week, we started hearing that the Twins and the New York Mets are again discussing a trade for Johan Santana. I think any Twins fans that really thought that the Mets would trade Jose Reyes or especially David Wright were a little bit optimistic. OK, more than a little bit. The Mets wouldn’t do that, but they certainly are the team that most needs Johan Santana or an ace like him. From the Twins perspective, trading Santana to a National League team would mean that they would not have to face him except during interleague play… or the World Series. From Santana’s perspective, it would allow him to hit. And, of course, there is that perception of Mets GM Omar Minaya affinity for signing and acquiring Latino players.



But the reality is simple. The Mets most need starting pitching. Johan Santana is baseball’s best pitcher. The Twins are trying to trade Santana. The Mets have several prospects and the means to give Santana the dollars and years he is looking for. It would seem to be a good match.



Last week, Jayson Stark wrote:
The most surprising aspect of those talks to some baseball people is that the Mets remain in the mix. It may be because the Twins would like to move Santana to the National League if possible. But while the Mets have made a four-for-one offer built around center fielder Carlos Gomez, indications are that the teams remain far apart.
It's believed the Mets offered Gomez, two of their three best young pitchers (Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey) and another prospect for Santana earlier this month. But according to one source who has spoken with the Mets, the Twins want the Mets "to rip up their whole farm system" for Santana.
Another source said he believes the Twins countered by asking for all three pitchers, along with Gomez and much-ballyhooed outfield prospect Fernando Martinez.

So, does this mean that the Twins want Gomez, all three pitching prospects and Fernando Martinez? Who knows, maybe they are asking for Deolis Guerra, too? Hey, why not? I mean, ask for the moon and stars too. And yes, that would rip up the whole Mets system!



Today, I wanted to just take a little time and familiarize you with the Mets prospects that are being reported and a few more.



Carlos Gomez – 22 year old OF

In every Santana trade rumor, the Twins would be acquiring a centerfielder who would become their regular centerfielder of the future. Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones and Melky Cabrera are the other examples. In a potential Mets deals, Gomez is that guy. And “potential” is the key word with Gomez. He is young and he is talented. He stole 64 bases in 2005 and 41 in 2006. The power is believed to be coming, but to this point, it hasn’t really arrived yet. In 2005, in A ball, he hit eight homers and had just 27 extra base hits. In 2006, at AA (at age 20 remember), he had seven home runs and 39 extra base hits. Lack of home runs doesn’t bother me so much. Joe Mauer can be incredibly productive without hitting a lot of home runs. But he hits a lot of doubles and he walks more than he strikes out. To this point in Gomez’s career, he does not walk a lot and he strikes out almost three times for every walk.



The truth is that Gomez could really have used a full season at AAA New Orleans in 2007. He was showing a lot in his 36 games there, including more walks and steals. But injuries in the Mets outfield meant that they needed to push him to the big leagues. He showed plenty of promise, but in reality, it probably slowed his progress. And then in early July, he had a hand injury and did not return until September.



Carlos Gomez certainly has the potential to be a 30-30 guy. In reality, he could probably steal upwards of 80 bases if given the opportunity. His speed is tremendous and he could certainly cover some ground in centerfield. And of course, it is vital to remember that he will be just 22 years old throughout the 2008 season. He could contribute to the Twins in 2008, but he could be very good in 2010 in the new stadium.



Mike Pelfrey – 24 year old right-handed pitcher

Many seem to wonder if Pelfrey will ever become the top of the rotation starter that was assumed when the Mets took him with the 9th overall pick in the 2005 draft. Pelfrey’s career at Wichita State was truly incredible. As a freshman, he went 10-2 with a 2.49 ERA. As a sophomore, he was 11-2 with a 2.18 ERA. In his junior year, he went 12-3 with a 1.93 ERA. Of course, Twins fans will point out that one of those losses came in the Knoxville regional when Kevin Slowey’s Winthrop team beat Pelfrey and the Shockers.



The 6-7 Pelfrey was taken 9th in that 2005 draft, but he actually could have gone higher except he is a Scott Boras client and the Mets ponied up a $3.5 million signing bonus to go with a four year Major League contract worth $5.5 million (with incentives that could reach $6.6 million). He signed in January of 2006 and made his big league debut in July of the same year.



So why the question marks? Personally, I think that it is ridiculous if some don’t think that Pelfrey will become a very good big league starter. Sure, in 15 games (13 starts) with the Mets in 2007, he went just 3-8 with a 5.57 ERA. The reality is that the Mets probably rushed him a little bit. Sure, he dominated Hi-A and AAA in 2006, and he did well in a couple of AAA starts. His scenario is just like that of the Twins Matt Garza. He pushed from Ft. Myers to Minnesota in that 2006 season. Like Garza, Pelfrey had to go back to AAA this year and learn a few things. I think most Twins fans think that Matt Garza can be at least a #3 starter with the ability to be much more. There is no reason to believe that Mike Pelfrey can’t be at least that. He could be an Ace.



Pelfrey is blessed with a fastball that gets as high as 97 mph on a radar gun. He has a very good changeup and a developing curveball.



Philip Humber – 25 year old right-handed pitcher.

The New York Yankees drafted Humber in the 29th round out of high school in 2001. He instead decided to attend Rice University where he combined with Jeff Niemann and Wade Townsend to win a National Championship for the Owls. In his freshman year, he went 11-1 with a 2.78 ERA. He went 11-3 with a 3.30 ERA as a sophomore. His junior year, he went 13-4 with a 2.37 ERA. His decision to go to college also paid off when the Mets took him with the 3rd overall pick in the 2004 draft and signed him. Like Pelfrey, Humber got a nice signing bonus ($3 million) and a four year Major League contract (worth $5.1 million).



Unlike Pelfrey, the minor leagues have not been kind to Humber. He signed in January of 2005, and then he made 14 starts for Hi-A St. Lucie, going just 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA. People were wondering what was wrong with him. He was promoted to AA, so people felt better, but he made just one start there before needing to have Tommy John surgery. So, he missed the rest of that season and half of the 2006 season. When he came back, he produced. He went 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA at St. Lucie. He moved up to AA Binghamton and went 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA and struck out more than one an inning. That earned him a big league call up and he made two relief appearances. In 2007, he spent the season at AAA where he went 11-9 with a 4.27 ERA which is not bad in that league.



Humber has a fastball that touches 94, but he is best known for an excellent curveball. He’s also developing a changeup. His potential is probably that of a very solid #2 pitcher.



Kevin Mulvey – 22 year old right-handed pitcher

Now, Mulvey is kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum as Humber and Pelfrey. Mulvey did not really have a distinguished college career at Villanova. His freshman year, he went 7-4 with a 5.29 ERA. As a sophomore, he went 4-4 with a 4.65 ERA. His junior year, he went 3-8 but had a respectable 3.61 ERA. If he had great strikeout totals, it would make sense when the Mets took him with their 2nd round pick in 2006. Not only that, but after signing (for $585,000), he made one GCL start before moving up to AA for three starts.



Now, I have heard him compared somewhat to the Twins Kevin Slowey because he of his control. Although Mulvey has decent control, he is not at all comparable to Slowey. In fact, Mulvey has averaged at least twice as many walks per nine innings as the Twins righty. Mulvey’s fastball hits 91-92. He has a very nice slider and is working on a changeup and curveball. He has the potential to be a solid middle of the rotation starter.



At AA Binghamton in 2007, Mulvey went 11-10 with a 3.32 ERA. He then got one start at AAA and got a win by allowing no runs on just two hits over six innings.



Fernando Martinez – 19 year old outfielder

How is this for expectation? This is from an article on ESPN Deportes (and translated over at the Mets Geek) shortly after Martinez signed with the Mets out of the Dominican Republic in July of 2005 for $1.4 million:

Martinez is a left-handed power hitter who possesses all five tools necessary to be considered a potential star in the major leagues.

“Fernando is amazing. He has power, he makes contact, he has a great arm, speed and he can field. He possesses the five tools to become a great star,” said Ezequiel Sepulveda, a scout from the Dodgers who followed Martinez for months.

A scout from the Boston Red Sox said that Martinez looks like a young Ted Williams.

No pressure.



Most 17 year old baseball players are between their junior and senior years of high school. The Mets had Martinez start in Low-A, and he responded by hitting .328/.383/.497 with 14 doubles, two triples and five home runs in just 46 games. So, they moved him up to Hi-A St. Lucie. In 30 games there, he hit .193/.254/.387 with four doubles, two triples and five home runs. The Mets sent him to the Arizona Fall League, the youngest player to ever play there.



The assumption would be that in 2007, he would at least start the year back with St. Lucie, but instead, the Mets decided to move him up to Binghamton. In 60 games, he hit .271/.336/.377 with 11 doubles, a triple and four home runs. He was limited because of a hand injury that ended his season in July.

Despite the signing bonus and the expectations, I do have to wonder why the Mets are pushing Martinez so quickly. Has he been overwhelmed at any level because of his age? Not at all. But has he done anything dominant that warrants this kind of pushing? I don’t see it.



That said, if the Twins can get him, they absolutely should. Clearly this kid is not only immensely talented as an all-around baseball player, but he also has a maturity beyond his years that will help him out.



Deolis Guerra – 18 year old right handed pitcher

You want young, Guerra won’t turn 19 until April. He was signed for $700,000 out of Venezuela in 2006. The Mets pushed him right to Lo A in 2006. He made 17 starts and went 6-7 with a terrific 2.20 ERA. He then made two starts at St. Lucie. In 2007, he was at St. Lucie. He appeared in 21 games (20 starts) and went 2-6 but had a very respectable 4.01 ERA.



He has not been a strikeout pitcher to this point. In 2007, he pitched in 89.1 innings and struck out just 66. But scouts speak of a couple of things. First, he has great poise, especially for someone his age. He is 6-5 already and just 200 pounds. His fastball is already reaching 90 mph and he has a lot of room for growth, which should increase the velocity of his fastball. His best pitch already is his changeup which also moves a lot. The combination has meant a lot of groundballs to this point. He gave up just three home runs in 2007. He is also working on a curveball.



The sky is the limit on Guerra. Will they continue to push him as they have with Martinez? If so, he could be a 19 year old pitcher at AA in 2008 which would be pretty incredible. I think if the Twins were able to acquire him, I think they would be wise to let him repeat in the Florida State League. Fortunately, the Twins have the depth to not need to push him and let him develop. But as I said with Martinez, if they have a chance to get him, they absolutely should.



OTHER

If you take a look at Baseball America’s Top 10 Mets Prospect list, you will find that:

· Fernando Martinez is #1.

· Deolis Guerra is #2.

· Carlos Gomez is #3.

· Kevin Mulvey is #4.

· Philip Humber is #7.

· Mike Pelfrey is not on the list as he has thrown too many innings to be considered a prospect.

· Eddie Kunz ranked #5. He is a right-handed reliever that the Mets took with the 42nd overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Oregon State. He walked eight and struck out nine in his debut last summer.

· Brant Rustich ranked #6. He was the team’s 2nd round pick in 2007 after four years at UCLA. He struck out 12 and walked one in his brief debut out of the bullpen. The Twins drafted him in the 46th round in 2003.

· Nathan Vineyard ranks #9. He is a left-handed pitcher the Mets took with the 47th overall pick in 2007. He was taken as a high school pitcher.

· The 2007 draft picks can’t be traded for one year after the draft. So, at this time, they would not be available to the Twins in any trade. However, they could be considered as part of the deal as a Player To Be Named Later. In a trade, the PTBNL has to be determined within six months. So, if the deal is not formally announced until after January 7th, these three could technically be involved.



SUMMARY

Who knows? If the Twins and Mets did reach an agreement, these players mentioned and several others could be involved. I the Twins are truly asking for five of the players I have mentioned, they would be ruining the Mets system. However, we have to keep going back to the reminder that we are talking about Johan Santana. If the Mets would offer Carlos Gomez, Mike Pelfrey OR Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and one other prospect, I think that the Twins would have to consider it. If that prospect was Deolis Guerra, they would be silly to say no.



Anyway, the Mets have come back into the picture. I didn’t know a lot of background about the Mets prospects, so this was good for me to learn about these guys. There are certainly a lot of positives to a Mets deal, especially getting Santana out of the American League. I think that Gomez is close, and Humber and Pelfrey are ready as well. The guys with the biggest upside, in my mind, are Fernando Martinez and Deolis Guerra, but they are likely two years away. That said, I don’t think that is a bad thing at all. A Santana trade should not only get two cogs for the 2008 team, but also give them Twins a couple of key building blocks for the future as well. Adding a couple more top notch pitching prospects allows more of them to be traded for other needs.



Any thoughts?



Thanks again for stopping by this site. Have a great day! If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.

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Pocket aces

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:51 pm

Pocket aces


Any of three Mets could be the pitcher the team needs
http://web.sny.tv/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080102&content_id=1446685&oid=36018&vkey=31



At times in 2007, young right-hander John Maine pitched like the ace the Mets need for 2008. (AP)
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Mets fans who were hoping for a Christmas present or a Chanukah treat or a New Year's gift from Omar Minaya are disappointed. Everyone -- including Minaya himself -- stressed the need for a so-called ace or frontline starter this offseason. But with the costs of Johan Santana and Erik Bedard at a premium, Dan Haren already dispatched elsewhere and everything quiet on the San Francisco front, it's growing increasingly likely that the Mets will enter 2008 without the rotation anchor we've all been dreaming of.

Many short-sighted fans will demand that Minaya break the bank to bring in Santana but history and logic teach that trading away an entire farm system for a single player can jeopardize a team's present and future. The pitchers still rumored to be dealt for Santana, some combination of Kevin Mulvey, Philip Humber, Aaron Heilman and represent not only valuable assets for building the bullpen, but the team's entire wealth of depth in the rotation. Think about it this way: If the Mets trade three of those guys for Santana and use the fourth in a relief role, they'll be stretched very thin on both ends of the pitching staff. If one pitcher gets hurt -- and at least one will -- they'll have to scramble to replace him and won't have any expendable trading chips to do so with..

The same is true for Carlos Gomez, also part of the rumored Santana deal that I don't think will happen. Gomez, right now, represents the Mets' best option to replace any fallen outfielder at some point in 2008. Because Moises Alou will almost certainly spend time on the disabled list at some point, the Amazins will need a deep outfield. Endy Chavez is a great fourth outfielder, but it's become clear that the Mets don't think of him as anything more than that, and that they believe holes in his batting approach will be revealed with too much exposure. If that's true, it would be downright foolish to enter a season with a right-fielder who's been injured for large parts of the last three seasons. With Lastings Milledge in Washington and a lack of Major League-ready options in the system, Gomez represents the Mets' entire contingency plan. As good as Santana is, he'll only pitch one in every five games and he'll struggle to win them if the Mets have to field a replacement-level outfielder in Alou's absence -- not to mention the weak-hitting Brian Schneider behind the plate.

Sure, you could scour the wires and find some cheap free-agent options to fill out the rotation and back up in the outfield. But then what do you do in 2009? 2010? It's impossible to keep plugging holes with aging replacement players, and the Mets will be short on trading cogs and young talent if they mortgage the future now. Plus, the huge contract Santana will inevitably yield could cripple the team five or six years from now, when his talents have diminished but his earnings have not.

But just because the Mets might not bring in a Cy Young candidate this offseason doesn't mean they don't already have one on their roster. When Pedro Martinez last pitched a complete season, his ERA+ -- a park- and league-adjusted stat set so the average pitcher's number is around 100 -- was 145. That would have been good for fourth in the National League in 2007. As a point of comparison, of Bedard, Haren and Santana, only the Orioles lefty posted a better figure, with 146. Haren's ERA+ last season was 137 and Santana's was 130. Obviously, Pedro's three years older now and can't be expected to match his 2005 season, but he claims to be in great shape and even a 20-percent decline from 2005 would put him in the top 10 of National League pitchers.

Pedro could get hurt again, though. No arguing that. But John Maine could also be the ace the Mets are searching for. After all, as a 26-year-old in 2007, Maine won 15 games with a 3.91 ERA and an impressive 180 strikeouts in 191 innings. With the increased stamina, control and wisdom that come from a year of Major League experience, Maine can be expected to improve in 2008. It's impossible to predict by how much, but his 2007 was very similar to a recent effort of another young pitcher from the Orioles system, Bedard. In 2006, the left-handed Bedard won 15 games with a 3.76 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 196 1/3 innings. It's hard to expect Maine to improve in 2008 the way Bedard did in 2007, but it's not out of the question. With his high strikeout rate and proven ability to come up big when the Mets need him most, Maine could in 2008 earn the All-Star nomination he deserved in 2007.

Lastly, though he's the biggest risk of the three, Oliver Perez has shown the ability to dominate National League hitters in the past. Sure, he's had far more downs than ups since his outstanding 2004 season, but his 2007 season showed a lot of promise. Perez finished the year with a 120 ERA+ and struck out 8.85 batters per nine innings, second only to Cy Young winner Jake Peavy. While the 20 unearned runs that Perez allowed in 2007 suggest that he may have been lucky to keep his ERA so low, the confidence and guile he earned in his successful season could help him improve in 2008. Keep in mind that Perez will not turn 27 until August, so he's theoretically still improving. There's still a chance he could return to his 2004 form.

So perhaps Omar's best play would be to stand pat, especially considering the way his recent trades have turned out. It's easy to dismiss the Mets because of the way 2007 season ended and suggest that they won't be able to compete in 2008, but don't forget that the team led the division for most of the season. With young players like Maine, Perez, Jose Reyes and David Wright still improving and veterans like Martinez and Carlos Delgado hunting for comeback seasons, the Mets have as good a chance as anyone to win the division. And their chances to repeat in 2009 and beyond will be better if they hang on to their young talent and avoid the temptation to spend too much -- both in prospects and in dollars -- on any single player.
Ted Berg is an editorial producer for SNY.tv. He can be reached at Ted.Berg@mlb.com or via the Flushing Fussing Facebook group.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:55 pm

From Pats Fan says

Cannon Arm

You can add the Jets to the list of teams needing a franchise QB. It was noted this week that Kellen Clemens' 07 season joins the likes of Akili Smith, Andrew Walter, Ryan Leaf, Kordell Stewart, Kyle Orton, and Joey Harrington for worst QB seasons since 2000, as ranked by season QB rating. His season was the 7th worst. Clemens has backup QB written all over him. The Jets need O-Line help badly, but they also need a QB and they will have a shot at a nice one at #6 this year, getting their choice of Brohm or Andre Woodson and leaving Baltimore with which one is left.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:58 pm

Chris Roberson-OF-Orioles Jan. 2 - 1:47 pm et

http://rotoworld.com/content/home_MLB.aspx

Orioles acquired outfielder Chris Roberson from the Phillies for cash considerations.
This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for center-field options. Roberson, 28, posted OPSs of 715 and 663 in his two years in Triple-A and hit .232/.254/.261 in stints with the Phillies the last two years. He has just one extra-base hit and one walk in 69 at-bats as a major leaguer. Jeff Fiorentino was a better use of a 40-man roster spot.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:10 pm

Originally Posted by keving18
Maybe Queens has a community college?

Your arguments at the beginning were somewhat defensible. I could see why others disagreed, but at least I put stock in the idea that you'd done your research.

Now it's becoming clearer and clearer that you, in fact, have very little basis in statistics. It seems as though you've taken others' arguments and held them up as your own, and when challenged on several of your opinions have simply continued that trend.

Claiming sample size as an issue for Ian Kennedy is ludicrous. He tore through the minor leagues to the tune of a 1.87 ERA and an overall WHIP of 0.97, then followed that up with several starts at the major league level, in which he put up an ERA of 1.89 with a WHIP of 1.16. All this in his first year of professional ball.

Basically, he was incredible in the minor leagues, then he was incredible in the major leagues.

To Jacoby Ellsbury:

He was very good in the minor leagues, but never was any sort of dominant. After ripping AA up to begin the 2007 season, he went to AAA and was so-so. His high average and solid OBP was hurt by a startling lack of power--in 436 AB's, he knocked a total of 2 HR (Rah-rah Jason Kendall, eh?) which contributed to his dissapointing 740 OPS. He thenw as called up to the majors, had a hot several weeks, and is now being lauded as the next mickey mantle.

He went from hitting a HR every 218 AB's against inferior pitching, to getting one knock every 39 AB's against September and October ML pitching. Think he was just hiding the power? Or think it's a fluke.

Ellsbury doesn't need bigtime power to be a decent player--he'll be ok without it, and his defense is fantastic. However, over the course of his career, he's not going to bat 3/4/5/6 for a contending team, unless the manager is trying to get fired.

A doctorate in virology? With the sort of crap you've been spewing since your arguments went south, I'd be surprised if you were out of high school. And please, dispute my "stats cred"

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:10 pm

Originally Posted by aeromac76
2) Bill Smith. Yankees made the best offer, Red Sox is not not close to Yankees best and they screwed around. Imagine trying to sell a house.
John offers 300K, which seems reasonable. But the seller takes the offer to Joe. Jose offers 280K, but the seller tries screwing around with John and saying unless John ups his offer to 350K, he'll sell to Joe for 280K anyway.. Two things could happen, one, you could bully yourself into a nice deal, two, you could overplay your hand and tick off the higher bidder. He then walks away and you are left with the bag.. Smith overplayed this, he had Hughes in his hand, and threatened the Yankees. He bluffed, the Yankees called.

Spot on. And frankly, I'm happier every day that the Twins didn't leap at the chance to take the Hughes offer when it was on the table, and that Young Master Steinbrenner had the fortitude to pull the offer after a reasonable time. If Hughes comes in to 2008 healthy and delivers on his outstanding potential while Billy Smith is unable to trade Santana for reasonable return, I'm guessing Smith will be run out of town on a rail.

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Re: My Gold Stars For Oppenheimer & Garrett

Post  RedMagma on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:14 pm

January 2, 2008
Little info from Coughlin on injuries

Welcome to 2008 and to the postseason. I hope none of you are too hungover from either your New Year’s Eve celebrations or from the Giants’ We-Almost-Beat-the-Patriots party.

I’ll begin Blue Screen ’08 with the Wednesday injury report. The good news is no Giants seem to have sprained anything trying to pat themselves on the back.

• Tom Coughlin, not surprisingly, had little to say about his injured players today. Asked about C Shaun O’Hara (knee), LB Kawika Mitchell (knee) and CB Sam Madison (abdominal strain), Coughlin said “Each one is making progress. I’m encouraged. We’ll have to see.”

Asked if any one of them is ahead or behind the others in their rehab right now, Coughlin laughed and said “It’s a tie.”

It looks like this will be a wait-and-see situation all week long, with understandably little information coming out of the Giants. None of the three will practice today, which of course doesn’t mean they won’t practice tomorrow. Whether they practice or not will likely be the only indication we get of whether or not they’ll play.

From what I’m hearing, the Giants are still most concerned about O’Hara. No one I’ve talked to seems worried that Mitchell or Madison will have to miss Sunday’s game.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, both Mitchell and O’Hara have been fitted for a knee brace, which might be an indication they’ll at least try to go at some point this week.

• WR Plaxico Burress was “a little sore” after practicing twice last week and then playing in the Patriots game. As a result, it’s back to the sidelines for the Giants’ No. 1 receiver. “He’s going to do some things,” Coughlin said. “He’s not going to do much.” That was a decision made by “the medical people,” which sounds ominous, but is likely just a precautionary thing.

• WR Sinorice Moss (back), CB Kevin Dockery (hip) and RB Ahmad Bradshaw (leg), all of whom missed the loss to the Pats, will practice today.

• In O’Hara’s absence, it appears Grey Ruegamer will get most of the work at center, though Coughlin did say G Rich Seubert will take a few reps in that spot.

• Also on the preliminary injury report is DE Dave Tollefson (concussion). Coughlin wasn’t asked about him in his morning press conference. My apologies for all you Dave Tollefson fans out there.

***

OK, now I feel bad. I started the new year with a cheap shot which means I’ve already broken one of my New Year’s resolutions. Hey, at least I almost made it 36 hours, right?

The truth, though, is the Giants were oddly pleased with themselves for their near-win over the Patriots. Other than Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer, none of the players I talked to after the game seemed particularly upset that they actually had lost. And even Strahan had changed his tune back to a positive note by the time he did his conference call with the media on Monday afternoon.

But for those of you who are worried about their self-congratulations, I offer this:

So what? What do you want them to do, go into the playoffs with their heads pointed towards the ground? If I were them, I’d be pretty pleased with their effort Saturday night, too. A lot of people are proud of how hard they played and how well they played against a 16-0 team. Rightfully so.

It wasn’t a perfect effort, but it was a pretty damn good one. If the Giants can take some confidence from that, let them. Football players tell me all the time that confidence is everything in the NFL. So who would you rather be: A Giants team that feels great about itself after a loss, or a Bucs team that has lost 3 of 4?

Wow. Look at that. I turned my cheap shot into a positive note about your team. Consider that my New Year’s present to you.

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