Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

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Baseball America's Yankees Top 10

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:52 am

Baseball America's Yankees Top 10


http://forums.nyyfans.com/showthread.php?t=108585

my friend got the newest issue of the BA magazine and he sent me the top 10 as it will be laid out in January unless there are trades

1. RHP Chamberlain
2. CF Jackson
3. RF Tabata
4. RHP Kennedy
5. RHP Horne
6. C Montero
7. RHP Marquez
8. CF Gardner
9. RHP Ohlendorf
10. RHP Brackman

i really like it through 8. i understand ohlendorf being high based on having a high ceiling in the pen and being right on the doorstep. Betances is likely just on the outside and dropping because of the possible elbow issues. glad to see someone else who more accurately assesses the value of future relievers

edit: apparently riveraveblues has the list too so my friend isnt full of it haha


What did Ohlendorf do last year to deserve such a high ranking? I guess they think Ohlendorf's potential comes into play similar to Brackman being ranked so high even though he probably won't throw a pitch until next offseason.

Yep. If it were all about the numbers, Scott Patterson would be in the top 10. Ohlendorf had a tough season especially when acclimated to the pen, but he showed tremendous stuff in those short stints. Given that Ohlendorf is right on the brink of taking a ML relief spot and two guys like Sanchez and Melancon are coming off Tommy John and only have slightly better stuff in that role, it makes sense that he would rank higher.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatch Catch
I love how Callis sh*t all over Montero last year, essentially saying he was garbage and was borderline top 30 in the Yankees organization, and now he's #6.


Actually it wasn't Callis, it was Manuel:

Quote:
No on Montero. The jury was always still out on him catching, and several scouts I talked to when he signed in July thought he was a 1B. Then if he's a 1B and not a C, all the value will be in the bat, and you're projecting a 16-year-old's bat. Add to that he's got 80 raw power, yes, and they spent a lot of money, but the Yankees also removed the man (Lin Garrett) who oversaw his signing, and every report I've heard on Montero's performance at the Yankees' mini-camp (which functions as their instructional league team) has been negative. There's no guarantee that Montero even makes the top 30, frankly. All the news and rumors I've heard about him since signing are the opposite of positive, to put it politely.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:53 am

Baltimore Orioles Top 20 Prospects for 2008
By John Sickels


http://www.minorleagueball.com/

Posted on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 05:30:15 PM CDT

Baltimore Orioles Top 20 Prospects for 2008

All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change.

1. Matt Wieters, C, Grade A-
2. Troy Patton, LHP, Grade B+ (I like him more than I should perhaps)
3. Radhames Liz, RHP, Grade B (Grade A arm, Grade C command)
4. Bill Rowell, 3B, Grade B
5. Nolan Reimold, OF, Grade B-
6. Garrett Olson, LHP, Grade B-
7. Jake Arrieta, RHP, Grade B-
8. Chorye Spoone, RHP, Grade B-
9. Jim Hoey, RHP, Grade B-
10. Pedro Beato, RHP, Grade B-
11. Tim Bascom, RHP, Grade B-
12. Brandon Erbe, RHP, Grade C+ (something weird here, hidden injury perhaps?)
13. Brandon Snyder, 1B, Grade C+ (numbers don't match propaganda)
14. Mike Costanzo, 3B, Grade C+
15. Scott Moore, 3B, Grade C+
16. Randor Bierd, RHP, Grade C+
17. Bradley Bergesen, RHP, Grade C+
18. Bob McCrory, RHP, Grade C (I don't like him as much as some people do. Command worries me.)
19. David Hernandez, RHP, Grade C (sleeper potential is high though)
20. Jeff Fiorentino, OF, Grade C (looks like a solid fourth outfielder)

Other Grade Cs include Matt Angle, Jason Berken, Kraig Binick, Zach Britton, Fredy Deza, Paco Figueroa, Luis Jimenez, Jim Johnson, Tyler Kolodny, Luis Lebron, Joe Mahoney, Wilfred Perez, Dennis Sarfate, Kyle Schmidt, and Brandon Tripp.

This system is underrated. While some of the more-heralded guys like Brandon Snyder look overrated to me by other analysts, there is some growing depth here, and several of the Grade C+/C guys have the potential to move beyond those grades.

The Orioles still have work to do getting their farm system to the level of the Yankees, Red Sox, or Devil Rays. But they are making progress.

Again, don't get all pissy about exact placement on this list. The grades are more important than someone being ranked 15th instead of 13th.

Of course, full statistics and reports on over 1,000 other players will be in the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book, now available for pre-order. Ships the first Monday in February!

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:53 am

ice to Reimold at 5

by lakerfan030 on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 05:24:40 PM CDT


Fiorentino

Just a note for editing John, the O's DFAed him and he's now a Red. Poor guy was all excited to be on the top 20, too - now he has no prayer Sad

http://rswanzey.blogspot.com
by rswanzey on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 05:57:41 PM CDT


Hernandez

Hernandez should rank higher than 19. Should be higher then Bascom. Hernandez's last 2 games of last year is a indication how he can dominate hitters. I believe he will have a breakout year in Bowie.

by orioole26 on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 06:22:19 PM CDT


+1

I think it's in the nooks and crannies of the systems that the exciting prospecting is done; the blank C for David Hernandez signifies a pattern for me on John's rankings this year: I find myself interested in some of his aggressive grades (Lowrie at A-, Chris Carter at B+) for the well-known prospects, but John's relative meekness when it comes to the under the radar guys has been a bit disappointing (though I was happy to see guys like Andrew Bailey, Taylor Green and Daniel Dorn get the Sickels nod).

Maybe that will change when I get the book and read the write-ups and get a sense of what C/C+ guys John thinks can break into legitimate prospect status.

Anyway, I think Hernandez (and Spoone, for that matter) is exactly the type of guy that exceeds his first glance impression. As orioole26 stated, he closed the season in a dominant fashion, striking out 18 in one game. He's got a big frame (6'3", 214), and has struck out more than 9 per game both of his first two professional seasons, and his slider was called the best in the system by BA.

The nice thing is that he's thrown exactly 145 innings the last two years. The development this year: his k's have gone from 154 to 168, from quite nice to really nice, especially considering that he was going from low to hi A. In addition to the small spike in k's, his walks have gone from 71 to 47, giving him better than a 3:1 k:bb ratio. A small counter: he gave up 3 more homers and 5 more hits this year; but, for me, this is quite negligible.

So, on the surface, you see a guy with a 7-11 record with a 4.95 era in hi-A. Which looks like a C prospect and maybe a top twenty guy in an average system like Baltimore's. But, if you ask me, a little more digging around shows someone who is easily a high-ceiling C+ prospect, and who a (perhaps reckless) fella like me would be aggressive and call a B- prospect.

by gogotabata on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 08:24:53 PM CDT
[ Parent ]


Hernandez

Nicely said!!! Hernandez was ranked 10th by Baseball Prospectus(probably slides to 11 now that the Orioles acquired Patton)and considered a 2 star prospect along with Beato, Olson, ranked 12th by Orioles Hangout just behind Arrieta and ahead of Bascom, whom Sickels ranked high for some reason. Also if you have followed Hernandez as I have this past season is record could easily of been 11-7 instead of 7-11.

by orioole26 on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 11:04:53 PM CDT
[ Parent ]


Tyler Henson

Keep an eye on Tyler Henson who isn't even listed. O's Hangout ranked Henson the 11th best prospect in the system. He had an .802 OPS in 250+ ABs with plenty of XBH and 20 SBs. Look for him to really breakout in Delmarva/Frederick.

Also Zach Britton should be a top 20, C+ prospect.

by stwright on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 07:58:10 PM CDT


And I'll cry manly tears

If this list is inflated by any Mariners prospects given up for Bedard...

by TIF on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 08:50:58 PM CDT


Cory Doyne

Any fans of Doyne out there?? I have heard he may be a candidate for set up man or closer.
I thought he might be a B-/C+ type of guy.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.
by Savoy on Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 08:54:02 PM CDT


Interesting Year For O's System

In many ways it was a bad year for the Orioles system. Virtually every major prospect took a step back. Reimold, Olson, Beato, Erbe and Rowell were downgraded by John, while Liz, Snyder, and Hoey clung onto the same grade.

No one from the top 20 last year was upgraded.

However, there was plenty of good news in the draft (#s 1, 7, and 11 on the list), and from moves to bring in talent from outside the system (#s 2, 14, 15, 16).

This system could make a huge leap forward if some of the guys I mentioned in the first paragraph have a bounce back year.

In fact, if Bedard and Roberts are traded for the packages that are rumored to be out there, this could be a top 5 system by opening day.

by dkdc on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 01:32:25 AM CDT


Brand Premium

Brandon Snyder has already enjoyed a bounce-back year, following an excellent SAL second half by winning a batting title in the Hawaiian Winter League while transitioning from first to third base-- a position he had not played since high school.

It seems odd to dismiss Snyder's resurgence as propaganda while continuing to grade Billy Rowell highly based on little more than draft position.

by Joy in Melville on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 06:39:16 AM CDT
[ Parent ]


Beato

Makes me feel a little better that the Mets refused to give him the signing bonus he demanded. One of the few good moves Omar has made in the past year or so.

by Lunkwill Fook on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 10:26:35 AM CDT
[ Parent ]

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:40 am

Scouts Inc. breaks down the NFL playoffs


http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18742

Welcome to The Show! On Monday, the experts from Scouts, Inc. will stop by to take your questions on what happened in the first round of the NFL playoffs and also take a look forward to the next round.

We'll kick things off at 11 a.m. ET and welcome Marwaan Maalouf, Jeremy Green, Matt Williamson and Gary Horton to break down each wild card game and give their take on the road to the Super Bowl.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:02 AM ET ) Greetings everyone after a Wild Card playoff weekend! JAX, SEA, NYG and SD come out on top! Let's get this rolling and talk some ball.

Maitiu (DC): So what do the Jags have to do to beat the Pats? Do they have a realistic shot?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:04 AM ET ) Maitiu, They have to control the time of possession and RUN the ball effectively. By effectively I talking175 yards plus. I talking 30 + carries. I talking Play Action. Keep the Pats Offense off the field. Realistic? They have done that before. Not against the Pats this season. They will have to play a near perfect game.

Ryan (San Diego): MM, Chargers match up very well with the Colts right? Do they need to have Gates in there to win this game?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:05 AM ET ) Ryan, The match up is more in the favor of the Colts. Indy has the much better QB which will be the deteriming factor. They definitely need Gates.

John (philadelphia): yes! run the ball and control the game clock, i hate the pats

Josh (ATL): Chargers....Have a Chance?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:06 AM ET ) Josh, I don't see it man. They will not be able to keep Manning in check at all. Rivers will be going against the best pass D. They need to run like crazy with LT.

bubba (la crosse): how well do u think adrian peterson will be next year

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:07 AM ET ) Bubba, He was a pro bowler this year and should be for a long time as long as he's healthy. Plus having the best O-Line in front of him helps.

John (colts fan): colts def will win the super bowl for the colts this year

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:08 AM ET ) John, Their D stepped it up last year in the playoffs so if history repeats itself....you could be right.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): Do you think Jeff Fisher should have gone to Kerry Collins yesterday. Vince just didn't seem to be in synch.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:08 AM ET ) JB, Yes I do. Vince looked terrible. Plain and simple.

Vinny (NY): Giants have a shot against Dallas? Dallas is in my opinion alittle better in almost every area of the game, but I think these 2 teams are close enough where an upset isn't out of reach.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:10 AM ET ) Vinny, G-Men have a dangerous pass rush D. Solid D Line. It should be a close game. It will all depend on how the starting QB's play. Simple. If Eli shows up again, the Giants have a legit shot.

Jason (Maine): Forcast for Saturday night in Foxboro looks clear. Not good news for the Jags.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:10 AM ET ) Jason is the weathercaster in New England everyone. Thanks man.

Scott (Reno): Is TO playing this week? Terry Glenn make a difference?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:11 AM ET ) Scott, He'll probably be a game time decision. High ankle sprains take a while so if does go, he's not going to be the same. TG, ehhh, who knows. If he got his legs back. Flip a coin.

tom* (parkville, md): Which visiting team has the best chance to pull an upset and how good it that chance?


Doug (NY): You see Bradshaw getting more and more touches for the Giants? He runs REALLY hard!

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:14 PM ET ) I like him a lot. Was very good in college as well. Don't see him getting 50% though. Jacobs is a force.

Tom (Seattle): Wait... Matt, you just picked Green Bay? You are the only guy on here that knows anything. I am crushed.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:15 PM ET ) Picked them in a tight game. Real excited about that game-will be the closest of the weekend.

Joe (Madison): Why does everyone forget about the night and day difference of Seattle when they are at home or on the road? I mean, I know if they show up and play as if they are at home, it will be tight but if they show up like they did in Carolina it could be over early.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:16 PM ET ) That is an excellent point. I would have taken Sea if they were at home in this game.

Vincent (Chicago): Why is there so much anti-Pats sentiment? I know... Belichick is not very likeable. But the players are almost all stand-up guys who don't talk trash (except after wins in which they were provoked by the other team running their mouth). Manning trashes his o-line or his defense when the Colts lose, yet he gets a free pass. And the Pats have been the model franchise in the salary cap era.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:17 PM ET ) To me, Indy and NE are both stand up organizations and models to how to do it. Having those QBs of course doens't hurt, but I think both teams are very likable. But...people get jelous.

Dee (Greenville, NC): Load up the box? That means one on one matchups on the outside for the Chargers receivers. I sure hope they take your advice because there isn't one DB on the Colts that can hold Chambers one-on-one. The Chargers defense is a lot more aggressive than they were when they played Indy earlier. LT will be the key because if they are able to run then that will open the playaction.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:18 PM ET ) I hear that and expect SD to hit on a big play or two. But-I simply don't trust Rivers. Without Gates, Chambers will see much more attention as well.

Willie (Portland, OR): Matt which road team do you feel has the best chance to win? SD, Sea, NYG, or Jac?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:19 PM ET ) Probably Seattle, but if Dallas does not have TO, I would probably say NYG.

Some Dallas Fan: Hopefully they draft Jones, and he wears 21, that way I won't need to throw away my Julius Jersey.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:19 PM ET ) That is excellent thinking.

Ed (PA): For Jon in DT, SD looks like they're still learning to play for Norv. After watching some of the TN/SD game, I absolutely want my team to play anyone coached by Norv Turner and QBed by Phil R. in the playoffs, if they score, if they cross midfield, it's only because LT broke a big run.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:20 PM ET ) I am kinda with Ed on this one. No denying SD's overall talent and I do like their D, but Indy is a far better football team than Tenn.

Buckeyenation: Who wins the BCS Title tonight? (Btw if you must you can bring in draft prospects to make it proper for this chat)

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:22 PM ET ) My guess is that Tressel will handle this massive layover much better this year and I do think he is a terrific big game coach. Actually, he might be the best coach in the NCAA. But, I like LSU in a nail biter. Just more talent. More speed. More players that can hurt you. I love Beanie Wells though and he is the X Factor who could put the Buckeyes on his shoulders. Prospects everywhere of course.

Tom (CA): Matt, So you don't see Dallas trading up w/ Miami for that #1 pick,(McFadden)? How many draft picks will a team have to give up for that #1 overall pick anyways?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:23 PM ET ) I don't see Dallas doing it. Moving out of #1 is very difficult. SO much $$$ for one unproven player, but I don't think Parcells would do it for two late firsts. Plus, Dallas needs a few things and shouldn't put all their eggs in that one basket for a backup RB. Not a knock on McFadden, but just doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

ben plattsburgh: why is manning, and by extension the giants....so much better on the road?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:25 PM ET ) Good question. I know his home fans can really ride him and the numbers don't lie, but I can't see this being a huge trend over the next fews years and could be somewhat flukey. Odd for sure.

John Pa: During the Pats Giants game a couple of weeks back vince woolfork pooked his finger in the eye of Brando Jacobs. Why no fine/suspension? Is the NFL realy in bed with the Patriots?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:25 PM ET ) Should have been a suspension for sure. Not in bed with the Pats-relax.

Ryan (San Diego): I cant wait to come back next week and laugh in your face when you're wrong about the Chargers again. Hating on them is like an addiction for you

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:27 PM ET ) We shall see Ryan. I picked them to beat Tenn without much problem by the way.

JJ (Liberty Twp, OH): Tell Mr. Conspiracy Theory that Wilfork received a five-figure fine from the league for his poke.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:27 PM ET ) That is true! I should have remembered that. Sounds about right. My fault

wayne (new jersey): matt what do you think about pats

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:29 PM ET ) Rediculous O. Fantastic coaching and QB play-along with overall inteligence and attitude of the team. Have a few weaknesses, but overall they are the real deal. I would take the early 90's Cowboys over this team though.

ben plattsburgh: will suggs be back with balt? if so wont they have to cut half the team to keep him?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:30 PM ET ) I bet he is back. Could franchise him. O Newsome knows how valuable he is and is still young. Building block player. Can't afford to let him walk.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:30 PM ET ) Okay everyone-I am out. Have a good one.

SportsNation Gary Horton: (12:34 PM ET ) I think we have a great round of intriguing matchups this weekend, and the storylines are off the charts. I'm not so sure we don't have the eight best teams left, which should make for some great matchups.

Sean (CA): Do you think Belichick will use more 4 man fronts against the Jags? Jarvis Green, Seymour, Wilfork, and Warren would be able to occupy the Jags line and let guys like Thomas and Bruschi flow to the ball. What do you think he will do?

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SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:13 AM ET ) Tom, I like the

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:50 am

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:13 AM ET ) Tom, I like the Seahawks to upset. Their D is playing very well. Pass rush is excellent, secondary is tough, Lofa is solid. If Coach Holmgren calls a good game, I see it man. They're using different runners (Fullbacks, Morris) changing it up. Hasselbeck has to have a good one as well.

Ryan (San Diego): Wasn't the hit on Gates a little cheap? He was on the ground defenseless and 2 Titans just leveled him, one was helmet to helmet

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:14 AM ET ) Ry, looked like a doozy hit man.

destin (spokane ): Will the Seahawks corners stop Farves Wide receivers

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:14 AM ET ) Destin, They will get help from Kearney and Peterson on the edge rushes. That will be the difference.

gary (ny): heard a rumor about big tuna wanting sean payton to coach dolphins. any truth to it?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:15 AM ET ) Gary, Sounds like a made up rumor to me. I see Sporano in their future.

Jeff (Irvine): Marwan, Manning can't figure out the Chargers D. He won't have a big game.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:16 AM ET ) Jeff, Wow, some depth with that comment. Why?

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): How big an influence do you see the head coaches having next weekend? Can you see any of them making a difference in either a positive or negative way?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:17 AM ET ) JB, Please read your questions before you send stuff guys. Do the head coaches have an influence...No just the best seats in the house. Go back to sleep JB

brad; wa: does the weather or Holmgren and Matt going back to green bay way heavily on the Hawks mentally?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:19 AM ET ) Brad, The weather? No. It;s the playoffs. Weather is weather man.

Josh (Asheville, NC): M&M, I am a die-hard Steelers fan & felt that there were 2 teams in the NFL that have a shot in beating NE: Indy & Jags. With one of the best "2 headed" running attacks (other than Minny's, of course) I see them trying to control the clock. Has NE met a running attack this year like that of the Jags? I don't think so. This will be possibly the best game of the weekend. If you had to rank the order of possible upsets this divisional weekend, what order would they be? Mine: Jax (the best chance), NYG, SD, & Sea. Thanks.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:20 AM ET ) Josh: Seattle, NYG, SD, JAX

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): To follow-up on my coach question that you maybe didn't understand: I wanted to know your opinion on which coaches you felt had an edge in the games. In other words, does Coughlin hold any edge over Phillips? No need to slam me. I've never treated you with anything but respect.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:22 AM ET ) Haha, Ok JB, Better stated so my apology. But you could see how I posted that remark....Ok, I see some very good coaches this up coming weekend that shouldn't make many mistakes. The only possible edge I see in any of the games is Holmgren vs. Mac. Holmgren having the edge of course since Mac is still in his second year and first for the playoffs.

Brian (Oregon): AP looked great at times during the year, but was easily shut down to numbers no back should have. If Tavaris Jackson comes along well, or they find a new QB(Derek Anderson), I think he'll be fantastic.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:24 AM ET ) Brian, I don't think T Jackson is the answer in Minnesota. Never have, probably never will. If you load 8 in the box, AP won't have a chance against a good D. If they can avoid being 1 dimensional, they'll win. DA would be a huge upgrade. Gotta give up a 1st and 3rd at least for him though...

Devon (OH IO): do you think that browns-chargers would have been a better game than titans chargers?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:25 AM ET ) Devon, I do. The Browns have a much better offense. Anderson is a better QB than Rivers in my opinion. It would have been very interesting to say the least.

Scott (Reno): No advantage between Dungy and Norv Turner? Low blow to Dungy MM!

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:26 AM ET ) Scott, You're right man! Wow, I need more sleep. Dungy definitely better than Norve however, I'm gonna give Norv some love for winning the first playoff game in SD in 13 years.

Joe (Norton, MA): Pats should be afraid of Jaguars run, perhaps, but I think Jags should be afraid of the Patriots pass attack!

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:26 AM ET ) Noted Joe.

Dave (Alexandria, VA): Any word on who the Bengals are looking at on the defensive side of the ball - players AND coordinators?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:27 AM ET ) Dave, Heard Zimmer (Falcons DC) interviewed. Nothing more so far.

Wes (Dallas, TX): Marwan, as a Colts Fan, the first Indy-SD matchup provided both positive and negatives 6 INT's and a missed field goal being the negatives, knowing a questionable review is the only reason we lost that game would be the positive. I think the Colts matchup well except in Special Teams and those two touchdowns made a huge difference in the first game. LT on a short-field against the Colts D seems like it will normally produce points, any chance that not enough significance is being placed on this aspect of the game?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:29 AM ET ) Wes, I agree with you as far as the field position battle on special teams. SD has the advantage. Indy is so hot and cold on ST. The short field will create a huge advantage for SD. I just think the Colts D can make the game one demensional by taking away LT on the ground and forcing Rivers to throw the ball which he can't do.

Brett (DC): It seems easy to say that the Jags are going to pull the upset for all the reasons people are giving about their running game and the Pats' old D. But how are the Jags going to respond when the Pats go 4 or 5 wide and Brady throws the little quick slants and screens to Welker and Watson. Aren't the Jags a little thin after the starting corners?

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:30 AM ET ) Brett, They aren't very deep in the secondary man. NE will win on Sunday. Too many weapons.

SportsNation Marwan Maalouf: (11:31 AM ET ) Guys, This half hour has gone by quick! Jeremy Green is up next and he'll be chatting it up so have a great week and get ready for next weekend!

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:34 AM ET ) Thanks Mouf


Billy (Michigan): Hey Jeremy! What do you think the best matchup will be I think it will be the Chargers vs. the Colts.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:36 AM ET ) Tough to pick... All should be great games... I would say the Pats and Jags in the AFC and Seattle-Green bay in the NFC.

John (Waxahachie, Tx): JG - now that you have a semi-valid excuse, injuries, would you like to take back your Jags > Pats call?

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:36 AM ET ) Not really... what fun would it be to build a case for the Pats... my 8year old daughter could do that.

Jason (Lakeland, FL): Yo JG, do you think Dallas "flips the switch" this week vs. NYG? Secondly, do you see Terry Glenn providing any impact?

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:38 AM ET ) I am not going to make a prediction on this game right now because T.O. is such a huge factor as to the outcome. I will say this if TO can't play and contribute Dallas will not be able to flip a switch on. Their offense is not very good without him on the field taking double coverage and freeing everyone else up.

SprungOnSports (Long Island): Jeremy, can Vince Young lead his team to a big win in the future? Not only can't he throw it consistently, he may have an injury problem.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:50 am

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:42 AM ET ) Too early to tell. I think he can get better but they need to put some weapons around him.

Josh (Asheville, NC): JG, a lot of people like Marwan Maalouf keep talking about the Pats are loaded and can't be beat. But this is the playoffs! You just need to be hot at the right time! Look at NE's fiirst Super Bowl win, Oakland was loaded and a team with no Pro Bowlers took them down and went on to win the Super Bowl a few weeks later. Now turn the clock to now and you got a loaded NE team versus a team in Jacksonville that didn't get any players voted into the Pro Bowl. Can't you see an upset in the making? I can. But I didn't see Oakland losing to NE back in Brady's 1st Super Bowl run, so I could be wrong. But after seeing the Jags enter Pittsburgh and beat my team twice in the 'Burgh, I have a feeling aboout these Jags. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:45 AM ET ) Well everyone pretty much knows I have been at the forefront of the Jags bacndwagon every since Garrard game back from his injury. I think the Jags can win this week because of their ability to run the ball vs. a week New England run defense and control the clock and keep Brady on the sideline. However, I think bad weather needs to be in thier favor because I have concerns about their ability to slow the Pats pasing attack in favorable weather and the forecast today favors good weather conditions with no snow and little wind.

Sean (Philly): Eli Manning doesn't look to be who I thought he was.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:46 AM ET ) No he has playd very well the past few weeks. What a great controlled game he palyed yesterday. Great job by Gilbride calling the plays.They did what you do to attack the cover 2... banged away with the run and hit the majority of their passes over the middle of the field in the weak spots vs. that defense.

Shaun (Virginia): As good as the Jags have been, Garrad's passing was inconsistent last game and that and a performance like that will lead to a Patriots game. All the pressure is on Garrad to perform at top level. This is his career game right here

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:49 AM ET ) I agree. First playoff start though so you would have to think he might struggle a litttle bit.

Chris (Barnegat, NJ): JG, way to call the upset on Firday's podcast with the Giants win. I agree, the Barbers really just need to "Shut It".Has Eli turned the corner? His yardage wasn't spectactular, but his completion % and 0 turnovers were huge against the best or second bet pass coverage team in the league. Your thoughts?

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:51 AM ET ) Ran the table for a change this week and went 4-0. Eli played under control. Oddly I think this team is better without Schokey on the field. They used Boss as more of a pass blocker which helped in pass pro. With Schockey they move him all over the field and then Eli forces him the ball. Call me crezy but the pass offense has looked better the past few weeks without him.

Henry (NY): Should Phillip Rivers be apologizing to Gates today for putting him in a position to get injured? What a horrible pass.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:52 AM ET ) Yeah it was but that happens. Young did the same thing the previous week and look what happened to Sacife. They really missed Sacife yesterday.

Anzalone(Boston,Ma): Should we blame Fisher for bad coaching in the Tenn. loss. i.e. Not taking one shot for the endzone/ letting the clock run down for a FG in the first halfs final drive. They were moving the ball then just stopped; lets take the 3??

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:53 AM ET ) I would not blame Fisher for the loss. They lost because they were beat up on offense. They were the better team yesterday but it is hard to beat anyone with 4 starters missing on offense.

Mark (CT): JG.. so am I supposed to feel good about the Jags chances when it seems they hinge on the weather helping them? Anything short of a monsoon and you know in your heart of hearts that the Jags are in big trouble here don't you ? C'mon it's ok to admit it.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:55 AM ET ) It is one and done man. Are the Pats the favorites...yes. Don't discount this tough and gritty Jags team though. Garrarf will play better. They have th best run offense in the NFL. They are solid on special teams. I love how evryone thinks the Jags just get rolled? Who other then the Steelers have the Pats blown out in recent memory... the Pats ran the table... they are 16-0...the are also not as good on either side of the ball as they were in the first half of the season.

Chris (Franklin Park, NJ): Hi Jeremy: On your Aug. 6 chat, you boldly predicted that The Jags would win the AFC South over The Colts. I asked you if you care to back up that prediction. I must admit that you were 100% correct!! Great Job! Would you like some salt with your crow?

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:57 AM ET ) Dude.. you can't read. Matt WIlliamson picked the Jags... on his chat and on my Pod Cast.

Tom (NY): Not to keep on the Jags talk, but any work on John Henderson's injury? He is a big part in the jags D!!

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:57 AM ET ) Jack Del Rio said it is not serious and he expects him to be ready to roll on Saturday night.

Majeed: To Chris - And I'm sure you nailed every one of your predictions right? Get real dude!

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (11:59 AM ET ) I don't really remember anyone on the Jags bandwagon early in the year because everyone including me had questions as to whether this Garrard for Leftwich move was a good call...I am sure Chris thought it was a GREAT move at the time though.

Xander (Philly): Do you pay Majeed to back you up or just wine and dine him? Its cute.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (12:00 PM ET ) Xander this is not a Bills chat man...they are done for the year. C-yaaaaaaaaaa.

Steve (virginia beach): Green, your a tool! pats win by more than 3 scores and the jags run game will be useless when your dowm multiple scores

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (12:02 PM ET ) Wow... no kidding... that is why their run D has been so good this season. Good luck to Pats fans this weekend... They are the favorite...they probably will win but man if they don't... if something bizzare happens? Pats fans might be jumoing off bridges all Sunday morning.


Chris (Franklin Park, NJ): Hi Jeremy: I apologize, it was a dual chat and Matt W. did make the prediction, not you. I will say that YES, I thought Garrard was a great move at the time it was made. Also, I had the Colts winning the division over Jax.

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (12:03 PM ET )

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:04 PM ET ) Matty Dub here-ready to roll

SportsNation Jeremy Green: (12:04 PM ET ) OK this has been way too much fun... here you go Chris... yuou can now rip Matt Williamson for picking the Jags to win the AFC South.

Xander (Philly): And the Bills still rule. Great year. You know their rap sheet. QB controversy, 12 players on IR, rookie RB, Kevin Everett...I'm proud of my squad.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:05 PM ET ) Should be. They took major strides in the right direction this year. However, they still have some major needs and are clearly a big step behind the top team in their division.

Anthony (NYC): Hey M-Dub will the Jags be able to pressure Brady & rattle his cage a little bit? And will they're secondary be able to hold down Moss and Co.?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:05 PM ET ) Honestly-no and no. I think this D is in for a real long day-especially if the weather is good.

Steve in C-NY: T.O. can come back in 6 weeks in 2004 from a broken leg but will be hard pressed to be his old self on the field come Sunday because of a sprained ankle after 3 weeks? Come on guys! With T.O., Glenn, Crayton, Witten, and Barber on the field it will be another double digit win for da Boys yet again!! P.S. Where does Kevin Smith (UCF) rank now that he's declared? 1st round?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:07 PM ET ) TO is the most important player on that team. If he is back, I think Dallas wins big, Without him or if he isn't close to himself, it will be a game. A tight game. We shall see how he progresses throughout the week. I think I would put Smith right there with Mendenhall, Rice and Stewart if they all declare for the 2nd overall RB spot.

Ed (PA): Matt, You've been preaching all year about the Steelers Oline, you've been correct as well, but can they find any help in the draft? How about Woodley though...played like a man.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:09 PM ET ) Woodley is a keeper. Haggans is a UFA-will be let go. Woodley's job now. Yeah, the OL is a mess-esp at OC. Starks could be resigned but Faneca is leaving. If that is the case, they need to draft at least one OLineman very high and probably sign a free agent as well. Potentially need three starters.

Josh (Ohio): Different game second time around for Bolts-Colts?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:09 PM ET ) Indy is going to blow them out. You heard it here first. Blow them out.

James (WI): Marwan seems to think the Seahawks will take it to the Pack on Saturday...what do you say about this?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:10 PM ET ) I see where he is coming from and expect a very tight game. Similiar teams really. I hope the weather is good-want to see them both spread the field and throw like crazy. Very good Ds that should pressure the QBs. I like GBay in a close one-home field.

Brett Favre (Green Bay): Please tell Kerney to take it a little easier this weekend... He blew up two blockers all day Saturday. And with Peterson and Tatupu flying right up the middle, I am very worried. What do you think, Matt?

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:10 PM ET ) Oh yeah-you should be worried.

Steve in C-NY: Matt, You wouldn't have Felix Jones in that discussion for the 2nd back taken??

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:11 PM ET ) I think Jones and Slaton are a step behind the RBs I mentioned.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:12 PM ET ) Side note: During yesterday's chat, someone mentioned Jones to Dallas in the 2nd round. Makes a ton of sense. Jerry Jones is an Ark guy. McFadden is too expensive. Felix and Barber on that O? Nice.

Adam (Louisville, KY): Hey Matt, I know Gates is questionable for Sunday but any more word on what it is other than a "toe"? And does it even really matter, this game won't be close.

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:12 PM ET ) No news. It won't be close...but it will be closer with Gates!

Jon (Detroit): Please do us all a favor and explain how and why Indy is going to "blow out" San Diego? Name team that's played them better over the past 4 years, including this year (SD beat them when they were still learning to play for Norv and Indy had Freeney who was a beast).

SportsNation Matt Williamson: (12:13 PM ET ) FAR better coaching and QB play. Far better. Well rested Colts team at home. Load up the box and let Sanders come clean on LT all day. The Colts will get their points. They always do.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:51 am


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First look at the NFC divisional round

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:56 am

First look at the NFC divisional round
Chadiha

By Jeffri Chadiha


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs07/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=3184205#giants-cowboys

In two games against the Giants this season, Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens had nine catches for 212 yards and four TDs. But an ankle injury threatens to keep him out of Sunday's game.

On Wild Card Weekend, the Seahawks won at home and the Giants continued their road success, as both teams advanced to the NFC divisional round. Here are three big questions going into each game next weekend. (For an early look at the AFC divisional games, click here.)

Seahawks at Packers, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET

1. How big a factor is Green Bay's lack of playoff experience?

It's huge. Green Bay has just 17 players on its 53-man roster who have played in a postseason game (including quarterback Brett Favre, wide receiver Donald Driver and cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris). Seattle, on the other hand, has 39 players with such experience, including many who were around for the Seahawks' Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh during the 2005 season. That much exposure to high-pressure situations served Seattle well in Saturday's wild-card win over Washington and it certainly will benefit the Seahawks in this round.

More Seahawks-Packers

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Sea. at GB

• SportsNation: Who'll win?

The key issue for the Packers is making sure their less-experienced players understand the magnitude of this moment. Green Bay fielded the youngest team in the NFL this season and it could be easy for those players to think they'll have many more opportunities to pursue a championship. If they are thinking that way, they need only talk to Favre about how quickly prosperity can vanish in this league. After all, since reaching consecutive Super Bowls in 1996-97, the Packers are just 2-5 in postseason play and are making their first playoff appearance in three years.

2. Can Seattle prosper without much production from its running game?

No. It's true that Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has enjoyed a terrific season, but Seattle will need more balance in its pass-happy offense against the Packers.

Green Bay has one cornerback who is going to the Pro Bowl (Harris) and another who played well enough to join him (Woodson). Those two are good enough to cover two of the options in Seattle's four-receiver sets. Meanwhile, the Packers' front seven should be able to create plenty of problems for Hasselbeck.

The real downer for Seattle is that running back Shaun Alexander has given no indication that he'll elevate his game. He led the Seahawks with just 46 yards in the win over Washington and injuries limited him to a mere 716 yards this season. If that's not bad enough, the Seahawks' offensive line also has struggled with its run blocking all year. That's not likely to change this week.

3. How much does Seattle's playoff record on the road matter?

Plenty. The Seahawks have just one postseason win outside of Seattle -- against Miami in 1983 when the Seahawks were a member of the AFC.

To make things even more difficult, consider that Green Bay has suffered just two playoff defeats in the history of Lambeau Field. Plus, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren, who coached in Green Bay from 1992-98, is 0-3 versus his old team at Lambeau.

The reality here is that Seattle is far more comfortable inside the noisy confines of Qwest Field. Once the Seahawks hit the road -- and they're 3-5 this season away from home -- they become far more vulnerable.

Giants at Cowboys, Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET

1. How much will the Cowboys miss Terrell Owens if he can't play?

It will be huge. As explosive as Dallas has been all season, the Cowboys owe a great deal of their success to the fact that Owens remains one of the elite receivers in the NFL. The bottom line is that when he's on the field, he makes life easier for everybody else on offense. Without him, quarterback Tony Romo isn't likely to play with the same swagger and the Cowboys' offense isn't going to be chewing up yardage by the chunks.

More Giants-Cowboys

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NYG at Dal.

• SportsNation: Who'll win?

Right now, it's difficult to know if Owens will be available. He apparently has been rehabilitating his high ankle sprain so relentlessly that he was meeting with trainers on Christmas Day and New Year's. If we had to wager, we'd assume Owens will be dressed on Sunday. His ankle probably won't be 100 percent -- such injuries tend to linger -- but his presence alone makes all the difference for the Cowboys' offense.

2. Has Eli Manning really turned a corner with his play?

There's still good reason to be skeptical of Manning -- mainly because he was playing lousy during the final month of the regular season -- but the Giants have to love what they've seen from him lately.

Aside from one critical interception, Manning played brilliantly in a season-ending loss to New England and he was equally impressive in Sunday's wild-card win over Tampa Bay (20-for-27 for 185 yards and two touchdowns). If he can perform that well against Dallas, the Giants could very well pull the upset.

Remember, Manning enjoyed a huge day against Dallas in a season-opening loss (312 yards, four touchdowns, one interception). He was mediocre in the rematch, but the Dallas defense can give up big plays.

The key here is how well the Giants protect Manning and how well he makes decisions. One thing that is definitely certain is that he won't lack for confidence heading into this contest.

3. Why will the Giants beat Dallas now after losing both games during the regular season?

For one thing, the Giants finally have regained the form they displayed during a six-game winning streak earlier this season. They're flying around on defense and harassing quarterbacks with a pass rush that produced a league-leading 53 sacks.

On offense, they're running the ball with Brandon Jacobs and benefiting from the improved health of wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who has been nagged all season with an ankle injury. By the way, they're also 8-1 on the road this season, so hostile environments don't bother them.

That being said, the Cowboys are a safe bet to win this contest. They've outplayed the Giants in both previous meetings and it's hard to overcome the confidence that comes with such results.

Jeffri Chadiha is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:02 am

No one could predict N.Y. would make it this far

http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008801070320


Editor's note: Roy C. Ketcham High School graduate Adam Pinto is a senior at Williams College and a former staffer with the Poughkeepsie Journal. This is his take on the New York Giants' playoff victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday:




A season that began with Eli Manning's leadership being publicly questioned by Tiki Barber and a lengthy holdout by Michael Strahan has resulted in the first playoff win for the New York Giants in seven years.




Who would have thought?




Not Sports Illustrated, which predicted a 6-10 mark for the Giants this year. Not ESPN, where not one analyst believed that the Giants would reach the playoffs before the season started.




And though I'm embarrassed to admit it, neither did I, at least at halftime of the first Washington Redskins game. At that point, the Giants were 0-2 and losing 17-3 in Washington. I called my father to tell him that we were guaranteed a top-five draft pick playing like this, so help was on the way.




But the Giants turned it around and won that game, the first of six consecutive victories, and would finish the year 10-6. With Sunday's impressive 24-14 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Manning and head coach Tom Coughlin both earned their first playoff win in New York.




Criticism for leaders

The coach and QB have been under fire this year from fans and analysts alike. After the Minnesota Vikings debacle in Week 12, in which Eli threw four interceptions, it would have been difficult to find a single New Yorker who believed Eli was the Giants' answer at quarterback. One New York Jets fan I talked to after the game called Manning "the poor man's Chad Pennington." Ouch.




The record, however, shows that Eli has generally stepped up in big games throughout his career. Last year's Week Two victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, in which the Giants made up a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter, was only the most impressive of the many comeback wins he has orchestrated over the past few years.




He looked phenomenal last week against the New England Patriots juggernaut, and when the Buccaneers dared Manning to beat them Sunday, his turnover-free, two touchdown effort did just that. Now with a playoff win under his belt, the younger Manning can begin to step out of his brother's shadow.




Coughlin, who has led the team to the playoffs three years running, remains an excellent, underrated coach. The last time the Giants made the playoffs three straight years was from 1984-86, with the final season culminating in a Super Bowl championship. While a title may not be in the cards this season, Coughlin's performance merits a lengthy extension.




Having far surpassed expectations this season, the Giants now must travel to Dallas to face a Cowboys team that has beaten them twice. They will be underdogs on the road, as they were on Sunday, yet have a great shot to finally down quarterback Tony Romo and his squad.




The Dallas offense will be hampered, as star receiver and renowned Giant-killer Terrell Owens is suffering from a high ankle sprain. The otherwise-phenomenal Romo has looked human in recent weeks, as the Cowboys lost to the Eagles and suffered scares at the hands of the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers, all teams that missed the playoffs. Combined with the difficult task of beating a team three times in one season, the Cowboys have reason to be worried.




To take advantage, the Giants need to avoid the mistakes that plagued their earlier meetings with Dallas. The defense gave up 45 points in the Week One loss to the Cowboys as they were learning the scheme implemented by new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The Giants defense has to hold Dallas to fewer than 30 points and create at least two turnovers to have a real shot at winning.




At the same time, Manning has to get Plaxico Burress the ball early and often. In the Week 10 defeat in Dallas, Burress was invisible for the vast majority of the second half. The 6-foot, 5-inch receiver is the best player on the Giant offense, and needs to be utilized if the team has any chance of avoiding a third loss to the Cowboys.




Coughlin should continue to keep rookie running back Ahmad Bradshaw heavily involved in the running game. The seventh-round pick out of Marshall was phenomenal against Buffalo two weeks ago, racking up 151 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and his 66 yards against Tampa Bay helped ensure a Giants victory yesterday. When he works in tandem with starter Brandon Jacobs, the Giants rushing offense is nearly unstoppable. Bradshaw could be a difference-maker for the Giants this weekend, as the Cowboys have yet to face him.




Even if things break right for the Giants, who have now won eight straight games on the road, nothing will come easy in Texas. Dallas went 13-3 this season, losing only to the Patriots, Eagles and Redskins, and has playmakers on both sides of the ball. If the Giants play a great game and do everything right, they still only have a chance to beat the NFC East champs.




Then again, it's more than most people gave them before the season started.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:06 am

Jan 7, 2008 12:00 pm - News: Yanks sign Two Former Mets

...posted by Matthew Cerrone...


http://www.metsblog.com/



According to Baseball America, the Yankees signed LHP Billy Traber and RHP Scott Strickland to minor-league contracts.

Traber was the Mets No. 1 pick in 2000. He was 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 28 games for the Nationals last season.

Since leaving the Mets after having elbow surgery in 2003, Strickland has pitched just four major-league innings - all for the Astros in 2005, during which he allowed two home runs.

…if you recall at the time, word from the Mets had been that strickland lacked the needed arm strength
to cut it at the major-league level, and that the team could fill his old role internally, such as with Juan Padilla, Aaron Heilman, Jose Santiago or Heath Bell…

…thanks to Craig M for the information…


That is some freaky looking skankee hat. They should wear that on mother’s day with the pink bats.

together they probably don’t have enough real ligament to make ONE elbow.

Good pickups for the damn Yankees. I wouldn’t have minded the Mets giving Traber another shot. Strickland is probably a long shot at best, but from a risk-reward perspective, its an interesting move.



I love posts like this. Every stupid move made by another team garners countless “I would have liked Minaya to take a shot at him…” when the players are barely MLB caliber players.

But when Minaya trades for someone like Pagan or Wise we have 162 responses of “what are you dooooooooing Omar? Wake up!!!!!”

Matt loves those pink Yankee hats…I wonder if there is a subliminal message attached to them

They have sooooo many hideous hats, which only seems fitting for such a hideous organization - so, I have no choice but to post them whenever I mentioned their name.



Yanks are taking Traber, since they are sending Igawa to the Twins in the Santana deal…

Yeah because if the yankees were trading Igawa for Santana.. They would really be concerned about replacing Igawa.. the guy is in single A

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Ian The Man In '08?

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:12 am

Ian The Man In '08?


http://waswatching.com/
I rarely have a chance to catch Yankees Hot Stove on YES – the original airing is on too early for me and the replay is done too late. But, last week, I did catch a piece of it, that I found interesting, and have been meaning to bring up here.

It was an interview with Dave Eiland, talking about Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy. On Hughes, Eiland said that there’s no level of success that Phil could have on a baseball field that would surprise him. That’s pretty much as good as a compliment can get. However, it terms of assessing the three pitchers now, Eiland put Kennedy ahead of Chamberlain and Hughes. Further, he stated that Ian Kennedy had command of four pitches now – whereas Chamberlain has command of three and Hughes (according to Eiland) only has command of ‘two to two and a half’ (which he then qualified by saving Phil’s change-up is coming along…hence the ‘half’).

This has me wondering – considering the source is the Yankees pitching coach, himself – that perhaps we (in Yankeeland) should be more “jazzed” (for lack of a better term) about Ian Kennedy’s prospects of helping the Yanks, in the majors, this season than that of Joba and Hughes.

Again, this is not meant to slight Chamberlain or Hughes – who both should help the Yanks this year. It’s just meant to suggest that, perhaps, Kennedy is further along the learning curve and in a better position to make a greater impact.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:44 am

Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2008.


BA - Yankees Top Ten Prospects

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265405.html


TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp


For all the back-page news the Yankees made in 2007, the biggest story was the cold, hard fact that they no longer are the preeminent franchise in baseball.

The Red Sox passed them in 2007, winning the American League East—the first time New York hadn't won the division since 1997—and then winning their second World Series of the decade. It's a decade in which the Yankees have yet to win a championship despite consistently maintaining the game's largest payroll.








The Yankees' 2007 season included 94 victories and rallying from a 21-29 start to make the playoffs. It also included superlative individual performances by the likes of BA Player of the Year and AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, a career year from 35-year-old catcher Jorge Posada and the dynamic major league debut of Joba Chamberlain, the organization's No. 1 prospect.

But 2007 also included a 4.49 team ERA for New York, a figure that ranked just eighth in the AL. The team had to turn to 44-year-old Roger Clemens when injuries and a slow start jeopardized the season, and Clemens proved to be no savior. A four-game defeat to the Indians in the Division Series marked the third straight first-round playoff exit for the Yankees, who have gone 4-13 in the playoffs since taking a 3-0 lead on Boston in the 2004 AL Championship Series.

The string of playoff disappointments, plus the ascendancy of brothers Hank and Hal Steinbrenner to prominent roles in the ownership group as their father George continued to fade into the background, helped shape the franchise's immediate future. Club officials insisted the younger Steinbrenners already had become more involved in recent years, and one went so far as to say it was "business as usual around here," but events say otherwise. Manager Joe Torre was ousted after 12 seasons when he rejected a one-year extension, and the Yankees turned to Joe Girardi, their former catcher and color analyst on the YES Network, and the 2006 National League manager of the year with the Marlins.

Girardi's Florida team was built around young pitchers such as Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen and Dontrelle Willis, and he'll have more young talent to work with in New York. Staff ace Chien-Ming Wang is coming off consecutive 19-victories seasons and is still just 27. Also, the Yankees are counting on Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy to claim rotation spots. That trio has undeniable talent, but also just 16 starts and 116 innings in the big leagues between them.

The farm system has made significant strides in the last four years, with improved talent allowing the system's domestic affiliates to combine for four first-place finishes, two league championships and a collective .597 winning percentage, the best mark in baseball. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, who started running New York's drafts in 2005, has the budget to pick aggressively, and the Yankees regularly pay draft picks more than MLB's bonus recommendations.

That was true more than ever in 2007, when they went over slot for five picks in the first 10 rounds and spent $8.03 million on the draft, more than any other team. They also were as active as any organization internationally, adding high-priced, high-ceiling talents led by Dominican outfielder Kevin DeLeon, who signed for $1.1 million.

Scouting report

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:49 am

QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Jan 4 2008, 11:32 AM) *
And why isn't Ohlendorf on Goldstein's list? These lists undervalue Betances and Sanchez. Both of those guys are outstanding prospects if they can overcome their medical issues.


These lists are taking their medical problems into account. The players will have to overcome them rather than having them discounted and wished away based on their upside.


QUOTE(Munson @ Jan 5 2008, 03:18 PM) *
These lists are taking their medical problems into account. The players will have to overcome them rather than having them discounted and wished away based on their upside.



Yet Brackman is still on the lists.


Don't get me started on Brackman. I'm chalking him up as another winner of BA's "Congratulations, you were just drafted! Welcome to the Top 10!" award. I think Betances won that last year...

Although the more I think about it, the more I agree with Curmudgeon. Sanchez should have made this list.


These lists are usually a crap shoot after the top part anyway. it's always a mix of guys who might be awsome but shown little (or nothing ) or guys that showed something but dont' look like he's going to be much .. and a lot of inbetweens.

I usually dont' like to rate guys with little to no performance above rookie ball anywhere high.



I'm kind of surprised by this top 10 list as it's not as strong as I expected. I also figured Sanchez would be up there with perhaps a guy like Suttle, DeLeon, or Bettances (knowing BA's tendancy). I mean, 7-10 are really uninspiring in my mind. I can't quibble with the #5 ranking at all. I figure they're at worst top 10 with a lot of depth and upside in the lower minors. However, when you see a list that contains Marquez (who I figure is a middle reliever) and Brett Gardner (a 4th OF'er who's main talent appears to be that he resembles Jacoby Ellsbury if you're blind) then it makes the system seem rather weak. I'd wager that despite the graduation of Joba, Kennedy, and Horne (the meat of the system) they'll still be approx. #5 come next year as the next level of players start to take hold in the lower minors.

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Basbeball America: Joba #1!

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:54 am

Basbeball America: Joba #1!
http://yankeesnmore.blogspot.com/
It's that time of year... The time when Baseball America begins to release their team-by-team top-10 prospects lists.

Today, it's the New York Yankees turn.
No surprise, Joba Chamberlain is #1 on the list. It will also come as no surprise to those who saw him pitch that Baseball America lists Chamberlain as the #1 pitching prospect in all of baseball.

But there are a few things that COULD surprise some - namely those who have been living in the past and just assuming that the Yankees farm system is gasping for air.

Of course, those who have been paying attention know nothing could be further from the truth. Even with Phil Hughes no longer listed as a prospect, B.A. raves about the depth of talent in the Yankees system, and specifically the pitching depth within the system - depth that could lead to a deal for Johan Santana sometime between now and spring training.

In fact, six of the Yankees top-1o prospects as ranked by B.A. are pitchers.

Yankees Top-10 Prospects for 2008*
1. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
2. Austin Jackson, of
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. Ian Kennedy, rhp
5. Alan Horne, rhp
6. Jesus Montero, c
7. Jeff Marquez, rhp
8. Brett Gardner, of
9. Ross Ohlendorf, rhp
10. Andrew Brackman, rhp

While there weren't many surprises among the top-10 list, and anybody who has been paying attention should not be surprised by the depth of talent in the system, there was at least one thing that might raise an eyebrow or two.

It doesn't come by way of the top-10 list, though. Rather, it can be found in B.A.'s breakdown of system bests. Did you know, that according to Baseball America, the best curveball in the entire Yankees system belongs to Joba Chamberlain?

No surprise to those who saw him pitch last season that Joba is listed as possessing the best fastball and the best slider, which by themselves would make him an extremely rare prospect. But the best curveball, too??? In a system praised for its pitching depth???

WOW!

Chamberlain rarely used the deuce last season while pitching in short relief. Then factor in that Joba reportedly has a very good changeup, as well.

Good luck, American League!

2008 Yankees Best Tools in the System*
Best Hitter for Average - Jose Tabata
Best Power Hitter - Jesus Montero
Best Strike-Zone Discipline - Brett Gardner
Fastest Baserunner - Brett Gardner
Best Athlete - Austin Jackson
Best Fastball - Joba Chamberlain
Best Curveball - Joba Chamberlain
Best Slider - Joba Chamberlain
Best Changeup - Edwar Ramirez
Best Control - Ian Kennedy
Best Defensive Catcher - Francisco Cervelli
Best Defensive Infielder - Alberto Gonzalez
Best Infield Arm - Marcos Vechionacci
Best Defensive Outfielder - Austin Jackson
Best Outfield Arm - Seth Fortenberry
* - as ranked by Baseball America.

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Understanding the Twins’ side of the Hughes-Ellsbury debate

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:57 am

Aaron Gleeman had interesting take on Hughes vs.Ellsbury debate

Understanding the Twins’ side of the Hughes-Ellsbury debate


http://riveraveblues.com/


While most Yankees and even most Red Sox fans would agree that Phil Hughes has a higher ceiling than Jacoby Ellsbury, the Twins haven’t been too quick to pull the trigger on any Johan Santana deals with Hughes as the centerpiece. In an excellent post, Twins blogger extraordinaire Aaron Gleeman analyzes why the Twins may prefer the Ellsbury package:

http://www.aarongleeman.com/2008_01_06_baseballblog_archive.html#4376546875210444466


Ellsbury can’t compete with Hughes’ upside, but his downside might be more palatable and it’s probably safer to assume that he’ll at least have a good, long career.

Factor in the Twins’ outstanding organization-wide pitching depth and their gaping hole in center field, and it’s not difficult to see why they might value Hughes less and Ellsbury more than most other teams.

In the long run, Gleeman notes that Hughes is a much better trophy than Ellsbury, but the risk may be too much for the seemingly risk-averse Twins.

Hughes’ ceiling is that of a true ace who could literally replace Santana at the top of the rotation in time, but he’d add to what’s already an area of strength for the Twins and there’s more risk that he’ll flop completely whether because of injuries or performance…

They’d be smart to go after the one player who clearly gives them the best chance to come away from the Santana deal with a superstar. In other words, Phil Hughes.


Basically, Gleeman, an impartial observer to the Yanks’ and Red Sox’s shenanigans, would rather see Hughes in Minnesota, but he understands why the Twins seem drawn to an offer that we all believe is inferior to the one put forward by the Yanks. And that is just one of the many reasons why we would rather see Hughes stay in New York.




1.
B says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:16 pm (Reply)

How about the Twins just prefer the Red Sox best offer because it’s the better package?

Hughes over Ellsbury, sure, but Lowrie, Masterson, and a fourth prospect TBD more than outweigh Melky (whom we’ve consistently heard from the onset ’til now the Twins aren’t high on at all) and Marquez.

There is far more involved here than just looking at the biggest name on each side like far too many people are doing.
1.
steve (different one) says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:53 pm (Reply)

not necessarily.

when trading for prospects, i would (generally) prefer the package with the highest-ceiling player.

in other words, i’d rather have a dollar and 3 dimes than 4 quarters.

now, given the organizational needs of the Twins, i can understand why they’d want an Ellsbury-centered package. that makes sense.

but in general, i don’t know if i would say the Sox package is “better” simply b/c the best player in either package is Phil Hughes. that means something.
2.
snoop dogg resident says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:22 pm (Reply)

i gotta say that i was all for trading hughes fo santana but that article from the perspective of a non-yankee fan/third party so favorable to hughes has me thinking a lot.
3.
Miles Roche says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:30 pm (Reply)

Baseball America released it’s Top 10 Prospects list and complete Yankees farm breakdown. check it out!
1.
Ben K. says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:32 pm (Reply)

Miles: We had BA’s Top Ten Prospects two weeks ago. Please try to keep comments on topic in the threads.
1.
Miles Roche says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:45 pm (Reply)

Dearest Ben,
I’ve seen the Top 10 on this lovely site 2 weeks ago and all the thanks in the world to you guys, but i’m talking about the complete package, Best Tools, Projected 2011 Lineup, etc.
So please apologize!… (just kidding)
4.
A-Point says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:44 pm (Reply)

If the Twins really prefered the Red Sox offer, why isn’t it a done deal yet?

The other prospects that the Sox are offering are OK, but not great. They shorten the package when including Ellsbury who I bet will be more flop than pop, to three players. Lester isn’t going to be a great pitcher, which is why the Red Sox are willing to give him up and he has been talked about in every trade talk they bring up.

I would not care if Santana goes to Boston for a package deal other than it will show BSmith to be an utter idiot if he accepts the Red Sox package as it is. Santana will see his numbers inflate in Fenway.

The Red Sox package is weak, the Yankee package is closer to what the Twins seem to want, but they want to have insurance for the top pitching offer to include another top pitching prospect that has shown he can pitch.

The Twins have just out priced what they think the value of Santana is. They failed to understand the sticking point of having to sign him to a long term deal as well as give up a lot of prospects. They are trying to fleece other teams, and their options are limited. BSmith isn’t going to last very long at that rate.
5.
TurnTwo says:
January 7th, 2008 at 1:49 pm (Reply)

Waswatching has some commentary on a recent Yankees Hot Stove report on YES, in which Dave Eiland believes that when looking at the Holy Trinity, IPK is actually best suited to succeed in pinstripes over Joba or Hughes for 2008. He went on to say that while IPK’s ceiling isnt as high as Hughes, he has full command of all 4 pitches he throws, whereas Hughes has control of only 2-2.5 pitches.

There is a lot as fans that we dont know about these guys yet. We can take their small sample sizes and project value to statistics, but we arent privy to all of the information. If Eiland comes public with info like this, who’s to say that it may take Hughes another full season or two to develop complete command of pitches 3 and 4, at the earliest?

There is a reason why Gene Michaels reportedly ok’d the Hughes inclusion in a Johan trade… we as fans are penciling 12-15 wins for Phil next season, but maybe, due to his ongoing development, Eiland, Michaels, and the organization doesnt see him there yet… and by the time he gets there, 1-2-3 years down the road, we can have Johan as the proven commodity, and have the organization develop the next ‘Phil Hughes’ without rushing the next prospect, like Brackman or Betances, like they needed to do last year with Phil…

just kind of thinking out loud a bit… but i still think too many people are guaranteeing far too much from Hughes for next year without knowing all the facts.


Last edited by on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:59 am

2 Tidbits I found interesting:

1. Callis gives up #'s 11-15: 11) Brandon Moss; 12) Argenis Diaz; 13) Kris Johnson; 14) Will Middlebrooks; 15) Ryan Dent.

2. Kottaras doesn't even make the top 30 (after being #12 last year); Callis doesn't see him as anything other than a back up. Wagner gets the catching love.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:01 pm

Yanks fans sabotage Rudy's campaign


http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/

From the Post:

Some Rudy Giuliani volunteers bused here from New York City struck out as they went door to door in advance of Tuesday's Granite State primary while wearing caps or jackets of the hated New York Yankees.

"Some people really don't think," said a person with knowledge of the situation.

"You're in the middle of Red Sox Nation wearing stuff from their enemy. It's absolutely ridiculous.

"Can you image if people were running around The Bronx in Red Sox hats?" he added.

Giuliani reps didn't immediately return calls for comment.

Giuliani, a longtime Yankee fan, raised eyebrows in his home state this fall, after the Bronx Bombers were eliminated from the playoffs, when he said he would root for the hated Red Sox to win the World Series because they are an American League team.

This is what Rudy gets for rooting for the Sox. You think this was accidental?

We never forget.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:09 pm

New York Yankees 2008 Prospect Report

YanksFan Vs SoxFan -Thanks to JohnYF for breaking down Yankees prospecys


http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2008/01/new-york-yankee.html#more

Baseball America has released their top 10 prospect list for the New York Yankees. The Yankees were reviewed by John Manuel this time around. For those of you were wondering why Phil Hughes was not included Baseball America uses the following criteria for their lists: "All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible." Few things of interest here, this year's list includes only four players from last year's list. Dropping out of the top ten was Dellin Betances, Chris Garcia, J. Brent Cox and Mark Melancon. Other exclusions include Phil Hughes (who no longer qualifies) and Tyler Clippard who is now a member of the Washington Nationals. Of the ten prospects three figure into the Yankees immediate plans for 2008. Marquez, Horne and Gardner will most likely start the season at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could be used in the bigs if the injury bug or necessity do pop up in 2008. For those of you who love prospects, the Yankees once again have a lot for you to love.


New York Yankees Top 10 2008 Prospect List (as provided by Baseball America)

1. Joba Chamberlain: "Scouts chuckle with delight discussing Chamberlain's raw stuff, and several give him 70 or 80 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale for three different pitches. He reached 100 mph with his fastball as a reliever, and more impressively can sit at 96-97 mph when he starts. If he remains healthy, Chamberlain has multiple all-star appearances in his future."

2. Austin Jackson: "The best athlete in the system, Jackson stopped fighting himself and let the game and his talent flow last season. He has developed above-average range in center field as his instincts and reactions have improved, and has a plus arm."

3. Jose Tabata: "He has a natural knack for making consistent hard contact. His wrist problem sapped some of his power, but scouts still project Tabata to have at least average pop, and some even see him more as a slugger than hitter. While he flashes plus speed, he projects as an average runner and right fielder with a solid average arm."

4. Ian Kennedy: "Compared to Mike Mussina because of his similar stretch delivery, Kennedy has less pure stuff than Mussina once did. Kennedy fits a No. 3 or No. 4 starter profile and should fulfill such a role in 2008."

5. Alan Horne: "At times, Horne shows four above-average pitches, starting with a fastball that usually sits at 92-93 mph but also can park at 94-95. While he has frontline stuff, Horne's command relegates him to a No. 3 or 4 starter profile."

6. Jesus Montero: "Montero has exceptional raw power to all fields, coupling a discerning eye for a young player with brute strength and bat speed. He has plenty of arm strength for his position and natural leadership ability. If Montero can remain a catcher, he profiles as a future all-star."

7. Jeff Marquez: "Known as a groundball guy, Marquez works off his power 89-93 mph sinker. His fastball has as much life as any in the system, with excellent run to go with its sink. His changeup and curveball have improved to be solid-average pitches. Marquez has the chance to become a workhorse groundball machine who fills the No. 3 or 4 slot in a rotation."

8. Bret Gardner: "The fastest prospect in the system, Gardner rates as a 70 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale and is an adept basestealer, succeeding on 84 percent of his 116 attempts the last two seasons. He uses his speed well defensively with above-average range in center field. The Yankees believe Gardner will hit enough to be a regular and some club officials compare him to Jacoby Ellsbury, which is a stretch."

9. Ross Ohlendorf: "Ohlendorf could be the sinkerballing setup man the Yankees haven't had since Jeff Nelson's departure as a free agent in 2000."

10. Andrew Brackman: "A premium athlete, Brackman has as high an upside as any player in the '07 draft class. He has reached 99 mph with his fastball, which generally sits at 94, and uses his size to drive it downhill. His filthy spike curveball can be a strikeout pitch and has the potential to be an 80 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale. He had Tommy John surgery immediately after signing in mid-August. He won't pitch in his first pro game until 2009."


Meanwhile an Idiot Redsox Fan says


RS Fanbase

"above-average range"
"average pop"
"fits a No. 3 or No. 4 starter profile"
"command relegates him to a No. 3 or 4 starter profile"
"groundball machine who fills the No. 3 or 4 slot"
"compare him to Jacoby Ellsbury, which is a stretch"
#10 "won't pitch in his first pro game until 2009"

If the rule of thumb for yankee prospects is that they typically amount to 50% of their hype I hope the steinbrenners are putting slot machines into their new stadium to help capture customers.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:13 pm

Ellsbury = singles hitter , No Power at all

Masterson labeled as bullpen guy in future

Kalish? White Version of Coco Crisp? hehe

Bowden = back to end rotation -#4 and #5

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:22 pm

Monday, January 07, 2008
Hughes or Ellsbury?

http://www.aarongleeman.com/2008_01_06_baseballblog_archive.html#4376546875210444466
Johan Santana trade negotiations are dragging along and the reported specifics continue to change constantly, but details have remained fairly consistent regarding offers from the Yankees and Red Sox. If you choose to trust the most commonly cited rumors, the Yankees' offer is Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and a pair of mid-level prospects, while the Red Sox are offering either Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Justin Masterson or Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Lowrie, and Masterson.

Those packages are relatively similar in terms of overall value, so unless other teams get heavily involved the Twins' choice may ultimately come down to picking between Hughes, Ellsbury, or Lester as the deal's centerpiece. Obviously whether Bill Smith and company like Lowrie more than Cabrera or Masterson more than the mid-level prospects from the Yankees will be a big factor, but the decision seemingly hinges on who they think has better odds of becoming a long-term stud.

At first glance Hughes is the easy pick, because he was widely considered the No. 1 pitching prospect in all of baseball heading into last season and may have upped his stock even further since then. In the 2007 version of my annual top-50 prospects list, Hughes ranked second overall behind only Royals third baseman Alex Gordon and I called him "a near-perfect pitching prospect." Ellsbury ranked 33rd on the same top-50 prospects list.

Since then Hughes posted a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 minor-league innings and had a 13-start stint with the Yankees in which he went 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA, 58-to-29 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and .235 opponent's batting average in 72.2 innings as a 21-year-old. His stuff is overpowering, with a mid-90s fastball that produces tons of ground balls and a fantastic curveball that racks up strikeouts. Despite being very young for each level, Hughes' minor-league track record is amazingly consistent and nearly flawless:

LEVEL IP ERA SO9 BB9 HR9 WHIP FIP
Triple-A 28.2 2.20 8.8 2.5 0.0 0.84 1.89
Double-A 123.0 2.20 10.9 2.5 0.4 0.91 2.13
Single-A 118.1 2.05 9.6 1.8 0.1 0.82 1.78

Toss in immediate success as a big leaguer and that's about as good as it gets for a pitcher who won't turn 22 years old until a couple weeks before the 2008 All-Star game. As I wrote two months ago when discussing Hughes' inclusion in various early Santana rumors, short of cloning Francisco Liriano or convincing the Mariners to part with Felix Hernandez, Hughes represents the best chance the Twins have of replacing Santana with an early-20s pitcher capable of being a true No. 1 starter.

That gives him a higher ceiling than Ellsbury, but baseball history is littered with "can't-miss" prospects who indeed "missed" while coming nowhere close to reaching their sky-high ceilings. Projecting the long-term outlook for a 21-year-old pitcher is especially iffy, whereas at 24 years old Ellsbury appears to be more or less fully developed. Ellsbury can't compete with Hughes' upside, but his downside might be more palatable and it's probably safer to assume that he'll at least have a good, long career.

Factor in the Twins' outstanding organization-wide pitching depth and their gaping hole in center field, and it's not difficult to see why they might value Hughes less and Ellsbury more than most other teams. With that said, after all the risk assessment and long-term projecting the bottom line is that the Twins simply need to get at least one player in exchange for Santana who has the potential to be special. There's no doubt that Hughes fits that bill, but saying the same for Ellsbury is less certain.

Ellsbury essentially does everything well except hit for power and looks likely to be a very valuable player for a long time, but the question is whether the Twins should build a trade package for the best pitcher in baseball around someone who may never reach double-digit homers in a season. Ellsbury batted .365 with a .157 Isolated Power during his metal bat-wielding college career at Oregon State and has hit .318 with a .116 Isolated Power in 1,282 plate appearances a pro.

At 24 years old Ellsbury will probably develop some additional pop as he matures, but with 29 homers in 1,300 plate appearances dating back to college it's unlikely that his Isolated Power will rise much beyond .125 or so. For comparison, Luis Castillo's career Isolated Power is .064, so Ellsbury is far from powerless. On the other hand, major-league hitters as a whole posted a .155 Isolated Power in 2007, which would make it tough for him to possess even average power.

Of course, plenty of hitters with below-average power are still able to be very good players by providing some combination of outstanding defense, speed, and on-base skills. Those are all areas where Ellsbury figures to thrive given that he's an excellent defensive center fielder who's hit .300 everywhere he's gone and has stolen 114 bases at an 81-percent clip in 283 pro games. However, there's some question about exactly how good his on-base skills can be.

Ellsbury has drawn a non-intentional walk in 8.8 percent of his pro plate appearances, which puts him solidly above the major-league average of 7.8 percent and works out to around 50-55 walks per 600 plate appearances. If he maintains that walk rate along with a batting average at .300 or so, Ellsbury's on-base percentage would be around .360-.370. That's well above the MLB average of .335, but is it enough to make him a star when it comes along with a .125 Isolated Power?

If things go well for Ellsbury, he looks capable of hitting around .300/.370/.425 on a regular basis. Toss in good defense with 50-steal speed and that's an extremely good player. In fact, it's essentially Kenny Lofton. Like Ellsbury, Lofton is a slight, incredibly fast, lefty-hitting center fielder who was drafted out of a Pac-10 college and made his big-league debut as a 24-year-old. Despite showing even less power than Ellsbury in the minors, Lofton has hit .299/.372/.423 with 622 steals during his 17-year career.

However, while Lofton certainly seems like a good comp for Ellsbury on any number of levels, in reality he's probably more like a good best-case scenario comp. There's no guarantee that Ellsbury can maintain his .300-hitting ways in the majors long term, even his modest minor-league power may not fully translate to the big leagues, and walking in nine percent of his trips to the plate could prove difficult if pitchers aren't afraid to throw him strikes.

At this point Ellsbury looks capable of putting together a Lofton-like career, but with sub par power and non-great plate discipline most of his offensive value is tied to hitting .300. If he instead bats .275 while seeing his Isolated Power drop into the .100 range and walking just seven percent of the time, then Ellsbury goes from Lofton-like to hitting .275/.330/.375. Strong defense and great speed would still make him a solid player, but that's not someone to build a package for Santana around.

Ellsbury fills an immediate need for the Twins and looks like a relatively sure thing to become at least a good player, but his ceiling is seemingly along the lines of Lofton or Johnny Damon. Hughes' ceiling is that of a true ace who could literally replace Santana at the top of the rotation in time, but he'd add to what's already an area of strength for the Twins and there's more risk that he'll flop completely whether because of injuries or performance.

Ellsbury is definitely a worthy long-term building block, but he's also the type of player who the Twins could easily overvalue given their vacancy in center field, tendency to target speed over power, and how well he played during the Red Sox's recent World Series run. Meanwhile, there's less of an opportunity to overvalue Hughes, because he's just about as good as a pitching prospect gets and has a better chance of becoming a truly elite, MVP-caliber player.

A haul for Santana that includes Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Masterson is good one for the Twins and safely beats the Lester/Crisp version of the same package. With that said, if the Twins view the secondary players (Lowrie, Masterson, Cabrera) in the various proposals as being somewhat close to equal, they'd be smart to go after the one player who clearly gives them the best chance to come away from the Santana deal with a superstar. In other words, Phil Hughes.

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:22 pm

Aaron,

Great analysis and I definitely agree with your take when comparing the Yankees and Red Sox deals. Hughes would be an incredible player to add.

However, some of the rumored deals coming from the Mets are pretty enticing in their own right with Fernando Martinez looking to be somewhere in between Hughes and Ellsbury in terms of ceiling as the centerpiece. Being able to add Mike Pelfrey and a couple of other good pitching prospects, and possibly Carlos Gomez, would certainly rival the Yankees' proposed deal.

Do you think the Mets' deal is worse than both the Red Sox and Yankees or do you think that the Mets are not a viable trading partner?
Mark | 01/06/08 - 11:41 pm | #

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:22 pm

I think to the Twins, Hughes and Ellsbury have pretty equal value right now. Hughes more upside, Ellsbury more certainty and will be a good player right now and fill an immediate hole, both in the lineup and in the field. Really, Ellsbury is the perfect piece for the Twins, and I'm sure the Twins value his skills higher than most, since they put a premium on defense, especially in CF; speed, especially at the top of the lineup; and hitting for a high average.

I think it may very well go down to high well they value Melky Cabrera and how quickly they believe the Red Sox prospects can contribute.

I think the answer right now is that they don't think much of Melky, or that trade would have already been done. Same for the Red Sox prospects. In the end, the deal that gets done will be who throws in the best low-level minor leaguer that the Twins see the most potential in.
SoCalTwinsfan | 01/07/08 - 12:34 am | #

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:23 pm

The problem with the 'Hughes package' is that it also gives the Twins the best chance of coming away with practically nothing. While acquiring a potential superstar is nice, in this case it also means accepting much more risk because pitchers are more susceptible to significant injuries.

In his post, AG clearly recognizes that there are greater risks with Hughes, but prefers that package anyway, which I find interesting (not in the patronizing, it's definitely wrong way, but the legitimately interesting way). It seems to me like the issue isn't just SP vs. CF... it's more a question of where the organization stands.

Consider a scenario where Santana walks and the Twins get draft picks. How good are the 2010 Twins? 75 wins? 80 wins? 85 wins? 90 wins? The answer to that question might bear directly on what trade package they should choose. At the low and high ends, Hughes might make the most sense- in the former case, because the team needs to add a star to be competitive, and in the latter case because the Twins wouldn't really need anything so why not gamble on the upside?

But if the Twins would only be a bit short of contending in a couple years, the value of Lowrie and likely superiority of Ellsbury vs. Melky might be more attractive than a gamble on Hughes. Of course, projecting several years into the future is a perilous endeavor, but all of these discussions revolve around probability distributions rather than anything discrete. On average, I think the future Twins benefit more from a couple solid position players than Hughes, even knowing that by 2010 he might be one of the 5 best starters in the league.
John | 01/07/08 - 3:08 am | #

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:23 pm

A great review of the packages on the table. The only thing I think AG missed: Having had the chance to see Ellsbury at minor league games a few times -- he has the kind of speed that's just electric, forces mistakes, sometimes game-changing, and really gets the fans going. He's not Rickey, but often has that kind of effect on a game. Which is not to take anything away from Hughes, a great & potentially dominating talent, but impact offense/defensive players are on the field 3/4 of the time, every day. If the Twins don't make the deal, you still want to go to a game to see him play.
Jim in New England | 01/07/08 - 6:52 am | #



Great analysis! Your thoughts are similar to those who approved of the Delmon Young trade - whowever gets the best player wins the trade. However, I felt you could've easily touched on a couple points:

1) Lowrie would fill that other gaping hole at SS and many (most notably John Sickles) think very highly of him. It's hard to argue that Ellsbury is worth Hughes, but Ellsbury plus Lowrie - given the Twins situation - is at least worth some discussion.

2) Why the assumption that the Twins should address their CF needs with Santana? If acquiring Hughes further deepens a system stocked with pitching, couldn't a pitching prospect less than Hughes be traded to acquire a Crisp-y CF?

All told, I feel that the Twins best move is to keep Santana. If Lirano returns OK and Young manages to replace Hunter's bat, then the Twins have a shot at contention. If not, someone will certainly be more desperate for Santana mid-season than anyone is right now.
Andrew | Homepage | 01/07/08 - 8:30 am | #

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Re: Tracy Ringolsby On Curt Schilling

Post  RedMagma on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:28 pm

Yea Marc , Boston seventeenth championship nba title if they win this year. Boston Fans still complaining that They're long suffering fans.

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