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Friday, June 05, 2009
That's the rumor, anyway:
The Braves already have made moves to augment their rotation, calling up super prospect Tommy Hanson to make his major league debut on Sunday, after summoning Kris Medlen last month. But Atlanta might not be done adding pitching.
Atlanta already has Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, Kris Medlen and Tommy Hanson. Normally I'd counsel against bringing in a seventh starter, but since this is supposed to be for Francoeur, you could put Penny in right field and it would still be a net upgrade.
Hell, Francoeur for Bill James' belly button lint would be an upgrade.
(Thanks to reader Jake for the heads up)
Don't yell at me. I'm just repeatin' the headline.
Man, if even He's only two thirds of the way there, maybe Randy Johnson will be the last guy to win 300 games.
(thanks to reader Ralph D. for the link)
According to Tom, this is how it went down:
Glavine said that he had expected all along to playing in Atlanta this weekend following a rehab schedule in the minors.
I'm kind of dubious about this. While I still think that the Braves should have given him a shot based on his rehab starts -- and given him the benefit of the doubt unless he was truly, truly unable to get anyone out -- Glavine can't honestly think that he was guaranteed a start could he? There had to have been some qualification in the discussions along the lines of "yes, June 7th, as long as you're progressing and effective" or something. We can fight about what the definition of "effective" is, but the Braves aren't idiots, and no amount of loyalty justifies the sort of promise Glavine seems to think was made.
This is becoming increasingly bizarre. The one question I want asked and answered here is whether Tom Glavine knew or should have known that the Braves planned to release him when he made those "I'm ready to pitch" comments on Tuesday night. If he did, he was probably being a bigger jerk about this than the Braves. If he didn't, and if he was truly as blindsided as he claims he was in this article, then the Braves acted poorly. I really would like someone to put that question to Glavine directly. Pretty please.
If they don't? Well, I guess we wait for Glavine's book.
(Thanks to Gleeman for the link. I will now perform the invisible, double secret NBC salute)
Most of the commentariat is still wondering what's wrong with Papi. Sox fan Russ Smith is on to the next question:
The real question is how Boston’s normally sober and calculating general manager Theo Epstein is going to negotiate Ortiz’s exit from Fenway Park. He’s in a real bind: when Epstein dispatched onetime Sox legend Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs at the 2004 trading deadline, there was some grumbling, but the oft-injured shortstop had become, by that season, a malcontent who was hurting the team not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well. As a Sox fan, I applauded Epstein for having the guts to make that move; and when the team finally won a World Series a few months later, most of Boston agreed. But Big Papi? Man, Epstein will have elephant-sized balls to release the big lug, despite the inevitability. It’s my bet that Epstein will take action, but probably later rather than sooner, as sentiment will prevail over business.
I still say we'll see a long stint on the DL, followed by an almost immediate trade for a big bat (you'll be best advised, however, not to ask whether the trade was brokered before the "injury" was discovered). If the trade works, great, the Sox head towards the playoffs, Oritiz comes back when rosters expand and is allowed to hit some without the question of whether or not he should be given his job back hanging over his head. Of course not: the big bat Theo picked up in July has earned the right, and Papi will get a chance to start fresh in 2010.
If the trade doesn't work and the Sox miss the playoffs? Well, that raises enough other questions that the issue of David Ortiz' struggles will fade in significance. The key is that David Ortiz cannot be the everyday DH at the same time the Sox are slipping out of the race,* because then everyone gets the blame.
*For these purposes, please ignore the fact that the Sox could have a nice comfy lead right now if it weren't for the fact that David Ortiz is cooked.
Posnanksi has a big piece (not that he ever writes small ones) about trading draft picks. In it he cites yesterday's Jayson Stark article approvingly, with a nod back at my comments about Stark. Two things:
(1) Just to be clear, I don't necessarily disagree with Stark's overall "the draft it broken" argument. I think it is in many important ways. What I disagreed with was using the reported Boras demand of $50 million as a starting point -- and the point of his most heated rhetoric -- in the service of those arguments. Boras can ask what he wants. He'll get what the Nats are willing to pay. By constantly parroting that $50 million number we're simply allowing the Nats to declare victory for paying any amount less than that, when a good argument could be made that they'd be silly to pay anything north of, say, $25 million.
(2) I don't think I can find a single thing with which I disagree in Posnanski's column. If there's a good argument against trading draft picks, I've yet to hear it, and I think Joe's points about the prevalence of draft busts may be the single most salient argument for trading picks, at least from the owners' point of view.
Why? Because if the Yankees of the world trade stuff to pick the Stephen Strasburgs of the world enough times, they're going to experience diminishing returns. We know this, because that's how the baseball draft rolls. Eventually, then, the Yankees are going to stop trading so much for these picks, and the signing bonuses the owners are so worried about are going to come down (and they may come down even if there aren't a ton of busts, simply because there won't be as big a need for top amateurs to demand so much to scare away undesirable franchises). This logic, broadly speaking is what has caused bad free agent contracts to veterans to ease down in recent years, and it will likely have a similar depressive effect on draft bonuses too.
So go read Posnanski. And if you have a good argument against trading picks, please let me know.
UPDATE: Here's a very good argument in favor of trading draft picks from Keith Law (sorry; Insider only).
I just sent a brief down to court that may or may not get me held in contempt. I don't plan on going to jail today, but in the off chance I do, you can enjoy these posts until my bosses come up with my bail money:
The Ballpark at Arlington is not among the top-10 vegetarian ballparks.
This is likely not an accident:
After years of trying to find a consistent, high quality steak, [Nolan] Ryan finally decided that the only way he could guarantee beef that was tender and good every time was to start his own brand. He gathered up several of his ranching friends and enlisted some of the top meat scientists and beef marketing people in the world. Together, they developed a program to provide guaranteed tender, all natural beef that would always be tender and tasty and a great value for families.
Ten gallon hats-off to Nolan Ryan, the king of multitasking. That he can simultaneously ensure that his beef stays tender while his pitchers' arms get all tough and stringy is a testament to his Texas can-do attitude!
And no, I'm not sure why I was reading a website called "cattlenetwork.com." Things just kind of happen like that when you blog.
I'm not a fan of opera, but if you put a gun to my head and make me watch "Tosca," I'd prefer to do it this way:
While all the Opera House performances require tickets ranging from $15 to $290, the performance scheduled for simulcast at 8 tonight from the Opera House to the AT&T Ballpark is free . . . a free, live, high-definition video simulcast transmitted straight from the War Memorial Opera House to the AT&T Ballpark scoreboard. Folks can enjoy all the traditional ballpark fare of hot dogs, garlic fries and cold beer while watching the unforgettable opera outdoors.
If it rains, they'll make it up as a doubleheader with "La bohème" next week. Either way, I'm bringing my radio and listening to the Giants-Marlins game.
Stories like these are one of the best things about baseball.
I'm not going to say that I've stretched myself a bit thin recently, but I had forgotten that I wrote a book review for the New York Post a week or two ago. In fact, I hadn't even realized that it had been published this past Sunday until I happened to run into it while randomly clicking around.
Huh. I wonder if I've written anything else recently.
Anyway, it's about a book called "Miracle Ball: My Hunt for the Shot Heard 'Round the World," by Brian Biegel. As the title suggests, it's about the author's quest to figure out whatever happened to the ball Bobby Thomson hit over the left field wall of the Polo Grounds back on October 3, 1951.
Verdict: good book! Liked it a lot. Read the review to find out why.