Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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08 Jan

I Hope Mac Was Watching

Well, I guess all those questions about whether the SEC is overrated will be settled for at least three weeks. January is such a cruelly long month.

Anyway, the Braves and Brian McCann have agreed that they won’t talk about an extension until after the season is over. That means that one of two things will probably happen: 1) he will play well, and price himself out of our price range, or 2) he will play badly, and we will not want to bring him back on a multiyear deal. We knew that before this was announced. But still. I’ll miss him.

We don’t have a lot of content for the next month and a half. Anyone who wants to write, please get in touch.

148 Responses to “I Hope Mac Was Watching”

  1. 1
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Flip…

    Yeah, I guess. But VU’s athletes have to work in the classroom, and our weight-training is awesome, too. Will be interesting to see, as we start recruiting better and better players, whether they get Alabama-sized. We currently have a bunch of 2- and 3-stars who are as big as Notre Dame’s guys.

    I think ND and Vandy are good comps, actually. I also seriously doubt Vandy ever pushes into the “big boy” ranks of SEC football without seriously undermining their academic reputation. Both are programs that could compete at the top of any of the second tier conferences (ACC, B1G, BE) but not in the SEC or XII.

  2. 2
    ryan c Says:

    Can of worms here…maybe their classes are easier? I mean, while I was at Auburn, the “athletes” (seemingly just the football players) didn’t have much to balance out as it was pretty easy for them to get out of class. Maybe things have changed, maybe not. I will not reveal the football player, but I had a friend that was an up and coming DL player until both his knees required surgery. He and I took all the same classes and he was, well…not intelligent. We worked together on projects and he was rarely in class but always seemed to pull grades at least equivalent to mine. When I inquired about his absences, he always replied “workouts”. More time to work out, less time committed to academics would make a huge difference in a football player, physically and mentally. Many might as well had been majoring in football as academics seemed the last priority. Maybe it’s the same outside the SEC, maybe not. Maybe it’s different now, maybe not.

  3. 3
    csg Says:

    Mark Richt is kicking his Outback trophy this morning. Its interesting that last year Bama went right after Mathieu in the NC game, last night they exposed Teo. Teo should give Clowney all of his awards back.

  4. 4
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Its interesting that last year Bama went right after Mathieu in the NC game, last night they exposed Teo. Teo should give Clowney all of his awards back.

    Alabama won on the line, not in the linebacker corps. Teo was out of his league (and has been overhyped all year) but the reason he was so brutalized last night is because his d-linemen were being pushed into his lines of attack all night, but bigger, stronger, better o-linemen from Bama.

  5. 5
    Smitty Says:

    Saban vs Bear: Who you got?

    Of course, they both bow to General Neyland.

  6. 6
    Bethany Says:

    @2 Athletes get special privileges in class and make up weeks of work with “papers” that they don’t really write. That’s probably not the case at schools like VU, but it is at most schools that put a heavy emphasis on athletics.

    I don’t think that playing football is as prohibitive to good academics as people make it out to be. These kids aren’t disciplined and think they deserve to “have fun” in college. I worked 35+ hours a week on top of a very time consuming major and I still think I had enough time for myself in college. Athletes start getting coddled in high school and it carries over into college, and I think it’s good that schools like Vanderbilt hold them to the right standard. As it stands now, 95% of student athletes get a free ride, but don’t take advantage of it, and they graduate with nothing but injuries to show for it.

  7. 7
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Which is why Saban, smartly, ran it right down T’eo’s throat last night. If you run away from him, he has the opportunity to scrape off of the weak side and chase down the play. If you use your gigantic, NFL sized o-line to shove the d-line back into T’eo’s kitchen, he can’t scrape and your running backs are through the gaps before he can use his quickness against you.

  8. 8
    sansho1 Says:

    Could we retroactively take back a couple of the SEVEN various national player of the year awards given to T’eo and give one to Clowney and one to Jarvis Jones?

  9. 9
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m guessing Clowney and Jones will be satisfied with their seven figure signing bonuses in lieu of T’eo’s trophy case.

  10. 10
    csg Says:

    Teo is a great player, but ESPN/Media ran with his story and tried to make him great. He wasnt the best defensive player in college football. He wasnt event the best defensive player on his own team.

    Honest question. How many of ND’s starters would be able to start at Bama? Eifert the TE is the only one that comes to mind.

  11. 11
    csg Says:

    Just think about how close this BCS system was to giving us a Kansas State/ND national championship game.

  12. 12
    Stu Says:

    1—Yeah, we’ll see. I will say, I think Stanford (much bigger/better front seven than ND) would have given Bama a better game last night, and they’ve got the toughest academic restrictions in BCS football.

  13. 13
    Brave Marine Says:

    Notre Dame would clearly not be even one of the three best teams in the SEC and arguably not even in the top six.

  14. 14
    ububba Says:

    There’s “SEC fatigue,” and then there’s reality. It’s almost like the John Wooden years at UCLA. People rooted for anybody to beat them in the big spot, but few did.

  15. 15
    mravery Says:

    Oregon really looked like the best team outside of the SEC. IMO that pretty clear for most of the year. Bowl season did nothing to change that.

  16. 16
    Stu Says:

    I think most folks around the country would agree with that.

  17. 17
    Johnny Says:

    Stu, what is the football graduation rate at VU?

  18. 18
    ububba Says:

    #15
    Which is why a playoff is long overdue.

  19. 19
    Stu Says:

    85% in the most recent report, but those reports are always two or three years behind. Don’t have any reason to believe the current rate is materially different than that, though.

  20. 20
    csg Says:

    Not sure if this is a good source for graduation rates or not, but look at the last page of this article.

    http://www.tidesport.org/Grad%20Rates/2012_Bowl_Study.pdf

    Top Ranked
    Notre Dame – 99
    Duke – 98
    Northwestern – 97
    Stanford – 96
    Rice – 95
    Navy – 93
    Vandy – 91

    I dont know if players leaving early for the draft play into these figures or not. This site has Alabama with an 85 score, but I remember when Saban was interviewed recently he said a number in the 90’s when referring to graduation rates.

  21. 21
    csg Says:

    FYI, it takes a little while for that link to load.

  22. 22
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    90% of the 90% of Bama graduates couldn’t cut it a year under Stanford or Vandy’s academic standards. Raw graduation rates doesn’t account for how hard it is to graduate from a given program.

  23. 23
    Stu Says:

    20—Those numbers are for all student-athletes, though, not just football players. The big chart in the link does show football-only, though.

  24. 24
    Stu Says:

    22—I think you overstate the case. For the most part, the schools will work very hard to graduate the kids they admit. And for the most part, Bama is recruiting kids who would be admitted to both Standford and VU. So, yeah, a lot of the Bama kids wouldn’t even consider Stanford or VU, in part because the workload would be heavier, but I don’t think it’s a 90% of the 90% deal. Maybe 50% of the 90%.

  25. 25
    spike Says:

    @18, I think the playoff proponents who view it as a way to break the SEC stranglehold are in for a bit of a shock. It’s going to guarantee an annual SEC seat at the table in practice. Just like the wildcard made it really hard to keep the Yankees out of the playoffs, the SEC champ is going to be in the top 4 virtually every year for the forseeable, and it’s quite possible the runner up will be too some years.

  26. 26
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @24 – fair enough for all student-athletes. I’ll stick with 90% for the football program.

    @25 – if they ever opened up an 8 team playoff, the SEC (in the current power alignment of talent in the NCAA at least) would have at least 3 teams in the tourney.

  27. 27
    Stu Says:

    26—So, Bama graduates 76.5 (85 x 90%) football players. You’re saying only 7.65 (76.5 x .10%) of those would cut it at VU. No way, because 85% of the guys who try to cut it at VU do cut it at VU, and many more than nine (7.65 / 85%) of Bama’s football players would have been admitted to VU.

    Most kids aren’t choosing Bama over VU because of the lighter academic load.

  28. 28
    mravery Says:

    @25- This year, it would’ve been Florida rather than UGA in the playoffs along with Alabama. It’s really disappointing that we never got to see Oregon play against one of the top SEC defenses. Fun fact: Louisville only had 1 semi-successful drive against Florida in the second half. Their only 2nd half TD came after that atrocious on-side kick plus the two personal fouls. (Two? Really? Two personal fouls? Common….) Other than that, all they could muster was a field goal.

    God, now I’m stuck thinking about how eminently winnable that game was. Ugh. JUST RUN THE BALL FFS

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    LaRoche finally got his deal from Washington. 2/24…$10 in 2013, $12 in 2014, $2 mil buyout in 15 with mutual options.

    Morse is now trade bait.

  30. 30
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    And can I point out how screwed up a system is when, 1) beating UF head to head, which puts you on a successful path to 2) playing in the conference championship, where you 3) lose a heart breaker to the eventual national champions by four friggin’ yards, suddenly 4) drops you below the team you beat head to head and eliminated from the conference championship?

    The fact that UF went to the Sugar Bowl ahead of UGA is silly. The idea that they would have been in a potential NC playoff while UGA sat home with “two losses” after the SEC championship is friggin’ absurd.

  31. 31
    Jeff K Says:

    I know it’s sacrilege, but I’d trade Avilan for Morse.

  32. 32
    Stu Says:

    I’d even trade O’Failurety for Morse.

  33. 33
    csg Says:

    There will always be flaws with the system. You cant just take conference champions since some teams are independent. The SEC will have multiple teams in the top 4 or 5 every season at the current rate. You also dont want a 7-5 team upsetting a undefeated team.

  34. 34
    el_gato_grande Says:

    via Talking Chop, Wren on Teheran:
    “I think what we have seen over the last year and a half is a young kid that is 21 years old and dominating Triple-A in 2011. He came back in 2012 and I think he fell in love with lighting up a radar gun, and got away from being a pitcher for half a season. It’s just one of those things where you never know what’s going through a young guys head. . . I think he tried to get our attention with the radar gun vs. getting hitters out. That was really our focus in the second half last year, and we saw him make that transition back in August, and then carry it on into winter ball. Even the first part of winter ball, he wasn’t as consistent as we would have liked, but the last month of winter ball, he was the best pitcher in the Dominican by far.”
    I totally may be mistaken on this, but wasn’t the story that they were working on his mechanics & delivery last year & that’s why he was off? Are these two stories mutually exclusive?

  35. 35
    csg Says:

    Ive never understood the “not trading within the division” concept/idea. Teams are always going to get top talent so why does it matter?

  36. 36
    csg Says:

    #34 – Yes, all the talking heads were talking about the delivery/mechanical changes that the Braves had tried making to lower his risk for injury. Now, who knows.

  37. 37
    Johnny Says:

    @35 – Would you trade Heyward to the Nationals?

  38. 38
    Jeff K Says:

    The “not trading within the division” concept not only doesn’t make sense, it is not a concept the Braves seem to follow. Recent examples are the Francouer trade, Uggla trade, and the Braves were widely reported to in the mix for Beltran, etc., etc.

  39. 39
    jjschiller Says:

    @37 – Why am I trading Heyward to anybody?

    Assuming I have a good reason, and assuming the Nationals offer beats the next best offer, then, yes, I’m trading Heyward to the Nationals.

    I think you have to assume that if we’re trading Heyward, it’s a year from his free agency, and because we haven’t got a championship caliber team around him. (Or because he’s turned bust or has a debilitating injury) And if the Nationals are offering the best package, it’s because they DO have a championship caliber team and value the wins more than the prospects they’d be giving up.

    In that scenario, then why NOT trade Heyward to the Nats? If they’re kicking your teeth in while you HAVE Heyward, take their prospects, shorten their reign, and strengthen your team at multiple positions instead of extending the man to play on a losing team.

  40. 40
    csg Says:

    #37 – If for any reason the Braves decided to trade Heyward and the Nationals were offering the best return, absolutely. Why would you settle for less?

  41. 41
    Jeff K Says:

    Agreed, if you’re going to trade someone, trade them for the return that most improves your team. Who you’re trading the player to is secondary at best.

  42. 42
    csg Says:

    Reverse it…if the Marlins decide to trade Stanton.

    Lets say Texas offers Profar/Olt/+ player
    and we offer Teheran/Bethancourt/Ahmed, why would we hesitate? We are going to have to face some top talent either way. At least we know a little bit more and have more scouting on our own guys. (not saying our package there would be better, because it would not be.)

  43. 43
    Jeff K Says:

    Although now that I think about it, trading Francouer to the Mets made the Mets worse no matter what we got in return, so I’m not sure it is the best example in this context …

  44. 44
    mravery Says:

    That makes no sense. We already have a top-teir SS.

  45. 45
    mravery Says:

    @44 Oops. I missed the point of csg’s thought exercise.

    Also, I agree with Sam @30.

  46. 46
    Johnny Says:

    I get it. I used a bad example. If you are the Nationals do you trade Morse if he provides the production necessary to potentially win the division for the Braves? (not saying he does)

  47. 47
    csg Says:

    If all is equal then the Nationals dont trade within the division, but if the Braves are offering significantly more then they would. Nationals have to think that if the Braves are calling on Morse then they will upgrade with someone. With all that being said, I hope Wren is making that call.

  48. 48
    Johnny Says:

    @38 – context. The Francouer trade was a change of scenery, dump trade. Uggla was an off season trade the Marlins had to make when their extension was rejected. Beltran was being offered up when the Mets were out of it.

    I’m not sure that any team trades significant quality to one its closest intra division rivals. I hope that Wren is making the call too but I don’t see us matching up.

  49. 49
    ububba Says:

    The Yankees are in on Morse, apparently.

    #30
    Agree, of course, but after the SEC title game, I became divested emotionally. After that game, I didn’t really care which bowl UGA went to, which school they played or which “ranking” they achieved.

    It was SEC title/BCS title game or bust.

  50. 50
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I get that sentiment. I’m pretty sure UGA felt the same way, up until about halfway through the third quarter of the Cap One bowl.

  51. 51
    ububba Says:

    I never said I didn’t want them to beat whichever school they played. It’s just that the other stuff just wasn’t worth fussing about, IMO.

    I know that a “top-5″ or “top-3″ ranking with a BCS-bowl berth helps recruiting and all, but it doesn’t keep me up nights that that Florida got to go to New Orleans, or that there are people who somehow rank Notre Dame ahead of UGA, even after last night’s debacle.

  52. 52
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    To be honest, I don’t care, per se. I do enjoy trolling Notre Dame fans, though.

  53. 53
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oh, Sam, don’t be so modest!

  54. 54
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Modest?

    I do enjoy trolling. Full stop?

  55. 55
    IthacaBraves Says:

    I’d hate to see McCann go, but a move to the AL is really in his best interest. It probably wouldn’t be wise to pay him what he deserves when we’re looking at trying to retain Prado and add a starting pitcher. On the bright side, If McCann, Maholm and Hudson all end up walking, we’ll be looking at 27.5 Million coming off the books before arb raises. Any ideas about how to spend this cash? I’m really hoping we don’t let Prado walk.

  56. 56
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Lots of guys to lock up: Simmons and Heyward, obviously. Hopefully Prado. It’s even harder to figure out what to pay Medlen, Beachy and Minor, but they deserve a good portion of the money.

  57. 57
    IthacaBraves Says:

    They’d better try and sign Prado sooner than later. He’s easily the best 3B on the market next offseason and one of the better OF and 2B options as well. Basically, everyone will be a suitor. I wouldn’t worry about throwing any of that money at the pitchers just yet. Buying out Heyward’s remaining ARB years and extending him would be nice.

  58. 58
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Heyward is the obvious extension. Prado over Simmons. The best 3B on the free agent market next season vs a guy with exactly 1/3 of a season of productivity? You can wait to extend Simmons. Tommy Hanson looked really good his first year too.

  59. 59
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    How much would you pay Prado? I’ll start the bidding at 5/$50.

  60. 60
    IthacaBraves Says:

    59
    That’s funny. While I was doing my laundry I was pondering what I’d pay for Prado. 5/50 was exactly what I had come up with. If his agent knows what he’s doing though, he’ll test free agency and get at least 60 or 70 million.

  61. 61
    kc Says:

    @59 5 years for a 30 yrs old?

  62. 62
    Jeff K Says:

    Wow, starting at 5/50 for a 3B/LF, even a really good one @ age 30? That would blow all the recent contracts out of the water, except for Beltre’s (which was an overpayment in my view). I’d start 3/30 and up the dollars per year a bit as necessary. A 4th year might be in the offing, but 5 years seems steep.

  63. 63
    knarf Says:

    last night just once again proves they should move the SEC championship back to after new year’s, call it the national championship game, and let all those other conferences fight it out for #2.

  64. 64
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Prado’s 29 right now, and he has one final year of arbitration before free agency. So I was thinking 5/$50 including this year. What do you think?

  65. 65
    Parish Says:

    A little less, including this year.

    5/45. Guaranteeing that much money a year early is a pretty big deal.

  66. 66
    mravery Says:

    I dunno about 5 years for Prado, even including this year as one of those. His most similar through age 28 per BR actually leave some optimism that he’ll maintain at least above-average production into his 30s, but most of those guys are OF. 3Bs generally don’t age as well. Anyhow, do we have a handle on his expected arb award? Last year’s salary was $4.75M, so maybe something on the order of $8M? In that case, maybe something like 4/40 would be reasonable? Maybe 4/35 gets it done…. That would keep him in ATL through his age 32 year, which seems reasonable to me.

  67. 67
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I wouldn’t balk at going 5/45 for Prado, but I’d rather go 4/40. And I’m not sure it’s such a bad idea to give him a qualifying offer and let him decide if he wants to go through the Bourn-LaRoche tango next year.

  68. 68
    Smitty Says:

    Five years might be too many years for just about anyone, save Heyward.

  69. 69
    Johnny Says:

    Paraphrasing BR: It’s not the dollars its the years. With some contracts you are rewarding a player for past performance by paying top dollar for the inevitable later in a career drop off. I’d give Prado 5 years. He has been an important part of the team’s success the last few years.

  70. 70
    DJ Says:

    What would you package up to offer the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins? Would Josh Smith and Devin Harris get it done? Do you have to add John Jenkins?

  71. 71
    justhank Says:

    Agree with Smitty. Prado gets all my respect, but he ain’t Hall of Fame-worthy. I’m thinking opportunity cost – especially with our payroll limitations.
    ———————

    Ya know, with the new 4-team Playoff format, it would be wise for the SEC to do away with their Championship Game. All it does is kick one of the (likely) best teams in the country out of the Playoff.

    This year, Bama, UGA and UF (chokers) all finished in the Top 4 before the SEC Championship Game.

    And all would have kicked Notre Dame’s behind.

  72. 72
    justhank Says:

    Cousins is exactly what the Hawks need – especially if it gets rid of Josh Smith. He (Josh) is the basketball equivalent of Michael Vick – exhilirating coach-killer.

  73. 73
    csg Says:

    Id offer Prado a 4/$38-40 extension which would take him until his age 33 season. There arent too many players with his bat that can play almost anywhere on the field. He’s serviceable at every infield position and can play both OF corners, while providing an .800 OPS

  74. 74
    justhank Says:

    Here’s the thing about graduation rates – are they earned or does the University streamline the process?

    Even at a highly-respected place like UNC, you find this stuff going on:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/19794788/north-carolina-cheated-and-prospered-and-now-its-time-for-the-reckoning

    I imagine UCONN (banned from this year’s NCAA Tournament because they accurately reported their Academic Progress Rate) is wondering where justice might be found.

  75. 75
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    But if there aren’t many players with his bat that can play almost anywhere on the field, then why would he be available for less than $40 million?

    Prado’s got some skills that ought to age relatively well. He’s a very high-contact hitter who doesn’t swing and miss much. He posted a career-high walk rate in 2012, which bodes well. I think he ought to remain productive through his mid-30s, even if he won’t be an All-Star level defender that whole time.

    Funnily enough, Talking Chop came to pretty much the same number that I did, though I just pulled that number (5/$50, including 2013) off the top of my head:

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2012/12/21/3789158/braves-contract-extension-analysis-martin-prado?ref=fangraphs

  76. 76
    Parish Says:

    5/50, to me, seems like the free agent deal Prado would get. Recognizing that an extension is a little different, it should be discounted a little.

  77. 77
    csg Says:

    He may be worth more than that, but I think if the Braves offered him a 4 yr extension or a 5yr deal starting in 2013, he’d sign it.

  78. 78
    Stu Says:

    Funny that you don’t see any non-UK fans clamoring for the Hawks to get in on DeMarcus “The Cancer” Cousins…

  79. 79
    kc Says:

    I wouldn’t START at 5/50. I would love to see Prado signing 4/40 extension in this offseason. If we can offload Uggla, I wouldn’t mind committing more because I love the guy.

  80. 80
    justhank Says:

    Stu – you may be right about Cousins, but I suspect that he may mature just enough to let his contributions outweigh his distractions. We’ll see.

    Do you agree Josh needs to go while the Hawks can get something for him?

  81. 81
    csg Says:

    DOB’s latest blog…

    As things stand today, it’s believed they have at least $8 million left to spend for a left fielder. But the Braves seem to be serious and not just posturing when they say they would be comfortable going to spring training with their current roster, giving guys like Evan Gattis, Jose Constanza (and perhaps Jordan Schafer?) a shot at left-field playing time along with veteran fourth-outfielder/pinch-hitter Reed Johnson. Or Martin Prado could move back and forth between third base and left field in such a scenario, platooning in left with Johnson and at third base with Juan Francisco, coming off an encouraging winter-ball season.

    So $12-14 mil is back down to $8. Constanza/Schafer really shouldnt be bench options much less starting options.

  82. 82
    Johnny Says:

    If Jordan Schafer is anywhere but Effing Gwinnet this year, I’ll puke.

  83. 83
    Rob Cope Says:

    You may want to get your bucket ready, Johnny.

  84. 84
    Stu Says:

    80—Some folks have been suspecting that about Cousins for a few years, now. I hope you’re right, but I have my doubts. He’s not 17 or 18 anymore.

    I’m torn on Josh. He’s maddening, but: 1) He went to my high school, and 2) (the real reason) If they re-sign him, he could help them lure Paul or Howard. If I knew those two weren’t coming, I’d be fine with trading him.

  85. 85
    mravery Says:

    The problem wouldn’t be Schafer making the team. The problem would be both Schafer AND Constanza making the team.

  86. 86
    csg Says:

    No, either name on the 25 man would be a problem.

  87. 87
    ryan c Says:

    Why would Constanza be a bad 5th OF?

  88. 88
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Jordan Schafer makes Jose Constanza look like Michael Bourn. Schafer’s career triple slash in 893 PA is .221/.305/.301. Constanza’s is .281/.332/.341. Constanza is an acceptable injury replacement. Schafer hits like Corky Miller on quaaludes.

  89. 89
    Smitty Says:

    @88

    So your saying Schafer sucks?

  90. 90
    Smitty Says:

    ***you’re***

    I miss the edit button

  91. 91
    csg Says:

    #87 – He would be a good pinch runner.

  92. 92
    Mark Grogan Says:

    from the Atlanta Business Chronicle: the Cclermont Motor Hotel has been sold to NY developers. Future of the Clermont Lounge unclear.

  93. 93
    Johnny Says:

    And no where is Schafer’s name mentioned in the plan for ORB dammit. That guy should never see the turf at the Ted, like forever. Got to hand it to old effing success, he’s leveraged that one good year in Myrtle Beach to the max.

  94. 94
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Sic transit gloria mundi.

  95. 95
    ububba Says:

    Nobody gets into HoF today.

    Biggio gets closest with 68-percent of vote.

  96. 96
    Adam R Says:

    Well, I take back my comments about R&RHOF being the most dysfunctional HOF.

  97. 97
    ububba Says:

    The voters don’t want to honor the steroid guys or the suspected steroid guys (at least this year). Not too hard to figure.

  98. 98
    spike Says:

    @92, I am playing there tomorrow night with my honky-tonk act. Better go while you can.

  99. 99
    John R. Says:

    No Piazza, Biggio or Bagwell? Weird. No Bonds, Clemens and Sosa is fine; they can all burn in hell for all I care. But you’d think one of the former three would get in. And if the Hall is trying to send a message to a crop of decadent inductees by shaming them with a shutout vote, why not at least vote Dale Murphy in?

  100. 100
    spike Says:

    First ballot bias + steroids + idiots turning in blank ballots = tough to get over the bar.

  101. 101
    ryan c Says:

    Maddux, Glavine, and F. Thomas deserve to be 1st ballot HOF next year.

  102. 102
    Tom Says:

    I love it. However, if Maddux doesn’t make it in unanimously in 2014, I want the names of those who leave him off. And their heads.

  103. 103
    spike Says:

    Which makes it effectively a 7 place ballot next year, so it will be even harder for everyone else to qualify or even hang on the ballot in many cases. I don’t really care who gets a vote for the HoF, I just wish whoever had the gig would take it seriously. The blank ballot bit is not only grandstanding horseshit, it penalizes folks that had nothing to do with steroids – like oh, Dale Murphy for example. The 1st ballot idea is equally retarded.

  104. 104
    JoeyT Says:

    No Bagwell? That’s a bit surprising.

  105. 105
    Smitty Says:

    Biggio not getting in is stupid. BWAA needs to be disbanded.

  106. 106
    Nick Says:

    How patently asinine! Craig Biggio has 3,000 freaking hits. Really? He can’t get in? Mike Piazza is the best catcher of all time. He can’t get in? If the BBWAA wants the Hall of Fame to become a complete irrelevant joke, it should continue doing exactly what it’s doing now.

    I would expect, though am far from certain given this idiocy, that Maddux will get in next year. I would advise everybody to prepare for Glavine not getting in next year, though, espcially since you know they’ll find enough votes to get Jack Morris in on his last year, and a bunch of people will magically decide to vote for Biggio since he’s no longer first-year, and clearly three inductees is just more than enough. And there is zero chance that Chipper gets in on the first ballot when he comes up. All of the mind games are stupid. If you’re going to vote for somebody, vote for them! That nobody is getting into the Hall of Fame this year because a bunch of people who are going to wind up voting for Craig Biggio and Jack Morris eventually decided not to do it this year for no good reason is silly.

  107. 107
    Brian J. Says:

    Yeah, it’s a good thing Mac missed this HoF vote.

    Murph was just too good for these sinful voters. Hopefully, (next year?) the Veterans Committee will correct this.

    And now I’m worried that these grandstanders will delay the apotheosis of Maddux and Glavine; if a third of the BBWAA can’t bring themselves to support Bagwell, Biggio, or Piazza, who will they vote for?

  108. 108
    Smitty Says:

    If Biggio was a Red Sox, they would have put him in the day he retired on some sort of special ballot.

  109. 109
    ububba Says:

    There was a time when I would’ve loved to have been a baseball HoF voter. Now, I think it’s the worst job in the world.

    Somehow I missed this one:
    When told by reporters in 2002 that former Padres teammate Ken Caminiti said that 50-percent of all major leaguers used steroids, Rickey Henderson said: “Well, Rickey’s not one of them. So that’s 49-percent right there.”

  110. 110
    Nick Says:

    I could formulate a pretty good argument (though I wouldn’t necessarily agree with it) that Derek Jeter is no better than Craig Biggio was. Can anybody see Jeter not getting in on the first ballot? Didn’t think so.

  111. 111
    jjschiller Says:

    If I had to pick one guy already in the Hall of Fame that HAD used steroids, I’d bet the house on Rickey Henderson.

  112. 112
    sansho1 Says:

    Not putting in the steroids guys is going to really jam up the voting process in a few years, as new candidates arrive and the roiders hang around. With so many eligible candidates, and each voter likely having their particular hobbyhorses, they’ll end up with the opposite problem — lots of voters including the maximum number of names, but the overall tally being so spread out that deserving candidates may end up on the sidelines for many years.

  113. 113
    c. shorter Says:

    109 — Hadn’t heard that Rickey quotation before. Gold.

  114. 114
    DJ Says:

    84 – No he’s 22 years old and would be a senior if still in college. That’s still pretty young. I’m with fellow UK homer justhank, the benefits outweigh the costs and it appears the Kings are shopping him at 25 cents on the dollar.

    92 – Wow. I guess we shall see. Here’s to hoping for the best.

    A lot of Justin Upton fans on this board. Anyone scared off by his home – road splits?

  115. 115
    sansho1 Says:

    @114

    Scared? Yes. Off? No.

  116. 116
    Ray Says:

    How the hell did Sandy Alomar get 19 votes on that crowded ballot??
    Sorry for Murph. Maybe the Veterans commitee will fix it.
    Good to see over 60 % of the writers resisting the (peer) pressure and personal attacks.

  117. 117
    ububba Says:

    #110
    The first-ballot stuff doesn’t really interest me, but you’re gonna have to do some real formulatin’ because Biggio comes up short in every offensive rate category for a career, and really gets blown away in post-season numbers.

  118. 118
    Coop Says:

    Tom @ 102: Amen.

  119. 119
    Dusty Says:

    HOF Rant.

    Was just looking at the potential 2014 ballot including the holdovers and the only 6 new candidates you could make a reasonable case for (with apologies to Nomo, K. Rogers, Gagne and Alou). Here is how I would rank those 23!! players many could make a case for:

    1 Maddux
    2 Bonds
    3 Clemens
    4 Thomas
    5 Bagwell
    6 Raines
    7 Piazza
    8 Glavine
    9 Biggio
    10 Edgar
    11 L Walker
    12 Schilling
    13 Mussina
    14 Trammell
    15 McGwire
    16 Kent
    17 McGriff
    18 Palmeiro
    19 Sosa
    20 Mattingly
    21 L. Gonzalez
    22 Morris
    23 L. Smith

    For me the line is somewhere around McGriff for deserving HOF but I wonder if Kent will even get the 5% to stay with that crowded ballot.

    Not to mention 2015 adds Unit, Pedro, Smoltz, Sheffield, Nomar; 2016 adds Griffey, Edmonds, Wagner, Hoffman; 2017 IRod, Manny, Vlad, Posada and Tejada.

  120. 120
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    RE: the Clermont, they’re apparently going to try to turn it into a boutique hotel

    http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/real_talk/2013/01/atlanta-landmark-clermont-hotel-sold.html

  121. 121
    mravery Says:

    Tejada, Nomar, and Edmunds are pretty meh IMO, but you’re no doubt correct that they’ll all garner votes. It’ll be interesting to see how Wagner and Hoffman are treated. My guess is that both will do much better than (IMO) they should.

    But you’re absolutely right that the “max 10 players” thing is really going to come into play. This is even more true now that the BWAA failed so miserably this time around.

  122. 122
    Bethany Says:

    If Thomas doesn’t get in next year I’m going to lose it. Frankly, I’m pissed that he’ll probably get in with a massive class and won’t get the individual attention he deserves.

  123. 123
    Smitty Says:

    I bet only Glavine and Maddux are the only first ballot guys next year and I bet Glavine will be close.

  124. 124
    Nick Says:

    I’m officially predicting that neither Glavine nor Frank Thomas will get in next year. Maddux will, they’ll get Jack Morris in on his final year, and the idiots who refuse to vote for anyone on the first ballot will vote for Biggio and push him over. That’ll be it. If Bagwell hasn’t yet gotten in because of silly steroid assumptions, I don’t know why Thomas would be any different, especially on the first ballot, and there’s way too many examples of players like Glavine who clearly deserve to be in but aren’t Top 5 all-time at their position not getting in first-ballot to ignore. I hope I’m wrong, but you can see it coming from a mile (or in this case a year) away.

  125. 125
    JoeyT Says:

    Yeah, that first ballot thing is weird. Next year: Maddux, Bagwell.

  126. 126
    Adam R Says:

    @124, Agree. Next year will be Maddux, Biggio, MAYBE Morris.

  127. 127
    Dusty Says:

    How weird would it be if it was just Maddux and Morris elected next year?

    One of the best pitchers to be inducted with one of the worst to ever be inducted.

  128. 128
    Bethany Says:

    @124 I will preface this by saying Bagwell should absolutely be in the Hall right now, but Thomas was the better hitter, and he did it with a frame that certainly wouldn’t raise steroid suspicions. He spent most of his time as a DH but he does have 4 more years under his belt than Bagwell.

  129. 129
    Nick Says:

    You’re right, of course. But will curmudgeonly Hall voters see it that way or will they see the two as basically the same guy? I’m guessing the latter.

  130. 130
    jjschiller Says:

    @121- Jim Edmonds is pretty darn close in my book.

    Related, Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton are off the ballot, having received less than 5%.

    Those are three guys I’d expect to be in 30%-50% territory before moving steadily in one direction or the other.

    Maybe I’m alone, but I think playing CF is really, really hard. Doing it for 15+ years while being a top 15% offensive player in your league should garner more attention than doing the same at a corner. Of course, Andruw and Dale are both in my hall, and Dawson and Rice aren’t.

    I think Mantle and Mays have ruined CF. Two of the best hitters ever, playing CF in a “Golden Age,” makes CF seem like it SHOULD profile just like a corner.

    But those guys were just true, historically good athletes. If they played in todays game, they might actually play a corner, as there are just so many more athletes available. I mean, sure, they’d probably profile like Andruw or Edmonds, but maybe they’d look more like Hamilton or Kemp, good corners faking CF.

    My point is, CFers are not going to hit like corners on the average. Its unfair to hold them to the offensive standards of a corner. And, if they DO hit like HOF corners, they’re probably inner circle.

  131. 131
    Bethany Says:

    @129 Ugh, I hope that’s not the case. I’m so irritated.

  132. 132
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @130,

    Perhaps you could say that about Mantle but I think it would hard to say that Willie Mays was faking as a CF.

  133. 133
    kc Says:

    @132 Then we had Griffey…then Andruw for a little while…then Hamilton for couple years…

  134. 134
    spike Says:

    In re Morris –

    He received votes on 385 of 569 ballots cast. 40 votes short. He needs to get 21% of those who did not choose him to change their minds. Not very likely in one year, at this point.

  135. 135
    ububba Says:

    More Clermont Lounge fun:

    http://tinyurl.com/bjszftr

  136. 136
    spike Says:

    I play there once a month and keep missing the celebs – although I did hang with Howie Mandel there once a while back.

  137. 137
    justhank Says:

    I don’t get the Piazza vote. I remember his whole career and he always seemed to be the same size and build from beginning to end.

    His numbers certainly say HoF – especially for a catcher – but his vote total says the writers know something I don’t.

    Anyone know the truth?

  138. 138
    Smitty Says:

    Based on the logic, Maddux and Glavine should be shoe ins. They dominated in an era where everyone was “cheating.”

    Of course, Don Sutton is in the HOF.

  139. 139
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    A HOF without Barry Bonds is absurd to the point it should be disbanded. The entire process is broken beyond belief.

  140. 140
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Tony Perez is in the HOF. Apparently being buddies with Joe Morgan is better qualification than being the third best hitter in history.

  141. 141
    spike Says:

    As much as I concur, there is a public element to the hall of fame. And a large part of the public thinks it improper, at the moment for Bonds to be in. Writers might do well to just say this instead of passing out the self serving rationales, but I don’t have too much of a problem with the voters taking public sentiment, especially to the extent it is clear in re Bonds, into account to some extent, for the moment.

  142. 142
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Public sentiment doesn’t change the fact that the only players in the history of the game better than Bonds were Ruth and Williams.

  143. 143
    td Says:

    As much as I hate to say it, I’m in much closer agreement with Sam about Bonds and the HOF than I was a few years ago. The players union knew steroids use was going on big-time but lobbied against testing and Seilig had no guts to stop it. The only person in this group who should be banned for life from even being mentioned as a footnote in the HOF is Bud Seilig.

  144. 144
    csg Says:

    This really is bad for baseball in general. Clemens has 7 CY Young awards, Bonds has 762 HR’s, and Rose has 4256 hits. These are the ALL Time leaders in these categories and they all stand a very good chance of not getting elected.

  145. 145
    Nick Says:

    I know I was complaining about the first-ballot crap yesterday, but I don’t have a problem with it when it comes to Bonds and Clemens (read: when there’s a reason for it other than “blah blah Joe DiMaggio blah blah”). Both deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but it doesn’t have to be this year. Let it sit for a little while.

    Also, this is probably unfair and is certainly not very scientific, but if I were a voter, I would deal with the steroids era thusly: If there is good evidence that a player did steroids but, in my mind, the player is one of the very best players of all-time, and therefore likely would’ve had a very good case even without the steroids, I’d vote for them (though again, probably not on the first ballot). If their numbers merit inclusion but they’re farther down the list, I wouldn’t vote for them. So I would vote for Bonds and Clemens starting next year, but I would probably never vote for McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc. If it’s possible that a player did steroids but there really isn’t any credible evidence, I’m not holding that against them when voting. So Piazza and Bagwell would get my vote without a second thought. Also, this would apply going forward, so I would probably not vote for Manny Ramirez, for instance. Just my two cents on the topic.

  146. 146
    Parish Says:

    Agree with Spike that Morris may not get in.

    Also, I would not have voted for Bonds / Clemens this year, but would next year. I wonder if many voters feel this way.

    Also, J. Upton rejected a trade to the Ms? Sounds like he would rather go to the Rangers or Braves.

  147. 147
    mravery Says:

    Based on the package offered by Seattle, I no longer think Atlanta would have too much trouble putting together a package to get Upton. If all they want is bullpen arms and a couple of prospects, the Braves can oblige. I’d gladly have a bullpen with less depth if it meant acquiring Upton.

  148. 148
    csg Says:

    Why would Arizona waste their time talking to the Mariners if they were on the no trade list

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