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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Braves acquire Bourn from Astros

Parturition is such sweet sorrow…

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves have acquired Michael Bourn from the Astros in exchange for four minor leaguers.

The Braves have been wanting an outfielder for a while now, preferably one that hits right-handed, but they’ve instead just grabbed the best one that’s available. Bourn leads all of baseball in stolen bases with 39, has had a great year at the plate (.303/.363/.403) and will give Atlanta a dynamite defensive center fielder. There’s no word yet on who the Braves gave up, but it’s sure to be at least one of their “big four” pitching prospects.

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 02:03 PM | 136 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, braves

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   101. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:09 AM (#3889998)
Should they all be dealt away, no matter how marginal the upgrade?


Not sure what this means. The upgrade from Scotty Thorman and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Mark Teixeira.

Thorman: .216/.258/.394
Salty: .284/.333/.411
Teixeirra: .317/.404/.615

That's not exactly "marginal."
   102. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3890011)
Did not mean to imply that upgrading to Tex was a marginal move, it was a poorly worded coda - I was referring to the idea that 'no prospect is a sure thing' and resultant implication that they're fungible, to be readily dealt things. Upgrading at this time of year is often a good idea (I like the Bourn deal, after all - think SF had the right idea w/ the Beltran deal, etc... - but it's possible and undesirable to pay too much. Or way too much. And don't even get me started on the stupid follow-up deal with the Angels...)
   103. Tricky Dick Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3890013)
Paredes doesn't look like much,


It's unbelievable, but the Astros just called up Paredes from AA to be the starting 3d baseman. That will make 3 starters from the Corpus Christi Hooks now starting for the Astros (Paredes, Altuve, J.D. Martinez). I like Paredes better than most, probably, but I cannot imagine that he is ready for the major leagues. He is raw, just recently started playing third base, and only recently showed signs that he is adjusting to AA pitching. Who is making these decisions? Ed Wade may not be a good GM, but I wouldn't expect him to do this.
   104. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:34 AM (#3890018)
Paredes? Really? Oof ... Martinez I like, Altuve I like, this guy not so much (with the bat or glove).
   105. base ball chick Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3890022)
tom

i don't hate barmes and yes i knew he had a good glove and he is no adam everett. i am upset that barmes, who is going to be QUITE expensive next year, is considered an indispensible part of the Astros future and a centerpiece of the team and bourn was thrown away

barmes history tells me that he is hitting above his expected level and that is ONLY a 99 OPS+ and if he's a superstar and the centerpiece of a rebuilding team - well, that team isn't gonna rebuild or amount to anything but a laughingstock for a long LONG time
   106. JJ1986 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:45 AM (#3890028)
It's unbelievable, but the Astros just called up Paredes from AA to be the starting 3d baseman.


And they sent down Wallace. I guess they need to get Michaels more playing time.
   107. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:50 AM (#3890031)
BBC, the team doesn't have to be doomed to lose forever unless it achieves a Pirates/Royals level of skinflintidity and stupidity. Although I guess come to think of it that does mean Ed Wade needs to take a hike. But still, if you're smart and not a cheapskate... well, remember the Tigers in 2003? American League champions three years later. (granted that in terms of farm system it'll take the Astros a couple years to get to a 2003 Tigers level.)
   108. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#3890032)
It's unbelievable, but the Astros just called up Paredes from AA to be the starting 3d baseman. That will make 3 starters from the Corpus Christi Hooks now starting for the Astros (Paredes, Altuve, J.D. Martinez).

These are strange times in Houston. If the Astros truly are in full-on rebuild mode, there's no reason for any of these three -- or Jordan Lyles -- to be accruing service time for a last-place team. A couple of these guys didn't even need to be on the 40-man yet. It seems like audition time -- but not for the players.
   109. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:14 AM (#3890047)
barmes, who is going to be QUITE expensive next year,


Is he really? You would know better than I would, but I can't imagine there's going to be a great stampede for his services.
   110. base ball chick Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:44 AM (#3890077)
tom

you are right, he's gonna be a FA - and ed wade wants to make him the centerpiece of the astros so i would guess 5 years at 10 mill a year would be reasonable for a LEADAH and all seeing as how he'll only be 33 to start his contract - sort of like ryan howard dontchu know

calling up paredes is so that ed wade can show what a great trader he is seeing as how his traded for minor leaguers go straight to the majors and succeed like brett wallace

oh
oopsies

anyhow, maybe the other teams will see how smart ol eddie-poo is and won't try to make him pay them to take wandy rodriguez off his hands

mash,

the difference between the 2011 astros and the 03 tigers is that the 03 tigers are/were owned by a guy who has a LOT of money and was willing to spend it on the major league team - also he hired a VERY good GM. ed wade is the worst GM the astros have EVER had - well, besides drayton himself, that is

the 2011 astros will be owned by a guy with little money and no resources from other investors who has said ON THE RECORD that he will be cutting payroll way down and will not be spending money on the ML team (why nobody seems to have noticed this i do NOT know)

the 03 tigers actually HAD a chance to get better. the 2011 astros are wandy rodriguez (for now), bud norris, carlos lee and a bunch of AA guys

oh yeah - and clint barmes, the new Heart And Soul of "Your Astros" - the LEADAH of the new youth wave!!!

anyone think that The Jim would OK my new screen name (stolen from a poster on alyson footer's blog)

"Fuhukuyoue Ehdwade"
   111. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:58 PM (#3890135)
I'm pretty sure BBC is overreacting here, but honestly, if Liberty were to flay the Braves like this I'd probably overreact to. And with that said, it sure does look like Clint Barmes is becoming Ed Wade's version of Brad Ausmus.
   112. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:03 PM (#3890137)
Barmes certainly can play defense.
   113. robinred Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#3890175)
From the Buchholz thread:

10. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:47 AM (#3890173)

There's a fair chance Wandy will clear waivers, right? That might still be out there if the Red Sox get desperate, and the chances of getting fleeced by Ed Wade are pretty low.
   114. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#3890187)
Escobar had been known as a malcontent at every one of his stops: in Cuba's junior program, in the Cuban National Series


So he didn't enjoy playing for peanuts in communist Cuba, when he could be earning millions elsewhere? Christ, what an #######!
   115. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3890189)
And it's not so much challenging the definition as showing in the same way that the Cleveland Spiders did that all things are possible when you mail a season in.


IIRC, at one point the Spiders signed a guy from the crowd outside the ballpark because he looked like an athlete and they needed a warm body (on the road, naturally, since there was a crowd at a Spiders game).
   116. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:26 PM (#3890201)
IIRC, at one point the Spiders signed a guy from the crowd outside the ballpark because he looked like an athlete and they needed a warm body (on the road, naturally, since there was a crowd at a Spiders game).

On the last day of the season, the Spiders played a doubleheader. They hired [url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kolbed01.shtml]an employee at the hotel they were staying at[/ur] to pitch one of the games that day.

The Spiders lost.
   117. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3890234)
Here's something interesting about Clint Barmes: Although his OPS+ is way up from his career norms, he's not really doing anything special this year. He's hitting .251/.317/.393 in 2011; in his eight years with the Rockies, he hit .254/.300/.404.
   118. Colin Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3890245)
You're understating how these guys were regarded at the time of the deal. Entering the season, BA's top three Braves prospects were Salty (#36 in baseball), Andrus (#65), and Harrison (#90) ... Andrus ended it as BA's #19 guy (Salty then ineligible). [Being a league average player in a full-season league at ages 17, 18 being a rare thing - and a function of his esteemed tools.] Feliz began the year as the Braves' #18 prospect, but ended it #93 in baseball.
...
No, none of these guys were sure things (I thought Salty would be pretty good, for one), but no one is. Should they all be dealt away, no matter how marginal the upgrade? The return on 'hits' can be really good.


You make good points. All I'm saying here is that if you trade a rookie ball arm, an esteemed A-ball shortstop, and a good AA ball pitcher, you'd usually be pretty lucky to get even two of the three turn into useful guys in the majors. Things happen to even highly regarded prospects who are as far out as rookie and A-ball. Even as I wish the Braves had those guys back, it's hard to fault them for not balking at the Teixeira trade because the Rangers wanted an A-ball guy and a rookie-ball guy on top of Salty and Harrison.
   119. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:13 PM (#3890249)
On the last day of the season, the Spiders played a doubleheader. They hired [url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kolbed01.shtml]an employee at the hotel they were staying at[/ur] to pitch one of the games that day.

The Spiders lost.


He went eight innings, though, and didn't put up the highest ERA on the club that year. I bet it was a nice story to tell his kids.
   120. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#3890276)
(on the road, naturally, since there was a crowd at a Spiders game

Didn't they agree to play something like their last 60 games on the road, during the dive-fest?
   121. Barnaby Jones Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3890280)
Even as I wish the Braves had those guys back, it's hard to fault them for not balking at the Teixeira trade because the Rangers wanted an A-ball guy and a rookie-ball guy on top of Salty and Harrison.


It is actually very easy to fault them for this. Andrus was an extremely good prospect (and players of his ilk almost always make the majors, even if they only end up being Luis Rivas), and Feliz was already a top 100 prospect for some (i.e. Goldstein) before the season even started. You can't just hand wave that away by referring to their level. A player can be at a low level and still enormously valuable and thus very silly things to just start throwing into trades.
   122. base ball chick Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3890286)
well the astros are basically playing spiders - bringing up any prospects from AA so as fast eddie can point to how many of his propsects/trades made the majors!!!!!

10. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:47 AM (#3890173)

There's a fair chance Wandy will clear waivers, right? That might still be out there if the Red Sox get desperate, and the chances of getting fleeced by Ed Wade are pretty low.

- the chances of getting fleeced by ed wade are zero. he has not EVER "won" a trade (ignoring waiver wire/salary dumps like keppinger and wolf and hawkins)

wandy's salary is absolutely NOT out of line for his quality and age. other teams are telling wade that because they KNOW he's a TOTAL maroon. like
like
like
he's like that poor ol houn dawg that bugs bunny keeps tricking into running out of the log over the cliff

SUCKAH!!!!
   123. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:12 PM (#3890296)
I think Ed Wade won the Bourn trade. By dint of me thinking of it as "the Bourn trade" instead of "the Lidge trade". Lidge only had one year left on his contract when he was traded, right?
   124. ColonelTom Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3890303)
Here's something interesting about Clint Barmes: Although his OPS+ is way up from his career norms, he's not really doing anything special this year. He's hitting .251/.317/.393 in 2011; in his eight years with the Rockies, he hit .254/.300/.404.

That's what I saw when looking at Barmes' numbers this year. Then again, he's out of Coors Field and the Juice Box has been a pitcher's park the last few years. Also the overall league numbers are down this year, making his offense more impressive by comparison. Scratch my criticism of the Barmes/Paulino deal, but it actually makes the overall point stronger - Wade's trades haven't sunk this franchise.

The bigger problem, obviously, is player development. I'm not sure how much of the blame for that lands on Ed Wade's desk, though. In Philly, he wasn't given much credit for the team's success in drafting, signing, and developing prospects, with Mike Arbuckle getting most of the accolades. I suspect that's Wade's biggest problem as Houston's GM - he's running a team that needs to focus now almost exclusively on player development, and I don't think that's his strength. He was brought in to put the Astros back in the playoffs, not to oversee rebuilding from scratch. At this point, he's the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lidge only had one year left on his contract when he was traded, right?

Correct - Wade swapped out one year of Lidge for two years of Valverde in the pair of deals before 2008.
   125. Ron J Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3890304)
#120 Not exactly uncommon in those days. IIRC Washington pioneered the move a few years earlier. Though the Spiders took it to a new level.

Since their average attendance was 145, it's not like they were giving up a lot.
   126. bigglou115 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3890349)
Because as has been mentioned any number of times, no matter how good your process is, turning prospects into major leaguers takes some luck. Braves turned a bunch of fliers into top flight contributors. Needs a good system but also luck.
See my post about the 2006 draft above.


Your actually missing something else that was important at the time. Harrison had been passed up in the farm system already at that point. He was probably 4th in line for a shot at the rotation when they traded for Tex. Same thing with Andrus and Escobar although Andrus was really the only thing resembling depth at that position so he hurt more. Salty wasn't going to play for the Braves. The Braves had already come to the conclusion that Feliz wasn't going to make the bigs as a starter. The result was a more extreme example of the Bourn trade, the Braves gave up a bunch of guys who weren't a part of the "perfect world" plan going forward but were still impactful as prospects to the team that got them.
   127. bigglou115 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:06 PM (#3890350)
repeat
   128. base ball chick Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3890353)
crispix

i would call the bourn trade even

astros got 3 1.2 years of bourn, 1 year of a decent middle reliever and 2 years of valverde who did a good job

phils got a WS flag


colonel tom,
there is not ONE trade ed wade made that put us ahead ANYWHERES in the farm. ed wade WAS hired to rebuild the far. which he has NOT done

calling up his crappy draftees like jason castro does NOT mean he did a good job. the AAA, AA, A+ and A ball teams are ALL in last place and have been.

and thank yall for highlighting the incredible awesomeness of clint barmes. yall have made me look at this a different way - if it wasn't for clintie-poo, stupid ed wade would be calling up jiovanni mier or villar, who are BOTH lousy - except for their "makeup"

yeah, clint barmsie-poo is THE guy to build the team around fer SHER. 99 OPS+ 32 year old LEADAHS don't grow on trees

- oh yeah - my blog has been getting spammed heavily by sites advertizing "blue jays jerseys"

i almost believe it is john brattain and his sensa yuma talkin to me from beyond the grave. GOD i miss him. i'd LOVE to see him skewering ed wade, drayton, jim crapne and seligula - oh SOOOOOO much better than i can. or anyone else HAS
   129. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:19 PM (#3890360)
Out of curiosity, I looked at BA's top prospect lists from '98 to '03, to see what the returns on these prospect slots were.

18-20: Hanley Ramirez, Josh Beckett, Pat Burrell, Richard Hidalgo, Jerome Williams (twice), Nick Johnson, Ankiel, Alex Escobar, Bobby Bradley, Michael Cuddyer, Adam Wainwright, Josh Hamilton, Matt Riley, Sean Casey, A.J. Burnett, Jeremy Bonderman, Brandon Phillips
35-37: Troy Glaus, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Crede, Milton Bradley, Josh Phelps, Dustin McGowan, Michael Restovich, Kaz Ishii, Brad Wilkerson, Brandon Claussen, Ben Petrick, Lance Berkman, Ben Christensen, Rob Bell, Chad Hermansen, Ryan Minor, Rolando Arrojo
64-66: Lance Berkman, Ben Sheets, Ted Lilly, Lyle Overbay, Adam Eaton, Kyle Ainsworth, Jeremy Giambi, Joe Fontenot, Brian Cole, Adrian Hernandez, Dernell Stenson, Justin Huber, C.F. Chen, Brett Evert, Wily Mo Pena, Kelly Dransfeldt, Abe Nunez, Jovanny Cedeno
90-94: Ben Hendrickson, Erik Bedard, David Espinosa, Mario Encarnacion, Tony Armas Jr, Jeff Wallace, C.H. Tsao, Tony Blanco, Luis Rivas, Adam Piatt, Carlos Pena, George Lombard, Don Levinski, Corey Hart, Jon Rauch, Jayson Werth, John VanBenschoten, Eric Byrnes, Ramon Vasquez, Joe Crede, Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Juan Uribe, Tim Drew, Ramon Santiago, Sun Woo Kim, Jason Marquis (twice), Wes Anderson, Dermal Brown, Mike Darr, Valerie De Los Santos, Dennys Reyes, Orlando Cabrera, Lariel Gonzalez

Those spots, by the way, were a little snakebit in that Brian Cole, Mike Darr, and Dernell Stenson were all killed whilst still prospects in automobile related incidents (the third being a murder). Cole was actually my favorite prospect at the time (speedy mighty-mite with power) - his family won a nine-figure award in a lawsuit against Ford (his Explorer rolled over).
   130. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#3890379)
in the farm system already at that point. He was probably 4th in line for a shot at the rotation when they traded for Tex. Same thing with Andrus and Escobar although Andrus was really the only thing resembling depth at that position so he hurt more. Salty wasn't going to play for the Braves. The Braves had already come to the conclusion that Feliz wasn't going to make the bigs as a starter. The result was a more extreme example of the Bourn trade, the Braves gave up a bunch of guys who weren't a part of the "perfect world" plan going forward but were still impactful as prospects to the team that got them.

Does this assume the only options are playing these guys in Atlanta (in the near future) or trading them for Tex? Were other deals not possible? Or, perhaps the depth charts would change over time - maybe Yunel would fall out of favor - or get shifted to second (improving the defense and ultimately sparing us the regretable Uggla signing) - maybe you don't have to be the top ranked starting pitcher prospect in the system to be worth keeping around - or a million other scenarios.

I wasn't opposed to trading any of those guys (I was most worried about Salty as a total value proposition and I thought we undervalued Feliz) ... I was opposed to dealing all of them for one guy who was very good but not a top tier player nearing free agency.
   131. bigglou115 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3890384)
I wasn't opposed to trading any of those guys (I was most worried about Salty as a total value proposition and I thought we undervalued Feliz) ... I was opposed to dealing all of them for one guy who was very good but not a top tier player nearing free agency.


And that's fair. But, and correct me if i misremember, I don't recall there being any combination of two or even three players we could have gotten for those guys in smaller trades that represented the same upgrade as Tex.

I also think that when they signed him they thought they'd get a Yellow Jackets discount on resigning him. I don't think they ever realized they weren't getting him back until the next season.
   132. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3890399)
On the last day of the season, the Spiders played a doubleheader. They hired [url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kolbed01.shtml]an employee at the hotel they were staying at[/ur] to pitch one of the games that day.

The Spiders lost.


He pitched in exchange for a box of cigars (he was the Hotel's tobacco stand clerk)- I don't know who paid who- did he pay the Spiders for a chance to pitch in the bigs-
and BTW he got a HIT
WIKI says he spend 15 years after that playing and managing in "semi-pro" leagues
   133. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3890410)
Does this assume the only options are playing these guys in Atlanta (in the near future) or trading them for Tex? Were other deals not possible?


There were other trades available, but none of them were close to the impact of replacing the platoon of Salty and Scott Thorman with Mark Teixeira. That trade would have put the Braves in the playoffs had the starting rotation not exploded into a thousand tiny bits (most notably losing Tim Hudson to TJ surgery) a couple of weeks after Tex came over.
   134. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3890413)
I wasn't opposed to trading any of those guys (I was most worried about Salty as a total value proposition and I thought we undervalued Feliz) ... I was opposed to dealing all of them for one guy who was very good but not a top tier player nearing free agency.


If a 27 year old Mark Teixeira with a year and a half left before FA isn't a "top tier player" to acquire, no such player exists. Who the hell else would make more of an impact than that guy?
   135. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3890419)
I also think that when they signed him they thought they'd get a Yellow Jackets discount on resigning him. I don't think they ever realized they weren't getting him back until the next season.
I think that's true as well, but am reluctant to speculate on that. We know Tex turned down significant offers from the Rangers, was with Boras, and said to be into the idea of getting max dollars. FWIW, in December after the trade, Tim Dierkes put the odds of Tex staying with the Braves on a long term deal at 10%.

But, and correct me if i misremember, I don't recall their being any combination of two or even three players we could have gotten for those guys in smaller trades that represented the same upgrade as Tex.
Same upgrade? Probably not... but I'm interested in getting an upgrade, not necessarily the best upgrade prospects can buy. (Blah blah, optimizing, blah.)
It's really hard to tell who was or was not actually on the block at that time / what they would have cost ... Adam Dunn was cited as the #2 1B talent on the market, but I'm not aware of Atlanta having been interested. Carlos Pena and Paul Konerko were tossed around as possibilities as well. Braves were repeatedly linked to Dmitri Young as a plan F (a better hitter at that point in his career than I remembered, but his glove was pretty poor).
   136. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:25 PM (#3890422)
If a 27 year old Mark Teixeira with a year and a half left before FA isn't a "top tier player" to acquire, no such player exists. Who the hell else would make more of an impact than that guy?

He has been a top 10 player by WAR twice in his career, in '05 and '09, the two times he has been an All-Star. Very good player - sure - not top tier.
   137. Sweatpants Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3890435)
That trade would have put the Braves in the playoffs had the starting rotation not exploded into a thousand tiny bits (most notably losing Tim Hudson to TJ surgery) a couple of weeks after Tex came over.
Nothing remotely resembling that happened. Hudson and John Smoltz were healthy and made all of their starts after the Braves acquired Teixeira. The problem with the 2007 Braves was that their fourth and fifth starters were terrible all year long and that Bobby Cox took forever to realize that Willie Harris, after a very hot start, shouldn't be a regular. Hudson's major arm injury didn't happen until 2008.
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