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Sunday, April 14, 2019

MLB Rumors: Here are Craig Kimbrel’s latest contract demands

The 2019 MLB season is in full swing, and Craig Kimbrel still doesn’t have a team.

It’s bizarre seeing one of the best closers of all time still on the market, especially when you consider the number of teams in need of bullpen help. But according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, Kimbrel’s asking price remains far too high. As recently as late March, the 2018 World Series Champion has asked for a five-year deal worth approximately $100 million.

Bowden writes:

“When the market didn’t develop for Kimbrel like [Kimbrel’s agent David Meter] thought it would, he stuck to his guns and, even as late as March, was still seeking a five-year pact in the $100 million range.  It was a clear miscalculation of Kimbrel’s true market value, and not consistent with the actual offers or ranges teams had given him.”

I’m disappointed- I was hoping for him to be making truly strange demands, like for a helicopter, or to be always followed around in the clubhouse by two uniformed menservants.

QLE Posted: April 14, 2019 at 07:10 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: contracts, craig kimbrel, hot stove

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   1. Darren Posted: April 14, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5831717)
Rosenthal says it's bout half this:

https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1117202280313438215

And it's Rosenthal, not Bowden, so....
   2. BrianBrianson Posted: April 14, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5831719)
Well, if he's looking for ~3/$45, I'd expect he'd get signed. If he's looking for ~5/$100 million, it's not surprising he hasn't signed. So ...
   3. . Posted: April 14, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5831729)
was still seeking a five-year pact in the $100 million range. 


LOL.
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 14, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5831732)
boop.
   5. puck Posted: April 14, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5831746)
What are the other big reliever contracts? Jansen's on a 5 yr $80 M, Chapman on a 5 yr $86 M. Then as mentioned in the Rosenthal tweet, Davis at 3/$52M, Britton at 3/$39M.

So 5/100 doesn't seem right. Maybe he wanted a 5 yr deal at the top AAV.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: April 14, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5831761)
5/$100 seems "right" if you take Chapman's 5/$89 as your starting point, think you're as good or better than Chapman and you add in a couple of years inflation. We are talking about a guy with a career ERA+ better than Rivera's (at the moment) and at 184 the last 3 years. Personally I've never felt closers were worth this kind of money but MLB teams -- even "smart" ones like the Dodgers -- haven't agreed with me. 5/$100 seems a reasonable starting point for Kimbrel to me.

On Britton -- he got 3/$39 ... to be a set-up guy and coming off two injury-plagued seasons in which he was good not great (total 78 IP, 145 ERA+). Top closers have always gotten at least 50% more in AAV than top set-up guys, also suggesting Kimbrel was not unreasonable to be looking for $20.
   7. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5831767)
After this recent stretch, the Nationals need to really give Kimbrel a hard look. I can't imagine they're gonna ship off the remaining prospects in their farm system, so Kimbrel's the best available. They really, really need someone in that pen who can guarantee them a good inning's work.
   8. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:26 PM (#5831775)
The key number to look at, as for why Kimbrel is not ever getting anything even remotely close to 5/$100 is 4.5. That's his BB/9 last season. (and was 5ish in 16 so not completely isolated either).

I know he still managed to mostly get results, but dude is just a walking heart-attack.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5831781)
I can't see offering Kimbrel any more than a one year contract, but then it's not my money.

OTOH that 5/$100 contract would be a perfect complement to Sale's, as they compete to see which one of them will flame out first.

(Hey, when your favorite team's got 12 players on the IL, you're allowed to wish grief on others, at least on creeps like Sale and Kimbrel.)
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5831785)
Kimbrel shot himself in the foot with the early long term demands, there are teams out there that will never sign a reliever beyond four years as a matter of policy. So he stuck himself with what could only be called the stupid run teams or the stupid rich. I get all you need is two bidders, but when you remove about 1/3rd of the smart teams from the mix, you are now stuck with non-competitive teams, who probably won't spend the money, the rich teams who might already have enough talent at the role and the rare stupid competitive team with money.
   11. Master of the Horse Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5831787)
I have nothing to prove it but there is a lot of chatter that the Crew offered 15 million or more but for one season. FWIW
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5831788)
I have nothing to prove it but there is a lot of chatter that the Crew offered 15 million or more but for one season. FWIW


I think any team that didn't offer him at least 2 for 30 years is being criminally negligent to their fans and team... but that is provided you can get him to even answer the phone if you call.

Even if he didn't take it, you put it out there at least. And for any one year deal, I'll give him at least a mil more than the qualifying offer.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: April 14, 2019 at 06:14 PM (#5831802)
wait, wait, wait - Kimbrel and Ozzie Albies share the same agent?

HOLY CRAP
   14. bfan Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM (#5831884)
More clarification than anything else; if he can be ready in a month (which is a shorter period than what pitchers get for spring training), he shows up with one-fourth of the season gone. Is his ask pro-rated? When he says he wants $20 million for 2019, is he really asking for $14 million? If not, then his asking price is essentially going up every day he does not sign.
   15. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:37 AM (#5831885)
He also demands a shrubbery.
   16. BrianBrianson Posted: April 15, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5831897)
wait, wait, wait - Kimbrel and Ozzie Albies share the same agent?


Either he's doing a bad job of advising them, or he attracts stubborn clients that won't listen to his advice. Hard to say which at this point.
   17. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 09:57 AM (#5831913)
We just lap up any pro-ownership articles here, huh?
   18. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5831917)
We just lap up any pro-ownership articles here, huh?


Not at all. Did you watch Kimbrel last year? Did you look at his stats? He's not the Atlanta Braves' version of Craig Kimbrel anymore. I like the guy a lot but he is not where I would spend $15 million.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5831918)
Huh Davo? The community here has always had a strong pro-player bias. Look at the threads on Albies and Acuna extensions, both of which focus on how the players got ripped off.

Kimbrel was just a dumbass.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5831920)
Huh Davo? The community here has always had a strong pro-player bias.
Yeah. Davo's trying to be so edgy, I think.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5831930)
That being said, the use of the word "demands" is usually a bad sign for an article, but it is somewhat apt in describing a quasi-holdout.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5831938)
I guess anyone that's not an anarcho-communist is just a shill for the kleptocracy, right?
   23. pikepredator Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5831940)
I think he could well be worth $15M per year. But it's also possible (more likely, IMO) that his control issues escalate and a team would be stuck with a highly unpredictable closer. Neither outcome would surprise me with Kimbrel.

When it comes to closers I'd rather pay for a bit more reliability, rather than paying top dollar for a high-risk/high-reward tightrope act.

If he's asking for 3 years and $42-$45, I might rather pay 2/$36 (luxury tax considerations aside) so I can cut bait sooner.
   24. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5831943)
Davo's superiority complex is all part of his shtick.
   25. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5831944)
Davo's superiority complex is all part of his shtick.


Alas, for me he became unreadable about a month ago.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5831948)
Davo actually likes baseball, and posts about baseball things he enjoys, which I appreciate. Can't say the same for everyone here.
   27. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5831952)
I also think his performance in the playoffs killed his chances. He was really lousy and the Sox won despite him.
   28. DCA Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5831957)
Would he take a contract that's

$10m this year

and then a few years of

$10m player option followed by FA / $20m team option followed by another (10/20) mutual option?

He's guaranteed 2/$20 even if he's toast (more than Holland ended up with), and as long as he's worth it his team can buy more years at $20m per.

   29. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:27 AM (#5831974)
I also think his performance in the playoffs killed his chances. He was really lousy and the Sox won despite him.


I think the initially reported demand of 6/100 was the thing that really killed him. I think the playoffs wouldn't have been a big issue if he had come across as more reasonable. That demand was so high that I think a lot of teams decided that what they were willing to offer still wouldn't get close so it wouldn't be worth engaging him.
   30. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5831979)
Davo actually likes baseball, and posts about baseball things he enjoys

I wouldn't disagree with this.
   31. base ball chick Posted: April 15, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5832027)
PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5831918)

Huh Davo? The community here has always had a strong pro-player bias. Look at the threads on Albies and Acuna extensions, both of which focus on how the players got ripped off


- do you SERIOUSLY believe that neither one got ripped off? unless they are unable to play after like their 3rd year, they left a kazillion bucks on the table

and davo is just fine

cmon

- oh yeah - IF kimbrel really insisted on a SIX year deal for a reliever, well he was muy loco

   32. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5832122)
- do you SERIOUSLY believe that neither one got ripped off? unless they are unable to play after like their 3rd year, they left a kazillion bucks on the table

Lisa, I think you are misreading him here. He is not saying either of those guys are not getting ripped off (they are), just using those threads to point out, that BTF is about as far as you can get from an uncritical mouthpiece for owners. I would add the Indians/Brad Miller thread to the list (which I still think is at least a defensible move, unlike a lot of the Indians' other moves).

and davo is just fine

Davo is a crackpot. A well-meaning crackpot, maybe. But still a crackpot.

- oh yeah - IF kimbrel really insisted on a SIX year deal for a reliever, well he was muy loco

Which is kind of the point. Pointing out that from everything that has been reported, Kimbrel appears to be the unreasonable one here, does not mean you are being a mouthpiece for owners' interests.
Sometimes players shoot themselves in the foot. It does not make you a shill to point out when that happens. Even elite closers typically only get high-teens per year, for not too many years. In part because RPs are extremely volatile, and more likely to implode than pretty much any other position/role. And in part because they just don't pitch enough innings to be that valuable, that you would give them both years and top-dollar.

Kimbrel on top of that (I would argue) has some additional red flags that make him even more risky than similar elite closers. That combined with his outlandish demands, and it really isn't all that shocking that he hasn't found the market he expected.
   33. Paul D(uda) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5832141)
Possible that the agent pushed Albies to sign because he wasn't getting his Kimbrel commission?
   34. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5832147)
- do you SERIOUSLY believe that neither one got ripped off? unless they are unable to play after like their 3rd year, they left a kazillion bucks on the table


I agree. That was the point of the comment.
   35. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:15 PM (#5832158)
By swallowing pro-owner slop, I merely mean assuming the Bowden article is accurate, and not mere spin from owners.

Rosenthal reports that Kimbrel is seeking much less, and still unable to acquire it. For example.
   36. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:17 PM (#5832160)
We have no clue what Kimbrel is asking for. (Unless Kimbrel’s agent is the one who’s saying he’s seeking a 100MM deal. In which case: I rescind!)
   37. BrianBrianson Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5832167)
We really don't know what he's been offered, what owners are willing to offer, or what he's willing to accept. I do think there is room for speculation, but not really room to judge.

I do find it a little more parsimonious to guess that Kimbrel's demands are unreasonable - despite all the talk of the owners colluding and such, player fraction of revenue is down at most a smidge, most of the big free agents got paid (even if signing dates are slipping back), and so I just don't see obvious foolishness I'd expect to see if meaningful collusion was going on. But perhaps there is, or there's a local effort (like rumour mongering about him behind the scenes to reduce offers, say), or any number of other things. So, certainly maybe he's not getting reasonable offers?
   38. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:35 PM (#5832274)
We really don't know what he's been offered,


This is the key. We don't know what Kimbrel wants now, but that silly 6/100 was put out there originally. Maybe someone has offered a very reasonable 4/70 type of thing early in the piece and they knocked it back. We've just no idea really and it's silly for people say you are pro this or pro that. I'm all for fair compensation, but as Walt pointed out very early, relievers have been way overpriced for years and this is probably, along with other factors, part of THAT correction.
   39. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:03 PM (#5832283)
Also, just to eliminate any confusion, I most certainly do not enjoy MLB, and haven’t watched a full game in years.
   40. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:40 PM (#5832289)
But are you a crackpot?
   41. Jack Sommers Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:54 PM (#5832294)
Also, just to eliminate any confusion, I most certainly do not enjoy MLB, and haven’t watched a full game in years.


Well then this is the place for you
   42. Hank Gillette Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:35 AM (#5832301)
After this recent stretch, the Nationals need to really give Kimbrel a hard look. I can't imagine they're gonna ship off the remaining prospects in their farm system, so Kimbrel's the best available. They really, really need someone in that pen who can guarantee them a good inning's work.


The Nationals already have a good closer. It’s the rest of the bullpen that sucks. Yes, I know relievers can be moved to different roles, but I don’t see either of these guys relinquishing the closer role willingly.
   43. Hank Gillette Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:37 AM (#5832302)
More clarification than anything else; if he can be ready in a month (which is a shorter period than what pitchers get for spring training), he shows up with one-fourth of the season gone.


You don’t think the guy has been throwing and working out? I would assume that he would probably need some practice to throw to actual batters, but a month?
   44. bfan Posted: April 16, 2019 at 08:44 AM (#5832332)

You don’t think the guy has been throwing and working out? I would assume that he would probably need some practice to throw to actual batters, but a month?


I do not have any accurate idea. I would guess two weeks on a mound with the team looking at him, and then a 1-2 week rehab assignment? Maybe it's less for relief pitchers, because they are not building up to any big amount of innings, but this year, pitchers and catchers reported to spring training between February 12 and 15, and the season started March 28. That is 6 weeks, and I assume teams know what they are doing (if pitchers and catchers didn't need that much time, they could report a week later, when everyone else reports). Maybe you could tell me differently, but I do not think relief pitchers were told to report later.

Say the period to get him ready is 3 weeks instead of 4; it doesn't change the point; it just slightly increases the fraction of time he is available for the 2019 season.
   45. manchestermets Posted: April 16, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5832337)
Can you have rehab assignments for players who've been signed late rather than being injured?
   46. bfan Posted: April 16, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5832343)
Can you have rehab assignments for players who've been signed late rather than being injured?


Interesting question. I assume he can agree to go pitch in AAA for a week or 2, but does he have to pass through waivers first or something like that? Of course, the loose way the DL was used for pitchers last year, there is nothing that says you can sign him and have him declare himself injured. In an era where you can choose how you identify your gender, you certainly ought to be able to declare that your forearm hurts.
   47. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5832348)
I don't know the roster mechanism, but I am pretty sure Stevie Drew played in some minor-league games after signing with the Red Sox during the middle of the season.
   48. TDF, trained monkey Posted: April 16, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5832352)
By swallowing pro-owner slop, I merely mean assuming the Bowden article is accurate, and not mere spin from owners.
You should never, ever assume that anything Bowden writes is accurate.
5/$100 seems "right" if you take Chapman's 5/$89 as your starting point, think you're as good or better than Chapman and you add in a couple of years inflation. We are talking about a guy with a career ERA+ better than Rivera's (at the moment) and at 184 the last 3 years. Personally I've never felt closers were worth this kind of money but MLB teams -- even "smart" ones like the Dodgers -- haven't agreed with me. 5/$100 seems a reasonable starting point for Kimbrel to me.
In reading this thread, it struck me that the miscalculation by Kimbrel may be this: He's a one-inning guy, and teams seem to be devaluing them while valuing multi-inning guys more. That doesn't mean closers aren't still getting paid - see Britton and Davis - but the days of Chapman contracts for those guys may be gone.
   49. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5832353)
39. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 11:03 PM (#5832283)

Also, just to eliminate any confusion, I most certainly do not enjoy MLB, and haven’t watched a full game in years.

Well, PF, benefit of the doubt is a dangerous thing, I guess. I stand corrected on #30 and pat on #24.
   50. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5832360)
In an era where you can choose how you identify your gender


What if I told you there was a way to make your point without punching down?
   51. bfan Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5832366)

What if I told you there was a way to make your point without punching down?


Just trying to make a point that the standard of proof required for claiming an injury these days is much, much lower than it might have been in past years (I think there have been disputes in the past between the league and teams where there was use of the DL that was challenged, and I vaguely remember the phrase "stashing people on the DL"); feelings can be facts. Baseball has changed with the times.
   52. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5832379)
Interesting question. I assume he can agree to go pitch in AAA for a week or 2, but does he have to pass through waivers first or something like that?


In both 2006 and 2007, Roger Clemens signed in mid season and in both, made 3 minor league starts before reporting to the big club.
   53. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5832384)
51- There was no other way to express that point?
   54. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5832388)
There has to be some internet "law" that when one troll's presence on a site diminishes that another troll will fill the void. Or said differently, trolls are like gases, they expand to fill the website in which they are placed.
   55. Master of the Horse Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5832393)
54--that's awesome.
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5832395)
My internet law is that when someone says "that would make a good band name" - it wouldn't.
   57. jmurph Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5832401)
My internet law is that when someone says "that would make a good band name" - it wouldn't.

Now THAT, that would make a good b
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5832402)
you son of a
   59. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5832404)
There has to be some internet "law" that when one troll's presence on a site diminishes that another troll will fill the void. Or said differently, trolls are like gases, they expand to fill the website in which they are placed.
Isn't that more like the Law of Conservation of Troll Matter?
   60. jmurph Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5832405)
Honestly I should have picked Someone Says, that does sound like a reasonably good album name, but probably not a band name.
   61. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5832409)
Isn't that more like the Law of Conservation of Troll Matter?


Yeah, I guess I did mix metaphors.
   62. pikepredator Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5832420)
Law of Conservation of Troll Matter
'

troll hunting is a zero-sum sport?
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5832491)
Yeah. Davo's trying to be so edgy, I think.


I think it's more that he's invested in the idea that Moustakas has gotten screwed by owner cheapness two years in a row, and is trying to bend facts to fit that narrative.
   64. BillWallace Posted: April 16, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5832599)
feelings can be facts


Well they are, in a manner of speaking.
If I feel that the earth is flat, it doesn't make it so. But if I feel depressed, that I feel depressed is itself a fact!
   65. spycake Posted: April 16, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5832621)
Can you have rehab assignments for players who've been signed late rather than being injured?


If a player has minor league options remaining, they can simply sign an MLB deal and consent to being optioned to make his minor league appearances. Ervin Santana did that when he signed with the Braves in mid-March 2014.

If he doesn't have options, I think the player technically has to sign a minor league deal first, with an understanding that he will be promoted later. I believe that is what Clemens did in 2007.
   66. Sunday silence Posted: April 16, 2019 at 07:31 PM (#5832657)
trolls abhor vacuums.
   67. DJS Thinks Apples and Oranges are Similar Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:28 PM (#5832759)
"Craig, what will it take to get you onto our roster?"
"Six years, $100 million."
"We were thinking something more like half of that."
"OK, three years, $100 million."
<ring tone>

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