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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MLB.COM: Sox Ponder Damon Contingencies

According to the Boston Globe, the Sox have had discussions with the Seattle Mariners concerning center fielder Jeremy Reed, in a deal that would send right-hander Matt Clement to the Mariners.

The more I consider it, the more I think that, even putting aside money somewhat, there are at least equal options out there to Damon. When money is thrown into the equation, it seems like Damon trails several candidates by quite a bit. Here’s a quick rundown of the guys I consider candidates to replace Johnny (ZIPS and Bill James Book OBP/SLG projection listed if available—all for 2005 home park):

First, Johnny Damon (.363/.437; .361/.425)
He’s 32 and his defense has been slipping in recent years to the point where he is probably only an average CF. At $10-$12 mil/year for 4 years, he will probably be slightly overpaid in 06 and hugely overpaid by 09.

Jeremy Reed (No ZIPS; .363/.412)
Going into last year, Reed had a rep as a good hitter, but borderline centerfielder on defense. It seems that has been reversed, as people seem to be pretty sold on him in CF. He would apparently cost us Clement, which is a considerable cost, but would also be dealing from strength. He’s got 2 more years before arb eligibilty and is only 25. I think he’s a good option and I suppose I would part with Clement if necessary.

Jason Michaels (.393/.418; .400/454) (in Philly)
Those numbers are slightly inflated by Michaels recent use as a platoonish player in CF. He is apparently a respectable CF and he’s just been made redundant by the acquisition of Rowand. He would also likely cost us a starting pitcher. Not sure if Arroyo would be enough, but I think Clement would be a little too much to give. Perhaps Philly would take Mota to bolster their bullpen. He’s arb eligible, so he’s not as cheap as these others, but still a ton less than Damon.

Coco (.353/.448; .348/.442)
A 26-year-old who’s defense was aparantly off the charts last year in LF, he would probably be average to above average in CF, IMHO. With Dubois knocking at the door, it could be argued that Cleveland would be willing to move Coco to fill another hole (3B? rotation?). Perhaps they’d ask for Youkilis, or maybe they’d only be interested in one of the young pitchers. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with any of those trades. I’d do it for Clement though.

And now the true stopgaps:

Kenny Lofton (.333/368; .356/.391)
Lofton is 39 and will probably take a 2-year deal on the cheap. You don’t have to trade anything to get him and he’s still reportedly a decent CF. Depending on which projection you believe, he might also make a fine leadoff hitter. (His numbers would take a hit leaving Philly, though)

Dave Roberts (No ZIPS; .339/.358)
One of the 25! Now 34, still a good outfielder, but looks like a pretty mediocre hitter. I wouldn’t want to give up much for him, but it doesn’t appear San Diego wants much.

There are others that might also be available (especiall from Oakland, where they now have 56 CF), but these are the names that I’ve heard. I think Michaels, Reed, and Coco are all superior options to Damon, even considering that they will cost something in a trade. I hope that the duo is currently working on getting one of these guys, regardless of how the Damon thing plays out. Who do you want to see in CF in 06?

Darren Posted: December 14, 2005 at 02:27 AM | 96 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1. karlmagnus Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:33 AM (#1776301)
With no shortstop and Manny in left, the CF is going to be very busy, so better get the best fielder, who I take to be Reed. If Clement's one of their best pitchers, it means Beckett, Papelbon, Schilling, Hanson and Lester have let us down, in which case Sox aren't contending in '06 anyway. At this point, while I think we should keep Manny and Ortiz, the main focus should be on building the next Sox WS contender, which looks like being in '08 or '09. Damon doesn't fit that timeframe (will be Bernie Williams by '09) and Reed does. Manny's consistency suggests he will be good (if overpaid) in '08, and of course he needn't be overpaid as a DH in '09, by which time Ortiz will have left for big $$$ and may have become Mo Vaughan.

I like keeping fan favorites, and if we lose Damon we HAVE to keep Manny and Ortiz, but I think we can afford to lose Damon rather than overpay. For SS, we should get someone cheap and hope Petunia can play the position, aiming to open the purse in July if Petunia can't hack it and Sox are in serious contention.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:50 AM (#1776314)
I know it's been reported, but I still have trouble believing that Crisp is available. He's easily the best option on that list, if there were any way to acquire him.

That projection for Reed is amazing. If I were confident that was right, I'd probably trade Clement for him right now (if possible) and deal with the fallout later.

I'm skeptical of Michaels' defense, though his ZR is solid. I'm skeptical of translating a part-time player's stats to a full-time line. But he might be good.

I have the current Red Sox luxury tax payroll at $116M. They need to dump one starter at least, so that frees up $4-8M more. If we assume the Sox will stay below the cap this year, that means they have $14-18M left to work with. They need a CF, a SS and some bench players (depending on how much they trust Freedom, Shoppach, Pedroia, Stern and so on.)

The only good free agent CF or SS is Johnny Damon. If the Sox don't sign Damon, they'll be at significant risk of not spending all their money this offseason. I think that's almost always a bad thing. Money is exchanged for goods and services, which in this case are translatable to wins, which are what I care about. Arguably the team might make more profit, but I couldn't give a dogcrap whisker about John Henry's bottom line.

So far, the Red Sox have been quite creative in getting some use out of their money, and so hopefully they'll do something wicked cool with that remaining $10M. The problem with that, though, is it means another trade. And I got no idea, and never will, what sort of trade will make sense to a specific team. So I guess I just wait. They've done a good job so far.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:53 AM (#1776322)
At this point, while I think we should keep Manny and Ortiz, the main focus should be on building the next Sox WS contender, which looks like being in '08 or '09.
If the Red Sox don't have a world series contending team on the field in April of 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, I will be very disappointed. Big market, huge salary teams don't skip seasons unless they screw up.
   4. 1k5v3L Posted: December 14, 2005 at 04:13 AM (#1776351)
Does the CLement for Reed rumor has legs, or is it more of the "let's send a whole bunch of young Southies in togas to rub Bavasi's bald head in oil, and see what comes out of Bavasi's read end"?
   5. Joel W Posted: December 14, 2005 at 04:19 AM (#1776365)
MCA,

I have no reason not to believe that projection for Reed. He hit .327 in his minor league career, walked often enough, didn't strike out (good for MLEs if I remember correctly).

I am with MCA on the 2006-2009 thing. Especially because we have a good, young, and cheap core coming through. We have Marte now, we have Pedroia, we have Youkilis. That's 3 of 4 potential infield positions for the next 5 or 6 years who won't be free agents until 2010. We have Lester, Pap, Hansen, Beckett all potentially as part of the staff for years to come. The Sox still have a LF who can rake, unless they trade him. A DH, well, you know. This could be a very good to great team over the next five years.

Which is why I hope we get Reed. Adding Reed to that nucleus could make for a great team now and a great great young core over the next 5 years. With that and the ability to sign free agents over that time. Even Manny would become a free agent if we just held on to him.

I guess if we could get Reed we'd just have a great young core. It'd make signing free agents over the next five years really appealing. Have the young core, pay big for free agents for short term contracts, keep the young guys around.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 14, 2005 at 04:29 AM (#1776374)
I have no reason not to believe that projection for Reed. He hit .327 in his minor league career, walked often enough, didn't strike out (good for MLEs if I remember correctly).
Reed, MLB career: 270/340/365
Reed, AAA MLE: 260/325/385

He was awesome three years ago in a half season at AA, and he's still young, but 363/412 would be huge jump over Reed's last two years. I'd estimate a ~25 run improvement over either '04 or '05.
   7. Joel W Posted: December 14, 2005 at 06:22 AM (#1776456)
I suppose that's true MCA, but I don't think just because it was 2 years ago it's meaningless....basically that line is saying we expect him to hit .290 this year, keep the same iso disciprine, and put the ISO to his MLE level. The .290 is probably over-optimistic in Safeco, don't think it is in Fenway though. C'mon Syzm, give me some Seattle ZiPS.
   8. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 14, 2005 at 06:30 AM (#1776462)
FWIW, Shandler has Reed at a similar OBP but with a bit more power.
   9. Darren Posted: December 14, 2005 at 02:13 PM (#1776628)
If the Sox don't sign Damon, they'll be at significant risk of not spending all their money this offseason.

That's only a problem if you don't get someone as good as Damon in his place. Spending $10 mil/year on Damon is no virtue in and of itself, it's only good if Damon represents more production than Coco/Reed/???. Even worse, that big contract may lead to him being played ahead of better players in 07-09.
   10. Russ Posted: December 14, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1776640)
He was awesome three years ago in a half season at AA, and he's still young, but 363/412 would be huge jump over Reed's last two years.

Do not underestimate the importance of the "young" in that projection... I'd guess that ZiPS is giving some sort of power boost because Reed is heading into his first power spike years.
   11. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:04 PM (#1776668)
Has anyone heard about any team being interested in signing Preston Wilson? If there's no competetion for him, he'd make a very nice stopgap solution; especially since I've seen Torii Hunter's name come up a few times in connection with the Sox. Hunter and Wilson actually have very similar career lines, but Wilson has already had his pay day, while Hunter is in the middle of his bad contract.
   12. Mister High Standards Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:34 PM (#1776703)
Wilson can't field the position in a normal outfield never mind with Nixon and Manny flanking him.
   13. Joel W Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:47 PM (#1776718)
There is another big problem with Damon, mainly the fact that he runs around like a madman. It looks great, and when he makes those catches it's fantastic. However, it feels like we're going to see a Griffey-wrist injury, a Torii Hunter ankle-injury, etc. one of these days with him. At 10 Mil per, it's just not worth it. His durability has been a great asset, looking forward, it might not be.
   14. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 03:51 PM (#1776721)
I didn't realize Wilson's defensive rep was so bad. Is he hobbled or just not good?
   15. OlePerfesser Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1776864)
But now, Boras may well be seeking the $13 million per season that Rafael Furcal, also a leadoff man, received...

Well, sure. And I have a feeling Cashman would be willing to go 3x$39M right now. So how would we all feel about seeing Jesus in pinstripes, batting #1 in '06? The thing that pumps up Damon's value is he gives you top-of-the-lineup OBP at a premium defensive position; you kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone, as it were.

On Reed, closer inspection is leading me to temper my enthusiasm. Potential negatives:
1) He's 15 SB, 12 CS for his career.
2) He showed a verrrry troubling platoon split last year: .200/.276/.267 in 105 ABs vs. L.
3) The jury's still out on his D. Stellar ZR, good word-of-mouth, but weak FRAA over the years. And I haven't seen him enough to offer an eyeball opinion.

So this CF thing is getting to be a tough call. And what about the SS thing, the 1B thing, the Manny thing...?
   16. OlePerfesser Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1776865)
Er, 3x$39M should be 3x$13M=$39M. My proofreader's day off...
   17. Joel W Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:54 PM (#1776968)
3) The jury's still out on his D. Stellar ZR, good word-of-mouth, but weak FRAA over the years. And I haven't seen him enough to offer an eyeball opinion.


Ichiro! may hurt him there.

The rest is, yes, troubling. Actually, I don't find the SB/CS thing troubling. He may just be a bad basestealer, but still fast. He was pretty good at it in the minors, may just not get great jumps right now, but could still have good raw speed.

I do find the platoon split very troubling as well, especially because Damon showed no platoon split and that was definitely a plus. But then again, if he can hit righties, then I'll live with it. Maybe the 4th outfielder could be a righty who could play center and right, and take some games from Reed and some games from Trot?
   18. OlePerfesser Posted: December 14, 2005 at 06:56 PM (#1777120)
Yeah, Joel, but do you give up Clement for that? I'm deeply ambivalent now, and only 24 hours ago I would've pulled that trigger.

Also, BProsp's most similar player to Reed is Rick Manning. Ouch. And that was before he disappointed so thoroughly with the bat last year.

Bottom line, I can see why Lucchiavelli is talking 4/$40M with J.D.
   19. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1777264)
The CS rates for Reed caught my eye, too. It made me wonder: to CS rates have any correlation to bad baserunning in general, or is it a completely specialized skill that one can lack and still be a good baserunner? Plenty of slow guys who can't really steal are good (read: smart or skilled) baserunners, but I wonder if speedy guys with bad CS rates are simply reckless. I dunno. It'd be an interesting study. For someone else to do, obviously.
   20. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1777273)
Maybe the 4th outfielder could be a righty who could play center and right, and take some games from Reed and some games from Trot?

Jay Payton should be available...
   21. chris p Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:30 PM (#1777275)
but I wonder if speedy guys with bad CS rates are simply reckless.

so injury rates for center fielders correlate with high caught stealing rates?
   22. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:35 PM (#1777283)
Reckless on the basebaths, not in general. Sorry, should have been more clear.
   23. JB H Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1777290)
I don't really get the concern over Reed.

Yeah the platoon thing sucks and it'd be nice if he was a great baserunner, but if he was everything Damon is, in addition to being better defensively and ~$34 million cheaper over the next 4 years, then we'd have no shot of getting him, would we?

Given the choice between four years of Damon's decline and two years of Matt Clement, or four years of Jeremy Reed's prime and signing a free agent who wants Brian Giles-money next offseason, I don't have to think too hard
   24. tfbg9 Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1777291)
ESPN's lameass scoutng report says Reed lacks pure speed, but can throw. I'd rather have Coco Crisp, who can run like a bastid and has no split problems, but that's more than likely not doable anyway.

Clement is so painful to watch pitch that I might just say go and do the Reed deal even if they resign Damon, and try to use the money elsewhere.
   25. Joel W Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:44 PM (#1777296)
Since I've been defending Clement and pumping this trade I guess my point is this:

Clement is a good pitcher, but the truth is that the Red Sox have a number of good pitchers. The marginal difference between Clement leaving, bumping Papelbon up, keeping Wells (who was really good last year, ps) Arroyo, etc. to one slot higher in the rotation, with DiNardo, Alvarez, or Lester as the backups is just not that large. Truthfully, I'd like to know how much we know about Schilling's health, but I digress a bit...

On the other side of the equation, I look at Damon and I see $40 million bucks being spent, and I again see the marginal difference between Damon and Reed to just not be that high. It's not that I necessarily think Reed will be equal to Damon next year, but I think he could be. I also think that Damon's shoulder is going to fall off, and that it might eventually hurt him at the plate...

God I'm rambling, but marginal downgrade at both positions < Reed + 20 mil. I know that the 20 million doesn't matter to me, and if they're going to spend then I might as well say keep the marginal upgrade. However, it's not the money for this year, it's the money for the next 2-4 years of free agency that I'd like the flexibility for, plus midseason salary dumps.
   26. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:51 PM (#1777304)
JoelW Posted: December 14, 2005 at 11:54 AM (#1776968)

3) The jury's still out on his D. Stellar ZR, good word-of-mouth, but weak FRAA over the years. And I haven't seen him enough to offer an eyeball opinion.


Ichiro! may hurt him there.


Reed is an excellent defensive center fielder, just based on my personal observations. I saw about 150 Mariners' games last year, live and on TV, and Reed did show deference to Ichiro on routine fly balls that could be caught by either the center fielder or right fielder.
   27. Joel W Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1777313)
Can somebody tell me how real the "David Ortiz can't play first because of his knees/back" thing is? Sometimes I just want two people who can fly in right and center, with Trot in left, and Manny DHing. Figure out 3rd, deal the left over Youkilis/Lowell along with a pitcher for a good fielding right fielder.
Fenway's dimensions are so skewed, and our staff is going to be so flyball oriented that having two fliers out there would really help. Maybe not Reed because his O won't be good enough, but one of those Seattle/Chicago/Tampa outfield arrangements wouldn't be half bad.
   28. chris p Posted: December 14, 2005 at 08:58 PM (#1777318)
Sometimes I just want two people who can fly in right and center, with Trot in left, and Manny DHing.

me, too.
   29. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 09:09 PM (#1777336)
And me. But Ortiz won't be playing first. I don't know if the knee/back concerns are for real or not, but I know Ortiz doesn't like to play in the field and if there's one guy on the roster that needs to be kept happy for PR reasons, it's him.
   30. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 14, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1777453)
Clement is a good pitcher. I would trade Clement for Reed in a heartbeat.
   31. ElGuaposGhost Posted: December 14, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1777603)
Reed could be an option. His AAA and Show numbers would suggest a contact hitter, a good eye with limited power. In a market that gives 2/$16 to a 40-something PR nightmare and whose strikeouts are accidents, Clement should be more valuable than a CF that hasn’t proved he can hit in the Show. The Sox should do better than Reed for Clement and Wells, BTW. Not that I am advocating dealing Clement with Schilling and Beckett’s questionable health; moving Wells is enough.

I guess my first choice is to find a CF in an upcoming Wells or Manny deal. Second, overpay for Damon like in the Tek deal knowing that after the first two seasons you are taking it. Hopefully by then a CF option emerges. But the Sox need the marginal upgrades; it is how clubs make the postseason and they do cost more. It is the luxury of a big market team.

BTW, I don’t think Trot was that bad defensively.
   32. Joel W Posted: December 15, 2005 at 12:09 AM (#1777690)
Trot used to be fantastic in the field. He's been injured with leg and back injuries the past couple years. I just don't think he's as good anymore.

BTW, since Wells is on such an incentive laden contract, isn't he only making like $2 mil this year. Tell him they'll just sit on the contract if he doesn't want to play. Otherwise, he can suck it up and strike out 100 batters, walk 20 over 200 innings, and have another good season.
   33. chris p Posted: December 15, 2005 at 01:13 AM (#1777775)
agree with joelw, trot's lost alot of range due to injuries.
   34. Darren Posted: December 15, 2005 at 01:38 AM (#1777792)
Trot was badly injured most of last season and has since had corrective surgery. He will probably be average next year.

BTW, since Wells is on such an incentive laden contract, isn't he only making like $2 mil this year.

He's making $4 mil. I think they want to deal him anyway, though.
   35. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 15, 2005 at 06:45 PM (#1778619)
It's $4 mil. guarenteed with IP incentives that could add another $5 mil, coming to a total $9 mil. I think.

Wells was pretty much league average last year though (99 ERA+), and while I'm not sure exactly how much he made last year (IRCC $8-9 mil), it's not a disaster in this market.

ERA+ last 3 years:
Wells: 106, 108, 99
Clement: 103, 123, 96
Arroyo: 227(17 IP), 121, 98

Clement should bring a better return than just Reed, too. I feel like I've heard people describing Clement as injury prone or something, but he pitched 191 innings last year (despite taking that line drive off the noggin) and has pitched more than 180 innings in 6 of the last 7 years. With Schilling and Beckett being the high-variance guys, Wakefield, Clement, and Arroyo should provide at least durable league-averageish pitching with Papelbon filling in for the inevitable starter injuries. The pitching isn't too bad right now, but obviously the Sox aren't done filling in postion players, so Wells for any of the warm bodies listed above would probably be ok. Coco's my choice, but I doubt the Indians are looking to move him.
   36. Saved By the Belliard Posted: December 15, 2005 at 07:14 PM (#1778681)
RE: Coco Crisp

He's not going to get traded. The Indians are looking for an upgrade at the corners (RF or 1B), and the last thing they would do is to deal the lone productive corner player from last year. Jason Dubois is huge downgrade defensively, and that's assuming he matches Crisp's offensive output from last season (and I'm not convinced he can).
   37. sublime Posted: December 16, 2005 at 12:32 AM (#1779349)
If Clement's one of their best pitchers, it means Beckett, Papelbon, Schilling, Hanson and Lester have let us down, in which case Sox aren't contending in '06 anyway.


expecting hanson/papelbon to outperform clement is insane. his struggles the second half of last season are being over magnified by most casual fans. while having a steady stream of quality starts is optimal, it just doesn't happen often. variance is a ##### :(

when you take his whole season and adjust for the fact that he pitched in a hitters park, a hitters division and in front of a putrid defense he is a fine mid rotation pitcher.
   38. OlePerfesser Posted: December 16, 2005 at 12:39 AM (#1779359)
BTW, thanks to Vortex for the scouting report on Reed's glove. Even if he hits little better than last year, being a capable flyhawk is worth something.

But this decision will be affected by the SS one. You certainly wouldn't want a Rick Manning-esque CF hitting 8th and Alex Cora 9th, assuming you're trying to contend.

Another name I'd put in play, mainly as a 1 or 2 year stopgap if Damon goes elsewhere, is the Brewers' Brady Clark. I'm not sure whether Dave Krynzel will make it or not, but as young as the Brewers are going this year, what'd be the harm in finding out? And Clark's value is as high as it's going to go, given his age. Melvin would demand a damn good prospect in exchange, but it's probably worth considering (again, if J.D. flees).
   39. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:37 AM (#1779473)
From the Bill James Handbook, 2006, predicted performance (ba/obp/slg) for Damon and Reed:

Damon--.292/.361/.425
Reed---.294/.363/.412
   40. Rough Carrigan Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:41 AM (#1779476)
Oh crap. I read the intro at the main page and didn't see that both sets of predicted stats had been posted. Duh. Oh well, the point was that it's a fine line between being Rick Manning and being the son of god.
   41. Boof Bonser Tree Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:43 AM (#1779481)
I wonder what Troy O'Leary and Butch Huskey are doing?
   42. MM1f Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:49 AM (#1779485)
Have Trots injuries affected his D? I havent seen him play much the last couple years but he was a pretty good RF for awhile, and capable enough to fill in in CF. And, befitting a guy who was also a superstar pitching prospect and QB recruit in HS, he could throw
   43. chris p Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:28 AM (#1779536)
Have Trots injuries affected his D?

yup. lots. it's part of what made jay payton's lack of playing time so inexplicable and his eventual temper tantrum understandable.
   44. tfbg9 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:35 AM (#1779542)
"his eventual temper tantrum [was] understandable."

No it wasn't. It was only understadable as the act of a selfish jackass.
   45. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:06 AM (#1779579)
The Red Sox had better pay some serious attention to the OF. If Damon doesn't re-sign and Manny is on the outs, the Sox will have to get creative. There just isn't a whole lot of freely available OF talent out there. Further compounding the OF problem is the that, more than ever given Trot's health and apparent performance decline, they would be best served with a legitimate fourth outfielder. Like a Ricky Ledee/Reggie Sanders type. Not like Gabe Kapler. So if Manny is gone, Damon too and with 4th OF currently unfilled, the Red Sox will be in the market for 3 quality outfielders. I just don't know where that comes from. For all the talk about Tejada, the Red Sox have depth where Miggy plays, and don't necessarily need to be reaching out for a shortstop. Sure, when a player of Tejada's ilk comes available, you have to think long and hard but I would prefer to leave the infield alone. Loretta, Pedroia and Cora could all play adequately there. I am not sure Marte couldn't either. Between Youk, Lowell, Marte and Petagine, there isn't a pressing need at 1B or 3B. But the Sox do very much need some outfielders. If Manny is dealt, I would like to see either Bobby Abreu or J.D. Drew come in return. If Damon is not resigned, get Reed or Crisp done. Shortstop is going to take care of itself. What the Sox really need is to make sure they have four average-plus outfielders for 2006.
   46. chris p Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:21 AM (#1779606)
No it wasn't. It was only understadable as the act of a selfish jackass.

were you in the red sox dugout? the clubhouse?
   47. The Flying Monkey Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:34 AM (#1779629)
as much as i would like to get reed, i have trouble understanding why the m's would trade the guy after only one year in their system. this was a guy coming off minor league player of the year honors, and someone the m's obviously targeted when they traded freddy garcia for him. also, who would the m's play in center next year? i just don't see the logic for the m's here, especially when kevin millwood is still out there.
   48. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:43 AM (#1779642)
Reed is considered expendable because Seattle is very high on former ss Adam Jones, whom they moved to CF for the AFL this year.
   49. Josh Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:34 PM (#1779909)
According to the Globe:
The Sox have also talked with the Cleveland Indians about switch-hitting outfielder Coco Crisp; the Indians also would like Arroyo.

Story.

Now, I hate these types of rumors. Yes, the Indians would like Arroyo -- if he were waived, the Indians may want to claim him. And, I imagine that the Sox have talked to the Indians about Coco. The article implies -- but does not explicitly state -- that a deal of Arroyo for Crisp is possible, but that seems really hard to imagine from the Indians' perspective. Shouldn't Coco get more? Or, am I undervaluing Arroyo by a lot?
   50. JB H Posted: December 16, 2005 at 02:57 PM (#1779927)
Arroyo is a average'ish SP who doesn't make that much money. That should have a lot of value in the market, although I've always kind of thought Arroyo wouldn't be able to get much in trade since he was freely available not too long ago

Seattle is apparently asking for Arroyo for Reed too. I think I'd rather have Reed.
   51. OlePerfesser Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:29 PM (#1779956)
Really, JB H? Money aside, I'd feel much better about dealing Arroyo for Reed than Clement. (And the money ain't mine anyway...)

As to James's projection for Reed (and I like Rough's line that "it's a fine line between being Rick Manning and being the son of god"), I sure as hell hope that's what Reed's capable of, 'cause then you slot him into leadoff and you can still tolerate Cora's bat somewhere in the batting order (9th--with a good PH ready as needed!). It's pretty risky, though, and if you make that deal you're conceding J.D. to the MFY; I'll wager the FO is verrry uneasy about that.

Finally, Haywood's kid makes a good point--quality OFs are getting scarcer by the day, and we need to get on the stick. Unfortunately, the Manny Thing is holding up an awful lot of other decisions; couldn't LL have convened a summit weeks ago with Manny and his agent and worked out a plan to make life in Boston at nearly $20M/yr livable for his best hitter?
   52. Dizzypaco Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:53 PM (#1779993)
Reed is considered expendable because Seattle is very high on former ss Adam Jones, whom they moved to CF for the AFL this year.

I would guess that Reed is considered expendable also based on the fact that he stunk up the field last year.

Putting Reed in centerfield is a huge risk. He might get better, and match his projections, but there is also a reasonable chance that he will continue to stink.
   53. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:07 PM (#1780014)
Dizzypaco,

Putting <strike>Reed</strike> Damon in centerfield is a huge risk. He might <strike>get better</strike> have another productive season, and match his projections, but there is also a reasonable chance that he will <strike>continue</strike> begin to stink.

We do this all the time with young players, and forget that players like Damon have a reasonable chance of starting to stink. We will have a bunch of projections for both and you use them to evaluate players.

On the issue of defference and defensive stats, I would love for Tango to put "deference" in his online scouting report. We could use it to see that Reed is quite good even if his FRAA isn't, and we could also use it to see that Kevin Millar sucks, but in stat form.
   54. Dizzypaco Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1780100)
Joel,

Damon was a very good player last year. He was a very good player the year before. Jeremy Reed was a very bad baseball player last year. He was nowhere near as good offensively in 2005 as Kevin Millar, which is saying something. Johnny Damon is not a huge risk for 2006. Jeremy Reed is a huge risk in 2006.

Of course Damon might stink in 2006. Everyone in baseball might stink next year, its a matter of probabilities. The chance that Damon will not be a productive player in 2006 are very, very small. The chance that Reed will not be a productive player in 2006 are much greater.

Over time, Damon may not be a smart signing - he may turn into Bernie Williams in a few years. But if we are talking about 2006 alone, then Damon has a much greater chance for success than Jeremy Reed.

Red Sox fans are spoiled. They seem to think that we will lead the league in runs scored no matter who they put out there. Between Lowell, whoever it is we put at shortstop, and whoever it is we put in centerfield, not to mention our new backup catcher, scoring could be a hell of a lot harder to come by than it was the last few years.
   55. OlePerfesser Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:37 PM (#1780198)
...whoever it is we put at shortstop...

Rumor has it it's this guy, who is very definitely a 9-hole caliber hitter.

I think Diz is right about the precipice at which the offense is perched. So far, only one likely improvement in the batting order has been made: Loretta has a higher probability of being a better run producer in the #2 slot than Renteria did. We can also pick up some marginal O by finding a better 1B. But if Manny goes, Damon goes, Trot ain't healthy...
   56. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1780260)
Dizzy,

We have those projections though. They tell us that maybe Damon won't be better than Reed next year. You may have good reason to think that the variance in Reed's projections might be larger than Damon's, and that's probably the case. But those projections are picking up on something.

I agree though that runs may be harder to come by next year. Right now we have two great hitters in the lineup, Tek who is pretty solid, and Trot who can hit righties. However, our second baseman will likely be better than what we got last year. So will our first baseman, if it's Lowell, or Youkilis or Marte or Freedom, they will just be better than Millar. We didn't exactly get a ton of production out of shortstop last year. I think the Sox should just go w/ Pedroia there. When you're getting 140 runs of VORP from 2 players though, the runs will come.

I think Doug is a pretty good hitter also, but the Sox won't be losing much compared to his line last year.
   57. JB H Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1780285)
Well this is terrifying:

According to two major league baseball front-office sources, the Red Sox went into last night primed to pull off a deal with Cleveland which would send newly-acquired third baseman Andy Marte and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota to the Indians for outfielder Coco Crisp.

The trade is reportedly partly contingent on the Indians' ability to sign Garciaparra, a free agent, with the purpose of putting the former Red Sox shortstop in right field. The move would make the 26-year-old Crisp expendable, helping Boston fill a need in either left or center field, depending on the return of Manny Ramirez or Johnny Damon.


http://www.ecnnews.com/cgi-bin/05/snstory.pl?-sec-Sports+1k589g0+fn-nredsox.1216-20051216-
   58. ericr Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:38 PM (#1780297)
Awful awful trade. I can only hope it's either misinformation by the sox directed at Damon, or that was the Indians' demand, not close to a consensus.
   59. chris p Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1780313)
as much as i like covelli, i don't think that's a good trade for the red sox.
   60. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1780327)
I don't know if the Sox' offense situation is that dire. I mean, they did score 910 runs last year with Bellhorn/Cora, Renteria, and Millar weighing down the lineup. They have Ortiz, Varitek, Loretta, and (for the time being) Manny, who will likely be above average at their postions, and Nixon/RH buddy, who depending on Nixon's health will probably be no worse than average.

The positions of concern for now I think are SS, CF, and 3B. I would hope that with the number of options at third, something will work itself out so that we can expect something around average production there, with a nice possible upside. SS and CF are obviously the killers, but the Sox didn't get much out of SS last year and were ok. If the Sox can manage to get decent production out of 1B, then maybe that could make up a little for another below-average offensive SS, and a not-disasterous CF. I'd expect the the offense will be a little worse this year, but not by a ton.

The real problem is that last year along with the 910 runs scored, they gave up 805 runs. I think/hope the Sox pitching will be in better shape this year.
   61. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1780336)
According to two major league baseball front-office sources, the Red Sox went into last night primed to pull off a deal with Cleveland which would send newly-acquired third baseman Andy Marte and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota to the Indians for outfielder Coco Crisp.

that would be a great trade.

i can't believe the m's are dumb enough to consider trading reed for arroyo.

arroyo might be out of baseball in a couple of years. un-freakin'-believable.
   62. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1780341)
Oh god, I don't like that trade at all. Unless there's something horribly wrong with Marte, this doesn't sound good.

Of course, somebody's got to play CF, and other teams aren't going just give players away. I like it better when the Sox trade away lousy prospects and cash. Or preferrably, overpaid stinkers.
   63. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1780345)
New York Post (registration required)

The Orioles deny they have made a six-year contract offer to Johnny Damon, however, there's no question they have joined the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers in pursuit of the highly coveted free-agent center fielder, says the Post's George King.


This might explain why the Sox are going after Coco.
   64. Dizzypaco Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:08 PM (#1780357)
i can't believe the m's are dumb enough to consider trading reed for arroyo.

arroyo might be out of baseball in a couple of years. un-freakin'-believable.


If Reed has a couple more years like the last one, he'll also be out of baseball.
   65. karlmagnus Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:10 PM (#1780359)
The combination of the Renteria trade and the Crisp/Marte trade suggests the Sox are in a financial bind and desperately trying to reduce payroll. It probably foots with Henry's poor year; you don't make much out of a hedge fund if it loses money. Sox may have just become a small market franchise, until we get new ownership.
   66. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:23 PM (#1780392)
dizzypaco, I think Reed's going to get a lot more chances than Arroyo--because he's 5 years younger, because he's very good defensively at a premium position and because he's a better hitter than he showed in 05. Arroyo's about as good as he'll ever get.
   67. Mister High Standards Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1780399)
Karl that doesn't jive. The Beckett deal, the sox took on additional payroll. The Lorretta deal they took on payroll. And there reluctance to dump manny for a bag of donuts indicates that they are willing to keep payroll high.
   68. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1780410)
Maybe the Lowell/Beckett trade was made with the assumption they'd be able to trade Manny, and move his entire contract as well. That ain't happening. Or that they'd be able to move someone like Clement, and that seems difficult right now. And they still have a huge hole in CF. The Sox may indeed be trying to reduce payroll...
   69. sublime Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1780412)
The combination of the Renteria trade and the Crisp/Marte trade suggests the Sox are in a financial bind and desperately trying to reduce payroll


huh?

also, the marte/crisp 'rumor' is a farce and im sure scott boras knows that.
   70. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:37 PM (#1780421)
Sox may have just become a small market franchise, until we get new ownership.

That doesn't seem likely to me. 1, they took on Lowell's contract. Sure, they may trade him, but they took on the risk in the first place. It seems unlikely that if they're trying to reduce payroll that the first move they'd make would be to add 2 more hard-to-move contracts. 2, Boston/New England IS a big market. I don't know if the Red Sox turn a profit or what, but I imagine the team comes pretty close to paying for itself. 3, I really don't think you can call dumping payroll a pattern yet. From a talent perspective, Renteria/Marte was a good gamble even though the Sox kicked in a good amount of money.
   71. sublime Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:43 PM (#1780430)
The Red Sox have done nothing to indicate they are dumping payroll. What they have done is show they run a fantastic front office, despite the nonstop drama.
   72. Dizzypaco Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:02 PM (#1780481)
dizzypaco, I think Reed's going to get a lot more chances than Arroyo--because he's 5 years younger, because he's very good defensively at a premium position and because he's a better hitter than he showed in 05. Arroyo's about as good as he'll ever get.

Lev,

I think its the opposite. A pitcher who can maintain an ERA of 4.50, pitching in Fenway Park behind a mediocre defense - there's no reason he can't keep doing that, and a starting pitcher who performs okay will get lots of chances.

Reed - obviously, I think he'll improve some, but if he does put together three straight years of Neivi Perez like output, he'll be a fourth or fifth outfielder faster than you can say Gabe Kapler.
   73. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:15 PM (#1780513)
Dizzy, he's 24 and has had 1 bad year in a pitchers park. In fact,
   74. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1780529)
actually, there was no in fact, that was basically my whole point. And I think David Gassko's article shows us that stuff matters a good amount. Arroyo was actually a bit lucky I think last year, given his peripherals. I've loved his first year, but unless he can start doing something against lefties, he'll actually end up being best in a Steve Reed role.
   75. Darren Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1780539)
I'm going to post the crazy Coco rumor separately.
   76. Darren Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:30 PM (#1780553)
Davanon may be another fallback option, and would certainly be a great player to have on the bench. He slugged about 0 last year, but he's a switch hitter, passable CF, who ZIPs projects at .350/.400ish.
   77. Darren Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:33 PM (#1780556)
The imminent DFAing of Matt Diaz makes him a prime candidate for our 4th OF/platoon with Trot spot, particularly if Trot is shifted to left. Diaz has hit very well in AAA, will be 28 next year, and is righthanded. Nice.
   78. Dizzypaco Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:51 PM (#1780588)
I haven't read Gassko's article, but I would be curious to see a list of players that a) had a good offensive reputation and minor league numbers, b) was a rookie at age 24, and c) had a terrible rookie year.

The fact that he played in a pitcher's park doesn't explain an OPS of .674.

Once again, I agree he might be good. I just think there's a bigger chance that he's simply not going to be as good as his minor league numbers suggested than what people are acknowledging, and its a tremendous risk to assume he's going to be your center fielder for the next few years.
   79. Russ Posted: December 16, 2005 at 10:04 PM (#1780740)
Why can't the Pirates and Red Sox work out a deal that is something like Craig Wilson, Chris Duffy, and John Grabow for Youks and Bladergroen?
   80. Darren Posted: December 16, 2005 at 10:24 PM (#1780778)
How about, instead of that, the Sox just wait for Wilson to be non-tendered and pick him up cheap?
   81. Kevin Sweet Child Romine (aco) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1780822)
That would be ideal. If Carlos Pena is non-tendered, the Sox could pick up both and take care of 1st base and Trot's platoon mate for peanuts.
   82. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 16, 2005 at 11:36 PM (#1780875)
The Pirates wouldn't non-tender Wilson, would they? Why do they hate him so much?
   83. Darren Posted: December 17, 2005 at 05:16 AM (#1781274)
I think they stress defense and fundamentals and he's not that type of player. But more importantly, he was hurt last year and made $3 mil. They may have decided that the risk won't be worth the price they'd have to pay in arb. ($3 mil-ish?)
   84. Darren Posted: December 20, 2005 at 03:41 AM (#1785687)
Interesting situation with Damon right now. If Boston goes and makes a deal for Reed or Crisp, that leaves the Yanks as Damon's only suitor. So even if the Red Sox actually intend to go a different direction, it's in their best interest to keep feigning interest in Damon, just to make sure the Yanks pay a lot for him.

This won't be over until after the deadline for Boston/Damon negotiations.
   85. Joel W Posted: December 20, 2005 at 06:19 AM (#1785855)
sad on diaz.
   86. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: December 20, 2005 at 07:49 AM (#1785933)
The combination of the Renteria trade and the Crisp/Marte trade suggests the Sox are in a financial bind and desperately trying to reduce payroll. It probably foots with Henry's poor year; you don't make much out of a hedge fund if it loses money. Sox may have just become a small market franchise, until we get new ownership.

I could see an argument for Renteria/Marte, but how does Crisp/Marte save money? They make (basically) the same. It would just move a long-term hole from corner IF to corner OF, as Crisp is little more than a stopgap in CF.

Henry probably also makes money on funds controlled by his firm rather than the return on the fund, so his earnings would only be directly effected by adverse performance if he had a large portion of his assets invested in it. (So he just makes less money when his fund loses money (fewer assets under control) rather than actually losing money). It's possible that people could choose not to invest in his fund, but savvy investors are unlikely to ditch an investment in a hedge fund based on a 1-year loss. I don't know much about Henry's hedge fund business, though.
   87. karlmagnus Posted: December 20, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1786040)
Henry makes some money based on asstes in the fund but on a $3 billion fund that's only $30 million per annum, and his overhead running the thing will absorb a big part of that (he doesn't do the entire operation solo, he has minions.) The real money comes on the percentage -- typically 20% -- of the gains in the year, so if he makes a moderate 10% return ($300mm) his own take is 20% of that or $60mm, on top of the original $30mm.

Renteria plus Damon to Crisp plus a generic SS saves the Sox about $15mm a year, at the cost of substantial downgrade at 2 poasitions, and no automatic and cheap locked in increase which you get with a top prospect. (Very often, the teams that win championships are those where 2-3 new top quality players appear out of nowhere. If like the Sox in '05, almost your entire roster is in its 30s or indeed 40s, you have no chance of a new player suddenly appearing to put you over the top, and every chance of a player you were relying on collapsing (in Sox '05 case, Schilling and Foulke.)

Paying real money for 37 year olds like Seanez is thus a bad deal; your maximum upside is already known, and there's a substantial chance that their sudden collapse will leave you with a gaping hole, as Foulke's has. The only 35+ players you should pay big money to are those your fanbase has already identified with, because you can market them for $$$.
   88. Mattbert Posted: December 21, 2005 at 05:53 AM (#1787718)
The Globe has Damon going to the Yankees for 4 years, $52M.
   89. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:17 AM (#1787747)
Jeremy Reed, Jeremy Reed, Jeremy Reed.

Karl, I'm going to disagree with this:

Very often, the teams that win championships are those where 2-3 new top quality players appear out of nowhere. If like the Sox in '05, almost your entire roster is in its 30s or indeed 40s, you have no chance of a new player suddenly appearing to put you over the top, and every chance of a player you were relying on collapsing


Andy Marte, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen, Kevin Youkilis, John Lester maybe...Manny and Ortiz aren't collapsing...frankly, I think the sox have some room for improvment.

Especially if they get Jeremy Reed, it would be a solid young core.
   90. Mattbert Posted: December 21, 2005 at 06:52 AM (#1787789)
Andy Marte, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen, Kevin Youkilis, John Lester maybe...Manny and Ortiz aren't collapsing...frankly, I think the sox have some room for improvment.

Especially if they get Jeremy Reed, it would be a solid young core.


With Manny Ortez providing the solid and everyone else providing the young? There's a lot of promise in that list, sure, but only Youkilis and, to a lesser degree, Papelbon have performed much better than average above the AA level.
   91. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 21, 2005 at 09:14 AM (#1787863)
There's a lot of promise in that list, sure, but only Youkilis and, to a lesser degree, Papelbon have performed much better than average above the AA level.

Um, Marte too.

Hey, you said above AA, he did quite well in AAA.
   92. Dizzypaco Posted: December 21, 2005 at 02:52 PM (#1787955)
If Schilling comes back, they can't fail to win less than 90 games.

They could very easily fail to win less than 90 games. They have no shortstop, no centerfielder, no backup catcher, an unproven firstbaseman, a thirdbaseman who wasn't any good last year, and not much of a bullpen. Its not hard to see how this can be a down year.
   93. Answer Guy Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1787972)
I could definitely see this as a rebuilding year. I'm worried about Beckett's injuries, wondering if Schilling will be anything but a shadow of his former self, concerned about Clement being a bust (assuming he's not traded)... not to mention the holes at shortstop and center field and a shaky bullpen.

In a tougher AL East, I could easily see 84-78 and third place. Am I going to predict that? No.
   94. Joel W Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1788072)
We've already been over the fact that Clement wasn't a bust, but when did this become a bad lineup? ZiPS projections ahead
             OBP/SLG
Youkilis 1B: 400/417
Loretta  2B: 387/441
Ortiz    DH: 392/595
Ramirez  LF: 389/563
Nixon    RF: 381/499
Varitek   C: 361/473
ML/AM    3B: 356/489 That's Lowell, Marte: 350/459 with Upside!
Insert   SS: 343/403 That's Pedroia's line.  Graff would be the same by ZiPS
Insert   CF: Big Gaping Sink Hole.


Some how that lineup looks really good to me, even with the uncertainty at the bottom. You have 5 players with OBPs above 380, and 7 above 350. ITS A GOOD LINEUP. Damon was a good, not great hitter. And next year he will be a good, not great hitter. Bill Mueller was a good, not great hitter at 3b and will be replaced fine. Kevin Millar was an awful hitter (last year), and he'll be replaced by somebody better. Seconbase was a sinkhole last year until we got Graffanino, and we still have him as a back up to Loretta who ZiPS rightly loves for Fenway.

Dizzy, are you really worried about the fact that we don't have a backup catcher? Even though we have a decent, not good, understudy in Shoppach. On a related note, the director of the Producers is worried that they don't know who will be filling in for Matthew Broderick on Thursday afternoon Matinees.

Look, the pitching could be shakey, but have you looked at the Blue Jays rotation? The Yankees? What about their starting rotation inspires so much confidence that the Red Sox don't?

Yankees ZiPS

Red Sox ZiPS

And you're worried about our pitching? I see the Yankees with Johnson, sometimes Mussina, and Rivera and Farnsworth...and, and, and...

Just show me why I should be fretting over the Red Sox who still have a very good lineup, potentially very good pitching, and a bulpen full of pitchers who could be good that I think will sort themselves out. Or they won't and the Red Sox will win 93 games again anyway.

FWIW, ZiPS hates Yankee hitters
   95. chris p Posted: December 21, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1788092)
Insert CF: Big Gaping Sink Hole.

stern's zips is .320/.392

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