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Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Mets’ Future Suddenly Feels Far From Barren

Manager Jerry Manuel has been raving about the prospects who he thinks could help the Mets this season — like 20-year-old Jenrry Mejia, who has drawn comparisons of sorts from Manuel and Dan Warthen, the pitching coach, to both Mariano Rivera and Dwight Gooden. Both men think that Mejia, with his electric tailing fastball, has a chance to make the opening day roster. Manuel already yearns for him to be the setup man.

The promising first baseman Ike Davis already has 12 total bases in 13 at-bats, including one towering blast that Manuel said was hit as far as any ball he has seen at Port St. Lucie. Manuel said Davis could also prompt him to rethink plans to send him down to Class AAA Buffalo if he continues to hit the way he has. On Saturday, Davis had three hits, including a double, and two runs batted in during the Mets’ 14-6 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 07, 2010 at 07:45 AM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. steagles Posted: March 07, 2010 at 02:27 PM (#3474275)
setup man?

don't change. don't ever change.
   2. Raskolnikov Posted: March 07, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3474276)
I'm fine with Fernando starting the season in CF, but Mejia and Davis should get some time down in AAA.
   3. My Grate Friend, Peason Posted: March 07, 2010 at 03:28 PM (#3474284)
Well, I would hope that the Mets weren't actually barren.
   4. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3474288)
It's only March 7, right? Manuel's rethinking decisions based on all of 13 spring AB. It would be great if Davis could step into the lineup and produce from the start of the season. But that's just not very likely. I'd rather see them promote him after some AAA success.
   5. Frisco Cali Posted: March 07, 2010 at 04:15 PM (#3474295)
Manuel's rethinking decisions based on all of 13 spring AB

What would Tony Bernazard do?
   6. Shalimar Posted: March 07, 2010 at 04:19 PM (#3474297)
What would Tony Bernazard do?


Rip off his shirt and challenge Manuel to a fight?
   7. Sam M. Posted: March 07, 2010 at 04:50 PM (#3474307)
It's only March 7, right? Manuel's rethinking decisions based on all of 13 spring AB.

You know, irrational as it is from the POV of 99.99 of the carbon-based life forms on the planet, looking at Mejia as a possible set-up guy in the bullpen and thinking only about the short-term needs of the major-league clubs and asking whether this kid can fill that role (regardless of what it means for his development and the long-term interests of the organization), is not completely ludicrous. If there is one human being on the planet whose interests are defined by how the Mets do in their first 45 games this season, and who cares almost nothing (at least in comparison) about the needs of the 2011 or the 2012 Mets, it's Jerry Manuel. If Mejia can use his one nasty pitch to give Manuel one unhittable inning two out of every three nights, then that's what he wants, given that his job is just about completely on the line if the team gets off to a bad start. Screw the kid's, and the organization's, future.

And if Ike Davis can bash the league (or at least the righties) one time around before the pitchers get a good book on him, great. That, too, helps Manuel get off to a good start. So what if failure thereafter, and a trip back to Buffalo, sets back his confidence? We've got Manuel's job to save here, not a player development system to consider.

Anyway, as to the broader notion that the strong performances of these two (plus Fernando and Thole) indicate that the Mets' system isn't so barren, that falls into the category of "this doesn't really change a thing." The Mets need about twice as many of these caliber prospects to have the kind of system they need. But hey, it's good to have the ones they have.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 07, 2010 at 07:19 PM (#3474374)
I look forward to the unending Jenrry vs. Joba "who was the greatest setup man ever" debates so we can finally let go of the Mantle vs. Mays debate.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 07, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3474377)
Mantle and Mays were setup men?? (I was been misinformed)
   10. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 07, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3474395)
I put this article up as an experiment to see if there would be anything optimistic said.

I do agree that using Meija as a setup man initially is stupid.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: March 07, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3474396)
It's only March 7, right? Manuel's rethinking decisions based on all of 13 spring AB.


To be fair, this decision is also based on 508 ABs last year.
   12. Sam M. Posted: March 07, 2010 at 07:54 PM (#3474398)
I believe Mantle was actually more of a "set-em-up" man.
   13. Something Other Posted: March 07, 2010 at 09:07 PM (#3474447)
I put this article up as an experiment to see if there would be anything optimistic said.
I'm optimistic that Mejia's chances of turning into a real pitcher increase according to the rapidity with which Manuel is fired.

Manuel already yearns for him to be the setup man.
It's a shame that neither the Wilpons nor Minaya had the wit or baseball sense to tell Jerry to simply STFD and STFU about this when he first started popping off. Of course, it's possible Minaya knows better, but his short-term interests here are aligned with Manuel's.

Applied to a half dozen minor leaguers this is the sort of horseshite that can wreck a club for half a decade and turn a team with a regular shot at 90+ wins into one that struggles to reach 85.
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 07, 2010 at 09:43 PM (#3474456)
Mantle and Mays were setup men?? (I was been misinformed)

It's a surprisingly little known fact that Willie Mays was brought in to pitch to Vic Wertz in the '54 WS and did a Bugs Bunny to catch up with Wertz's blast.
   15. Banta Posted: March 07, 2010 at 10:04 PM (#3474464)
Can someone tell me how to pronounce Mejia so I can impress friends and loved ones?
   16. Sam M. Posted: March 07, 2010 at 10:15 PM (#3474470)
Can someone tell me how to pronounce Mejia so I can impress friends and loved ones?

In about 15 years, I'm hoping it sounds just like "Seaver." For now, though, I believe it is

Ma-HE-ah.

Pretty much say it just as you would like Maria, just with a "HE" instead of a "RE."

Say it soft, and it's almost like praying. Mejia.
   17. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 07, 2010 at 10:30 PM (#3474481)
More like Meh-HEE-ah or May-HEE-ah.
   18. Sam M. Posted: March 07, 2010 at 11:03 PM (#3474497)
Ollie today v. Nats:

3 7 5 5 1 2

Sigh.

But Santos hit a grand slam off Jason Marquis in the 2nd, and the Mets won 6-5. And Takahashi had this neat little line to get the win:

3 1 0 0 0 6
   19. bobm Posted: March 07, 2010 at 11:09 PM (#3474500)
An inside the park grand slam, no less!
   20. JPWF13 Posted: March 07, 2010 at 11:26 PM (#3474508)
I'm fine with Fernando starting the season in CF, but Mejia and Davis should get some time down in AAA.


Davis is as "ready" as FMart...
   21. Something Other Posted: March 08, 2010 at 12:32 AM (#3474531)
I'm as skeptical as anyone about the Mets chances this year, and I think 2011 is also going to be rough given how much of the payroll is already committed to one-third of the roster, but I think the team has a chance to be as good as its minor leaguers make it in 2012, and I'd hate to see that chance blown to hell by rushing Davis, Thole, Martinez, Mejia, Havens et al, none of whom should see serious time in the majors this season. They'll have to be on the 25-man for much of 2011 unless the payroll is going to hit $170 million, so let's pace everyone, get them the minor league ABs they need this year, and break in the ones at the major league level in 2011 who succeeded in AAA in 2010.
   22. Lassus Posted: March 08, 2010 at 01:29 AM (#3474544)
Maybe Ollie can play center.
   23. bobm Posted: March 08, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3474546)
Maybe Ollie can play second base.
   24. Something Other Posted: March 08, 2010 at 03:02 AM (#3474586)
Anything but pitcher.
   25. RollingWave Posted: March 08, 2010 at 04:36 AM (#3474620)
Would this turn the attention away from the ZOMG JOBA TO TEH EIGHTH!!! crowd? guess not.
   26. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 05:29 AM (#3474636)
Only spending 122MM this year - plenty of room to spend in 2011.
   27. Banta Posted: March 08, 2010 at 05:36 AM (#3474642)
Davis is as "ready" as FMart...

Maybe, but I always like someone who as a major league ready skill. The Fernanchise*, I really believe, is ready to handle the position defensively. Davis is a complete wild card.

That said, there's no reason for Fernando to break camp with the Mets as long as Angel Pagan still draws breath.

Thanks for the pronunciation help, Sam and Freeballin'.

And I'm glad I didn't get a chance to draft Ollie today in my fantasy league. Someone actually got him before the final round. I was shocked. And pleased. No Mets on my team this year!

*Edited from "F-Mart" because I almost forgot to self-promote. I'm slipping.
   28. Something Other Posted: March 08, 2010 at 07:21 AM (#3474675)
Some particularly creepy news from Rob Neyer:

Here's the way it works sometimes: one of ESPN.com's writers fires off a Tweet, which is picked up by some random blogger, and then I join the fray. Got all that?
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Reds are interested in acquiring outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. if he fails to beat out Angel Pagan for the Mets' month-long centerfield opening.

Matthews Jr. posted a lousy 697 OPS in 316 at-bats for the Angels last season and was shipped to New York this winter for reliever Brian Stokes. If he makes the Mets' final squad, and trumps Pagan, he will man the centerfield position until Carlos Beltran (knee) returns to the field in May. If not, Matthews should be able to find ample playing time in Cincinnati


"...if he fails to beat out Angel Pagan for the Mets' month-long centerfield opening." I thought the idea of GMJ as the starter while Beltran was out was just Mets' fan black humor. It is, isn't it?
   29. Something Other Posted: March 08, 2010 at 07:26 AM (#3474676)
Only spending 122MM this year - plenty of room to spend in 2011.
$117 million for eight players in 2011, with Francouer, Maine, and Pagan 3rd year arb guys. What do you think the budget is going to be?
   30. PreservedFish Posted: March 08, 2010 at 07:26 AM (#3474677)
I thought the idea of GMJ as the starter while Beltran was out was just Mets' fan black humor. It is, isn't it?

I don't know. I mean, is it good for the team if you tell the guy, "You're the 5th outfielder, deal with it"? Maybe he'll start taking HGH again if he thinks he has a chance to start.
   31. Snowboy Posted: March 08, 2010 at 10:48 AM (#3474696)
The Mets’ Future Suddenly Feels Far From Barren

I'll have...what he's having.
   32. formerly dp Posted: March 08, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3474783)
To be fair, this decision is also based on 508 ABs last year.

That was a very nice year between A and AA. He was also 22. But if the Mets weren't talking about him opening the year in Flushing before spring training, they shouldn't be after 13 spring ABs.

The Reds denied the Matthews rumor...
   33. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3474794)
$117 million for eight players in 2011, with Francouer, Maine, and Pagan 3rd year arb guys. What do you think the budget is going to be?


I don't know, and neither do you (nor do you know whether any of those three players will be Mets). If the 2010 and 2011 payrolls average the 2009 payroll, they would have quite a lot to spend in an excellent free agent class.

Am I counting on it? No. I'm just not being a black cloud.
   34. zack Posted: March 08, 2010 at 04:12 PM (#3474818)
I managed to catch an inning of Meija's work on MLB. That is one sweet, sweet fastball. But jesus christ let the kid spend a couple years learning to throw it for strikes first.

#27: You think Fernando can handle CF? His 2009 work there was uninspiring at best.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: March 08, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3474832)
To be fair, this decision is also based on 508 ABs last year.

That was a very nice year between A and AA. He was also 22. But if the Mets weren't talking about him opening the year in Flushing before spring training, they shouldn't be after 13 spring ABs.


You missed it. Murphy had 508 ABs last year.
   36. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3474836)
You think Fernando can handle CF? His 2009 work there was uninspiring at best.


I know he had the bad game in MIL and ended up on the back cover of the Daily News, but overall I thought he looked pretty good out there. Same with Pagan and baserunning - I didn't think that overall he was a bad baserunner, but he makes one or two semi-high-profile gaffes (really, it's hard to say that anything the 2009 Mets did was "high-profile") and from now on callers to WFAN are going to squawk on about how dumb they think he is.
   37. billyshears Posted: March 08, 2010 at 04:46 PM (#3474844)
Not sure that Ferndando can handle CF. It is interesting though that I keep seeing reports that his speed is average or a tic below, but he looked to have pretty good speed to me last year.
   38. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3474852)
It is interesting though that I keep seeing reports that his speed is average or a tic below, but he looked to have pretty good speed to me last year.
I thought Fernando was supposed to be super speedy, faster than Reyes? Or was that Carlos Gomez? I have trouble keeping my overpromoted Mets prospects apart.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 05:08 PM (#3474864)
I thought Fernando was supposed to be super speedy, faster than Reyes? Or was that Carlos Gomez? I have trouble keeping my overpromoted Mets prospects apart.

Gomez.
   40. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3474866)
I thought Fernando was supposed to be super speedy, faster than Reyes? Or was that Carlos Gomez? I have trouble keeping my overpromoted Mets prospects apart.

Gomez.


And, to be fair, Gomez is extremely fast. Just can't hit.
   41. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3474869)
Also, the "faster than Reyes" comment was attributed to Reyes -- not organizational hype.
   42. formerly dp Posted: March 08, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3475007)
@#35:

My bad. Nice. But does anyone think Davis will be better than Murphy, or that Murphy is now hopeless?

Re: Fernando in CF- for a month, I wouldn't worry about it. Long-term, they've pretty much committed to him as a RF with the signing of Bay. Which, awesomely, means Francouer shouldn't be a Met for too long. And Flores likely won't end up in the infield.
   43. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 09:57 PM (#3475157)
How does the last part follow, 35?
   44. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 08, 2010 at 10:24 PM (#3475177)
Say it soft, and it's almost like praying. Mejia.

My wife, a big WSS fan, appreciated this.

About once a month she looks over my shoulder and I have to point out particularly clever handles and posts. She'll hover for a minute max, to keep from getting some kind of infection.

This post wins for March.
   45. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 08, 2010 at 10:45 PM (#3475196)
Minaya recently said Mejia will begin the season as a starter in AA this season no matter what happens during the spring.

Maine pitched today and struck out 4 in 1.2 IP while allowing a run. Better than nothing I suppose.

Chris Carter hit two homers in the ninth today. I feel he has no chance of making the team and that seems unfair for some reason. Davis continues to hit and Murphy continues to do the opposite.
   46. billyshears Posted: March 08, 2010 at 11:03 PM (#3475207)
Kevin Goldstein apparently rates the Mets' farm system in the Top 15 in the game. So we have that going for us, which is nice.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 08, 2010 at 11:17 PM (#3475219)
Kevin Goldstein apparently rates the Mets' farm system in the Top 15 in the game. So we have that going for us, which is nice.

Big hitter, the lama.

I had to go find that video on-line. Maybe the greatest speech in film history.
   48. Something Other Posted: March 08, 2010 at 11:36 PM (#3475235)
$117 million for eight players in 2011, with Francouer, Maine, and Pagan 3rd year arb guys. What do you think the budget is going to be?

I don't know, and neither do you...


You have me there, young Skywalker. No, seriously, you don't get the idea that acknowledging the team's commitments for 2011 then figuring out the range of likely payroll lets us discuss what will, won't, or might be affordable for that year? You're not interesting in the direction of the team or its possibilities?

...(nor do you know whether any of those three players will be Mets).
Something I didn't claim to know, now did I? At any rate, it's useful to know who may be available, and at roughly what cost, assuming you're interested in having a serious conversation.

If the 2010 and 2011 payrolls average the 2009 payroll, they would have quite a lot to spend in an excellent free agent class.
It's not clear what this means--you think that your figure for 2010, of $122m, is going to become $176 million in 2011 because {2010 + 2011)/2 = 2009? Feel free to ride to the GMs' meeting on that peppermint pony. Given that the team cut payroll by over $20 million even with a spanking new stadium and at a time when if it had the cash it sure as hell should have spent it, even getting the roll back to 2009 levels seems optimistic. But let's say that's possible. Once you figure in incentives getting met and guys with split contracts making the major league club, the payroll for 2010 is likely to get close to $130 million. That means another $20m for 2011 is about the most we can reasonably expect. How would you spend it? What free agents at this early date would you have on your short list?

If you're interested in real discussion, you might want to conjecture the team's needs in 2011--take a look at who's coming off the payroll, who's is likely to be deadweight, guesstimate production, anticipate which arb guys you might want to resign and which minor leaguers you think have a real shot at being productive on the major league club in 2011.

Try this for the Mets payroll obligations 2010-2014, including arb information. Minroleaguesplits.com also carries good info on players in the Mets' system.

Am I counting on it? No. I'm just not being a black cloud.


Schooled!
   49. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 09, 2010 at 01:14 AM (#3475285)
I'm just not going to pretend to know a bunch of things I don't really know just so that I can see the team in the worst possible light. I am, after all, rooting *for* the team.

But you're right, OBC, it's much better to enjoy the game your way. Everything's going to suck for at least 20 years, and I can prove it. Happy?
   50. Something Other Posted: March 09, 2010 at 02:38 AM (#3475322)
I'm just not going to pretend to know a bunch of things I don't really know just so that I can see the team in the worst possible light. I am, after all, rooting *for* the team.

But you're right, OBC, it's much better to enjoy the game your way. Everything's going to suck for at least 20 years, and I can prove it. Happy?
Troll: in spite of the fact that yours are the most content-free posts on this entire site, bar none, until now I've tried to encourage you to actually post something meaningful. However, if your small brain thinks my pointing out that that having $117m committed to eight players in 2011 is "OMFG TEH NEGATIVE1!1!1!" rather than conducive to figuring out how the club might proceed, I can't help you. No one can. If my pointing out that 2012 is probably the first year the Mets have a solid shot at contending due to the $60m in payroll coming off the books combined with a number of current minor leaguers having a chance to solidly contribute at the major league level that year causes you to grab your head and scream, "!!!YOU SAID TWENTY YEARS OF FROGS!!1!1!", I can't help you. No one can. So, until you're able to contribute one meaningful post to this site, why don't you simply #### off? If, in the meantime, you feel the overwhelming need--again--to grab your crotch, hop up and down, and foam at the mouth, by all means head on over to espn. Your brainless posting style will fit nicely into the comments section over there.
   51. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 09, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3475325)
Thanks for your contributions, OBC. I'm going to go ahead and block you now.
   52. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: March 09, 2010 at 02:42 AM (#3475326)
. Omar'sBlackCloud Posted: March 08, 2010 at 08:38 PM (#3475322)
[ Ignored Comment ]



And the sun broke through the black clouds, and the douche storm passed out to sea. Ahhhhhhhh...that's better.
   53. Raskolnikov Posted: March 09, 2010 at 03:27 AM (#3475353)
Maybe the greatest speech in film history.

That distinction still belongs to Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men.
   54. Something Other Posted: March 11, 2010 at 04:46 AM (#3477160)
Thanks for your contributions, OBC. I'm going to go ahead and block you now.
Good God--what took you so long? Since you're unable to contribute anything of substance to any discussion around here, and my pointing out such commonplaces as the Mets having been unable to put together a platoon at C, 2b, or RF makes the plate in your head vibrate, why didn't you do this months ago?
   55. Something Other Posted: March 11, 2010 at 05:18 AM (#3477179)
Minaya recently said Mejia will begin the season as a starter in AA this season no matter what happens during the spring.
Excellent news.

Maine pitched today and struck out 4 in 1.2 IP while allowing a run. Better than nothing I suppose.
Also excellent news. With Maine I think we're looking for durability and Ks'; with Perez control is probably the best benchmark of how he'll pitch this year. A walk rate of 4 per 9 this spring would be promising.

Chris Carter hit two homers in the ninth today. I feel he has no chance of making the team and that seems unfair for some reason. Davis continues to hit and Murphy continues to do the opposite.
What role do you see for Carter? He's had enough trouble hitting lefties in the minors that now, at his advanced age, you'd have to figure he's strictly a platoon player. I don't know enough about his D to be able to form a strong opinion, but his skill set is pretty close to Murphy's. He's spent time at 1b, can probably fake LF and RF (I think Murphy's below average in the OF but not the butcher he's been made out to be), has trouble hitting lefthanders, but doesn't have Murphy's upside, which I still see as .290/.375/.475 with above average (though not great) defense at 1b.

The Mets don't have a lot of hitters on their bench, and with Beltran out they need a 5th OFer whose D in the corners is at least tolerable. They also need a bench guy who can mash against righties, so it may come down to Jacobs or Carter, with whichever one of them making the club gone once Beltran returns.
   56. The District Attorney Posted: March 11, 2010 at 05:41 AM (#3477185)
Well, just a couple months ago, Freeballin' was being a jackass about "the Mets are gonna spend huge this offseason, just wait and see." Now that he was proven epically wrong about that, he's switched to being a jackass about "who knows what the payroll will be." I guess that's at least better...
   57. Something Other Posted: March 11, 2010 at 08:35 AM (#3477222)
Let's just hope that Frankie Rod's option doesn't vest. 55 games finished in 2011, 100 gf in 2010 and 2011 combined, and a clean bill of health by doctors. Think he'd get upset if he found out he was the setup man going into 2011?

Sort of speaking of which, what's the likely makeup of the bullpen at this point, what with Escobar doubtful? After Frankie, Feliciano, and two of Nieve, Niese, and Figueroa (the odd man out being the odd man in--the rotation--so to speak) it's not entirely clear. Is it likely to be Igarashi and, based on last year, Green and Parnell, assuming none of those three implode during Spring Training?

That would make it

Rodriguez
Feliciano

Green
Parnell
Igarashi

Two of:
Niese
Nieve
Figueroa

One plus for the staff is the Mets have a boatload of fifth starters available. There's a lot to be said for the last slot in the rotation keeping its ERA under 5.50, and Figgy could easily be under 4.75.

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