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Monday, December 10, 2012

USA Today: Nightengale: Royals GM finds trade criticism ‘insulting’

7:40PM EST December 10. 2012 - Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore is furious Monday afternoon, livid at the accusations, and trying to keep a calm demeanor on the telephone.

He pulls off the Royals’ biggest trade in two decades, giving them a shot at their first playoff berth since 1985, and he’s read that he made the blockbuster deal simply to save his job.

“To me, that’s insulting,’’ Moore tells USA TODAY Sports. “That’s very insulting. Very, very insulting.

“I don’t get too bent up about criticism, and I want to take the high road here, but that’s insulting my integrity.

“If something happened, I couldn’t get another job in baseball? Is that what people think?’‘

Moore was reacting specifically to a column by former Toronto Blue Jays executive Keith Law on ESPN.com. Law blasted the Royals’ decision to trade their top prospect, outfielder Wil Myers and three others to the Tampa Bay Rays for starters James Shields and Wade Davis, predicting it will be the end of Moore’s tenure in Kansas City.

“The deal reeks of a GM feeling pressure to improve short-term performance to keep his job,’’ Law wrote, “which is a terrible situation for any executive both personally and for the way it can inhibit his ability to make rational decisions.’‘

Tripon Posted: December 10, 2012 at 09:19 PM | 129 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays, royals

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   1. Bug Selig Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4321610)
Feel insulted, Slick. You've been insulted. And will continue to be, in all likelihood.
   2. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4321622)
“If something happened, I couldn’t get another job in baseball? Is that what people think?’‘


Another GM job? Yes, that is what people think.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4321626)
If you don't want to get called out for making crappy, short-sighted trades, don't make them.
   4. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4321628)
When you're running a franchise that has produced one winning season since 1994, and at least 90 losses in 10 of the last 12 seasons, you owe it to your players, fan base and community to try and win now.


This is clearly evidence that Moore knows what he's doing.
   5. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4321630)
Watch this be another Giambi-Mabry trade.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4321632)
I don't blame Moore for being upset. It's pretty easy to see how he would perceive the criticism that he did this to save his job and not for the best interest of the Royals as an attack on his integrity.
   7. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4321635)
Well it's in the best interest for the Royals for the next two years (probably). It's definitely not in the best interest for the following 4 years. Moore is lying if he's saying his impending contract renewal did not cause him to prioritize the immediate future over the far future.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4321636)
I don't blame Moore for being upset. It's pretty easy to see how he would perceive the criticism that he did this to save his job and not for the best interest of the Royals as an attack on his integrity.

But it's valid to question his integrity after this trade. If he did this primarily to save his job, that's a violation of his professional responsibilities.

This is clearly evidence that Moore knows what he's doing.

And more evidence that he doesn't give a damn what happens in KC in 2015-17 if he's not the GM.
   9. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4321639)
Watch this be another Giambi-Mabry trade.

I agree. I can't shake this feeling that Shields is going to be very good and that Myers is going to be an averagish corner OF.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4321640)
Moore is lying if he's saying his impending contract renewal did not cause him to prioritize the immediate future over the far future.



But it's valid to question his integrity after this trade. If he did this primarily to save his job, that's a violation of his professional responsibilities.


We have no way to know if Moore is lying, none at all. I think snapper is right that it's a valid question but if I were Moore and someone raised that question I'd be pretty pissed. Frankly I suspect Moore is looking at Baltimore and Oakland last year and the fact that his division was won with less than 90 wins and thinking "yeah, we can do that." Between a lack of integrity and a lack of competence I'll take the latter in the case of Moore.
   11. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4321642)
If he did this primarily to save his job, that's a violation of his professional responsibilities.


But I don't know that prioritizing the next few years as oppossed to years 4 to 6 (or whatever) is any sort of violation at all. In fact I am not sure working to save his job is much of a violation. Everyone who has a contract works to further the interests of themselves and their employer over the duration of the contract.

If his employer has decided to send signals (by not extending him, comments to him or the press and so on) that his job is in danger if things don't change, how is he violating his responsibility by reacting to those signals and trying to change things?

Employer: Change or I won't renew your contract.
Employee: Makes trade for short term benefit, which results in a change in the Employer given time window.
Third party: The employee no longer has the employers best interest at heart, bad employee.

The above is simplified, but still declaring the job saving trade unethical is I think a bit shortsighted and completely lets the employer off the hook for any responsibility.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4321643)
Well it's in the best interest for the Royals for the next two years (probably).

I'm not even sure about this. Myers and Odorizzi were both in AAA. They should be ready, or close.

I think it's even money that putting Myers in for Francoeur, Odorizzi as your 5th SP, and having $13M to spend on another SP gives you a better team than adding Shields and Davis.

Is there more risk, sure. But a team in KC's position should be embracing risk, not paying to get rid of it.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4321645)
But I don't know that prioritizing the next few years as oppossed to years 4 to 6 (or whatever) is any sort of violation at all. In fact I am not sure working to save his job is much of a violation. Everyone who has a contract works to further the interests of themselves and their employer over the duration of the contract.

If his employer has decided to send signals (by not extending him, comments to him or the press and so on) that his job is in danger if things don't change, how is he violating his responsibility by reacting to those signals and trying to change things?

Employer: Change or I won't renew your contract.
Employee: Makes trade for short term benefit, which results in a change in the Employer given time window.
Third party: The employee no longer has the employers best interest at heart, bad employee.

The above is simplified, but still declaring the job saving trade unethical is I think a bit shortsighted and completely lets the employer off the hook for any responsibility.


Maybe it's because I work in Finance, and have seen what taking decisions to maximize short-term results brings, but I can't agree.

If your boss wants to make a stupid trade for short term benefit, then you make him order you to do it. That's the only way Moore is off the hook with; if Glass directly ordered him to improve in 2013, damn the long-term.
   14. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4321647)
Keith Law is a trollish d-bag. It's probably best to not get in a public mudslinging contest with him, but it's gotta be tough to resist. This space is occupied in an entirely unrelated professional endeavor and still finds Law repellant and worthy of scorn. To actually be In the Arena and have to hear him ... my sympathies.
   15. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4321649)
Is there more risk, sure. But a team in KC's position should be embracing risk, not paying to get rid of it.

Not at this stage of their business. Trading risk at its market top for near-top-end pitching dependability is wise strategically. As always, the trade can be questioned tactically.
   16. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4321650)
I think it's even money that putting Myers in for Francoeur, Odorizzi as your 5th SP, and having $13M to spend on another SP gives you a better team than adding Shields and Davis.


I agree. But Moore clearly thinks it's in the best interest for the next two years.

Between a lack of integrity and a lack of competence I'll take the latter in the case of Moore.


I'm not saying that he lacks integrity, but he's lying if he says that his contract situation didn't influence his decision. It would influence my decision as well. Moore's job depends on the teams performance over the next two years and that's going to pressure him into prioritizing those over the far future. Moore's a human and cannot avoid being effected by those factors. Why can't you statnerds understand that these guys are human???

How do you think Walt Jocketty feels about the Votto extension? He's not going to be GMing for then in 10 years, so he won't have to deal with the bad years of the contract, but can reap all of the immediate good PR.
   17. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4321651)
Trading risk at its market top for pitching dependability is wise strategically


What the actual #### does this mean? Also "pitching dependability" is a ####### oxymoron. God damnit why did I un-ignore you?
   18. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4321653)
What the actual #### does this mean?

It's over your head. Stick with your core competencies.
   19. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4321657)
Also "pitching dependability" is a ####### oxymoron.

This is pushing the argument too far. Yes, pitching is risky. And, yes, many young pitching prospects flame out. But that doesn't mean that we have no idea what most pitchers are likely to do, especially those over 25.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4321659)
Not at this stage of their business. Trading risk at its market top for near-top-end pitching dependability is wise strategically. As always, the trade can be questioned tactically.

No. Thats's what a projected 92-win team does to shore up its playoff odds.

A projected 75-80 win team needs to take risk to get another 10 wins. Also, if you were an actual good MLB talent evaluator, like TB, you see the opportunity in getting more expected value at a lower price b/c of the risk.
   21. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4321660)
I doubt there's a big difference in variance between a major league ready top 5 prospect and a given 4 WAR pitcher. I usually hate Dave Cameron, but this was a good article:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/big-leaguers-prospects-and-uncertainty/

Edit: you know what you're gonna get with Shields, except he could get injured or he could have another season like 2010 where he was basically replacement level.
   22. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4321663)
Law is indeed a d-bag, but he's hardly the only prominent baseball guy criticizing this trade. None of us have any idea how this will work out, but I'm inclined to believe that Shields's numbers will take a big drop being away from TB's defense. I don't think Myers is going to turn out to be anything great, but he's CHEAP.
   23. Sean Forman Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4321667)
Internally Moore is probably pointing to Delmon Young as a fellow #1 prospect who didn't pan out. Now there are differences for sure, but there plenty of precedent for #1 prospects to not set the world on fire.

That said, I think it was a poor trade since they could have signed an FA pitcher in Shields ballpark.
   24. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4321669)
That said, I think it was a poor trade since they could have signed an FA pitcher in Shields ballpark.

Not for the money and years left on Shields's deal. He's underpaid. His cost, expected return, and risk are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in either the FA market or the actually available for trade market.
   25. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4321671)
I think the trade is bad, but I think calling it unethical or moronic is too harsh. Sometimes a bad trade is just a bad trade. And occasionally bad trades work out better than expected.
   26. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4321672)
Not for the money and years left on Shields's deal. He's underpaid. His cost, expected return, and risk are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in either the FA market or the actually available for trade market.


Brandon McCarthy signed for 2/16. Edwin Jackson will probably sign for less than 2/23 (Shield's deal). As will Dempster. All of those guys are comparable for Shields talent wise.

And I'd still much rather have Sanchez at 4/60 and Myers and Odorizzi than Shields for 2/23 and no Myers or Odorizzi.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4321674)
I don't think there's anything wrong at all with today's Royals targeting a veteran pitcher and using young talent to get him. The only issue for me is that it seems that Moore paid too high a price.

A projected 75-80 win team needs to take risk to get another 10 wins.


Were the A's stupid to sign Cespedes? Shields isn't an ace but he really is a tremendous improvement for the team. The majority of starts for the 2012 Royals were taken by pitchers at or below replacement level.

Also, I think that a 75-80 win team isn't so bad that they need to take on risk. Are you saying that they are not good enough to add actually good players, that they should just be taking fliers left and right on failed prospects, veterans with something to prove, etc? How good do you have to be before you can think about winning this year? 85 wins? People on this site get way too wedded to the "success cycle" narrative.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4321675)
Not for the money and years left on Shields's deal. He's underpaid. His cost, expected return, and risk are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in either the FA market or the actually available for trade market.

They're paying Shields and Davis $13M in 2013 and $17M in 2014.

If they had to have a SP, they could have given Jackson or Sanchez 6/90 and still had Myers in RF, and Odorizzi as a #5/#6 SP.
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4321676)
A projected 75-80 win team needs to take risk to get another 10 wins.

They already have plenty of "good" risk -- the kind that can blow up to the upside. Moustakas and Hosmer are practically the definition of the concept. You don't want to offset that "good" risk with too much "bad" risk and Shields helps accomplish that. Plus Shields's expected "return" is higher than either Myers's or whomever he's replacing in the rotation.





   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4321677)
Were the A's stupid to sign Cespedes? Shields isn't an ace but he really is a tremendous improvement for the team. The majority of starts for the 2012 Royals were taken by pitchers at or below or far below replacement level.

Cespedes is exactly the type of risk I'm talking about. The A's didn't trade elite prospects for a steady-Eddie 3 WAR OF, they rolled the dice on an unknown talent that cost only $$$,
   31. JJ1986 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4321678)
Plus Shields's expected "return" is higher than either Myers's or whomever he's replacing in the rotation.


Yes, but is Sheilds + Francoeur higher than Myers + Odorizzi? Jeff is tremendously bad.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4321679)
They already have plenty of "good" risk -- the kind that can blow up to the upside. Moustakas and Hosmer are practically the definition of the concept. You don't want to offset that "good" risk with too much "bad" risk and Shields helps accomplish that. Plus Shields's expected "return" is higher than either Myers's or whomever he's replacing in the rotation.

Nonsense. Shields costs real money. The expected return on Myers is his production (basically free for 3 years), plus the talent Shield's salary would buy.
   33. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4321680)
If they had to have a SP, they could have given Jackson or Sanchez 6/90 and still had Myers in RF, and Odorizzi as a #5/#6 SP.


Right. I could see Sanchez making somewhere close to that, but Jackson could be had for a 2 year deal. For some reason no teams seem to like him even though he's been one of the most consistently good starters over the past 4 years.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4321681)
Yes, but is Sheilds + Francoeur higher than Myers + Odorizzi? Jeff is tremendously bad.

Don't forget to add $10M p.a. to the Myers side of the ledger.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4321683)
Right. I could see Sanchez making somewhere close to that, but Jackson could be had for a 2 year deal. For some reason no teams seem to like him even though he's been one of the most consistently good starters over the past 4 years.

Even if you have to give Jackson four or five years to come to KC, so what. You still have Myers and Odorizzi if he goes bad. Shields is gone after '14.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4321685)

Not for the money and years left on Shields's deal. He's underpaid. His cost, expected return, and risk are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to replicate in either the FA market or the actually available for trade market


The one thing the Royals can afford though is risk. They're not serious contenders yet, so they should be taking gambles. I'm surprised more hasn't been made about them not getting Tommy Hanson. He may be done for all we know, but he would have been well worth the gamble if all it took was a good young reliever (which the Royals have coming out their ears) and $4 million. McCarthy would have been another nice gamble they could have afforded. Maybe he doesn't come here, but I hope they at least looked into it. And then there are Japanese free agents which carry considerable risk but don't cost prospects at all.
   37. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4321686)
The expected return on Myers is his production (basically free for 3 years), plus the talent Shield's salary would buy.

I was talking about next year, which is what you were talking about. Shields's expected return for 2013 is higher than Myers's, and his risk is far lower.

Shields's 2013 cost is far less than his expected return/risk profile and far less than comps. It's not replicable on the FA market or the (actually available) trade market.
   38. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4321687)
The one thing the Royals can afford though is risk.

And they already have plenty of it on their roster.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4321690)
I was talking about next year, which is what you were talking about. Shields's expected return for 2013 is higher than Myers's, and his risk is far lower.

Shields's 2013 cost is far less than his expected return/risk profile and far less than comps. It's not replicable on the FA market or the (actually available) trade market.


That doesn't matter. If you keep Myers, you get his production in 2013, plus what the extra $10M buys. If it costs you $12M per to get E Jackson, you get Myers and 5/6 of Jackson for the price of Shields.
   40. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4321692)
Shields's 2013 cost is far less than his expected return/risk profile and far less than comps. It's not replicable on the FA market or the (actually available) trade market.


You keep saying this but it's not true. Edwin Jackson projects as well as Shields and he will likely sign for less than Shield's contract. McCarthy projects slightly worse than Shields and he already signed for less. Not to mention Annibal Sacnhez, Ryan Dempster, Dan Haren... the idea that Shields is the only guy who can provide good value in the rotation is laughable.

   41. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4321696)
and his risk is far lower.


Risk is the likelihood of something happening x the cost of it happening.

If Myers bombs, which he may, it costs you next to nothing, and comes with the benefit of not having Frenchy on the field (Myers would have to bomb really, really badly to be worse than Frenchy).

If Shields bombs, which is less likley but certainly possible (he had a 5.18 ERA in 2010), you have lost Myers and Odorizzi, and Sheilds' substantial salary.
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4321697)
If you keep Myers, you get his production in 2013, plus what the extra $10M buys.

$10M doesn't buy you much, but more importantly, the baseball player market isn't the T-bill market. It's neither efficient nor continuous. You can't just get whatever risk/return profile you want for the spare money you have laying around.

If it costs you $12M per to get E Jackson, you get Myers and 5/6 of Jackson for the price of Shields.


I know you didn't mean this literally, but there is no available asset guaranteed to be 5/6 of Jackson, and if there is, there's no assurance that the price will be 5/6 of Jackson's.

   43. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4321705)
I know you didn't mean this literally, but there is no available asset guaranteed to be 5/6 of Jackson, and if there is, there's no assurance that the price will be 5/6 of Jackson's.


Are you thick? It's not like the Royals only have 10.5 million to spend. If they can afford Shields they can afford Jackson.

Edit: and yes, McCarthy is 5/6 of Jackson/Shields in terms of talent and 5/6 in terms of Shields in price
   44. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4321710)
What Japanese free agents? I like Fujikawa, but I don't think KC needs a reliever.

I think we've underdiscussed Wade Davis with this deal or, rather, relegated him in consideration to a reliever role. He is going to the rotation for KC, yes?
   45. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4321712)
I think we've underdiscussed Wade Davis with this deal or, rather, relegated him in consideration to a reliever role. He is going to the rotation for KC, yes?


He'll be in the rotation, but he's not likely to be better than Odorizzi. Now add the two other decent prospects the Royals threw in!
   46. JJ1986 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4321714)
Now add the two other decent prospects the Royals threw in!


Leonard's a throw-in. Montgomery's a hard piece to value since he almost certainly has more value to any other team than he does to KC.
   47. BDC Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4321719)
Like many above, I can't sign on to the "unethical" attribution. I mean, this is a team whose #1 starter in 2012 was Bruce Chen. For the love of Mike. They have a young lineup, not good, but conceivably getting better. So they add a competent pitcher, and maybe they win 80 games next year instead of 72, and then they sign some FAs who like the vibe, and the long run interests align with the short run. Or it falls apart, sure; it's risky, and people here have analyzed the various risks very well. But it's a plausible move. "Unethical" should be reserved for Marlins fire sales, or possibly outbidding yourself by $50M for some dubious aging free agent.
   48. formerly dp Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4321720)
(Myers would have to bomb really, really badly to be worse than Frenchy).
This is inaccurate. Hosmer and Frenchy had almost exactly the same OPS+ last year. And Frenchy had a good year in 2011. I don't think that anyone can say with any certainty that Myers will be better than Frenchy in 2013. This is the third time I've defended Francouer since the trade was made. Urg.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4321722)
What Japanese free agents?


Korean, Japanese, same difference. ;)
   50. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4321727)
I can't believe I'm defending Francoeur either, but he was pretty good in 2011, and still only 29. I'm guessing he projects to a 95-100 OPS+ with ok defense next year. I doubt Myers will be much better in 2013 at least.
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4321729)

I can't believe I'm defending Francoeur either, but he was pretty good in 2011, and still only 29. I'm guessing he projects to a 95-100 OPS+ with ok defense next year. I doubt Myers will be much better in 2013 at least.


Last five years, OPS+
72
93
85
119
81

2011 was a huge outlier. I'm guessing he'll rebound slightly from last year, but probably put up a sub 90 OPS+.
   52. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4321732)
BTW, B-R has him with a -2.1 DWAR last year. Could he really have been that bad in RF?
   53. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4321734)
This is inaccurate. Hosmer and Frenchy had almost exactly the same OPS+ last year.


I think OPS+ alone overvalues Frenchy. For one thing, it overvalues slugging, and any offensive value he provides will always be founded on that. He was 4 for 11 on the bases and worse in RF than you would expect Myers to be (he played mostly CF). I'm not a big proponent of dWAR, but Frenchy was -2.1 last year, and -2.6 over the last two years combined.
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4321736)
Frenchy was -2.1 last year


It's amazing you can lead the league in outfield assists and still be that bad defensively.
   55. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4321737)
He was average according to TZ, so I'm not sure I trust that number.
   56. formerly dp Posted: December 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4321739)
But Myers could struggle hugely in his first major league season. He wouldn't be the first highly-regarded prospect to do so. I think the Royals made a bad trade here, in the long term. But for 2013, it's a defensible deal. And FWIW, I was a big believer in Travis Snider, so there's a little bit of that shaken faith underpinning my lack of confidence in Myers.
   57. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4321741)
He'll be in the rotation, but he's not likely to be better than Odorizzi.
I don't think that this is true for 2013. Odorizzi needs to tighten up his command and/or find a more dominant pitch. Prior to last year (when he was a good reliever), Davis was 25-22 with an ERA+ of 92 as a big league starter - that's a #4. I like him better as a reliever, but think he can edge a bit ahead of that ERA+ in the rotation for KC.

Travis Snider really has little to do with Myers.
   58. Rusty Priske Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4321743)
I agree with Moore. We shouldn't me questioning his integrity.

Just his competancy.

I think the thing that even the critics are not paying attention to is Montgomery. I am not sure I see Davis as an upgrade, which makes the trade even worse. (And I LIKE Wade Davis...)
   59. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4321747)
Montgomery has yet to be average for his league above A-ball (last year: 6.07 ERA between AA and AAA). He's a worthwhile lotto card, absolutely (and BA's #1 KC prospect a year back, ahead of Myers) but keeps not producing. Montgomery has a higher ceiling, absolutely, but I don't think you can say he has a higher median outcome, particularly in the short run.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4321749)
I agree with Moore. We shouldn't me questioning his integrity.

Just his competancy.

I think the thing that even the critics are not paying attention to is Montgomery. I am not sure I see Davis as an upgrade, which makes the trade even worse. (And I LIKE Wade Davis...)


I agree that it's far Moore likely that Moore is just really bad as an MLB GM, but it's got to be one of 3 things.

1) Moore is misevaluating the value of the talents involved, or
2) Moore is making a short-sighted trade to save his job, or
3) Glass ordered him to make a short-sided trade to win now.

Only 3) reflects decently on Moore.
   61. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4321752)
You know, *we* could be misevaluating the value of the talents involved.
   62. JJ1986 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4321754)
4) Myers really does have a problematic hole in his swing
5) Moore values a 25% chance of winning the division more than a 50% chance at winning the division in 3 years (or whatever numbers you want to use)
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4321755)
You know, *we* could be misevaluating the value of the talents involved.


That's just crazy talk.
   64. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4321757)
And FWIW, I was a big believer in Travis Snider, so there's a little bit of that shaken faith underpinning my lack of confidence in Myers.


Meyers could bomb out, but Snider's whiff problem was bigger. He doesn't walk or homer enough to make up for BAs south of .250, which is what he tends to put up in the bigs.
   65. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4321759)
You know, *we* could be misevaluating the value of the talents involved.


Even if we're doing the appeal to authority thing, I trust Friedman way more than Moore
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4321767)
4) Myers really does have a problematic hole in his swing
5) Moore values a 25% chance of winning the division more than a 50% chance at winning the division in 3 years (or whatever numbers you want to use)


Even if 4) is true, Myers is a top-5 prospect, you shouldn't need to throw in another top-100 prospect, one former top prospect and a lottery tickets to get 2 years of a slightly below-market James Shields.

How is 5) different than my 2)?
   67. JJ1986 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4321774)
How is 5) different than my 2)?


It's not really, but yours implies that he's wrong to value the present over the future. I'm not sure he is.
   68. SoSH U at work Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4321775)

How is 5) different than my 2)?


No. 5 ascribed no sinister motivation.

   69. Topher Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4321778)
Moore was asked a question yesterday that essentially asked if the Royals needed to go to the playoffs for the trade to be a success.

Moore answered no to the question. That could just an easy way of him avoiding being cornered with expectations but he did go on to elaborate about how the Royals need to change the culture (I'm not sure if he used the actual word) from a team that is developing to a team that is winning. I took that to mean .500 baseball or better, playoffs not necessarily in the mix. And then he went on to elaborate about how the team needs to have a winning atmosphere in the clubhouse because that begets more winning. I realize this last sentence is worthy of derision on this site. But ignoring whether or not that is a worthy goal, it seemed to me that this team probably was a "good trade" for the Royals in that I think it probably brings the Royals closer to this goal. So when he says he finds the criticism to be insulting, that makes a lot of sense. Not just because nobody likes to be criticized, but also because most of us (me included) are using a different set of goal posts to evaluate the trade.

The other thing that he didn't explicitly say in the presser -- but wasn't too hard to connect the dots -- is that he has the utmost faith in his organization to be producing a steady stream of talent to the big league club. So come 2015 when Shields is no longer in the system, there will be new prospects that either (a) can replace Shields or (b) can be the basis for the next Shields trade. Giving up four prospects isn't that big of a deal when you've got a number of other guys that will be coming through the system in the next couple of years. (Personally, I think this he's way too confident in his system, but it does explain where he's coming from.)

I can't say that like this trade any more after hearing Moore explain it, but I do think I have a better feel for why he would make the trade in the first place.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4321780)
It's not really, but yours implies that he's wrong to value the present over the future. I'm not sure he is.

No. 5 ascribed no sinister motivation.

OK, fair. But, it's hard to think of another reason for favoring the present heavily over the future.

I mean, he's been there 6+ years, and they've sucked for 20 years. Why the sudden urgency? That looming contract is just too coincidental for my tastes.
   71. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4321782)
Why the sudden urgency?


Opportunity and perception. The Tigers won the division with 88 games in 2012. The Royals can realistically think they have a shot if they can get to the high-80s, the bar was set kind of low. Also, Baltimore and Oakland made it a little less palatable for teams to argue they can't compete. If I'm a Royals fan I've got a "why not us" attitude.
   72. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4321796)
I keep seeing people saying the Royals could have signed pitcher X to a 4 year/$60 million contract and been ahead of the game. That's making a big assumption - that pitcher X wants to play in KC. Maybe they do end up signing there if all other options go away, but it's not the most desirable destination and there's no guarantee that X doesn't sign a shorter deal or one for slightly less money with a team that they think has a better shot at winning. Sure, there is a chance they could get someone out of Sanchez/Dempster/Jackson at some point, but it's likely to cost them more money than Shields, with a longer commitment and none of those guys are as good as Shields. And while I love Brandon McCarthy, he's pitched 170 innings once in his career.

Do I think this was a poor trade? Yes. I'd have hung on to Myers, etc. But saying they could have thrown money at their pitching problems is a huge assumption. If anything, Glass should open up his pocketbook now, after the trade, and they'd possibly have a better shot at signing one of the remaining FA starters and an even better shot at the playoffs in the next two years. They actually look serious now about a playoff run, where they didn't before.
   73. DA Baracus Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4321801)
Eh, what's he supposed to say? "Yeah, it was pretty bad. They should fire that guy."

If I'm a Royals fan I've got a "why not us" attitude.


One reason why not would be Dayton Moore.
   74. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4321802)
As I suspected, Giambi had more WAR post trade than Mabry.

Montgomery has always underwhelmed in the pros, even when he was posting good ERAs in the low minors. There was nothing impressive about his peripherals at any point. I do think a move to the pen could help him though, and the above was sort of the same thing for Halladay until he figured things out.
   75. jyjjy Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4321807)
If I'm a Royals fan I've got a "why not us" attitude.


So KC decided to nip that kind of attitude in bud by reminding the fan base that their management is so incompetent we are sitting here debating whether it goes beyond that and into immorality?
   76. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4321811)
As I suspected, Giambi had more WAR post trade than Mabry.

4 straight years of negative WAR can do that to a guy, huh? I never realized how bad Mabry was at the end.
   77. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4321814)

Watch this be another Giambi-Mabry trade.

A trade where both players are basically just footnotes after the year of the deal?
   78. Nasty Nate Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4321822)
I keep seeing people saying the Royals could have signed pitcher X to a 4 year/$60 million contract and been ahead of the game. That's making a big assumption - that pitcher X wants to play in KC.


This is a fair point. But if the Royals have such a hard time getting pitchers to play for them, they should have submitted huge bids for Yu Darvish and Hyun-Jin Ryu. If they win these players' rights, the player can't choose a different MLB team over them.
   79. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4321823)

I keep seeing people saying the Royals could have signed pitcher X to a 4 year/$60 million contract and been ahead of the game. That's making a big assumption - that pitcher X wants to play in KC.


I agree, but I also think its a large assumption that if the Royals offered very competitive contracts to say Brandon McCarthy, Edwin Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, and Ryan Dempster that all of them would turn KC down.
   80. BrianBrianson Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4321825)
There's an assumption underlying a lot of the arguments here that only playoff berths are worthwhile, and that a team that isn't going to make the playoffs should shoot for 43-119 seasons to rack up #1 draft picks. Most days, I could buy into this, but in the case of the Royals, I'm not convinced an 81+ win season isn't worthwhile to show the fans you're capable of being a cromulent major league baseball team, and excite them (relatively speaking).
   81. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4321836)
I keep seeing people saying the Royals could have signed pitcher X to a 4 year/$60 million contract and been ahead of the game. That's making a big assumption - that pitcher X wants to play in KC. Maybe they do end up signing there if all other options go away, but it's not the most desirable destination and there's no guarantee that X doesn't sign a shorter deal or one for slightly less money with a team that they think has a better shot at winning. Sure, there is a chance they could get someone out of Sanchez/Dempster/Jackson at some point, but it's likely to cost them more money than Shields, with a longer commitment and none of those guys are as good as Shields.

There are two points here. The first is that the Royals would have difficulty attracting a good FA pitcher. Well they attracted Gil Meche and paid a lot. Why can't they do that with Jackson, Sanchez or Dempster? There's also Ryu.

The second point is that these guys would cost more than Shields and be worse. Well maybe they cost more dollars but not more Dollars + Players. If you add the value of Myers then Shields costs more. That's not even counting the other 3 guys.
   82. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4321845)
5) Moore values a 25% chance of winning the division more than a 50% chance at winning the division in 3 years (or whatever numbers you want to use)

Another source of risk to the "future" strategy: the risk that your competitors will be materially better in, say, 2015 than they project to be in 2013.
   83. vivaelpujols Posted: December 11, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4321854)
Also Jackson and Sanchez are as good as Shields.
   84. Dr. House Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4321859)
[Davis will] be in the rotation, but he's not likely to be better than Odorizzi.


Odorizzi has serious issues with giving up outfield fly balls. There weren't very many starters that pitched in MLB in 2012 with a similar batted ball profile, but collectively they were worse than 5th starter quality (as a singular entity would rank about 220th among starters in ERA+). If you add starters that pitched at AAA with that profile to the collective (running an MLE on their numbers) the rank drops to 320th. Now, Odorizzi does have some strengths that make him better than the latter rank, but they only leave him looking like that MLB collective.

Davis had problems in 2010 and 2011, pitching no better than what Odorizzi looks like he can do next year, but he took a serious step forward in 2012, well beyond what you would typically expect from a SP to RP conversion. If you back convert that performance (using typical RP to SP conversion factors) it looks like 2nd starter quality. I don't expect that to hold for 2013, especially when factoring in his 2010-2011 performances, but he could be 3rd starter quality.

I think it's fair to assume that Davis will be better than Odorizzi for the next couple of years.
   85. cmd600 Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4321861)
in the case of the Royals, I'm not convinced an 81+ win season isn't worthwhile to show the fans you're capable of being a cromulent major league baseball team


They won 83 in 2003. I know that's going to be 10 years now, but how excited were people in KC then (I'm genuinely asking)? And of course, if you follow up that one kinda-good season with three straight of 100+ losses, you lose anything you gained with the fans. I think the strategy has to be to build a contender from within, and add a piece here and there to show you are trying to improve.
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4321865)
I keep seeing people saying the Royals could have signed pitcher X to a 4 year/$60 million contract and been ahead of the game. That's making a big assumption - that pitcher X wants to play in KC. Maybe they do end up signing there if all other options go away, but it's not the most desirable destination and there's no guarantee that X doesn't sign a shorter deal or one for slightly less money with a team that they think has a better shot at winning.

So, you offer them one year longer than the best offer.

If Sanchez gets a 5/70 offer elsewhere, you go 6/85, if Jackson gets 3/40, you offer 4/55.

Players rarely turn down the extra year.
   87. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4321868)
I think it's fair to assume that Davis will be better than Odorizzi for the next couple of years.

Then they could have tried to limit the trade to Odorizzi for Davis or someone else like Davis. Adding Myers for Shields is the tail wagging the dog.
   88. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4321880)
I think it's fair to assume that Davis will be better than Odorizzi for the next couple of years.

I agree. I actually like Davis a lot. A smaller trade (w/o Myers/Odorizzi) for just Davis would have made perfect sense for KC.

But, he costs real money $2.8M in '13, $4.8M in '14, $7M, $8M, and $10M options in '15-'17. Cot's doesn't say how they need to be exercised.

If he's just a RP, you're looking at a non-tender after '14, unless he becomes an awesome closer. Even if he makes if as an SP, he won't be cheap after '14.
   89. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4321885)
Even if he makes if as an SP, he won't be cheap after '14.

Yeah he will. If he's a dependable 3/4 starter, those options are dirt cheap.
   90. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4321888)
This is a fair point. But if the Royals have such a hard time getting pitchers to play for them, they should have submitted huge bids for Yu Darvish and Hyun-Jin Ryu. If they win these players' rights, the player can't choose a different MLB team over them.


Ryu is still a lottery pick and Darvish cost the Rangers over $110 million for 6 years when you count the posting fee. Yeah, the cost is just money, but Glass hasn't shown that he's willing to open the purse strings that much. And they obviously would have cost more than than the price the Rangers and Dodgers paid since the Royals would have had to beat the posting fees of those two teams.

I agree, but I also think its a large assumption that if the Royals offered very competitive contracts to say Brandon McCarthy, Edwin Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, and Ryan Dempster that all of them would turn KC down.


Yes, they probably could have signed one of those. As I mentioned before, McCarthy, as much as I like him, isn't the guy you want to build a staff around because of his durability issues. The others? Maybe you're right. Like I said, I wouldn't have done the trade and played instead for 2014 and beyond. But now that they've made their play with Shields, I'd still try to pop for one of those guys and really give yourself a chance at a run. Anything to get Hochevar out of the rotation...
   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4321898)
Yeah he will. If he's a dependable 3/4 starter, those options are dirt cheap.

That's a pretty good outcome you're projecting. Even so, $7M or $8M isn't cheap for a 4th SP on a team with an $80M payroll. If he's a 2WAR SP, he's worth ~$10M. So, it's a bargain if he's that good, but not cheap. The surplus value isn't all that much.
   92. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4321900)
Davis's options are team options, so the Royals can go year to year with him after 2014, at potentially extreme bargain prices. It's a great contract to acquire.
   93. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4321902)
Even so, $7M or $8M isn't cheap for a 4th SP on a team with an $80M payroll. If he's a 2WAR SP, he's worth ~$10M. So, it's a bargain if he's that good, but not cheap. The surplus value isn't all that much.

You're trying to have it both ways -- the payroll's not mentioned when overpaying Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson, but a big concern when it comes to potentially getting a steal on Wade Davis.

If the Royals genuinely think they can make Davis a 3/4 starter, that's an awesome contract. Acquiring contracts from Tampa is a nice trade feature.
   94. Topher Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4321905)
Players rarely turn down the extra year.


Wasn't the rumor at the Winter Meetings that the Royals and Dempster would have had an agreement if the Royals would have offered a third year?
   95. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4321911)
They won 83 in 2003. I know that's going to be 10 years now, but how excited were people in KC then (I'm genuinely asking)?


I think there was quite a bit of excitement. They followed up that year by going out and getting Juan Gonzalez and Benito Santiago which seems stupid now, but at the time both seemed like decent bets. I think there was some apprehension that 2003 was a bit of a fluke, but by and large fans were fairly excited.



Odorizzi has serious issues with giving up outfield fly balls.


Agree. I'm not real high on Odorizzi. If the Royals weren't so starved for pitching, I'd probably be for trading him. His fastball is very straight and he leaves it up a lot. I've read he doesn't have a great "feel" for pitching so I don't think his ceiling is very high at all.
   96. Topher Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4321917)
They won 83 in 2003. I know that's going to be 10 years now, but how excited were people in KC then (I'm genuinely asking)?


Tough one to answer. That team started 9-0 and then was 16-3 and then as the rotation started to fall apart in midseason signed Jose Lima from the independent leagues and Lima ended up going 7-0 in his first eight starts. On July 20th they were 54-42 and 6.5 games in first place. Eventually reality kicked in and they stumbled to finishing 7 games out of the race.

The city was incredibly excited about the team but that's in large part due to the fact that they were supporting a 110 win team that became a 100 win team that became a 90 win team that eventually ended up with 83 wins.

I'm not sure how excited the city would be about a team that went win-loss-win-loss-win-loss the entire season with a couple of extra wins in the mix. However, given the sorry state of the football team, it is quite possible that 83 wins in 2013 would excite the city quite a bit. I'm skeptical to that, but wouldn't be shocked to be wrong.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4321923)
You're trying to have it both ways -- the payroll's not mentioned when overpaying Anibal Sanchez or Edwin Jackson, but a big concern when it comes to potentially getting a steal on Wade Davis.

If the Royals genuinely think they can make Davis a 3/4 starter, that's an awesome contract. Acquiring contracts from Tampa is a nice trade feature.


No, I'm just saying that Davis' salary in '15-'17 would pay a significant chunk of a good FA pitcher, while Odorizzi would be basically free for 4 years.

Giving Edwin Jackson, to pick a name, a 5/70 contract would have been largely paid for by what your not paying Shields and Davis. While Myers and Odorizzi wouldn't cost reall money until '17 at the earliest.

If the Royals genuinely think they can make Davis a 3/4 starter, that's an awesome contract. Acquiring contracts from Tampa is a nice trade feature.

Agreed completely. I'm just not that confident the Royals can do this. There development history with pitching sucks.
   98. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4321951)
I still don't understand why most people on this board do not value Shields as highly as I have (and still do). He is being compared to guys like Sanchez, Dempster, Jackson, McCarthy, Haren, etc., but:

1) Dempster is a guy who turns 36 in early May, sucked in 2011, had a good half-season with the Cubs, then gets lit up with the Rangers. Shields is four years younger than Dempster, and Dempster is probably looking for a three or four year deal. Do you really think Ryan Dempster is going to be anywhere near as good (or as durable) in 2013-2014 as Shields?

2) I'll grant you than Sanchez, who is a few years younger than Shields, is a worthy comp. However, isn't Sanchez likely to command a four or five year deal for north of $12 million a season? And he hasn't been as good as Shields, and Shields will be cheaper the next two seasons. Would Sanchez cost a draft pick, too? While the Royals may not do this, there will probably be a difference in the Shields/Sanchez salaries of probably $6 million, total, for the two years. Could they not take that difference towards getting one of these starters on a shorter-term deal near the end of the FA off-season?

3) How anybody would equate Shields and McCarthy is beyond me. McCarthy is much less of a power arm, and is anti-Shields, in terms of durability. If the Royals want to see if McCarthy is available late in the FA season, and will take a one or two-year deal to re-establish his value, then go get it. Totally different, though.

4) Jackson: Not as durable, and hasn't pitched as well. One question I don't understand: Why doesn't anybody keep this guy for more than a year? Six teams in the last five years.

5) Haren: Signed for one-year, $13 million. Given how poor his 2012 was, signing him to a multi-year deal was seen as risky...and BTW, Shields is making less money.

Whatever. I think Shields is a more valuable commodity than he is being given credit for...
   99. Greg Franklin Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4321971)
I agree with Moore. We shouldn't me questioning his integrity.

Just his competancy.


GM Bill Bavasi, I am convinced, traded with complete integrity in giving up Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, and spare parts for Erik Bedard. That and his other prospect-for-veteran trades back in the day were also made with complete sincerity in the bid to make the Mariners a winning, relevant team.

GMDM tries to make it seem as if critics are questioning his integrity. They are not. They are simply labeling him a fool and a blunderer likely to leave the 2017 Royals in as pathetic a state as the 2012 Mariners.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 11, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4321975)
I still don't understand why most people on this board do not value Shields as highly as I have (and still do). He is being compared to guys like Sanchez, Dempster, Jackson, McCarthy, Haren, etc., but:

Last 3 seasons:

Shields 680 IP, 102 ERA+, 30 UER
Sanchez 588 IP, 109 ERA+, 28 UER
Jackson 599 IP, 100 ERA+, 20 UER
Dempster 591 IP, 102 ERA+, 27 UER

Are you seriously saying these pitchers aren't roughly comparable? Shields gives you an extra 30 IP p.a., but that's about it as far as difference goes.
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