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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A’s - Acquired Hairston (and why the A’s might need a new GM)

Oakland A’s - Acquired OF Scott Hairston from the San Diego Padres for P Craig Italiano and P Ryan Webb

Hairston’s been an excellent hitter for the Padres since he was picked up from the Diamondbacks for Leo Rosales a couple of years ago, hitting 270/329/522 in just under 700 plate appearances.  While Hairston was a good deal economically for the Padres, the Padres have a complex ownership situation, with Moorad buying the team from Moores and His Messy Divorce over a 5-year period, so they want to cut costs drastically even before taking into account the condition of the economy.

The A’s are in dire straits offensively, partly thanks to some inconsistent leadership from Beane over the last year or so.  Rebuilding made a lot of sense in 2008 but the team did a 180 and made a few win-now moves when they sensed an opportunity.  That was premature, however, and the team cannot be expected to score runs if they’re not developing offensive prospects, no longer picking up Ken Phelpsers, and not signing elite offensive players.  Yes, the team should be better, but where are the high-upside chances on offense?  Jack Cust gave the A’s two solid seasons and hopefully a third if he finally has one of his insane 1.200 OPS hot streaks, but what other freely available talent have the A’s taken advantage of on offense?  They’re not even using the talent they actually have.  Eric Patterson is completely wasting his time in the minors and Aaron Cunningham of the 325/390/589 AAA line must be wondering by now what the #### he has to hit to get a shot on a team that’s allegedly trying to win now with an offense that scores less often than your average chess club president.

The Hairston pickup is good, assuming the PTBNL isn’t a real prospect (or the rumored Sean Gallagher after the DL).  Webb’s the better prospect, who throws hard and sort of knows what he’s doing, while Italiano also throws hard, but is rather clue-impaired.

Still, you get the sense that the front office the last 18 months or so has been reduced to making decisions merely on the tactical level, a la Dan O’Dowd.  A lot of the moves the A’s have made have been positive in a completely isolated sense, such as the Holliday trade, but don’t seem to fit into a long-term strategic framework.  As I suggest in the title, maybe it’s time the A’s move another direction in regards to team management.  I think Beane’s been a great GM for the team overall, but after an extremely long stint, one has to wonder if the A’s wouldn’t be better off if they had someone making personnel decisions that had a few more big ideas that they’re just itching to implement.  Creative energy can become stagnant, no matter how talented the individual in question is.


2009 ZIPS Projection - Scott Hairston
——————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   197   26   59 14   1 10   29   17   45   8 .299 .358 .533
Rest-of-Year   171   22   45 11   2   9   20   15   37   3 .261 .324 .503
——————————————————————————————————————
Total       368   48 104 25   3 19   49   32   82 11 .282 .342 .519

Year-to-date totals include minor-league translations, if applicable.

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 08, 2009 at 03:23 PM | 255 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
   1. Chris Dial Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:08 PM (#3245872)
Benevolence?
   2. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:16 PM (#3245896)
Dan, you gonna be at SABR?
   3. Steve Treder Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3245902)
Still, you get the sense that the front office the last 18 months or so has been reduced to making decisions merely on the tactical level, a la Dan O'Dowd. A lot of the moves the A's have made have been positive in a completely isolated sense, such as the Holliday trade, but don't seem to fit into a long-term strategic framework. As I suggest in the title, maybe it's time the A's move another direction in regards to team management. I think Beane's been a great GM for the team overall, but after an extremely long stint, one has to wonder if the A's wouldn't be better off if they had someone making personnel decisions that had a few more big ideas that they're just itching to implement. Creative energy can become stagnant, no matter how talented the individual in question is.

Spot on. Beane had an excellent run, but it is so over.
   4. Howzer Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3245903)
The one bright spot is that the awful moves of 2009 will not hinder the A's going into 2010. Giambi is gone, and so is Cabrera, Holliday, and thankfully Crosby. Chavez and Ellis are the only contracts that go through 2010. Remember, 2010 was originally the year that the A's would move into a new stadium. Beane goes into 2010 with money to spend.

Patterson is a hitter looking for a position that he can play effectively. Cunningham is part of the outfield in 2010 with Hairston, Sweeney, and Buck.
   5. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3245911)
You might be right about Beane. I think there may be some pressure coming from ownership, too. What I've been frustrated the last couple of years with is that pick ups like Dee Brown and Jason Giambi and so on have showed no imagination. It's been gm-ing by numbers on the offensive front. However, I'm excited about what's going on the last couple of years on the amateur side of things so I'm not writing Beane off yet. I think he may have stagnated and is now trying to reinvent himself on the fly and he's got a couple of more years of my patience to see what he's up to.
   6. 1k5v3L Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3245918)
Billy Beane for Omar Minaya!
   7. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3245921)
Billy Beane for Omar Minaya!

Why, you bastard!

Naw, It's David Forst's job when Billy wants to run a soccer team or something.
   8. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3245932)
You might be right about Beane. I think there may be some pressure coming from ownership, too.


Isn't Beane part of ownership, too? Is there any sense that the A's may be looking to bump him up the food chain and bring in somebody younger/fresher to be GM? Any chance that'd be DePodesta?
   9. The Essex Snead Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3245934)
The one bright spot is that the awful moves of 2009 will not hinder the A's going into 2010. Giambi is gone, and so is Cabrera, Holliday, and thankfully Crosby.

The thing is, those non-Crosby guys were supposed to be on-the-cheap plug-&-play additions that were (I think) going to help the A's make a run at a seemingly wide-open AL West. (That's now I saw them, anyway.) Of course, as with seemingly almost every brand-name offensive acquisition Beane's made, the old-newbs have failed to live up to even the most modest expectations.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3245937)
At least Beane is interesting.
   11. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3245942)
Isn't Beane part of ownership, too?

Nominally. I think he has a 2 or 3% stake. Maybe as much as 5%. Enough to get him to stay but nowhere near enough to make him a managing partner.
   12. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:41 PM (#3245946)
At least Beane is interesting.

Yeah. He and Kenny W. are my favorite gms. Jack Z in Seattle has been fun early. Jim Bowden was fun to watch work, too, for all his faults.
   13. Danny Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:46 PM (#3245950)
The "big picture" stuff seems pretty obvious, even if one disagrees with the strategies.

2006: ALCS! Wooo!

2007: We'll just replace Thomas with Piazza and storm back to the postseason. What could go wrong?

2008: Man, we suck. And so does our farm. Let's blow it up before it gets too late.

2009: OK, our farm is back strong and the division is weak. Let's make a run for it with some one-year investments that won't hurt our farm much at all.

A lot of it hasn't worked out, but the grand strategery ain't rocket science.
   14. Danny Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:48 PM (#3245955)
Eric Patterson is completely wasting his time in the minors and Aaron Cunningham of the 325/390/589 AAA line must be wondering by now what the #### he has to hit to get a shot on a team that's allegedly trying to win now with an offense that scores less often than your average chess club president.

Cunningham can get in line behind Buck in terms of OFers who deserve more playing time.
   15. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:49 PM (#3245956)
No, I'm going to be in Missoura (I think that's near Missouri) for a wedding that I can't possibly miss. I'm annoyed I'm missing another one, but SABR has a maddening unwillingness to schedule these things around my schedule.


And you wouldn't even have to fly to this one. Maybe, I'll see you in Atlanta. Are you even gonna be around Wednesday nite?
   16. puck Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:52 PM (#3245966)
Still, you get the sense that the front office the last 18 months or so has been reduced to making decisions merely on the tactical level, a la Dan O'Dowd.


This season will be a good test of O'Dowd and perhaps more importantly, Rockies ownership (O'Dowd is still working in the last year of his deal). The team is hanging in there, a couple games out of the WC spot. The offense is above avg, the starting pitching is well above avg, but the bullpen aside from Street has been well below avg.

O'Dowd's usual trades for relievers are for re-tread types, and that won't cut it this time unless he thinks he's finally going to get lucky (the pen already has just 2 of its opening day members).

The owner has stated that they're reluctant to add payroll and are against trading any prospects, despite having no BA-type untouchables (I think the top prospect, AA starter Jhoulys Chacin, is a B+ guy for Sickels).

That's going to make it difficult to acquire any decent players.
   17. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3245969)
Cunningham can get in line behind Buck in terms of OFers who deserve more playing time.

What do you think, a Holliday trade is coming? Seems Buck, Hairston, Sweeney, Cunningham, Davis should be the OF for the rest of the year. I'm also of the mind they should bring Patterson up to play a utility role to see how he does and cut bait on Giambi (which I don't think they'll do out of respect).
   18. Steve Treder Posted: July 08, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3245976)
A lot of it hasn't worked out, but the grand strategery ain't rocket science.

Yes, but the two issues are the year-to-year re-casting of the grand strategery -- an indication that the strategery isn't especially grand -- and, more importantly, the failure to effectively execute against the strategery. At one time Beane displayed an exceptionally sharp eye for talent, but over the past few years he seems to be quite clueless as to who will do well and who won't.
   19. Adam M Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3245996)
Let's say Beane gets axed after this year. Where would he go next? I can't believe he'd be out of a job long. I wouldn't mind seeing him replace Jim Hendry, just to see what he could do with a big budget.
   20. Danny Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3246005)
What do you think, a Holliday trade is coming? Seems Buck, Hairston, Sweeney, Cunningham, Davis should be the OF for the rest of the year. I'm also of the mind they should bring Patterson up to play a utility role to see how he does and cut bait on Giambi (which I don't think they'll do out of respect).

I would DFA Nomar and Rajai to start with.

Starting Nomar at DH with Giambi at 1B and Cust in RF is just awful. They'd be better offensively and defensively with Cust at DH and Buck in RF.

They now have 2 guys who can handle CF, so Davis' usefulness is pretty much nil. Patterson can take over his pinch running duties. Cunningham's just 23--I think he can spend a full year in AAA while they see what they have in Sweeney and Buck. The outfield defense has been phenomenal, and I think Sweeney and Buck have enough offensive upside that it's worth letting them play through their struggles/injuries this year. I have a feeling Buck's gone soon, though.

I guess I wouldn't mind seeing Giambi DFA and Barton back at 1B, but I have an irrational hope that Giambi will have a decent 2nd half.

I don't like Kennedy playing everyday, but the alternative is bringing back Hannahan and losing a 2B replacement when Ellis gets hurt again.
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3246006)
The offense is above avg, the starting pitching is well above avg, but the bullpen aside from Street has been well below avg.


The team would look so much better with a healthy Taylor Buchholz. And without Alan Embree.

What's going on with Franklin Morales? Is he biding his time in the bullpen until they need a starter, or converting to relief full-time?
   22. Al Kaline Trio Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3246007)
There is half a season left so playing time for the AAA guys can be fixed after July's trading deadline. Patterson has been getting reps at 3B to see if he can hack it there. I guess he'll be auditioned there in August + September. Holliday will be traded (hopefully for left side of the infield prospects) to make room for Cunningham. It seems like Buck is in the doghouse for complaining about being put on the DL so who knows about him.

The real rebuilding is the starting staff. Even with their best guy early this year (Outman) getting TJ they are still in awesome shape moving forward with Anderson, Cahill, Mazzaro, Gio and Braden. That is something for all A's fans to be excited about. They even have guys like Simmons and Gallagher (probably both of those being the PTBNL) in AAA.
   23. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3246008)
Yes, but the two issues are the year-to-year re-casting of the grand strategery

This doesn't bother me. Injuries dictated a lot of the rethinking for 2008. I wouldn't want Beane to be rigid with a 5 year plan. Circumstances sometimes dictate. I just wish he would have looked at guys like Branyan and Willingham instead of going for the obvious play of Jason Giambi. Frank Thomas worked out perfectly, but Piazza and Mike Sweeney and Giambi seems like going to the well way too many times. I hope he's over it.
   24. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:19 PM (#3246013)
I don't like Kennedy playing everyday, but the alternative is bringing back Hannahan and losing a 2B replacement when Ellis gets hurt again.

What's the word on Cardenas? Think he gets a shot at 3rd base in spring training? SS, 3b and 1b are going to be the question marks next year. I hope Billy is open to the idea of replacing Cust as the DH, too, if an opportunity arises. The pitching, as AKT mentions, is exciting.
   25. zonk Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3246025)
Does Beane have schizophrenia?

Don't get me wrong, if he's canned in the offseason, I fervently hope the new Cubs owners would sign him immediately.

But there's an aspect of running a team that has nothing to do with scouts vs. stats, identifying market inefficiencies, or the nuts and bolts of identifying talent -- simple strategic planning... Has Beane bothered with that at all for the past 2-3 years?
   26. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:35 PM (#3246040)
I'm Best Man which means I have to deal with a lot of nonsense and rehearsal crap. If St. Louis SABR was this year, I could be there at night except Saturday.


That's what's kinda cool about the 19th Century Committee. I have a voice there and can make suggestions.
   27. Al Kaline Trio Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:52 PM (#3246049)
Why again is the Holliday trade a bad thing for the future again? I guess if he didn't sign Giambi and Cabrera + relievers he could have spent more money on???
   28. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3246059)
Why again is the Holliday trade a bad thing for the future again?

I figure Beane decided what he gave up for Holliday was close in value to the picks he would receive when Holliday bolted. That coupled with the order from upstairs to try to win (with accompanying cash) is what triggered the Holliday trade. As a fan, I'm glad he took the gamble. It's too bad Chavvy and Ellis and Duch lived up to their reps for being fragile and that Cabrera and Giambi fell off a cliff, but I'm glad they made the attempt. It flopped, but the future wasn't mortgaged. I feel good about the future even if I'm more wary about it than usual.
   29. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 08, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3246082)
I'm glad Beane is the GM and hope he continues to be, but as I have said, I do NOT understand/agree with most of the moves he has made this season. We are supposed to be rebuilding, per Haren Blanton and Harden trades. I would like to see Barton as the starting first baseman, and Cunningham and Buck starting in the outfield alongside Sweeney. The Holliday trade sort of made sense, though unfortunately he has not been the hitter they thought they were trading for.
   30. Danny Posted: July 08, 2009 at 06:33 PM (#3246094)
At one time Beane displayed an exceptionally sharp eye for talent, but over the past few years he seems to be quite clueless as to who will do well and who won't.

As has been the case for much of his career, Beane's shown a good eye for minor league and amateur talent and a poor eye for major league talent.

Over the past 1.5 years, they seem to have gotten pretty good returns for Haren, Swisher, Kotsay, Blanton, and Harden. On the other hand, nearly all of his veteran acquisitions (Cabrera, Nomar, Giambi, Springer, Holliday, Sweeney, and Thomas the second time around) have been worse than projected.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 06:34 PM (#3246097)
Let's say Beane gets axed after this year. Where would he go next?

Tottenham?
   32. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 06:38 PM (#3246103)
Let's say Beane gets axed after this year. Where would he go next?Tottenham?

Damn. And I've decided to become a Fulhamerica fan.
   33. Danny Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3246139)
I guess if he didn't sign Giambi and Cabrera + relievers he could have spent more money on???

A second round draft pick? Though they look like they might not sign some of their high-end picks that dropped due to signability issues.
   34. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:04 PM (#3246142)
With the Holliday deal, I had the sense that Beane thought that getting him (and later getting either draft picks or better players in trade for him) for peanuts was worthwhile regardless of the team's current situation. Also, I didn't see much in the A's offseason moves that said "win now". Maybe they shouldn't have signed Giambi or Nomar, but from a money standpoint neither deal is a problem for the team.

Should they have gone the Padres route and punted the whole season from the get-go? Called up all their youngsters instead? They had already decided to go with a nearly-all-rookie pitching staff. Signing Nomar and Giambi sound like moves to keep fans from wondering if this is a AAA team.

I think Beane is treating this year as a holding-pattern year, waiting for their hitting prospects to arrive and having their young pitchers get experience at the major-league level. I don't think he's as washed-up in Oakland as you think. Yes, you can argue that Patterson and Cunningham should be up, but Patterson is blocked by Ellis, while it's fairly easy to argue that Cunningham is caught in a numbers game as well.
   35. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:20 PM (#3246171)
The Holliday deal seems to be approaching disaster status. His slugging is down to .416 and even if he pushes that up somewhat, it's pretty clear he is not worth 13.5 million in the current market. As such, the A's may not be able to offer him arbitration or they'll end up stuck paying him huge money on a rebuilding team. Potential trade partners are almost certainly concerned about offering him arbitration for financial reasons as well- crushing his value in that regard. Holliday may rebound and show himself to be a slugger away from altitude, but things definitely look bleak right now.

Couple that with blowing a draft pick (I think) for Cabrera, a pretty awful showing so far this season, and the A's have had a pretty gruesome year.
   36. jmurph Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3246179)
Damn. And I've decided to become a Fulhamerica fan.


You'll be doubly upset if Dempsey (as rumored) gets bought by someone else. Then again, if its Everton, they'll have more Americans than Fulham, so you can just slide right over there.
   37. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:28 PM (#3246181)
You'll be doubly upset if Dempsey (as rumored) gets bought by someone else. Then again, if its Everton, they'll have more Americans than Fulham, so you can just slide right over there.

Damn, then I would have gone from Tottenham to Fulham to Everton in one off season. That's too much. Maybe I should just go with plan B and root for Ajax. This choosing of a soccer team is rough.
   38. devil_fingers Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:31 PM (#3246186)
What, no "hide under a pile of coats and hope everything turns out okay" reference?
   39. jmurph Posted: July 08, 2009 at 07:59 PM (#3246237)
Damn, then I would have gone from Tottenham to Fulham to Everton in one off season. That's too much. Maybe I should just go with plan B and root for Ajax. This choosing of a soccer team is rough.


Tell me about it. I chose Man City the year before they became the crazy free spending lunatics that they are today. I still like them, but I'm also excited to chear for Wolves this year. Mostly because, come on, Wolverhampton. That's just a great name for a town/team.
   40. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 08, 2009 at 10:09 PM (#3246475)
Let's say Beane gets axed after this year. Where would he go next?

Tottenham?
San Jose Earthquakes?
   41. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 08, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3246506)
Damn, then I would have gone from Tottenham to Fulham to Everton in one off season. That's too much. Maybe I should just go with plan B and root for Ajax. This choosing of a soccer team is rough.

Here's ten of the hundreds of possible choices. Either one of these should work great.
- Darlington
- NEWI Cefn Druids
- Nancy
- Zimbru Chisinau
- VVV Venlo
- Germinal Beershot
- Artmedia Bratislava
- Dingli Swallows
- KS Vllaznia Shkodër
- Young Boys
- Borussia Mönchengladbach
   42. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 08, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3246513)
Oh, that's eleven. Well, might as well make it an even twenty.

- Marsaxlokk FC
- Shakhtar Donetsk
- Viking Stavanger
- Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona
- ?l?sk Wroc?aw
- FK Bl?zma R?zekne
- NK Zvijezda Grada?ac
- Technogroup Welshpool Town
- MTZ-RIPO
   43. Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see TFTIO Posted: July 08, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3246563)
This choosing of a soccer team is rough.

Yes. I chose Villa, because they're big enough to be on TV a lot, but not big enough to be frontrunnerish. Too, Martin O'Neill is rad, and I like the kit, and the ACORNS thing is cool. On the downside, they don't have a cool name, like Grasshopper or Dar?ca Gençlerbirli? or something.
   44. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: July 08, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3246594)
I chose Man City the year before they became the crazy free spending lunatics that they are today. I still like them, but I'm also excited to chear for Wolves this year. Mostly because, come on, Wolverhampton.

I went with City 6-7 years ago. It's never been boring, I'll tell ya that. I'm hoping for good things for Wolves and Burnley this year too.
   45. AROM Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3246701)
They should consider themselves lucky on Cabrera. At least it's just a one year deal. Billy tried hard to bring in Furcal, and I think he was offering more money than the Dodgers. At the time Furcal on the A's had me a bit worried, but he's looking just as toasty, and the Dodgers are stuck with a contract for a few more years.
   46. AROM Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:10 AM (#3246705)
And in the end neither player, nor Renteria, is even an upgrade on Bobby Crosby.
   47. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:50 AM (#3246761)
I always remember the draft picks gained when losing a FA, but I always forget the draft picks lost when gaining a FA.
   48. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 09, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3246808)
Clearly the team Billy Beane should run is LEVSKI sofia!
   49. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:23 AM (#3246862)
I think some people are just bored writing about him but I think Beane is doing fine. The A's are just 2.5 years removed from the ALCS and in that time he has been able to completely rebuild the pitching staff and greatly improve the depth of the farm system.

That said he really needs to rethink his rent-a-veteran strategy on offense.
   50. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:29 AM (#3246865)
The rent-a-veteran strategy seems to put a premium on short-term contracts.
   51. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:54 AM (#3246881)
A (kind of sort of) soccer hijack? Sweeeet.

I root for Liverpool and -- for the past year or so -- have tried to keep an eye on Leeds. I've read that they're pretty despised and I kind of like that whole 'red-headed stepchild' thing. It's just so damn tough to keep up with any non-EPL teams (or Serie A), and even then you're lucky to catch a game per month. When I read that ESPN got televising rights I was pretty thrilled... until I read that it was only for the UK. That's a shame -- why can't ESPN pick up a game per weekend? Are there 'telecasting-rights issues at play here? I can understand why ESPN wouldn't want to do Saturday games -- they'd (understandably) never kick college football off for an English football match -- but why not Sundays?

On another note I'm glad to see the U.S. taking some baby steps, first with their performance in the Confederations Cup and now with Onyewu signing on with A.C. Milan. Any chance Altidore latches on with a first-division club (I know he's currently with one, but I didn't think he was in Villarreal's plans...
   52. Charlie O Posted: July 09, 2009 at 09:36 AM (#3246968)
I think when Beane really does write a book down the road, it will be revealed that pressure from ownership was behind the acquisitions of Holliday, Giambi, O-Cab, and Nomah. Hopeful that a sudden spike in competitiveness would drive the Fremont stadium plan forward? I don't know. But except perhaps for a sentimental return of Giambi, the other acquisitions don't look like something Beane would do with a team still at least a year away from being any good.
   53. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 09, 2009 at 09:56 AM (#3246970)
That's a shame -- why can't ESPN pick up a game per weekend? Are there 'telecasting-rights issues at play here?

Yeah, Fox and Setanta own the EPL's U.S. television rights through the end of the upcoming season. There's been a lot of speculation that ESPN would buy Setanta and even some speculation that ESPN might turn Classic into ESPN3 and use the Premiership as a centerpiece. I don't know how serious any of that speculation is, but I do know that ESPN just won partial TV rights to La Liga and ESPN Classic's ratings are awful.

Seems like the best move would be to win the current bidding for the '10-'13 Premiership rights instead of buying Setanta. In terms of mass appeal, the Premier League is the only thing of value that Setanta has. It's not like there are hundreds of thousands of Americans clamoring for more televised Gaelic Football or Aussie Rules.
   54. scotto Posted: July 09, 2009 at 10:00 AM (#3246971)
West Ham!!! (Thanks Phil Coorey and Vince G) and Deportivo A Coruna (Thanks Fatima).
   55. Richard Posted: July 09, 2009 at 10:22 AM (#3246972)
I've read that they're pretty despised and I kind of like that whole 'red-headed stepchild' thing.

Virtually no English fans are ambivilent/neutral about Leeds. You either support them or dislike them. The only thing the other teams in Yorkshire can agree on is their dislike of Leeds.

When I read that ESPN got televising rights I was pretty thrilled... until I read that it was only for the UK.

EPL games were broadcast in the UK by Sky (who had about 80%) and Setanta (who had the rest). ESPN bought Setanta's UK rights as Setanta's UK arm is in the English equivalent of a Chapter 11 procedure, and I read today they've also bought the rights to show games in Ireland.
   56. Mattbert Posted: July 09, 2009 at 10:32 AM (#3246973)
Yeah, Fox and Setanta own the EPL's U.S. television rights through the end of the upcoming season.

Setanta still owns the US rights? If so, I can't think that'll be the case for much longer because they've pretty much gone tits up. Due to Setanta's inability to pay its bills on time, the Prem stripped Setanta of its UK broadcast rights and sold that package to ESPN. Sky-ESPN have also taken over Setanta's former SPL package (for about 40% of what Setanta had paid for it). From what I've read, it's not clear to me whether that's a joint venture or whether the two are splitting the SPL games somehow.

ESPN might turn Classic into ESPN3 and use the Premiership as a centerpiece.

My gut feeling is that ESPN is up to something very much like this. There have been rumblings about them getting into the footie broadcasting game for a while now, and the strong performance of the US in the Confed Cup may have spurred them into thinking about it more seriously if they think that public interest in soccer was somewhat galvanized as a result. Notably, the Soccer tab on the ESPN.com homepage was given a more prominant location a few months back, and I feel like their online coverage of Europe has stepped up a bit this year. Could be a sign of things to come, or could be ESPN is just throwing US soccer enthusiasts a small bone to see what the reaction is like. I don't really know, but like I said, my gut says the former.
   57. Mattbert Posted: July 09, 2009 at 10:33 AM (#3246974)
Oh, and Come On You Spurs!
   58. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:27 PM (#3247062)
Yes. I chose Villa, because they're big enough to be on TV a lot, but not big enough to be frontrunnerish. Too, Martin O'Neill is rad, and I like the kit, and the ACORNS thing is cool. On the downside, they don't have a cool name, like Grasshopper or Dar?ca Gençlerbirli? or something.

I chose Villa for many of the same reasons. That, and Norwich City got relegated twice in 4 years, which made following them near-impossible on this side of the pond.
   59. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:42 PM (#3247078)
West Ham!!! (Thanks Phil Coorey and Vince G)
That would be me as well. In fact, when I go to London I have to go pick up the new Away shirt, very stylish this year.
   60. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:47 PM (#3247083)
Why isn't there a soccer channel in the States? There are a billion soccer leagues to televise afterall. I'd watch the occasional Dutch or Brazilian league game. Freiburg is back in the Bundesliga so my girl would watch those games. It just seems like a natural to have a channel like this.
   61. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:50 PM (#3247090)
Setanta still owns the US rights? If so, I can't think that'll be the case for much longer because they've pretty much gone tits up. Due to Setanta's inability to pay its bills on time, the Prem stripped Setanta of its UK broadcast rights and sold that package to ESPN.

From what I've read (I think on bigsoccer.com), Setanta US and Setanta Australia are separate entities from Setanta UK, and are currently profitable.

It's entirely possible that the Prem won't take kindly to the Setanta UK debacle and as a result not even consider the Setanta US offer in this round of negotiations, but for at least one more year they still have US rights.

My gut feeling is that ESPN is up to something very much like this. There have been rumblings about them getting into the footie broadcasting game for a while now

They've got the Dutch Eredivisie and Serie A on ESPN360, they've got MLS, they just got a deal done with GolTV to split La Liga rights. If they get the Premiership, that's probably more than enough to start a 24/7 network. And if they somehow managed to get their hands on the SPL, Bundesliga, Mexican League, or French League, with ESPN Classic's current distribution they'd be a juggernaut. (As soccer networks go, I mean. Which is admittedly sort of like being the tallest midget.)
   62. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:50 PM (#3247092)
Why isn't there a soccer channel in the States?
Well, to be fair...

Admittedly they seem to show EPL games, the occasional one from Serie A and then huge numbers of badly, badly played American soccer. I don't mind MLS, but all these development leagues, good lord. Is it really necessary to show us Charleston vs. Rochester 6 nights a week?
   63. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 09, 2009 at 01:52 PM (#3247094)
Why isn't there a soccer channel in the States?

There are two. Fox Soccer Channel and GolTV. Two and a half, I guess...Setanta kind of counts, though they show stuff like rugby, aussie rules, and gaelic football.
   64. jmurph Posted: July 09, 2009 at 02:25 PM (#3247138)
Why isn't there a soccer channel in the States?


ESPN also picked up a chunk of GolTV's La Liga package for the upcoming season. Apparently there will be a bunch of live games on ESPN Deportes (which I sure as heck don't get) as well as some tape delayed games on the deuce. So that's exciting. I'm hoping it's not just GolTV's feed, because that's, uh, not a high quality broadcast.

And FSC is pretty solid, hard to argue with their coverge. I wish there were more games, of course, but Setanta snapped up much of the good ones.
   65. jmurph Posted: July 09, 2009 at 02:27 PM (#3247141)
Oops, coke to Dan Lee on the ESPN/La Liga thing. Damn edit button disappearing...
   66. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3247162)
I'll have to check out the schedule this year and feel around for a team. I'm just planning for life when Vick signs with a team and the NFL is officially dead for me. I've been losing interest in the NFL slowly but steadily for years so this will be the final nail in the coffin. I'm even considering trying to get tix for next year's World Cup (a cheap seat for a stage group game. I wouldn't care about the teams playing). I've always wanted to go to Africa so this seems like a good opportunity.
   67. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 02:44 PM (#3247170)
Another quick question: Are there any teams with uniforms not covered in corporate logos? I'd be partial to a team with a cleaner, American style jersey.
   68. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3247183)
No, every team has uniforms with corporate logos.

Last year West Ham's sponsor went out of business so they had ugly boxes on the front of their shirts with their numbers in the middle. Their replica shirts might not have the sponsor on the front.

I think West Bromwich Albion spent most of last year negotiating over a sponsor, but ended up with one.

Traditionally before the sponsor era, the shirts were almost blank on front, with the small badge at the top. It's not like there was ever an era when Liverpool had "Liverpool" written on the front of their shirts like US teams have.

Some teams have sort of tasteful designs. I like Wolfsburg, Barcelona, Aston Villa and Motherwell.

It could be worse. Some teams have more than one sponsor, making them look almost like race car drivers with patches here and there. The only teams like that I've seen are in Mexico and France. I mean, look at this nonsense. Most other pro teams like volleyball and ice hockey teams in Europe look like that too.
   69. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3247191)
Another quick question: Are there any teams with uniforms not covered in corporate logos? I'd be partial to a team with a cleaner, American style jersey.


I just root for the US national team. It's really all I have time for.
   70. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3247192)
No, every team has uniforms with corporate logos.

That blows. And what's more frightening is that you know Bud Selig is chomping at the bit to put Delta log on a Braves jersey, etc. We must prefer to fight the fight on this, my brethren.
   71. Backlasher Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3247193)
Another quick question: Are there any teams with uniforms not covered in corporate logos? I'd be partial to a team with a cleaner, American style jersey.

I don't think so, but you might be able to find a team in the Estonian league that tarps over their stadium. I think there is Latvian team that plays 11 Scott Hattebergs.

I think when Beane really does write a book down the road, it will be revealed that pressure from ownership was behind the acquisitions of Holliday, Giambi, O-Cab, and Nomah.

I agree. If there is inconsistent strategy its ownerships fault. In fact, his 5th Order Beane Count puts him in first place in the AL West, its only bad luck that keeps him down.
   72. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3247194)
log=logo! Stupid non-edit function over here.
   73. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3247202)
I don't think so, but you might be able to find a team in the Estonian league that tarps over their stadium. I think there is Latvian team that plays 11 Scott Hattebergs.

I don't know what these countries are! Are they tropical? I like beaches and ice cold beer. I could get behind that.
   74. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3247203)
5th Order Beane Count


I'll never understand peerage. Should I bow to one of these guys, or have him fetch me some hors d' ouevres?
   75. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3247208)
I'm pretty sure Wolfsburg, Aston Villa, and Barcelona's sponsors are all charities, so they aren't all "corporate" logos. Some teams advertise their local city's tourism agency or a sponsor which shares its name with the team, like Swansea, Barnsley or Darlington. I like the Darlington one. Just cover over the words "Building Society".
   76. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:13 PM (#3247210)
Another quick question: Are there any teams with uniforms not covered in corporate logos? I'd be partial to a team with a cleaner, American style jersey.

Manchester United, they have AIG, which is a subsidiary of the US Treasury.


Internationally, there'sBarcelona
   77. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:19 PM (#3247222)
Some teams sponsored by bailed-out zombie banks have pretty cool designs. From the ridiculous to the sublime. Brown shirts are pretty unusual in sports, but obviously a German team would be the one to adopt them.
   78. Mattbert Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3247241)
Some teams sponsored by bailed-out zombie banks have pretty cool designs. From the ridiculous to the sublime. Brown shirts are pretty unusual in sports, but obviously a German team would be the one to adopt them.

Double the fun for that Werder Bremen one: not only do you get Citibank on the front, but Diego just left them for Juventus as well!
   79. Mattbert Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3247253)
I'll have to check out the schedule this year and feel around for a team.

Tottenham Hotspur. I'm telling you.

Pretty good American connection there, too. Spurs' current manager, Harry Redknapp, kicked off his managerial career as an assistant at Seattle Sounders back in the late 70s.
   80. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3247261)
Tottenham Hotspur. I'm telling you.

That's my girlfriends's team and I was initially leaning to them, but they seem destined for perpetual floundering and I don't know if I want to marry myself to that kind of frustration. They're still in the picture, though.
   81. Backlasher Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3247276)
just left them for Juventus

I always liked that match he had with LaParka.
   82. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3247278)
I'd tell you to join me as an Everton supporter, but their new 2009-10 shirt is hideously ugly, so I don't feel very persuasive right now. What was wrong with this? Why change?

At least most of the teams' sponsors are companies that aren't recognizable to Americans. For years Bolton's sponsor was Reebok (also the name of their stadium). Wearing a shirt that just says "REEBOK" on the front is something I can achieve with quite a lot of shirts that aren't authentic soccer replicas.

Right now it seems like half the teams in Britain are sponsored by gambling websites.
   83. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:57 PM (#3247300)
Tottenham Hotspur. I'm telling you.


I hate them. Anytime you guys mention them, I think you are talking about San Antonio.
   84. rfloh Posted: July 09, 2009 at 03:59 PM (#3247303)
73. Shooty Is A One Man Legion Posted: July 09, 2009 at 10:44 AM (#3247170)
Another quick question: Are there any teams with uniforms not covered in corporate logos? I'd be partial to a team with a cleaner, American style jersey.


Barca probably comes closest. They lost their sponsor on shirt "virginity" to UNICEF. Barca actually are paying UNICEF. They have always taken pride in their squeaky clean image as the peoples' club, so it is probably unlikely they will have logo of a corporate sponsor on the front of their shirt.
   85. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3247306)
I like Barca. I was in Glasgow when they played Man U in the Euro finals so I watched the game in a local pub. I liked their style of play. It seems boring to latch onto them, but they should be underdogs to Real Madrid now, no? Maybe I can adopt Barca and learn to hate Madrid.
   86. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3247310)
Bud Selig is chomping at the bit to put Delta log on a Braves jersey

You'll know things are out of control when Jeff Francoeur changes his last name to Delta Airlines.

FWIW, several MLS teams don't have shirt sponsors: Colorado, Kansas City, New England, and Dallas. So those are also options for anti-sponsor folks. I guess Philadelphia, Portland, and Vancouver don't have shirt sponsors yet, but they also don't have uniforms yet.
   87. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:09 PM (#3247315)
they should be underdogs to Real Madrid now, no?

Yeah, I suppose, though it's tough for me to wrap my brain around the European (and de facto world) champions being underdogs to anyone.

I always liked Rayo Vallecano when Kasey Keller was there, but that ended badly and they're back in the second division these days. I don't really have a team in La Liga - these things happen organically for me, and nobody in Spain has ever done anything to win me over. Barca's the most fun to watch though.
   88. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:12 PM (#3247318)
It's not hard to hate Real Madrid. They were Generalissimo Francisco Franco's team, helping them dominate throughout the 1960s and 1970s. And now a lot of people think the reason they apparently have 10 times as much money as any other team is some deal with the Spanish government or even the Spanish royal family. ("Real" means "Royal" after all)
   89. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:13 PM (#3247321)
Well there ya go. Go Barca!
   90. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3247331)
If you want to choose an Italian team based on the shirt, I would go with Fiorentina (yes, it says "TOYOTA", but it's purple, with gold italic lettering!), Roma (that may look like a cow, but it's a wolf), or Udinese, at least until they added their ugly blue logo.
   91. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3247337)
I always liked that match he had with LaParka.

Did you hear about the La Parka Jr murder, BL?
   92. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3247341)
Ray Parker Jr. was murdered?!?
   93. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3247344)
That's my girlfriends's team and I was initially leaning to them, but they seem destined for perpetual floundering and I don't know if I want to marry myself to that kind of frustration. They're still in the picture, though.

Other folks would likely have more knowledge than me here but I'm not sure this is correct (depending upon what exactly you mean by "perpetual floundering"). Tottenham likely would've finished in the top six last year had they not gotten off to an absolutely miserable start. They're based in London so they have a pretty decent-sized following and I'm fairly sure the team is planning a stadium expansion (just speaking to their long-term prospects). Plus you'd get to root for Luka Modric who is easily one of the most enjoyable midfielders in the EPL.

Thanks for those links, Dan. I did not know ESPN is going to get some La Liga games this year. Kudos to ESPN -- I don't watch them much anymore (outside of their live sports broadcasts) but grabbing games from any European leagues would catch my attention.
   94. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3247345)
Ray Parker Jr. was murdered?!?


Was the culprit "The Other Woman"? Or am I thinking about that football player?
   95. Backlasher Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3247350)
Did you hear about the La Parka Jr murder, BL?

No, when did that happen.
   96. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3247358)
Tottenham likely would've finished in the top six last year had they not gotten off to an absolutely miserable start.

It was a bit more than an awful start, wasn't it? IIRC, they were still in the relegation places at Christmas. They did finish strong after Ramos was turfed, but there's still turmoil there. I think City will pass them as top-4 contenders this season or next.

Firing Jol was appalling.
   97. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3247369)
Recently - here's a link.
   98. rfloh Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:43 PM (#3247380)
91. Shooty Is A One Man Legion Posted: July 09, 2009 at 12:02 PM (#3247306)
I like Barca. I was in Glasgow when they played Man U in the Euro finals so I watched the game in a local pub. I liked their style of play. It seems boring to latch onto them, but they should be underdogs to Real Madrid now, no? Maybe I can adopt Barca and learn to hate Madrid.


They're pretty much always underdogs, relative to Real. Granted, this was much much more the case during the Francisco Franco days.

Their style of play is something else they take a lot of pride, at least since the days of Johan Cruyff. Their fans put a lot of pressure on them to live up to the Cruyff ideal, the identity that Cruyff gave them: touch, technique, movement; receive, pass, offer, receive, pass, offer; rooted in the Ajax / Dutch school of Total Football. You can see that ideal in current players like Iniesta, and Xavi.

It is pretty damn unlikely, at least in the short term, at least as long as Pep Guardiola as manager, given that Guardiola is a Cruyff disciple, that they will resort to a bomb the ball 50 yards to the big strong striker, and hope he wins the wrestling match / jump ball approach.
   99. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:45 PM (#3247385)
Recently - here's a link.

Jeez. That's a Cohen Bros. movie come to life.
   100. Backlasher Posted: July 09, 2009 at 04:47 PM (#3247392)
Reports are being released that the hookers belong to Las Goteras (meaning The Drops) which is a gang of whores that robes their clients after making them pass out by drugging their drinks.



Would you want a hooker from The Drops?
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