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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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   201. Swedish Chef Posted: July 22, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3263059)
I actually think it's cool. It's like starting from scratch in one of those baseball dynasty games. I'll be rooting for them.

I love every time SGE is unemployed how all the papers are full of rumors of big, big clubs wanting him. And he has ended up: City, Mexico and Notts Co...

His agent is good at spinning tabloids. Less so in getting the man a job.
   202. sardonic Posted: July 22, 2009 at 06:08 PM (#3263070)
Since this thread has been brought back... anyone here has any good suggestions for a soccer equivalent of BBTF?


There's bigsoccer.com, which is somewhat like BTF meets SBN since most of the action is on club or national team specific forums. But Voros (yes, that Voros) posts there mostly in the USA Men's forum sometimes, and posts some of his stats work on rankings there.
   203. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3263109)
There's bigsoccer.com,

They seem pretty snarky about the Nott's County move. I guess, as an American soccer neophyte, I just think the narrative of a team like Nott's trying to work their way to the "Big Leagues" is compelling as nothing comparable exists here except at the college level. And since it will probably take a few years, it's will be fun to keep an eye on to see if the plan works.
   204. sardonic Posted: July 23, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3264720)
I already rooted for Everton (my allegiances are purely based on having Yanks Abroad), but they might be on the way to overtaking Fulhamerica in a few years. (Soccer By Ives is by far the best blog covering US soccer, from national team to MLS to Yanks Abroad and general European soccer stuff, from an American point of view.)

Wake Forest striker Cody Arnoux is set to join the American revolution at Everton.

Arnoux, pictured above (right) during his trial at Everton in March, is set to sign a contract with the Liverpool-based club today, making him the second American player to join Everton this summer. Midfielder Anton Peterlin, pictured on the left, signed earlier this month.

SBI first reported Arnoux's decision to leave Wake Forest on Wednesday, and now the All-American forward will be joining U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard with the Toffees. Arnoux and Peterlin are expected to be with Everton when the club faces the MLS All-Star Team on July 29th in Utah.

A top prospect last year as a junior, Arnoux passed up a chance to sign with MLS after last college season in order to stay in school. He was projected to be a top three prospect in the 2010 MLS Draft, but will now join former Wake Forest strike partner Marcus Tracy in Europe.
   205. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 23, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3264943)
Thanks sardonic. It'll be interesting to see how this new generation of Yanks fares in Europe.
   206. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 24, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3265866)
But for a team with Cristiano Ronaldo on it to have a legitimate beef about the other side diving is ... well just deserts I guess.

But it is passing strange.


Is this thread still going semi-strong? I'd hope so -- I don't know/have too many places to talk soccer.

Anyways -- diving and the constant feigning of injuries irks the hell out of me and it's likely something that I'll never get over, but for the players it sort of strikes me as a prisoner's dilemma -- what are the benefits to not diving? At worst the ref will realize you dove and give you a yellow card. A majority of the time, though, you'll be rewarded with a penalty kick or set-piece.

I think what gets me the most is the rolling on the ground in agony only to hop up immediately after the card is issued to the defender. Where's your personal pride, man? This happened several times in last night's Costa Rica/Mexico Gold Cup semi (great game, btw -- Costa Rican player ties the game in the final minute of extra time. Game eventually went to PKs where Mexico won on a great save by the Mexican keeper.).
   207. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 24, 2009 at 07:17 PM (#3265908)
Pavel Nedved might be coming to MLS! I think that's cool.


Is this a good thing for MLS (getting former 'top' Euro players in their twilight years)? I seem to recall a year or two ago a decent thread here discussing how MLS has been run (I'm pretty sure that was pre-Beckham, although I don't pay anywhere near enough attention to know how that has been handled)... As a very casual MLS observer, I think it'd be cool if MLS could land more and more old 'stars', but what would that do for MLS and American soccer as far as developing good young talent? I'd also be interested in some commentary on MLS' long-term prospects -- is there hope that in, say, a decade or two, it could be a legit world-class league?

I already rooted for Everton (my allegiances are purely based on having Yanks Abroad), but they might be on the way to overtaking Fulhamerica in a few years. (Soccer By Ives is by far the best blog covering US soccer, from national team to MLS to Yanks Abroad and general European soccer stuff, from an American point of view.)

I have to admit to being pretty unfamiliar with both Arnoux and Tracy. Were either of them considered for the US's Gold Cup roster which, outside of Ching, seems like a B or B- squad?
   208. sardonic Posted: July 24, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3265935)
What would that do for MLS and American soccer as far as developing good young talent?


A couple guys like Nedved and Beckham coming over is probably a net plus for overall player development, since that couple of roster spots is not making that big a difference -- if you look at the end of MLS rosters, it's pretty dire right now, vs. increasing the league's profile and buzz.


I'd also be interested in some commentary on MLS' long-term prospects -- is there hope that in, say, a decade or two, it could be a legit world-class league?


I think the league in general is well run, in that they are doing the right thing by reigning in costs and building slowly.

I think it depends a lot on what you consider a "world class league." I think the biggest hurdle right now is that MLS teams don't have youth academies where they get to directly sign kids out of. The league is very slowly working toward that, but right now their "discovery' system is basically a sack of crap.

A related problem is that socially, it's not really accepted that it's okay for high school age kids to turn pro/skip school/college to play sports, and that is something that is also going to hold us back.

But let's say that the first thing gets resolved in the next few years, and that soccer academies are appealing enough to a certain number of kids (poor kids, to put it bluntly). Given our population, and projecting reasonable increases in the interest in soccer, I'd say that maybe within 20-30 years, we could have a league with players on par with second tier Euro Leagues (let's say high end: Ligue 1 (France) and low end Eredivise (Holland). Some MLS partisans argue that the quality of league play is on par with th Eredivise RIGHT NOW, but I'd say that while that might be true for the middle-bottom of the leagues, we're still clearly lacking at the top end.

To get to that point, in addition to domestic player development, I'm kind of assuming that soccer becomes popular enough and profitable enough that MLS starts attracting a decent percentage of the best Mexican/Central American/South American talent from their domestic leagues. I'm not talking about Robinho, but guys like Douglas Costa or guys who are currently top players in CONCACAF/CONMENBOL domestic leagues.
   209. sardonic Posted: July 24, 2009 at 07:39 PM (#3265954)
I have to admit to being pretty unfamiliar with both Arnoux and Tracy. Were either of them considered for the US's Gold Cup roster which, outside of Ching, seems like a B or B- squad?


Arnoux and Tracy are both not really on the Nats radar (rightfully), both because they're not really good enough yet, but also because I'm pretty sure they didn't come up through the Youth National Team system.

Tracy is 22 and playing a third tier Euro league. He would have been a top 5ish MLS draft pick had he stayed, but I think his likely outcome is that in a couple years if he keeps developing he could be Kenny Cooper, and his upside is Kenny Cooper+.

Contrast that with Charlie Davies, who's the same age but played on the US U20 team in the 2005 Youth World Cup, and at the same age has just transfered to Ligue 1 after scoring a bunch of goals and playing well in a comparable league the past two seasons.

Arnoux is a complete unknown to me, but he's basically a flyer at this point, for both Everton and the US Nats, I'd think.
   210. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 24, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3265984)
Thanks for the responses, sardonic. Have you caught any/all of the US Gold Cup games? Anybody in particular on this US squad (the 'B' squad, so-to-speak) who I should keep an eye on? To my rather untrained and ametur eyes, Beckerman has looked very good, but I haven't watched enough soccer to know if that's an intelligent observation.
   211. fra paolo Posted: July 24, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3266140)
a lot on what you consider a "world class league."

Not that I follow MLS at all, but having listened to a lot of English fans talking about the World Cup, I have to say that on the basis of the national side, the United States is already 'world class' in the sense that it is competitive with Mexico.

The Mexican league is something of a secret in world soccer, in that it appears to be quite powerful in attracting talent from places like Argentina. This is, of course, to do with money. Generally speaking, the English fans took the view that a national side's success was proportionate to the relative strength of the national league. So if the United States can take the pitch against Mexico with a good chance of winning, they're doing rather well.

But if you mean by 'world class', a league that can challenge the top-tier leagues of Germany, Italy, Argentina and Brazil, I don't think MLS will ever attain that degree of success unless it equals or even supplants one of baseball or American football in popularity/wealth. The U.S. national side may qualify a lot for World Cups but, like the Mexicans, they'll not have much chance of winning, ever. People could point to France as a national side that pullled off a victory without having a strong national league, but as the 1998 World Cup recedes in time, it looks like a fluke, like England in 1966. And note that both those results came at home.
   212. Swedish Chef Posted: July 24, 2009 at 10:04 PM (#3266151)
I don't think Argentina and Brazil count as world class leagues, the big European clubs pick talent at will from there.

World Class:
England
Spain
Italy

Semi-World Class:
Germany
France

Then there are very good clubs that plays in (and dominates) weaker leagues like Russia, Turkey and Portugal.
   213. sardonic Posted: July 24, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3266184)
Thanks for the responses, sardonic. Have you caught any/all of the US Gold Cup games? Anybody in particular on this US squad (the 'B' squad, so-to-speak) who I should keep an eye on? To my rather untrained and ametur eyes, Beckerman has looked very good, but I haven't watched enough soccer to know if that's an intelligent observation.


I've only seen clips and highlights since I'm at work all the time and the games are on FSC (ie. not ESPN360), but based on what I've seen of the players in the past, and read about on Soccer By Ives (an awesome soccer blog), here are the guys to watch (mostly top bench players/fringe starters for the A-team):

Stuart Holden - Young upcoming guy who could push as high as first or second backup in the attacking/wide midfielder roles currently held down by Landon Donovan on the left and Clint Dempsey on the right. Would be in the mix at Central/Defending midfielder role in Bob Bradley's 4-2-2-2 (basically, the leftmost 2), but that is the US' deepest position.

Brian Ching (FW)- Probably the top reserve striker for the A-team, after Altidore and Davies.

Chad Marshall (CB) - Could push for a starting role in central defense. Basically, Bocanegra could play out left, and Jay DeMerit is nominally the starting CB right now, but Marshall could easily overtake him.

Kenny Cooper (FW) - Pushing for that fourth or even third striker spot and a ticket to South Africa. A role player for the A team.

Robbie Rogers (Left attacking mid)- Also young and with upside, and one of the few left sided players with enough talent to play for the A-team. Currently pushing for backup left attacking/wide mid, probably a bench player for the A-team at this point.

Heath Pearce (LB) - Deposed starting left back, fringe A-team roster at this point, could get his form back. Fighting Jonathan Bornstein for backup LB.

No one else on the team projects to be even on the best US 23 man roster (ie. a World Cup roster).

Bekereman is serviceable, but he's more the kind of guy you call in for depth in a friendly or WC Qualifier after you've already qualified. Right now, he's behind Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber, Maurice Edu, almost certainly Jermaine Jones in the US central midfield depth chart, and at the bottom of the next tier with Sacha Kljestan and Pablo Mastroeni, with the next group of young hotshots coming up behind him.
   214. Mattbert Posted: August 17, 2009 at 05:56 AM (#3294598)
Spurs open the season with a solid 2-1 home win over Liverpool. Woo hoo!
   215. Mattbert Posted: August 20, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3299685)
Spurs find themselves top of the league after ransacking Jozy Altidore's new club to the tune of 5-1. COYS!
   216. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 20, 2009 at 06:50 PM (#3299703)
They play EPL games during the week? Pardon my provincial Yankness, but aren't those days reserved for UEFA or the FA CUp?
   217. Mattbert Posted: August 20, 2009 at 07:40 PM (#3299795)
Yeah, they play the odd weeknight league game a few times during the season.
   218. sardonic Posted: August 24, 2009 at 06:45 AM (#3303092)
And what an assist by Jozy to start off his EPL career!
   219. Mattbert Posted: August 24, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3303184)
That was quality. He had a number of other good touches around the box and was, I thought, unlucky not to score at least once. I think he will be a real asset for Hull against the lesser lights of the Prem whose defenders are less able to cope with his physical presence. Looks like there's some potential for a good partnership with Ghilas. They complemented each other well on Saturday.

Spurs back on top after scrapping their way past the Hammers! Nine points from the first week of league action. It's getting harder and harder to resist that good ol' wide-eyed Tottenham optimism.
   220. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 24, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3303195)
Yeah, they play the odd weeknight league game a few times during the season.


Thanks. An Irish barman explained that to me this weekend. Some day I'll figure this stuff out.
   221. Mattbert Posted: August 24, 2009 at 02:24 PM (#3303221)
Some day I'll figure this stuff out.

Good luck. It is rather hopelessly complex from my footie novice's point of view. This is a fairly interesting column from the BBC on how the schedules are made:

Secrets of the Fixture Computer
   222. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 24, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3303231)
Everton are in last, behind Portsmouth on goal differential! Good times. At least they only have 2 losses instead of 3.

In addition to Everton, I adopt two lower-league teams (Bradford City and Darlington) and three of their last four combined games have been lost by one goal after they missed a penalty kick. And Everton did so as well. Louis Saha needs a new hair color.

These games on ESPN are pretty cool. It looks like every single one is going to be one of the top 4 versus an overmatched opponent, though. Three weeks in a row of Burnley. Hopefully they can continue to surprise!
   223. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 24, 2009 at 02:40 PM (#3303240)
How sweet was it that ESPN was able to land the deal to show games in the U.S. the night before the EPL kicked off? So they'll now have one EPL and one La Liga game per weekend (give or take) -- that's very neat.

Tottenham were very impressive versus Liverpool -- they controlled that game pretty well and if not for some fantastic saves by Reina, LFC would've lost by a bigger margin. It's going back two weeks now, but I'm not sure if Liverpool even tested Gomes once. They had the PK -- great run by Glen Johnson who has been very good in the early going -- but I'm not sure he had to make any saves (Gerrard rolled one a few feet wide -- that's about it). Suffice it to say it was a well-earned and completely deserved victory for Spurs.

In addition to Everton, I adopt two lower-league teams (Bradford City and Darlington) and three of their last four combined games have been lost by one goal after they missed a penalty kick. And Everton did so as well. Louis Saha needs a new hair color.

I'm doing this as well with Leeds -- they're kicking ass in League One. Jermaine Beckford appears to be too good for that league -- it'll be interesting to see if he stays with Leeds next year if they're able to gain promotion.
   224. Mattbert Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3303276)
I like Everton and hope they recover from the Lescott fiasco, but that was a blatant dive by Hibbert. Saha should never have had the opportunity to miss that penalty in the first place.

Any thoughts on who the Toffees will go after? £24M for Lescott is a very tidy bit of business, and although Moyes is now quite pressed for time, I think he could get an able replacement at center back (e.g. David Wheater, Michael Turner) and still have plenty of money left over to add another two or three solid players. Tuncay would be a good fit for them, but it appears he's off to Turkey, last I heard.
   225. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3303285)
So that's why Hibbert is in the lineup - diving. I knew he must have some talent. He was the primary weak link in the FA Cup final.

Man, I still can't figure out these transfer rumors. The British media is far more willing to say something has already happened when it really hasn't even come close to happening. Michael Turner seems quite likely.
   226. Mattbert Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3303300)
The British media is far more willing to say something has already happened when it really hasn't even come close to happening.

Footie journalism is basically one enormous rumor mill over here. Even the more reputable outlets run some sort of gossip column and will print just about anything during the transfer windows. It's utterly clownshoes, but it sells papers.
   227. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3303304)
Hold on - The season started and there are still unsigned free agents? What a country.
   228. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 24, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3303305)
Obviously I hope they follow the addition of two Americans to the reserves by signing Jay DeMerit. He probably isn't actually the caliber of player they need though, despite being probably Watford's MVP.
   229. Mattbert Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3303339)
Hold on - The season started and there are still unsigned free agents? What a country.

Oh, they're signed. But contracts in footie aren't worth much.

I do think it's incredibly stupid that the transfer window remains open until two weeks into the season, though. They should really move it back about a month and have the window shut two weeks before the season begins so that managers can have more confidence about the makeup of their squads.
   230. sardonic Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3303386)
I'm doing this as well with Leeds -- they're kicking ass in League One. Jermaine Beckford appears to be too good for that league -- it'll be interesting to see if he stays with Leeds next year if they're able to gain promotion.


Mike Grella, who played a few minutes as a sub last week, is an American Abroad there and plays striker. He played his college ball at Duke, I believe. Based on his age it's hard to see him truly breaking out -- but if things go well he could end up as a better, say, Kenny Cooper, and be a fringe starter for the US Nats. He's played on the U20 and U17 teams, but without distinction.

He's one of the increasingly many kids who decide to skip out on the MLS draft, where he would have been a top draft pick, and go to Europe and play in a second division.
   231. sardonic Posted: August 24, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3303395)
Any thoughts on who the Toffees will go after? £24M for Lescott is a very tidy bit of business, and although Moyes is now quite pressed for time, I think he could get an able replacement at center back (e.g. David Wheater, Michael Turner) and still have plenty of money left over to add another two or three solid players. Tuncay would be a good fit for them, but it appears he's off to Turkey, last I heard.


The rumor mills have been linking them (as well as others) with Steven Taylor as well, who I have no opinion of. IIRC, Jagielka's also hurt, which probably doesn't help.

They could definitely use more depth up front and in the midfield though. I got the impression that they were killed by injuries last year.
   232. Mattbert Posted: August 24, 2009 at 10:41 PM (#3303938)
Yeah, they really really miss Arteta. And the injury to Jagielka probably couldn't have come at a worse time.

Steven Taylor's pretty poor, in my opinion. Never been impressed with him. I'm sure Moyes could coax some decent performances out of him, but they'd be much better off with Wheater or Turner.

And speaking of misfortune on the Merseyside, Liverpool just lost at Anfield for the first time in like two years. That's two losses in their first three games now. They only lost twice in thirty-eight games last season. I think they're in trouble. Not just because of the poor start, but their depth is looking stretched. Every time I see Lucas in their starting eleven, I have to laugh; the guy is just painfully not up to scratch. How he found himself at that club I will never understand.

Anyway, if they lose Gerrard or Torres for any significant period, I think they are in very real danger of falling out of the Champions League places. And given the reported state of their finances, without that additional revenue stream they could be proper ######.
   233. sardonic Posted: August 25, 2009 at 12:55 AM (#3304066)
Yeah, I saw that today -- ESPN has really stepped up coverage of EPL games it airs. I should probably be somewhat outraged, but I can't really be mad at more soccer coverage.

To be fair, it was to Villa, who I expected to be friskier this season. It's not exactly a loss to Burnley, for example. I also caught most of Hammers - Spurs this weekend, and Tottenham certainly looked the part too, so maybe they just caught them at the wrong time.

In the end, it looks like Chelsea will turn in a year comparable to their previous few, but this time it'll be enough to win the league. I'd be pretty surprised if someone new breaks into the CL spots too. Liverpool does seem at the most risk though given their lack of depth. You'd think they'd find someone non-injured to replace Alonso, and they were already highly reliant on Torres and Gerrard as it was.
   234. Mattbert Posted: August 25, 2009 at 10:14 AM (#3304277)
Yeah, I saw that today -- ESPN has really stepped up coverage of EPL games it airs. I should probably be somewhat outraged, but I can't really be mad at more soccer coverage.

Why would you be outraged? I don't understand.
   235. Mattbert Posted: August 25, 2009 at 10:43 AM (#3304279)
Bad week to be a West Ham player. First, Calum Davenport gets stabbed in the legs by his sister's boyfriend, which may very well have ended his career. And then Jack Collison's father was killed in a motorcycle accident on the way to see his son play on Sunday.

Ugh.
   236. Richard Posted: August 25, 2009 at 10:57 AM (#3304284)
Any thoughts on who the Toffees will go after?

Distan from Portsmouth is apparently the main target now, as Portsmouth continue their great sell off.

£24M for Lescott is a very tidy bit of business

It's about double what I'd pay for him, to be sure.

BTW, for a definitive list of transfers that have actually taken place rather than gossip and innuendo, the BBC football website has a definitive list.
   237. Mattbert Posted: August 25, 2009 at 11:25 AM (#3304291)
Distin's a reasonable stopgap. He could "do a job" for Everton, as they say, until Jagielka has recovered. Despite having some cash to spend, Moyes is in a difficult position now that the season is underway. He might have been able to get somebody like Ryan Shawcross if the Lescott situation had been resolved earlier, but now it's likely Stoke will resist such a transfer unless Moyes pays way over the odds like Citeh did for Lescott.

I'm just happy it's not Spurs being jerked around by such eleventh hour nonsense this year. To address their own shortage of fit center backs they got Bassong--who I think can be every bit as good as Lescott if not better--for one third the price. Whoever worked that one out deserves a raise.

BTW, for a definitive list of transfers that have actually taken place rather than gossip and innuendo, the BBC football website has a definitive list.

Well, as long as it's definitive...
   238. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 25, 2009 at 12:28 PM (#3304308)
I could use a glossary. Who are the Toffees? With a name like that, they probably don't strike fear in their opponents.
   239. Mattbert Posted: August 25, 2009 at 01:01 PM (#3304322)
The Toffees are Everton.

Other fear-inspiring nicknames in English football include:

Stoke City Potters
Fulham Cottagers
Norwich Canaries
Southend Shrimpers
Arsenal Limp-Wristed Pantywaists
   240. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 25, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3304336)
Heh, MB. I suppose the NL has the Cubs and there are numerous wimpy sounding college nicknames here. Seeing how soccer is available on ESPN2 now, expect more Qs from unitiated guys like me who happen to flip through channels on Saturday morn and come across matches. Stuff like, "Why does Wigan's keeper wear a baseball cap?"
   241. Richard Posted: August 25, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3304343)
"Why does Wigan's keeper wear a baseball cap?"

Because it was sunny. Keepers are allowed to wear caps if they like, even if it's not sunny!
   242. Mattbert Posted: August 25, 2009 at 01:44 PM (#3304348)
"Why does Wigan's keeper wear a baseball cap?"

As far as I know, for the same reason the rest of us do: to keep the sun out of his eyes. I heard a rumor that Rickey Henderson used to play with a guy who did the same thing.
   243. Mattbert Posted: August 25, 2009 at 07:34 PM (#3304785)
I started a thread in the forums for footie discussion. Figure that might attract a few more eyeballs, since most people probably look at this one in the Hot Topics and figure it's another tedious flogging of the Moneyball/Beane debates.
   244. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 25, 2009 at 07:44 PM (#3304800)
I am always surprised to see a keeper wearing a hat like that. We were told to ABSOLUTELY NOT wear baseball caps under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES when I played soccer, because if we headed the ball the wrong way the brim of the hat could be driven through our skull or some idea like that. This was impressed on us time and time again. We could not wear them during games, in scrimmages, or at practice at all, at any time. Take off your baseball cap as soon as you get out of the car.

A thread in the forums? But...I've never gone into the forums in my life. This will take some serious consideration.

I like the nicknames based on industries that disappeared from the town a century ago. Like the "Chairboys" or the "Hatters".
   245. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 25, 2009 at 07:44 PM (#3304802)
figure it's another tedious flogging of the Moneyball/Beane debates.


I could link this. Is this the thread where I got my old "Hordes of Jack Custs" handle from? It was a Shootyism from July.
   246. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:34 PM (#3349882)
This thread has been dead a while, so what the hell. It's a slo Columbus Day here at work.

1. USA, USA, USA! I'm not expecting much in the WC, but 1 win would be excellent. Hopefully we'll draw New Zealand/Bahrain. We're ok, and you more knoweldgeable guys can correct me, but from my novice perspective, the USA midfield is just too slow and too indecisive to hang with the big boys. It seems like our defense is as physical as anyone and our strikers are as fast, but that first touch from the playmakers is always a little sticky.

2. Tottenham is holding firm. Clearly I'm a good luck charm. I love watching Peter Crouch play. How can someone who looks so hilariously awkward be so effective? It's as if Manute Bol actually knew how to play basketball.

3. And a shout out to my girl's former hometown team, FC Freiburg who look like they might just stick in the Bundesliga for another year.
   247. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:49 PM (#3349898)
How the hell did it happen that the game could only be viewed on closed circuit TV? This isn't 1977 for cryin' out loud. As much as I enjoyed reading the updates on the web it looked like a pretty thrilling game.

The US is good enough to beat anyone on their day. We have a world-class keeper and a couple of guys who can put the ball in the net. The problem is we are so freakin' undisciplined, we give the ball away far too easily and then it seems that we react to those turnovers poorly.

And I'll second Shooty on Crouch, he's a fun one.
   248. Tripon Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:58 PM (#3350188)
This thread is so odd.
   249. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: October 13, 2009 at 12:56 PM (#3350735)
Ironically, Tripon made the thread even. Now it's odd again.
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