MLB 2012 - The Offseason

11/04/2011 12:39 am
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Once again, for some of your hot stove needs.
matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
11/04/2011 @ 12:43:17 AM
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http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111102&content_id=25871996&vkey=news_min&c_id=min

The Twins hired former Brewers radio man Cory Provus to replace the retiring John Gordon in the Twins radio booth. I have only occasionally listened to the Brewers in the past few years, so maybe some of the resident Brewers fans can give their thoughts on the Twins new hire.
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Matt messed with this 2 times, last at 11/04/2011 12:44:06 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
11/04/2011 @ 08:01:41 AM
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The Brewers Radio has always been a little unique because as long as I can remember, they've always had two play-by-play guys, as opposed to a play-by-play guy and an analyst. I don't know the exact reason behind this, maybe Uecker liked grooming would-be play-by-play guys, maybe he didn't have the stamina to go a whole 9 innings, or maybe there's some other reason (Pat Hughes has been the head guy for the Cubs, Jim Powell is the head guy for the Braves now, both former partners of Uecker). Brewer broadcasts feature alternating play-by-play guys throughout the game--Uecker gets innings 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9, Provus got 3, 4, 7, and 8, or something like that. Sometimes the on-guy would be alone, sometimes the two would simply reverse roles with one guy being an analyst/story-teller. Often, it was the non-guy trying to say something to get the on-guy to laugh (almost always a baseball related story, though). There was no shortage of fun. For what it's worth, both of Ueckers partners previous to Provus have said repeatidly how knowledge Uecker is about the game. He isn't just a laugh machine. Although he is/was a professional comedian before being an announcer.

That being said, Cory seemed like a very good announcer. He is very knowledgable about the game and seems like he is always prepared to talk about even the most insignificant player from either team. He hasn't developed any "signature" calls, which I suppose isn't a bad thing. In my opinion, this can make it difficult at times to figure out if a ball hit to the outfield is going to be a homerun or if it is a hard liner that is caught. Either way, I thought Jim Powell was going to be a really tough act to follow, but Provus filled in quite well. The Twins got a very good talent in Provus, and I'm sure you will enjoy him.

As a side note, it seems like the Brewers have become a feeder team for good announcers. They now have 3 announcers who went on to become the number one guys with other clubs. I thought Jim Powell would outlast Uecker and eventually take over the full-time play by play role, and I would have been very happy with that. Then I assumed Provus would be around for a while and eventually be that guy. I just fear that we've struck gold three times now with Hughes, Powell, and Provus, and that the next guy can't possibly be as good as those guys, right? I just hope the Brewers find a worthy replacement who can take over for what will eventually (and sadly) be a Uecker-less broadcast.
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Scott messed with this at 11/04/2011 8:02:35 am
matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
11/04/2011 @ 12:54:34 PM
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That's kind of how the Twins have done their radio broadcasts as well. When I started listening to a lot of games back in 2001, the Twins booth was the legendary Herb Carneal, John Gordon, and Dan Gladden. Carneal had been around since the Twins second season (1962) and had worked with Gordon since 1987. Gladden entered in 2000 as an analyst, while Carneal and Gordon split the play-by-play duties. As Carneal got older, he scaled back on his time broadcasting and Gladden started to take his turn calling the action at times. After Carneal died in 2006, Gordon and Gladden continued to split the play-by-play duties similar to how you described it with Uecker and Provus.

Also, something I just discovered while looking up Twins radio history. Before he joined the Brewers in 1996, Jim Powell was a part time radio broadcaster for the Twins in 1993 and 1994.
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Matt perfected this 2 times, last at 11/04/2011 1:08:08 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
11/04/2011 @ 01:46:07 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 12:54:34 PM
Also, something I just discovered while looking up Twins radio history. Before he joined the Brewers in 1996, Jim Powell was a part time radio broadcaster for the Twins in 1993 and 1994.


You know, I know I've heard that before, but clearly I completely forgot about it. That's solid gold for me to mention in a conversation such as this. Brewers got a Twins announcer after a couple of years, and now the Twins get a Brewers announcer after a couple of years. Fitting.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
11/04/2011 @ 05:59:22 PM
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Jim Thome is a Philly
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
11/05/2011 @ 01:47:21 AM
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Interesting. I hope he gets more than just pinch hit at-bats. Unless that's all he wants.


As for the radio talk, I just want to take a few moments to share a few cliched yet sincere thoughts. Is there anything better than baseball on the radio? They just go together so well. And when it's done well, it's a thing of beauty. Honestly, a well done radio broadcast is often better than watching on tv, I think. I really grew fond of the John Gordon - Dan Gladden combination. They each called a good game and I really appreciated the times when the "on" guy would bounce a question off the other guy or when the "off" guy would point something out that helped describe the situation. I know that's basically them just doing their job, but I thought they did it well. I even appreciated listening during a difficult season like this last one.

I'm gonna miss John Gordon but it sounds like the Twins got a good talent to step in.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
11/07/2011 @ 05:10:23 PM
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Twins fired Bill Smith. Not terribly shocking, but kind of odd timing.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/07/twins-fire-general-manager-bill-smith-name-former-gm-terry-ryan-as-interim-replacement/
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
11/07/2011 @ 06:55:01 PM
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It was the signing of Joe Mauer and the subsequent terrible year the Twins went through that changed my mind about the Brewers signing Prince Fielder. I would rather the Brewers have the ability to field a decent bullpen and perhaps keep some of their current pitchers in the near future than give big money to one single player who can't pitch. Basically, if the Brewers were to sign Fielder, even if he plays 10 times better than he does right now for the next 6 years, the Brewers would be a worse team because they would not be able to field a team around him. That's what I learned from the Joe Mauer deal.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
11/07/2011 @ 11:55:00 PM
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Only if they signed Fielder, who got hurt, then got Pneumonia, Ryan Braun was lost for the season from a concussion, and every other player was hurt 7 times. Otherwise it's apples and oranges.

Mauer got what he got because catcher is one of the most important positions. Bullpen, on the other hand, is the most fungible position in the game.

To be sure signing one player to such a big deal is a risk, but if you think that's why the Twins were bad last year, you didn't follow the team. Essentially anyone who had an outside shot at becoming a major league player someday was called up, because half the replacements needed replacing. The only notable person missing from that list was the Twins biggest pitching prospect, who underwent Tommy John's surgery before he had the chance.

The Twins had success with less than 70 million dollar payrolls before Target Field, and fans were disappointed to hear that they plan on "cutting back" to 100 million this year (113 last year). So, even with "cuts" that's still 77 million non-Mauer dollars.

The Brewers spent $83 mil on payroll this year, and 15 of that was already Fielder. So even if Fielder got $30 million a year, you could field the same team you have now, and spend about $2 mil less than the Twins just tightened their belts to.

Now, maybe things are different if/when the sheen wears off Target Field and the Twins suck for 5 years, and payroll creeps downward more and more, but the fact remains the Twins are not hamstrung as it stands by his contract, and it certainly wasn't why 2011 imploded.

Some moves had to be made or ignored because 2011 happened to be the perfect shit storm of everyone's "big year", so contracts played a roll, and Mauer's played a roll in that, most notably shipping off Hardy for nothing, but 2011 was defined by injuries. (And a lack of Nick Punto.)

It's late, and obviously the guys in question need replacing, by people who aren't free, (possibly some by themselves), but a quick glance down this list shows about 45 million worth of max pay last-year (or ridiculous 1 year, Capps) contracts off the books.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Ah4PW47PiAi-dG80VGpXeVVwRFJ2ZHVJZkJ6TlRsMnc&output=html

Edit: They also had a BABIP about 30 points less as a team than the 2 seasons before, despite making a (somewhat fake) effort to add team speed, and an almost identical line drive rate to 2010, which probably means on top of getting unlucky with the injuries, they also just flat out got unlucky.
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Jeremy edited this at 11/08/2011 12:11:10 am
IMG_3063[1].jpgjthompto
11/08/2011 @ 07:32:28 AM
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I would agree that the Mauer deal was justified. At the time of the signing he was considered one ofthe top 5 players in all of baseball and the reigning AL MVP. It isn't Smith's fault that Mauer couldn't stay healthy and didn't produce even when healthy. However it is Smith's fault that no insurance policy was in place for Mauer not being behind the plate.

I think the Twins ownership is ready for a rebuild project and Ryan is the man for the job.
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
11/08/2011 @ 07:52:13 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 06:55:01 PM
Basically, if the Brewers were to sign Fielder, even if he plays 10 times better than he does right now for the next 6 years, the Brewers would be a worse team because they would not be able to field a team around him.


If he plays 10 times better than he did this last year, he'll hit 380 home runs in 2012. If he does that for 6 years, he will have amassed 2280 HR over that period.

If the Brewers are looking for more production than that, they'll need to sign Steve Nebraska.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
11/08/2011 @ 09:17:59 AM
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If the Brewers actually sign Fielder they can kiss Sean Marcum and Zack Greinke goodbye after next year, with no ability to go out and spend money on other promising free agent pitchers. If they pass on Fielder, they may be able to resign those two and have a pretty solid roation to build around for about 5 years. The Brewers have a very limited payroll and a revenue stream that is stretched pretty thin. I don't know if they can just wave a wand and spend $100 million dollars. That would be an increase of nearly 20%. I don't see a team that is essentially maxing out it's revenue being able to sustain paying two players (braun and fielder) 40% of their entire payroll over a 6 or so year span. That seems like a recipe for disaster.

Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:55:00 PM
The Brewers spent $83 mil on payroll this year, and 15 of that was already Fielder. So even if Fielder got $30 million a year, you could field the same team you have now, and spend about $2 mil less than the Twins just tightened their belts to.


First off, your assessment ignores pay raises and arbitration that are inevitable. Secondly, the Brewers really don't have much room in their payroll to break the bank this year, as noted here, without increasing their payroll drastically. They basically only have about $9 million to work with without to get back to their 2011 level. Fielder would demand $20 million+, which would be a payroll increase of over 10%, which would be a pretty big jump all by itself. If they do decide to push their payroll up 15%, they are basically going "all-in" for the 2nd consecutive year. A team with a market like Milwaukee does not have the luxary to take such a risk the same way the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, etc can. If they make the deal and it doesn't work out, it could cripple the franchise for the entire length of the contract. I'll be sad to see him go, but I don't think signing him is in the best interest of the organization as a whole.
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 11/08/2011 9:33:26 am
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
11/08/2011 @ 10:05:58 AM
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According to @SI_JonHeyman, the Brewers "believe they have no hope for prince and are now targeting jose reyes." I think that could be a decent tradeoff. Trade a powerhitting firstbaseman for a good defensive/offensive shortstop for possibly half the price?
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
11/08/2011 @ 01:40:00 PM
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Thank you Jon for taking care of those projections so I don't have to.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:17:59 AM
If the Brewers actually sign Fielder they can kiss Sean Marcum


-1 fan point for the wrong Shaun

If they could sign Fielder for 3 years at $30 million they would find the money. Simmons has made some comments over the last month about owning a major sports franchise in regards mainly to the NBA labor stoppage, with the gist being that you don't really buy a sports franchise to make money. You do it because you love sports, or fame, or showing off, etc. If you look at it that way, there's more payroll flexibility than a lot of reports lead you to believe.

Anyway, I think they'd jump at the chance to give Fielder a shorter contract, but I don't see how any NL team can give him 6+ years. I guess you could, and then hope that the Yankees/Red Sox/Angels will be willing to trade you something for a $30 million a year DH 5 years from now, but I wouldn't. To me, it's the length of the contract and the thought of a 34 year old Prince playing at 1B everyday that scares me away.

Good point about arbitration though Scott, that's going to cost them quite a bit this year and next if they plan on keeping most of the players currently on the team.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
11/08/2011 @ 08:26:34 PM
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To be fair, I didn't say the Brewers should sign Fielder, or could spend 100 mil a year, I just took exception to the implication the Twins can't afford a team after signing Mauer, given they're set to cut back to slighly less non Mauer money that they Brewers just spent on a fairly all in season.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
11/11/2011 @ 11:06:53 AM
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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/top-15-prospects-minnesota-twins/
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
11/11/2011 @ 02:32:01 PM
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Twins signing Jamey Carroll? Might the Twins be trying to find an answer to their ever rotating crowd of shortstops? (by signing a 37 year old guy to a multiyear deal). He's actually been pretty reliable even recently. Maybe his an ageless wonder.
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Scott messed with this 3 times, last at 11/11/2011 2:35:10 pm
vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - "Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else."
11/11/2011 @ 07:19:26 PM
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TWINS- can a brother get a pitcher? And what's this dropping payroll by 15m for next year bullshooey?
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3613 Posts
11/21/2011 @ 07:49:10 PM
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Joe Nathan is a Ranger....

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/rangers-to-sign-joe-nathan-.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
emoticon
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2077 Posts
11/21/2011 @ 09:06:00 PM
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*(#& 9q(*#%& $*%&)&
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
11/22/2011 @ 11:57:42 AM
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A new CBA is scheduled to be announced today in about 9 minutes that I've heard will assure 20 years of baseball peace. One of the subjects is expanded replay. According to a tweet by Ken Rosenthal, replay will expand to include fair/foul and "trapped" ball plays, subject to discussions between MLB and umpires. I don't need to address every question I have regarding these scenarios, but there will have to be a considerable amount of thought regarding how to handle baserunners. Will a runner on 2nd base be awarded home plate if a ball that was ruled "foul" then get's overturned? What about a trapped ball? What happens to a runner who advances on a trapped ball without tagging that is reviewed and determined to be caught? There are a number of questions that need to be answered. I wouldn't say I'm skeptical at all about it, but you don't want the "reward" for getting the call correct to somehow rob the rewarded team in another fashion. Nor do you want the team that is the nonbenefactor of the review to get jobbed twice. It will be interesting to hear how this plays out. I can barely await the 3 minutes until it is announced!

It should be noted that baseball never even sniffed a lockout/strike.
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Scott messed with this at 11/22/2011 11:58:44 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
11/22/2011 @ 01:17:15 PM
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I think in both cases they'll have to be like the NFL's newest replay rule. They don't review every play to see if it was a score, only scores to see if it wasn't. (IE, they only apply when it's called a trap, or fair, and reviews go the other way, as well as dead ball situations.)

Though baseball already has a few cases of bases/judgement calls.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
11/22/2011 @ 01:19:35 PM
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Braun wins MVP

1. Braun (388 points) 2. Matt Kemp (332) 3. Fielder (229)
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
11/22/2011 @ 01:35:54 PM
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I found this noteworthy. To avoid clicking on the link, here's really the only point I feel like making:

Braun's win over Kemp was also an affirmation that team success matters to BBWAA voters in trying to define the meaning of "valuable." Including Verlander and Braun, 16 of the 24 MVPs since 2000 have come from division winners, 19 have come from teams that made the playoffs and 21 -- all but three -- have come from teams that finished the season within 2 1/2 games of first place.

In other words, the MVP is a product of the BBWAA, and thus is essentially subject to their definition of most valuable player. They have decided, with notable exceptions, that the most valuable player has to be playing for a team that is contending. Had Kemp overtaken Braun and Reyes and won the triple crown, I would strongly believe that he would have won the MVP award. Without this exceptional accomplishment, however, the two had fairly similar stats and Braun fit the de facto criteria set forth by the BBWAA.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
11/22/2011 @ 01:48:29 PM
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some of the CBA points are listed here.

My favorite one:
All players will be subject to a policy regarding the use of social media. (Might be called the "Tony Plush Rule.").
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
11/22/2011 @ 02:56:00 PM
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While it's not exactly a travesty that Braun won, it really should have been Kemp. He had similar, if not better, offensive stats than Braun, and was a better defender at a tougher position.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
11/22/2011 @ 04:25:22 PM
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Agreed. As we hashed out before, not a total screw job, but the correct choice was Kemp.

The voting this year is a perfect example of why the team argument makes no sense, and, if anything, is a reason to give the edge to the guy on the "bad" team. Braun was being protected in the lineup by the guy that finished 3rd in the voting, and the guy that finished 3rd had the guy that finished 1st on base in front of him.

The good team thing is a tad chicken or eggy though. Using that as precedent is somewhat suspect, because chances are if you have an MVP quality player on your team, you probably didn't lose 120 games. If the best justification for doing something is "I dunno, we just usually do" then that isn't much justification.

To look at it another way, if you were looking to DRAFT a player, would you rather have the guy that succeeded, despite little help, or the guy that was surrounded by talent? If you were looking to draft a WR would you rather have the guy that had 1400 of his school's 2100 yards, or a guy that had 1500 yards of his school's 5000? Would you rather have the DE with 12 sacks who had no help, or a guy who was paired with another top notch performing DLineman and got 13? Because I'm taking the guy who had the kitchen sink thrown at him and still put up similar/better numbers every time.
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Jeremy perfected this at 11/22/2011 4:29:32 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
11/22/2011 @ 05:19:50 PM
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First off, I don't think it was even the slightest bit of a screw job, let alone a total screw job. You two are probably both right to a certain degree, except that the award you are arguing in favor of is apparently not the BBWAA's MVP award. They have set a precedent and defined the award a certain way. That way takes a truly exceptional performance by a player on a crappy team to win. League's MOP (most outstanding player) might be a different argument than the Most Valuable Player. And it's clear that the writers are pretty much in agreement with these criteria considering the 2-1 voting margin (20 first place votes for Braun vs 10 for Kemp) in favor of Braun. Just saying.
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Scott perfected this at 11/22/2011 5:23:19 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
11/22/2011 @ 05:47:24 PM
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Except that the definition of valuable is left up to the voters and they are not required to go by the precedent of previous voters. If they feel that previous voters applied a flawed judgement of what is valuable then they should not be bound by that judgement. It certainly doesn't mean that people like us shouldn't point out when a voter is making what seems to be a poor argument, and that we shouldn't try to advocate for the system we feel is better.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
11/22/2011 @ 07:05:22 PM
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http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/134349128.html

The key part to me is the news that Capps will essentially cost the Twins a decent pick to resign, which they are evidently trying to do.
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
11/22/2011 @ 07:29:58 PM
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I guess you could look at it that way. The previous way, we would only get a pick if we offered him arbitration, which they wouldn't do cause he would cost too much. So our options would be to sign him cheaply as a free agent, or get nothing. Now it's sign him cheaply, or get a pick if he leaves. Can't go wrong. If he signs cheap enough he could still be useful (and be trade bait at the deadline). If not, we get the pick we otherwise wouldn't.
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Matt screwed with this at 11/22/2011 7:30:13 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
11/22/2011 @ 09:21:39 PM
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The consensus on twitter, which I assume was achieved with some combination of jazz hands and oregon duck gestures, seems to be the twins will offer all 3 arb, but it's hard to say who has and hasn't updated their assumptions with the new cba.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
11/22/2011 @ 10:14:25 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 05:47:24 PM
Except that the definition of valuable is left up to the voters and they are not required to go by the precedent of previous voters. If they feel that previous voters applied a flawed judgement of what is valuable then they should not be bound by that judgement. It certainly doesn't mean that people like us shouldn't point out when a voter is making what seems to be a poor argument, and that we shouldn't try to advocate for the system we feel is better.


I would doubt that they in any way felt that their hands were tied and that they had no choice but to vote for Braun. I think they just decided he provided the most value. If you would have voted differently, fine. But I find it a tad offensive to have it simply declared incorrect to have awarded it to Braun. Braun and Kemp both had very good years. The voters thought Braun was the more valuable player.

Before we go nuts about Braun not being deserving the MVP honors, lets not forget that the year Mauer won, he was 22 rbis behind Teixeira (who finished second), 16th in the league in rbis, 11 homers behind teixeira (mauer finished 17th in the league). In fact it seems that the only thing Mauer had going for him was that he was putting up ok numbers (and he won the batting title) as a catcher, which may have swayed some voters. That was exceptional year where a catcher was putting up atypical numbers, and the voters recognized it. (I'm not diminishing Mauer's year at all. But let your opinions be what they are without declaring them as indisputable facts).
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
11/22/2011 @ 11:20:53 PM
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Mauer hit .70 more than Texiera and had a WAR 2 higher. Texiera led the league in just HR and RBI. Mauer led the league in Avg, OPB, SLG, OPS, and OPS+, and the MVP candidates by a not even close margin. Mauer being a catcher means he had 85% of the at bats, so the counting stats would be a stretch. (He also missed the first month.) If RBI and HR are your go to stat then Braun didn't even beat out Fielder, let alone Kemp.

Kemp had a WAR of 10 this season. That's absurd. That's tied for 68th all time. He edged Braun in 8 of the 11 main stats.
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Jeremy perfected this 6 times, last at 11/23/2011 12:01:15 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
11/23/2011 @ 12:35:58 PM
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http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/134407163.html

No arb for Capps after all, so that's a good thing. Unlike some people, I won't go off the deep end if Capps is back on the team, so long as it's cheap, and not looked at as any sort of "now we're set" type move.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
11/23/2011 @ 02:57:45 PM
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So the Mauer thing may not have been the best example, or even a relevant one. Saying that the "correct choice was Kemp" (as if it is a multiple choice, 100% objective history exam) implies that it was wrong to award it to Braun, and I take exception to that. You aren't respecting Kemp, but you are disrepecting Braun. I disagree with that line of thinking on the face of it. I just think the debate deserves a little more room that one's opinion isn't an end-all-be-all. Braun was the voters selection. And he was certainly deserving of it. 63% of the voters thought Braun was more valuable than Kemp. And if you look at past examples not as guidelines for how to vote but for historical patterns, it makes a lot of sense that they voted that way. Most outstanding player and Most valuable are not the same thing according to the sports writers of today or in the past. And they probably all somewhat likeminded people who aren't tied down by past ways, but rather have similar principals in considering value.

edit: reading my previous post, I realize that this is just a re-stating of that same post, but I found what I felt was a better way of explaning it. Whatever, Braun is the NL MVP, Rodgers will likely be the NFL MVP. Not a bad market share for the state of Wisconsin.
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Scott screwed with this at 11/23/2011 2:59:26 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
11/23/2011 @ 04:54:09 PM
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No one is disrespecting Braun. He had a great season, Kemp just had a better one. To me, that makes him more valuable. I understand others have a different view, but that doesn't mean I can't say that they chose poorly.

And really, they only chose a little poorly. As I said before, its not a travesty like other choices have been, Braun was probably the second best NL player this year. It's still a respectable decision, just not the best decision, again, in my mind.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
11/23/2011 @ 06:05:51 PM
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MVP? Meh.
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
11/24/2011 @ 12:01:09 AM
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I don't know if anyone's made this point, but I noticed references to Braun being the first Brewer to win the award since Yount in '89. But really, he's the first Brewer to win the award. Because he's the NL MVP, which hasn't been won by a Brewer until now.
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
12/05/2011 @ 05:26:08 PM
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http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7318808/chicago-cubs-great-ron-santo-elected-baseball-hall-fame

Ron Santo was finally elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee today. Too bad they couldn't have gotten their act together and put him in, back when he was alive.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
12/05/2011 @ 08:32:20 PM
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Matt Capps is a Twin, again. 4.5 million for 2012, with an option for him of 6.5 million for 2013, buyout is $250,000. And the collective fan base wept....
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
12/06/2011 @ 06:04:41 PM
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Slowey to the Rockies for a player to be named later, good bye Slow-Dog. HA! *Slowey laugh at Thome*
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
12/08/2011 @ 08:04:07 AM
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KRod accepted arbitration. That means the Brewers have a $13 million setup man. From a certain extent, his status as "setup man" doesn't really matter, since it seemed that he and Axford played about equally, with KRod working the 8th pretty much anytime Axford ended up coming in. Either way, they pretty much guaranteed that Fielder is gone, and now they lost Hawkins and probably can't sign Saito.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
12/08/2011 @ 08:16:47 AM
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I also must say, Twitter makes the Winter Meetings so much more awesome than before. It's like I know what's going down as people are thinking about things. And news breaks on Twitter faster than on ESPN.com
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Scott perfected this at 12/08/2011 8:22:30 am
reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 09:07:28 AM
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Pujols signed by Angels, 10 years, $250M.

Time for the Cards to sign Fielder.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
12/08/2011 @ 09:37:08 AM
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Damn. I was hoping he stayed in the NL. (And on the Cards, for that matter.)
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 09:41:08 AM
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And I agree with Scott. I thought twitter was really stupid for a long time, but anyone not on it is really missing out. Take away the "exclusivity" of them and being on twitter is like being those guys from that 4G commercial who know everything before other people.

Even the stuff on ESPN is tweeted by them well before there's a story anywhere.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
12/08/2011 @ 09:56:07 AM
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From the way it sounds the first team willing to go to 7 or 8 years will get Fielder.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
12/08/2011 @ 10:00:18 AM
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I'm sure Cardinal fans will be a little angry at Pujols for a while, but that will pass and he will still be honored as one of their greats. He had, though, a chance to be a legend equal to Stan Musial in St. Louis. To me, that might be worth taking less money. To him, maybe not. I just wonder whether players ever regret chasing the money and giving up the legend.
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Matt screwed with this at 12/08/2011 10:04:42 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:04:13 AM
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Yeah, I mean, the Cards weren't offering Peanuts. Then again, maybe being in LA is even more of a potential money maker.

His sleazy agent probably talked him into the bigger payday.

@TwinsGeek Fun fact: Pujols could wipe with 20 $100 bills every day for 50 yrs and not go through 20% of the cards offer.

Edit: Angels got CJ Wilson too.
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Jeremy edited this 3 times, last at 12/08/2011 10:12:27 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:16:29 AM
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According to twitter (and I believe everything I read, which makes me more selective), the Cards are not going to pursue Fielder. They say that Pujols was obviously a special case. Maybe Fielder will accept arbitration too and the Brewers will be forced to pick up current highschoolers to play on their team since Fielder would push their payroll over $90mil before even considering arbitration and pay increases for other players.
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Scott perfected this at 12/08/2011 10:16:55 am
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:25:20 AM
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I should add to my previous post that there are, of course, other reasons besides money why a player would leave a team (bigger city, family, relationship w/management, etc.). I shouldn't just assume Pujols was only concerned about money (in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if his relationship with the Cardinals management may have been as big a reason). That said, I think the broader point still stands.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:27:39 AM
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KRod was publicly upset last year that he didn't get opportunities to be the closer. So the Brewers offer him arbitration, essentially guaranteeing him $12mil or so. Apparently the money was more important to him than being a closer.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
12/08/2011 @ 10:30:54 AM
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I don't think the Brewers are as out of it as you seem to think. There's no law saying they have to stay at $90 mil, or that going over $100 for one season to keep Fielder means being at that mark forever. They'd really only have to go up $7mil over what they just paid him last season.

If there was ever a season to splurge, this would be it, and it would be foolish to let grossly overpaying for krod for a season stop them from keeping a major long term piece in place. (In other words, the numbers for Fielder still "make sense", or they don't.)

Edit: Incidentally, now that the Astros are coming over, any room in the NL for he Twins? I'd be willing to suffer through watching pitchers flail helplessly at the ball if it meant avoiding the Angels, Yankees, and Red Sox. We already watch Drew Butera anyway.
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Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 12/08/2011 10:38:56 am
matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:35:32 AM
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I'm pretty sure the deadline to accept arbitration was last night, or the night before, so I'm assuming Fielder declined as expected.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:38:34 AM
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Right, this would be it, and in their case, if the perfect storm brewed, it would be a one year deal for Fielder to cash in at FA next year. However, with krod, they are at $71 mil, and still have to go through the process of arbitration for their current players along with automatic pay increases for others; and they currently don't have a shortstop on their roster. So without Fielder, they are already looking at being close to $90mil, and not that they can't go over, but Brewers ownership was saying that $85mil was their target. And It's not necessarily me that is thinking this. I'm passing on the feelings of the Brewers writers, who could just as easily be clouded too in this case. I do know, however, that Boras contacted Doug Melvin yesterday (not Melvin contacting boras). Basically, I think it's possible that Boras is seeing the 1b market drying up now that Pujols is gone and no other serious offers have been made. Who knows.

Matt, you're right, I'm not sure what I was thinking about. Fielder didn't accept arbitration.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 10:40:12 AM
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The NL is nice. You get to see managers actually manage; it might result in less offense, but still makes for an interesting game, in my opinion. And for what it's worth, the Brewer pitchers hit better than Adam Dunn and Craig Counsell.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
12/08/2011 @ 10:50:38 AM
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Managers actually manage in the AL. While obviously how the pitcher is or isn't doing plays some role on when to start the double switching fest, it's largely dictated by innings, and quickly becomes formulaic. AL managers have to make the call on with to bring in relievers based solely on how the pitcher is doing. Likewise, since their bench players aren't also worked into the automatic endgame algorithm, AL managers have to actually make a call on when it would be best to use whom where. NL managers can't make many moves AL managers can because their hands are tied by needing someone for the 3rd, automatic, double switch. If something is the defacto right move, completely 100% dictated by the situation, and happens everytime in almost the same manner, then it's not really "managing" anything. NL mangers make 1 choice a game that dictates everything else from there, as pertains to the DH argument, and even that is made for them by the inning/spot-in-batting-order combo a majority of the time, and that costs them about 4-6 choices an AL manger can make, or not.

I mean, I don't care about managing one way or another, and for the most part there's a lot of formula to it anyway, but if you're going for "which offers more exciting strategy from the dugout" I'll take the league where the guy makes more moves that could back fire, over the one that has more "well, of course you make that move" moves. The Twins brought in Gomez late in games to try and protect a lead defensively, at the cost of maybe needing to rely him to get a big hit. The Brewers bring in Gomez late in games because Latroy Hawkins would probably be a pretty crappy center fielder.

Why did they offer KRod Arbitration in the first place? Were they obligated to? Is that a thing? He was going to get a raise on what was already fairly-elite-closer money, even though he isn't a closer, they could have had Hawkins, Saito, spent $5 mil on a shortshop, and still had 2-3 to put toward Fielder. (And possibly received a draft pick?)
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Jeremy perfected this 6 times, last at 12/08/2011 11:10:42 am
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
12/08/2011 @ 11:02:33 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:50:38 AM
Managers actually manage in the AL. While obviously how the pitcher is or isn't doing plays some role on when to start the double switching fest, it's largely dictated by innings, and quickly becomes formulaic. AL managers have to make the call on with to bring in relievers based solely on how the pitcher is doing. Likewise, since their bench players aren't also worked into the automatic endgame algorithm, have to actually make a call on when it would be best to use whom where. NL managers can't make many moves AL managers can because their hands are tied by needing someone for the 3rd, automatic, double switch. If something is the defacto right move, completely 100% dictated by the situation, and happens everytime in almost the same manner, then it's not really "managing" anything.

Why did they offer KRod Arbitration in the first place? Were they obligated to? Is that a thing? He was going to get a raise on what was already fairly-elite-closer money, they could have had Hawkins, Saito, spent $5 mil on a shortshop, and still had 2-3 to put toward Fielder.


Classic completely exaggerated overstatement. Besides, it’s the American League. They’ve got the DH. How hard could it be?

KRod: he was a type A FA, so if they offered arbiration and he declined, they'd get 2 draft picks. If he accepted, well, their current closer only makes about $400k right now, so you still only have about $13mil tied up in the 8th and 9th innings. It wasn't a terrible move necessarily. KRod is better than Hawkins and Saito, but now instead of having both Hawkins and Saito, they have KRod. I think the biggest reason they offered arbitration was for the possibility of draft picks. And I also think Melvin has been pretty certain that Fielder was not within reach and had to move on.
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 12/08/2011 11:06:32 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
12/08/2011 @ 11:13:32 AM
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I don't see what's exaggerated by that. Unless I missed the couple games the Brewers had the pitcher from an inning ago play the vacated position in the field.
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 11:13:53 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:50:38 AM
Managers actually manage in the AL. While obviously how the pitcher is or isn't doing plays some role on when to start the double switching fest, it's largely dictated by innings, and quickly becomes formulaic. AL managers have to make the call on with to bring in relievers based solely on how the pitcher is doing. Likewise, since their bench players aren't also worked into the automatic endgame algorithm, AL managers have to actually make a call on when it would be best to use whom where. NL managers can't make many moves AL managers can because their hands are tied by needing someone for the 3rd, automatic, double switch. If something is the defacto right move, completely 100% dictated by the situation, and happens everytime in almost the same manner, then it's not really "managing" anything. NL mangers make 1 choice a game that dictates everything else from there, as pertains to the DH argument, and even that is made for them by the inning/spot-in-batting-order combo a majority of the time, and that costs them about 4-6 choices an AL manger can make, or not.


I think you're overstating how "automatic" and easy double switches and the like are. It's probably not that much tougher than in the AL, but I would say it's probably a little bit tougher.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 11:16:43 AM
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Sure, it's "tougher" because it ties your hands, and because you pretty much have to, even if you'd really want to make another move. I just wouldn't imply that leads to more "strategy," or at the very least imply that AL managers do nothing because they don't have to do that.

Someone find me some games where the double switching stopped once it started, and I'll concede the "automatic" portion.
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Jeremy screwed with this 3 times, last at 12/08/2011 11:20:30 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
12/08/2011 @ 11:22:27 AM
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I edited the "offending" comment about 80 times, so the biggest add might have been missed:

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:50:38 AM
I mean, I don't care about managing one way or another, and for the most part there's a lot of formula to it anyway, but if you're going for "which offers more exciting strategy from the dugout" I'll take the league where the guy makes more moves that could back fire, over the one that has more "well, of course you make that move" moves. The Twins brought in Gomez late in games to try and protect a lead defensively, at the cost of maybe needing to rely him to get a big hit. The Brewers bring in Gomez late in games because Latroy Hawkins would probably be a pretty crappy center fielder.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 11:22:41 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:13:32 AM
I don't see what's exaggerated by that. Unless I missed the couple games the Brewers had the pitcher from an inning ago play the vacated position in the field.


"defacto right move" "100% dictated by situation" "happens everytime in same manner". How could I possibly see that as exaggerated. I also don't think the hands are tied that much either. It comes down to weighing opportunity costs a lot of the time. "The pitcher is due up, he's still good to pitch some more, do we gamble and let him hit/bunt with runners on, do we pinch hit him and leave it to our bullpen." Or, "the pitcher is getting tired, but he's due up 3rd in teh lineup next inning. Who do we double switch him for, the 9 spot next inning? Well, that's the shortstop. He's been hitting good against the opponents setup man this year, so maybe we put the pitcher in the 8 spot, taking out the right fielder since he's a left handed hitter anyway, and we have a right hander on the bench." I'll concede that AL managers don't do nothing. But don't claim that NL managers just look at a formula card a press the "execute" button to make moves either. In fact you're probably the first person I've actually heard make the claim that AL managers actually do more. Most people probably joke about NL managers doing more when really it's probably fairly close, but I've never heard anyone seriously claim that AL managers are vastly more strategic than NL managers. Usually it's slightly (and I said slightly) in the other direction.
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
12/08/2011 @ 11:26:33 AM
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Looking at just pitching, in the AL you basically just have to judge how well the current pitcher is doing with how well the potential relievers will probably do.

In the NL you have to worry about the same, but also when the pitchers spot in the lineup is, whether a better hitter at bat right now is worth losing your starter a little early, whether to do a straight pinch-hit, or go for the double switch, etc.

Yeah, a lot of those decisions can be dictated by the situation, but that's still probably more true in the AL. Again, in the end, there is probably not much of a one, but there is a difference.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
12/08/2011 @ 11:27:14 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:50:38 AM
NL mangers make 1 choice a game that dictates everything else from there, as pertains to the DH argument, and even that is made for them by the inning/spot-in-batting-order combo a majority of the time, and that costs them about 4-6 choices an AL manger can make, or not.


Well, I think right there you make a good point. If their one choice in the 5th innings changes what can be done in the 9th inning, doesn't that make the 5th inning choice all the more important to get right? And I see the point of your question, but I differ on the outcome of your conclusion. I personally think this makes the job a little tougher. If the AL manager has 4-6 choices to choose from more than an NL manager, (which I doubt is really the case), than no one choice really is really that vital since later in the game he still has plan B, C, D, E if plan A didn't work.
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Scott messed with this at 12/08/2011 11:34:36 am
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
12/08/2011 @ 11:33:58 AM
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Another point, the DH is somewhat restricting and "hands-tied" too. The DH can't play in the field, or if he does the team loses the DH position. And you can only replace the DH with someone not currently in the lineup. so the firstbaseman can't become the DH during the game. So basically, you have a position in the AL that has more actual, rules-dictated restrictions than anything in the NL. Just pointing this out.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
12/08/2011 @ 11:35:40 AM
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Right, everything you just said is their one choice big to make as pertains to the double switching. When. Most everything from there is dictated, is as objectively the right move as a long term strategy as you can reasonably claim, and generally will go down roughly the same. The only sub moves they make from there is that they obviously don't have to put the incoming pitcher into the very last up spot in the batting order, and thus have to decide who comes out, but someone is, every time, and as the season plays out, I'm guessing you get pretty good at predicting who is going in where and for whom as well. (Which is true with many defensive and such type moves in the AL too, but it's probably not the case where this is some brilliantly creative execution on a game to game basis in the NL)

Also, I never claimed that AL managers "do more," but thier hands being less tied means they have that rope to hang themselves with, and if you're going to claim one or the other is "more fun" because of moves from the dugout, I'll take screaming "Nooo!!! Too early!!!" at the screen for replacing Thome on 2nd base with a fast guy in the 6th inning, and the other such moves Gardy can make, over having less of those types of moves, because most of your players are going to be tied up in trying like hell to avoid a pitcher batting.

Personally I like the DH for the exact opposite reason, the managers don't "have" to do anything as pertains to the lineup, and if they do, it's not because it was dictated by a pitching move, it's because they ALSO think that move gives them a greater shot at winning. I like having, largely, the same team that started it, end it. Also, I find the buzz kill of pitchers, who are more or less an automatic out, killing an inning not worth the "joy" of knocking in a run every other month.

That said, I can see why others might claim that makes it "more exciting," and as always I'm mostly just bored.
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Jeremy edited this 6 times, last at 12/08/2011 11:53:05 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 11:36:49 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:35:40 AM
Right, everything you just said is their one choice to make.


Well, see, that just is not true.

Oh, and if it was implied that I meant that universally it's "more fun", that was not my intention*. I prefer the NL, and I've had the opportunity to follow a team that has been in both leagues. I found the game to be more interesting when the Brewers moved to the NL. To me, there seems to be more variety.

*other than I think that the AL is completely stupid and a total waste of time and it sucks and it's boring and totally lame. Other than that, that wasn't my intention
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 12/08/2011 11:53:09 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
12/08/2011 @ 11:46:49 AM
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And since we're on the subject, the in game strategy (not just player moves) seem more alive in the NL (to me anyway, not universally). Say you're in the fifth inning of a close game, your team is pitching, they have a runner on 2nd with 2 outs and the 8 spot is at the plate. Do you pitch to him or walk him and pitch to the pitcher? Is the other team ready to take the risk of pinch hitting for their pitcher and putting in a decent hitter in that spot? You have to decide if it's worth pitching to a the 8th hitter when the pitcher is due up, or try to read the other manager's mind about whether walking the 8th man will result in pitching to a power hitting pinch hitter. This is a situation that doesn't have to be addressed (at least not as often) in the AL. {/notcombativepoint}

Sigh, baseball strategy is fun #isitaprilyet
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Scott perfected this at 12/08/2011 11:47:03 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 12:26:50 PM
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Pujols received ten years and $254MM from the Angels, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Marlins offered ten years and $275MM. That would have tied Alex Rodriguez for the largest contract guarantee in baseball history. Nightengale says that with incentives and Florida's lack of a state income tax, the deal could have been worth nearly $300MM.

Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5MM deal with the Halos, but agent Bob Garber told Ken Rosenthal Wilson could "easily" have gotten $100MM, and the Marlins "would not let it go." Said Wilson: "If it was about the money, I'd be a Florida Marlin."
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 12:33:39 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 10:00:18 AM
I just wonder whether players ever regret chasing the money and giving up the legend.


If he's anything like Sprewell, he's got a family to feed.
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2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
12/08/2011 @ 12:52:39 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:30:54 AM
If there was ever a season to splurge, this would be it, and it would be foolish to let grossly overpaying for krod for a season stop them from keeping a major long term piece in place. (In other words, the numbers for Fielder still "make sense", or they don't.)


I agree, assuming krod isn't going to accept arb and then complain that he's not the closer, which is not an assumption I'm particularly confident on. I'd have no problem paying Fielder $20MM a year on a per-year basis, I just don't think he's worth the risk to the Brewers to give him a 6 year deal. So ideally he doesn't get a long term offer and takes a 1 year deal to stay with the Brewers, since there's no SS for the Brewers to spend on anyway. But that seems extremely unlikely.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 01:36:57 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:26:50 PM
Nightengale says that with incentives and Florida's lack of a state income tax, the deal could have been worth nearly $300MM.

I don't quite get this. Because in pro sports, you pay state income tax for each state you play your games in. So if Pujols plays three away games in Texas, he pays Texas income tax for those games. So I guess half of a florida player's games are in Florida, the other half are subject to other states' laws.

Alex Wrote - Today @ 12:52:39 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:30:54 AM
If there was ever a season to splurge, this would be it, and it would be foolish to let grossly overpaying for krod for a season stop them from keeping a major long term piece in place. (In other words, the numbers for Fielder still "make sense", or they don't.)


I agree, assuming krod isn't going to accept arb and then complain that he's not the closer, which is not an assumption I'm particularly confident on. I'd have no problem paying Fielder $20MM a year on a per-year basis, I just don't think he's worth the risk to the Brewers to give him a 6 year deal. So ideally he doesn't get a long term offer and takes a 1 year deal to stay with the Brewers, since there's no SS for the Brewers to spend on anyway. But that seems extremely unlikely.


Melvin also announced (and by announced, someone quoted him on twitter having said it) that the KRod deal won't prevent him from making other deals.

SS on the table: Yuni B, Alex Gonzalez and Rafael Furcal. The Brewers have also been mentioned as strong candidates for Aramis Ramirez, at least as of last night, prior to the KRod arb acceptance.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 12/08/2011 1:38:41 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 03:31:25 PM
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Also, whether it's now or later in the year, I can't imagine it would be that difficult to trade KRod if they really wanted to.

All those SS are icky. 19th and 20th in WAR of the 20 guys with a qualifying number of PAs last year and a chronically injured vet. There's at least got to be cheaper options that are just about as good.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
12/08/2011 @ 03:50:32 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 01:36:57 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:26:50 PM
Nightengale says that with incentives and Florida's lack of a state income tax, the deal could have been worth nearly $300MM.

I don't quite get this. Because in pro sports, you pay state income tax for each state you play your games in. So if Pujols plays three away games in Texas, he pays Texas income tax for those games. So I guess half of a florida player's games are in Florida, the other half are subject to other states' laws.


Sarah would know better but even just half his games there would be big, as well as his residence. I don't think every state has the "you pay tax on what you earn while here" rule either. Also, while the meaning of what you said is still there, Texas also has no income tax.
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Jeremy messed with this at 12/08/2011 4:06:28 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/08/2011 @ 06:22:07 PM
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Ha. I just through out a random state name and landed on one that didn't qualify. Come to think of it, I guess I have no idea what proportion of states don't have income tax vs those that do.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
12/08/2011 @ 06:24:23 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 03:31:25 PM
Also, whether it's now or later in the year, I can't imagine it would be that difficult to trade KRod if they really wanted to.

All those SS are icky. 19th and 20th in WAR of the 20 guys with a qualifying number of PAs last year and a chronically injured vet. There's at least got to be cheaper options that are just about as good.


Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez. Or as I hope he's called, AGonz. Eh, a lateral move offensively, maybe a little better than Yuni defensively. I guess the $2mil buyout the Brewers paid to cut YuniB came from the Royals, so AGonz only cost the brewers about $2mil for 1 year. Not terrible. Yuni was getting paid about $4.5 mil, which was more than Braun got paid last year.
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2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
12/08/2011 @ 11:54:04 PM
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Of the 3 options he seems like the best and that's fairly cheap too. When I posted that before I figured he'd cost more.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
12/09/2011 @ 05:44:11 AM
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I think there are eight or nine states with no income tax. Florida, Wyoming, Texas, Nevada, one of the Dakotas (south maybe) and some others. :-) California has a really high rate, around ten percent, which would be the sucks. You have to pay where you play, so if half of your games are in a no tax state, that's like money in the bank.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
12/09/2011 @ 07:55:52 AM
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Brewers had been rumored a few days ago to possibly be in the running for Aramis Ramirez. That would be a nice addition to their infield, and help in a small way shore up the hole in the lineup left by one Prince Fielder. I'm not sure how the KRod deal changes those plans, though.
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Scott screwed with this at 12/09/2011 8:49:29 am
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
12/09/2011 @ 08:52:43 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:55:52 AM
Brewers had been rumored a few days ago to possibly be in the running for Aramis Ramirez. That would be a nice addition to their infield, and help in a small way shore up the hole in the lineup left by one Prince Fielder. I'm not sure how the KRod deal changes those plans, though.


From JSOnline this morning:
With Rodriguez and Gonzalez on the roster, the Brewers have about $85 million committed to 15 players with guaranteed contracts and projected arbitration settlements. They operated last season with a payroll of about $95 million.

So the Brewers still have some room to move. Although, it's not like $95mil is the salary cap and the Brewers only decision is making sure they don't go over. $95mil might indeed be a huge stretch for them, then again it might not. The point is, this isn't the NFL. The Brewers don't have the luxury of just increasing payroll to whatever they feel like. Hopefully they should be able to at least match last year's payroll, which if that's the case, money shouldn't be the issue with signing ARam.

edit: I reread the quote I posted...the have $85mil committed to just 15 players. So maybe it will be a bit of a stretch to go futher. Melvin did say that according to Mark Attanasio they have room to make more moves.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 12/09/2011 11:07:58 am
hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
12/10/2011 @ 06:52:22 PM
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http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7338271/ryan-braun-milwaukee-brewers-tests-positive-performance-enhancing-drug
Oh Ryan Braun..... #Fail 50 game ban, better sign Fielder!
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
12/10/2011 @ 06:54:00 PM
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Holy bombshell indeed......ouch
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Jeremy perfected this at 12/10/2011 7:02:12 pm
sarah.jpgSarah - 3613 Posts
12/10/2011 @ 07:02:39 PM
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#KempforMVP - let's get it trending!
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
12/10/2011 @ 10:11:01 PM
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Since being informed of the results, Braun has been disputing his case. A source close to Braun said that when he was told about the positive test, he immediately requested to be tested again. That second test, using a different sample that was tested by Braun's camp, the source said, was not positive. Those close to Braun believe that the difference between the two tests will show that the first test was invalid. Although Braun's representatives acknowledge that a non-positive test would not negate a positive one, they believe the second test shows certain anomalies that will suggest problems with the first. They declined to specify.

Oh please, oh please. This would essentially render the 2012 season a complete loss. No fielder and no Braun for the first 50 games if it turns out to be true. This hit me like a ton of bricks when I checked my phone at a Christmas party I was at tonight. Like, took my breath away and couldn't speak. Obviously someone switched the samples, right? That's why the first test was wrong.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3613 Posts
12/11/2011 @ 08:12:36 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:11:01 PM
Since being informed of the results, Braun has been disputing his case. A source close to Braun said that when he was told about the positive test, he immediately requested to be tested again. That second test, using a different sample that was tested by Braun's camp, the source said, was not positive. Those close to Braun believe that the difference between the two tests will show that the first test was invalid. Although Braun's representatives acknowledge that a non-positive test would not negate a positive one, they believe the second test shows certain anomalies that will suggest problems with the first. They declined to specify.

Oh please, oh please. This would essentially render the 2012 season a complete loss. No fielder and no Braun for the first 50 games if it turns out to be true. This hit me like a ton of bricks when I checked my phone at a Christmas party I was at tonight. Like, took my breath away and couldn't speak. Obviously someone switched the samples, right? That's why the first test was wrong.


Wondering how you took the news. It sounds like you can't have a good argument for why synthetic testosterone was found in your body and his appeal will be denied. If this is true, it sucks for Matt Kemp because Braun tested positive in October and the MVP award was given out in November, he was able to delay anyone finding out about this because of his appeal. Since the award is given out by the Baseball Writers Association and not MLB, they would not revoke his MVP award.
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Sarah messed with this at 12/11/2011 8:13:11 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/11/2011 @ 10:54:39 AM
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Not all appeals have been made public, so I heard that there is no way to tell that appeals can't be overturned.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
12/11/2011 @ 11:27:46 AM
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It's all speculation of people you just have to take their word on. Nothing that's ever made it to the "leaked public" stage has been overturned, apparently the fact that it's synthetic is pretty damning, and supposedly a 2nd test didn't find anything, but of course that doesn't necessarily matter.

It's just a sad situation all around.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
12/11/2011 @ 12:30:27 PM
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Sarah Wrote - Today @ 08:12:36 AM
If this is true, it sucks for Matt Kemp because Braun tested positive in October and the MVP award was given out in November, he was able to delay anyone finding out about this because of his appeal. Since the award is given out by the Baseball Writers Association and not MLB, they would not revoke his MVP award.


They announce the award after the playoffs, but vote before, so the votes were all in before he tested positive. Of course, if this came out before the results were announced, they might have had an easier decision to call for a re-vote than they do now.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3613 Posts
12/11/2011 @ 12:34:06 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 12:30:27 PM
Sarah Wrote - Today @ 08:12:36 AM
If this is true, it sucks for Matt Kemp because Braun tested positive in October and the MVP award was given out in November, he was able to delay anyone finding out about this because of his appeal. Since the award is given out by the Baseball Writers Association and not MLB, they would not revoke his MVP award.


They announce the award after the playoffs, but vote before, so the votes were all in before he tested positive. Of course, if this came out before the results were announced, they might have had an easier decision to call for a re-vote than they do now.


That's what I meant.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
12/11/2011 @ 01:22:36 PM
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Ugh
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
12/11/2011 @ 05:10:30 PM
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Braun's testosterone levels "insanely high", the highest ever for anyone who has ever taken a test, twice the level of the highest test ever taken. This increases the already suspicious nature of this. How does a guy who has no history of use and who has been subject to the most strict drug testing policy in sports sense he entered the minors suddenly out of the blue become the worst case in the history of the tests? Things don't add up. There is nothing about this story that is making any sense. I'm starting to suspect that someone either tainted or switched the sample.
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Scott messed with this at 12/11/2011 5:11:04 pm
sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
12/11/2011 @ 05:46:44 PM
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Not to be outdone by Braun's bad news, Mauer announces he's engaged. Say it ain't so Joe.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
12/12/2011 @ 11:00:29 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:10:30 PM
Braun's testosterone levels "insanely high", the highest ever for anyone who has ever taken a test, twice the level of the highest test ever taken. This increases the already suspicious nature of this. How does a guy who has no history of use and who has been subject to the most strict drug testing policy in sports sense he entered the minors suddenly out of the blue become the worst case in the history of the tests? Things don't add up. There is nothing about this story that is making any sense. I'm starting to suspect that someone either tainted or switched the sample.


They tested it a few times, so the source sample would have to have been mishandled, and I'm guessing they take that pretty seriously. Anything's possible though. If it is true he's that off the charts it might be suspicious, but on the other hand someone has to be the highest, and it might just mean in the relatively short span this has been tested for the other guys weren't as stupid about it.

It makes sense to me though that, if true, what it means is that Braun wasn't intentionally doing anything, and rather just took an assload of some supplement he thought to be ok, and he's going to be Starcaps'ed out of 30% of the season.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
12/12/2011 @ 11:02:22 AM
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Sarah Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:46:44 PM
Not to be outdone by Braun's bad news, Mauer announces he's engaged. Say it ain't so Joe.


I'm sure the ladies in MN circa 2009 are devastated.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
12/12/2011 @ 11:07:17 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:00:29 AM
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:10:30 PM
Braun's testosterone levels "insanely high", the highest ever for anyone who has ever taken a test, twice the level of the highest test ever taken. This increases the already suspicious nature of this. How does a guy who has no history of use and who has been subject to the most strict drug testing policy in sports sense he entered the minors suddenly out of the blue become the worst case in the history of the tests? Things don't add up. There is nothing about this story that is making any sense. I'm starting to suspect that someone either tainted or switched the sample.


They tested it a few times, so the source sample would have to have been mishandled, and I'm guessing they take that pretty seriously. Anything's possible though. If it is true he's that off the charts it might be suspicious, but on the other hand someone has to be the highest, and it might just mean in the relatively short span this has been tested for the other guys weren't as stupid about it.

It makes sense to me though that, if true, what it means is that Braun wasn't intentionally doing anything, and rather just took an assload of some supplement he thought to be ok, and he's going to be Starcaps'ed out of 30% of the season.


He owns two restaurants in Milwaukee. Maybe to cut down on costs, he bought the bargain cattle from Mexico and ate a tainted steak.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
12/12/2011 @ 11:35:29 AM
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It's worth noting that saying that no one has successfully eppealed a positive test for PEDs isn't 100% accurate. No case where the initial positive test results was leaked has ended with an overturn. There have been cases where news of an initial positive test was never made public, and as such, the whole process was never known.

source
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Scott edited this at 12/12/2011 11:42:44 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
12/12/2011 @ 12:02:48 PM
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http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/12/report-brewers-agree-to-three-year-deal-with-aramis-ramirez/

Also, The Rockies reportedly upped their Cuddy offer to "hard to say no levels", so fingers crossed for Willingham.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/12/2011 @ 12:13:24 PM
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Brewers To Sign Aramis Ramirez

Oh, and BTW, unless Fielder is willing to pay for the janitorial minimum wage, he's officially done as a Brewer.
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Scott perfected this at 12/12/2011 12:40:56 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
12/12/2011 @ 12:44:05 PM
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I don't love or hate the Ramirez signing. That's money that they're going to need if they want to extend Greinke and/or Marcum. I'm assuming there was enough market interest that they had to go to 3 years if they really wanted him. I'd say there's a pretty good chance he doesn't stay here for the full 3 years though, unless Attanasio really is going to keep his wallet open.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/12/2011 @ 01:00:39 PM
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Yeah, plus it probably helps the loss of the player when you see who you can sign instead of them. Superstars are fun, but they probably aren't with 2 stars, 3 good players, or 4-5 very solid upgrades.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/12/2011 @ 01:01:31 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 12:44:05 PM
I don't love or hate the Ramirez signing. That's money that they're going to need if they want to extend Greinke and/or Marcum. I'm assuming there was enough market interest that they had to go to 3 years if they really wanted him. I'd say there's a pretty good chance he doesn't stay here for the full 3 years though, unless Attanasio really is going to keep his wallet open.


Well, they had to do something about third base, at least that what it would seem. McGhee isn't worth the "wait and see" in my opinion. Ramirez is expensive, but assuming McGhee is no longer a good option, they had to do something. Taylor Green is waiting for his chance, but they must not be ready to give him the starting job yet.

It should be interesting to note that their infield will be 75% new next season, and Rickie Weeks is the last guy left from the build up that included Fielder, Bill Hall, and JJ Hardy from quite a few years ago. One by one they all departed. That class of players that all came up together and was supposed to mark the beginning of the turnaround of Brewers baseball included Hall, Fielder, Hardy, Weeks, and Cory Hart. I'd say in one way or another, that turnaround was surely realized.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
12/12/2011 @ 01:08:38 PM
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Plus, the Brewers have depleted their farm system so much in recent years to acquire some rather necessary players that they probably felt a strong need to endure a year or so of "aging free agents that we hope still have a few good years left" to hopefully bridge the gap from the present to sometime in the future when they develop some more prospects.
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
12/12/2011 @ 02:14:01 PM
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http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/blue-jays-claim-jim-hoey.html

Hoey sucks, so this isn't a big deal, but it is yet another reminder of how horrible the decision to get rid of J.J. Hardy was.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
12/12/2011 @ 02:39:31 PM
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Wait....he was a nobody with upside AND only under team for the year despite being the "big" piece? Jesus...
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Jeremy perfected this at 12/12/2011 2:43:48 pm
matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
12/12/2011 @ 07:16:18 PM
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Jose Mijares non-tendered.

http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Jose_Mijares_nontendered_likely_ending_his_Twins_tenure121211
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
12/13/2011 @ 11:19:05 AM
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Taking away Braun's MVP award would be insane, as Jayson Starks points out.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
Finally, here's the essence of this argument:

We have no idea what Ryan Braun did or didn't do on the way to his MVP award. We have no idea what he took, why he took it, when he took it or how it affected the season he had -- if at all. Some of this might get cleared up at some point. Then again, it's possible that once we hear all the explanations, we'll just be more confused.

So here are some facts to consider: The MVP had a tremendous year, obviously, or he wouldn't have won this award. But it's not as if we're talking about a guy who came out of nowhere to have an MVP season.

Basically, Ryan Braun just did what he's been doing pretty much his entire career. He just happened to do it in the context of a season where his team finished in first place -- for the first time in nearly three decades.

Other than his batting average and on-base percentage, his numbers this year were pretty much routine Ryan Braun numbers. Don't believe me? Take a look.


Read the article for the stats, the table doesn't copy well into this post. And this excerpt isn't even the point of the insanity. If you take away Braun's title, how do you answer for not stripping guys who actually admitted to testing positive for steriods during MVP runs, like ARod in 2003? And the guys ARod beat out who received MVP votes also have been implicated. We don't know what braun took, but we do know that he didn't fail any tests during the season (never ever in his career), just the one that happened during the post-season, in which he apparently went from bruce Banner to the Hulk and back again, but only once in his life instead of everytime he gets mad.
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Scott perfected this at 12/13/2011 11:27:37 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 11:37:02 AM
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I don't think it would be "insane," but I don't think they should/will. That said, the people that also play the "Well what about [fill in decade old MVP here]?" card....it wouldn't have to go that far. Braun has been MVP for a fortnight. That's a little different than retroactively declaring some guy who finished a distant second statistically 1909 NL MVP.

Likewise the "we don't know what we know" points above works both ways. Maybe he took this just for the playoffs, but maybe his numbers "look normal" because he's been getting away with this since day 1. (Which might explain his getting more and more brazen with the amounts.) They aren't tested weekly, and it's safe to say whatever these guys do clears out in a hurry, meaning you just have to get really unlucky with the timing once. (And why a second test weeks later coming up clean generally means diddily)
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
12/13/2011 @ 11:45:40 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:37:02 AM
(And why a second test weeks later coming up clean generally means diddily)


I read somewhere an analysis by someone who wasn't specifically commenting about the Braun case, that spikes in testosterone levels are not uncommon in the context of cyclical occurances of steriod users. He said that it would not be uncommon for a person on steroids to have his ratio jump from 1:1 or 2:1 to 80:1 and then back down again within a matter of hours. It would depend on the amount the player was using and how often. So in other words, the expert was saying that it is possible for something like this to occur and would be part of a steroid cycle. From the context of the Braun case, this just doesn't add up. He's never failed a drug test, so he has no known history of using, and suddenly has a drug test show evidence of a very drastic steroid cycle.

(if I find the article, I'll post a link.)

here it is
According to drug testing experts, though, passing a subsequent test is not, in and of itself, a valid defense and actually fits the pattern of some previous doping cases. US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart has no specific knowledge of the Braun case, but says that a testosterone level that goes from normal, to high, to normal is typical of someone on a steroid cycle. "After a person stops using, the T:E ratio" -- that's the testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio, which is 1:1 in most people, and above 4:1 in positive tests -- "goes back down to normal levels, and that could be in a matter of days or hours. It depends on how much they used, how long they've been using, and their own individual metabolism." Research done by German scientists showed that one particular drug boosted a patient's T:E ratio above 80:1 before it dropped back to normal only 12 hours later.


I don't know if this helps or hurts his case. It would seem to hurt him if he had a history of steroid use, which he doesn't, at least not a known history. It may help him since he doesn't have a history of it, the tests only make sense in the context of a steroid user.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 12/13/2011 11:49:27 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 12:18:57 PM
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Sure, but to be fair no one has a history of steroid use, until they do. I think we're all just going to have to let it play out.

Edit: Also, though I don't know anything about anything, I'd say that sounds pretty damning, because it means there's nothing odd/suspicious at all about the "2 times higher than anyone ever" since that's just a matter of timing, and it also sounds like it would be pretty easy to get away with it for a long while. So, if true, it means there's no reason either to assume that for some crazy reason he decided to do it just for the playoffs despite not really even knowing what it would do.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 12/13/2011 12:29:58 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
12/13/2011 @ 01:27:09 PM
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I wonder if MLB enforces their own rules, or if this is just a "meh, hopefully people pay attention to this little fine-print suggestion".
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
12/13/2011 @ 01:39:17 PM
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If they find the leak, heads will roll. From what I can tell they're almost as upset the bust was leaked as they are that one of the "new faces" of the post steroid era was busted. It was about the worst possible PR at the worst time, and might have been 100% avoidable depending on the outcome of the appeal. Braun will have his doubters either way now, especially since, just like a regular trial, I'd imagine, a successful appeal doesn't actually necessarily mean "upon further review you're clean" and can probably mean one of 100 technicalities involving test handling, union rules, etc.

Edit: In fact, if you think about it, a successful appeal would almost HAVE to mean finding someway to render test 1 void on a technicality, because all the tests in the world down the road don't demonstrate jack, and you can't submit a video of yourself not doing steroids in early October as evidence.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 12/13/2011 1:42:28 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
12/13/2011 @ 01:42:35 PM
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More on the Braun saga.
Highlights:
A) initial sample is split into 2
B) if first sample tests positive, second sample is tested with another procedure
C) so far, the first sample is the only one we know the result of, which is that it tested about the 4:1 ratio. According to this article, this doesn't indicate a positive test, it indicates taht...
D) the second sample must be tested using carbon isotope testing method, results of which are unknown to the public.
E) If this tests positive, then he's screwed.

So far, we are only at about step C. And it says nothing about how often step C is confirmed/dismissed by step D.
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Scott edited this at 12/13/2011 1:43:30 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
12/13/2011 @ 01:46:10 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:39:17 PM
because all the tests in the world down the road don't demonstrate jack


I'll assume for the time being that your lack of professional medical knowledge renders this statement at best baseless. Some drugs take a long time to be flushed from your system, so a test shortly after the failed test could have some standing. Or I suppose it could have no standing. Either way, I would guess that neither of us, nor anyone on this site, is in a position to make such a judgement.

I know some drugs that are listed for companies with "drug free programs" can remain in your system for 30+ days, which is why companies that implement these tests must wait a certain amount of time before they can conduct their first test. My point is, I'll wait until I hear more confirmation about this specific case before I determine if Braun's second, successful test is of any basis or not. I'm trying only to piece together facts as I find them. (of course, if I'm the arbitor, Braun wins the appeal because my money is on the Brewers next year) The story I quoted earlier was not commenting on the case at all, but simply the possibility that testosterone levels can indeed fluxate.
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Scott screwed with this at 12/13/2011 1:49:53 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 01:55:44 PM
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It's not baseless. You'd never actually know. Even if done the next day, it doesn't prove something wasn't detected there the day before. Even if a substance stays in your system for 10 years, who's to say yesterday wasn't 9 years 364 days? That has nothing to do with "professional medical knowledge", that's just the essence of evidence/proof.

If and only if someone could take the levels found in sample one, and make a reasonable assumption about how long that dosage should be detectable for, and have another sample from well within that window, you might have some reason to doubt the first test. Even then it proves diddly, especially when you factor in the 2nd test was not only not random, but the players post-busted idea. (At which point he could have made a decided effort to flush or mask it. Stands to reason Braun wouldn't volunteer another sample if he wasn't as certain as he could be it wouldn't be positive, PED's or not.*)

It would be a little like trying to prove you were wrongfully busted in possession of weed by turning out your pockets at the hearing and showing they're empty.

Edit: Though to be fair "demonstrate" was the wrong word there, because you could reasonably demonstrate something without "proving" it.

* Though, and here's where my lack of not being a doctor/tester may show: It seems to me if you were trying to show that you tested positive for some perfectly legit but strange reason, a second failed test might HELP your case. Let's say Scott's kind-of-not-that-crazy over hormoned beef "hypothesis" was the reason. Braun had a steak from some place, hit 3 HR that game, and that's all he ate 3-4 times a day from late July til the end of the playoffs. In a weird way being able to "recreate" the test that way helps his case....if he can show cause that that's all it is, which would be the crux of the matter. The fact that he was able to stop whatever "highly personal/legit/etc" reason he had for it so readily kind of hurts his case, in a way.
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Jeremy screwed with this 5 times, last at 12/13/2011 2:12:58 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 02:13:24 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:55:44 PM
It's not baseless. You'd never actually know. Even if done the next day, it doesn't prove something wasn't detected there the day before. Even if a substance stays in your system for 10 years, who's to say yesterday wasn't 9 years 364 days? That has nothing to do with "professional medical knowledge", that's just the essence of evidence/proof.

If and only if someone could take the levels found in sample one, and make a reasonable assumption about how long that dosage should be detectable for, and have another sample from well within that window, you might have some reason to doubt the first test. Even then it proves diddly, especially when you factor in the 2nd test was not only not random, but the players post-busted idea. (At which point he could have made a decided effort to flush or mask it.)


Well, my point is that the second test might help to suggest that the first test was faulty, or somehow an anomoly. Braun's testing history goes like this: passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, passed, failed worse than anyone ever in the history of the league, passed. Having the test be his idea doesn't prove it to be diddly at all. If I found out I test positive for pot I would immediately ask to be retested.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:55:44 PM
It would be a little like trying to prove you were wrongfully busted in possession of weed by turning out your pockets at the hearing and showing they're empty.

Hmm, it's not really anything like this, in my opinion.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 02:14:35 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:55:44 PM
Let's say Scott's kind-of-not-that-crazy over hormoned beef "hypothesis" was the reason.


Ha, you're too kind.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:55:44 PM

* Though, and here's where my lack of not being a doctor/tester may show: It seems to me if you were trying to show that you tested positive for some perfectly legit but strange reason, a second failed test might HELP your case. Let's say Scott's kind-of-not-that-crazy over hormoned beef "hypothesis" was the reason. Braun had a steak from some place, hit 3 HR that game, and that's all he ate 3-4 times a day from late July til the end of the playoffs. In a weird way being able to "recreate" the test that way helps his case....if he can show cause that that's all it is, which would be the crux of the matter. The fact that he was able to stop whatever "highly personal/legit/etc" reason he had for it so readily kind of hurts his case, in a way.


Well, he would have had to been aware of it in the first place to voluntarily stop the act. If something crazy like was true (any form of a tainted substance) the most likey case was that it was just terrible timing that happened the one time. Maybe it was just the one steak that was bad. Maybe as part of the arbitration procedure they'll go all Hell's Kitchen on his restaurant and fine tained beef in some cases, have him eat the meat, and then test him constantly for the next 72 hours.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 12/13/2011 2:19:41 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
12/13/2011 @ 02:21:23 PM
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I would ask to be retested if I failed too. I think we're talking past each other on "proof" vs doubt/reasonable doubt.

If you passed a drug test an hour after you failed, that might be reason to suspect the test you failed, but it really doesn't PROVE the test failed. Especially in a system that's geared more toward letting some people get away with it, but being very sure about the people you catch.

To actually prove something about Test 1, you'd actually have to attempt to prove something about the Test 1. Like someone effed up the settings on the machine. The person dropped your sample and it rolled under a refrigerator, was fished out of there, and then in the heat of panic, placed it amongst 10 other unlabeled samples. Or, of course, legal technicalities that render test 1 inadmissible.
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Jeremy perfected this at 12/13/2011 2:25:48 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
12/13/2011 @ 02:25:54 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:21:23 PM
I would ask to be retested if I failed too. I think we're talking past each other on "proof" vs doubt/reasonable doubt.

If you passed a drug test an hour after you failed, that might be reason to suspect the test you failed, but it really doesn't PROVE the test failed.

To do that, you'd actually have to prove something about the first test was wrong. Like someone effed up the settings on the machine. The person dropped your sample and it rolled under a refrigerator, was fished out of there, and then in the heat of panic, placed it amongst 10 other unlabeled samples. Or, of course, legal technicalities that render test 1 inadmissible.


Correct. We agree. I'm not necessarily pointing to the first test not showing a failed result. But rather that if not an anomoly, then possibly a tainted sample, and if not that, then a reasonable explanation as to why the first test failed so badly while the subsequent test appeared fine. The results of the first test are not in question so much as the validity of the results.

edit: to clarify, the second, Braun requested test wouldn't disprove the first test, but could call the results of that test into question.
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Scott edited this at 12/13/2011 2:31:43 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 02:45:22 PM
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The problem is, in a more real world example, it's impossible to tell the reactions of people who got screwed, from the users who choose to fight. That's why the standards are very high.

If you took a random drug test, failed, and found out you failed when you were fired a week later, and shortly after demanded another testing appt, that would be indistinguishable to them from someone who actually DID fail, but thinks it has been long enough now, insisting on a retest.

Either way you have nothing to lose* by insisting for a second test, and everything to gain, and IF you are a user, you're probably going to do what you can to rid yourself of what you can, and probably aren't going to toke up on the ride to the testing center. Insisting on a retest really means nothing at all, and passing it only means so much, to the people who do/interpret the testing, and see largely the same thing play out every time.

Passing 10 years worth of tests only necessarily means you went 10 years without a slip up. Either way every users first time using has to happen some time.


*On first blush you might say "of course you do, a second positive test would kill your hopes of overturning the first" and, while that's true, if what you're facing is an almost impossible uphill battle, especially one with a PR side, you can really only gain. You're not going to get "more fired". Dropping the metaphor, players know that they're facing an almost unreversible process. A second failed test doesn't really put them anymore behind the 8 ball for their suspension, but passing a second test might swing people their way.
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Jeremy edited this 3 times, last at 12/13/2011 3:00:44 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 05:16:00 PM
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http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/twins-nearing-deal-with-josh-willingham-.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Bye Cuddy, though there are some good points here, you'll be missed.

Edit: It's a done deal, years/dollars unknown
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Jeremy screwed with this at 12/13/2011 6:07:36 pm
sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
12/13/2011 @ 06:00:02 PM
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Bye Cuddy, we'll always have the parking ramp....
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 06:09:29 PM
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I'm sure he'll look back on the time he saw your boobs fondly. emoticon
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sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
12/13/2011 @ 06:48:12 PM
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Pretty sure that was Thome....
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 06:59:53 PM
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I assume they both took photos.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
12/13/2011 @ 11:08:22 PM
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Apparently the doneness of the deal was over stated, but it's going down. 3/years $21 million.

I like it, though I'm sad to see Cuddy go.

https://twitter.com/#!/JoeCStrib/status/146804857368625154
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Jeremy perfected this at 12/13/2011 11:08:33 pm
jon.jpgJon - many posts
12/14/2011 @ 02:12:37 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:39:17 PM
...and you can't submit a video of yourself not doing steroids in early October as evidence.


If "Edtv" taught us nothing else, it's that you can have video showing yourself doing and not doing everything you do or do not do. OK, I never saw that movie, so maybe it didn't teach us that. But I'm sure it taught us something. Something about being shirtless probably.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
12/14/2011 @ 09:20:46 AM
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From this article about Braun:
ESPN.com reported on Saturday that it was a performance-enhancing drug that triggered the failed test, given as part of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Policy. On Sunday, however, a source familiar with the situation told MLB.com that it was not a performance-enhancing drug that led to the violation.

"It was not a PED, drug or steroid of any kind," the source wrote in a text message. "And there has never been a result like this in the history of the [MLB drug testing] program."


I don't know what people already know, and I don't know how this person would indeed know, but he didn't say "we don't think it was a PED." He said "it was not a PED", which might indicate that they actually know what caused it. That could be the reason why all the sources familiar with the case that have been quoted seem confident that he will be exonerated. Obviously they aren't supposed to be talking about it, which might be why all these supposed close sources are so vague in their analysis, but yet all seem pretty confident.

If my "tainted beef" theory turns out to be right, he runs the risk of having his restaurants shut down, which would be another unfortunate side effect of the story being leaked. I'll just keep speculating everyday for the next month until we hear the arbitration verdict. I'll get to the bottom of this eventually.

edit: To be fair, I also don't know anything about the source being questioned. For all we know the "source" could be Braun just stating something anonymously.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 12/14/2011 9:31:10 am
sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
12/14/2011 @ 02:10:50 PM
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It was probably his bestie, Trevor Plouffe aka Mr. I can't throw to first to save my life.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/14/2011 @ 02:15:54 PM
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Are the two friends?
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
12/14/2011 @ 02:46:34 PM
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Yea, he's been defending him on twitter all week.

In other Twins but non-Twins related news, Punto is signing a 2 year deal with Boston!
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sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
12/16/2011 @ 06:02:39 PM
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Next road trip, Colorado? Bye Cuddy...
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
12/16/2011 @ 08:11:05 PM
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In case anyone wants the details:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7359936/michael-cuddyer-colorado-rockies-reach-multiyear-agreement

I like Cuddyer, but this is probably for the better. The Twins get an equal, if not better, player for $10 million less over the three years, plus 2 draft picks.
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Matt edited this at 12/16/2011 8:11:45 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
12/16/2011 @ 08:21:34 PM
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Seems like this may have been Ryan Braun's breakout year... in more ways than one.

http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=42060

Key parts:
"Yesterday, however, gossip site Terez Owens reported that Braun could indeed be innocent because of medication he is taking for an alleged sexual transmitted disease."

"Later in the day, TO went on to say that sources within the Milwaukee organization told them that “Braun will be let off because he tested positive for an STD and the medication given to him by his doctor is what caused the spike. "
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
12/16/2011 @ 08:24:28 PM
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Nice. It's like Ron Mexico all over again.
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Sarah perfected this at 12/16/2011 8:25:23 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
12/16/2011 @ 08:27:25 PM
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The Herpes Hammer? emoticon
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
12/17/2011 @ 01:08:28 AM
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Sarah Wrote - Yesterday @ 06:02:39 PM
Next road trip, Colorado? Bye Cuddy...
Matt Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:11:05 PM
In case anyone wants the details:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7359936/michael-cuddyer-colorado-rockies-reach-multiyear-agreement

I like Cuddyer, but this is probably for the better. The Twins get an equal, if not better, player for $10 million less over the three years, plus 2 draft picks.


Looks like the Twins finally did free Cuddyer.

[Alternate comment: Free Michael Cuddyer? More like $30 million Michael Cuddyer.]
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
12/17/2011 @ 07:43:56 AM
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Matt Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:21:34 PM
Seems like this may have been Ryan Braun's breakout year... in more ways than one.

http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=42060

Key parts:
"Yesterday, however, gossip site Terez Owens reported that Braun could indeed be innocent because of medication he is taking for an alleged sexual transmitted disease."

"Later in the day, TO went on to say that sources within the Milwaukee organization told them that “Braun will be let off because he tested positive for an STD and the medication given to him by his doctor is what caused the spike. "


Since the leaker violated federal law, I hope Braun and his lawyer go after him with everything they have and that individual sits in a jail cell for quite some time. I'm not sure what is more disturbing about this whole story, the fact that the face of the Brewers has an STD or the fact that the MLB drug program is not confidential like they say it is. Had the story not gotten leaked, Braun would have gone through the arbitration process, been cleared, and the public would have never known anything. Instead, Braun is forced to confess something extremely personal for the sake of his career. Imagine having to do that at your job.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
12/17/2011 @ 08:08:27 AM
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If this is true, I'm not sure it does clear him of the penalty (maybe of being labeled a steroid user, but that's different). From my understanding it's up to the players to clear medications and gain medical exemptions beforehand, not after they test positive.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
12/17/2011 @ 08:19:35 AM
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For all we know, maybe he did. The problem is that the only thing we really know is that he failed a test. The test would have been ruled as "failed" regardless of a waiver for a drug. We the general public know nothing about what has been reported to MLB. And my guess would be that this would still have ended up in the arbitration process anyway. And maybe it was an emergency type of situation that didn't allow for delay in order to get approval. All the more reason to be furious about the leak; the fact that we are left to speculate about all this crap that may or may not already be settled.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
12/17/2011 @ 08:26:39 AM
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If this is the case, couldn't this whole thing been cleared up sooner, so to speak? If he failed the test in October, and he had a medical reason for the failure, why is this process going to go until January?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/17/2011 @ 08:30:16 AM
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Yet another reason why the leaker should be sitting in prison. Maybe he had to go through the treatment in an emergency and didn't have time to get baseball's approval. Now he has to wait 3 months to clear it up. And now that it has been leaked, he still can't say anything until his hearing, but has to endure this torture for a month.

Also, maybe the medical reason doesn't speed up the process at all. Maybe baseball's policy is the same for medical reasons as it is for every other case. And we are told that there have been no successful cases of this, maybe baseball has no precedence for dealing with it.
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Scott messed with this at 12/17/2011 8:33:48 am
sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
12/17/2011 @ 08:35:47 AM
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So it's a three month process regardless of the situation? That seems horribly inefficient. Even if it was an emergency, couldn't someone have called up the MLB and said hey, Braun has to take this medication and it is going to increase his testosterone? I agree it shouldn't have been leaked, but it seems like if Braun had gone through the right channels, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
12/17/2011 @ 10:52:50 AM
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His odds of getting off definately went up, but I don't know if it's a forgone conclusion either. As far as I know something is preapproved, or they don't care about the circumstances.

Whatever Braun has, he's not patient zero. Safe to say other guys in the league are treating the same condition.

Otherwise all someone would have to do is get the herps, or whatever he has, and then they'd have a free pass to PED it up.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
12/17/2011 @ 12:42:19 PM
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I'm not sure if this is what Jeremy was getting to, or if I'm stating something else, but I would think that the process would need to play out for a case very much like this. If the only thing the drug test shows is a high level of testosterone and that it is synthetic, the response isn't automatically, "oh, I have an approved substance so any drug test I fail is cool". The arbitration process would be exactly for investigating if the test was a result of this approved substance.
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reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - Shaken not stirred gets you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth
12/17/2011 @ 01:38:58 PM
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I think that Matt was right, however, in that if he didn't declare the drug before the test was failed, it doesn't matter whether it was a result of the approved substance or not.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
12/17/2011 @ 01:51:13 PM
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That, I suppose, is what the arbitration hearing will determine.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/18/2011 @ 11:29:25 AM
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Brewers get rights to the next Ichiro. Apparently he can only play left field because he has a weak arm. But he could be good off the bench.
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
12/19/2011 @ 04:23:23 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:29:25 AM
Brewers get rights to the next Ichiro. Apparently he can only play left field because he has a weak arm. But he could be good off the bench.


I can't tell if you're joking about the "next Ichiro" thing. I think you are, but I'm not totally sure.

First of all, the Twins already signed the next Ichiro last offseason. If you want to watch him play, you can take a trip to Rochester this season. Maybe New Britain.

Secondly, just in case you are serious about the claim, if he has a weak arm, that automatically disqualifies him from being the next Ichiro, who has a superb arm. Also, your "could be good off the bench" doesn't really inspire much confidence either.
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Jon perfected this 2 times, last at 12/19/2011 4:25:32 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
12/19/2011 @ 06:21:44 AM
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The article mentioned him being the best pure hitter Japan has produced since Ichiro. Otherwise, I'm not all that serious. But so what if I am?
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Scott messed with this at 12/19/2011 6:22:40 am
sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
12/19/2011 @ 07:27:16 AM
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Kubel is reportedly a dback. No more clutch.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
12/19/2011 @ 01:04:07 PM
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Jon Wrote - Today @ 04:23:23 AM
Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:29:25 AM
Brewers get rights to the next Ichiro. Apparently he can only play left field because he has a weak arm. But he could be good off the bench.



First of all, the Twins already signed the next Ichiro last offseason. If you want to watch him play, you can take a trip to Rochester this season. Maybe New Britain.


Was this a joke of a joke? Like, the Twins' next Ichiro also isn't all that good since he's in the minors?
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
12/20/2011 @ 04:12:06 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:04:07 PM
Jon Wrote - Yesterday @ 04:23:23 AM
Scott Wrote - 12/18/2011 @ 11:29:25 AM
Brewers get rights to the next Ichiro. Apparently he can only play left field because he has a weak arm. But he could be good off the bench.



First of all, the Twins already signed the next Ichiro last offseason. If you want to watch him play, you can take a trip to Rochester this season. Maybe New Britain.


Was this a joke of a joke? Like, the Twins' next Ichiro also isn't all that good since he's in the minors?


Well, Nishioka played exclusively in the majors this last season, but was injured a lot and didn't do well when he was healthy. I imagine he's still probably slated to be with the Twins as of right now but in a bench role. The Twins' first significant acquisition this offseason was Jamey Carroll, to solidify the SS position, which is where Nishi played the majority of the time he was out there. It's still way too early to say it was a failed experiment, it just wasn't a great year and certainly didn't have any resemblance to Ichiro's MVP debut season. Not that that was, or should be, anyone's actual standard. (Ok, maybe that was the standard I had for him, but that was ridiculous.) Anyway, I hope for a good rebound year from him.
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Jon screwed with this 2 times, last at 12/20/2011 4:14:46 am
sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
12/21/2011 @ 07:31:37 PM
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So the next time Mijares gives me a ball in Kansas City (mmmm Strouds) he'll be wearing the other team's uniform!
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
12/22/2011 @ 09:28:04 PM
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Thoughts on Twins signing Jason Marquis? Is he a Pavano like pitcher? apparently he's a bit intense, broke his leg while on the mound and kept trying to play. That sounds like something Pavano would do. I think c-pav is my favorite twin. Just thought I'd randomly announce that.
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Sarah messed with this 2 times, last at 12/23/2011 6:55:14 am
vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2077 Posts
12/22/2011 @ 11:31:18 PM
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Sarah Wrote - Today @ 09:28:04 PM
Thoughts on Twins signing Jason Marquis? Is he a Pavano like pitcher? apparently he's bet intense, broke his leg while on the mind and kept trying to play. That sounds like surging Pavano would do. I think c-pav is my favorite twin. Just thought I'd randomly above that.


ENGRISH!
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3613 Posts
12/23/2011 @ 06:55:24 AM
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Sorry
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newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
12/23/2011 @ 01:21:13 PM
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Joe Block to join Uecker in Brewers' broadcast booth
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/136136703.html
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
12/23/2011 @ 03:39:59 PM
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I think that's a fake name.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
01/08/2012 @ 02:09:44 AM
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http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/136501573.html

Braun's appeal of that positive drug test and pending 50-game suspension will be heard later this month. Braun proclaimed his innocence to me after reports of the drug test came out and said he couldn't wait to tell his side of the story.

Since those initial reports, word has spread over the Internet that Braun's extremely high testosterone level was the result of a doctor's prescription for a personal medical condition. Whether that is how Braun will defend the positive test remains to be seen.

But, here's the thing. An MLB official told me there are only two ways for Braun to win his appeal: Prove there was a lab error with the testing or say the Brewers signed off on the treatment.

I was told to forget proving a lab error because the system is designed to prevent such an occurrence. Each player's urine sample is divided into two samples. The first is tested and if it's positive for any banned substance, the second sample is put through a more rigorous, comprehensive testing regimen to assure the result is valid.

The MLB official also told me that the Brewers did not sign off on whatever substance Braun took. So, it's unlikely that excuse would be used during the appeal process.

Braun's problem is that MLB doesn't care why or how you took a banned substance. The only thing that matters is that you took it. Ignorance of ingesting a banned substance is no defense and will not get a suspension overturned. Braun can prove what he took was not technically a performance-enhancing drug, which is what he immediately claimed to me, but it won't matter if it's a banned substance under the MLB Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

This is why the MLB official familiar with the process told me that he doesn't anticipate Braun getting the suspension overturned. He might save face somewhat by making all of the details public but the Brewers already are preparing for the likelihood that Braun will miss the first 50 games of the season.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
01/09/2012 @ 09:59:34 AM
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with a WAR of of 7.8 last year, a 50 game suspension costs the Brewers about about 2.4 games, which assumes that his replacement actually has a WAR of 0. So after getting past the initial emotional reaction of "the season is ruined", we really are only talking about a 2 or 3 win difference over the course of 50 games.

I wonder if there are privicy laws protecting someone with something as severe as an STD or whatever, that maybe would protect a player from having to disclose this except in the event that a question is raised (such as a failed test). I guy can at least dream, right?

Another question is this: If Braun fails the test but it's because of his failure to disclose, but then comes full out with every detail about his condition and the necessity for his health and well-being to take these medications and admitting that he should have at least followed disclosure protocol with his team and the league, should his reputation in any way be tainted the way that ARod or Bonds or Clemens are associated with steroids? If he admits that he needs to take this medication to survive, and admits that he will continue to take them because it is necessary, does that help his reputation moving forward? I've heard rumbling of writers suggesting that Braun will never get a single vote again for any award if his suspension is upheld. I hope that's not the case, considering the circumstances surrounding it all.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
01/09/2012 @ 10:49:36 AM
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1 WAR is generally seen as being worth $4.5 million, so I don't know if it's as "straight up" or insignificant as -2 games, but no, the Brewers season isn't over before it starts.

I think Braun is boned as far as getting out of the 50 games, but I think if he comes clean on why it is, he'll be fine in the court of public opinion.

Some people are always going to doubt, because even IF you believe him, and ultimately he can't individually prove it to people, so you're really just taking a man's word in a situation where a person would be desperate for an alternate story, you could still think it awfully convenient and suspect. As I said before, whatever Braun's ailment is, he's not Patient 0. There are other players in the league treating it, and they either did it right by letting baseball know ahead of time, or they're treating it with things that wouldn't mask actual PEDs, thus giving them a free pass to take them. (In other words, "I believe him about the condition and treatment, but we can never know if he ALSO took the free pass that gave him to take legit PEDs, or not.") I think many of the people that would rule Braun out no matter the circumstance are the same people that are 95% sure everyone else is taking the same crap and just doing a better job getting away with it, so that would be a wash.

Braun doesn't have to disclose anything regarding his condition, but that doesn't change the failed test, so I don't think "you're forcing me to reveal something deeply personal" is a test overturning defense.*

Edit: *Actually I just got what you meant there, you meant to the league, not the public. Yes, I could see that being a reasonable thing, however none of the people "in the know" have said that's a rule. On the other hand, MLB couldn't know a player didn't ALSO do something worse, even if the treatment was legit, so they have to treat the non disclosure as suspect, and not care about how/why. Everyone should probably be pissed at Braun's doctor, if anything.

Edit Edit: This is pure wild speculation, but I assume part of the reason for the predisclosure, aside from the fact that everyone makes up a story AFTER the fact, is a) So MLB doctors could validate it as a valid and best/only treatment option b) So that player can undergo additional scrutiny, and possibly different forms of testing, where they can differentiate PEDs and the medication.
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Jeremy perfected this 5 times, last at 01/09/2012 11:13:54 am
2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
01/09/2012 @ 11:08:55 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:59:34 AM
with a WAR of of 7.8 last year, a 50 game suspension costs the Brewers about about 2.4 games, which assumes that his replacement actually has a WAR of 0. So after getting past the initial emotional reaction of "the season is ruined", we really are only talking about a 2 or 3 win difference over the course of 50 games.


Um...that's kind of a big deal. Remember last season when 6 teams were playing for playoff spots on the last day of the season?
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
01/09/2012 @ 11:11:40 AM
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Yeah, it's not not a big deal, I think his point was just that it's not like the Brewers are going to get off to a 10-40 start, just because Braun isn't there.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
01/09/2012 @ 11:12:22 AM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 11:08:55 AM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:59:34 AM
with a WAR of of 7.8 last year, a 50 game suspension costs the Brewers about about 2.4 games, which assumes that his replacement actually has a WAR of 0. So after getting past the initial emotional reaction of "the season is ruined", we really are only talking about a 2 or 3 win difference over the course of 50 games.


Um...that's kind of a big deal. Remember last season when 6 teams were playing for playoff spots on the last day of the season?


It's just not the "the season is ruined" kind of deal.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/09/2012 @ 11:21:12 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:49:36 AM

Edit Edit: This is pure wild speculation, but I assume part of the reason for the predisclosure, aside from the fact that everyone makes up a story AFTER the fact, is a) So MLB doctors could validate it as a valid and best/only treatment option b) So that player can undergo additional scrutiny, and possibly different forms of testing, where they can differentiate PEDs and the medication.


This doesn't seem all too wild. If a player has been "cleared" for something like this, I imagine that league would want to do both a and b. They would want to make sure that giving someone 4 times the highest testosterone levels ever is necessary treatment. I also imagine that Braun may be subject to more frequent tests regarldess of the outcome to make sure that a player in his situation isn't taking advantage of anything.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/09/2012 @ 11:30:20 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 10:49:36 AM
1 WAR is generally seen as being worth $4.5 million, so I don't know if it's as "straight up" or insignificant as -2 games, but no, the Brewers season isn't over before it starts.


I also found this interesting. I started looking up WAR for next year's Brewers roster. Alex Gonzolez has a WAR of 1.1 and he cost about $4.5 million for next season. Aramis ramirez costs about $12.3 mil next year, and he has a WAR of 3.6, or $3.4 mil per WAR. Corey Hart made about $1.6 mil per WAR, and Casey Mcgehee last year made about $1.5 mil per WAR. Obviously, I'd rather pay a ~$4 mil per WAR when his war is close to 4 (Ramirez) vs a guy who's making $1.5 mil per WAR when his war is only .3 (Mcgehee).

I just found it interesting that the very first guy I checked (Gonzolez) ended up pretty much exactly at the estimate that you listed.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
01/09/2012 @ 11:37:50 AM
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Yeah, I just meant I'm not basing that on any actual knowledge of the system, just that both things seem like pretty obvious steps/reasons, aside from the larger suspicion issue, to have such a hard line "you tell us, or we don't care" stance.

Also typically WAR is set at 8 being MVP level, 5 being all star level, and 2 being a player you could legitimately count on to be a starter in the league. (And 10 being unheard of emoticon). 0 is reserved for a true replacement level player, which basically means anyone who would be willing to play for the league min, which is as close to free as an MLB team can get.

So, there's no reason to assume Braun would put up another (nearly emoticon) MVP season, and there's no reason to assume that the Brewers plan is to replace him with a true replacement level player. Also, I'm not sure if replacement level even means anything when you're referring to 1 guy, because that individual could turn in a WAR of 3.

You're probably looking more at a difference in war of 1. However, as Alex pointed out, that 1 can mean the whole season.

On the flip side the Brewers might have overspent where they wanted to be to replace Braun for 50 games, and be a BETTER team the rest of the year, so long as the guy that wouldn't otherwise have been signed is > 1 WAR over HIS theoretical alternate during the last 112 games.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 01/09/2012 11:39:08 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/09/2012 @ 11:46:32 AM
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Perhaps the R in WAR refers to one player in particular who had what you consider to be the most average career ever. Or perhaps in true NutCan fashion, Wins above Clint Howard. Kind of like comparing an incumbent president to a "genernic GOP/democratic" opponent.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
01/09/2012 @ 12:59:22 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 11:30:20 AM
Alex Gonzolez has a WAR of 1.1 and he cost about $4.5 million for next season. Aramis ramirez costs about $12.3 mil next year, and he has a WAR of 3.6, or $3.4 mil per WAR. Corey Hart made about $1.6 mil per WAR, and Casey Mcgehee last year made about $1.5 mil per WAR. Obviously, I'd rather pay a ~$4 mil per WAR when his war is close to 4 (Ramirez) vs a guy who's making $1.5 mil per WAR when his war is only .3 (Mcgehee).


You're borderline looking at this incorrectly. I believe the $4.5~ million per season for 1 WAR only applies to the open market. And without taking the time to look it up, I think last year Hart and McGehee were either playing for arbitration prices or in Hart's case an arbitration year that the Brewers bought out with his current contract. Point being, they weren't true free agents when they signed, so you would expect them to cost less per WAR, which they did. That's why teams without endless pockets need to build their rosters with cheap young guys under team control.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
01/09/2012 @ 02:08:44 PM
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Ah, I was simply going off of Jeremy's statement, not taking anything he may have intended but not said in so many words to matter. The free agent vs arbitration player point is probably a good one, and is probably what Jeremy meant, whether he actually intended to mean it or not.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
01/09/2012 @ 09:44:11 PM
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Well I wasn't really trying to "make a point" so much as I just regurgitated a fact. I think 4.5mil = 1 WAR is how people determine "value" on any deal after the fact, not necessarily "what you should pay" per se.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/13/2012 @ 11:07:28 AM
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Braun should keep the MVP award, regardless of the outcome of the arbitration hearing.
This articles makes a pretty good point. The MVP award is awarded for your performance in the regular season. Braun's failed drug test came during the post-season. There is not a shred of evidence to prove that Braun was juicing, whether intentionally or unintentionally, during the regular season. Unless someone can prove that Braun was using during the regular season, the Bob Plaschke's of the world should recant their assertions.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 01/16/2012 3:33:19 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
01/14/2012 @ 07:38:01 PM
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Well, there's not not a reason to suspect him either. Obviously there's no proof of anything, but it's not like the thought "it's fairly likely he didn't just up and decide to start doing this 18 seconds before a postseason drug test" is a crazy one. Likewise, they didn't retroactively strip other players of their awards, but on the other hand they had "Ryan Br" engraved on the trophy when this hit. The fact that this broke what felt like hours later changes things a little.

However, for the most part I'd say this is much ado about nothing. I'm not sure there actually is any serious call for a revote in the first place.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
01/15/2012 @ 01:49:22 PM
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Twins signed Joel Zumaya. I am intrigued.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
01/15/2012 @ 02:19:41 PM
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I like it. Very low risk move that could be a real game changer. Still need another surer thing in the pen though. Wheeler?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/16/2012 @ 11:34:04 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - 01/14/2012 @ 07:38:01 PM
Well, there's not not a reason to suspect him either.


Lack of evidence seems like a pretty good reason.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/16/2012 @ 01:55:33 PM
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Nyjer Morgan agreed to a 1-year deal, avoiding arbitration. No word yet if T-Plush also agreed.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
01/16/2012 @ 03:14:16 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 11:34:04 AM
Jeremy Wrote - 01/14/2012 @ 07:38:01 PM
Well, there's not not a reason to suspect him either.


Lack of evidence seems like a pretty good reason.


Do you think whatever he took, he did so the minute before his drug test?

He took something before the test. We don't know when, and that's the point. No one is asserting he must have been doing it all along, but it's not unreasonable to think that the odds that he could have been just sky rocketed. It's certainly reasonable to say we have more reason to suspect Braun's past than Prince Fielder's.

Imagine someday you walk in on your kid smoking pot. You only have proof of that one time, but the odds that you happened to walk in on your kid's first usage is pretty low. (Even if he was being regularly tested for it for some reason, given that a knowing user actively subverts those tests...until they mess up.) In this case it's even worse, because it would be like your kid failing a drug test, so all you know is that it occurred before the test and then trying to believe that your kid only did it one time, yesterday. Using evidence gathered today to call the past into question isn't unreasonable, especially when the whole point of the test is to prove what you were up to in the past, it proves nothing obviously, but isn't an unreasonable suspicion.

That said, maybe it's just good leaked PR, but I don't know how many people even think this is a legit PED. I think most people at this point think he failed on a technicality.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/16/2012 @ 03:24:12 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:14:16 PM

Do you think whatever he took, he did so the minute before his drug test?


I don't know, it would be speculation on my part to try to figure that out, especially given your last statement, which I agree with. Also, there is possibly a reasonable chance that maybe he did take it right before the drug test. One of the reports was that it was because of a herpes outbreak that they needed to boost the testosterone levels, so maybe it was just very bad timing that the breakouts happened when they did. I just think those that sent to pitchforks and torches his way upon initial breaking news ought to issue apologies for convicting someone at the first sign of something unusual. "we learned of a failed drug test that was supposed to be confidential that the player vehemently claims innocense to but can't legally defend himself in public until his hearing! STRING HIM UP!!!!! BAN HIM!!! FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD!!!!!" And really, that isn't too far from how loud the critics were, and there was no small number of them either. (to be fair, I suppose most of that came from people who are trying to sell their papers/network/advertising and had to jump on it as not to be the one mediai outlet that wasn't calling for his head, which I suppose is another unfortunate story altogether).

editing note: I messed with this a few times.
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Scott edited this 5 times, last at 01/16/2012 3:28:20 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/16/2012 @ 03:29:52 PM
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To label someone a blatant cheater should require more than a suspicion.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
01/16/2012 @ 03:43:52 PM
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I agree that the reaction was swift and harsh, but that's not really to the article's point. Braun's regular season is, fairly, open to questioning. I don't want to take the time to find the date the test was taken, but I believe everyone takes it, so it's likely early. Depending on how early in the playoffs the insinuation that we know "nothing" about his condition in the regular season goes from suspect to asinine. Player's bodies don't have a reset button, and the playoffs don't start 2 months after the regular season. What are the mandatory tests to start the playoffs for if not to weed out the people who finished the season dirty? It can't just be about catching people who still have the syringe in their keister.

Also, I don't know if it would label him a "blatant cheater". For starters, a revote might not change anything, and all many people want is just a vote with this knowledge on the table. Suspecting Braun is fair game now, fair or not, and there's no reason to suspect Kemp, beyond the overriding suspicion about every player.
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Jeremy edited this at 01/16/2012 3:49:43 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/16/2012 @ 03:54:53 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:43:52 PM
Depending on how early in the playoffs the insinuation that we know "nothing" about his condition in the regular season goes from suspect to asinine. Player's bodies don't have a reset button, and the playoffs don't start 2 months after the regular season. What are the mandatory tests to start the playoffs for if not to weed out the people who finished the season dirty?


This goes back to what we talked about earlier. If his testosterone levels were as high as the tests showed, and considering that he has since admitted that he was undergoing treatment for a disease that required such a condition, it would seem fairly reasonable that the treatment did happen right before the test was conducted. So either was juicing all season, which seems unlikely for a number of reasons, or he had an emergency outbreak and in his panicked attempt to save his member from certain permanent deformation, he forgot to fill out the I-425 form to have the Brewers and MLB sign off on the otherwise banned substance.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
01/16/2012 @ 04:14:08 PM
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Well see, we're blending conversations here anyway.

If we were talking legit PEDs, then there's no reason to assert that we can surmise "nothing" about a player's status on 10/20 from a test failed on 11/1, or whatever.

A medical condition changes the story. A player, more than likely, didn't just up and decide to juice up a few seasons and 2 post season appearances, into their career 2 hours before a test they knew was coming came.

A player can just discover they have the clap one morning, due to improper avoiding of the clap, which is good advice. However, then the timeline is rather unimportant, because if you believe it's a medical issue, then the test failure is a technicality. Who cares when the treatment started then, the only issue is it wasn't properly reported.

Which is why the biggest flaw in that article is the fact that, for now, he's blustering after a straw man.
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 01/16/2012 4:16:35 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
01/17/2012 @ 01:27:19 PM
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Scott Wrote - 12/08/2011 @ 10:27:39 AM
KRod was publicly upset last year that he didn't get opportunities to be the closer. So the Brewers offer him arbitration, essentially guaranteeing him $12mil or so. Apparently the money was more important to him than being a closer.


Only $8 million

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/137492893.html

Now they just need to get that 1 year deal with Fielder done...
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/17/2012 @ 09:59:26 PM
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Counsell signs for brewers front office. There was a news conference and instead of the traditional donning of a jersey by a new free agent, Doug Melvin helped Counsell into a new suit coat. Kind of a humorous moment.

Craig Counsell was a 19-year-old at the University of Notre Dame when he met then-Oakland A's general manager Sandy Alderson and set his sights on a future in the front office.

"For me, it was, 'That's what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be a GM,'" Counsell said. "Twenty years of playing got in the way."
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Scott messed with this at 01/17/2012 10:01:09 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
01/17/2012 @ 10:59:31 PM
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When in doubt, go to Stout.

http://www.wqow.com/story/16538918/uw-stout-hires-toby-gardenhire
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/18/2012 @ 08:32:58 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - 01/16/2012 @ 04:14:08 PM
A player can just discover they have the clap one morning, due to improper avoiding of the clap, which is good advice.

Braun apparently never met Jimmy Dugan.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/19/2012 @ 12:06:36 PM
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Braun to accept award in person
In a certain way, I think his decision to accept the award publically and give a speech says a lot about whether or not he cheated. In other words, even if he does lose his appeal, the fact that his first public appearance since the news broke is going to be him giving a speech to accept the MVP indicates that at worst he failed the test because of a technicality. It would be hard to believe that a guy would cheat, know about it, and then stand up in front of a crowd a month after the news broke and stare straight into the camera and tell everyone that he's innocent. This is all assumption, of course. It just doesn't seem likely. I just don't see Braun being a serial liar.

But I suppose you can never tell when a liar is lying or telling the truth. If he was always lying, he might lie about the fact that he always lies, and therefore you would never know if what he was saying was a lie or the truth (or something like that, however Jack Sparrow said it).
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Scott edited this at 01/19/2012 12:07:32 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
01/19/2012 @ 12:57:32 PM
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Yeah, that's the problem with these things. The actions of the innocent are indecipherable from the actions of the busted-and-trying-to-save-face.

Likewise he could only be doing it out of fear people would read too far into not doing it.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/19/2012 @ 01:22:46 PM
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I don't know what restrictions he has about what he can and can't talk about prior to the arbitration process, but I'm sure he is itching like crazy to be able to say SOMETHING, while at the same time trying not to go out of his way to seek that opportunity. Since this awards banquet thing came up, it's almost a natural way to come forth and speak without looking like he's dying for a chance to speak.

Sometimes it can be harder for the innocent because coming out too quickly makes it look like you've prepared to get caught and you're now reading the statement you prepared in case you did get caught. If you wait too long, your silence can be taken as admission. If you seek out the platform, now you're media obsessed. This seems like a best case scenario that there is this opportunity for braun to speak that isn't something he himself set up. I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting to what he has to say.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 01/19/2012 1:28:24 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/19/2012 @ 08:42:56 PM
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Brewers Payroll "way over" Projected Budget
The Brewers have pushed their payroll over $100 million. I think their payroll last year was around $85 million.
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Scott perfected this at 01/20/2012 1:54:11 pm
2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
01/19/2012 @ 11:43:00 PM
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Here's a question, if Braun is suspended for 50 games does he get paid? If not, how much does that save the Brewers?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/20/2012 @ 07:47:25 AM
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He does not get paid, I'm almost positive about that. He's only making about $4.3 millionin 2011, so if you do the math (4.3mil / 162 * 50), it's about $1.33 million. It's a good question whether the Brewers get to keep that money or if it's like a fine that goes into the same pool as other fine money, like for charities and whatnot.
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Scott edited this at 01/20/2012 11:05:39 am
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
01/20/2012 @ 11:07:07 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:47:25 AM
He does not get paid, I'm almost positive about that. He's only making about $4.3 millionin 2011, so if you do the math (4.3mil / 162 * 50), it's about $1.33 million. It's a good question whether the Brewers get to keep that money or if it's like a fine that goes into the same pool as other fine money, like for charities and whatnot.


Weird, when did it become 2012? Braun would lose about $1.87 million of his $6 million 2012 salary.

Braun had his day in court. He pleaded his case in front of the arbitor, so now we just have to wait for a decision, possibly something next week.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/20/2012 @ 01:42:01 PM
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Yahoo Sports Blogger apparently doesn't know how to search google.

I can't quite tell if this guy is actually saying that Braun cheated, or if it doesn't matter whether he cheated or not*. However, even with very little details about the case anyway since only a few details have been leaked, the reports flying around have been saying that Braun was being treated for an STD, not a back problem or lack of bat speed. He is seeming to suggest that all Braun has to do is admit to cheating and give the MVP back and everyone will be happy. This sort of reminds me of the movie/freshman english class book "The Crucible". Confess to something you know not to be true, or be burned at the stake. Of course, I'm assuming Braun is innocent, or at the very worst guilty of sloppy administrative work.

*although there seems to be equal parts questioning of Braun and equal parts mocking of the critics:
"Following Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, another leading authority has come and said" that Braun should give up the MVP award. That other leading authority, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Saunders, whose team was eliminated by the (sic) Braun's Brewers in the NL playoffs.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 01/20/2012 1:45:04 pm
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
01/22/2012 @ 07:55:19 AM
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Video of Braun accepting his award. He got a warm ovation when he was announced. And he seemed quite sincere and genuine.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/23/2012 @ 12:17:36 PM
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Dan Patrick: Braun 'may be innocent'
"There were whispers that this was a personal medical issue, that he was taking something for that, that may have spiked his test. I since found out (Sunday) that that is not the case.

"Ryan Braun may be exonerated here. He may be found innocent. And judging from all of the information I was told, there's a good chance that he should be."
--Dan Patrick

In other news, the Brewers raised their NL Central Division Championship banner. I'm assuming there will be a curtain unveiling during the first home game. But they put up the permanent banner already.
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Scott edited this at 01/23/2012 12:21:40 pm
hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
01/23/2012 @ 07:41:23 PM
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In cool baseball news, got to hang out with some Twins yesterday. I think I have a new favorite Twins catcher, Drew Butera. Yea, we shared a moment...
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
01/23/2012 @ 07:49:27 PM
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Wayne Newton was better.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
01/23/2012 @ 07:51:11 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 07:49:27 PM
Wayne Newton was better.

Bastard!
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
01/24/2012 @ 02:36:16 PM
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Prince Fielder to the Tigers.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7498284/detroit-tigers-reportedly-land-prince-fielder-214m-offer
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 02:40:39 PM
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Fielder has always seemed to be playing to overcome the shadow of his father. The two have not had a good relationship for a while, and Cecil has made some comments that seem somewhat disparaging about Fielder in recent years (to the affect of "he's not as good as I was"). It seems interesting that he would sign with his dad's former team, although maybe I'm just reading into it too much. Maybe $215million will help Fielder forget the fact that Cecil squandered his fortune when Prince was growing up.

Now the Twins have to deal with Prince. Good luck.

It's too bad the Brewers don't play the Tigers this year.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 01/24/2012 2:42:42 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
01/24/2012 @ 03:13:59 PM
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Victor Martinez is out for the year, so Fielder and Cabrera can play 1B/DH. For the next couple years though, they're gonna have to play Cabrera somewhere in the field. That won't be pretty.

Also, that's a lot of money and a lot of years for a player who probably won't age well.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/24/2012 @ 03:18:58 PM
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Jayson Stark tweeted that the length of the deal will turn out to be irrelevant, quoting a GM "he'll have opted out by then anyway, probably twice".

Apparently various stat sources Fielder and Cabrera rank 6th worst and 4th worst first basemen in baseball last year.

We'll have to see how his aging goes. He's been facing that criticism since the day he entered the league, but has not once missed a game due to injury. That could mean he's already worn down from playing so often that he wears down earlier than some, or it could mean that he takes great care of his body that he'll stay healthier longer. He is a vegetarian afterall.

Who lost more, the Brewers or Cardinals: According to Melvin: "St. Louis lost their guy at 32. We lost ours at 27."
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 01/24/2012 3:21:40 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 03:40:20 PM
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No opt out clause: http://detroit.sbnation.com/detroit-tigers/2012/1/24/2730743/prince-fielder-contract-signing-tigers-opt-out

Though I'm not too sure why he would be expected to take it anyway. To try and get more than ~24 mil a year?
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 03:46:41 PM
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Yeah, as with most big free agent contracts, the odds are he will be overpaid, not underpaid as the years go along.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 04:29:38 PM
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He'll only be 4 years older when his contract expires than Pujols is right now.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 05:15:16 PM
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Yeah, and Pujols will probably be overpaid as well, especially as he gets older. At least with Pujols, you can get a marketing and excitement edge that will help offset the contract. I don't think you get that in Detroit with Prince Fielder, at least not as much.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/24/2012 @ 05:27:08 PM
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Well, for one, I was more referring to the aging aspect of Fielder. If you think about Fielder's age and the historical trends of great players, Fielder is at the very beginning of his prime, or he hasn't hit his prime yet. So if he is still hitting 30+ homers, batting ~.300, and batting in around 120ish rbis until he's 33, which wouldn't be all that surprising, I'd say 3 years at the end of his contract of a slight overpayment is a pretty reasonable risk. Pujols will most likely be on the decline within 3 years of his contract.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/24/2012 @ 05:34:49 PM
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Besides, who's arguing that Fielder is getting underpaid?
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3613 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 07:07:11 PM
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This deal will get better with age for a Twins fan, but it kind of is putting a damper on the 2012 season already.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
01/24/2012 @ 08:40:43 PM
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Too much money for too long. He already provides no value on the base paths or with the glove, and he swings hard. I'll be very surprised if he's hitting 30 HRs and batting anywhere near .300 when he's 33.

Power peaks at 25ish http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/hitters-age-like-wine-power-like-cheese/

Which means Pujols is already on the decline, and his contract is just as foolish.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 08:44:40 PM
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To follow up on the aging thing, I think Bond's career has given a lot of people a false idea of how stars age. Whether he was just a freak of nature, or a freak of nature who was only THAT freakish because of some roid assistance, his career arc is the 1%. Odds are Pujols and Fielder are somewhere in the 99%.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/24/2012 @ 09:17:38 PM
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The fan graph represents the average of all players, I'm assuming. Which still probably means that the trend will be similar for even the biggest outliers, but it's probably suffice to say that Pujols and Fielder aren't the average player (although it still may apply either way).

There's certainly been examples of players with decent power numbers late into their careers. david ortiz hit 54, 35, and 32 home runs when he was 30, 31, and 34 years old; Obviously pujols has bucked that trend; both players may have declined, but like the fan graph article says, a 5% reduction of a 40 home run per year average for fielder is still 38 home runs. So based on the graph fielder should see his power numbers drop by about 4% from his 38 homers in 2011 to the time he's 33. So you're right, I'll be surprised if he's ONLY hitting 30 homeruns even when he's 33.

Regarding Fielder's value on the basepaths, while he doesn't have blazing speed and won't steal bases, they have always said that he is a smart baserunner. I don't know of or have a stat on that, but you don't have to be fast to have value on the bases. I'm not saying he does, but where are you coming from with "no value on the base paths" line? And is "he swings hard" a good thing or a bad thing?

And lastly, explain your bonds post. Are you saying that Bonds gave us a false idea of aging because he performed well late in his career or because his body fell apart limb by bloated limb in the last couple years of his career? I'm not sure where you were going with some of your points.
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Scott edited this 5 times, last at 01/24/2012 9:31:28 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 09:36:41 PM
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Does fangraphs have a batting average by age graph? #toolazytocheckmyself
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
01/24/2012 @ 10:17:39 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 05:34:49 PM
Besides, who's arguing that Fielder is getting underpaid?


You/Jayson Stark were.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:18:58 PM
Jayson Stark tweeted that the length of the deal will turn out to be irrelevant, quoting a GM "he'll have opted out by then anyway, probably twice".


If Fielder's opting out (twice), that means he's turning down the money this contract would continue to give him for more money that someone else would apparently be willing to pay him. So that's saying this contract would be underpaying him at that point. Or that he's incredibly benevolent toward the Tigers and wants to let them off the hook. Or that he's bad at math.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
01/24/2012 @ 10:25:01 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 08:44:40 PM
To follow up on the aging thing, I think Bond's career has given a lot of people a false idea of how stars age. Whether he was just a freak of nature, or a freak of nature who was only THAT freakish because of some roid assistance, his career arc is the 1%. Odds are Pujols and Fielder are somewhere in the 99%.


Occupy BALCO!!!
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
01/24/2012 @ 10:34:01 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:36:41 PM
Does fangraphs have a batting average by age graph? #toolazytocheckmyself


#youshouldcheckyourselflestyouwreckyourself
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/24/2012 @ 10:50:25 PM
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Jon Wrote - Today @ 10:17:39 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 05:34:49 PM
Besides, who's arguing that Fielder is getting underpaid?


You/Jayson Stark were.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:18:58 PM
Jayson Stark tweeted that the length of the deal will turn out to be irrelevant, quoting a GM "he'll have opted out by then anyway, probably twice".


If Fielder's opting out (twice), that means he's turning down the money this contract would continue to give him for more money that someone else would apparently be willing to pay him. So that's saying this contract would be underpaying him at that point. Or that he's incredibly benevolent toward the Tigers and wants to let them off the hook. Or that he's bad at math.


Or that he wants out of Detroit to play for a better team. Who knows. The possible motives are endless.
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
01/25/2012 @ 01:16:16 PM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:17:38 PM
Regarding Fielder's value on the basepaths, while he doesn't have blazing speed and won't steal bases, they have always said that he is a smart baserunner. I don't know of or have a stat on that, but you don't have to be fast to have value on the bases. I'm not saying he does, but where are you coming from with "no value on the base paths" line? And is "he swings hard" a good thing or a bad thing?


Maybe you don't have to be world class sprinter fast, but you do need to be kind of fast. In general if I'm using the term value, just assume I mean value compared to replacement player. Is Fielder "better" than a replacement level (aka way cheaper) baserunner? Not according to fangraphs. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4613&position=1B#value He's -28 runs for his career, although I think this is actually compared to an average player not a replacement player. Obviously, he can actually run the bases, but there's no reason to pay him lots of money only for doing that.

"He swings hard" is not a good thing, and maybe a bad thing. He does have a good swing to have done as well as he has, but it's not the effortless looking sweet stroke of a Griffey Jr. He's fallen over from a hard swing a few times. I'm not sure that type of swing is going to age particularly well, or if he can make some adjustments as his raw power falls off.

Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:17:38 PM
And lastly, explain your bonds post. Are you saying that Bonds gave us a false idea of aging because he performed well late in his career or because his body fell apart limb by bloated limb in the last couple years of his career? I'm not sure where you were going with some of your points.


Yes I'm saying he gave us a false idea of aging. You may be forgetting how old he was during his last couple years. He turned 40 half way through the 2004 season. He had 11.9 WAR that year. 2005 was a bust, but at age 41-42 he had 3.5 and at 42-43 he had 3.7 WAR. Rickie Weeks had 3.7 WAR last year and was 28-29.
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Alex screwed with this at 01/25/2012 1:21:48 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
01/25/2012 @ 04:52:23 PM
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When you combine his baserunning (which will only get worse), his subpar defense at a position you can shove any stooge into, his hard swinging style, and no opt out, I'm hoping this kills the Tigers in a few years.

Also, Prince hit 10 more homers and .50 higher batting average home vs away, so maybe he just really liked Miller Park.
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Jeremy perfected this at 01/25/2012 4:52:51 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
01/25/2012 @ 05:01:21 PM
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The thing is though, it will be hard to get a read on situations like this. The reason people talk about "value" is because you have to look at it that way. If we cut to 7 years from now and Prince is actually doing well, that doesn't mean this was a good move.

He doesn't have to fail to not be worth 24 million. His best two seasons (this year and 2009) were the only 2 that top that in value.

On the flip side, 7 years from now the solid role players of the world might be pulling in $17mil a season, so who knows.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/26/2012 @ 08:16:34 AM
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I think a salary cap in baseball would help prevent these kinds of deals, and in the end I think it would be better for everyone. Some teams can afford to guarantee a guy 22 million per year for the next 9 years and not worry about 6 or 7 years from now being crippled by it. Braun, for instance, is making $6mil this year, 8 next year, and it tops out at $19mil in 2016-2018. To a certain degree, you have to take the risk every once and a while and be willing to overpay a guy a little bit in order to assure he is around when he truly is at his best. And if you look at his performance last year, he made $4.5 million and won the MVP award, so in a sense, it's as much awarding past performance as it is assuring future commitment. There's risks all around, for sure, but sometimes they have to be taken.
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Scott perfected this at 01/26/2012 8:19:54 am
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/26/2012 @ 08:20:54 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 04:52:23 PM

Also, Prince hit 10 more homers and .50 higher batting average home vs away, so maybe he just really liked Miller Park.


Maybe hotel rooms just didn't have the good mattresses to support a 275 pound home run hitter.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
01/26/2012 @ 12:12:54 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 08:20:54 AM
Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 04:52:23 PM

Also, Prince hit 10 more homers and .50 higher batting average home vs away, so maybe he just really liked Miller Park.


Maybe hotel rooms just didn't have the good mattresses to support a 275 pound home run hitter.


http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove11/story/_/id/7505778/prince-fielder-skill-set-not-great-fit-comerica-park-mlb?eleven=twelve

None of his opposite field Miller Park HRs from the last 2 years (12 of them) would have made it out in Comerica (assuming the ball traveled the same distance, meaning wind and things were equal).
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/26/2012 @ 12:39:11 PM
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They will if he gets a tempur pedic bed and gets a good night sleep!
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/26/2012 @ 01:47:17 PM
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Prince over Pujols, at least at this point in their careers.

I think we are generally overanalyzing certain aspects of this. Will Prince Fielder probably be playing up to $24 million when he is 36 years old? It is highly unlikely. But it's the nature of baseball world and his contract isn't necessarily out of line proportionately. And considering the numbers he has put up in his career, he is somewhat on pace offensively for what could potentially be a hall-of-fame possible career. It makes sense, then, that at some point in his career, he gets paid as such. Considering what other players in this era have cashed in with, his contract is certainly not outlandish. That doesn't mean the Tigers aren't overpaying towards the end, but any team that wanted him at all was going to have to fork over a boatload of money, and for a long time.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
01/26/2012 @ 02:51:00 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 01:47:17 PM
That doesn't mean the Tigers aren't overpaying towards the end, but any team that wanted him at all was going to have to fork over a boatload of money, and for a long time.


I think on this last point is where most people would beg to differ. Regardless of how Fielder actually performs, who exactly were the Tigers bidding against at this point? From the rumors Washington, Texas, and maybe Seattle and LA were in the bidding. But for all we know, know one else offered more than 6 years, or maybe no one offered more than $190 million for 9 years. Or maybe no one actually had put any concrete offer on the table. So the question is, did they really have to go as high as they did in terms of years and dollars? Seems like most writers that I've read are guessing not, and I tend to agree.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
01/26/2012 @ 02:51:54 PM
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And for the record, I did vote for Prince in that poll.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
01/26/2012 @ 03:23:36 PM
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Well, and not to mention that to whatever extent it is true that "That's just the price of getting superstars" half the point of the "moneyball" WAR, vORP, etc "movement" is that stars are overrated. 4 guys getting 6 million are probably going to produce more than Fielder and some scrubs.

It's as much about the opportunity cost of the players they won't have now, as it is about having Prince.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/26/2012 @ 05:22:19 PM
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The dodgers offered 7 years $160+mil which is about $23mil per year.
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2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
01/26/2012 @ 06:47:09 PM
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2 less years is kind of a big deal.

Scott Wrote - 01/24/2012 @ 03:18:58 PM
He is a vegetarian afterall.


Not totally sure if this was a serious comment, but in here he says, "Fielder did want to debunk one thing: Back in 2008, he talked about becoming a vegetarian, but that apparently didn't last long after all the commotion.

"I'm not a vegetarian," he said. "I was, for like three months.""

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/46142455
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/26/2012 @ 07:15:44 PM
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Oh, well, I heard that he was, and then I never heard otherwise.
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newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
01/26/2012 @ 07:51:36 PM
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I don't think I ever officially heard otherwise either, but I had my doubts emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/26/2012 @ 09:42:02 PM
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Fielder ends his career in Milwaukee with an Afro and a big beard, he begins his Detroit career with cornrows and stubble.
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jon.jpgJon - 1 bajillion posts
01/26/2012 @ 11:55:29 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:15:44 PM
Oh, well, I heard that he was, and then I never heard otherwise.


Same here, but I'm glad this is cleared up. (Actually I didn't read the article, so I'm just taking Alex's word.)

But it didn't seem to make sense. Do you know how many soybeans he'd have to eat to still be that weight after all this time? He'd at least have to be deep frying them or something.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
01/27/2012 @ 12:11:19 AM
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The Twins are going to retire Tom Kelly's number this year.

http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Twins_announce_theyll_retire_former_manager_Tom_Kellys_No_10_jersey012612
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
01/27/2012 @ 10:09:42 AM
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Why the Public Believes in Braun's Innocence. It's an interesting persepctive (more about emotions and perception and less about details of the case) from someone who would seem like a long way from having a dog in the race.

Excerpt: The common traits shared by many vilified steroid users — but certainly not all — are their larger-than-life muscles and power-hitting numbers, neither of which applies to Braun.
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Scott edited this at 01/27/2012 10:10:13 am
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/01/2012 @ 10:08:22 AM
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What is the Hold Up on the Braun Ruling?
Please, give us a verdict so that Brewers fans can move on with their lives. We have suffered enough and I am sick of it. Let me go back to enjoying my Brewers/Packers swaperoo. If any arbitrator in this case happens to read my article, you have the power to end this. I don’t care which way you decide. Never have. Just give me an answer so that I can start talking about Jed Bradley and Taylor Green. Enough is e-fricking-nough. I am done.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/01/2012 @ 10:28:06 AM
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Would it have been possible to mis-characterize the demeanor, context, or content of the Bob Costas interview any more than this guy did? I vote no.
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Jeremy edited this at 02/01/2012 10:30:03 am
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
02/01/2012 @ 12:48:48 PM
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My only point of posting that article was the section that I quoted. Let's get it out already. I mean, someone can leak out information about the failed test but no one can leak out information regarding the results? Milwaukee writer/radio guy Drew Olson tweeted today that if he had news about Braun, either good or bad, he would wait to announce it the Friday before the Super Bowl.

While Costas was essentially saying that Braun's case is the same as Merriman's case, he's actually wrong about that (maybe similar, but there are some significant difference). Merriman was suspended the same year in which he was elected to the pro bowl. Braun's test did not occur during the season in which he won the MVP. The test occurred even after the votes were submitted. There is a fairly significant difference there. That and there is a whole laundry list of details that make Shawne Merriman's case way different than this (assuming that some of the leaked reports about Braun are true, like the reports that it wasn't a PED he tested positive for, but rather a "banned substance").
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 02/01/2012 1:04:23 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/01/2012 @ 09:17:37 PM
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Costas, at least as reported in that article, made no such claim about the two being "the same". He only said they're alike in so far as that he likes the NFL's rule that you can't get an accolade in the same season you get slapped with a substance abuse failure. Last I checked the Cardinals won't have to say they were 2011 Season 2/B champions. Braun's test occurred in the same season, while he was still playing no less, no matter how you spin it, and the best it can be spun is that, as far as we know, he failed a handful hours outside the window of the regular season.

Likewise he didn't "almost defend" Arod. The only point he made, which is valid, is that you don't have to leap to retroactively stripping a guy of a 8 year old award on a 4 year old failure, just to have a conversation about taking it from a guy who failed before the ink on the MVP ballots was dry. This is still the same off season, and is totally different then going back 5, 10, or 100 years to strip every person later proved to be a cheat in some way of their records. ARod would only serve as some sort of precedent if he too failed a drug test 16 seconds after the votes were tabulated, and there was no revote.

I don't think it would be any grand injustice if there was no revote, but I don't think the argument is completely unwarranted. This is a unique situation.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/03/2012 @ 08:21:32 AM
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Some of that is probably true, but the Shawne Merriman Rule didn't actually affect Shawne Merriman, at least not in the year it refers to. So if there is a Ryan Braun rule, it shouldn't affect Braun. But what would the "Ryan Braun Rule" be? "If you fail a test for whatever reason after the season is over and after votes for that season have been submitted and counted, and if that news is criminally leaked before you have a chance to defend your case, then you are not able to receive any awards that may have been awarded to you during the season in which you didn't actually fail any tests"? If the news never broke until tomorrow and we hadn't had all offseason to debate the warrants of an MVP player getting into this kind of mess, would we even start the discussion? I mean, for the most part, the MVP debate would have been long over, and the news would have been "MVP player fails test that took place after the season".
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/03/2012 @ 02:31:42 PM
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Brewers sign Marcum to one year deal, avoiding arbitration. He's getting $7.725 million this year. That number was essentially the mid point between what the brewers offered and what marcum offered.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/05/2012 @ 02:11:15 AM
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Yes, people probably would bring it up if it first came out yesterday, because he didn't fail the test yesterday, he failed it during the season.

Granted the fact that the news he was named the MVP was practically interrupted by the news that he failed a drug test probably stirred the fervor a little bit, but on the other hand that drama has mostly ran its course. It was spread out, to a certain extent little by little, over a few months. If it was all one, official, over and done with bombshell a few days from now, it might be all the tizzy and furor from the last few months all smashed into the following days with the officialness needed to do something about it at the height of the controversy.

As it stands it will be old water under the bridge old news to a load of people by the time it's made official.
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Jeremy edited this 4 times, last at 02/05/2012 2:27:31 am
newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
02/07/2012 @ 01:39:19 PM
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http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/20589/nl-central-showdown-position-rankings
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
02/12/2012 @ 11:02:41 AM
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So is anything going to be actually decided with this Braun character? Or are they all going to quietly forget the whole incident ever happened? Conspiracy!
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/13/2012 @ 07:41:15 AM
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Today marks the 25th day since the day Braun's arbitration hearing started, which is the suggested time in MLB's drug hearing policy for a decision to be made. MLB will make no announcement publically if Braun win's the appeal. They will make an announcement if he loses his appeal. So it will be up to Braun to make the statement if and when he wins the appeal. Also, they said that Braun would know before the start of Spring Training, and players don't have to show until Feb 24th. So it could be anyday or never, and possibly only when Braun is on the field on opening day that we will know the results.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/13/2012 @ 09:08:12 AM
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So I read Moneyball last week. I saw the movie, got intrigued, and then read the book. I would highly recommend it. It completely changed the way I think about baseball now. It was probably the most fascinating book I've read in a long long time. The book isn't so much about the Oakland A's as it is about the concept of looking at baseball differently (which was being highlighted by the Oakland A's).
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/13/2012 @ 04:07:24 PM
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So you'd vote for Kemp now? emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/13/2012 @ 06:30:48 PM
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Funny that you mention that, because the book pointed out that the two offensive stats that correlate most closely to run creation are on base percentage and slugging percentage. Braun had the edge in OPS over Kemp. And it also pointed out that stolen bases are an unnecessary risk, since outs are so precious, and Braun had a higher stolen base percentage than Kemp. But the MVP race didn't really cross my mind while I was reading it. What did cross my mind was the players the Brewers picked up to essentially replace fielder (Ramirez, Gonzolez, Aoki). I haven't had a chance to look too deeply, but there are some interesting parallels between the Brewers this year and the 2001-2002 Oakland A's.
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Scott perfected this at 02/14/2012 9:18:29 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
02/13/2012 @ 09:05:09 PM
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Although, I should say that the book wasn't really about how to figure if this superstar is better than that superstar, but rather why that superstar is getting paid so $16 million when that $400,000 player is better in certain statistical categories that actually matter more than the categories that got the first player paid so highly. It's about a general management philosophy where science and math are used to determine a players value. It seems to be found that some really important skills (like on base percentage) are grossly undervalued.

It's about Bill James starting a trend of asking questions about concepts that were simply accepted as facts, like are sacrifice bunts worth the risk (no, he concluded. The probability of scoring a run with a runner on first and no outs is higher than scoring with a runner on 2nd and 1 out). It's about being objective, but not just being objective, but finding out new ways in which to be objective. Like fielding statistics: for 100 years, the only fielding statistics really was "error", which was essentially a subjective judging about whether or not a player made a play on a ball something thought they ought to make a play on (this lead to the development of "range factor", which essentially judges if a play was made on any ball hit into a players "area"). Or that the base on balls was a stat first recognized by a cricket player in the 1800s, and since cricket didn't have such an occurrence, it was for a very long time only credited to poor pitching and given almost no credit to the batter. It was about assigning values to different plays throughout a game (like a fielder making a nice play that may have saved a run, or a player that goes from first to third on a lazy line drive to center). Basically, if you've ever heard an announcer say "that's something you won't see on a score sheet", this book tries to show you how there have been people who have tried to put those types of plays on a score sheet, and how the baseball fraternity hates those people for trying to rationalize the game.

So in summary, it's about math and statistics, and it was fascinating. I'm a nerd.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
02/14/2012 @ 09:25:52 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 06:30:48 PM
I haven't had a chance to look too deeply, but there are some interesting parallels between the Brewers this year and the 2001-2002 Oakland A's.

The 2001 Oakland A's won 102 games. They then proceeded to lose Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Jason Isringhausen to free agency, and actually won more games (103) in 2002. The book highlights in depth how valuable Damon and Giambi actually were, and it was a fairly considerable but doable hurdle to cross.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
02/14/2012 @ 10:43:55 AM
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Huge years from Zito and Hudson helped with that. You better hope Gallardo and Greinke can do the same.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
02/14/2012 @ 01:29:53 PM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:05:09 PM
So in summary, it's about math and statistics, and it was fascinating. I'm a nerd.


Spend more time at fangraphs. I haven't read or seen Moneyball, but fangraphs is a product of the statistical revolution.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/14/2012 @ 01:48:30 PM
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I think I will, actually. I was never sold on fangraphs until now. More because I couldn't figure out how exactly they came up with some of their stuff. It makes more sense now.

The problem is that the statistical revolution seemed to be sped up because a low budget team tried to find new ways to compete, but now the big market teams are catching up. The Red Sox, for example, hired Bill James in 2002, and he did all sorts of research about fenway park, found out that left handed batters (not righties like was always accepted) were better at fenway. So the Red Sox loaded their lineup with lefties and won two world series titles, both teams being number 2 in overall payroll. So in a sense, the Red Sox were being no more "efficient" necessarily in the way they ran their ball club, but they did get smarter about it that resulted in 2 world series titles, after an 80+ year drought.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/14/2012 @ 03:52:12 PM
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The Fenway lefties thing seems pretty obvious. (Though what's "intuitive" is often not the case.) Righties hitting opposite field probably flew out alot, where as it really doesn't make much of a difference how high up the monster you hit it, you're safe. So a blast from a righty, or a blooper from a lefty won't make a whole lot of difference. (And a defender can just as easily misplay standing too far or close on either as far as getting a wallball double goes.)

The difference is who can get it out in right field more often, which is lefties. (Not to mention Pesky's Pole is at a "wouldn't be a homer in little league" distance, so people who yank it down the line, generally again lefties, will be better off.)
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 02/14/2012 4:36:09 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/14/2012 @ 04:10:07 PM
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It also gets a few token highlights in the movie, but as Scott pointed out, it went beyond roster construction. They often bring up blackjack, which I think is a perfect analogy for what you're doing, but in a different way. Pitt references counting cards. To me the point is that there IS a way to play blackjack. The odds are tilted towards the house, but there's an algorithm. You don't play hunches. If this and this is true, you stand. If this is the case you hit.

Stealing, sacrificing, etc, are either a valid strategy overall, or they aren't, and there's a situation that tilts the risk/reward in your direction, or there isn't.*

*The brain trust and I often talk about the fact that when you're on offense with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd, 0/1 outs, generally it's a "good idea" to sacrifice in that situation, but you'll often hear the announcers say something like "the [defense] will gladly trade a run for that out" in situations like that. Well, both those things can't be an ideal strategy, because they're mutually exclusive. Either giving up the out to get that run "easily" is stupid, or "allowing" (or being happy with) the run to get that out is stupid. If the Brewers and Twins are playing, and the Brewers sacrifice an out to get a run, either the Brewers are more likely to win now, or the Twins are. They can't both be. **

**Obviously who would be is contextual. If there are no outs in the 1st, then probably the Brewers. If the Twins are up 8 in the 9th, then the Twins. I'm talking about one play/at bat. It can't be the case that in one plate appearance the correct move offensively is to sacrifice an out for a run, and that the defense should be "hoping" the offense sacrifices an out for a run.
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Jeremy edited this 8 times, last at 02/14/2012 4:34:56 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
02/14/2012 @ 04:53:34 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 10:43:55 AM
Huge years from Zito and Hudson helped with that. You better hope Gallardo and Greinke can do the same.


I think it would be fair to claim that there's something to "Moneyball"/Bill James, AND that the A's were an aberration. For the most part there's a correlation between the "monster" guys and the "Bill James" stats, so in many cases people were right for the wrong reasons. Maybe their one year "jump" on everyone did matter. (Some people point to the A's subsequent "Meh" seasons as proof it doesn't work, but that's a little unfair, because many teams followed suit.) Either way all it necessarily shows is that a team, no matter the system, can't compete long with teams paying 8 times their payroll, which I don't think many people would think was possible, if for no other reason than, as mentioned, those big teams will fire up their own moneyball depts.* If I was running a team I'd certainly want to hear more "his OPS is terrible against lefties" than "the ball just doesn't sound 'right' coming off his bat." People are bias, flawed, and reward stupid things. Numbers are blind.

*It's sort of like Search Engine Optimization. We do that for our clients, and they're always pissed they're not number 1 in every search they can think to throw at google because they paid more for SEO. We have to point out that, in almost all cases, so did everyone above you, and you don't know where you WOULD be without it.
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Jeremy perfected this 3 times, last at 02/14/2012 5:09:04 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
02/14/2012 @ 10:33:54 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:10:07 PM
*The brain trust and I often talk about the fact that when you're on offense with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd, 0/1 outs, generally it's a "good idea" to sacrifice in that situation, but you'll often hear the announcers say something like "the [defense] will gladly trade a run for that out" in situations like that. Well, both those things can't be an ideal strategy, because they're mutually exclusive. Either giving up the out to get that run "easily" is stupid, or "allowing" (or being happy with) the run to get that out is stupid. If the Brewers and Twins are playing, and the Brewers sacrifice an out to get a run, either the Brewers are more likely to win now, or the Twins are. They can't both be. **

**Obviously who would be is contextual. If there are no outs in the 1st, then probably the Brewers. If the Twins are up 8 in the 9th, then the Twins. I'm talking about one play/at bat. It can't be the case that in one plate appearance the correct move offensively is to sacrifice an out for a run, and that the defense should be "hoping" the offense sacrifices an out for a run.


Is it an all or nothing, mutually exclusive situation? Sacrificing increases the odds that the hitting team scores one run in the inning, but decreases the odds of scoring multiple runs in the inning (I think, certainly in the 2nd to 3rd case, double plays make things complicted). So if the pitching team is up 3 in the 8th, and the losing team sacrifices, now the winning team has less to fear in terms of a big inning?
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/15/2012 @ 07:27:31 AM
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The A's, did win 23 in a row in 2002, so there is a certain degree of aberration-ness there.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/15/2012 @ 07:34:44 AM
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Speaking of moneyball and sabermetrics and whatnot, Braun's defense is getting better.
Another category, "good fielding play for preventing extra bases," looked at the last three seasons. Carl Crawford of Boston was the best outfielder in that ranking in that window. Brewers’ leftfielder Ryan Braun was tied for second, with the Mets’ Jason Bay and Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/15/2012 @ 01:35:53 PM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:33:54 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 04:10:07 PM
*The brain trust and I often talk about the fact that when you're on offense with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd, 0/1 outs, generally it's a "good idea" to sacrifice in that situation, but you'll often hear the announcers say something like "the [defense] will gladly trade a run for that out" in situations like that. Well, both those things can't be an ideal strategy, because they're mutually exclusive. Either giving up the out to get that run "easily" is stupid, or "allowing" (or being happy with) the run to get that out is stupid. If the Brewers and Twins are playing, and the Brewers sacrifice an out to get a run, either the Brewers are more likely to win now, or the Twins are. They can't both be. **

**Obviously who would be is contextual. If there are no outs in the 1st, then probably the Brewers. If the Twins are up 8 in the 9th, then the Twins. I'm talking about one play/at bat. It can't be the case that in one plate appearance the correct move offensively is to sacrifice an out for a run, and that the defense should be "hoping" the offense sacrifices an out for a run.


Is it an all or nothing, mutually exclusive situation? Sacrificing increases the odds that the hitting team scores one run in the inning, but decreases the odds of scoring multiple runs in the inning (I think, certainly in the 2nd to 3rd case, double plays make things complicted). So if the pitching team is up 3 in the 8th, and the losing team sacrifices, now the winning team has less to fear in terms of a big inning?


Right, but if the winning team actually has less to fear (as in their expected win % went up) then sacrificing was obviously NOT the right move by the offensive team. There's only one direction the actual odds of winning the game can go at a time (unless it's a wash, which still makes it true it can't be "good" for both.) The offense's gain is the defense's loss, and vice versa.

Even if you looked at it from the perspective of it might be an immediate gain for Team A and a immediate loss for Team B, but it's a "gamble" that could eventually pay off bigger for Team B than Team A gained...that's already factored in. That "gamble" (and the point of Bill James is you shouldn't be gambling from a "hunches" perspective) either pays off enough to where it's not a "gamble", but rather an objectively correct long term strategy (which can backfire on an individual situation basis), and increases Team B's odds more then Team A immediately gained, or it doesn't and Team B was stupid to do it.

If you and I are in a 100 meter foot race and I tell you I'll let you start at the 40 meter mark, but you have to run backwards, that's either good for you, good for me, or a wash (in which case my idea to let you do that still wasn't a "correct" strategy). It can't be good for both of us in a zero sum race. (Assuming of course we had the equipment on hand to settle ties.)
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/15/2012 1:41:09 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
02/15/2012 @ 01:53:42 PM
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I guess I should add, in case the points got confused, that I'm not arguing, though it might be the case, that sacrificing as a strategy is universally either better for the offense, or better for the defense. (I think Scott hinted earlier that sacrificing is shown to be a bad move over all) And we mentioned that what the A's did with trying to objectify the game went beyond roster construction.

As a side issue I was just saying that any one situation has to be one or the other (or neither). The Brewers should sac bunt Gomez to third down 1 with 1 out in the 8th, or their opponent should be "glad" to have that out because that hurts the Brewers more than it helps over the long haul. Any given play can't be "good" for both teams' chances at winning the game.
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Jeremy messed with this 3 times, last at 02/15/2012 2:00:34 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/15/2012 @ 02:45:24 PM
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The whole point of the objectifying the game comes down to sample size. Like Jeremy said (and I hinted), "overall" bunting is a bad move. The point that the book made (specifically Billy Beane's right hand man I believe), is that baseball lends itself to a fairly huge sample size; both over the course of a season and over the course of many seasons.

Take stolen bases. The A's figured out that stolen base attempts need to be successful at least 70% of the time for it to have a positive impact on run production*. So over the course of a 162 game season, if you steal very selectively and end up with an 85% success rate as a team, you are probably going to end up scoring more runs than a team that steals a little more liberally and only has a 66% success rate. The problem with this is that over a small span (for instance a playoff series), the sample size goes from 162 games to maybe 5 games. In any 5 game stretch of any sample, anything can happen (you could sac bunt 8 times and realistically end up with 3 of those attempts be errors on the defense or something), and your "long term success" philosophy simply bows out to the anomolies of a small sample size.

So the point is probably not that something like bunting is never ok, but rather that teams should figure out if they want to stick to a certain philosophy. Your philosophy can't be "well, bunting will produce fewer runs overall, so we aren't going to do it....accept in this situation when a bunt just 'feels right'" and expect for that philosophy be successful.** Something like that depends on a large sample and consistent decision making.

*in 2011, 9 teams had stolen base percentages of 70 or below

**with obvious exception like bottom of ninth, tie score, runner on 2nd or 3rd, or something like that where one run is literally all you need.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 02/15/2012 2:47:51 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
02/15/2012 @ 06:14:55 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:53:42 PM
Any given play can't be "good" for both teams' chances at winning the game.


Whereas there can be situations where one move is the "right move", but only barely.

Whereas the metrics that measure what the "right" thing is to do are not 100%.

Whereas the specifics of the actual situation can differ from the average measured situation.

Resolved, that there may be situations where each side may lay claim to being the beneficiary, while the true beneficiary, if one exists, is unknowable.
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Matt perfected this 2 times, last at 02/15/2012 6:19:37 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
02/15/2012 @ 10:58:48 PM
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Yes, but someone, or both of them, are wrong. Obviously there are situations where both teams are indeed "happy" with their half of the same play, as people aren't logical, and we might not ever know who shouldn't be, but the fact remains one of them shouldn't be. Sacrificing in the run, and conceding the run to get the out, can't be a step towards a win for both teams. (Obviously it might not be all bad, but that's different.)

I feel like sometimes y'all try to make my points more than I'm saying. emoticon
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 02/15/2012 11:07:32 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/16/2012 @ 08:01:46 AM
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Over the long term, you will score more runs (which ultimately leads to more wins, theoretically) if you never sacrifice bunt than if you sacrifice bunt a lot.

I'm having trouble discerning between what Matt and Jeremy are actually arguring about. Jeremy is saying that any circumstance by definition results in at least one loser, and possibly two losers, while matt is saying that sometimes those circumstances are so close that it's hard to discern which of those two teams actually is the loser because the metrics that decide the winner and loser of a situation is itself subject to design flaw. You're essentially arguing over two points that aren't mutually exclusive. In this case, both of you might be correct.
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Scott edited this at 02/16/2012 8:03:25 am
matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
02/16/2012 @ 09:54:51 AM
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I considered my post to be a supplement to Jeremy's argument, not a refutation. I generally agree with Jeremy's point on the vast majority of cases. I was just saying that there may be some instances where it becomes murkier. Yeah, an omnipotent observer may still be able to make out who was right and who was wrong, but if we just talk in terms of us mere mortals, then each side (who each have information the other doesn't) can view an event as being beneficial to them. Since who is really right is unknowable, they enter into a Schrodinger's cat like situation where they are both simultaneously right and wrong. emoticon
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
02/16/2012 @ 10:11:43 AM
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I guess my larger point was less towards Jeremy's specific point and more towards the whole conversation in general. Basically, that the information a manager has at hand can sometimes overturn what "the book" says to do, since the book is based on averages. To the extent that these decisions can be called hunches (informed hunches?) then the manager may be right in playing that hunch.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/16/2012 @ 10:20:35 AM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 10:11:43 AM
Basically, that the information a manager has at hand can sometimes overturn what "the book" says to do, since the book is based on averages.


And the point is then to figure out if the information you have is overruled by other information. Let's take bunting again, for example. The averages say that you score more runs when you don't bunt, in general. But, say you have a player (or a pitcher who is batting) batting with a runner on 1st and no outs, but the batter has a BA of .195, an OBP of .237 and hits into double plays on 75 percent of his plate appearances with runners on base; it would seem that bunting might actually be the no-brainer decision in this case. So there are certainly situational scenarios to consider, and each batter/runner/pitcher/fielder combination can have an impact, even ever so slightly, on what the "probability" of long term success will be on whatever decision is to be made. This is why teams need to be diligent on knowing these types of things and doing the reseach, and the ones that are will likely have an edge.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 02/16/2012 10:21:40 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
02/16/2012 @ 01:40:10 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 09:54:51 AM
I considered my post to be a supplement to Jeremy's argument, not a refutation. I generally agree with Jeremy's point on the vast majority of cases. I was just saying that there may be some instances where it becomes murkier. Yeah, an omnipotent observer may still be able to make out who was right and who was wrong, but if we just talk in terms of us mere mortals, then each side (who each have information the other doesn't) can view an event as being beneficial to them. Since who is really right is unknowable, they enter into a Schrodinger's cat like situation where they are both simultaneously right and wrong. emoticon


I'm not even sure it would qualify as that, as I was originally talking about the statement of one person. (PLus SCat is a thought experiment on observing quantum physics changing what you're looking at and a something being 50% in both states, not both being "true" per se*)

If I throw a coin down a well you might believe it's heads, I might believe it's tails, there's a chance it settled on the edge between 2 rocks. We're both equally right and equally wrong, and we have no reason to believe we're right, or the other is wrong. That said if a baseball announcer comes along and proclaims that the coin landed heads and tails, I'm going to call him an idiot.

*Actually upon further review the SCat experiment was actually a thought experiment designed as a rebuttle to show how absurd the "uncertainty" idea is, since the cat is obviously EITHER alive or dead. So I'd say that doesn't contradict me, so much as make my case. emoticon But either way the uncertainty principle doesn't say both states are simultaneously "true", just that they have to be treated as equally likely.
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Jeremy perfected this 8 times, last at 02/16/2012 2:28:48 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
02/16/2012 @ 02:26:09 PM
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I feel like sometimes y'all try to make my points more than I'm saying.emoticon
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/16/2012 @ 02:27:27 PM
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emoticon

Edit: By the by I didn't want to type Schrödinger's Cat everytime, so I shortened it. I would not recommend googling "SCat Experiment" as, while that might work, it's equally likely that once observed the results will be horrifying.
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 02/16/2012 4:56:45 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/17/2012 @ 01:25:41 PM
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Matt and Jon might be interested to know this, if they don't already, but Billy Beane's right hand man (Pete in the movie, Paul something in real life) was an economics major.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
02/17/2012 @ 02:40:04 PM
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Ryan Braun may report to spring training without decision on appeal. Obviously they are just trying to figure out a way to acquit Braun without inadvertently setting some precedent that would later come back to haunt everyone.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
02/17/2012 @ 03:00:24 PM
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AFAIK he's be allowed to go through spring training normally either way, so there's not necessarily anything meaningful there. We don;t know how long these "usually" take, so though I suppose you could make the case "if it's so open and shut, it would be done by now" it could just as easily be that they have to follow up on everything Braun and his lawyers contested, no matter how baseless/hopeless.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
02/17/2012 @ 05:56:09 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - 02/14/2012 @ 04:53:34 PM
*It's sort of like Search Engine Optimization. We do that for our clients, and they're always pissed they're not number 1 in every search they can think to throw at google because they paid more for SEO. We have to point out that, in almost all cases, so did everyone above you, and you don't know where you WOULD be without it.


http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-02-17/
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
02/18/2012 @ 02:07:59 AM
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I just watched Heat and now I want to talk about it.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/19/2012 @ 10:51:30 PM
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http://searchengineland.com/black-hat-seo-featured-on-dilbert-cartoon-82848
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newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
02/20/2012 @ 01:00:18 PM
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This was my background for a while.
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2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
02/20/2012 @ 01:10:14 PM
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Back on subject, I agree that the Brewers shouldn't rush to sign Marcum. There supposedly will be a bunch of other free agents next winter if they can't or don't want to resign at the end of the season. And starting pitching might actually be the strong point of their minor league system at this point too. I'd rather have Grienke and young guy than 2 Marcums.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dont-marcum-down-for-an-extension-just-yet/
http://disciplesofuecker.com/is-a-reasonable-marcum-extension-possible/
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newalex.jpgAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
02/20/2012 @ 01:18:46 PM
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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/trade-retrospective-sabathia-to-brewers/

Mostly an enjoyable read, until the comments section reminded me that the Brewers got screwed by the Yankees signing Teixiera to a larger contract than C.C.
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
02/20/2012 @ 01:44:53 PM
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Jon Wrote - 02/18/2012 @ 02:07:59 AM
I just watched Heat and now I want to talk about it.


I figured Moneyball would be a subject you'd be jumping at discussing in this environment.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/21/2012 @ 02:08:12 PM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:18:46 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/trade-retrospective-sabathia-to-brewers/

Mostly an enjoyable read, until the comments section reminded me that the Brewers got screwed by the Yankees signing Teixiera to a larger contract than C.C.


The Brewers do fly their participation trophy banner quite proudly.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/21/2012 @ 02:09:08 PM
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Do you not do what I think you do? Are you a web monkey like myself now?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/21/2012 @ 03:05:04 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:08:12 PM
Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:18:46 PM
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/trade-retrospective-sabathia-to-brewers/

Mostly an enjoyable read, until the comments section reminded me that the Brewers got screwed by the Yankees signing Teixiera to a larger contract than C.C.


The Brewers do fly their participation trophy banner quite proudly.


it was 26 years for crying out loud. And as long as you started the stoking of the fire, the Brewers have 6 postseason wins in the last 4 years. The Twins 0. Boomshakalaka!
(I'll probably regret posting this later, but it made me feel good now.)
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/21/2012 3:20:21 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
02/21/2012 @ 05:32:19 PM
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No, I'm still borderline web illiterate (for a programmer) although I did a somewhat simplistic MVC3 application at work recently and web is the preferred platform for our company now over fat apps. I identified with Dilbert telling it like it is and shooting down ideas. It makes for a good engineer but users (and management) don't usually see it that way.
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