- Joined: Dec 4, 2020
- Last Login: Jan 12, 2022, 10:37pm EST
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Great job, Garrett.
The return of Ajian is a big development. Prior to this, the only returning starter in our secondary would have been Carrington Valentine. The secondary would have been the weakness of the entire team. But Ajian is a two year starter at safety. His return immediately turns the safety room into a possible strength along with Jalen Geiger, Taj Dodson, and Vito Tisdale.
Now we need a couple of good cornerbacks from the portal.
I think signing teenage free agents from anywhere has always been, and will always be, a crapshoot, regardless of what position someone says the teenager will play as a pro 5-6 years into the future. In addition to physical development, that is a time in life when mental and emotional development occur. You pay a signing bonus to a 17 year old, likely the first time in the kid’s life he or his family have ever seen anything close to that amount of money. You are projecting what he will be five years hence. It is roulette. I don’t care what method of analysis and projection one fancies. I look forward to seeing what Eric has to say about them.
In this case, Atlanta has an acute need to restock their lower minor league system. As far as that goes, I will be surprised if more than five of these new signings ever make it past the Dominican League. But if just one ever becomes a major league starter, then the club will have hit the jackpot.
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There is no question in anyone’s mind what a great NL career Clayton Kershaw has had. Age-wise, he shouldn’t be too far past his prime yet. But there are a whole lot of innings on that left arm, and he is showing the wear and tear by missing quantities of starts every season due to injuries.
Therefore, I would not want Atlanta to pay Kershaw what it would take to sign him. Not for one year, and certainly not for multiple years. If they pay him what it would take, count on someone like Toussaint or Muller taking some of his starts while he is DLed. In the final analysis, my opinion is meaningless. But I would just give the starts to Muller and develop him, saving the money for other purposes.
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I seriously doubt declining viewership is simply due to renegotiation of an agreement with the MLB players’ union. Declining viewership is evident for the NBA and NFL. It is a sign of the times, and many factors are involved.
In any case, the issue is not whether viewership is declining, but whether that changes anyone’s negotiating tactics.
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The "casual fan" to use your terminology is thinking about the start of spring training and the start of the season in April. The players and owners are negotiating an agreement that they will have to live with and abide by for the term of the agreement over a number of years. Of course everyone understands that, but it is a critical difference when considering timeframes and other implications. Wrongly or not, the owners are not concerned about fans learning they can do without baseball, because the history of these matters has taught them that the fans always eventually come back. Besides, there really are financial limits beyond which most of the owners could not (or would not elect to) make it work. We can choose to see this from the players or owners perspectives, but the fact of it is that both sides are negotiating for an outcome their negotiating adversaries do not believe they can live with. Time is one of the negotiating tools, because time is money. Count on the season starting late this year. That way, you won’t be surprised when it turns out that way. I doubt they will play before May or June.
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How do you know that? The timing of the decommit suggests he couldn’t enroll. Could be wrong, of course.
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Whether Wheeler plays against Tennessee has nothing to do with whether we need him. I have had whiplash, and I can’t even imagine playing basketball with it. If his neck hasn’t gotten better, he won’t be able to play.
IMHO, Ty Ty Washington is a better PG than Wheeler. Not dissing Wheeler at all. But Washington plays better on the ball than off the ball, and is a much better offensive player than Wheeler. Maybe Wheeler would be a better defensive matchup against Kennedy Chandler, but that doesn’t matter if Wheeler is still hurt.
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You can’t teach 6’8" 350# with that kind of athleticism. Goodwin has the physical attributes and work ethic to be a star. He will not play like a star on day 1. But the sooner he receives meaningful snaps, the sooner he will become a star. You don’t bring in a player like Goodwin to sit.
Besides that, you have to play your best players and let the chips fall. We did in the Citrus Bowl, and Levis absorbed 6 sacks. With Dare Rosenthal gone, I cannot conceive of a situation where Goodwin won’t be the best LT in UK’s August camp. Even if Stoops gets some transfers in, and I agree they are needed, they won’t be at Goodwin’s level. So let the Goodwin era begin. Don’t block his path forward. By October, he will be the talk of the team and one of the best freshmen in the conference. And thank God for Coach Wolf.
No doubt, a parade of transfers will be taken for our secondary. With four starters and Frazier gone, that is inevitable now. We have room.
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And, BTW, I want Freeman back as much as anyone.
But it is the GM’s job to plan ahead, weigh alternatives, and manage the payroll. It is bound to have crossed Anthopoulos’ strategic mind that he could avoid an expensive 5 or 6 year commitment to an aging Freeman and potentially still have a truckload of young pitchers to serve as a core framework for a trade for Matt Olson or some other younger first baseman. I’m not saying that’s what Anthopoulos should do. I’m not saying a particular Atlanta minor league pitcher or pitchers would or would not have a particular trade value. I’m only suggesting it would be a potential way to control the payroll while using the glut of young pitchers for the good of the major league team, and it seems unlikely that Anthopoulos has not at least thought about it. It would certainly preserve some payroll for other purposes.
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If we are honest about it, many pitchers have major question marks. Even well established pitchers can have question marks. Take Morton, for example.
I don’t have a clue how Anthopoulos will decide to address the staff. Part of this depends on how much of the season gets clipped if the lockout and the negotiations extend into the spring. Part of it depends on who is available at what price. Part of it depends on how much money will be available after Anthopoulos is done addressing 1B and the OF.
I would never argue with the axiom that you can never have enough pitching. But the glut exists nonetheless, and will have to get resolved one way or another. For the sake of discussion, let’s say Freeman signs an expensive extension with Atlanta and Huascar Ynoa wins a starting job in Atlanta. That would leave one other starting job open, but not a lot of money. Meanwhile, Wright, Davidson, Toussaint, Muller, Elder, Strider, Shuster, Tarnok, and Rangal would all presumably be ticketed for Gwinnett or Mississippi unless one of them wins Atlanta’s 5th starting job. Later in 2022, Ryan Cusick and Dylan Dodd could be ready for Mississippi. Maybe one of the above young pitchers wins a bullpen role in Atlanta, but that couldn’t last long unless he pitched well out of Atlanta’s pen for an extended period.
Looking at these numbers, Atlanta’s FO is in a position now where they will have to promote some young pitchers and trade some others. We have known this was coming for a while. Now it can’t be put off much longer.
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Just to state the obvious
The Dodgers have a whole lot more money to spend on contracts than the Braves have. Frustrating, but true nonetheless.
BTW, it is time to prepare for the likelihood that Soroka may never again be the pitcher he once was, and might not even be able to be a major league starter again at all. Even in the best case, it is far from a given that two Achilles tendon repairs on the same leg followed by a two year layoff will result in a return to normal. An Achilles tendon injury is one of the worst injuries an athlete can have. Two Achilles tendon injuries on the same leg is very serious.
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Could happen because the coach chooses not to mess with the team’s chemistry. If Washington quickly returns to normal playing status, could happen because coach chooses not to cut into Washington’s and Grady’s playing time. Remember, Sharpe just arrived, and the first announcement said he intended to play next year but not this year. Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating one way or the other. Whether Sharpe plays is up to Sharpe and Cal, not us. It does not really matter what we think. Just posing a possible response to your question.
Nik Hall is the most underrated prospect in our class. Ideal OL body, smart, strong, great pedigree, and played against the highest level of Texas high school competition. Should have an outstanding SEC career.
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This loss will be attributed to the injuries to Wheeler and Washington. Fair enough, I guess. But let me just point out a couple of stats. UK shot 50% (10-20) from the free throw line. Wheeler’s absence had nothing to do with that. UK shot 36% from the floor. Aside from Jacob Toppin shooting 6-9 from the floor, the rest of our team shot 15-49 (<30%) from the floor. Teams that shoot like that don’t win. And once again, Oscar Tshiebwe sat on our bench for most of the 1st half with 2 fouls. Tshiebwe’s proneness to get into foul trouble in the 1st half is coachable, but it continues to happen.
I attended the Citrus Bowl on Saturday. Our football team played courageously, against some difficult odds, and found a way to beat a ranked opponent despite 5 starters missing the game. But our basketball team found ways to lose tonight’s game. Sure, this was a tough road game, and the injuries made it tougher. But we should have won it anyway.
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Sure do. Sharpe will not play this season.
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UK has the most stable football coaching staff in the SEC now. But Sumrall has to be replaced.
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To date, most public media speculation about the current Atlanta-Feeeman scenario has fallen into two lines of commentary: Atlanta will pay more because they "let" Freeman reach free agency, and there is "still a path" for Freeman and Atlanta to find agreement so Freeman can remain a Brave. This is understandable. Atlanta just won the WS. Freeman, a former NL MVP, has been a very popular player, and many Atlanta fans and beat writers simply cannot envision the team continuing to compete without him.
I would like to see Freeman complete his career in Atlanta. It has often been said that Freeman himself does not want to leave, and Freeman has reinforced that thinking with some of his public statements. The current rationalization, also quite understandable, is that Freeman would not be a good fit for other teams besides Atlanta.
But what if the Atlanta FO has already tentatively decided that the cost of signing Freeman to an extension and the years he wants are simply too much for a midmarket team to pay for a first baseman Freeman’s age? What if Atlanta’s FO has concluded the latter career of Miguel Cabrera have been instructive? What if the prevailing wisdom in Atlanta’s fan base regarding the likelihood of Freeman’s bat skills aging gracefully is regarded as wishful thinking by Atlanta’s braintrust? I realize many here are, more or less, horrified by these suggestions, and I get that. But they are within the realm of possibility, and there is some unemotional logic to them.
So far, hesitancy to accept these possibilities seems to have delayed granular discussions of what other rational alternatives are available to the Braves, what prospect capital would be necessary to acquire Matt Olson from Oakland, and what else Atlanta can do if they can’t make up the loss of Freeman by acquiring another MVP caliber first baseman. The lockout seems to make such discussions less time-sensitive than they might otherwise be.
But I don’t think I am alone in wondering what the most experienced and knowledgeable commenters here will have to say about the realistic prospect costs to Atlanta of acquiring Olson or perhaps an outfielder bat of similar potential and longer control. Unemotional thoughts along those lines?
Happy New Year and good health to everyone here.