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Author: Subject: The MLB "We've Established Lucky is Dead that We Can Call This a Memorial, Right?" 2011/2012 Offseason Thread
nOOb
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posted on 12-8-2011 at 11:20 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The MLB "We've Established Lucky is Dead that We Can Call This a Memorial, Right?" 2011/2012 Offseason Thread

Okay, so stuff has happened since around World Series time. In some sort of order:

1) The Cardinals improbably win the World Series against the defending losing team after improbably making the playoffs in the last day of the season.

2) Boston willingly parts ways with both Terry Francona and Theo Epstein. Francona figures he can be another ex-manager to show that he's much more competent calling games than Joe Morgan or Tim McCarver, while Epstein goes to the Chicago Cubs

Addendum(s) to 2) Boston, being a bunch of whiny babies, demands way too much from the Cubs as part of a never-agreed-upon deal to send Epstein their way, ranging from Starlin Castro to Matt Garza to, somehow, Matt Garza and Starlin Castro. The Cubs naturally don't agree. Bud Selig steps in to help, but gets bored and leaves the negotiations back to the Cubs. Also, Epstein decides to hire his buddies Jed Hoyer and some MacLeod to act as front-men for the team management, while they also hire some guy who was in Boston to coach for them.

3) Boston, possibly suffering a stroke, hires Bobby Valentine to manage their team and also somehow thinks this will lead to them becoming a serious contender, despite the fact that nothing Bobby Valentine has said on ESPN over the past year or so has sounded like a coherent, well thought out idea or observation towards baseball. Though, to be fair, he was probably trying (keyword: trying) to make Joe Morgan look smart.

4) Someone discovered a Discover card in the Marlins front office, because, after they took Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox, they also went out and spent millions of dollars on Mark Buerhle and Jose Reyes, while current reports (which are usually wrong) have them speaking with CJ Wilson and Prince Fielder, too. The reason they're speaking with Prince Fielder....

5) ...is because Albert Pujols is now an Angel, guaranteeing that the Angels will, once again, make it to the postseason, only to lose to whatever team is going to lose in the ALCS. The reason for Pujols leaving the Cardinals...

6)....is likely because, following suit with the Cubs and Red Sox, the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny, who, to the best of my knowledge retired only a short time ago, to replace Tony LaRussa rather than their bench coach. Also, John Mabry is a bench coach, making the Cardinal's coaching staff look like the free agent market from MVP Baseball 2005.

7) And, finally, Bud Selig is out sometime soon, but not before he decided that the Astros no longer need to be in the NL (I agree) and that baseball is getting pretty boring with the same few teams making the postseason every year, so he's adding an extra Wild Card to both leagues.

Did I miss anything?





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punkerhardcore
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posted on 12-8-2011 at 11:25 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nOOb

Did I miss anything?









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posted on 12-9-2011 at 01:11 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
3) Bobby Valentine >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dale Sveum.
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posted on 12-9-2011 at 03:41 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm stilling this from my own facebook status, but:
quote:

Screw you Theo Epstein! You ruined the chances of the Red Sox having a manager named Dale and mistaken identity ending with me winning the world series. My mother wanted to name me Theo (after the kid from the Cosby show) and this is how you repay me?


You can never really predict how a manager is going to impact a team, but Bobby Valentine is at least a little entertaining and funny sometimes. And he is playing along by saying he hates the Yankees, so I guess that is enough for now.

I was rooting for Pujols to sign with the Marlins, but I'm not entirely sure why. Either way the last couple years of this deal are probably going to be crazy dead weight. At least he can DH in Anaheim. I'm much happier with the Red Sox having Adrian Gonzalez for 6 more years then Albert for 10.





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nOOb
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posted on 12-9-2011 at 11:41 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
My big thing with Valentine taking over the Sox is that clearly the Sox have SOMETHING going on in their clubhouse that needs to be addressed. Terry Francona was seemingly the scapegoat, but you're replacing him with a man that has quite a bit of the crazies going on himself, successful or not. The Red Sox 2012 season goes one of two ways: total domination of the AL leading to an ALCS win or it becomes a collapse so huge that it winds up what the Mayans were really talking about. It'll be fun to watch, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that, of all the managers they had to choose from, Bobby Valentine was by far the riskiest choice.





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posted on 12-9-2011 at 11:59 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Lost in the Pujols signing was the CJ Wilson signing with the Angels as well.

CJ really came into his own this year. I really noticed a difference in his pitching once Cliff Lee joined the team in 2010. CJ really upped his game and it carried over to this past season. It's funny how he was the one credited with pushing Cliff Lee the hardest to stay last winter, and now a year later... I know he's a SoCal native, so it was coming home to him.

On the plus side, he was really IN-effective during the post-season, so Although he was a big part of the reason the Rangers made the playoffs two years running, he was a big part of the reason the haven't won one either.

Neftali Feliz takes his spot in the Rotation, Joe Nathan was signed to close. Nefi was good as a starter in Spring training last year before they decided to leave him in the bullpen, and he had been a starter his entire career until then. He'll be fine. Alexi Ugando was awesome for the first 2/3 the season. He had never thrown that many innings and hit the wall. He should be better adjusted this season. Nefi, Alexi, Derek Holland (Who I think has Stud written all over him in a couple seasons) and Colby Lewis still leave a solid, if unspectacular Starting Staff.

The Bullpen was good until the playoffs, where Ron Washington kept going back to Ugando instead of the regular bullpen guys.

Losing CJ hurts, and him going to the Angels hurts even worse, but I still think Texas will be in the running for the AL West all season long





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posted on 1-24-2012 at 09:44 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Residents of Detroit can wet themselves in glee-- Prince Fielder to the Tigers, nine years/$214 million.





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posted on 1-24-2012 at 10:35 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The Royal are probably a year or two away from being serious contenders. The White Sox don't seem to know what they are doing. The Indians are an average team and the Twins are a mess. The Tigers could DOMINATE this division for several years.





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posted on 1-24-2012 at 10:47 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
GUYS I JUST SHIT MY PANTS





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posted on 2-1-2012 at 06:43 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I hope for the sake of you Tigers fans that this contract works out. I think it was a pretty poor signing done out of desperation after learning that Victor Martinez won't play this year. If Prince is anything like his daddy, you'll be paying $20 million a season for a guy who won't be able to do anything half-way through the contract.

I, for one, will enjoy watching how poor your infield defence will become with Fielder and Cabrera playing the corners.





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posted on 2-17-2012 at 01:06 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
RIP Gary Carter. Favorite player ever.

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posted on 2-17-2012 at 04:47 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
RIP Gary, you will always be a Met to me and I will always remember who started the rally in Game 6.





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posted on 2-18-2012 at 06:30 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Gary Carter was great. He was, no doubt, the greatest player in the history of the Montreal Expos. I will admit that he wasn't my favourite, as I was too young to remember him as an Expo prior to being traded to the Mets. Still, I liked him just for having been an Expo and then I was really happy that he came back to the Expos to finish his career in '92.

I never got to see him play in person, but wish I had. I did see him take batting practice when I went to my first MLB game in September 1992 vs. the Cubs. The Expos won that game 12-0. The next day, Carter got the start and in his final at-bat of his finaly game in Montreal, he did this: Gary Carter's Last Career Hit (featuring Carter's very good friend, Andre Dawson) It wasn't the biggest nor the most important hit of his career, but as a die hard Expos fan, it is my favourite memory of Gary Carter's baseball career.

Edit: my favourite player - Larry Walker - is also in this video, running the bases.

[Edited on 2-18-2012 by Slade]





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posted on 2-24-2012 at 03:29 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
So, Ryan Braun won his appeal. But given what is known, does this make him innocent? Do you think that distinction matters?

My personal feelings are that the arbiter gets 10 out of 10 for adhering to the letter of the law, but minus several million for common sense, unless there is more to the story than has been released so far. The "delayed dropoff at Kinko's" works as a mitigating technicality, but does not suffice as an exonerating piece of evidence.

Perhaps this is as it should be here in this fine nation (guilty until proven innocent/burden of proof on the prosecution), but there's only so far I'm willing to go with letting the letter of the law undermine the spirit of it... then again, I'm also a Reds' fan who was really looking forward to that 50-game head start, so who knows how unbiased I'm being?

Oh, and for as much as I love MLB Network, the crew they had on tonight (Reynolds, Byrnes, Plesac, and two non-Amsinger generidouches) really got on my nerves with the "The fault here lies with whoever reported the story, because if it never leaked, we'd never have known about the appeal, and so the only right thing to do is pretend the story never leaked and we never knew about the appeal, and just continue blithely on as though nothing happened and Braun is completely innocent" school of thought.

I'd accuse them of toeing the MLB party line -- trying to sweep this under the rug as fast as possible -- except that MLB itself issued a statement "vehemently disagreeing" with the arbiter's decision. So I think that bunch were off on their own, exhibiting fairly poor critical thinking skills.

I'm open to additional information and will alter my opinion accordingly if somebody wants to be forthcoming about why the pee that arrived was in violation of MLB standards instead of focusing on how WHEN the pee arrived made it inadmissable... if there is no further information to make that case, then shame on Ryan Braun and his camp for abusing a loophole with no regard for the spirit of the law. And regardless of what further information comes out, I think you also say shame on MLB and their test administrators for allowing it to come to this.

Seriously, if your entire job is to collect pee and FedEx it to a lab, why would you bother going to get a sample if you thought the Kinko's was already closed? And if your job is collecting pee and FedEx'ing it at Kinko's, doesn't it stand to reason you'd be up to speed on Kinko's hours? That's either a very stupid pee-collector that MLB hired, or a very very convenient happenstance for Braun...

Or, a conspiracy! "Hey, it's you again. Uh, sure, I'll pee in a cup again for you. But ummmm, just so you know, I think the Kinko's is closed." "No, I'm pretty sure it's open till 10." several thousand dollars suddenly appear "Nah, you're right. It's closed." "And furthermore, there's no way to FedEx anything on Saturday. It's impossible. So you won't be getting that in the mail till Monday, right?" "You're the boss."

You heard it here first....


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nOOb
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posted on 2-24-2012 at 04:10 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I like the "convenient happenstance". You do a drug test on a Saturday, its not getting shipped out that day. I don't care if you take it to FedEx and personally place it in the proper containment place: something like a drug test is going to stay refrigerated those two days because FedEx will not ship or deliver something that valuable during the weekend. And, whats more: the seals were in place. It's one thing if MLB got that bottle of pee, and the seal was a bit off-center or the bottle was unsealed and then resealed with masking tape or the bottle cracked on the way over so they had to wring out the box into a new container (though, realistically, I can't imagine those elevating one's testosterone levels). But they got the test in the reasonable amount of time, with the proper seals, and that proper seal is probably going to have Braun's signature on it somewhere (at least the last time I did a drug test, they had me sign a slim little line that they then placed on the bottle, and I have to imagine MLB does something similar).

Bottom line: one guy was smart, two guys were morons, and I'm sure no one is going to learn anything from this.





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posted on 2-24-2012 at 07:43 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Based on the facts presented thusfar, it seems like this is the only possible outcome to the case. I would liken it to "chain of custody" issues with evidence seized in a criminal case. When the police don't properly handle evidence, the credibility of that evidence may be called into question and the evidence itself may be suppressed (i.e., it may not be introduced as evidence at trial).

Here, there was a collectively bargained process for handling samples, agreed to by both MLBPA and the MLB. Everyone was on notice as to the required procedure. When the sample is taken by a courier from a collection facility and that courier takes the sample home with him rather than shipping it, there are serious questions about the validity of the sample. Even if the seals are allegedly unbroken, there are many ways the evidence could be altered before getting to the testing facility.

Much like a suppression hearing, an attorney is not going to address the merits of the case when challenging evidence on these grounds. Guilt is not at issue when contending that evidence was improperly gathered or mishandled. So everybody complaining about a "loophole" (a term I despise when talking about clear, unequivocal and agreed-upon rules) is missing the point. Had Braun lost his appeal on the chain of custody issue, it's likely he would've then still challenged the relevance of the evidence given the lengthy period of custody outside the prescribed chain.

In the end, MLB is complaining about violating rules that MLB helped draft and that they agreed to follow. It's certainly possible that Braun was on PEDs and that this sample would've proved it. Unfortunately, MLB failed to do their job, just like police who illegally seize drugs and are subsequently unable to get a conviction. These procedures exist because the MLBPA and MLB believe they are the best way to prove PED use. Dismissal of cases on substandard procedures is not a "loophole," it is a way to prevent possible evidence tampering and to streamline the process to ensure fair and accurate outcomes.

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chretienbabacool
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posted on 2-24-2012 at 08:06 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I completely agree with you the case should be thrown out if the sample was mishandled. No one is above the law and cops sometimes think they are. That said, career year, sudden weight gain, his lawyers never disputing he took stuff in the defense, just saying the procedure was mishandled. Those are enough to point pretty strongly at him actually taking PEDs.
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posted on 2-24-2012 at 08:16 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chretienbabacool
That said, career year, sudden weight gain, his lawyers never disputing he took stuff in the defense, just saying the procedure was mishandled. Those are enough to point pretty strongly at him actually taking PEDs.


I don't know the process for MLB appeals, but I have to imagine that the issue of proper handling is a preliminary issue that must be addressed before issues of guilt or innocence are argued. Obviously, if the test itself is inadmissible, the case is over. It would surprise me if Braun's reps had to put forth all their arguments at the outset if the handling issue was going to be the first decided and would be dispositive.

If Braun's reps were not required to address issues of tampering or actual innocence at this stage, it's more than a little disingenuous of MLB to keep pointing out that they didn't make these arguments. If they were untimely arguments that only need to be made after the procedural issue was adjudicated, then of course his reps didn't make them. Moreover, Braun has continually asserted his innocence publicly which belies the MLB story that Braun and his reps were silent on the issue.





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posted on 2-24-2012 at 09:21 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Yeah, but it's too bad all this happened. I'm not a doctor or a chemist, but I have a feeling that piss doesn't mutate and show a synthetic substance and elevated testosterone just because it's been kept warm.

Of course, I'm not exactly unbiased either, because I wanted to be able to say, "See, my guy should have been MVP!" And I already thought that before Braun failed the test.





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posted on 2-24-2012 at 11:27 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Posted by chretienbabacool
... his lawyers never disputing he took stuff in the defense...


His lawyers didn't have to given that the sample was mishandled. The evidence isn't admissible. And while they may not have disputed it in the appeal, they've publicly denied it. I'm willing to give Braun the benefit of doubt in this case. He passed all of his other tests throughout the year and, after failing one in which the evidence was improperly handled, requested another test which showed that his testosterone levels were normal.





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posted on 2-25-2012 at 04:15 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Except there was zero evidence the sample was tampered with and experts are saying that evidence would be fairly obvious and would have led to the FBI getting involved. The key here isn't the sample was tampered with, it's that improper handling could lead to tampered evidence and that is why you have these rules in place. So yes the case should have been thrown out. However, to me it's like illegal search and seizure where something illegal is found. Just because the case is thrown out doesn't mean whatever was found is suddenly legal.

Again, Ryan Braun suddenly gained weight, had an epic year and had a seemingly non-tampered with sample come up showing high levels of testosterone not once but twice. From the rules set up, we cannot call Braun guilty. However, let's no go walking around pretending there isn't a very good chance he actually was using PEDs. Fix the procedure and hopefully stuff like this will never happen again.

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posted on 2-25-2012 at 07:54 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm still wondering, appeal or not, why didnt MLB or AP or whoever names the MVP strip make the change from Braun to Kemp? The primary reason Braun beat Kemp was because of the teams they were on: there wasn't nearly enough of a gap in any of the stats Braun had over Kemp to justify not doing it.





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posted on 2-27-2012 at 03:29 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by chretienbabacool
Except there was zero evidence the sample was tampered with and experts are saying that evidence would be fairly obvious and would have led to the FBI getting involved. . . .

Again, Ryan Braun suddenly gained weight, had an epic year and had a seemingly non-tampered with sample come up showing high levels of testosterone not once but twice. From the rules set up, we cannot call Braun guilty. However, let's no go walking around pretending there isn't a very good chance he actually was using PEDs. Fix the procedure and hopefully stuff like this will never happen again.


Of course, this ignores the fact that Braun's sample was higher for testosterone than any sample ever taken by MLB by a long shot. MLB has a vested interest in coming out and saying that the sample wasn't tampered with and that this is a mere technicality. Fact is, the sample was unreliable because of the way it was handled and anything else regarding the sample is pure speculation. In that sense it is unlike a drug seizure case, because it is not clear that this sample was reliable as proof of Braun's guilt.

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posted on 2-27-2012 at 04:09 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nOOb
I'm still wondering, appeal or not, why didnt MLB or AP or whoever names the MVP strip make the change from Braun to Kemp? The primary reason Braun beat Kemp was because of the teams they were on: there wasn't nearly enough of a gap in any of the stats Braun had over Kemp to justify not doing it.


Because he was innocent and Bonds still has his 6 mvps so taking any mvp away from anyone would be bullshit.

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posted on 2-27-2012 at 06:40 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Posted by atothej
Of course, this ignores the fact that Braun's sample was higher for testosterone than any sample ever taken by MLB by a long shot.


I don't know if numbers were ever published. I couldn't confirm this from any real sources, but I'd read one comment stating that his sample was as much as 20 times higher than the normal amount of testosterone. Have you read this anywhere? Is that even possible?

quote:
Posted by chretienbabacool
Again, Ryan Braun suddenly gained weight, had an epic year and had a seemingly non-tampered with sample come up showing high levels of testosterone not once but twice. From the rules set up, we cannot call Braun guilty. However, let's no go walking around pretending there isn't a very good chance he actually was using PEDs. Fix the procedure and hopefully stuff like this will never happen again.


I'm not pretending that there isn't a chance that he used PEDs, but I'm not convinced that we can say that he did either. Once the procedures of chain of custody had been breached, the sample should've been thrown out immediately. It never should have been tested in the first place.

I never watch the Brewers play. They never play the Blue Jays, so there's little chance that I'd ever watch them. Consequently, I have no idea if Braun had a sudden weight gain this past year. Even if he did, this could easily be explained by other things as simple as a change in diet and/or weight training program. I can tell you that, last year, I added 10 lbs. after radically changing my fitness regimen. That may not sound impressive, but I have a significantly smaller frame than Braun, so it's a really big weight gain for me. I'm 5' 10'' or 11'' and now weigh 153 lbs. after years of topping out at 142 lbs. I also accomplished this at 28, just a year older than Braun. This leads me to believe that if I can do this without PEDs, then so too can he.

Plus there's nothing about his epic year that looks all that out of the ordinary compared to his other season stats. The numbers are pretty much in line with what he did in 2009 (albeit in 70 fewer at-bats), making 2010 look like a bit of a down year for him. The only significant outliers for him were his stolen base numbers and slugging percent. However, his slugging percentage was much lower than in his rookie season. Plus, typically, PEDs users tend to slow down after adding a ton of bulk to their frames and swipe fewer bases not more (Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa immediately come to mind). His great season could be explained as a guy who slighty outperformed his previous best season, 2009, by using PEDs to get an edge. However, it could just as easily be explained as a guy who slightly outperformed his previous best season after putting it all together in his fifth season in the majors, during his 27 year old season, right in the middle of his prime.

* Edited to insert key missing words in the first sentence of my reply to chretienbabacool. *

[Edited on 2-28-2012 by Slade]





The award for the most laughable cringe-worthy attempt at clever colour commentary goes to:

"When you're dating The Architect, you start to get some more plans." - Renee Young, Extreme Rules 2019

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