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Braden Looper is holding out for Damon money or something…

Feb 22, 2010, 9:05 PM EDT

2546.jpgBecause he’s currently turning teams away. Bill Ladson of tweeted this morning that the veteran right-hander declined a deal with the Nationals, while Ken Gurnick of tells us this evening that the Dodgers aren’t willing to sign him at his current asking price.

Of course, this probably all comes down to finding a guaranteed major league contract. His agent Alan Hendricks is no doubt talking up Looper’s 14 wins from last season, as he should, but we all know better. The 35-year-old posted a 5.22 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 34 starts last season, while striking out a meager 100 batters in 194 2/3 innings (4.62 K/9 – sixth lowest in the majors among starters with at least 150 IP).

Looper has earned the reputation as a groundball pitcher, but has seen his flyball rate increase sharply since transitioning to the starting rotation. It’s unlikely he gives up as many home runs this season as he did last, but he’s still at the mercy of the players behind him. If a guaranteed contract is what he seeks, he might be best served to play the role of ambulance-chaser, waiting for the first sign of injury in a team’s starting rotation.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 22, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    Well, he sure doesn’t want to come back to the Feesh if he has figured out how to induce those grounders again. We’re got hands of stone at most positions in the infield now, with the possible exception of Prince Hanley – but he’s a merely competent shortstop who stands out because his buddies in the infield have all the lateral range of coal cars.
    Speaking of which, a little poll: who has the most execrable infield in MLB this year? I don’t think the Feesh are the worst but, to be honest, I don’t start paying attention until late in spring training when most infields are set for opening day.

  2. peteinfla - Feb 23, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Hey OG,
    I think that a couple of the Feeshies NL East brethren are close when it comes to defensive futility. First of course are the Mets, even with an average Wright at 3rd, and a decent Reyes (when he plays) at short. But even if they are decent, when you add your old boy Castillo at 2b (he has the range of a stop sign), and whoever they are gonna stick at 1b – Murphy, Tatis, or the defensively challenged ex-catcher Jacobs, it gets ugly real fast.
    Then, let’s not forget the Nationals. Zimmerman is great at 3rd, Kennedy is average at 2b, but then Guzman at SS and the human statue Dunn at 1b, and I think they are right there with your Fish.
    By the way, do you have a good recipe for Jackelope? I heard them make good eatin.

  3. GimmeSomeSteel - Feb 23, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    First, catch a jackelope…

  4. Old Gator - Feb 23, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Jackalope au poive? Okay, get a nicely quartered, skinned and cleaned jackalope (remove the antlers but be careful of the screws – tougher strains of tetanus are resurgent these days). Crush a little garlic into a quarter cup of olive oil along with some finely diced onions in a large frying pan and brown the jackalope over medium heat. Meanwhile take a half cup of whole peppercorns (I like to use black and white in about even measure), put them in a plastic bag and cover the plastic bag with cheesecloth, then pound the peppercorns until somewhere between coarsely and finely crushed. In a saucepan mix about a half cup of heavy cream, a tablespoon of wholemeal flour, a quarter teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of melted butter and warm over low heat with the peppercorns, adding a little sauterne or red cooking wine to taste. Let that simmer for about a half hour, then pour over the jackalope and cook over low heat for another fifteen or twenty minutes. (This recipe works pretty well for pork loin too but if you find a pig with antlers you maybe might could cut back on your drinking a little).
    Poor Luis Castillo. I remember him as a nimble second baseman – aw, hell, I remember him as an EYP. Nowadays he looks like one of those double amputees on the little carts with the flatirons for traction whose sacrifices in Iraq or Vietnam our proud great nation is so adept at paying lip service – the ones you see carrying those “Smile, the End is Near” signs down by market square. Jacobs? B-r-r-r-r-. Well, Dunn may be a bit of a shambling mutant at first but would you rather have Mike Jacobs if you were a Gnats fan? Over here on the Feesh side, Cantu (assuming he plays third again) isn’t all that bad at getting to balls hit right at him, but he does have a tendency to hallucinate first basemen standing in the fourth row of field boxes somewhere between first base and the end of the home dugout and throw to them. We figger on seeing Gaby Sanchez at first to open the season and he’s not too bad. But Uggla and Hanley bring out the worst in each other. The usual DP pivot should look like Nureyev and Fonteyn in action, but they usually make it look more like those tutu’d hippos and pachyderms in Fantasia. Well, it’s always exciting, anyway. You never know where the ball will wind up – it’s like the missing half of the electron in that classic quantum theory demo.
    Hmmm – I wonder if I could get away with classifying it as the “Heisenberg Indeterminacy Infield”???

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