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Tag:Dayton Moore
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Royals interested in Carlos Zambrano?

By Matt Snyder

Mercurial starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano's 2011 season ended August 12 when he departed the Cubs' locker room early and told some people he was retiring. The fallout: The Cubs basically suspended him for the season and are now likely ready to part ways with him for pretty much anything in return. But he does have talent, despite a ridiculously high salary (he's due $19 million in 2012), so it shouldn't come as a surprise that some general managers believe he may be worth the risk. Count Royals' GM Dayton Moore as one of them.

"We would have to be interested. We would have to explore it because that's what you should do. You should explore every opportunity. Carlos Zambrano is a heckuva competitor," said Moore (CSNChicago.com). "Carlos Zambrano has had a lot of success in the major leagues. Carlos Zambrano is actually a very pleasant, easy going, classy person off the field. Sometimes, as with all of us the competitiveness takes over and brings out qualities in us that we are not proud of. Obviously the Cubs grew tired of some of his outbursts but I believe in our coaching staff and we'll always take a chance and a risk on certain players. We'll see how that particular situation unfolds."

Hot Stove Season
Zambrano, 30, is a three-time All-Star who has thrice finished fifth in Cy Young voting. Only one season in his career was his ERA below league average -- of course, it was 2011 -- and his career 125-81 record is certainly appealing to those who go with the "a pitcher's job is to win" mantra. But his constant emotional meltdowns teamed with a noticeable regression in nearly every stat category and a high price tag have destroyed his value.

Moore also pointed out that Zambrano's contract would be an issue, but the Cubs have made no secret about the fact that they could eat some of the money to rid themselves of Zambrano. We do know the Royals are seeking starting pitching, and probably aren't content with simply trading for Jonathan Sanchez.

Basically, this could be a match, it's just a matter of hammering out a deal. Whether or not it ever comes to fruition remains to be seen.

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 9:29 am
 

Pepper: Ethier-Dodgers saga takes another turn



By Matt Snyder


Sunday, we passed along the report that Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier was playing through an knee injury that would need offseason surgery -- a report in which he seemed to insinuate the Dodgers were forcing him to play. Also contained therein, general manager Ned Colletti seemed to say he believed Ethier was faking an injury.

One day later, manager Don Mattingly was upset.

"I'd rather lose my job and us not win than put a guy out there that has a chance of hurting himself and doing something that would affect his career in a long-term way in any shape or form, especially if he says, 'Hey, I can't go,'" Mattingly said (LATimes.com).

Meanwhile, Ethier kind of backed off his sentiment, though he never denied making any of the statements to the Los Angeles Times reporter.

"It's always been my choice to keep playing and keep going," Ethier said (LATimes.com). "They've never said, 'We don't think you can or you can't play.' It's always been they've said, 'Hey, you've obviously put up with this and it's at your discretion.'"

Remember, earlier this season Ethier publicly complained about the Dodgers' ownership situation and reports indicated he was jealous of his friend Dustin Pedroia getting to play in Boston. Is Ethier just angling to leave Los Angeles when he's a free agent after 2012? Or is he a bit of a drama queen? Or did he back off his Saturday statements due to meeting with Mattingly and Colletti Sunday after the duo read the Sunday Los Angeles Times story?

Hard to figure. Whatever it is, it's another mess for the Dodgers. As if they didn't have enough stuff to worry about.

For like of the game: Dirk Hayhurst is a minor-league pitcher in the Rays' system and also a published author. He's been in the bigs before, but not since 2009 with the Blue Jays. He's also very active on Twitter and has his own blog. In his latest entry, Hayhurst explains why he hates hearing the phrase "for love of the game," and instead prefers "like." It's a great read and I highly recommend clicking through with an open mind.

Dunn the realist: It's no secret how awful Adam Dunn has been this season, his first with the White Sox. When asked about a rather drastic production in playing time moving forward, Dunn was fully accountable: “I’m a realist," said Dunn, who wasn't in the lineup Sunday and is batting .163 with 156 strikeouts (ChicagoTribune.com). "I’m not like an idiot. We’re right in the middle of things. What do you do? What do you say?”

Royals ready to 'go for it:' Royals general manager Dayton Moore is sitting on mountains of prospects, several of which have begun to filter into Kansas City this season. Now, it sounds like he's done biding his time, because he plans on pursuing a deal this offseason in which the Royals cough up prospects to get a proven starter -- and The Kansas City Star article mentions one like the Indians getting Ubaldo Jimenez.

Relationships to keep Friedman in Tampa Bay? Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman has been the subject of rampant rumors in the Chicago area, now that the Cubs have a vacancy at general manager. Speculation by many is that Friedman would jump at the chance to be freed from the mighty AL East and get to throw some money around instead of pinching pennies. A TampaBay.com article says that won't matter, because of Friedman's strong relationship with owner Stu Sternberg, president Matt Silverman and manager Joe Maddon.

Crane in danger? Prospective new Astros owner Jim Crane has yet to be approved by Major League Baseball, even though two weeks ago Drayton McLane said a deal would be approved in two weeks. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle believes Crane may not be approved by commissioner Bud Selig. "If Commissioner Bud Selig is comfortable with Jim Crane owning the Astros, then Jim Crane will own the Astros. You can read the delay in the approval process any way you like, but as someone who has known Selig for almost 30 years, it’s not insignificant." Justice does point out that a deal is still obviously possible, but it just seems fishy.

Rockies after arms: The Rockies top priority this offseason will be to upgrade starting pitching. That might sound a little weird after they just dealt Ubaldo Jimenez, but they actually traded for two guys who could end up being frontline starters in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz. But they might not be ready to lead a team to the playoffs just yet, so a trade for a proven veteran might be coming in the winter months ahead (Denver Post).

Ribbing the rook: Mariners rookie Trayvon Robinson gave a high-five to a fan and heard about it from his teammates in a playful way (MLB.com).

Sanchez may be done: Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez -- who seemed to be having a contest with Barry Zito to see who could get kicked out of the rotation for good -- might miss the rest of the season with his ankle injury. Meanwhile, Zito is feeling much better (Extra Baggs). If the offense doesn't drastically improve, however, none of this will be relevant. 

Only triples: Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson got four at-bats in interleague play and tripled for his only hit. Baseball-Reference's blog found 20 players in big-league history with only triples among their hits in a season.

Branyan the barber: Did anyone notice Sunday night that Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is now bald? Yeah, that's because he entrusted veteran slugger Russell Branyan with cutting his hair. And Branyan purposely took a little more off than was asked. "He pulled a nice little prank on me," Bourjos said good-naturedly (LATimes.com). "I keep scaring myself when I look in the mirror."

Let's play two ... with one extra player: Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks teams should be able to expand rosters by one on days when they're playing a doubleheader (MLB.com).

Happy Anniversary: On this day back in 1977, Duane Kiper hit his only major-league home run. In 3,754 plate appearances. Current White Sox color commentator Steve Stone was on the mound. Funny note: Stone's future broadcast partner (for Cubs' games) Harry Caray had the call that day. (Hardball Times)

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 9:53 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 10:21 am
 

Pepper: Finding Mauer in Montero


Posted by Matt Snyder


In the latest Ear on Baseball podcast , C. Trent Rosecrans and I had Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein on, and among other things we discussed how Yankees star catching prospect Jesus Montero may eventually be ticketed for a position change.

Interestingly, in a Tuesday morning Bats blog (via New York Times ), there's a piece on Joe Mauer discussing similarities between the two catchers and how he believes Montero should do everything he can to remain a catcher, if that's what he wants to do.

"Too big. Not quick enough. I heard everything under the sun," Mauer said. He's 6-foot-5, while Montero is 6-foot-4.

Mauer also encouraged Montero to learn everything he can from veteran catchers Russell Martin and Jorge Posada in camp, and to learn everything about the pitchers he might be catching.

Montero, 21, is generally considered one of the top prospects as a hitter, but many scouts believe he'll be inadequate behind the plate in the bigs. Mauer believes he heard the same, but I think there's a difference. Most scouts knew Mauer could handle duties behind the plate, if memory serves correctly, it's just that many believe he needs to move away from behind the plate eventually in order to lengthen his career. He's too good a hitter to physically fall apart by his early 30s. That doesn't mean he's a bad defender.

CARLOS AT THE BAT: Yes, Cubs manager Mike Quade will use pitcher Carlos Zambrano as a pinch-hitter when the game dictates this season. While his actual skill with the stick pales in comparison to the sheer entertainment value of an at-bat, he can swing it. He has three Silver Sluggers and 21 career home runs to go with a .236 average and .631 OPS. Obviously that's pretty bad for an actual hitter, but if you're looking for someone to extend the bench, he's serviceable enough. In fact, he's hit at least .300 in a season twice, as recently as 2008 -- when he hit .337 with an .892 OPS. He was a better hitter than Derrek Lee that year. Seriously. (Chicago Tribune )

ZITO VS. PRINCE, PART II:
Last season, Barry Zito and Prince Fielder had a slight flare-up in spring training after Zito plunked the portly first baseman -- in retaliation for a Fielder celebration in 2009. Monday, the two had a spat ... over a walk? Really, guys? They were seen jawing at each other, but fortunately both took the high road after the game. Zito said he asked Fielder how his offseason went and how his family was doing. Fielder said they were discussing dinner plans. Boys will be boys, even when it's not yet summer, so there's no reason to make a mountain out of a molehill. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel )

OBLIGATORY YOUNG UPDATE: Michael Young is not unhappy, nor is he dogging it in spring training. In fact, he's working just as hard as he ever has and made the first appearance of his life at first base Monday. He even accepts the addition of Mike Napoli, who is expected to steal plenty of at-bats from Young at DH this season. "He was a thorn in our side when he was in Anaheim. He can hit for power," Young said. "I think what he’s done in his career speaks for itself. When he got here in camp I think we’ve all been impressed with just how good a teammate he seems. That’s the kind of thing guys look at first. He seems a really good guy. Seems like he’s fit in really well since Day 1 and I’m excited that he’s here." (ESPN Dallas )

SCHLERETH INJURED: Tigers relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth injured his hamstring Monday. He actually felt a pop, but early the prognosis sounds positive, as the medical staff reportedly told the lefty it was a strain and not a tear -- which would cause him to miss significant time. Instead, it seems only a minor setback. In fact, he's more annoyed with the injury than anything else. "This is stupid," he said. "This isn't important. I'm not too worried about it. I just want to play. I want to make the team." (Detroit Free-Press )

TIME MACHINE: Mark Prior threw a perfect inning. In 2011. Granted, it was a single inning early in spring training, but it had to have been an encouraging outing for a man whose career was prematurely derailed years ago by injuries. For the optimistic out there, he's still only 30. There's time. (Star-Ledger )

WHO NEEDS OBP? The Rockies are ready to use catcher Chris Iannetta in the eight-hole this season. When you look at his batting average (.234) last season it makes sense. When you look at his OBP, it doesn't. His .353 career OBP is better than teammates Seth Smith, Ian Stewart, Dexter Fowler and Ty Wigginton. But his batting average is lower. It still amazes me how hard this concept is to grasp for so many. It astounds me that people look at batting average before OBP. Think about it in reverse. On-base percentage is a measure of how many times you don't get out. Isn't that the actual goal when you step in the batter's box? In this specific case, you could argue Fowler and Stewart are still young and could get better, but Iannetta's 27 and has torn up minor-league pitching for years. And when he takes a ton of walks this season with the pitcher on deck, his batting average won't be near as high as his OBP. Serenity now. (Denver Post )

SOLID INTERVIEW:
Another thing we discussed in the Ear on Baseball podcast was how incredibly loaded the Royals' minor league system is. General manager Dayton Moore sat down with John Sickels of Minor League Ball for an interview. I'm not going to bother to summarize or cut it down at all, just click through. The whole thing is worth a look. And while I'm not a fan of the Royals or anything, it's worth noting I'd like to see everything come to fruition with this group. It's been a long time since the Royals were a serious contender, so a little change there wouldn't hurt anything. Now, about those Pirates ...

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Posted on: January 11, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 10:49 am
 

Royals searching for starters

Much to his dismay, it appears Royals general manager Dayton Moore has remembered he must field a team in 2011 -- one with hitters and pitchers.

Bruce Chen So far the Royals rotation is Vin Mazzaro, Luke Hochevar, Kyle Davies and Sean O'Sullivan. The team needs a fifth starter (or first or second or third or fourth, depending on how you look at it) for next season, but with an influx of talent due in Kansas City in 2012, Moore isn't looking to give out a multi-year deal to anyone.

Moore told MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that he's only looking at starting pitching at this point in the offseason. There's little on the free-agent market, but the team could bring back Bruce Chen.

"We're still open-minded with that," Moore told Kaegel. "He performed very well with us last year and showed us what he had, and we've got a comfort level there."

Chen, 33, went 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA in 23 starts for the Royals last season. Chen is a Scott Boras client and has apparently been eyeing a multi-year deal following his good 2010, but his status as a free agent shows that nobody is biting, even in a pitching-poor market.

Or Kansas City could look to trade, although it's unlikely the team would give up too much for a short-term solution.

"It's something that we'll continue to look at, and it might be Spring Training or early next year," Moore said. "You're always looking to get better, so it's not out of the question we might make some kind of move and pitching is one of those areas where you can never have enough depth. And we don't want to be in a position where we're force-feeding some of those kids, either."

Still, some of those kids -- Aaron Crow, John Lamb and Danny Duffy -- could get an extended look during spring training.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 12:12 pm
 

Francoeur, Moore reunited again in K.C.

Jeff Francoeur The inevitable is "close" to happening, as the multiple reports say the Royals are getting ready to sign Jeff Francoeur to a one-year deal with a club option.

Because the New York Mets blogosphere hates Francoeur (and not that his play -- he hit .249/.300/.383 last season with the Mets and Rangers -- has given them much reason to like him), this move will generate some buzz 'round the interwebs.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore was with the Braves when the team drafted Francoeur out of a suburban Atlanta high school and reports have linked the two since Moore took over in KC.

If it is indeed a one-year deal, well, it's not that bad. It goes along with the Royals apparent strategy of finding enough warm bodies to hold the team over until 2012 when some of their highly-regarded prospects start showing up at Kaufman Stadium. Francoeur could be a lot like last year's bad signing, Rick Ankiel, where the team uses him to fill a roster and lineup spot until July, when they send him to a contender, where he can be a bench player.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:34 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 8:49 pm
 

Greinke deals still being discussed

Zack Greinke A Zack Greinke deal won't be done quickly, but more and more around here it's sounding like it will get done.

There does, however, appear to be some tension between the Royals and the perceived leader for the 2009 Cy Young-winner, the Rangers. The Royals feel the Rangers are low-balling them and the Rangers feel like the Royals are asking for too much, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes .

"We're going to move slow with it and [wait] until we get the right type of deal if, indeed, we move on it," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told the Star. "It's no different than any other year. I could give you examples -- I won't, but I could -- where we've been close to dealing Zack or other players in the past if we got the right pieces. We didn't get the right piece included."

So what's the right piece? It appears to start with two top prospects, one of them being a pitcher.

From Texas, the Royals want shortstop Jurickson Profar, outfielder Engel Beltre and a pitcher or two among the group of Derek Holland, Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez.

"Our challenge is how we go about doing it when you're both considering high dollar players as well as a package of young players," Ranger general manager John Daniels told writers (via MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan ). "That's the nature of our job, balancing the short-term and the long-term. What gives us the best chance to win this year while building around a core team that's maturing, but also considering our goal of being competitive year in and year out."

The Royals have also been talking to the Blue Jays, and Toronto could have Greinke now for pitcher Kyle Drabek and outfielder Travis Snider.

One team that's not in the Greinke talks is the Reds.

"I haven't had any discussions with them," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Reds reporters (via MLB.com's Mark Sheldon ).

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:42 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 1:10 pm
 

Newsmakers or Snoozemakers: GMs to watch


From December 6-9, baseball's offseason will kick into high gear as team officials, agents, players and media descend upon Orlando, Fla. This week, MLB Facts and Rumors will preview an aspect of the Winter Meetings each day. Today: The top 5 GMs expected to make noise at the meetings, plus those who should remain quiet.

There figures to be plenty of action at the Winter Meetings and much of it will happen on the floor with agents, media and team representatives, but those responsible for all the machinations will be ensconced in hotel suites, directing the action from above.

While some hotel suites will have plenty of neighbors looking over with a scowl at all the noise, others figure to stay quiet -- well, as quiet as one can amongst the hubbub, anyways. Let's look at who figures to be splashed among the headlines and those who will wait for another day.

WAKE ME UP WHEN IT'S OVER

Moore Dayton Moore (pictured): Moore has perhaps the best player on the trade market (unless one wants to pitch in Adrian Gonzalez' name) in Zack Greinke, but Greinke ain't going anywhere until Cliff Lee signs -- and even then it's a big if.

While one can't rule out Cliff Lee signing next week, there stands a good chance that may not come to fruition until the week or two after the winter meetings. Remember, Mark Teixeira inked with the Yankees January 6. Lee's market is more defined and aggressive than Teix, but the fact remains: the Lee saga could be far from over.

Sure, Moore figures to make his annual overpay for a mediocre player (cough Jeff Francouer cough), but that'll get overshadowed and is essentially a non-story anyways until K.C.'s baby boom arrives.

Sandy Alderson : Alderson was thought to be close to a deal with starting pitcher Chris Young, although those talks have not progressed as quickly as originally thought. This is roughly the caliber of player New York will be seeking. The core of the team (both financial and talent-wise) is already on the club. It's Alderson's job to supplement the team with the best opportunity to win in 2011 with the resources it has, while leaving the future (as immediate as 2012) open for making the team the way Alderson wants it.

That leaves Alderson discussing deals with lower-tier free agents, not enough for people to really sit up and take attention of at this point. However, his has been a bit of an aggressive free-agent market, so while lower-tier names usually don't fly off the board early, Alderson could net some in Orlando. Alderson is also thought to be trying to clear out salary, but that won't be easy to do and any proposed deal that hits the rumor page doesn't make sense.

Michael Hill
: Larry Beinfest is still attached to the Marlins publicly in his role as president for any moves in baseball operations, but Michael Hill is the general manager in name and practice so he is the one of record making the moves Florida has done lately. And they've been plenty: trading Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller and signing John Buck along with Javier Vazquez.

Is Florida done? No. Are they nearly done? Yep. Florida could stand to add one more bat, either at second, third or center, but may choose not to do so. The Marlins have wrapped up so much of their business quickly that there simply isn't much left to do.

Neal Huntington: The Pirates aren't high on anyone 's wish list, so even if Huntington is much in the same position as Alderson in only being able to afford mid- and lower-tier free agents as the Bucs desperately try to reverse the stink of 2010, no players will be signing in town anytime soon. There are no major trades on the horizon either.

Dan O'Dowd : O'Dowd is in a similar situation to Hill in that he's made most of his major moves. A mega-million extension for Troy Tulowitzki and enticing Jorge de la Rosa back to town were his grand strokes. Up next is fortifying the bench and infield, which may be done with a trade of Seth Smith or Ryan Spilborghs which would only register as a minor rumble on the Winter Meetings-ometer.

Ah, but as Michael Buffer (pictured) is famous for saying, these GMs figure to be prominently displayed...

Buffer "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!"

Brian Cashman : Cashman has his fingers in pretty much every major storyline this offseason. Let's look:
  • The No. 1 free agent target in the market, Cliff Lee, is the apple of New York's eye and they are determined to outspend everyone for his services.
  • The best position player on the market in Carl Crawford would be best served in seeing the Lee saga to play out in case the Yankees become a suitor. Jayson Werth's suitors will crystallize with Crawford off the block, so his own timeline is delayed.
  • The Yankees have the resources and may have the desire to get Zack Greinke from the Royals. The latest scuttlebutt has Greinke willing to waive his no-trade clause even for New York.
  • The public brouhaha between the Yankees and Jeter has been a major plot for a league-average player at this point in his career because of all the implications therein. The Yankees are dominating the media with this topic.
  • Oh, and about that greatest closer of all-time? Yeah, Mariano Rivera and New York may be edging closer to a contract extension that could be announced at the meetings to give the Yankees an injection of goodwill.
  • Yep, another bullet point. Don't forget about Andy Pettitte, trying to decide between retirement or rejoining the Yankees.
Dave Dombrowski : The Tigers have been very busy this offseason so far, snaring Joaquin Benoit and Victor Martinez while re-upping with Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta. A big outlay has been made, but the Tigers aren't done just yet. The club could stand to add another starting pitcher and definitely need to add an outfielder. You can't rule Jayson Werth out, although Detroit figures to shoot lower.

Andrew Friedman
: Friedman has a major task ahead of him in rebuilding the Rays back to the level they achieved just months ago in the 2010 season. He has to start over with a bullpen while replacing Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. The two major trade chips are Jason Bartlett and to a lesser extent, either Matt Garza or James Shields. Bartlett should be moved quickly, but Tampa's work will be far from done. The club needs to get as many chips as it can in order during the meetings.

Kenny Williams: No Winter Meeting is complete without a patented Kenny Williams move. Unafraid to be aggressive in free agency and trades, Williams always seems to have something cooking. The team needs a catcher, outfielder and could even strike for a third or first baseman. How good would Adam Dunn look on that club?

Tony Reagins
: The Angels have sure been quiet for a team expected to make a splash. Where's the Adrian Beltre signing? The flash of bulbs as Carl Crawford holds up his jersey? Rafael Soriano grinning as he assumes the mantle of closer?

You may see all (or some) of those at the Winter Meetings. The Angels have been laying in wait, shuffling their cards behind the scenes and could be poised to break through.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:59 am
 

Royals' system deep in talent

Dayton Moore took over the Royals more than four years ago, and the team's best showing under him was a 75-87 finish in 2008. But one thing he has done is rebuild the team's farm system.

The Royals have perhaps the deepest and best system in baseball, and Baseball America has released its Top 10 prospects from Kansas City's system .

It's telling that Mike Moustakas hit .322/.369/.630 last season with 36 home runs in Double-A and Trople-A and he's the team's No. 3 prospect. That's how loaded the team is on the minor league level. They also boast four left-handed arms among the Top 10.

First baseman Eric Hosmer (.338/.406/.571 with 20 home runs at Class A and Double-A) is ranked as the team's top prospect, followed by catcher Wil Myers (.315/.429/.506 with 14 homers).

The Royals should see some of their talented youngsters in Kansas City this season, but the wave will likely start in 2012, with what appears to be something of a future ahead for the organization.

Here's the full list of Kansas City's top prospects:

1. Eric Hosmer, 1b
2. Wil Myers, c
3. Mike Moustakas, 3b
4. John Lamb, lhp
5. Mike Montgomery, lhp
6. Christian Colon, ss
7. Danny Duffy, lhp
8. Chris Dwyer, lhp
9. Aaron Crow, rhp
10. Brett Eibner, of

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com