A Slanch Report “Live” Blogging Event!

BudSeligDraft96Because I enjoyed doing it last year, I’m going to be blogging the MLB draft once more, starting tonight at 6pm. It will be a “semi-live” blogging event, because, with the Sox/Yankees game I may get distracted and I only have the one cable hookup, but stay tuned and come back later to enjoy all the Bud Selig awkwardness and grainy footage of high school baseball players!

Join us after the jump for the full “live” blogging experience.

6:10 – Bud Selig could not be more awkward speaking on television. Where is Bob Costas? Someone make him Commissioner IMMEDIATELY.

6:11 – I love the clock countdown, gee, I wonder who the Nats take? I’m on pins and needles.

6:13 – A Ben MCDONALD sighting?!!!?!?!?! Wow! Here’s a question for Ben, since you were one of the bigger busts of all time, how are you still involved in baseball in any way?

6:14 – All this talk about Strasburg going straight to the majors is a waste of time. There is ZERO chance he signs before August 15, he’s not going to be CLOSE to ready to pitch in the majors after not pitching from June until August. Also, what are the Nationals guys at the table doing? We all know the pick, what’s the delay?

6:15 – Oh! it’s in!!!!!

6:16 – It was STRASBURG!!!!! Who could have guessed that!?!? Also, the applause from the audience was one of the most awkward things I’ve ever seen on television since, well, since Bud Selig was last on TV.

6:18 – My prediction for Strasburg, he signs at 11:59 on August 15th, pitches a couple innings in AAA or so in September but not in the bigs, and then starts in the rotation in April.

6:20 – The applause after the picks has GOT to stop, it’s super weird, half-hearted and bizarre. If MLB is going to make this draft an actual event, then they need to get these kinks out immediately.

6:23 – Great, now that the first two consensus picks are gone, the actual draft begins. Wow, they’re showing the Padres past picks and ALL of them are miserable. The team could have retooled so easily with the #1 pick a few years ago, but the taking of Matt Bush… AWFUL. Also, the dull murmur from the crowd is delightful.

6:25 – OOOOH! Donovan Tate! It was thought that if the Padres didn’t take Tate he might slide all the way out of the first round because of the dollars he wants.

6:26 – The advantage of MLB controlling the broadcast is that I bet there aren’t ANY picks during the commercials, unlike the NFL Draft when you come back from commercial and they have to catch you up. Of course, since no one knows who any of these kids are anyways it’s all kinda moot but whateves.

6:29 – The Pirates take a catcher from BC, which is in Chestnut Hill, although, according to Bud Selig, WHO IS READING THIS STUFF OFF A CARD IN FRONT OF HIM(!!!!!) believes is Chester Hill. Way to go Bud, it’s the 4th pick and you’ve already messed up once. Nicely done!

6:32 – I wonder if the teams got to choose their table placements, obviously they’d want to be as far away from Bud as possible. I don’t know this personally, but his image on TV screams that he reeks of old-man smell. Like sour mothballs fermented in sulfur.

6:35 – Who are the people sitting in the dugouts on the “field”? The wives of the guys at the table? How god awful boring this must be for them

6:36 – Matt HOBGOOD! I love his name, he sounds like a Spiderman villain.

6:37 – YES! Jim Callis is in the HOUSE! I love Jim Callis, he’s super dorky looking and I want to hang out with him and talk prospects all day long. Let’s be buddies Jim!

6:39 – Also, is there a more arbitrary thing than the draft clock they are using? The teams already know who they are picking, they can’t trade the picks, the delay is purely a device to try and create drama for television. I’d rather they just announce them one after another. Bud just started to say “of the 19…2009 draft,” I can understand that, I mean, it’s only been the 2000s for 9 years, I can see how Bud got that wrong.

6:43 – I love drafts. DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT!

6:44 – Wow, Bud is making banter!!!! He gets interrupted during his announcement of Mike Minor and the audience cheering loudly and he adjusts, waits and almost appears human. Almost. Then he referred to the Reds as the “Cincinatta,” I love it!

6:46 – Zach Wheeler is SUPER nervous and uncomfortable talking on TV right now, this is what I like about the MLB draft, you have these 18 year old kids who aren’t super coached by their agents and such yet and are just natural and super excited to get drafted. Also, why haven’t I been drafted? I’m predicting a 9th round pick for me.

6:48 – I adore that they have all these baseball front office types sitting in this tiny studio, how long until the Dodgers table starts complaining about the hot gas coming from Harold Reynolds. Oh no, wait, that’s just him spouting nonsense. Fun! On an unrelated note, last night Billy Ripken and Barry Larkin spent 15 minutes talking about how Derek Jeter is not overrated as a defender but actually underrated. The highlight was when they said you can’t look at stats, sometimes you just have to see the guy. No. That’s how Jeter won Gold Gloves. He is statistically the worst SS, when you watch him you see how he has ZERO range and the only thing he has going is that he still has a good arm. I know I never played big league ball, but this constant knob-swallowing of players with OBVIOUS slipping talent is awful. I expect it from Ripken, I mean, it’s BILLY Ripken, but Larkin? For shame.

6:54 – And 8 picks into the draft my man Keith Law’s latest mock draft is already totally messed up. Mock drafts are never right. The audience must have been reading my blog because they are applauding louder and with much more energy and cheering. Hooray!

6:56 – Greg Amsinger just asked Strasburg if he thought he might slip, long pause. “No.” I like this kid so far, he seems like a decent guy and I hope he pans out. He won’t pitch more than 5 years but hey, they might be good years!

7:04 – “He won the state championship in the most unique of ways” – Greg Amsinger. Speaking fail. Also, I watch a LOT of MLB network, and they have GOT to switch up the music the “dun-dun-dun-dun” bass beat is super repetitive and annoying when you’ve heard it 56,000 times.

7:09 – Super quietly, the KC Royals have been doing some really good drafting recently, and they are one of the few teams that gets that spending the extra million dollars in the draft means saving many more times that if the players pan out. They just took Aaron Crow, who was in the running for the 2nd or 3rd pick and is one of the top players in the whole draft. Add him with their haul of top talent last season and expect Zach Greinke to get some help at the big league level and soon. Look out for the Royals in the next few seasons. Seriously.

7:14 – Grant Green the pick of the A’s looks ANGRY in his picture. And according to MLB’s Frank Marcos, “He’s a baseball player,” so that’s good! He also just compared Green to Bobby Crosby which should really warm the cockles of A’s fans hearts.

7:17 – I love that the teams send an old player or whatever to sit at their table and do nothing. The Mariners have Jay Buhner, Eric Davis is there for the Reds, Tommy Harper for the Red Sox, Biggio for the Astros. They have to just sit there and do nothing. Fun!

7:19 – Most drafts are abysmally long, fortunately, because there isn’t any wheeling or dealing, this draft is FLYING by. Again, just get rid of the clock and let the teams go one right after another.

7:24 – Where is Tyler Matzek talking from? The ESPN Zone? He has ZERO to say and is super nervous, the interviews are USELESS and awful television. Keep ’em coming!

7:33 – In Buster Olney’s article today he talked about how Tony Gwynn never stepped in against Strasburg, despite being his coach for 3 years. Of course he didn’t, Tony is like 900 pounds now, I think Jabba the Hut was more nimble than Tony is at this point.

7:36 – MLB pushes Tony Gwynn off the phone so they can get the Marlins’ pick in, Bud must have been getting antsy waiting off-stage.

7:43 – Shawon Dunston looks like Avon Barksdale from the Wire.

7:46 – On an unrelated note, David Ortiz just hit another HR! HOORAY! And he gets a curtain call, he’s now hit 3 HRs and has 3 curtain calls. I love Papi too, but lets save the curtain calls for more meaningful moments from now on eh?

7:50 – Bud Selig makes a really weird face when he says “clock,” like someone farted in his face right before he says it. Every single time. Again, I’ll ask, how in the world did he make millions of dollars as a used car salesman?

7:53 – I bet it’s awkward for both Dustin Ackley and Alex White that they show up on camera in the same UNC shirt.

7:59 – And the White Sox take the first player who wasn’t expected to be a first round pick. Kenny Williams loves to go against the consensus, like last year when he drafted his son in the 6th round when no one else had him anywhere near that range. That said, Mitchell looks like a fucking HORSE on the football field, he looks GIGANTIC. I definitely do not want him to run me over on the field.

8:03 – After announcing the first pick for the Angels, who have two back to back, Bud stumbles over their stupid name, even he can’t get it right. Guess what Angels, NO ONE THINKS OF YOU AS A LOS ANGELES TEAM.

8:08 – And Mike Trout, the guy sitting in the dugout, gets picked right after they talk to him. He was so excited to get on stage, totally awesome. I know if I had the chance of being drafted (I still SHOULD be drafted) I would ABSOLUTELY show up at the place where it was, and if picked jump on stage. A) Everyone remembers when that happens, B) YOU JUST GOT DRAFTED! But, let the kid enjoy the moment instead of making him do an awkward moment with his whole family standing 5 feet away.

8:20 – One topic thrown out every year before the draft is whether teams should be able to trade picks. I for one think it’s kind of unnecessary, I guess the thought is that if the Nats, for example, didn’t want to negotiate with Strasburg they could trade the pick for something. I for one would love it because first off, who doesn’t love more trades, second, it would give the draft a bit more excitement. The argument against it that I’ve heard most often is that the rich teams would take advantage of the small market teams and stock all the talent. To which I’d say, why wouldn’t you assume that the lower level teams would make poor choices. Look at the Marlins, despite a ridiculously small payroll they have some of the best minor league talent out there, have traded off veterans and received back even better minor leaguers, in addition to the big leaguers produced. Why wouldn’t they just as adroitly handle trading picks? LET THEM TRADE! Besides, I’d love to obsess over how the Red Sox assembled 4 21st round picks and obsessively track the players they draft. That’s why I love drafts, I love seeing the random player get picked, follow his career, and when they make it, remembering where they started (for me.)

8:22 – And the RED SOX are on the board! With their pick, they take Reymond Fuentes, who is the nephew cousin nephew cousin of Carlos Beltran. I like it! I had thought Max Stassi, the high school catcher, but that was mainly based on Keith Law saying it and me trusting Keith Law. Who, btw has gotten almost all of his last mock draft wrong, which is not unexpected. The other thing that baseball hasn’t figured out how to capitalize on is that the draft is super subjective, there are TONS of differing opinions on various players and more than any other sport, the development systems are much important and can make that much of a difference. As we’ve seen, anything can go down in the draft and the only consensus is that nothing you think will happen, will happen. Anyways, everyone of the analysts love the Sox pick, so it must be genius. Or everyone loves to gobble Theo’s junk. Of course, I do (would/will) too so, let’s just all agree that in 3 years we’ll all be amazed that they were able to get such a singular talent. I look forward to many years of awesome stats from Fuentes, who, like his cousin will look like he’s doing nothing and at the end of the year have gone 30 – 30, of course, being cautious, I’ll predict a only a 50-50 season from Fuentes in the next 5 years.

8:29 – Now they’re talking about trading picks! I was JUST talking about that! Someone at MLB is reading this. Say hi in the comments!

8:30 – Harold Reynolds said that it was easy for the Rays to select players like Josh Gibson; I was unaware that the Rays existed during the Negro League years.

8:40 – And with that we’re done with the first round! Huzzahs all around. Bud looked really confused on what to do, he reminds me at the mic of someone trying to find the owner of a hatchback, whose lights are on in the parking lot. Now there’s a 15 minute break until the supplemental rounds, for what reason, no one knows. However, it does mean I may have time to make dinner! I win! But seriously, why is there a 15 minute break? They did this last year and its stupid and makes no sense except for us at home to have to sit through more boring commentary from the analysts. BOO.

8:46 – Dinner is on the stove, that’s it for MLB network’s coverage, I’m going to follow the rest online at MLB.com, and occasionally have more updates, so keep refreshing or whatever.

9:11 – Dinner, is DELICIOUS! And the Angels just drafted Tyler Skaggs, YES! Now I can say Skaggs over and over. I love that name. Boz Skaggs, Tyler Skaggs, put any name in front of Skaggs and it’s fun to say. Try it now. Ferguson Skaggs. Mike Skaggs. Dustin Skaggs. Razor Skaggs. It just WORKS.

9:23 – Is there a better thing in the world than the start of the second round coming with Devon White announcing the pick for the Nationals? “Good evening, I’m Devon White. ” Devo still looks like he’s better than most current CFers.

9:24 – Oh, they’re making all the former players and luminaries announce the 2nd round picks. AWESOME! The former players are awkward and it makes for weird TV (or webcasting, as it were.) It just keeps getting better and better; from Jay Buhner for the Mariners to WOODY WILLIAMS representing the Padres. This could be the most entertaining round in draft history.

9:27 – The Pittsburgh Pirates take Brooks Pounders, a high school pitcher out of California. Great baseball name. Or great porn name. Either way, he’s gets to perform for an audience!

9:31 – Tommoy Lasorda comes up to announce the Dodgers’ pick, introduces himself at the podium, in case people didn’t know and is becoming a caricature of himself. Also, he’s becoming more and more troll-like in appearance.

9:33 – Of course, the team’s tables have all been abandoned now, it’s like after a party, a couple close friends still hanging out in the studio and all the beautiful people out in the parking lot doing donuts.

9:37 – Roland Hemond, the special assistant to the D-Back team president comes out to make the pick, Eric Smith, from the University of Rhode Island, and at the end of announcing the pick, Hemond says “And I’m from Rhode Island,” adorable. He looks like a delightful little grandfather.

9:41 – Cleveland’s dignitary is JASON BERE! Are you kidding me? They couldn’t get ANYONE else? Hell even Bob Wickman would have been a better pick to represent the team.

9:43 – Tommy Lasorda is back on stage, grandstanding. At the end of the selection says “that boy is lucky” referencing being drafted by the Dodgers. All I can think about is when Tommy got busted when that madam got arrested a few years ago. Ugh.

9:45 – Jack McKeon came out for the Marlins and after introducing himself, got a few random bits of applause, I think it startled him. He looks like he needs a cigarette. Also, we have our first Darryl Kile reference.

9:48 – The Blue Jays sent Pat Hentgen to represent them, classy. And then they take a Canadian kid, wow, well done all around Toronto. No wonder Delgado liked playing up there so much.

9:53 – The Mets get their first pick, finally, 72nd overall, taking a left handed pitcher from Long Island. Since I hate on the Mets, I’m going to predict he’s the newest member of Generation K.

9:57 – The Sox are back on the clock, I’m predicting that NOW they tab Max Stassi, taking a page out of the Patriots book by getting the player everyone thought they would take first, only in this case 50 selections later.

10:00 – Instead the Sox take Alex Wilson, a reliever from Texas A&M, since he’s now a Red Sox, I’ll assume he’s flat-out nasty. Also, I clearly am EXCELLENT at predicting this draft.

10:02 – The Rays bring out Fred McGriff, the Hit Dog who is looking youthful with his shaved head. Get out there and hit those last 2 HRs Fred to get to 500!

10:05 – End of the second round, another stupid break, this one only 5 minutes. Huzzah!

10:17 – I still don’t get the appeal of Twitter, but it does seem to be tailor-made for sports drafts. Maybe that’s its future,well,  that and set lists. I’ve been able to follow Phish’s sets online which is pretty damn neat, but I still don’t see why individual people need to, or do twat or twit or whatever. Someone explain this to me.

10:24 – An interesting aspect of the “prime-timing” of the MLB draft, if a top player slips and doesn’t get picked in the first two rounds, I wonder if teams will take a flyer on signability guys who they normally would take later because of fear that overnight another team would make an agreement with the player and you could lose him. Not that that happens so often, but it could. Draft maneuvers! Draft DRAFT DRAFT!

10:29 – WHAT? Tommy Lasorda is BACK out at the podium to announce the Dodgers’ pick, does he just do whatever he wants, who does he think he is, Keith Hernandez?

10:36 – Ben Tootle, a pitcher goes to the Twins at 101; that’s a fun name to say, Tootle. Tootle. Fun!

10:37 – DRAFT!

10:41 – Sox are up shortly, Max Stassi here we come!

10:43 – Sox take David Renfroe, a high school pitcher who my baseball crush Jim Callis compares to last year’s first round pick, Casey Kelley. Seeing that Kelley threw 6 perfect innings the other day, me like, me like a lot! But seriously, whither Max Stassi! According to Keith Law, the Yankees were considering Renfroe in the first, even better! Eat it Yankees!

10:47 – Last pick of the night! Now that’s a draft! Tomorrow there’s a conference call! I CANNOT WAIT! This both saddens me and comforts me. Thanks for checking out the draft live-blog, even if you’re not reading it live. I hope you made it all the way here. Prove it in the comments below!

1 Response to “A Slanch Report “Live” Blogging Event!”

  1. 1 youppi
    June 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    re: hobgood as spiderman villain = great call.

    ben tootle. awesome, awesome name.

    mets took steve matz. Matz on the Mets? I like.

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