Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chris Aaron released from the hospital

There was a scary moment for the Commodores yesterday, as redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Chris Aaron had to go to the hospital after suffering what appeared to be a neck injury during live drills.

However, the hospitalization was a precautionary measure and Aaron was released late last night.

Coach Bobby Johnson gave well-deserved kudos to the Vanderbilt training staff for handling the matter promptly and successfully.

"We have a fine training staff and they're going to go to the nth degree to make sure they're doing the right thing and keeping them safe," Johnson said.

Pedro Alvarez Negotiations

If there was any hope Pedro Alvarez might sign a major league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, it might be fading, writes Dejan Kovacevi of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  

  • The reason: Drafted players can have their contracts fully rescinded if a physical taken after the signing discovers a major issue, but only if those are minor league contracts. The same is not true of major league contracts.
  • With Major League Baseball's signing deadline at midnight tomorrow, some progress probably would have been needed toward a major league contract by yesterday to afford the time to arrange and perform the physical. But no major league contract was known to have been offered, as of yesterday afternoon.

As tenuous as this reason may seem, for an organization such as the Pirates with a such limited resources, an investment of the magnitude required to sign a Scott Boras client (Pedro Alvarez) must be made with extreme caution.  If Alvarez were offered a minor league contract, it would hard be imagining the deal going through because of Boras.  

That said, the Pirates would receive the No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft if they are unable to come to terms with Alvarez.  Let's hope he signs, especially considering the Pirates' dire need for a quality bat, but some more majestic shots at Hawkins Field wouldn't exactly be a bad thing.  

Monday, August 11, 2008

Commodore Banter (8/11)

A few links to pass along as everyone gets caught up in Michael Phelps fever...

Most of you probably don't know much about Vanderbilt linebacker Brandon Bryant. After reading this story by Brett Hait of The Nashville City Paper, you'll be blown away. The last year of his life has been the most trying one could ever imagine.

“It’s been quite eventful, to say the least,” he said. “At times it’s been very rough, but it’s been a positive experience. I wouldn’t ask for it to play out any different. Some say that’s strange, but we all have something in store for us.

“As long as we hold true to that, we realize that things happen in life for a reason. Just keep pressing forward.”

Meanwhile, another linebacker, redshirt freshman Chris Marve, looks to be a four-year stater for the Commodores, according to Mo Patton of The Tennessean.

"He's got an intensity about him that you really like," said Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson. "Every play, he seems to be going all-out, full speed, trying to get his job done.

"He's got a nasty attitude when he gets to the ball. He's going to finish plays."

Note that Marve had 178 tackles in just 14 games as a high school senior.

"Playing linebacker, you've got to love contact," he said. "That's one thing about me, I love to hit."

Commodore fans love to hear that.

In case you weren't sure that Vanderbilt is a linebacker factory, here's another story about former Commodore Marcus Buggs, who's been impressive at camp with the Buffalo Bills. With Marve set to take over for Jonathan Goff in the middle, I'd imagine that it will be harder for the Dores to replace the high-energy Buggs on the outside.

And, while this linebacker has yet to play a down in three years, it's hard not to root for walk-on Bo "Rudy" Baggerley. I made up the nickname, but I think it's appropriate...

In baseball news, David Price was promoted to Triple-A Durham and could be joining the big-league club soon.

"We have spoken about him in regard to him prior to September," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "We've had a lot of discussions, and we just want to do the right thing as we perceive them to be the right things. ... His performance to this point has been spectacular."

Meanwhile, the Pirates are fed up with Pedro Alvarez, his agent Scott Boras in particular.

I'd be shocked if Alvarez doesn't sign, but I think the battle between Boras and the Pirates is a reflective of a larger problem in Major League Baseball.

"We need to put together a system that fairly compensates the highly talented players and at the same time makes it easier for the player and the club to get the player (signed)," said Pittsburgh team president Frank Coonelly.

Also, props to senior Andrew Giobbi, who won the Cape Cod Baseball League's Manny Robello 10th Player Award, given to a player who performs above and beyond expectations.