I agree with Stevie on Yunel (no surprise). Done with Yunel. It’s not easy, because his defense is one of the most exciting spectacles on the team. The chance to see something special is highest with Hanson, Heyward, and Escobar. But I’m over him.
Scouts point to him thinking he’s better than he is. So the double downside is that even if he improves, this side of his personality will flare even more. He’s an embarassment to the organization. The whole “everybody can’t be Atlanta” chant that other teams use when they’re embarassed by a snotty player is on the line. I like the reputation of class. I want him gone. He will improve again, and when he does, Atlanta will take advantage of it by trading him. As bad as he’s been, I don’t think we’ve seen the worst of Yunel’s antics. Mark it down. When Escobar gets more comfortable than he is with Bobby, he will be worse, not better.
I’m with Steve on Wren’s trade remarks, too. It’s one thing to say you can’t stand pat, but you shouldn’t make a trade just to make a trade. Mike Minor and Teheran are the future of this orgainization. Minor is great beyond his reputation. His stuff is getting nasty, AND he’s got the smarts and calm between the ears that make Medlen, Hanson, and Jair good pitchers immediately instead of waiting through fits of nerves or flakiness. Mike Minor is a huge asset. No way on earth I’d lose him for a LF who just MIGHT be better than Diaz/Hinske. No way. Like Steve says, if you take that chance, it’d better be Teixeira.
My MVP is Prado.
My LVP is McLouth, whose flop was more destructive to April than KK or Escobar.
Lowe’s not an IF because he’s starter #5.
Glaus is an IF for me, too. But not a big one.
Saito is a heavylarge IF. He’ll cost the Braves some games just because of his position in close games, and Bobby will be slow to react to his trouble.
Prado is no IF. Ever. Again. I’m sold.
Chipper’s an IF. As in “IF he doesn’t retire, it will hurt the team going forward.”
McLouth is an IF, but I have some hope for a rebound.
And the answer to all the IF’s not burying us: Hanson, Hudson, Jurrjens, Medlen, and even Lowe (and EXCELLENT 5th starter, don’t be fooled.) This team is starter-driven.
I think the AL will win the ASG.
2-2 against the Brewers, since my reserve has served us well by being wrong.
p.s. Very hard to not go with Bobby for MVP. He’s spread out the pen use, made the managerial move of the year by shelving KK (that’s not just against ATL tradition, almost no team will bench money), put on squeezes and hit-and-runs in a timely, exciting fashion, and for once I have to be happy with his even demeanor, sugar-coating included. Especially since he has matched the calm responses of April with equally chilled responses to the Braves dominance in May-thru-now.
I still don’t think he’s an X’s or O’s guy for the most part, but I think he’s won more games than he’s lost this season, and that he’s managed “younger” than he has in a long time. He’s even played the hot hand (Venters, Blanco, Medlen, and Heyward all spring to mind – meaning Heyward’s relatively quick move to the #2 spot when he earned it.)
Bub – I agree about not just selling Minor for short money to get a bat that might help us in the short term. I do however think that we should always be open and looking for ways to smartly improve the team. Wren doesn’t strike me as the type to be cavalier or irresponsible with his assets, but we should always be a work in progress.
Also, what about the money that was saved from the Vazquez salary dump? I know it was only a couple of mil, but surely we could use that in some sort of productive way.
And Bub, my thinking was that we might could find someone who could boost our output without giving up a big farmhand. There are some guys out there playing for some lousy teams making $5-6 mill who you could get for nothing. I don’t see that there are franchise changers floating around, but I’m not convinced the Braves need that right now. Get a Mike Devereaux type.
As far as Prado and McLouth, yes on both. We just didn’t all want to talk about them.
And I would throw Dunn in on the list of guys who should be untouchable.
I know he didn’t do it this offseason, but Wren also worked his tail off to get Infante. I’m starting to believe he knows how to put a team together. You have to hold on to Escobar because Chipper is going to retire, which means Infante and Prado will play 2nd and 3rd next year (I hope). Glaus and Chipper, to me, are both an IF, and it scares me because Bobby’s going to leave both in the middle of the order. Chipper still batting 3rd is the reason Bobby isn’t MVP for me.
MVP- Tim Hudson
I went with Hudson because of the leadership he brings. I heard Hanson say this about Hudson on the FOX coverage: “He’s our guy”. The way Hanson talked about him and was watching him pitch sold me. He is the leader of a rotation that could carry us to the postseason. It was really hard not to say it’s Martin.
As far as trades go, I don’t think you can give up any of the pitching prospects unless you’re getting a long term power bat for LF or CF. That’s why a Corey Hart trade wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t like it, but I’m expecting something like it to happen. The Nats will ask for our farm for Willingham or Dunn, which is beyond absurdity. Something needs to be done because soon we will have McOut and Escobar in the same lineup again. This worries me for our immediate future because a lot of our runs over the last few weeks were produced by the lineup turning over around Gregor Blanco being followed by the other two members of the Venezuelan Thunder Trio. That said, 3-1 over the Brew Crew. NL wins. Go Braves!
McOut doing well for the G-Braves means nothing. Chris Resop did really well there, Blanco did really well there, JJ didn’t. With all three of those in mind, I don’t know what doing well for the G-Braves means anymore. Bub, try some Chamomile Tea and bananas. I have the same problem and those work for me. My doc also told me to avoid spicy foods in the evening.
” my thinking was that we might could find someone who could boost our output without giving up a big farmhand.”
Curt, okay, I could go for that. The Minor-for-Hart rumor made my face twitch.
Nate, good point about Huddy’s leadership. And thanks for the insomnia advice. I did, in fact, eat some jalapeno sausages late, so it could be.
Ham, I’m with you on “where’s the Vazquez dough?” All the “Braves won’t add the salary” comments coming from the rumor mill are highly discouraging. It’s nice to compete at 83 million, but that number needs to move up, especially if it means putting us over the top.
My hope is that it will move up this winter. Significantly. Make a move for a defense-first, cheap SS, and pump all of Esco’s salary (it’s Arby time, isn’t it?), Diaz’s salary (sorry, Matty, it’s time to go for broke on a FA), Glaus’s salary(Say hi to Frederick Freeman), plus 5-10 million more into a power LF. Get the best LF available, period. The money is there.
With a power LF and RF in 2011, we could afford to go defense-first at SS, especially since we have power at a defense position elsewhere (McCann). Of course, we’ll lose power at 1B, but we’d still be down just one power position, and with our starting pitchers, that’s fine. Besides, Freddie will have some pop by 2012 I expect.
I don’t think Escobar’s going anywhere after reading comments from Jeff Schultz on an interview he did with the Ice Man, Frank Wren. You have to click on the entry by Schultz’s picture. If you click on the one under Esco’s picture it takes you to an article on breast sweat.
I actually agree with using a defense-first catcher in the ASG if the goal is to win the game. ASG’s lately are pretty low scoring. Defensive catcher is active for 35+ batters. Offensive catcher hits 2 or 3 times.
Molina was voted in by die hard Cardinals fans, so there was really no decision to be made on that one. It seems like every year there are a couple of guys who make it because they play in NY. Molina’s started a few times now because he plays in STL. If Chipper played in St. Louis he would probably would of made the team more than 6 times, including this year. You can’t blame their fans for voting.
Fantastic show! One of the best IMO. I’m not giving up on Escobar. I thought Hammy’s point about seeing how he reacts to a different manager is very valid. I’m not saying Yunel (have I mentioned my daughter calls him “Urinal”?) doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder. I’m not saying he doesn’t pout although I don’t think we can put a ton of credit into body language. Sometimes I wonder if we get so used to the way he makes fantastic plays look easy he seems lazy or slow when he isn’t able to make them. Last year he had fits of sulktitude and we all agreed (even Steve) that his talent was worth putting up with the immaturity. I know his bat is terrible right now. So bench him for a bit but we haven’t completely given up on Chipper or McCann. His BA is only 15 to 20 points below McCann and Glaus (if my chart reading is valid which isn’t my specialty). And come on…his issues aren’t as bad as the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Milton Bradley or Zambrano and his FPCT is higher than Derek Jeter who we all know is God’s gift to the short stop position (tongue in cheek).
The human element is one of my favorite parts of baseball…the fact that every player has his moments. I, quite frankly, enjoy when Glaus throws stuff and stomps when he strikes out. I like how at times your veteran 3rd baseman has to encourage the younger definitely less mature SS. I hate disagreeing with Steve especially when the Professor is on his side because it usually means I’ll be proven wrong but there you have it.
Hammy, I accept your Prado apology. I think NL wins tomorrow night because it’s just time. You can’t win them all etc.
Again, great show. I laughed out loud when Ham said “Stevie, I think Curt’s an “IF”.”