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”.”
“No, I never got nervous,” he said “It’s the game of baseball, not a game that relies on one person. It’s a team game, so I just go out there and have fun.”
Gotta love the kid. I meant to include in my rant…Fair on his not playing in the AS game. Partly because I want him ready but also because who knows if he’ll come out of the gate in rare form. I would hate for him to strike out swinging in front of all the people. Fair on Wags as well. I love his dedication to the team and the 2nd half.
I was visiting friends in Pittsburgh who try and pretend baseball doesn’t exist. They knew exactly who Jason Heyward was and asked a dozen questions about him. I felt like they were trying to make sure he was in fact a legend rather than a myth.
Anne – that’s pretty funny. I saw the “Steinbrenner to the hospital” story an hour ago and had the same exact thought – just hold on one more day so that the entire telecast doesn’t become about him tonight. And now Curt’s comment broke the news for me. Oh well. Fox is SCA-RAMBLING right now shuffling around their pre-game show I’d bet.
It will all drop to the background when Omar hits the game winner for the NL tonight.
Steve, I hope so. That would be so awesome. I don’t get the fuss over his selection. They told Manuel to pick a super utility guy for the team, and Omar’s the best in the league. Mara, the interview with the Masher last night was fantastic. The ESPN dudes were groveling in his presence afterwards. It says a lot about the kid that he’s not even participating, and they still gave him about a minute of airtime last night. It was the only part of the event for which I took my headphones off.
I guess ESPN doesn’t realize the Yankees already have their own network. Curt, agreed on 96. I hope some reporter out there grows a pair and does the story on how “The Boss” ruined modern baseball, which he did. A story could also be done on how a large number of the players on his teams used PEDs, and for that reason I count none of their championships. Glavine never juiced. Go Braves!
“Those sappy, pre-produced sobfests about a genuine jerk.”
It’s a puzzle how our culture, which lives to detest famous jerks and hold them in absolute contempt, can’t resist these “he was such a character” turnabouts when they die. I can’t help wondering what we’d say if Hitler was a 21st Century American. “He sure had a way with words?” “Underneath it all, he shared a mustache with Charlie Chaplin?”
If I outlive Terrell Owens and Barry Bonds, I know there are two weeks of my life when I absolutely will not watch television.
Curt, I did see that. You’d think if he liked him so much he’d know his name. Aside from the number 9 hitter, that lineup is dirty. Please win NL, please. Bub, don’t forget his comment about Escobar’s lollipop to Glaus the other night. I think he said that the wind blew it off course.
“Mara” – you have the job. I’ve been in my kitchen perfecting summer peach mousse since this game may never start, what with the umpteen photos of Steinbrenner and his family. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!
Uhhhh…Bob Sheppard intro of Jeter…creepy???!!! …and were they kidding that’s how he’ll be introduced at every at-home at bat from now on? …maybe they’re talking every at-bat tonight? I’d rather take Crazy Train over Dead Guy.
Guys and gals,
I hate to say this- -but doesn’t everything up til now sorta feel like stars are aligning and the sea is parting for our team? Something feels very goosebumpy and special about this whole deal to date.
The cherry on top thus far was McCann’s frozen rope to clinch the win tonight, and get a sweet bat made out of glass, ice or some other crystaline substance. Perhaps it is Doc Holliday kryptonite, which would be fine with me. I can’t stand that dadgum robot.
Woo hoo. The Braves win without the Braves having to play a game.
Dumb girl question: So, the managers of the NL and AL All-Star teams are the managers whose teams won the division pennants the previous year, yes? Let’s just say that the Braves – at the very least – win the NL. Does… Can… Bobby come out of retirement to manage the All-Star NL team next year?
I doubt Bobby would do that. One thing he has been great about is deflecting attention away from himself. I was kind of shocked that Manuel did not have him as a coach on the team last night, and maybe he asked him and Bobby declined. I don’t know how it would work. Either the new Atlanta coach or the team who lost in the NLCS? That is a good question.
Normally the managers of the All-Star Game are the managers who faced each other during the previous year’s World Series. The coaching staff for each team is selected by its manager.
This honor is given to the manager, not the team, so it is possible that the All-Star manager could no longer be with the team with which he won. This happened in 2003, when Dusty Baker managed the National League team despite having moved from the National League champion San Francisco Giants to the Chicago Cubs. This has also included situations where the person is no longer actively managing a team. For the first All-Star Game, intended as a one-time event, Connie Mack and John McGraw were regarded as baseball’s venerable managers, and were asked to lead the American and National League teams, respectively. McGraw came out of retirement for that purpose. Dick Williams resigned after managing the Oakland Athletics to the 1973 World Championship. In 1974, he became manager of the California Angels, whose uniform he wore for the game. In 1979, Bob Lemon managed the American League team after having been fired by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
There have been some exceptional cases where the usual rule was abandoned. After the 1964 season and the World Series, the managers, Johnny Keane of the St. Louis Cardinals and Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees, both left their teams and found new jobs in the other league—Keane was hired to manage the Yanks and Berra became a player-coach with the New York Mets. The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds had finished in a second-place tie in the NL; the Chicago White Sox had finished second in the AL. Cincinnati’s manager, Fred Hutchinson, had died in the off-season, so Gene Mauch of the Phillies and Al Lopez of the White Sox were chosen to be the managers for the 1965 All-Star Game.
Because of the season-ending 1994-95 MLBPA strike, for 1995 the leagues chose the managers of their mythical “league champions”, Buck Showalter of the New York Yankees and Felipe Alou of the Montreal Expos as managers for the All-Star Game.
In other news…a co-worker just called me from her lunch hour to tell me that the Braves have traded Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes for A-Rod. I LAUGHED IN HER EAR. No frakking way could that be true. A hilarious rumor, though.
I’m not sold on this deal. you potentially have no left side of your infield next season. i guess I am happy that we moved Jo Jo. Oh well. That answers that question. That’s a lot of talent to give up for a 33 year old who is having his best season. Ever. By far.
Getting a healthy J-Hey back could be just the trade the Bravos needed. It’s time to pound the Mutts and Sillies into submission. Did I mention I’m really excited about this team? It’s not a matter of hoping we can hold off the other two teams in our division. I will be absolutely shocked if the Braves don’t win the East.
Curt, I think Manuel asked Bobby to be a coach early, but Bobby said let one of the younger guys do it. Knowing Booby, I’m sure if the Braves make it to the series, then he would want the new manager to do the All-Star game next year. That said, the only team that scares me in the postseason (preventing the Braves from making the WS) are the Cardinals. If they make it, which I would be shocked if they didn’t. It would suck to have to face Carpenter and Wainwright in the playoffs. The Braves are traditionally not very good against those two pitchers. The Rockies would also be tough in a 5 game series. Long way to go before then, so GO BRAVES!
My guess is that ajc bloggers are throwing a celebratory party over the Esky trade. They will all make Gonzalez out to be a god based on the 17 hrs he has so far this year. Everyone will ignore that his career BA and OBP are much much lower than Escobar’s. I remember years ago when we traded for that SS from the Cubs, I think his name was for Hernandez, and that was supposed to seal the deal for a Championship. It didn’t. This trade reminds me a lot of that one in terms of the player we’re getting. Who knows, maybe it will work out for the best…
Wow. I’ve been off the grid this morning and just saw the Escobar news. I’m kind of in shock. I have no concerns about losing Jo Jo. That part is a blessing. But I’m surprised about Gonzalez. He kinda blows. Haven’t looked at the minor league guys yet. As much as I was done with Escobar, I’m a little sad about his departure.
“Gonzalez. He kinda blows.” Exactly Steve, exactly. It raises big question marks, as Curt pointed out, for next year’s left side of the infield with Gonzalez blowing, Chipper’s potential/hopeful retirement, Salcedo isn’t a stud yet, and the kid we got is a single A player… Escobar falls in the Klesko bin of players Bobby couldn’t deal with. What a shame. go braves…
Good riddance to PettigReyes. My only comfort is that when I disagree adamantly with Steve and/or Bub I’m proven wrong. And, you know, the 17 homers. Ok Big G…please prove me wrong! Poor Yunel. Get used to hearing Oh Canada.
This is a win now move. In the long term, it’s high risk, low reward. But since the Braves make so few of these kinds of moves since the Tex trade, I can get behind it.
I do not believe Yunel will become an elite SS, but he might. I also believe more will come out about just how damaging his attitude has been, stuff we haven’t seen because Bobby is careful. Watch for some Chipper quotes.
Also, this was Yuni’s last year being cheap. We get A-Gonz for 2 years (2011 option) cheap if he happens to perform this year.
Mara, those 17 homers will never repeat. Sorry. But still a solid trade IMO, especially short term.
It’s an old family thing. Ty Cobb is a piece of garbage, but my grandfather loved him. He even gave me a program that had been signed by Ty Cobb. So I guess it is more a pro-grandfather thing than a pro-Cobb thing.
All that aside, I hope this isn’t THE move we make.
That’s a cool Cobb story, Curt. I can appreciate that.
“I hope this isn’t THE move we make.”
Unfortunately, that sounds like a leftover comment from the Glaus acquisition. It seems like we are permanently small-time and farm-driven. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s no Fred McGriff.
And yet there seems to be no better year to bet the farm, excuse the pun. I don’t want to give up any of our big farmhands, but it seems like it is right there for the taking if we make the right move. which this one will be tried to be sold as. (English?)
If you want a championship, as a GM, you have to look at the Yankees staff and ask yourself if your offense can beat that… Right now, the Braves, I don’t know. The Phillies failed last year, and I don’t think our offense is better than the ’09 Phillies. Yes, we have a better staff and pen than they did. The Yankess will still score on it, though. Winning the NL is great. The Bobby Braves have already done that a lot. I’m not saying losing Escobar makes us a weaker offense this year. I’m saying more moves have to be made if we are going to use the “let’s get it done this year for Bobby” approach.
I don’t see how DOB (or anyone) could voice this as a clear win for the Braves if you’re talking in typical terms of winning a trade.
Of course I LOVE it, but even I wouldn’t call it one of his best just yet. Not with Ohman and ALLSTAR Infante coming back for… who was it, Ascanio, somesuch? And Jurrjens/Gorkys for Rentalria. (see what I did? Rental? Uh…)
But I could not be happier if I was skipping along the yellow brick freakin’ road with a… with a… *anecdote falls over and dies*
The AJC writers will make it sound like we traded in an ’04 Ford Ranger for an ’09 Benz. It’s their job to do that. The reality is we now have 3 infielders with a history of injury problems. I’ll care what Chipper thinks about Escobar when he becomes a 3-hole hitter again. DOB interviewing Chipper on Escobar, yeah that won’t be a biased interview…
Oh, I know, Bub. I get the feeling Chip and Yunel never got along. I don’t think Yunel understood why Chip was so coddled considering all the fielding errors Chipper makes and never really gets called out for it. Not to mention that Chipper, aside from maybe McOut, has been the Braves worst offensive player over the last year and a half. Yunel was the black sheep of the Braves because of his immaturity and attitude. Let’s all forget that Yunel didn’t have the same advantages in his upbringing that most Braves players had growing up. Maybe, just maybe, that accounts for his demeanor and immaturity. Now, hopefully, Yunel will get a manager and organization that know how to handle that. Since 2008, comparing Yunel and Chipper, Yunel’s been the better player, which is why I could care less what an underperforming Chipper at the end of his career thinks about Yunel.
“Let’s all forget that Yunel didn’t have the same advantages in his upbringing that most Braves players had growing up. Maybe, just maybe, that accounts for his demeanor and immaturity.”
That’s very valid when considering him as a person, but once he’s a problem in the clubhouse, from a baseball point of view, his reasons for becoming petulant don’t hold much value, in my opinion. (Though I’m not unsympathetic to those facts and it does take some of my “righteous indignation” down a notch, so I’m glad you reminded me.) But the only two baseball questions on that matter are “how bad is it?” and “what are the chances it will improve?”
I think Wren and Cox answered those questions for themselves and pulled the trigger accordingly. I do agree that Bobby’s somehwhat arbitrary doghouse is aggravating, though. And while I’m glad’s Yunel is gone, I hope Fredi G will have a broader approach.
I don’t love this trade. I really wish that we could have seen what Yunel brought us w/o Bobby at the helm. He is one year removed from being our MVP. I have a unsettling suspicion that we might be seeing Yunel subbing for Elvis at an upcoming All Star Game in the near future. I do not think that we will see A-Gon at an All Star Game any time soon. Hopefully the farmhands are legit. I also agree that there might be some Yunel antics that we have not heard about . . . yet.
I am glad that we were first out of the gate in the attempt to strengthen the club headed into the second half. Gotta give Frank some credit for that.
I don’t think you have to be obnoxious. That’s not what I said at all. I said the Braves have been a classy organization that has won one championship under BC. The overall attitude has been good, and they just got rid of their one blemish because of his attitude. If it was because of on field performance, then the move makes no sense when considering the performance of other players on the Braves over the past few years. Yunel was all good as long as he was performing. He was no longer performing, so they traded him. if you’re polite like McOut, then you can hit .179 and start on a regular basis when healthy. I don’t think Mcout’s defense is better than Yunel’s at all.
Over his 12 seasons, Gonzalez has a .248 average with 131 home runs and 571 RBIs.
Yuni joins a long list of guys who fall in the “doesn’t do it the Braves way and therefore must be gotten rif of” category. I just see it as more getting rid of a problem, rather than strengthening your team. I get the whole team chemistry argument. Not many organizations operate under a heavier chemistry formula than do the Braves. In any sport. Sometimes this is great, sometimes it is not. You need some energy guys. Some fiery guys. Yunel was obviously such a problem that he HAD to be traded. But don’t sell me that it is any more than a dump. Frank Wren is making a lot of comments about how dangerous Gonzalez is. Please stop.
And in no way am I comparing the two, but the Braves moved another guy who was a little too temperamental for them, and i think it cost them a lot. David Justice was that guy.
Curt, re your #125. I realize it’s contradictory. But I LOVED Yunel. I never actually buy player shirts, but if I consider buying your shirt then you’ve won me over. I considered a Yunel shirt a lot last year. And while his act drove me crazy this year (making it worse that he wasn’t mitigating any of his shenanigans with offense) it’s weird and a little sad that he’s gone.
Honestly Professor, your reaction surprises me a little. I’m not saying it’s bad or you’re not entitled to it but just not what I expected. I think it says a lot about how childish ole Urinal was at times as well as the character we have grown to appreciate in this organization. Glad you liked the link.
Did you hear the brothers are releasing a live album in the Fall?
Bub, I understand why you like the trade. You stated earlier that you wanted a defense first, cheap, and any offense is a plus shortstop, and that is what the Braves are going to have for the next couple of years. Again, Wren seems to be following your line of thinking. It could work.
I’m sure you’ve all seen it on the motherblog, but here’s DOB’s first full run at his take on it.
“The Braves traded a shortstop (Escobar) who’s failed to develop into the player they envisioned, a player who has continued to frustrate team officials and teammates with his often-cavalier attitude, his sometime-sullen demeanor, and his occasional mental lapses and failure to hustle at random times.
They traded A player who had the lowest slugging percentage (.284) in the National League, to go with a .238 average and a .334 OBP that would be fine if he hit for any power or drove in runs or did anything else offensively. This year, and the last month of last season, he has not done much of anything offensively.
Yunel’s defense is great, no question. But the shortstop they got, Alex Gonzalez, plays strong defense. (Not as strong as Yunel’s D, and not as good as Gonzalez played D when I covered him in his first seasons with the Marlins, but it’s still well above average D). And while Yunel has 12 extra-base hits (all doubles), 19 RBIs and a .618 OPS, Gonzalez has 43 extra-base hits (17 homers), 50 RBIs and a .793 OPS. And a better attitude.
This trade is about winning this season, and Gonzalez improves the offense significantly. With Heyward returning and Diaz looking in the past couple weeks like the old Diaz, the biggest remaining weakness in the lineup was shortstop. Instead of trading a top pitching prospect, a pitcher like Minor that the Braves believe could be a top-half-of-rotation for years to come, for an outfielder, the Braves traded a struggling shortstop with attitude problems for a shortstly having a career-best season, in hopes that he’ll add some right-handed power to their lineup.”
Mara, I’ll soften up later. You know how I am. Right now I’m relieved to the point of elation. To be honest, the internal battle needed for me to keep on liking Yunel was getting wearisome. He gets way under my skin sometimes. The part of me that likes his smooth moves on the diamond has really been struggling to stay alive.
Plus I tend to demonize players that leave on strained terms. I know that about myself, but it’s hard to buck it.
Sounds like DOB thinks this is the last move. I just don’t think there is enough offense on this team to win in the postseason. I believe the Cardinals are going to win the Central. They are a better team than Cincinnati. They have a better manager, and they have better hitting and starting pitching. I worry about the Braves in a seven game series where they will face Carpenter and Wainwright two times each. Plus Jaime Garcia is no slouch. The Braves struggle against Wainwright and Carpenter. If they get by them, they get the Yankees staff.
#169…hilarious. Cledus, you better not disappear forever ya hear? His life is cute Bub…I met her. Anyway, I’m ready, willing and able to eat my regret. I hope to all that is holy A. Gonz comes out of the gate swinging and for the fences. I’m ready to eat my words, remind the board that you’re always right, and refer to you from now until eternity as “Baseball Mastermind”. A friend who’s a huge Phillies fan told me he wanted to thank me personally for home field advantage. I told him it was obvious Ryan Howard wasn’t going to get it done. HAH!
There’s a quote from Buster Olney in Jeff Schultz’s new story that gets into the Escobar enigma. Olney has a good relationship with most players, and he gets a lot of insider info because players trust the way he uses it. If Bobby doesn’t think your giving max effort, then pack your bags. If you give max effort, then you can bat .179 and start in a key offensive position a lot more than you probably should. It’s a good philosophy, but it’s also a philosophy that will keep McLouth in the lineup unless Wren makes a move.
So, is the organization thinking Gonzalez is going to fill the SS role until Salcedo is ready? I’m guessing our future infield will include Infante and Prado at 2nd and 3rd. Who is our most viable future SS in the organization? This Postornicky (sp?) guy sounds like another Brandon Hicks. His future seems like it will be as a super utility player rather than a starter. Your thoughts…
Other than pre-minor’s advanced scouting, I don’t know why we’re sure Salcedo is the guy. He hasn’t done much in the states yet, has he?
I believe the SS position will become an offensive weakness like LF has been unless we get lucky somewhere. I figured that when this whole thing went down. I’m fine with it if we actually do replace the LF weakness and keep the rotation strong.
(After all, SS was a weak offensive position during out best half season in years – this one)
Listening to Wren, they are clearly picking up Gonzalez’s option for 2011 and then will worry about it then. It’s only like $2.5 mill. So if Chipper returns, you have your left side. Should Chipper retire, I wouldn’t be shocked if they gave the job to Brooks Conrad to see what he could do for a season – which is insane by the way. He’s a role player, not a starter. And then come 2012 they see where their SS talent has developed and find someone there to replace Gonzalez.
Unless Arthur Blank owns the team in which case A-Rod and Jeter are our left side in 2011.
Bub, not to state the obvious, but the Braves won one WS in 14 tries throwing out the likes of Jeff Blauser. They have to start cultivating some more offensive threats for this team, and power threats more imporatantly. Dominating pitching can’t be all you have. There has to be some balance. You can check stats for Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Avery, whomever, and they all have great post season ERAs. It was their offense that let them down time after time. Sterling Hitchcock shut them down one year.
Glavine – 14-16, 3.30 ERA
Maddux – 11-14, 3.27
Smoltz – 15-4, 2.67
Avery – 5-3, 2.90
Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather win with pitching than in some slugfest, but the Phillies are going to get a starter. The Yankees have a crazy rotation, and a lineup that can pound you. It will be tough to compete against teams like that if we rely on Jeff Blauser to get it done. History proves it.
Average of Diaz v. LHP and Hinske v RHP .790
Total OPS points: 6.318
I know this is of limited worth, but I though it was worth mentioning. As a starter-driven team, our offense shapes up a lot like 1995.
As for the times changing and all that,
in 1995 reg. season, Braves scored 4.48 runs per game and Cleveland scored 5.83 runs per game.
In 2010 reg. season, Braves score 4.61 runs per game and Yankees score 5.33 runs per game.
So, both #’s have shifted in our favor.
Obviously, being starter-driven isn’t the same thing as having Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux and the Yankees’ pitching is more dominant than 1995 Cleveland’s was, but I thought these numbers were worth a contrasting look.
Greetings from Turner Field where (news flash) it’s hot…but I have beer AND water.
Alan the Usher’s two cents on The Trade: Esco will never ever be a team player and will always showboat wherever he may land. “He’s not a ball player.” Alan saw Gonzalez in 2003 while he was a Marlin and liked what he watched developing. So sayeth my ballpark boyfriend.
Brewers just finishing BP. Go Braves!!
In the meantime, though, the Braves are scoring 4.6 runs per game. Do you think we’re a weak offensive squad? We’re in the half of the league and #2, barely behind Philly in the East. And we’ve faced a crapload of aces & high caliber guys.
I think Frank Wren may be a genius. I would have given Escobar until next All-Star Break (post Bobby) to come around. The Gonz gives us a shortstop for the post season (This Year!). I think that our utility players (I include Diaz and Melky in this description) can play musical chairs in left and center and get the job done. Especially if Diaz comes back fully.
Hi guys – Im in Atlanta on holiday. I was so jetlagged I fell asleep during the 5th inning of the All Star game… oops.
I like the Yunel trade I suppose. Agree that we might regret it…but we might not. He was given plenty of time and now seems doomed to the Andruw Jones school of brilliant head cases. Wren sent a strong message about team and about winning this year. He is fantastic. Bobby is blowing me away. This is going to be fun. Braves have a great, realistic chance at going all the way. Die Yankees, DIE.
Any chance we get Dunn? Put Glaus at 3rd, Dunn at 1st. Platoon Chipper at 3rd? Dunn and Glaus platoon 1st? Is that silly?
Going to the game with my Dad next week. Its a businessman’s special in the afternoon next Thursday. Anybody there let me know…
Curt/Steve – if you are around lets grab a brew and watch a night game next week…Ill call Curtis this weekend.
Lincecum’s a beast. Pitched a complete no hitter, singles in the 8th, slides (awkwardly) into second…dude really is a freak. Gained a game on Sillies and the Mutts. Come on J-Hey, get some hits tonight so you look like your old self again!
Will – welcome back to The States. Don’t know if Chipper would even consider being platooned…nice to dream, though. I am taking the day off next Thursday and I’ll be at that day game. Fathers & sons should ALWAYS go to ballgames together – that’s very sweet. Go Braves!
This is a great time for the Braves “make hay” as Chipper likes to put it. Our next 12 games are against the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, and Nats. The Padres are a nice story, but scoring is important in baseball. The Sillies have the Cubs, then 4 with the Cards, then 4 with Rockies, and then D’Backs. They also have no off days in between all of those. The mets will be out West dealing with the Giants, D’Backs, Dodgers, and then the Cards will be waiting for them at home. Think about the teams the mets beat at home to get back in the hunt, and then go look at their schedule for the next 4 weeks. They are done.
Cliff Lee going to the Rangers is so big for the Braves. The Rays and Twins will go after Oswalt, and the Sillies will get Ted Lilly. I’m not sold on the Yanks making the series. The Rays are playing very well again, the White Sox are on fire, and the Rangers have a lot of offense and a decent staff that now includes an ace. I wouldn’t want to play the Rangers or White Sox in a best of 5.
I too will be at the game on Thursday, actually with the kid. I am chaperoning the class trip to the game. I think my primary responsiblity is taking the boys to and from the bathroom. Should be fun. This is his first game.
Curt – will do. The email from my dad is we have decent seats behind the plate. Me, Dad, my son, and my brother Sam. Father- son- son – grandson outing. Im sure I can meet you at the bathroom. My son has been before, but the attention span thing is still not there. Maybe if Harry Potter or Percy Jackson pinch hits.
Will! Welcome to Atlanta. I catch up with Curt about getting together next week. I know that Scott is coming in for Thursday’s afternoon game. If work permits, I may be there too. I hope it’s oppressively hot.
Very profitable night last night for the Bravos. Let’s get some offense tonight and bury them.
We’re due to blow somebody out. I know Wolf’s a LHP, but he has reverse splits. And he’s (usually) awful any way you slice it. He’s 1-8 when the Brewers score less than 6 runs. Let’s knock him out in the fourth and wreak havoc on their bullpen.
When I think of Hanson and the Brewers, I remember his Jekyll/Hyde debut. Hopefully this’ll be in the middle.
I watched the inning when the Braves threatened on ESPN gamecast, and I was working on some other stuff, so I wasn’t paying total attention.
But every time somebody would come up to bat, I’d look at the on deck batter to think about whether the current batter had to be the one to drive them in. And even though they failed to execute, I was amazed at how many times I was looking at the next guy coming up, thinking he was just as dangerous.
Prado batting with Heyward on deck.
Heyward with Chipper.
Chipper with Glaus.
Glaus with McCann.
McCann with Diaz.
Diaz with Gonzalez.
Those guys can really, really hurt you.
Something I dug up re: Hanson to calm myself down:
Tommy’s funk = 5 bad starts (5 ER or more) in a span of 12 starts.
1990, John Smoltz (14-11, 3.85 ERA) had exactly 5 of them in his first 13 starts.
1988, Greg Maddux (18-8, 3.18 ERA) had 5 of them in 10 starts from July 20 to Sept. 8.
1989, Tom Glavine (14-8, 3.68 ERA) had 4 of them in 9 starts from June 2nd to July 17th.
Other calming news:
Hanson has given up 0, 1, or 2 runs 13 times this year.
The # of runs Hanson has given up during the 7 non-bad starts while in his current funk:
Bub, that’s a good point on Hanson. He is still very young and inexperienced. Chipper’s post game quote called attention to what we’ve been saying for a couple months on him. He said they were swinging like they knew what he was about to throw, or something along those lines. I hope it is a problem that can be fixed before too long. The teams that have hit him pretty well(Dodgers, Reds, White Sox, Brewers, Tigers) are all very good offensive teams, and that makes me believe Chipper’s quote even more. I think some of the hitters or coaches on those teams have seen something in video on Tommy, and they are using it to their advantage in the game. It’s not like they’re going through the order a couple of times and then get runs late. Those teams are hitting him early and often.
On a side note, does anyone else have issue with Chiper calling other players out on inconsistent performance? Reading that in his post gamers just really really bothered me. When I read it I was like yeah, but Chipper you popped to second with the bases loaded and one out. Did you have a hit? No you didn’t. The offense should talk critiquing the starting pitchers performances when they start hitting again. The offense has been carried by our pitching a lot lately. Bub, I’ll admit that our line up is definitely more dangerous than Braves line ups of Summers past, but every time we went through the Brewers line up and a guy like Hart, Braun, or Fielder came up I was thinking, “Man it would be nice if we had one of those.”
“Mara” – I saw both pitches live…and I have no idea. The radio guys on the way home offered “Venters has such good control, I’ve never seen him throw that wildly.” I heard Bob Gibson talking about plunking batters back in the day – fully admitting he participated in vendettae for the team and had no remorse. Kind of an “it’s what you do” kind of thing. He did say that guys don’t do it much purposefully these days.
Venters is young – he is the Wearer of the Backpack to the Bullpen – I wonder if it’s some kind of hazing?? It’s a little late in the season for the bullpen guys to egg him on, though.
Fielder is certainly a large target and hard to miss!