January 17, 2012

Show #171: The Braves Make Offseason Moves (kind of)

The Jack Wilson signing.  The Prado contract.  Sizing up the Nationals.  And discussing the Chipper interview in the AJC.

 

 

111 Responses to “Show #171: The Braves Make Offseason Moves (kind of)”

  1. 1
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Good to hear from you, gentlemen. Enjoyed listening.

  2. 2
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    You want Prado as the third baseman of the future? Really?

    You want a no-real-power guy in a corner infield position? Really?

    You want a Major League serviceable starting second baseman playing out of position at third to be your third baseman of the future?

    Really?

    I assume you are pairing him with Uggla, thinking you are getting thrid base production from your second base position so you don’t NEED third base production from the man at third. I think that is selling us short and wasting the benefit of the production you are getting at second.

    If you could get third base production from second and third, think how much better the team could be. It is usally MUCH more difficult to find the second baseman w/ power than it is to find the thrid baseman with power… We already have the tough one to find…

    It is like if you are hitting for the cycle: Which would you rather have to get for the last piece, a double (3b w/ power) or a triple (2b w/ power)?

  3. 3
    Nate Says:

    Great show, guys. I don’t really see what options we have at 3rd for the future other than Prado. The Braves sure as hell aren’t going to sign anyone of any significance. Do you need your 3B to bring a ton of power when you have guys like Mac and Uggla at 2B and C? To me the bigger concern is the offensive black hole you have in RF and at SS. Those are 2 very iffy positions. If Prado rebounds, which I think he will, then the Braves need to sign him to a multi year deal.

  4. 4
    Leah Says:

    #2 dislike! Trading Prado would be the stupidest move the Braves could make. I predict he has a fantastic season. However, I’m having a terrible time getting excited to watch. Sept is very much embedded in my memory.

    Nats have always beaten the heck out of us. At least now maybe they’ll give other teams in the division a hard time as well.

    Go Braves! And Hammy will never be forgiven for his lack of enthusiasm for Martin.

  5. 5
    Christopher In Lynchburg, Va Says:

    Just finished listening to the latest show! Great work as per usual! I am totally in agreement that Prado IS our next 3B.Also I think I agree with the sentiment that we have soo much talent on the mound that we can definitely afford to let a few bodies go. This off season would have been a perfect chance to unload a bit of it for a big bat ( read SS/LF ). I expect Heyward to bounce back and have an above average year at the plate and B Mac will be B Mac. Anything we get from Chipper will be gravy.

  6. 6
    Curt Says:

    MIM, I don’t think the Braves are being constructed to be a power team. Beyond the obvious lack of power on the roster, Frank Wren has come out time and time again about a shift in philosophy toward speed and athleticism, as he calls it, to take advantage of a pitcher’s friendly home field. I wouldn’t say these results have been stellar, as of yet, but that is clearly where the future of the team lies, according to the GM.

    Now if that is to be the focus going forward, Prado is a perfect guy to have in the lineup. He’s a contact guy. He has some power. He has some speed. And, as Nate points out, we have power in other places. I think the Braves are looking to build a team where 5 guys can hit 20 homers, as opposed to 3 guys who can hit 45.

  7. 7
    Curt Says:

    Welcome Christopher in Lynchburg. Thanks for listening. I used to spend a good bit of time up in your area. I spent a year at Hampden-Sydney and frequented RMWC on numerous occasions. Great town.

  8. 8
    Shaun Says:

    I am concerned if there is too much of an emphasis on speed and athleticism, if it means the Braves are going to punt power to some degree. Getting on base and slugging are what creates runs.

    That said, Prado is fine at third, second or even leftfield. Leftfield is not the ideal spot for Prado’s skill set but he’s fine there. When Chipper retires, I think he’ll be fine at third. I would actually prefer they move Uggla to third, at that point, and put Prado at second, assuming all these players are still on the roster when that time comes.

    I still think a team desperate for a secondbaseman who can also play thirdbase, leftfield, and firstbase may give the Braves fair value for Prado by the time Chipper retires.

    If Prado has a good season, it may be a good idea to try and trade him after next season. I don’t think his value would get much higher, if he has a good 2012 season, after age 28.

  9. 9
    David Says:

    I haven’t listened to the show yet, so forgive me if I’m addressing points that are repetitive or that y’all talk about in this week’s podcast.

    I agree with #5 that this offseason would have been a good time to move starting pitching. Just a thought — would you move Beachy in a deal if it meant getting a power LF bat in return? Even though you’d have to shift Prado back to a super-utility role?

    After seeing Andrelton Simmons ranked as a Top 10 shortstop, I wonder if the Braves are looking at Tyler Pastornicky as a trade-chip-in-the-making. If he comes up and shows that he can play well on a major league level, I think that they’ll look into moving him to make way for Simmons, whom I bet they envision as more of a long-term SS solution than Pastornicky. But what do I know.

    Glad that Moylan’s back with us, and I hope he’s able to contribute this year.

  10. 10
    Shaun Says:

    I don’t think Beachy is the guy to move. He’s displayed the ability to be one of the better pitchers in the league, maybe not a number one but a solid number two type.

    Next offseason is the time to make big trades. Chipper may very well retire, so his contract will be off the books. Bourn may be gone. And there may be more needs to fill and more money with which to fill those needs.

    I doubt they are thinking of whether they want to go with Pastornicky or Simmons, in the long term, at this point. They will make that decision when they are forced to, much like the Rangers with Andrus and Profar. Having two shortstops of that caliber isn’t an issue until Profar is ready or near ready and the Rangers are forced to make a decision. Why rush to that decision?

  11. 11
    Curt Says:

    Also check to see where the Braves are come the trade deadline this year. Obviously, I want them to be in the mix, but they have a lot of parts people might want for a playoff push, should they be out of it. And you might be able to get a good bit for Bourn, who seems less and less likely to get signed here as the days go on, should they be sellers.

  12. 12
    Steve Says:

    Another bad sign about the Nats. They’ve got 2 games (compared to our 1) in the first couple months of Sunday Night Baseball.

    http://www.espnmediazone3.com/us/2012/01/18/star-studded-schedule-for-espn%E2%80%99s-sunday-night-baseball/

  13. 13
    Shaun Says:

    I may be in the minority but I think the Braves should let Bourn walk, especially for what he is likely to ask.

    He’ll be 30 the first year of his new contract and he has a 88 OPS+ for his career, 97 OPS+ the last three seasons, which are likely to be among the best of his career.

    Not that Bourn will be a bad player, by any means, throughout his next contract. But I just don’t know if he’ll be anything special and worth the contract he and Boras will likely command.

  14. 14
    Walker Says:

    Dont worry Shaun, we wont be signing him. This is the Braves. We cant afford him.

  15. 15
    Nate Says:

    Bourn is a Boras client. End of story.

  16. 16
    Curt Says:

    Hence trying to move him. I think if the Braves are in any trouble this year, they dump some guys quickly. Bourn would be the obvious one, but Hudson, JJ. That would be the time.

    My only concern about losing Bourn is who do we have to play CF. And to the best of my knowledge the answer is no one. I don’t want Jose Constanza as my every day anything.

  17. 17
    Anne Says:

    Thanks for the new show – and happy new year to you, fellas.
    I’m headed to Sydney, Australia for two weeks, where I plan to learn all I can about cricket until pitchers & catchers report. Go Braves!

  18. 18
    Nate Says:

    Curt, I think the closest everyday CF in the organization is Matt Lipka, and I think this will be his first stint in CF starting this year (he was a SS). He had a good 1st year and then struggled offensively last year, so he’s probably a ways off.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the future with Pastornicky and Simmons. Maybe if Pasto does well they try to convert Simmons to CF, but that seems unlikely since scouts are saying Simmons already has the defensive tools to play SS in Atlanta today.

    In a perfect world we resign Bourn to a 3-4 year deal, imo.

    Wasn’t Simmons the guy they were talking about converting into a pitcher when they drafted him? If so, he’s done some work.

  19. 19
    Vinnie Says:

    Great show as always. I think this is the Braves formula for the foreseeable future. Atlanta is touted as having a great farm system and having really quality prospects. With it getting to the point where realistically only 4 or 5 teams can spend big time money, the Braves are going more the “Marlins/Rays” route in constructing teams. Have a big time player or two, try your best to choose young guys to come up and play and rely on only one…maybe two proven starters in the rotation. Chipper is the main stumbling block in all of this. While most teams have two, may be three marquee players, the Braves are stuck with one of theirs being Chipper Jones. When he’s healthy…he’s great. HOF. But one really has to discuss this team like Chipper’s NOT going to be a big factor. Now all you got is Uggla, Bourn , maybe Prado, maybe Heyward, hopefully Freeman. That’s not to WHOO HOO for me. While not doing much this off season and bringing up youngsters to play isn’t exciting…get used to it. because until Chipper leaves, we’re stuck with ¾ of a 3rd baseman for 2012.

  20. 20
    Anne Says:

    Another bright side to this show – I don’t think the name “Fredi” came up once!

  21. 21
    Steve Says:

    Vinny great to hear from you.

    Anne, have a great time in Sydney. How exciting.

  22. 22
    David Says:

    Great show as always guys, and thanks for getting us through the doldrums of winter with some Braves talk! Some of my thoughts on your topics:

    - Pastornicky: some rookies pan out and some don’t. Some excite us while they’re prospects (Heyward, Freeman, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Minor, Francoeur), and some come up and you’re kind of like “oh, hey. You’re on the team now. Um, good. I guess I’ll be rooting for you” (see guys like Gregor Blanco, James Parr, Brandon Beachy at the time, Clint Sammons). I would put Pastornicky in the latter camp.

    And for each one that comes up and succeeds — McCann, Hanson, JJ, Heyward, Prado — there are another two or three that don’t. Kyle Davies. Blaine Boyer. Wilson Betemit. Andy Marte. Charlie Morton. Gorkys Hernandez. Scott Thorman. Ryan Langerhans. Brayan Pena. Horacio Ramirez. Chuck James. Joey Devine. Anthony Lerew. Brandon Jones. Jordan Schafer.

    And, not to completely write off Pastornicky, but I’m not as excited about him as I am Andrelton Simmons. My opinion is that Pnick is a stopgap guy until Simmons is ready.

    - Chipper’s Comments: meh. I read them but didn’t put too much stock into these. As a professional athlete who’s been playing pro ball for about 20 years now, I think he’s earned the right to speak candidly and honestly about how his body is breaking down and the game is getting fast for him. He’s always spoken honestly, and that’s one of the things I like about him.

    And, by the way, whichever one of you (Curt or Ham) it was that said you’d take Derek Jeter over Chipper Jones a thousand times: for shame. Report to Turner Field to turn in your Braves Fan Club membership card and have your tomahawk ripped off of your sleeve. Plenty of room on the Yankees bandwagon.

    - Uniforms: speaking of tomahawks on the sleeve…I was hoping that you guys would mention the major offseason move! The new unis are sweet.

    - Batting coach’s approach: I remember Frank Wren making comments right after the collapse that, as an offense, they were going to take an approach more like the Phillies — taking pitches, making at-bats last longer, etc. I’d be surprised if, after saying that, he went out and hired a hitting coach that would do the complete opposite.

    - End of the season collapse: Chipper talking about guys not dogging it…in early September, do you guys remember Fredi saying something along the lines of, “we’ve still got a comfortable lead in the Wild Card, we’re going to be alright”? I’m sure he was trying to be optimistic, but I think that kind of thinking permeated the clubhouse. He basically communicated to his team, “we’ve got it, nothing to worry about,” so when they should have been worrying, they weren’t. That’s probably oversimplifying things, but hey, that’s what I think.

  23. 23
    David Says:

    And please forgive me for writing a post too long that nobody will read it!

    I have no idea who Paul Lebowitz is, but he offers a write-up of the Phillies entering 2012 here: http://paullebowitz.com/blog/?p=3755 Personally, I could read this all day.

  24. 24
    Ham Says:

    So, it was Curt who wanted Jeter, not me. As always, he’s a communist.

    Anne, I actively tried to forget that Fredi was our man, so thanks for reminding me.

    David, I forgot that Wren had mentioned changing the team’s approach, but my concern that came out of Chipper’s interview was that he hadn’t. Granted that is the only place I heard that. And as Curt said, having Adam Dunn be a big advocate is not the most reassuring sign.

    I cannot get excited about the season yet. I know that the possibility is there to remove the bad taste of last year, but I think it could just be a continuation of last year. I seriously think we would have to go 30-10 to start the season to start to feel good about the team again.

  25. 25
    Curt Says:

    David, thanks for the long post.

    Couple of things. I totally agree that Chipper has more than a right to speak his mind. I appreciate his candor. I just don’t like the answers he gives sometimes.

    And that was me that said I would take Jeter over Chipper. I’m never turning in any of my Braves cards and it makes me no less of a fan to appreciate Jeter as a winner and a champ.

  26. 26
    David Says:

    Ham & Curt – thanks for the replies. And yes, despite Jeter’s being a Yankee, he’s a very classy and professional ballplayer. I know that a Yankees are, but I don’t hate Jeter like I do other players solely because they play on the Yankees.

    Living in Columbia, SC, I’m pretty excited about the Braves caravan stop that’s coming to town — Teheran, Heyward, and Fredi. That’s two “woo hoos!” and one “eh…woo hoo! Teheran and Heyward!”

  27. 27
    Curt Says:

    David, I’ve tried very hard to hate him. He just doesn’t seem hateable. That said screw the Yanks.

    That’s great that those guys are going to all be in town. See if they will be on the show. Well, other than Heyward. We’ve had him on.

  28. 28
    Danny Says:

    Thanks for a great podcast, as always, guys.

    I think I would like to hear more from Heyward. I want so desperately to believe that he can be one of those players that you couldn’t hate if you wanted to. He has done a lot in the past year and a half to make me doubt him. Hopefully he and Prado start 2012 healthy and productive. That would surely make this a different team.

  29. 29
    David Says:

    I know that this is probably way too early, but given the projected players we have, what would be your lineup? I think the only definite spots right now are Bourn in leadoff and Pastornicky in the 8th spot.

    Given that he rebounds from last year, Uggla would be a 4/5 hitter; same with McCann. I’m assuming Chipper has the 3-hole, although I liked having him hitting 2 for a bit last year and I like him following Bourn instead of other players. It won’t happen at all, though.

    As for Prado, Freeman, and Heyward, I feel like they could rotate through the 2, 6 and 7 spots, especially depending on the opposing pitcher.

  30. 30
    john j Says:

    Thanks for all the good reading. I do have an issue with #19 post. Can’t go along with using the “stuck with” phrase when referring to Chipper. He has earned his place and salary with performance and loyalty. Few teams are “stuck with” a player like this though they wish they were. “Stuck with” goes better when used to refer to “stuck with” a $10 mil payment to Lowe this year. Can you imagine what the team could have done with that money this year?

    By the way, there are only a couple of Braves players that bring fans to the road games and Chipper is one of them. I’m not a big fan of Wren, but, I was totally on board when he chose to keep Chipper here.

  31. 31
    Walker Says:

    It’s truly amazing that Prince Fielder hasn’t signed yet. It’s almost February.

  32. 32
    David Says:

    Okay…at the risk of appearing to brag, I posted the following in the last podcast comments section. (Check the date.)

    93 David Says:
    January 10th, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    I’m going to go ahead and make my prediction for the NFC Champion as well as Super Bowl winner: the New York Giants.

    Why? Because they beat Atlanta. Let’s take a look at teams in recent years that have eliminated Atlanta from postseasons in NFL and MLB:

    2008-09 NFL: Arizona Cardinals (eventual NFC Champions)
    2010 MLB: San Francisco Giants (won World Series)
    2011 MLB: St. Louis Cardinals (won World Series)
    2010-11 NFL: Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl winners)

    To echo ABT’s recent tweet about the joys of being an Atlanta sports fan…when will the road to the championship stop going through Atlanta and END in Atlanta???

  33. 33
    Curt Says:

    The last 4 times the Falcons have made the playoffs, the team that beat them went to the Super Bowl. Prior to the Cards was when Vick lost in Philly to McNabb and the Eagles. Good stuff.

  34. 34
    Curt Says:

    So Fielder to the Tigers. That helps things

  35. 35
    Nate Says:

    I’m really happy to see him going to Detroit. Given our records against each last year, the Fielder to the Nats rumor scared me more than any of the moves the Marlins made this offseason. The Nats would have been adding 2 difference makers- Fielder, Strasburger- to a team that handled the Braves pretty well last season. Plus we don’t have to worry about him losing his mind and charging the mound anymore when he gets hit. Fielder needs to back his enormous body off the plate or learn how to take it like a man.

  36. 36
    Walker Says:

    The funny thing is that if Victor Martinez doesn’t tear ACL then Fielder goes to the Nationals. Wow And Whew

  37. 37
    Nate Says:

    *Strausburg

  38. 38
    Nate Says:

    *or Strasburg. I forgot how to spell his name since I don’t see it on Sportscenter every 5 minutes anymore.

  39. 39
    Kate Says:

    But you know how to spell Tim Tebow now.

  40. 40
    Leah Says:

    Bullet dodged.

  41. 41
    Steve Says:

    I know that DOB tweeted it earlier today but it bears repeating. With Pujols and Fielder gone and Howard injured, Freddie’s path to the AS game just got much easier.

    On the other hand, as a fan of the NL, the departure of Pujols and Fielder is a loss of a bunch of star power from our league.

  42. 42
    Walker Says:

    Forget Pujols and Fielder. We have Freddie and Heyward. They are the future stars of this league.Fingers crossed.

  43. 43
    Walker Says:

    From DOB

    “McGuirk disclosed that the Braves are locked into 25-year local TV contracts that will prevent the franchise from cashing in on Major League Baseball’s trend toward dramatically higher telecast rights fees.”

    Who in the world signs 25 year contracts. Only the Braves.

  44. 44
    Curt Says:

    Yes, that was the third Q&A I was disappointed with.

    It was Time Warner. They probably owned half of the entities at the time. But it certainly gives McGuirk something else to point to as to why the payroll won’t move. You notice he says payroll will go up slightly to $94 million, but that leaves $84 million to the team on the field. $10 million is stuck with Lowe. He sucks.

  45. 45
    David Says:

    I don’t know if any of y’all watched Saturday Night Live, but there was an episode in the late ’90s or early 2000′s when Steve Martin came back to host, and his whole monologue was him going around and singing a song about how all of the actors and faces on the cast were different from when he hosted in the ’70s…except for Tim Meadows, who had been on the show for a long time. And his part of the song goes, “why did I sign…a 30-year contract?? That’s such a long time!”

    I always thought that was pretty hilarious. Maybe not so much now that it’s the Braves who are in that position.

  46. 46
    Steve Says:

    I need Spring Training to start because this off-season just gets more and more depressing. Even the Nats signing Lidge was just another event that made the Braves’ inertia even more apparent. And, re #44 and 45, the 25 year TV contract + Liberty Media having no interest in selling any time soon took it to a whole other level.

    I need some feel good, “Martin Prado is in the best shape of his life” spring training stories.

  47. 47
    George Says:

    Must talk about this TV Contract/financial situation…I’ve heard everything from “not an advantage” to allowing my mind to run to Pre-Oakland A’s type of ball club. The Mets may not be the only ones having trouble competing in future years…especially the way the Nats are beginning to shape up.

  48. 48
    john j Says:

    I feel it in my bones that this is the year that everything goes right! Starting pitching starts out strong and stays strong. Bullpen is used properly and not wasted in lost causes. Chipper will stay relatively healthy. Heyward has the breakout year. No slumps for Uggla or Mac. Freeman reaches all star level. Bourn steals 60 bases and scores 120 runs. Look at the talent! What could go rong?

  49. 49
    BluesMan Says:

    Dr. Reality a.k.a. Curt will have the most sobering comments about what to fear out of the 2012 Braves. I meant that in a good way though. I’ve been really enjoying the podcasts guys! Can’t wait for Spring Training to start! Hope you all have had a good holiday & new year!

    FEAR THE CHOP SHOP!!

  50. 50
    David Says:

    #49 — That he will. And I agree with the “in a good way” part. It’s good to hear a realistic perspective as well.

    Curious — when will y’all be going back to weekly podcasts?? I need my weekly dose!

  51. 51
    David Says:

    I am sure that everyone here is just delighted to read Chipper’s comments that DOB published on Twitter today about being healthy and the possibility of playing beyond 2012.

    “#Braves 3B Chipper on possibly playing beyond ’12: ‘I sit here with 3 wks to go before spring training & I’m not ready to say this is it.’”

    On the one hand, I want to take these comments with a grain of salt and remember that with 3 weeks to go, maybe he’s just feeling upbeat and looking forward to spring training. On the other hand…man, I really don’t want a 41-year old playing 3B next season.

  52. 52
    Curt Says:

    Wow, thanks for the nice comments. That makes 2 in total for my entire time with the show.

    David, I’m with you. He needs to make it clear what his plan is. He’s kind of holding the team hostage at this point. They don’t want to live through a PR nightmare, and yet I’m sure they are also ready to move on. He costs way too much for what he can provide at this point. I would so much rather have Prado at third and the Chipper money freed up for an outfielder. Particularly with the crop coming up in 2013.

  53. 53
    BluesMan Says:

    Curt, Steve, Hammy;

    What do you think the chances are that we go after a big bat outfielder like Josh Hamilton at the end of this season w/ all the potential money that we’ll have to play w/? I hope w/ all hope that if Michael Bourn is gonna be a child & be led around by that snake known as Scott Boras then the fans will show him the door before the front office will.

  54. 54
    Nate Says:

    “He’s kind of holding the team hostage at this point.”

    Is Chipper worth 9 million in 2013 as a 41 year old who maybe plays 100 games. It’s a horrible business decision to give him that much money for what he brings, imo, and it’s a PR nightmare if he wants to come back and the Braves don’t offer him anything. He is absolutely holding the front office hostage.

    There is a lot of talk about Chipper having earned his right to make as much as he wants and be a Brave for as long as he wants, but if that’s your point of view, how can you realistically expect this team to win when one of it’s highest paid players puts up the offensive numbers he does and barely plays 100 games? 40 years old. A surgery on each knee in the last 2 years. Those things usually don’t add up to your highest paid position player.

    The last piece the AJC did on him made me wonder if he is even going to contribute in a significant way for the 2012 Braves. Now we’re talking about Chipper playing in 2013. This is nuts.

  55. 55
    David Says:

    “Is Chipper worth 9 million in 2013 as a 41 year old who maybe plays 100 games”

    Maybe plays 100 games? Barely plays 100 games?

    2011: 126 games
    2010: 95 games (missed the last 49 games of the year after tearing ACL in Houston)
    2009: 143 games
    2008: 128 games
    2007: 134 games

    Over the last 5 seasons, he’s averaged 125 games per season. Maybe you’re thinking of 2005-2006 as the “barely 100 games” Chipper, when he played 109 and 110 games those two seasons?

    I agree that he’s putting the front office in a difficult position since they could do much, much more with his position and the money they’re paying him. But at least get your facts straight.

  56. 56
    Nate Says:

    Just trying to offer a point of view, bud. Calm down. I was basing my opinion off of what I think he could do right now, and after reading the DOB piece I think we’ll be lucky to see him play in 100 games. I hope I’m wrong.

  57. 57
    Steve Says:

    #50 – We’ll do a show in February and then get back to weekly in March.

    #52 – That really made me laugh out loud, because it’s so true.

    #53 – BluesMan – good to hear from you. A big money outfielder seems like the logical choice for spending the extra money in the 2012 offseason. At the very least there will be one spot to fill (center as none of believe that Bourn is back) and maybe two if Chipper retires and Prado moves to 3rd.

    I agree that we’re paying Chipper too much money. There’s no doubt. But I’d still want it this way instead of the Glavine alternative. People complain when teams aren’t loyal and complain when they are loyal. I think this is the best way it could play out. Now, if Chipper plays decent ball for 130 games this season, that would be great, too.

  58. 58
    Walker Says:

    LOL @ Mitch Williams saying the Braves will finish 4th next year. We won 89 games last year with basically our whole lineup sucking with the exception of Freeman(who stuggled in the beginning), Chipper(who missed 30+ games) and McCann(who vanished in the 2nd half). Prado, Heyward, and Uggla will all improve barring injuries and we will have a shortstop who can actually make a little contact. And not to mention a real centerfielder and leadoff hitter for the whole season. Also, no McLouth or Lowe. YAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!! I’m not worried about the rotation and our Bullpen is the best in the game especially with Medlen for a full year! The Braves definitely arne’t finishing 4th.

    The Marlins added Jose Reyes, Beurhle and Bell. Those are good players but in what way are they scary? The Phillies are looking real old and the Nationals have unproven middle infielders and no SS. They are good but don’t scare me. Sorry.

    Just a little Bravo positivity and homerism for the day.

  59. 59
    Walker Says:

    I meant the Nationals have no CF.

  60. 60
    Curt Says:

    Walker, I like your optimism.

  61. 61
    Steve Says:

    #58 – I don’t think the Braves will finish 4th either. But, I believe the Marlins will be signficantly better this year. Don’t forget, they also get Josh Johnson back, too.

  62. 62
    Curt Says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/joe_lemire/02/01/offseason.power.rankings/index.html?xid=cnnbin

    Not that these mean anything, but this guy has Atlanta #10 in his power rankings. The 4th best NL team and right in front of teams like AZ, Washington (yep), Miami (yep) and SF. 4 NL teams ranked in the top-14.

  63. 63
    David Says:

    #56 – sorry. I just get a bit passionate over Braves stuff, and sometimes I get too heated. Didn’t mean to snap. But, I think that putting Chipper at around 100 games this year is underestimating his health and production. Yeah, he’s old and rickety and gets injured, but as he’s shown the last several years, he’s still very capable of playing 120-140 games. And if he’s got an option for 2013 that automatically vests if he plays 123, you better believe that he’s going to do everything he can to play in 123 games if his health allows him — even if it means an 8th-inning pinch hit here or there on those games that he doesn’t start.

    Interesting power rankings list. I think that he’s selling high on the Phillies, although they probably deserve to be that high until another NL team actually proves that they’re a better team. With their age, health risks, and missing Ryan Howard for a large portion of the season, I think that their chance at winning the East again is far weaker.

  64. 64
    Walker Says:

    @60

    Thanks but after writing that post I remembered who our manager was and got depressesd again.

  65. 65
    David Says:

    Now there are rumors that the Nationals are “aggressively shopping” John Lannan so that they can sign Edwin Jackson. That would be awesome, cause Lannan owns us.

    Career numbers: 8-5, 3.25 ERA in 15 starts. He’s got a high WHIP against us (1.522), but I hate it when he pitches against us.

  66. 66
    Nate Says:

    No problem David. You’re an insightful poster and I enjoy reading what you bring to the comments section. We will need Chip this year, and if he can equal his production last year I’ll be thrilled.

    I’m surprised by how many people like the Nats more than the Marlins. The Marlins have better pitching and an offense that should score a lot of runs.

    The Cards being picked above us is surprising. I guess Fredi returning for us is worse than losing La Russa and Pujols is for them.

    I think writers are getting hyped up by the offseason moves some teams made. The Braves have the best pitching in baseball, and if our lineup produces like they should we’re a top 5 team, IMO.

  67. 67
    Nate Says:

    I saw Livan isn’t on their 40 man and got really excited. If they don’t have Lanaan either then it’s over.

  68. 68
    Curt Says:

    I didn’t post the stuff I read about each teams concerns going into the season and how the Braves primary concern, in this particular writer’s opinion, was inactivity causing malaise.

    Or the one I read about FA targets and how next to the Braves was listed – None.

    Didn’t want to break up the love-fest.

  69. 69
    David Says:

    Thanks Nate. The feeling’s mutual — I enjoy reading your comments as well. Let the love-fest continue!…at least, until Curt’s next interruption of it.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with #67 – without Livan and Lannan, forget it. 5th place is theirs for sure!

    And maybe it’s just me, but Edwin Jackson signing with the Nationals isn’t all that much of an improvement. I don’t really mind his high HR and BB totals with average K totals.

  70. 70
    john j Says:

    LOL. It is extremely funny to listen to some of you complain about Chipper’s contract. It was the right contract at the right time. I often don’t care for Wren and his decisions but he was/is right on this one. The funny part is that some of the complainers are the same ones who adore Wren and don’t like mentioning that we wasted $15 mil on Lowe last year and are totally wasting $10 mil on him this year. All things being equal, the Braves would not have had the lead they once had last year if not for Chipper’s skills and leadership. He’s a winner! Let’s save the complaints for the players/managers on the team that provide very little.

  71. 71
    Curt Says:

    So I’m reading DOB today and he mentions that the Braves are not sending scouts on the road anymore. That all their scouting will be done by video. Am I the only one taken aback by that? Doesn’t that seem really cheap? Aren’t there things you see in person that you can’t see on video? I know the video age is way beyond its infancy, but you aren’t sending scouts on the road? Are we really becoming the Royals East?

  72. 72
    Bubdylan Says:

    Listened to the show while I did dishes. I didn’t think I could still get upset about the Braves.

    *shaking my head*

    Chipper Jones … last year, you’ll remember, for a while I was convinced that his departure from the Braves would be an unmitigated disaster, stretched out longer than imaginable, quotes that would be good ink but wouldn’t mean anything a month later … and then I softened on it. I thought I was being too hard. But boy, I dunno. I’m thankful for a lot of what he’s done, but I’m 100% back to thinking his last moments here are going to be a nightmare. So few Billy Wagners in the world. Most of these fellas – even Jamie Moyer, God bless ‘im – just cannot, cannot, cannot walk exit gracefully.

    Although, hell, if you’re gonna have Fredi Gonzalez lead your team, I guess you might as well limp Chipper out there as often as possible so the kiddies can see a HOF’er play ball. I don’t think it’ll effect our playoff picture, if you get my drift.

    Sunshine & buttercups to everyone!

    (Did somebody really comment on Atlanta making the gayest cities list? Cracked me up.)

  73. 73
    Bubdylan Says:

    *walk away … or exit … but not walk exit, duh. I heart ADHD.

  74. 74
    Steve Says:

    Got this from the Braves today. No idea what it means.

    MEDIA ADVISORY****MEDIA ADVISORY****MEDIA ADVISORY****

    Braves to Make a Special Announcement Monday, February 6

    WHO: The Atlanta Braves – John Schuerholz, Frank Wren, Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Dan Uggla

    WHAT: The Braves will make a special announcement

    WHERE: The Champions Room of the 755 Club

  75. 75
    Bubdylan Says:

    Announcement: Fredi Gonzalez will be replaced by a Magic 8 Ball.

    Should I swing at this pitch?

    *shake shake shake*

    TRY
    A
    BUNT

  76. 76
    Anne Says:

    Back from Sydney. Had two native Australians explain cricket to me over copious amounts of beer and tons of questions. Watched days of it broadcast from the Australia v. India test…nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just can’t grasp it. AND anyone who tells you baseball is boring needs to watch them some cricket. How did Peter Moylan ever find American baseball? Good on him for it. Go Braves!

  77. 77
    Steve Says:

    Anne – welcome back. Sounds like a great time.

  78. 78
    Steve Says:

    #75 – Awesome.

  79. 79
    Bubdylan Says:

    2010:
    “I’m not going to stick around and be a role player. I’m not going to play the game just to earn a check. I want to produce. I want to be good. That’s all there is to it.”

    2011:
    “I’m playing next year. I still feel like I can go out there and play a good third base and be a threat, at least, at the plate.”

    2012:
    “As long as I stay healthy and I’m having fun, I’m going to keep going.”

    So, we’ve gone from Gotta Be Good, to Gotta Be a Threat to be Good, to Gotta Be Healthy. And when his health goes? Gotta Be Breathing? Gotta Be Awake?

  80. 80
    Bubdylan Says:

    Meh, just ignore that. Grumpy afternoon.

    Toodles.

  81. 81
    Leah Says:

    #79 gotta have a face…

    Welcome the heck back Bubalicious.

    What could the big announcement be? So curious…

  82. 82
    Danny Says:

    I liked what I read today about our new hitting coach trio working with Heyward.

    Love #75! Hilarious!

    I think the announcement is that Hank is joining the team. Too bad he’ll probably bat after Chipper in the 4 spot all year!

  83. 83
    Walker Says:

    Go Patriots!

  84. 84
    Nate Says:

    #75, effing hilarious. Our success rate can only improve with Manager Magic 8 Ball. Who shakes it, though?

  85. 85
    Nate Says:

    #81, that’s a good point, Leah. I had hoped Jason would have taken that role over by now, and I’m pretty sure Chipper himself had hoped for the same.

    This team would certainly be a lot better if Freddie can improve on a strong rookie year, if Uggla can be more consistent, if Mac can stay healthy, if Prado can bounce back, if Bourn can find the production he had in Houston, and, lastly, if Jason can take over and be a force to be reckoned with and the most dangerous hitter in our lineup. That way anything from Chipper is just gravy. That’s a whole lot of ifs, though. It seems like every offseason there are a laundry list of ifs to this team reaching their full potential.

  86. 86
    Leah Says:

    Any more news on the big news today? So curious!

  87. 87
    Kate Says:

    I think it’s about the new uniform.

  88. 88
    Steve Says:

    It was indeed about the new uniform. Here’s the press release. Pretty interesting about the Friday/Saturday/Sunday uniform stuff:

    ATLANTA BRAVES UNVEIL A NEW ALTERNATE HOME UNIFORMRenewed Throwback Uniform Similar to 1966 The Atlanta Braves introduced a new alternative home uniform today that pays homage to the team’s past, reflecting the look of the 1966 team.The cream colored uniforms feature the traditional Braves script in red across the chest minus the tomahawk, red numbers on the front and back, navy piping, navy player letters and a new logo patch on the left sleeve. The logo patch has two criss-crossing tomahawks, the year “1876” – the franchise’s first season – and the words “Atlanta Braves.”Updates from the ’66 uniforms include player names across the back and a cool-base material. The ’66 uniforms were made of wool flannel.“We think these uniforms reflect the timeless tradition of Braves baseball,” said Braves President John Schuerholz. “In honoring our past we retain a classic look yet move forward with an updated design.”The alternates will be worn during Saturday and Sunday home games with the team’s traditional navy caps with red brims. The team will wear their red alternative jerseys for Friday night home games.

  89. 89
    Leah Says:

    Awesome. I wanted something exciting. Nothing against the new uniforms, they look great but just trying to get excited about this year.

  90. 90
    Walker Says:

    Wow its true. I guess the the path to winning a championship in pro sports is beating an Atlanta team.

  91. 91
    Leah Says:

    Mercy me…

    http://p.twimg.com/AlEY_s4CEAEIRa0.jpg#twimg

  92. 92
    Steve Says:

    Settle down there, Leah. This is a family show.

  93. 93
    Leah Says:

    Lol.

  94. 94
    Nate Says:

    Most boring offseason ever?

  95. 95
    Leah Says:

    Absolutely!

  96. 96
    Leah Says:

    Since it’s so incredibly boring…”Pretend Love” by The Avett Brothers makes me laugh out loud.

  97. 97
    Walker Says:

    It was a boring offseason but it seemed to go by quick. We’ll be able to see baseball in 3 weeks.

  98. 98
    Curt Says:

    Looks like new show this week or next. To add to your boredom.

  99. 99
    Leah Says:

    Get some random movie picks ready.

  100. 100
    Curt Says:

    anyone seen Win, Win? It has been sitting at my house for a month and I can’t seem time to watch it. Wondering if I should just send it back.

  101. 101
    Curt Says:

    Here’s some good news about the Braves. Oh wait, I’m kidding. It sucks.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/mark-bradley-blog/2012/02/09/espns-law-ranks-the-braves-farm-system-pretty-darn-low/?cxntfid=blogs_mark_bradley_blog

  102. 102
    Steve Says:

    Curt – did see Win, Win. Liked it very much. It’s a “small” movie, but it’s smart and good.

  103. 103
    Leah Says:

    That’s the spirit guys.

  104. 104
    Curt Says:

    OH GOD! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_hot_stove_daily_atlanta_braves_wren_020612

  105. 105
    David Says:

    #101 — Yeah, I know. I think it’s a bit strange, although I guess that the lack of a power-hitting OF is significant, especially when our current outfield is lacking in power (the oncoming Heyward season notwithstanding, of course).

    However, I’m taking Law’s evaluation with a bit of a grain of salt. I admittedly don’t have much to base that on, especially cause I don’t have ESPN Insider and can’t read the rest of the article. I did just see where the guys at Talking Chop pointed out that in his rankings last year, Law had Freeman as #43 and didn’t even rank Kimbrel, and those two guys wound up finishing 1st and 2nd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

  106. 106
    Leah Says:

    #105 Thanks for the silver lining, glimmer of hope, call it what you will.

  107. 107
    Curt Says:

    David, as do I. You also have to consider that Freeman, Minor, maybe Kimbrel and some others came off that list from last year and therefore it was bound to drop. I don’t have Insider either, never will. I’m just tired of this off season. None of the news is good. Or inspiring. And the franchise seems to be taking a pretty big national hit for it. I’m worried about some things that keep emerging from articles that have nothing to do with each other. Like the direction of this team is veering somewhere I’m not interested in following. And the most overlooked, but in my opinion worst news, was that Liberty Media has no plans to sell the team.

    One last thing from Keith Law:

    They have reaped as little from the draft the past two years as anyone, taking low-ceiling college guys with early picks, staying at or under MLB’s bonus recommendations and having less luck on the international market. It’s telling that the major question on every position-player prospect in their top 10 is whether he’ll hit.

    Bleech

  108. 108
    Walker Says:

    @ Curt
    See my post #58

    Don’t let off season inactivity make it seem like our future doesn’t look well. Who cares what national writers think. Everyone is always so attracted to big sexy acquisitions. The Braves are set. I’m glad we didn’t trade JJ and Prado just to do it. As far as our farm system goes, the Braves do need to invest more in offensive players. However, if we are ranked 16 with our pitching there must be 15 other teams with some darn good farm systems.

  109. 109
    Steve Says:

    Re 108: I agree that moves didn’t need to be made just for the sake of moves. But, as you’ll hear with the interview in tonight’s new show (with Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus) the drafting strategy spells trouble.

  110. 110
    Bubdylan Says:

    Hope you guys gave Kevin some hell about Freeman.

  111. 111
    Steve Says:

    Bub – it was in the back of my mind but it never came up. Maybe next time.

    New show will be up soon.

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