One thing about the Braves’ front office that may help them overcome the ownership situation is the way they are aggressive with local amateur talent.
Remember the stories of the Braves hiding out to scout Jason Heyward to undersell his talent, and telling him to take his walks so that other teams will not have a complete view of how great a hitter he was?
Going back to McCann, Francoeur and Davies, the Braves seem to be extremely aggressive with area high school talent. And it seems likely that local talent is more likely to sign for less money.
Shaun, good point, but that track record is pretty bleak. Other than McCann, all the local guys have bombed. Going back to even George Lombard. Obviously, the jury is still out on Heyward, but Macay McBride anyone?
Great show guys!!
I wonder why McGuirk was blowing all that smoke in his interview w/ DOB. Unless we have ownership that cares about this team as well as the city of Atlanta, I have a gloomy outlook for attendance & how the farm system will be looking if Liberty Media doesn’t change their tune. There are things to be optimistic about for the Braves this year; & frankly I think that the Phillies have more question marks than us.
I think that either McGuirk has really drunk all the corporate Kool Aid and believes what he says (stuff like we don’t really have a salary cap) or he does stuff like blame the fans for crummy attendance because he believes it’s the only lever he has to pull to affect any kind of change.
However, even if attendance were to jump, I kinda doubt that Liberty would up the payroll in a meaningful way. They seem quite happy to get the tax breaks and make the profit they are making as they bide time before selling the team. They’re really not motivated to do anything else.
Enjoyed the show. Kevin managed to lower my expectations considerably… I agree that until a person owns the Braves no real progress will be made. The team wil tread water and hope for the best. Y’all ever thought about getting Keith Law on? He trashed this years prospects too and usually has good insights even though I often disagree.
Great show guys. Depressing as hell with the projected bleak future of the organization, but it was a very informative show on the organization’s philosophy.
I never completely buy into what these guys say on prospects. It’s one man’s opinion. I remember this guy comparing Freeman to John Olerud a couple years ago. He didn’t seem too high on our young talent back then, but most of our team is made up of young talent right now, so he must have been a little wrong back in the last interview. Maybe he’s wrong on this stuff, too. Not every pitcher can be a projected ace. Not every hitter can have the Heyward hype. From listening to his opinion on Terdo’s age, I’m guessing he never thought Chase Utley would amount to much either.
Curt would be an offensive upgrade over the Gonz. Over under 60 errors for our infield this year? Thankfully we have Freddie, or it could be a lot worse. Think of how many throwing errors Freeman saved last year. There should be a staton that, or maybe there already is one.
I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect the Braves to finish in the top 3 of the division & be a Wild Card contender. IMO, We are the hardest division in the MLB now (on paper). I just cant see the Phillies winning the division again. There’s one factor I haven’t heard anyone talk about, & that’s AGE. Their sluggers (apart from that d-bag Hunter Pence) are past their prime, the most all around dangerous hitter is probably Victorino. I think (& hope) they could fall mightily this year. The Marlins scare me more than any other team.
Totally bad year coming for the Bravisto Boys. Minor league shortstop who will have many errors and will bat .220 at best. J Hey will have to figure out his head before he can figure out his game…not looking for much there. Pitching will be good but can’t score runs except for the other team. Chipper, bless his heart, will be hurt. Go Braves!
Great show, fellas! When it comes to evaluating talent, we all need to keep in mind…these guys don’t have a PHD in Baseball. They do it for a living, but it doesn’t mean they have the slightest idea on all players or clubs. Keith Law may be good at what he does (“may” being the correct word), but just because you can recite the alphabet, doesn’t mean you’re going to win a spelling bee. Some ‘insights” from scouts and others that are “experts”.
1. Should we draft Manning or Ryan Leaf?
2. Dustin Pedroia is too short and crummy to be a big leaguer
3. Matt Leinhart will be #1 pick and sure fire NFL QB
4. Who wouldn’t want NBA #1 pick Quame Brown?
5. Stan Kasten is a great person to run a professional team
These guys do what we do…guess. And SABR guys are even worse. When it serves their purpose, they use numbers to back up everything. When they don’t, they say “small sample size” or wait 5 years unitl the player’s productions goes down then they say “See! I told you so!”. The Braves will ALWAYS be in the top half of MLB clubs. This gives them the chance to makes the playoffs more often than not. So all the experts can stick it. I’m down with the Braves.
PS: If we had a 33K seat ballpark, we’d sell out every game. Atlanta is the ONLY major southern city with a MLB team. It’s the only city in College Football country with a club. Listen to talk radio around here. They’re STILL talking about college football. So what are you gonna do. The Braves rank #3 in MLB fan’s favorite teams, so they have a huge following….all across the country. So attendance is all relative.
Great show guys. Looking forward to the weekly podcasts coming back in March!
I disagree with the idea that until the Braves are owned not by a company but by an individual (or a group of individuals), they won’t be a team that gets far in the postseason. Ted Turner bought the team in 1976 — but the Braves were horrible through the next decade and a half (1982 Division Title being the exception). I think it’s wrong to assume that being owned by a person or people, rather than a corporation or a company, will salvage the Braves’ woes.
On the subject of Pastornicky — I would’ve liked if he had more time in the minors, but I think that this is a fine time to bring him up if only because we’re well-stocked at all of the other positions. It’d be one thing if we had Pastornicky at short AND a platoon of Ryan Langerhans and Matt Diaz in LF, or a post-concussion Johnny Estrada was our catcher, or Jordan Schafer in CF. As it stands, I think we’re okay.
David, all that about Turner is true. There are a hundred cases of singular owners who are terrible. There are plenty of them currently in MLB. The argument is not about success, it’s about change. The Liberty Media ownership is a disaster. I, personally, want an individual owner to have someone to be accountable. Liberty clearly doesn’t care about the Braves or their fans. To say otherwise seems to fly in the face of reality. I don’t want to hear about how they keep a $90 million payroll. They are scouting on the cheap. They are drafting on the cheap. They are running the team on the cheap. I want them out. There is no guarantee that new ownership would bring more success. Daniel Snyder spends tons of money and can’t do anything right. But he’s trying. Liberty is not.
Yeah, remember the last time we were sellers and pulled in that bounty? When we traded (essentially) Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Mark Teixeira, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones, for Casey Kotchman and Stephen Marek?
Amazingly, we turned down the Angels’ offer of a Tex for Kotchman straight up swap. How could we have been so blind?
I think the Braves have a good team…if they correct the problems (i.e. Heyward, Prado, and McCann)…but other than pitching, they don’t have great depth in position players. If Chipper, Heyward and or Freeman get seriously injured…we’re likely cooked, unlike years past, that is, without the money. After the interview w/ Goldstein, I’ve gotta lock all my weapons, knives and sharp objects away from me to avoid harry-carry…tell him to help us be more optimistic…tell Curt to listen to him less. On the flipside, at least it’s not like listening to the Braves radio station with their old pitching coach who is like poly-anna. Anyways y’all have a good week.
#38 — yeah, he’s got a bit of a gut on him. Hopefully that extra fat will make for some extra padding in preventing injuries? He’s tweaked his oblique and hamstring…but you’ve never heard of an athlete “tweaking fat,” have you?
Speaking of fat and out of shape…I also read on Bowman’s Blog that Fredi Gonzalez is placing a greater emphasis on conditioning with a focus on running drills. Isn’t that kind of like Paula Dean teaching a “Healthy Eating For Your Heart” class?
Curt, thanks. I’ll look out for it. I want to go down for a 5 day weekend, but I want to see The 4 Horseman of the Pitchpocalypse and Meds. The only thing I miss about living in Tampa is good, cheap seats for Rays games in St. Pete and ST at Disney World.
Chipper has looked out of shape for a while, imo. His figure can only help those knees and obliques, right. Maybe Brian Jordan was onto something when he called him out. Then again, I can’t remember Chipper ever being labeled a gym rat.
I was more concerned with the picture of Venters where it looks like he’s stoned and holding a pack of soft batch cookies.
“I know in my heart I tried my best [last season],” he said. “It didn’t happen the way I wanted it to be, but that’s the past. I’ve got a present and I’ve got a future. I’m looking for good things, good things for the team.”
Hmmmmm…which Brave speaks poetic words of inspiration such as these?
Stark writes about how Fredi and Roger won’t use (or will try their best) any of O’Ventbrel unless they have a lead of 3 runs or fewer. What I’m also curious about is the number of times that those guys were used when they were pitching to protect a close *deficit* — those games when we were either tied or down 1-2 runs in the late innings, and they had to come in to keep the game close in order to give the offense a chance to come back. I’d have to look it up, but it seems like that happened pretty often — and would’ve equally contributed to the year-end fatigue.
And while I’m excited about the pitching potential this team has, this team HAS to produce offensively. I know that that’s obvious, but the number of close games the Braves played last year was a big contributor to their pitching wearing down.
Hey guys – as I type this, I am just a few miles from the ST complex here in Orlando. Going to do my damnedest to get over there on Thursday and see what is what. Apparently I will need to look out for redheads driving 55 on the way there. (as always, you can’t trust a gingy)
Not sure if they will let me just walk around, since there are no games or anything. Maybe I’ll see if I can hook up with DOB. Any tips?
Hey guys – listened to the show last week…just getting around to posting.
Nice show, hes always a good guest.
Expectations are pretty moderate for 2012. Wild card and lose in the first round again in the base case. Everybody who was weak last year turns it around in the best case.
Pretty good summation of where we are. With all the challenges Atlanta has as a sports town, a lack of passion from the owners seems to trickle down into the organization and even the fans. I know I have a hard time giving much of a crap, but I am so far out of the loop that I am not sure I count.
The only contribution I have at the moment is that Darvish is a huge deal for the Japanese. They are going nuts about it…in a good way. Hes the punk who smokes and plays pachinko and got his girlfriend preggo and had a shotgun wedding. Who now divorced her to go play for the Rangers. They say his second son looks just like their male nanny. Nice. His contract was bought out for 40 million and I think hes getting 10 a year for 5 years. Hes the same one who my friend who runs MLB Asia was in the locker room doing prep for the post game of the World Classic and watched put vaseline on his cap before the 9th inning. Japan beat Korea with 1,2,3 strikeouts in the 9th. I think in his first day with the Rangers he came in with a pot leaf on his shirt or something classy like that with one of the Rangers being in drug treatment recently. A sensitive, caring type. His arm is apparently the real deal, but the Japanese are probably watching this to see how it blows up Jerry Springer style. Hes half Iranian too. So there’s that.
Anybody know what the status is on the proposal for a two wildcard scenario this year. I haven’t heard much about it since Selig said he wanted it to happen this year. I am guessing that it’s going to have to wait til next year.
“No big moves. Hanson’s concussion. Chipper’s weight. And now Minor’s comments. What a dismal stretch this is. #Braves”
Guys – let’s cut with the melodrama here. Do y’all remember the offseason when, at some point or another, we were definitely going to acquire Jake Peavy, then A.J. Burnett, then Rafael Furcal, and then Ken Griffey Jr.? (There may have been another guy in there that I’m forgetting.) When every rumor the Braves were involved in was fodder for a full-blown DOB blog, and each one of those rumors fizzled out? THAT was a dismal stretch, especially because we were coming off a season when our rotation was horrible and we were desperate for new blood.
Let’s put things in perspective a little bit.
No big moves — yeah, and it’s a little disheartening. But, when you reassess this team and figure that what it needs is a chance for the same guys on the team to perform and stay healthy, then they still stand a good chance. You guys said so yourselves after the end of the season in one of your podcasts. What major holes do we have entering into this season? The lack of a proven SS is a weakness IMO, but we have experience in every other position to make up for it. Let’s wait to see how much of an impact their lack of big moves has on this club.
Hanson’s concussion — it’s a Grade 1 concussion. All indications are that he’ll be fine. And it’s barely made registered any type of buzz anywhere outside of Braves blogs. Let’s wait to see how much of an impact this concussion has on Hanson’s performance.
Chipper’s weight — DOB is reporting, and Chipper is stating, that he’s as fit as he was at the end of last season. Chipper says he’s lighter than he’s reporting to camp lighter than he has in any other spring. Let’s wait to see how he hits and performs this season.
Minor’s comments — this is where I stop defending the club. This is at least the second time that Minor has made a comment that makes the organization look bad. I remember towards the end of the 2010 season when he basically said that he was tired and that was why he wasn’t pitching well, and it infuriated Bobby and the rest of the club. One of those rare “you just don’t say that to the media” moments from a Braves player. This is another. Obviously Minor is the frontrunner for the 5th rotation spot, and Wren basically says as much in DOB’s article. I’m with you that Minor made some stupid comments and he’s not representing the team very well. Still, though — I don’t think Minor’s comments are that big of a deal to anybody not on a Braves blog.
This is a dismal stretch for the Braves? PUH-LEASE. I love listening to the podcasts, and I love coming on here and reading and contributing to the comments — but come on. There are some minor things that are cause for concern, but not one of these things comes close to the state of “dismal,” let alone the sum of all of them.
Want dismal? Put on a Mets hat. Become an Astros fan. Try embracing Lance Berkman as the new 1B in St. Louis after Pujols left while hoping the rest of the team can live up to last year’s magic. Root for the Orioles. Hope for a .500 season from the Pirates.
As for Atlanta – sorry for being optimistic, but things are bright, both for this season and following seasons.
I think we will know the answers to a lot of these questions very soon. I don’t get the sense that another great season with an epic collapse is coming. We are either going to be as good as we were last year, or the whole thing is going to implode. And implode right off the bat. If the team comes out and tanks the first month, I don’t get the sense they rebound. Right now they are saying all the right things, but let’s see all this applied to the field.
And why am I supposed to be so jacked up about guys showing up 4-5 days early to spring training? Would you guys mind showing up to Orlanda in February to play golf for a month, sprinkled around some baseball practice? I’d be there in January.
“David, the Peavy/Burnett/Furcal disaster was all external. Internal strife is worse”
I think that’s fair. Both are bad, but when there’s bad stuff going on within the club, that’s worse. I would agree with that.
However — I don’t think that there’s any “internal strife” going on, with the only exception being Minor’s comments. I think that there is strife being projected by fans onto the team, but not among the team itself. When most of the players are showing up early to camp (and two of the ones that aren’t reporting early, Pastornicky and Wilson, are working together elsewhere), that shows that they’re motivated to put last year behind them. When Prado comes in and shakes hands and high-fives EVERYBODY in camp, that shows a tight group.
And not to shrug off Minor’s comments, but I think that when there’s a tight group and a good number of veterans who know how to talk to the media (Chipper, Hudson, McCann, Uggla), the club will take care of it when a young kid mouths off and says something he shouldn’t, or in a way that comes off not as “clean” as he might have intended.
I, honestly, think he has a valid point. Stupid to raise it publicly, but a valid point. He is an older guy, given he went to college, and he wants his pro career to get going in its entirety. The fact that he couldn’t beat out Beachy last year, and if he can’t beat out Teheran and Delgado this year, is a different matter. He doesn’t want to go back to AAA for another season because he has nothing to gain from it. If the Braves can’t find a place for him in the rotation, he knows there are teams he could pitch for and could get his contract clock ticking. He hasn’t earned the right to pop off, but I don’t think his thought process is out of bounds.
Curt — that’s an excellent point, and I think you’re right. Has he proven that he’s good enough to pitch in a major league rotation? Yes. He could’ve said it in a much more savvy way — something to the tune of, “You know, I worked really hard last year, and I think I made strides as a pitcher. I hope that I’ve earned a spot in the rotation, but I’m still not taking anything for granted.”
To some earlier comments. Managers at Liberty here in Douglas County Colorado have left me with the impression that the parent company only asks the Braves division to return a stated dollar amount to the parent company each year. Braves management can take a risk on payroll and hope that it brings in more attendence and revenue to meet the bottom line that is needed at the end of the year. However, they won’t take that risk as they would be betting their jobs. So, they are going to be conservative. Wouldn’t you do the same thing? Keep in mind that Braves fans are not that good at coming to the games.
Re#68: David your points are well taken and my tweet was meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek. So, maybe dismal is not the word. It’s more like “deflating” or “uninspiring.”. I mean, c’mon, there been nothing to get excited about this offseason, especially after the depths we were at after the collapse. I get that no moves may have been the best move, and that these are middle-class team problems I’m complaining about. But, to play these last few months off as business as usual or nothing to be somewhat unhappy about I think is a little too pollyanna (and I’m the freaking pollyanna of the group!).
And, speaking of being Pollyanna, Bub – I think that pointing to Minor’s comments as evidence that there will be Mets-like fracturing and drama in the clubhouse is a little crazy. Soooo many of these guys talk about how well everyone gets along in the clubhouse. And, if you don’t, you get shipped out (see Yunel). And while I’m no Fredi fan, I don’t think he’s so incompetent as to let that kind of stuff go on.
I’m sorry, but I am not completely exonerating Braun because he got cleared on a technicality. For him to say ” I told you I wasn’t guilty” because a chain of custody breach or something rings false to me. I would love for him to be vindicated, but I don’t think that the way things went down vindicates him. Is this the POV you were looking for, Leah? What do others think?
I also think all the other drama is really a case of nothing else going on. Chipper has been fat for 6-7 years and Curt is on point about Minor. The Hanson concussion is a non-issue. The fact that he can’t stay healthy or keep his fastball down is.
The Braves needed like 8 SP to get through last year. I don’t think you trade Minor unless you get a great offer or Sean Gilmartin is ready. The Braves drafted him and are paying him good money. Do your job and shut up. This kid sounds like another whiny millionaire athlete.
Here’s some inspiring words from Liberty Media about the Braves. I take it all back. They really do care about the team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go team!!!!!!!!!!!
In a conference call that Liberty executives held with investment analysts Thursday, the Braves were mentioned once. That was in the context of a discussion about taxes.
Liberty CEO Greg Maffei cited the Braves and a stake in satellite radio company Sirius XM as examples of situations where Liberty would owe capital-gains taxes if the assets were sold. But Maffei offered no signal of an impending sale, saying, “We will be able to decide when to choose, if ever, to [trigger the capital-gains taxes].”
1. Mike Minor attitude escalation. Chipper speaking to it in the press.
2. Jason Heyward being stubborn about adjustments, Chipper comments, etc
3. Chipper playing poorly, getting hurt, saying terribly illogical things about his ability to contribute.
4. General discontent towards Fredi by the team finally coming out (yes, I’m projecting, let me do it.)
5. The horror of all horrors: 2 or our 3 bullpen workhorses comes up with dead arm in April and somebody (the player himself perhaps, or perhaps, Chip … per … Jonessszzzz.) says something out loud about all the unnecessary innings from last year.
6. Gas prices hit $5 a gallon because … Chipperfredi Jonesalez… are … the … downfall of America.
80 — Sorry Steve, I didn’t recognize the tongue-in-cheek tone in the tweet. Maybe you can write those in the “sarcastic” font? Also — are you the only one who tweets, or is it all three of y’all? I sorta figured that the three of you share access to the ABT twitter account, and I wasn’t sure who said it.
And nothing to be excited about this offseason? Uh, did you not see the new uniforms? The concessions discounts for season ticket holders? The new tiered ticketing pricing? The Jack Wilson signing?
Seriously though, I’m with ya. This offseason has been a dud for us fans. The only thing that’s comforting about it is that it’s over, and as someone once said, a good GM aims to be celebrating in October, not December or January.
83 — I definitely agree. Braun’s reversal seems to be a lack of the process working as it’s intended and designed to. Doesn’t count, and it’s wrong for him to claim honor and honesty in these circumstances.
Ok, people, doing my part to help the team make more money and increase payroll with this announcement from the Braves:
Please help us reminder your listeners, viewers, readers, and followers that they can register by midnight tonight at braves.com/presale to take part in the MARCH 1-2 PRESALE for Single Game Tickets.
Single Game Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 5 and start at only $6. Single game tickets will be available at Braves.com/tickets, the Braves Ticket Office at Turner Field, the Braves Clubhouse Store at the CNN Center, all PUBLIX Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
Does anyone remember how/why MLB approved Liberty Media ownership of the Braves? Generally, MLB has some guidelines about how an owner will contribute to improving the game. Who got paid off?
There are still a lot of Braves fans throughout the country. A national boycott of all Liberty Media companies/investments until they sell the Braves would go a long ways to encourage a sale. Start by dropping Starz.
My caption: “So I was like, bunt! And he was like, that’s giving away an out. But I was like, yeah, but, bunt! Am I right or am I right? (O’Brien and Bowman burst into uncomfortable laughter) Or am I right? Or am I right?” Photographer: SNAP.
Wasn’t it Chipper who said in his interview that it is important to have guys getting on so one of their big guys could hit a 3-run homer? Am I mistaken? Might help to have the coach and the captain with their heads screwed on in the same direction.
Braves 77 & 44 yields 63%, easily the worst. And we’re going to try it more? We managed to steal the fewest bases in the league while getting caught the most times. That ain’t easy. And if that’s not Fredi’s call, whose is it?
Since the Braves had the lowest OBP in the division, this means that on top of throwing away more baserunners than anybody else, WHILE netting the fewest steals, they ALSO had fewer baserunners to begin with, meaning that they squashed a much larger percentage of their potential runs with bad attempts than anyone else.
They need to steal and hit-and-run less, not more. It’s a bad gamble in general anyway, but especially when you do it this poorly. But instead, they figure they’ll do it more.
Like one AJC commenter on the issue said, “My house is on fire. I keep throwing this watery substance on it (gasoline), but it only gets worse!”
Considering the payroll limitations and the ownership, the Braves have a very good and competitive team. No housecleaning is needed or wanted by most of us. With a break or two (starters healing quickly) and/or a comeback or two (Heyward, Prado), the Braves are in this. I’ll endorse a housecleaning of ownership and for Fredi if he doesn’t wise up.
My concern has stayed the same; the housecleaning will be out of necessity as the current ownership will NOT cough up the money/risk to keep all the young talent on this team. Which means they better win this year as they will be losing some of this talent soon.
Stealing will improve this year if anyone gives a rat’s ###.
89 win team last year, dropping 20 of last 30. I get that the Nats and Fish should be much improved and the Phillies pitching makes them more than dangerous, but I’m only getting more and more optimistic as the season approaches.
Our young pitching staff was one of the best in baseball last year. This year they get younger and better with the subtraction of Lowe, Linebrink, and Sherrill. Not having Derek Lowe start 30 games for you is a huge plus. We’ll be fine.
No one other than Bourn or Pastornicky should be running. As a team, the Braves are the slowest in baseball.
Heyward should be able to steal some bases, but he always gets hurt sliding.
Prado and Heyward should be able to steal bases. I just don’t think the Braves players are making a smooth transition to this type of baseball. It’s like going from a 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense to a west coast offense. Change won’t happen overnight.
I think everyone is over rating the Phils. Rollins is old. Shane V is a year older. Utley, as great as he is, has joint issues that are only going to get worse as time goes along. Howard…who know when he’ll return. They’ve already dumped one of the four GODS of pitching, Oswalt. They hate their “Jason Heyward”, Domonic Brown. Their relievers are gone. I think the Braves have a REAL shot. A good shot. The Phils might just finish third.
The silence is deafening, so I’m either being a loud-mouthed bore or my angle is just too sour for the group. I’ll withdraw my cynicism, then. Mainly because I remember how infuriating it was to me when I would feel optimistic to have some ass going all doom and gloom.
I wish, though, I could go back and respond differently to pessimistic commenters now that the shoe is on the other foot. I always thought they were just joyless curmudgeons whose personal issues controlled their fandom. Now I think a pessimistic fandom is no more likely to be steered by personal issues than an optimistic one. Balanced or unbalanced minds can probably be optimistic or pessimistic.
At least I can say for sure unbalanced minds can be either. If Stevie ever becomes pessimistic (and will stick with it for more than a minute!) we can conclude the same for balanced folks.
Curt only proves that pessimistic people can be pessimistic.
Am I spelling that right? It looks wrong. Pessimistic. Pessimistic. I dunno…
On March 1 of every year, every fan is an optimist (well, almost every fan) and every team has the hopes of a better season. It’s the wonderful part of baseball! 6 weeks from now, we can rip on Fredi and the laggards.
A couple of things on my mind today as Spring Training gets underway…
– It’s no secret that last year’s offense was awful, especially in September. Reasons it could be better this year: a healthy Prado and a healthy Heyward. But, perhaps even more than that, would be if McCann and Uggla — two guys in the middle of the lineup — can both be consistent at the same time. Last year, Uggla had a terrible first half while McCann was having an excellent, MVP-calibre first half. Then they were both good for a period of about 3 weeks in the middle of the season. Then McCann had a terrible second half while Uggla was having an excellent, MVP-calibre second half.
– Expanded playoffs: I’ll hold my opinion until I see if it helps the Braves win the World Series. If it helps, it’s the best rule ever made. If it hinders the Braves from winning, it’s the worst.
Seriously though, I wish that MLB had restructured the playoffs in a way that made sense. Two leagues, top 4 (or 5, if they want 10 playoff teams) teams from each league making the playoffs. Get rid of the uneven divisions and make sure that only the best teams make the playoffs.
This one-game Wild Card thing seems to place too much importance on a single game, especially when all of the other postseason series are 5-7 games. They’re effectively creating a Game 163 every single year — and I’m not sure that that’s the best way to go about it. Theoretically, there could be a huge gap between the two teams in their win totals. What if one team has 90+ wins and the other is in the mid-80s? I know that the 90+ win team *should* win, but anything can happen in one game. The playoffs are enough of a crapshoot to begin with — and wasn’t the Wild Card created to ensure that the top teams made the playoffs anyway?
Enough ranting and complaining, especially when baseball starts today. Go Braves!
The one-game Wild Card playoff is stupid beyond words. The best thing about the Wild Card to begin with was keeping a team that might be the second best in the whole league, but just slightly less great than the leader of its own division, get into the playoffs, as they should.
But now that team which, again, might be the second best in the whole league, has to burn its ace pitcher in a one-game playoff. And you can’t settle crap about two baseball teams in a single game anyway. 162 games separates the two of ya by a couple percentage points, but here, go play one damn game to see who can advance. Yay.
As dumb as the Allstar-game-for-home-field rule is, it’s the Magna freaking Carta compared to this bulldook.
I dunno. The three extreme Spring Training performances that come to mind from recent memory are Uggla’s bad spring, McLouth’s bad spring, and Heyward’s good spring. They went on to have bad, bad, and good opening months of those seasons, respectively, matching their spring outputs pretty faithfully.
But that could be selective memory. In fact, I’m not even sure I’m right about those ones.
There’s how many spring training games? 29 or 30? I’m not saying that these haven’t been two REALLY dismal performances, but they could be a distant memory very shortly with some, you know, not demoralizing performances.