Matt, thanks for your work on the blog. Many a quiet midnight I read your stuff & always enjoyed it.
I think the Vizcaino loss is fairly huge. I expect one of the Big Three will go down in the bullpen. But it’s a good year to get him fixed cuz we ain’t goin’ anywhere anyway.
Don’t worry about Chipper getting on a streak at the end and coming back next year. He’ll probably have the urge, but his option won’t vest, and he’ll know Wren is going to be glad to be out of it. So even if he’s tempted, he won’t.
I can’t think of any big Chipper memories, either. My enduring (positive) memory of him is watching him outsmart pitchers, waiting for his pitch, knowing when it’s coming, and then confirming that later in interviews about particular at-bats.
I believe Chipper’s retirement will be better for ATL at end of this year (b/c of finances), but I must disagree with y’all that he was a detriment to ATL last year. His numbers, ave~.275, OBP, and even his general defense still made him among one of the better third basemen in Nat’l league, albeit his skills are rapidly eroding. He Might be a detriment this year, but I don’t feel his was last year, IMO.
FanGraphs had Chipper at 9th in Wins Above Replacement among NL thirdbasemen.
Granted, the two most talented thirdbasemen (Wright and Zimmerman) had down years. Sure Chipper’s not the player he once was, of course, and he’s no star but he’s still noticeably more valuable than a fringe-level thirdbaseman.
good show guys. ill really miss chipper. i remember alot of things about him, but they are more personal chipper moments. the night he hit 3 homers in Washington, the year he won the batting title was amazing, and last year when he reached 500 doubles ( iwas there for that one). also, he has been overlooked alot in his career for various awards. he did alot of things for the team that hurt him personally. moving to LF for vinny, renegotiating his contract, ect.
one of these days, youll have to learn how to pronounce tehran, because hopefully he will be an ace for us. its not te-HAY-ron. try Tay-RON.
one other thing, as far as teams with a bunch of hall of famers and few championships, how about the late 80s, early 90s cubs? they had dawson, sandberg, maddux and mark grace, who is not in the HOF but known as the best 1st baseman in cubs history. zero championships.
how about the early to mid 90s Mariners? Griffey, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Alex rodreguez, ect. no championships.
how about the 90s clevenad indians? eddie murray, sandy alomar, jim thome, manny ramierez, omar vizquel….no championships.
chipper, maddux, smoltz, and glavine played together for 8 seasons, basically. they only won 1 championship, but the above teams didnt win any! they may have not all been together 8 years, but they had plenty of chances.
these are just three teams in recent memory, off the top of my head. my point is, there are plenty of good teams that dont win multiple championships. it has happend before.
We paid more money for Derek Lowe during EACH of his years in Atlanta than Boston paid him for all 8 years of service for them. He gave Boston 18 WAR. He gave us 1.3 WAR. Heck, even the Dodgers got 12 WAR out of him for 36 million total.
btw, he has a 3.00 ERA for the Indians through 15 innings pitched this Spring. fml.
That Yankee bias is extremely strong. If Jeter retired there would be non stop coverage. It crazy when in fact Chipper is a way better player than Jeter in the course of their careers. Imagine if Chipper played for the Yankees. Chipper is a surefire hall of famer. It’s not even a question to ask. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves. They talk NFL non stop. Baseball doesn’t exist on ESPN except for baseball tonight. Thank god for MLB Network.
One month out of seven is not a good way to measure whether a team underachieved, especially if that one month is a series of 5- and 7-game series in which if you lose a series, you don’t advance to the next one.
Of course I understand why there needs to be playoffs and a World Series. Baseball would certainly be very boring if, at the end of 162, the AP took a poll to decide the world champ. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to say the playoffs don’t matter at all when sizing up a team.
But it’s still a small sample relative to the regular season.
As a fan, of course I wanted and want more championships from the Braves. But purely from an objective perspective, if we are analyzing whether the Braves underachieved, we need to look at the big picture.
The truth is, a playoff system that truly crowned the best team in baseball would take the winningest NL team and put them against the winningest AL in about a 21-game series. Probably wouldn’t be good for the sport in any other way, but it would give you a champ that, way more times than not, was the best team in the sport that year.
It has always been a joke to decide a champion of a sport where the best teams lose regularly to the worst teams (no other sport can claim this) in a handful of games.
#14 – Baseball-Reference ranks Chipper as the 26th best all-time hitter, right after Cal Ripken and right before Carl Yastrzemski and Ken Griffey, Jr.
#16 – “It has always been a joke to decide a champion of a sport where the best teams lose regularly to the worst teams (no other sport can claim this) in a handful of games.” — I don’t quite understand this statement…when do the best teams lose to, let alone *play*, the worst teams in the playoffs?
#19 – What I mean is: in a sport where the Pirates can beat the Yankees in a three game series (in the regular season) and nobody will be terribly shocked, you’ll certainly never decide who is the best versus who is only the second best team in the sport in a 5 or 7 game series (in the post season).
#20 – Okay, I see what you mean. Thanks for clarifying.
On that point, you’re right — the current playoff system doesn’t determine who the best team in baseball is. But then, I think you have to redefine what constitutes the “best” team. Is it the team with the most wins during the regular season? Or the team that, when elimination is on the line, they succeed? Or the team that beats another team who has several injured players at that time?
Like Bobby Cox used to say, the playoffs are a crapshoot. That’s basically why I don’t like the one-game wild card playoff that MLB is implementing.
David, I don’t like it, either. It would be logical to penalize the Wild Card team in this way IF the Wild Card always went to the fourth best team in the league. But it does not. It often goes to the third or even second best team in the league. That was the whole reason the Wild Card was installed to begin with, I thought. Or if it wasn’t the reason, it should have been.
The more we dilute the playoffs, the less chance we’ll ever see great teams regularly take the crown. This is bad news for baseball purity, but actually pretty good news for Atlanta. The Braves getting a Cardinals 2011 Style championship is their best bet now, and any decent team can do that by slipping in as the last pathetic Wild Card team.
At the same time, it will benefit middling teams by often knocking off the AL East 2nd place team in an absurd one-game playoff versus some AL clunker, and any NL with WS aspirations should be happy about that.
So the good news is, the Braves benefit. The bad news is, they really shouldn’t. The sport is becoming stupider for it.
Well you missed the Rays on your never won list. I missed the Mariners on mine.
And yes seriously in my head. I can’t remember some family members birthdays but I can name WS winners. I don’t know if I should be proud or sad.
#24 – you and I are in agreement on the playoffs. Here’s what I think they ought to do, and they could do this as soon as next season when the Astros make the switch to the AL:
- Form 2 15-team leagues; do away with divisions.
- The top 4 or 5 teams from each league receive playoff berths.
- Playoff system:
A) with 4 teams: 3 rounds of playoffs — 2 in each league, World Series
B) with 5 teams: seeds 4 and 5 play a 3-game series to determine the “number 4″ seed, and then you’ve got 3 rounds of playoffs from there.
So — essentially, you’re getting rid of the “division winner is guaranteed a playoff spot” and only taking the top 4-5 teams in each league.
The fact that a team could have a rather mediocre record and still win their division while two other wild card teams — with better records than said division winner — duke it out means that it’s a poorly-designed playoff system.
For example: in 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series with a season record of 83-78. Because they played in a weak division, they were automatically guaranteed a playoff spot — while a team with a better record (the Phillies, at 85-77) were denied a spot. Now, while I don’t exactly mind that the Phillies didn’t get in, it’s not a good system. In fact, it’s idiotic and asinine.
By the way, the Mets were the only NL team with over 90 wins in 2006. That’s astounding.
#27-canthearyoupeach, welcome to the board. Great screen name, btw. I think Chipper is still a HOF’er even if he wasn’t a switch hitter. The longevity + the career avg/obp/slg + homers would get him in. Also. Yes on Stitcher. I plan to get that done by Opening Day.
As is a $2 billion price for the Dodgers. On what planet are the Dodgers, or any sports team for that matter, worth $2 billion. And if that is where the going rate of baseball teams is headed, who will ever be able to buy the Braves from Liberty? They’ll end up being run by a hedge fund.
I have a bad feeling that all of these young starting pitchers are about to ruin our bullpen. We almost need the ‘pen to finish every game after the 6th inning, and in some games they will be called on in the 6th or earlier.. I don’t feel good about Hanson, JJ, Beachy, Minor, or Delgado getting past the 6th inning on a consistent basis.
Announcers in today’s game were talking about how, being in the Braves clubhouse earlier, the players were talking about how much they were ready get Spring over with and get going with the season.
Here’s Albert Pujols’s response to that same question:
“Maybe if you’d asked me that seven years ago I would have said, ’Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s go.’ But you learn in this game not to worry about tomorrow. When the time comes, then you think about it. Every day, your focus needs to be on trying to learn something, to get better.”
I think people are overrating the Marlins. Im more scared of the Nationals. I guess they don’t like our rotation for some reason but at least we have 5 solid guys that give us a chance to win. Add to that a full season of Bourn and improvements by Uggla, Prado, and Heyward. 4th place just doesn’t seem right.
If we can keep Chipper on the bench, though, these guys bunched up together could be dangerous:
Then whatever Heyward, and whatever pathetic SS they drag out there, and our LF can do, we’ll just have to suffer through the bottom half of the order. I’ve always favored a powerhouse top of the order with a weak bottom over an even spread of only solid hitters, though I know you fellas disagree. I’ve seen convincing studies that show scoring in bunches is more effective and “black holes” in the line up don’t hurt too bad if there’s a killer section at the other end.
But anyway, the Braves could have an exciting offense. But their starting pitching and their defense are liable to land us in 3rd or 4th place; I can easily see that. Especially when the offense slumps, as they all do, even the great ones.
Call me a believer on the Marlins. They’re dangerous.
I initially hoped that the ascencio trade would add some payroll flexibility to acquire an OF (like Byrd), but I doubt the money received for a 1-inning minor league reliever will make much of a difference.
Looks like Heyward has got it coming together. Good to see that happening!
As much as I think Medlen’s arm is needed in the bullpen (especially with Gearrin heading there), I think that they should go with Medlen in the 5th spot and move Delgado to the ‘pen.
In explaining the Ascencio move, Wren said that they did it b/c he didn’t really fit with what they want from that last spot — he said that Ascencio is a one-inning guy, and they want a guy who could go for multiple innings if needed. Medlen fits that, but now that Delgado has been stretched out, he could fit that as well.
I’d rather Delgado start. Just take a deep breath every fifth game and hope for the best. Meanwhile, Medlen + O’Flaherty + Venters + Kimbrel in the pen makes every single game seem winnable, and without overtaxing them. If we have a shaky Delgado in the pen, Venters can go ahead and put Dr. Andrews on speed dial.
I personally wish they’d split up the big three and make it a BP rotation of:
Medlen in the 8th, Kimbrel in the 9th
then the next day,
O’Flaherty in the 8th, Venters in the 9th.
The other guys could take the 7th inning, and 6th when pressed.
Don’t we have Christian Martinez to be another long reliever? Do we need 3 long relievers on the team? I’ve never heard of such a thing. And if that’s the case, put Buddy Carlyle on the roster. I’d rather him, and send Delgado to AAA. Let Medlen have a couple of starts until Hudson gets back and then put him in the pen too.
I think the Delgado starts also serve the purpose of getting him more reliable for the rotation in the long term. Assuming he stays healthy, JJ will likely be gone at midyear. We need a reliable Delgado.
Frank’s got the perfect hair for that commercial, too.
Yunel could do a cameo promo in it: “Dees leetle shortstop weent to Canada for the price of only 1.3 Weens Above Replacings from free-sweenging guy pouty as me and plus looks like a beeg feesh! Dat Frank Wreen ees loco!”
Well, the 750K contract for Livan does show that Livan is a competitor and loves baseball, otherwise why not hang it up? I can’t imagine he is really hurting for the money at this point in his career. Hope it works out for everyone, and leave it to Steve to have the calm, rational point of view on all this. I just wonder how great his ERA is going to look if he doesn’t get to face us.
“His work in Game 5 in the 1997 National League playoff series was voted by Baseball America as the third-worst umpire performance of 1975 – 2000 era. His strike zone was later determined to measure five feet from top to bottom and an unbelievable six feet wide. One memorable call has him calling a strike on a pitch that was over the head of Fred McGriff.”
Sweet Lord, I’d hate to see the top two worst performances if that was #3. Did somebody call a strike on a pitch out?
#98, I remember it vividly, but hadn’t seen video of it in many years. It’s so egregious as not to be believed. MLB officials should have run on to the field in the middle of the game to stop it. So crazy.
Walker, Gregg was fired when MLB purged the umpires the year they threatened to walk out, or walked out. I really can’t remember. He was one of the few who was not rehired. It is believed that a great deal due to his calls in that game. He was also consistently voted one of the worst umpires in the league. That game was certainly his opus, but he was a crap ump before that display.
However his batting averages are pretty high meaning when he makes contact they turn into hits. Maybe Greg Walker can teach him plate discipline. I would say this is a solid trade with nothing to lose. Hoover was solid but going nowhere in our system.