I really do appreciate the work you all do. Trying to dedicate a podcast to Braves baseball is great. However the only one I can stand to listen to is Curtis. There just aren’t any solid opinions.
Ham still thinks Josh Hamilton is a free agent…? Also Bourn had a week to accept the Braves qualifying offer and he rejected it. Therefore if someone signs him, the team has to forfeit a draft pick. Come on guys pay attention a little bit. Not meaning you have to be the best “experts” but stay up to date please.
I’ll continue to listen because I love Braves baseball, but some of these embarrassing moments make me cringe when I hear them. It’s been numerous instances throughout last season and this offseason where this has happened.
So much for the fight for Dale Murphy and integrity regarding the HOF. He barely got much more love than he has the past few years. 18%. Shameful. Jeff Bagwell is a 59.6? Alan Trammell is a 33.6? Larry Walker is a more worthy HOF candidate than Dale Murphy? Are you joking?
I’m not going to argue whether or not Murphy belongs in the HOF. It’s borderline, and I accept that. I’m not even 100% certain he should be in there. I’m biased on this issue more than many others because he is my favorite all time player. But some of the names that are gathering more votes than him to get in. Larry Walker was a great player for a number of years. He was also helped by playing in CO, in the steroid era, in smaller ballparks across the league, with diluted pitching due to expansion. Jeff Bagwell got to play in Minute Maid, or whatever it is now, for a number of years. I’m not trying to take away from any of these guys and their skills. I just don’t see how Jeff Bagwell is considered 3 times the player Murphy is, according to that vote total. I will never buy that.
Sorry. I had to add this. And I’m not trying to defend his case to anyone, despite this looking like exactly that. Like I said, I understand the arguments against him, etc. But this is pretty amazing stuff to be neglected. You think that MLB has effectively been around for 13 decades or so and for 1/13th of that time frame, he was one of the greatest players in the game.
Murphy compiled more total bases than anybody during the 1980s. Over that 10-year span, Mike Schmidt was the only player with more homers, and Eddie Murray was the only one with more RBIs. Both have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
In addition, Murphy led all Major League outfielders during the 1980s in home runs (308) and RBIs (929). He ranked second among outfielders during this span in hits (1,553) and extra-base hits (596).
I like Bill Simmons’ idea about how to deal with the steroids era and the HOF. For any player that played during what is considered the steroids era (call it 1993 – 2007) they get an asterisk next to their name. Not that it denotes anything about them personally, but it denotes the era in which they played. This removes all the subjectivity and moralizing and teaching players a lesson bs that the sports writers are now doing.
The thing that gets me is the voters seem to think steroids is the first thing that players (and others considered for induction) ever did to cheat the game. It’s saying some forms of cheating and less-than-ideal behavior are more acceptable than others.
This idea that the game and its statistics were once pure until big bad steroids came and ruined it all is false. The game has never been pure and never will be.
The character clause should only come in to play when a player’s behavior was so bad that it actually cost his team wins on the field. Plenty of players have cheated in one form or another, or did other things worse than cheating to shine a negative light on the game.
From what very little I know about Gattis (looking over stat pages and listening to and reading prospect-focused writers), I’m thinking Gattis is a more athletic, right-handed Eric Hinske. He probably wouldn’t kill the Braves in leftfield but he’s probably not ideal.
I’ve heard Baseball America guys compare him to Josh Willingham, on their podcast. I would think that’s probably his upside. But he’s more likely to be something like an Eric Hinske.
I tend to lean towards stricter standards for the Hall. But I wouldn’t have much of a problem with a big Hall, so to speak, with fame literally being a factor along with performance.
I am very in-tuned to the sabermetric and statistical arguments against Morris and Murphy and mostly agree with them. However, if a voter or two actually came out and said, “I think fame, not just performance, should be a factor,” I’d be just fine with that. I respect that a lot more than trying to ignore what actually happened and what Morris actually did and did not accomplish, and making up bogus arguments about pitching to the score and things of that sort.
I must admit, I’m excited to see Evan Gattis. I’ve been following him regularly since Spring Training last year and he seems to always be a potential homer. What I like about him much more than Ernesto Mejia is that he strikes out much less, about half as often. He also seems to hit well against good power pitchers. One bizarre and troubling stat about his offense that I did notice was he has what some call a reverse split, hitting great against right-handers and dismal against left-handers, thereby, limiting his value to the club as a right-handed bat. He also walks very little, but has somewhat of a compact swing and, I believe, would be more capable of driving in a run from third with less than two out. I got so tired of seeing Dan Uggla strike out with one out and a runner on third, and eventually being unable to score. I’m afraid, that we could see a little of that from BJ Upton, considering his strike out numbers.
I may be naive, but I’m content with the team the way it is. I feel if the Braves begin the season and they realize they don’t have the right person for LF, there will be ample time during the season to fill that spot…just my opinion. Right now, we really don’t know what we have. And rather than spend all the “money off the books” why not wait, because it might be useful to “lock up” players who could wind up being “cost prohibitive” in the future.
We gotta face it…we’re not the Angels or Dodgers; and right now the future of our finances look like the housing market.
I’m okay with Bonds and Clemons not getting in for now however they should eventually get in. In fact they better get in.Its not even for them. Its for me and all the kids that grew up watching the game during that era. There’s a story to be told and steroids is apart of that story and I refuse to visit Cooperstown 30 years from now and not see the time where I grew up watching baseball fully represented. I knew about steroids when I was 8. Why was there no testing ? It was an open secret and action was only taken when Canseco started talking. MLB was just a guilty. And character clause? Where was MLB’s character when the game was segregated which no doubt affected the game.
Y’all do a Great Job on the shows and I’m quite impressed; and thanks for the comment. It is just hard for me to quantify the upgrade enough to justify the cost…at least at this point. I look at teams like the Cubs, marlins and Red Sox and prefer not to experience that sense of “buyers remorse,” which we may have somewhat felt with the contract of Uggla, so far…though I thinking, or hoping anyway, that he’ll get that turned around…or DEFINITELY felt with the likes of Derek Lowe. I’m a little anxious about the acquisition of Upton, however, it was vital to get a High Grade defensive centerfielder to replace Bourn.
Braves management is DEFINITELY conservative, but I think they generally do a pretty good job…but, Fredi, honestly (IMO) not so much-results aside. In my opinion, the Braves have among THE BEST Scouting & Player Development programs in MLB, with the exception of a few players. How they unearthed Beachy & Gattis is beyond me. Anyway, I may be biased, but I feel Bobby Cox & John Schuerholz laid the foundation years ago to develop an organization & culture that has made it possible for the city/region to enjoy success over such a long period of time.
Other than a brief stint in the early 80s, the Braves were pathetic celler-dwellers with no focus or real philosophy. If it weren’t for Skip Caray and the couple of Miraculous winning seasons, watching baseball was a futile exercise simply awaiting the football season.
Happy New Year, Guys…look forward to listenin’ to ya and here’s to a new season…….Promise no more INFIELD FLYS!!
Steve, I hope your right, it looks like the stars could be aligning. I just read that Texas is also moving on. The thought of an outfield with Upton, Upton, and Heyward is very exciting! I think the braves need to make this big splash happen to help ppl (especially ME) get over the wild card game last year and look forward to this season. Not to mention I think it would put them right up with the Nats as favorites for the division!
I think the Braves had the money to fill needs but weren’t/aren’t going to spend just for the sake of spending. They were/are wisely looking for appropriate value for their money (and perhaps their prospects/trade chips) and it hasn’t been there so far. Hopefully that will all change with a Justin Upton trade. While I think Gattis wouldn’t do too much harm, I don’t think he’s ideal for leftfield.
I’m beginning to think it’s possible J-Up might get picked-up by the Braves, which would be a good move. They should have the necessary pieces not to be too depleted after a trade like that, and his contract is manageable. I’m not keen on trading Teheran though, after his resurgence late in the year and in the winter. I’d prefer to trade Delgado; we may have to trade JR Graham, who would be an excellent pick up by the D-backs. Definitely have to trade Ahmed, but Simmons should have that covered for us. If we have to give up a seasoned left-handed reliever, I can’t decide which would be more valuable between O’Flaherty or Venters. Both can be lights out, shut down pitchers, but both could have issues next year. Venters drop in velocity and step back from the dominance he showed in 2010 is somewhat concerning and I don’t know if O’Flaherty can maintain the pace he’s had. Plus, O’Flaherty has had back issues. I would be supportive of a reasonably aggressive trade for Upton; however, you gotta ask in the back of your mind why is Arizona so eager to give up on J-Up. I just hope he doesn’t turn out to be the next Ubaldo Jiminez.
Walker, Bagwell might have better stats, but he is not far and away a better player than Murphy. He played a much easier position, at a much easier time, and he took steroids. And no way is he three times the HOF worthy as Murphy is.
looked at lots of stats on wikipedia..wont repost the stuff here, but I think the overall case is pretty strong. There are obviously some gaps, holes or whatever, but on balance, total package, he should be in. Hopefully hell get in with the Veteran committee.
Bagwell was so great for more years that Murphy can’t make up the difference just because he played the tougher position. The biggest issue with Murphy was a short peak and in other seasons, he was *merely* solid. Bagwell was MVP-caliber in his best seasons and still awesome in many others.
I have no problem with voting for Murphy, though. Depends on how but a Hall of Fame you want or what type of Hall of Fame you want. I think he has as good a case as Jim Rice, certainly. Also, I have no problem with anyone who wants to argue the fame should literally be a factor in addition to performance, which would probably get Murphy in.
Still kind of drained from that Falcons game. So happy for something good to happen with an Atlanta team.
On the subject, a buddy of mine who’s a pilot for Delta was returning home from work on Marta (Atlanta’s “subway”system) yesterday around 4pm and saw people on the train who had left the game early!?!?! I’m hard nosed about not leaving any game early, I’ll admit, but leaving yesterday’s game is simply unforgivable.
I was in Atlanta last week, I had a late set, so I thought I might take in a ballgame. I called the park and asked if they had any tickets left for that evenings game. After she got control of her laughter and could talk again, the operator told me that they did have tickets available.
@32 agree with good to get some postseason success in atlanta. a small monkey off the back. its like the Braves won that wildcard game not lost it….I’ll regret saying this but Falcons have a shot at winning the sb. (the way we felt that the braves had a good shot at the ws this year). what a wild game.
Man, if the Braves could get Justin Upton for Teheran + other prospects I’d do it. At this point Teheran is just potential, and I would rather keep Delgado anyway. A future rotation of Medlen, Beachy, Minor, Delgado is pretty solid. I think we can afford to trade Teheran.
Is Gattis this year’s Tyler Flowers or J-Terd? It seems like every Winter one of our guys just rakes or dominates on the mound and raises his stock, but it never turns out to translate to the major league level. Tommy Hanson would be another example.
Nate, it seems like most prospect people like Gattis a little better than those others. But there are plenty who think Gattis may be nothing more than a bench or part-time player, from what I understand.
I think what happened with “Terd” (I don’t know how I feel about using that nickname) is that he showed up on the prospect radar and some of us got a little too excited, not realizing that anyone who has a remote chance of making the majors is going be on the radar of prospect folks.
Tommy Hanson is interesting because in some ways he seems like a disappointment but in others he was a pleasant surprise. Check out where he was drafted and what kind of value the Braves got out of him before it all fell apart. We tend to overlook the big picture as soon as a guy shows up high on a prospect list. But maybe we should have actually been pretty amazed that Hanson made his way to near the top of prospect lists, much less to provide some value at the major league level for a few years.
“Matt Klaassen noted Dan’s hiring today. And he makes one hell of a point: for as much crap as the sabermetic and bloggy-types take from the mainstream media about how they don’t truly know the game because they’re not out there at the park or interviewing players in clubhouses and stuff, ain’t it funny how the sabermetric and bloggy types are continually hired by major league teams to work in baseball operations? And did you notice that teams never hire the guys who claim to know so much more about baseball and who continually slam advanced metrics and statistical analysis?”
“Gattis is an unusual story as a player that gave up baseball for a number of years and didn’t turn pro until he was 23 years old. Now 26, he’s been making up for lost time and split 2012 between high-A and double-A. Combined, he hit 18 home runs in an injury-shortened 74-game season before adding another 16 home runs in 56 Venezuelan Winter League contests. His impressive power comes from strong forearms and above-average bat speed.
“Originally signed as a catcher, Gattis has also played some first base and left field. He’s a below-average fielder behind the plate and keeping him back there on a full-time basis would only slow his development. He’s competent enough back there, though, to serve as a big league club’s third-string catcher and has a strong arm. When speaking with a contact about Gattis, I mentioned Mike Napoli as a possible comp but Josh Willingham was suggested to me as slightly more appropriate.
“The contact I spoke with feels that Gattis could develop enough offense at the big league level to be an everyday player, even in left field. ‘He’s been productive at every level he’s played… His versatility is a huge asset,’ he said. ‘When guys hit like that you find a place to play him.’ Gattis should open 2013 in triple-A but a strong spring could force the Braves to find a spot for him on the 25-man roster.”
Reading about Prado possibly heading to arbitration is a head-scratcher. I don’t know how far apart their two figures are, but I wouldn’t take it as a good sign if they actually go all the way to a hearing. Prado’s done enough to prove his worth.
Some comment suggested they should strategically default and then renegotiate. Only getting $20mil, but could get $80 mill. Pay out the $20mil old contract. They are leaving $60 mill on the table. Creative lawyers needed… ABT, you guys seem pretty smart and motivated, can you organize this?
I get Braves Caravan emails all the time – and I think it’s great that the players travel ’round the Southeast in the off-season…but seriously: Chip Caray goes with them? …and what, emcees? Ain’tnobodygottimeforthat.
“ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Braves have resumed trade talks for Diamondbacks’ outfielder Justin Upton.
It’s not clear what the Braves are willing to give up, but Olney hears that they have made a “strong offer” and they are the likely frontrunner. Something could go down soon, as Olney reports that the Diamondbacks want to make a decision by Friday on whether to trade Upton or Jason Kubel.”
For those concerned about Justin Upton’s home/road splits:
Justin Upton’s home/road splits probably aren’t as big a concern as it might seem. He has played 43 games in Dodger Stadium, 41 at AT&T Park and 40 at Petco Park, all pitcher-friendly parks. He hasn’t played more than 17 in any other parks besides his home park of Chase Field and Coors Field. The NL West is weird.
I’m barfing as I type this. Not really but that’s how much I HATE this trade. Nothing is worth Prado and not just because he’s sexy as hell. Cannot believe this trade. I may never recover. Anne, how does one handle such a thing?
All joking aside…never should have traded Prado. Never never never never. 1000 times never.
After my initial reaction. The trade doesn’t seem bad as long as Upton stays healthy. I just don’t want to see Constanza in LF and Johnson at 3b a lot next year. The 2013 team will be all about good pitching and the HR.
From an identity standpoint, it’s pretty cool. It’ll be neat having brothers in the outfield. Three of them. (HAHAHAHAHAHA… *ahem*…)
No, seriously, I think Atlanta having an all-black outfield, and all of them stars to boot, will make the Braves media darlings again. That’s bound to help with the ol’ finances, which will help the team going forward. And of course I think it makes the team actually better at baseball, but I thought I’d focus on something that could start arguments before I retreat back to my cave.
Hate to see Prado go, but the writing was kind’a on the wall when he showed we wasn’t interested in a long term deal.
With the Braves finances, that was a killer.
Nice to have Upton/Upton/Heyward in the OF. Third base might end up giving up as many runs as it produces, but you never know what might come out of spring training…
Just for grins and giggles, how about leading off Uggla? Tell him to get on no matter what (walks, hits, etc.) and don’t worry about hitting homers. I think that is what messed him up to begin with. He listened to the media hype of “the big bat in the middle of the line-up the Braves have been looking for” and started to try to hit 50 HRs instead of the usual 30 he always hit (which came with a good number walks and hits along the way)… He would probably then hit 30 anyway…
The thing about losing Prado and leaving a bit of a hole at thirdbase is that before that there was about as big a hole in leftfield/thirdbase, with Reed Johnson and Juan Francisco.
I think I’d rather have JUpton and Francisco/Chris Johnson than Prado and Francisco/Reed Johnson.
Remember the state of thirdbase around the majors is not all that good right now. So Francisco/Chris Johnson is not an absolute killer.
I do think it’s possible, with all the hype around this move, to overestimate what JUpton may provide over Prado. Frankly it may not be a huge upgrade over the next season or two. But the fact that Upton is a lot younger than Prado and the Braves traded Prado before he started making some money is significant.
This is such a bittersweet trade. I had been wanting this trade all along, but to have to give up Martin really hurts. They’re gonna love having him in AZ. What a great player? That guy gave his all every time he was on the field. Martin, you will be missed.
Delgado showed a lot of poise last year. I’m sure we’ll see him again. Hopefully he doesn’t go all Jason Schmidt on us.
I’m very excited to have Justin Upton. I always hated it when he came up when we played the D’Backs. He always seemed pretty clutch, and I hope he brings that to the Braves lineup.
How about the weird obsession Kirk Gibson has with so-called “gritty players”. What exactly defines a scrappy gritty player? The D backs will be gritty and scrappy all the way to 3rd place I guess. Gibson has no clue. He’s worse than Fredi. But Thank you for Upton.
The one issue w/ Delgado was the lack of a consistant breaking ball. He hasn’t developed one so far, so the chances he does are dwindling. You need three pitches you can throw for strikes to start (and win) consistantly. He could be really good out of the pen with the two pitches he has, but we needed him to be a starter.
Teams needing OFs are unwilling to pay Bourn the money & years he wants for a long term contract. Teams wanting Bourn are unwilling to sign Bourn at $8M for one year AND give up 1st round draft pick.
What would you think of signing Bourn to a one year, $8M deal; then trade him to Texas for Mike Olt, possibly eating up to $2M of the salary?
Texas gets the CF/leadoff man they need at an affordable price (which they can possibly negotiate a longer term deal while he is there or make the qualifying offer after the season), they don’t give up their 1st round draft pick and we get a power hitting 3B of the future (maybe now, too).
BJ Upton does NOT need to be batting at the top of the batting order. He has a consistently bad OBP If you want to hit him 1st every 3rd Sunday fine. Heyward was made for the 2 spot and Simmons has a decent OBP. They are our top 2.
Eric Byrnes is painful on the MLB network. I never knew anyone could make Mitch Williams look smart. According to Byrnes, the Braves don’t even have a top 5 OF. Are you kidding me? A couple of the teams that beat us out on his list were the Rockies and the Blue Jays. Yuck.
Per AJC twitter, Fredi says top 3rd of the order will be 1. Simmons, 2. Heyward, and 3. J. Upton, as most probably expected. The idea of Simmons leading off is growing on me. At first I was a bit concerned that he might be the only choice to leadoff, but who’s to say he can’t handle the job. It can’t be worse than Schafer or Pastornicky leading off.
I mean, okay, I have to flesh it out a tiny bit this once:
In Chipper Jones’s last game, he almost single-handedly wrecked the post season. Now, we are a 3B away from being the best team in baseball. You don’t think that, come July, if 3B is still a black hole, he’s gonna hop on the treadmill and play the Rocky soundtrack? Couple million bucks and the chance to put a Hollywood ending on his career?
Having just sat through UGa losing by 5 yards – on their way to a sure national championship, and the Falcons losing by 10 yards, on their way to a Super Bowl, and the infield fly………….worst sports year ever. So A or B really doesn’t matter. They both suck.
Got bored and looked at what Frank Wren inherited versus today’s team:
1B: Tex to Freeman
2B: Kelly Johnson to Dan Uggla
3B: Chipper Jones to Juan Francisco/ Chris Johnson
So much for the bad news.
SS: Escobar to Simmons
LF: Blanco to Upton
CF: Kotsay to Upton
RF: Francoeur to Heyward
C: McCann to McCann, last of the Schuericans.
SP: Hudson to Hudson
SP: Jurrjens to Medlen
SP: Campillo to Minor
SP: Jo Jo Reyes to Maholm
SP: Hampton/Morton to Beachy/Teheran
CL: Gonzalez to Kimbrel
Bennett, Boyer to EOF, Venters
Considering all the bad luck (Hanson? Jurrjens?? Lowe??? UGGLA????), seems like we have the best GM of any team on a tight budget. Nationals GM looks pretty golden right now, too, but he’s spending like a drunk sailor and they had all those bad year draft picks like the Rays did to get the whole thing started.
Quick break from the Braves stuff, to share a pretty damn funny pair of quotes I stumbled across this morning. Read them in order:
“I would say it’s the end of the world as we know it. …
I am speechless by that contract. … It’s unbelievable.
Literally, it will take the sport down, that contract.
We’re right back to the ridiculous contracts. It can’t be.”
- Marlins president David Samson,
on reports Ichiro Suzuki would sign a $100 million contract
“My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is,
‘(Expletive) Dave Samson,’ then don’t say anything at all.
So I’m not going to say anything at all.
Is my mother the greatest or what?”
- Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, after signing Ichiro to a $90 million contract
OK, back to the Braves… Bub, great post (#124). And I agree on Wren. People always want to point to Lowe and KK and say he’s a terrible GM. I think he’s been fantastic. And this trade, and how little we had to give up (sorry, Leah), and how many low salary guys make up the lineup allowing us to spend strategically in “big” splashes, just proves the point more.
Watching MLB Network and Eric Byrnes has the nerve to question whether Heyward is a top 3 RF. I guess if he had a empty Francoeur 30 hr 100 he would be great. I guess on base, defense and baserunning skills don’t matter.
Eric Byrnes brings VERY little to the table. The other night I was watching MLB network with Eric Byrnes on and my wife came into the room, looked at the TV and all but shouted, “oh my god, what is up with that guy’s hair?” That’s really all I think about now when someone mentions Eric Byrnes.
#125 is pretty hilarious. It’s hard to believe an organization as silly as the Marlins has fielded two championships in the last 20 years. Of the many, many indictments on the current state of the game, that team is one. Their uniform is another all by itself.