March 29, 2009

Show #54: We Sit Down with Mitch Evans, Sports Director at WGST

Mitch discusses the off-season, center field, Frenchy, and much more.

 

 

20 Responses to “Show #54: We Sit Down with Mitch Evans, Sports Director at WGST”

  1. 1
    Curt Says:

    Well, it looks like the CF question got answered as they traded Josh Anderson to the Tigers today for a minor league pitcher. I was kind of hoping for Miguel Cabrera, but I guess we get what we can get. And now we are back to a team with little to no speed in the lineup.

  2. 2
    Steve Says:

    Schafer’s been pretty fast this spring and did a bunch of speed work in the off season that has seemingly paid off. I say we get 25 – 30 steals from Schafer and a lot of taking an extra base. C’mon man – it’s the Jordan Schafer era!

  3. 3
    Hammy Says:

    We got Chipper for 3 more years! Thank god we didn’t “smoltz” it up.

  4. 4
    Curt Says:

    And to answer the Mitch’s question, the AJC reports that Chipper played 129 games last year.

  5. 5
    Bubdylan Says:

    “Thank god we didn’t “smoltz” it up” -Hammy

    There were three icons to sign, Wren signed the two who were patient and reasonable. So, you could say, Thank God Chipper & Glavine didn’t “smoltz” it up.

    I know we could just as well conclude that the Braves only went aggressively after Glav & Chip b/c they looked so bad with Smoltz, but Smoltz’s mouth since the deal went down really, really leans me toward the front office being the reasonable party. The good money thrown at Chipper adds even more evidence to that case, in my opinion.

    Enjoyed your show again.

  6. 6
    Will Says:

    Bullkaka. Think back to how bad the Braves were at the end of last year. Think back to how pathetic our offseason was unfolding for the first few months. Add to that management taking a hard and rather cold approach to negotiations with one of the Braves’ all-time legendary heroes. Smoltz is offered an opportunity to take a run at a World Series this year or next. Who given that chance would not be tempted? He’s a competitor. Smoltz made the right choice. 2000%. And then maybe that was a catalyst that got John/Wren’s act together. So maybe they pulled a few rabbits out of some hats since then. Good for them, good for the Braves organization. But Smoltz was right. Sure, I hope we kick Boston’s a$$ in the WS, but he was right. And as for his mouth, he’s earned the right to say whatever he wants.

  7. 7
    Steve Says:

    Smoltz has not earned the right to say whatever he wants. He’s come off as somewhat whiny and unable to leave it be. He jumped for the bigger pile of guaranteed money for business reasons, right? And good for him. Money is really awesome. But the Braves don’t get to operate in that same fashion? I agree that Wren could have been more communicative and that the Braves should have ponied up at least some more guaranteed money – but to lay it all on the Braves doesn’t seem right. Smoltz couldn’t have reached out more to them? He couldn’t have set up a breakfast meeting with Wren like Glavine did? The guy was the face of the franchise but he was also not guaranteed to ever pitch again. C’mon, Will! Are you going to play the “player didn’t get respected” card now?

  8. 8
    Curt Says:

    1. Liberty Media has hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, so to suggest that they can’t operate in any realm they want is a joke. I will never suggest that they should just throw away money the way the Yankees and Red Sox (and Mets and Angles) do, but the Braves have sold this idea of a low rent small market team on us rather unceremoniously, and it hinders the team to operate this way. No way you can’t trace the enactment of a salary cap with the decline of the team.

    2. Smoltz has come off rather poorly, but he, more than any of them, really went as far as he could with the Braves over the years. He kept getting offered one year extensions below what he could have been making elsewhere, and I believe that the Braves never really thought he would leave and tried to take advantage of him. So God bless him for getting paid and having another shot at the WS.

    3. SI came out today and has the MFing Mets winning the WS, which makes me want to vomit, but also makes me very happy because SI couldn’t pick the winner in a one-man race. The Braves, they have finishing 3rd in the NL East, pointing out amongst other popular ABT topics – the lack of power, the off-season build-up of innings eaters to compensate for a lousy bullpen, and the fact that they believe the Braves should have picked Smoltz over Glavine and that given the team now, Campillo should be the 5th starter anyway.

  9. 9
    Will Says:

    First, Bubdylan, you brought up a very good point, obviously controversial. I re-read my post and maybe it was a little too from the hip, please dont take it the wrong way. This is a fan friendly site and so I would like to retract “bullkaka” and replace it with “You make a valid point, however in my view..”.

    Steve- not really I suppose, as I pretty much agree with Mitch’s observation, there is Smoltz’s side, the Braves side, and the truth. It seemed like chump change could have fended off Boston and the Braves seemed franlky to have been too cautious for their own good. At some point you gotta trust the guy about what he says about his arm, but I think the Braves were like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football at that point when it comes to pitcher injuries. Still seemed like a good risk/reward player to me. So I would have paid up.

    I admit that from my perspective over here in Tokyo I don’t see what Smoltz has been saying. I get whatever is on ajc.com, this site, and atlantabraves.com, espn.com, etc. so I am arguing from a weak position. If he has been a total worm after the fact, then that is uncool.

    But I think my point is that 1) his decision was the right one at the time and 2) he was amazing for the Braves while he was there, didn’t bolt to the Mets like Glavine did etc. so I think he at least earned the right to say whatever he thinks. If we don’t like it, or it ruffles feathers, it is kind of to be expected almost (but again on this point 2 I am weak since I haven’t heard it directly).

    Curtis, you are a genius (as always) for agreeing with me. Seriously, the timing of the SI article is perfect ahead of the Saturday predictions show. Looking forward to it guys.

  10. 10
    Will Says:

    Curt – one more thing, I think you can also trace the closing of the Gold Club with the decline of the team. Important incentive as the last show’s comment section on Dervish pointed out.

  11. 11
    Bubdylan Says:

    It’s strange the Smoltz deal is so polarizing. And it doesn’t break down along very logical lines. Lots of people I nearly always agree with see the issue completely different than I do. And I’ve noticed that trend between other usally-like-minded fans. It really blows my mind that anybody can see John (who was my alltime favorite Brave) as anything other than a megalomaniac pitching a hissy fit because everyone didn’t jump in line with his diagnosis. And apparently folks from the other side find my take just as ridiculous.

    The fact is, once you pick a side, it’s supportable with nearly the same pieces of evidence. You can say, on one hand, of all times to hesitate with an icon, after several debacles and gutpunches to the fans, this was the worst. So… Wren’s an idiot.

    On the other hand, of all times for John to put the Braves feet to the fire, when they’ve just had the most unbelievable string of bad luck, AND when they seem to’ve had an understanding that a deal with the Braves would come further into his re-hab… he blows his stack and kicks them while they’re down. So… John’s a jerk.

    Nearly every development of the sour deal can be seen to support either side. So… I guess…. well, I had a point. It’s gone. Maybe you guys can finish it.

    Either which who, I meant no harm. Peace.

  12. 12
    Will Says:

    It was a good topic to bring up and you do have valid points I hadn’t considered, and I’m certainly glad we can be adults in the discussion.

    I seem to recall that…Wren came on the show a while back and actually was an idiot. Maybe he needs to come back and redeem himself…special guest prognosticator?

    Or a new segment “Blame it on Wren/Blame it on Bobby”.

  13. 13
    Will Says:

    In case anybody missed it:

    http://mvn.com/chopnchange/2009/04/braves-sign-yu-darvish—-6-yrs120-million.html

  14. 14
    Bubdylan Says:

    “Wren came on the show a while back and actually was an idiot.” -Will

    That’s disappointing to hear, and I don’t doubt it. His chat sessions with the fans didn’t impress me, that’s for sure. And not because he was generic, which I expected. More because he seemed socially clumsy, even moody. I thought to myself he might lack the sensitivity and grace I would picture necessary to his job. His dealings with Cal Ripken Jr and Smoltz might point to some kind of strange aggression that could be trouble.

    BUT… maybe a touch of azzhole isn’t the worst thing in the world in this business. He’s dealing with some monster egos. I actually like the fact that once he said he was done with Peavy, he was done. That wasn’t a ploy. Again with Ohman, though I can’t get my mind wrapped around not getting him, it seems like when Ohman didn’t snag Atlanta’s good offer(s), he blew it. Several times this offseason, I got the feeling Wren was laying a foundation for dealing players/ agents that says “You can’t make us dance a jig.” Even with Lowe, it was reported that a strict window of time was put on the table and that played into Lowe’s grabbing the deal. Easy for Boras to look at Wren’s short history and see that the window was real. That stuff can come in handy in the future.

    It takes a long time to rate a GM fairly, though. So much is luck. I like that he plans to return to run-prevention baseball, which is my favorite. So, there’s that, at least. Adding Chipper to his resume doesn’t hurt. And if that was just him transparently “learning on the job,” well, that’s better than not learning.

  15. 15
    Will Says:

    Bubdylan and others – very, very, very sorry, as I thought you were aware of the older show a while back just post-Smoltz debacle. Hamilton came on and impersonated Frank Wren in the show. Or so we were led to think..was that really Frank?

    No, Hammy’s impression was basically so horrible it was brilliant, nay dare I say genius, and captured the frustration and exasperation we all felt at the time. Ham embodied the exact words you chose: “socially clumsy and moody”.

    I have since been lobbying unsuccessfully for more appearances of “Frank”. To no avail. More cowbell! More Frank!

    Its flattering to the guys that you actually took me seriously. It makes sense, since just after that “mock” interview, they had the real flesh and blood Tom Glavine on. And they continue to pull in some fairly big hitters like Mitch and Kevin Goldstein, etc.

    Despite taking the joke seriously your comments on Wren are pretty darn useful to the discussion here. And I think you have laid down the gauntlet for another appearance…to answer to what you have to say! Cmon Frank!

  16. 16
    Curt Says:

    “Frank” actually received some hate mail after his appearance on the show, so we are still working on security issues in dealing with him reappearing.

    Frank Wren still has a lot to prove as a GM to me though. His tenure in Baltimore was disasterous to say the least, and the beginning of the free agent period seemed disjointed and amateurish. We have talked ad nauseum about Schuerholz stepping in during the Furcal fiasco, and it seemed to further weaken his standing in my mind.
    I like some of the moves he has made. I like what lies ahead in the coming years for the Braves, but Wren is going to oversee one of the most important transitions in the history of the team. He, most likely, will hire the coach who replaces Bobby Cox, and therefore will hire the guy who will be steering the careers of Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, et al. Do you feel comfortable with him making that decision? Because I sure don’t. And knowing the Braves, they are going to go the soft, easy route and hire TP, instead of jumping out and making a splashy hire for the next generation of Braves. The more they tell us that we are a small market, hemmed in team, the more people are going to believe it.

  17. 17
    Bubdylan Says:

    Pffffft. I take everything at face value. To a fault. (See, Steve, I told you :) )

  18. 18
    Bubdylan Says:

    “they are going to go the soft, easy route and hire TP, instead of jumping out and making a splashy hire for the next generation of Braves.” -Curt.

    Ugh. I dread that big time. And I’m afraid you’re right. Can’t see personalities like Escobar, French, & Schafer falling in line for Pendleton. At. All.

    Anarchy. For preview, see NY Mets.

  19. 19
    Frank W. Says:

    Beer me.

  20. 20
    John S. Says:

    Great, Frank, drinking on the job again.

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