“What happened to the days of Fred McGriff when fans would fill he house for big time games…..
Put it this way, Curt: if we field a championship team, and the fans still do not come out in good enough force to keep the payroll in the top 5, will you be satisfied that the front office tried their best, and it’ll be okay for them to adjust down to the attendance?
p.s. Not “mad,” Curt. I’m just in very passionate disagreement with your assessment. I wish they’d gotten a reliable 30 homer bat, too. But who was it that we passed on that we should have taken?
Bay or Holliday? Listen, if Philly can’t shell out 9 measley million dollars to keep Lee and field the hands-down best team in baseball not bought with Monopoly money, that should tell you that these dollars matter, even to teams with an obvious committment to their fans, such as the Phillies.
So, if not Bay or Holliday, who? Where’s the automatic 30? Uggla? Between the injury risk of Glaus and the upset-pitcher risk of Uggla, you’ve at least got to say that’s a coin flip. Besides, they could still add Uggla if Nady/DeRo falls through. IF they want to risk his fielding.
I wanted the Braves to eat half of Lowe’s salary, and field this same basic team they’re fielding, but with Vazquez. But other than that, I can’t complain. They’re aggressive, creative, and trying to get something done in a limited market, while protecting (even improving) the future. But, even if I hated the offseason completely, I couldn’t conclude that Wren is some slickster with no real desire to field a winning team.
We could pull about this same attendance with Moylan and Capps pitching the 8th and 9th. Or we could have insisted on the best major league ready package for Vazquez, and put more on the 2010 field without considering the real value of the return. 99% of the fans don’t give three craps about snagging a 19-year-old hotshot from the Yankees for 2013. You know who cares about that guy? Our GM, who wants to build a winning organization patiently, carefully, thoughtfully.
p.s. Bay’s and Holliday’s contracts will both be regretted by their teams. Especially if it’s not the Mets, Yanks, or Sox. They’re not that freaking great. They’re just the best on the market, so everybody’s lost their damn minds.
I just remembered you said he was mailing in 2010 with an eye to the next year. So, that makes nonsense of me saying Wren’s plans for our future go against your theory.
I’m finished. I just really, really, really think Atlanta’s putting a better team on the field than many of my fellow bloggers. These guys aren’t slouches, man. These are good ballplayers.
If we get Nady, we’ll be better than the Giants, Cubs, Brewers, Rockies, Marlins and Mets. We’ll get to the playoffs. And if we don’t get Nady, money in the pocket is no bad thing when midseason comes around and you’re sitting on minor leaguers you can spare in a swap.
You guys know N8 from the DOB blog, right? Anyway, he posted this little bit ago, and I thought it was pretty interesting. Sorry for the length, I don’t know how to link straight to that entry. Even if you don’t come to the same conclusion, there’s some interesting information in there.
In the end, winning games is about run differential. Some teams score more runs. Some teams are better at run prevention.
Last year, the Braves were one of the best at run prevention, and their defense was mediocre at best. Which goes to state how great their pitching was.
Of the 8 teams that made the playoffs, the Braves (+94) had a better run differential than both St. Louis (+90) and Colorado (+89). Which tells me, that we’re close. We’re real close.
Now. How does one gain such a postive RD? Simple math states that you score more than your opponent. The Braves had one of the best rotations and from the mid point on, bullpens in baseball.
In the first 81 games, the Braves went 43-45. They scored 373 and allowed 379 runs (-6). In the second half (81 games), they went 43-31 while scoring 362 runs and allowing 262 (+100).
So, let me get this straight, just so we’re clear. After adding McLouth, moving Prado to a starting role and trading for LaRoche, the “2nd half” Braves scored a whopping 11 runs mor than the group that played the first 81 games?
Seems to me, it was the pitching (more likely Tommy Hanson’s arrival – than LaRoche’s), that sparked the run. Along with Moylan, Gonzo and Soriano being pretty reliable out in the pen.
My point is, that even though we lost Vazquez, we’re gaining two more months of Hanson’s services, and I’d be willing to bet that Hudson’s ERA is around 3.50 – 3.75 (meaning that Hudson will only minus around 30 runs to the run differential). Playing better defense (Melky if he stays provides that), gaining some steady bats (a Chipper rebound and Prado everyday – along with a possible boost from Heyward) will make up that 30 runs over a 162 games season.
There isn’t any reason to belive that the Braves as currently constructed, without Wren making another move, can’t finish in the same +100 or so vicinity in run differential. They just might have to go about reaching that total in a different manner in 2010.
If there is less dropoff from Vazquez to Hudson than I noted, Lowe rebounds, Chipper rebounds and Glaus gives us anything (not to mention I seriously doubt Wren is done), there is a chance that we INCREASE the run differential. Thus winning more games.
Enough to catch the Phillies? Unlikely.
Enough to keep pace with the Brewers, Giants, Rockies and Marlins in the wildcard race? Yeah. I’ll put money on that.
Curt, you didn’t have to tell us that you posted as Anonymous..we had that one figured out. Now, please, please, please don’t take this in a bad way, but on the podcast when you said “no room to pick up a fricking 1st baseman to play for you” I swear I had an image in my brain of Dr Evil. It just sort of sounded like his voice. Probably just poor audio quality. Seriously, I laughed out loud and played it back several times. You made my day!
ps: Steve, thanks for trying to keep everything positive and could you pass the xanax?
Man I can’t believe we just traded away our best hitter on the team, right after he has his career year, for a center fielder and pitching prospect. Edgar, good luck buddy, I know you’ll have another year just like this…