Gotta hit the books this morning, but looking forward to the show tonight.
I’m majorly deflated to hear of Jair’s alarming soreness and reminded how heavily windows of opportunity play a role in baseball. If you get a year where you’ve got some hot talent still making relatively low salaries to compliment your expensive vets, and you’ve got good pitching and a healthy club, you’d sure better go for it.
It makes the run of 14 division titles seem amazing and unbreakable.
Um, there are ABT mugs? Where can I get one, and who is (not) doing the ABT marketing that is dropping the ball on getting these things to the clamoring masses?
I really enjoyed the banter about the philosophy behind the near-term picks vs. the success of picks from the past, although I historically despise these things much like College Signing Day or NFL Draft rambling. Maybe I just despise Kiper and McShay in particular, and that’s really it.
92 wins? Really? Methinks someone will need to whack a few of the Marlins 25-man roster with a 2×4 first . . . sign me up.
Who me? Would I? Although, I literally salivated at the thought of an ABT mug…literally. It was very messy. I honestly forgot most of the information and perspective given by the brilliant Mr. Goldstein during the last 2 minutes of the podcast. Haven’t laughed that hard since Curt’s spanking his children tweet.
I love Jennifer Hudson and Josh Groban but the devil can take the rest of We are the World 2010.
Come to think of it, I do remember some conversation about Johnny Damon. What was it he said? Can’t remember. Bub, do you remember what the fine guest host said about Johnny Damon and how he would benefit, I believe he said “add”, to the team?
He also said it in a tone pretty dismissive of Matt Diaz. I enjoy Goldstein a lot, and if I had to put money on his opinion or my own, I’d bet on his. But have you ever checked out old articles of baseball experts like Olney and Stark? Littered with very confident observations that ended up as wrong as half of what you see on any message board. (With all respect to our qualified guest.)
That was wifey not me… She put up with me sitting in the kitchen last night listening to the cast while i ate. Her message says- Curt, Hamilton and Steve- this is interesting. Go Japan! Kawakami Banzaii!!!
She kept interrupting me with all kinds of interesting stuff so i will probably have to listen again.
Great show, guys, thanks for all you do. Audio was sometimes, well, inaudible. I guess Goldstein has to occasionally duck into an alley to make sure he’s not being “tailed” by Mike Minor fans.
Not surprised to hear his less than glowing opinion of Freeman. I think many of us have been guilty of linking Heyward and Freeman together in the same sentence as they have come up together. Hoping for a dynamic duo..
So, what’s the big fuss about JJ?? I mean we still have Hanson, Huddy, Vasquez, Lowe and KK, right? RIGHT?? We still have all those guys don’t we???? Oh, dear…
Freeman as a good hitting 1B without typical mash ability for that position will be more than fine as long as McCann is here out-mashing his own position. Especially while Freeman is cheap.
If Freeman ends up as a legit 1B, power or not, and Heyward works out, that would be an amazing rate of graduating players from the minors. Hanson, then Heyward, then Freeman in back-to-back-to-back years.
Not to mention Minor and Schafer are real possibilities.
Yeah, Tcc, it surely would be nice. Better than Kotchman! (And hey, I wasn’t miserable with Kotchman if we’d had an outfield.)
I don’t know if anybody else felt this way, but the most comforting tidbit to me in Goldstein’s interview was when he said most every team’s got huge holes in their farm system at postions the big league club will need soon.
Yeah, and I think that goes back to the Brave’s history of drafting more pitchers, developing them and then trading them for position players. Granted, there are some former Braves pitchers we would love to have kept.
Honestly, other than the two guys in the Tex trade, I can only really think of three guys we gave up who ended up biting us over the years: Jermaine Dye, Jason Schmidt, and Kevin Millwood. The Braves have done an amazing job keeping their top talent and dumping guys who had a lot of hype that they never lived up to – Andy Marte anyone? Only guy they refused to give up was George Lombard and I’m sure they regret what might have been if they had been willing to move him.
As Lou Piniella once said: ‘If the Braves want to have a conversation with you about a pitcher, leave the room.’
Good point about Marte, he seemed like as sure a thing as we could get…but. Goldstein’s comments about Andrus were interesting too. I hated losing him, but when you look at past deals, Schuerholz and Wren have been right on.
Hey Bubdylan! Leah was actually at Bible study last night but will be gettin her Lost on today fo shizzle. Hammy, give me a link to your fave Lost message board…too many. Happy MRI Results day everybody! Here’s a pic to get everybody ready for spring. http://tinyurl.com/yfor7ut
And sorry guys for the audio quality on this show. Kevin Goldstein was all set to be on a headset and Skype with us, but his headset broke so we had to go retro and call him on his cell. Not ideal. Hopefully you were all able to pick up his nuggets.
Funny Bub but…ew. No offense Hammy. Great link! I’ve heard quotes from Jensen but never took the time to read in depth. I miss so much without a little help and rewatching episodes. Like when Locke gives Ben a copy of “The Brothers Karamazov” to read while being held in the hatch and he uses the title page to draw a map to Henry Gale’s balloon. Totally missed it the first time. What you, Hammy, may not know is the main characters of this novel were fathered by a total narcissistic jerk with little, if any, mothering. Sound familiar?
I think Bub (aka Pawpaw) would enjoy the literary parallels of Lost if he ever watched TV but that will never happen.
I just started thinking about watching the first televised ST game in a few weeks. And particularly seeing Heyward, Glaus, and Chipper at-bats. Imagine how off the charts geeked up we’ll all be if those three look good to go in ST. I know, I know, I used the “if” word. But, c’mon – those three looking good is exceedingly possible. And the thought of it opens up my unabashed optimism in a ridiculous way.
Steve, bring on the optimism! Although I’m sure it has something to do with JJ’s happy MRI today. I just read a lengthy explanation why Frank should take a look at trading for Adrian Gonzalez if the Braves are seriously in the hunt come mid season. Dude made a good argument but I got kinda lost in the numbers and charts etc.
I’m kinda just ignoring the JJ stuff and deciding not to worry given the negative MRI results today. THAT SAID, the whole thing is still pretty worrisome, right? Is his shoulder more susceptible now to inflammation/discomfort/injury? He hurt it throwing across his body. I’m a little spooked by the whole thing.
Frank Wren was just on 790 again this morning. Interesting stuff about guys like Russell Branyan, Jermaine Dye, Carlos Delgado, and of course Johnny Damon. He also talked about some kid in our farm system. Justin Haywood or something. Said he had a chance to make the team out of Spring Traning. Never heard of him myself.
I’m sure they will post it later. Worth listening to.
Yes, the interview was quite good. It’s amazing, the progression that has taken place the past few months when the FO talks about Heyward. They were so non-committal about him getting the starting job on Opening Day a few months ago and now they are absolutely definitive in their answer that it’s his to lose. In breaking news, I cannot wait for the Jason Heyward era.
Folks, I am very seldom confident in any prediction of my own, but you all have lost your minds if you think Damon is coming to ATL. What possible lines are you reading between? I’ve read my eyes dry on Damon ink. It’s not there.
Curt – how about a similar bet where we have to address each other in some “you’re the smartest” guy way through the entirety of an upcoming show.
Ham – Regarding inside intel, I had my weekly one on one call with Schuerholz this morning, but we ended up talking about other things. From what I’ve read, Detroit’s offer is the biggest, but he (and his wife, more importantly) don’t want to play there. And that leave us and the ChiSox. And I’ve seen nothing that indicates that Chicago’s offer is any bigger than ours. Next Tuesday or Wednesday, Boras is going to call FW, tell him for 500K more Damon will get in his car and report to Orlando – and it’s done. I’m telling you.
I’ll tell you a movie I saw recently with the wife that we enjoyed was “An Education.” Don’t know if anyone has seen it. The girl in it is up for an Academy Award and she is great. Peter Sarsgaard is his normal weird, kind of smarmy self. Really a clever little film.
Michael Clayton really was great. George Clooney, the only person to appear on both “ER” TV shows.
One more comment on Clayton. *spoiler alert, for anyone who hasn’t seen it*
The movie’s brilliant in a ton of ways. But the rarest one to me was how they let the audience in on the car bomb not killing Michael right from the beginning. Think how easy it would have been to integrate a “gotcha” into the plot right there. I mean, the other characters think he’s dead, how did they avoid the temptation to drag the viewers into that? Especially since the movie begins with the car bomb. You can even see how it would have been edited in.
Well, anyway, it was a mature decision. One of many. The lack of that sort of thing really lends a lot of weight to the film.
Alright, I’m done gushing. But this really is the best movie I’ve seen in months. Don’t know how I neglected it for so long.
Scariest part is that his BABIP was fifty points higher on the road. So, on top of hitting only 7 of his 24 “homeruns” on the road (in just 10 fewer plate appearances), and OPS’ing a hellalarge 120 points lower on the road, this was all while having better luck (BABIP isn’t all luck, but it’s much luck, right?).
I’m thinking he may flounder in ’10. Braves will be glad they lost out on this one.
Well, you and Steve have UNcovered it for some sadistic reason. And if you only mean the homers-that-would-have-been-homers-at-the-Ted graphic from Joe What’s-A-Wind-Tunnel Fan, then this is a slightly different set of stuffs.
But I must be out of my mind for getting back into this anyway. I think I’ll go look for some Jo Jo Reyes outings on video.
Okay, I see what happened now. On the Bill James chart I looked up, all Chipper’s stats got bumped over by one column. The 87 doubles are supposed to be his singles. And the 21 runs they had Chipper scoring are his HR totals. James predicts 21 homers for Jones. It’s just a bad chart. I’d link it for you, but that’s what I tried above and it got BANNED.
Back to movie talk – my wife and I just watched Couples Retreat. It is not Michael Clayton and Vince Vaughn is not George Clooney.
(One other thing about M.C. was the ending – I think I actually clapped or said “Woohoo” when Tilda Swinton and Co. got her comeuppance at the end. Just a great, great ending. I also think that she (Tilda) really earned the Oscar with that scene alone.)
Stevie – I follow your logic, and I am beginning to believe you on Damon. I am still totally on the fence if it is a good thing or not. I know the thinking behind him being at the top of the lineup, McLouth going lower etc, but I could also see him laying a colossal deuce at the plate and in the field and Bobby not being able to bench him because of his blind loyalty to veterans. Can J-Hey play all three positions? At once?
Also, anyone want to start taking bets on Opening Day starter?
Hammy, if the Jair Scare goes completely away, I think he’s the most diplomatic, and the best choice. The best because he can handle it and he’s ready. The most diplomatic because if Bobby doesn’t pick either of the veterans, there’s no subsequent weirdness between Huddy and Lowe. They’ll both feel benevolent about passing the torch along to the next guy, etc. Maximum warm fuzzy potential.
I meant to throw mine out there as well. I’m with you, Bub. I think that Bobby realizes the message of confidence the opening day nod gives to someone, and I think that Bobby thinks that Huddy needs it more than any of the other guys do. I also like DOB’s theory that starting Lowe on the road (as the 4th) might be the best thing after all of the acrimony (real or perceived) in the off-season.
I would love it if it were Hanson. That way he is on the fast track to win 30.
I agree with Curt on the rotation to start the year. I think there’s no chance that Bobby would start JJ or Hanson and, between Huddy and Lowe, it’s got to be Huddy. So, the rotation will be; Hudson, Lowe, JJ, Hanson, KK
I pick Huddy also unless D. Lowe starts to cry and blubber something about how he’s the veteran ace blah blah blah. Then Bobby will tear up, rub under his nose with his forefinger and say “go get ‘em kid.”
The McLouth thing is pretty crazy. It’s like Schafer’s wrist last year. Tell someone! It’s a selfish act and hurts the team. On the bright side of this McLouth news, I’ve got even more to hang my hat on for my overly optimistic predictions for his bounce back this season.
From DOB earlier today: “So guess who left a workout early today with a respiratory problem, a former Braves pitcher now with a another team. You get one guess. C’mon, think hard. Why, Rafael Soriano, of course.”
I realize it makes me a small person, but this piece of news brought a smile to my face.
Seems like the Braves have a problem with this sort of thing – the whole hiding injuries and/or the fact you are going blind. Remember, if you must, Jeff Bennett and his broken hand. Anthony Lerew and whatever his deal was? Forearm?
Awe Bub. That’s sweet. Glad you had fun. Since Will asked a simple question I have one of my own. The order of the rotation seems like a big deal but why? I understand needing an order so each pitcher has suitable time in between outings but why the big deal what order they pitch in? I mean there are so many games does it really make that big of a difference who starts? I’m sure when I hear the answer the question will seem even more juvenile than it does right now.
Leah, its all about pitching matchups, as far as I know. It seems that over the course of the season that you would not continue to have the rotations match up, but it stays pretty set. Each team runs the same 5 man rotation and has the same number of days off. But you want your top guys going against their guys to have the best chance to win. In theory anyway. But then think of how many top starters KK faced last year.
I’ve decided to take a pass on even watching it. We all know how this plays out. All he has to do is go through the motions. He probably has a checklist.
1. Hide away while speculation builds. Become hated.
2. Make an apology nobody believes. Remain hated.
3. Lose some money, but not enough to destroy my lifestyle.
4. Quiet divorce. Hated some more.
5. Books by the some of the women hit the shelf. Hate me, hate me.
6. My wife’s book hits the shelf. Uber hate.
7. Play some golf again. Snobby smile at camera. Hatey McHateville.
8. Wait one more year for the American public to get bored out of their minds with this scandal.
9. Play more golf.
10. Win tournament. Host charity event. Give “things I learned” interview.
11. Everybody loves me again. New sponsors calling every day. New wife. Behold I am Cheater that Rose from the Ashes #79. And I never had to lose control.
“If the Tigers only offered Damon a one-year, $7 mill offer that includes some deferred money, well, then the Braves’ initial offer — believed to be worth about $4.5 million with some money deferred — might be just about enough to ultimately bring Damon to Atlanta.” -DOB
I swear we’re in the movie Groundhog Day. Seven million dollars is 35% more than 4.5 million. And this horse is dead. Spring Training is cranking up for pete’s sake. It’s not like there’s nothing else to talk about. Our beat writer needs rest.
“And who stood out so far? No question: Billy Wagner. I was among those standing at the cage while ago when Wagner threw bullets for 10 minutes, heaters and sliders that looked like midseason form. He really was impressive.”
Now we’re talking.
Okay, I guess I’ll stop copy-pasting the blog that everybody here already reads.
I have to say that I never liked Tiger. He always struck me as a phony and the throngs of fans he brought to tournaments had no sense of decorum or etiquette for any of the other players. He’s sorry he got caught, not sorry he did it. In fact, I think the only reason he got married was for PR purposes. He clearly doesn’t care for his wife at all.
I liked Tiger for the same reason I liked Mike Tyson. The spectacle of complete dominance. But his downfall is boring to me. For time out of mind, power corrupts. Super-rich men marry trophy wives, get bored, cheat on them recklessly, being careful at first and then slowly slipping into self-sabotage. Get caught. Fake repentance. Weather the storm. Repeat. Grow old. Die. Get eulogized as a great man with a weakness for the ladies. I’m not making any special judgment on it. Maybe it could happen to me. But I’m so bored with it I can’t even believe it raises eyebrows.
- Loved that video of Salcedo. By 2013, I want the entire team to be made up of guys 6’3″ or taller.
– Leah, I’ve still not read any confirmation that the Tiger’s deal is two years since those initial reports over a week ago. And Bub, I agree that DOB’s comparison of 4.5 and 7.5 as not that far apart, or whatever, glosses over the numbers a bit. I just think this not wanting to live in DET thing is a significantly big deal.
– Regarding Tiger, the complete dominance was always the thing for me, too. Because, he’s never been interesting to listen to (even when talking about his passion). The thing yesterday was just awful. Aside from how over-wrought and manipulative the speech was, straining to hit ever right note and every step in the mea culpa handbook, it suffered terribly from Tiger himself. Arod was like DeNiro on the Gammons interview compared to Tiger. Absolutely painful. Particularly the stuff about defending his wife and yelling at the media to leave his family alone. It was like freshmen acting class. I did laugh out loud when he went for the Bhuddism card. That one did take me by surprise.
Mercy I’ve got a lot to say.
1st- The fever has subsided, chills have been warmed by the sun and the shakes are all but gone. Ahhh, the Heels are own by one but watching the game with my boys feels like balm in Gilead.
2nd-Bub, is that the video where Scott is asked if he swallowed an amp? If so, it’s amazing.
3rd- Steve, it was bad info bounced around last night and nullified today. Trouble in Twitterverse.
4th- I’ve enjoyed watching Tiger dominate as much as the next girl. I don’t really care when, where, or how his public apology took place. I guess the only part that rubbed me the wrong way was his apology to parents of kids who saw him as a role model. I found that a little cocky. If my kid’s character is in jeopardy due to any athlete’s negative, vile, corrupt life choices then I have failed.
Johnny D to Tigers is all but done, according to Tim Brown at Yahoo. Looks like he’s taking the one year version, Stevie. Combination of money-talks and build-my-value-and-then-get-the-heck-outta-Dodge?
Five dollars says his value plummets in that ballpark. Of course, he could run a long way on a gapper, so maybe not?
Salcedo is a FA SS with a 6’3”, 190 lb. frame from La Vega, Dominican
Republic. Big League body, strong and athletic. Smooth, easy defensive
actions, easy plus arm, can really play SS. Aggressive swing, power
projection, deep load from wide base, good bat speed, geared to drive
fastballs, timing will be an issue. All the tools to be a top player.
Potential 1st round type if in draft.
Thanks, Bub. You’re a gracious winner. I’m not expecting as much from Curt on that front.
The DOB/Bowman thing is pretty interesting. Not just this Damon stuff, but their relationship in general. I’d love to get the skinny on it one day. They seem to be kinda/sorta friends (DOB told a story about Bowman helping him get his car out of some lot last year in ST), but how much professional competition is there, really? And is Bowman crazy jealous about how much traffic DOBs blog gets vs his own? Bub – have you noticed other example of the “war” in the past?
Yeah, I’m totally uninformed on the DOBowman War (see what I did there?). I would say “I’m sure it’s a friendly war,” but DOB’s conflicts have been real enough on other fronts, so…
The Bowman jealousy angle seems pretty likely. They’re both writers, and O’Brien’s certainly the better craftsman. And he’s got the music/BBQ/baseball shtick working pretty well.
But I like to see Bowman win this one. [And here I erased a long paragraph loaded with antiDOBian pathos].
But to answer your question, this thing with Damon is the most clearly I’ve ever seen the battle lines drawn. I dunno if it’s ever been this defined before. We need another defector to come give us the scoop.
Have you guys considered that we had four black holes in our offense the first half of last season? Kelly, Schafer, Frenchy, and Kotchman.
My optimism for our offense comes from replacing those guys with Prado, McLouth, Heyward, and Glaus. The power numbers might not explode, but turning the line-up over is huge. We were so anemic first half of last year. I don’t know if we’ve properly reflected on how much better this is going to be.
Did you know Kelly and Frenchy sported identical .286 OBPs in the first half? TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SIX for an OBP. Schafer was at .313 OBP. Pretty sickly.
This line up won’t be anything like the first half of last year. Those black holes just tear a team up. Pitchers work towards them, so McCann and Chipper don’t get good pitches. I think the consistency of our 2010 line up will create runs. I think we’re going to the play offs.