Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

28 Oct

Weekend Open Thread

Suggested topic: Which statement would most excite Andruw Jones?

1. “Andruw, you’ve been named National League MVP!”
2. “Andruw, they’re reopening the Gold Club!”

122 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. 1
    James Says:

    What is B.J. Upton’s availability looking like? Sure he was dreadful in the field, but how would he look in Braves rags?

  2. 2
    jenny Says:

    Is there a shred of truth to either one, Mac?

  3. 3
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Andruw might win the MVP. Haven’t heard anything about the Gold Club.

    Upton isn’t going anywhere.

  4. 4
    fjensen Says:

    Has the management actually said what their needs are? ie middle relief, offense

  5. 5
    Mac Thomason Says:

    JS has indicated that the free agents come first; I haven’t heard about addressing any specific needs but I imagine the bullpen.

  6. 6
    diogenes Says:

    Great blog. I enjoy the discussions. I’m nowhere near as stats conscious as most of you are, but I’ve been a Braves fan since the ealy 50’s. My grandfather taught me, and i still believe, that championship teams are strong defensively, especially up the middle, and have superior starting pitching. Maybe with the specialization in pitching roles, that has evolved somewhat; but the Braves still need a good defensive shorstop. If Furcal leaves, who is in the system that is his equal defensively? $8-10 million is a bunch of money for a shortstop not named Rodriguez or Tejada.

  7. 7
    diogenes Says:

    Andruw’s marriage seems pretty solid. I’m not sure his leash is long enough to reach to the Gold Club, so I’d bet he’d be more excited being told he’d won the MVP.

  8. 8
    doubledawg Says:

    I think Andruw would prefer the Gold Club. The guy jogs out ground balls, but still has enough post-game energy to have sex with 2 strippers while partygoers, mostly jewish and italian mafia figures, look on. Though I speak from inexperience, I would guess that no man would prefer a nic-nac to a champagne fueled romp with girls named bambi and coco.

  9. 9
    CJ Says:

    Which would he rather have? Both of ’em – count it!

  10. 10
    doubledawg Says:


    Please explain how it is Tennessee should have won any of those games. Florida, Georgia, Alabama, ONE offensive TD scored. One score in 3 games doesnt exactly merrit the “we shoulda had that one” attitude. Please, dont include any arguments related to what happened on your X-box when you put Ainge in for the second half. you were right witht the Randy Sanders ideas. Although, I think you should remember, that the Great Pumpkin called Claussen the “most dangerous scorer in college football” not once, but twice.

  11. 11
    justin Says:

    I think an all access to the Gold Club would be his preference.

  12. 12
    justin Says:

    oops all access pass is what i meant

  13. 13
    Dave Says:

    Doubledawg…as someone who’s Jewish, I will try not to take offense at your statement about ‘Jewish & Italian mafia types’ at the Gold Club. I think that’s quite a generalization.

  14. 14
    Dave Says:

    Though let me say, Doubledawg, you are dead on about Tennessee. They stink. They actually remind me of the college football version of the Baltimore Ravens…where the defense will start to ‘resent’ the offense because their offense is terrible.

    Here’s a top du jour for the masses:

    Which is/was worse: Tennessee Volunteers offense or the Braves 2005 bullpen?


  15. 15
    Stu Says:

    I think Smitty means that, but for terrible offensive gameplans, Tennessee should have won. No, when you look at those games, UT didnt’ DESERVE to win any of them. However, in each game, that had–by far–the best athletes on the field. Hence the Fire Randy Sanders movement.

  16. 16
    fjensen Says:

    John Thomson 4,250,000 repace with Davies
    Chris Reitsma 1,650,000 replace with Devine
    Jim Brower 1,162,500 replace with James
    Julio Franco 1,000,000 replace with Marte’
    Brian Jordan 700,000 keep Johnson
    Raul Mondesi 1,000,000 keep Francoeur
    Danny Kolb 3,500,000 keep Farnsworth 4,500,000
    Hampton insurance 6,000,000 resign Furcal

  17. 17
    CJ Says:

    On an I hate Joe Morgan note: He chimed in on the absence of African-Americans on the Astros by noting that there isn’t enough scouting in the inner cities and that teams rely too much on scouting players at “the combine.” Hmmm, I am unaware of any baseball combine, although I have heard of the NFL’s combine. Football, baseball – whatever. I’m sure he thinks Moneyball is to blame too.

  18. 18
    justin Says:

    2006 free agent list is out, my shortlist of corner OF, I repeat this is solely my shortlist.

    Brian Giles (would have to take a paycut)
    Jacque Jones (how many times was he rumoured to be traded to the Braves the past two to three years? 33?)
    Randy Winn (Not the best, but would fill leadoff need, and won’t kill you on defense)

    Looks bleak but not much you can do with a limited budget. Next question is who do you keep between KJ and Langerhansolo? Which one has more trade value? How many more youngsters are you willing to try.

  19. 19
    justin Says:

    I think Joe means the facilities in Latin America, and in no way was that meant to be for his defense.

  20. 20
    Andy S Says:

    Randy Winn had his option picked up by the Giants yesterday. No luck on them.

  21. 21
    dexterdex Says:

    “mostly jewish and italian mafia figures”

    Yeah, jews and italians just love to watch baseball players having sex. What the hell are you talking about? Or are you just trying to offend people?

  22. 22
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I just really don’t think that Jacque Jones and Randy Winn are worth paying to play instead of Langerhans, KJ, and Frenchy. Even if we get them for cheap–say, $4 million–that’s about $3,700,000 more than we’d have to pay any of our second-year players. If we’re going to upgrade, let’s go major and get a Brian Giles, or just throw all our money into pitching. Even in Fooky’s absence, once we get McCann and Marte into the lineup full time instead of Estrada and LaRoche, we’ll have some hitting.

    By the way, Dave, Shabbat Shalom.

  23. 23
    Smitty Says:

    Ok here is why Tennessee should have won all three of their games, but for poor coaching and stupid plays on special teams they would have.

    Florida- Tennessee’s special teams muffed a punt, threw a fake punt pass, and had a blocked field goal, all of which led to to field goals and a TD, the diffence in the game.

    UGA- Tennessee was knocking on the door when Clausen over threw a wide open player and then threw a pick in the endzone. A terrible punt that was retunred. All led to 14 poins, the diffrence in the game.

    Bama- Tennessee turned the ball over twice in the Red zone and once on a muffed punt. Two of the three turned in to Bama field goals.

    Speical temas have cost the Vols every game they have been in.

    If Tennessee had DECENT special teams, they would be undefeated and have knocked off 4 top ten teams this season. The offensive game plan for every game has been stupid too.

  24. 24
    Mac Thomason Says:

    What if, what if, what if, blah. Croyle twice missed open recievers for long touchdowns, another time a reciever was shoved out of bounds in the end zone and the official judged the ball “uncatchable”, and one of those “led to Alabama field goals” drives started at the 20, so was hardly cheap. If everything broke Tennessee’s way, they would have won, but that’s how it is in any game between closely matched teams.

  25. 25
    Dave Says:

    Smitty…you are smoking something on the Georgia/Tenn game. I will grant you that Tennessee had chance after chance after chance to beat Bama and Florida. Those games were close and arguaable about the outcome.

    I watched Georgia-Tennessee and it was not close. Georgia outplayed them on both sides of the ball. The final score, in fact, was closer because Tennessee got a cheap touchdown late when the game was already decided.

    Please explain how Tennessee came close to winning that game? You can’t just keep saying ‘Randy Sanders, Randy Sanders’–it gets old. You also have 2 terrible Quarterbacks…hell, if you had Jay Cutler, the Vandy Quarterback, that would have been a great game because Cutler, not Claussen or Ainge, can play.

    another alex r…thanks, though I am not very religious when it comes to shabbas. My Saturday ‘Judaism’ is spent in front of my big screen watching SEC football.

  26. 26
    Dave Says:

    To further a point, Smitty, you really cannot live in a world of hypotheticals.

    I mean, if Dan Kolb didn’t stink and was the same pitchere we got from Milwaukee, maybe the Braves make the NLCS?

    I mean, look at the usc-arkansas game…the Trojans killed the Hogs but ‘what if’ Matt Leinhart throws 5 interceptions and McFadden (the Ark RB) goes for 300 yards and 5 scores and outplays Reggie Bush? Then Arkansas wins the game.

    I know, it sounds ridiculous but that’s what living in a world of hypothericals does. I mean, if Georgia scores every single time down the field against Tennessee, they win 70-14.

    It’s about wins & losses, baby.

  27. 27
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Dave, welcome. But I have nothing against a little football–as far as I’m concerned, better to watch the pigskin than to eat it. I’m not exactly shomer shabbas myself. Tomorrow I see myself sleeping in and watching enough television to forget the homework I’ll have to do on Sunday.

  28. 28
    Adam Says:

    Just saw the headline where Brian Giles turned down a 3 year 21 mil. offer from the Padres. I guess he’s headed towards free agency.

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    Justin, I would love to see the Braves have the third Jones in the lineup. How good would our outfield be if we had J. Jones, A. Jones, and Francouer w/ Langerhans as a 4th.

  30. 30
    Dave Says:

    It’s possible that Giles is waiting for an offer to join little brother in Atlanta…that rumor has long been talked about.

    great line about watching the pigksin vs. eating it. hilarious! Look, as long as my wife is fine with me watching sports (and in particular, the Braves and college football), then my life’s pretty golden, religious or not-so-religious.

  31. 31
    jenny Says:

    Diamondbacks hired Josh Byrnes as their GM. It probably doesn’t mean much except that they might be marginally better next year and Theo Epstein just got exponentially more leverage. Apparently he and Lucchino are currently having “peace talks” to address why Lucchino pisses Theo off so much and how he can stop it. I wish Peter Angelos would have similar talks…

  32. 32
    Smitty Says:

    All I am saying is Tennessee could have won those games, even the UGA game. We were only down seven in the 4th quarter.

    I agree that Cutler is a much better QB than Ainge, Rick Clausen, Casey Clausen. In fact Cutler is probably the best QB in the league (Pre season first team all SEC), followed closely by Croyle and Leak a distant third.

  33. 33
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Here’s the thing. I’m 21, I’m a college senior at Theo Epstein’s alma mater, and I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do next year. I’m not saying that I’m as smart as Theo, or Jon Daniels,
    Now, I may not be smart enough to run a baseball team, but aren’t I at least smart enough to replace Tim McCarver?
    At least I’d remember Bronson “Brandon” Arroyo’s first name correctly.

  34. 34
    Kevin Lee Says:

    THE SEARCH FOR McSLUGGO: The beginning
    With Konerko filing for FA today, the official search for McSluggo begins.
    I don’t think the Braves have any real interest in him, but so often free agent signings seem to be on hold until a few key people sign.
    I don’t see McSluggo among the list of filed free agents, do you?
    Where is McSluggo today?

  35. 35
    Smitty Says:

    AAR- My dog is smarter than McCarver.

  36. 36
    Smitty Says:

    I heard McSluggo can bench 675 pounds and and shoot lightning bolts out of his arse!

  37. 37
    Smitty Says:

    Three guys we don’t have to worry about according to Yahoo,

    “In addition, the Giants announced that three 2006 options had been exercised in which the decisions were up to players: second baseman Ray Durham ($7 million), outfielder Moises Alou ($4 million) and right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins ($3.5 million)”

  38. 38
    Dave Says:

    You are getting trapped in the what if game again, smitty, with a 3 loss, mediocre Tennessee team. Is this really a battle worth fighting?

    If Tennessee still had Peyton Manning, you’d score more touchdowns and win more games. If Georgia still had Hershel Walker, they would also score even more. It’s a moot point.

  39. 39
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’d take Brodie over Cutler, but I’m biased.

  40. 40
    Dave Says:

    Croyle, Shockley & Cutler are all far superior players to Claussen and Ainge. There’s really no question about that.

  41. 41
    Michael Says:

    I heard McSluggo can hit it out of Turner Field, run outside of the stadium and catch it before it hits the ground, and then take a lap around the bases before he throws himself out at home plate.

  42. 42
    csg Says:

    Guys you are missing the big point. Tennessee could barely beat UAB 17-10. Fulmer could only dream about having a quarterback like Hackney!

  43. 43
    Smitty Says:

    The debate is over if Tennessee had a realistic chance to win those games and the answer is yes. I am not taking up for the Vols at all. I am really pissed off at them right now. I fact I am thinking about contacting my lawyer and getting a divorce from them (not really, but it looks funny to write)And before you rebute with, “Arkansas had a chance to win the game over USC in the first quarterer ha ha ha.” Look at the word realistic. The Vols were in all of their losses in the 4th quarter.

    Mac, the Brodie over Cuttler thing is close, you could make arguments for either.

    Dave, Ainge is still a sophmore, all the guys you named are seniors, lets see if Ainge makes any progressions. At this point in his carrer I would take him over Shockley and Cutler as sophmores, maybe even Croyle (becuase of the injuries.)

    Clausen hasn’t played bad all season and shouldn’t be blamed for anything Tennessee has or has not done. Ainge has showed promise, but if he can’t cut it, Johnathan Crompton will be QB next season.

  44. 44
    csg Says:

    Is Shields a free agent after this year?

  45. 45
    Smitty Says:

    I hear McSluggo is listed as a left fileder and a closer who can hit 114mph and is so fast he can cover left field from the pitchers mound. I alos heard that he wants a 15 year deal for $100,000 and is listed as 25, but is really only 17.

  46. 46
    Mac Thomason Says:

    From what I can tell, Ainge’s arm is shot. He’s not the same player he was before the injury. Spencer Pennington (who came in with Croyle) had an injury like that and now he’s a baseball player.

  47. 47
    James Says:

    In all likelyhood, what are the chances of the braves plugging left field and the leadoff spot in the order with carl crawford or rocco baldelli, via trade, both are studs, sure carl had a low on base percentage, but he can nab you 40+ sb’s, and rocco baldelli, a mirror image of jeff francouer…minus the excess strikeouts, who would you rather have? Andy Marte, Kyle Davies, and Adam Laroche could be expendible, and they, in their own way fill TB’s voids. The already have a plethora of OF’s (Gathright, Hollins, Crawford, Baldelli, Gomes, etc.) What are the chances of us maybe going big on A.J. Burnett if Furcal is a goner… 4 years @ 32million (8m per) sounds about right after the implosion of Burnett after the allstar break. Scot Shields may be untouchable, as is Chone Figgins, but if they swing and miss on Konerko and Sweeney, how precious would a possible 20hr 90rbi guy look, relatively young, above average defense, and could shift Erstad (age-DH) elsewhere. Short shouldn’t be so much of a problem as everyone is making it out to be… Furcal’s defense is second to none, and MAYBE his poor performance in the first half will make an encore next season with him being a prime bust somewhere else…I.E. Chicago. I don’t think we should pay him or Farnsworth the big bucks to stay, I crapped my pants when I found out that we got Farnsworth at the deadline, images of him beating a bloody Paul Wilson swirled through my head, as did a enviable powerslam on Affeldt of KC. There were also images of his inconsistency in Chicago. He was unrefined, but now with a sharper slider, he will command bigger bucks elsewhere. Ladies and Gentlemen, you may laugh at this next statement, but I think Tom Gordon would be an excellent pickup, experience, opportunity to close, and I know that he is old, but it would give pitchers like Joey Devine, Blaine Boyer, Will Startup, and others to stage a campaign for closer in 2007. I definitely think Bobby is gone next season (retirement) John Schuerholz also. I think it will be odd for him to have so much say in his son’s future. He will get some playing time this year anyways. Do you think Wily Mo Pena could be picked up off the scrap heap? He fell out of favor with the mangement at the conclusion of the Reds season after being benched. Lots of pop, for a guy riding the bench, he doesn’t even have to start. Kelly Johnson is as good as gone…Sweet swing, but not here, “sunshine” must go to Cali (Scot Shields). Shields should get a good look at closer if we miraculously get him, the stuff he has is simply nasty. How about the availability of Brendan Donnelly? Good Set up guy. I do not like Kyle Davies, other than the debut in Boston, he left little to desire. Langerhans will get more playing time than JF. I can see a slow start in JF in spring training, he’ll have a full season with the Atlanta Braves, but a .235 BA looks appropriate for the free swinger.

  48. 48
    Dave Says:

    And Shockley was a much higher touted recruit then Ainge was…if David Greene had not been a 4 year starter, Shcokley would have already been a great player as a sophomore but played sparingly the last 3 years and didn’t play well because he was always looking over his shoulder when Greene was coming in.

    Shockley has far more talent then Ainge…go back and read or for that information and see what they are doing now. It’s not even close.

  49. 49
    Mike Says:

    I know this probably isnt very likely, but what are the chances of the Braves picking up Matt Morris?

  50. 50
    Mike Says:

    Or maybe picking up Reggie Sanders again?

  51. 51
    csg Says:

    Arent the Furcal talks suppose to begin soon?

  52. 52
    csg Says:

    Nevermind, Furcal to meet w/ JS next Tues or Wed

  53. 53
    Smitty Says:

    If Shockley is so great he would have beaten out David Greene. From what I have seen Ainge has a big time arm, but has been poorly coached. If foot work is horible and Mac may be right about his arm not being the same. He had the same shoulder injury in High School.

    Just because says he is great doesn’t really mean that much. They said Brando Stewart was as good a Payton Manning, we all know how that worked out.

  54. 54
    doubledawg Says:

    Dexterdex and Dave,

    I would apologize for my generalization, IF it was a generalization. Defined as:

    “A principle, statement, or idea having general application”

    Since I was speaking about a SPECIFIC event, involing a SPECIFIC person, with dancers from a SPECIFIC strip club, while SPECIFIC onlookers watched, onlookers who happened to be…. yes, members of the jewish and italian mafia. Oh dear, I’d hate to say something so ignorent and offensive as a FACT proven in Federal Court.

    Please, since you’ve labled me offensive and implied im somehow a bigot, anti-semite, or a reckless “generalizer”, explain to me how anything I said is either offensive or a generalization. Or, you can either apologize or just do a hard swallow and think to yourselves, “wow, im an over sensitive moron, who speaks out of my ass”.

    Sorry for those of you having to read this bickering, but I do take offense to being labled a bigot.

  55. 55
    Andy H. Says:

    With Peyton Manning in attendance, there’s no guarantee that Tennessee will beat Spurrier-coached South Carolina.

  56. 56
    Dave Says:

    doubldawg, I thought I was pretty lenient about your statement and maybe it’s because you are a Georgia fan…but still, why did you feel the need to make cultural generalizations about guys at a strip club like that? Is it possible some or all of those guys were Jewish and Italian? Sure.

    But why couldn’t you just say ‘mafia type’ guys instead of having to make them Jewish and Italian?

    I think it was very insensitive this should not be a haven for bigoted statements. I am anti people being politically correct all the time but that wasn’t a very nice generalization/stereotype to make.

  57. 57
    Smitty Says:

    Andy, Fulmer is the one I am most worried about.

  58. 58
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Let’s try not to have any ethnic generalizations, jokes, etc., here, all right?

  59. 59
    doubledawg Says:

    did you read the article??? I only attempted restate the events as they happened. I made no generalizations. I think the presence of the New York Mafia adds interest to the story, its not everyday atlanta has the Gambino crime syndicate in the headlines. Do you think if it was Donny “Meth-head” McKinnly from Gainesville that had invested in a strip club and subsequently watched andruw jones fornicate, that it would be a national story. court TV doesnt donny and debby meth-head. you are being such a whiny bitch, i simply included a TRUE element that gave the story more pizaz. As a person of irish dissent, I’m not going to demand than any recounting of IRA actions in england be blandly referenced as “some terrerist group activity”.

    Screw you, you win, I’m a bigot, no jewish or italian person was ever in the mob, ever owned a bar called the gold club, ever watched andruw jones have a threesome, ever did anything wrong.

    Now can we talk Braves.

  60. 60
    Smitty Says:

    So guys saying things like “McSluggo can drink 5 handles of whiskey,” is out. We shouldn’t make fun of McSluggo’s Irish roots.

  61. 61
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Doubledawg, there was no reason to bring up ethnicity there. Just say “New York mob” and that’s fine.

  62. 62
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I really don’t want Matt Morris. History of arm trouble, very inconsistent recently, and he’ll cost too much.

  63. 63
    Smitty Says:

    The White Sox are going to shop Jermaine Dye, according to the Cleveland Plain dealer. Could Jermaine Dye be realted to McSluggo? He is due to make 5 million next year and is comfortable in our system. He would be a great 5-6 hitter in our line up. IF they loose Konerko (hopefully not to the Mets) then we could send LaRoche, KJ, and maybe Chuck James for Dye and one of their guys out of the pen. Any thoughts?

  64. 64
    samiam Says:

    high school football is the greatist

  65. 65
    doubledawg Says:

    if i could go back and say new york, believe me I would. sorry for this BS. I just wanted to defend myself.

  66. 66
    justin Says:

    “Or maybe picking up Reggie Sanders again”

    Mike, I certainly hope that statement was made in jest. If not, I am highly offended.

  67. 67
    doubledawg Says:

    Reggie already stole 3.7 million from us. why would we want to give him more? no way he’d ever sign, the braves uniform was kryptonite for him.

  68. 68
    Mike Says:

    I wasnt really serious, i remember how much he blew for us.

  69. 69
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Jermaine Due has McSluggo-like tendencies. It’s something to think about.
    I’m wondering what it would cost to sign Octavio Dotel.

  70. 70
    Kevin Lee Says:

    As so many have expressed their dismay with the “Dead Zone” between the Super Bowl and spring training, could that be a possibility for the Ultimate Road From Bristol you mentioned?

  71. 71
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Maybe. I’m still not sure what shape that would take, but February is the ideal time to do something like that.

  72. 72
    jenny Says:

    This from Will Carroll’s BPro chat:

    Carroll: “I really can’t talk about it right now. It should be coming out within the next two weeks.”

    SBL: “Is this a name we’re actually going to care about?”

    Carroll: “Yes.”

    SBL: “Is it a World Series champion?”

    Carroll: “I really can’t talk about it.”

    SBL: “I would hope not, because that might turn those White Sox black… Will, cough once if he’s on the White Sox… Cough twice if it’s Gary Sheffield.”

    Carroll: “I was involved in the appeals process so I can’t comment at all.”

    All right, color me gullible, but I find Will Carroll a pretty credible source. This could be huge. Who is it?

  73. 73
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Baseball Musings thinks it’s Steve Finley.

  74. 74
    JoeyT Says:

    Why would Will Carroll be involved in the appeals process?

  75. 75
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Do you think we could get Aubrey Huff and stick him in the outfield?

    At midseason it seemed like every other word out of the rumor mill was about JS steering a deal toward Huff. Now that LaMar is finally out of Tampa Bay, we could probably pry away one of their guys. Huff’s attractive to us–30 homers–but it seems like every one of their positions is clogged.

    Two questions. First: do you think we could get Huff? Second: if we could get Huff, would it be worth it?

  76. 76
    jenny Says:

    Why would Will Carroll be involved in the appeals process?

    My best guess is maybe he was asked to testify about something he knew. He does write a column about injuries and stuff. That’s the only possibility I can think of.

    I guess Steve Finley makes sense but does anyone care about him? Carroll said it was someone people would care about.

  77. 77
    JoeyT Says:


  78. 78
    jenny Says:

    All right, I’m bored, it’s joke time. From a list of unintentionally funny statements in church bulletins:

    -The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they can be seen in the church basement Friday afternoon.

    -For those of you who have childen and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

    -The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing “Break Forth into Joy.”

    -This being Easter Sunday, we will wask Mrs. White to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

    -Thursday at 5PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers will please meet with the minister in the study.

    -Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on “It’s a Terrible Experience.”

    -Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

    -Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.

    -Don’t let worry kill you off-let the church help.

  79. 79
    kc Says:

    Smoltz said on AJC that Mazzone loss not “huge void.” Hard to believe that’s coming out of John’s mouth, but it’s funny that Glavine and Maddux never said any good thing about Leo, and now John is saying this. Interesting stuff.

    Anyway, things I would like to see happening for the Braves this offseason (not sure if they will all fit into the BUDGET):
    1) Let Furcal go and play Betemit at shortstop. I still have a little bit of trouble handing out that much money to a shortstop…anyway, I can be wrong;
    2) Resign Farnsworth;
    3) Use the Furcal money to sign Brian Giles. Brian will be a monster away from Petco Park. The Cardinals are supposed to want Brian to replace Larry Walker. Can you imagine a lineup of Edmonds, Pujols, Rolen, and Giles?!
    4) Trade Reitsma and Estrada for Brian Fuentes. The Rockies like Reitsma and need a catcher. I think it’s a fair trade. A cheap all-star catcher does not grow on trees; and
    5) Trade Thomson, Kelly Johnson and a lower level pitching prospect for Barry Zito. The Braves need better starting pitching. A rotation of Smoltz-Hudson-Zito-Sosa-Ramirez/Davies will be great.

  80. 80
    JC Says:

    Glavine and Maddux never said any good thing about Leo

    That statement is 100% false. Here’s just one example:

  81. 81
    kc Says:

    Thanks JC for pointing it out. I take back that statement.

  82. 82
    drew Says:

    Yikes, take a look at the tentative schedule.

    24 of the first 35 on the road, closing with the second-longest road trip of the year, all division rivals: at Philly, at New York, at Florida.

    On the flip side, 16 of the last 22 are at home, and 4 of those away games are in Colorado.

    All in all, it’s conducive to the usual “start slow, finish strong” Braves season. Hopefully the team won’t be as bad next April and May since there will be no Kolb.

  83. 83
    Smitty Says:

    I like playing those guys early. They usually start slow also then they peak around June 15th then they make some bad trades and start to fall around July 30th.

  84. 84
    jenny Says:


    I’m VERY late on this, but you go to Yale? You suck! Can I borrow your admissions essay for a transfer app next year?

    I can’t remember if I know any seniors at Yale…I think David Einstein is a junior. But if you see a weenie little freshman named Steven Siegel around anywhere, smack him for me!

  85. 85
    JC Says:


    I was confused what you were talking about. I didn’t see the article about Smoltz that you referenced until this morning. Those comments were quite interesting. He seemed to be saying just that Leo’s not the end-all be-all of Braves pitching, and that BRaves would be OK. But still, I’ve never heard Smoltz say something like that ever. It’s possible his act just got old. It might also mean that Leo’s going to implement a huge overhaul of the pitching process that ran/oversaw in Atlanta.

  86. 86
    csg Says:

    I like the schedule..the last ten games before the allstar game are at home and 16 of the last 22 games are at home as well

  87. 87
    kc Says:

    Yeah, JC, we don’t hear this kind of comments often from John or anyone within the Braves organization. He is simply saying any pitching coach who will be joining the Braves will do a good job because a system is already in place. Maybe there is a system which Leo has implemented over the years or whatever. The comments from John really get me in thinking what’s really going on between Leo and the pitchers.

  88. 88
    Sam Alex Says:

    Hey Guys…enough of the Tennessee talk of footbal
    . I live in New England but is planning to relocate to Florida in 3 or 4 months. I’ve been a Braves fan since the early 1950’s. How would you guys like if I talk about the New England Patriots
    who won 3 super bowls in 4 years. So keep your monut shut and let’s talk about the Braves.

  89. 89
    Stu Says:

    In my opinion, you can talk about the Pats all you want, but, since they won’t even be making the Conference Finals this year, I’m not sure why you would.

  90. 90
    Sam Alex Says:

    I heard one strong rumor that Marcus Giles is
    lobbying for his brother Brian Giles to sign with
    the Braves.

  91. 91
    Sam Alex Says:

    I don’t like to bet via the internet but I would bet my mortgage that the Pat’s will regroup and
    make the playoffs..even the finals.
    Hey buddy…you never stated about the Pat’s winning 3 out of the 4 super bowls. That is something no other football team accomplished.

  92. 92
    Stu Says:

    Huh? The Cowboys did it in ’92, ’93, and ’95. Still, their run is impressive.

    And I didn’t say they wouldn’t make the playoffs. I said they wouldn’t reach the Conference Finals.

    And who’s your source on the Giles thing? Mama Giles?

  93. 93
    jenny Says:

    Well, Manny Ramirez apparently wants to be traded (again) and all the Red Sox fans want Andruw Jones. I don’t know where they’re getting that idea, but if Manny weren’t getting paid $20 million a year I’d like the idea. Put him in left, shift Langerhans to center where his softer bat makes more sense. Manny’s problem seems to be the media, and the AJC never reports anything very controversial or intriguing or invasive, so there you go. Too bad he costs so much. I don’t envy Theo Epstein the sick headache he probably has right about now. It would be fun to run a baseball team but you couldn’t pay me enough to put up with all this garbage. I have ZERO patience.

  94. 94
    fjensen Says:

    Andruw for Manny? Even if they made the same amount, no way. Andruw is just coming in to what he is capable of while Manny wants to get traded every year. AJ agrred to a reasonable salary (with Boras as his agent to play with the Braves. Manny won’t alter his salary even though he makes 20 million. Team player AJ 10 Manny 1/2

  95. 95
    matt in boston Says:

    i’ve heard the talk about getting andruw jones up here. it drives me crazy. it’s that kind of we-own-the-world attitude that bothers me most about the red sox fans. but anyone with some sense up here nixes the idea when they hear it. they know the braves aren’t letting him go. and not for crappy defense, blas’e attitude Manny. trade ideas, like this one, are exactly why Theo wants to leave. He can’t walk out of his Back Bay condo without the mailman telling him who he should make a move for.

    in fact, i think JS should go ahead and lock AJ up for a few more years. don’t wait like we did for furcal. For the 1st time, andruw showed what he’s capable of with his bat. He’s a star. The city of Atlanta needs him. Hopefully, he’ll be in a Braves’ uniform for a long, long time.

  96. 96
    JoeyT Says:

    Philly’s moving the fences back. Someday, they’ll have a REAL ballpark.


  97. 97
    JoeyT Says:

    I screwed up that link. Try this one.

  98. 98
    jenny Says:

    It is a dumb trade idea and it would never happen, but if it hypothetically did, I wouldn’t be collapsing in tears.

    Boston really has a leak problem. Players can’t do anything without it being poured out all over the Globe, the Herald, and Dirt Dogs. This one, like everything else, smacks to me of Larry Lucchino, which will not help his case if he’s trying to resign Theo, who sounded pretty mad about the whole thing in the Globe article. A lot of JS’s success, I think, is that he can keep things under wraps and execute moves quickly and efficiently without every little thing being splashed all over AJC.

    They say job stress can be very harmful. I am waiting for Theo to jump off the Green Monster into Boylston Street rush hour traffic. I would have gone down that road during the ARod mess. This is why I should not be a GM.

  99. 99
    Stu Says:

    I would be collapsing in tears. You’d be decreasing overall defense without adding enough offense to make up for the difference. Andruw’s also fairly significantly younger and not a crybaby, like Manny.

    Also, I don’t get the whole, “We should do it to move our production from center to left” argument. I mean, the fact that we have Andruw’s offensive production in center means we don’t have to have it in left, and it doens’t make sense to do a trade just so you can shift the offense over to a more traditional spot on the diamond.

    I repeat: I am thankful that JS is not even remotely interested in this idea, because I think it would be an absolutely terrible move for the Braves.

  100. 100
    JoeyT Says:

    Yeah, the age thing is the biggest deal. Manny’s getting to the point in his career where he’s about to be declining, whereas Andruw’s at the point where he should be stabilizing for the next three or four years, two of which are covered under his current contract. Manny’s deal will just be stupid in ’07 and ’08.

  101. 101
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Jenny, I don’t know David Einstein or Steven Siegel (although I just facebooked the two of them so that I can introduce myself to the first and smack the second). I’m a senior myself, so it’s sometimes hard to get to know people from other classes.

    You definitely don’t want my admissions essay, though. My admissions essay was a 2-page paper I wrote for French class and then translated into English to send off for colleges.

    But please, by all means transfer here. We need more hardcore Braves fans. It gets awfully lonely hearing nothing Sawx nation and Cotton-Eyed Joe-humming Yankees fans.

  102. 102
    James Says:

    I do not like the idea of Manny for AJ. AJ is mos def going to taper off next season. The difference between last year and the years before is that he def came up more clutch, but scuffled in sept. and oct. I need to start a carl crawford campaign, leadoff, low o.b.s., but you can count on 45sb. Rocco Baldelli is who I really want in left, but he is talking contract ext. with TB. Julio Lugo would fit in nicely in ATL, sure he whooped up on his wife, but a high obp could plant him in the two hole, or leadoff. We will see Marcus Giles in San Diego before we will see Brian in ATL. Marcus Giles is the biggest prick I’ve ever met…
    My discussion with him on the day of us clinching, when I got him to sign stuff near the players parking lot…
    James- Will Furcal be back in ATL?
    Giles- They won’t pay up (AOL Time warner)
    James- How about Brian, your brother? I heard that he may be interested in playing with you…
    Giles- They won’t pay up…
    James- You got a few years left in ATL before free agency, you want to stay in ATL?
    Giles- Not really, I want to play where ownership isn’t so cheap…

    I swear, this is my brief converstation with Marcus Giles, the rudest “primetime” player I’ve ever met. A true jerk, I say get rid of the punk.

  103. 103
    drew Says:

    ESPN is reporting that the Dodgers have fired DePodesta. Rough, rough season for them with injuries last year; seems like DePo maybe deserved one more.

  104. 104
    Second Bass Says:

    Hi–I’ve been reading for a while now and thought I’d make a contribution. I’m a die hard Braves fan, and the offseason is killing me! My questions all center around the Rome Braves, my favorite minor league affiliate. I’ll just post a few at a time and see if anybody is interested in discussuing these:

    1. Have the Rome Braves ‘officially’ made any moves yet? In other words, have they promoted anybody up or down? Have they released anyobdy? I am speaking of moves since the season ended, not those just before (Greg Creek to Myrtle Beach, Jon Owings to Rome, etc.).
    2. When are rosters for 2006 finalized? Is it after Atlanta’s spring training? When can we expect a release of the names?
    3. Players like Dean White and Charlie Morton have been with Rome for a couple of years now. What are their futures?

    Thanks everybody!

  105. 105
    jenny Says:

    Firing DePodesta was bogus. McCourt caved into PR demands; they had a ton of injuries this year that weren’t DePo’s fault. Problem is, though, most of the guys on the roster are his guys and signing JD Drew to the 5/55 deal was stupidity of epic proportions.

    James: Maybe you think Marcus is a prick based on that brief encounter, but that’s really not fair, since ownership IS cheap. Marcus was right. They won’t pony up for Furcal and they won’t pony up for his brother. Have you ever known Marcus to mince words? Tell it like it is. I don’t see how that makes him a prick. I know someone who knows him much more personally and thinks he’s the greatest thing ever. So maybe you rush to judgment.

    AAR, which Alex R. are you at Yale? I facebooked you and there are like 50.

  106. 106
    James Says:

    411: The story on Sportscenter was good and great, but I stand by my opinion, he dresses like Bernie Mac going to church, and he sounds like a toad, sure, he is right, ownership won’t pony up, and hopefully the stinginess will not transcend into a fifth place finish next year. I definitely think he is right, but in the ATL you keep your mouth shut or get packin’ (John Rocker.) There are so many holes, I don’t know what to think, like I said before, Julio Lugo and Carl Crawford… enough said, Get-R-Done. A.J. Burnett for 4 years at 8-9 per, John Thomson goes walkin’… Furcal and Farnsworth also, Hello Tom Gordon and Scot Shields… Bye Bye Johnny Estrada, Kelly Johnson, Andy Marte Kyle Davies, Adam Laroche, Julio Franco, Brian Jordan, and have a nice retirement Jay Powell. Talent for talent that should be the mantra this offseason, enough said. Manny for AJ? Sounds sexy, but I’ll keep the younger Jones (Jones = Gold Glover+ 2nd in the MVP) RHP Brandon League will look nice in a Braves uni. I think Giles is a great player, but I would love to see him packing in the proposed TB deal I want. Pete Orr is krunk, he flies down the line, not-so-great defense, but will make up for it with a fat o.b.s.

    By the way, Giles still looked like a white Deion Sanders in ’95. (Golden Oakleys) He sucked in the divisional series, and I think “primetime” should be sent somewhere else, hell, maybe Jorge Cantu will be miraculously dropped in our laps, look at the stats.

  107. 107
    Jeff Says:

    It seems the Braves have a new pitching coach–Roger McDowell.

  108. 108
    Jeff Says:

    Here’s a quick excerpt from

    “We are absolutely thrilled to add Roger to our staff,” Manager Bobby Cox said. “He is one of the true up-and-coming teachers of the game. He has a great knowledge of pitching and the reviews and evaluations we had on him were tremendous. Roger was a great competitor as a player — he started, he relieved and he even fought through arm problems, so he comes in a with great level of experience that our pitchers will learn from.”

    Sounds kind of strange to me, but what do I know…

  109. 109
    JoeyT Says:

    This really deserves a new post by Mac.

    Here‘s his BaseballLibrary page. Nothing about what he did after player life.

  110. 110
    JoeyT Says:

    So, it seems he coached A-ball South Georgia Waves for a couple of years, then with the Las Vegas AAA club for a couple more. I don’t know much about him, but, as Jeff quoted, the Braves have good “reviews and evaluations”. He also interviewed with the Mariners.

  111. 111
    jenny Says:

    Wait a minute, James. You just went into the realm of complete nonsense. You don’t like Marcus because of how he DRESSES? Who honestly gives a crap how he dresses? “White Deion Sanders?” Isn’t that stereotyping? White guys dress one way and black guys (Sanders, “Bernie Mac”) dress another and he’s blurring the line? If I’m putting words in your mouth, I really do apologize, but that’s how it came across to me. And you’re equating what he said to the John Rocker situation? Totally irrelevant. It is not possible to equate offhand comments made to a fan in a freaking PARKING LOT with racist, homophobic remarks made to Sports Illustrated. That is complete garbage.

    Sorry if I’m coming off like a jerk, people, I’m just a teensy bit mad.

  112. 112
    JoeyT Says:

    He also interviewed with KC. Seems a lot of people were interested in this guy. Hope he’s good.

  113. 113
    Stephen Says:

    McDowell looks like a great choice. It is good to see the Braves go outside the system and get some`new blood’. McDowell ought to be good with the bullpen.

    Even better, it allows the Braves to keep the present system intact. By all accounts Dal Canton has been brilliant at Myrtle Beach. Willis has established his reputation within the system. Meanwhile, we have a couple more waves of prospects (who will cluster at Rome and the Beach next season) who should be able to more than benefit by the perpetuation of the current system.

    At this point, this looks like a smart and very sensible choice.

  114. 114
    JoeyT Says:

    Here’s an article about him, focusing on his personality, from the Voice. He seems like a pretty cool guy.,cooper,45712,3.html

    Here’s a blurb from a Mariners blog (link)from three days ago, as he was up for that job.

    McDowell was the pitching coach at AAA Las Vegas in the Dodgers organization last year, where the only guy to turn in a respetable performance was someone named Franquelis Osoria. Las Vegas is a hitter-friendly environment, and a pretty extreme one at that (on par with Ameriquest Field), but the team ERA was 28% worse than the league average, and its K/BB was 17% worse. The brightest prospect on the team, Edwin Jackson, regressed from what was already a pretty awful 2004 season with a total nightmare of a 2005 campaign.

    Here’s the real scary part, though – by taking each pitcher’s K/BB ratio at his previous stop and weighing it for the amount of innings he pitched in Las Vegas, you find that the staff as a whole underachieved by 39% (in terms of strikeouts to walks) under McDowell. Some of this is due to many pitchers facing a higher level of competition, along with the general across-the-board deleterious effects of pitching in a bandbox, but still, that’s hardly an encouraging bit of support for McDowell’s case.

    It probably doesn’t mean very much, since analyzing the effect of pitching coaches is hazy at the best of times, but when it’s all you have to go on…well, it’s worth thinking about.

  115. 115
    JoeyT Says:

    I linked the blog above, but the post comes, more specifically, from here, where it’s followed by a few comments from Mariners fans. They aren’t too hot on the guy. One comment:

    Did they underachieve, or did they get exactly what you’d expect if you start Scott Erickson, Ryan Rupe and Pat Mahomes?
    Honestly, it has to be some of both, but I get worried when the guy has 0 success with the sorts of AAA journeymen that flit between teams and leagues. The two guys with the most starts put up ERAs of 6.38 and 7.12. No, they weren’t really prospects any more than Ryan Rupe was, but then why is it that Tacoma can get solid production from Jeff Harris, Damian Moss and Masao Kida?
    Yes, the ballpark plays a big role, but my god, the law of averages would imply that SOMEONE on the Vegas roster (probably Jackson) would be league average or so, right?

  116. 116
    James Says:

    Listen, I am so not a a racist, one because I am black, two, I am making fun of someone that totally shat on me, my first amendment right, three, I can streotype if I like, but you sterotyped me by assuming I was some mind of a white punk, quit trying to start stuff with me… Did you even look at what else I wrote…Gordon, Shields, Crawford… Obviously you have Marcus Gile up your butt. And Brian Roberts would suit ATL more than Gilly. “Thank you come again…” – APU (The Simpsons) Commentate on what I would like to do to the team instead of talking about the legalties of being a human and stuff like that… I have no time for that. Scot Shields closer of the ATL Braves, Flash Gordon setting up, with Macay McBride in nailing lefties to the wall, Blaine Boyer, Joey Devine, Chuck James, Will Startup, all filling it out with one or more filling in.

    3.C. Jones
    4.A. Jones
    5.J. Franchise
    6.Brian McCann
    7.Julio Lugo
    8.W. Betemit

    rf-JEFF F.
    cf-A. Jones
    lf-C. Crawford (If not, cheap alt. J. Burnitz)

    1. RHP John Smoltz
    2. RHP Tim Hudson
    3. RHP A.J. Burnett
    4. LHP Horacio Ramirez
    5. RHP Anthony Lerew?

  117. 117
    drew Says:

    Barring a huge adjustment by spring training, Francoeur will not hit fifth. His best slot in the lineup is third, when he’s gotten to the point that he’s seeing 5 or 6 pitches every AB.

    Also, I want no part of Burnett. He’s got a thick skull and a reputation as clubhouse poison; let him go to Baltimore and see if Leo can fix him there.

    As for the Rays deal, they’ve had terribly unreasonable prices for their players in the past, and thus far don’t seem to be putting together a front office that will change that. Marte would be a part of any deal to pry players out of them, but the rest are all (at this point) spare parts, and you don’t get established starters for spare parts. Also, it would increase the budget well past what TimeWarner has proven willing to spend.

  118. 118
    Stu Says:

    Lighten up, Jenny.

    First of all, it is quite jerk-ish for Marcus to so cavalierly bash the front office the way James says he did. I don’t care if it’s true–it’s rude and INCREDIBLY unprofessional for him to say those things in casual conversation with a fan.

    Second, for goodness sake, your cries of racism need to be held back for those times when racism is actually displayed. James didn’t say anything racist. He said Giles was dressed like Bernie Mac going to church, which, believe it or not, is a factual assertion. Bernie Mac does dress a certain way when going to church, and if Marcus looked that way–or like the way Deion dressed–then it’s a valid comparison, not racism.

    “Marcus Giles dresses like a prominent black man known for his flashiness.”

    “Marcus Giles dresses like a black man, which he shouldn’t do, because he looks foolish, and white people shouldn’t be dressing like black people, anyway.”

    See the difference in those statements? I can appreciate intolerance of racism, but, again, your message is ineffective when used in the wrong spots.

  119. 119
    jenny Says:

    I saw that one coming. Point taken, Stu, even if I don’t completely agree :-)My apologies to James, too.

    Anyone see Scott Podsednik on SNL tonight? And the Stephen A. Smith imitation? Pretty funny stuff.

  120. 120
    James Says:

    Apology accepted…Thanks Stu

  121. 121
    James Says:

    i am not really black…

  122. 122
    50PoundHead Says:

    CJ, as to Morgan’s commments, I believe he may have been referring to the Scouting Bureau. It’s not at all like the NFL combine, but MLB does keep a master data base of pretty much all draft eligible players at all levels.

    What Joe is probably bemoaning is the fact that many inner-city schools are cutting baseball, so there is no reason for scouts to work the inner-city schools like they did in his day. Thus, inner-city kids with talent may not be showing up on the radar due to a lack of exposure.

    The whole “baseball losing the inner-city (read minority) athlete” debate has been humming along for awhile. It is a real tragedy. Not so much for baseball, which seems to be doing alright, but for the kids in these schools who need opportunities.

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