Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

08 Feb

Jeff Francoeur

Sucks.

How bad was Jeff Francoeur last year? By one measure, he was the worst outfielder that the Braves — who, mind you, have been playing since before the National League was founded — have ever had. Lowest offensive winning percentages by Braves outfielders, min. 500 PA:

OWP YEAR OWP
1 Jeff Francoeur 2008 .304
2 Bill Collins 1910 .314
3 Eddie Brown 1928 .316
4 Dick Johnston 1889 .320
5 Ray Powell 1920 .320
6 Sonny Jackson 1971 .334
7 George Browne 1908 .344
8 Hal Lee 1936 .360
9 Bill Bruton 1953 .360
10 Cliff Carroll 1893 .374

Of course, most managers would eventually bench a guy who was playing that poorly, so not too many would get 500 PA, but Jeff Francoeur is just so gosh darned special, you just hate to hurt his feelings.

Francoeur’s bat, never all that great, is shot. That’s the basic problem; he has no bat speed left, so he has to start to swing, or not, when the pitcher still has the ball, so ball and strike are basically random events whether he knows the zone or not. And even if he makes solid contact, the ball doesn’t go anywhere, so it’s a mildly noisy out at best. Not to sound like Joe Simpson, but he really should just hit the other way, because his best chance of contributing is to slap singles.

He can’t field, either. The year after winning the gold glove, he looked totally lost in right field. He is also terribly slow, so it is unbelievable that he could have played defensive back on a Division-I level, or even in the ACC. Attempted one stolen base last year, and of course failed.

If you want to find a positive sign, he was basically average in March/April and September October. Hey, Detroit, he’s a cold-weather player! Magglio for Jeff, what do you say?

I didn’t want to write this. I kept hoping that the Braves would trade him or release him or announce that he’ll start the year in A-ball in an effort to become a pitcher or float him on a raft to Cuba, but it looks like we’re stuck with him.

Jeff Francoeur Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

216 Responses to “Jeff Francoeur”

  1. 1
    Parish Says:

    As the thread changed, I was just marveling at the relative cost of Abreu and Month Vaughn.

  2. 2
    Smitty Says:

    I almost feel bad for Frenchy. If he didn’t act like a spoiled brat last year, I might even take up for him.

    I hope he has a good season. It really is our only cance.

  3. 3
    sansho1 Says:

    He has a chance to reclaim some bat speed, having lost weight and concentrated on flexibility exercises. That was a necessary move in order to have any shot at a continuing career. Nowhere to go but up, or out.

  4. 4
    Tom Says:

    Up or out.

    Up? No way. Two words: Sucks. Sucks.
    Out? No way. Two words: Bobby Cox.

  5. 5
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New poll.

  6. 6
    ububba Says:

    Worse than Sonny Jackson. That’s a small group.

    I have a hard time even thinking about Francoeur anymore. No bat speed, bad approach, few baseball smarts—just so frustrating to watch.

    Truly, without the power and that odd penchant he once had for driving in runs with 2 outs, how does this guy help the Braves win? He was on the margins before, but now? Ugh, my head hurts.

    Let’s hope his “new approach” gets him off to a relatively blazing start, then maybe we can punt him off somewhere for someone who might be useful and somewhat lasting. This clunker has 3 leaky tires & its head gasket’s about to blow.

    A-Rod a-go-go:

    SI’s Jon Heyman on how the union screwed up:
    http://tinyurl.com/d5ddeq

    Fox’s Mark Kriegel on a tainted legacy:
    http://tinyurl.com/bpfevk

    NY Times’ Harvey Araton on the Yankees’ suddenly bad marriage:
    http://tinyurl.com/b2kzp8

  7. 7
    Weldon Says:

    Don Sutton said Frenchy had a slider-speed bat when he left for the Nationals. That was after 2006? This is not just a one-year issue that Frenchy had, unfortunately. And that makes me feel less optimistic that any kind of off season conditioning is going to really matter.

    But smitty’s right, we need to hope beyond hope that we’re all wrong.

  8. 8
    sansho1 Says:

    We didn’t exactly have anyone busting down the doors for a shot at the RF job last year. With Diaz essentially out all year, and Kotsay hurt, then traded, we could barely find three warm bodies to put out there. I agree that Francoeur was in the lineup way too much last year, but I don’t see him being allowed to be that bad and play every day anymore.

  9. 9
    Parish Says:

    Unless we get a legit cleanup hitter for LF, we will absolutely need a major comeback from Frenchy.

    I think that means Manny, Maggs, or on the outside looking in in October.

  10. 10
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I didn’t like that poll so I put up another one.

  11. 11
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Having a slider-speed bat doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be successful. It just means that you need to be disciplined at what you swing at. Obviously, that’s not Jeff Francoeur.

  12. 12
    Mac Thomason Says:

    He had a slider-speed bat. Now he has a knuckleball-speed bat.

  13. 13
    kc Says:

    “I didn’t want to write this. I kept hoping that the Braves would trade him or release him or announce that he’ll start the year in A-ball in an effort to become a pitcher or float him on a raft to Cuba, but it looks like we’re stuck with him.”

    Awesome. Can’t say it any better. You are the best Mac.

    I have said that all along…no matter how good a rotation Wren puts together, our offense is hopeless without a Frenchy rebound.

    We have no choice but to root for the kid…and I hate that.

  14. 14
    kc Says:

    knuckleball-speed bat…he can’t possibly touch a knuckleball even if he has the right bat speed for the pitch.

  15. 15
    Ethan Says:

    I don’t think it will be hard for the braves to win arbitration vs Francoeur, but if I were Frank Wren, I would call on Mac to represent the club before the arbitrator.

    I can think of no person better able to make the case as to why Jeff Francoeur doesn’t deserve to be paid 4 million dollars this year

  16. 16
    Mac Thomason Says:

    A team full of Jeff Francoeurs (with that .304 OWP) would, with average pitching and defense, have gone 49-113.

  17. 17
    kc Says:

    49-113?! How on earth can a team full of Frenchies win 49 games?!

  18. 18
    Alex Says:

    This new poll has too obvious a right answer.

  19. 19
    sansho1 Says:

    btw

    “Roenicky” — now that’s funny stuff

  20. 20
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Mac–One of your best player pieces! I also love the poll and can’t figure out which choice I like more (because I don’t just want to say the truth–sucky). The way he looked last year he actually reminded me a bit of Komminsk and the way he talked recalled some memories of Deon.

    More important, I think the points about bat speed are telling….

    Still, I think a rebound to basically 2007 level is not out of the question….

  21. 21
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Where was brijordian?

  22. 22
    Adam M Says:

    If he was once a prized prospect, and I vaguely recall him so being, he must have had decent bat speed or at least more speed on foot. And if that’s so, then he must have slowed down. Why? What would account for the deterioration of skills right when he was (is) entering his physical prime? I’ve wondered this for a year.

  23. 23
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I was running out of adjectival endings.

  24. 24
    csg Says:

    Adam, I think the fact that he went from 220 to 240 before last season, plus the so-called ankle problem, really slowed him down. McCann says he’s back to the slimmer version that he came up as, so we’ll see if he has gotten any of his range back

  25. 25
    Gadfly Says:

    Wow, talk about preaching to the choir. Is the next post going to be about how the Yankees suck?

    “He can’t field, either.”-Are you serious? I know he wasn’t the same without Andruw on his right, but “can’t field” is quite a stretch. I know defensive stats aren’t always accurate, but he actually had a better fielding percentage, only slightly fewer putouts, and still an above average level of outfield assists.

    I’m not quite sure you can peg March/April and Sept/Oct as “basically average” either. His OPS may not be off the charts, but in March/April he produced 30 runs in 27 games (albeit with a red hot Chipper, a luke warm Tex, and Brian McCann in front of him… in all of their fleet footed glory.) In Sept/Oct he went for 24 in 24 starts (and one pinch hit appearance, but this was mostly batting 7th behind and in front of much less dangerous offensive threats.)

    Of course May-August was abyssmal, and everyone admits Frenchy can’t go through another stretch like that, but there are plenty of hopeful indicators out there if you actually care to look.

    As for Bobby sticking with Jeff so long: sansho1 (@8) hit it right on the nose, we simply didn’t have a better option to put in RF last year… if you think Francoeur’s defense is lacking I can’t imagine having to watch any of the other options out there on a daily basis. Maybe the guy who stuck with Dale Murphy through his abyssmal 1981 season knows a thing or two.

    Jeff Francoeur, your 2010 NL MVP!!!

  26. 26
    Dan Says:

    This was posted on Talking Chop today. I do not know if it is true but it wouldn’t shock me.

    Jeff Francoeur spoke at the annual Georgia Tech baseball banquet Saturday night and he gave the audience some insight into his approach at the plate. To close his speech, Jeff proudly announced that “its better to go down swinging than to walk”. Obviously. He quickly realized his freudian slip and corrected himself by saying “its better to go down swinging than to go down looking”. Was this a clever joke? Maybe, but the look on his face really makes me think that is was not.”

    http://tinyurl.com/dcsezv

  27. 27
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Runs produced is a stupid stat, and that you keep bringing it up doesn’t help your cause. He drove in about as many runs as a guy who sucks but who hits after Chipper Jones, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann will. Fielding percentage doesn’t take into account “balls hit over fielder’s head because he broke the wrong way” and “liners that went into the gap because the fielder looks like he’s running in molasses”. He was basically an outfielding version of Martin Prado, but a much worse hitter. His range factor/inning was below the league, and his plus/minus was -17, one of the worst in the game.

  28. 28
    braves14 Says:

    All that and you didn’t even mention about his whining about going to the minors that brought him down to Kolbous levels.

  29. 29
    Jason J Says:

    @25:
    “I know defensive stats aren’t always accurate” — You’re right on that count (and I’m probably guilty of placing perhaps too much stock in newer defensive statistics), but the stats you cite are almost never truly accurate.

    A player with the mobility of a statue could, in theory, have a perfect fielding percentage on the virtue of standing completely still and only catching balls which are hit directly toward him. Putouts are largely a reflection of the pitching staff in front of a player (and in the case of outfield putouts, the fewer the better, indicating a higher number of groundball/strikeouts).

    I will admit, however, his arm in right — inaccurate though it may be at times — is most certainly above-average, and can be an asset. Though, to be fair, he does have a slight tendency to airmail throws because he’s gunning for assists rather than simply throwing to the cutoff man.

    Also, his fairly hot September/October might be attributed to the dilution of talent due to roster expansion. Or he might have taken a step forward. For the sake of the 2009 season, I hope it’s the latter.

  30. 30
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Dan–Your Frenchy posts are good fun…I just wish the incident which you mention would make it to Youtube….

  31. 31
    IthacaBraves Says:

    What would a team full of Corky Millers do?

  32. 32
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Or howabout a team of all francoeur hitting and all Zito pitching?

  33. 33
    kc Says:

    IthacaBraves, those are very interesting questions!

  34. 34
    IthacaBraves Says:

    I don’t really understand these metrics, but I would imagine they bottom out at some point. The theoretical Zito/Francoeur would probably finish a season to the tune of -12 and 174.

  35. 35
    IthacaBraves Says:

    I assume everyone is sleeping, but it appears the MLB network has a misplay on. The menu reads “1986 redsox mariners, roger clemens strike out 20″… But the game that’s on is he WHITE sox against seattle in what appears to be 97 or 98, and “CHRIS Clemons” is pitching for the sox…. I have no idea what’s going to happen in this seemingly inconsiguential game…

  36. 36
    CharlesP Says:

    So, did I miss commentary on the Andruw deal with the Rangers? Two things struck me.
    A) Good for both parties… Rangers aren’t high pressure situation, and Andruw on a team not tight on finances offers relatively low risk and high reward.
    B) Odd thing on MLBTR about the contract money splitting with LA? So it’s not a direct he gets 1M from rangers and 1M less from Dodgers, but that if he gets 1M from Rangers the Dodgers have to pay him 1/2M less than otherwise… so getting a bigger contract was in his best interest.

  37. 37
    Jason J Says:

    @31:
    B-R lists Corky’s OWP as .012 … so a team of nine Hamsters would go 2-160.

    @32:
    Assuming my math is correct (which it’s probably not), a team of nine Francoeurs and a pitching staff of Zitos would post a winning percentage of .303 — or the same 49-113 record that Francoeur himself was responsible for.

    (Though it’s worth noting that B-R lists Frenchy’s OWP as .341, not the .304 Mac uses.)

  38. 38
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Re: Sonny Jackson. I didn’t even know he ever played the outfield. I still consider him the worst major league (giving him the benefit of the doubt) shortstop I ever saw.

    Re the MLB network: the more I watch the replay of the Don Larsen perfect game, the more I yearn for the days when announcers didn’t think they had to fill every conceivable waking minute with talk. It’s fantastic, even if a little too minimalist. I can just imagine Chip Carey doing that game.

  39. 39
    Stu Says:

    Why the heck haven’t we avoided arbitration with KJ yet?

  40. 40
    hankonly Says:

    Bless you, Rangers, bless you.

    I’m with you, Marc, about that Don Larsen game. How ’bout those commercials? What a hoot.

    The MLB Channel is addictive. Watched David Cone’s 19(?)-strikeout game. What great form he had.

    OT: Does David Pryce qualify for RoY this year?

  41. 41
    Stu Says:

    hank,
    Price does, yes.

  42. 42
    Dix Says:

    Does David Pri¢e qualify for the HoF yet? If he retires today is he in on the first ballot? If you’re TB, what collection of talent would it take to get Price from you?

  43. 43
    Parish Says:

    Of course, Price could never be traded. It’s not that you can’t find some level of “untouchable” talent that would be a fair trade. It’s just that the potential egg-on-face for a GM is too much to risk exchanging “can’t miss” prospects with each other.

  44. 44
    Michael Says:

    Dix:

    I say we offer Chipper, Turner Field and 500,000,000 dollars for Price and see what they say. Perhaps our 1995 World Series title could sweeten the deal.

  45. 45
    Kevin Lee Says:

    “I hope he has a good season. It really is our only cance.” from Smitty @2

    On first read, I couldn’t tell if the last word was “chance” or “cancer”!

    I think Jeffy will have a good spring, lurk in April, then kill us in May-June, forcing us to consider trades we’d rather not make.
    But I’d be my house he won’t be in one of them.

    Bobby has already declared that as long as his mother is alive, nothing happens to Fredo.

  46. 46
    Dix Says:

    They’d probably say “If you had $500,000,000 you wouldn’t have missed out on AJ Burnett.”

  47. 47
    Michael Says:

    @46,

    Too true…”missed out on” being a relative term here. Although if your budget is 500 large you’re probably not too worried about someone’s arm falling off.

  48. 48
    ububba Says:

    Although it seems a little stretched to fill out a 24-hour programing schedule, MLB Network is the bomb, and having Bob Costas as a regular voice is terrific.

    When the A-Roid story broke on Saturday, they were all over it with with just about every angle & voice you’d ever want.

    Watching the Larsen game was a great experience. Those old razor commercials had me howling.

  49. 49
    hankonly Says:

    Here’s the thing:

    What I don’t want to see happen is for the MLB Channel to veer too far away from what happens on the field.

    We have plenty of outlets for that.

    Certainly, reporting the A-Rod story is required, but showing the same interview over and over is not compelling television. At least to me – an early and avid watcher.

  50. 50
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The commercials were great. I wonder if it really made any difference if you chose the blades for “light,normal, or heavy” beard. (I was also pleasantly surprised to see that they had Newcombe and Campanella doing commercials; I thought that pretty much only white players got to do the commercials.)They should have a blade today for “cut your throat after Francouer swings at a ball over his head.” I also loved seeing the way the crowd was dressed, mostly in business suits.

    And, you know, despite the lack of angles on the telecast, I didn’t think you really missed all that much of the action. The only thing you didn’t get were the three thousand replays from different angles to show the first baseman missed the bag. (or the shots of the player’s hot wife sitting in the stands.)

  51. 51
    hankonly Says:

    Does it bother anybody else that these guys were promised that the results of the 2003 testing would never be made public, yet now it’s leaking like Paris, er, anyway, and NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE?

    Perhaps I’ve read too much Orwell, but is the value of the story now more important than 4th Amendment rights?

    And who does this benefit? Bonds’ and his legal team more than anyone. I smell a rat with an enlarged cranium.

  52. 52
    csg Says:

    why do the testing if no one is punished and nothing is to be made public?

  53. 53
    ububba Says:

    Marc,
    Did you notice that there were almost no women in the stands at all?

    hankonly,
    The channel has to fill 24 hours of programing & I have no problem with the off-the-field stuff. Their “Hot Stove” shows are pretty good, if overlong.

    On Saturday, my apartment was getting treated for water damage—long, boring story—so I was essentially sequestered in one room while these ServPro guys were tearing up my den & installing enormous, loud blowers. Because of that, I had the TV on in this other room since 8 am & watched the MLB Network’s A-Roid report evolve over the day. (Just me & my pal A-Rod.)

    By the late afternoon, MLB Network had condensed its story to the highlights of those interviews. I’m assuming that’s what you’re referring to.

    Very coincidentally, Saturday was the day my Yankee season ticket relocation packet came. So I’m watching/listening to the story break, while I’m going through this package that’s slathered in new Yankee Stadium grandeur. Too rich.

    csg,
    If you’re referring to the A-Rod bust, this was testing from ’03 that was never meant to be public. Google SI’s Jon Heyman, for a very good explanation of how the union screwed up & this bit became public.

  54. 54
    Dix Says:

    I don’t understand why the results of the tests were ever even discovered let alone revealed.

    First of all they should have been destroyed, but irrespective of that fact, why were the results tied to specific players anyway?

    Couldn’t they have just checked off each name from a list as they were tested and then thrown the list away? What was the need to code each sample and attach that code to the name of the player and then stash the key to code somewhere?

    They should have just taken 400 MLB players samples then reported that of the 400 tests, 150 were positive. There really was no need to ever identify the samples was there?

    Someone wanted this information to be available.

  55. 55
    csg Says:

    ububba, Im just referring to baseball in general. Why did they waste time and money to test for something that wasnt illegal at the time and for something that wasnt going to be made public anyways. Seems like a lost cause…

  56. 56
    Dix Says:

    the reason for that round of tests was to gauge whether steroids were rampant enough in the game to warrant banning them and/or implementing regular testing.

  57. 57
    Parish Says:

    While I do not understand the emotional defense that Spike gives A-Roid in the previous thread, I do find these comments interesting:

    Bonds and his legal team benefit (not sure it helps in a perjury case).

    I smell a rat with an enlarged cranium.

    Someone wanted these test results to be available.

  58. 58
    csg Says:

    so Boras is mad that Burrell took “a bad deal?” Sorry Boras, people arent here to keep you happy

  59. 59
    ububba Says:

    Again, SI’s Jon Heyman answers many of these questions:

    http://tinyurl.com/d5ddeq

  60. 60
    Gadfly Says:

    First off @29: Good comments, and I certainly understand the deficiencies of fielding percentage. However, when an outfielder puts up a pretty identical % without a drastic change in putouts (or chances to be more accurate) it seems like it is a hard case to make that he went from Gold Glove to “can’t field.” Sadly, I live outside of the local broadcast range, so I didn’t get to watch Jeff on a daily basis last year, but judging from what I did see, and what I can tell through other stats I think it is fair to say that the additional bulk he added in hopes of uping his HR totals cost him a step in the outfield, and the additional burden of not having Andruw in center didn’t help either. That’s much different than making a claim that he can no longer field. If he really has dropped 20 pounds and added flexibility, I would bet he’s pretty close to being back in gold glove shape. You’re dead-on about his arm, its clear he likes to show it off, but I can’t think of a single outfielder who has an arm that is nearly as good who doesn’t fall prey to that temptation (again, his errors didn’t really increase either, and most badly airmailed throws end up in that category, while the less bad ones don’t really hurt anyways.) As for the end of year production, I guess it is possible that roster expansion helped out, but I doubt that caused the majority of the upswing. The few games I did catch during the last few weeks Frenchy looked like a different player to me, much more relaxed, not trying to hit everything out of the park, which as I’ve said before is what he needs to do.

  61. 61
    ububba Says:

    According to Heyman, A-Rod will respond today with a statement & an interview with Peter Gammons.

    Will he respond like Giambi (apologize, but for nothing in particular), like Pettitte (admit it, but with a “reasonable” explanation), or like Clemens/Bonds (lie like hell)?

  62. 62
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @51,

    Hankonly,

    I agree with your general point that the results should not have been leaked but the 4th Amendment is not at all involved. The Bill of Rights, including the 4th Amendment, apply only to actions by government (state, local, federal) and not to private parties. Any violations would have involved agreements between MLB and the union. But, even if the 4th Amendment were involved, there would be a First Amendment issue in prohibiting the media from disclosing it, ie, see the Pentagon Papers. But, I agree that there seems to be a shameful lack of concern with the privacy of these players, including A-Rod.

    Ububba,

    I did notice few women, which is not surprising I guess considering that relatively few women worked in those days. This might also reflect the fact that a lot of the tickets to the WS in New York in those days were apparently taken up by corporations for their clients and so forth, who obviously would not have been women.

  63. 63
    Dix Says:

    Gadfly,

    If you admit you don’t watch all the games, but you know that Mac does watch all the games, and that Mac is knowledgeable about baseball, why would you question him on it without anything more tangible to point to than poorly conceived statistics?

  64. 64
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Gadfly,

    I agree that saying Francoeur “can’t field” is a bit of an exaggeration. Obviously, he can catch a fly ball. The point is that, for whatever reason, his range declined significantly. So, while people continues to extol his fielding even when he wasn’t hitting, his fielding wasn’t really so good.

  65. 65
    Gadfly Says:

    Now @27: I understand Runs Produced is a simple stat, and one that has limited predictive value, but that hardly qualifies it as “stupid.” It accurately describes the number of runs that a player was integral in putting on the board (albeit ignoring the peripheral production of moving runners up, etc.) Producing runs, and the reverse, are actually the object of the game. There is no space on the scoreboard for Team OPS+. In Jeff’s case his Runs Produced were far from an insignificant number during March/April and Sept/Oct.

    Frenchy did hit behind Chipper, Tex, and at times McCann in the early segment you mentioned (March/April,) which certainly helped out his RBI totals, but ultimately if he’s going to turn his career around he’s going to be hitting in similar situations, and it isn’t always easy to knock in plodding runners like that trio. As a good reference, in March/April Frenchy batted 5th, behind Chipper and Tex, 13 times, McCann batted 5th 14 times (two of those times Chipper missed the game, and was replaced in his 3rd spot by KJ once, and Francoeur the second time.) During this span McCann produced 21 runs in 25 starts, Jeff produced 30 runs in 27 starts. I’m guessing by your methods we can now determine that McCann “sucks” too. (If you’d prefer to only look at RBIs, it splits 19 for Jeff, 12 for McCann.)

    Further, you didn’t even attempt to make an argument about what happened when we move to discuss the Sept/Oct stretch, when Jeff was usually batting 7th, behind Kotchman, KJ, or Infante, and in front of heavy hitters like Corky Miller, Brandon Jones, Blanco, Lillibridge, or Anderson (and Kotchman twice.) You’re telling me a “sucky” hitter will produce a run a game by virtue of that spot in the order?

    Just curious, but where did you get those quotes on fielding percentage? I’ll admit I pretty much ignore current defensive stats (ever since they told me Keith Lockhart was the best 2B in the league,) so I’ll just say what I said before. Andruw’s departure certainly hurt Jeff’s defense, and the 20 pounds of bulk muscle he added probably cost him a step or two (I’d also imagine his offensive struggles impacted his focus on defense from time to time)… this is a LONG way from saying he “can’t field,” and if he’s really dropped that weight and added flexibility I’d say we’re probably more likely to see a player closer to the Gold Glove level of ’07 than the ’08 version.

  66. 66
    Gadfly Says:

    @63: Good point, I’m questioning it because as his admission in 64 suggests, I thought it sounded like an exaggeration, and wanted to confirm this suspicion. Moreover, I did get to watch near every game in ’06 and ’07 and the Francoeur I saw then was a pretty damn good fielder. If Jeff lost a step in ’08 it was likely the result of the added weight (I know that cost me a step on the basketball court,) which gives me hope that a return to his previous physical conditioning will pay dividends in the field, and return him to the guy I did watch daily in ’06-’07.

  67. 67
    ububba Says:

    Marc,
    I agree that the privacy issues seem to be valid, but wouldn’t the lack of concern for the players’ privacy be dropped at the door of the federal government?

    Although the depth of the actual sources may never be known, we do know that the Feds gained access to a list that should’ve been destroyed, one that the union apparently wouldn’t allow to be destroyed. That list apparently came to exist as a result of a collective bargaining agreement.

    I love my conspiracy theories and very little surprises me anymore when it comes to these types of stories, but I’m not sure how anyone proves that MLB is culpaple for revealing names on the list.

  68. 68
    Joshua Says:

    @66 – Maybe you should have watched the games, because Jeff was NOT a good fielder last year. Mac touched on a couple of things, like misreading balls and slow play, but that didn’t even touch on the fact that he couldn’t even stop the balls that were in front of him. I can’t count the number of time on one hand that he overran a ball b/c he was too anxious to throw someone out at the plate (and I’m talking about 1 or 2 hoppers here). Then his arm became erratic – saw several throws about 10 feet over the catcher’s head.

    I almost think it was the same thing that happened to A-Rod a couple years back when he was struggling mightily with the bat – he couldn’t field all of a sudden either. But trust me, I watched all of the games last year, and Frenchy could not field.

  69. 69
    Gadfly Says:

    @68: I understand Jeff had struggles last year both at the plate and in the field. However, I think you’re running into a perception problem. As I’ve said ad nauseum today he clearly lost a step last year, but I think it is silly to suggest he couldn’t get that back with the conditioning he apparently has undertaken this offseason.

    As for the number of times he overran a ball etc, you actually can count them on one hand, 4. At least that’s the number of errors that he was credited with. Defensive statistic deficiencies aside, errors (especially for outfielders) usually give you a pretty good metric for determining how many times a player cost his team extra bases on 1-2 hoppers and errant throws like you suggest. From a practical standpoint a throw that goes 10 feet over the catcher’s head isn’t any worse than a throw that arrives on-target a few seconds late (unless other runners are able to advance in which case it would be ruled an error.)

  70. 70
    Stu Says:

    ^This paragraph should convince any of you who haven’t already realized it how futile “arguing” with this guy/gal is.

    I would consider it a personal favor if any of you would stop responding to him/her, thereby saving my mouse’s scroll button all the extra wear and tear required by his paragraphs and paragraphs of commentary.

  71. 71
    Dix Says:

    …on this, the day of your daughter’s wedding

  72. 72
    Tom Says:

    Regarding A-Rod, there’s a great quote from DOB’s blog that I totally agree with:

    “With the exception of Greg Maddux, no player from my era of baseball coverage (since the early 1990s) being connected to a steroid test would shock me at this point. Sad, but true. It’s gotten to that point.”

  73. 73
    Gadfly Says:

    @70: Ha, I’m sorry if my ideas aren’t easily contained in a one-word description, but “sucks” just doesn’t describe Francoeur. You can parrot it all you want, but that doesn’t make it true.

    Actually, according to Baseball-Reference, the most similar player to Francoeur through the age of 24 is… Harold Baines! Now I hope Francoeur has a better career than Baines, but I’d take it. Baines clearly did not “suck.”

  74. 74
    Dix Says:

    Old McDonald had a farm…E-I-E-I-O

    And on that farm he had a _____

  75. 75
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Re@74
    Thank you, Dix, for helping me remember the Godfather.

    By the way, what goes in the blank?
    Is it mule…jackass…donkey?

  76. 76
    Dix Says:

    I was just letting the crowd get involved and choose the animal for me.

  77. 77
    bwarrend Says:

    ARod admitted using performance enhancing drugs. I don’t know which is more uspetting; his admission, or the fact that Canseco is looking more legitemit every day.

    With his admission, the arbitrary grace period begins where other players can come out and admit it without taking too much of a PR hit (like Pettit did).

  78. 78
    CharlesP Says:

    Amazingly I think A-Rod’s statement is about as good as it could’ve been considering (well, the clips of his statement I’ve read). He owned it at least, apologized at least, and the “I wasn’t being honest with myself in the Couric interview how could I be honest with her” was about the best way he could’ve answered it.

  79. 79
    ububba Says:

    Sorry, I couldn’t disagree more about the second half of A-Rod’s admission.

    For starters, why does A-Rod go on television & attempt to explain away his predicament? Why can’t he just issue his statement & go away?

    In his admission, he ends up with a series of explanations that make no sense whatsoever.

    Examples: He says Orza called him to tell him that he “may or may not have failed a test.” He lied to Katie Couric “because he wasn’t truthful to himself.” (Huh?) He says “he wasn’t aware of the substance he was using.”

    So let’s count it up: He cheated. He lied about his cheating. And now in his “admission,” he’s lying about his lying.

    Why does A-Rod think he’s a great communicator, when he’s really a very bad actor? I mean, he makes Keanu Reeves look like Philip Seymour Hoffman. His phoniness should be bronzed.

  80. 80
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Dix, may your first child be a masculine child.

  81. 81
    Stu Says:

    ububba, you just love hating A-Rod, don’t you?

  82. 82
    TomL Says:

    I’d imagine Boras hired some top public relations people to feed A-Rod some quotes

  83. 83
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Ububba, you and I agree on this matter, I believe. Alex is now admitting to using only during his Texas years. Anyone ready to believe he threw away the needles when he put on the pinstripes?

  84. 84
    sansho1 Says:

    The idea that he didn’t know exactly what he was taking rings true to me, because he said it not in the context of trying to avoid responsibility, but in the context of admitting responsibility.

    He was 10-12 years younger than Palmeiro and Caminiti, both of whom were on the ’01 Rangers. I can easily see a conversation where one of them comes up to ARod and says, “Hey, I got something for you. Go take a look at Velarde if you want to see what this stuff can do.” Do you necessarily ask the scientific name of the stuff? Did everyone know what particular amphetamine they were taking in the ’60s?

    Seems like we could take five minutes and think about what he’s admitting to have done before racing to conjecture how we’re sure he’s still lying.

  85. 85
    Stu Says:

    Like AAR, I find it hard to believe he became squeaky clean the moment he became a Yankee, but I also agree with sansho’s interpretation at 84 and I don’t get the hang-up on his explanation of the Couric interview—he’s not denying that he lied to her.

    I do know that it’s impossible to make his public apology any less A-Rod-friendly than the picture ububba paints at 79.

  86. 86
    bwarrend Says:

    Like a few of the other obsessive compulsive baseball players, he knows exactly what was injected into his system. He probably has a journal of every bowel movement he has ever had, just to see if how his stats compare to his regularity.

    I don’t buy his argument for a second, nor do I believe he didn’t take anything else. They didn’t test for HGH, and it works better than steroids, because you don’t bulk up as much, and there are no noted side effects.

  87. 87
    sansho1 Says:

    I mean, personally, I don’t draw any distinction between him roiding as a Ranger or as a Yankee, although I fully expect to be bombarded on ESPN by the typical provincial argument that these would constitute separate offenses, different not just in scale, but in kind.

  88. 88
    Dix Says:

    I think we should make a list of players who weren’t on steroids.

    I’ll start: Greg Maddux

    please continue…

  89. 89
    Timo Says:

    @83, Alex, exactly what I’ve been thinking…

  90. 90
    Timo Says:

    @88 John Schuerholz Jr.

  91. 91
    Stu Says:

    They didn’t test for HGH, and it works better than steroids, because you don’t bulk up as much, and there are no noted side effects.

    Works better at what, exactly? Not at hitting or pitching baseballs.

  92. 92
    bwarrend Says:

    HGH helps you with muscle tone, muscle mass and burning calories, and it helps you recover from injuries and other ailments. If you can build muscle without bulking up significantly, it helps you hit baseballs further and throw faster pitches or pitches with better control.

    A fly ball to deep center suddenly is out of the park, which is why Giambi is still able to hit homeruns although he isn’t Hulk-sized anymore.

  93. 93
    urlhix Says:

    @90

    And we have a winner.

  94. 94
    Dix Says:

    implying Giambi is taking HGH now?

    There is very little in the world that is actually pure.

    Puppies, and I guess some babies, my hatred for Urban Meyer’s success, and that’s about it. To look for purity anywhere else is probably a fools errand. To expect it in a multi-billion dollar industry is insane.

  95. 95
    Stu Says:

    Puppies, and I guess some babies, and certainly David Price, and that’s about it.

    FYP.

  96. 96
    Dix Says:

    David Price has touched at least one vag.

  97. 97
    bwarrend Says:

    Let’s say it wouldn’t come as a surprise. Not implying or anything like that.

    Remember, there were lesser players that have admitted to taking HGH to recover from significant injuries or cancer (Paul Byrd being one), and the testing for HGH still isn’t the best.

  98. 98
    Stu Says:

    Dix, you leave Jake Peavy out of this.

  99. 99
    ububba Says:

    Sansho,
    Don’t you think that A-Rod’s window of believability has closed? Why should we believe him about anything now?

    I don’t believe that a guy like him wouldn’t know what he’s putting into his body. Sorry, don’t believe him on that one.

    Stu,
    When it comes to YankeeLand, I’m interested in a good story. I’m not sitting up nights worrying about the Yankees’ chances because…I just go to the games. (I happen to have more Yankee friends than Met friends.) I have no emotional investment other than the hope that they don’t win their last game.

    Ever since A-Rod showed up here, he’s done everything possible to gain attention, many times with cheap, tawdry stunts. He’s reeked of phoniness & he’s just not someone I can watch every day & heartily root for. He’s just not a cool guy, just not my kinda ballplayer.

    The fact that he’s been so good & racks up such prodigious numbers doesn’t impact me one way or the other. It just makes for a better story in the end.

    I love how the Yankee fans really, really wanted to love him, but just couldn’t because he hasn’t earned their love. If you hadn’t noticed, he’s about 9 for his last 61 in the post-season & he’s left his last 30-something runners on base. (In the Torre/Verducci book, the details are devastating.)

    Remember, this is a group of fans that hated Reggie Jackson—until he helped win 2 titles. That’s how it works up here. It’s joyless, but it’s real & it’s simple.

    Yankee fans are often considered nuts for expecting guys like Brian Doyle & Ricky Ledee to just put on the pinstripes & succeed in big spots. I don’t think they’re nuts for expecting A-Rod to do it.

    Having said all that, I’ve always been a sucker for stories of redemption & was curious to see how he dealt with all this. But in my view, A-Rod’s admission seems to have failed in that category, too.

  100. 100
    Marc Schneider Says:

    ububba,

    I may be misunderstanding your comment. I was responding to the comment that the leaking of the test results violated the player’s 4th Amendment rights. As a legal/constitutional issue, the 4th Amendment (and all other rights under the Bill of Rights) would apply only if the drug testing had been done by or at the behest of some level of government and in connection with some criminal prosecution. In this case, I’m pretty sure that the testing in 2003 was strictly done internally by baseball and the federal government was not involved (although I understand it may have been done in response to concerns expressed by Congress). But even if the government had been involved, the 4th Amendment would have nothing to do with the invasion of privacy; there is no general right to privacy under the 4th Amendment except to the extent that searches of places in which a person has a “reasonable privacy interest”, such as their home, could not be done without a search warrant.

  101. 101
    Smitty Says:

    Piss on ARod, but as a PR guy he handled it the best way he could have.

  102. 102
    Florida Brave's Fan Says:

    @88 Lemke, Lockhart, Orr, Corky Miller (no one could suck that bad and be taking roids)

  103. 103
    CharlesP Says:

    I don’t think I was as clear as I should’ve been there. I’m not saying I buy that he went clean as soon as he was a yankee, or that he was delivering lines well (again I’ve only read the quotes), just that that was about as good as he could’ve done all things considered. HAVING denied it in the past, HAVING been pretty obviously found out as somebody who failed the test from a strategic “save face” standpoint what he did was about as good as he could’ve. The ambiguity of “I didn’t know what I was taking” is almost necessitated by the legal world to give him an “out” if he gets subpoenaed in somebody else’s case (as he’s not been under oath for those previous denials).

    Admit it, apologize, and don’t lay blame on somebody else.

    There’s no way he was going to walk away from this looking GOOD, but if he didn’t apologize it would’ve been worse, if he denied it it would’ve been worse, and if he had blamed a team-mate it would’ve been worse. Getting busted for having failed the test AND having denied use in subsequent years took it out of the realm of him coming across well, his response was only as “good as it could be hoped for” within that context.

    FWIW: “As good as can be hoped for” in this case means for him (as previously discussed), his current team (they didn’t do it, and didn’t know, so they’re not “tainted”), and the game of baseball (he limited his admission to the time period we all knew was roided anyway, and he apologized and took responsibility thus not making it nearly the fodder for “spoiled superstar athelete haters”). MLBPA, Boras, and the Yanks probably ALL got together on the statements for him so they could save face. I think that the main thing that he could’ve done better from a “game of baseball” standpoint would be to have said “I quit when the new rules went into place because I didn’t want to jeopardize my career” which would’ve legitimized the current testing strategy. But over-all I think from a strategic point of view he probably remembered all the talking points he could from the script that was prepared for him.

  104. 104
    Dix Says:

    I dunno…maybe I’d be an MLB quality player if I took the right drugs. That’s how I view Corky Miller anyway.

  105. 105
    Tom Says:

    88, Glavine didn’t take ’em, and I’d like to believe that Smoltz did neither. But I’d really like to know what Andruw did. He looks like he did and he performed like he did. Just sayin’.

  106. 106
    hankonly Says:

    Tell me again what’s wrong with taking HGH?

    How about GrrAnimals? Flintstones? Reliv? Red Bull? Creatine?

    McGwire kept his andro on the shelf in his locker for all the world to see. Yes, I know that isn’t all he took. Point is the zeitgeist was radically different then. What seems clearly wrong to those who get paid to deconstruct others now wasn’t so clear back in the day.

    For the sake of baseball (and not hagged-out writers or the execrable Jeremy Schaap) can we not just point to John 8:11b (look it up) and be done with it?

  107. 107
    Dix Says:

    Andrew got bad advice and took Estrogen and Progesterone instead of Testosterone. Hence his apparent pregnancy.

  108. 108
    CharlesP Says:

    MLBTR had an interesting link to a comparison of Andruw’s drop in production to Dye’s drop at similar age… and that Andruw’s best case scenario would involve him having a career like Dye where he can put it all together. Thought the quote from the Ranger’s hitting coach that he thought AJ was fixable was promising for him.

  109. 109
    CharlesP Says:

    Oh, and Griffey sounds like a friggin genius to me… getting $5M a year for the next 16 years thanks to that deferred contract? Unless they find a way to weasel out of it (generally by going bankrupt) he’s going to be set for income for a lot longer than most ballplayers.

  110. 110
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I’m tired of the whole thing. Let’s just acknowledge that many, if not most, players in that era took steroids and move on. I’m not condoning it at all but it happened. This seems to bother people so much. If the records are tainted, so what? It’s getting to the point where any player that does anything well is suspected of steroids. If it bothers people so much, do something else.

  111. 111
    Ethan Says:

    @88

    I still believe that these players are clean: Unit, Maddux, Gwynn, Brett, Griffey Jr., Chipper, Glavine, Smoltz, Frank Thomas, Schmidt, Jim Thome, Piazza, Ripken Jr., Todd Helton, Mo Rivera, and Crime Dog

    It one of these was ousted, it would hurt.

    If Belle, Delgado, Gallaraga, Guerrero, Walker, Kent, Shawn Green, Moises Alou, Luis Gonzalez, Vinny Castilla, Richie Sexon, Reggie Sanders, Kevin Brown, Schilling, Gagne did wouldn’t surprise me at all

    I’m on the fence about Bagwell, Biggio, and Manny

  112. 112
    Dix Says:

    Bobby Bonilla still gets $1mil a year from the Mets. lol@Mets.

  113. 113
    Dix Says:

    I’m not so sure Randy Johnson, Chipper, Smoltz and Frank Thomas are clean.

    I’d be suspicious of anyone with a significant history of chronic injuries. If I gave a $hit that is.

  114. 114
    csg Says:

    I think Chipper and Glavine are safe, hopefully Smoltz too. Im guessing little Giles, Lopez, and Andruw probably did

  115. 115
    brule™ Says:

    Again!!! The Steroid matter aroused keen public controversy. I put my foot down about clemens who was involved. And eventually it turned out true. Hmmmm, A-Rod…I haven’t been disappointed as well as Clemens. You’ve already known it seemed he has been troulesome in the Yankees. In contrast, How about Clemens? Everyone paid respects. You are in a soft love(romance) however others give rise to a scandal. Let me see……..
    By the way, I know physical exercises develop muscles. A friend of mine, he told me it’s impossible to have strong bodybuilder’s muscles. Absolutely they might get the injection. I have no idea it’s true or not. Some guys are under hallucination every girl likes those kinds of bodybuilders? Boys will be boys. Uhhhhh, What? The first funny hahaha

    P.S.
    My Brazilian friend went to London to watch football match against Italy. Crazy Brazilizn!!!!!!!!!!. And you some southern boys still are enslaved by passions loving a spoiled brat. The second Funny hahaha.

  116. 116
    keepman Says:

    gee mac please make up your mind on this guy. all aside one one of your best tags. hope your recovery is going well.

  117. 117
    ububba Says:

    People may get tired of the steroid subject and I’ll admit that it gets fatiguing, but I think it’s important to follow this through to the end. I believe it’s important to gather the facts as much as as they can be gathered.

    How we ultimately process it all is yet to be determined.

    In the Torre/Verducci book, there are details of how Rick Helling (Texas’ union rep) brought up the issue of steroids in union meetings year after year after year and was essentially ignored.

    I would imagine that everyone who loves baseball wants this episode behind them, but the bombshells were bound to explode at some point. Let them explode. It’s the only way to get through this & ultimately move on, hopefully with a cleaner environment & a more level playing field.

  118. 118
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I actually had my first chemo treatment today. I feel icky, but I can’t tell if it’s chemo icky or Monday icky.

  119. 119
    ububba Says:

    Good luck, Mac. We’re all on your side.

  120. 120
    Stu Says:

    Feel better, Mac.

  121. 121
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    You’re doing a great job, Mac. The Jeffy post shows you’ve still got your fastball.

  122. 122
    csg Says:

    Mac, stay strong….

  123. 123
    Coop Says:

    There are many names left on the failed test list. Some may have worn the Braves uniform. If, just for example, Chipper or Smoltz’s name is revealed, will their sin be judged as great as A-Rod’s?

  124. 124
    Coop Says:

    I wish I’d finished the thread before I posted. My apologies to all above who said the things that should have made me keep my big mouth shut.

  125. 125
    c. shorter Says:

    Hope you get your rest, Mac and that you’ll be full strength soon.

  126. 126
    c. shorter Says:

    Wonder if the recent news pushes back the release of Ken Burns’ 10th inning on the steroid era. Does anyone know if it was intended to go to present day?

  127. 127
    Florida Brave's Fan Says:

    If Chipper tested positive in ’03, I dont think it would be the national story that A-Roid is. That being said, I think it would be pretty devastating to Braves fans, and most sports fans in the Southeast. I think Met’s fans would be the most vocal about Chipper testing postive, all those games he just hammered them in….

    P.S. Hang in there Mac, we’re all pulling for you…

  128. 128
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Plaxico Burress has been sued 9 times because he wouldn’t pay his debts.

    This guy is like the Ferris Bueller of not paying.

    9 times.

  129. 129
    kc Says:

    Mac, it’s Frenchy icky…for completing the Frenchy review. Blame Frenchy, it’s all his fault.

    What’s the point of throwing names out here guessing? Ok, I will join, I will throw Belliard’s name out there. There is no way the guy was clean when he hit his second career hr at the age of 35!

    Someone is actually sponsoring Raffy’s page on baseball reference. I am impressed.

  130. 130
    Joshua Says:

    @99 – ububba, you are clearly biased in your opinions of A-Rod. I won’t state my opinion on the roid matter here, but saying he’s done nothing for the Yankees is absurd. He is the ONLY reason the Yankees even made the postseason two years ago. And he’s won 2 MVP titles there. I don’t see you ragging on Jeter for his latest postseason drop offs (you did only refer to A-Rods recent struggles). But that whole team has played horrible in the playoffs the last couple times they were there.

    And I love how you say the Yankees really, really wanted to love him when it is clear that all you ever wanted to do was hate him. Why would the rest of the Yankee fans be any different.

    The bottom line is the guy will never be good enough b/c he is the best of our time. Although that is tainted now, the fact remains – he could never do enough.

  131. 131
    Joshua Says:

    And best wishes to you, Mac.

  132. 132
    Joshua Says:

    I don’t know what to think of Rosenthal’s latest column on foxsports. He says:

    Well, by “coming clean,” he has compromised the other 103 players who tested positive in ’03, putting pressure on them to be just as forthcoming if their identities are revealed.

    But Rodriguez isn’t worried about them, is he?

    I mean he would have just come out with torches burning, asking for his head if he had denied. Now he wants to make him look like a bad guy for admitting. Now I agree that it isn’t over for A-Rod, not by a long shot. And it shouldn’t be. But I feel that is taking it a bit far. He did everything in his power not to mention a single name other than his own in that interview.

  133. 133
    Joshua Says:

    And for the quadruple post – I also thought that Hick’s comments were just plain stupid. He says he felt “betrayed” and that he wouldn’t believe ARod didn’t start using before he went to Texas. It sounds to me that an idiotic owner is trying to cover his tracks a bit after seeing so many names linked to his team in this steriod deal (ARod, Pudge, Canseco, Gonzales, Palmeiro). He just needs to shut up because he is looking really bad in this too.

  134. 134
    sansho1 Says:

    #132

    That is some seriously mind-bending propaganda. He’s speaking to the veracity of HIS test, not anybody else’s.

    I’m reminded of something I read a while back about how the brain processes political discussions — not in the logic center, but in the pleasure center. I think people process ARod in the same manner. That Rosenthal quote is a limbic-system dog-whistle for those who’ve set ARod apart from any other baseball player and made him the poster child for everything they dislike about how big-time sports and athletes operate, so they can delight in picking his bones.

  135. 135
    Mac Thomason Says:

    BTW, I had steroids today. My testimony is that they make you feel icky.

    The Rangers traded for Canseco, though that might have been before Hicks’ time. And pretty much everyone knew that Canseco was on steroids in Oakland.

  136. 136
    sansho1 Says:

    Hope you feel better, Mac.

    That ’01 Rangers roster is the roidiest bunch of roiders who ever roided, and Hicks would have had to be blind not to see it.

  137. 137
    hankonly Says:

    One more reminder to never kiss Madonna.

    Who is it that’s our Mizzou fan? Great comeback!

  138. 138
    bocephus Says:

    Is Francoeur’s OWP 304 or 341?

  139. 139
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    I totally agree with ububba and AAR’s remarks about A-Rod….The idea that he cleaned up his act to go to New York is as unbelievable as it is absurd. Imagine that A-Rod felt pressured in Texas and so took steroids, but then joined the Yankees and then decided that he no longer needed to enhance is performance. How nice it is that coming to play for Steinbrenner and the Yankees lowers ones stress levels!…Rather, I am guessing that there is something in his contract with the Yankees about steroid use and if he admits to using in New York, it could be costly for him….

  140. 140
    Mac Thomason Says:

    As for the OWP question… it depends upon what version of Runs Created you’re using. I think that B-R is using one more slanted towards slugging, and Francoeur’s slugging percentage is somewhat less bad than his on-base.

  141. 141
    Dan Says:

    Bill Shanks fired.

    http://www.macon.com/149/story/615564.html

  142. 142
    hankonly Says:

    It could be as simple as the fact that in 2003 there were no penalties for using and when he went to the Yankees there were penalties.

    Dude may be self-absorbed, but he’s not completely stupid – although kissing Madonna has that affect. Just ask Britney.

  143. 143
    Joshua Says:

    I tend to agree with hankonly. While not entirely absurd to think he was still using in New York, it would have been completely stupid. There were penalties when he got to New York (you know – testing), so how you find it hard to believe is beyond me. Not saying I believe him or don’t (I just don’t know), but it isn’t a foregone conclusion to think he didn’t want to get caught using with with a hefty suspension being attached.

  144. 144
    urlhix Says:

    @136 Oh, he saw it, and it looked like $$$. I mean, look at who we’re talking about here.

  145. 145
    Dix Says:

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  146. 146
    kc Says:

    Never for one second would I consider Hick to be a smart person.

  147. 147
    Dix Says:

    http://www.northjersey.com/columnists/klapisch_bob/Klapisch_Derek_dont_fail_us_now.html

    I challenge each and every one of you to read the first two sentences of that article and not immediately puke all over your keyboard.

    Should you succeed in overcoming that challenge, try reading the whole thing. I did, and I had to type this post blind because I no longer have eyes having gouged them out with my thumbs. It wasn’t easy, with my thumbs being sore from the effort, and with the puke and blood all over my keyboard.

    If you hate yourself as much as I do, you’ll thank me for this.

  148. 148
    ububba Says:

    Joshua,
    If you care to re-read my posts, as much as it may pain you or anyone else, you may notice that I’ve never written that A-Rod has “done nothing” for the Yankees. Not once. Not ever have I written that, certainly not about his regular seasons.

    If you actually read the posts, you’ll see that I’m referring to A-Rod’s grossly underachieving post-seasons with the Yankees. As I explain, people pay a lotta attention to that segment of the season around here.

    Also, this is the 19th year I’ve lived in New York. I’ve attended anywhere from 15 to 20 Yankee games a year since 1990. I’ll guess that I’ve seen A-Rod play around 85 times in person at Yankee Stadium.

    With that info, feel free to re-assess what I may or may not know about the local Yankee fanbase.

  149. 149
    billy-jay Says:

    Best wishes, Mac.

    BTW, this conversation is great. Keep it up, guys.

  150. 150
    Kevin Lee Says:

    While there was no confirmation from A-Rod that he kissed Madonna, clearly it affected his post-season abilites.
    It twisted Britney into a two year funk (see head shaving) from which a massive, expensive media blitz was formed to rehabilitate her image. Or it could be that she slimmed down and showed her ass a bit more.

    Either way, there’s a cautionary link between Canseco and A-Rod that points straight at the Material Girl.

    Unfortunately, Gene Orza just called to say that there “may exist” pictures of A-Rod snogging the old skank. We all know what effect pictures can have on a baseball organization (see Lockwood, 1999).

    God, I’m sick of steroid stories.

  151. 151
    RobBroad4th Says:

    146,

    Nice, ububba.

  152. 152
    hankonly Says:

    In wartime, the nomenklatura nurses at the anterior mammary while the true heroes (in the classical sense) get the glory.

    When the war is over, the warriors somehow morph into subhuman beasts whose bestiality is on display at the zoo at which the chattering classes can gawk and feel superior.

    Can we start the season early, please?

  153. 153
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Hank, I don’t know if that’s a non-sequitur or not, but I like it.

    Here’s one of my favorites (excuse the length)

    “In every circle, and truly, at every table, there are people who lead armies into Macedonia; who know where the camp ought to be placed; what posts ought to be occupied by troops; when and through what pass that territory should be entered; where magazines should be formed; how provisions should be conveyed by land and sea; and when it is proper to engage the enemy, when to lie quiet and they not only determine what is best to be done, but if any thing is done in any other manner than what they have pointed out, they arraign the consul, as if he were on trial before them. These are great impediments to those who have the management of affairs; for every one cannot encounter injurious reports with the same constancy and firmness of mind as Fabius did, who chose to let his own ability be questioned through the folly of the people, rather than to mismanage the public business with a high reputation. I am not one of those who think that commanders ought at no time to receive advice; on the contrary, I should deem that man more proud than wise, who regulated every proceeding by the standard of his own single judgement. What then is my opinion? That commanders should be counselled, chiefly, by persons of known talent; by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience; from those who are present at the scene of action, who see the country, who see the enemy; who see the advantage that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger. If, therefore, any one thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am to conduct, which may prove advantageous to the public, let him not refuse his assistance to the state, but let him come with me into Macedonia. He shall be furnished with a ship, a horse, a tent; even his traveling charges shall be defrayed. But if he thinks this too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not, on land, assume the office of a pilot. The city, in itself, furnishes abundance of topics for conversation; let it confine its passion for talking within its own precincts, and rest assured that we shall pay no attention to any councils but such as shall be framed within our camp.”

    Lucius Aemilius

  154. 154
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Re:@153

    Umm…ditto.

  155. 155
    Stu Says:

    Why the heck haven’t we avoided arbitration with KJ yet?

  156. 156
    Cliff Says:

    I was a little surprised at the Adam Kennedy DFA. It shows how bad the overall market and the 2B market in particular are.

    What about KJ for Ludwick, Kennedy (at they pay half, otherwise, they are probably going to take the 3.6 million hit), and one of Barden or Ivanhoa?

    Then, we have only used 2 million, have the “power right handed outfield bat” we needed without defensive deficiencies, we have a slight downgrade at second, we have a pretty good outfield prospect who could be called up this year and can be at least “so so” for a few years,cheap.

    Then, we can still move Prado in a package with a pitcher for Swisher, if we get a chance. Or maybe get back in on a proven lefty (Ohman, Beimel, somebody else is out there that fits that).

    And by the way, until we substantially improve the outfield bat problem, please don’t increase the offer to Glavine. Please. Please.

  157. 157
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I enjoy the classical references on this blog–perhaps Chip Carey can insert one into his broadcasts.

    As for steroids, my primary concern with them and why I think we need to be concerned about them is the effects on players’ health and the influence on kids of major league players using something that is at least potentially dangerous. As far as the effect on baseball, I really can’t understand the hysteria. It’s not clear to me why using steroids is any worse than the other forms of cheating that have been tolerated and even celebrated for years. Gaylord Perry and Whitey Ford both made the Hall of Fame throwing illegal pitches; moreover, there is little doubt that throwing the spitters had a significant effect on their success; yet no one ever called for their heads and people generally consider this colorful. At the same time, we have no idea, really, how much effect steorids has or had on players’ performance. There seems to be a general idea that steroids is THE reason why A-Rod or Bonds or whoever were so good. There is no evidence at all that that’s true and while people point to the offensive totals in the 90s as “proof” of the effect of steroids, there are plenty of other factors that likely had at least some effect.

    As for the idea that some in the media peddle that A-Rod or Bonds have “tainted” the records, records in all sports are always highly contextual. Babe Ruth played in a segregated era with all day games; Hank Aaron played the last years of his career in a “launching pad,” Tom Brady threw touchdown passes in an era when rules had been changed to favor the offense, etc.

    I’m tired of the witchhunts and, in particularly, the McCarthyism of the blogosphere (not talking about here) where players are guilty until proven innocent, especially if they are on a team we don’t like. I agree with the idea of getting the names out in the open and then getting on with it. I’m not going to spend my time worrying about whether Chipper Jones did or did not use steroids; maybe he did and maybe he didn’t but if he hits a home run, I’m going to cheer.

  158. 158
    csg Says:

    By David O’Brien

    February 10, 2009 10:26 AM | Link to this

    Forgot to mention one other obvious candidate as possible replacement for Bobby Cox someday: Eddie Perez. Dude is universally respected in the clubhouse and has the rare ability to be both a hardass and friend to individual players, whatever’s required.

  159. 159
    Adam M Says:

    “Well, by “coming clean,” he has compromised the other 103 players who tested positive in ‘03, putting pressure on them to be just as forthcoming if their identities are revealed.

    But Rodriguez isn’t worried about them, is he?”

    I too blame A-Rod for the other 103 players who tested positive. They are, after all, victims in this saga–victims to one man’s machinations to pollute their bodies with substances he, and he alone, deemed natural.

    Look, A-Rod is an ass. Or at least he doesn’t get along that well with Jeter and Torre, so he must be some sort of super-villain. But that Rosenthal piece is horrendous. It’s about the worst thing written on a subject overwhelmed by terrible commentary. Maybe we should all watch ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster.’

  160. 160
    hankonly Says:

    I can’t decide whether Marc or Dix is my hero. Maybe if Marc and Dix’s wife, er, never mind … (hey, he brought it up).

    And, like Stu, I continue to be troubled by the apparent low-esteem in which KJ is held by the FO. Maybe it’s Bobby. The way he jerks him around in the lineup and batting order seems telling.

  161. 161
    billy-jay Says:

    Dix@147:

    Dude…

  162. 162
    Jeff K Says:

    Philly.com reporting this from Ohman’s agent: “Odle said Ohman, despite getting two- or three-year offers from other teams, was open to a one-year contract with a competitive team like the Phillies.” I assume the Braves have made an offer. Doesn’t look good that Ohman is returning.

  163. 163
    Cliff Says:

    Jeff K,

    DOB reported about 3 days ago that the Braves initial offer (widely reported) was their only offer for Ohman. FO said that the original offer was no longer open.

  164. 164
    Jeff K Says:

    Darn, Ohman was our best lefty reliever, a healthy Gonzales excepted.

  165. 165
    Adam M Says:

    @147 I do thank you. Thank you! It was only a matter of time–and by time I mean minutes–before somebody turned A-Rod’s debacle into Jeter’s glory. As sure as the sun will set…

  166. 166
    Dix Says:

    After 6 MRI and one x-ray the doctors have confirmed that my eyes are no longer in their sockets.

  167. 167
    Adam M Says:

    Well this might cheer you up then:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/writers-get-hi/

  168. 168
    hankonly Says:

    That’s the thing about New York. They are the biggest small town in history.

    It’s unlikely that you’d find such a printed, shameless Lewinski for a star player in Tuscaloosa (football) or Lexington (hmmm, gotta think about this) or even Knoxville.

    Yet, here in the “most cosmopolitan city in America and don’t you rubes wish you were us”, the slobbering over a good player with some nice moments goes on and on.

    Retch.

  169. 169
    CharlesP Says:

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2009/2/9/754457/braves-facing-economic-rea

    interesting/depressing prospect

  170. 170
    CJ Says:

    It will be interesting to follow slugging stats over the next few years now that there is a firm drug-testing policy in place with real punishment allotted for those who cheat. For all those who say steroids don’t necessarily help a hitter hit a curveball, I find it strange that the AL HR leader, Miggy Cabrera, ‘only’ hit 37, the first year after this policy took effect. It could be an anomoly or over the next several years could be the new norm.

    Chad Curtis was on the Mad Dog show last night and said that when he played (although he denied doing it) greenies/speed combined with Ritalin-type drugs allowed players to get through the grind of the season and focus. My own personal opinion is that these types of drugs were probably more effective PED’s than steroids.

  171. 171
    Timo Says:

    From Bowman:
    “As the roster currently stands, Matt Diaz and Brandon Jones could serve in a platoon in left field. But the Braves still are hopeful to add a veteran bat to play that position on a regular basis.”

    The first time I’m really “officially” reading B-Jones’s name in the OF discussions. Hm.

  172. 172
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    If Matt Diaz and Brandon Jones are the platoon, I sure as shit hope we ain’t attacked by right-handed Viet Cong.

  173. 173
    Smitty Says:

    @169

    We scored the 6th most runs in the NL? Wow. I wouldn’t have thought that.

  174. 174
    IthacaBraves Says:

    PECOTA projects the standings. The projection system’s playoff teams are the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, A’s, Mets, Cubs, and Diamondbacks (plus a one-game Braves-Phillies playoff).!!!!!!!!!!

  175. 175
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Hmm, derek lowe vs cole hamels…. I don’t know.

  176. 176
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @168,

    Hankonly, I think Jeter is more than “a good player with some nice moments.” Perhaps he is overrated to some extent, but he is still a legitimate Hall of Famer. He has been a hell of a player and I think you sort of understate those “nice moments.”

  177. 177
    csg Says:

    I for one will be vocal about not having Diaz, Jones, Anderson, and Frenchy as our 4 Of’s. Get some power in this outfield

    I dont want to see a KJ/Prado platoon and I dont want to see a BJ/Diaz platoon

  178. 178
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    Timo–The fact that Brandon Jones/Diaz are coming back into the picture suggests to me that the Braves really are out of money….We can still hope for Abreu…

  179. 179
    IthacaBraves Says:

    agreed 177,
    I’m not saying we need manny ramirez, but a guy with an OPS around .800 would be great.

  180. 180
    Gadfly Says:

    @138&140: So we can’t even agree on a definition of these stats? And people say my stats are bad…

  181. 181
    Colin Says:

    Incredible. I began last season here at Braves journal, but by mid season switched to talkingchop.com and other well rounded fan sites because of the incessant and redundant de-evolution of this site from a Braves Site to a Francoeur hate site. My own personal opinions of him aside, and my own personal beliefs about the necessary lengths taken to scapegoat a man wearing the Braves uniform I love, I left because it became boring. Boring, base, and unimaginative.

    On the chance click through back to this site, you’ve reminded me of why I left in the first place. I understand the failings Jeffy had last year. I understand that much of the vitrol stems from a falling short of “The Natural’s” expectations. What I don’t understand is how a site, so successful, can continue to stew on this dead horse, beating it into the ground, and beating away fans seeking out Braves commentary.

    Please, as the season begins, try something. Try a three week sabbatical from FYF. Try letting hope spring eternal for all the players on the roster, not just whomever is streaking at the moment. And try to become a fan of the Braves of today.

    Glad to not be a Mets fan, and Godspeed in your recovery Mac.

  182. 182
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Regrettably Gadfly, they do seem to agree on the fact that Francouer sucks.

  183. 183
    csg Says:

    so Edmonds hit 19hr in 290AB against RH pitching last year….dang

  184. 184
    Cliff Says:

    csg and others,

    After Edmonds got to the Cubs, he was every bit as good of a hitter as Dunn, but is still at least a passable center fielder. I would rather take a chance on him than Dunn.

  185. 185
    csg Says:

    If its def going to be a platoon, id rather have him over Brandon Jones with Diaz

  186. 186
    Ethan Says:

    Outside of some college BBall, this is the worst time of year.

    I miss baseball

  187. 187
    Tad Says:

    I thought Andrews agent said he wouldnt sign a Minor League deal … !!!!

  188. 188
    csg Says:

    #187- only with texas

  189. 189
    Stu Says:

    Ethan,
    Looks like my man DeMarre might finally get to play in the NCAA Tournament. I’m happy for him, even if he did downgrade a few years ago. :)

  190. 190
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Colin, I can’t tell you how to live, but “Boring, base, and unimaginitive”? I mean, I agree that Stu’s mancrushes on literally every Vandy alum to sniff the major leagues are pretty boring and unimaginative, but other than that, I find something that makes me laugh here just about every day. I can understand, if you’re not a college fan, if the occasional SEC threads make you snooze — I tend to zone out on them too. Or if you’re not a music nerd, that some of those conversations could get pretty dull pretty quickly.

    Yeah, we spend a fair amount of time talking about Frenchy here. But we talk about a lot of stuff.

    Cliff, I agree that Edmonds had a pretty unbelievable half-season last year. But it came after an appallingly awful first two months, preceded by a really bad campaign in 2007. Given his age and what logic would dictate you should expect from a presumably non-steroidal 38-year old center fielder, I’d be extraordinarily hesitant to put him in anything other than a Mark Kotsay role. A $1 million flyer? Fine, whatever. A left field solution? No way. (His UZR was pretty bad last year, FWIW.)

  191. 191
    Dix Says:

    Try letting hope spring eternal for all the players on the roster

    ….we’ve been doing that for a long time now.

    Hope springs eternal on this blog that Francoeur, unlike certain wives of certain regular posters here that shall remain nameless, will either cease to suck, or cease to wear a Braves’ uniform while sucking.

  192. 192
    Hiawatha Terrell Wade Says:

    We complain about Franceour because we love the Braves of today and don’t want to see them sink because of the anchor that is his bat. Hope is a good thing, Andy Dufresne. But so is reality.

    Also, to call this a Francoeur bash site is a bit much. For a while there I thought we could pass as a Hampton bash site.

  193. 193
    Parish Says:

    @191 She wears a Braves uniform?

    Hot!

  194. 194
    Parish Says:

    I am sorry, but this site is and always will be a Keith Lockhart bash site.

  195. 195
    ububba Says:

    Or Dan Kolb.

  196. 196
    Rob Cope Says:

    Or Chris Reitsma.

  197. 197
    Coop Says:

    Be well, Mac.

  198. 198
    Hiawatha Terrell Wade Says:

    Or Brian Jordan.

  199. 199
    mraver Says:

    Anyone else amused that Colin used this site’s pejorative for Frenchy in his disappointed diatribe?

    Personally, I think Frenchy gets bagged on just enough here. He hasn’t really done much to ingratiate himself besides put on a Braves uniform. He had a great month and then a year of being a decent MLB player, followed by absolutely sucking for a full 150 games. A lot of the vitriol is blowback from how hyped he is by the media, and I’ll be the first to agree that this isn’t his fault. But he seems to believe the hype, and that doesn’t sit well with Braves fans who’ve had to suffer through his awful play.

    I root for Jeff Francoeur, and I’ll continue to do so as long as he’s a Brave. I think he’ll have a bounce-back year in 2009, by which I mean I think he’ll be an adequate-but-not-particularly-good RF. Unlike last year, his bat won’t be the biggest brick dragging the offense down. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say he was an awful baseball player in 2008, and that his season’s worth of ABs aren’t among the worst ever for an Atlanta outfielder or whatever. He earned those accolades last year, we’re not the ones bestowing them upon him.

    Quick note on Keith Lockhart- when I was growing up, my next-door neighbor’s granddaughter claimed he was her cousin. I didn’t realize he sucked back then, and I thought it was pretty cool. Still do, actually.

  200. 200
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    We could talk about the Hamster for a while…

  201. 201
    kc Says:

    ububba, just when I thought I have erased Kolb completely out of my memory…you have to bring his name up again…

  202. 202
    csg Says:

    so now sources (ESPN) are saying that it’ll be a stretch for us to be able to give Abreu or any other OF’r $5 mil. Said our budget is so tight we might not be able to get anyone else. Seriously, if Frenchy and KJ’s arb is holding this up or if Ross’ or Glavine’s contracts keep us from getting an OF’r, Ill be pissed.

  203. 203
    csg Says:

    “Free-agent outfielder Bobby Abreu is in serious talks toward a one-year agreement with the Los Angeles Angels, two baseball sources told ESPN.com.”

    “Abreu, 34, is one of the premier hitters left on the market this offseason. The Angels jumped into negotiations with a big push this week and have emerged as clear front-runners. Although the two sides still have some issues to work through, a source said an agreement could be reached before the start of spring training this weekend in Arizona.”

    “The price is unclear, but Abreu’s financial aspirations have taken a hit because of the soft economy and surplus of left-handed bats available. Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Edmonds, Anderson and Luis Gonzalez are among the other veteran lefty hitters still looking for jobs.”

    “The Braves have also expressed serious interest in Abreu, but sources said Atlanta’s budget is so tight that general manager Frank Wren would have to stretch to give him a $5 million salary.”

  204. 204
    kc Says:

    Give Glavine’s money to Abreu. We don’t need Glavine back.

  205. 205
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    At the risk of inciting Gadfly and Colin, give Glavine AND Francouer’s money to Abreu or Dunn, if that’s what it takes.

  206. 206
    kc Says:

    Now that 2/3M contract to Ross really comes back to huant Wren. Who would have thought that…except Stephen?

  207. 207
    csg Says:

    of course now this from Rosenthal….

    Braves, Glavine Will Meet Wednesday
    By Drew Silva [February 10 at 8:25pm CST]
    FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves will meet with free agent left-hander Tom Glavine on Wednesday.

    As Rosenthal writes, Glavine “is seeking a guarantee in the $2 million to $3 million range.” The Braves offered him $1MM last week. Glavine, 43, went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts last season before undergoing surgery. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day.

    The Braves are thought to have around $7MM left in the budget, but are still in need of an outfielder.

    great another 5th starter and no LF’r….makes zero sense

  208. 208
    kc Says:

    Does Wren honestly think signing Glavine back will erase my memory on Smoltzie? If Smoltzie is not coming back, don’t bother with Glavine! Move on and find us a freaking outfielder!

    Actually, even if Smoltzie didn’t leave, I would still say don’t bother with Tommy.

  209. 209
    td Says:

    I still don’t think Glavine as a 5th starter is a bad idea, but I agree that it shouldn’t be at the expense of an outfielder. I also really doubt that this is the case. I just don’t think Abreu is the answer to our OF problems.

    I feel like it will come down to either Swisher or a trade for one of the Cardinals outfielders.

  210. 210
    kc Says:

    If the Braves can get Abreu at $5M, then they can’t eat Swisher’s entire contract. No wonder why Wren asked Yankees to take some of Swicher’s salary…and was straightly rejected.

    td, the Cards outfielders are not in the picture anymore.

  211. 211
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/

    Say, here’s some good news!

  212. 212
    mraver Says:

    Another great basketball game, this time UF/UK at Rupp. I really thought the Gators were going to do it the way Calethas was playing, but that last shot by Meeks was shades of Devin Downey. Ridiculous shot. UF generated a ton of turnovers, but no one besides Calethas could score. I think the final was Calethas 33, Rest of the Gators 32, and most of that was Alex Tyus.

    Truth be told, the officiating was piss-poor. It seemed like UK was getting away with a lot of bumping under the hoop, but whenever anyone touched Meeks, it was a foul. That and the Hodge ejection was completely absurd. Flagrant foul for accidentally stepping on a guys arm as he flaps it around on the floor? Give me a break.

    Still, gotta hand it to UK. Meeks didn’t have his best game by any stretch, last second heroics aside. And losing Patterson was a huge blow, although he wasn’t exactly dominating, either. No, it was just a good, emotional performance from the team top-down. UK scoring breakdown:
    Meeks and Patterson – 30 points on 10-28 shooting

    Rest of UK – 38 points on 16-27

    Still, great game. Can’t wait to get the Cats in Gainesville. :-)

  213. 213
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    KC–You have a good memory and right you are–but I would carry it further: we probably could have had Lowe for slightly less as well. Now I am glad that we signed Lowe, but we might have gotten him for 4/56 or even 4/58 and saved even more cash than we lost from signing Ross.

    I hate to think that the million a year we might have saved had Wren not pulled the trigger on Lowe, might be the difference in whether we get Abreu or have to pay a very high price to bag Swisher….

  214. 214
    csg Says:

    I still think we could offer Gorkys for Swisher and come out okay. We could do Gorkys and Boyer if they’ll cover some of the contract

  215. 215
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New Post!

  216. 216
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    I would rather not see the Braves trade any of their elite position player prospects. The system is loaded with pitching (particularly below AA), but we don’t have that many elite position players: Heyward, Freeman, Schafer and Hernandez and then the quality drops.

    Apparently the Braves have been reluctant to trade one of the outfielders because they like to toy with the prospect of an outfield made up of Schafer,Heyward and Hernandez.

    Of course all of these players are prospects–there is no guarantee that any one of them will make a significant impact at the major league level.

    Therefore, I would certainly prefer to sign an outfielder and if we must trade–then lets move some pitchers because at least we will be dealing from a position of strength….

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