Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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27 Oct

Discuss amongst yourselves

Open thread. Suggested topic: Stupid Astros!

137 Responses to “Discuss amongst yourselves”

  1. 1
    Phil Says:

    I’m just mad that we had to play them with the roof closed!

  2. 2
    OneEye Says:

    Who did we get for Dye again?

  3. 3
    Diogenes Says:

    It would be prudent for JS to initiate contract extension talks with Andruw. Returning his current contract to its original length would ensure AJ’s coming prime production years would be spent in a Braves’ uniform. With his ties to the Atlanta community, he might be willing to accept less than market value for long-term stability. There’s no rule the Braves must wait until the last minute to settle contract issues.

  4. 4
    justin Says:

    The immortal Keith Lockhart.

    Anyway, I have read some people as saying that Farncouer should go back to the Minors to start the year. I think this would be a mistake, not that he couldn’t use a little seasoning, but I will give you three reasons why I don’t think it should happen.

    1) There’s no one else. Who would play in right field? Would you sign a free agent who would be replacement level at best? Is there anyone you could bring up?

    2) He has already begun making adjustments in his approach. He started working counts, and this was evident in the playoffs, where the pressure is even higher. He didn’t have a great series, but he clearly brings a spark to this team.

    3) Service time has already started. Not only would you be taking away one of his options, if you started out with someone else, and then had to bring him backup due to lack of production or injury, then that doesn’t help either.

    I have heard the possibility of bringing a guy like Brian Giles, but surely his salary will be more than the Braves could afford. Even if they did sign Giles, wouldn’t you rather put him in left and keep Francouer in right, instead of using Johnson or Langerhans in left.

    I say start him in Atlanta and only move him down if he is struggling mightily.

  5. 5
    Lance Says:

    Actually, it was Keith Lockhart AND Michael Tucker….what a deal

  6. 6
    OneEye Says:

    tucker did get off to a red hot start (as did Lofton who we also traded Justice for that same off-season) . Tucker kind of became a journeyman after that while Dye has a few AllStar games and now a WS MVP under his belt.

  7. 7
    drzachary Says:

    If that Sports Weekly blurb about a postseason outfielder testing positive for steroids is true, the team involved should have to forfeit whatever results they achieved in the postseason, even if it’s the White Sox.

    I’m tired of my favorite sport (track and field) getting the reputation of being a dirty sport, when they actually, you know, *punish* offenders. In T&F, there’s a two-year ban for a first offense, no exceptions.

  8. 8
    DougM Says:

    It’s not really “stupid Astros.” The White Sox deserved to win the World Series. They were the best team in the better league and proved it over the entire season. I am happy that there is now a rare non-Wild Card champion. I live in Chicago, have Cubs season tickets, and rooted against the White Sox all season, hoping for a collapse. But you have to give the team its due. The White Sox were balanced: very good starting and relief pitching, decent team speed and power (200 HRs), greatly improved fielding (even if Podsednik was not the huge improvement over Carlos Lee that the Sox expected). This year, I think, the best team in baseball won it all. Kudos to the White Sox. Let’s hope the Braves can get a little bit better (it won’t take much in the flawed National League) so Atlanta can be back in the Series next year.

  9. 9
    justin Says:

    I have been trying to erase the memory of getting Michael Tucker in that trade for years now, and you had to go and bring it back up.

  10. 10
    nyb Says:

    Actually, it was Keith Lockhart AND Michael Tucker….what a deal

    And don’t forget we also gave up Jamie Walker in the deal who’s working on a run of four seasons of above average LOOGY+ work for Detroit right now.

    1) There’s no one else. Who would play in right field? Would you sign a free agent who would be replacement level at best? Is there anyone you could bring up?

    Well there is always someone else. Corner outfielders are not hard to find. Obviously we’re not going to get a big name guy like Brian Giles, but Jermaine Dye was pulled off the scrap heap by the White Sox for $4M and that worked out nicely. It’s JS’s job to sift throught the low end FAs and the non-tenders and find some gold. Let hope he learned from the Mondy/Jordan fiasco this year.

  11. 11
    Zach Says:

    The “Mondy-Jordan fiasco” is exactly why we shouldn’t be sifting through low end free agent corner outfielders this year. Do you want Francouer to spend the entire year in AAA? Because if Francouer does come up after half a year it will be because his replacement sucked so you might as well just have Francouer play all year.

  12. 12
    jenny Says:

    Stupid Astros? Give the White Sox some credit. They played great baseball this postseason. I feel bad because this October had some really good games, but it was just boring. I fell asleep during several of them.

    If that Sports Weekly blurb I posted is true, I hope it’s not anyone on the White Sox (like they need another scandal; just let them enjoy it), the Red Sox, or, obviously, the Braves. That would just kill me. I hope it’s Sheffield, and, failing that, Jim Edmonds. Although here’s a horrible thought: what if it’s Guerrero? Maybe he was distracted by that and that’s why he couldn’t hit…ugh.

    I have no idea what to do with myself now that there’s no baseball. I’m following the Theo Epstein soap opera in Boston, but that will be resolved soon and then what? Unless that starts Lucchinogate, I’m going to be bored silly. April can’t come soon enough.

  13. 13
    nyb Says:

    The “Mondy-Jordan fiasco” is exactly why we shouldn’t be sifting through low end free agent corner outfielders this year. Do you want Francouer to spend the entire year in AAA?

    Unless he dramatically improves his plate approach in winter ball, yeah.

    I understand the Mondy/Jordan thing has soured you on the approach, but sifting through the freely available talent out there is an excellent way for a budget constrained team to temporally patch some holes, which is what we need to do. Mondesi is about as bad a result as you can get. David Ortiz is about the best result you can get. We need to find a Brady Clark like middle ground. Someone who will be average or a click above, but also disposable if Francoeur is ripping the cover off the ball in Richmond.

  14. 14
    JoeyT Says:

    For me, the only really sports-dead time is the first couple weeks in Feburary. After the Super Bowl, college bowls, and the Aussie Open, but before Daytona 500, March Madness, and Spring Training. I usually try to catch up a bit on the NBA and EPL then, but I’m not all that into it.

  15. 15
    justin Says:

    I guess in my original post I didn’t clarify my position well enough. When you talk about low end FA corner outfielders, especially ones the Braves can afford, you are talking about players who are on the lower end behind guys like Burnitz, Dye, Encarnacion, Reggie Sanders etc. We are talking about guys like Jose Cruz Jr, Eric Byrnes, or a Gabe Kapler. The one guy I would take is Kevin Mench, and then you could slide a Langerhans over to right field, but where would you go for a fourth outfielder. Thats not exactly Kelly Johnson’s place. I wonder if Geoff Jenkins is available at a decent price. Stick him in left with Frenchy in right, and Langerhans as fourth. I could live with that as well.

  16. 16
    Smitty Says:

    Stupid Astros, Phil cost them the last three games by him self.

  17. 17
    Smitty Says:

    Oh, I got the Sports Guy’s book today, it is hilarious.

  18. 18
    awb Says:

    I just submitted an email to Joe Sheehan about his “Champs” article today as well as BP in general. I doubt if it will be read or much less, change things, but it was worth a shot. Here it is if people are interested:

    “I used to enjoy Baseball Prospectus immensely, but most of this season I’ve found it painfully lacking. Most of this is due to tone, perfectly exemplified by your article today called “Champs”. Before you go into bullets, you congratulate the White Sox for winning as well you should. But the article prior to that comes off as sour grapes. At some point Prospectus should abandon the snark and the me against them statheads vs mainsteam media tone and just let analysis speak for it’s self. Instead of just talking about the defense, pitching, and mediocre hitting White Sox you talked about how they would be written about by the mainstream media. It smacks of titlting with windmills. Those same windmills I don’t pay attention to. I don’t care how the mainstream media characterizes the White Sox, I want to know what you think. And unless there is a sea change with Baseball Prospectus and the snark gets toned down and the content toned up, well, there are plenty of free blogs where I can get the same analysis without subscription cost. I think you are contributing to the devaluing of the game when you focus on the bad writing about the game rather than the enjoyment of analyzing and watching the game itself. Giving the reader an alternative to ESPN, CNNSI, et al. might have been BP’s original mission but I think it’s grown beyond that and should start behaving that way. “

  19. 19
    matt in boston Says:

    jenny,
    i agree with you that the series lacked something.
    my 1st guess is an appropriate starting time.

    1st pitch…8:30-something. even when things were happening in the later innings, i found myself drifting off.

    so much for trying to get the next generation jazzed about baseball.

  20. 20
    Kyle S Says:

    nice letter, awb. very on point.

  21. 21
    GoDawgs Says:

    A hearty congratulations to the White Sox…the best TEAM won the World Series this year; plus, I can’t stand the smug Astros and was happy, especially, that AN EX-BRAVE in Jermaine Dye was the hero and MVP. (plus, an ex-Brave managing the Sox).

    Also, does everyone realize that it was exactly 10 years ago when the Braves were world champs and closed out the Indians with a 1-0, Tommy Glavine win? Cool bit of history.

  22. 22
    jenny Says:

    Sports isn’t totally dead for me, I guess, since I like watching football, but the games are only once a week. The worst time of the year is after the Super Bowl and before the start of the baseball season.

    World Series games need to start no later than 7:00 PM ET. I’m on Central Time, and I wound up staying up until 1:30 for Game 3. That’s 2:30 on the East Coast. Ridiculous.

  23. 23
    GoDawgs Says:

    I also agree with the notion that no matter who’s playing in the World Series, all games should start no later then 7:00 pm eastern time.

    These start times and finish times for east coast Baseball fans is very difficult if you have to wake up early for your job the next day.

  24. 24
    JoeyT Says:

    Both world series teams are in the Central time zone, too.

  25. 25
    nyb Says:

    Good luck with that awb. I also used to read BP.com and buy the annual. Now I do neither. I knew my feelings had changed for good when they had their free preview earlier this year and I never felt the urge to visit their site once.

    It’s a shame, they used to provide some real insight into the game. Now they seem less concerned (and in many cases, downright unfamilar) with what’s happening on the field and more with how it’s be percieved and covered by the media. Oh, and Will Carroll absolutely blows.

  26. 26
    Stu Says:

    Does my intuition deceive me, or has Alex R. returned in the form of GoDawgs?

    Maybe I’m just conspiracy theorist, but if that is you, Alex, welcome back.

  27. 27
    GoDawgs Says:

    I am not Alex R., sorry to disappoint…I live in Atlanta.

  28. 28
    doubledawg Says:

    Baseball is over, but it leaves us just as college football championships are being ironed out. The pageantry and fervor of Southeastern Conference football is a sporting atmosphere unrivalled on this continent. Then, as the emotional roller coaster of each saturday ends, you are greeted the next morning with the less important, but splendidly entertaining NFL games for the entire day. The NFL keeps the football buzz going, but at a “sippin a beer” level of intensity intensity, which helps one recover from the tequilla shot rampage of a game like UGA v. UF.
    The only dead time for sports is February (superbowl excluded). February is the cruelest month for a sports fan, mercilly it is the shortest. March then burst in with the NCAA, which even the casual observer can get excited about. The Dawgs rarely raise much post-season stir on the hard court, but you can still enjoy cheering on the underdogs and picking sides in the battle of carolina.
    Before you know it, baseball returns.

  29. 29
    JoeyT Says:

    Nascar starts around the middle of February. That’s only a half-month of dead space.

  30. 30
    GoDawgs Says:

    As a Dawg fan, I agree about nothing rivaling the SEC in terms of passion & pure football…do you think we have a shot with Tereshinksi rather then Shockley this weekend? I think so because we will have our defense back in.

    I just hope ESPN and the BCS finally take some notice, should we beat Florida.

  31. 31
    JC Says:

    For those of you looking for an alternative to BPro, might I suggest turning to The Hardball Times? They offer a little less daily content and stats, but it’s of a higher quality and it’s free. The THT Annual is published by ACTA this year, and will be vastly better than last year’s book, which was quite good. It will also feature articles by Bill James, Rob Neyer, and John Dewan.

    I will admit that I am also contributing two articles, but know that I receive no proceeds from the sales. I’ll also add that THT isn’t perfect, and that they are prone to publishing a stinker from time to time (possibly including some of my contributions), but I think that the overall quality of analysis has now surpassed Prospectus. If THT adds minor league data to it’s annual, I believe they can outsell Prospectus.

  32. 32
    Andy H. Says:

    I’ve been debating whether to get the Hardball Times book this year instead of BP (I don’t really want two books). How does it compare in terms of what kind of articles are included? Is it set up the same way with a team essay and individual player comments?

  33. 33
    nyb Says:

    which helps one recover from the tequilla shot rampage of a game like UGA v. UF.

    Granted I’ve never been to a SEC game like UGA v UF, but if the Bruins and Trojans somehow make it through undefeated, the Battle for LA this season would be one for the ages. Although I’ll never bring myself to pull for the Bruins, I kind of hope they can hang in there just because it would be such and incredible event around here. And of course because it would hurt even more when the Trojans crush them 56-17.

    Thank God for college football. It would be a long baseball-less winter without it.

  34. 34
    GoDawgs Says:

    The Trojans and Bruins should be a great battle this year, no doubt. UCLA has a real shot at an upset.

    However, my wife is a Pac-Ten girl and she has openly admitted to me that the fierceness and sheer size of the rivalries she’s seen here in this area dwarfs the passion/hatred of even the most hated Pac Ten match ups.

    It’s also funny to me how well she gets along with her west coast ‘rivals’ whereas there’s a lot of open animosity between Dawg and Gator fans, among others.

    And yes…thank God for college football!

  35. 35
    JC Says:

    Andy H.,

    I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like. I’ll post something when I get my copy. Hopefully, I’ll get some proofs soon. I don’t think they will have projections for every player like BPro does. There’s still a reason to buy BPro, but I think the articles in THT will be better. I’ll probably give them one more chance, I’d prefer more Click studies and less jokes about “this player is just like a girlfriend I had in high school.”

  36. 36
    Sam Alex Says:

    How do you get a typekey identity

  37. 37
    JoeyT Says:

    I think you just go to typekey.com and click on the register link.

  38. 38
    jenny Says:

    Mac, did you mention how you were quoted in a Houston Chronicle article on how everybody hates Tim McCarver? It’s from October 24. I was just scanning shutuptimmccarver.com and found it and thought, “Wow, I know that guy!” Maybe you mentioned and I missed it, but it was pretty cool.

  39. 39
    Kyle S Says:

    Fun trivia question for everyone (given to me by my boss earlier this week) – DON’T CHEAT except to see if a player you think of actually did hit 40:

    There have been ten players with exactly four letters in their last name to hit 40 or more home runs in a full season. Name them.

    (I got 7 and couldn’t believe my stupidity when I saw one of the three I had missed, but some of them are pretty tough).

  40. 40
    Aram Says:

    To paraphrase Bill Shanks article that can be found on scout.com entitles Mazzone Leaves Braves at Right Time (Mac, forgive me if I am unintentionally overstepping obscure legal boundaries by doing this):

    Shanks says the success of Braves pitchers are a direct result of Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz. While Leo was definitely a part of the success, the real reason pitchers do so much better in Atlanta is because there is a stigma of pitching greatness attached to Atlanta, and guys strive extra hard to succeed when on the Braves in order to fit that profile and carry on that tradition. He compares pitching for the Braves to playing QB for the Cowboys or Center for the Lakers.

    He give the Braves scouts the credit for recognizing that Jaret Wright had turned the corner in SD before Leo ever even got a hold of him. He also says that the scouts were the ones who identified Jorge Sosa as someone who would benefit from pitching in a winning environment, not necessarily under the eye of Leo. He also give Dal Canton the credit for turning Chris Hammond’s career around in Richmond the year before he was brought up to ATL.

    Here’s where it gets nuts, because Shanks basically lists Leo’s failures over the years. He says Leo screwed up Jason Marquis, Bruce Chen, and Odaliz Perez by making tinkering with their mechanics his hobby. Shanks claims that instead of trying to capitalize on a pitcher’s strenghts, Leo instead tries to mold them into his idea of what a pitcher should be. He gives further examples like Chris Reitsma and Tim Spooneybarger, saying it was a mistake to tell those guys to compromise the velocity on their fastball. He believe Spooney shouldn’t have been punished for not wanting to let up on his fastball, and that Reitsma would be more effective throwing the 96-97 he was throwing in Cincy rather than the 92-93 he throws with the Braves. Essentially, Shanks is saying that a better coach would maximize each player’s individual talents rather than trying to slam them into a mold and make them all look like each other. Leo’s lack of positive reinforcement made it hard for young pitchers to adjust. Shanks predicts that Horacio will benefit most from Leo leaving because he will regain his aggressiveness and “bulldog” mentality rather than nibbling on the corners all day to make his pitching coach happy.

    Shanks calls for either Dal Canton or Kent Willis to get the job. He intimates that if Canton had never left, then he would be the one people would whisper Hall of Fame about. While he does give Mazzone some credit, he makes it sound like it was much more of a “right place, right time” situation. He thinks Canton would be good because he doesn’t have an ego like Mazzone. Also, he’s 63, and would be in line to retire with Bobby and JS. Shanks likes Willis because of his reputation amongst all the young Braves pitchers who are the future of the organization. They all love him. Shanks give him credit for fixing Kevin Barry and getting him back on the Braves radar. If Willis isn’t the pitching coach now, he definitely will be in the near future.

    Shanks closes by saying if the Braves don’t win the division next year, it won’t be because they miss Leo. If Leo goes to B-more and has another 14 year run like he did in ATL, then maybe he deserves the Hall. But Braves fans need to “take their blinders off” (direct quote) if they think the Braves pitching success had that much to do with him.

    I figured Shanks would give the majority of credit to the scouts, but the tone of the article was very “good riddance”. If anything, I’ve softened it up a little. I was surprised he stated things to matter-of-factly.

  41. 41
    GoDawgs Says:

    Sammy Sosa is the only obvious one that comes to mind of the 40 homer, 4 letter club.

    As for Mac, I am sure he’s at the top of Tim McCarver’s Christmas list.

  42. 42
    Kyle S Says:

    Sosa is one.

    There is one guy more recent than him, and one guy who should be glaringly obvious even though he is far from recent.

  43. 43
    JoeyT Says:

    Yeah, the first two that came to mind are a current slugger and the best player ever. Sosa came up third in my head.

  44. 44
    GoDawgs Says:

    Derrek Lee.

  45. 45
    JoeyT Says:

    Well, I got five before giving up. You’re a better man than I, Kyle.

  46. 46
    Kyle S Says:

    Lee only has 3 letters, not “exactly 4.” This also disqualifies Mel Ott.

  47. 47
    JoeyT Says:

    Hint: Ron Gant (36) and Carlton Fisk (37) are NOT on the list.

  48. 48
    Michael Says:

    1. Re; Francouer

    The kid quite possibly might be the Rookie of the Year so sending him down would be ludicrous. He’s a major leaguer already and will continue to grow.

    2. Re; Shanks & Mazzone

    I normally respect Shanks but I have a feeling he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Ask Greg, Tommy, or Smoltzie what they think and you’ll hear praises galore.

    3. Re; The Astros

    One of my closest friends lives in Houston. He called last night an hour after the game ended. I told him they had a good season and he should hbe proud of what they achieved in coming back from a 15-30 start, still I have come to the conclusion that they’re just not a very good team. Putrid offense as I’ve ever seen in a Series.

  49. 49
    Stu Says:

    Nor are Fred Lynn (39) or Moises Alou (39), both near misses.

    I’ve got 6 so far…

  50. 50
    JC Says:

    Aram,

    Trash goes in the garbage can, not on BJ. ;-) It’s funny that most of the pitchers he mentions have all credited Leo for some of their success, including Marquis. Not believing Leo had some hand in the success in any of those guys is akin to believing the moon landing was fake.

    All of this Leo taking credit for other people’s work stuff is crap. From the AJC:

    “Ive gotten a tremendous amount of credit over the years with Atlanta,” Mazzone said during a Friday conference call. “I dont need credit. All we need is pitchers pitching good. That gives you enough credit. You dont need someone tooting your horn.”

  51. 51
    Stu Says:

    I got to 7 before giving up. I wonder if we named the same 7, Kyle.

  52. 52
    Kyle S Says:

    COMN to email me if you want to check your list and find out the guys you missed. I’d bet money that I know two that you didn’t get.

  53. 53
    nyb Says:

    Thanks for killing my productivity this afternoon Kyle. I’ve been stuck on nine for a while. Not giving up though.

  54. 54
    david15 Says:

    nyb, i looked up the answers just now after i was stuck, and i am thinking you’ll be stuck on nine for a while. the first nine don’t seem very difficult, but i had never heard of the tenth guy.

  55. 55
    doubledawg Says:

    I’ve gotten to 8 and my brain hurts. The last one just came to my because its the same surname as the person I was emailing. I’m leaving town tomm, so if its not too much trouble, please send the answers to

    aechols@gmail.com

    thanks. i cant spend the weekend in such agony.

  56. 56
    bmac Says:

    Great teaser Kyle. This is going to be running through my mind all day now.

  57. 57
    Kyle S Says:

    I’ll give yall a few more hours before I post the list here, in case you’re worried about not finding out. Actually, I’ll probably post a link to the list, so you can click it if you want but you aren’t forced to read it.

  58. 58
    nyb Says:

    Ok, got the tenth. That was pretty tough. Thanks for the quiz Kyle. Jay Bell (38 in ’99), Jimmy Wynn (37 in ’67), and Jeff Kent (37 in ’02) were the guys I really thought were on the list, but came up a few short.

  59. 59
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Jeff Kent peaked at 37.

    Yeah, I saw the Houston Chronicle article. They got my age wrong for some reason. I’m 34, and it said that in the email I sent him.

  60. 60
    Rufino Linares Says:

    I am stuck at 8. I am getting nothing done until I figure this out.

  61. 61
    Rufino Linares Says:

    One good thing to come out of this infuriating trivia question is for me to see Rudy York’s 1937 season- wow. He crushed the ball. Not as good as Javy in ’03 but still pretty good. He was a great hitter for a catcher. And no, he never hit 40.

  62. 62
    Mac Thomason Says:

    York wasn’t a full-time catcher, though.

  63. 63
    jenny Says:

    I’m not even going to attempt the trivia question. I’m terrible at them. I got all excited last night because I actually knew the answer to the question (the last pitcher to throw a complete game in the WS: Josh Beckett, 2003). I guess it’s a function of only being 18 and not being old enough/alive to remember most of the stuff they put up there, but I was thrilled just to get that easy question.

    When I’m 50, I’ll get them all.

    Off-topic note: I hope FOX gets rid of the WebMD Injury Report (among other things, like Scooter and Tim McCarver) next year. I do not need a diagram to tell me where the right shoulder is. It is one of the most annoying graphics they have, and that’s saying something.

  64. 64
    Rufino Linares Says:

    He would have caught enough for a fantasy league! Just kidding. Looks like moving to first base cost him, if he’d been a full-time catcher his whole career he’d probably be in the HOF, or at leas close.

    I’m up to 9 now. It’s actually nontrivial just to research the answer, much less to come up with them on your own…

  65. 65
    nyb Says:

    One good thing to come out of this infuriating trivia question is for me to see Rudy York’s 1937 season- wow.

    For me the eye opener was Jimmie Hall. As a 25 year old (apparent) rookie he hits 33 bombs (I thought it was more, that why I checked him) and puts up a 136 OPS+. Four years later he’s bouncing around the league. He finishes at Age 32 with a .165/.224/.278 line and is never heard from again. Now that’s a flame out.

    When we are finished here, I would be interested in hearing who other people’s ‘tenth’ is.

  66. 66
    Mark Grogan Says:

    If Godawgs is not Alex, he’ll certainly do for now. IMAGINE, if WE had both of THEM at the same TIME. AARON only has 4 letters.

  67. 67
    CTom Says:

    Is bringing Millwood back even remotely possible?

  68. 68
    Stu Says:

    Mark, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that GoDawgs is, in fact, the illusive Alex R. For those of us who have read enough of his posts to recognize a few patterns in his writing and style, GoDawgs’s very first post on this thread all but confirms that he’s Alex. Not that it matters, but I find it mildly hilarious.

  69. 69
    Stu Says:

    I of course meant *elusive”. Please forgive me.

  70. 70
    Stu Says:

    Wow. One more time: *elusive* or “elusive,” but not *elusive.”

    I’m on a roll.

  71. 71
    heehaw Says:

    George Bell
    Norm Cash
    Adam Dunn
    Jimmie Foxx
    Willie Mays
    Johnny Mize
    Wally Post
    Jim Rice
    Babe Ruth
    Sammy Sosa

  72. 72
    leroy Says:

    The White Sox swept the Astros… That’s two straight sweeps for the American League.. Yaaawwwnn. Unfortunately for the White Sox, the Red Sox stole their thunder last year. America just wasn’t as interested this year, I was told that this was the lowest rated World Series. Doesn’t surprise me. No A-rod, no Manny, no Pujols, no star power. Does the average american know who Crede is? Or Uribe? Doubt it. MLB needed the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, or Braves in the World Series.

    White Sox vs. Astros drew no interest even though they were decent games, apparently. I wouldn’t know, I didn’t watch more than 15 minutes of any particular game. The White Sox got a couple controversial calls (a theme for the playoffs), there was a walk-off homerun from a guy who hit 0 homeruns in the regular season, and the White Sox won for the first time since 1917. It’s too bad no one outside of Chicago cares. And a painful stat for the Astros… The White Sox won all 4 games by a total of… SIX runs, tying an MLB record.

    In my mind the whole playoffs were a bust as soon as the Yankees and Red Sox lost in the 1st round. America wanted another epic ALCS battle. Oh well, I have 4 1/2 months of no baseball to enjoy. Time to focus purely on football.

    White Sox went 11-1 in the playoffs.

  73. 73
    Mark Grogan Says:

    FIRST, let ME say that I enjoy putting capitals WHERE they don’t belong. IT has opened A whole new WORLD FOR me. I WENT back to the first gOdAWGS post and using A Capital b in BASEBALL is a sign of alex. Like i SAID, no matter where HE lives, GoDawgs will suffice until aLEX comes back.

    At this point, I think we will miss Alex more than Mazzone.

  74. 74
    seamus Says:

    Thank God the White Sox won the World Series. No more smack talking from Ozzie Guillen, hopefully forever. Go on Ozzie, leave on top, get out of baseball and jump on a raft back to the D.R.. No one likes you, nor cares about you. Keep your word and get the hell of of dodge.

    The White Sox got lucky as hell. Thats the bottom line. I’ve never seen a team get so many second chances from umpires in one postseason in my life. These guys aren’t a perennial World Series team, they are a one and done, wait 88 more years.

    Was anyone else annoyed to see Frank Thomas celebrating like he actually helped his team? To me, that was the equivalent of if Nomar had been jumping up and down in the Cubs clubhouse after Boston won last year. Frank, you spent the majority of the year on the DL and weren’t even on the playoff roster. You haven’t put up a good year in 3 years, go jump on the raft with Ozzie and disappear.

  75. 75
    nyb Says:

    That’s the ten. It took me forever to remember George Bell’s juiced ball inspired 47 dingers in ’87. The other nine came fairly quickly. Another guy who was finished in his early thirties.

  76. 76
    david15 Says:

    you know what annoys me? when assholes say things like “jump on a raft back to the D.R.”

  77. 77
    Mac Thomason Says:

    For one thing, Guillen is from Venezuela. I am very tempted to delete that post but will demur. Seamus, don’t do that again.

  78. 78
    Stu Says:

    In addition to the fact that Ozzie is Venezuelan, it is also not customary to raft to or from the DR. Cuba is where the rafters come from, seamus. In other words, even if Ozzie were from the DR, which he isn’t, it would not be appropriate to make a raft reference. Your post, seamus, is uninformed and quite unnecessary.

    Mac, tell me GoDawgs isn’t Alex. Alex, you should be embracing the real you.

  79. 79
    matt in boston Says:

    wow-
    jump on a raft…

    i can deal with, and actually like, some swearing.
    sometimes only a dirty word will do…

    but a poorly placed slur…not so much.

  80. 80
    GoDawgs Says:

    Mark-

    I am not Alex r and I am sorry to disappoint you. It really doesn’t make any difference who you think I am but I am not him; and since this is a blog, I am not going to give you my personal information.

    I brought up that I live in Atlanta because Alex always talked about Dc & Baltimore. Am I crazy or isn’t that where he was from??? Mac knows him so he could answer.

    Oh and as for Frank Thomas, his celebration was something like Drew Bledsoe’s when the Patriots won their their 1st super bowl.

  81. 81
    jenny Says:

    Making raft “jokes” in reference to Cuba is actually worse for me than making them incorrectly in reference to the D.R. Who knows how many people die each year on rafts from Cuba? Hundreds? Thousands? I learned way more than I ever wanted to about people drowning in the middle of the ocean after that Elian Gonzalez mess a few years ago. Not even remotely funny, Seamus. Vicious, not to mention ignorant and racist.

    Can anyone believe the Natspos extended Jim Bowden? Why did they do that?

  82. 82
    matt in boston Says:

    GoDawgs-

    I know you’re not Alex R…i think everyone knows. maybe for a brief second it seemed possible, but when the 13-year friendship with Mac was never referenced, all that went away.

    they’re just having fun.
    it was kind of funny when Stu brought it up and the Mark followed with the all-caps type.

    …one of those guess-you-had-to-be-there jokes.

    as for the frank thomas thing, i was happy for him. just as i would have been for bagwell if the astros had won.
    or better yet, just as i would have been for eddie perez if the braves had won.

    it’s not really the same…but similar.

  83. 83
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Alcohol, Jenny. And lots of it.

    No, they still don’t have an owner, so the other 29 are more than happy to leave them under the control of a guy who apparently doesn’t understand the game of baseball.

  84. 84
    britland Says:

    i am the walrus! kookoocachoo!

  85. 85
    kc Says:

    Maybe it’s the best just to delete that message Mac, or the portion referring to the raft be deleted. It is just not entertaining, annoying and not appropriate.

  86. 86
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I already gave a warning, I think that’s enough. I am willing to be convinced otherwise, or Seamus can request it.

  87. 87
    doubledawg Says:

    I consider Bonds to be a 4-letter word, does that count. Number 11.

    also, did it ever occur to you jerks, that Alex R could be on a raft right now? too horrible to speak of, lets just agree to never mention rafts or Alex R again. deal?

  88. 88
    Smitty Says:

    IF the Dogs win this weekend they should pass USC in my mind. BUt They won’t beat Floruda.

  89. 89
    doubledawg Says:

    tuberville was right, as much as that pains me to say, but the table is set for UT and USC, no matter what happens in the nations toughest conference. do all sporting conferences on the west coast suck? NL west, AL west, west coast nfc,….

  90. 90
    kc Says:

    The following is from Chicago Sun-Times website:

    Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox had something to say about all this talk that Guillen might retire if the Sox win the World Series.

    ”Bobby Cox called me [Tuesday] and said, ‘You’ll never retire from baseball; make them retire you,”’ Guillen said. ”He called me like 4 o’clock [Tuesday] and said, ‘You’re too good a man, baseball man. We need people like you. Make those guys fire you. Keep taking the money away from them.’

    ”And I said, ‘Skip, I already signed the contract.’ He said, ‘Make them renew the contract now.”

  91. 91
    JoeyT Says:

    Of course Bobby loves Ozzie. Bobby holds the patent on excellent handling of a pitching staff coupled with horrible in-game offensive strategy. Guillen’s just like him, only a little bit louder.

    You think the White Sox stormed through the postseason? Think how good they could have been this year without giving up five outs a game. Man, that team was loaded. They might even be able to absorb the Konerko loss and repeat before they lose all their players after 2006.

  92. 92
    Stu Says:

    Actually, I’m serious about the GoDawgs/Alex R. thing. It’s him, I know it.

    The evidence:

    1) Alex is too big a Braves fan to stay away from this, the best Braves fan site, for too long. As much as I and others give him a hard time, you can’t dispute his love for the Bravos.

    2) “TEAM” and “AN EX-BRAVE”…well, I think we all know the capitalization speaks for itself.

    3) The reference to “Tommy” instead of “Tom” Glavine. Alex was about the only person ever on this site to still call him Tommy. And he did it all the time.

    4) “I also agree with the notion that no matter who’s playing in the World Series, all games should start no later then 7:00 pm eastern time.”
    Alex often confuses “than” with “then.” I’m not trying to insult him or anything, just pointing out that, if you check back on old threads, this is a common error with him. Anybody believe me, yet?

    5) The “I live in Atlanta, and Alex R. lived around D.C.” excuse. I think that looks a little fishy, especially since I’ve never seen GoDawgs on here before, and he seems to have some Alex R. knowledge.

    6) The tone/style of GoDawgs’s posts. I dunno, and this is clearly not objective evidence, but all of GoDawgs’s posts just read like Alex R. to me.

    7) Mac won’t say that GoDawgs isn’t Alex. This is a testament to Mac, since he (a) doesn’t want to lie, and (b) doesn’t want to rat out his pal (rather, his CLOSE and PERSONAL friend of 13 YEARS).

    It adds up, folks. And, yes, I’ve spent way too much time typing this all out, but I’m 99.999% sure that I’m right. And I think, if you want to waste your time looking at this compelling evidence I’ve compiled, you’ll come to the same conclusion.

    Welcome back, Alex.

  93. 93
    jenny Says:

    Funny discovery of the day:

    Typing “awful announcer” into Google yields the top result http://www.timmccarver.com. I love Googlebombing. Now if we could only get Dan Kolb’s ESPN player reference to pop up after a search on “worst closer ever.”

  94. 94
    Aram Says:

    Stu is on fire right now. He’s like Vincent Bugliosi in his prime.

    Ozzie Guillen comes off as a jerk, but I like him. It’s a clich, but that team really did take on his personality. He’s made some questionable decisions for sure, but he’s so young, I’m sure he’s still growing into the job anyway. He’s a good manager, he gets results.

  95. 95
    kc Says:

    Jenny, what you found is awesome. McCarver defines what awful announcer means. If people start studying why TV rating for the World Series continues to drop over the years, I bet Bud Selig and McCarver will be the answers.

    Stu, I guess we better stop the Alex and GoDawgs guessing. We have lost Alex for bad reasons already, I would prefer we lay off this topic before we lose GoDawgs as well!!!

    JoeyT, I love your comparison on Bobby to Guillen. I laughed so hard because it is so true, hahaha!

  96. 96
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I liked Ozzie Guillen when he was a Brave, and I never thought we should have traded Dye (even though, like Millwood, he was always an injury waiting to happen). I’m happy they have rings.

    Now we just have to get Andruw Jones and the Baby Braves some more hardware. It annoys me that Chuck Knoblauch has four times as many rings as Chipper Jones.

    I have a question I’d like all the regular posters here to answer: who would you rather have over the next five years, Tim Hudson (granted, we already have him) or Rafael Furcal?

  97. 97
    kc Says:

    AAR, I would prefer Hudson. Yes, I am honest. Pitching is such a premium that I still believe the Braves should have gotten more from the Reds for the Neagle/Bell – Boone/Remlinger trade.

    The reason the Braves traded Dye for Tucker was because JS always likes Tucker starting from the days when he was the GM for the Royals. He made the same mistake twice. The late 90s isn’t particularly the time JS did his best work. I only started to appreciate JS when the Braves started to cut payroll three years ago.

  98. 98
    Stephen Says:

    Thanks to Aram for paraphrasing the Shanks piece on Mazzone.

    It is not surprising that he could find some examples of pitchers who did not benefit from Mazzone, because it would be true for any pitching coach.

    My suspicion has been that Leo worked best with pitchers who were already established or had been established. That fits a major league pitching coach–especially in the Braves’ situations.

    The real question is what type of pitching coach the Braves should now employ. Do they try to get another Leo? Or go with someone who apparently has succeeded at the minor league level (Dal Canton or Willis) or do they get someone who brings other assets?

    Personally, I would like to see the Braves use the departure of Mazzone as the time to think for 2006 and also beyond. I hope that we can find someone who can develop young starting pitchers. In the long run I think that the Braves have more to gain by developing some starters that can anchor the rotation for years to come.

    Otherwise, yes, Guillen and the White Sox deserve lots of credit.

  99. 99
    Dave Says:

    on the radio this morning, Ozzie Guillen was forced to answer the question about supposedly ‘retiring’ and he mentioned that Cox called him and said to Ozzie, ‘let them retire you, you don’t retire first…and get another contract extension.

    First, that’s funny, it’s like Bobby is Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost. Second, it means Bobby plans to manage another ten years possibly…only wish he could have convinced Leo to stay with him!

  100. 100
    Stu Says:

    I think I’d also prefer Hudson. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

  101. 101
    JC Says:

    Have Dal Canton or Willis been successful?

  102. 102
    joshq Says:

    Stu, Are there Black Helicopters flying outside your house right now?
    I love Conspiracy theories…

  103. 103
    JoeyT Says:

    I’m confused. Why have Farnsworth and Furcal not filed for FA yet? mlb.com lists only Franco and Eddie Perez.

    Oh, and if we want another mediocre closer, Pittsburgh’s letting Jose Mesa go. I guess it’s Gonzalez time in the City of Steel.

  104. 104
    GoDawgs Says:

    I have to admit, Stu makes me laugh. I actually find the whole conspiracy thing quite entertaining as I was a huge X Files fan. Still, I am not alex. sorry to disappoint.

    By the way, I have been on before under the handle Kevin…it’s Georgia-Florida weekend and the godawgs handle is because I am pumped up for the big game tomorrow.

    By the way, I agree with what I have been reading on here that the Braves should probably hire within the organization in terms of replacing Leo. As for free agency, as long as we can get some relief pitching, the Braves should be fine next year no matter what happens with Furcal.

  105. 105
    csg Says:

    Who will JS and Bobby make a run at this offseason. Will we go after Burnett or Shields? Did anyone see where the Rockies are looking at Reitsma?

  106. 106
    Stu Says:

    I still don’t believe you, GoDawgs. Maybe it’s a medical condition, I don’t know.

    But, I’m sure we all remember that Alex was hung up on relief pitching before his departure…

    Anyway, I have to go, as I’m pretty sure the Secret Service is coming after me.

  107. 107
    Dave Says:

    with the abundance of relievers on the white sox among other teams, plus add in the fact that they likely won’t spend the dough to keep Konerko, anyone think there’s any chance we can dangle Laroche for some of that pitching?

    We should consider moving Chipper to 1st if Marte or Betemit takes over at 3rd.

  108. 108
    Dave Says:

    hey Stu, to be fair to godawgs, I think most of braves nation is ‘hung up on relief pitching’. did you see our bullpen this year? I mean, if I had a nickel for every braves fan who was pissed off about the bullpen, I could retire. I add my own name to that list.

  109. 109
    csg Says:

    Here is a link for all eligible free agents this year..

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2206376

  110. 110
    Stu Says:

    Dave, I meant “hung up on relief pitching at the expense of all other parts of the team.” Which Alex was. Which I’m not. There’s a difference.

    Anyway, regardless of the relief pitching thing, I’m still sure GoDawgs and Alex R. are one and the same. I mean, have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time?

  111. 111
    joshq Says:

    We obviously need relief help. I think JS will look everywhere. If Chicago loses Konerko, maybe we could pawn LaRoche off on them. However, if they are smart they will see just how big a downgrade that would be for them and try another course of action.

    Stu, patience is of utmost importance. Alex will be back, he is too passionate to not want a piece of the action. Besides, when we start the Alex/Stu PTI show he will have to be here. In the meantime, I don’t know where he is, I’ve been looking on Google Earth all morning and can’t find him… :)

  112. 112
    Dave Says:

    well, I have to say our bullpen is a mess. You would hope the young guys like Boyer, Brower, McBride & Devine could bounce back. The Braves still need to make some major changes considering the disaster the pen was.

    And I really didn’t see where he said that all other parts of the team need to be ignored just for the bullpen. I think Braves fans would generally agree that it’s probably our weakest area but there probably need to be a few other changes as well.

    As for seeing them in the same place at the same time, I honestly just don’t really care.

  113. 113
    gGoDawgs/Kevin/ghost of alex r/generic braves fan Says:

    stu– does this handle make you happier? lol.

    in all seriousness, I do like the idea of offering up Laroche to Ozzie Guillen but would he be silly enough to think that Adam could replace Konerko?

  114. 114
    Stu Says:

    Dave, the “same place at the same time” thing was a joke. This is the internet. You don’t really SEE anyone here.

    As for the bullpen, it obviously needs to be addressed. I just think re-signing Furcal is of equal importance. I know I’m in the (vast?) minority on that one, though.

  115. 115
    Stu Says:

    Well, no one would believe Adam could replace Konerko. But the Sox can’t afford to replace Konerko with Konerko-like talent, so the question would be whether Adam (who will be cheap) is better than their other options.

  116. 116
    Smitty Says:

    Well we are trying to steal away one D-Ray’s coaches. We have permission to speak to Rick Williams to replace Leo. Ugh!

    http://rays.tbo.com/rays/MGBPTCJYBFE.html

  117. 117
    latnam Says:

    Well, today Stu mention that I hadn’t posted here in a while, and I told him that I just hadn’t had much to say. But I also remembered the other day I almost posted. This is the post I should’ve posted then, but only now have actually posted. Ok, that sounded bad. Basically ignore above and focus on this:

    I’m more on the “stathead” side of things that most people here. I don’t really understand it all, especially when it gets to detailed numbers, but I put my faith in stats most of the time. Now, having said that, there was an article (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/2005-gold-gloves/) at The Hardball Times, about the 2005 gold gloves that had a passage I, and I believe most of us here, will completely disagree with. Here it is:

    Left Field

    Gold Gloves: Kelly Johnson (+22), Coco Crisp (+34)

    Call me crazy, but if I were Atlanta, I would trade Andruw Jones at the peak of his value and move Johnson to center field, where his amazing defense (he played barely half a season) would be extremely valuable and give the Braves a spectacular young outfield with Ryan Langerhans, Johnson and Jeff Francoueur. Average age? 24. Then they would have the money to re-sign Furcal, plus whoever they got for Jones, who has become an average outfielder.

    Now, I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to say 1) this guy never really watched KJ play the outfield, and 2) there’s gotta be a flaw in that stat somwhere.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like KJ more than most, (I really wanted to buy his jersey last year, but there never was one…) but he’s not a centerfielder, and if he was the best defensive leftfielder in the NL, then everyone else must of been really REALLY bad. (Channeling a bit of Alex R. there)

    What does everyone else think?

  118. 118
    Kyle S Says:

    Count me among those who find the “raft to the D.R.” comment incredibly offensive. Maybe if Oswaldo was actually from the Dominican, and not incredibly proud of being Venezolano, it wouldn’t bother me so much.

    The content of the message contained grapes as sour as I’ve ever seen this side of Baseball Prospectus. Talk about arrogance! The White Sox only lost one game in the entire post-season, beating the reigning World Champions in the process. They won the second-most games in the major leagues and the most games in the American League. Frankly, I don’t care if they got lucky; I would trade five or six of our division championships for just one more World Series crown.

    Sheesh.

    The above list of players is the correct answer to the trivia question, by the way. The easiest way to answer questions like that is by using the Lahman database and appropriate queries in SQL or MS-Access.

    nyb, I can’t believe you got stuck on George Bell. I mean, yeah, he wasn’t very memorable, but you came up with Wally Post before him? Wow.

  119. 119
    JoeyT Says:

    Rick Williams? The guy who couldn’t do anything with Sosa before Leo got him?

  120. 120
    david15 Says:

    georgia is the worst undefeated college football team i’ve ever seen this late in the season. i hope you were kidding, smitty.

  121. 121
    fjensen Says:

    I am grateful for not having to worry about Tom Martin, Dan Kolb, Raul Mondesi, Hopefully Chris Reitsma,and Kevin Graboski this year. If Furcal and Farnsworth are gone and nobody else is signed the team still looks better than it did last spring. My fear is that in order to save money the brass will try to catch “lightning in a jar” and sign the 06 version of Tom Martin to a contract they won’t be willing to shed.

  122. 122
    JoeyT Says:

    Seriously? Worse than such powerhouses as Boise State and Tulane in their undefeated seasons?

  123. 123
    david15 Says:

    ok, major conference undefeated teams. got me there, heh.

  124. 124
    Smitty Says:

    I think Georgia is a decent team. Their special teams are the best in America. I think Ely-Kelso has been at UGA for 125 years now, he has to be working on his PhD. However, Florida seems to always have their number and with no DJ Shockley, it is going to be tough to win. Tennessee should have beaten both, but I’m not bitter about it (RANDY SANDERS NEED TO GO AWAY SOON! PLEASE!)

  125. 125
    ermoore Says:

    Still, Georgia will beat Alabama (though I’d feel a lot more confident about this if Shockley were already back). And don’t forget Utah from last year. They were the most-overrated undefeated team probably ever. But if Georgia (or Alabama) finishes the season undefeated it’ll be because they’re just that good (unlike Texas and USC of the last couple of years).
    Keep in mind, I hate Alabama and have no love for Georgia either, but this is just true.

  126. 126
    ermoore Says:

    I agree, Smitty. Randy Sanders is the devil. Though VaTech (another team I despise) might have better special teams. I’m pretty confident Georgia will pull it off this weekend. Urban Meyers is WAY overrated.

  127. 127
    Smitty Says:

    It is true. I don’t think UGA or Bama can beat USC or Texas, but I don’t think either will be undefeated at the end of the season. Alabama should have ost to Tennessee last weekend, but again I am not bitter (GO TO HELL RANDY SANDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  128. 128
    Kirk Says:

    latnam, there was a quite a bit of discussion re: the THT gold glove article in a past thread.

    http://www.bravesbeat.com/bravesjournal/archives/2005/10/scheurholz_spea.html#comments

  129. 129
    Smitty Says:

    Va Tech always has good special teams. I made a shirt a few years ago that says “Fire Randy Sanders.” on it. I wear it to UT games and get numerous high fives.

  130. 130
    Michael Says:

    Dave,

    You’re right about our weakness being the bullpen but to say Devine, Boyer, and McBride need to “come back” is a little off since all they need to do is develop. We’re talking about kids here, not seasoned veterans who have already hit their upside.

  131. 131
    latnam Says:

    Thanks Kirk, I guess that’s what I get for not reading all the old comments before I post again. That’s life, etc. ;)

  132. 132
    Dave Says:

    Michael…I meant to say I have more faith in the youngsters improving though at Devine’s age, he’d probably benefit from some time in Richmond or Mississippi.

    Regarding the BCS, I know people are saying Texas would beat Georgia or Alabama, but keep in mind, that if it wasn’t for injuries, both those SEC teams would look a lot better. Georgia probably would have beaten Arkansas by 25 last week if they weren’t missing 3 of their front 7 and Shockley doesn’t go down in the 2nd quarter.

    Also, Alabama’s offense has looked pedestrian since losing their best playmaker in Tyrone Prothro and thanks to the work of Philip Fulmer leading to scholarship losses, Alabam has not been able to re-build sufficient depth when they lose stars.

    But back to Texas, the Big 12 is horrific this year and the only good win Texas has the Columbus win which Ohio State more lost then Texas won. Virginia Tech or USC or a healthy Georgia could definitely beat Texas.

  133. 133
    justin Says:

    Wow I know I am in SEC country here, but it is shocking to see this much disrespect for how good this Texas team is. I think you guys underrate how tough it is to go to a place like Columbus and get a win against a good team like Ohio State, and the rest of their games have been won with complete dominance. Sure they don’t have the toughest schedule this year, but this is a complete team. They have an outstanding defense, and their offense has enough weapons to score on the ground as well as through the air. They also won’t let you down in the Special Teams either, they just have too many good athletes. Put simply they are the only unbeaten team with a good chance to beat USC. Don’t poopoo on the Horns.

  134. 134
    Smitty Says:

    Texas has beaten thee top 15 teams. I hate them, but they are great. Same deal with USC.

  135. 135
    csg Says:

    I have a lot of respect for both Texas and USC, but who’s to say that V Tech isnt as good as they are. Honestly if no polls came out until this week it would be hard to say that Texas and V Tech aren’t the two best teams in College Football. They have been far more dominant this year than USC

  136. 136
    joshq_i am not alex r either Says:

    smitty finally provides some sanity to the SEC talk around here. I am sorry but Georgia and Alabama are not in the same class with USC and Texas. Those two teams don’t have many holes, if any. Va Tech would also be a big favorite against Georgia and Bama. If one of those teams wins out and doesn’t get in the championship game, I don’t think they have a gripe like Auburn did last year.

  137. 137
    david15 Says:

    both USC and Georgia have played home games against arkansas. any Georgia homers thinking they could play with SC just needs to look at the difference of those two games. i think bama is slightly better than UGA, but the sec is incredibly overrated this year.

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