Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Thanks to Mac's family, bravesjournal.com is back.

13 Dec

Chipper Speaks

Part II. Thanks again to B.B. Abbott for setting this up and carrying it out, and of course to Chipper.

Chipper Jones
Have the Braves ever approached you about moving to first base? Would you be amenable to such a move? — Many people.

The club has never come to me and asked me to move to 1B. I know there were some rumors out there that insinuated that my renegotiating was somehow conditioned on me staying at 3B. That is absolutely not true. I have always tried to do what I felt was in this team’s best interests. It seems odd that someone would start that rumor given the fact that I have already moved off of 3B once to try to make this team better. On a personal note, I feel as if I am playing very well at 3B right now and I feel very comfortable there.

When fans of other teams (Mets) all start chanting your first name (Larry) does it really motivate you to give something extra just to shut them up, or is this just a coincidence? — Smitty

Oh absolutely. For all of the bad press that Mets’ fans get, they are actually very, very passionate and just love their teams. Hey, you must be doing something right (or wrong, in their case) if you can get that many people to chant your name. Like I said in NYC some time ago, at least I will never forget my name in New York.

Why did you root for the Dodgers instead of the Braves when you were a kid? — Ububba

My dad was from Vero Beach and grew up a huge Dodgers’ fan. Plus, it was easy to love those guys back in the late 70s and early 80s with the great players they had.

I’d like to know what Chipper’s thoughts will be if, after having restructured his contract, this is the team we take to camp. Did he have anybody specific in mind when he agreed to this? — Stu

I think the Renteria trade was a great trade for us now. It might turn out that Andy is a perennial All-Star and makes us never forget that trade. But, in return, we got some immediate help. This guy is a tremendous player. I still feel as if there is at least one move that will be made, and I hope that my gesture has allowed the team the luxury of doing that. If this is the team that we have to go to battle with, then we will. I trust Bobby and John without question.

How do the position players react when a (now departed) relief pitcher blows leads repeatedly? — JC

It’s frustrating, but when you have time to reflect, you realize that no one felt worse than Dan Kolb. The great thing about the game of baseball is that you have to wake up the next day and do it all over again. You get an immediate chance to redeem yourself and begin to forget.

Regarding Dan Kolb’s unfortunate experience, I regard his problem as a mystery. Can Chipper make any observations on what he saw based on his experience? — Edoriver

Wow, that’s a great question that I don’t have an answer for. I can tell you that any competitive sport involves a certain frame of mind that you cannot succeed without. If you are questioning your skill or your ability to do your job, you are not going to have success. A change of environment might be good for Danny. I wish him the best, because we’ve all been there at some point.

How important is plate discipline to your game? Does your patience lead to better pitches to hit, or does your power cause pitchers to walk you, or is it a combination? — JC

My entire approach is centered around what a particular pitcher tried to do with me. You will see me swing early in counts sometimes, and you will see me work counts considerably with some guys. I fortunately have years of history with a lot of pitchers and I take mental notes about how I am handled. If I know that a guy is going to try to get ahead of me quickly, I might look for a mistake early in the count. If I know that I have a guy that is going to try to get me to get myself out, then I might change that approach. Getting on base and driving in runs is my goal. Everything I do is going to be based upon that.

During seasons past, have you made any comments about a specific player’s suitablility for being with the Braves to either BC or JS, and that specific (unnamed) player finally wound up on the Braves team? If yes, do any comments about veteran player go to BC rather than JS? — Edoriver

John and I are in contact throughout each off-season. I think he values my opinion, as we are the guys on-field that see the guys and interact with them. I think John knows that I have a pretty good grasp on the kind of player that will be a good addition to our clubhouse. Bobby drafted me in 1990 and we have been together ever since. That being said, personnel decisions are an effort of John, Bobby and our outstanding scouts. I have such tremendous respect for all of them, and I hope that they think my opinion on suitability has some value.

Does JS ever ask Chipper or (if you know) John Smoltz their opinion about a potential trade or free agent during the off-season? Does JS encourage this type of communication from players or does he only consult BC/other mgt members on this matter? — Edoriver

See above.

When Barry Bonds left the Pirates, would Chipper have voted for having him signed by the Braves? — Edoriver

When Barry left the Pirates, I was still in the minors, so I’m not sure I even had a vote then. If I did, I’m pretty certain it was on a piece of paper. But, we all know that Bonds is one of the best players in the world.

(By the way, I’d also like to let Chipper know how much I appreciate his selflessness. I’ve never seen anyone more epitomize “Team Player,” and I’m thankful to have had the privilege of cheering for him these many years. — Stu)

I truly appreciate that comment. It certainly means a lot to me.

Do you approach at bats differently in different situations and how? In other words, for example, do you do anything differently with a runner on third and one out in a tie game late as opposed to no one on, early in the game. Do you change how you swing, what kind of pitch you look for, etc.? — Marc S.

Absolutely. I addressed this somewhat above, but with RISP or on 3B with less than 2 outs, it is simply intensified. It is magnified in that you are looking to do something in particular. If you see me leave a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs, you simply know that I feel like I have not done my job. That is a very, very big deal to me, and it is something that I preach to young hitters.

Which pitcher do you like to face the least and why? Which pitcher do you like to face the most and why? — ASG

Hideo Nomo has always given me the most trouble. I was 0-32 until I finally got a hit off of him. I can’t say that I ever like facing Randy Johnson or a guy throwing ‘ched’ from 60 feet away, but I have had good luck against Randy (don’t ask me how) and those big fastball guys are always fun. Mono y mono.

94 Responses to “Chipper Speaks”

  1. 1
    clarke n. Says:

    thanks Mac. I have been coming to this site for about three and half years now, and i am glad to see you finally get a chance at interviewing the team. I also appreciate the fact that you let us ask the questions. You didn’t have to include us, but you did and I wanted to say thanks.

  2. 2
    justin Says:

    Just wanted to say that all the guys were classy, and sound like they want to put the team first, and that is great to hear. Especially in this day and age of ME first athletes.

  3. 3
    Mark Graybill Says:

    This is just too cool. I’ve been reading (but rarely writing) on this site for years–in fact, I started when I lived in Tuscaloosa, AL, and didn’t find out that that’s Mac’s town until I moved North. Anyway, many, many thanks to Mac, B. B. Abbott, and all the players. I think it’s official: Braves Journal has hit the bigtime. Remember all us little people, Mac.

  4. 4
    Matt Davis Says:

    Monkey and monkey?

    (Seriously, great interview).

  5. 5
    JC Says:

    Ok, I was a huge Chipper Jones fan before, but now he’s in another league. Whenever my two-year-old daughter sees a baseball game (any baseball game) on TV she yells, “Go Chippa Jones, hit the ball!”

    Chipper is one of the most under-appreciated players in the game, which is hard to believe with a career OPS+ of 141 over 11 full seasons. And now it’s good to know that he is one of the nicest too.

  6. 6
    Rhett Says:

    Thanks to Braves Journal and Chipper!

    While I’m a little flummoxed with some of the moves being made this winter (saying goodbye to Julio and Marte and seemingly scuttling Betemit’s playing time), I’m nonetheless a die-hard Braves fan….also from Vero Beach, FL, but I’ve HATED the Dodgers since 1982, the year I became a Braves fan!

    I look forward to Chipper manning the hot corner again. I am glad he gave himself a pat on the back in his interview for his performance there. He deserves recognition for his defense last year.

  7. 7
    csg Says:

    Mac and B.B. – thanks that was awesome, the site just gets better and better. Chipper is a true class act along w/ the other players.

  8. 8
    Stu Says:

    This was great. Thanks to everyone involved and particularly to the players, for your spending some time with these questions.

  9. 9
    NMS Says:

    WOW
    Thanks Mac, Chipper, BB, et al.

  10. 10
    smitty Says:

    Well my question got answered, does that mean I can put on my resume that I interviewed Chipper Jones?

  11. 11
    doubledawg Says:

    please, edoriver was the star.

  12. 12
    Zach Says:

    Thanks a ton. This was awesome.

    I am so glad that the leader of my favorite team is a class guy like Chipper Jones. The young guys could do a lot by learning from Chipper and it looks like Chuck, Mac, and Brian are well on their way.

    Thank you again B.B. and Mac.

  13. 13
    murph Says:

    Mac,
    Thanks for arranging such an informative interview. Your website is superb as are the contributors. I may not agree with everything that is said but there is a tremendous wealth of insight and enthusiasm regarding our team. My first computer stop each morning is to your website.

  14. 14
    Johnny Says:

    B.B. Abbott thanks very much. Nice going Mac, you picked the winners out of all of Edo_River’s million questions :) Chipper I don’t know if you venture on to the blogs but thanks and I wish you a healthy and productive 2006 season.

    I loved reading about Chipper’s situational approach to hitting. I sure hope that Misters Francoeur, LaRoche, McCann, Langerhans, and Johnson listen very carefully when Chipper speaks.

  15. 15
    Jonathan Says:

    Thanks Chipper, for answering the questions, and for your contributions to the Braves (& by extension, to us, the fans), on & off the field. Your willingness to do what’s best for the team is definitely appreciated.
    Thanks Mac & BB for setting this up – pretty neat (to borrow a word from B-Mac)

  16. 16
    joshq Says:

    that was very cool…
    On a seperate note, I read that the Rangers are considering moving Adrian Gonzalez. The Red Sox are said to be willing to give up Kelly Shoppach, though Brandon Moss has been mentioned in talks, as well…TEX wants major-league ready pitching in return and the Padres are close to acquiring him for a pitcher, possibly Tim Stauffer. Does anyone here think he would be worth picking up? If so would we be able to get him for Lerew? Shoot throw in Ramirez for giggles.

  17. 17
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I was going to say that “Adrian Gonzalez” is Spanish for “Adam LaRoche”, but that’s not fair to Adam. In a couple of years, Gonzalez has a chance to be about as good as LaRoche is now.

  18. 18
    joshq Says:

    Well if that is the case, then I don’t even want to go down that road. Go Roche!!!

  19. 19
    bmac Says:

    Mac,

    Thanks to you and B.B. Abbott for setting this up, and thanks to the players for participating. It’s great to be a Braves fan.

  20. 20
    Metroblogging Atlanta Says:

    The Braves Talk (err… get blog-interviewed)

    Over at Braves Journal, the players are being interviewed. First up were McCann, McCay, & James (all together) and Chipper. It really is very interesting. Classy guys, those Bravos. Re: Seth’s question below, Chipper has this to say: I think…

  21. 21
    John David Says:

    This was great. I’ve been a Braves fan since the team came to Atlanta, and Chipper Jones is my all-time favorite player. This session showed a lot of the reasons why. In addition to his great talent, he is smart, team-oriented, a competitor, and a leader.

  22. 22
    smitty Says:

    From the desk of Ken Rosenthal

    “The Braves aren’t enthralled with Devil Rays right-hander Danys Baez, the best closer available in a trade. Look for the team’s newest relievers, right-handers Lance Cormier and Oscar Villarreal, to bounce back under the careful tutelage of Braves manager Bobby Cox. The Braves believe that the Diamondbacks overused both pitchers. They received a solid report on Villarreal from their Class AAA manager, Pat Kelly, who is Villarreal’s manager in the Mexican winter league.”

  23. 23
    AL Hurd Says:

    Thanks to B.B. and Chipper for taking the time out of their shcedules to answer some questions. And congrats on getting some more cred, Mac! Great work.

    AL

  24. 24
    I Don't Practice Rentería (Kyle S) Says:

    I like Chipper’s phrase “mono y mono.” Of course he meant “mano a mano” (“hand to hand” in Spanish), but as written, it means “monkey and monkey” in Spanish instead. So I think it’s interesting that Chipper thinks of the matchup between himself and a hard thrower as a couple of monkeys :)

  25. 25
    sansho1 Says:

    Great stuff.

  26. 26
    Rufino Linares Says:

    Speaking of Cormier (Smitty was above), I posted this in another thread which got swamped by the very cool interviews. Either that, or people read it and decided it was valueless, a much more plausible scenario I guess. Anyway, here it is-

    I live out in AZ and as such I follow the D-Backs a little bit. I have a (very subjective) tendency to think that Bob Melvin absolutely SUCKS at managing his bullpen, and that he especially tends to overuse his decent relievers. So I went to ESPN and checked on Cormier this past year, thinking that maybe Melvin overpitched him with predictably bad results.

    On the 10th of July Cormier’s ERA was 2.70 (that’s the last time it would be below 3 all season; to that point it had always been under 3, except for a brief two-game stint). At that point he had thrown 50 innings (my math could be off slightly but that’s pretty close) and had appeared in 37 of his team’s 85 games. From that point on his ERA climbed basically every time he took the hill.

    What does this prove? Nothing. I have no idea if 50 innings over 37 appearances in 85 total games constitutes overuse, though if you extrapolate that out to a full season it seems fairly heavy. But I think that it is a bad idea to write Cormier off immediately or to say that any use of him out of the pen is destined to go badly; for half a year last year, he was better than most of the relievers the Braves ran out to the mound…

  27. 27
    ububba Says:

    Chippah!

  28. 28
    rb from across the country Says:

    Anyone know what model of glove andruw uses? Or the rest of the braves playes?

    Is there a resource for this kind of info?

  29. 29
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I guess that you could tell the brand name from some of Tom Priddy’s photos, and you might be able to get the model type from the manufacturer.

  30. 30
    Jeff Says:

    Great stuff! Chipper’s one of those guys I can never make myself root against.


    http://www.BrewCrewBall.com

  31. 31
    rb from across the country Says:

    Tom priddy’s photos. . .

    *googles*

  32. 32
    rb from across the country Says:

    Couldn’t find one of andruw fielding, but it appears that francouer uses a wilson of some kind.

  33. 33
    CC Says:

    Chipper uses the Mizuno Classic line. Not sure if it is the 11.50 or 11.75 size.

    I believe Andruw uses the Wilson As300. I have a catalog at home and both players are displayed for their particular sponsors.

    When I log on tonight, if it has been answered I’ll post it.

  34. 34
    Mac Thomason Says:

    There are a bunch of Priddy photos on the server here. Let me see… They’re linked in this forum entry.

  35. 35
    jenny Says:

    Milton Bradley traded to the A’s? I just heard it on the radio but can’t find it anywhere.

  36. 36
    csg Says:

    Hey Jenny, this is from fox sports

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5164460

    Bradley to A’s for a prospect

  37. 37
    B.B. Says:

    The mono y mono thing on Chipper’s interview was completely my fault. I was typing the answers per Chipper’s responses over the phone. He said mano y mano. My Spanish is rusty, at best, so I apologize. As many of you know, it is a term used universally in sports. Sorry. Thanks for all of the props to Chipper. I will certainly pass those along. Take care.

  38. 38
    jenny Says:

    Sorry to pick further, but I think the term is actually “mano a mano.”

    This was over the phone? Cool. That must have taken some time. I thought it was e-mail or something, but that required a time investment by both sides. Thanks again, BB.

  39. 39
    I Don't Practice Rentería (Kyle S) Says:

    I figured as much, BB, I’m just joking anyway. I really appreciate both you and Chipper taking the time to do this.

  40. 40
    rb from across the country Says:

    If I ever become a major league ball player*, I’m hiring BB to represent me.

    *note: the odds against this are a million to one

  41. 41
    jenny Says:

    Interesting article by John Donovan on the Renteria deal that I think totally misses the boat. This is not an all-or-nothing trade. It is not a)Renteria actually sucks so the Braves got hosed or b)Renteria is great and the Red Sox are retarded to trade him. Trades are supposed to help both sides, and I think this one did. The two parties involved are big question marks. Will Renteria bounce back? Will Andy Marte be the next Cabrera? If these question marks play out the way the teams want them to, it’ll be pretty fair. It is stupid to say that the trade was horrible for one side or horrible for another because we don’t know what will happen with this players. And Donovan makes the assumption that the Red Sox were looking to shop Renteria. They were not, and I heard this STRAIGHT from Jed Hoyer’s mouth just by listening to the radio. So could Donovan have bothered to research this? Apparently not. If they were looking to shop him, why did they trade Hanley Ramirez the week before?

    All right, I’m done with the thread hijack. Just thought people might want to read this. Although it is beating a very dead horse.

    And it sounds like Renteria is excited about playing here, which I like.

  42. 42
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I didn’t start reading BravesJournal until this year. I found the link from John Sickels’ site and just cruised on in, and quickly got addicted. This is quickly becoming my favorite sports website, and is the single website that I visit most frequently, and today’s interviews just reinforced it.

    Mac, great job with the interviews. You scooped everyone today. I’d love to take some credit for all the extra traffic BravesJournal has been getting this year–in all modesty, I think my insightful, witty, and occasionally ironic comments are one of the best aspects of the site–and so I wanted to let you know that it’s been a whole lot of fun.

    Okay, so maybe I’m not the single best thing about the site. But I sure as hell enjoy coming back here.

  43. 43
    Grst Says:

    Big thanks to Mac, BB and the players for getting this done.

  44. 44
    Tennessee Brave Says:

    Hearing players make comments like this is the reason that I am a Braves fan. You can’t say enough about the selflessness that these guys displayed in all of their answers. Say what you want about minor league statistics, player comparisons and projections, OPS, OBP, blah, blah, blah…..The number one reason the Atlanta Braves have a chance to win the World Series every single year is their committment to filling their clubhouse with quality individuals who play baseball for the right reasons.

  45. 45
    jenny Says:

    Wow, I finally learned what ESPN stands for. What a relief.

  46. 46
    JC Says:

    The number one reason the Atlanta Braves have a chance to win the World Series every single year is their committment to filling their clubhouse with quality individuals who play baseball for the right reasons.

    …but posting a .300/.400/.540 career line doesn’t hurt.

  47. 47
    fjensen Says:

    Great stuff!! Thanks to Mac, B.B., Chipper. Brian, Chuck and Macay and all the interesting questions.

  48. 48
    lagfish Says:

    Great stuff, congrats Mac. Great site man I visit daily.

  49. 49
    busterbros Says:

    Did Chipper actually say “see above” or is that an editorial note?

  50. 50
    jenny Says:

    It was on the phone. I don’t know anyone who says “See above” on the phone.

  51. 51
    Michael Says:

    The Braves are lucky to have a player like Chipper Jones. There aren’t many other players in recent MLB history who have quietly gone about putting up huge numbers and helping his team year after year, both on the field and off. He probably could have gone to the Yankees or Mets or Sox and been a ginormous star. But he hasn’t, and he has done something this offseason that he didn’t have to do to help the Braves become a better team.

    Bravo, Chipper.

  52. 52
    ASG Says:

    Thank you Chipper. Thank you B.B. and thank you Mac.
    Such class and generosity has been displayed here. What a truly unique opportunity. I am a very grateful fan of the Braves and of Braves Journal.

  53. 53
    urlhix Says:

    Here’s a fun blog supposedly by a grizzled old-school pro scout:

    The Sixth Tool

    All names, places, teams, etc. have been changed but he does say that he is in the southeast. Interesting stuff. And coincidentally the gritty catcher he is hot on is named “Mac Thomas”.via Deadspin.com, which also mentioned Alex R. today.

  54. 54
    Aram Says:

    Looks like those Arthur Blank rumors may have been true after all.

  55. 55
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Hot damn! Maybe we can use the extra cash to convince Marcus Vick to play baseball.

  56. 56
    Drewdat Says:

    Thanks, B.B. and Chipper!

    BTW, the Braves are up for sale now.

  57. 57
    Drewdat Says:

    Heh. That’s what I deserve for not refreshing before the post.

  58. 58
    Malone Says:

    So…

    I guess Chipper’s not moving to first anytime soon.

  59. 59
    Smitty Says:

    Arthur Blank buys the Braves we will be the Yankees of the NL, but with a better front office

  60. 60
    Smitty Says:

    Hey Mac your buddy at “talking Ch,op,” netted an interview with Blauser. I’d take Braves Journal over that any day!

  61. 61
    Aram Says:

    Free Braves tickets with the purchase of a Home Depot gift card!

  62. 62
    jenny Says:

    Not being from Atlanta or anywhere near it, I know nothing about Arthur Blank. Can someone fill me in, editorializing or otherwise? Is he likely to raise payroll? Be meddlesome? The Falcons seem like a fairly quality organization, but I’d like more information.

  63. 63
    Aram Says:

    Arthur Blank is co-founder of Home Depot and an absurdly rich man. He has a rep for being ultra competitive and a big sports fan. So, wealth + baseball fan + no cap = fat payroll hopefully.

  64. 64
    rb from across the country Says:

    Jenny, Aurthur blank turned the falcons around. Seems to be one of the best owners in the NFL. Stays out of the way, but isn’t afraid to open the checkbook and buy the best players and best management.

    This would be the best news in years, if this actually happened.

    OMG, I think I might smile all night just at the though.

  65. 65
    fjensen Says:

    This sale could be the best thing that has happened to the Braves in years. Wonder how much attendence has declined since AOL has been in charge?

  66. 66
    jenny Says:

    Thanks for the info, now I’m excited! I don’t like teams spending vast amounts of money, but hey, if everyone else is doing it…I hope this happens.

  67. 67
    urlhix Says:

    With the amount of money I’ve spent at Home Depot ressurecting our 110+ year old farmhouse they should be able to raise payroll.

  68. 68
    Smitty Says:

    Yeah he will want to spend money. This offseason we would have kept Furcal and Farnsworth. Furcal at short and Farnsworth in as our 8th inning guy setting up for Smoltz, becuse are rotation would have been:

    Rocket
    Pedro
    Sheets
    Hudson
    Hampton

    Our Line up would be
    Iciro RF
    Furcal SS
    Chipper 3B
    Shef LF
    Helton1B
    Andruw CF
    Pudge C
    Giles 2B

  69. 69
    Smitty Says:

    Plus Smotlz is doing those ad’s for Home Depot already, logical fit

  70. 70
    matt in boston Says:

    jenny-
    arthur blank has also slashed ticket prices and increased marketing dollars. i used to work for the ad agency the falcons use. he really wanted us to help him get people in the seats. this would be a very good thing for the braves.

    i wonder if chipper would get some of his money back.

  71. 71
    ububba Says:

    First off, thanks again to Mac, BB, Chipper, etc., for allowing us to interact with the ballplayers. Totally unexpected, but very cool.

    Boy, that Blank story has me buzzing.

    FYI – Tomorrow, 10 a.m., tix for three June Braves games at Yankee Stadium go on sale.

  72. 72
    diggler Says:

    ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves may be on the market. A statement released by the team Tuesday said Time Warner is exploring the possibility of selling the Braves and the Turner South cable network, which carries many of the Braves’ games.

    “We have engaged an investment banking firm to help us assess strategic options for Turner South and a significant programming contributor to that network, the Atlanta Braves franchise, which may lead to the sale of one or both,” Greg Hughes, the team’s vice president of public relations and communications, said in the statement.

    It is the first recent indication that Time Warner, formerly known as AOL Time Warner, is considering selling the Braves.

    All of the company’s sports properties were on the market until the sale of the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena was announced on Sept. 16, 2003.

    At that time, TBS vice chairman Terry McGuirk said there no longer was “an ongoing marketing plan to sell” the Braves. McGuirk now is chairman and president of the Braves.

    Forbes magazine estimated the Braves’ value at $374 million in 2004.

  73. 73
    JoeyT Says:

    ububba, I’ll actually be in NY in late June. When are the games?

  74. 74
    JoeyT Says:

    Nevermind.

  75. 75
    Another Alex R. Says:

    $374 million seems WAAAY too low for the Braves–only the most successful franchise in the game, top to bottom. MLB is asking more than that for the Nationals, for crying out loud.

  76. 76
    urlhix Says:

    AAR,

    I agree. I can see this deal approaching $500 million. Forbes valued the Braves at $382 million during 2005. In 2002 it was $425 mil. Seems like they are undervalued to me. Obviously add more if Turner South is thrown in. But like I’ve been saying, AOL/TW is looking to get out of non-core businesses and they may do a below market deal to raise capital. I dunno.To me, it sounds like they are trying to sell a deal where you get the Braves and also get a built-in “regional” network, much like the one the Yanks and Shmucks, I mean Mets, have. I know some of y’all don’t get the TS games. But, if they do go to 100 games a year you can bet that TS will be added to your cable system. Or at least available for a small extra fee. Not to mention the online option through MLB.com, which will only grow market share in the coming years. Just my late night thoughts…

  77. 77
    second bass Says:

    Okay, I can see the excitement over the possibility of Arthur Blank buying the Braves. But what about the possible negatives? Compare to the Yankees: they have a decimated farm system, a gigantic payroll, big name players, and are the most hated team in baseball (IMO). I only hope the Braves don’t depend on the checkbook over the farm system. I would hope our young prospects would still get a chance to play in Atlanta over high priced free agents. If a team (such as the Yankees) signs a big time free agent, deems a prospect as no longer needed, trades the prospect, the free agent becomes a bust, then where are you? You’re the Yankees! I have no problem with the ability to sign a free agent or two of choice, but I guess I’m hoping the Braves would continue to depend on their scouting department and minor league system to fill the blanks (no pun intended….well, yes it was) rather than a shuffle of free agents. Also, I think the influx of new (and largely local) talent has had a lot to do with the rise in attandance. It’s a pretty cool thing to go to a major league game to watch somebody play who a)you know personally, or b) you’ve watched rise through the system and had a chacne to see play in Macon or Rome.

    I realize I’m looking way ahead at something that may not happen, but this is just my 2 cents on the idea.

  78. 78
    EdoRiver Says:

    1) Thanks for the interview Mac. thanks to Chipper. Of course I feel the same way as Stu. I just wanted you to have a large enough pool of questions to choose from to make Chipper feel it was worth his time and maybe he will visit again.

    2) Did you read the metro-atlanta link, on trackback? It says JS says he will make 1 or 2 trades before Spring training.

    3) I was somewhat curious at Chipper’s reaction to my question about Dan Kolb. Maybe he believes that “what goes around, comes around”…ball players tend to be a superstitous lot ;-)

    4)I have been reading more business articles about the possible break up of AOL-TimeWarner. Definitely including TS will add value, and there are rumors of many various groups getting into action over the different pieces of that empire.

  79. 79
    Godot Says:

    Is that sixth tool blog for real???
    wow, its an interesting read anyways.
    wonder which organization. my bet is on texas..though it may be the Dbacks.

  80. 80
    the_fatdaddy Says:

    Having Michael Vicks speed at the top of the lineup will make loss of Furcal easiser to take. I say go for it. If Blank can learn to rock back an forth on a bench, hey, Bobby might even let him sit next to him

  81. 81
    meathead Says:

    If Carl Icahn can get a Time Warner board seat, it will happen… the pressure is high for Dick Parsons (Time Warner CEO) to sell non-core assets

  82. 82
    Nate Says:

    bass: I think what is supposed to be different about Blank vs. Steinbrenner is that Blank would open the checkbook but not be a meddlesome prick about it. He would get people in the stands, and get (keep) good management to manage the roster and the farm. We can all see that a lot of the Yankees’ bad moves are about pressure from the boss, and their management become stooges when dealing with boss-man. I think Schuerholz has enough confidence and reputation, and Blank has enough sense not to run things like the Yankees.The prevailing opinion is that it would just be the Braves we have now with an extra $40M or 50M to spend every year on salary. With more money this year, Furcal and Farnsworth could have stayed. Maybe Marte could have been turned into Tejada. And I’m sure we could have upgraded some of the other positions (1B, LF, SP, RP) as well. When he had the money, JS put together the best starting rotation in baseball AND still had arguably one of the best farm systems in baseball. Blank writing the checks could make that a reality again.

  83. 83
    I Don't Practice Rentería (Kyle S) Says:

    Large corporations have a poor record of sports franchise ownership. Disney, Fox, AOL, and CBS have all owned franchises, but none made the money they expected. Perhaps, ownership of a franchise is more a vehicle for ego than an investment.

  84. 84
    A.West Says:

    Thanks to Chipper for speaking to his fans. He’s a Great baseball player. I disagree with the frequent characterizations of him being “selfless,” which I wouldn’t consider a compliment. I believe he is a Proud man, in the best, Aristotelian sense. Pride, according to Aristotle, was “the crown of the virtues”, in that it drives one to seek and deserve great honors and accomplishments. I think it is both rational and selfish for Chipper to seek to pursue his career in a way that maximizes his life in Atlanta, investing himself in the sucess of HIS team, and hoping to attract and guide other excellent individuals to that team.

    A proud man, interested in the greatest accomplishments, and who understands that baseball is a team sport, is of course going to be a team player. Chipper knows that his personal numbers are going to be good in any case, and that his income will be good as well. I think that Chipper understands that greatness means focusing on the ultimate and highest goals rather than short term an and less significant goals.

    Is it really truly selfish to always agree to work for the highest bidder, working with strangers rather than freinds, taking orders from people you may or may not respect, and potentially foregoing the opportunity to achieve postseason glories, and lifelong honors? I think Chipper has his priorities properly aligned.

    In regards to the LF/3B/1B question, I think Chipper’s right that his greatest value to the team is at 3B. If Chipper someday finds his arm weakening and/or step slowing at 3B, and thinks he could dig infield throws out of the dirt, then I’ll bet he’d be the first person to request infield practice at 1B. But that’s obviously not the case now.

    I salute Chipper for his devotion to achieving greatness in baseball.

  85. 85
    Michael Says:

    I don’t see what would be so bad about becoming “like the Yankees”. In case we forgot, they were pretty darn good there for a spell in the late 90′s, and continue to be a title contender every year still. I think the thing that makes the Yankees insufferable is really some of their fans and the media hype surrounding them.

  86. 86
    ububba Says:

    Joey T,

    Braves @ Yankees, June 26 (7:05), June 27 (7:05) and June 28 (1:05)

  87. 87
    jenny Says:

    Rats, I’m only home for one series against the Natspos (in August no less, ugh, Augusts in Washington are disgusting) and the games with the Orioles are in Atlanta. Maybe it’s time to take a road trip…if I had the cash.

  88. 88
    Jeremy Says:

    How far in advance are the interleague matchups known? Any chance of braves-twins in the near future?

    I also go to school in Minnesota jenny.. i’m from Iowa.. I’ve been looking forward to a Twins-Braves matchup for a while, hoping maybe a World Series.. ha

  89. 89
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Michael, the problem with the Yankees is they have an owner who doesn’t know when it’s time to shut up and butt out. As a result (although this has been somewhat lessened since Cashman renegotiated his contract), they have an organization with a sorely broken hierarchy, because everyone’s decisions–from the general manager’s to the president’s to the manager’s–can be overriden.

    As a result of his orders, their farm system was bled bone dry in trades for high-priced aging stars. This was the farm system that had produced their four biggest stars of the decade, four of the players most responsible for their World Series success: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Bernie Williams.

    Arthur Blank does not have a reputation as a meddler, only a man with an open checkbook. And that’d be nice. But your point is taken–I wouldn’t mind another World Championship or three.

  90. 90
    Michael Says:

    I see what you mean Alex. I wouldn’t want JS to be in a situation like Cashman where he isn’t free to do his job and has 10 different bosses, and where we’re trading away all of our farm system for aging veterans. I’m a follower of the Falcons, and if Blank’s tenure there is any indication, he will be a hands-on owner, but only with putting the best, competitive product on the field in mind.

    Gee, I hope this happens.

  91. 91
    second bass Says:

    “The prevailing opinion is that it would just be the Braves we have now with an extra $40M or 50M to spend every year on salary.”

    Now that I could live with. Maybe it’s just me, but Iwhen I think of the Yankees, I think of how every year, every really worth while free agent is rumored to be on his way to the Yankees….many actually make it there. They try to buy a championship rather than build for it, and that seems…I don’t know what….cheap? I guess I’ve been spoiled by the Braves in that I like to see a team that is mostly a product of diligent work (scouting, drafting, minor leagues), rather than a team of stars from other teams. They’ve been labeled mercenaries for a reason. Free agents are okay in moderation. I’d like to see the Braves stick to their formula, even if they have the funds to do otherwise.

    “When he had the money, JS put together the best starting rotation in baseball AND still had arguably one of the best farm systems in baseball. Blank writing the checks could make that a reality again.”

    Agreed, and I could live with that also!

  92. 92
    Nate Says:

    I wouldn’t want JS to be in a situation like Cashman where he isn’t free to do his job and has 10 different bosses

    JS would quit in a heartbeat. Hopefully any prospective buyers would do what it takes to keep JS.

  93. 93
    urlhix Says:

    Godot,

    Yeah, the more I read it, the more I wondered if it was real too. Dave Pirro over at Baseball Musings asked the same question as you in the comments, so who knows? Still a great and fun read though, real or not.

  94. 94
    Kevin Lee Says:

    “I know there were some rumors out there that insinuated that my renegotiating was somehow conditioned on me staying at 3B. That is absolutely not true. I have always tried to do what I felt was in this teams best interests. It seems odd that someone would start that rumor given the fact that I have already moved off of 3B once to try to make this team better. On a personal note, I feel as if I am playing very well at 3B right now and I feel very comfortable there.” That’s what Chipper said.

    Methinks thou protest too much.

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