Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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02 Nov

SEC Picks, Week 10

Home team in bold:

Alabama 17, LSU 16
South Carolina 24, Arkansas 17
Florida 31, Vandy 14
Georgia 37, Troy 14
Mississippi 26, Northwestern St. 7
La-Lafayette 12, Tennessee 10
Auburn 40, Tennessee Tech 13

238 Responses to “SEC Picks, Week 10”

  1. 1
    Stu Says:

    Well, you correctly predicted 3 of the 7 winners, anyway.

  2. 2
    ububba Says:

    Bama over LSU? I don’t see it, but I like the optimism.

    As for the Dawgs, after last week’s glory, I’m beginning to think like ol’ poormouth Vince Dooley. I’m just hoping that Troy doesn’t become this week’s App State.

    They lost 2 crazy shootouts to Arkansas & Florida early, and they haven’t lost since, including a win over Oklahoma State.

    I’ll say UGA 38, Troy 24.

  3. 3
    Sam Says:

    Well, I’m not talking about what happened yesterday, because even I saw it as inevitable. Thank God for North Carolina and Duke.

  4. 4
    bwarrend Says:

    Drinking the Saban, sorry, King saban Kool-Aid already, eh Mac?

    Alabama is better than last year, but they should be.

    I hope ‘Bama is not looking past LSU to MS State. They might lose that one too.

  5. 5
    Seat Painter Says:

    Sam,

    As us Orange County Community College grads like to say – ‘We’re a women’s soccer school!’

    (For the geographically challenged – Chapel Hill is in Orange Co.)

  6. 6
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Changing the subject, but Matt Diaz’s defense continues to be ballyhooed by the metrics. He was at +12 for 2007, a repeat of his number from the 2006 season. (Interestingly, Willie Harris was +21, so the Braves’ left field platoon occupied 2 of the top 5 slots among major league left fielders.) Andruw Jones was second among CFs, +24 to Beltran’s +25, and Francouer was seventh among RFs at +10.

    Take it for what it’s worth.

  7. 7
    Sam Says:

    AAR,

    *shrugs* I’ve said he can do it ugly as long as he does it right.

  8. 8
    Alex R. Says:

    I’m also REALLY concerned about this Troy game, too, Ububba.

    Troy has SEC calibre athletes with speed on their team – a lot of their kids were recruited by various SEC schools. These guys can play.

    And it’s the classic trap game for us – huge, emotional (and desperately needed) win over the evil Gators, and then next week we maybe looking ahead to Auburn.

    Mark Richt did an amazing coaching job last week and let’s hope he pushes the absolute right buttons again so we don’t blow a game like this.

  9. 9
    Alex R. Says:

    Mac-

    There’s no chance Tennessee is losing that game, but I would LMFAO if they did.

    And no one should compare Troy with La-Lfayatte – Troy is an SEC calibre team, Lafayette is the type of team your supposed to play on Sept. 1st.

  10. 10
    Alex R. Says:

    Oh, and Stu – one more thing:

    GO VANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. 11
    Stu Says:

    If we don’t turn the ball over, I think we have a very good shot. Big “if”, though.

  12. 12
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    As long as Moreno didn’t transfer to Vandy, we should be ok.

    Alex R. is too cute. He has a level of hatred for Florida that’s hilarious. I’m glad you guys got that first-in-a-decade win. :) Just kidding, man.

  13. 13
    ububba Says:

    Rob,
    We’ll take it & BTW/FWIW, that was the second this decade.

  14. 14
    Mac Thomason Says:

    For those of you who have forgotten, I always pick Alabama to win and Tennessee to lose. I think Alabama’s best chance against LSU is to get into a shootout. Considering that I picked 17-16, draw your own conclusions.

  15. 15
    Alex R. Says:

    Rob,

    That maybe the first time I have ever been called “cute” on Bravesjournal. And yes, 2nd win this decade.

    Every Florida fan I KNOW agrees that if not Shockley’s 2005 injury, Georgia would have won that game, and probably easily. Instead, we get Tereshinski, predictably lose and the misery starts again.

    But if Shockley had played (and ’05, his final year, he had something like a 27 TD to 4 INT type of season) then we would have had back to back wins and 3 of 4 overall with this win.

    And yes, my level of hatred of the Florida Gators is as such that if they played AL-QUEDA, I would actually have to think about whom I was going to root for.

    Stu: I’m not just saying this because I hate Florida, but Vandy is tough, I saw it first hand. I think your boys have a shot.

    Outside of Tebow and Harvin, I could not have beenless impressed with the rest of that team.

    Bama definitely has a shot. No question. LSU is the better team, but it’s IN Tuscaloosa and you know Saban is going to have this team fired up to play his old team – especially the way everyone in Louisiana has been trashing Saban – forgetting the little fact that Nick led them to a national title.

    Plus, look at Georgia’s win last week – a bye week before a huge game with a tough opponent means a lot in this conference. Saban has had 2 solid weeks to do nothing but eat, sleep, and drink LSU.

    Prediction: Alabama 23, LSU 21.

  16. 16
    ububba Says:

    17-16?

    OK, Glenn Dorsey eats a plate of undercooked BBQ & gets sick, Matt Flynn gets hit by lightning, their backup QB remains suspended for his nightclub party-foul, a third-stringer takes the snaps, Les Miles passes on a game-winning FG attempt to gamble on a 4th & 12 from the 13. It gains 11.

    Tide wins. Easy.

  17. 17
    ububba Says:

    BTW, if anyone wants to know how happy UGA students were after the Florida game…they were this happy:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/uga/stories/2007/11/01/ugabell_1102.html

  18. 18
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    Florida has some of the best receivers in the country in Andre Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, Riley Cooper, and WR/TE Cornelius Ingram. We spread the ball out better than people give us credit for, and even with an injured Tebow and later injured Harvin, we still put up 30 points on a good Georgia defense. If Keystahn Moore could hold onto a football, I think we would have the best offense in the country. But without a reliable every-down back, you see Harvin getting way too many carries and diluting our passing game.

    Florida was playing with a second string defense line. Our defense is pretty bad as it is, and without a defensive line that is our biggest strength (which is not saying much), you have Moreno running for 190 yards. Ballgame.

    Oh, and my bad about the once-in-a-decade blunder. I forgot about 2004. Twice-in-a-decade has a similar feel…

  19. 19
    Robert Says:

    I know I say this every week but…Troy, Northwestern St, La-Lafayette, and Tennessee Tech in Week 10?

    I like Bama. Glenn Dorsey pulls a hamstring while performing a six part dance celebration after assisting on a tackle on a eight yard gain and is lost for the game. Saban is smart and will make Flynn have to throw the ball. Tiger receivers continue to catch the ball as if it’s coated with Crisco.

    Georgia needs to avoid a letdown in the ‘We-smoked-OSU’ bowl against Troy.

  20. 20
    Andy Says:

    Colin Cowherd, who I think is usually pretty good on college football, thinks ‘Bama has a real chance. Nos. 1-4 in the poll all have reasonably tough games, I’m hoping they all lose to further mess up this season. That and I am rooting against UGA and Tennesse so Carolina can win the SEC East.

  21. 21
    Jorgbacca Says:

    Mac,

    Good call on the Rebels pick. About what I was thinking. Under Eddie the Rebels have never scored 30 points. In three years.

    It will be interesting to see if they do against a Northwestern State team that gave up 77 points to Texas Tech and lost 58 to zero to Nicholas State. They give up on average more than thirty a game.

    My guess is they don’t

  22. 22
    Stu Says:

    Just your average Florida fan:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8T6iE75g5s

    Most would opt for the jorts instead of jeans, but you get the idea.

  23. 23
    Draper11 Says:

    I’m going with Troy, 34-20, in a shocker over Georgia- if QB Omar Haugabook can go at close to 100%. Without Omar, Georgia wins 31-14.

  24. 24
    Alex R. Says:

    Stu,

    I like this one as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIS4zqdfpKE

    And yes, that guy from your YouTube video is definitely the “typical” Gator fan.

  25. 25
    Another Alex R. Says:

    If Florida played Al-Qaeda in a pickup game there’s no question who I’d root for. (Hint: it’s the Americans.) But I wouldn’t mind if there were a few roughing penalties called on both teams, if you know what I mean.

  26. 26
    csg Says:

    So why do some of you think Boras is good for baseball. Apparently the Yanks were about $100 million short of what Boras and Arod are looking for. They want a deal that is worth about $350 million….

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3091277

    wasnt the Braves whole org. sold for like $400-450 million, not counting the tax implications

  27. 27
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @ 26,

    Who ever said Boras was “good” for baseball? He’s a jerk. But I think what people have said is that he isn’t the one responsible for the high salaries and that he is basically doing his job. Plus, I would prefer the money going to the players than sitting in the pockets of the owners as it did for umpteen years. I think Boras is basically irrelevant; the salaries would be high for guys like A-Rod regardless of Boras because it is basic supply and demand economics. Boras may be successful at marginally driving prices up, but he is not the driving force. Baseball is pretty much awash in money or the teams wouldn’t pay it.

    As for the $350 million, that’s over 10 years. I guarantee that MLB teams will bring in a lot more than $350 million over ten years.

  28. 28
    Alex R. Says:

    The world would be a better place without Boras.

    In fact, I also might pull for Al-Queda against him too ;-)

  29. 29
    James Says:

    floriduh is crap, saw it in person. They have 2 players…that’s it.

    And now for the second time this year, i have to cheer for that corndog smelling drunken horde.

  30. 30
    Alex R. Says:

    Even some of my Gator pals here in DC say that team is Tebow and Harvin and then a huge dropoff after that.

  31. 31
    csg Says:

    #26 – I agree with some of your points, almost all of them, but I just think any agent who talks their clients out of guaranteed contracts that they agreed too with one team to go get more money on the open market is bad for baseball. Extension during contracts with the team your with is one thing, to break a contract with a team to go elsewhere is not…

  32. 32
    Stu Says:

    But it’s not breaking a contract, csg. The contract stipulated that A-Rod could opt out if he so chose. He so chose, as was his right under the terms of the contract agreed to by both sides.

  33. 33
    CJ Says:

    There really is no problem with what Boras does, per se. I don’t think he is a liar or a cheat either. I think what he does is goes to a team (or more aptly an owner) and tells them that by spending $250 million + on a player like ARod, that you will either profit from that expenditure through ticket sales, merchandise, TV, etc., and even if you don’t it’s still more cost-effective overall than paying some $50 million sack of turd like Adrian Beltre who provides no return on such an investment.

    I think the telling thing is that Boras doesn’t necessarily say that signing ARod will make your team better and more likely to make the playoffs or win a world championship – the evidence clearly suggests otherwise. This is where fans get confused. They say no one player is worth ARod’s asking price as evidenced by his playoff failures. Owners (most) don’t really care about that – they just want a return on their investment. That is why Boras is good at his job – because all he has to do is convince one owner that spending all the money on one player can actually pay off financially (under the illusion that it may also make his team a contender). To that end I don’t know if he is right or not. For what it is worth, I think he is the Tigers’ starting 3rd basemen in ’08 until he opts out of his agreement in 2012.

  34. 34
    ububba Says:

    In some cases, Boras has been a liar. (In fact, he lied about how the A-Rod opt-out “leaked” to the media.) In negotiations, he has claimed offers that didn’t exist. Some people call that leverage. Others call it something else.

    Boras doesn’t matter to me. In every business, if you can get more money, you do it, whether you’re A-Rod or not.

    And nobody has a gun to your head & says you have to pay Boras’ price.

  35. 35
    csg Says:

    #32 – true

  36. 36
    Ron Says:

    Aside from the money factor, don’t discount that Arod

    1) wanted to get out of New York where the media and fans treated him terribly because he is not Derek Jeter and he had the misfortune to join the Yankees on the backend of their run of making the playoffs instead of the early years where they had pitching to match their hitting

    2) saw the handwriting on the wall that the Yankees are a team on the decline and wisely chose to take the chance to leave them for the possibility of winning a championship with another team

  37. 37
    Hate King Says:

    @15 (Alex R.),

    The tone was set for a loss that day on the first play from scrimmage when, predicatably, Martrez Milner dropped a wide open 30 yard pass from Joe T. Joe T played well enough for the Dawgs to win and that’s all that was asked from him, plus if they had stopped the runs up the middle of the first two Florida possessions UGA would have won and Joe T’s catch would have gone down in history. Dawgs lost though, so it doesn’t matter. I’m still cheesin’ after that big win last week. Troy is definitely a trap game, but I think the Dawgs offense will show up again.

  38. 38
    ububba Says:

    Ron,
    As a Yankee season-ticket holder, let me tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong about #1.

    Since A-Rod arrived in 2004, I’ve been to about 65 Yankee games & let me tell you that Yankee fans embraced A-Rod initially & they wanted him to succeed enormously. They were buying #13 jerseys all over the place. The media put up with his BS & treated him like royalty in the beginning.

    The reason A-Rod got grief from the fans was because of his annual post-season gag-o-rama. That is not a forgivable sin around here. Jeter succeeded in the post-season & his teams won; for the Yanks, A-Rod did not succeed & his teams lost.

    The rules are different here–they just are. That may make for a somewhat joyless fanbase, but that’s the way it is. If A-Rod wanted to be loved, he should’ve succeeded in the biggest situations. He didn’t and he was booed.

    Hurt your feelings, Mr. Disingenuous? Well, that’s life in the big city—tough.

  39. 39
    Rbraves Follower Says:

    Giants listening to offers for Lincecum for a quality bat

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7400932?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=49

    Don’t think we match up, but he certainly fits with Bedard and Haren as pitchers worth drooling over

  40. 40
    Cliff Says:

    JC hs a link to the +/- fielding ratings. NoBraves at the bottom.

    After looking at the numbers again, I am blown away by (I know htis is dangerous) Willie Harris. This is a counting stat. For above average people, the more innings you play, the higher your score. Willie only played in 117 games last year, and at least 20 of those were late inning defensive replacement or pinch hit type appearances. He played maybe 60% of a season.

    He saved 22 more runs than average, AS A LEFT FIELDER (doesn’t count the games or innings here and there in center). Andruw saved 24 more and Beltran 25 more and led center fielders. Coco Crisp saved 22 over average, playing essentially all year.

    In other words, is it possible that Willie could save 35 runs or more in full time play? If so, he is so much better than all of the rot mentioned here (Cameron, Torii Hunter, whoever) that if you can find a right handed platoon partner, that maybe he makes sense.

  41. 41
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Cliff, my understanding of +/- is not that it measures runs saved, but that it measures plays made that other players at that position would have made. Possibly hits saved, or XBH saved, but not necessarily runs. But I’m not a Fielding Bible expert by any means.

  42. 42
    ububba Says:

    In a rare moment that offered more than a small nod to the SEC, this is Mike Francesa from WFAN today:

    “This LSU-Alabama game is the only real roadblock I see for LSU in not winning it all. I believe BC will lose a game, but if LSU doesn’t lose here, I don’t see anyone who’s going to beat them.

    “And those SEC teams are so much better than everyone. There’s so much talent in that league. They just knock each other off, over and over. If LSU loses this weekend, they’re gonna have two losses—–and they still can beat any other national team you put in front of them. This [Bama game] is the only game that’ll keep them from winning the national championship. Nobody would beat them in a National Championship game, because they have too much talent.

    “Those SEC teams are so tough, top-to-bottom, they’re loaded. I mean, even Vanderbilt has athletes. Can you imagine them in the Big East?”

  43. 43
    nms Says:

    “I know I say this every week but…Troy, Northwestern St, La-Lafayette, and Tennessee Tech in Week 10?”

    i know others have said it but you really can’t throw Troy into the that group. Two of those teams (TN Tech and NW ST) are I-AA and the other, UL-Laf, is horrible. Though Troy is in the same conference as Laf, the weak Sun Belt, they are a very legitimate threat. They have given two SEC teams, including the defending national champs, good games (shootouts indeed) that were closer than the score indicates and they soundly beat a solid Big 12 team on the road.

    Plus, I can understand why you’d scedule a weakling in the middle or end of your season. It gives you an easier week to recover and work on things and make adjustments for down the stretch but still gives you some game reps to work on things and brings in the bucks.
    Plus it gives you a game to catch up on suspending all your arrested kids : )

  44. 44
    nms Says:

    Other games Troy has played vs big schools.

    beat Missouri 24-14 in ’04
    lost by only 10 at S. Carolina 17-7 in ’04
    lost 24-20 at LSU in ’04
    lost 24-17 at FSU in ’06
    lost 35-20 at Ga Tech in ’06

    So yeah, those are losses, but they played great games on the road again big time teams and when they got a big team to come to them (Mizzou) they beat em

  45. 45
    nms Says:

    Apparently Tennessee today changed the suspension of running back/return man LaMarcus Coker to a dismissal…


    “As I’ve had a chance to further investigate the situation and talk to others close to the situation, I have decided to dismiss LaMarcus from the team because he did not do what was asked of him,” UT coach Phillip Fulmer said in a statement. “I want a positive environment for our athletes to learn and grown.

    “This is what is right for the young men on our team and for the program.”

    Multiple sources indicated that Coker failed another drug test in forcing Fulmer to uphold the school’s three-strikes policy for failed drug tests.”

  46. 46
    BX Says:

    What would the Giants be wanting for Lincecum? What do we have?

  47. 47
    Stu Says:

    That’s because earlier in the week, Coker was only guilty of having missed counseling sessions mandated by his earlier suspension. Now, though, after he had to take a drug test as punishment, he failed and had to be dismissed per NCAA regulations.

    As Steve Miller so eloquently sang, “I’m a Smoker, I’m a Toker, I’m LaMarcus Coker…”

  48. 48
    Adam M Says:

    @38 – everything you say makes perfect sense except for the fact that Jeter hasn’t really succeeded over the past few years. I don’t particularly like ARod or the Yankees so it pains me to keep coming back here. I guess my feeling on the matter is that while I think ARod, with his enormous ego and contract deserved the jeers every postseason, his overpriced teammates similarly underperforming did too… especially the damn shortstop, who was, incidentally, not that great the entire season this year.

    I guess, for me, the larger question is if anyone will pay $350 million? I mean, really? really? I say that if anyone does, and I have that terrible feeling that they will (Boras seems to always get his way), baseball fans should somehow unite in some sort of protest against that team/owner/etc. (this is a pipedream, I’m just saying that I will hate whoever signs that guy to so much money… and yes, I kind of will dislike the guy too)

  49. 49
    ububba Says:

    Adam,
    I’m not sure which stats you’re looking at. Jeter was a bust in the post-season this year, but he hit .500 last year vs Detroit and .333 in ’05 vs. the Angels.

    And “not that great” this year worked out to .322 for the season. (322/388/452) In the first half, the only guys in the lineup who were hitting were A-Rod, Jeter & Posada. Everyone else was doing their Doug Mientkiewicz impressions.

    Someone mentioned it before (Robert, I think), but Jeter remains Jeter in the post-season, when he faces the toughest teams.
    Career stats: 317/388/462
    Post-season: 309/377/469 (495 ABs)

    People hate the Yanks, I get it & that’s fine. (The narrative requires villains just as much as it does heroes.) But don’t let it color your judgment on a player.

    Re: Boras/A-Rod
    It’s not keeping me up nights. Some team will pay them too much money & life will go on.

  50. 50
    Robert Says:

    In a rare moment that offered more than a small nod to the SEC, this is Mike Francesa from WFAN today:

    Rare moment? Every sports guy east of the Rockies has been programed to say this since berth.

    And apparently Mike F has never heard of the SEC Championship game. Something that doesn’t surprise me.

  51. 51
    Adam M Says:

    Part of it is that his stats are pretty much the same in the postseason – career – as they have been during the regular season. I don’t think he raises his game to a new level; he’s just a very good player.

    And yes, I know Jeter’s numbers for this season. They were just good, not great. While they are right on his career marks, they also mark a decline, which makes sense considering his age. His OBP and power are both falling, and he’s not as quick. This is obviously age, and Jeter is still a good player, but I think discussions of him as one the greatest ever – by the Lupicas of the world – are overblown.

    As for the postseason numbers overall, Jeter has his ups and downs as anyone would. It’s just that the general public, and more specifically the media, ignore the downs while focusing on the ups. Jeter was terrible this year, and he has had some awful postseason series before. It’s ignored. Like I said, he’s a very good player who has been very good over his career in the postseason. Is he one of the greatest ever? Me thinks not. Is he Mr. Clutch? I don’t think so, even if I believed in the term.

    Anyway, I still like Jeter more than ARod, so I’ll let it go. And I think Yankees fans are generally alright too. It’s really the sportswriters in that city that drive me batty.

  52. 52
    Adam M Says:

    Also… the Boras thing is not keeping me up at night either. Life goes on, sure. But it does matter for the game of baseball. That contract will affect other contracts. This is actually part of the problem the Braves have been facing with a ‘midlevel payroll.’ It wasn’t too long ago that $85 million would be considered that; it’s contracts like ARod’s that indirectly put the Braves at a disadvantage.

  53. 53
    Mark Graybill Says:

    Probably nobody here cares about South Carolina besides me, but I’m really surprised Mac’s picking them to beat Arkansas. No, the Razorbacks aren’t that good, but Fayetteville is a tough place to play for a visiting team, and SC is being exposed for what they really are–a pretty mediocre team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gamecocks didn’t win again this year.

  54. 54
    Seat Painter Says:

    So who here thinks Boras is going to try to get Teixiera a 10yr/$200m contract after next season?

  55. 55
    ububba Says:

    Robert,
    It’s a rare moment for that show. I’ve been listening to Mike & the Mad Dog since 1990 (a very entertaining & mostly informed radio show, but with its foibles) and this is the first time I’ve ever heard him gush so much on the SEC.

    And FWIW, he also said that LSU will win the SEC title game no matter who they play. They’d certainly be favored against UT, UGA or South Carolina. We’ll see how it settles.

    From his tone on the radio over the years, I take it that he is less than enamored by The South or its teams. But when you have a conference that so dominates the NFL draft and its current rosters, he’s only stating the obvious.

    Adam,
    Keeping your already impressive lifetime stats against the top-level pitchers in the season’s biggest games may not be considered “raising your game” in some circles. But that’s plenty clutch for me.

  56. 56
    Sam Says:

    SP,

    *raises hand* Me.

  57. 57
    Sam Says:

    Teixeira might understand that the Braves ultimately don’t trade their big stars, but he could just as easily go somewhere else.

  58. 58
    Dan Says:

    Are the Hawks really about to beat Dallas?

  59. 59
    Sam Says:

    Yep, they did.

  60. 60
    csg Says:

    Honestly, I see us having a less than 50% chance of resigning Tex. I know Hampton will be off the books, but unless our payroll is increased to the upper $90-100 range I dont see us spending $20+ for someone. Hopefully, Im wrong

  61. 61
    Sam Says:

    csg,

    No offense, but that point is getting a little tiring. I think we understand it, and at this point, it’s just getting depressing. Can we all cross that bridge when we come to it?

  62. 62
    Mike Says:

    Mark, I too am a South Carolina fan, as well as a Ga Tech fan. If there was some way to make Blake Mitchell act like he cared about being out there, I think the team would do better. But hey, if he plays like he did last week, they should be fine.

  63. 63
    Stephen Says:

    Can we all cross that bridge when we come to it?

    Since contracts for good players involve multiyear commitments, we may be coming to it very soon. A decision (try to re-sign now– even if Boras won’t allow it–trade now, or be prepared to let Tex walk after 2008) probably about Tex probably needs to be made this offseason. For example, if the Braves decide to keep Tex for one season (because they cannot afford an 8 year 200 contract), then it frees them up to develop some back loaded deals for other players….

    Yes, it is ‘depressing’, but its not as bad as the 2006 season or at least for my money having to watch Glavine and Maddux leave….

  64. 64
    Dan Says:

    The Tigers have exclusive rights to talk contract terms and signings with Jones through Nov. 12, but Jones is expected to listen to other clubs. If the Braves decide to pursue, it’s expected he would sign there to be closer to his Alabama home. If not, the Tigers are seen as the favorites to sign him.

    With Zumaya out, though, that tango could become more interesting. The Braves have their own impressive young reliever, Rafael Soriano, whom they could install as closer while trying to sign a setup man.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071101&content_id=2290810&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    Every time Todd Jones becomes a free agent, he practically gets on his hands-and-knees and begs to be an Atlanta Brave. Just sign him already. He’d likely pitch better in 2008 than Ascanio or Villarreal. Maybe even Yates too.

  65. 65
    Ron Says:

    Jones is terrible. Let the Tigers waste their money on him. We have plenty of good, cheap young arms in our bullpen and don’t need a new Kolb.

  66. 66
    Dan Says:

    From yesterday:

    Here’s a scary idea:

    I’m sitting here watching a local morning show, and who should come on for an interview but Brian Jordan. And the first thing he talked about? A comeback. Seriously. He talked about taking a year off and feeling healthy, how the Braves need outfield help and he’s asking Bobby Cox for “a chance” in spring training.

    Here is the video of that:

    http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=4812934&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=5.2.1

  67. 67
    Stephen Says:

    Jones might pitch better than Yates (for his sake I hope so), but I can’t see the Braves giving him any serious money. Of course, if they did it would be better than what they threw away on Tanyon Sturtze…

  68. 68
    Cliff Says:

    Bravs minor league review on MiLB.com:

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/season_in_review/y2007/index.jsp?sid=milb&mlbid=atl

  69. 69
    CJ Says:

    I agree with the Todd Jones’ signing. How has he NOT pitched for us yet – or has he, I really can’t remember.

  70. 70
    csg Says:

    Sam, yes its tiring, but dont you think it needs to be addressed? if we cant resign him now, we cant when he becomes a FA. Not being mean here, but if you dont want to discuss it, dont

  71. 71
    Stu Says:

    csg,

    I’m with you. That’s certainly the issue at the front of my mind with respect to the Braves. I plan to continue referencing it until it’s resolved, one way or another.

  72. 72
    Stephen Says:

    Signing or not signing is the big issue–around which many others can be settled….That said, I like the Renteria trade so the offseason direction looks favorable….

  73. 73
    mailman93635 Says:

    Bill Shanks said on his radio show Thursday that he is 99.9 % sure Tom Glavine will be back. But he also said last year he was coming back to. What do you guys think ?

  74. 74
    Sam Says:

    He may as well come back. Glavine seems to be the best option at this point.

  75. 75
    Sam Says:

    csg and Stu,

    Okay, then I’ll show you guys this thread from Braves Nation:

    http://www.braves-nation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7269

  76. 76
    csg Says:

    I think Glavine will be here next year and will have an option year after that. Then, he and Smoltz will retire at the same time

  77. 77
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think Bill Shanks is a ninny.

  78. 78
    mailman93635 Says:

    What is a ninny ?

  79. 79
    Mac Thomason Says:

    As for Troy, Tenn-Tech, etc… Well, if you have an off-week from the SEC this late in the year, you don’t want to play a power school and they don’t want to play you. Next week, LSU plays La Tech. In two weeks, Alabama plays La-Monroe and Florida plays Fla-Atlantic. I mean, Georgia’s coming off of Florida and next week they play Auburn, the last thing they want is to play a physical team in this slot.

  80. 80
    Sam Says:

    ninny, n.:

    a fool or simpleton.

  81. 81
    jea Says:

    I lost the little respect I may have had for Shanks after reading his poorly written and poorly edited book. I know it’s a minor thing, but it certainly annoys me when a book is riddled with typos. I also don’t understand why exactly he’s an ‘expert’ on the Braves, when it just seems like common knowledge or easy speculation.

  82. 82
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I somehow got caught up in a feud between Shanks and some other people and apparently I’m persona non grata at his place. I’ve never even exchanged emails with him.

  83. 83
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New poll. I know who’s going to win but I disagree.

  84. 84
    Sam Says:

    Who do you want to win, Mac?

  85. 85
    ububba Says:

    Not that I would vote for him (because I think he’s the AJC’s best sports columnist), but don’t you mean Mark Bradley, instead of Jeff?

  86. 86
    ububba Says:

    And please keep those turnovers coming, Bama Trojans.

  87. 87
    sansho1 Says:

    Bisher has been old and crotchety for my entire life, but he can write circles around the rest of them, even now. Bradley is the best at stoking my enthusiasm for my favorite teams, but he’s a comparative mechanic in his use of the language. Schultz is fine. Moore is awful.

  88. 88
    jea Says:

    Well, if Moore wins, it’s only because you’re all a buncha racists. Also, I voted for him.

  89. 89
    jjschiller Says:

    I gotta vote for Furman Bisher, if for no other reason than, he’s got a hall of fame vote and has actually written that he won’t even consider a vote for a relief pitcher.

    I’m sorry, but, if a name makes the ballot, and you have a vote, it’s your JOB to consider it.

    He’s one of the few who is entrusted with recording the history and heritage of our game, and he is willing to alter that because the game just isn’t what he wishes was. And I think that’s just despicable.

  90. 90
    jjschiller Says:

    On that same note, I’d like to propose a change in hall voting.

    Voters should be forced to make their selections public, and should be rated on the accuracy of their vote, based on what the common concensus was. And if you’re far enough off the norm, your right should be taken away.

    And the guy who didn’t vote for Ripken and the guy who DID vote for Caminiti, would lose their votes.

  91. 91
    ububba Says:

    Bradley’s a good writer, great at constructing a position & supporting it. As a former sports columnist, I can tell you that it’s not as easy as it seems.

    He doesn’t believe in getting flowery. He doesn’t believe in being contrary for the sake of it. He’s rational and sane, something that isn’t encouraged in the ESPN Era. He’s no Jim Murray, but he’s damn good.

  92. 92
    braves14 Says:

    I don’t like any of them.

  93. 93
    beedee Says:

    i’m torn as to which team i should pull for. one one hand as an auburn fan there is absolutely no love for bama. on the other hand bama has to beat lsu for auburn to have a hope of backing into a chance at the sec champ game. is there anyway they both could lose?

  94. 94
    beedee Says:

    one/on

  95. 95
    Mac Thomason Says:

    If that’s what you’re worried about, don’t worry. If there’s a three-way tie, Auburn’s screwed. They basically need to win out and for whoever wins this game to lose to an inferior team.

  96. 96
    beedee Says:

    Mac,
    this time last year i thought the same damn thing and if auburn would have just beat either uga or r-kans-ass they could have been in the champ game. i think im gonna pull for your boys, knowing it’s our only hope…god help us.

  97. 97
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Then you need either (a) Alabama to lose to State, or (b) LSU to lose to State or Arkansas. (Ole Miss is beneath contempt.) Three-way tie goes to the winner of this game.

  98. 98
    beedee Says:

    we do have to hope that lsu loses to either of those teams, but we can also knock bama out buy winning out.

  99. 99
    beedee Says:

    or just beating bama like they have for the past 5 years, but htis is destracting us from the most crucial part of the formula, bama winning today.

  100. 100
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Nope. If Alabama wins this game and beats MSU, and LSU wins out, the Iron Bowl is irrelevant; Alabama will win the division. All three will be tied at 6-2 in the conference. Head-to-head among the three will be even, so it goes to record in the division. Both of Auburn’s losses are in the division, while LSU and Alabama have both lost out of division, so it’s between them, and Alabama would win the head-to-head tiebreak.

    It doesn’t matter, because LSU is going to win.

  101. 101
    beedee Says:

    ok so a)i need bama to lose today b) lsu to lose their last two games and c) auburn to win out to have a chance…hmm a little convoluted but i like not having to root or depend on bama in this formula. thanks mac!

  102. 102
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Does anybody know anything about Cuban defector Alexei Ramirez? I know he can play center and short as well as second base, but beyond that I know nothing. If he’s affordable he might be worth the risk.

  103. 103
    Wryn Says:

    I bought an LSU cap (larger than Les’ Miles version) for $3.50 and an LSU jacket for $7.00 yesterday, wore them both to today’s Auburn/TTU game.

    Don’t let it all be for naught now..

  104. 104
    beedee Says:

    maybe lsu will stop giving the ballgame away, and the officials will quit calling the phantom penalties.
    go tigers!

  105. 105
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The only “phantom” penalty was the five-yard face mask, and it didn’t affect the game.

  106. 106
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Oh, and Miles is a moron. We can’t stop the running game generally and Hester in particular, and he keeps throwing.

  107. 107
    beedee Says:

    agreed…he is an idiot. just like when the great pumpkin abandoned the run two weeks ago.

  108. 108
    beedee Says:

    lsu doesn’t deserve to win this game, they look awful.

  109. 109
    beedee Says:

    AWFUL! this is just sad. even if they call it incomplete.

  110. 110
    Wryn Says:

    Demetrius Byrd has now guaranteed he will never be elected for state office in Alabama.

  111. 111
    ububba Says:

    Entertaining game. Don’t really care who wins.

  112. 112
    beedee Says:

    it was worth it.

  113. 113
    Wryn Says:

    Wryn wonders:
    If LSU wins (and essentially knocks AU out of the SEC race), do they roll Toomer’s?

  114. 114
    beedee Says:

    man there are more reversals in this game than a WWE match…someone will roll Toomer’s

  115. 115
    beedee Says:

    man there are more reversals in this game than a WWE match…someone will roll Toomer’s

  116. 116
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That was an awful reversal. No justification at all.

  117. 117
    beedee Says:

    the officials just put the Garvin stomp on that drive

  118. 118
    beedee Says:

    i don’t think that will be reversed

  119. 119
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I love Wallace Gilberry.

  120. 120
    beedee Says:

    i love john parker wilson…brandon cox eat your heart out. that’s the way to take a sack!

  121. 121
    ububba Says:

    This is going to be a brutal way to lose a ballgame.

  122. 122
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It sucks. But LSU people can’t be too confident in a Saban-Miles coaching matchup going forward. How many Alabama players would start for LSU? Hall and Smith on offense, Castille and maybe Gilberry on defense.

  123. 123
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Argh. Brown should have had that. On the other hand, if we’d just tackled Doucet, even if they score later we’d be in overtime and hoping Miles would do something stupid.

  124. 124
    ububba Says:

    I can’t remember another SEC season where there were so many unbelievably exciting conference games.

  125. 125
    Wryn Says:

    I’m headed to Toomer’s!!

    John (middle name excluded since it’s said 500x/game) Wilson is the goat!!

    Auburn’s SEC hopes are dashed, but who really cares?

    Fear Six.

  126. 126
    beedee Says:

    let’s hope there is another one next week between the hedges!

  127. 127
    Joshua Says:

    Does anyone know if Jose Guillen can play CF? The M’s just declined his option, and you’ve gotta love the guy’s bat. Also, they say he was a good clubhouse presence this year. Any ideas?

  128. 128
    ububba Says:

    Yes, Between the Hedges. Let’s get it on…

  129. 129
    Sam Says:

    Guillen hasn’t played center since 2004. He might be able to do it, but I wouldn’t really bank on signing him.

  130. 130
    Alex R. Says:

    So, I’m wondering something – everyone thinks Tuberville will leave Auburn for Texas A&M, but I have now changed my mind:

    After giving up 76 points to Kansas (!?!?) Tuberville may go for the Nebraska job. Good lord that’s embarrassing.

    Re: the non SEC opponents this late in the year

    Let me echo Mac’s sentiment, first of all, mainly because this conference is so damn hard.

    When you play SEC teams every week, plus have at least 2 solid non conference opponents (for the Dawgs this year, Okie State and Ga. Tech every year), plus you have Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Bama, South Carolina, Kentucky etc., you should get an easier non conference opponent.

    Apparently, Tennessee & Auburn smartly followed this formula this week. Georgia chose to play Troy and they showed once again today they have SEC calibre players on offense.

    The Bama loss was very unfortunate – there were a lot of bad calls in this game and Bama should have won.

    Plus, my wife is an Oregon Duck (and considering Ducks QB Dennis Dixon is both a Heisman hopeful and a Braves draft pick, we both have reason to root for him), I was also disappointed not to see LSU lose to get the Ducks up even further into the top 5. (and go FSU right now….).

    Yes, SEC first for me but if UGA can’t win it all, I pull for my wife’s Pac 10 team.

  131. 131
    Alex R. Says:

    Oh, my point earlier about Nebraska – Bill Callahan will NOT be the Nebraska coach after this year.

  132. 132
    Sam Says:

    Alex R.,

    Well, Georgia Tech is VERY solid defensively. They haven’t given up more than 30 points this season once. That’s not the problem. The problem is, of course, the offense.

  133. 133
    ryan c Says:

    went and saw “into the wild” tonight. the movie was fabulous…..visually stunning! also, “the proprosition” is a pretty remarkable rental, if you havent seen it.

    on another note, i asked my friends that live in auburn about the rumors, and they say that the tuberville departure rumors have been squashed.

    where can you find winter ball stats?

  134. 134
    ububba Says:

    Saw “American Gangster” last night. Liked it, didn’t love it. Great story, should’ve been a bit better.

    Tech? Come on down…

  135. 135
    Wryn Says:

    Tubby ain’t going anywhere. He’s just waiting and trying to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.2 – $3.5/million per season.

  136. 136
    Wryn Says:

    ..from Auburn.

    If he can beat Saban, he’ll be closer to 3.5, lose and he’s closer to 3.2

  137. 137
    Mac Thomason Says:

    But can Auburn find that aluminum cans, Wryn?

    Another reason the SEC teams are playing scrub opponents is that there aren’t any other options. Most of the big conferences don’t have November off-weeks, at least not until the week before the conference championships. There should be one Big 10 team off (because they have an odd number of teams) and some of the Pac 10 teams have off-weeks, but the SEC doesn’t normally play the Big 10 and late-season cross-country travel would be very annoying.

  138. 138
    csg Says:

    and yes, Tubby will leave after this year

  139. 139
    Jeremy Says:

    Saw “American Gangster” last night. Liked it, didn’t love it. Great story, should’ve been a bit better.

    Yeah, same here. I was expecting a bit more. It had a great look to it, as all Ridley Scott films do.

    Speaking of, saw the trailer for the Coens adaptation of McCarthy’s “No Country For Old Men” at AG. Looks amazing. I adore the book. Javier Bardem might be the greatest actor in the world.

    Oh, and Les Miles is still a buffoon. As much as I dislike the Nicktator, LSU better enjoy this win; they won’t be beating Slick Nick and Bama very often.

  140. 140
    sansho1 Says:

    I see that John Russell has been named manager of the Pirates. Seeing that name takes me back to the dark year of 1989, when he, along with Jody Davis, Bruce Benedict, John Mizerock, Kelly Mann, and Francisco Cabrera combined to produce what might be the worst offensive production from any non-pitcher position in history.

    They were so bad that Andres Thomas having his worst season was way better. They combined for a line of .185/.258/.246 (Andres was .213/.228/.316). 40 runs and 37 RBI all season.

  141. 141
    Stephen Says:

    One of the things which I remember about the 1989 season was Mike Stanton coming up and pitching brilliantly in September. With the improvement of Smoltz and Glavine, I sensed that the future would be better…..the 1990 season just about reversed my optimism…

  142. 142
    Dustin Says:

    I don’t comment on college football much at all, but if I am at work, any LSU game that is being played is either on one of the display TV’s or playing on the radio in electronics.

    Last night, right before we closed, there were about 8 or 9 people standing around a karaoke machine that had an AM/FM radio in it and the game playing on it. This always happens. Sometimes we have to kick them out cos they’ll literally stand there all night if you don’t go up and say “yeah, we’re closed, you have to go up front now.” Annoying at times cos they clog the aisles and since it’s Saturday and we’re already busy, it makes a human log jam.

    It was getting to that time right when LSU scored at the end, some of them actually started yelling when Bama’s last pass got dropped or whatever.

    As someone who doesn’t really follow any college or pro football team, I’m kind of forced to follow LSU and the Saints at work. But I do know that our college team, McNeese State in now 9-0, which means if they keep it up they’ll play in some championship game for little colleges.

    I can’t wait for spring training.

  143. 143
    Robert Says:

    Let me echo Mac’s sentiment, first of all, mainly because this conference is so damn hard.

    When you play SEC teams every week, plus have at least 2 solid non conference opponents (for the Dawgs this year, Okie State and Ga. Tech every year), plus you have Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Bama, South Carolina, Kentucky etc., you should get an easier non conference opponent.

    Yes, the standard SEC talking points. Complete BS, but at least you are staying on message.

    And of course the idea that every SEC team plays at two decent non conference opponents is laugh out loud funny. Pick up a Tide schedule.

    The SEC has a lot of good conference games. They go out of their way to space them out with bye weeks and and division 1-AA opponents. LSU will celebrate this win by taking next week off (La Tech), Alabama has (La Monroe) coming up. It’s pretty silly.

  144. 144
    Sam Says:

    John Mizerock, now there’s a name I haven’t heard of. And now I have. :)

  145. 145
    beedee Says:

    @143
    year in, year out there is no doubt that the standard of quality for college football is set by the SEC.

  146. 146
    Cary Says:

    “Troy, Northwestern St, La-Lafayette, and Tennessee Tech?”

    I’ll take Teams That Can Beat Stanford for $500, Alex.

    Does it matter when you play them? If you are playing non-BCS opponents now, then you were playing BCS opponents earlier in the season. Alabama started its conference schedule in Week 2 and mixed in Florida State at the end of September.

    That would be the Florida State that knocked off #2 Boston College last night.

    It would be easy to demonstrate that Florida State, Houston and Louisiana-Monroe are across the board better than USC’s out of conference slate of Nebraska, Notre Dame and Idaho, but that would be a little unfair in regards to scheduling, I admit. USC can’t help that Nebraska and Notre Dame are terrible.

    Robert also can’t ignore that Alabama’s out of conference AND in conference schedule is better than USC’s. That’s all.

  147. 147
    sansho1 Says:

    I guess if you’re trying to make a point that the SEC is overrated because of weak non-conference scheduling, you should look at what happens when SEC teams play quality non-conference teams. Easiest way to do that would be bowl records.

    I hunted around for a few minutes, but all I could find other than individual year conference records was one chart of bowl records in the ’90s. It’s here:

    http://ugalovin.tripod.com/secfacts.htm

    The SEC had the most wins, and tied for highest winning percentage.

  148. 148
    Cary Says:

    Also, I’ve lost faith in LSU’s dominance.

    Earlier in the year, I thought they were a monster, but watching them over the last month, that feeling has been steadily eroding. Then after seeing the Tide take the Bayou Bengals to the wire yesterday, my feeling is that LSU’s a good team, but not that great.

    Now, there appear to be no great teams this year, so maybe they’ll win the National Championship. I’ll root for them to do it since they’ve gotten past the Tide and most of the rest of the SEC schedule (losing only in overtime on the road–very impressive), but I no longer absolutely expect them to beat their opponent in the SEC Championship Game or possible BCS National Championship Game. Maybe they will, but I’ll no longer be surprised if they don’t.

  149. 149
    Cliff Says:

    I can’t remember where the post is, but someone asked about sites with winter league content.

    Minor League Baseball.com shows several of the winter leagues.

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?cid=milb

  150. 150
    ububba Says:

    Sometimes SEC teams play tough out-of-conference games; sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t really keep me up nights. And why should it?

    When I was in school at UGA, we only played 6 SEC games, so we played Ga. Tech (ACC), Clemson (ACC) & South Carolina (an indy then) every year, plus the occasional made-for-TV game (BYU, UCLA). Not so easy. But I think that the extra 2 SEC games (in the 12-team era) plus a potential championship game make for a tougher schedule.

    As a UGA guy, I’d like to play another big school on the schedule (and we will, as we’re picking up home-and-homes with Arizona State, Louisville & Oregon, plus we’re finishing h-&-h’s with Colorado & Okie St.), but we’re always going to play Georgia Tech and at least one cream puff.

    Wanna see a tough schedule? Here’s a few teams from UGA’s ’08 tilt: @South Carolina; @Ariz. St.; Bama; Tennessee; @LSU; Florida; @Ky.; @Auburn; Tech. Only Bama, Tenn & Tech are in Athens. UGA plays Cent. Mich & Ga. Southern, but who the hell cares when the rest of the schedule is so formidable?

    I think the best indication of the conference’s talent is the amount of NFL talent it produces and the best indication of its dominance is the conference’s bowl record—the best. In the history of the bowls, the SEC has a winning bowl record every other conference. No need to apologize for winning, I say.

  151. 151
    Wryn Says:

    Auburn catches a break next year, as it’s an even-numbered year:

    Home SEC:
    Tennessee
    LSU
    Georgia
    Arkansas

    Road SEC:
    Alabama
    Ole Miss
    Miss State
    Vandy

    OOC: @ West Virginia (fun home-and-home), Southern Miss, 2 creampuffs

  152. 152
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Alabama, meanwhile, is aiming for the stars!

    08/30 Western Kentucky
    09/06 Tulane
    09/20 at Arkansas
    09/27 at Georgia
    10/04 Kentucky
    10/11 UTEP
    10/18 Ole Miss
    10/25 at Tennessee
    11/01 Northern Illinois
    11/08 Mississippi State
    11/15 at LSU
    11/29 Auburn

    Whoo-hoo! I mean, if you’re playing Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and LSU on the road, you aren’t going to load up in the nonconference, but be serious.

  153. 153
    csg Says:

    that is an embarrassing schedule for Bama next year

  154. 154
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    Florida has a pretty tough schedule:

    Aug 30 Hawaii
    Sep 6 Miami (FL)
    Sep 20 at Tennessee
    Sep 27 Ole Miss
    Oct 4 at Arkansas
    Oct 11 LSU
    Oct 25 Kentucky
    Nov 1 Georgia
    Nov 8 at Vandy
    Nov 15 South Carolina
    Nov 22 Citadel
    Nov 29 at FSU

    Out of conference schedule is pretty good. While Citadel is one of those November “week-off” games, Miami, Hawaii, and at FSU is a pretty tough non-conference schedule. We miss Auburn and get LSU at home, but at Vandy, Tennesee, and Arkansas isn’t a cake-walk. Considering 74% of our current team is freshmen and sophomore, I’m interested to see how we do.

  155. 155
    disgruntledfan Says:

    The rumor is Alabama is trying to replace Western Kentucky with a game against Clemson in the Georgia Dome to open the season. Haven’t heard confirmation, but both schools are working on it, and it’d make the OOC schedule look better.

  156. 156
    sansho1 Says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the GA/ASU game will be the first regular season non-conference game that GA has played either west of the Mississippi River or north of the Mason-Dixon line since 1967, when they traveled to Houston for a game against the Cougars.

    Before that, they traveled to Ann Arbor and Los Angeles (Southern Cal) in the early ’60s.

  157. 157
    Dix Says:

    I’d like to see Michigan replace Notre Dame with UGA for a long term non-conference contract

  158. 158
    Sam Says:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=6905

    Atlanta’s visible line says it all.

  159. 159
    Seat Painter Says:

    I’m notin favor of signing Cameron now, after the suspension. Give Harris and Lillibridge a shot at filling the hole would be my preference.

  160. 160
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Then where would you be if Lillibridge fails and when Harris does?

  161. 161
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    I wonder who Willie Harris is. Is he pre-2007 Willie Harris, pre-All-Star break Willie Harris, post-All-Star break Willie Harris or somewhere in the middle? If he’s somewhere in the middle, he might not be half bad considering his defense. If he’s post-All-Star break Willie Harris, then we need to get as far away as possible. Let’s just sign Esix Snead and be done with it. :)

    I wonder if Cameron would be worth signing to a minor league deal, and when he gets back from his suspension, we’ll know where we stand in center field. If they’re both sucking, then we try our third option, Cameron, and if one of them is doing well, we either release Cameron or let him become Richmond’s MVP. Could you do that to a player with his track record? Would he even sign a minor league deal?

    With the offense we’re getting from the corner outfield positions, and the lack of defense in left, our best option might be to make sure we have a good defensive center fielder. In that case, Willie Harris might not be a guaranteed failure.

  162. 162
    Dix Says:

    Mike Cameron lives in my neighborhood. He may want to play in Atlanta.

  163. 163
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    It depends on what kind of risk you have to take to get Cameron. If there’s almost no interest and we can sign him to a good deal, then he’s a good risk. If he’s still going to require few-to-several millions and a guaranteed contract, then what do you do? I don’t think he’s going to be that down on people’s interests, though the center field market is pretty thick.

  164. 164
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Willie Harris is a career .247 .318 .321 hitter who got on a hot streak for a few weeks. Even his “career year” last year isn’t any good — .270 .349 .392, a 94 OPS+.

  165. 165
    braves14 Says:

    Willie Harris, if he could play SS, would be a decent backup.

  166. 166
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    A 94 OPS+ might be ok if he’s as good as the defensive metrics that have been discussed here say he is. And thinking financially, he’s pretty cheap, which will obviously help. I don’t think he’ll be a 94 OPS+, though. I don’t think he’ll be as bad as he was in the second half, but he’ll be closer to that than his first half totals. His career numbers tell me that. So, it’s probably best to send him packing, or keep him around as a pinch-runner/defensive replacement, where he would have quite a bit of value.

    Can Aybar play center? Does anyone know about his recovery?

  167. 167
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    To answer my own question, someone else had already done so. He underwent surgery on his hand Aug. 15th, and on October 24th he went 3-4 in his first Winter League game. On Nov. 1, he went 1-4 with a SO, and on Nov. 2, he went 0-3 with a BB. Another place says he went 6-10 in his first three games. It seems like he’s getting plenty of playing time, and hopefully that means he has a future again. Good for him.

  168. 168
    Wryn Says:

    Uhh..

    Mac, why isn’t Bama trying to get out of the October 11th game with Mike Price and UTEP?

  169. 169
    Stephen Says:

    I would be willing to try either Alexi Ramirez or Cameron if the price were right. The Braves ought to be able to get one of these players.

    Sign Glavine and trade for Joe Blanton (if possible) and then I like our team. I would certainly be willing to trade Gorkys Hernandez and one other prospect and throw in either Cormier or Lerew to make it happen.

    I doubt that the A s are ready to trade Blanton, but even adding Glavine and Cameron would give us a solid line up in the short term….

  170. 170
    Cliff Says:

    2156,

    EXCEPT for regular season games against Arkansas in Fayetteville since they came into the SEC. I think that is about 3 times since about 1991.

    Georgia got some pretty good out of area programs to come to Athens without a return in the early 80′s. Specifically, Brigham Young (with Steve, great great great grandson of the named honoree, quartebacking) and UCLA (in which a 10 minute rain of the highest intensity I have ever seen at a football game in which I sat blissfully under the overhang).

  171. 171
    Cliff Says:

    The last one was supposed to start @, “at”

  172. 172
    sansho1 Says:

    @170

    Aha — I specified non-conference! :)

  173. 173
    Cliff Says:

    @173,

    Sorry, I didn’t read it right.

    New article on Hardball Times on Braves front office options.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/brave-new-world/

  174. 174
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Cliff, interesting article at THT. I think John’s right about some of the models the Braves could follow, but I don’t agree with some of his conclusions. Specifically, I don’t think Teixeira is signable to a 4-year contract — I don’t think Boras will go for a number that small. Other than A-Rod, for whom he’s been talking about a 12-year deal, he’s been opening most negotiations recently by mentioning a 7-year contract. I don’t think Tex’s stock has slipped to the point that he can be signed to less than a 5-year deal, and possibly higher.

  175. 175
    Cliff Says:

    AAR,

    Agreed on re-signing Tex except I think it may take 10 years. For a first baseman in good shape, I don’t have a problem out to that length. However, if the Braves commit to 10, dammit, then no damn opt out crap.

    And, they have to put an offer in front of Teixeira around the end of the year (finish the two sets of winter meetings and get past the arb deadlines to know who else is out there). And, they have to be ready to spin it.

    I understand why they don’t do “no trade clauses”, but maybe they could do a limited. Like for first 5 years, (he’ll be 10/5 after that) limited to “if we drop off in wins to ____” (say 70 or 75) or “if he has injury limiting his ability to play in the field” (to allow him to DH) and limited by teams to teams finishing the year before at 81 or more wins and any others that he would agree to. That way, Teixeira gets a good chance to stay here, unless conditions might make him want to go, which adds value to him. Then, when you add the certainty (the insurance risk of catastrophic injury this year goes to the Braves).

    Also, as part of the re-sign, go ahead and put him at contract level in 2008. That lets him build his Atlanta mansion now, instead of waiting.

  176. 176
    Stephen Says:

    Tex’s stock has gone up. Boras (like any other agent) will surely call attention to Tex’s performance with the Braves (he was as productive as any hitter in baseball since becoming a Brave) and he will be 28 next year–meaning that he is probably coming to the peak of his career.

    Unfortunately, these are just more reasons why I don’t think the Braves have a shot to keep him beyond 2008….

  177. 177
    Justin Parker Says:

    That’s a pretty good THT article, and I think the Braves will have a strategy somewhere between the Indians and Red Sox model, which is pretty easy to imagine, as these were really what the Braves started doing in the 90′s, when they were bringing along young talent and acquiring some premiere vets. For Tex we really can’t speculate what the Braves will do, because they don’t have a history of openly discussing their plans, and that’s not changing. It wouldn’t surprise me either way.

    As for all this talk about Willie being able to play Centerfield. People, this man has been an infielder his whole career. He just moved to the outfield this year, and yes, he made a couple of great catches last year, but that DOES NOT mean he can play Centerfield fulltime. End of rant. Thanks for coming.

  178. 178
    Ron Says:

    Plus if the Yankees don’t re-sign Arod, they’ll have plenty of money to throw at Teixeira. The Mets are in need of a new first baseman too. The Braves just don’t figure to be in the bidding with their payroll limit.

  179. 179
    ububba Says:

    I’m not going to give a lot of thought to Tex beyond ’08 because I think Boras will attempt to get the kind of money that ATL won’t offer. (He always does.) If he’s gone, he’s gone. Here’s to a monster ’08 & a pennant.

    Cliff,
    I attended those BYU & UCLA games, too. Like you, I was just underneath the upper-level overhang at the UCLA game when that monsoon appeared.

    Two memories from those games:

    1) Charlie Dean’s TD interception return halted a last-minute UCLA drive & sealed the deal in an otherwise sluggish 19-8 game. I remember Dooley ordered a self-imposed safety to make it 12-8 UGA & I thought, “That might’ve been an error, Coach—they still have time.” It worked out. Barely.

    2) In the BYU game, Mike Weaver’s recovery on a 4th & 1 forward-fumble kept UGA’s game-tying drive alive. Kevin Butler would later win it 17-14 with an FG. Steve Young threw 6 INTs.

    The BYU game happened 5 days after the opener vs. Clemson (a 13-7 win) & leaving the stadium, I remember getting getting caught in a glut of humanity on the walkway out of Sanford Stadium. The usual chant of “It’s great…to be…a Georgia Bulldog!” broke out. Those things rarely move me & I never participate, but I remember thinking, “Y’know, right now, it really is.”

  180. 180
    Stephen Says:

    My guess is that the Braves will have a two track approach: try to win in 2008, while restocking their farm system. I certainly hope that this is the case and I believe that they can have both.

    While their is less talent from Myrtle Beach upwards, it is also clear that the farm is really stocked from Rome down. In fact, it has been many years since the Braves have so much at the lower levels of their farm system Rome, alone, should have at least 6 quality starting pitchers.

    Therefore, the challenge is adding to the stock while remaining competitive in the NL East. Before the Renteria trade, I thought they might deal Tex for starting pitching, but now I think they will trade him only if they pick up a lot. I can see the Braves holding onto Tex for a run in 2008, while they restock the farm. It ought to be possible to do both–but I fear that in 2009 Tex will be in pinstripes….

  181. 181
    Smitty Says:

    Hey, Mike Price is the only undefeated Alabama coach in program history!

    Why is Florida playing the Citadel? Big time programs should never play D-1AA schools. Ask Auburn about playing the Citadel, it cost them the National title.

    I have been out of town, so I missed being able to take shots at two of the three schools that own my Vols.

  182. 182
    Murphy3Ever Says:

    agree with justin on his rant on willie harris in CF. i sure hope it doesn’t happen. and i really don’t want to see him playing everyday.

  183. 183
    ububba Says:

    Smitty,
    The Citidel didn’t cost Auburn a national title. The moronic system did.

  184. 184
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I can’t see the Braves trading Tex before the season. I think the trade was a 1 1/2 season deal-ie, try to win in ’07 and/or ’08 and then let the cards fall where they may. I doubt the Braves could get enough for Teixera to allow them to be competitive in ’08 without him so it would essentially be conceding the season. I don’t think the Brave intend to do that. IMO, they will worry about rebuilding next year when Smoltz is one year closer to retirement.

  185. 185
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    I don’t know what will happen with Tex, so I don’t bother worrying about it. Honestly, if Tex wants to play in Atlanta, he will have to sign a below-market contract. It’s that simple.

  186. 186
    Stu Says:

    I bet we could get Tim Lincecum+ for him.

  187. 187
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @186,

    Even you got Lincecum, you would be back to playing Thorman at first base. Would Lincecum be enough if you take tex out of the line up? Second, I don’t see why the Giants would trade Lincecum for one year of Tex. They are probably going to struggle next year anyway so why trade a potential ace for a guy that they would probably lose anyway?

  188. 188
    csg Says:

    #185 – exactly, if Boras gets Arod a $350 million dollar contract this offseason you can almost guarantee Tex a $22-28 million per year offer somewhere else. Dont think we’ll pay that either

  189. 189
    csg Says:

    what about that Kala kid that is in our minors. He’s always hit pretty well and plays good defense. Where will he be in a years time.

    I still think that we begin talks with KC about DeJesus

  190. 190
    Smitty Says:

    I don’t think Tex will get near the contract that A-Rod will command.

  191. 191
    Marc Schneider Says:

    But A-Rod’s new contract will bring up the contracts for everyone else, especially since baseball seems to be awash in revenue these days.

  192. 192
    chris Says:

    #187

    Linceum would be AMAZING!!!

    think of this Trade:

    Tim Lincecum, rhp
    Jonathan Sanchez, lhp
    Angel Villalona, 3b

    for Tex.

    Move Chipper to 1B and put Villalona at 3B.

  193. 193
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @192,

    That would be a great trade for the Braves. But, again, why would San Francisco make that deal? They are more likely to go after A-Rod this year than trade an ace for one year of Teixera.

  194. 194
    Sam Says:

    chris,

    Oh, yeah, that’s a GREAT idea, putting a 17 year old at third base immediately (if that’s even his real age).

  195. 195
    bwarrend Says:

    When was the last time Alabama beat a quality OOC opponent?

  196. 196
    Sam Says:

    An addition with more logic:

    The guy is 17 and hasn’t even played above high-A.

  197. 197
    Sam Says:

    Well, an injection of logic. The first post was dripping with sarcasm, which I should have never done in the first place.

  198. 198
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Either Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl two years ago or Hawaii in last year’s season opener. Their last win against a really big-time opponent was… Hell, a long time ago. Michigan in the ’96 Outback Bowl, probably.

  199. 199
    Stu Says:

    Marc,

    Obviously, such a trade would be contingent on the Giants ponying up for a Teix extension. I figured they might be interested, seeing as how they’re considered players in the A-Rod Sweepstakes. (i.e., they have money and are willing to spend it.)

    And obviously we’d need to figure out a non-Thorman 1B option.

    I assumed those things went without saying; didn’t realize I needed to spell it all out.
    (Also, FWIW, I said “Lincecum+”, meaning we’d get more than just Lincecum.)

  200. 200
    Andy Says:

    Hey, don’t knock The Citadel. I was there when we beat Arkansas in 1992. We played Wisconsin tough this year and were tied with Florida St. at the half last year.

    Really, though I wish they would stop scheduling those games. The Citadel’s AD has stated the goal of playing a team from every BCS conference. I’m sure it brings in the cash, but I don’t see how it helps the program.

    For what it’s worth, the Southern Conference is the SEC of Div. 1-AA (App. St., Ga. Southern, The Citadel, Wofford, Furman)

  201. 201
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @174
    Good catch. John Beamer always presents a good argument and the Chop-n-Change site is wonderful.

    Broken hearted-pulled for the Tide Saturday night, for the Colts Sunday. It’s a new week.

    The more I look at the free agents available, the less I think it’s a seller’s market. I can’t imagine the Braves taking a serious economic hit for any of them.

    Will everything be jammed up until the A-Bomb is signed?

  202. 202
    Another Alex R. Says:

    If I’m the Giant’s, there’s no way I’d trade Lincecum for 1 year of Tex. He’s not giving them a discount, and Lincecum’s one of the best young pitchers around.

    If Tex gets traded, I doubt Wren can land a haul close to what Daniels pried from Schuerholz. I liked the deal at the time, but Tex’s trade value is not high considering that he’s got Boras nixing any talk of a below-market extension.

  203. 203
    ububba Says:

    Wasn’t it that Citadel game that brought a Hog housecleaning & Danny Ford to Little Rock?

    The idea of Tim Lincecum wearing a tomahawk across his chest warms my heart, but I don’t see the Giants dealing Lincecum at all to anyone for anything. He’s like the SF version of Phil Hughes—gotta see what you’ve got. The upside is way too high.

  204. 204
    Stu Says:

    If I’m the Giant’s, there’s no way I’d trade Lincecum for 1 year of Tex.

    Of course you wouldn’t. Again, that proposal assumes that a long-term deal could be worked out.

  205. 205
    Stu Says:

    ububba,

    There was a report last week that the Giants would consider trading Lincecum for an impact bat.

  206. 206
    csg Says:

    no way we trade for half a year of Tex and then lose his, Andruws, and Renteria’s bat all in one offseason. I like the idea and thought of it, though

  207. 207
    csg Says:

    remember last year when some here wanted to trade Salty, Yunel, and a pitcher for Baldelli? I wonder what he could be had for? Is he worth a one or two year shot in CF?

  208. 208
    Stephen Says:

    Kala was great Myrtle Beach in 2007–after struggling there during the second half of 2006. Kala went to Mississppi and looked even worse than he did at Myrtle Beach in 2006. If the pattern persists, he will probably hit ok in AA then get promoted to AAA and struggle. By the way, his progress through the system is reminiscent of Scott Thorman…

    Unfortunately, when that day comes that Tex leaves, it is hard to imagine Kala being an adequate replacement….

  209. 209
    chris Says:

    #205

    that was my point EXACTLY. san fran has LOTS of money now and some decent pitchers in the wings. they need a Left handed bat to hit into McCovey Cove (shorter porch that way) and spending 21-30 million a year on a Right haded Arod makes NO sense whatsoever considering their home field. however, spending 20 million on a Left Handed first basemen and giving up those 3 might justify the butts Tex would put in the seats.

    as for having a 17 year old at 3B (actually, i’ve read he’s 19)…didn’t we put a 19 year old in CF during the WORLD freakin’ SERIES?

    he turned out pretty well. pretty fat now, but he turned out pretty well.

    my issue is this: no matter who we sign, we’re not going to the playoffs this year. Hell, I’m a loyal guy, but if Chipper wants another ring, trade him to a AL team and get some pitchers for him. Trade smoltzy to a contender and make that Tex trade.

    in 3 years, we’re solid. rebuilding, folks, requires what we just did with renty: get two NICE prospects for an older commodity.

    it also requires some pains.

  210. 210
    Cliff Says:

    ububba,

    The most amazing thing about the UCLA rainstorm was the way the wter came out of the upper deck. I have never seen that before in Sanford Stadium.

    There are 6 inch x 6 inch holes cut in the front of the upper deck wall all along the front of it. The water came so fast that it surged through the holes. It looked like people with 5 gallon buckets were throwing water down on the people 30 feet or so in front of the upper deck. UNBELIEVABLE how people were soaked head to toe in seconds.

  211. 211
    Jason Says:

    There’s no way the Giants trade Lincecum for one year of Tex. Guys like Lincecum are the most valuable commodity in the game: young, cheap, proven, and under your control for 5 more years.

    Now if SF wanted to do the deal, Frank would be crazy to say No. Finding a bat is a lot easier than finding a good SP with Ace potential. Besides, it frees up ~8 mil to go bat shopping with, + the ~6 mil or so we would have spent on Glavine.

    The only player I can envision that has been rumored trade bait that makes sense for SF, is Miguel Cabrera.

  212. 212
    Andy Says:

    Who plays 1B if we trade Tex fro Lincecum? Unless the Braves are certain they can re-sign him, I’d do it and figure out 1B later.

    Would we have given up Salty, etc. for Lincecum?

  213. 213
    ububba Says:

    Stu,
    There was also a thing in the NY Post today about how Kazmir might be available from Tampa. I don’t exactly believe that one either.

    Cliff,
    I remember. That gusher was splashing right in front of me to the point that some people were sprinting to the concourse. Of course, there were others who seemed to enjoy it. It was one bizarre night.

  214. 214
    ububba Says:

    Here’s the Joel Sherman piece about Kazmir:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11052007/sports/scott_stove_league_846843.htm

  215. 215
    Ron Says:

    The only way the Braves are trading Tex prior to the season is if Liberty directs Wren to conduct a fire sale. Otherwise, Mark is a indispensable part of the Braves’ offense and plan to win a championship in ’08. Now if a string of injuries leave the team out of contention in July, then a trade might be a possibility. But not this fall.

  216. 216
    Andy Says:

    I think the Braves are in the same situation as the Twins with Santana. If we can’t keep him past this year, now is the best time to trade him.

  217. 217
    Stephen Says:

    Thanks ububba–the 3 years of Kazmir v. 1 year of Santana is a pretty good argument–but I believe that lots of these possible deals are invented to sell newspapers….

    That said, with what has happened since the World Series ended (or was about to end), it promises to be a lively offseason….

  218. 218
    Hate King Says:

    The D-Rays could maybe trade Delmon Young for Lincecum.

  219. 219
    Sam Says:

    chris,

    That’s because he was actually capable. Jones was Minor League Player of the Year twice. All Villanola has done is hit a .772 OPS with 5 homers in the low minors. And you want to immediately insert him as the third baseman. That’s insane.

  220. 220
    Sam Says:

    chris,

    Rebuilding is something that you HAVE to do, not something you WANT to do. The Braves are absolutely in no position of having to re-build, especially since the Mets and Phillies will be incredibly iffy just like them. This is no time to be talking about killing our chances for a future that might not come to pass.

  221. 221
    TheSecondSpitter Says:

    I dont think Tex gets traded, I think we are more likely to see minor moves, if any. I think alot will depend on Glavine, what he does will probably direct our offseason moves….

  222. 222
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Boras always takes his clients to the market so it’s highly unlikely the Giants could get an extension done for Tex. If they could do that, why couldn’t we?

    I don’t think the Twins situation is the same as the Braves. They have to play against the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Indians. They probably can’t win even with Santana this year. The Braves are playing in a much easier league; with Tex and some better pitching, the Braves could win the pennant next year. (Me being optimistic? Wow!) And Santana doesn’t have Boras so a team might have a realistic shot at resigning him.

  223. 223
    Rbraves Follower Says:

    Baseball America Braves Top 10
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/features/265139.html

    1. Jordan Schafer, of
    2. Jason Heyward, of
    3. Jair Jurrjens, rhp
    4. Brandon Jones, of
    5. Gorkys Hernandez, of
    6. Brent Lillibridge, ss
    7. Cole Rohrbough, lhp
    8. Jeff Locke, lhp
    9. Tommy Hanson, rhp
    10. Julio Teheran, rhp

  224. 224
    Sam Says:

    That’s pretty good. Hey, I have an idea! Let’s trade away our third baseman and #1 starter to make that list look even better!

  225. 225
    Stephen Says:

    I have to say that list is typical of BA: has Julio Teheran thrown a pitch yet?

  226. 226
    Sam Says:

    It’s all about POTENTIAL *GASP!*

  227. 227
    Stu Says:

    Marc,

    If they could do that, why couldn’t we?

    You mean besides the fact that they appear willing to spend more money?

    ububba,

    Believe what you want. The Lincecum story passed my sniff test.

    All,

    Just to be clear, I don’t actually think we’d consider trading Teixeira, either.

  228. 228
    Sam Says:

    chris,

    All sarcasm aside, exactly what basis do you have to say with a straight face (if you have one) that the Braves will not make the playoffs in 2008?

  229. 229
    Stu Says:

    Isn’t it reasonably safe to assume that chris has a face?

  230. 230
    Sam Says:

    Heh heh heh. I meant if he has a straight face, not just a face in general.

  231. 231
    Cliff Says:

    Minor Leaguers released as free agents. Only two of the Braves’ even caused me to
    notice.

    1. Buddy Hernandez (the other Buddy in Richmond). He had a pretty good year in the bullpen.

    2. Corky Miller. I think we are better off relying on Pena and Sammons for back up cover, but they really played him late in the season. Maybe they were making sure before they csst him out the door.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=644

  232. 232
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    Buddy Hernandez. That dude was in our system for several years, and he never got a legitimate shot. What did he not have that Dan Kolb and the other people that stunk it up in our bullpen did? He wasted a lot of his years in Richmond…

  233. 233
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Stu,

    My only point is that it is virtually impossible these days to resign a Boras client before he hits the market. The Giants would be taking a huge gamble unless they were willing to do a Tom Hicks and pay him way above what he is likely to get in the market. Yes, the Giants are likely willing to spend more than the Braves but probably not that much more. I will say, however, that if you could do that deal, I would do it. But not for anything less.

  234. 234
    chris Says:

    actually, with our Old pitching and STILL no #3 behind smoltz and hudson, and don’t give me this “glavine is a #3″ nonsense and withe the reliance upon:

    a.) escobar at SS (he will regress)

    b.) chipper’s bad feet at 3B (will he play 120 games this year?)

    c.) frenchy’s “swing at anything and ask questions later” attitude at the plate

    d.) mccann’s general awesomeness but inconsistency

    e.) johnson’s enegmatic game

    f.) no CF

    g.) and WILLIE FREAKIN’ HARRIS in CF

    our strength is good, young players in A and AA. why not at least THINK about blowing the team up for players?

    we are old, slow and have no real fire in our guts. hell, i thought that we should have gotten torre to manage; put some new blood in here.

    just watch…and all sarcasm aside, if you think this team, as it stands now, is making the playoffs, you’re a homer with braves-colored glasses. as a matter of fact, i would wonder if you had a tail or not.

    and sam, at #224–what’s gonna happen when both of those players are on the DL?

    that’s what i thought.

  235. 235
    chris Says:

    sorry…f and g are the same…f should read “no proven LF”

  236. 236
    jjschiller Says:

    Chris,

    The team “as it stands now” is rather inconsequential.. I don’t think I saw any games on the schedule for November.. Someone will be in CF on opening day, and I really don’t think it’ll be Willie Harris.

    You can’t just say point blank that one player (Escobar) will regress and the rest (Francoeur, McCann, K. Johnson) won’t progress and say your point is made.

    I think Escobar will hold his own. He won’t be what Edgar was last year, but even Edgar had never been THAT Edgar before.

    Chipper? That’s a toss-up.

    How about Tex for 500 ABs instead of Thorman for 287 AB with a .652 OPS?

    I think adding Glavine makes sense. I don’t even care about his rate stats. I think he threw more quality starts than the rest of our starters (not named Smoltz or Hudson) combined. Will he do that again? I don’t know, but he’s been steady for years. I know the end has to come sometime, but I don’t feel his last month last season was it. I think he was pooped. The Mets NEEDED all those quality innings he gave them. With Smoltz and Huddy ahead of him here, the Braves won’t push him as hard.

    Can’t count on Hampton for anything, but we know he wasn’t there last year. Possibly being there versus not being there makes next year better than this.

    Could Smoltz get hurt? Certainly. But so could Tim Hudson or Pedro Martinez for that matter.

    But we’ve got much better depth than we had last year. I think Jurrjens will pitch well, better than we got from Chuck James last year. If James is in there, he’s a candidate for growth. I don’t see him pitching worse than he did last year.

    I’m not going to call that a guarantee. But I also like Reyes to be better, too. Between Hampton and Smoltz and Glavine, yes, we’ll likely start more than 5 guys in the course of the year. Do I expect we’ll send 6 guys out there to total 323 innings with a 6.29 ERA?

    Certainly not. Not with depth we’ll have this year.

    Francoeur can swing at what he wants if he’s in the 6-hole driving in 105 runs. And Matt Diaz + Brandon Jones will be better than Matt Diaz + Willie Harris.

    They’ll play the games and we’ll find out. Yelling and screaming that they stink in November is kind of jumping the gun. But I really feel this team is bound to better than it was last year. And I HONESTLY believe the difference will mean a playoff appearance.

  237. 237
    jjschiller Says:

    Chris,

    The team “as it stands now” is rather inconsequential.. I don’t think I saw any games on the schedule for November.. Someone will be in CF on opening day, and I really don’t think it’ll be Willie Harris.

    You can’t just say point blank that one player (Escobar) will regress and the rest (Francoeur, McCann, K. Johnson) won’t progress and say your point is made.

    I think Escobar will hold his own. He won’t be what Edgar was last year, but even Edgar had never been THAT Edgar before.

    Chipper? That’s a toss-up.

    How about Tex for 500 ABs instead of Thorman for 287 AB with a .652 OPS?

    I think adding Glavine makes sense. I don’t even care about his rate stats. I think he threw more quality starts than the rest of our starters (not named Smoltz or Hudson) combined. Will he do that again? I don’t know, but he’s been steady for years. I know the end has to come sometime, but I don’t feel his last month last season was it. I think he was pooped. The Mets NEEDED all those quality innings he gave them. With Smoltz and Huddy ahead of him here, the Braves won’t push him as hard.

    Can’t count on Hampton for anything, but we know he wasn’t there last year. Possibly being there versus not being there makes next year better than this.

    Could Smoltz get hurt? Certainly. But so could Tim Hudson or Pedro Martinez for that matter.

    But we’ve got much better depth than we had last year. I think Jurrjens will pitch well, better than we got from Chuck James last year. If James is in there, he’s a candidate for growth. I don’t see him pitching worse than he did last year.

    I’m not going to call that a guarantee. But I also like Reyes to be better, too. Between Hampton and Smoltz and Glavine, yes, we’ll likely start more than 5 guys in the course of the year. Do I expect we’ll send 6 guys out there to total 323 innings with a 6.29 ERA?

    Certainly not. Not with depth we’ll have this year.

    Francoeur can swing at what he wants if he’s in the 6-hole driving in 105 runs. And Matt Diaz + Brandon Jones will be better than Matt Diaz + Willie Harris.

    They’ll play the games and we’ll find out. Yelling and screaming that they stink in November is kind of jumping the gun. But I really feel this team is bound to better than it was last year. And I HONESTLY believe the difference will mean a playoff appearance.

  238. 238
    jjschiller Says:

    sorry for the double-post!

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