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05 Nov

44 Greatest: Update

Just to update the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves list with 2007 results… The only player who could move onto the list, somewhere in the low thirties at the highest, is Tim Hudson. Hudson’s career with the Braves is comparable to Charlie Leibrandt’s (42), I suppose. I won’t write up Hudson, but his record with the Braves is 43-31 with a 3.91 ERA. Leibrandt was 39-31, 3.35, but ERAs are higher now, so his ERA+ is 115 versus 110 to Hudson’s. Hudson has about fifty more innings; he’s a more important performer on a less successful team. Hudson’s 2007 was better than Leibrandt’s best year with the Braves. He can’t rank much higher than Charlie, but with any luck should have several years to move up.

Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann come up short of my three years’ duty limit. With any health and success in 2008 both would debut next year in the thirties. Nobody else is close to three full seasons, though Diaz and Johnson will have three partial seasons assuming neither is traded.

The only active players on the list are in the top ten, making it hard to move up. Chipper had another terrific season — per AB, the second- or third-best of his career — but I don’t think it’s enough to move him past Niekro into third place. Andruw had a good shot to overtake Murphy for seventh, but flubbed it. I don’t detract for bad seasons (once a player has enough good ones to qualify) and he was already well ahead of Javy, next down, anyway.

I think, however, that John Smoltz’ fine season should be enough to move him into fifth place ahead of Tom Glavine. It was already close, and still is; if Glavine does return to Atlanta, whoever has the better year would rank higher. Glavine still leads by 35 wins in an Atlanta uniform, but Smoltz has now thrown more innings, albeit just 22 1/3 more, and is now the franchise leader in strikeouts (he was already, of course, the leader in saves). It’s close.

128 Responses to “44 Greatest: Update”

  1. 1
    ububba Says:

    Between Glavine & Smoltz, I couldn’t say who would be considered the better Brave. Call ‘em #5 & #5a.

  2. 2
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think Glavine gets the nod simply because of Game 6 in 1995. Of course, if the Braves score in Game 7 in 1991, it would have been a tossup.

  3. 3
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Weird that I would automatically assume Hudson(who once hit me in the back in All Stars) is a much better Brave than Leibrandt but the numbers don’t really bear that out.

  4. 4
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I’d still give it to Glavine, but a lot of that is stupid things like 20-win seasons and Cy Youngs. Smoltz had incredible stuff but because of arm injuries had a bunch of seasons that were either partial or outright lost. Did you know that the past three years mark the first stretch of 3 straight years with 200+ innings for Smoltz since 1991-1993?

    Smoltz was great when he pitched for us during the ’90s, but in terms of being a sheer horse, I give it to Glavine. However, Smoltz’s past three years are up there with anything Glavine ever did.

  5. 5
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I didn’t consider postseason in the comparison, which would probably shift the balance to Hudson. Leibrandt’s postseason stats with the Braves are actually better, and much more extensive, but he lost two consecutive game sixes in the World Series, while Hudson pitched very well in his do-or-die game only to get Farnsworthed.

  6. 6
    ububba Says:

    Speaking of Game 6 of the ’92 WS, here’s a funny little thing I ran across from the Sporting News. It’s an interview with Rush’s Geddy Lee, who discusses his extreme baseball fandom.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=196912

  7. 7
    csg Says:

    Smoltz gets the nod in my opinion because he’s spent his whole career here. Also he was one of the most dominant closers in baseball for a period of time

  8. 8
    Kenny Says:

    Love the new poll. I really don’t know how this would even be close. It has to be Moore in a landslide, better than even the 84 Reagan election.

    I had not seen the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves list before. That is quite excellent Mac.

  9. 9
    sansho1 Says:

    Maddux just signed a one-year contract with the Pads for $10 million. He’s 26 wins shy of Mathewson and Alexander for the all-time NL wins record (373). If he makes it, and given the era in which Maddux has pitched, that would have to go down as one of the most unexpected and amazing records we’ve ever seen. I’d love to see it.

  10. 10
    Sam Says:

    Me too. Maybe this would finally cement Maddux’s as the greatest right-handed starter in the past hundred years or so. :D

  11. 11
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Agreed, sansho. And I don’t have any problem with him going for it. I remember the contrast between him and Clemens when Maddux criticized Clemens only pitching half a season, saying, “I can’t imagine doing that. I like the game. I like the atmosphere. I appreciate what it has to offer. I want to play the whole year.”

    He’s a league-average innings eater at this point, but he gives you 200 innings and a 100 ERA+ or so, and for $10 million that’s not a terrible deal, if he can continue at that level. As long as he stays at that level, I’m happy for him to pitch in the league as long as he likes, and I’d love to see him move past Matty and Pete Alexander.

  12. 12
    Stu Says:

    Challenge: Find a better song than Martin Sexton’s “Glory Bound”.

  13. 13
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Response: Jimi Hendrix’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower.”

  14. 14
    Adam Says:

    “Thirteen” by Big Star

  15. 15
    urlhix Says:

    Dark End Of The Street – Penn/Moman.

    Richard Thompson sings my favorite version but there are many great ones.

  16. 16
    JB Says:

    Maddux has definitely smashed through the glass ceiling that seemed to keep pitchers of this era from being discussed in the same paragraph as some of the studs from the first two decades of the 1900s (and Clemens, more on him later). Christy Matthewson and Pete Alexander, as different as their private lives may have been, are both elite company when you start talking all-time pitchers.

    If Maddux could pitch 4 more years I think he’d have an excellent chance at winning 400 games passing Alexander and Matthewson for 3rd all-time in wins. He’d need to average 14/year for that to happen.

    If he could find a way to put together an 18 win season this year, he’d be in sole possession of 5th place on the all-time wins list.

    The amazing thing is he has never won more than 20 games. (Granted his two peak seasons were strike years that cost him about 20 starts and probably 10~ wins.)

    Once Clemens gets swept up in the Steroid Inquisition, I think Maddux will get his due and join Seaver, Walter Johnson, Matthewson and Alexander as the elite of the elite in the Pantheon of Starting Pitching.

    Maddux’s career will be appreciated more in 50 years when he’ll be judged by his numbers more than by the eyeball test. Fact is most folks don’t appreciate a guy tossing 87 mph fastballs to hitters and getting outs; most folks like to see the guys that reach back and pump 98 mph fastballs past hitters. The control maestros aren’t as impressive. But the Maddux’s numbers will shine more brightly once the memory of his slight frame and below average fastball fade from memory.

    It was a long shot but I was hoping we could bring him back with Glavine for one last go round.

    I’ve always liked Mad Dog and hope he can keep his incredible run going. Here’s hoping the Padres put together a good enough offense to get him 18 wins this year.

  17. 17
    Kyle B. Says:

    On Thursday, Moore in the AJC said that the Braves should solve their centerfielder issue with Ken Griffey, Jr., thus getting star power for a fair price and allowing their prospects time to develop

    Is this even a legitimate proposal?

  18. 18
    Mac Thomason Says:

    No.

  19. 19
    Kyle B. Says:

    Yeah. Thought so.

  20. 20
    csg Says:

    good thing I had the Ravens defense tonight!

  21. 21
    csg Says:

    Wow, Pettite declines $16 mil option with NY

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3096412

  22. 22
    csg Says:

    Espn reporting that Schilling and Boston are very close to a one year deal

  23. 23
    Stephen Says:

    I hope that in the coming years Hudson does pass Leibrandt–because the Braves will need him to perform at last year’s standard. That said, at present I would rank Leibrandt well ahead of Hudson–simply because the former had a great impact upon the young Atlanta pitchers of the early 1990s. While Smoltz, Glavine, Pete Smith and Avery were all the heralded young arms, I reallly believe that they actually gained a great deal from Leibrandt. Not only did he pitch well for the Braves, but I think he provided the young pitchers with a role model and a veteran from whom they could better understand the craft of pitching. In short, I believe that Leibrandt’s impact upon the franchise’s success in the 1990s is often overlooked….

  24. 24
    ububba Says:

    Very surprised about Pettitte as well. He said he’d retire if he didn’t re-up with the Yanks, but the report I saw said he’d be an FA. I’d be surprised if some team was offering him more than the $16 M he turned down. We’ll see…

    Re: Choons

    I like James Carr’s version of “Dark End of the Street.”

    10 Other Songs I Really Like:

    “Louisiana 1927″ by Randy Newman

    “Private Psychedelic Reel” by the Chemical Brothers

    “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” by Warren Zevon

    “Marquee Moon” by Television

    “You Left the Water Running” by Otis Redding

    “History Lesson, Pt. 2″ by The Minutemen

    “At the River” by Groove Armada

    “The Have Nots” by X

    “Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen

    “Public Image” by Public Image Ltd.

    “Holland 1945″ by Neutral Milk Hotel

    OK, that’s 11.

  25. 25
    sansho1 Says:

    @16

    Well said. While I think 400 is out of reach, 374 is definitely in play. And with the money being thrown around on one-year contracts for the 40+ set, there’s added incentive to keep going. Clemens, Wells, and Moyer were all 44 this year, though ’07 might have been it for all of them. Rogers and Unit were 43, and it sounds like they’ll both try to return in ’08. 44 is the new 39!

  26. 26
    sansho1 Says:

    Songs:

    “The Crane Wife 3″ by The Decemberists
    “King of the Jailhouse” by Aimee Mann

    Love me a downer.

    Thanks for the Sexton rec, Stu. I’d heard his name before but had never tried anything out. Good stuff.

  27. 27
    chris Says:

    anything by Nick Drake or Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai or Godspeed! You Black Emperor.

    Oh, if you dig screamo:

    the new Envy album just leaked…jesus it’s good

  28. 28
    Ron Says:

    I hope Maddux keeps going for years because then Smoltz would need to sign an extension so the big 3 could all retire at the same time.

  29. 29
    Dan Says:

    I don’t think that’s happening. 2008 is certainly Glavine’s last season. Smoltz and Maddux may retire in the same year, maybe after the 2010 season since that’s when Smoltz’s contract ends if the two options are picked up.

    Speaking of Glavine:

    It appears the wheels are in motion for longtime Brave and former World Series MVP Tom Glavine to return to the Atlanta Braves.

    Sources have told 11Alive Sports that Glavine, a free agent, would take a lot less money to play here in Atlanta. When reached at his Alpharetta home Monday night, Glavine said he couldn’t comment on anything.

    11Alive Sports also learned the Astros and at least two other teams have made overtures at the 300 game winner.

    Glavine said he would like to play here where he lives full time with his wife Christine and their children.

    http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=105965&provider=top

  30. 30
    Dan Says:

    November 6th, 2007 at 7:59 am

    When were the times, rightfully, changed to eastern? They were central time for since I can remember.

  31. 31
    Andy H. Says:

    “When were the times, rightfully, changed to eastern? They were central time for since I can remember.”

    Maybe they didn’t adjust for return to standard time?

    I think Maddux can get to 373, 400 I think is out of reach.

  32. 32
    Seat Painter Says:

    I join with the rest in hoping Mad Dog passes Clemens, because not only has Maddux done more with less, he’s three times the person Clemens is as well. (IMO, of course).

  33. 33
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Maddux is certainly one of the top 5-10 pitchers of the last 100 years and one of my favorite players but he isn’t better than Clemens. And he really has no connection to Atlanta so there was no chance he would come back here.

    Also, DOB has an article on the Braves’ centerfield prospects. It just makes the decision to let Andruw go more sensible. Schaefer, apparently, is going to be special. Why spend $16 mm on Andruw when you have so many younger, cheaper, good options, at least once you get past 2008. Screw Scott Boras saying the Braves can’t be a top organization anymore b/c they don’t sign free agents.

  34. 34
    timo Says:

    A nice piece on Schafer by DOB

    http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/braves/entries/2007/11/05/cf_schafer_tear.html

    Maddux is my all-time favorite player. Ever.

  35. 35
    Stu Says:

    Talked to my mom yesterday and she said that Chuck Dowdle had said on air that Glavine would be a Brave within the next 2 weeks. Pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever gotten a scoop from Chuck Dowdle.

    ububba,

    I like your list. (Big surprise.)

    But as a near-obsessive Otis Redding fan, I remain convinced that it doesn’t get any better than “These Arms of Mine.”

  36. 36
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Timo, thanks for the DOB link. Reading a bit further down, he says, “If you believe Skip, Pete or Ernie belong in the Hall of Fame — and if you don’t, what’s wrong with you? — you should get online and vote for the venerable trio of past and present Braves broadcasters. Fan voting will determine three of the 10 finalists for the 2008 Ford Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.”

    Let’s get down to some good old-fashioned Southern ballot stuffing!

  37. 37
    Stu Says:

    From BA’s Braves chat yesterday afternoon:

    Glenn Quagmire from Quohog, Rhode Island asks:
    Complete this sentence for me – Jayson Hayward is the next….?

    A: Bill Ballew: I’ve heard scouts say Roberto Clemente, but I don’t believe his arm is that strong. I’ve heard others say Fred McGriff and Willie McCovey, but Heyward is more athletic at the same age than they were. I liken him to a young Dave Parker. He could be a beast.

    Wow. I mean, just wow.

  38. 38
    Andy H. Says:

    AAR – Just be careful that you click “Skip” and not “Chip”

  39. 39
    Parish Says:

    Thanks for the comments from the BA chat.

    I have not seen much mention of the BA top ten Braves’ prospects on here. Did I miss it at the end of the last thread?

  40. 40
    ububba Says:

    Musings on implications from the upcoming Mitchell Report from NY Post’s Joel Sherman:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11062007/sports/the_mitchell_factor_854278.htm

  41. 41
    Rufino Linares Says:

    Ububba,

    Good call on Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. I prefer Mr. Bad Example myself, both for the Faulkner reference and the fact that it is a badass song that also happens to be a polka. Kills me every time.

    I think Zevon had to have been one of the most intelligent songwriters ever, at least in my experience- he slides easily from Faulkner to discussing Brucellosis; not sure we’ll ever see the likes of him again!

  42. 42
    Andy H. Says:

    From Rosenthal on Foxsports.com:

    “Look for free-agent left-hander Ron Mahay to land a three-year deal in the $11 million-$12 million range”

    I think that is too steep for the Braves.

  43. 43
    Stu Says:

    Parish,

    Yes, there was some discussion yesterday about it.

    I should add that Bill Ballew said in that chat that the Braves farm system ranks in the top half-dozen or so in the bigs. He said it would have been in the top 10 even before getting Jurrjens and Hernandez.

  44. 44
    ububba Says:

    Rufino,
    Big Zevon fan. Saw him a bunch of times. Another great one: “The Hula-Hula Boys.” And two great sports tunes: “Bill Lee” and “Boom Boom Mancini.”

    Three more HGH names reported by SF Chronicle: Jose Guillen, Matt Williams & Ismael Valez.

    Makes me re-think Andy Pettitte’s motivations for retirement.

  45. 45
    barrycuda Says:

    todays greatest song ever written is “Youngstown” by the Boss…………stay tuned……….it’ll chane tomorrow

  46. 46
    RobBroad4th Says:

    So now the Mitchell report is due to come out after the Winter Meetings. Why? So they can embarrass more people? Just tell us already so we can move on.

  47. 47
    csg Says:

    Andy, I dont see us giving any relievers a 3 year deal right now and esp not for $11-12 mill. We just dumped Paronto because he was facing arbitration and they didnt want to pay him. I like Mahay and thought he was a good acquisition, but dont see the Braves doing that length of a term or that much money for a lefty reliever, not with Ring and Gonzo here

  48. 48
    Marc Schneider Says:

    According to JC, though, HGH is not really performance-enhancing. Of course, these guys presumably thought that it was.

    Frankly, I don’t see the point in all this. I’m all for stopping steroid use in sports but this seems to be increasingly becoming a McCarthyite-witch hunt to see what names they can find. Why don’t we just acknowledge that at some period of time steroid use was very common in baseball and go on from there? Maybe Congress could actually find something more important to worry about than what baseball players took steroids. Nah!

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    per mlb rumors…..ouch!!

    Jose Guillen Busted For Steroids
    Say it ain’t so, Jose. Free agent right fielder Jose Guillen just saw his stock plummet, as the Game of Shadows guys nailed him for prolonged HGH and steroid use. Well, at least for purchasing almost $20K worth of various performance-enhancers from May 2002 to June 2005. He actually had steroids shipped to him at the Oakland Coliseum. Matt Williams and Ismael Valdez were also implicated, sadly. All three used the same dentist Paul Byrd did, calling his story into question a bit.

    Guillen spoke out against steroid use earlier this year, saying he “never considered” using them. He might be back to where he was a year ago, finding an incentive-laden contract guaranteeing around $5MM. So much for three years, $30MM guaranteed. Guillen was already known as a mercurial character, and this just compounds the concerns.

  50. 50
    csg Says:

    Buster Olney has the details: Schilling signed for $8MM with another $2MM in incentives. Nice job by the Red Sox getting him below market value.

    cheaper than I thought!

  51. 51
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Apparently, Schilling isn’t using an agent right now. I think he decided to give the Sox a major discount in hopes of repeating next year.

  52. 52
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Also, Marc, I agree with you in principle, but I see the Mitchell Report as a very much-needed market correction. A lot of players have been racking up counting stats and driving the price of free agents higher and higher. A lot of these people ain’t as good as the money says they are, and the drug controversy — regardless of whether HGH actually helped them produce — will help get prices to a more reasonable level.

  53. 53
    Rufino Linares Says:

    Ububba,

    I only had the pleasure of seeing him once- at a really small venue in Chapel Hill, NC, called the Cat’s Cradle. One of the coolest experiences of my life. The (very small) crowd didn’t seem to know much of his work, so when a buddy of mine and I kept screaming out “Play Roland!”- and it was easy to hear us since there were maybe 100 people in the place, tops- he actually replied to us “Only if you sing along!” We did, sadly we apparently drowned Warren out with our crummy voices and were subsequently escorted from the premises.

    You are absolutely right about Boom-Boom Mancini, what a great tune- notable because it really seems like Zevon had great affection for the man. Love that song.

  54. 54
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Boom-Boom Mancini is one of my periodic “stuck in my head and I can’t get it out” songs. Fortunately (unlike some others) I like this one.

  55. 55
    Andy H. Says:

    I don’t know any of the songs we’re talking about. I feel so out of touch.

  56. 56
    chris Says:

    the Cat’s Cradle is the best place outside of the Black Cat and CBGB’s (RIP) to see a show on the East Coast.

    i graduated from Chapel Hill and I was a BUNCH of stuff there.

    #37:

    wow…just WOWOWOWOWOW

  57. 57
    Robert Says:

    Same here. Let me know when we get to the Biggie vs Tupac discussion.

  58. 58
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Okay, Robert. Here ya go: Biggie and Tupac couldn’t hold Rakim’s jock. Discuss.

  59. 59
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I don’t get the hip-hop.

  60. 60
    csg Says:

    Nationals’ President Meets With Andruw Jones
    According to the Washington Post, Nationals president Stan Kasten recently met with Andruw Jones at the center fielder’s home in Atlanta. Kasten, of course, was formerly president of the Braves.

    Kasten’s contact with Jones is described as “extremely preliminary.” That makes sense, since technically the two parties are not allowed to talk dollars and cents. But come on – it’s not like Andruw’s house is bugged by MLB.

  61. 61
    Robert Says:

    Rakim was great, but I don’t think I’d go that far.

    When they were alive and shortly after I was firmly in the Tupac camp. But honestly Biggie’s stuff has aged better and he certainly had a higher (quality content/content) ratio. I can see both sides. I’d put the first disc of ‘Life After Death’ up against anything.

    It’s basically your standard peak vs career Hall of Fame type argument.

  62. 62
    chris Says:

    ps…#37

    Glenn Quagmire from Quohog, Rhode Island

    that’s COMPLETELY a made-up name…

    haha

    Quagmire…

    haha

  63. 63
    chris Says:

    #61–

    I’d put the first disc of ‘Life After Death’ up against anything.

    even Enter the 36 chambers?

    even People’s Instinctive Travels of Funk and Rhythm?

  64. 64
    csg Says:

    instant replay for HR calls? Gm’s vote 25-2

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3096923

  65. 65
    Robert Says:

    Sure. Anything as in anything. Obviously those are two awesome albums as well.

  66. 66
    Andy H. Says:

    Let me know when we get to the Biggie vs Tupac discussion.

    How about Bruckner vs. Mahler?

  67. 67
    ububba Says:

    Rakim had a very high peak value, yes, but faded. (The Hack Wilson of hip hop?) “Eric B is President” remains amazing.

    And, compared to Tupac, I’m more in the Biggie camp, personally. I’m more old-school when it comes to hip-hop—whenever I DJ I always drop De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest (2nd album!), Kurtis Blow, stuff like that. (One time I played N.W.A to a bar full of off-duty cops—oops. I slam-mixed into the Beastie Boys right quick.)

    The newer stuff: I like Common & Kanye a bit. Jay-Z is a great MC, but I don’t really listen to him anymore.

    When it comes to get-my-groove-on music, though, I’ve liked underground dance music way more than hip-hop for over 15 years now. I’ll spare everyone the details on that stuff because if you think indie rock is an insular sandbox, house/techno is more esoteric than stamp collecting.

    So, in a nutshell, give me depressive songwriters like Elliott Smith/Nick Drake or bizarro minimal German techno. The rest of the world lives somewhere in between.

  68. 68
    csg Says:

    $25,000 for Braves seats!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=awf_UyewMfVE&refer=amsports

  69. 69
    Tom Says:

    Mac,

    on your 44 Greatest list, you wrote in the Maddux column:

    […] a book containing amateur scouting reports on future stars, and the report on Maddux was generally a rave.[…]

    Do you remember the name or the author of that book? I’d love to read it.

  70. 70
    ububba Says:

    So do we call this the Jeffrey Maier Rule?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3096923

  71. 71
    MrScribbs Says:

    Does anyone think we’ll look to the Far East to fill the center field slot?

    If we sign Tex, then we’ve got a big bat. Maybe we should be looking at one of the Japanese line drive hitters to put the ball in play.

  72. 72
    Tom Says:

    From the Cardinals mailbag:

    Could we have obtained Edgar Renteria? He was so good when he was here. He went for a couple of prospects. Is his salary too big to swallow or is there something I don’t know about him?
    — Frank J., Raleigh, N.C.

    It would have been tough. It’s not that the Cardinals weren’t interested. It’s that the package that Detroit gave up was very good. Jair Jurrjens is a very exciting prospect, probably rated as highly, if not higher, than any pitching prospect in the St. Louis system. Gorkys Hernandez is also very highly regarded after a nice year at age 19 in the Midwest League.

    It’s possible that the Cardinals could have matched that package, but if they had, it would have been a pretty crushing blow to the farm system. And that’s a lot to give up when you’re only getting a guy for one year.

  73. 73
    csg Says:

    Shula thinks the Pats should get an asterik if they go 16-0

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/wcStory?contentId=6534058&storyNumber=1

  74. 74
    Tom Says:

    Apparently, Shula’s senile.

  75. 75
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I have a lot of respect for Don Shula (I lived in Miami for several years and he was a great coach), but that statement is just silly. It’s not clear what, if any, benefit the Patriots got and it certainly hasn’t hurt them since they got caught. Shula wants to protect his legacy but that just seems going overboard. If the Pats go 19-0, that will be a phenomenal achievement.

  76. 76
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Shula’s probably still whining about his little boy getting fired for incompetence.

    I think this was the book:

  77. 77
    Tom Says:

    tyvm

  78. 78
    Cliff Says:

    @71,

    Fukudome had impressive stats through 2006 (1.100 OPS!!) and from Ichiro and Hideki Matusi, he projects as a very good MLB hitter. However, he had elbow injury and surgery and missed all of 2007. Question mark on the arm. Many sources in Japan say he is a better fielder than Ichiro.

    He is approx 30 and completely free of the “posting process”. Plus, you don’t lose any draft picks.

    Before I found out about the arm injury, I was pulling for him over Andrus. I think the Braves, as a “media content owned team” particularly, could revenue stream some money off of having a good Japanese player. That is, If Mike Cameron is an equal player and at equal cost, Fukudome might bring an extra 2 to 5 million back, thus making him a better choice.

    Question for anyone. About fall of 2005, Braves signed a Japanese 17 or 18 year old catcher through a loophole in the Japanese closed system. He was like 6 foot 2 and 205 with great power and a cannon of an arm. They were to send him to an Australian league that winter (summer down there). Since then I have heard nothing. Does anybody know anything there?

  79. 79
    Cliff Says:

    over Andruw. sorry

  80. 80
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I doubt that Fukudome will cost less than Cameron. He’s going to be really the only big-ticket Japanese player, and between the posting fee and the salary, he won’t be cheap.

  81. 81
    ububba Says:

    I heard someone describe the Patriots’ spygate drama as “Nixonian,” as in “probably unnecessary.” Of course, you could also ask if spygate (like Watergate) was a simply a pattern of how the Pats did their business. Who knows?

    In my mind, the Pats’ lasting legacy is tainted to some (perhaps small) degree. However, Shula probably shouldn’t be the guy pointing it out and certainly not now when the only story is the undefeated season.

  82. 82
    Hate King Says:

    Pursuing Fukudome does not require a posting fee for his Japanese team: Chunichi Dragons. He is treated as a regular free agent.

  83. 83
    Kenny Says:

    Ububba,

    I agree that it will forever be a storyline when talking about this season, but there is no way a man like Shula should be taking shots at anyone. He would quite possibly be the only coach in the history of the game with a larger ego, and a general lack of respect for people other than Belichick. He constantly sounds like a petulant child. It is pretty transparent that the only reason he cares about this is some deep-seated fear of the Patriots going undefeated.

  84. 84
    Parish Says:

    The fact that Fukudome would cost us no draft picks certainly makes him more attractive.

    We should be going for defense first in CF, so he might the ideal pick up if he does not require a contract of too many years.

  85. 85
    Justin Parker Says:

    To go undefeated now in the NFL, you need a team and coach that is pretty much dead set on obtaining that record. Why would you worry about winning your last 1 or two games if you can’t improve your playoff position? We have seen this the last two or three years, and the reason I think it happens this year, is because Belichick is so arrogant that he would want to go 16-0 above all else.

    I don’t want to wish injury on anyone, but it would be fitting if they are playing theirs starters, go for 16-0, after already locking home field throughout, and someone important gets hurt. It might sound crazy, but I could see it happening.

    Ububba,

    Elliot Smith on a rainy day, is like popping Xanax.

  86. 86
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The ’72 Dolphins generally have acted rather silly toward their undefeated season as if they can’t stand the thought that someone else could do it. But that team was far from the best team in NFL history. They benefitted significantly from what turned out to be an easy schedule. And they were behind in both playoff games before the Super Bowl. It wasn’t really a juggernaut. It’s generally agreed that the ’73 team was better and they almost certainly were not as good as the Steeler teams in the later 70s.

  87. 87
    sansho1 Says:

    I’m pulling for the Pats to do it. I’ve never held the champagne thing against the Dolphins — if I’d been on that team, I’d be popping a cork every year, too. But after 35 years, it’s time for someone new to set the standard. And who better than a team always amply supplied with ex-Dawgs?

  88. 88
    Sam Says:

    But Fukudome is a right fielder. I don’t think he has even played center field. If he has, it probably hasn’t been long.

  89. 89
    ububba Says:

    sansho1,

    And don’t forget that those ’72 Dolphins had a pair of pretty key ex-Dawgs, too—Jake Scott & Bill Stanfill.

  90. 90
    Stu Says:

    I read where some Japanese baseball guru said that Fukudome would be an adequate-at-best defensive CF. No thanks.

  91. 91
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Hate King, I hadn’t realized that about Fukudome. Why no posting fee?

  92. 92
    Sam Says:

    AAR,

    I think it’s an exemption or something.

  93. 93
    Kenny Says:

    Fukudome is just a straight up free agent. Other players like Matsuzaka last year were under restricted free agency. If the Japanese teams had not sold the right to the players’ contracts the players would have eventually been free agents, and able to sign with whoever. That is why there was a lot of pressure from Matsuzaka’s Japanese team to get a deal done with the Sox, otherwise they would have lost out on the posting fee.

  94. 94
    jea Says:

    Francouer and Andruw both just won Gold Gloves.

  95. 95
    jea Says:

    Or, rather, the Gold Gloves were announced and they were two of the winners.

  96. 96
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Well, I guess Chipper will just have to buy another one at Kay.

    Maddux won his 17th. He really probably shouldn’t, but it’s pitching, and there’s a lot of inertia in that spot, even compared to the other GGs.

    ESPN, by the way, flipped it so that David Wright is the winner in the AL and Adrian Beltre in the NL. The Worldwide Leader, everyone!

  97. 97
    Kenny Says:

    I am a little surprised that Francouer won a gold glove. He has a cannon for an arm so I am sure that is what stood out for everyone, despite the errors.

    I am a little stunned that David Wright won a gold glove. I definitely do not think he is that impressive. I would have either put Chipper or Zimmerman (Nats) above him.

  98. 98
    sansho1 Says:

    @89

    You make an excellent point.

  99. 99
    Cliff Says:

    A little relevant Fukudome material.

    http://www.dugoutcentral.com/blog/?p=500

  100. 100
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Breaking swimming news!

    Lane 9 News Archive: Michael Phelps State Age Group Record Falls

    To… BJ Surhoff’s son!

  101. 101
    hankonly Says:

    Re: Glavine

    Don’t we already have a lefty that can’t get out of the fifth inning?

    Move heaven and earth to get Bedard. If that fails, spend the Glavine money on Mahay – our bullpen got a whole lot better when Wyckman left and Mahay arrived.

  102. 102
    Robert Says:

    I am a little surprised that Francouer won a gold glove. He has a cannon for an arm so I am sure that is what stood out for everyone, despite the errors.

    Me too, but I do appreciate that someone voted for a corner outfielder. It’s pretty silly that they give the three outfield GGs to centerfielders. Why not just give the infield GGs to four shortstops?

  103. 103
    ububba Says:

    Robert,
    I’ve always thought the same thing. Such different demands for each OF position.

    And IMO, David Wright winning the Gold Glove diminishes the award. He makes some plays, sure, but he can’t be considered a consistenly good 3B. Chipper was way better there this year.

  104. 104
    Aram Says:

    I think the Patriots are going to do it, and really the only hateable thing about them to me is Bill Belichick. Hard not to respect the heck out of the rest of those guys.

    Oh, and put me in the Tupac camp vs. Biggie (although how can you really go wrong with either), but if you are asking me to put one hip-hop album against the rest, I’ll take Illmatic every time. In my mind NaS is the best alive.

  105. 105
    Sam Says:

    Chipper has two things going against him: he doesn’t have a rep, and he never makes flashy plays. David Wright has both. Instant Gold Glove award.

  106. 106
    ububba Says:

    Even among Mets fans David Wright’s rep is this: bad defensive third-baseman, one they wouldn’t mind eventually moving to 1B.

  107. 107
    csg Says:

    ouch, I feel for Chip. The batting title and a gold glove would have been nice

  108. 108
    Stu Says:

    Well, now, I guess we might as well move him to LF to make room for A-Rod.

  109. 109
    TheSecondSpitter Says:

    From MLBtraderumors.com:

    The Braves are interested in Masahide Kobayashi to close, while the Mariners like him as a middle reliever (link in Japanese).

    Who the heck is this guy, and dont we have Soriano for that already, and Gonzo waiting in the wings?

  110. 110
    Stu Says:

    Consider the source.

  111. 111
    Dan Says:

    And IMO, David Wright winning the Gold Glove diminishes the award.

    Got that right. It’s stuff like this that makes the gold glove look more like an offensive award than a defensive one.

    Wright had 21 errors and a .954 fielding percentage this last season.

    Chipper Jones had 9 errors and a .971 fielding percentage.

  112. 112
    Aram Says:

    Well I can’t judge the credibility of the Japanese newpaper that is linked in the Kobayashi story, but it does state that on Nov 2nd the guy announced that he wants to come to the US, and the Braves are the only specific team mentioned as an interested party.

    They guy holds a Japanese record for saving 20 games in 7 consecutive seasons. Very deceptive delivery apparently, but didn’t pitch great this past season.

  113. 113
    Stu Says:

    The source I was referring to is the website you cited.

  114. 114
    ububba Says:

    Dan,
    Even if the GG was an “offensive award,” Chipper still shoulda won.

  115. 115
    Stu Says:

    ububba,

    Great point. GG is just a popularity contest, really. Good looking + New York + Not terrible defensively = Gold Glove winner.

  116. 116
    ububba Says:

    Aren’t the GGs voted on by the managers?

  117. 117
    SomeYahoo Says:

    Best Defensive 3Bman in NL is Pedro Feliz:
    -Fielding %: .973 in 143 games
    -11 errors

    If you look at who played more than 110 games at 3rd in the NL, Wright isn’t even in the top 8 in F%. All but Zimmerman have fewer errors.

  118. 118
    Stu Says:

    Oh, really? I thought the writers had the votes.

  119. 119
    ububba Says:

    I think the managers vote for their league, but they can’t vote for their guy.

  120. 120
    Stu Says:

    Well, I clearly don’t know what I’m talking about.

  121. 121
    sansho1 Says:

    I’d have chosen Zimmerman for the GG. He made a lot more plays than anyone else. Chipper was as good or better defensively than I’ve ever seen him, but we just give up way too many singles through the hole for me to take his candidacy seriously.

  122. 122
    Stu Says:

    By David O’Brien

    November 6, 2007 6:35 PM | Link to this

    Just got off phone with Frank, who finally acknowledged they want Glavine and have talked to his agent.

    “We think adding Tommy would clearly make our rotation better,” Wren said.

    He also said they’re trying to get a center fielder, most likely through trade, because while Lillibridge and Schafter are both talented and they believe they’ll both be in the picture soon, they basically don’t want to start the season with a center fielder who hasn’t played above A-ball or hasn’t played the position in four years.

  123. 123
    Coop Says:

    Isn’t Kobayashi the hot dawg-eating guy?

  124. 124
    Sam Says:

    Well, that’s ONE Kobayashi. ;P

  125. 125
    Sam Says:

    … will this Gold Glove raise Francoeur’s price on his first long-term contract?

  126. 126
    Kenny Says:

    121. I am a big Zimmerman fan, and I think he is going to be fantastic for years to come. That being said he missed on a lot of routine plays throughout the season. I am not sure that Chipper was not the best 3rd baseman. Of course, I am a bit of a homer.

  127. 127
    csg Says:

    didnt Zimmerman throw 3 balls in the stands against us one night? Pretty routine plays also?

  128. 128
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Since everyone complains if nobody says it, new thread.

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