Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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31 Jan

Peter Moylan

Winner of the 2007 Jaret Wright Memorial “I Did Not See That Coming” Trophy. After 15 uninspiring innings in 2006, Moylan started off the year in the minors, but only threw two innings for Richmond before getting called up. He was fairly awesome, throwing 90 innings with a 1.80 ERA. His peripherals (63 K/31 BB [12 of those intentional])/6 HR) can’t really sustain that, but with good control and lots of ground balls he can thrive. I wouldn’t want to count on him to be that good, or to be the team’s primary setup man, but until/if Gonzalez gets back that’s probably going to be his role.

Moylan just totally shut down batters in clutch situations, holding them to .167 with runners in scoring position and two out. Other than that, I don’t see any big splits to say that he just got lucky with runners on base ala 2005 Wright Trophy winner Jorge Sosa. He got opposing batters to ground into 12 double plays, which isn’t surprising considering how hard it was to get the ball in the air when he was on.

Sidearmers and submariners often struggle against lefties (assuming the pitcher is righthanded). Moylan’s batting average allowed to lefthanders was 61 points higher than against righthanders, and that’s only because he walked all the tough lefties. 20 of his walks, including 11 of 12 IBB, were to lefthanded batters. All six of his homers allowed, however, were to righthanders… Was much better on the road, a 0.91 ERA versus 2.90 at Turner Field… Hit seven men, more than anyone on the staff but Hudson. With his pitching style, he could easily hit a batter with a pitch that would otherwise be a strike.

Peter Moylan Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

159 Responses to “Peter Moylan”

  1. 1
    Alex R. Says:

    Moylan was the Matt Diaz of the Braves in 2007. Always reliable, underrated, and always clutch.

    I have to agree, Mac – I did NOT see that coming. Probably the single most pleasant surprise of the 2007 season and one of the guys I think we’re all counting on to be a ‘pen stalwart in 2008.

  2. 2
    Alex R. Says:

    This story from the AJC absolutely merits some comments:

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/shared-gen/ap/General_Baseball_News/BBO_Umpires_Background_Checks.html

    The umpires union has some freaking nerve.

    First of all, any job that hires you has every right to do a background check. Every job I have applied for, they call my references.

    People get google’d. Young wannabe law clerks have not gotten jobs because of crazy things and pics they have put into Facebook or MySpace.

    So, yeah, umpires, they have every right to check your backgrounds and I am sorry – but if you have ties to the Klu Klux Klan, that’s absolutely grounds for immediate dismissal. It’s a hate organization.

  3. 3
    CJ Says:

    The Umps are a bunch of turds. Don’t be mad if someone asks if you are in the Klan. If you aren’t then there are no worries – if you are then the investigation was certainly merited.

  4. 4
    doubledawg Says:

    Isn’t that the first rule of Umpire Klan.

  5. 5
    c. shorter Says:

    And Moylan was cool enough to sign my ticket for my 4-week-old son (at the time) that I had with me for his first game. I appreciated that.

    Too bad Moylan got unlucky (weak infield hits) and ended up with the loss that day. That was the game that Smoltz hurt himself warming up in the 3rd or 4th inning in Milwaukee last year.

    Come to think of it — Willie Harris hit a HR in the top of the 1st that day too. Weird game. His didn’t go half as far as Prince’s bomb.

    Sidenote — Huddy and Villarreal were shagging flies during BP and throwing a ball into the stands every now and then. Oscar seemed surprised that I knew his first name and kept calling him by it… but not surprised enough to throw me a ball I guess.

  6. 6
    barrycuda Says:

    the umps union manages to make the players union (read, “donald fehrs playroom”)look like a fairminded, giving organization.

  7. 7
    Smitty Says:

    Well maybe Bobby figured out how to use him

  8. 8
    sansho1 Says:

    You are all joking, right? Do you seriously support a policy of pre-emptively inquiring about KKK membership just because someone is a white guy from Kentucky? Should they also ask about al-Queda, or NAMBLA? What the bloody hell is this?

  9. 9
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I agree with Sansho. It’s one thing to do a background check with knowledge of the union. It’s another thing to go snooping around on a fishing expedition and asking questions with apparently no basis in fact. As for saying, if he doesn’t belong, he shouldn’t worry, that’s not the point. If I went to your neighbors and said, does he beat his wife when I have no reason to think you do, this is going to create suspicion. I can’t believe people actually think this is appropriate.

  10. 10
    Alex R. Says:

    sansho and Marc-

    I am sorry, but the article talks about the fact that a few of these umps have known connections to the KKK.

    No, if you are just a ‘white guy from Kentucky’, you of course shouldn’t lose your job. Obviously.

    But if you are a white guy from Kentucky with known ties to the KKK and you are a Major League Baseball umpire where a large portion of players are black or latino, not to mention a few Jewish ballplayers, I think the fact that the guy calling balls & strikes behind the plate might secretly hate your guts, MATTERS.

  11. 11
    sansho1 Says:

    First of all, any job that hires you has every right to do a background check. Every job I have applied for, they call my references.

    Do they ask about your possible membership in racist organizations?

    CJ, your post combined with the content of the article is basically an accusation that Ron Kulpa is in the KKK. Do you realize that?

  12. 12
    mraver Says:

    Yeah, I’m kinda with sansho on this one. Sounds like the investigation could have been conducted in a more appropriate manner.

    At the same time, you can bet whatever ways the Commissioner’s Office overstepped their bounds will be blown out of proportion when it comes time for the next round of labor negotiations….

  13. 13
    sansho1 Says:

    I am sorry, but the article talks about the fact that a few of these umps have known connections to the KKK.

    Wrong. Show me.

  14. 14
    Mac Thomason Says:

    There is nothing in the article stating that the investigators had any reason to suspect Klan membership. Also, there is a huge difference between conducting background checks on a new hire and on a current employee.

  15. 15
    sansho1 Says:

    In fact, Alex, that statement proves Marc’s point. There is nothing in the article that posits any known connection to the KKK by anybody, but put a name (Kulpa) next to an organization (KKK), and a less-than-careful reading imputes the suspicion where none previously existed.

  16. 16
    Alex R. Says:

    The umps don’t want ANY rules laid down on them – I agree with barrycuda at #6 – they make the player’s union look regional.

    If the umps have nothing to hide, sansho, they shouldn’t have a problem with a background check.

    After what happened to the NBA with Tim Donaghy, the legitimacy of an entire sport is at stake on a gmabling front – and if it’s shown that these umps are connected to the KKK or any other hate groups, I want to know about it. It does absolutely matter.

    Again – if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t be opposed to this. People with things to hide would worry about background checks.

  17. 17
    Alex R. Says:

    If Kulpa is innocent, then a simple background check will prove this.

    If he has nothing to hide, than he shouldn’t worry.

    People talk about HGH ruining a sport – but I promise you – if you have a few umpires secretly running around with white robes, burning crosses, that’s a far deeper and scarier issue for a sport.

  18. 18
    sansho1 Says:

    Answer me at #13 Alex, and we can continue to talk.

  19. 19
    Alex R. Says:

    I already did. I don’t respond at all to badgering, sansho.

  20. 20
    Dix Says:

    So if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t care about a complete and total invasion of your privacy?

  21. 21
    sansho1 Says:

    Where in the article does it state that some umpires have a known connection to the KKK? Asking for evidence isn’t badgering, it’s an attempt to keep the discussion on track.

  22. 22
    Alex R. Says:

    What I think is missing from this discussion is the fact being a Major League umpire, like being an NBA referree, is a job that needs to have steeper backgground checks than say working in other industries where the integrity of an ENTIRE SPORT is not at stake.

    Considering how many athletes color or various religions there are throughout professional sports, it’s imperative that these commissioners know what kind of people are handling the integrity.

    To all those who think I am being the bad guy here, did it matter to you that Tim Donaghy was a cheat? If it doesn’t, it should.

    I am not asking for any upmire or referree to be perfect. I really don’t care if an Umpire is cheating on his wife or even had a pot possession charge in college. These are not major scandals that would affect the ingrity of a sport.

    If it turns out an umpire is a member of the KKK, or another organization that would be a danger to the integrity of a sport, we should all want to know about it. That’s all.

  23. 23
    Justin Parker Says:

    Alex buddy I think you need to take a breather. If that article is correct in how they have been investigating these umpires, then the umps have a real greivance.

  24. 24
    sansho1 Says:

    The appropriate time for a background check is when someone is applying for a job, and the appropriate way to conduct one does not include knocking on the doors of one’s neighbor. If evidence comes to light that an existing employee is in the KKK, then you deal with it. But the integrity of a sport does not supercede the rights of citizens of this country to individual liberty. Those two concepts aren’t even at the same table, as far as I’m concerned. If you, Alex, and others don’t see that, I don’t know what to tell you.

  25. 25
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex,

    You simply have no understanding of due process. You seem to think that any time the league has some vague suspicion of something amiss, they should just go invading the person’s privacy. That’s classic McCarthyism, not that you seem to care much. If they have a reasonable belief that the umpire belongs to the KKK, they should confront him first with the evidence and then investigate. That’s basic to the American system of justice. Granted, this does not involve the state but you don’t seem to have even the foggiest notion of due process. This crap about, well, if he doesn’t have anything to hide, he shouldn’t care, is totally besides the point. That’s exactly what the Commie-chasers in the fifties said.

    You simply can’t put the interests of the organization above the rights of the individual. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand much about the United States of America. I’m just stunned that you have so little concern with this, especially being Jewish. In the South, they used to lynch people (including Jews)on the vaguest suspicions of some wrong doing.

  26. 26
    Dix Says:

    Alex, if you truly were a Braves fan you’d realize that a racist umpire would probably benefit the Braves more than any other team in the league. You should be up in arms about them investigating possible KKK affiliations to ensure the most racist possible umpires call our games…

  27. 27
    sansho1 Says:

    That’s exactly what the Commie-chasers in the fifties said.

    We assume that people disagree with this tactic per seat our peril, Marc. After all, these guys’ motives and associations aren’t necessarily being challenged as citizens or individuals, but as people who’ve shown themselves not to be averse to membership in **certain organizations**…..

  28. 28
    clarke Says:

    oh man Dix that opened up some worms- I thought sansho and Marc really had Alex on this one, but now Alex is just going to rail on what you said and completely forget that he overreacted and quite possibly did not read that article before jumping to conclusions.

  29. 29
    Alex R. Says:

    #26

    Sadly, Dix, you have a point…I was saying to Mac about 2 weeks ago on the phone that the Braves may now be the whitest team in Baseball.

    I don’t care who we have on our 25 man roster, as long as they are A) the best players we could possibly have and B) we beat the freaking Mets & Phillies.

  30. 30
    hankonly Says:

    This discussion might win the Jaret Wright award.

    Moylan, anyone?

  31. 31
    Alex R. Says:

    #28

    Nice misjudgement of me, Clarke.

    I actually thought what Dix said was rather humorous and I am really not offended nor do I want to engage in any kind of yelling.

    I merely wanted to express my P.O.V. as to why I think doing these background checks, even now, are important on referrees or umpires.

    I respect sansho and Marc and everyone else’s opinions. I disagree but not offended.

    I am always up for a healthy discussion my friend.

  32. 32
    Dix Says:

    For the record my comment, while based partially in truth, was made purely in jest to take some of the edge off the argument

  33. 33
    sansho1 Says:

    Likewise, Alex.

  34. 34
    Alex R. Says:

    #32

    Yes – well said, Dix! I had no problem with it and took it for the humor it was intended ;-)

  35. 35
    Alex R. Says:

    Good, sansho – I definitely didn’t want this to delve into a nasty fight. I think it’s good for people to have a healthy discussion on what is an important topic.

  36. 36
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The investigation may have its roots in this article. If JC’s around, it would be better if he discussed it.

  37. 37
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @27,

    I’m afraid you’re right Sansho.

  38. 38
    Stu Says:

    hankonly,
    That’s my favorite Braves Journal post of 2008, and I can tell you, it’s going to be tough to top.

  39. 39
    Ethan Says:

    @26

    It made me curious, and after checking, it is very conceivable (outside of Hampton and Sammons making the roster and Acosta not) that 20 of the Braves 25 would be white next year. This would easily be the hightest in league and at the very least, worth a Terrance Moore “column”.

  40. 40
    Alex R. Says:

    Ethan,

    You HAD to invoke the name ‘Terrence Moore’ – YUCK.

    The sad part? You are probably 1005 correct. it will be hard for Moore not to be overtly angry about the whiteness of this year’s Braves squad.

    Again, it shouldn’t matter if we had 25 Amish playing for the Braves – as long as we beat the Mets and Phillies, who cares?

    (though if we had 25 Amish, you can expect a lot of butter churning on off days).

  41. 41
    Alex R. Says:

    I meant 100% not 1005.

  42. 42
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think it’s largely a coincidence that the Braves are so white, probably a function of concentrating so heavily on Georgia. There’s no denying that the personnas of guys like Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann, both good players, play well to the Braves’ fan base in the South. Clearly, the Braves aren’t going to avoid signing, say, Johan Santana and they certainly kept Brian Jordan around long enough. But they probably wouldn’t sign someone like Milton Bradley. If there is a difference, it may exist in the way they build the bench or the bullpen, ie, the guys that aren’t stars on the Braves seem to be overwhelmingly white.

  43. 43
    Marc Schneider Says:

    As for the article on possible umpire discriminatin in calling balls and strikes, there was quite a bit of discussion on JC’s blog. It seemed to me and to others with a much better statistical background that the potential racial bias shown in the article was so small as to be basically irrelevant. At the time, I stated that you could really make the opposite argument, ie, that the small correlation actually argues against ascribing racial bias to umpires.

  44. 44
    doubledawg Says:

    At least we know now why Ray King sucked.

  45. 45
    Cliff Says:

    The real issue with these investigations is that the umpires are under a collective bargaining agreement. It says what the employer can and can’t do. This is probably out of bounds (or at least he umpires think so).

    The issue should be included in initial background checks. The issue should be restated as a continuing obligation (no organizations that discriminate, no support of such view, etc.).

    However, the problem is that MLB is scared that the studies are going to give them a black eye (like not checking better for PED’s) and are probably outside the bounds of the collective bargaining agreement.

  46. 46
    Cliff Says:

    On Moylan,

    I will claim to be one of those that saw something good (thought not quite as good as last year) coming out of him.

    Use him 6th to 8th when force plays are in effect and righthanders are up.

    He greatly improved as to lefthanders (visual, not stats) from 2006 to 2007. Primarily, this results from a cutter action that he can move a ball away from a lefty with. He would throw at the lower thigh and break it back to the inside corner. He didn’t use it away enough (drop it off the plate ala Glavine in reverse) it seemed to me.

  47. 47
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Milton Bradley was exactly the type of player JS stayed away from, someone who would turn the clubhouse into a circus. Of course, they managed to turn Gary Sheffield into a model citizen.

    I think you’re right that local scouting is part of what has yielded a lot of the white Southern kids on the roster, Frenchy, McCann and Chuck James from GA, Chipper from FL, Kelly from TX. But it also got us Jason Heyward from GA.

    The Braves’ Latin American scouting has always been strong, and yielded us Furcal and Yunel, as well as many of our bullpen arms. As you know, the bulk of people of color in the major leagues are Latin American, with a small growth in the percentage of Asians. As we all know, the percentage of African-Americans in baseball has been steadily dropping for years. The Braves’ roster appears weirdly skewed away from Latins at the moment, but that can all change at the drop of a hat.

  48. 48
    Clarke Says:

    alex, I was wrong. Sorry

  49. 49
    Alex R. Says:

    No worries, Clarke.

  50. 50
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @47
    I look upon the notion of a “Braves type” of player with caution because it’s so subjective.

    I applaud the idea that the team considers behavior, rather than attributed “Character” in their deliberations.
    However, n recent memory, we’ve seen Furcal, Andruw, and others under legal scrutiny. I wouldn’t know where to start with John Rocker, although I don’t recall actions or saying that were illegal or “actionable.”

    In the late 50′s much was made by the NY press about what made player a “Yankee type.” These are slippery slopes.

    I like to think “who” a player is, judged by his behavior, does make a difference. But I pick Manny Ramirez first in every league I draft, so what do I know?

  51. 51
    Dix Says:

    Not enough about A-rod apparently.

  52. 52
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I think “Braves type” didn’t mean that they were Dale Murphy. It did mean that it wouldn’t be a guy who would have his own rules in the clubhouse and simply breed discontent. I think they did a pretty good job of that.

  53. 53
    PaulV Says:

    so the study says that the difference in called strikes is about 1/4 of a strike per game? BTW who was the Marlin pitcher who got that wide strike zone against the Braves in the playoffs in 90s?

  54. 54
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @50,

    The Yankees in the 50s were clearly racist and made no bones about it. Team officials made comments about fans from Westchester not wanting to sit with “Negroes.”

    I don’t think the Braves are racist. It would be pretty counterproductive if nothing else. And, as Kevin points out, they have had their share of controversial non-white players, including Gary Sheffield. I think what Terrence Moore would argue is that the Braves are quicker to dispose of (or not try to resign)non-white players, such as Andruw and Furcal. And one could argue that they treated Willie Harris and Keith Lockhart differently, letting one go after one year and letting the other stay forever. (Of course, as people here are fond of pointing out, Lockhart must have had the pictures. :) If Heyward and Jurrgens and some others develop, the team might look a lot different in a few years.

  55. 55
    Remy Says:

    Answer to #53: Levan Hernandez.

  56. 56
    PaulV Says:

    Does a manager now take into account race of umpire when selecting pitchers

  57. 57
    Alex R. Says:

    Well, Marc, for me personally, I would gladly have taken 5 years of Willie Harris over 5 years of Keith Lockhart.

    I will maintain to whomever wants to argue, that Lockhart was the worst player this organization has had – worse than Woodward – because Woody only lasted a season whereas Lockhart sucked the life of this team for 5 years.

    But again, I support the “pictures” theory you just mentioned.

  58. 58
    Dix Says:

    Well, the fact that his impact last 5 times as long doesn’t mean he was a worse player. Just that his aggregate impact was more negative.

    I kind of think Mike Mordecai was the worst player we ever had.

  59. 59
    Stu Says:

    I kind of think Mike Mordecai was the worst player we ever had.

    You’ve clearly forgotten about the 1980s.

  60. 60
    Remy Says:

    What about Albee what’s his name? Surely, you haven’t forgotten Kolb?

  61. 61
    Stu Says:

    You know, Albie Lopez wasn’t as bad as I seem to remember. Check out his stats. He wasn’t great, but I think he’s been a victim of the same sort of “The Braves are entitled to have 5 Cy Young Award vote-getters every season” mentality that Chuck James is.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/l/lopezal02.shtml

  62. 62
    Alex R. Says:

    Mike Mordecai, with two broken arms, two broken legs, and playing Baseball in the fetal position, high & drunk, was a better player than Keith Lockhart.

  63. 63
    Remy Says:

    Thanks, Stu. Maybe Lopez wasn’t all that bad–in fact, he was probably very lucky, a la Russ Ortiz–but I seem to recall Lopez spending a lot of time on the bench, as though Bobby was reluctant to put him into tight situations.

  64. 64
    Stu Says:

    If we had Albie Lopez last year—incidentally, he would have been our #3—we’d have made the playoffs. Wrap your mind around that.

  65. 65
    Johnny W. Says:

    @ 62

    Now THAT’s a pretty picture!

  66. 66
    braves14 Says:

    Lopez had that year when the entire Braves pitching staff beat the next closest team in ERA by like half a run. That’s why he seemed so terrible, because the rest of the staff was so good.

  67. 67
    ububba Says:

    I just got my APBA for Windows (07 season) in the mail today & Peter Moylan was rated as a 20.

    In APBA-world, that’s a very high Grade-A pitcher. (In modern MLB, you’ll get a handful of relievers who rate that high, but no starter gets close. Jake Peavy, for example, was a 16 for his Cy Young ’07 season.)

    Can our Aussie pal sustain that? Doubt it, but I like him anyway.

  68. 68
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex @ 57,

    That was sort of my point. If you were of a bent to make that argument, one might ask why the Braves kept the mediocre (or worse) white guy around and immediately released the mediocre black guy. I don’t think the situations are necessarily analogous (Harris obviously didn’t have the pictures :) ) but I could see Terrence Moore making that argument.

  69. 69
    ububba Says:

    Santana, Mets negotiation points…
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3224116

    Kiss Bedard goodbye…
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3224091

  70. 70
    Cliff Says:

    One reason the Braves released the mediocre African American outfileder at the end of 2007 was the African American outfielder top prospect likely to enter the Major League roster this year.

    I think the real issues are: (a) that African Americans are not nearly as likely to commit to and participate in baseball and (b) that the international players are squeezing out domestic Americans of all colors.

  71. 71
    mraver Says:

    Regarding the discrimination thingy, I agree that the effects are pretty negligible. You can check out table 2 for the most direct summary of the data in the report; it’ll give you a good idea of how many strikes an umpire of race X called for pitchers of race X as opposed to pitchers of all races, and of how many strikes pitchers of race Y got called by umpires of race Y as opposed to all races.

    The differences are pretty small, with white pitchers receiving the smallest advantages/disadvantages (32.06% of pitches called strikes by white umpires vs. 31.91% by Hispanic umpires), and black umpires have the greatest range in their “% of pitches called strikes” across race (31.93% for white pitchers vs. 30.19% for Asian pitchers). The black umpire/Asian pitcher combo results in the fewest called strikes (30.19%) while white pitcher/white umpire resulted in the most called strikes (32.06%)

    It’s also worth noting that the sample of white pitchers is larger than the other three samples combined, and the sample of white umpires is larger than the other two (just black and Hispanic, no Asian umps) combined and multiplied 10 times. Which just means that the “standard error” in the estimates for minority pitchers/umps is quite a bit higher than for those measurements which involve white pitchers and/or white umpires.

    Overall, black pitchers have a good deal fewer strikes called for them (30.62% vs. 31.87% overall) over all ethnicities of umpire (30.61 for white umps, 30.77 Hispanic, and 30.76 black), and black umpires called marginally fewer strikes than umpires of other ethnicity (31.62% of pitches called by black umpires were called strikes vs. 31.81% by Hispanic umpires and 31.89% by white umpires).

    So if there’s any discrimination, it looks like it’s not a “white on black” thing but more of an “all umpires on black” thing.

    My personal analysis is that almost all of this “effect” (which really isn’t too huge to begin with) is due largely to unconscious bias. It is interesting that umpires call games more uniformly in the presence of QuesTech than when not being monitored electronically. Personally, I doubt there is much one could do about it practically, and frankly I don’t think any effort (aside from simply putting QuesTech everywhere) would help and some might actually hurt. (By this I mean some system to combat this “racism” by, say, making the ethnic composition of the umpires mirror that of MLB or only have umpires of the same race as the current pitcher call balls/strikes could end up validating the discrimination and exacerbate the issue.)

  72. 72
    mraver Says:

    http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7092
    Goldstein’s top 100 is out.

    Relevant Braves:

    17 Jordan Schafer
    36 Jason Heyward
    63 Brent Lillibridge
    70 Brandon Jones
    83 Gorkys Hernandez
    86 Jair Jurrjens

  73. 73
    Dix Says:

    Trade all of them for Bedard.

  74. 74
    csg Says:

    any chances of the Mets not giving Santana the contract he wants? I’m guessing that with the crap their giving them, there is really no loss in giving him and extra year or two guaranteed

  75. 75
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’ll repeat… Clay Buchholz (#2 on the BP list) was drafted by the Red Sox one pick after the Braves took Beau Jones. Great work, guys!

  76. 76
    Kevin Lee Says:

    I can’t help but wonder who holds the pictures now. I’ve googling Kotsay-Lockhart and Kotsay-Woodward, but no evidence yet.
    Maybe I’ll try Anderson next.

  77. 77
    Justin Parker Says:

    So what you saying is if a black pitcher is the starter and gets pulled in favor of a white pitcher, who blows up and is then replaced by a latino pitcher, that the umpires should rotate positions during the game so a minimal racial bias is taking out of the equation. I like it, umpire racial chairs.

  78. 78
    Justin Parker Says:

    My post is directed @71 sorry to everyone else.

  79. 79
    Dix Says:

    Don’t forget to run background checks to make sure no umpire’s parents were fighting for the allies in WWII when Dice-K pitches!

  80. 80
    Sam Says:

    Kevin,

    I doubt it’ll be Kotsay, because by definition, the person holding the Pictures has to be a person who is keeping someone better on the bench, right? Kotsay isn’t going to be keeping anyone on the bench. My guess is that it’ll be Kelly Johnson’s platoon partner. I’m sure it’s going to happen.

  81. 81
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Also, this just in from the Important News division: the Mets just picked up Ruddy Lugo, Julio Lugo’s brother.

    And that ESPN article Ububba linked to indicates that the Mets are pursuing Kyle Lohse, which should be tons of fun. He’s like the white Jorge Sosa, except with Scott Boras for an agent.

  82. 82
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @75,

    The Braves probably thought they didn’t need Bucholtz because they had Kyle Davies. :)

    @79,

    LOL, Dix. Are there any German pitchers that we need to worry about?

  83. 83
    Cliff Says:

    At 79,

    Yeah but Dix, have you seen retired Senator Daniel Inouye (A great American of Japanese descent) describe his runs on a part time telegram delivery gig early on Sunday morning December 7, 1941? He said he remembers looking up at Japanese planes and saying “Those damn Japs”.

    By the way, he volunteered for combat, was sent to Italy and won (I think) Silver Star, maybe Congressional Medal of Honor.

  84. 84
    Dix Says:

    Who won the gold star?

  85. 85
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @80
    Thank you, Sam, your definition is better.
    I just defaulted to searches that produced pictures of Jamie Kotsay!
    I’ll work on changing…soon.

  86. 86
    Sam Says:

    Kevin,

    You’re welcome. :) At least I think that’s the correct definition.

  87. 87
    ububba Says:

    Cliff,
    Inouye won the Medal of Honor for valor in his battles in the European Theater. (Japanese-Americans were not sent to the Pacific Theater, for obvious reasons.) His stories were very moving in the recent Ken Burns WW2 documentary.

    Many years later, I used to deal with Sen. Inouye’s son, Ken, who was a punk-rock musician/promoter in D.C. Super-nice guy & he liked the band I managed, so that felt good.

  88. 88
    Smitty Says:

    The draft is a crap shoot.

  89. 89
    Ethan Says:

    I’d keep Locke, Hanson, Rohrborough, and Heyward. Besides that though, I’d give the Orioles whoever they wanted outside the starting lineup (with the possible exception of Yunel) for Bedard.

    A. Teixeira, even if we have the money, isn’t a lock to resign.

    B. Jones, Smoltz, Glavine are old and future production is uncertain. (although it’s kind of cool to be able to type Jones and now have everyone know who I mean)

    C. Bedard is under control for two year and could always be spun off if 2009 looked to be a rebuilding type year.

    D. It would make me the most excited I’ve been for a baseball season in a long time. (maybe not the most rational reason, but would anyone not?)

  90. 90
    Mac Thomason Says:

    And the Braves were apparently shooting for crap that year, what with the taking Joey Devine one pick ahead of Colby Rasmus a few picks before the Jones pick.

  91. 91
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    To an extent. Good teams will draft better, however.

  92. 92
    Cary Says:

    From Keith Law’s Top 100 prospects on ESPN.com:

    #27 Jordan Schafer
    #33 Jason Heyward
    #66 Tommy Hanson
    #92 Cole Rohrbough
    #99 Gorkys Hernandez

  93. 93
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Law on Heyward:

    Atlanta loves to take local high school products in the draft, but the Braves had no business getting Heyward, a top-10 talent, at No. 14. He is a strong 6-foot-4 outfielder with room to add even more strength, and he has a solid approach and huge power in his future. He is a good athlete who projects as a plus right fielder with a strong arm, but Atlanta should consider giving him one full year in center before moving him. He has good plate coverage, especially down, but because he sets up with the bat out from his body, he has to work on covering the ball in. Don’t be surprised if he goes all Jay Bruce on the minors over the next two years.

  94. 94
    Cary Says:

    No Bid’ness.. that’s my new nickname for Heyward. :)

  95. 95
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Interesting that the Mets only have one player in the top 100. The Mets have a nice core in Reyes, Wright, and Beltran, but the rest of the team is old and declining. They better win soon. It won’t be long before they will be emulating the Yankees of a few years ago and bringing in free agents to compensate for their lack of prospects.

  96. 96
    Dix Says:

    I heard rumors of Hewyard to the Tigers for Renteria, can anyone confirm that?

  97. 97
    Sam Says:

    Not funny, Dix.

    Seriously, that was a poor attempt at a joke. :p

  98. 98
    mraver Says:

    Marc-

    “The Mets have a nice core in Reyes, Wright, JOHAN FRICKIN SANTANA, and Beltran, but the rest of the team is old and declining.”

    fixed.

  99. 99
    Justin Parker Says:

    They haven’t signed him yet.

  100. 100
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Well, Beltran’s 30 and just finished his 9th full season in the big leagues, with 1320 games under his belt already. Like Andruw, I’d expect his best years are behind him, though of course there’s no reason he can’t have another year or two near the top of his ability. Johan Santana’s also near the peak of his ability, though I doubt he’s the pitcher he was when he was 25.

    Then again, every player’s a day older today than they were yesterday. Still, I agree with Marc, even though I hate the idea of facing Johan.

  101. 101
    Dix Says:

    The old part of our team shoulders a far more significant load than the old and declining part of the Mets team though. It’s us that better win now, not them, the Mets have plenty of time.

  102. 102
    Mac Thomason Says:

    We have Francoeur, McCann, KJ, Escobar, with Heyward and Schaefer on the way. The Mets don’t have anything to speak of on the way, though I’d add Maine to their young core.

  103. 103
    HawkeyeFan Says:

    At the link in #72 on BP’s top 100:

    30. Neftali Feliz, rhp, Rangers
    58. Elvis Andrus, ss, Rangers

    How the heck did Feliz jump so high up that list?…..

  104. 104
    Sam Says:

    HawkeyeFan,

    They LOVE Feliz for some reason. I’m not sure why. I read his blurb and I’m still not sure why.

  105. 105
    Stu Says:

    Probably because he hits triple digits on the radar gun with ease and regularity.

  106. 106
    Sam Says:

    Well, okay then.

  107. 107
    braves14 Says:

    They have Ollie Perez, who scares me to death.

  108. 108
    Sam Says:

    Heh heh, one above him is Angel Villanova.

  109. 109
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Fortunately, Ollie Perez also scares them to death half the time. I’m not sold on him being a full-time #2/#3 just yet, even if he did pitch great for my roto team.

  110. 110
    Stu Says:

    More KLaw:

    Bailey (Atlanta): Keith, where would you rate the Braves Farm system, overall? Who are their top 5 prospects in your opinion?

    Keith Law: Their system is pretty deep in arms, actually, and Heyward has a good chance to be in the top 10-15 next year. I think they’re in the top 10 overall. I listed a top five from every organization in an article on my ESPN blog yesterday.

    When was the last time our system was “deep in arms”? Pretty encouraging.

    And then this:

    Mark (Orlando): What’s the word on Jason heyward? I heard he could be the next griffey, is that way too optimistic?

    Keith Law: I believe Atlanta has already moved him out of CF, so that already rules out that comparison. But he’s a star with the bat, should hit for average and power and get on base.

    Other than that, though, he’s not going to be very good.

  111. 111
    Another Alex R. Says:

    In connection with our contentious debate from earlier, Jesse Jackson disapproves of the way MLB has been handling its probes, saying, “Major League Baseball has done a disservice to its progressive social history by equating southern whites with white supremacists.”

    Weirdly enough, I kind of agree with him.

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to move this into a discussion of politics; he’s a controversial figure. But it’s interesting that he took this position rather than to take MLB’s side and say something about how all racism in umpires needs to be rooted out by any means necessary.

  112. 112
    Dix Says:

    So the only reason we can’t compare him to Griffey is because he doesn’t play CF? I’d trade send him to the A’s for Joey Devine.

  113. 113
    Sam Says:

    … what’s with all the unfunnyness, Dix? :P

  114. 114
    Dix Says:

    Well, its too bad about moving him to CF, if the Griffey comparison still applied we might have been able to convince the Tigers to part with Renteria for him.

  115. 115
    Sam Says:

    *THUD* I give up. :D

  116. 116
    Dix Says:

    Mac,

    I know we’ve got real good players on the cusp and ready to fill the leadership roles that will eventually be left open by Smoltz and Chipper. In that regard we’re in far better shape than the Mets. Both of our teams have an old guard / new guard sort of divide. I was just saying that because their new guard does most of the heavy lifting and their old guys are more of a support role, in the next couple years they’ve got a core that can win it all. With us, the heart and soul of the team, and its two best players, are quite late in their careers. The young guys will step up I’m sure, but the Mets could also replace the old guys with new players. I think we should be more desperate to win now because our best guys are on the way out, the Mets stars are there to stay for a while.

  117. 117
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @111,

    I agree, AAR, and am pleasantly surprised at his position. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. Only Major League Baseball could screw something up this badly.

    I am also pleasantly surprised that our farm system seems to be in much better shape than I had thought.

  118. 118
    Dan Says:

    I don’t think Jason Heyward can even be traded right now.

    Maybe Dix is serious. Trade Heyward for Renteria. After that trade Lillibridge, Escobar, Tommy Hanson, Jo-Jo Reyes, Cole Rohrbough and Gorky Hernandez for Scott Kazmir. Genius.

  119. 119
    Dix Says:

    Why would we trade Gorky Hernandez?

  120. 120
    Stu Says:

    Heyward can be a PTBNL now, but he can’t be named in a trade until the one-year anniversary of the date he was drafted.

    I hope he never gets traded.

    And I wouldn’t include both Lillibridge and Escobar in that trade. That would be silly.

  121. 121
    Cliff Says:

    I agree that our “top end” is old. But Glavine is certainly not being counted on for 2009. Surely Reyes or Jurrjens or somebody will be at least at what 2009 Glavine would be.

    Actually, Although Smoltz and Chipper are extremely important to this team, I am not sure that we don’t have more options for them going down than the Mets do INTERNALLY for their people going down.

    Realistically, Chipper would be replaced by Lillibridge (probably by Lillibridge playing short and Escobar to third which probably makes up 2 games defensively to offset part of the offensive dropoff). Who would replace Wright? I realize he is younger and less likely to get hurt, but those guys are thin.

    El Duque and Pedro would be replaced by WHO? Smoltz would be replaced by Jurrjens or Jo Jo Reyes. Even though they aren’t looking at

    With their new park, the Mets should be able to sign enough position talent to roll forward if they don’t sign too many Robbie Alomars (which I thought at the time was a good one) Moe Vaughns (which Ilaughed about when I heard) and Juan Castillos (who is a strong potential bad mark on the Minaya administration).

    However, this offseason shows that front end young starting pitching is awfully hard to come by. We have lots of 3 to 5 candidates in our upper system and quite a few possible 1 and 2 candidates in the lower minors, but, if they don’t pan out, what do you do?

  122. 122
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Cliff, the answer to each and every one of your questions: Anderson Hernandez and Ruben Gotay. (You do mean Luis Castillo, don’t you?)

    Hot cha!

  123. 123
    Cliff Says:

    Even thought the Mets aren’t looking at Perez or Hernandez as the top of their rotation (should have been the way it went)

  124. 124
    Hate King Says:

    Check this out: https://realsportsinvestments.com/

  125. 125
    Cliff Says:

    Aar,

    Sorry, wrong Castillo.

    Do either Gotay or Hernandez do anything particularly well? Gotay is a pretty good hitter for a second baseman who can’t field. I don’t know much about A. Hernandez. Maybe he is comparable.

    They have F Mart in the outfield to cover a hole if Endy (low OBP, no SLG, maybe Uncle Hugo can nationalize some of that for me) Chavez can’t cover it.

    Still, I think it is vstly different.

  126. 126
    Dix Says:

    The whole point is that Wright isn’t going anywhere and doesn’t need replacing. Chipper definitely is going somewhere much much sooner.

    And the players the Mets have to replace are not nearly as critical to their team as the players we will have to replace.

    Those were the points I was trying to make. You also kind of made my point for me inadvertently.

  127. 127
    Marc Schneider Says:

    A lot depends on whether the Braves can keep Teixera. If not, the team doesn’t look so good next year. If they do, we have a huge advantage over the Mets–Carlos Delgado isn’t likely to become a monster hitter again. The Mets need help at 1st, second, right, and left very soon, and, arguably, catcher. Their young core is very good but not enough by themselves to carry the team. Obviously, the Mets have the ability to bring in talent but that doesn’t always work out so well. I think this year will be the Mets best year to win.

  128. 128
    Stu Says:

    But what if the Mets sign Teixeira?

  129. 129
    Dix Says:

    This year is also OUR best chance to win. Because our best players are getting old or are not under contract for next season.

    The Mets have all their best players locked up long term and they’re young.

    Old crappy players are easier to replace than Hall of Famers. We need to be more invested in win now mode than the Mets do.

    Over the next 3 years, the only real changes the Mets will need to make are going to be cosmetic. Our needs will probably be much greater over that same time span.

  130. 130
    Tom Says:

    Next year we’ll have $20 mil. to spend with Hampton’s and Kotsay’s contracts out of the way. If we don’t resign Tex, we’ll have another $ 15 mil. to spend. It’s going to be exciting to see what $35 mil. will buy us.

  131. 131
    Stu Says:

    Tom,

    Where are you getting your figures? Kotsay costs $2 million and Hampton costs $8 million. Glavine will also probably not return (another $8 million), and Smoltz’s salary drops by $2 million. So those 4 total $20 million. But Soriano’s and McCann’s salary jump by a combined $3 million, and James, Gonzalez, Diaz, KJ and Francoeur are all set to earn arbitration raises (unless one or more of them, like Francoeur, sign long-term contracts, which could earn them even more).

    Our team budget will have to increase over this year’s in order to even make a competitive offer to Teixeira, so I don’t think you’ll see any other big-money signings or acquisitions unless he doesn’t come back.

  132. 132
    Stu Says:

    Sorry, Soriano and McCann get raises of a combined *$6 million*.

  133. 133
    MGL Says:

    #130 – If the Braves have a good season and are successful in increasing revenues significantly, I suggest that there will be more payroll money next year.

  134. 134
    Justin Parker Says:

    @125

    Fernando Martinez isn’t even close enough to be a replacement for an injury yet. He’s farther away than Schafer.

  135. 135
    Tom Says:

    According to the AJC, Hampton is owed $15 mil. in 2008 (if not DL’ed):

    http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/braves/entries/2007/11/26/hampton_hurt_ag.html

  136. 136
    Stu Says:

    In this episode of Stu’s Delusional Ramblings:

    Let’s get CC Sabathia.

    Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, Jo-Jo Reyes & Tommy Hanson.

  137. 137
    Stu Says:

    That’s what he’s owed, yes, but the story has been that he’s been budgeted as $8 million per seasons ever since he was traded for. In other words, they put away the difference in those early years when he was pitching—actually pitching—for nothing.

    It may not be true.

  138. 138
    Cliff Says:

    Stu,

    Hampton’s salary was not a reserve fund. It was an accounting adjustment internally to the Braves and also through to their parent, Time Warner.

    MLB sites go by raw dollars owed. They don’t adjust for stuff like the Braves did. They don’t adjust for things like the cash the Red Sox sent us on Rent. (in fact, the way the trade sounded at the time, I don’t think we gave this year’s Red Sox cash to the Tigers with Rent). Also, Kotsay is only owed 2 by the Braves. The MLB conventional websites show 8 or whatever.

    For Braves budgeting purposes, we free up 8 million after this year on Hampton’s contract.

    We can offer Tex 20 after this year and not be paralyzed. That would assume either no Hampton or no Glavine with the other of the two to cover the arb raises all over the place.

    The real question is whether the new owners might drop another 10 to 20 on the end of the year to keep increasing the value of the asset (and hopefully 5 at the trading deadline).

  139. 139
    Stu Says:

    Cliff,

    Yeah…that’s what I said, right?

  140. 140
    Mr. Swings@Everything Says:

    I move that this forum/blog be transferred to a place where members can put other users on ignore. It’s about the only thing I can think of that would make this blog any better.
    Bravesjournal is an invaluable source of Braves information but it is frustrating to have to weed through the asinie drivel of a few select posters.

  141. 141
    ububba Says:

    MrS@E,
    We all have our own filters. Mine is in my right index finger that allows me to scroll down.

  142. 142
    ububba Says:

    More on the idea of Mike Hampton returning…
    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/01/31/braves_0201.html

    In the AJC’s story’s poll, there were actually about 250 who believed Hampton would join the rotation this year. I’m curious to know what other notions do these folks buy?

  143. 143
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, MSE, I don’t think I’m gonna be doing that.

  144. 144
    Tom Says:

    @140: “asinie drivel” is asinine drivel.

  145. 145
    sansho1 Says:

    As an occasional (or frequent, or unrelenting — choose your own modifier) poster of drivel, I support everyone’s right to do same. I’ve heard that the umpire Klan meetings are nothing more than trading recipes over Jenga. If they can’t stay on topic, how can we?

  146. 146
    Malone Says:

    Who will be 2008′s “Peter Moylan,” that is the winner of the Jaret Wright Didn’t See That Coming Award?

    I say Morton or Reyes.

  147. 147
    csg Says:

    hell, I like scrolling through the mess. Its like finding a diamond in the rough sometimes. Most of the time, I’m just bored at work anyways

  148. 148
    csg Says:

    this is the worst thing I’ve read in a long time. Frank Wren actually believes that Hampton is at 100%. Can that even be possible at this point in his career? Geez Frank, where ya been?? Hampton is like that dog in your neighborhood thats been run over 10 times. He never gets back to 100%

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3224905

    in other news, Mets have until 5:00 pm tomorrow to sign Santana. Santana wants 6 years guaranteed and the Mets want to give 5 and an option year

  149. 149
    csg Says:

    big difference here

    Santana Extension Talk
    UPDATE, 1-31-08 at 5:10pm: Jon Heyman says the Mets are offering a six-year, $129MM extension starting with the ’09 season. Including his ’07 salary that would amount to seven years and $142.25MM. Santana’s people want to get the total up around $170MM. Less than 5% of MLBTR readers believe this won’t get done.

  150. 150
    Stewart Says:

    At this point, I’m pretty sure that “100%” on Hampton means he’s cleared to do anything on a baseball field. Wren did follow up his statement with “(Hampton) has no restrictions.”

    I don’t think the club is counting on Hampton to provide a whole lot. They are hopeful, but, as Wren said, they also have multiple backups (and backups to the backups).

  151. 151
    urlhix Says:

    @146 Right on.

    ububba, the great financial blog, Calculated Risk, had a similar sentiment recently as they considered how to deal with a possible changeover in commenting.
    link

  152. 152
    Lunatic96 Says:

    Sometimes it’s kind of scary to come to this page at 12pm PST and see 80 posts already. Almost makes it intimidating to come in and add to the conversation. Not that it’s a bad thing by any means.

  153. 153
    desert Says:

    BAD NEWS!!!- I think that BA might rank Elvis Andrus as the Ranger’s number 1 prospect. On January 25, 2008, somebody asked BA to rank the #1 prospects of each team (compare them to each other)- and the result was this-
    1. Jay Bruce, of, Reds (1)
    2. Clay Buchholz, rhp, Red Sox (2)
    3. Joba Chamberlain, rhp, Yankees (3)
    4. Evan Longoria, 3b, Rays (4)
    5. Clayton Kershaw, lhp, Dodgers (5)
    6. Mike Moustakas, ss, Royals (6)
    7. Colby Rasmus, of, Cardinals (7)
    8. Cameron Maybin, of, Marlins (8)
    9. Travis Snider, of, Blue Jays (9)
    10. Franklin Morales, lhp, Rockies (11)
    11. Rick Porcello, rhp, Tigers (13)
    12. Brandon Wood, ss/3b, Angels (14)
    13. Matt Wieters, c, Orioles (15)
    14. Angel Villalona, 3b/1b, Giants (19)
    15. Fernando Martinez, of, Mets (23)
    16. Matt LaPorta, of, Brewers (25)
    17. Andrew McCutchen, of, Pirates (27)
    18. Carlos Gonzalez, of, Athletics (28)
    19. Jordan Schafer, of, Braves (31)
    20. Jeff Clement, c, Mariners (32)
    21. Chris Marrero, 1b/of, Nationals (35)
    22. Elvis Andrus, ss, Rangers (37)
    23. Adam Miller, rhp, Indians (38)
    24. Josh Vitters, 3b, Cubs (43)
    25. J.R. Towles, c, Astros (47)
    26. Chase Headley, 3b, Padres (50)
    27. Jarrod Parker, rhp, Diamondbacks (NR)
    28. Carlos Carrasco, rhp, Phillies (NR)
    29. Nick Blackburn, rhp, Twins (NR)
    30. Aaron Poreda, lhp, White Sox (NR)

    This apparently means the Elvis Andrus is #1 for the Rangers. (The rankings in the brackets are Jim Callis’s personal rankings)

  154. 154
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Jarrod Parker didn’t crack Callis’s top 50, huh? I’m guessing that’ll change in a year’s time.

  155. 155
    Rob Copenhaver Says:

    I’ve met and am Facebook friends with #16 on that list, Matt Laporta.

    He scares me…

  156. 156
    Mike Says:

    I bet he has a lot of friends. I’m friends with Francoeur and Langerhans!!!!!! I was friends with Brian McCann, but for some reason I’m not. Maybe he de-friended me, which would not be cool.

  157. 157
    mraver Says:

    So I was bumming around Baseball Reference’s all-time leaders page, and I found that:

    Bert Blyleven is 9th all-time in shut-outs with 60. Of the 8 pitchers ahead of him, 5 never pitched after 1930 (including Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Cy Young), and the other three are Nolan Ryan, Warren Spahn and Tom Seaver. To get to someone on that list who is not in the HoF, you have to go all the way down to 21st and Luis Tiant. After him, the next guy is Roger Clemens.

    How in hell is Blyleven not in the HoF? How do you be that good for that long? It’s insane. To get to someone on the all-time IP list who isn’t in the hall and didn’t pitch in the 1800′s (besides Blyleven, who is #13) you have to go all the way to #39 (assuming the three active guys, Maddux, Clemens, and Glavine make it; all are below Blyleven).

    It just boggles the mind that “solidly above average for 4000 innings and outstanding for 1000 more” doesn’t merit HoF induction. It’s like his longevity detracts from his stature.

    But I guess most people know this by now.

  158. 158
    ububba Says:

    urlhix,
    I hear ya, bro.

  159. 159
    Ron Says:

    #152, why is that bad news? Andrus won’t be in the majors for several years if ever and he plays at a position the Braves won’t need help at for like a decade since they have Escobar and Lillibridge. Meanwhile we have Tex for at least this year.

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