Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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19 Jun

Rangers 5, Braves 4

ESPN – Braves vs. Rangers – Box Score – June 19, 2008

I really do hate this team.

Once again, the Braves went out to an early 2-0 lead only to blow it. The Hamster ground into a double play with runners first and third and nobody out in the third, because that’s what he does, ground into double plays, but it did produce a 1-0 lead. KJ singled in Teixeira in the fourth, and worked his way over to third with one out, but Francoeur did what he does and popped up and the Braves couldn’t get a run in.

Charlie Morton looked strong through four. He then started having control problems and gave up a run in the fifth on a bases-loaded sac fly. He let the first two reach in the sixth, and then Bobby moronically brought in Ridgway, who is completely useless and immediately gave up a three-run homer.

After spending the seventh and eighth innings sitting on their hands, the Braves got something going in the ninth. Teixeira (DHing) walked to lead off, then Norton (playing first) doubled to make it second and third. Francoeur drove in a run with an infield single, and Infante tied it with a sac fly. McCann hit for the Hamster (as I pointed out in the game thread, McCann’s days off are almost never really days off, because he invariably winds up having to hit for Corky and stay in the game. Miller not only went 0-3 with a GIDP, but also allowed a stolen base and failed to throw out a batter on a leadoff bunt in the sixth, leading to the Rangers’ three-run inning. Tell me again, what exactly is it that he does well?) but grounded out.

Boyer had finished the seventh and pitched the eighth, and Bobby again had a brainfart and left him in. He immediately gave up a double. Ohman, the team’s best reliever all year, came in and got a bunt popup (even Bobby wouldn’t bring in Chris Shelton to pinch-bunt, but Ron Washington would) and then got pulled for Bennett, pitching for (I believe), the 71st time this season, who went 2-1 and then gave up a single to Young to lose it; with two lefties on deck, Bobby easily could have had Ohman pitch around Young. Instead, ballgame.

Chipper had an awful day, 0-4 with a strikeout, and fell to .393. Francoeur may have had a walk and an infield single, but sucks. Not as much as Corky, of course.

133 Responses to “Rangers 5, Braves 4”

  1. 1
    HawkeyeFan Says:

    This just reminds me of the scene where the dude meets Jeff Lebowski for the first time……

    “F*#@ it”

    “F*#( it? Is that your answer for everything? Let me tell you something Mr. Lebowski, maybe you should do what I did and go out and get a job! The bums have lost, Mr. Lebowski! The bums have lost!”

    Because after a Rainbow Brite road trip like this one, that’s about all there is to say —

    F*@# it. Let’s go bowling.

    (I’d comment on the idiocy of continuing to have an animated corpse managing our team, but it’s been MORE than adequately discussed in the previous thread.)

  2. 2
    McCann the Man Says:

    I have determined that Corky’s presence is necessary to serve as a buffer. Since McCann is very good and Corky is absolutely dreadful, the result is an average catcher. Since Bobby celebrates mediocrity, this is acceptable in his eyes.

  3. 3
    HawkeyeFan Says:

    Although that does bring up an interesting poll topic for you Mac:

    Who could do a better job managing the Braves right now?

    Bobby Cox

    Russ Nixon

    Chuck Tanner

    Joe Torre

    Ted Turner

    Connie Mack’s corpse

    Feel free to come up with some others, but my vote would be for Connie Mack’s corpse — can’t be any worse than the re-animator we have sitting on the bench right now.

  4. 4
    Tony Francouer Says:

    This team is really very average…with hopeful pieces and an over the hill manager. How long has TP been hitting coach now?

  5. 5
    Dan Says:

    I say 2 of 3 from the Mariners. Knowing the Braves, they’ll get shut down by Bedard.

  6. 6
    Jim Bob Says:

    I missed it…who’s the hamster? Corky?

  7. 7
    GoBraves Says:

    What has a higher chance of happening this year:

    1. Mike Hampton pitching
    or
    2. Braves winning a 1 run game on the road

  8. 8
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Well, I think breaking a record held by the KC Royals is certainly something to be proud of! (or, have they already broken it, I can’t remember.)

    I’m not surprised the Braves lost. They really aren’t a very good team. Everytime the Braves win a couple of games, people get excited, but, really, they got swept in Chicago and lost 2 of 3 in Texas. The trip was better than others (and better than expected) but this isn’t much of a team and there are lots of holes–including, unfortunately, the manager at this point. The team doesn’t have terrible talent and there are some hopeful signs for the future but I hope the front office doesn’t get blinded by winning the series in Anaheim and think all this team needs is Randy Winn. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to truly fall out of contention so I suspect Wren will make some pointless, meaningless deal under the pretense of the Braves being “contenders.” The Braves will stay on the margins of the division/WC race and eventually end up with, say, 83 wins.

    At least I’m glad to see no one is saying anything bad about Jeffy–it might hurt his feelings and Mark Bradley would be outraged.

  9. 9
    Parish Says:

    Can we just promote TP out of his level of incompetency, maybe?

  10. 10
    Nick Says:

    I’ll say something bad about Jeffy. Since he apparently now can’t even cleanly field a ball, there is officially nothing he does that is the least bit worthwhile.

  11. 11
    Parish Says:

    Apparently we just made a major trade with the Indians:

    Sal Fasano for a PTBNL.

    Please let it be Sabathia.

  12. 12
    Dan Says:

    Sal Fasano? A catcher?

    CORKY!!!!!

  13. 13
    Hanan Says:

    From Stark’s latest R & G:

    • Don’t mess with Tex: What’s up with all that speculation that the Braves are on the verge of making Mark Teixeira available? Clubs that have inquired about him said they were shot down instantly. An official of one team says he was told the Braves believe “they’re not even remotely out of it.” So they’re still looking to add pitching, not subtract cleanup hitters.

  14. 14
    Adam M Says:

    I just read the Bradley piece. There’s one more notch on the belt of worthless sportswriting. Since Bradley points to Francoeur’s 2006 season as a success, I wonder if someone who knows about baseball – though doesn’t get paid to write about it, like Bradley does – should point out Francoeur posted an 87 OPS+, a -1.0 VORP, and was tied for third in the majors in outs that season.

    Whatever. My beef today is with Bobby Cox. Like so many other days in 2008.

  15. 15
    Adam M Says:

    What does “remotely out of it” mean? Of course they’re not “remotely out of it.” It’s the wild card era and anyway, it’s also the NL, which has been rather mediocre in recent years. They probably won’t get mathematically eliminated until mid-to-late September, but none of that means the Braves have a legitimate shot to do anything worthwhile this year. You can be ‘in it’ but have little or no chance to win it all. Those are not the same things.

  16. 16
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Corky is the Hamster. Fasano was on the Richmond roster — we sent him to Cleveland.

  17. 17
    Ron Says:

    Surely there is some replacement level catcher somewhere we can trade for without giving up much instead of playing Porky?

  18. 18
    ASG Says:

    Send Ridgeway back to AAA, and make him and make him walk.

  19. 19
    csg Says:

    like everyone has stated (except Bobby) Ridgeway is useless, good thing the young guy Stockman got sent down. Oh and guess what…Corky catches for Campillo who is pitching tomorrow. Get ready for another night of the Hamster

  20. 20
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The Hamster has started eleven games this year. With the loss today, the Braves are 5-6 in these games, which is surprisingly good, but have lost three of the last four. He has actually completed six of his eleven starts, and in one was pulled in extra innings.

  21. 21
    Stu Says:

    Not that it matters, but thers’s no “e” in Ridgway, folks.

    Maybe we’re getting Jeremy Sowers.

  22. 22
    csg Says:

    he doesnt deserve to have his name spelled correctly, actually its not his fault that he sucks and Bobby continues to bring him in when he cant succeed

  23. 23
    oldtimer? Says:

    i cant believe Bennet pitched again, Cox is out of his mind. Maybe Bennet should start tomorroe so we actually kill him.

  24. 24
    Coop Says:

    I know where Corky, Chipper and Heap are, but where’s the Beaver?

  25. 25
    Coop Says:

    Didn’t we have Joe Boever?

  26. 26
    Ben Says:

    I think this means that the Braves are the lone record-holders for the most ever consecutive one-run road losses. Congrats to the boys for a job poorly done! Really, how does a team “celebrate” a record like that. It reminds me of the kid who got Ricky Vaughn’s autograph in “Major League” when he told him that he set a major league record for most wild pitches in a single inning and that he made the local news channel’s “Hall of Shame.” I guess they can go find some girls to hook up with when their plane lands in Seattle tonight.

  27. 27
    Ben Says:

    I should have put a question mark after asking how the team should “celebrate” their record. I will now do push-ups for a grammar typo.

  28. 28
    kc Says:

    The suckness of Bobby’s in-game management skill has reached a new level. Just forget it, this team will never be able to win any close games with Bobby managing like that, just forget about the playoff.

  29. 29
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Why McLaren was fired?

  30. 30
    Mac Thomason Says:

    More seriously, I just rescued comments by several regulars from the spam filter, stretching back over several days. Guys, let me know if your comments don’t show up.

  31. 31
    Robert Says:

    Huh, sorry I missed the end of this one. If I’d known we were going to break the record I would have cancelled my appointment.

    That comment above about the front office believing we are still in it and should be adding pieces scares the hell out of me. The odds of them correctly identifying a weakness, then correctly identifying a player to fill that weakness, and then not overpaying by a factor of five is about a billion to one.

  32. 32
    kc Says:

    Even if we have the right pieces, Bobby will find ways to lose close game. This year’s one-run game record is really a true reflection on Bobby’s management skill.

  33. 33
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Oh, it would be fairly easy for this team to become a real contender, because the hardest things to do (starting pitching depth and production from catcher and infield) are mostly already done. The problem is that the team appears married to certain players who are not very good and doesn’t seem eager to replace others who are completely worthless. This team is about two good players — not great players, good players — away from the best offense in baseball, good players at two of the three easiest positions to fill.

    I don’t name names here in order to not hurt Mark Bradley’s feelings.

  34. 34
    kc Says:

    Mac, I didn’t know you would care so much about Bradley’s feelings! You are so kind!

  35. 35
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I may be more proud of this search result than the one for “Francoeur Sucks”.

  36. 36
    barrycuda Says:

    you guys are a hoot. i guess i might as well join up with the “i know WAY more about than baseball than Bobby” crowd. after all, everybody knows when you been doing something sucessfully for that long and hit the 60 mark, your brain shuts down. thats why i retired when i was 57. ………. but seriously, i’ll take a crusty old bastard running my team over any of the new number crunchers who cant win . …………………”good players win championships. good managers make sure everybody is on the bus”…………paraphrasing the Spaceman.

  37. 37
    Seat Painter Says:

    Yeah, but when the ‘crusty old bastard’ keeps running Corky Bleeping Miller out there, then he’s let the concept of ‘good player’ leak out his ears.

  38. 38
    Coop Says:

    The French Tickler is not living up to hype. Why he and not Heap is the “New Face of the Franchise” has puzzled me from day one. Productive outfielders shouldn’t be that hard to find. Aren’t the corner outfielders generally better-hit-than-field guys? How did we end up with what we have?

  39. 39
    kc Says:

    For those who still think Elvis Andrus can be another Hansley…report from Kevin Goldstein:

    58. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
    Eligible Next Year? Yes
    Production: .269/.328/.324 at Double-A (53 G)
    Stock Report: Down significantly. Scouts are tired of hearing about how young and toolsy he is; he’s at Double-A and it’s time to produce.

  40. 40
    Jeremy Says:

    He’s still only 19 years old.

  41. 41
    Robert Says:

    good players at two of the three easiest positions to fill.

    I’m torn on this. The Mets and the Braves both desperately need outfielders and are apparently trying to win. They are running Marlon Anderson, Fernando Tatis, and Endy Chavez out there, we’ve got Norton, Infante, and of course Francoeur – the bane of our exsitances. The best we could do so far was to call up Brandon Jones despite the fact he wasn’t really hitting at AAA and the best they could do was taking a flyer on the ghost of Trot Nixon. So is it really that easy to fill those outfield positions?

    Then I look over and see the Cubs pretty much wasting the best years of Matt Murton’s career and wonder why we aren’t all over that.

  42. 42
    dix Says:

    Where does Chipper rank on the list of all time great 3B?

    Arod
    Schmidt
    Chipper
    Robinson
    Matthews
    Boggs
    Brett

    are some names I’d submit for rankings. Without doing research, thats my order.

  43. 43
    kc Says:

    Jeremy, you can use that same excuse for Frenchy. However, if they haven;t produced to expectation, maybe they should not have been rushed to begin with.

  44. 44
    Robert Says:

    #42 – if your goal was to make me cringe by putting Boggs ahead of Brett, well, mission accomplished.

  45. 45
    Jeremy Says:

    Francoeur was in low-A ball at 19.

    Anyway, he’s played over 450 games at the big league level. This is his third FULL season. The experience excuse with Francoeur carries no weight.

  46. 46
    Jeremy Says:

    It’s a wonder how Ryan Braun does it. He walks less and strikes out more than Jeffy. Having insane power makes up for a lot I guess.

  47. 47
    kc Says:

    I meant you can say Frenchy is young for major league level.

    Nevertheless, young or not, promotion should be based on production. They are hurting Elvis’s growth by promoting him without solid success in level-A. Although he is no longer with the Braves, I still want him to be good.

  48. 48
    kc Says:

    That means Ryan Bruan is just a smarter hitter than Frenchy. You can say the same thing about Alfonso Soriano as well.

  49. 49
    Jeremy Says:

    From all reports, Elvis is a plus defender and a plus baserunner, and his makeup is off the charts. Organizations promote players based on more than just stats. Hanley’s career minor league OPS is .780.

  50. 50
    Jeremy Says:

    Of course, Francoeur was/is one of those toolsy prospects. He’s such a bonehead that I doubt he would have adapted his approach had he had a normal progression through the system.

  51. 51
    Stephen Says:

    The Braaves GCL team got off to a good start with a win. The team looks pretty thin, but DiMaster Delgado pitched and he looks every bit as impressived as he did in the DSL….

  52. 52
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Honestly, Braun does strike out too much and doesn’t walk enough. I doubt he’ll be able to keep this up forever unless he cuts down on his strikeouts. The difference between him and Jeff, though, is that he’s really really good, has far more power, hits for much better average, and for that reason gets on base despite the low walk rate. Jeff objectively sucks, but by comparison with Ryan Braun, he really really really sucks.

    Ryan Braun, career minor league: .313/.375/.572
    Jeff Francoeur, career minor league: .282/.325/.478

    Advantage: not push.

  53. 53
    jj3bagger Says:

    I was certainly not going to defend Frenchy against Braun, but I was going to point out that Braun went to college, but then I looked up the fact that Braun is a whopping two months older than Frenchy, nevermind.

  54. 54
    kc Says:

    Jeremy, they said Kyle Davies had off-the-chart makeup as well. I have heard that many times before…too many times. I am sure the Braves said Frenchy has off-the-chart makeup as well.

    Btw, Elvis’s career minor league OPS is .689. Hanley had always been able to hit for average with doubles power, which Elvis can’t do either. The Hanley comparison can only go so far.

    As Mac said, I am not saying Elvis will 100% not be as good as Hanley, but he is a very high risk prospect which the max and the min are very wide apart. Right now, Elvis is not matching up well with Hanley’s minor league number accept Elvis is a year younger in his development.

  55. 55
    kc Says:

    Nevertheless, we can both agree that Frenchy is a bonehead. I don’t think there is any doubt to that.

  56. 56
    kc Says:

    Also, Hanley showed much better strike-zone judgement in his minor league stats comparing to Elvis.

  57. 57
    Stephen Says:

    The comparisons between Hanley and Elvis Andrus are interesting and possibly revealing. Since players develop with many different trajectories, I still think that Andrus has a chance to be a special player. He could, in fact, be one of those shortstops who get to the majors and over time become a good offensive player.

    That said, unlike Hanley Ramirez–he is still a prospect….

  58. 58
    Stephen Says:

    One additional comment: I don’t put a great deal of stock in many of these prospect reports. After all, the Braves knew that Charles Morton could become a big league pitcher (somthing which I certainly believe) but it was not evident in all of the stats which people like Kevin Goldstein use to compile their lists. Morton, of course, was not on their lists.

    I was also amazed that Lillibridge was still there….

  59. 59
    kc Says:

    “Interesting” John Smoltz career stats:

    # of time he threw over 121 pitches in starts: 75
    over 136 pitches: 9
    over 151 pitches: 2

    OVER 151 pitches !@#$%^&*()

  60. 60
    Stephen Says:

    I find those stats encouraging–because it makes me believe even more strongly that he will rejoin the Braves next year.

    Will Smoltz come back as a starter or reliever?

  61. 61
    kc Says:

    Another point to make about Elvis, even Furcal had a career minor league OPS of .773 with excellent strike-zone judgement (114BB, 129k in 247 games). I think poor strike-zone judgement will be the one thing which will drag Elvis’s career.

  62. 62
    kc Says:

    How on earth can anyone throw over 151 pitches in one start…or was it very common before the 90s?

    We all know Smoltz’s preference to start…I wish he can come back, that’s all. Any role is fine with me.

  63. 63
    Stephen Says:

    I think he will come back as a starter–or at least that will be his first preference.

    With respect to the number of pitches, that is a recent obsession. Before the 1980s pitchers could seemingly go into deep into games without the NP being a chief worry.

    Take a look at Nolan Ryan’ stats sometime to see the other end of the spectrum.

  64. 64
    Stephen Says:

    The comparisons with Furcal are interesting, but since his exact age probably remains in doubt, I am not sure how useful it is.

    Clearly, Andrus needs to improve his strike zone judgement. I wonder if the problem has something do to with the Braves’s system….

  65. 65
    chris Says:

    i’m reading some rumblings of possible Tex to the Angels…

    that Deal HAS to start with Nick Adenhart.

    Probably Wood and another pitcher who is 2 years away.

  66. 66
    oldtimer? Says:

    look at Steve Carlton 1972, insane.

  67. 67
    CharlesP Says:

    @54 FWIW Kyle Davies is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.46 and 3 of his 4 starts are 6+ innings, and in none has he given up more than a single run… of course he had 4 very good starts to begin his career in ’05 and that didn’t end as well, but it seems he may have turned the maturity corner and finally get his head into the game at the level of that “off the chart makeup”

  68. 68
    CharlesP Says:

    hmmm

    With Mariners president Chuck Armstrong conceding to the team’s official Web site the “chances to get back in this pennant race are probably zilch,” coupled with CEO Howard Lincoln’s assertion that no player—including star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki—is untouchable

    Do you think we could snag Ichiro before this series starts?

  69. 69
    Stephen Says:

    #65, Where are these ‘rumblings’?

  70. 70
    CharlesP Says:

    I think Jason Stark mentioned it Stephen… at least I saw his name mentioned with it on mlbtraderumors a couple seconds ago…

    How cool is this? http://tinyurl.com/4borph
    Why do we love Gonzo around here? because he’s good AND says the right things:

    “He’s a legend,” Gonzalez said. “Anything he (Smoltz) says, I just shut up and listen.”

  71. 71
    Johnny Says:

    Mac,
    ‘Oh, it would be fairly easy for this team to become a real contender, because the hardest things to do (starting pitching depth and production from catcher and infield) are mostly already done.’

    I agree with all that except the fairly easy. If it were fairly easy to get an outfield bat we would have one. The question is what do you give up to get that bat. I don’t want Wren to screw with our young core position players nor the promising starters. So what to do.

  72. 72
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Well, not easy for this team. But the Braves used to get short-term outfielders like Luis Polonia and Mike Devereaux cheap for the stretch run, and that type of player would be a huge upgrade. The Braves got each of those players in 1995, and in each case gave up a minor leaguer who never played in the majors. Surely there are teams willing to part with Polonia or Devereaux type players cheaply.

  73. 73
    Cliff Says:

    ESPN reports in its rumors that Eric Bedard is DEFINITELY on the market, and, that the market shouldn’t be as good as it was when Seattle got him.

    Also, Sexson’s numbers against lefthanders are roughly 860 OPS. Could he be a possible positive if Seattle covered almost everything over the minimum (pinch hit, play first once every week or so against lefties, or maybe more often against lefties) (and by taking him, that might make Bedard move more palatable and at lower player cost).

    Has Ibanez been a sink hole this year? Would he be a possible platoon partner for B. Jones in left?

    If we are “win now” what about we dangle something for that deal?

    Thoughts from the resident geniuses?

  74. 74
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’ve been pushing Ibanez for weeks. He’s not great… but he’s a good fit for this team and might look better in a better home run park.

  75. 75
    Cliff Says:

    Mac,

    I think management, if it wants to “win now” and as part of getting something better out of the outfield, needs to platoon Francoeur as soon as somebody that’s hurt gets back (or maybe with Schaffer who is almost 1100 OPS against righthanders and sucky 300 OPS against lefties so far this year or maybe by bringing Anderson back up).

    If they don’t want to platoon Francoeur, then they don’t need to try to “win now”.

  76. 76
    Cliff Says:

    Raul’s 3 year stats with splits.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=3504&type=batting3

    I had thought he was righthanded. I guess, for now, he could be Frenchy’s platoon partner.

    I do think Frenchy’s ankle injury is affecting his fielding by limiting his range and range of movement. They might need to send him to the orthopedist and get him fixed for next year. Even if it is only slightly affecting batting, that could explain the regression (no make that part of) from last year.

  77. 77
    Marc Schneider Says:

    KC @ 55,

    You are going to hurt Jeff’s feelings with vicious comments like that. You don’t want to harm his self-esteem, do you?

  78. 78
    Mac Thomason Says:

    More pointless than usual poll up.

  79. 79
    Cliff Says:

    Also, although I think the odds are slim that Sexson is ever “good” again, it is possible that a Thorman (whose numbers have slowly climbed to passable against righthanders since his early season disaster) / Sexson platoon at first next year could be passable.

  80. 80
    Johnny Says:

    Ibanez is a lefty.

    Mac, the thing is that a Polonia or a Devereaux isn’t the solution. The team clearly needs another impact bat in the lineup. At least IMHO. To your point guys like Ibanez are out there maybe even for cheap but an impact bat could screw with the core that is developing. I know the best laid plans of mice and men but fielding 3 no pop outfielders would be ok if your ‘star’ first baseman were playing like a star but he aint so isn’t.

  81. 81
    Johnny Says:

    Should have said ‘acquiring an impact bat could screw with the core that is developing’

  82. 82
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I don’t think we need another “impact” bat. We need Chipper to play most of the time, McCann to get regular rest and not have every off day turn to catching the last two innings, and Teixeira to play as he’s capable. Those three, together with one of the best middle infields in baseball, is more than enough if the Braves got even average production from the outfield corners and a backup catcher who has control of his arms, legs, and bowels.

  83. 83
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Wait… I don’t get to vote for Gerald Williams?

  84. 84
    csg Says:

    tidbits from Peanut

    The Braves traded Sal Fasano, who had been Triple-A Richmond’s backup catcher, to the Indians for a player to be named later. … Rehabbing pitcher Mike Hampton felt no discomfort after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday in Orlando. The left-hander plans to do the same on Saturday. If all goes well, Hampton, who has been on the disabled list all season with a strained left pectoral muscle, will begin a Minor League rehab assignment next week. … Mark Kotsay hasn’t had any problems with his injured back during the past five days, and he hopes to begin swinging a bat during the Braves’ upcoming homestand.

  85. 85
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Oh, someone asked about the Wally Berger article by Bill James prompted by my question… To summarize (I won’t quote), Berger dropped from 33 win shares in 1934 to 21 in 1935, despite playing the same number of games and having almost exactly the same OBP and SLG; he led the league in HR and RBI in 1935. More here.

    Anyway, most of the drop in win shares is due to the team context. Some of this is that the system doesn’t handle extreme teams (the 1935 B-Braves went 38-115), but more, according to Studes, is due to a huge Pythagorean disparity; the Braves won seven more games than expected in 1934 and lost twelve more in 1935.

    Berger, however, did see a real drop in his production, though it’s not that great. The offensive context in 1935 is very slightly higher than in 1934. His defense, normally strong, was off that year (covering for Ruth?) He created a few fewer runs, because while his percentages were constant, his PA were down (bad offense means fewer opportunities).

    And in the new win shares/loss shares system, Berger sees a smaller win shares drop, but a big jump in loss shares.

  86. 86
    Kevin Says:

    Is JJ Putz still with Seattle?

    I think we could trade for the good parts of their team..
    Putz, Ichiro , Bedard

    I bet that would cost a bunxh though.

  87. 87
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I left Williams off because he was more or less a regular for his team. I could have listed him, but then what about Otis Nixon, who was originally acquired as a backup? Otis would obviously win the poll going away.

  88. 88
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That is, his second year, in which he had over 400 AB. I’d forgotten he played two years for the team. He sucked, but he would be this team’s best outfielder (with Kotsay out).

  89. 89
    Stephen Says:

    CharlesP–Thanks for the tip; its hard for me seeing the Braves trading Tex to the Angels…

  90. 90
    Cliff Says:

    The fundamental problem in the offense is, though, performance against lefthanders. Whoever we might get has to be able to hit lefthanders (or get a bad hitter against right handers off the field. And that is directed at Mr. Francoeur).

  91. 91
    Cliff Says:

    A non shameless plug for Matt Murton.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=6349&type=batting3

    His three year averages, age, salary stuff. The Cubs want to win now. Maybe a left handed reliever (non Ohman division)?

  92. 92
    Hanan Says:

    Agree with Mac on the offense…..the corner outfield spots are the big void, and a middling Tex isn’t helping matters.

    The problem is worse when we play NL games and Miller catches. The back half of the lineup (5-9) is often pretty anemic when you have to run out Norton, Frenchy, Blanco, Miller and the pitcher’s spot. Jones helped out a lot in Anaheim, but whether he’s part of the solution will require more time to see. It would be nice if we had someone who is somewhat reliable, and has some power, to hit behind McCann/Tex. Frenchy was supposed to be that, but he is pretty much lost as a hitter this year.

  93. 93
    csg Says:

    Ring for Murton would help both teams

    check out this photo of Fasano, is he better/worse than Corky

    http://tinyurl.com/65v4yt

    I just scored 4 free tickets to tomorrow’s night game and will be able to check out Jair and its should be fun watching Ichiro

  94. 94
    CharlesP Says:

    Yeah Stephen, I think they even mention that the Braves are shooting people down when the ask about Tex… So I don’t see it happening (though if it was the right deal…).

  95. 95
    csg Says:

    my favorite Frenchy moments are when he argues balls and strikes, the ump should just respond “have you seen the pitches you’ve been swinging at?”

  96. 96
    Stu Says:

    I’ve been pushing Ibanez for weeks. He’s not great… but he’s a good fit for this team and might look better in a better home run park.

    I agree about Ibanez being solid, but how exactly is he a good fit for this team? Seems like we need a lefty-masher or two, not a left-handed hitter.

    I agree that we don’t need another impact bat, however. With just league average-ness from the OF, this lineup is pretty spectacular.

    I do think we need an impact starter, though, and Erik Bedard is just such a pitcher.

  97. 97
    Stu Says:

    Yeah Stephen, I think they even mention that the Braves are shooting people down when the ask about Tex… So I don’t see it happening (though if it was the right deal…).

    The Angels are basically the ideal team to make “the right deal” for Teix. They’d almost certainly send us a solid, young 1B (Kotchman) in return for him, which would be important. There’s no way they’d include Adenhart or Wood, but as I’ve mentioned before, they have other high-ceiling pitching prospects (Walden and O’Sullivan), one of which they might consider sending along, too.

    But I guess the Braves aren’t moving Teix, since they want to make a run this year. Still, seems to me like getting a quality 1B in return would allow that to happen, especially if you make a minor trade for a solid OF or a major trade for a starter.

    (PS: The other LA team, where James Loney plays 1B, would also be an ideal match.)

  98. 98
    CharlesP Says:

    I’m not sure Bedard is though Stu, when his current manager says “well, we knew he was a 100 pitch guy , so what can you expect?” it doesn’t speak volumes for his value… When he’s good he’s very good, but when he’s off he doesn’t seem to be able to right the ship. With all of our young guns (who shouldn’t do too many innings this year and next so they don’t blow out elbows and shoulders), wouldn’t we be better served with a guy who’ll chew up more innings?

  99. 99
    CharlesP Says:

    A) I should clarify that I wouldn’t hate to get Bedard, I’m just not sure he’d be worth what we’d give up. In spite of his dislike for going over 100 pitches he’s still got 7 quality starts this year (and do I remember correctly that he started on the DL with some injury? if so he could bounce back to better form).

    B) I’d take Kotchman for ’08 Tex straight up I think… considering years we’d get from Kotchman at a not Boras rate (I’m assuming he’s got a few more years before free agency)

  100. 100
    Cliff Says:

    Maybe with the LA teams, a Teix trade in the “Theo / Nomar” genre would be it.

    That is, maybe trading Teix isn’t throwing out the possibility of “win now”. IF you get Kotchman there (and prospects), and Murton for Ring, and Bedard for Evarts and Brandon Jones? You have added righthanded hitting. added starting pitching. Stayed close at first and solved the longer term first base problem. Added high ceiling prospects to make up for Evarts and B. Jones.

    Hmm?

  101. 101
    Stu Says:

    CharlesP,

    (1) That’s no longer his current manager. That dude (who, incidentally, appears to have been terrible) didn’t seem to like anyone.

    (2) Bedard averaged 6.5 innings per start last year and almost 6 the previous year. Not great, but good enough with the sort of production you’re likely to get from him, IMO.

    (3) It’s a fair point…but not many guys are real innings eaters anymore, anyway. Halladay’s not available. Blanton’s available, but who knows at what cost? Same for Sabathia. I dunno. I’d settle for Bedard, though, that’s for sure.

  102. 102
    Stephen Says:

    At this point I don’t see it–for many of the reasons mentioned above. Let me add another: Evarts is on the disabled list and facing the possibility of Tommy John surgery.

    Let me add that it is not obvious to me why the Angels would want to trade for Tex. Given the year that he is having, they might easily conclude that they are better off sticking with Kotchman….

  103. 103
    CharlesP Says:

    Fair point on the innings eaters Stu.

    I certainly wouldn’t kick him off the team if we had him… though what do you give up to get him? and who do you “demote” when you bring him on? Campillo? Morton? Jo Jo? (I’m assuming you wouldn’t demote Jair or Huddy)… or do you give up one of those guys to get him? He’s making 7Mil this year and doesn’t appear to have a contract for next year (if ESPN is to be trusted on that… are they?). Can we really afford to give up outfielders to get him? Do you risk giving up pitchers for him?

  104. 104
    mraver Says:

    Tex trades are stupid, and the Braves aren’t considering one, not even a little bit. The Braves are buyers at this point, not sellers, and what they’ll be looking for is a bat for the outfield. They’ll probably give Brandon Jones a while longer out there and wait for Matt Diaz to come back before making a move.

    The angst from posters here is killing me.

  105. 105
    Stu Says:

    Let me add that it is not obvious to me why the Angels would want to trade for Tex. Given the year that he is having, they might easily conclude that they are better off sticking with Kotchman….

    Does anyone seriously believe that Casey Kotchman will be better from now until the end of the season than Mark Teixeira will be?

    The Angels have a big payroll and could conceivably sign Teix to an extension. (In fact, I wouldn’t expect them or any other team to trade for him unless they were counting on doing so.) Their offense is terrible and in need of a spark, at least according to Angels fans and local media. Teix will almost certainly be better than Kotchman every year until he retires. I don’t think it would be unreasonable for the Angels to be interested in Teix.

    (NOTE: If the Braves had Kotchman and the Angels had Teix, there’s no way I would want the Braves to make the trade. But the Angels do have significantly more money to spend, so I don’t think looking at it from a what-would-I-as-a-Braves-fan-want-if-the-roles-were-reversed perspective is necessarily appropriate.)

  106. 106
    Stu Says:

    Tex trades are stupid, and the Braves aren’t considering one, not even a little bit.

    Is that you, Frank Wren? If not, how do you know this and how can you possibly pronounce such absolute judgment on the ideas? And do you know how to scroll down?

    The angst from posters here is killing me.

    What angst? Seriously, there seem to be so many different angsts around here right now (certain players suck; certain managers suck; certain players are injured; certain prospects are not developing; certain teams are no better than .500 over their last eleventy billion games; certain outfielders should be acquired; etc.) , I’m not sure which you’re talking about.

  107. 107
    CharlesP Says:

    mraver, I don’t think the Braves are thinking of trading Tex, but I’m not entirely convinced that they shouldn’t be. If they had a chance to bring in somebody like Kotchman or Looney who would give them a couple pretty-good-but-not-all-star years at less money it would be a good long term move. I don’t expect either of those two to be as good as Tex offensively, but if it frees up some money for us to fill our outfield gaps a bit with…

  108. 108
    Stu Says:

    CharlesP,
    It looks as though Bedard is a free agent after this season. I wouldn’t be interested in trading for him unless we plan to sign him to an extension. As you know, we appear to have lots of money to spend next season, so I don’t think it would be much of an issue.

    Yeah, I don’t know who we’d have to give up to get him. That could certainly change my level of desire for such a trade. The rumor that he’d come at something of a discount sounds pretty good, though.

    I also don’t know/care who we’d demote. Whoever it is (almost certainly Charlie Morton) isn’t someone who’ll be as good for the rest of the season as Bedard is likely to be.

  109. 109
    Stephen Says:

    Stu–I see where you are coming from, but watching Tex this year they might think that while he would be better, he might not be that much better to be worth the trouble. They might believe that his production is down because he is struggling under the burden of approaching free agency (this is admittedly a conventional explanation) and therefore making him an investment for a penant race might not be a wise investment….

    That said, I don’t think the Braves wont to trade Tex and they are indeed buyers and are looking for more firepower…

  110. 110
    Stu Says:

    Yeah, Stephen, they might think that, but I doubt it. His track record is too good. I certainly look forward to his second-half offense if he’s on our club.

    And I do agree that a trade is highly unlikely, anyway. As has been noted, in some cases more politely than others, the Braves are apparently not even considering it (yet, anyway). As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, though, I do enjoy talking about make-believe, potential trades. Especially on days where I’m trying to put off working.

  111. 111
    Jeremy Says:

    Bedard’s not eligible for free agency until 2010.

  112. 112
    Stu Says:

    Where are you seeing that, Jeremy? It looks to me like this is his last arbitration year.

    On a different topic, Jayson Stark claims we’ve shown interest in Ryan Freel. That’s terrifying. Freel is terrible and would actually be a downgrade from what we’ve been getting out there.

    Of course, if he were acquired to be a super-sub bench player, I’d be OK with that. But I seriously doubt that’s how teams interested in trading for him see him.

  113. 113
    Stu Says:

    Question: Would you guys be in favor of something like Hanson & Locke for Bedard? I would and wouldn’t think twice about it, but I’m not as tied to Hanson as a lot of people here seem to be.

    The reason I ask is that Jayson Stark suggests that it would take something like Carrasco & Bastardo from the Phillies to get Bedard, and that package seems comparable to the above. (It also seems much lower in value than I would have thought.)

    Just curious. Again, trying my best not to be productive in real life.

  114. 114
    Stu Says:

    And, with half of the last 20 posts here being mine, I’ll now (try to) shut up for a while.

  115. 115
    Jeremy Says:

    Bedard has less than five years service time, Stu. It’s six before FA.

  116. 116
    Jeremy Says:

    TEH GOOGLE

  117. 117
    Jeremy Says:

    Question: Would you guys be in favor of something like Hanson & Locke for Bedard?

    Absolutely.

  118. 118
    Stu Says:

    So, do Super 2s have 4 years of arbitration? I thought (well, assumed—I’ve never actually investigated it) they got to free agency a year early, too.

  119. 119
    Stu Says:

    Thanks for the link, Jeremy. Apparently, I need to start using RotoWorld instead of Cot’s.

  120. 120
    Tony Francouer Says:

    No to trading Tex. Yes to acquring Bedard…even though it is not being discussed. I agree that the offense is the infield and the catcher. Since we can’t count on dumbdumb to produce…I don’t know what to do. The Mets may have Chavez, Tatis and I forget the other guys name, but they also have Beltran…who currently has 10 HRS and ranks 10th in the NL an .849 OBS. Francouer ranks 29th.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting?split=0&league=nl&season=2008&seasonType=2&sort=OPS&type=reg&ageMin=17&ageMax=51&state=0&college=0&country=0&hand=a&pos=of&startDate=null&endDate=null&minpa=0

  121. 121
    Cliff Says:

    Stu,

    “Super 2’s” get one earlier year of arbitration, but free agency starts on the same applicable clock. Apparently, Bedard got no service time in 04 and is arb eligible only for next year (2009).

    Because he has only 1 year after this one, I would be reluctant to give 2 starting pitchers. Maybe a starter and a reliever. Maybe a middle infielder with a starter.

  122. 122
    Stu Says:

    Thanks, Cliff. I actually did a bit of research and am much closer to fully understanding the MLB arbitration process. Amazing what reading will do for one’s understanding.

  123. 123
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Actually, Stu, I disagree on Freel. He’s on the DL, which is a much more palatable option than many of our incurably healthy outfielders. Many of our outfielders — Frenchy, Norton — would be much more valuable to the team if they were unable to play.

  124. 124
    Stephen Says:

    Hanson and Locke for Bedard would be a steal–which is why I doubt it could ever happen.

    I would not want to see Freel in a Braves uniform either. We would soon be just about as frustrted with him as we are with Frenchy…..

  125. 125
    Coop Says:

    AAR #123: beautifully stated. The same could be said of our backup catcher, but McCann can’t play every game.

  126. 126
    Hanan Says:

    John Gibbons out in Toronto? What…did he want to trade for Adam Dunn?

  127. 127
    Tony Francouer Says:

    Didn’t I just ask about Cito Gaston a couple of weeks ago…

  128. 128
    Jeremy Says:

    From Francoeur fanboy Joe Sheehan’s chat at BP:

    Jeff Francouer (Atlanta): Wasn’t I supposed to be really good this year?

    Joe Sheehan: I think I might have written something like that. He’s stagnated so far–power’s about the same, and he’s making more contact. But the walks have gone backwards again, and he’s not hitting for average. It’s strange…I’m not ready to write this off, though. The raw talent is there and he’s shown capacity for development.

  129. 129
    Mac Thomason Says:

    “Also, Russell Martin is better than your friend Brian. Don’t ask me to prove it, he just is!”

  130. 130
    JC Says:

    You know, I was just thinking about Sheehan’s prediction today. I am as baffled now as I was then when he said made his original prediction. His “big” improvement last year was only noticeable because he was so bad at walking before.

    At his peak, Francoeur will be a .790-.810 OPS player. He should lay off the weights (and the Varsity) and try and make himself into a CF.

    But hey, he’s only 24…just like last year he was just 23…and next year he’ll be just 25.

  131. 131
    Mac Thomason Says:

    And as Casey would say, in six years he has a chance to be 30.

  132. 132
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Game thread is up.

  133. 133
    Tony Francouer Says:

    I’m not trying to pick on Jeff Francouer…but we all know he’s not all that smart…but how can he be this bad when his close friend McCann is a good hitter, Kelly, Chipper, Yunel…all good hitters. One of his closest friends on the team is Smoltz who is a great pitcher…and this guy is still this bad? No one is expecting ARod or Lord Albert…but his failures are really the story of the season for the Braves.

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