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12 Mar

More exciting exhibition baseball

Boxscore: Washington vs. Atlanta – March 12, 2009 | MLB.com: News

Braves win, does not matter. Jurrjens gave up a couple of runs. Brandon Jones had two hits and two RBI, is hitting .360, and will not make the team. Infante and Freeman also had two hits. Heyward hit a homer. Gonzalez had a nice inning. Francoeur did not play, as he was silencing critics by stuffing gags into the mouths of movie reviewers who didn’t like “Watchmen”.

97 Responses to “More exciting exhibition baseball”

  1. 1
    Smitty Says:

    “Watchmen” sucked.

  2. 2
    mikemc Says:

    I have to say the pitching staff has been impressive so far this spring. There could be a potential for some deals if pitchers like Medlen can force their way onto the roster.

  3. 3
    cliff Says:

    Schumacher is bombing at 2nd base with the Cardinals. Surely we can move Prado (or maybe Diory?) for Schumacher or Ankiel with Barden. Then, we have the righty, we have the current starter, and we don’t add payroll (max of 3 million if it is Ankiel).

    Besides, they need pitching.

  4. 4
    cliff Says:

    And Mac, I agree that these games don’t mean too much, but it does mean something if you are playing better than the people you are playing. And, to now, the run dfferential, in fact, is conssitent with an .800 winning percentage.

    As of last night the Braves differential was 28 and the next best was 17. Then, +4 more today. That is 11 games at plus 32. Over 162 that would project to 450 or more runs of differential. I am not saying the Braves are that good, but still, it means SOMETHING.

    I think the something is that the Braves have a pretty good collection of talent and are not quite as awful as most of the posters here thought at the end of last year. It means that winning the division is not a ludicrous possibility and that a winning season is likely.

  5. 5
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I liked Watchmen.

  6. 6
    dix Says:

    I hope Michigan signs the kid named Munchie Legeaux. That’s the class names of the 2010 recruiting class.

  7. 7
    Ethan Says:

    I’m still on board with Ganderson and Janderson.

    I identify Garret and Josh better with a G & J than a sh & t

    I think we can tell the difference with Granderson. Most of us follow the team/baseball a little bit. And to be honest, how often will an AL outfielder on a team we don’t play this year come up on a Braves blog?

  8. 8
    Stu Says:

    The lines have been drawn.

  9. 9
    Cary Says:

    At the end of this day.. One shall stand. One shall fall.

  10. 10
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    There can be only one!

  11. 11
    Bethany Says:

    I liked Watchmen but there were several aspects that I absolutely hated. The love/hate balance evens out to “mildly enjoyed”.

  12. 12
    td Says:

    I see where someone named Gamble pitched a scoreless 9th today. Who is he? It may be a little too risky to let him pitch much more. )-:

  13. 13
    hankonly Says:

    td is here all week.

  14. 14
    Rob Cope Says:

    Tip your waitress!

  15. 15
    sansho1 Says:

    I walked out of Watchmen. First movie I’ve walked out of in many years.

  16. 16
    Gadfly Says:

    @96 in the last thread:

    Stu: “Nothing will work out for anyone in Knoxville during the Lane Kiffin Era.”

    You’re clearly not paying attention. The local media will have a heyday, and whoever was smart enough to buy up the FireKiffin.com domain name is going to make a killing.

  17. 17
    Mike N. Says:

    Didn’t walk out of Watchmen cause I was the driver that night and couldn’t leave my friends there. But I really just should not have gone. Midnight showing, 2 and a half hour long movie, 30 minute drive home at 3:30 AM. Totally not worth it.

  18. 18
    Smitty Says:

    I give Wathchmen ** of *****.

  19. 19
    billy-jay Says:

    Ethan: “I identify Garret and Josh better with a G & J than a sh & t”

    When I think of those two, I’m much closer to thinking of sh*t than anything else.

  20. 20
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Alabama 82, Vandy 75. If we’d ditched Gottfried a month earlier, I think we’d be on our way to the tournament.

  21. 21
    Stu Says:

    I have never seen one team get dunked on so many times in the same game. Ouch.

    If you’d ditched Gottfried a few years earlier, you might have a few NCAA titles, considering all the talent that’s been wasted in Tuscaloosa over the past several seasons.

  22. 22
    Smitty Says:

    Oglsvy (sp) is the most over rated player in the league

  23. 23
    Ethan Says:

    @19

    Awesome.

    I was wondering if someone was going hit that out of the park

  24. 24
    Stu Says:

    O-g-i-l-v-y. Really not very tough.

    But, yeah, he’s soft. He’ll get better, hopefully, once he actually spends an offseason—this one—working out and practicing with his teammates instead of trying out for the Aussie Olympic Team.

    Our ceiling next season is ridiculously high, though. Everyone’s back and we add a stud freshman. Moving from no seniors and 6 freshmen to 2 seniors and 1 freshman is a good trade.

  25. 25
    billy-jay Says:

    @23:

    I couldn’t pass it up. I’m sure the official scorer will credit you with an assist.

  26. 26
    mraver Says:

    Anyone seen a poorer half of basketball than the first half of UF/AK? I can’t think of one, but I guess I haven’t watched a ton of basketball in my time. It turned around a bit in the final minute and the second half was alright, but the first half was just poor shooting, poor decision making, poor ball handling, poor boxing out, poor help defense and generally not very fun to watch.

  27. 27
    Cary Says:

    @20, Mac, SEC basketball is so putrid this year that the Tide* could pull a Georgia ’08 and win the automatic berth.. and the Tide is terrible!

    *insert SEC team of choice here (if not already eliminated)

  28. 28
    Parish Says:

    So, I want to advance this compromise:

    It’s Ganderson and Janderson, referred to collectively as sh&t.

  29. 29
    CharlesP Says:

    anybody read the thing on braves.com on Diaz a couple days ago? did I miss that conversation? http://tinyurl.com/by4mcw

    Love the quotes from the guy, understands Wren couldn’t count on him (or any of the outfield) going into ’09, excited to play, admits screwing up his approach, better understands his limitations & strengths, and especially appreciates becoming a dad.

  30. 30
    Weldon Says:

    Ogilvy seemed pretty legit when he dropped 30 on my Gamecocks, but the dude was annoying. He seemed like he should play for Duke, and not just because he’s white.

  31. 31
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I’m going to see the Braves play the Marlins and the Mets next weekend (Friday and Saturday assuming I don’t get lost driving to the field which is a possibility given my sense of direction). Does anyone have any idea who is likely to pitch in those games? Do they go every four days as in the season?

  32. 32
    Stu Says:

    Weldon,
    He’s actually a pretty good dude. You were probably just annoyed because he was having his way with your guys. And he usually dominates inferior big men like South Carolina’s and LSU’s—but he almost always fails to bring it against tough, physical guys and Wayne Chism.

  33. 33
    Alex R. Says:

    http://www.ajc.com/services/content/sports/braves/stories/2009/03/11/braves_reyes.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=21

    That article says it all.

    Both Jo Jo Reyes and Clint Sammons are having good springs. Oh, why does that matter?

    Because we wasted over $3 million of salary on Tom Glavine and David Ross.

    While I’m feeling better and better about this team and how good our overall pitching can be, we could’ve improved our offense more with that extra cash, rather than wasting it on a useless backup catcher, an aging starting pitcher who’s no better than some of our internal options, and who’s blocking one of the best pitching prospects in the game in Tommy Hanson.

  34. 34
    Alex R. Says:

    I’m fascinated reading the stuff on here about “Watchmen”.

    I have to say, while I am definitely a Geek at heart with all of the science fiction stuff I like in movies and TV, I never read this famous graphic novel so I can’t say I’m dying to see it like many others.

    The opinions I’ve been readin (and the reviews) are ALL over the joint so I have no idea whether I should try and see it.

    Considering it’s 3 freaking hours and I am not a 20-year diehard of the story, I think I’ll wait for HBO or OnDemand.

  35. 35
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I haven’t actually seen “Watchmen”, by the way. I try to avoid crowds these days, so I’ll pick it up over spring break.

  36. 36
    RobBroad4th Says:

    How are you feeling, Mac?

  37. 37
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’m feeling pretty good now, but I don’t want to push my immune system too hard.

  38. 38
    jjschiller Says:

    Alex R, you’re absolutely right: that article says everything…

    “(Reyes) was 0-7 with a 7.81 ERA in his final 13 games, and he lasted fewer than five innings in nine of 12 starts in that span.”

    and

    “Sammons hit one homer in 278 at-bats for Class AAA Richmond last season, and had one homer and four RBIs in 23 games for Atlanta.”

  39. 39
    Alex R. Says:

    JJ,

    A few points of contention.

    1. This is the 5th starter spot we’re talking about. We don’t need Derek Lowe-level pitching in the 5th spot.

    Reyes is off to a great spring and between him, Campillo, Carlyle or giving Hanson the shot, we had multiple internal options.

    Reyes was not the only guy.

    2. David Ross SUCKS. No one is saying Clint Sammons should ready himself for the all star game, but Ross is garbage and arguably worse.

    Sake of argument, you don’t waste a dime on Ross and Glavine and give that bit of a cash to Pudge Rodriguez as McCann’s back-up?

    One of many things you could do.

    You have made no defensible argument here for wastine 3+ million on Glavine and Ross. Waste of cash and resources.

  40. 40
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Reyes was terrible last year, but he was still better than Glavine.

  41. 41
    Alex R. Says:

    And reyes was not the only option for the 5 spot. Some kid named Hanson is being blocked.

  42. 42
    Stu Says:

    On Watchmen, generally, of the people I’ve spoken to, the ones who read the graphic novel liked the movie and the ones who didn’t, didn’t.

    As for the Braves, the Glavine signing was a waste—as virtually everyone here has said—but I’m still in favor of the Ross deal. As someone (sansho?) illustrated months ago, he’s been just about the best backup catcher in baseball over the last few seasons. Corky was a huge weakness last year, and Sammons is Sammons.

  43. 43
    Smitty Says:

    Stu,

    I think Vandy will be solid next year. Tennessee, Vandy and Florida should be the top three teams in the east. I just think Vandy and Florida are too soft.

    I am worried about Bama tonight. They are the kind of team Tennessee has trouble with (ala Sunday) I want to avoid LSU and Kentucky too. Teams that play the 2-3 zone and just fill in the middle really slow us down.

  44. 44
    CharlesP Says:

    Stu, I wonder if that perception of Watchmen is because most people who hadn’t read the book would go into it thinking of it as a sort of standard super-hero movie (the previews/adverts don’t do a ton to dispel this view) and not “The Watchmen” which is an entirely different beast. I’ve not gone to see it yet, but have read it (though only in the last 3-4 years), and the reviews I get from friends who are comic geeks are generally positive with warnings that it’s like the comic in that it has some tough to watch violence, etc.

  45. 45
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The thing about Watchmen, the comic, is that it more or less proceeds from the question, “What would the kind of person who dresses up in a costume and fights crime actually be like?” The short answer is, of course, “crazy”. All the main characters are nuts. The protagonist, such as he is, and the closest thing to a hero, is Rorschach, and he’s a sociopath. Then you have your neurotics and your psychopaths and your megalomaniac. (No split-personality cases, though.) If anyone’s sane, it’s Dr. Manhattan, because at least his responses make sense given his view of the universe — which is beyond human comprehension. And if you’re going into the theater expecting to see Peter Parker, or even Bruce Wayne, you’re going to get a shock.

  46. 46
    Stu Says:

    Smitty,
    We’ll be better than solid next year. Florida should be very good, too, assuming Calathes stays. If Tyler Smith stays, UT will be good,but if he goes, they’ll be terrible.

    FWIW, we are not soft. AJ is, although I expect that to be less true next season. The rest of our guys are very long, athletic, and tough. Many are/were just very inexperienced. You’re talking about a team that had 0 seniors, 2 juniors, 3 sophomores (one of whom blew his ACL in December), and 6 freshmen. In addition to getting Andre Walker, a starter, back from injury, we’ll be adding another shooter/scorer—John Jenkins, arguably the best in the country—so that should open up a little more space for the big guys inside.

    We are going to be very, very good next season.

  47. 47
    jjschiller Says:

    I understand the money could be better spent. But it’s about 5 million or so? And you’re criticizing the FIFTH STARTER and BACK-UP CATCHER spots. You could argue that on a young ball-club, coming off three losing seasons, that it’s nice to have established big-leaguers in those roles.

    So just for argument:

    1.) The moves were made before those guys had great springs.

    2.) Spring training stats are meaningless.

    3.) When Ross was signed, were you predicting Pudge would still be unemployed? Reportedly, Pudge STILL wants to play 5 days a week.

    4.) Hanson is not in the Braves plans for Opening Day. He just isn’t. He’s got 98 innings above A ball. The don’t want him to go all Kyle Davies on us. He’ll pitch some triple-A and if he pushes the issue, and there’s a need, he can come up in June or so to prevent a super-2 situation, and restrict his arbitration clock. That can save MILLIONS in the long run.

    5.) Bobby wants a veteran back-up catcher. He just does. You know he does. He always does. We survived seasons in which Todd Pratt OPS’d .631 for us, and Corky Miller .285. Ross OPS’d .747 in Cincinnati last year (prior to his 1 for 8 in Boston lowering it to 721.) with a .381 OBP.

    6.) Ross has a career OPS of .744, and his .747 in Cincinnati is a number Sammoms has matched exactly ONCE, and at that, in LOW A BALL.

    7.) Carlyle has never been a major leaguer. He’s another of those guys who’s good enough for THIS team, but for who else? And did Campillo tire at the end of last year, or did he turn back in to a pumpkin? (6.15 ERA in August, 5.62 in September.)

    8.) Tom Glavine is a dinosaur, and he got hurt last year. But he’d never been hurt before in 20 years. So he is in a pay-to-play situation. If he’s hurt, Jo Jo steps in, and Glavine’s pay is reduced. You slot Glavine in at 5, Campillo or Carlyle as a long man, Jo Jo and Morton are in triple-A to step in in the case of a DL stint, and there’s no temptation to rush Hanson.

    It isn’t obviously the right way to go. But it isn’t obviously wrong, either, IMO.

  48. 48
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    No one is saying Clint Sammons should ready himself for the all star game, but Ross is garbage and arguably worse.

    I’m simpathetic to the anti-Glavine noise but I have a hard time taking seriously anyone who could earnestly state the above. David Ross is a feasible backup catcher at the ML level. Clint Sammons was *rightly* beneath Corky Miller on the depth charts. It’s not even close.

  49. 49
    jjschiller Says:

    Tom Verducci made my argument for keeping Hanson down in an article he wrote about James Shields and Cole Hamels… Sorry for the long quote:

    “On May 12, 2006, the Phillies called up Cole Hamels to make his major league debut. Nineteen days later the Rays called up James Shields to make his major league debut. They have been similar pitchers ever since, even meeting in the 2008 World Series:

    GS W-L ERA IP
    Hamels 84 38-23 3.43 543
    Shields 85 32-24 3.96 554

    Similar, right? Not when it comes to how they’re paid. (Shields signed a multi-year contract in January 2008; Hamels did so one year later.) Take a look at their annual salaries from 2007 through 2011:

    Year Shields Hamels
    2007 $394,900 $400,000
    2008 $1,000,000 $500,000
    2009 $1,500,000 $4,350,000
    2010 $2,500,000 $6,650,000
    2011 $4,250,000 $9,500,000
    Total $9,644,900 $21,400,000

    Why is Hamels worth $11,755,100 more than Shields? It all goes back to when they were called up the big leagues. By starting his service time just 19 days earlier, the Phillies allowed Hamels to qualify for arbitration a year earlier — as a “Super Two” this year. Shields, like most players, would not have been eligible for arbitration until three full service years, or in his case, 2010. Hamels benefited greatly from the leverage of a slightly earlier callup.

    By the way, Hamels pitched two games in those 19 days in question. The Phillies were 1-1 in those games; Hamels threw 11 1/3 innings. Those 11 1/3 innings cost the Phillies $11.755 million, or almost exactly $1 million per inning. That was one very expensive callup.”

  50. 50
    Jason C Says:

    …he’s been just about the best backup catcher in baseball over the last few seasons.

    Isn’t that like being the smartest kid at Auburn?

  51. 51
    CharlesP Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong here (because without permission I’m sure nobody would), but aren’t there three profiles for a backup catcher?
    1) Aging former good catcher who is on the decline.
    2) Rising “star” youngster catcher who hasn’t broken through yet.
    3) Mediocre, not-quite-good-enough veteran who hasn’t been able to earn an every day job, but is a bit better than the minors (probably because he’s very good defensively).

    So IF you’re “the best backup catcher” for a few seasons you’re defined by being “m’eh not too horrible but not that good either”? The aging ones aren’t around that long; the rising ones either become regular players, or crap out; and then there’s you, David Ross.

    I didn’t love the Ross signing, but I don’t hate it either… it is what it is and I think it’s probably along the lines of “something done so Wren doesn’t have to worry about it while he’s got bigger problems”.

  52. 52
    mraver Says:

    It’s exactly like that, Jason. But if you’ve got to hire an Auburn grad, you might as well get the best in his class.

  53. 53
    sansho1 Says:

    @42

    Yes, that was me, and I stand by it. Although I just spent 20 minutes looking for the fancy chart I posted and couldn’t find it….

  54. 54
    Alex R. Says:

    If David Ross smacks the game winning home run in a World Series game, started and won by Tom Glavine, THIS SEASON, I’ll apologize, gladly.

  55. 55
    Alex R. Says:

    In all seriousness, my main points are not that Glavine and Ross can’t contribute, potentially, in very small ways. Maybe they can.

    My point was it was needlessly spent capital when we had internal options no better or worse.

  56. 56
    jjschiller Says:

    @54 That sounds reasonable. Deal.

  57. 57
    jj3bagger Says:

    jjschiller, I must have missed that Verducci article. Thanks for putting that up. That is just crazy to me how much of a difference 19 days can amount to.

  58. 58
    Stu Says:

    But, Alex, your point is wrong as it relates to Ross, who is quite obviously much better than Clint Sammons.

  59. 59
    Kevn Lee Says:

    Re@45 Bless you, Mac. Your reviews have never been better than right now.

    The Watchmen book(s) turned an industry on its head. After 40+ years of fanboy love, I saw something new, rich, and provoking.

    Not that I liked it–no, my expectations are too entrenched–but we could never move from Batman battling the Joker on a giant typewriter to Heath Ledger’s maniac without going through the Watchmen era of storytelling. There was something new under the sun.

    I’ll see the movie on BluRay, with time out for reflection and bathroom breaks!

  60. 60
    Alex R. Says:

    Sorry, Stu, I hear ya and I just don’t agree. He maybe better, but it’s like saying “Howard the Duck” isn’t as bad a movie as “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace”.

    They are both horribly bad. I don’t want to ever watch either again. So why spend money renting “Howard the Duck” if I already have “Superman IV” on DVD? No point. I already have a bad movie in my collection.

  61. 61
    Ethan Says:

    JJ,

    Very good points.

    I still am kinda in Alex R’s camp but @47 was very good.

  62. 62
    Stu Says:

    You’re doing that thing where you don’t even look at the stats again, aren’t you?

    Ross is one of the best backup catchers in the majors. Clint Sammons OPSed .608 in Richmond last year and has a career minor league slugging percentage of .335. Not to mention defense, where Ross is exceptional.

  63. 63
    jjschiller Says:

    Ross, in decline, was better in the major leagues than Sammons was in double-A.

    And I feel comfortable slotting one more guy in front of Reyes, Campillo, Carlyle, and Morton. If that guy is Glavine, or if he’s someone like Randy Wolf, I don’t care. I think it serves a purpose. I understand your point, I simply feel this one is debatable. I understand this move and I personally don’t criticize it.

    jj3bagger, here’s the article:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/tom_verducci/01/20/free.agents/index.html?eref=T1

    Sorry it’s not a tinyurl

  64. 64
    Smitty Says:

    UT will still be good if Tyler leaves, but I would rather have him than not.

  65. 65
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Alex, I don’t know if I agree with you on Ross, but I definitely agree with you on Glavine. Either way, I LOVE the Howard the Duck analogy. That’s fantastic.

    On the other hand, though, Watchmen (the graphic novel) really is terrific. The movie’s enjoyable, particularly if you’ve read the book. Both are, essentially, the opposite of your standard comic book movie. (So is “Howard the Duck,” probably Marvel’s worst hour, but for different reasons.)

    The Watchmen is about people with superhuman strength and completely human weaknesses. (By the way, most of the main characters are really heroes, rather than superheroes: like the classics of the pre-Superman era, their superpowers consist in wearing a costume and being able to take a hell of a licking.)

    I’d say there are basically two questions being asked: “What are superheroes really like?” and “What if there are problems so terrible that not even people with superpowers can solve them?”

    It’s not as dark in tone (or in palette) as The Dark Knight, though arguably it’s just as dark in content. It’s a pretty good flick, and a terrific book. But it’s probably good to have some idea of what you’re in for.

  66. 66
    jjschiller Says:

    Further, and I understand this point is impossible to back-up, but I don’t feel the money spent on Glav and Ross cost us a shot at an outfielder.

    I don’t think we were going to pay Dunn 10 mill or give him a 2 year contract. And I think if the FO thought Abreu was worth 5 mill, exactly twice what Garret Anderson got, they would have paid it, with or without Glav and Ross. I think they just didn’t see him being twice as valuable.

    I can see how it could be argued that these moves stopped us from signing Ohman. But we did pull that offer off the table BEFORE we signed Glavine. I do think it’s possible that Ohman would accept that offer today, but we don’t have the money anymore. But the point is we offered, we left the offer there for 2 months, and he never took it. They refused to pay him more than they thought he was worth, even when we had the money. That situation informs my opinion on Dunn and Abreu.

  67. 67
    Alex R. Says:

    Will Ohman > Glavine & Ross

    JJ, I’m really glad you brought up Ohman. Yeah, maybe that money doesn’t get us Dunn, maybe not getting Anderson + Glavine/Ross nets us Abreu. Based on the numbers, the difference between Abreu and Ganderson is semi neglible. I’ll agree Abreu is better.

    However, if there’s one rather big hole in our bullpen it’s the lack of a proven 2nd lefthanded reliever.

    On paper, that sounds like a small thing since I confidently like the rest of our pitching staff heading into April.

    But that proven extra lefthander reliever makes a difference. (I’m not sure Jo Jo has the right kind of stuff to in fact fill that spot).

    The only lefty we have in camp of the guys trying to snag the Ohman spot that a) has good looking stuff and has B) had a good spring so far is Eric O’Flaherty. The problem is that his numbers leave a lot to be desired. He’s mostly unproven.

    If Wren had bypassed the Ross/Glavine signings (and yes, taking into account Stu and everyone else’s arguments that Ross is appreciably better than Sammons, which I don’t agree with per say) and spent that exact $2 million + on Ohman, I would have been extremely pleased.

    Ohman was one of the few true bright spots on our pitching staff last season and I went into the offseason assuming he’d be back and that we’d do everything within reason to keep him.

  68. 68
    Stu Says:

    We could have signed Ross and Ohman instead of Ross and Glavine. I wish we had.

  69. 69
    jjschiller Says:

    We made Ohman an offer and he didn’t take it. We weren’t going to up that offer.

  70. 70
    Alex R. Says:

    #67

    Stu – that would have made more sense. But Glavine only took a million and wasn’t Ohman looking for $2 mill?

    I have to assume we have $1 more total million we could have spent :-) I know we’re not the Yankees but we’re not Kansas City, either!

  71. 71
    Alex R. Says:

    JJ,

    I actually hadn’t heard that we ever actually offered Ohman a specific contract?

    I followed the Ohman situation reasonably well and never saw us offer him. If I’m wrong, my bad, but I kept waiting for Wren to make an actual offer?

  72. 72
    CharlesP Says:

    I think that the fact we’re debating the 5th starter and backup catcher moves probably says that Wren didn’t, in the end, do too bad of a job in the off season. We don’t have the ideal team, but we also don’t have ideal team money… so I can’t fault us for not having gotten a better outfield bat considering we did handle our pitching concerns AND didn’t hamstring ourselves financially for next year OR block the outfield bat prospects we have in the pipeline.

  73. 73
    Ethan Says:

    @70

    Yeah we did. According to DOB,(FWIW) we had an offer on the table for awhile that Ohman considered “legitimate”. Then, sometime fairly soon after the Kawakami/Lowe signings it was pulled.

  74. 74
    CharlesP Says:

    @70, they mentioned I think on the Braves site (and I think Ohman did in interviews too) that we had a standing offer on the table from almost the end of the season that we took off the table in January.

  75. 75
    Alex R. Says:

    Why was the offer pulled? Because of the Lowe/Kawakami money?

    But again, the Ross/Glavine money could have been used there.

    I realize we’re going in circles :-)

  76. 76
    jjschiller Says:

    Well it sounds like you’re trying to split hairs at this point… Whether he had an offer-sheet or not, he was actively negotiating with the Braves as late as February 6, according to David O’Brien. On February 8, DOB posted:

    “oh, and THIS JUST IN: Braves are no longer pursuing Will Ohman, according to what I was told tonight by someone who is very much in the know. Don’t know when decision was made or why, but they’re not pursuing the Lebowski lefty.”

    The point is the numbers didn’t match up and we weren’t giving him any more than what we offered. Likewise, Ohman has yet to sign ANYWHERE yet, for ANY price. He, apparently, isn’t capitulating either.

  77. 77
    td Says:

    About the only thing I’ve gathered from Spring Training is that Diaz appears to be closer to his 2007 form than 2008. This could mean that Ganderson isn’t needed (IMO, he wasn’t needed anyway, but this reinforces it).

    Other observations:
    1) Reyes, Hanson and Medlin may be good on a ML level. Hanson was obvious anyway, Reyes has shown flashes, but Medlin seems to be a little bit of a surprise. I’m still not sure if Hanson is ready to be the Braves’ 5th starter.

    2) Many will disagree, but Ross looks to be a pretty good pickup from a defensive standpoint. Offensively Sammons has looked good, but I have no confidence that he’ll ever be able to hit over .240 with a .700 OPS in the majors. I could be wrong about this, but a few weeks of good hitting in the spring means nothing.

    3) Heyward will be very good to great. Schafer isn’t ready and I’m not sure he’ll ever be great in the majors. The first observation is painfully obvious, the second is concerning. Schafer’s average has been good, but striking out 1 time in every 3 AB’s isn’t going to hack it (no pun intended). The same conclusion could have probably been drawn last year about Schafer

    4) Francouer – who knows?

    From my standpoint, the only moderate surprise could be Diaz. I would be interested to know if any of you other guys have gained insight into the Braves from Spring Training.

  78. 78
    Weldon Says:

    Alex, we did give Ohman an offer. It was never released how much or how long it was, but it was back in November and Ohman left it on the table. Keep in mind that this was before the market for relievers totally collapsed. But we took our offer off the table when we traded for Vazquez and got Boone Logan. I think Logan is ahead of O’Flaherty on the depth chart.

    I guess it’s just me and a couple other people who liked the Glavine signing. I don’t think there’s a chance he’s as bad as he was last year. And I think there’s a very good chance that he’s better than Joseph Reyes and Charlie Morton. And, as Verducci points out, we save a lot of money in the long run by giving Glavine one million over having Tommy Hanson called up in May because Reyes can’t pitch out of the fourth and Morton’s still a head case.

    And the Ross signing…if he can OPS 740 and he can take some stress off of McCann, it’s worth it.

    I don’t really like how fans (and I include myself in that) look at deals made around the league and assume they could have all been made by any team at any time in the offseason. I don’t think Abreu was going to come to an NL team without a couple extra million. I don’t know that the Marlins would have traded Willingham to us. Maybe they wanted Bonifacio in particular, or whatever. You just can’t say that x move is the move we should have made but didn’t. Because x move likely wasn’t on the table.

    Whew. Sorry for the long post.

  79. 79
    CharlesP Says:

    at the beginning of the off season Ohman was supposedly hoping for something in the $4M/year and 2-3 year range as other similar lefty’s had recently gotten… obviously that expectation has lowered a bit. He made 1.6 last year, and I’m guessing the Braves were willing to go a bit above that on a 2 year deal… probabl 3.5-4M over 2 years. At the time it seemed foolish for him to take it, but now it sounds like teams are hoping for a sub $1M bargain. I wouldn’t put it past Wren to snag him back even at this late date if his price drops enough.

  80. 80
    Weldon Says:

    jjschiller – I think I remember DOB coming out and saying that Ohman has kind of played him a bit. As in, Ohman would say that lines were still open between him and the Braves and DOB assumed that meant we were still negotiating. But we weren’t, because we were happy with Logan in the pen.

  81. 81
    Alex R. Says:

    While we are splitting hairs on a certain level, I think the difference between a Will Ohman and either Boone Logan or Eric O’Flaherty could cost the Braves so close, late inning games, throughout the season.

    I think we’ll regret pulling the Ohman offer considering neither of the two current replacement options (for now) appear close to as good.

    If one of those two guys steps up and McDowell does a good job with him – great. But if we’re in it, I suspect we maybe trading for a lefty reliever in the summer.

    Mac’s always had the opinion – and I’ve seconded this – that your back-up catcher should at least be competent defensively but in fact pretty good offensively.

    Ross is a very good defensive player but I would debate his offensive merit, strongly.

  82. 82
    jjschiller Says:

    Weldon- entirely possible. I’m just saying it was Feb 6 that Ohman said talks were ongoing and he couldn’t comment, and it was Feb 8 that someone told DOB ‘Ohman’s offer is off the table.’

    Obviously it’s all third-hand knowledge, I was just trying to date it as effectively as I could find.

  83. 83
    Stu Says:

    Alex—But not Sammons’?

  84. 84
    jjschiller Says:

    Also, according the San Diego beat-writer Dan Hayes, Ohman’s price has yet to come down to $1 mill. (He claims that’s the price he’d have to fall to to interest the Pads.)

    Glav signed for 1 mill, and Ross is $3 mill across 2 years ($1.5 mill avg.)

  85. 85
    Ethan Says:

    I think I’m with Stu on @67

    Really, I think the Glavine signing was to make up for Smoltz getting away. The difference for me (now that I can look at it semi-objectively) is that:

    A: Smoltz, when healthy, is still dominant. Glavine isn’t

    B: Smotlz had played his whole career with the Braves. Glavine had already jumped the shark once. The attachment wasn’t/isn’t as strong.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still like Glavine, but these past couple of years have sucked. Throughout them though, Smoltz has been the one constant. There’s some sense of loyalty that comes through that.

  86. 86
    Mac Thomason Says:

    In totally irrelevant news, the Braves put six on the board in the fifth and actually knocked the Marlins’ pitcher out of the game, not usual in spring training.

  87. 87
    jjschiller Says:

    I think I’d take Ohman over Glavine too, for the same price.

    I’m arguing because A.) I don’t think they were the same price. B.) Because, like Weldon, I think we all bitch too much about what deals we should have made.

    These guys are more qualified, and better informed, and are asked, in a way, to try and predict the future. We have little to no player evaluation experience, no aid of scouting reports, and are armed with hindsight.

  88. 88
    jj3bagger Says:

    Weldon, I think there’s a very strong chance that Glavine is awful like he was last year. There are other and better ways to keep Hanson down and still have a fifth starter.

    I would have given Reyes or Morton a chance, and if either one does pitch well, then you have a young starter for years to come, or at least a decent trade chip for a bat. If that didn’t work, Campillo might have done the trick, if all hell broke loose, you could have Carlyle, Bennett, etc.

    The point being Glavine was not necessary, that’s what I think people have more of a problem with.

  89. 89
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I agree (and disagree with Cox) that I would rather have a strong hitting back up catcher that is somewhat weak defensively than vice versa. But, how many of those are there? Unless you go for a Pudge Rodriguez (and I doubt he is ready yet to settle for a backup role, at least not at a price the Braves would spend), it seems that Ross is about as good as they are going to do. At least he is not Corky Miller.

    I really find it hard to believe that the small amounts the Braves paid for Ross and Glavine really kept them from making a major move. There was no indication that they were ever really interested (correctly or not)in Abreu or Dunn. If they were, presumably they would have made some provision in the payroll to sign guys like that. I really can’t believe that Wren is saying, “Oh my god, I paid so much to Ross and Glavine I can’t sign a really good player that is still out there.”

    You can certainly argue that it was a mistake, especially, to sign Glavine, but given what he is making (or is likely to make), I just can’t believe this prevented the team from signing a better outfielder.

    I do find the Ohman thing mystifying, however. I agree with Alex; I think we will regret not having an Ohman at some point in the year.

  90. 90
    jjschiller Says:

    For whatever it might be worth, Glavine first hurt himself in his 3rd start of the season last year, facing only 4 batters. I think saying he was ‘awful’ is a little less accurate than saying he was ‘hurt.’

    I understand, being a dinosaur, he’s just as likely to be hurt this year as last. But this year he’s playing for pay. He’s hurt, he doesn’t get paid. And when it happens, we have our choice of the hot-hand between Morton, Reyes, Parr, Carlyle, and Campillo.

  91. 91
    sansho1 Says:

    @89

    2006-08 OBP SLG CS%
    Pudge .314 .419 36.7
    Ross .316 .453 38.3

    Just sayin….

  92. 92
    jjschiller Says:

    sansho1 – That’s fantastic.

  93. 93
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    If Pudge stays unsigned for too much longer, he may have to sign a contract like what we got Ross for.

    Anyone interested in a discount Pedro, by the way?

  94. 94
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @93,

    Why not? The Braves have taken a lot worse gambles. If nothing else, it would be funny if he came back and beat the Mets. You can never have too much pitching.

  95. 95
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Irrelecap is up.

  96. 96
    hankonly Says:

    Cowherd was dogging Pedro today, but in the context of a cheap contract, I say why not?

    What? We already have too much pitching? Sweet.

  97. 97
    Steve Says:

    Would you guys want Smoltz and at what price. Granted he has been a great pitcher but is he now?

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