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20 Jul

Braves 11, Giants 3

San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – July 20, 2009 – ESPN

If only the Phillies would lose.

Tommy Hanson was great, again — he hasn’t had a really poor start yet. He got in trouble in the second, allowing two runs, though it wasn’t entirely his fault as Diaz (in right against a lefty) botched a line drive he probably should have had. Hanson’s mistake was walking the pitcher, who was 0-18 with 15 strikeouts entering the game and was trying to bunt. TAKE THE OUT.

ACHE got a run back in the bottom of the inning with a homer, then Chipper hit a two-run shot with McLouth aboard to take the lead. Hanson pretty much held it from there, and was dominant, striking out eleven in the game. But in the seventh came example number 49,401 of the utter stupidity of the “unearned run”. McLouth completely lost a routine pop fly, then stood around looking like an idiot while ACHE had to jog in from left and pick it up and the hitter made it to third for a leadoff “triple”. As always, if you play it bad enough, they won’t charge an error. McLouth made a nice catch on a one-out line drive that scored the tying run, but it wasn’t a great play. Anyway, that’s an “earned” run. If the shortstop almost makes a play but drops it and then you give up a two-out homer, that’s two “unearned” runs, even though when you think about it the defense didn’t have anything to do with the homer.

So, when I started to digress, McLouth had cost the Braves a run and almost cost Hanson a chance to win the game, though Bobby let him finish the inning (at 112 pitches). And then the Braves erupted for six runs in the bottom of the inning, five with none out. Escobar got it started with a liner to left. ACHE hit a little pop fly that fell for a (legitimate, but weak) hit. Diaz was supposed to bunt, but he can’t, and only managed to fall behind 0-2. So he stood in there, swung away, and laced a triple to right-center. Kotchman kept History’s Worst Hitting Streak going with a single to right to make it 6-3, then Church hit a pinch-hit two-run homer. With two out, McCann singled in McLouth to make it 9-3. The Braves added two more in the eighth, Church singling in Diaz and Kotchman scoring on a McLouth flyout.

Bobby, again, brought in Gonzalez to pitch the eighth with a big lead. I don’t get this one. The excuse is that he was already warmed up, but frankly the inning was so long (and so many runs were scored before the first out) that he was overheated if anything. I don’t think you needed to use him there. Medlen, not Soriano, pitched the ninth.

Everyone had a hit but Prado, breaking a ten-game hitting streak, but he did have a walk.

179 Responses to “Braves 11, Giants 3”

  1. 1
    sdp Says:

    Roy Halladay would join the Mets and immediately strain a quad.

  2. 2
    Tre Says:

    mets offer Fernando Martinez,Jon Niese,Ruben Tejada & Bobby Parnell for Halladay…bwhahahaha

  3. 3
    Tony Says:

    No Tre….that’s what the Blue Jays want according to MLB network.

  4. 4
    Daniel Says:

    That’s actually an offer by Toronto… Mets said no presumably because winning every 5th game won’t help them

  5. 5
    sansho1 Says:

    If Rowand is out, the Giants offense looks positively Metsian. I don’t see them lasting very long with no power and only one guy on the roster who gets on base at a league-average clip. If Cain comes back to earth, forget it.

  6. 6
    Tre Says:

    then their graphic was backwards cus i,m watching MLB network & they said mets offer, but who cares it wont happen & if it does Halladay will pull a quad like SDP said

    P.S. Smoltzie is getting knocked around by the rangers tonight

  7. 7
    Marc Says:

    Escobar won’t be happy with those post game comments from Cox.

    Reporter: “Has moving Escobar down in the order been the key to the offense?”

    Cox: “No, it’s been Prado in the 2 hole.”

  8. 8
    Robert Says:

    How dare Bobby give a true answer.

    Bobby, again, brought in Gonzalez to pitch the eighth with a big lead. I don’t get this one. The excuse is that he was already warmed up, but frankly the inning was so long (and so many runs were scored before the first out) that he was overheated if anything.

    So with Gonzo ready and pretty much ‘used’ for the day, you recommend he sit him and ‘use’ another pitcher? I’m going to go with no.

  9. 9
    braves14 Says:

    Looks like we’ll be 4 out in the wild card…the Rockies lead big in their game and should pass the Giants.

  10. 10
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That’s the Mets for you. “Do we have any prospects left? Trade them in a lost cause!”

  11. 11
    Mr. Swings@Everything Says:

    Robert,

    Did you miss the part where Gonzalez has been injury plagued his entire career, was complaining of soreness before the ASB, and is still near the top of the NL in appearances? He sounds like the type of guy who could really benefit from being used even more than he already has been.

  12. 12
    Andrew B Says:

    FYI, Peanut is correct, Kelly Johnson has one option left He has onlyhad options used on him in 2004 and 2005.

  13. 13
    sansho1 Says:

    The Rockies are a better team than the Giants — they’re probably the team to catch for the WC.

  14. 14
    Marc Says:

    Hanson is being interviewed on Baseball Tonight right now.

  15. 15
    jjschiller Says:

    As I understand it, it doesn’t matter if the option is “used.” A year is considered an option year, used or unused, and once you’ve been on the roster for the appropriate number of years, there are no more options.

  16. 16
    ububba Says:

    Halladay & Santana would be a great way for the Mets to start 2010, especially if they get their regular players back anywhere near healthy.

    But that doesn’t look like a great package in return to me. I know F-Mart gets high marks, but in the brief time I saw him, he looked overmatched.

    FWIW, Jeffy hit a HR tonight.

  17. 17
    Tre Says:

    they should throw jeffy in there just because

  18. 18
    Tony Says:

    Do you think McCann feelings would be hurt if he didn’t bat clean-up against lefties? He’s hitting .238. Meanwhile Garrett is hitting .344. I’m just asking…

  19. 19
    Andrew B Says:

    @15, you’re sorta correct. One has 3 option years…once he is optioned to the minors, he has used his option for that year; he can then be sent back and forth between ML and the minors, and it is all the same “option.”

    Kelly has been optioned twice; in 2005 and 2004. He has one option remaining.

  20. 20
    Robert Says:

    Did you miss the part where Gonzalez has been injury plagued his entire career, was complaining of soreness before the ASB, and is still near the top of the NL in appearances?

    If he breaks, he breaks. We’ll survive. If he’s already up and firing, put him in there instead of burning another arm that night.

    His ERA is like three and a half with a bunch of unearned runs. He’s not that irreplaceable and he’s out of here a year’s end. I don’t get the ‘you must protect Gonzo at all costs’ vibe around here.

  21. 21
    hankonly Says:

    Hanson’s form scares me to death.

    No leg drive and, most disturbingly, a strong recoil of his pitching arm ABOVE HIS HEAD after release.

    Youth and God-given ability are in bloom right now, but he’d better adjust (or truly be of divine origin).

    Hey, Smoltz – think the Braves made a bad decision now?

  22. 22
    PWHjort Says:

    I’m guessing 2006 was a rehab from the surgery?

  23. 23
    Tony Says:

    Hankonly,

    I was thinking the same thing about his delivery.

    Damn, Smoltz got lit up again.

  24. 24
    Mr. Swings@Everything Says:

    Maybe I am in the minority on this but I am against using players in an way that will likely lead to an injury. If that makes me a bleeding heart, then so be it.

  25. 25
    PWHjort Says:

    20,
    I agree that once he’s warm you use him. But replacing Gonzalez with Boone Logan is a hit to our bullpen, regardless of whether or not Gonzo is overrated. Just a point, his xFIP is 3.35, 2nd on the team among relievers, 3rd on the team overall.

  26. 26
    ryan c Says:

    since prado has taken over at 2b:

    Record: 12-9
    RPG: 5.9

    i would say bobby is right. wow, we are really scoring some runs!

  27. 27
    Tre Says:

    looks like Maddux was the only smart one of the three greats & new when to hang em up

  28. 28
    Andrew B Says:

    @22 correct. March 31 he was disabled, where he remained all year. he was not ever optioned to AAA Richmond.

    3/31/06 Purchased the contracts of 1B/OF Brian Jordan and LHP Mike Remlinger; optioned RHP Joey Devine and 1B James Jurries to Triple-A Richmond; outrighted RHP Brad Baker to Richmond; placed LHP John Foster (strained left elbow), LHP Macay McBride (strained left forearm), LHP Mike Hampton (Tommy John surgery) and OF Kelly Johnson (sprained right elbow) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 24.

  29. 29
    Tre Says:

    hahah Carl Crawford hit a in the park HR tonight against the white sox

  30. 30
    Robert Says:

    Maybe I am in the minority on this but I am against using players in an way that will likely lead to an injury. If that makes me a bleeding heart, then so be it.

    The Braves know he’s gone at the end of the year, if they make one decision that is based on keeping him healthy for next season, they have made one bad decision.

    But replacing Gonzalez with Boone Logan is a hit to our bullpen, regardless of whether or not Gonzo is overrated.

    You’re projected Logan would take over the eighth inning if Gonzo went down? I find that hard to believe.

  31. 31
    ububba Says:

    Not going to get crazy just yet, but I’m looking forward to some meaningful baseball in the second half. The last few years have been a drag.

  32. 32
    hankonly Says:

    How do we stand in the Wild Card race?

    Lotta teams to overtake, but the Phillies could probably pitch me and Stu and still play .600 ball.

  33. 33
    Marc Says:

    Gonzo would be better then Logan in the long term but I’ve been impressed with Boone since he got called up. I think Gonzo needs to drop the sway and it would help.

    On another note, Baseball Tonight is asking who is the greatest #20 of all time: Frank Robinson or Mike Schmidt? What say all of you?

  34. 34
    Tony Says:

    Wow…Justin Morneau just hit a line drive grand slam off a left hander. That’s a hitter. I can’t wait until the Braves get a power hitting 1st baseman like that.

    Yea Smoltz line was 5.2 inning, 9 hits, 6 ER, 3 SO and 3 HR. Sort of sad.

  35. 35
    Ethan Says:

    It is stupid to use one of the better relievers on the team in a low leverage situation. Warming up is not the same as facing live hitters. Also, what does it matter if Logan is “used” as well?

  36. 36
    Tony Says:

    Actually the wild card is looking better and better.

    The Braves are 3.5 back.

    The teams ahead of them are the Rockies, Giants, Cubs and Brewers.

    They trail the Brewers by a .5 game, and they are losing to the Pirates.

    They trail the Cubs by 1 game, and they are in Philly this week, and the Giants and Rockies play this weekend.

    So if the Braves take care of business against the Giants and then the Brewers, they should be fine.

  37. 37
    ububba Says:

    Schmidt/F.Robbie: Interesting conversation.

    There’s no wrong answer there, IMO. I’m inclined to take Robinson, but Schmidt was such a killer defender.

    Triple crown & MVPs in both leagues (plus 5 pennants & 2 WS titles) vs. greatest 3B of all time, 3 MVPs & a ton of gold gloves (plus 5 divisions, 2 pennants, 1 WS).

    Impossible to call that one.

  38. 38
    sansho1 Says:

    @33

    Gotta go with Schmidt. As Bill James once said, if Schmidt was a .300 hitter, he wouldn’t just be the best third baseman of all time, he’d be the best player of all time.

    Slight hyperbole, perhaps, but he makes a good point.

  39. 39
    Hanan Says:

    Cox may well be correct about Prado’s importance to the recent offensive surge, but he should have thrown Esco a bone as well. The guy has been raking and was the player of the week. He deserves some credit too. I was surprised with the way he answered the question considering he threw Esco some nice compliments yesterday. If you saw it he just seemed like he went out of his way to avoid crediting Escobar.

    As for his use of Gonzalez…he botched it again. For a guy who was unusable due to a tired arm, I simply don’t understand his use in back to back blowouts, warmed up or not, Once I can understand…he needs to shake off some rust…but twice…come on.

  40. 40
    Tony Says:

    Tough call. I thought Schmidt, Sandberg, Murphy, Dawson, Eddie Murray, etc. were like the greatest…only b/c they were my childhood favorites.

  41. 41
    Marc Says:

    Here are some stats on Robinson and Schmidt.

    HR: Schmidt – 548 Robinson – 586

    RBI: Schmidt – 1,595 Robinson – 1,812

    MVP: Schmidt – 3 Robinson – 2

    Gold Gloves: Schmidt – 10 Robinson – 1

  42. 42
    ryan c Says:

    this from yahoo on friday. it’s probably been discussed but i missed it…

    Omar Infante (broken left hand) has been cleared to begin swinging a bat, hitting off a tee in the indoor cage. Manager Bobby Cox estimates he is two weeks away from a minor-league rehab assignment, which Cox thinks should last five or six games.

    so, he’s another 3 weeks away at least. i dont want to see conrad go. hopefully, infante replaces diory and barbaro replaces norton soon.

  43. 43
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Fernando Martinez is an interesting question. As far as I can tell, he’s a bit like Andy Marte, a guy whose greatest asset is age relative to league. He was having a nice little year in AA, but mostly, he’s just young and projectable, and as Ububba said, he really sucked in the majors. If you can trade him for Halladay, you might as well.

    Problem is that they only have one fungible prospect, not necessarily that they’re willing to trade that one guy. Their minor league system is terrible, and it’s probably Minaya’s fault.

  44. 44
    kc Says:

    @21 There were plenty of analysis on Hanson’s delivery done over the past years. Your observations were spoted by those analysis as well, but their conclusion is that Hanson should be fine after all. I forgot where you can find those analysis, but they shouldn’t be hard to find.

    Hanson can’t be this good. We are not supposed to be so lucky!

  45. 45
    sdp Says:

    Driveline Mechanics: Tommy Hanson

    These guys love Hanson’s mechanics and aren’t really concerned with major injuries. Statistics say he’ll need TJS at some point in his career anyways.

  46. 46
    kc Says:

    AAR, I tend to think Fernando Martinez is another Lastings.

  47. 47
    Tony Says:

    Who cares what Bobby Cox says, this team will hopefully will win in spite of him.

  48. 48
    sdp Says:

    Fernando Martinez is another overhyped, worthless Mets prospect destined for the recycle bin.

  49. 49
    sansho1 Says:

    Robinson kept a diary of his first year as player-manager of the Indians — I read it about a year after it came out (’77 or so). It was no “Ball Four”, but I liked reading his impressions of contemporary ballplayers.

    Eckersley and Rick Manning were going to be stars (1 for 2 ain’t bad), Boog Powell could drink anybody under the table, George Hendrick was moody, and he couldn’t get rid of the Perry brothers soon enough — Gaylord especially. They hated each other. Jim and Gaylord were both gone by midseason.

  50. 50
    ububba Says:

    Frank Robinson was a .300 hitter for most of his career. He hit nearly 30 points higher than Schmidt, had a higher career OBP, Slg & OPS+. (I mean, we’re talking 154 to 147, so what’s really to argue?)

    Frank only struck out 100 times once, while Schmidt struck out way over 100 times every year. Frank Robinson was a slightly better offensive player than Schmidt, but Schmidt blows him away with defense at a much more important position.

    But both were just dominating baseball players with ridiculous peak years. I really can’t take one over the other.

  51. 51
    Marc Says:

    #39 I agree that Cox’s answer was strange. He was specifically asked about Escobar and seemed to go out of his way to not talk about him. I think that goes into Esco’s thinking about nobody giving him any credit.

  52. 52
    Ethan Says:

    RE: Fernando Martinez

    I tend to agree with sdp. I don’t think I would even trade Freeman for F-Mart straight up. I mean, we don’t really need Halladay, but if the Mets turned him down to keep that pu-pu platter, Minaya is even dumber than I thought.

  53. 53
    sansho1 Says:

    FWIW, James has Robby as the 3rd best RF of all time (behind Ruth and Aaron). Can’t really dock him for that. I might be biased towards who I really remember, but Schmidt was the best player in the NL for several years.

  54. 54
    Dusty Says:

    Sansho @13

    I emphatically disagree that the Rockies have been better this year. They had one of those incredibly hot streches but they’re a mediocre team. The giants can dominate nearly any team with that staff. I know the offense is lacking but lincecum is as close to an automatic win as it gets these days. Remember they swept us in SF while we were hot. Of course we’ve gotten better since then.

  55. 55
    Smitty Says:

    I think we have a great shot at the wild card. The Phillies are white hot!

    I’m with you guys, Escobar is playing the best baseball I have seen him play. The whole team is really hitting well.

  56. 56
    sansho1 Says:

    I’m not saying they’ve been better (the records are more or less the same, after all) — I just see them outlasting the Giants because they appear to have fewer weaknesses. That lineup tonight — not very impressive.

  57. 57
    ububba Says:

    The #20s
    Those guys were so good, it’s silly.

    I only saw Robinson at the end of his Oriole tenure and he was good then, but then he went to the Dodgers, Angels, Indians, etc., and I rarely saw him play after he left the O’s.

    Schmidt, I saw hundreds of games, plus a bunch in person at AFC Stadium. He always seemed to hit a HR when I went and, when he hit ‘em, the contact sounded like a firecracker. Just brute force.

    I never really rooted for them back then, but those Philadelphia teams from 1976 to 1983 were damn good. Schmidt & Carlton—helluva combo there.

  58. 58
    kc Says:

    sdp, you are the best!

  59. 59
    Smitty Says:

    When you talk third basemen, I think there are only two names, Eddie Mathews and Michael Jack Schmidt.

  60. 60
    Ethan Says:

    George Brett was also pretty good, and his 1980 season was probably the best season ever by a 3rd baseman.

  61. 61
    kc Says:

    Gotta love Matty:

    Diaz came up big after fouling off two sacrifice attempts against Romo.

    “It’s embarrassing I can’t do it in the big leagues,” Diaz said. “It worked out well, but needless to say, there will be extra bunting practice in the near future.”

  62. 62
    csg Says:

    KJ tonight 3-4, two 3 run Hr’s, 7 RBI’s….

  63. 63
    Joshua Says:

    Both the wildcard and division are still up for grabs guys. I understand we are still 6 games back of the Phils, but we have dominated them this year. They still have to play us, and if we keep beating them at the same clip, we can over take them as well. Let’s just see where we stand after this Giants series.

  64. 64
    Joshua Says:

    Per Diaz on the failed bunt attempts:

    It’s embarrassing I can’t do it in the big leagues,” Diaz said. ”It worked out well, but needless to say, there will be extra bunting practice in the near future.

    I tell you, this guy has the attitude to play some baseball.

  65. 65
    ububba Says:

    #60
    As great as that 1980 season was, Brett only played 117 games that year.

    Also, he was not nearly in Schmidt’s class as a defender.

    But, if the game’s on the line, I’d rather have Brett at the plate.

  66. 66
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    wow – 515 AB’s. That’s about 17% short. How do they compute the cutoff to qualify? Can’t remember.

  67. 67
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The Mets just assured Minaya and Jerry Manuel that their jobs were safe. That’s usually code for 60 days’ notice.

  68. 68
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I tell you, this guy has the attitude to play some baseball.

    And what’s even more important, he can hit a little.

    I’m telling ya, Diaz was Prado before Prado was Prado.

  69. 69
    Ethan Says:

    @65

    I know. I was just saying that he’s in the discussion.

    @66

    I don’t know. Someone said it before but I forgot. But it was 515 PA’s, which are different than AB’s

    As a point of comparison though, last year, when he won the batting title, Chipper as 534 PA’s.

  70. 70
    Ethan Says:

    Also, kind of along your last point Ububba, compare the postseason:

    Brett: In 184 PA: .337/.397/.627

    Schmidt: In 154 PA: .206/.324/.386

    In that area, it’s really not a competition.

  71. 71
    kc Says:

    A very reasonable article from Bowman. I hope you guys understand it’s very tough for a kid to live in a foreign country and whose first language isn’t english. I am glad with the way the Braves are handling Yunel.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090720&content_id=5960944&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

  72. 72
    Nick Says:

    Clearly every time Bobby doesn’t kiss Yunel’s ass, he’s trying to destroy him. This is getting really ridiculous around here. While the man is talented, he’s clearly an unmitigated pain in the ass, especially to Bobby. While he’s one that I agree we need on our team, that doesn’t mean Cox can’t be incredibly annoyed at the three completely retarded things he does per week. I really don’t know why everyone on here is constantly monitoring to see when Bobby doesn’t call Yunel the greatest human being he’s ever worked with.

    My favorite whinge along this line the other day was when someone wondered why Bobby doesn’t badmouth Chipper for making errors but is constantly “out to get” Yunel. Really? I mean….really? Is this really a question? Chipper has proven himself to be a player who will do whatever it takes for the team to win over a period of 15 years. Yunel has proven precisely jackshit in this regard. It’s not, nor has it ever been, about simply making physical mistakes. It’s about mental mistakes. Mistakes which can be avoided by not being stupid. I can’t remember the last mental mistake I saw Chipper Jones make, but I could probably name 10 from Yunel this year, and that’s the point.

    Why can’t people on here admit that he’s an unlikeable schmuck and move on? There’s nothing wrong with having an unlikeable schmuck on your team if he helps the team win, which Yunel is doing (most of the time, anyway). For God’s sake, Yunel is not being disenfranchised. He’s not a victim of mean ol’ Bobby and his dastardly cohorts the media, on a fiendish plot to rain on his parade at every turn.

  73. 73
    kc Says:

    Nick, I think Yunel is getting too much unnecessary attention. Maybe DOB and Bowman are running out of things to write. I wish they can just leave Yunel alone and write about other things.

  74. 74
    kc Says:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2009/07/20/deadline-approaches-but-braves-not-in-all-or-nothing-mindset/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

    “Jones said he’s encouraged. “The lineup is better. We don’t have [easy] outs any more,” he said.”

    I really wonder who Chipper was referring to!!!

  75. 75
    Godot Says:

    The thing with Yunel bashing that is bothering me is that its usually the sign of a bad team which bashes its best players.

    And it can be argued that counting in defence and positional adjustment, Yunel is at the same level as McCann and both are more valuable to the team than Chipper currently.

  76. 76
    oldtimer? Says:

    If that was a legit trade offer by Toronto, the Mets would be nuts not to take, those players stink in that offer, it would be a the second greatest pitcher snag since Santana.

    ESL, english as a second language, yes it is hard, but where I teach it is 50% Korea, and we are a landing spot for new immigrants and the High School kids pick it up real well.

    He was older when he came to the U.S.though and that can be more difficult.

  77. 77
    JC Says:

    via Twitter

    @keithlaw Mets-Jays trade report (Jays offered Doc for Martinez, Tejada, Niese, Parnell) is bogus. Shot down by multiple sources.

  78. 78
    Kevin Lee Says:

    A member of of the Braves extended family, Erin Andrews, is having a rough go of it this week through no fault of her own. Having to keep an eye out for foul balls is one thing. This other offense against her is beyond awful.
    I hope the criminals that taped her are caught and punished.
    And I sincerely hope she keeps working, because she adds to my enjoyment of the games.

  79. 79
    Tiger224 Says:

    With Smoltz getting knocked around again…and Red Sox options that exist (Bucholz or an external option)…if Smoltzie were to get bumped from the rotation, would he ask for a release from his contract?

    If that were to happen…and that’s a huge if, I realize, is there even a slight chance that Smoltz would return to Atlanta to pitch out of the pen?

    A bit far-fetched, but not that bad, I don’t think. The $$ would have to make sense, but it would be a great PR move to welcome him back with open arms.

  80. 80
    rehabreject Says:

    For what it’s worth, Cubans are notorious for not bothering to learn English since here in Miami you can easily get away with only knowing greetings and the occasional curse word.

    I know the guys he hangs out with (one of them came with him on that raft from Cuba). They’re nice people but they also show no interest in learning English. Other than telling DOB to go blow it out his wazoo, he really doesn’t have a “need” to learn English since his friends and family all don’t speak it either.

    and yeah, I know it’s America and he should learn English but the guy can hit so it all evens out I guess haha

  81. 81
    Tiger224 Says:

    #80

    It looks like Yunel has learned a few English phrases…such as “I’d like you to frost my tips please”

  82. 82
    stupup74 Says:

    Carroll Rogers did a great job talking about Yunel and the media in the blog yesterday. She even admitted that it is easy to take the easy way out and talk to the guys who speak better English, meaning it does seem like Yunel gets more of the negative press than positive press.

    The language barrier is something that has to be taken into account. The English language is one of the hardest to master, however, it would benefit the ‘foreign’ guys to learn some. I respect Nate McLouth for learning Spanish. Chipper and McCann should learn a little bit of Spanish. It would be a nice gesture for the team leaders to make the effort.

    That said, Yunel does have some growing up to do, but to me, he is really playing as hard as I have seen him since the break.

    He has a brain lock every now and then, so do most guys on this team. If he keeps playing hard, the ‘love’ will come.

  83. 83
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yunel does speak some English, though. And it’s not as though the places he played coming up through the system are hotbeds of Latino culture.

  84. 84
    cliff Says:

    One of the problems in evening PR out or straightening PR out with respect to Yunel comes back to my chosen bete noire (excluded from choice with all best intentions by our editor and host).

    When the Peavy deal was being talked about, didn’t most people on here wonder why in the crap they would trade Escobar in the package? And, the most common answer relayed here? Because Bobby doesn’t like him or has trouble dealing with him.

    Over and over that has been in the press. So, I believe a small but significant contingent of fans who have high reverence for Cox start from a presumptive starting point that Yunel is in the wrong and want to see stories about Yunel being in the wrong.

    Actually, until the last few weeks, I would have believed that Yunel is the one causing the problems and Bobby is trying to solve them. Now, either Bobby has totally lost willingness to ocnstructively engage Yunel or has consciously adopted a strategy of “if you won’t respond to private meetings, I’ll put it in the press and hang you out to dry.”

    The effect, however, seems to be wearing on Cox’ position.

    Over and over the beat reporters and national reporters are shooting down the “Yunel for trade because he doesn’t get along with Cox.” With our local guys (DOB and Peanut) where do you think they are getting that from? I say Wren or Wren’s “plausible deniability secret source.” So, Cox may be throwing Yunel out as a power play. That is “Dammit, I run this team and you people aren’t backing me.”

  85. 85
    sdp Says:

    I have a friend who approached Yunel in a Houston mall last year with a baseball for him to sign and he says Yunel said in crystal clear English, “I’m not signing that.”

  86. 86
    cliff Says:

    Antoher cultural thing is that Cubans don’t necessarily assimilate with non Cuban Hispanics well. Particularly those that are Castillian Spanish in racial / ethnic origin.

    And, what may be most significant, the “Communism, Castro thing.” This has become a little passe here in this country. But the one place where you hear harsh old school conservative principles being brought up by entertainers is with respect to Cuba. As in, listen to Gloria Estefan or Andy Garcia go off on Cuba and Castro. It sounds like the John Birch Society playbook.

    The Dominican players have experienced grinding poverty, but not quarantine for AIDS sufferers, rigged elections, and prohibitions in leaving.

  87. 87
    Tiger224 Says:

    Another cultural thing that Cubans don’t necessarily get is the idea of revolution. Kick The Man in the butt when he’s holding you down.

    Come on…they can hit big league curve balls…but they can’t topple a rinky dink Socialist Castro govn’t?

  88. 88
    JoeyT Says:

    I love how I don’t even have to worry about Halladay trade rumors because we don’t need him. We have absolutely zero need for a starting pitcher. Heck, once Hudson comes back, we could trade away any starting pitcher and still have the best 5-man in the league.

    The only thing to even consider with Halladay is hoping that the Phils don’t get him.

  89. 89
    rehabreject Says:

    86
    I agree with you fervently

    I am a non Cuban Hispanic in Miami and it is true that Cubans and non-Cubans Hispanics do not blend to form one general “latino” culture. It is rather odd. Venezuelans, Colombians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc are basically indistinguishable down here (culture wise, not race-wise). Cubans though seem to only hang out with other Cubans and at times it seems like they discriminate against non-Cubans.

    I went as far as asking a Cuban person why this happens and they say it is a combination of national pride, insecurity and defense mechanism. Pretty deep psychological stuff but it made sense. Whenever I try talking to a Cuban, I get the sense they do not want to talk to me. Their face reads like “Why are you talking to me? Get away from me”. They act very rude towards you so next time you don’t even bother talking to them.

  90. 90
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, your New York Mets! I’ll have more later.

  91. 91
    Alex R. Says:

    First, on the Mike Gonzalez use, I am with Mac here a 1000%. This is my #1 complaint (and always has been) about Bobby and how he abuses relievers.

    Look, we don’t know yet whether Gonzo will be a Brave or not. What I do know is we are very much alive still for both the Wild Card and NL East with over 2 months to play, and I’d like Gonzo to be healthy and useful for the stretch run.

    Wasting his arm in an 11-3 laughers is ASININE.

  92. 92
    Alex R. Says:

    Regarding Jeff Schultz’s latest column:

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2009/07/20/deadline-approaches-but-braves-not-in-all-or-nothing-mindset/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

    Schultz is an idiot. Not Terrence Moore stupid, but stupid.

    First, as Chipper accurately pointed out, we’ve “removed” all of the automatic outs from earlier in the season: Francouer, Kelly Johnson and Schafer. Buh bye.

    The other two guys who weren’t hitting, Kotchman and Ganderson, are hitting more consistently. Not all stars, but solid and contributing now. There’s no more “automatic outs” in the lineup, no matter who starts.

    Furthermore, Javy Vazquez has arguably been our most dominant starting pitcher. The one thing the Braves seem to have over all the other teams in the NL is the depth of our starting pitching. With the lineup at least better (albeit not awesome, but solid now), trading Vazquez would be really stupid.

    I get that Tim Hudson is coming back. Ideally, we’d trade Kawakami, the most obvious weak link, or even Derek Lowe because of his huge contract and not living up to it so much. But if Hudson is healthy and throwing in the 90s, we should move Kawakami to the bullpen.

    But I am against dealing Vazquez or Jurrgjens, who have consistently been our two most effective and reliable veteran starters.

  93. 93
    Alex R. Says:

    In summary? This is a good problem to have no matter how the rest of the 2009 season plays out.

    I’d rather have too much pitching and at least a competent lineup, then remove a top notch starter to maybe slightly improve the lineup.

    (only if we could get a complete stud hitter, say a Teixeira level offensive player, is it then worth it to consider).

  94. 94
    cliff Says:

    Another thing on the Gonzo usage.

    I am pretty sure O’Flaherty was up an inning earlier. So, if getting warmed up without being used is almost as bad as being used, then we used O’Flaherty too last night. Why couldn’t the already warmed up (and then possibly partially “warmed down”) O’Flaherty have taken the inning?

    Gonzo didn’t need to face the “two days in a row” test until he had faced the “one use, one day off, then another use” test successfully.

  95. 95
    desert Says:

    Thoughts on 2010 payroll, anyone? Will we have the financial capability to add an off-season bat? If so, who do you think we should pursue? (Personally, I would love to get Jason Bay and stick him at first, depending on the readiness of Heyward, et. all. Even an opening day outfield of McLouth, Schafer, and Bay makes me giddy with glee inside. But Boston is probably going to re-sign him anyway…)

  96. 96
    cliff Says:

    What about KJ to the Twins? Do they have anything they would deal that we could use? The Twins have suffered a 600 OPS at 2nd (bad KJ was better than that). (maybe there is somebody else needing something).

    I have been a KJ fan. I am ocnvinced that KJ overall is better than bad KJ and wouldn’t trade him if all I got for him was “bad KJ value”; however, I don’t think anybody else will give us “good KJ” value. If we can get “medium KJ” value, I think we ought to consider a move.

    I genuinely believe Prado is for real (probably at least as good as “medium KJ” and quite possibly as good or better than “good KJ”) and genuinely believe Conrad is at least a plus backup ML middle infielder. And Prado has at least 1 more year at ML minimum and would then have (I think) 4 arb protected years. KJ has two arb protected years left (at salary that will probably rise). Do we really want to hold an arb eligible guy to be a backup middle infielder? Also, Infante is signed through next year.

  97. 97
    cliff Says:

    We probably either have to move one of Hudson / Vazquez / Lowe or else non tender or trade several arb eligible guys to stay even in payroll. We won’t get an increase UNLESS we get into postseason and get a revenue jolt (and then we are talking maybe 10 million at most).

  98. 98
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Too much dissension this morning – we need a story that unites us all:

    Reporter Erin Andrews Photographed Naked in Hotel Room

  99. 99
    Dix Says:

    KJ just isn’t going to bring back anything useful I’m afraid. He needs to be part of a larger deal, if we trade him.

    The problem is, how do you classify KJ?

    Is he a “prospect” with upside that you trade for a currently better player who’s potential has been reached?

    Or is he a legit MLB second baseman who you trade for a younger prospect, far from the bigs, but with higher ceiling than KJ appears to have.

    My issue with him is that I see him oscillating back and forth between the two categories so I can’t settle on what I’d prefer to deal him as.

  100. 100
    JoeyT Says:

    We’ll be bidding against the Mets for Bay, and they have ridiculous amounts of money. If we couldn’t afford Dunn, we won’t be able to afford Bay.

  101. 101
    Ron E. Says:

    I doubt Wren will even try to sign Bay or Holliday. The Braves outfield of the future (maybe even next year) is McLouth, Schafer, and Heyward. Wren will be looking to spend what money he has available in the offseason on the bullpen.

  102. 102
    Ron E. Says:

    #99, you can’t really call KJ a prospect considering he’s been a major leaguer for most of the last 4 years. I’d consider him a guy who’s had a bad year and hasn’t ever quite lived up to his potential but isn’t yet a lost cause like Francoeur. Considering Wren actually managed to convert Francoeur into Ryan Church, it should be quite possible for him to get a decent major league player or prospect for Kelly in a trade.

  103. 103
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @84 and beyond

    It was sad that time when Bobby Cox killed Cliff’s parents and raped his dog. I doubt little Cliffy will ever get past that.

    @87

    The Cubans don’t understand revolution? Really? The *Cubans?*

  104. 104
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    The argument for trading Vazquez as soon as possible is compelling in my view. We cannot afford to keep both Vazquez and Hudson next year. Even if we could we would then have a logjam in the rotation. There is no way around that. Lowe and Kawakami are solid pitchers but are signed at or above market value and have very little trade value. JJ and Hanson are untouchable, and rightly so. So either Vazquez or Hudson goes. Vazquez is obviously a better bet in terms of production for this year and perhaps also for next. But unlike Hudson he has very real trade value. So either we lose Hudson next year by declining his option and get no compensation, or we trade Vazquez now, at the peak of his value, and still have Hudson taking his place in the rotation and replacing most of his production. I would trade Vazquez in any deal that includes one A/A- infield prospect and two Bs, at least one of which should be a high upside pitcher.

  105. 105
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @99 and 102

    Kelly Johnson is a better major league option than three or four current Atlanta Braves. He’s far better than Greg Norton or Diory Hernandez. He’s the equivalent player of Omar Infante at the very least. And unless the fairy godmother magic is permanent this time, he’s essentially a LH Martin Prado. He had a rough first half. He deserved his demotion. He is not J*ff Fr*nc***r.

  106. 106
    Seat Painter Says:

    I feel sorry that her privacy was invaded that egregiously. I hope the rat bastards that did it get some jail time for doing that to her.

    I’m not overly concerned about Gonzo being used last night. Bobby needs to know if he can count on him on back to back days. I WILL however be concerned if he’s used again tonight. I hope we adopt a Sutter-like policy with Gonzo. No more than 2 days pitching and 2 days resting in a row.

  107. 107
    Stu Says:

    104—I’m with you on being open to trading Vazquez, though I disagree about what we should be seeking in return. I’d want an excellent ML-ready bat in return; wouldn’t be seeking prospects.

    Also, to be clear, Kawakami’s deal appears to be very much under his market value. I don’t think we’ll trade him, but I think that’s mostly for public relations / image reasons.

  108. 108
    PWHjort Says:

    96,
    I had thought about that. Aaron Gleeman suggested it too. But the Twins don’t really match up with the Braves. They’re looking to add relievers and I don’t think they would part with Kubel or Cuddyer.

  109. 109
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @ Erin Andrews

    That’s wrong on every level. Personally, I think Mac should delete the comment that links to the NYPost’s article (as the post is essentially riding the criminal’s actions for web hits – hopefuly Andrews will sue them as well.)

  110. 110
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I’m hesitiant to get into this, but while I lived in Miami I dated a woman from Chile and she did not like Cubans. Part of this might have been class-based; she was struggling (going to school and working dead-end jobs) and many (certainly not all) the Cubans in Miami were well to do and (at least back then) pretty conservative politically.

    I think it’s fair to consider Yunel’s adjustment issues and the differences in culture but, at the same time, that shouldn’t be an excuse for making bonehead plays. It’s not unreasonable to expect some professionalism from him. If I, as an American, went to live in another culture, I should make an attempt to at least learn some of the language and some of the mores; if I didn’t I would be an ugly American.

    One of the issues he faces in a place like Atlanta is that fans will always prefer a guy like Francouer, who is a local product and behaves within the parameters of the dominant culture, even if he sucks doing it. And, btw, when do we start reading stories about Frenchy silencing his critics?

    Re: Gonzalez. I don’t know the right way to use Gonzo, but, at least in theory, I have to agree with Mr. Swings. I don’t think it’s right for a team to use a player up and then discard him with no regard to his career. How would you like it if your employer gave no regard to your future? I think the Braves, like any decent organization, should have some regard for Gonzalez’s future even if it’s not with the Braves, at least to the extent of not purposely abusing him and risking his career. That’s only fair.

  111. 111
    Dix Says:

    I don’t really mean KJ as a prospect, so much as, if you trade him, are you doing it based on his current MLB caliber, to get a prospect in return, or are you trading him as a player with upside and potential (a la the Mets’ assessment of Francoeur)?

  112. 112
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I agree that, in theory, it might make sense to trade Vazquez while his value is highest. The problem is, who do you trade him for? I don’t see anyone out there for whom I would be willing to break up the staff. The one competitive advantage the Braves have is their starting pitching; diluting that by trading Vazquez for a mediocre bat makes no sense, especially since we really don’t know how effective Hudson will be next year. I would be ok with trading him if they could get a really good return but I don’t see anyone available like that.I can’t see the point of trading just to trade him.

  113. 113
    Stu Says:

    I’ve mentioned Prince Fielder before. I agree that it’s a very small group of players for whom it would be worth trading Vazquez, and there’s of course no guarantee that the teams owning the rights to those players would have sufficient interest in Vazquez. I still think a Vazquez-for-Fielder deal, perhaps with some extra stuff thrown in on one or both sides, would make a lot of sense, though.

    I don’t think anyone is advocating trading him just to trade him.

  114. 114
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    This team is better with KJ as a MI/OF spot starter than without him. At worst, he is a 5th OF/RH PH/one 2B start per week all in one body.

    Sam –

    You really think my post to a published news source should be censored? I agree with the sentiment, but really, I am a bit surprised. Dropping it right here though.

  115. 115
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    Oh, by many accounts the Mets don’t have the money for Bay as a result of recession and Maddoff losses. I don’t think he’s a fit here though.

  116. 116
    Alex R. Says:

    I think there are a few teams out there like Oakland that view Kelly Johnson still with some potential, and they might be right. We seem to have enough infield options, all who are playing better, that anything of decent value we can get for KJ, we should deal him.

    Though I can’t get on board with trading Vazquez, unless it’s a BIG middle of the order, bat, if we do trade him, we need to find an A.L. trading partner, and the irony is he’s a proven NL pitcher but he won’t have as much value in the AL. He’s shown much like Rentaria he’s a player who is simply better when he’s on the senior circuit.

    But we simply cannot trade him to another National league. Especially since we sit 3.5 out from the Wild Card and are playing WC rivals all this week with the Brewers and Giants.

    Ironically, the teams that desperately need Vazquez the most are the division rivals, the Mets and Phils, and obviously unlike Francouer, we can’t do that deal.

    The only way I consider trading Vazquez to another NL team is if it’s a team clearly out of it like the Padres, Nats or Pirates, where we get a bat and he goes to a team that can’t affect us as much in the playoff hunt.

    And between Vazquez and Hudson, it’s tough…Hudson when fully on his game, is the better pitcher. But he’s coming off year long surgery shut down and Vazquez is terrific right now. That’s a hard call…but yes, I’d rather keep both and would prefer trading Lowe or Kawakami…if only they didn’t have such fat contracts.

  117. 117
    cliff Says:

    What we could get in trading KJ isn’t related to what we think he is. It is related to what the other guy thinks he is and what they need.

    I would say a contending team with a hole at 2B (Twins!!!) would be well advised to offer something to get him. From the Braves’ standpoint that would either be (1) a near elite bat on a short not unreasonable contract (Jermaine Dye, maybe) or (2) prospects or (3) filling another hole that emerges in the next few days (blown out key reliever, maybe). Trading KJ says we don’t need him or something like him ( a MI in arb years).

    As to (1) above generally, not tied solely to that one player, if the bat were good enough, you might add to the deal. Even though I think Matt Holliday is vastly overrated, I might one up KJ for him. At Dye’s age, I wouldn’t want to sweeten.

    As for (2), whatever prospects Roy Clark thinks we ought to get and are equal value should be good enough for me.

    As to (3), just depends on what happens.

  118. 118
    Alex R. Says:

    Would a package of Kelly Johnson, Kotchman, Vazquez and perhaps a pitching prospect get a deal done for Fielder, Stu?

  119. 119
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The Giants Brewers would have no use for Kotchman — the whole point would be to move Braun Gamel to first base. Fielder is a Boras client, I believe.

  120. 120
    Alex R. Says:

    Mac, I get that the Giants would have no use, but what about the Brewers, where Fielder actually is?

  121. 121
    cliff Says:

    What about Kj to the Orioles for Luke Scott (or whoever you guys think of)? Then, that lets Orioles take the value out of Brian Roberts (through a separate trade) since their contention is beyond Roberts’ horizon (I think he hs 1 more contract year) and KJ can cover 2nd o.k. for two more relatively cheap years.

  122. 122
    Stu Says:

    118—I mean, I have no idea what would get a deal done, but I seriously doubt the Brewers are looking to take on that much salary. Fielder makes $6.5M this year (and $10.5M next), and that’s $17.21M in salary you’re proposing sending to Milwaukee. Pro-rated, the difference is only around $5M, but that’s still a lot. Besides, they just traded for Felipe Lopez and the theoretical reason they’d be willing to move Fielder would be to make room at first for Gamel.

    121—That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, given the presence of Anderson and Church.

  123. 123
    Stu Says:

    Mac,
    Fielder’s a Boaras client, yes, but he’s signed through 2010 and I wouldn’t want to sign him to a long-term extension past that, anyway.

  124. 124
    Mac Thomason Says:

    My fingers are having a bad day.

  125. 125
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    The Brewers are a good fit, but I think we are likelier to ask for and get Alcides Escobar or Mat Gamel plus one or two lower level B/B- prospects with some real upside. In other words, less than about 3/5 of what the Jays would want for Halladay. I’d take such a deal.

    Another potential fit is Vazquez for Brett Wallace and a low level prospect. I’d take that deal too. Even if we have to send some ’09 salary relief to the cards.

  126. 126
    Alex R. Says:

    And the other problem as I stated earlier in dealing with the Brewers and Giants is these are your direct rivals for a wild card.

    The Giants starting pitching may hold up and match ours throughout the 2nd half, but we currently have better starters in comparison to Milwaukee so I’d be hesitant to give one of our top 2 (current) starters to a team we are neck and neck with right now. And yes, we’d be subtracting Fielder from their linup but that’s a huge gamble for both franchises.

  127. 127
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @114

    I don’t think you should be censored, per se, but I think that any link to a website that is doing nothing but riding the criminal actions for leering-old-man and/or college-kid hits, which is clearly what the Post is doing, should be taken down. Your link generates traffic to the Post’s article which generates revenue for the Post which rewards them for posting criminal photos of Erin Andrews in the weak guise of a “news item.”

    Mac shouldn’t be driving people to the Post’s site. Not for this story. Not for any story really, because the Post is a gossip rag and little more. Would you link to that article if it were your sister instead of Andrews?

  128. 128
    cliff Says:

    IF “good Buddy Carylye” or “good Jorge Campillo” were around and functioning, I would strongly consider moving Vazquez. Not now. We have only Medlen as a “6th starter”. If this team makes a move into the postseason, it will be by holding the other guys to 3 or less most nights and finding a way to score 4 or more.

    I agree picking up Church cuts down the advantage in getting Scott. What else do the Orioles have that they would move?

    But if Wren can get Church for Francoeur, maybe he can pull off something with KJ.

    I think it doesn’t make sense for this team to carry KJ’s 2nd arb year salary next year unless he is projected as a starter (non tender or trade Kotchman, move Chipper over to 1B in offseason, KJ at 2nd, Marvelous Martin at 3rd. Still have Infante and Conrad. Hmmm).

    Weird other subject. The Phillies have played 3 less games than we have. They must have very few off days and lots of makeups (one in FL) the rest of the way.

  129. 129
    sansho1 Says:

    Trivia time:

    Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, and Tris Speaker played together on the 1928 Philadelphia A’s. What else did they have in common by 1928?

  130. 130
    Stu Says:

    Chlamydia?

  131. 131
    sansho1 Says:

    Possibly, but I don’t have a source for that.

  132. 132
    bfan Says:

    I feel like we have played well for an extended stretch for the 1st time in a very long time. Wren to his credit has plugged the gaping holes on offense, and our pstarting pitching has been great. I really hope we don’t do anything major at this point.

    it was really easy to upgrade RF when Frenchie was there; you are dealing with about .100 more in OPS now, so to really upgrade you would need a star, and what would it take to get that?

    Trade Vasquez? seriously? He is pitching as well as just about anybody in the league this year, and has not been ever-worked. His peripherals show him as having a better ERA than what he has, and he is under 3.00 in his actual ERA. I feel that if we are going to make a serious play-off run, it is going to be on the back of Vasquez.

  133. 133
    Stu Says:

    That’s probably true, bfan. My Vazquez-for-Fielder plan was hatched when Francoeur was still here; replacing him with an actual Major Leaguer probably elevates the offense enough to not make it worth dealing Vazquez.

    Still, we’re going to have a starting pitching surplus very soon and, unlike the Red Sox, we won’t be able to afford everyone. Lowe and Kawakami aren’t getting traded; neither are Jurrjens and Hanson. That leaves Hudson and Vazquez, and Vazquez’ trade value is higher than it (or Hudson’s) will be at any point in the future.

    Guess the question is whether having Vazquez down the stretch makes it worth the (severe) drop in return we’ll get when our hand is forced and we have to trade Vazquez or Hudson this offseason.

  134. 134
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Re @#130

    Stu!!!

    But aside from that, what propmpted the idea that the Brwers would trade a marquee young star? You’d think the Commissioner would step in on something like that.

    Oh…wait..

  135. 135
    Ron E. Says:

    A lot of the discussion about Kelly it seems to me is people confusing what Kelly’s potential appeared to be in 2005 with what he has shown since then. Kelly’s OBP and SLG peaked in ’07 and have been going down each year since. He hasn’t turned into the .400 OBP/20+ HR guy some projected him to be when he came up. At this point Prado gives the Braves the same or better offense at a lower cost. There’s more reason to think Kelly is on the backside of his career than to think he’s going to make a giant leap forward in the future and become an All Star. But now — while there is still doubt about whether this year is a a just bad year or his new real ability level — is the perfect time to trade him just like last off season would have been the perfect time to trade Francoeur (stupid Mets GMs notwithstanding).

  136. 136
    blake Says:

    I’d try seeing if dayton loves kj and see if we could snag chipper’s heir apparent in the form of moustakas. Kj for chippers replacement (or any vasquez trade for that matter) should net us chippers replacement.

    Also, I don’t think hudson since moving to the nl at the top of his game is that clear cut better than vasquez at the top of his. I’d argue the opposite, actually.

  137. 137
    PWHjort Says:

    129,
    Not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but they had all won an MVP.

  138. 138
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think they all had 3000 hits, and they were all past forty.

  139. 139
    PWHjort Says:

    We are 11-36 when we allow 4 or more runs. And we’re 36-10 when we allow 3 runs or fewer.

  140. 140
    Mac Thomason Says:

    They’d also all been involved in fixes. Collins was one of the Clean Sox — their leader, really, and the fix was partially instigated by jealousy of Collins. Cobb and Speaker, as managers, were charged with fixing a game, though Speaker was innocent and Cobb was at most guilty of knowledge.

  141. 141
    Stu Says:

    134—The idea was that the Brewers need pitching, can only play one of Gamel and Fielder (since they don’t seem willing to play Gamel at third), and would probably rather trade the more expensive one.

  142. 142
    sansho1 Says:

    All true, but not the answer I’m looking for.

    In 1928, they were all current players, but former managers.

    (Mac, you almost had it there.)

  143. 143
    Johnny Says:

    I don’t want to trade KJ becuase I am not convinced that Prado is the real deal. Nor do I think Infante won’t turn into a pumpkin. And besides why deal him when he is at his lowest value?

  144. 144
    sansho1 Says:

    FYI — Mickey Cochrane and Jimmie Dykes were also on the team, and would later become player-managers.

  145. 145
    Stu Says:

    And besides why deal him when he is at his lowest value?

    I don’t really want to trade him, either, but the argument would be that he’s only at his lowest value yet. People were saying the same thing about trading Francoeur this offseason, and in the middle of last season, only his value kept declining. If this is the real KJ now, his current value is actually as high as it will ever be.

  146. 146
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The only reason to deal KJ would be to improve the team. That’s the only reason to trade any player. If the return package improves the team this year and into the future, you trade him. If no one offers you a package that improves the team, you let Kelly get a few more weeks of AAA healthy into his swing and then bring him up in place of Norton.

    Going into this season the Braves had four major areas of concern: LF, CF, RF and 1B.

    Schafer failed in CF but Wren patched that hole with McLouth.

    Contrary to popular opinion here, LF has been functionally okay since Anderson came off the DL.

    Fr*c***r failed in RF and Wren patched that hole with Riatt Diurch.

    Kotchman hasn’t been good at 1B but he’s been better of late.

    An unexpected hole opened up at 2B where KJ struggled mightily, but Prado has stepped up to fill that hole.

    Going forward the Braves need to assess 1B. The OF is, contrary to all expecations, a little above league average now. The key for this season is how much of a pumpkin Prado turns out to be and whether or not Kotchman can maintain his currently level of ‘not quite complete suck.’ You’d like to improve on Kotchman but not at the expense of giving up Vasquez. There’s a reasonable shot that Kelly Johnson outhits Kotchman down the stretch anyway.

  147. 147
    hankonly Says:

    Dammit, Stu. I’m reading this at lunch and now am wearing a Quizno’s Special.

    Keep Vasquez / Trade Lowe – for “cap relief” if nothing else.

  148. 148
    Alex R. Says:

    #146

    Sam’s analysis is definitely in line with my feelings here.

    If we had had a good lineup all season, Vazquez and Jurrgjens may have both been all stars because they would have had the W-L records to match their stellar ERAs.

    Kotchman isn’t great and he’s not a long term option, but yes, both he and Ganderson have been solid of late and have stopped hurting the team. Both are veterans and while neither is an option I’d like in 2010, I don’t think either will hurt us the rest of this season.

    The bottomline is their is no reason to trade a top flight starting pitching unless you’re getting an all star level offensive player in return. The fact is, right now, there is tremendous risk in trading Vazquez. Lowe and Kawakmi are completely unreliable.

    And while it’s true we can’t really trade either, I am not feeling 100% secure that Lowe, Kawakami or a just returned from injury Hudson can be fully relied upon for the rest of this season. I love our 6-man staff, but I see two starters I fully, 100% trust right now to give a quality start about 98% of the time – Vazquez and Jurrgjens.

    And I love Tommy Hanson but he’s a rookie and you can’t assume he’s just going to keep winning. He deserves every chance to stick with it, but he’s still a bit of an unknown at age 22.

    So, we have lots of people talking on Bravesjournal about wanting to trade one of the only 2, truly reliable starters we might have down the stretch. While I have every belief in Hudson’s abilities, he’s 34 and coming off major surgery, while the two highly overpaid pitchers in our rotation, have been anything but consistent and ace-like in their numbers.

    Which then goes back to the point that if we deal Vazquez, that means our “6th starter” is Kris Medlen. Medlen isn’t awful, but he is what he is…a young pitcher with some ability, but not any kinda starter you can rely on for a stretch run.

  149. 149
    oldtimer? Says:

    You nailed it Alex.

  150. 150
    jjschiller Says:

    The DBacks might have a place for KJ. Chad Qualls sounds nice in our bullpen..

  151. 151
    Alex R. Says:

    The other reason to hold onto these starters is it’s ONE area the Braves have a major advantage over other potential playoff teams.

    There are a few playoff level teams like Boston and the Giants that maybe could match depth of rotation, but the list is short.

    I think at this point, we should absolutely leave Vazquez alone and the guy we should focus on trading is Kelly Johnson.

    (it’s also why we’ve been doing so well against the Phillies this year…we pretty much have a starting pitching edge almost every time we play them and this may change IF they get Halladay).

  152. 152
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @148

    I think a lot of us get caught up in the ‘are we buyers or sellers’ hoopla this time of year and create a false-dichotomy where you have to be one or the other. The best move for the Braves, barring just being blown away by an offer out of the blue, is to stand pat. It’s boring. It doesn’t make the fans go “ooh” and “aahhh.” But this team isn’t positioned to improve greatly with a deadline deal. You’re not going to get return value for Vasquez – a three-hole or cleanup hitter at the major league level or someone of Heyward’s status in the high minors – so you don’t sell. You don’t part with the real prospects you have, so you don’t buy. You just stand pat, tell your guys “this is our team, we believe in you, so go out there and win or lose with what we have.” This team can win the WC. If Phillie loses an offensive cog – I don’t expect Jimmy Rollins to continue to outhit Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez has to come back to earth eventually – you might even catch them. If you do neither, you played meaningful baseball down the stretch and you’re still set to be the divisional favorite in 2010, 11, 12 and beyond.

  153. 153
    ububba Says:

    The Erin Andrews story is everywhere, on sites reputable & otherwise. Like it or not, it’s news.

  154. 154
    Mike N. Says:

    I wonder what it would take to get Aubrey Huff from the Orioles. Hes not exactly at his highest value right now, but he has the track record of 30 and a solid BA and OBP. I know they have Brian Roberts at second, but maybe they could convince them KJ can still play short…

  155. 155
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @153

    Do the “reputable” news sources have screen shots? I realize that our culture will eat this shit up like pudding, but that doesn’t mean it should be condoned. This is Mac’s site. He can do with it as he will. If it were me, I’d delete any link to anything but a straight text story detailing how Andrews’ was violated and what legal actions is being taken.

  156. 156
    ububba Says:

    At this point, who cares?

    If you’re willing to risk getting a virus on your computer, anyone can Google & find the entire video anyway.

  157. 157
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    My point has nothing to do with how easily the files can be found if someone is pathetic enough to look for them. My point is that Mac, whom I respect, shouldn’t link to them from his website.

  158. 158
    ububba Says:

    Lotta pathetic people out there.

  159. 159
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    You couldn’t convince me KJ could play short, and I am one of his biggest fans.

  160. 160
    Seat Painter Says:

    If the Braves are in a race at the end of the year, trying to toss Medlen in key starts (Assuming Vazquez traded & Hudson out) screams ‘Solomon Torres’ to me.

    At this point, I would trade KJ for a bullpen arm to make the Soriano/Gonzo/Moylan trio a quad. Then you’d have:

    Vazquez
    Jurrjens
    Hanson
    Lowe
    Kawakami

    Soriano
    Gonzo
    Moylan
    Trade Bait
    Medlen
    Eric O’F.
    Logan/Hudson/Warm Body

    Now that’s a staff that could do some damage in a short series. Or suck out the wazoo, but that’s the nature of the post-season.

  161. 161
    sdp Says:

    It might make me a bad guy, but even through the blurriness she’s got a damn fine body.

  162. 162
    ububba Says:

    Not bad…for a Gator.

  163. 163
    oldtimer? Says:

    No, it does not make you a bad guy, just human.

    If we can get another bullpen arm for KJ, I would do it, even if it is only a one year rental, we are winning now without him, and when he was here, we were losing.

  164. 164
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It is not a trait of humanity to invade the privacy of someone’s home and sexuality, or to take pleasure from such a violation. Grow the hell up.

  165. 165
    sdp Says:

    I take no pleasure in her situation–I’m just merely stating the obvious.

  166. 166
    Tony Says:

    What an interesting conversation. I basically learn that Cubans don’t like other hispanics. I also learned that Puerto Ricans in Miami actually associate with other hispanics. Boy wait until the Puerto Ricans in NY hear about that. They will be very upset. They take that commonwealth thing pretty seriously. That separates them from the other “illegal” hispanics.

    Anyway, so Yunel didn’t sign an autograph, who cares. Apparently on another site, Lebron James was a jerk to some kids at a summer camp. It happens.

    I just hope Philly loses again. I hate having to depend on the wild card.

  167. 167
    Spiral Stairs Says:

    Re: Erin Andrews

    Get over it guys. It wasn’t like SPike posted a porn site. He linked to a legit newspaper (albeit a crappy Murdoch one).

  168. 168
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I don’t approve of what the Post did — or of the Post in general. But I’m not going to censor.

  169. 169
    oldtimer? Says:

    Calm down Sam, no one here videotaped her, but when an issue is slapped in your face in is human to look.
    I didn’t, i think it is a sad situation, but I am not going to criticize sdp for what he said.

  170. 170
    sdp Says:

    New topic. The Phillies have won nine in a row. What would happen if WE could do that? Well, we’d be a SERIOUS contender and not one of the many fringe teams at this point.

  171. 171
    spike (back in the ATL) Says:

    …and apparently the “rationale” for which I posted it was flawed :-)

  172. 172
    Dix Says:

    I didn’t look at the link, don’t care about a blurry peephole image. I’m waiting for the Erin Andrews sex tape to leak.

    How’s that for an unintended pun?

  173. 173
    cliff Says:

    sdp @170,

    The Hardball Times site today has its “dartboard” (estimate of wins expected from each team based on how it has played).

    Relevant to Braves.
    Last week they saw 80 wins. Now they see 83. They see Phillies with 89. The wild card competition is Rockies 89, Cardinals 84 and everybody else at or lower than the Braves.

    SO, Braves need to focus on their games. If we play 600 or better the rest of the way (89 wins?), we are in the hunt, maybe even for the division. If we play 550 (86 wins?), we may have a shot at the wild card. Otherwise, no shot.

  174. 174
    c. shorter Says:

    I think they’ll hold Vazquez unless bowled over with an ML stud. It means they’ll get less of a return if they do end up dealing him. But they should be okay with it if they really feel like they’re in it this year.

    I wouldn’t move him because I don’t think you can depend on Hudson for much of anything. I’d like to see him come back in the bullpen and see how that goes.

    Move KJ for a relief arm? I think that’s a tough one. Is Prado a hot pumpkin? Could Conrad help if Prado cools significantly? Not sure.

    As boring as it is, I think you stand pat at this point.

  175. 175
    rehabreject Says:

    110
    yeah, learning a language and adjusting to your surrounding culture is something most Americans would do in a foreign country.. but Yunel came from Cuba and lives in Miami a.k.a. Cuba 2.0 .. my gf (white from Wisconsin) always gets rude treatment from Cubans because she talks in English and the Cuban way to react is put on a face like “Where the !@#$ do you think you are? Speak in Spanish, lady!”

    166
    In general, most Latin countries like each other and get along here. The Cubans don’t “hate” other hispanics but they do make a huge effort to not associate with them and only hang out with their fellow countrymen.

  176. 176
    td Says:

    It would be awesome for us to win 9 or more in a row, but given Cox’s bullpen mgmt, it’s hard to fathom. Pitching your ace relievers on short rest (when not necessary) not only puts you in danger because you have to use a lesser bullpen arm, there’s also a greater chance of your ace reliever having a tired arm. We’ve seen losses due to both scenarios recently and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this.

  177. 177
    Dix Says:

    When is the last time the Braves won 9 in a row?

  178. 178
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Game thread time.

  179. 179
    Kevin Says:

    I think the royals are the only logical trading partner..

    They have mahay and Tehean.

    Dayton loves braves players , so I am sure that if we offered Kelly, Kotchman, Boone Logan and JOJO plus his choice of b level prospect he would go for it. Salaries of the above about even it out .

    I think the upgrade in the pen and at first would be enough, but the question is are the braves even really interested with Heyward and Freeman so close.

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