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29 Sep

Braves 5, Marlins 1

Florida Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – September 29, 2010 – ESPN.

Derek Lowe continued his exceptional work of late, and the Braves actually managed enough runs early enough to make the game somewhat comfortable. Not too comfortable.

Lowe escaped a jam in the first inning after allowing a single to the leadoff man and walking the next hitter. The third-place hitter (not the absent Hanley Ramirez, but Logan Morrison) hit a comebacker to Lowe, who threw to second to get one. Alex Gonzalez dropped the relay and it fell behind him, and Scott Cousins tried to advance from third, but AAG recovered in time to throw him out at the plate.

Meanwhile, the Braves stranded two runners in the first and two runners in the second. Some things never change. But in the third, Matt Diaz and Derrek Lee both walked with one out. After AAG flew out, David Ross gave the Braves the lead with a double, and Brooks Conrad, Folk Hero, hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0.

Lowe needed a lot of pitches, as usual, and was working on three days’ rest, so he didn’t make it out of the sixth. He struck out nine batters, but consecutive two-out singles in the sixth brought home a run and the tying run to the plate, so Bobby went with (of course) Peter Moylan, who got out of it. Moylan and Mike Dunn shared the seventh, and Craig Kimbrel handled the eighth.

Freddie Freeman, who had entered the game for Lee late, doubled with one out in the eighth. Three two-out walks, to Jason Heyward, Rick Ankiel, and Eric Hinske, made it 5-1. Billy Wagner came in to close it out in the non-save situation.

330 Responses to “Braves 5, Marlins 1”

  1. 1
    justhank Says:

    We’re going to have to move that right-center fence in some.

  2. 2
    se1915 Says:

    Yunel just pulled another boneheaded play in Toronto, trying to tag from first on a fly ball to Austin Kearns. Running there was Snitker-esque.

  3. 3
    justhank Says:

    Mac – you should repost your Francouerian tragedy sometime in November when we’ll all have more time to savor it. Truly inspired work.
    ————-

    I think we’re witnessing a successful changing of the guard.

    Freeman – yeah, he’ll do.

    Dunn – yeah, he’ll do.

    Kimbrel? – Oh, hell yeah, he’ll do.

    Venters? – just devastating.

    Prado and Omar? – if we can get them to take the winter off and get some rest, I think they can be major league borderline All-Stars.

    Hudson, Hanson, and (whodathunkit) Lowe are a pretty good Big Three. Contributions from Jurrgens and Minor would help.

    Conrad and Hinske forming the basis for a good bench.

    Jayson and Diaz in the corners. Still need that young Mike Cameron in center (does he exist?).

    Put Chipper as player/manager and you’ve got an exciting young team.

  4. 4
    Catz Says:

    Yay for the Folk Hero.

  5. 5
    FlaBravesFan Says:

    Condrad is the man. Is he the starting 3rd baseman if Chipper cant start the season. Also, do we think retain AAG?

  6. 6
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Brooks Conrad must have sold his soul to the devil for this year.

  7. 7
    sdp Says:

    Brooks Conrad has serious power for his frame.

  8. 8
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Collapse of early eighties Braves explained: Check out who they drafted in the 13th round. Yes, and that’s THE the Randy Johnson, whom they didn’t sign, in the fourth.

  9. 9
    kc Says:

    @5 AAG will be our shortstop next season. That’s one of the main reasons why Wren obtained AAG.

    Wag’s save is stolen!!! Not that he cares.

  10. 10
    Robert Says:

    Also, do we think retain AAG?

    Club option for $2.5 million so they should be able to bring him back. This would be an excellent time to sell (relatively) high. That flashy HR total isn’t coming back but the sub .300 OBP sure is.

  11. 11
    csg Says:

    AAG will have a lot of value this offseason with limited SS available. Does Omar go back to a bench role in order to keep AAG at SS?

    .303 OBP .708OPS is pretty bad, good time to sell

  12. 12
    PaulV Says:

    Prado could play first if necessary and Infante can play left. Jones, AAG, Books and Prado infield

  13. 13
    csg Says:

    Pretty sure Freeman will be at 1st

  14. 14
    Brian J. Says:

    8- Look on the bright side. We did effectively draft John Smoltz in the 1st round (Duane Ward was traded to Toronto in 1986 for Doyle Alexander, who… you know.)

  15. 15
    PaulV Says:

    Freeman should start there. If he fails to hit left handers will there be a new RH first baseman or Prado? ESPN announcers said that in case of 3 way tie that SF and SD would play with loser playing Braves next. NOT. Since playoffs counts as regular season game, loser would be out finishing 1/2 games behinf Atlanta

  16. 16
    kc Says:

    We need a power hitting outfielder guys. Omar and Conrad will stay on the bench again as long as Chipper is playing. We need all the insurance we can get. 162-game season is so long, and we wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have Omar and Brooksy on the bench to start the season. Omar would still get plenty of at-bats playing somewhere most of the weeks.

    We need to sign a power hitting outfielder. Werth is probably too expensive. Magglio can be a possibility.

  17. 17
    Andrew B Says:

    @15, ESPN announcers were correct. Despite the game counting as a regular season game, they’d still come play the Braves. That loophole was removed in about 1998.

  18. 18
    csg Says:

    Power hitting OF’rs have nothing to do with AAG being retained. Yes, we need a big OF’r. We also need to move AAG if the price is right and if the Braves think Omar can play SS everyday

  19. 19
    kc Says:

    Lowe’s ERA is right at 4.00. Who would have thought of that? The guy is a WINNER!!!

  20. 20
    kc Says:

    @18 I am just saying that because people are suggesting we move Infante to outfield. Well, Omar can play center.

  21. 21
    FlaBravesFan Says:

    I think Maggs would be a defensive liability, but then anything would be an upgrade over the melk man

  22. 22
    Tony Says:

    Lowe has come up huge these past few games, really impressed.

  23. 23
    DowneasterJC Says:

    If Braves aren’t willing to spend on big FAs, then they’re going to HAVE to settle for poor defense if they want any significant offensive production from LF. Because the guys who can do both are guys like Crawford and Werth that the Braves can’t afford.

  24. 24
    csg Says:

    #20 – gotcha…

    I wouldnt pay the money for Crawford and esp Werth now that Boras thinks he’s the new Holliday…Id take Mags in left, Id take Adam Dunn in LF

  25. 25
    c. shorter Says:

    Really enjoyed Burns’ 10th inning. But I started yelling at Costas on the screen.

  26. 26
    Brian J. Says:

    Stephen Drew hits a leadoff HR off of Lincecum. 1-0 Arizona.

  27. 27
    td Says:

    I think if Infante is on the team next year, he’ll be a starter. I wish he was a good enough fielder for a full time job in center, but I don’t see it. My guess is we’ll either look to trade him at his highest value or try him full time in left. Given the uncertainty with Chipper, I think we’ll keep him and look for a centerfielder.

  28. 28
    Tomas Says:

    Damn, Cubbies had second and third with no one out, but they pull a brave and leave both stranded.

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    lets hope ARIZ adds on here. 2 straight BB’s, 1 out

  30. 30
    Johnny Says:

    AAG is the starting SS next year count it. Omar has been magic this year but he’s also been very very hit lucky, unless y’all think a .361 BABIP is normal for him. Someone made the point that if the Braves had thought he was an SS or CF they wouldn’t have made the trades they’ve made this year.

    Let the Adam Dunn fantasies begin….. again.

  31. 31
    csg Says:

    AAG could be a good player if he didnt think every pitch was hitable

  32. 32
    sdp Says:

    I love seeing the Rays doing what they’re doing with the Yankees.

  33. 33
    Nick Says:

    Sucks that the Padres aren’t on WGN tonight. And since the less important (to us, anyway) Diamondbacks-Giants game is on ESPN tonight, I don’t think MLB Network can show wide swaths of the Padres game, either.

  34. 34
    Tomas Says:

    Venable just took a homer away from Aramis Ramirez :(

  35. 35
    Nick Says:

    That’s the second one he’s taken away tonight. Took one away from Soriano earlier.

  36. 36
    Tomas Says:

    I think Soriano’s might have stayed in the park. Not that that makes it less annoying.

  37. 37
    csg Says:

    btw, Cox notched his 15th 90 win season tonight, 2nd most in history

  38. 38
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    So who is the bigger Braves hero, Brooks Conrad or Francisco Cabrera?

  39. 39
    Jeff M. Says:

    It’s still Cabrera, AAR. His hit (and Sid’s slide) rescued the franchise from the horrible 80s (82 aside). Conrad has been clutch, though…

  40. 40
    Robert Says:

    #38 – There could be no hero greater than Francisco Cabrera.

    Unless of course someone were to do the same thing only to win the World Series. Let’s give Brooksie a chance at that.

  41. 41
    csg Says:

    Burrell just hit a 3r HR 3-1 SF

  42. 42
    Mac Thomason Says:

    We don’t want the Giants to clinch too early.

  43. 43
    drewdat Says:

    Did anyone else know that Greg Norton is managing AAA for the Marlins? (answer, probably)

    Good for him.

  44. 44
    csg Says:

    i thought he was their hitting coach

  45. 45
    Mac Thomason Says:

    He was, he took over when their AAA manager moved to the majors.

  46. 46
    drewdat Says:

    I had to look it up just now (saw it in a DOB post), but it looks like he got promoted to interim manager and then named full-time manager back in July.

    And looking further, it was when Fredi Gonzalez got fired and Edwin Rodriguez moved from AAA to the Marlins.

    (edit, too late)

  47. 47
    Nick Says:

    Unless the Padres lose their last two with Chicago (and they appear on the verge of winning this one), the Giants are gonna have to beat the Padres in at least one game to win the division. Us sweeping made it so there’s not a huge discrepancy between when the Giants can clinch and we can.

    Mike Hampton alert in Arizona-SF game

  48. 48
    Nick Says:

    Padres win. We’re still a game-and-a-half up in the wild card, and our magic number is 3.

  49. 49
    ububba Says:

    1) I know the Marlins lineup was ill, but how ’bout Hanson, Hudson, Lowe & the bullpen? One run for each starter & one run for the pen. Talk about coming up big in big spots. My hat’s off.

    2) On the way into town, was listening to John Sterling’s radio call of Escobar’s bonehead baserunning move in the Yanks/Jays game. I generally can’t stand Sterling, but (knowing Yunel) this was funny:

    Sterling: “I just don’t know what he’s thinking. It was a good throw, but he was out from here to there. I mean, he’s supposed to be a Major League ballplayer! Anyway…”

    3) Not to drop names (but I’ll do it anyway to tell a forum-relevant story), had dinner & drinks with a buncha folks tonight, including a member of The Baseball Project band.

    I implored him to write a song with a simple title: “Brooks Conrad—Folk Hero.” Then I explained his whole story. “He’s a 30-year-old rookie, ‘Hurricane’ Hazle, blah-blah-blah…”

    As the pints went down, I laid it on thick & heavy. But he’s a big Giants fan, so he seemed more interested in Buster Posey. We’ll see.

    4) If things work out, anybody making plans to attend the NLDS at The Ted?

  50. 50
    Nick Says:

    I’m sure I’d make it down for one of them. Have to check with my buddies to see which day would work best for them.

  51. 51
    ububba Says:

    Well, the games would be Sunday and Monday.

  52. 52
    Nick Says:

    Yeah, I know. Between those two days, heh.

  53. 53
    kc Says:

    Seems like Lincucum has found his old form, which is not exactly good.

  54. 54
    kc Says:

    Good news: RHP Takashi Saito(notes) (sore right shoulder) also threw in the bullpen and said he’s ready to pitch.

  55. 55
    JoeyT Says:

    In ’93, I used to get up early, put on some clothing, run to the street, pick up the newspaper in a wet, often muddy, plastic pouch, run back inside, strip the newspaper of its protection in the sink, and immediately check to see the Giants’ score from the night before. It was way faster than waiting for dialup or waiting for the ESPN sports update. I mean, dialup might not even be working, and ESPN could be like half an hour.

    In ’10, I get up early, open my laptop, and immediately check the Giants and Padres scores.

    Way easier.

  56. 56
    ryan c Says:

    so, am i right in assuming that if we win the wildcard we’ll have games starting thurs., oct 7. then games on friday, sunday, monday, and wednesday with the home games coming on sunday and monday?

  57. 57
    NickC Says:

    I really don’t want to face the Giants in the playoffs at the moment. Hopefully the Reds get their act together and get the number 2 seed. It would be quite good to see the Phillies face the Giants too.

  58. 58
    Smitty Says:

    ububba,

    I am looking at that Sunday game, but I am going to wait until we are in before I make the final call.

  59. 59
    stupup74 Says:

    8 – Mac, did you notice who the braves drafted in round 1 that year – Duane Ward – he of the Ward/Hienke combo of the 1992 Blue Jays.

    He was not Randy Johnson, by any means, but I wonder how the 1992 World Series works out if he in the Braves bullpen.

  60. 60
    Troy Says:

    My buddy and I got tickets for that Sunday game when they went on sale. Of course, at the time, i was hoping it would be a Wednesday game (and now i just hope it exists as well). Driving down tomorrow from Indianapolis with the two kids and going to one of the Phillies games if it’s meaningful, then sticking around for a week. The irony of course is that if we get the Reds, those first two games would be a 90 minute drive from my home and here i’ll be in the ATL. But it would be especially nice if we could win a couple in Cincy ;)

    OK i’m getting ahead of myself, but things look good. Go Cubs!!

  61. 61
    Jonathan Says:

    @49 (and others) – I will be at the Sunday game. I had bought tickets for “home game 3″ as well, but with the Braves’ only shot being for the wild card, that is obviously not an option.

    Anybody who goes & is interested in meeting up, let me know…

  62. 62
    csg Says:

    Dusty sat almost every regular yesterday. I hope he knows that there is still a big difference in facing ATL at home versus Philly on the road. He needs to get his act together and win out.

  63. 63
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Condrad is the man. Is he the starting 3rd baseman if Chipper cant start the season.

    No. Not at all. He’s a 30 year old journeyman having a nice season as a part timer, and having a nice little “Mark-Lemke-in-the-91-WS” moment down the stretch. There’s no reason to have him start next year. If Chipper can’t go, you slot in Prado at 3B and Infante at 2B, just like the last third of 2010.

    Also, do we think retain AAG?

    Yes. He’s a gimme option and will start at SS in 2011. Around the horn, you’ll see

    McCann
    Freeman
    Prado/Infante
    Gonzalez
    Chipper/Prado

    They need to sign an OFer. I’m not sure Jason Werth is out of the realm of possibility, if they can flip Kawakami’s contract somewhere.

  64. 64
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I hope you’re right about Werth, Sam, but I fear you’re wrong. Unless I’m totally off, Werth is going to command at least $90 million this offseason — i.e., 150% of Jason Bay. I don’t see us being able to give him that kind of money.

  65. 65
    csg Says:

    trade for Matt Kemp and sign Luke Scott to platoon with Diaz, put Nate in the 4th OF/Bench spot

    Kevin Towers hinted at moving some of there “free-swingers
    ‘ last night. Can Juston Upton be a possibility for LF?

  66. 66
    csg Says:

    Sam, Boras thinks Werth is a $100 mil player (comparable to Holliday). He’s going to make a lot more somewhere else, esp if Liberty cuts more payroll

  67. 67
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I hope you’re right about Werth, Sam, but I fear you’re wrong. Unless I’m totally off, Werth is going to command at least $90 million this offseason — i.e., 150% of Jason Bay. I don’t see us being able to give him that kind of money.

    To be clear, I wouldn’t put the odds of it happening above 10%, if that high. It’s a long shot to be certain. But I don’t think it’s functionally impossible, if all of the cogs fall in the right way. And certainly signing away your primary competition’s #2 superstar and plugging a gaping hole in your roster would be well worth the investment.

  68. 68
    Michael Says:

    @63- agreed. There’s no reason to have Conrad at 3B, even if Chipper is still hurt. We have a “backup” 3B in Prado, and if he’s playing third, then Infante at 2B and the Braves will have some OF to choose from. Not sure if we’re going to like the options (please God, not Melky or Ankiel), but I’m pretty sure they are going to go after an OF or 2 in the offseason.

  69. 69
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    In the OF next year, you’re going to obviously see a lot of Jason Heyward in RF (next year and beyond.) Unless something really funky happens, you’re going to see Nate McLouth in CF. Which means you need to upgrade LF. Matt Diaz has once again proven to be a stud against LHP, but Atlanta really needs to find a second OF who wouldn’t be a fourth guy on most any other contender’s roster.

  70. 70
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The problem, of course, is that the 2011 free agent class of OFs sort of starts and ends at Jason Werth. Magglio Ordonez might be something to sniff at, and there’s the Adam Dunn debacle-in-waiting (no, we don’t want to sign Dunn to a four year deal to play a horrific LF.)

    I might actually look at Paul Konerko at 1B and let Freeman be next year’s Ryan Klesko, with Diaz spotting him against LHP.

  71. 71
    Daniel Says:

    Here’s every scenario for the rest of the regular season in terms of total wins. All of these assume that both the Giants and Padres win tonight. You can subtract a game from their final line if you think they might lose tonight. Anyone feel free to correct me if I missed anything here.

    Braves Swept / Padres Sweep
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 90 90 91
    Sunday 90 91 91
    Final 90 92 91

    Braves Swept / Giants Sweep
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 90 89 92
    Sunday 90 89 93
    Final 90 89 94

    Braves Win 1 / Padres Win 2
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 91 90 91
    Sunday 91 91 91
    Final 91 91 92

    Braves Win 1 / Giants Win 2
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 91 89 92
    Sunday 91 90 93
    Final 91 90 93

    Braves Win 2 / Giants Win 2
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 91 89 92
    Sunday 91 90 93
    Final 92 90 93

    Braves Win 2 / Padres Win 2
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 91 90 91
    Sunday 91 91 91
    Final 92 91 92

  72. 72
    mraver Says:

    Any GM who trades away Kemp or Justin Upton for anything other than other young, cost-controlled players and/or really good prospects is nuts. I know both players have had issues, but at the same time they’re young and extremely talented and not even at arbitration. It would have to be a creative deal, and I don’t see it happening. The biggest difference I forsee is someone besides Melky as the 4th OF, there won’t be any more Wagner and… that’s really about it. Raises to everyone from arbitration plus Nate’s raise will eat up a lot of that.

  73. 73
    timo Says:

    @ 71: Perfect, Daniel. Thank you!

  74. 74
    csg Says:

    #72 – exactly, but we have a crap load of young talented controllable pitchers. Something Im sure LAD and ARIZ would love to have

  75. 75
    Daniel Says:

    And oh yeah, I didn’t include anything for the Braves sweeping the Phillies. Because if that happens, they’re in and have the best record no matter what else happens.

  76. 76
    Rusty S. Says:

    More “inspiration” from Mac’s brilliant “Franclet”…

    Jeffy, or not Jeffy: that is the question:
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The swings and errors and outrageous fortune,
    Or to take a great arm against a sea of troubles…

  77. 77
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    From Francbeth:

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from game to game,
    To the last syllable of “defensive replacement”;
    And all Jeff’s yesterdays have lighted teams
    The way to September chokes. Out, out, right fielder!
    Life’s but a whiffing shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  78. 78
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @77
    Marvelous!
    From Jeffy III:

    JEFFSTER
    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of Georgia;
    And all the jeers that rained upon our head
    In the deep bosom of stinking Shea buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruised bats hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums changed to beery meetings,
    Our infrequent marches to delightful measures.

  79. 79
    Johnny Says:

    McCann c
    Freeman 1b
    Prado 2b
    AAG ss – I’d rather have Escobar
    Chipper 3b – IMHO he comes back.
    Heyward rf
    McLouth cf – gotta give him another chance
    someone lf

    Infante goes back to being the super sub.

    Chances of getting Werth are nil. It sure would solve a lot of problems if we could get him but he may end up getting the richest contract of all the FA position players.

    I think the best we’ll be able to do in the FA market will be after the non tenders. Example Ryan Ludwick, should SD part ways with him.

  80. 80
    Remy Says:

    They’ll probably go after someone like Burrel.

  81. 81
    PaulV Says:

    @60 Let’s play Reds in NLCS

  82. 82
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @64

    What about a deal worth about $80/5 guaranteed, plus a couple of mutual/club/vesting options to bring it up to something like $100/7? I was thinking Werth/Boras may go for that, and if Wren got creative he might be able to structure it in such a way that we’re not paying Werth too much until after Lowe and Chipper come off the books. Something like a $12/13/17/18/20 deal plus some type of option for $10 per year for two years or $20 for one additional or something. The first two years are relatively low to account for Lowe and Chipper, and then it starts going up once we lose those two (assuming Chipper even plays two more seasons). It ends up being more than Bay but less than Holliday, which I think is what he’s expected to get by most people.

    I think it’s at least worth considering, since after taking arb raises into consideration and depending on certain trade outcomes, I think the Braves might be able to scrounge up ~$12 in the offseason. The only thing is that I’m not sure the Braves would want to spend $20 mil on one guy in one season.

    Of course it’s also contingent on whether or not LM decides to cut payroll, which is equally if not more likely, imo.

    Or we could just wait and hope for a better free agent class when Lowe and Chipper and we (hopefully) have a new owner and see what we can do then while signing a Burrel or something this offseason.

  83. 83
    csg Says:

    our lineup looks bad for next year. Same problems. No speed, no power, a couple of bad OBP guys. Wren needs to be creative

  84. 84
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Also taking Gonzalez out behind the stadium and “disposing” of him so I don’t have to his stupid face would be satisfactory.

  85. 85
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The single most important thing Wren needs to do is non-tender Melky with extreme prejudice.

  86. 86
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The other thing about Werth is: he’s already 31, and he looked damn near done for about a month this season. He’s a terrific athlete, but I’d be very nervous about an overly long-term deal for the guy.

  87. 87
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The other other thing about Werth is I am always suspicious of big deals for guys who were once free talent.

  88. 88
    DowneasterJC Says:

    As long as the Braves don’t go for the “platoon and pray” approach, I’m fine. As long as any offseason moves begin and/or end with removing Gonzalez’ free swinging taint as far from Georgia as possible. I’d rather have Melky play SS than Gonzalez. At least Melky at one time in a stadium far far away with a wind tunnel that was probably caused by his sucking down obscene quantities of hot dogs had a semblance of something resembling decency. What does Gonzalez have? An itchy trigger finger and 10 years of failure that was somehow overshadowed in the minds of all by 4 weeks of drinking Canadian steroid water.

  89. 89
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The other other thing about Werth is I am always suspicious of big deals for guys who were once free talent.

    I think AAR makes valid point @86. Werth is a pretty awesome talent right now, and his presence in LF/CF would transform the Braves’ lineup for a couple of years, but he is 31 and while he’s athletic and looks like a good bet to age well, I’d be hesitant dropping millions into his 37-39 year old seasons.

    But I don’t understand Mac’s point at all @87. The fact that the Dodgers gave up on Werth when he was young and hurt his wrist is in no way whatsoever a rational case against signing him now. Brian Giles was once “freely available talent” after all. Aramis Ramirez was had for a song and Todd Hollandsworth, I think. You evaluate Werth on what he brings to the table over the course of potential contract, not on how he was evaluated five years ago by the Dodgers.

    Carl Crawford is also a free agent OF this year, for the record.

  90. 90
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    There’s a lot of irrational hate for Alex Gonzalez here, apparently.

  91. 91
    Tom Says:

    Have you watched him play lately?

  92. 92
    Guillermo Says:

    DIaz Vs. LHP (828 OPS) Possible $4M 2011
    Luke Scott Vs. RHP (943 OPS) Possible $6M 2011

    Jayson Werth (846 OPS) Possible $15M 2011

    All of them are over 30 years old.

    Is it really a good idea to commit 5 years at $15M for a left fielder.

    I favor big contracts to real stars… I don’t think Werth fits that bill. He is a corner outfielder. If he were a CF it would be different, but he is not.

    I don’t know. I just think that if the braves (mid market payroll, Thanks Liberty!!) are going to commit big money to somebody he has to be a great bat at a premium defensive position. Not just a guy that fixes one of our short term weakness.

    Focus on CF and SS, Wren.

    Just my two cents.

  93. 93
    csg Says:

    Werth

    home – .320/.401/.599/.999 18HR/284AB
    away – .265/.371/.441/.818 8HR/264AB

    Look at how much change he’s had in his defensive numbers over the past few years.

    2007 13.3UZR 30.7UZR/150
    2008 17.8 28.5
    2009 4.3 4.5
    2010 -4.2 -5.5

    He’s not close to being a (5/$100) guy, 5/75 is still too steap IMO

  94. 94
    td Says:

    Stupid question – if the Braves finish the season with the 2nd best record in the NL (behind Philly), does this do anything for them as far as home field advantage? My guess is as the WC we won’t have home field advantage at any time unless we get to the WS, but I hope I’m wrong.

  95. 95
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Have you watched him play lately?

    Not really, no. I have watched maybe six innings since game 2 of the sweep in Philly. He’s a hacker who plays solid defense at a pivotal position, who has power when he makes contact. He shouldn’t be hitting fifth in a lineup, but that’s more of a problem with the zombie nature of this team as it limps to the finish than with Alex Gonzalez.

  96. 96
    PaulV Says:

    @90 TRUE. Other areas will be easier and more productive to address. Nate seems to be back. Is it better to get obtain two outfielders or concentrate on one.

  97. 97
    ryan c Says:

    i disagree that the braves have no power. the braves are middle of the road in terms of power. there are only 10 guys in the nl who have 30 or more home runs this year. next year, the braves might not have any player to hit 30, but the whole freakin’ starting lineup could have 15+.

    csg, a couple of bad obp guys? who? i know of one.

    werth would be great, but i agree with others here when they say its next to impossible. getting a lf via trade or signing someone like magglio would probably be doable.

    sam, alex gonzalez has a .694 ops since becoming a brave. i dont think disliking alex as a player is irrational at all.

  98. 98
    csg Says:

    “#90 – There’s a lot of irrational hate for Alex Gonzalez here, apparently.”

    Sept – 100AB’s .220/.250/.350/.600 3BB 22K

    Striking out that much would be fine if he was posting a .946OPS like he did in April. A sub .300OBP and sub .700OPS in Atl will cause me to hate him.

  99. 99
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Nate seems to be back. Is it better to get obtain two outfielders or concentrate on one.

    I think your first sentence answers your second. If it were up to me I’d pencil McLouth into CF and make a hard run at Werth or Crawford. The team has plenty of supporting talent. It’s needs one more superstar to back up Heyward. You can’t depend on Chipper coming back to be that superstar.

  100. 100
    Daniel Says:

    One other thing about the scenarios I posted above in post #71:

    At this point, we need to root for the Giants when it comes to their series with the Padres. Regardless of tonight’s results, if the Giants take two out of three from them, the Braves would only have to win one game against the Phillies to take the Wild Card. If they sweep and we get swept, we’re still in.

    Though of course all of this is moot if the Braves can win two out of three from the Phillies. Then it doesn’t matter what else happens.

  101. 101
    csg Says:

    #97 – ryan, what do you think are realistic numbers for Freeman next year? I think Freeman, AAG, and Nate will round out the bottom of our lineup. Freeman, I’m guessing, will have something around .315-320OBP in his 1st full season, AAG and Nate will be below .300 most likely

  102. 102
    ryan c Says:

    this would be awesome…and probably doable payroll wise.

    jj for matt kemp
    sign javy vazquez 2/18
    let barbaro and matt young replace glaus and melky
    sign magglio 2/16
    dump kawakami (might have to eat 2 mil of his contract)

  103. 103
    Stu Says:

    There’s a lot of irrational hate for Alex Gonzalez here, apparently.

    There’s a little bit of irrational love, too.

  104. 104
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    sam, alex gonzalez has a .694 ops since becoming a brave. i dont think disliking alex as a player is irrational at all.

    Which makes him about the equivalent of the head case we traded for him, once you park and league adjust. He’s a defensive player who can get hot and help out an offense in the bottom half of the lineup. The problem isn’t Alex Gonzalez. It’s that Gonzalez has to hit so high in the order because of injury and general suckitude of other players.

  105. 105
    DowneasterJC Says:

    .268/.310/.425 .735/92 OPS/OPS+

    .248/.294/.402 .696/81 OPS/OPS+

    One of those is Jeff Francoeur and one of those is Alex Gonzalez. Doesn’t matter which is which because they’re both awful and both should be doing anything besides playing baseball, much less getting paid by the Atlanta Braves to do it. Although for the record the first one is Jeffy, which is pretty sad because he’s better than Gonzalez and Jeff being better at baseball than anyone is like I don’t even know what.

    The very fact that the Braves pay anyone any amount of money to be worse at baseball than Jeff Francoeur is justification for hatred of the most extreme levels.

    Which makes him about the equivalent of the head case we traded for him

    .290/.365/.399 .765/104

    Escobar is so far and away better than Gonzalez that to even suggest that they are remotely equal should be against the Geneva Convention.

  106. 106
    ryan c Says:

    @101
    i dont think nate’s our regular cf next year. i think he either platoons w/ someone (maybe cody ross) or becomes the 4th of.

    freeman is anyone’s guess. i think it’s unfair to assume that he’ll become a bad obp guy considering he had a .378 obp in AAA.

  107. 107
    csg Says:

    actually Nate will be higher than that now that I think about it. However, he’s far from being back or looking like a good player. He had a nice 2 week stretch to help out his numbers, but again he’s 5 for his last 28 (.178 avg) with 3BB and 7K. Braves should ask him to play winter ball

  108. 108
    ryan c Says:

    same,
    when comparing yunel 2010 to alex, you are correct. but you must remember how much most of the blog hated the 2010 version of yunel.

  109. 109
    Daniel Says:

    One other thing when it comes to all of these feasibility numbers.. I was talking about these numbers on another board with Braves fans and we got to thinking about what the scenario would be if the Braves get swept and the SD / SF series goes 1-2 either way:

    Braves Swept / Padres Win 2
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 90 90 91
    Sunday 90 91 91
    Final 90 91 90

    Braves Swept / Giants Win 2
    ATL SD SF

    Thursday 90 88 90
    Friday 90 89 91
    Saturday 90 89 92
    Sunday 90 89 93
    Final 90 90 93

    In that context, the games tonight for SD and SF are BIG. A loss for either one puts the Braves in the Wild Card if their series splits either way. If not, there’s still a Wild Card playoff.

    Anyways, the point of all of this is that it looks pretty darn good for the Braves right now. They’re in total control of this situation if they can win 2 of 3. But even if they don’t, the outlook is pretty good.

  110. 110
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    i disagree that the braves have no power. the braves are middle of the road in terms of power.

    Depends on what you mean by “middle” and “road.” In the NL, the Braves are 10th out of 16 teams in SLG (between the Marlins and Nationals), 11th out of 16 in homers (between the Padres and Nationals), and 9th out of 16 in ISO (between the Cubs and Cardinals).

    When it comes to power, we’re clearly below-average. More importantly, we are significantly worse than the good teams in the league — like the Reds (1st in SLG and HR), Phillies (5th in SLG, 5th in HR), and even the Giants (6th in SLG, 6th in HR).

  111. 111
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That’s certainly closer to the middle than the bottom, though.

  112. 112
    Michael Says:

    I’m almost to the point of hating Alex Gonzalez as much as I hated 2010 Yunel. I got really sick of seeing Yunel and watching him play.

    I have to say though, Alex does have a pretty hateable face and field demeanor. I agree with others that it probably wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t forced into hitting too high in the order. At least he doesn’t have frosted tips, though.

  113. 113
    DowneasterJC Says:

    The only value Alex Gonzalez has is as a source of food should the Braves ever crash land on a remote island one day. I’m not sure how that would happen since there are no remote islands in the US, which makes him worthless.

    Okay, I’m getting off the Hate AAG Train. For today.

  114. 114
    spike Says:

    Sam, Alex Gonzalez has never had a full season of OPS+ over 100. He’s about to add 2010 to that list, if he plays the next 3 games like the last 30. Lifetime .294/.402/.696 81. He’s 33. I don’t hate the guy but I do hate the fact he’s our SS. Being “no worse than Yunel” is hardly an affirmative argument – Atlanta traded Escobar because they didn’t want him playing for the Braves, remember? Pretty much ANY AAAA shortstop could give you what this guy does, and not cost you Escobar, who we would have still traded -but traded for things we like, hard hitting OF prospects and such. Gonzalez represents a failure of both talent evaluation and asset management that’s pretty egregious. He may have been a defensive specialist with some pop – he’s pretty clearly neither now.

  115. 115
    Smitty Says:

    Werth will cost too much and he is 30 or 31 I think. Someone will over pay for him and he will come down to earth.

    Sounds like something the Cubs or Mets might like

  116. 116
    ryan c Says:

    @110
    and we play 81 games at a pitchers park. adjust for park and see what you get.

    imo, we’re not that bad of a power team. next year, we could easily have 6 guys hit between 15 and 25 homeruns in mccann, prado, chipper, freeman, heyward, and alex gonzalez. and, if the braves play the trade/free agent market right, it could be all 8 positions. we have no speedsters that’s true, but everyone in the lineup has serious xbh potential.

  117. 117
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    One of those is Jeff Francoeur and one of those is Alex Gonzalez.

    Yeah, one of those guys plays shortstop and the other plays right field. If you don’t understand how that makes them noticably different, I don’t have the time to teach you “Baseball 101.”

  118. 118
    chris Says:

    Mac @ 8

    look at all the names we drafted in 1986

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?team_ID=ATL&year_ID=1986&draft_type=junreg&query_type=franch_year

    Finley, Salmon, Ben McDonald, and Merker. Had we signed ALL those guys, whoa.

    I also just noticed: we had some really shitty drafts in the ’90s. very very few panned out.

    we did draft Andrew Cashner in 2005 http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?team_ID=ATL&year_ID=2005&draft_type=junreg&query_type=franch_year

    this draft was bad-ass, though http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?team_ID=ATL&year_ID=2007&draft_type=junreg&query_type=franch_year

    just look, though, at our 27th round pick in 2008

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/index.cgi?team_ID=ATL&year_ID=2008&draft_type=junreg&query_type=franch_year

    boy, would he be nice to put in between with Heyward and Freeman.

  119. 119
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    That’s certainly closer to the middle than the bottom, though.

    Sort of. Our .401 slugging percentage is exactly as far from the 15th-place Padres as the 2nd-place Rockies, but our 138 homers are closer to the 14th-place Pirates than the 8th-place Marlins. Generally, though, there’s a clump of crappy teams at the bottom, and we’re right in the middle of them. There’s a clump of really good offenses at the top, and we’re way worse than them.

  120. 120
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Escobar is so far and away better than Gonzalez that to even suggest that they are remotely equal should be against the Geneva Convention.

    If you ignore completely the fact that they aren’t notably different players – Escobar is a better OBP, Gonzalez is surer defensively; Escobar is younger and more likely to improve, Gonzalez doesn’t annoy his teammates into near murderous rages. Six of one, half dozen of the other. To hate on a low-OBP, middling-power SS with good defense is stupid. It suggests that you want a Yankees-esque payroll with an All-Star at every position, which just isn’t going to happen in Atlanta.

  121. 121
    spike Says:

    @116 – Turner has played as a neutral field this year. Batting PF100/Pitching 99

  122. 122
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I don’t hate the guy but I do hate the fact he’s our SS. Being “no worse than Yunel” is hardly an affirmative argument – Atlanta traded Escobar because they didn’t want him playing for the Braves, remember? Pretty much ANY AAAA shortstop could give you what this guy does, and not cost you Escobar, who we would have still traded -but traded for things we like, hard hitting OF prospects and such.

    What makes you think Escobar would have returned these super duper wish-list items, when in point of historical fact, he returned Alex Gonzalez?

  123. 123
    chris Says:

    @ csg @ 65

    Upton? The ‘Backs would be dumb to move him now. They’d be selling low. But if it costs us, say, Hanson and Schafer, i’d do it in a heart beat.

    I love Hanson, but Teheran’s coming with his buddy Delgado. Vizcaino is 2.5 years away. Plus, this C. Perez kid in the Appy is FOR REAL. Why not call?

  124. 124
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @ 117

    I’m aware of position scarcity, thanks. Doesn’t change the fact that Gonzalez is awful in every way. He literally brings nothing to the team except reputation. If we’re going to play an awful offensive guy at SS we might as well play Diory or Hicks there. They can’t do anything either, but we don’t have to pay them anything but league minimum and they might be able to steal some bases if they ever managed to get on them.

    Gonzalez is surer defensively

    At worst, Escobar and Gonzalez are equal defensively. Gonzalez makes as many gaffes as Escobar, he just doesn’t get as reviled for them because he’s a “clubhouse guy.”

    And Gonzalez doesn’t just have a lower OBP than Escobar, he has an abysmal OBP. He swings at everything, makes little contact, and has little power when he does. He’s a GIDP waiting to happen. Just because he plays SS doesn’t mean it’s excusable and he somehow becomes worthy of millions of dollars that could be spent elsewhere.

  125. 125
    spike Says:

    What makes you think Escobar would have returned these super duper wish-list items, when in point of historical fact, he returned Alex Gonzalez?

    Just because you trade a cow for magic beans doesn’t mean that’s what it was worth. Your statement is a textbook example of a tautology, in fact.

    /I guess Bagwell was only worth Larry Anderson after all.

  126. 126
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Doesn’t change the fact that Gonzalez is awful in every way. He literally brings nothing to the team except reputation. If we’re going to play an awful offensive guy at SS we might as well play Diory or Hicks there.

    Like I said, there’s a lot of irrational hatred of Alex Gonzalez around here, apparently.

  127. 127
    Stu Says:

    What kind of magic?

  128. 128
    ryan c Says:

    @120
    oh, i didnt realize that. strike my words from the records.

  129. 129
    Mac Thomason Says:

    AAG is obviously a much better hitter than Diory or Hicks. It’s like saying that if you’re going to have to eat bad food anyway, you might as well eat sewage.

  130. 130
    Rusty S. Says:

    @106: .315 – .320 OBP sounds about right to me for Freeman in 2011. That doesn’t mean he won’t be a good on base guy, it just means I think he’s going to hit about .265. (in 2011)

    21 year old, jumping from AA…

  131. 131
    Stu Says:

    Poor Diory. Sewage? Come on! He hit a pinch-homer!

    129—He spent all of 2010 in AAA.

  132. 132
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Just because you trade a cow for magic beans doesn’t mean that’s what it was worth. Your statement is a textbook example of a tautology, in fact.

    You should perhaps look up “tautology” before you start lecturing others, kid. I asked a simple question. I made no logical argument one way or the other. I asked you why you thought Escobar was worth more than he garnered this season. It’s functionally impossible as a tautology, as I am not even making a logical inference. I asked a simply question. Try to keep up, and shove the sophomore year Intro to Logic 101 crap back into the orifice that emitted it.

    What makes you think that the Escobar/Gonzalez deal will turn out, in hindsight, to be one of those rare MLB deals where a team loses a superstar akin to Bagwell in return for pennies on the dollar? Which is to say, what makes you think Escobar is worth more than the player he actually garnered in return this season?

  133. 133
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @128

    Can we meet in the middle and say that he’s just better, rather than “much” better?

  134. 134
    Johnny Says:

    @122 trade Hanson? Out of your Vulcan mind.
    So you’re counting on Teheran and Delgado next year? Remember tinstaapp.

    AAG isn’t the problem. I’d rather have Escobar but Alex is what he is: a defense first SS that can occasionally hit.
    #117 #119 On point sir.

  135. 135
    Stu Says:

    132—If you think meeting in the middle is an option, you’ve obviously not read much Sam.

  136. 136
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    AAG is obviously a much better hitter than Diory or Hicks.

    Ya think? The idea that AAG is not an upgrade over replacment level players is absurd on its face.

  137. 137
    Mac Thomason Says:

    No, much better is right. Actually, if anything, that undersells it. All evidence suggests that Diory is completely incapable of hitting at the major league level — we’re talking Belliard here — and Hicks can’t even hit in the minors. AAG is somewhat below major league average; the two others are well below replacement-level.

  138. 138
    spike Says:

    @131, “Kid.” I love that – you are saying I am childlike, as a pejorative of some kind, or is this simply some affectation you picked up from watching Bogart movies and seeing yourself as the lead character?

    Now this

    What makes you think that the Escobar/Gonzalez deal will turn out, in hindsight, to be one of those rare MLB deals where a team loses a superstar akin to Bagwell in return for pennies on the dollar?

    after this

    Try to keep up, and shove the sophomore year Intro to Logic 101 crap back into the orifice that emitted it.

    is amazingly rich. I agree with you far more often than not Sam, but your insistence on bluster does make some of the things you say unintentionally hilarious. The fact is that I was pointing to Bagwell-Anderson as a proof that a trade does not mean that is what that player is worth and you managed to completely misunderstand this (unless it was misinterpreted on purpose – you can tell me which). I’ll try to be more explicit in the future.

  139. 139
    Mac Thomason Says:

    AAG’s Offensive Winning percentage this year is .471, meaning that over the course of a full season, a team of AAGs would go about 76-88 — roughly, they’d be the Cubs. Diory’s OWP last year was .054 (it’s .000 this year, as he’s hitless) which is a 9-153 pace. The guy’s nearly a full win under replacement in just 103 career plate appearances. I don’t know what else to tell you.

  140. 140
    braves14 Says:

    122 — Yeah, I don’t think the Braves will trade a guy who has a 125 ERA+ in 325 innings through his age 23 season for something less than Pujolsian.

  141. 141
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    And now the sabermetricians chime in unison: small sample size!

  142. 142
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The fact is that I was pointing to Bagwell-Anderson as a proof that a trade does not mean that is what that player is worth and you managed to completely misunderstand this (unless it was misinterpreted on purpose – you can tell me which). I’ll try to be more explicit in the future.

    I asked a simple question. You responded with a misplaced lecture on tautologies and a reference to the Bagwell/Anderson trade. Of course there exist some trades where the results were lopsided in favor of one team, such as Bagwell/Anderson. My rather simple question was “Why do you believe the Escobar/Gonzalez trade is one of those relatively rare lopsided deals?”

    The question still stands.

  143. 143
    Stu Says:

    138—He’s not hitless! He hit that pinch-homer!

  144. 144
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That’s the only sample there is, though. Anyone want to calculate how many consecutive times Diory would have to get on base to get up to replacement-level?

  145. 145
    braves14 Says:

    Also, Diory can’t really play shortstop except as an insurance policy.

  146. 146
    spike Says:

    @141- nice moving of the goalposts. Your premise was as follows: “What makes you think Escobar would have returned these super duper wish-list items, when in point of historical fact, he returned Alex Gonzalez?”

    My rebuttal was “just because he returned Gonzalez does not mean that that is all he is worth”, as illustrated by the cow and Bagwell examples.

    Now I didn’t give a a misplaced lectures on tautologies, but here’s one just for fun: The tautology I was referring to is actually a rhetorical rather than formal logic device (but you knew that already, in the heat of making the scatalogical and implied violence remarks that you are famous for I am sure it just slipped your mind). Yunel Escobar is worth Alex Gonzalez because he was traded for Yunel Escobar is a classic tautology. A repetition of facts. It could also probably be more closely defined as circular logic, so I will admit to use of a less than optimal descriptior as well. Does that make us even?

  147. 147
    Stu Says:

    AGony : MLB Shortstops : : Cats : Mammals

  148. 148
    Coop Says:

    It’s autumn. The Braves are still alive. Braves Journal rocks.

    What’s not to love?

  149. 149
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    What’s not to love?

    Melky Cabrera.

  150. 150
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Does that make us even?

    Hardly, kid. I haven’t moved a goal post and I haven’t engaged in circular reasoning. I asked you a damned simple question. It’s really not that hard.

  151. 151
    braves14 Says:

    What’s not to love?

    1. Jeff Francoeur
    2. It’s an off-day.

  152. 152
    csg Says:

    #149 – do you really have to be an arrogant prick all the time?

  153. 153
    Mike N. Says:

    Rabble, rabble, rabble!

    I’ll chalk the hatred flowing around here up to it being an off day. Too much hating considering our team is in good position to play in the postseason.

  154. 154
    braves14 Says:

    149 — I’ll answer it for him. It’s mainly because Yunel had a team-leading 5.5 WAR (according to BR) last year in his age 26 season, while AAG has never had higher than a 2.8 WAR in his career and is several years older.

  155. 155
    Mac Thomason Says:

    This is actually pretty tame for off-day sniping.

  156. 156
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @ 139

    Maybe I’m just blinded by what may be irrational hatred for AAG, but I can’t see a team of AAGs posting that record. Maybe if the only team they played was the Pirates.

  157. 157
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    #149 – do you really have to be an arrogant prick all the time?

    Assuming that this was aimed at me (#150) rather than AAR’s innocuous jab at Melky (#149), the answer is obviously “No.” I save it all up for you.

    Apparently pointing out that, no, Alex Gonzalez isn’t the antichrist and asking a simple question about why people think we got less than optimal value for Yunel Escobar this summer makes me an arrogant prick. Whatevs, kids.

  158. 158
    Mike N. Says:

    Mac, what’s the most hate-filled thread that you can remember?

  159. 159
    spike Says:

    Hardly, kid.

    It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

    You are just a pearl, Sam.

  160. 160
    spike Says:

    Whatevs, kids.

    I’m sorry for asking. I forgot we said “no questions”.

    This is just great.

  161. 161
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    You are just a pearl, Sam.

    Before swine, apparently.

  162. 162
    Mac Thomason Says:

    There was one a couple years ago where I just shut it down and posted a new one with instructions to leave everything behind.

  163. 163
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    There was one a couple years ago where I just shut it down and posted a new one with instructions to leave everything behind.

    It was probably my fault.

  164. 164
    sdp Says:

    The Mets suck.

  165. 165
    Stu Says:

    I would love a Best of Sam game thread.

  166. 166
    spike Says:

    Before swine, apparently.

    Indeed. I have forgotten to thank you for deigning us with your presence. I usually don’t get told to ram anything anywhere unless you show up.

    /although between that and the Matthew allusion above, it is a delightful cioppino of mixed metaphors.

  167. 167
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    To be honest, my “best” is probably over at BBTF, though I may have some quality work archived here as well.

  168. 168
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Indeed. I have forgotten to thank you for deigning us with your presence.

    And your children survive to this day because I am a kind and generous lord.

  169. 169
    spike Says:

    To be honest, my “best” is probably over at BBTF, though I may have some quality work archived here as well.

    I’m sure you can come up with something equal to it extemporaneously – you have a gift, man.

  170. 170
    Stu Says:

    167—I dunno, man. There was the cats vs. dogs thing. There was the recent “The Wild Card is for losers” episode. There was that old Tech vs. UGA dust-up where you called UGA a team and university full of rapists, but then quickly clarified that, lest anyone be confused about your allegiance to Tech, you (a Sewanee alum) wouldn’t be caught dead attending a public school.

    You are a freaking gold mine of awesome.

  171. 171
    Mike N. Says:

    Dogs are better than cats, Tech is better than UGA, and I went to a public high school and am DAMN proud of it!

  172. 172
    PaulV Says:

    FWIW- Trading for melky got us Dunn.
    he looks better than JV

  173. 173
    Johnny Says:

    ‘/although between that and the Matthew allusion above, it is a delightful cioppino of mixed metaphors.’

    I love a good cioppino. Last one I had was at La Trattatoria on Riverside. Dang place closed down.

  174. 174
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    UGA dust-up where you called UGA a team and university full of rapists, but then quickly clarified that, lest anyone be confused about your allegiance to Tech, you (a Sewanee alum) wouldn’t be caught dead attending a public school.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from, but I sir am not a Sewanee alum. My nose would not deign to sniff at such things.

  175. 175
    csg Says:

    #157 – I didnt know that pointing out his stats made him the antichrist. I’d say there is a huge difference in an average baseball player and the antichrist, maybe Im wrong there too

  176. 176
    csg Says:

    Hey I didnt know there was a baseball game being played, lets pick it up Ariz

  177. 177
    spike Says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a great cioppino in this town. Wish I had gotten there.

  178. 178
    Stu Says:

    Oh, my mistake, Sam. I thought you’d referenced it before.

  179. 179
    spike Says:

    @175 – I think the antichrist would probably be a great ball player – better than Gonzalez anyway.

    And better than the Christ too – tough to play a good SS when the ball keeps going through your stigmata.

  180. 180
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Oh, my mistake, Sam. I thought you’d referenced it before.

    Oglethorpe.

  181. 181
    Smitty Says:

    @123,

    I wouldn’t trade Hanson strait up for Upton.

  182. 182
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oglethorpe? Oh.

  183. 183
    PaulV Says:

    Yunel’s OPS since trade is about 2% greater than AAG’s while the park factor is 6% more.Difference without distinction. Weird that #3 batter hit .279 against us, while 1-2 and 4-7 hit from .253 to .259, #8 hits .208 and #9 hits .179.

  184. 184
    spike Says:

    Yunel’s OPS since trade is about 2% greater than AAG’s while the park factor is 6% more. Difference without distinction

    Leaving out age, career to date, number of years of team control remaining, and the size of the sample you are referring to, I agree.

  185. 185
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Leaving out age, career to date, number of years of team control remaining, and the size of the sample you are referring to, I agree.

    The sample is an entire season at this point.

  186. 186
    Guillermo Says:

    The rays wanted Yunel. Yunel-Brignac.

    Brignac’s stock has dropped considerably. Still, he is 24 years old.

    I don’t hate AAG, but i hated the trade. My opinion is that they sold low. Collins made the trade interesting, but then they ship him to KC for replacement players.

  187. 187
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I don’t hate AAG, but i hated the trade. My opinion is that they sold low.

    I agree that they sold low. I agree that Escobar has a higher upside due to his age. None of that makes Alex Gonzalez any better or worse of a player.

  188. 188
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Collins didn’t make it that interesting. He’s a 5’6″ guy who has an outside chance of turning into Scott Linebrink. I mean, that’s extremely useful, but it’s not like he’s Bryce Harper.

  189. 189
    Guillermo Says:

    Alex,

    He has a 13.3 K/9 in the minor leagues. There is something there.

  190. 190
    drewdat Says:

    The way in which we hypothetically would have gotten suboptimal value in trading Yunel Escobar would be to self-impose the condition of getting a proven, major-league ready shortstop in return, preferably with team control for 2011. That would cut down the potential trades by 90+%, and it would narrow the realistic potential trades to exactly one (if more than one, then why did we end up with AAG? So one.).

    To be fair, trading away the starting SS without getting one back is risky, as a second trade of prospects/players for the replacement could always fall through. But really, what the trade suggests to me is not that AAG is optimal value for anything, but that he was pretty much the only SS in the majors that fit Wren’s criteria and was available for Yunel at his lowest-ever trade value.

  191. 191
    spike Says:

    The sample is an entire season at this point.

    The quote specifically referred to “Yunel’s OPS since [the] trade”. As a sage fellow once advised me upthread, “try to keep up”.

  192. 192
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    To be fair, trading away the starting SS without getting one back is risky, as a second trade of prospects/players for the replacement could always fall through.

    So we should include in our value assessments of Gonzalez the fact that he is, in fact, a major league ready SS under team control for another year. We can’t ignore that part of his real value. So the theoretical “more optimal” trade would have to acquire back some set of players equal to the value of Yunel Escobar PLUS the negative value of playing Diory Hernandez every day at SS.

  193. 193
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Guillermo, I know he’s struck out a bunch of guys in the minors. He’s a short relief pitcher who has an off-chance of being a very useful setup guy for a few years before blowing out his arm. He’s not going to be a starting pitcher, and he probably won’t be a closer, and either way, he probably won’t be effective for more than a few years — because relief pitcher attrition is even more extreme than starting pitcher attrition.

  194. 194
    Adam M Says:

    Yunel Escobar, who is having his worst season, is also having a roughly equivalent season to Alex Gonzalez, who is having his best season.

    Are they pretty similar producers this year? Sure. Would I rather have Escobar next year? Absolutely. Not even close. There is no evidence to suggest that AAG’s 3.5 WAR this year is repeatable, while Escobar is in his prime and stands a much, much better chance to become a top-tier SS again. He’s younger, a better defender, and has a much higher ceiling than AAG. That they’re roughly equivalent this season is besides the point when discussing next year.

  195. 195
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Anything regarding Yunel Escobar and the Atlanta Braves of 2011 is beside the point. Escobar is a Blue Jay. The Braves will start Alex Gonzalez at SS. The gist of this sub-thread is that a lot of people here have some seriously out of control hate on for Gonzalez. Escobar is younger and thus is better suited for improvement (or, if you prefer, regression to his established norms.) That doesn’t make Gonzalez a bad player.

  196. 196
    Jeremy Says:

    Tim Collins is left-handed and posted a strikeout rate over 15 in the high minors as a 20 year old. How is that in any way comparable to Scott Linebrink?

  197. 197
    drewdat Says:

    @192

    Right, but we still had Omar coming off the bench at the time (unless Omar starting at SS is like a Chipper to 1B for the organization). Injuries would have tanked all of that (or given us Conrad, or maybe just a vet 3B trade rather than Ankiel at the deadline), but it would have been an option at the time.

    And AAG’s team-controlled 2011 is looking a little less useful by the day. Surely we could have found someone better than Diory on the FA market, if needed.

    A sizable amount of AAG’s perceived trade value was tied up in his quick, SkyDome-aided start, which has obviously failed to carry over here. A bad-OBP, good defense, semi-slugging shortstop for 2011 sounded like a nice option. But the version we ended up with (at least to this point) looks to be only tolerable on the better days.

  198. 198
    Jeremy Says:

    AAG’s sub-.300 OBP in over 5400 PAs is what makes him a bad player.

    He is nowhere near the defensive player Escobar is either.

  199. 199
    Bethany Says:

    Wow, awful tense in here today. Has anyone noticed that Diaz is not having a very good year? Slugging is good but he has a sub .300 OBP and a .727 OPS. Even Hinske has a .800 OPS.

  200. 200
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @195

    Right. It’s his abysmal stats that make him a bad player. Try to keep up.

    Maybe Sam is Alex Gonzalez?

  201. 201
    PaulV Says:

    Diaz was hurt much of the year and has p-layed well since coming back while Glaus and Hinski reverted to form. I wonder how much better JH would have don without hurting his hand. My poiny was that AAG has not hurt us since the trade. Did Glaus’s decline come after crappy YE throw just before trade?

  202. 202
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Scott Linebrink was, for a couple of years, one of the best relievers in all of baseball. But I just picked that name out of a hat, because, handedness aside, Collins profiles as a major league setup man.

    Since 2005, there are 34 relievers who have posted a K/9 over 10 more than once. Guys like Damaso Marte, Kiko Calero, B.J. Ryan, Derrick Turnbow, Juan Cruz, Jonathan Broxton, Brad Lidge, and quite a few members of our current bullpen: Takashi Saito, Billy Wagner, and Kyle Farnsworth. Many of them were very good for a while; then, virtually universally, they ran into injury problems and stopped being effective after a 2-4 year peak.

    It is not too much to say that every single reliever with a K/9 over 10 is an injury risk. In fact, nearly every single reliever who has posted a K/9 over 10 has had injury problems. Because Collins is five foot six, I do not expect his injury risk to be less than the other guys on that list.

    The point is, there is a very limited amount of value that you can expect out of a relief prospect.

  203. 203
    FlaBravesFan Says:

    Just to stir the pot a little:

    Worse:Frenchy or Kominski (and why )

    Mnger next year: Torre or Gonzalez (and why)

    Do you trade one of Hanson, JJ, or Kimbrel for a power RH bat

    Discuss amoungst yourselfs…..

  204. 204
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If you could trade Kimbrel for a power bat you have to do it. The kid has awesome stuff, but starting outfielders with power are far more valuable than a young reliever with electric stuff.

    [Add-on] Similarly, if you could get a real power OF bat for JJ, you’d have to do that deal. I’d hold onto Hanson in most cases, though.

  205. 205
    JoeyT Says:

    The Giants need to start losing games. Srsly.

  206. 206
    FlaBravesFan Says:

    Is there a deal (not talking fantasy deal) in which you would include Hanson?

  207. 207
    JoeyT Says:

    There’s always a deal you’d take for anyone. I’d take Longoria for Hanson in half a heartbeat.

    There’s probably no realistic deal out there. Teams like to keep their young stars.

  208. 208
    FlaBravesFan Says:

    How about Dunn for LF, we seem to have some $$ coming off the books, but we really need a RH bat,

  209. 209
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    No no no no no. Dunn is a serial killer in the outfield. First base is the only place you can hide his glove.

  210. 210
    Guillermo Says:

    Alex,

    “The point is, there is a very limited amount of value that you can expect out of a relief prospect.”

    Of course, i agree.

    But… The fact that he is short, while a “scouting / injury” red flag, actually adds to my enjoyment of watching him play. (Wagner Jr.) :)

    I agree with your point that, as a relief pitcher, he has limited value. Still, i loathe the Farnskiel experiment.

  211. 211
    Nick Says:

    Giants win. Their magic number is down to 2. If the Padres lose this evening (in a game which is on MLB Network in 15 minutes), they will have to sweep the Giants to force a one-game playoff for the West. Even if they win tonight, they’ll still have to sweep the Giants to avoid being eliminated from the West race, it’s just that if they do, they’ll win the division outright. Which is all to say that we can only count on the Giants to beat the Padres once for us this weekend.

  212. 212
    Brian J. Says:

    211- Not to be macabre, but there would be no playoff if the Padres lose today and then sweep this weekend, while the Braves are swept. The Giants and Padres would have 91 wins and would both make the playoffs over the Braves’ 90. (San Diego would be division champ, and the Giants the wild card.)

    One Atlanta win would result in a playoff game on Monday, with the loser flying to Atlanta for a game on Tuesday.

    Me, I’m a big fan of winning two games this weekend and rendering this all academic. If the Giants feel like not getting swept, that works too.

  213. 213
    Nick Says:

    Apparently, it’s raining in San Diego, so that’s fun.

  214. 214
    csg Says:

    official site is showing Beachy as starting tomorrow. Are they going to bump everyone up again?

  215. 215
    Nick Says:

    Not that I’ve heard. I think they will actually start Beachy tomorrow, and then start Hanson and Hudson on regular rest Saturday and Sunday, subject to change if we clinch a playoff spot before either one of those days.

  216. 216
    ryan c Says:

    joel sherman of the new york post says vazquez will not be offered arbitration and will probably sign a 1/4 million dollar base salary deal. if that’s true, my thoughts…

    trade jurrjens as quickly as possible.

  217. 217
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Selling low, Ryan?

  218. 218
    Catz Says:

    I finally caved and ‘bought’ MLB.TV for the remainder of the season (for only $10). I figure it’s worth it to watch this final series, and even the postseason.

  219. 219
    Catz Says:

    And I get to watch the Padres lose (hopefully).

  220. 220
    kc Says:

    @217 Definitely, I think JJ would actually be rather healthy next year considering his limited inning this year. I am more concerned with Hanson. Trading JJ now is not wise.

    Bold prediction, we will bring back Andruw. Check out his second-half stats.

  221. 221
    spike Says:

    I dunno – the idea of a cheap odd-year Vazquez isn’t a bad one at all, given Medlen will be gone next year, and Lowe might be worth something again. JJ’s arb salary will certainly be lower given his season as well. Hudson/Hanson/JJ/Minor Vazquez looks pretty good, I think, just spitballing.

  222. 222
    Mac Thomason Says:

    And if there’s a stretch run next year, Medlen could be back, and we could call up the Ayatollah.*

    *Trying that out for Teheran.

  223. 223
    csg Says:

    I still dont aee the Braves moving any starter with Medlen being on the shelf for most of the year. I think JJ would be moved before the 2012 season after his stock is a bit higher and Delgado/Teheran/Medlen are all ready to go

  224. 224
    ryan c Says:

    @217
    and buying low. if it gets us a rh power bat (like kemp), then…YES!

  225. 225
    oldtimer? Says:

    I would take a flyer on Vazquez in a heartbeat for next year.
    Him as a fifth starter in the NL, why not, he loved it in Atlanta.

  226. 226
    ryan c Says:

    who wouldnt trade jj for kemp if it meant we’re able to sign javy for 1/4 million with incentives. doing something of that sort would still leave some extra cash (8 million or so) for a rh power bat. i’d take this lineup and rotation any day:

    hudson, vazquez, hanson, lowe, beachy/minor

    1.prado 2.chipper 3.heyward 4.magglio 5. bmac 6. kemp 7. freeman 8. gonzalez

  227. 227
    Bethany Says:

    The problem with JJ is what if he continues the downward trend and becomes worthless?

  228. 228
    spike Says:

    I suppose he could go all Avery, but his injuries, while troublesome, are not career threatening. His resume suggests he’ll be good for a while.

  229. 229
    csg Says:

    0-0 top 9 CHI/SD

  230. 230
    Catz Says:

    Cubs just took the lead, 1-0 in top 9th

  231. 231
    ububba Says:

    Yeah, go-o-o-o Cubbies.

    1-0 Chi

  232. 232
    Brian J. Says:

    Not anymore, thanks to a Brad Snyder single to score Darwin Barney. 1-0 Chicago.

  233. 233
    Nick Says:

    Cubs take the 1-0 lead in the ninth! Some guy named Snyder with the run-scoring hit.

  234. 234
    csg Says:

    cmon Marmol

  235. 235
    Tomas Says:

    I wouldn’t mind Vasquez on the team text year if they can do it relatively cheap *and* they make sure his dead arm isn’t an injury in waiting.

  236. 236
    Nick Says:

    Marmol will have to get Tejada, Gonzalez and Ludwick in the ninth.

  237. 237
    Brian J. Says:

    One out to go!

  238. 238
    Nick Says:

    Two outs, nobody on

  239. 239
    Catz Says:

    CUBS WIN

  240. 240
    ububba Says:

    Well, that sure helps.

  241. 241
    JoeyT Says:

    Fantastic. Now the Phillies and Padres BOTH have to sweep for the Braves to be knocked out without at least a playoff game.

  242. 242
    Brian J. Says:

    And that’s it! Braves two up on SD with three to play.

  243. 243
    csg Says:

    I think it should be noted that Vasquez fastball has dropped from 91.2 mph last year to 89 this season. His last couple of starts he was throwing 86-87. He just might be done

  244. 244
    John Gaines Says:

    Good, I’m tired of rooting for the Cubs.

  245. 245
    Nick Says:

    Cubs win! The Cubs get a bottle of wine and a Christmas ham this holiday season, courtesy of the Atlanta Braves.

  246. 246
    DG Says:

    I just want to see the Giants/Braves win tomorrow so it will be over…

  247. 247
    kc Says:

    Let’s get ready for the Hudson/Lincecum opening match up.

  248. 248
    Nick Says:

    In appreciation of their effort this week, I move we resolve to not hate the Cubs for the rest of the year.

  249. 249
    Jeremy Says:

    The point is, there is a very limited amount of value that you can expect out of a relief prospect.

    True, but how many relief prospects pitch in AA and AAA in their age 20 season? Not many, I’d imagine.

  250. 250
    ryan c Says:

    didnt we crush linceum earlier this year?

  251. 251
    jj3bagger Says:

    Lincecum gave up three earned (2 HRs) in his start against the Braves first week in August (6IP). I’d say September Lincecum is a much better pitcher than August Lincecum.

    The Braves took three out of four in that series, but I’d say the Braves are a much different team, as are the Giants.

  252. 252
    csg Says:

    facing lincecum is a hell of a lot better than sitting at home. Gotta beat the Phils 1st though

  253. 253
    kc Says:

    Not concerned with Lincecum. I don’t find facing the Reds any easier.

  254. 254
    Stu Says:

    I’m a lot more concerned about Sanchez and Zito.

  255. 255
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I like “The Ayatollah.”

    What should we call Delgado?

  256. 256
    csg Says:

    bautista hit 2 more tonight, 54

  257. 257
    Bethany Says:

    I have a request for you all. I’ve got my senior project, the Eephus League site for baseball minutiae, pretty much up and working, and I was curious if any of you would be interested in contributing to it. It’s supposed to be a community site where people can upload photos and share random bits of baseball minutiae with each other, as well as a general resource for baseball information, like team and ballpark histories and explanations of statistics.

    It’s about to be moved to eephusleague.com, but there’s a version up on my domain.

    http://heckhouse.com/Eephus

    Please email me at heckhouse at gmail if you’d like to help me fill the site out with some more photos, quotes, nicknames, memorabilia, stats and trivia. You all know way more about baseball than I do and getting some content and feedback from you would be very helpful.

  258. 258
    Randy Says:

    @255—I like Ayatollah not to come.

  259. 259
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Why haven’t we given Wes Timmons a stab at third base or at least Prado’s roster spot? He a Prado/Infante type guy, and I assume he can probably man third base pretty well. seems like it could be a lightning in a bottle pissibility.

  260. 260
    Parish Says:

    Teheran could also be “the Shah.” I cannot say that either term seems all that complimentary, but at least one of those guys did not openly support terrorism.

    Besides, “the Shah” wouldn’t take as long to type and would be less prone to awful misspellings by Sam.

  261. 261
    Parish Says:

    On a more serious note:

    Are we one win away from the post season? That’s what I was thinking, but the Pads sweeping and us winning only one might still require a play-in game.

  262. 262
    braves14 Says:

    261 — The magic number is 2.

  263. 263
    Tom Says:

    Wow, awful tense in here today

    Only from the usual suspects. Some people just can’t shut up. My advice: Scroll down.

  264. 264
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The problem with the Wildcard in a nutshell: Braves fans saying things like “cmon Marmol.”

  265. 265
    Johnny Says:

    Randall ‘Not Carlos’ Delgado?

    ‘The Shah’ is easier to type. However some of our younger posters wouldn’t even know who he was unless they were actually paying attention during history class.

  266. 266
    Smitty Says:

    I like having to go on the road in the first round. If we can win one of those first two, we are in the drivers seat.

  267. 267
    Kevin Lee Says:

    So stoked to be a Braves fan today!
    90 wins so far!
    The ability to make the playofs in their control, using Bobby’s usual plan as their goal. “Win 2 of 3.”

    Go Braves!

  268. 268
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Calling him “The Shah” would make him sound decadent and weak, though. Let’s be honest: Mohammed Reza Pahlavi didn’t have a fastball.

  269. 269
    PaulV Says:

    Persian Prince?

  270. 270
    Bethany Says:

    I have been watching the Tenth Inning of Ken Burns Baseball documentary, and the bias towards the Yankees and Red Sox is even more apparent now. He also spent a good 20 minutes covering Barry Bonds before he even got to him being traded to the Giants. I think they spoke more on Bobby Bonds’ shortcomings as a father than they did the strike.

    So, no one thinks my site is cool? :(

  271. 271
    spike Says:

    @268, not if you called him SAVAK. It’s tough to hit any fastball if you are thinking about a car battery being clipped to your naughty bits.

  272. 272
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @270

    From what I can tell by watching Burns’ “10th Inning”, Barry Bonds was an angry man who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but then signed a free agent deal for some team in “San Francisco” which is apparently in the Nippon Central League or something. Bonds was never heard from again, and no knowledge exists of what became of the so-called “western division” team that he joined. Certainly nothing interesting happened in such a “western division” in 1993.

  273. 273
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @270
    Very cool site!
    Can’t wait for Eephus.com!
    Didn’t see a picture of the Bravesmobile, though?!

  274. 274
    hpotter Says:

    So are we looking at an SF rotation of Lincecum-Cain-Sanchez?

  275. 275
    BFedRec Says:

    @Bethany that’s a really nice looking site… I’ve not had time to read some of the articles, but I love the design (though my inner Zeldman says I shouldn’t have to hover over the nav stuff to know what it’s for, I still like the nice clean icon-based look). Alas, I don’t know enough to be helpful.

  276. 276
    justhank Says:

    Anybody notice Carl Crawford’s, uh, effort on that fly ball over his head? Made Melky look like Willie Mays.

    He literally moved faster during his homerun trot than he did in left field.

    Eh, we aren’t likely to step into that battle anyway.
    ———————

    I believe I heard that the Rays have made it known that they are cutting payroll next year. Whom would you pluck if you were plucking?
    ———————

    Why do I get this nagging feeling that I’m going to be subjected to Urban Meyer’s smirk late on Saturday night?

  277. 277
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    Re: Ken Burns

    I sat down to watch with my kid, since we caught one of the earlier ones with footage back in the 50’s & earlier. We actually had a great conversation about racism & beautiful swings (among other things). I was so excited about this one, but had to turn off after 10 minutes. I had heard Burns tout the opening starting with the Braves rise, but really, all I caught was Bonds being an ass. Very disappointing.

  278. 278
    hpotter Says:

    @276 – Rays are cutting payroll from $72m to $50m

  279. 279
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @278, Florida really hates their baseball teams.

  280. 280
    Bethany Says:

    Whew, thanks for looking, you all. I don’t want to monopolize the conversation, just wanted to get a bit of feedback from some real baseball fans. If you don’t mind I’ll probably be asking for opinions on some of the books and posters I am making for the project as well.

    There is a series of 5 booklets, each focusing on a different aspect of baseball. I’m got an online flash page-turning version of the book on the language of baseball here: http://heckhouse.com/Book2.html

    And one of the posters here: http://heckhouse.com/squeeze.jpg

    It’s been a great project and I hope it ends up being a successful venture.

    Sorry about no Braves mobile, Kevin, I haven’t gotten a decal for it yet.

  281. 281
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Just picked up for cataloging a book whose title alone induces coma-provoking boredom. The Oxford Companion to Canadian History and Literature.

  282. 282
    justhank Says:

    I confess that I can’t readily name a great Canadian author.

    Mac?

  283. 283
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I wasn’t sure that Canadians even had a written language.

  284. 284
    BFedRec Says:

    You know Mac, if you had put that last one on twitter I’d be staring and retweeting it like mad. I’m just glad I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee when I read it.

  285. 285
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Well, there you go.

  286. 286
    BFedRec Says:

    Thank ye! Poking a stick at Mets fans is no fun at this point in the season, so in an effort to diversify I’m going to resort to poking Canadian twitter people.

  287. 287
    Randy Says:

    Bethany, Nice job. I’ll check back often, always glad to see something on one of my favorite players,The Toy Cannon,Jimmy Wynn, just wish we would have got him about six years earlier.

  288. 288
    ryan c Says:

    mlbtr has the braves as one of the teams that’s been scouting yu darvish. that just doesnt make sense to me. he’d cost a boatload and we already have a surplus of starting pitchers in our projected rotation for the next 4-5 years.

  289. 289
    Stu Says:

    It always maxes sense to investigate.

    Besides, with our glowing track record regarding treatment of Japanese players, maybe he’d consider a discount.

  290. 290
    ryan c Says:

    @289
    lol, however i’d change “glowing” to “eerily luminescent”.

  291. 291
    Coop Says:

    Meaningful October baseball: all’s right in the world. Go Braves.

    Hurling Darvish?

  292. 292
    Bethany Says:

    Mac, what is your creepy dinosaur twitter avatar from?

  293. 293
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It’s just a picture. I change it up every so often for variety’s sake.

  294. 294
    BFedRec Says:

    I rarely see your avatar on there as they’re always blocked when I’m at work (and that’s when you’re tweeting usually)… though I think you should have kept the Hippo-riding Frenchy.

  295. 295
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I was going to follow up with Jeffy riding a carnivorous dinosaur, which is where the picture came from, but I couldn’t get a good picture to work with.

  296. 296
    BFedRec Says:

    Based off the Jesus riding a Raptor pic? (cause that would be awesome with Jeffy)

    Yes… I SHOULD be getting some work done this morning, but I don’t want to!

  297. 297
    Bethany Says:

    I feel like a dinosaur is too cool an animal for Jeff to be mounting. He needs something like an anteater.

  298. 298
    csg Says:

    Id like to pluck Zobrist from the Rays, he’s had an awful year, but I doubt they’ll want to move him

  299. 299
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I confess that I can’t readily name a great Canadian author.

    I’d go with Saul Bellow, but that’s mostly a jab at Canadians, because most people consider him American anyway.

    Mordecai Richler’s pretty funny.

  300. 300
    oi! Says:

    @278, 279 –
    The comments on that article were amazing. As far as I can tell, Tampa Bay has done exactly what a bottom-dwelling team should do to become successful. They’ve made good baseball moves, put a winning (and exciting) ballteam on the field. And the fans haven’t shown up.

    And this is year three or four of this. So it’s not like this is the first year they’ve won and the owner is bailing out. He gave the fans a while (two years now) to react to the winning team.

    But the commenters all want him to sell, because they think there are people willing to lose money year after year on a baseball team. Right. This guy has accepted short term losses in the hopes of getting long term benefit. And there’s no evidence that the benefit is coming. So he should keep throwing money away? That’s not how you get rich enough to own an MLB team, folks.

  301. 301
    Bethany Says:

    The moral of the story is that the state of Florida sucks. Do they support anything other than the Heat and the Dolphins outside of college ball? The Jaguars have always had terrible attendance, even when they were a good team.

  302. 302
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Even the Heat aren’t going to sell out every game.

  303. 303
    mraver Says:

    The Bucs did well when they had solid teams in the late ’90s and early ’00s. But once you get out of Miami, it’s a college football state. Orlando doesn’t worship anything besides the Mouse, and Tampa’s just not a great sports city. The lack of support for the Jaguars has always surprised me. By rights, football should be huge in and around Jacksonville. I guess people are just more interested in rooting for/hating Florida and Georgia than the pro game.

    ETA: This year, the Heat will most certainly sell out every game. But it’ll probably be more of an LA crowd (in the negative sense; Laker fans seem pretty emphatic) than anything else. And if this team doesn’t dominate, expect the fan base to bail pretty quickly. They’ve got some lofty expectations, and meeting them is the only way to get the necessary attendance numbers.

  304. 304
    ryan c Says:

    @301
    the truth concerning the state of florida, much like atlanta, is that it’s a melting pot of many people who are not originally from florida. there roots were already well established. to fault florida people for not rooting for the “state team” would be asking those particular people to change his/her roots.

    i live in florida, but there’s no way i’m going to become a magic fans, rays fan, marlins fan, tb bucs fan, jaguars fan or dolphins fan.

    reasoning:
    i lived in new orleans during a cool time to be a saints and hornets fan and saw a city come together through a reviving fooball team. also, i grew up in alabama and was fed orange and blue for 22 years. also, i watched almost every brave game with my father ’til i was 17.

    florida people dont suck anymore than any other state.

  305. 305
    Mac Thomason Says:

    We have a rule here that students have to remove hats and caps upon entering the library. I enforced it on a Phillies-cap wearer yesterday, but have decided to let the kid with the Braves cap leave his on. Selective enforcement of petty regulations ROCKS!

  306. 306
    Stu Says:

    Jonah Keri’s Canadian.

  307. 307
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Sports markets are determined by two fundamental metrics. First, the disposable income of the median population cohort. Second, the corporate business base of the given area. Population income drives “repeat attendance.” Business entities drive season ticket and corporate box sales.

    Atlanta is moderatly equipped on the first metric (population) and well represented on the corporate support. Tampa has neither. There are very few Fortune 500 companies based out of the Tampa/St. Pete area, and the population is generally older, retirees who don’t have a lot of disposable income for baseball games (especially so in the last few years.)

    The only reason they ever put a team in Tampa was because they “already had a stadium,” which is a stupid, stupid reason to put a franchise there.

  308. 308
    BFedRec Says:

    Petty regulation sucks… selective enforcement of it can be fun though.

    In high-school (actually “academy” as it was an SDA prison camp..errr… Boarding Academy) they had a no hats in the admin buildings rule that I was given special dispensation to break… granted it was because when they told me to cut my long-ish hair I shaved it into a mohawk and went to biology class where they called me to the office and told me to shave it all off, and wear a hat till I didn’t look like a skinhead/freak.

  309. 309
    hpotter Says:

    UNC in deep doo-doo

  310. 310
    ryan c Says:

    sorry for the poor usage of “there”. i’m not sure what’s wrong with me today.

  311. 311
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @282
    Michael J. Fox?
    He’s published 4 books now. Which is probably a dozen fewer than Shatner.

  312. 312
    Bethany Says:

    Michael J. Fox is Canadian? I never knew.

  313. 313
    Seat Painter Says:

    Nah, UNC is in the same doo doo they’ve been in before. That article is the Raleigh News & Observer’s version of Furman Bisher saying Butch Davis should be fired.

  314. 314
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Lots of famous people have come out of Canada. And the more famous they were, the faster they got out.

  315. 315
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    @314 to turn on a phrase from a great Canadian, “I can’t hear you with my hockey gold medals plugging my ears”

    enough with the free trade cross-border bashing. Go Braves & giants. Mind you if Beachy can do anything 2nd time around the phils lineup, I would be very pleasantly surprised.

  316. 316
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I think we should stop this before someone mentions Randy Bachman.

  317. 317
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of all the hockey teams fleeing south.

  318. 318
    Mike N. Says:

    Nickelback and Justin Bieber are Canadian.

  319. 319
    Guillermo Says:

    Tom Rachman (The imperfectionist), Douglas Coupland (Generation X), W.P. Kinsella (Shoeless Joe).

    I still haven’t met a Canadian A-hole.

  320. 320
    justhank Says:

    Apparently, Guillermo has never been to Montreal. (Women are stunning, however, and that makes up for a lot.)

  321. 321
    Guillermo Says:

    Justhank,

    I have. Once you get past the superiority complex of the french-speaking canadians they are pretty laid back. I like that about them.

    Of course, every generalization is dumb. There are all types of people everywhere. I’ve been lucky with Canadiens.

  322. 322
    Johnny Says:

    I seem to be watching too much HGTV lately. The Canadians say house funny. Instead of howse its hos. Long o.

    I knew a guy in college from Canada. He picked up on all the traditional Southern colluquilisms and added the Canadian ones.
    ‘Y’all lets get a beer, eh.’

    ed. Montreal Rays anyone?

  323. 323
    Smitty Says:

    What college are you working at Mac, I can’t remember.

  324. 324
    Adam M Says:

    Margaret Atwood is Canadian.

  325. 325
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It’s a private college in Tuscaloosa. Should be easy enough to figure out from that, but I’m not supposed to say more.

  326. 326
    Mark Graybill Says:

    Is it a “private college with a public mission”?

  327. 327
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yup.

  328. 328
    ryan c Says:

    i kid you not, bobby is batting melky 5th tonight, AGAIN!
    1. omar 2. j-hey 3. bmac 4.dlee 5. chunkybutt 6. nate 7. aag 8. rawdog

  329. 329
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New post.

  330. 330
    chris Says:

    #309

    it’s come out that Tudor quoted the Yahoo article which had 5-7 factual errors. Including the fact that Blake hasn’t had a credit card from that company in 5 years. he had one…when he worked for them BEFORE UNC.

    tudor’s going to lose HIS job due to shoddy journalism.

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