Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Thanks to Mac's family, bravesjournal.com is back.

12 Dec

Just in time for the holidays

I’ve got another Kindle collection I’ve put together. I’ve updated a few entries (but left the rankings in place) and added a couple of new ones as bonuses.

346 Responses to “Just in time for the holidays”

  1. 1
    spike Says:

    Between the point shaving, conflicts of interest, salary caps, and rampant favoritism in officiating, how does the NBA have any standing as a professional sport anymore? I don’t see how anyone can stand to watch it.

  2. 2
    Stu Says:

    I can’t, really. But if the Hawks were to get Chris Paul, I could manage.

  3. 3
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    From @469 last thread, re: Pujols:

    I actually kind of came around on this over the weekend. Chipper taking a hometown discount to stick around is heart warming, but I’m sure there was a point below which he would’ve felt insulted as well, and it’s not really fair to expect it of a player at all. Kind of just a bonus if it happens.

    You know why Chipper Jones has been a life-long Brave?

    Bobby Cox.

    The day Tony LaRussa retired was the day Albert Pujols became a true, honest to god free agent.

  4. 4
    spike Says:

    Hey, how about rocker’s new book?

    http://www.13wmaz.com/news/article/155762/45/John-Rocker-Still-Trying-to-Clear-Name

  5. 5
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Could we continue to pretend John Rocker never existed?

  6. 6
    Smitty Says:

    I wish I had a Kindle. I have a Nook

  7. 7
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Weird… yet another thing I agree with Sam about.

  8. 8
    mikemc Says:

    Rocker can write?

  9. 9
    Stu Says:

    He puts the “co” in “co-write.”

  10. 10
    Smitty Says:

    “Bace Ball Go Far”
    by John Rocker

    Chapter 1: My Lif on the Dimond

    “I like Bace Ball. It fun to play. I like teem mates.

    Chiper Jons was mean to me some times.

    Boby Coks let me throwe bace ball and he got mad two.

    Mets fans smeel like ded fish. Aids is a bad thing. Mets fans have aids.”

  11. 11
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I would probably read his book if his ghostwriter had been Dan Kolb.

  12. 12
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    In the “Oh, that explains it” department:

    Albert Pujols’s wife shares more background on why he left.

    The Cardinals’ last offer to Pujols was for 10 years and $210 million, with $30 million deferred.

    “The offer that people have seen on television I want to tell you what, listeners especially, had that offer been given to us with a guarantee, we would have the (Cardinals) bird on our back,” Diedre Pujols told 99.1 Joy FM, a St. Louis-area Christian station that received some of its initial funding from Albert Pujols.

    She indicated the key moment was the Cardinals’ initial offer of five years and $130 million.

    “When you have somebody say ‘We want you to be a Cardinal for life’ and only offer you a five-year deal, it kind of confused us,” Diedre Pujols said. “Well, we got over that insult and felt like Albert had given so much of himself to baseball and into the community … we didn’t want to go through this again.”

  13. 13
    Tad Says:

    well it would have been nice if over the hill Chipper would have just retired and then we could have used that money to sign Aramis Ramirez and had this lineup.

    1.Bourn – cf
    2.Prado – lf
    3.Ramirez – 3b
    4.McCann – c
    5. Uggla – 2b
    6.Freeman – 1b
    7.Heyward -rf
    8.Pastornicky -ss

  14. 14
    PaulV Says:

    CJ has a contract and would be due a settlement. He gave Braves a break, give Chipper one.

  15. 15
    Ethan Says:

    @13- Yeah, because if you get the chance to overpay an inpatient dead pull hitter with slowing bat speed, extensive injury issues, and atrocious defense at 3B through his age 37 season you simply have to do it.

  16. 16
    csg Says:

    So, lets rule out 2 more.

    Same reasons other teams uninterested? RT @tomabernathy: @ajcbraves Can you explain why Braves seem so uninterested in Carlos Beltran? 3 hours ago

    I’d say very little, if any. RT @LeeKillian: @ajcbraves Any chance Braves go after JD Drew? 4 hours ago

    Its funny to see DOB talk about these guys in this way, but he could see Seth Smith and Carlos Lee being good fits.

  17. 17
    csg Says:

    In the “what just happened” moment….per mlbtr

    – The Brewers acquired reliever Jose Veras from the Pirates for infielder Casey McGehee, the teams announced.

  18. 18
    Smitty Says:

    @16

    So true. I am waiting for, “Orlando Cabrera would be a great fit.” and “Not sure why the Braves would want to add Mike Trout.”

  19. 19
    beege Says:

    So in addition to Greg Olson the catcher, Gregg Olson the pitcher, and Greg Olsen the tight end, there also exists a Greg Golsen the outfielder? I’m begining to suspect shenanigans.

  20. 20
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    That’s a fine pickup for the Pirates in terms of absolute value — they got something slightly more valuable than they gave up, and hey, when you’re the Pirates, every little bit helps.

    But McGehee is a backup infielder who can’t play shortstop or get on base, and he’s a late bloomer who had a fine year at 27, a horrendous year at age 28. It is almost certain that his 2009-2010 seasons represent his absolute peak and it’s all downhill from here. Taking stock of his entire career, he’s a .265/.320/.426 career hitter who has decent power but can’t take a walk and doesn’t have much offensive value unless he maintains a high batting average. When his BA collapses, as it did this year, he’s not good. Sure, he’s a better fielder than Brooks Conrad, but I don’t really feel a need to have him on our team.

  21. 21
    sansho1 Says:

    he’s a .265/.320/.426 career hitter who has decent power but can’t take a walk and doesn’t have much offensive value unless he maintains a high batting average

    So he’s Garrett Jones and Ryan Doumit? Sounds like a Pirates cleanup hitter to me.

  22. 22
    Adam M Says:

    Yeah, because why pay $9 million for Beltran when you can pay the same amount for Carlos Lee?

    /DOBLogic

  23. 23
    Stu Says:

    /WrenLogic?

    //I sure hope not.

  24. 24
    Adam R Says:

    I can only assume that the Braves aren’t charging hard for Beltran for the same reason that literally no other team in MLB is making a play for him: he’s asking for too much money, too many years, or some combo of the two. Or likely teams have better info on Beltran than we do about the risk of an injury. Though that’s not exactly a well-kept secret at this point.

    I don’t know why anyone would want Beltran or Drew and not Lowrie. Similar risks, similar rewards at this point. Lowrie probably fields his position much better than Beltran at this point. And the upgrade from Pastornicky to Lowrie (or even half a season of Lowrie + Punto/whatever) is almost certainly more than from Prado to Beltran/Drew or some platoon arrangement. I know which undying hope I’m sticking with this offseason.

  25. 25
    Tad Says:

    @15 .. whi hit .306 with 26 homers and 93 rbi’s …. we have what you described already .. Chipper ” selfish” Jones

  26. 26
    Ray Says:

    Funny, there was all this talk here about Pujols not being loyal to STL, the fans and whatever and then someone states that Chipper should retire and the Braves should have signed Aramis Ramirez. Where`s the fans’ loyalty here? Chipper has done a lot, he can stay as long as he wants. I wouldn’t trade Prado for Bonds in his prime either, because I like him and want him to stay a Brave. Am I the only one who rather loses with players I like than win with players I don’t? So just keep Prado and Jurrjens if you can’t sign someone like Willingham and roll the dice. Btw, I would habe resigned McLouth for the 1.5 M the Pirates gave him and have a Prado, Diaz, McLouth platoon in LF, with McLouth backing up Bourn in Center. Right now we don’t have anyone who could do that.

  27. 27
    desert Says:

    Am I the only one who rather loses with players I like than win with players I don’t?

    Sorry Ray, even though Prado is my most favorite player player to put on a Braves’ uniform, I’d make that Bonds for Prado trade any day. I agree with you that the call for Chipper to retire is a little excessive, but I think the majority of fans value team success above anything else. Players are a means to an end, with that end being a championship. Making decisions that value players at the expense of that final goal isn’t something that smart ballclubs do.

  28. 28
    desert Says:

    24,

    Extremely sound reasoning on both points. I think that people would prefer Beltran because of the prospect cost of trading for Lowrie; however, if injuries are a primary concern, I think that Lowrie is safer than Drew.

    I don’t think anybody has made a formal offer to Beltran so far. I think that Beltran must be asking for a lot, still be injured, or have told certain teams outright he’s not going to sign with them; otherwise, we would have heard something.

  29. 29
    kc Says:

    I would trade Prado for Bonds in his prime in a second. What is there to think about?

  30. 30
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Aramis Ramirez is not an upgrade from Chipper Jones. The disloyalty and lack of appreciation given to Chipper around here is sad.

  31. 31
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I suspect Beltran thinks he’s still the cream of the crop of free agents, like he was last time around. He doesn’t seem to have internalized that he’s damaged goods.

  32. 32
    ryan c Says:

    Jeff Keppinger was just non-tendered. There’s really no reason why he shouldn’t be a Brave very soon.

  33. 33
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Anyone who wouldn’t trade Prado for in-his-prime Bonds is insane. Hell, if he passed a physical I’d probably sign Bonds to play ahead of Prado *today.* I’m not certain that 40-something Bonds couldn’t outhit Prado with his left eye closed.

  34. 34
    kc Says:

    @31 Perhaps it has something to do with Boras?!?!?!?!?!

  35. 35
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @34

    Scott Boras’ job is to maximize the value of his clients’ contracts. He’s very good at that. He and Beltran may have decided to wait out the market for other corner OF, or they may be trying to find someone who will buy their valuation of him above what the market currently has for him. One way or the other, I suppose.

    If Beltran would sign a reasonable 2 year deal, he’s the best option for the Braves. If he’s demanding three years or more than $10m per, he’s not a fit for the Braves’ payroll regardless of need. At some point we’ll find out where this waiting game ends.

  36. 36
    Adam R Says:

    Beltran ditched Boras for Dan Lozano, a month ago or so, right?

  37. 37
    spike Says:

    Correct – or at least, that was what was reported.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7177877/san-francisco-giants-carlos-beltran-switches-scott-boras-agency-dan-lozano-source-says

  38. 38
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Mac,

    I assume you get money from being on Kindle?

    “Wow. Interesting to see people make so many assumptions about what it’s like to make 25 million dollars a year on here, and then have the gall to criticize a financial decision that someone makes in that situation.”

    This is sort of silly. I never had sex with a supermodel but I have a pretty good idea that it’s probably pretty nice. I never will make $25 million a year but I doubt that it sucks.

    I’m not sure what “gall” has to do with it. I guess it’s the same kind of “gall” that suggests that Wall Street CEOs don’t need a $100 million bonuses in the middle of a recession. As far as I’m concerned, Pujols can do whatever the hell he likes, but I just reacted to the idea that, somehow, he didn’t have a choice but to take the money and that he couldn’t live comfortably on $220 million. It seems to me that having that much money should give a man the freedom to NOT make decision based on a strictly financial basis.If that’s gall, I plead guilty. I also said that, as a baseball fan, I am disappointed that he left St. Louis because it has such a great baseball tradition. I don’t see why I can’t have an opinion about that. I’m not saying he should be banned from leaving. I just find it baffling that people think that $220 million is not a lot of money; I understand that the Cardinals owners are far wealthier and can afford it but that’s not the point. They offered what they offered and he had the choice to take it or not; despite what people seem to be saying here, it’s not like he needed the extra $40 million to take care of his family–unless he wants to buy a small country. (And, don’t tell me about how much he lose in taxes; a lot of the money will be sheltered and even if the government does take half, it’s still a lot of money.) He had a choice and he made it; that’s fine (and maybe it wasn’t about the money), but I don’t accept the idea that he had no choice.

    I, for one, have never said that players owe fans loyalty. I don’t think they do. The issue with Chipper Jones shows that fans have no loyalty to the player once they stop performing. When I was a kid, I remember the fans in Baltimore booing Johnny Unitas when he was playing with a sore arm–I have never forgotten that. I have no problem with Scott Boras (other than the fact he is often dishonest), unlike some that are on this site–he does his job and maximizes his clients’ income. But star players do want fans to embrace them–to help their endorsement income if nothing else. You can’t have it both ways.

    I’ve said enough. I’m glad the Braves won’t be facing Pujols often unless it’s in the World Series.

  39. 39
    csg Says:

    When has Chipper stopped performing? Id say he had a better 2011 than anyone here could’ve guessed.

    Arod – .276/.362/.461
    Chipper – .276/.344/.470

    There were only 6 qualified 3B with a better OPS than these two last year. Now go compare their two contracts. Asking Chipper to retire is ridiculous. Like it or not, he’s still one of our best offensive producers.

  40. 40
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I get a little money — 70 percent, for this book.

  41. 41
    ryan c Says:

    Wow! Brooks Conrad also non-tendered. I mean, I didn’t expect he’d make the team, but still quite a shock.

  42. 42
    Stu Says:

    Conrad gone. Figured this was coming after Bowman’s tweet to Peter the other day.

  43. 43
    spike Says:

    @38 Your fixation with making it incumbent on the players to reward the fans loyalty is just bizarre. Not only was the Cardinals offer the lowest by far, they had the f###ing nerve to ask for an interest free $30M loan on top of it. They wanted him to go somewhere else and offered this contract as a fig leaf. Where is your precious outrage over that? What does the team owe to it’s fans? Nothing by your standard They are quite free to keep as much money as possible, and that’s cool, but woe to freaking help if they want to try it.

    I don’t think anyone has said “he had no choice” so I don’t know where you are getting that from, along with “people think that $220 million is not a lot of money” which is also your own strawman. Maybe he hates living in St Louis. Maybe he wants to be a movie star and LA is a little better for that. Maybe he doesn’t want to play for Matheny. There’s a ton of reasons for him to do this that don’t involve money, but apparently none of those suit the tidy little scenario you’re toting around in your head, so you’ve decided it must be because he’s an evil mercenary.

    Jesus.

  44. 44
    Adam R Says:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/wins.aspx?date=2010-05-20&team=Braves&dh=0

    Brooks was here :)

  45. 45
    csg Says:

    Ill miss Brooks, hopefully they can get him back on a minor league deal or something.

    Phils close to a 1yr deal with Dontrelle. Apparently the NL East is going to stockpile LH starters. Braves need to get Carlos Quentin or Carlos Beltran.

  46. 46
    Noc-A-Homa-Win-A-Lotta Says:

    @26 — Ray, I don’t necessarily agree with your McLouth strategy, but I can get behind your Prado over Bonds-in-his-prime statement.

    Call me insane, and it’s definitely not a move “smart” ballclubs make, but the Braves have long made it a point of institutional pride to try to avoid insufferable jerks and cheaters. I don’t see how this argument is any different, despite artificially inflated statistics.

  47. 47
    Stu Says:

    44—Now, find the one for Game 3 of the 2010 NLDS in Atlanta.

  48. 48
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    When you consider Pujols’ comments about “commitment” and “respect,” also recall that the Cardinals’ first offer to Pujols was for five years, last spring. Fans, of course, forget the original offers made during Spring Training negotiations for extensions. Players do not.

    If you’re Pujols, and you know that other teams are willing to spend in excess of $250m for 10 years, and you remember how the Cards offered you 5 years less than a year ago, while saying they wanted you to be a “Cardinal for life,” that might seem something akin to disrespect to you.

  49. 49
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Brooks Conrad is the classic type of player you use while he’s absurdly cheap, but the minute he even sniff’s arbitration you cut him loose.

  50. 50
    Adam R Says:

    @47, NOOO! ARGH! PAIN! NON-TENDER THE BUM!

    Phew, sorry. I checked and saw his 1.5 WAR while in ATL. Now I feel better.

  51. 51
    Seat Painter Says:

    Agree with Sam on Brooks. Great guy, great teammate, not worth paying more than the minimum for. (Or maybe a bit more, if you’re feeling generous, and are willing to sweeten the pot a bit to get him to forego arb.)

  52. 52
    Stu Says:

    50—How about his playoff WAR?

  53. 53
    Marc Schneider Says:

    “Your fixation with making it incumbent on the players to rew”ard the fans loyalty is just bizarre.”

    You aren’t even reading what I’m saying. If you read all the way through, I said the players don’t owe the fans loyalty. You seem to want to read what you think I said.

    You keep making these little populist arguments as if I am saying the owners should rape and pillage the population. I have said I don’t think much of Cardinal ownership for playing in a taxpayer funded stadium and acting as if they are the Little Sisters of the Poor. But that’s besides the point. What I’m reacting to is the implication (yes, I agree no one said it) that $22 million is not a lot of money to play baseball. In fact, Pujols’ wife basically said he would have stayed in St. Louis if they had shown him the proper “respect” by paying him more money.

  54. 54
    desert Says:

    The Cards’ initial offer was 5 years/110 million. That about says it all.

  55. 55
    Smitty Says:

    I don’t think judging his playoff WAR is fair. He was a bat off the bench and nothing more. Everyone in Atlanta was praying the ball wouldn’t be hit to him. By that time he was exposed and had been playing too much.

    Was he a great player. No. Was he good in his role? Yes. Would we have been in the playoffs without him? No.

    He has a ton of big hits as a Brave. He didn’t wear batting gloves. He was scrappy and came out of no where. He was a true underdog.

    Now he has become expensive. He will be a great bat off the bench for an AL team who will overpay him.

    Thanks for the ride Folk Hero!

  56. 56
    spike Says:

    I said the players don’t owe the fans loyalty.

    And then immediately unsay it two sentences later by hedging about needing fan loyalty for endorsements and “you can’t have it both ways” and clinging to your personal hobby horse about “$22 million is not a lot of money”. Only one person apparently is required to engage in sacrifice to meet your standards, and oddly, it’s the only one who actually does stuff on the field. Somehow, everybody elses actions are “beside the point” – nice work if you can get it

  57. 57
    Adam R Says:

    @52, LA LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU, FOLK HERO, BATTING GLOVES LA LA LA LA

    EDIT: Smitty beat me to it.

  58. 58
    desert Says:

    I think 52 was supposed to be a joke.

  59. 59
    Stu Says:

    Yes. I’ve always been one of Brooks’s biggest defenders.

  60. 60
    Adam M Says:

    So where does everyone come down on DOB? Is he really no more than the “mouthpiece” for the organization?* Or is he simply just espousing his own theories? I understand that he has to maintain a working relationship with the guys he covers, but at the same time I don’t think that imperative necessitates him solely to promote the FO’s vision unequivocally and attack all questioning of that vision as if it were his own.

    *and does this mean Carlos Lee really is on the radar? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    My negative feelings on DOB are exacerbated by the fact that his AJC colleague, Michael Cunningham, is damn good at his job covering the Hawks: the man does research, understands advanced metrics, has an idea of what ails the team and how the FO often fails to address those ailments, levels criticisms at players and coaches when it’s warranted, provides a sound analysis of the organizational ethos without trumpeting it as genius, and yet still maintains a working relationship with the people he covers. It’s not rocket science – athletes actually need the press as much as the press needs access to athletes.

    Some people just enjoy sucking up to “power,” whatever its form.

  61. 61
    spike Says:

    Sooo…. Anybody into Theriot or Keppinger for backup SS, or is a resign Wilson the plan?

  62. 62
    Adam M Says:

    I like Keppinger. I do not like Theriot. But honestly, I prefer Punto to all of them…

    /DropsHeadInShame

  63. 63
    spike Says:

    Journalists who go on Harley rides with the object of their coverage have conceded the presumption of impartiality. Considering how few of his columns are anything other than restatements of the team’s press releases, it’s hard to believe he’s particularly interested in anything else.

  64. 64
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Why would we want Nick Punto?

  65. 65
    Adam R Says:

    @59, No, Stu just hates heroes, is all. He even wants to sign Manny. QED :)

    @60, I feel like I’m the most out of step with people here on DOB. His attitude towards fan questions leaves something to be desired, and I suspect that’s where much of the animus comes from.

    But I don’t blame him for how he positions himself publicly with the Braves’ FO. I don’t follow the Hawks, so I can’t say anything about how working with that organization might make a beat writer’s job easier/harder, but with the way the Braves operate, I would have every expectation that DOB behaves the way he does. The Griffey fiasco, which I recall being not really DOB’s fault (but could be wrong), didn’t help in this.

    He’s fairly loyal to the organization’s views on things, but not always. Not nearly as much as people on here make him out to be. Oftentimes, it goes unsaid on here when he differs with the Braves, and he does so subtly. At the end of the day, he’s not all that different from other beat writers. You always have to read in between the lines and remember the interests of the person being quoted on something, etc.

    I don’t get people attacking DOB for something that’s clearly the organization’s prerogative. People like to shoot the messenger, I guess. Why take it out on him, if the organization wants Carlos Lee? Isn’t Wren the one you want to take to task? It’s not like beating up on DOB gets you anything. Widespread fan discontent with no real response to the 2011 collapse does affect Wren, however.

    I don’t mind DOB’s music/food stuff. I just pgdn.

  66. 66
    Dan Says:

    Bonds is probably a better hitter than Prado right now.

  67. 67
    Adam M Says:

    Why would we want Nick Punto?

    Well, I was thinking of someone who can play elite defense at all the infield positions. Keppinger, who historically has a better bat, isn’t a good defender anywhere on the diamond – and to make matters worse, he was absolutely wretched with the bat last year too. Punto, despite his anemic hitting, could be especially valuable if they trade Prado.

  68. 68
    Adam M Says:

    I don’t get people attacking DOB for something that’s clearly the organization’s prerogative. People like to shoot the messenger, I guess. Why take it out on him, if the organization wants Carlos Lee? Isn’t Wren the one you want to take to task?

    This is why I was asking if he really is the mouthpiece of the organization. I’m curious to know whether Carlos Lee really is on the team’s radar. If so, I will criticize Wren for the decision, because I think it’s a mistake (depending on how much salary the Astros, in this hypothetical, pick up). I’m pretty sure people around here freely hold Wren accountable for his decisions, and leave the criticism of DOB for those specific moments when he’s unapologetically defending the people he is supposed to be covering. Saying that people like to shoot the messenger is a strawman.

    Now, if he really is the mouthpiece of the organization, that’s a problem. In theoretical terms, it fundamentally undermines his purpose – to shine a light on the workings of power. I’m not naive enough to miss how this has become the purpose of modern media; and in fact, as a professional historian of U.S. politics, I understand that the media has never, in practice, truly served the purpose laid out in founding documents. But I can sure as hell complain about it, and mention it, as we all should.

  69. 69
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Well, I was thinking of someone who can play elite defense at all the infield positions. Keppinger, who historically has a better bat, isn’t a good defender anywhere on the diamond – and to make matters worse, he was absolutely wretched with the bat last year too. Punto, despite his anemic hitting, could be especially valuable if they trade Prado.

    That’s fair. I lean more toward the opposite strategy. I figure Pastornicky and/or Simmons can handle SS defensively, but either will suck offensively. I want a backup SS who can be summoned off the bench with runners on base in the late innings of close games and have a reasonable chance of getting them home. If he then has to sort of fake defense in the hole for an inning or two, that’s okay with me. Sort of like an Eric Hinske of the IF.

  70. 70
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    RE: DOB

    I think that, during the season, he is the mouthpiece of the organization. I think that during the off-season he’s as in the dark about Wren’s maneuvers as anyone. Post Furcal/Griffey, Wren just doesn’t talk to anyone about his plans in detail. I think half of what DOB publishes during the winter is “informed guessing” to the same extent as what we all do here. I think that percentage increases well above “half” for his Twitter feed.

  71. 71
    desert Says:

    69,

    Can Prado handle SS for a couple of innings? I know that the Braves put Chipper there in a couple of situations a few years back.

  72. 72
    ryan c Says:

    Braves’ players lashing out a bit lately concerning Bowman and DOB giving information out about their future performance that they weren’t even aware of, including…

    1. Moylan’s timetable of recovery- Bowman said he might not be ready until closer to the 2nd half. Moylan responded, “News to me”.
    2. Medlen on being counted out of rotation already. Response: HAHAHA!
    3. Heyward responding to Moylan’s timetable: “That’s what happens when “they” start speaking for you”.

    Oh, the Twitter drama…

    @69
    Agree with that philosophy. I’m tired of having a black hole as a bench SS that is only used for pinch running.

  73. 73
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @71

    I’m sure either Prado or Chipper could fake it in an emergency, but I think you have to build a better solution than either of those into your roster. You can’t sign up Carlos Lee to be your backup SS.

  74. 74
    ryan c Says:

    Jurrjens for Swisher + 5million. Sign Keppinger. Prado to utility role. Incredibly solid team.

  75. 75
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @72

    Not to be a complete Luddite or anything, but Twitter is the worst thing to ever happen to journalism.

  76. 76
    Adam M Says:

    I think that, during the season, he is the mouthpiece of the organization. I think that during the off-season he’s as in the dark about Wren’s maneuvers as anyone. Post Furcal/Griffey, Wren just doesn’t talk to anyone about his plans in detail. I think half of what DOB publishes during the winter is “informed guessing” to the same extent as what we all do here. I think that percentage increases well above “half” for his Twitter feed.

    This is what I was wondering. I think it’s best to reserve judgment until Wren makes a move. I’ve learned my lesson on getting riled up before something actually happens.

    re: shortstop. The team probably isn’t going to find an all-bat, no-glove shortstop, or even a decent hitting shortstop. They passed on Reyes, obviously, and don’t want to commit to someone like Rollins when Pastornicky and Simmons are waiting in the wings. Very well. But having passed on those two guys, the Braves are not going to improve the offense measurably with anyone else out there – their best bet to do so is to find a new LF.* Also, it’s notable how bad the infield defense was last season outside of SS. It’s a terrifically important position defensively, and if you’re going to have one good defensive infielder, make sure it’s that guy. Finally, I like the idea of having a league average player backing up Pastornicky, who is the most likely guy in the infield to fail. Punto has consistently produced over the last few years, albeit mostly with the glove (and somehow, last season, with the bat). He’s a decent backup.

    *which is not to say they should add one just to add one. I like Beltran. If he’s too expensive, I’m not sure who else is out there that will upgrade on Prado, who should be better next season anyway.

  77. 77
    Tom Says:

    His attitude towards fan questions leaves something to be desired

    If what you are trying to say is that he comes across as a complete asshole, then I agree.

  78. 78
    sansho1 Says:

    I give DOB a break in this respect — unlike the subjects of some other newspaper beats, there’s nothing in it for the Braves front office to ever say much of anything on the record to a journalist. Wren’s job is not PR, it’s to helm a successful baseball franchise. The Braves have a PR department to do their public messaging.

    As a result, Wren has almost all the power in his relationship with DOB. Which means DOB has to soft-pedal things that a reporter covering, say, elected officials does not. There’s very little symbiosis between Wren and DOB. It’s the same with most any business reporting, really.

    I do wish he hadn’t gone on the Harley ride….

  79. 79
    Smitty Says:

    @78

    I agree, for the most part. There are times that he does spout out front office PR stuff.

    For example, when a guy like Lowe was strggling it would be “People forget he was terrific in game seven of the 2004 ALCS. Fredi is confident he will get back to that form. The second inning of his last start was an indicator that he is about to turn the corner.”

    Not that he should rip the player, or manager, but he should call it like it is. He reallt struggles with that and it makes him look less objective

  80. 80
    Tad Says:

    Aramis Ramirez is not an upgrade from Chipper Jones. The disloyalty and lack of appreciation given to Chipper around here is sad.

    @30 are you kiddin me .. your statement above has no weight …
    Ramirez – .306 ba, 26hr, 93 rbi, less strikeouts in more at bats etc .. 149 games played.

    Chipper – .275 ba, 18 hr, 75 rbi, more strikeouts in less at bats .. 126 games played and about 30 of those he shouldnt have even been out there .. stays hurt .. ribs, leg ,hamstring .. he is over the hill .. this year we will get about 110 games out of him .. wait and see.

    and Ramirez would have cost less than Chipper ….

  81. 81
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m not naive enough to miss how this has become the purpose of modern media; and in fact, as a professional historian of U.S. politics, I understand that the media has never, in practice, truly served the purpose laid out in founding documents. But I can sure as hell complain about it, and mention it, as we all should.

    Adam, I’m not a professional anything so I don’t really have standing to disagree with you — I’m also not nearly as familiar with the founding documents. But my understanding is that many of the early newspapers in America were, essentially, nothing more than tools for partisan warfare, in particular the Gazette of the United States (dominated by Alexander Hamilton), and the National Gazette (dominated by Jefferson and Madison). What I’ve read about 18th-century journalism makes it sound like newspapers used to be a lot MORE like blogs — printing columns that were frequently little more than anonymous bile.

  82. 82
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Chipper Jones:

    2009 – 143 games – 117 OPS+ / 2.2 WAR
    2010 – 95 games – 120 OPS+ / 3.2 WAR
    2011 – 126 games – 123 OPS+ / 2.8 WAR

    Aramis Ramirez:

    2009 – 82 games – 130 OPS+ / 1.2 WAR
    2010 – 124 games – 95 OPS+ / -1.0 WAR
    2011 – 149 games – 136 OPS+ / 3.6 WAR

    All numbers pulled from Baseball-Reference.com.

    There is absolutely no reason to believe that Ramirez will age better in his mid-30s than Chipper does through 2013.

    Chipper will make more in 2012, they will make roughly the same amount in 2013, and in 2014 you’d still owe Ramirez $16 mil plus his 2015 buyout ($4mil) at the least.

    Do a little basic research before stepping up next time, please.

  83. 83
    ryan c Says:

    Tad,
    You’re wrong.

    Here’s my push, and reasoning for wanting Keppinger:
    The thing is, no backup SS is going to play on a semi-regular basis. Fredi manages identical to Bobby and his starting SS is going to play every day. So, if the Braves sign a “glove-first” guy as backup, he’s basically going to ride the pine and pinch run just like every backup, glove first SS has done on any team the Braves had the last decade. Signing a guy like Keppinger, who might start 8 games in a full year (because if Pastornicky gets hurt, Hicks or Simmons will come up to replace him as starter) is a good idea because it gives the Braves an opportunity to PH in late and close situations with a superior bat (assuming Keppinger will be a better hitter than Pastornicky this upcoming year). Even if Chipper Jones gets hurt for an extended time, the backup SS/utility guy won’t play because of Prado’s positional flexibility.

    When discussing personnel, one must think about how the manager will use that personnel. The backup SS will not start more than 10 games for the Braves no matter if it’s Jack Wilson or Jeff Keppinger, therefore get some value out of his bat.

  84. 84
    sansho1 Says:

    There’s this:

    For single seasons, From 1901 to 2011, From Age 40 to 99, Played 80+ games at 3B, OPS+ >= 100)

    Graig Nettles, 1985

  85. 85
    Adam R Says:

    @70, I don’t see why DOB would be different depending on time of year.

    Wren is always trying to improve the team, presumably. There are always things that are good to put out in public, to influence fans, players, other GMs, etc. There are also things that require total secrecy and surprise (not letting ANYONE get in on the fact that the Marlins were ready to give Uggla away on the cheap).

    We can say right now DOB’s “informed guessing” is very informed, because he’s never wrong. He never says X won’t happen and then it does, or vice versa — unless it’s like a Griffey thing, where DOB inadvertently causes himself to be wrong. He might speculate as to whether a player is a fit, but just because a trade doesn’t come out of it doesn’t mean it’s a reflection of his reliability. In all likelihood, it’s Wren using DOB to feel out another team or prepare the fanbase, and also DOB doing his job keeping readers coming back to the AJC. That this speculative exercise happens more in the offseason is a function of being the only baseball-related game in town, not his relative lack of access during the winter.

    I agree with @78, in that there is less symbiosis because Wren has all the power in the relationship. Which is why I don’t think it’s a straw man to say people like to shoot the messenger. That’s what DOB is, and that’s what people like to do anyway. DOB is more or less Wren’s tool, with maybe a little bit of independence that many on here don’t give him credit for. And I’m fine with that. In fact, I’m happy about it. Because I know it and understand it, it gives me insight into what Wren is doing.

    I’d argue you should be fine with it too. If you think Wren, using DOB, is making a bad baseball decision, convince the fanbase that Carlos Lee for $Y per year is a bad investment and raise a ruckus. (Start with our AVG/HR/RBI friend @80 while you’re at it.) If we’re going to liken this to politics, why bash the media for their coverage when the executive is the decider and democracy is the tool you have at your disposal to speak to power? Line up your facts, make a website, start a petition, send it to Wren, make him feel like it will impact ticket sales. Why take it out on DOB?

  86. 86
    Dan Says:

    This is the dullest Wren-era off-season.

  87. 87
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oh, and John Rocker admitted that he used steroids.

  88. 88
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Chipper is old and prone to missing games, Sansho. That’s not news.

    If Chipper fails to play in 123 games in 2012, his 2013 contract becomes a club option for $7m. We can then have our own little Braves-centric conversation about “loyalty” and “commitment” and whether or not you pay Chipper Jones $7mil for the last year of his contract or let him walk and potentially sign as a DH somewhere in the AL.

    If Chipper plays 123 games, 2013 becomes guaranteed at $9m. That guaranteed contract increases by $1m for games played at 128, 133, 138, 140.

    If Chipper plays well enough to appear in 140 games, he’s probably going to be worth the $15m for that last year of 2013.

    If he maxes out incentives and pulls in the $15m he’ll be a million cheaper than a 35 year old Aramis Ramirez that year, and Aramis Ramirez will not age as well as Chipper Jones has aged the last few years.

  89. 89
    justhank Says:

    Can you own an NBA team and be President of Russia at the same time?

  90. 90
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The Baseball Hall of Fame has a library internship program, now that I’m too old and experienced to apply…

  91. 91
    spike Says:

    why bash the media for their coverage

    Because if you are a shill and not a journalist (and I am talking generally, not calling DOB either) then you need to be clear about it.

  92. 92
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I just saw they’re non-tendering Moylan too. I’ll miss Peter and Brooks.

  93. 93
    csg Says:

    Moylans on twitter saying he’ll be ready to start the season and he hopes to come back. Im sure theyll make him an offer.

  94. 94
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, they want to re-sign him but they don’t want to be stuck with an arbitration contract for someone who may miss the beginning of the season. So they non-tendered him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gone.

  95. 95
    Adam R Says:

    @91, In politics, you’d say someone who does that is more interested in venting than making actual change.

    But again, I don’t think the “problem” is as bad as people make it out to be. Brace yourselves for some real DOB tweets from last week:

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    Yes, absolutely. I was wrong. RT @jzembik: @ajcbraves Didn’t you disagree w/ turning over closer job exclusively to Kimbrel so quickly, too?

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    I’d either have gotten a proven SS for 1 yr or brought back Gonzo. RT @MattyIce77: @ajcbraves @xcn3c So who would you start?

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    Far from it. Example: I’d not start 21-yr old Pastornicky from Day 1 .RT @xcn3c: @ajcbraves why you always agree with all that braves do?

  96. 96
    c. shorter Says:

    Micah Owings was non-tendered. He could play LF.

  97. 97
    Adam R Says:

    Here are the recent ones I was looking for.

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    Consensus among baseball people outside #Braves I’ve talked to on subject: Fredi is good/very good manager who didn’t have very good yr

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    If you disagree w/ those I spoke to, no worries. RT @DaFuente: @ajcbraves if a good manager manages poorly, isn’t he actually a bad manager?

    This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Fredi. He didn’t even have to bring this up.

  98. 98
    spike Says:

    95, Well, we won’t talk about what I would call it in politics. The point is, journalists are supposed to maintain professional dispassion about whom they cover, and avoid any conflicts of interest. That’s why they get certain latitude regarding what they can print, as it serves the public interest to have an independent source of information. When it becomes apparent that neither of those things are true, despite protestations to the contrary, the cynicism tars the entire profession, as well as abandons the public interest that they trade on. It may well be the way of the world, but it rightly angers people nonetheless who were counting on an honest broker.

    /just saw your last – it would be a kindness if you could parse them in a way that makes sense to those of us who don’t speak twitter.

  99. 99
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    it would be a kindness if you could parse them in a way that makes sense to those of us who don’t speak twitter.

    Tweet #1:
    @jzembik asks @ajcbraves (DOB’s Twitter account) “Didn’t you disagree w/ turning over closer job exclusively to Kimbrel so quickly, too?”

    DOB responds: “Yes, absolutely. I was wrong.”

    Thats’ the syntax for all tweets. The second part of the sentence after “RT” (which stands for re-tweeted) is the thing the person is responding to. The first half, before the “RT” is their response.

  100. 100
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Tweet #2:

    @MattyIce77 ASKS @ajcbraves and @xcn3c “So who would you start?”

    DOB replys: “I’d either have gotten a proven SS for 1 yr or brought back Gonzo.”

    So DOB is on record via Twitter as not being on board with Pastornicky as the starting SS for 2012.

  101. 101
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Tweet #3:

    @xcn3c: @ajcbraves why you always agree with all that braves do?

    @ajcbraves: Far from it. Example: I’d not start 21-yr old Pastornicky from Day 1

    This is the first tweet in the thread of tweets responded to in tweet #2.

  102. 102
    spike Says:

    Bless you, Sam.

  103. 103
    csg Says:

    AAG’s deal

    $4.25mil for 2012, with 525 PA’s an option for 2013 kicks in for $4mil

  104. 104
    Smitty Says:

    Malzahn to Ark St for a 60% cut in pay? He could have had $3 million to go to Vandy last year.

  105. 105
    csg Says:

    Really Smitty?

  106. 106
    Bethany Says:

    @104 I’m not sure I’m sad to see him go. The Kiehl Frazier fascination this year was frustrating to say the least, and I’m not sure that style of offense is going to continue to be valid with the power defenses that are returning in the SEC.

  107. 107
    csg Says:

    Well, if I was an Auburn fan Id have to be a little worried. Gus accepted the Ark St job for half the money, $4mil for 5 years. He was getting paid $1.3 at Auburn. Michael Dyer situation and him not possibly returning. Also, Roof leaving or getting shown the door. Rumor now is McCaleb might leave early to enter the draft.

    Impact on recruiting?

  108. 108
    spike Says:

    Well they have a commit from the #3 RB in the country, and Tre Mason is the heir apparent.

  109. 109
    csg Says:

    Thats fine if they get back to a pro style offense.

  110. 110
    Bethany Says:

    @107 I think Gus knew if he had another year like this one then his value would drop even more, so he got out while he still had value.

    When has Auburn ever lacked for RBs? I hope whatever is going on with Dyer smooths out, because he’s the best player we have and I love watching him play.

    McCalebb? Whatever. He’ll get folded in half the second he hits the NFL. The guy is afraid to get hit even now. Case in point, he ran out of bounds on a kickoff in the iron bowl when the only man left to beat was THE KICKER.

  111. 111
    ryan c Says:

    @107
    Auburn is the reigning National Champion. Isn’t it a little early to worry about Auburn? LSU seems to be the only team in the SEC incapable of a poor season and they don’t have much recruiting competition down in Louisiana. Auburn might be down for another year, but, like always, they’ll come back.

  112. 112
    ryan c Says:

    If Josh Willingham signed a 3/21 million dollar deal with the Twins, I might vomit. Surely he’d have taken a hometown cut to play for the Braves.

  113. 113
    csg Says:

    Why a hometown discount, thats a solid deal there and good value for the Twins. He’s worth $7per

  114. 114
    JoeyT Says:

    The Braves really couldn’t give him 3/21? Ouch. He will be well worth it.

  115. 115
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Spike, what you said above is the reason that beat writers typically don’t stay on a beat for very long. Or diplomats, for that matter. Basically, it applies to anyone whose entire day job consists in dealing with a huge, monolithic entity that you need to bend over backwards and talk out of both sides of your mouth just to retain access.

    If your higher-ups don’t eventually move you somewhere else, most people will wind up going native.

  116. 116
    sdp Says:

    Chino Cadahia is the new Braves S&C coach.

  117. 117
    kc Says:

    $4.25M for AAG? Geez…

    @116 That’s very funny!!!

  118. 118
    justhank Says:

    I’m pretty sure that there’s a lab somewhere near Red Stick that LSU runs its players through to add extra-human capabilities.

    That team is simply terrifying.
    ——————-

    There was an internet rumor going around yesterday that had Saban going to Texas.
    ——————-

    $4.25 for Alex Gonzalez? The same Alex Gonzalez that played for the Braves last year? Oy.

    More proof that Liberty needs to sell this team immediately.
    ———————

    Anybody heard anything about the Hawks? I haven’t and I live in Metro Atlanta.

  119. 119
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Anybody heard anything about the Hawks? I haven’t and I live in Metro Atlanta.

    The Hawks have no cap space, which is even worse with the new post-lockout NBA than it was with the old NBA. Basically, the 2011-12 Hawks will be the 2010-22 Hawks, probably minus Jamal Crawford, who will probably get a bigger contract than what the Hawks can afford, elsewhere.

    Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, etc. They’re basically locked into this lineup until 2013 due to cap issues.

  120. 120
    Smitty Says:

    Malzahn could probably get a couple of million from Ole Miss or another mid level school. I would think he could even be in play at Arizona State if he wanted to be.

    If it does go down, this is an odd move.

  121. 121
    ryan c Says:

    So the Braves have apparently talked with the O’s about a trading involing both Prado and Jurrjens. Who do you guys think was involved on the other end? Jones? Scott? Markakis? Machado?

  122. 122
    PeteOrr Says:

    Adam Jones is like Pre-Atlanta Nate McLouth Lite. Prado + Jurrjens for him would really suck. Markakis used to be good at least, but he’s had three straight years of meh himself. Machado might be the only attractive trade chip they have, and they have no reason to trade him.

  123. 123
    Smitty Says:

    I don’t think they would let Markakis go, but I agree that package would be too much for just him.

  124. 124
    csg Says:

    Willingham appears on the surface to be a 2.5-3WAR player and worth roughly $11mil per season. A 3yr/$21 mil deal is a steal for the Twins.

  125. 125
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Jones is a better athlete than Nate McLouth; he can actually play defense, and he’s averaged 2.5 WAR a year over the last four years. But he’s pretty screwed up at this point and he really hasn’t developed the ability to take a walk. Bourn is much better.

    Markakis used to be overrated and now no one cares about him; basically, he never developed any power, so he’s about as close to an empty .300 hitter as you’ll find in the corner outfield.

    The Orioles have a lot of formerly hot prospects who are now just miserable, like Chris Tillman. I certainly wouldn’t mind buying low on those guys, depending on how much Dan Duquette wants to clean out the failed prospects of the old regime.

    I have wanted us to pick up Willingham for a long time, too, but a three-year contract is a long time for a guy who struggles to stay on the field as much as he does. (He’s averaged 121 games played over the last four years.) He would have been a terrific fit for us otherwise.

  126. 126
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Mac,

    Got you on Kindle now. (I love Kindle.)

    I have never been all that impressed with Markakis. Not a bad player, but I agree with PeteOrr, he is nothing special. Of course, all the O’s players have regressed in recent years so maybe there is something in the organization that is retarding the development of the players.

  127. 127
    Stu Says:

    118—The Hawks have signed Tracy McGrady and re-signed Jason Collins!

    And that Saban-to-Texas thing has been going around since before Thanksgiving.

    125—Jurrjens and Prado for Reimold and a B prospect.

  128. 128
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Well, if that’s what you’re going for, why not just trade Jurrjens and Prado for B.J. Surhoff and Scott Erickson?

  129. 129
    Stu Says:

    I’m afraid I’m missing the joke.

  130. 130
    Smitty Says:

    @127

    I really want to see if Texas will throw $10 million at Saban. I would think Bama would have to come close. If they don’t, he would probably take it.

    Not that I think Texas would do it…

  131. 131
    Michael Says:

    @118 – In addition to recruiting well, LSU has a terrific Strength and Conditioning program. The S&C coach was brought in by Saban and LSU has paid to keep him all these years.

  132. 132
    ryan c Says:

    Lowrie and Weiland traded to the Astros for Melancon. Really wanted Lowrie. :(

  133. 133
    Adam R Says:

    MLBTR says Melancon for Lowrie/Weiland.

    Full disclosure: I own Lowrie in a deep keeper league, so essentially I’m happy he’s starting somewhere. This is the source of my incessant harping, so I’ll stop after this post. Until he gets injured and someone remembers to make fun of me.

    That said, if all it took to get Lowrie AND and a fairly good prospect from the Red Sox was Mark Melancon, that’s shameful. We need a friggin’ shortstop. I’d be all too happy to kick O’Flaherty to the curb for that package.

  134. 134
    Stu Says:

    WARNING: Fantasy Baseball Rant

    Freaking Astros. First, they relocate to the AL, making my long-term keepers (Singleton and Cosart) virtually worthless. Now, they trade one of my current cheap keepers to the AL. This craptastic organization is single-handedly derailing the championship aspirations of J-Deez Nuts.

  135. 135
    sansho1 Says:

    If all Orioles prospects end up being disappointing, wouldn’t that point to their having some untapped potential that might emerge in a new setting? I’m very intrigued by Adam Jones.

    Edit: I mean, obviously he’s not worth JJ+Prado. But as to the McLouth comp, Jones is a righty and so wouldn’t be penalized by Turner Field….

  136. 136
    Stu Says:

    134—I feel like we could’ve/should’ve easily beaten the offer of Melancon, but I doubt O’Flaherty would’ve gotten it done. Melancon isn’t as good, but he’s got several more years of team control.

  137. 137
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Edit: I mean, obviously he’s not worth JJ+Prado. But as to the McLouth comp, Jones is a righty and so wouldn’t be penalized by Turner Field….

    I’m happy others are coming around to my “no lefties with mediocre power” theory of TF.

  138. 138
    c. shorter Says:

    Take comfort in a great team name, Stu.

  139. 139
    spike Says:

    Damn – First Willingham and now Lowrie for cheap.

    There had better be something good brewing.

  140. 140
    csg Says:

    DOB has sure been speculating a lot on Adam Jones since this reported rumor. He’s mentioned Markakis, but what does he provide that Prado doesnt?

    They are essentially the same hitter BA/OBP/SLG. Markakis would be adding another LH’d bat also. Prado has more value due to his versatility to the Braves IMO.

  141. 141
    csg Says:

    Did I do something wrong? Ok, back to the Pujols talk.

  142. 142
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’d send Jurrjens over for Jones. That would allow Prado to go back to super-ute and save the difference between Jones and Jurrjens’ arb checks. Two more years of arb for Jones and he has more power potential than any OF option we have other than Heyward.

    He’s not an OBP machine by any means, but 25 HRs and reasonable defense in LF with Prado being a better Brooks Conrad would help the team.

  143. 143
    D.N. Nation Says:

    Auburn may be back, or maybe they won’t. Let’s not forget that Cambot was a once-in-a-generation type of force for those guys. And that the year before and the year after, Auburn was kinda lousy. Exceedingly so on defense.

    Good things Auburn 2011 did: Upset South Carolina. Average things Auburn 2011 did: Beat a beat-up, crummy Florida team at home. Bad things Auburn 2011 did: Everything else. Doors blown off by the four best teams they faced. Should’ve lost to Utah State. Got worse as the season progressed. Terrible on defense, stoppable on offense.

    They’re young and have recruited well. But I’m not seeing much there that leads me to believe great things are coming soon. Especially with LSU and Alabama in the same division.

  144. 144
    spike Says:

    They have another Top Ten class this year. They will be fine.

  145. 145
    Smitty Says:

    @143

    It could be worse. Trust me.

  146. 146
    csg Says:

    Punto signs with Boston, DOOOOOOOOOMED!

  147. 147
    Bethany Says:

    @143 Auburn will be fine. This will be the third year in a row with a top ten recruiting class. Roof was a big problem and now he’s gone. Auburn started mostly sophomores this year, they are very young.

  148. 148
    Adam R Says:

    Can someone check if Wren is in a coma or something?

  149. 149
    PeteOrr Says:

    I really get the feeling he’s not going to do anything. No extensions, no signings, no trades other than the Lowe dump. I needed more excitement from them this offseason, regardless of whether or not it would make any baseball sense.

  150. 150
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    In an off-season where the market for craptastic-to-barely-marginal shortstops (Alex Gonzalez, Nick Punto) is 2 years, 3.5-4.5 mil dollars, the best play is to sit back and say “fuck it, we’ll go with Pastornicky.”

    In a market where other GMs apparently balk at Adam Jones for Jair Jurrjens straight up, it’s probably best to wait it out and find a more reasonable offer closer to Spring Training.

  151. 151
    csg Says:

    Well, like I said before, the Braves need to make a move and I still think they will. A full season of Bourn over McLouth is a nice upgrade, a full season of anyone outside of DLowe is an upgrade, and the offense should be better.

    Concerns are Chippers health, Prado and Heyward both having to bounce back, Freeman not hitting the soph. slump, and the backend of the bullpen most likely wont be as good.

    As they sit, they are a borderline playoff team.

  152. 152
    Mark G Says:

    Saying that Pastornicky is our shortstop reminds me of the decision to have a bench that includes Matt Jones and Brandon Hicks. Sounds nice, but after it costs you a few games you can’t afford to lose, the idea really sucks.

    Is it my bad memory, or did having Hicks & Jones hurt us in the early season?

    The shortstop pickings are getting slim, unless Wren is in the waiting in the weeds for Rollins.

    I now have a serious man crush on Sam Hutcheson. Bravo.

  153. 153
    DWonder Says:

    i have to admit, i am very intrigued by a Jones-Bourn-Heyward outfield.
    i’d rather give up The Prado than JJ to make that happen, but at this point i just want Wren to do something.

  154. 154
    kc Says:

    What the Red Sox is doing reminds me of our Gonzo and Kolb trades….

  155. 155
    spike Says:

    Wonder what the impact would be if the Nats won the Darvish sweepstakes.

  156. 156
    Bethany Says:

    If the right deal was made, I think Jones improves the team.

    Not sure if I’ve mentioned this here, but I got a job in Boston! I’m moving there in February.

  157. 157
    csg Says:

    Congrats Bethany, dont forget about the little folks here

  158. 158
    kc Says:

    Congrats Bethany!

    @155 Darvish wouldn’t go to the Nats even if the Nats place the highest bid. You can bet on it.

  159. 159
    ryan c Says:

    Am I missing something of value on Ronny Cedeno? Why would the Braves be interested in him?

  160. 160
    Adam M Says:

    No, you’re not missing anything. He absolutely sucks at baseball.

  161. 161
    Adam R Says:

    @160, And yet, Pastornicky could be even worse next year. @150, I get that, in a vacuum, there are so many crappy shortstops out there than Wren can afford to let the market come to him. But we’re talking about a scenario where, by May, we could end up having to bench Pastornicky in favor of Cedeno, Cesar Izturis, Yuniesky Betancourt. And we’re trying to win now.

    @151 undersells concerns with the team, given that we could easily be without 2/5 of our rotation for a significant chunk of time. There is some chance Hanson could never recover. What I’m saying is, there are times where there’s no choice but to overpay, and this could be one of those times. If not in money (which we don’t seem to have), then in prospects. We don’t have wins to spare.

    I’m hoping either Wren has something up his sleeve or Braves talent evaluators are right to see more in Pastornicky than I do.

  162. 162
    csg Says:

    Because the Braves always have this obsession with adding a completely useless player to the 25 man roster.

    Raul Mondesi, Todd Pratt, Chris Woodward, Craig Wilson, Corky Miller, Chris Resop, Scott Proctor, Scott Thorman, Tanyon Sturtze,
    etc….

  163. 163
    csg Says:

    #161 – “I’m hoping either Wren has something up his sleeve or Braves talent evaluators are right to see more in Pastornicky than I do.”

    Makes 2 of us. Its really hard to be excited about the Braves chances going into 2012. This same team fell short last season and basically we’ve moved two vets, AAG and Lowe, and added a rookie. If everything works out then the Braves can win the division or the wildcard, but this same offense cant carry the team if we are missing Hanson/JJ/or Huddy for a certain length of time. Still plenty of time to get something done though. You would think we would have some cash with KK, Nate, and some of Lowe’s cash gone, but apparently its all accounted for.

  164. 164
    ububba Says:

    #156
    Congrats, Bethany.

    BTW, Braves @ Fenway Park the weekend of June 22-24.

  165. 165
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I get that, in a vacuum, there are so many crappy shortstops out there than Wren can afford to let the market come to him. But we’re talking about a scenario where, by May, we could end up having to bench Pastornicky in favor of Cedeno, Cesar Izturis, Yuniesky Betancourt. And we’re trying to win now.

    I understand the frustration of waiting. I really do. I’m sitting here checking the damned internet every day looking for anything to make the winter more interesting than “Matt Ryan comes back against Carolina” and “Josh Smith reports to camp in the best shape of his career!” Seriously. I feel you pain.

    But if you take the concept of replacement level performance seriously, there’s no real reason to expect that some combination of Pastornicky+Cedeno/Betancourt/Izturis/whomever won’t give you basically equivalent value to Alex Gonzalez or Nick Punto. Keep in mind that the Braves’ SS for 2012 must at the minimum replace the value of ALEX GONZALEZ, 2011.

    Would it suck not to improve on AG 2011? Yes. Will a black hole of Pastornicky and fungible chaff that merely replicates AG 2011 kill the team? No. If that combo repeats AG 2011, the pitching maintains and Heyward bounces back, the team makes the playoffs.

  166. 166
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    More to my point at 165, here are the CAIRO projections for 2012 if the teams played with their current rosters (updated through Aramis Ramirez signing with the Brewers.)

    TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
    Phil 92 70 681 598 60.6% 10.5% 71.1%
    Brav 87 75 711 662 24.9% 13.8% 38.7%
    Marl 81 81 716 695 8.2% 4.4% 12.6%
    Nats 80 82 665 668 4.9% 3.2% 8.1%
    Mets 76 86 669 710 1.4% 1.6% 3.0%

    With the obvious caveat that this is completely pointless and rosters will change dramatically from now through April, please note that the Braves project to be the same team as last year, dead red in the middle of the wild card hunt.

  167. 167
    Johnny Says:

    @163 – I am frustrated less by the Braves obtaining a short stop than our apparent lack of interest in the Cuddyers, Willinghams and Beltrans out on the market. I have spent way too much time looking for REASONABLE trade scenarios but I haven’t found a match where we can leverage Jurrjens for a rh/power hitting/ofer. So I am of the opinion that the free agents are our best hope. I think that identifying Pastornicky as the starter is just posturing right now. They may give the kid a chance in spring training but I think we will end up with a good/decent glove veteran before the season starts.

    I am with #165. Obtaining a short stop that provides some/any offense isn’t the required element for this team to be a contender. Getting Heyward and Prado back to hitting is. Also remember that McCann disappeared for s significant part of the last month too. He is a surer bet to rebound. The last month of the season sucked, there is no doubt but as late as August the team still had the 3rd or 4th best record in baseball.

  168. 168
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @156
    Congrats, Bethany!
    Hope this job uses the full range of your considerable talents.

  169. 169
    Smitty Says:

    The Clippers will be fun to watch this year.

  170. 170
    PaulV Says:

    Bethany, Is Massachusetts still a no car title state. Old college roommate had his car stolen first month at Harvard Law in 1974. Our school will play your school New Years Eve. I cannot go but will watch on TV.

  171. 171
    Bethany Says:

    Thanks, everyone! I will definitely be at at least one game of the Braves/Sox series.

    @170 From my initial research I think they changed the law in 1979. Thank you for the heads up.

    So, do you guys give the Falcons a shot at the playoffs?

  172. 172
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Last summer as the trade deadline approached, everyone was excoriating Wren for doing nothing-then he pulled off Bourn. I’m pretty confident that Wren doesn’t think this Braves team is the second coming of the 1927 Yankees and he realizes he needs to make a move. But he isn’t going to make a move just to create some excitement for fans in December. It is frustrating but I’m sure something will happen but probably not soon.

  173. 173
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    So, do you guys give the Falcons a shot at the playoffs?

    If they don’t draw Green Bay they have a puncher’s chance. If they draw Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers will destroy them. Again.

  174. 174
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @172

    Well said. Frank Wren’s job is not to create excitement during the Hot Stove League. His job is to build a competitive team for the 2012 NL East. Yes, I am bored and want something to cheer or whinge about. I’m on the internet for god’s sake. I need something to bitch about. (Though cheering would be preferred.) But Frank Wren should take his time and make the move that works, not the move that fills column inches for DOB.

  175. 175
    Nick Says:

    I would go so far as to say the Falcons should make the playoffs. All they have to do, unless both Chicago and Detroit decide to get delusions of granduer and beat Green Bay (and then win out in addition to that), is beat two four-win teams at home. What they can do once they get into the playoffs is the $64,000 question.

  176. 176
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Matt Ryan and Julio Jones can get back on the same page the Falcons have a good chance of at least making the NFC Championship game again. The loss to the Texans can be mostly attributed to those two being out of sync following Jones’ injury time off.

    Odds are they’re not going to run the table (and get the needed help) to take the division from New Orleans, so they’re probably going to slot in at the #5 spot. That sets them up for a WC game at New York. That’s a winnable game.

    That would likely set them up for a second game in San Francisco. The 49ers are probably this year’s 2011 Falcons. That is to say, they’re overrated due to a record built against weak opponents. The Falcons are good enough to beat both the Giants and the Niners on the road.

    Barring freakishness in the other games, that would leave them squaring off @New Orleans or @Green Bay. The Falcons know Sean Payton and Drew Brees by rote memory, and they can beat them if they play well. I can see no scenario where the 2012 Falcons go to Green Bay and survive Rodgers.

  177. 177
    spike Says:

    @172, I liked the Bourn move as much as anybody, but A:it was late because we were trying to get Pence up until the Phillies did, and B: Given the post trade performance of the two, do you wish we’d paid a little more and gotten Pence’s production?

    Bourn – .278/.321/.352 (
    Pence – .324/.394/.560 (236 PA)

    I realize CF would have been an issue, and made it a closer call, but flags fly forever, as they say.

  178. 178
    Smitty Says:

    RIght now I think the following teams in the NFC are better than the Falcons:

    Packers
    Saints
    Giants

    The Bears are better if Cutler comes back. I think the Lions and the Cowboys would give them a good game.

  179. 179
    Bethany Says:

    @176 I’ve been slightly alarmed by the inconstancy of the offense this year. I think they have a fighter’s chance against anyone other than Green Bay, because I’m not sure anyone is going to beat Green Bay.

  180. 180
    Adam R Says:

    @172 & @174, Look back at the trade deadline posts on here and see where I stood. (Hint: not with “everyone.”)

    I’m willing to wait and see what happens, and I don’t want to be lumped in with anyone who wants Wren to make a move just for the sake of it — but isn’t this just a big straw man? Who really wants that?

    I also don’t agree with the premise that Pastornicky + whatever necessarily gets us to replacement level. I’m not sure how anyone could be confident that we get to that with someone whose highest level of play is ~100 PAs in Gwinnett at age 21 who is most definitely not A-Rod or Tulowitzki. And while I agree that SS alone still probably won’t kill us, like the old saying goes: whatever doesn’t kill us makes us weaker, so that other things can then come along and kill us.

    So, when I ask if Wren’s in a coma, it’s because I think legitimate chances to improve this team are passing him by: @133/@136.

  181. 181
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Clearly you think more of Jed Lowrie than the Braves or Red Sox do, Adam.

  182. 182
    spike Says:

    @181, could it not be that he just thinks even less of the realistic alternatives?

    As I think (could be wrong) you noted once, the object is to get into the MLB playoffs, not the marginal-win difference playoffs.

  183. 183
    Adam R Says:

    @182, Could be! Forget the 2 WAR he has shown he can put up even in partially healthy seasons, forget that he can play all over the infield, and forget that he was just acquired with another semi-prospect for Mark ‘Maybe A Closer’ Melancon, though. I guess I’m just not An Authority like the Braves or Red Sox…

  184. 184
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I don’t mean to belittle the position on Lowrie. That’s just my natural body odor.

    I don’t see the value of Lowrie, particularly, but I’d not worry much about it if he had been acquired either. I do think Pastornicky is ready defensively, and that he’ll be essentially a fungible part at the ML level in 2012. Again, I could be wrong.

    Obviously the point is to get into the honest-to-god-real playoffs, but at this point in the winter all any of us have are projections and predictions.

  185. 185
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I guess I’m just not An Authority like the Braves or Red Sox…

    The Braves have stated publicly that they don’t trust Lowrie’s health. You may disagree with that, obviously, but at the end of the day they’ve told you why they weren’t interested in the guy and moved on. I see little value in badgering spilt milk, personally.

  186. 186
    Adam M Says:

    I agree that the Falcons have a shot to beat the Giants and 49ers–certainly more than they do against the Packers–but then I think about them winning two consecutive playoff games on the road and realize that, opponents notwithstanding, it’s probably not going to happen. They just get too rattled away from Atlanta (and outdoors), and both NY and SF present very hostile environments for opposing teams. In truth, I don’t think the Falcons can win it all this season, and just want to see what a different O-Coordinator can do with their talent.

    I dunno, maybe I just want to see a successful screen pass.

  187. 187
    ryan c Says:

    Ronny Cedeno is “high” on the Braves list for backup SS. If that’s true, I’m not trusting the organization for any sound moves/trades this offseason. The logic of bringing in a “glove first” backup and looping Cedeno in that group blows my mind. He’s an average defensive SS and so below average of a hitter it’s laughable.

    I’m with Adam R., Lowrie really could have solved so many issues.

  188. 188
    Michael Says:

    @184 – “I don’t mean to belittle the position on Lowrie. That’s just my natural body odor.”

    Sam, I always read your comments with trepidation, but I thought the above sentence was beautiful in so many ways. Bravo.

  189. 189
    Adam M Says:

    The logic of bringing in a “glove first” backup and looping Cedeno in that group blows my mind. He’s an average defensive SS and so below average of a hitter it’s laughable.

    Ahem:

    David O’Brien @ajcbraves
    You need new def. stats. RT @baldheaded1der: @ajcbraves cedeno: well below avg. bat, below average glove (according to every defensive stat)

  190. 190
    Stu Says:

    DOB, defensive-stats expert.

  191. 191
    Dan Says:

    Defense is almost always based on reputation. So many still think of Jeter as a great defensive player.

  192. 192
    justhank Says:

    The silence surrounding Beltran is intriguing. Wonder if any club has made an offer to start the bidding?
    —————

    Jones / Bourn / Heyward – yeah, I could get excited about that.
    —————

    Matty Ice is too often Matty Brain Freeze for me. Billy Joe Overthrow wants his identity back.

    Michael Turner turns into a, er, pusillanimous runner at times; Roddy White has joined the “Divas Don’t Block” movement; our Offensive Coordinator is too clever by half; our defensive ends are out there waltzing for dollars and our secondary has all the anticipation of Steve Martin’s character in “The Jerk”.

    Yet.

    Yet it’s there – they’ve got enough talent and heart to go deep in the Playoffs if they just make the plays that are there to be made.

    Really frustrating team.
    ——————-

    Congrats, Bethany. I think. Boston’s great. Bostonians – not so much.

  193. 193
    PaulV Says:

    Who the starting pitchers will be is a big question mark. If Hudson and Hanson can pitch well in ST and JJ recovers he will get much more in a trade. If we have to replace more than Lowe as a starter we may need JJ. Wren knows when to trade and has earned some trust. I think Minor replaces Lowe. Medlin and others will be possibilities in case of emergencies.

  194. 194
    sansho1 Says:

    Bostonians…they’re the people who used to run the country, right?

  195. 195
    justhank Says:

    Captain Obvious here: the great thing about signing Beltran is the Braves would still have their greatest asset – an abundance of quality starting pitching.

    Oh, to be rich.

  196. 196
    Smitty Says:

    If we sign Cedeno, then we have to add a bat in left.

    Fredi would bat Cedeno second and rave about his bunting

  197. 197
    Stu Says:

    Well, in fairness — what else would there be to rave about?

  198. 198
    Johnny Says:

    Congratulations Bethany. Boston is a cool town.

    Adam, Ryan If I had a buck for every time y’all have mentioned Jed Lowrie…. I don’t get the fascination either.

    #172 – The voice of reason. I think as the team stands now we can compete. Wren will get something done eventually.

  199. 199
    Smitty Says:

    Good point

  200. 200
    Dusty Says:

    I guess I’m not as down on Pastornicky as most people on here are. I mean compare the minor league numbers of Prado and Pastornicky:

    Prado: .298/.352/.390
    Pastornicky .278/.345/.374

    Prado gets the slight edge but Pastornicky plays short so you can live with that.

    Now consider Pastornicky’s AA/AAA numbers only:

    .295/.347/.396

    He basically is Prado there, the cavaet being that Pastornicky hasn’t had as much time in the upper levels as Prado did, but it took Prado a while to adjust.

    Throw in that he’s 146/189 in SB compared to Prado’s 44/80.

  201. 201
    Smitty Says:

    @200,

    Most feel that he may not be ready to be the full time starter at a demading possition. He really has had some issues with the glove too. A half season at AAA wouldn’t hurt

  202. 202
    Johnny Says:

    It would be nice if Pastornicky came in and started playing better than Yunel Escobar so that we would never re-hash that trade ever again.

  203. 203
    ryan c Says:

    My latest fascination with Lowrie has more to do with the Braves latest fascination with a horrible player.

  204. 204
    spike Says:

    @200, Prado’s big league success has been far in excess of anything his minor league numbers would have indicated. Not saying that it can’t happen with Pastornicky as well, but that kind of career line doesn’t ordinarily turn into useful major league hitter.

  205. 205
    PaulV Says:

    @204 Was AAG a ML hitter last year?

  206. 206
    spike Says:

    I’m not sure what the relevance is WRT to reasonable expectation of what Pastornicky will do. The fact that we had a turd of a hitter at SS and nearly made the playoffs hardly makes it a sound practice.

  207. 207
    Dusty Says:

    spike

    I’m sure you’re right about that career line not ordinarily turning into a useful ML-hitter but just for some more SS comps (these are career minor league #s):

    Renteria .260/.310/.322
    Hardy .270/.333/.402
    Rollins .261/.328/.383

    Pastornicky .278/.345/.374

    Better average and On-Base than all 3, slightly less power than Rollins and Hardy. Only Rollins had the speed (129/169 SB) and actually Rollins is a really good comp just based on numbers.

  208. 208
    Johnny Says:

    #205 – You may have a point. If the expectation is only the .241 .270 .372 .642 slash line that Sea Bass put up then the bar is set pretty dang low for TP. That line did include 15 homers a couple of them clutch.

    #206 – I agree though, we should certainly strive to get better than that from our SS.

  209. 209
    Adam R Says:

    @198, @203: I guess I’m just inexplicably wrapped up in affordable players that would improve the team :)

    Overall last year, AAG accrued roughly a win about replacement level. Ronny Cedeno actually did a little better in fewer games. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw that. Crazy like a fox, Wren is.

  210. 210
    spike Says:

    @207, In Renteria’s case there is a significant age difference – he left the minors at 19. In the other cases, raw stats that aren’t weighted for context don’t tell me a whole lot, but let’s assume they are for the moment. You are looking at career numbers that don’t really shed light on where they had progressed prior to promotion, and secondly, I can give you a much longer list of hitting comps with those numbers that failed. I have no idea whether Pastornicky will succeed or not, but I am not so sanguine as you, given that a slash line like that far more often results in failure at the major league level than success.

  211. 211
    Smitty Says:

    Uh…really…

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Bears-WR-Sam-Hurd-busted-by-federal-agents-in-on?urn=nfl-wp13964

  212. 212
    sansho1 Says:

    @204

    Which is why he (Prado) gets less benefit of the doubt from the prospect hawks. Woe betide Pastornicky if he should ever endure a rough patch!

    Signed,
    sansho1, Martin Prado’s original Internet defender (since spring 2006!)

  213. 213
    Dusty Says:

    spike

    I concede that there are probably many more cases of similar players not succeeding at the big league level, I guess I’m just trying to say nothing in his performance leads me to believe he can’t be a useful player in Atlanta this year. Surely given the full season he’ll produce better than 2011 AAG, and I know that’s a low bar, but I’d take a .330-.340 OBP with some speed anyday over what AAG gave and he just got $4 million from Milwaukee.

    We can give Tyler a shot for the league minimum and if it doesn’t work I’d say the same crap that’s available now at short will be available in June in a trade (except Rollins).

  214. 214
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Martin Prado could handle SS defensively he would be exceptionally valuable.

  215. 215
    PaulV Says:

    @207 There is a bit of confirmation bias when you compare the minor league numbers of 3 successful ML SS and omit unsuccessful ML SS who have similiar numbers.

  216. 216
    Adam R Says:

    @212, You sold me on Prado, even in LF. His sample of success is too great to ignore. I didn’t always think so.

    Pastornicky or any player should get the same benefit of the doubt as soon as they accumulate a significant amount of ML production.

    Until then, let the prospect hawks screech and swoop.

  217. 217
    Dusty Says:

    Paul,

    Of course you are correct that there is confirmation bias, though I didn’t just pick the 3 with the worst ML careers, those were literally the first and only 3 SS I looked up. Was really just trying to point out that it seems people are looking at Pastornicky’s Minor League #s and saying he will not be successful or will be underwhelming and while he may ultimately be those things, I don’t think the numbers say that. I picked those 3 SS because they seemed like decent comps for what we could hope for and Pastornicky (we’re going to have to give him a nickname, tired of typing out that last name) came out OK when comparing the Minor League numbers of those 3.

    I readily admit I’m being optimistic, but seems to me many are being overly pessimistic.

  218. 218
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    We could call him “The Pasty.” Visions of strippers, or fried meat pies, depending on what continent you’re from.

  219. 219
    Mike N. Says:

    Sorry to change the subject here, but we’ve talked about football in this thread so it’s not much of a deviation.

    Question for Fantasy Football folks: Eli against the Redskins or Matty Ice against the Jaguars. This is a critical decision for me.

  220. 220
    Dusty Says:

    I go Matty Ice. He’s rolling now. Good luck.

  221. 221
    csg Says:

    Id go Eli. Redskins defense has been brutal.

  222. 222
    kc Says:

    Eli.

  223. 223
    PaulV Says:

    deadskins will not play two decent games in a row. Turnovers will give Eli more chances. Unless Giants get big lead and run the ball.

  224. 224
    Bethany Says:

    Eli.

  225. 225
    Bethany Says:

    Um, well, I hope you started Ryan.

  226. 226
    urlhix Says:

    @218, Mmmm…Cornish pasty.

    /HP sauce.
    //derp.

  227. 227
    Mike N. Says:

    I probably should have started Matty.

  228. 228
    Mike N. Says:

    Eh, actually with him being pulled he’s at a point total that Eli can easily pass this weekend. I’m confident it was the right call.

  229. 229
    ububba Says:

    Greetings from Vancouver…

    I always want a shortstop who can play the position first. Do we know that Pastornicky can handle it? His defensive numbers didn’t seem to inspire confidence, so I still gotta believe our starting SS will be someone not currently on the roster.

    It’s no fun to be patient, but that’s what we gotta be until the right deal comes along.

    BTW, Falcons will almost certainly make the post-season (& they’re still better than the banged-up Giants). Remaining 2 games: At New Orleans & home vs the Bucs, who seem to have run aground. And the way things are looking, they’d be the top NFC WC, so they’d play either the Giants/Cowboys division winner in the first round on the road (go Giants).

    But I think the Saints are the only NFC team that could possibly derail Green Bay. Don’t see it happening up there, though.

    Not that I’m rooting for this or anything, but can you see an undefeated Packers team going for 19-0 in the Super Bowl vs… New England? That would be quite a story.

  230. 230
    Smitty Says:

    @229,

    I agree. If they think Pastornicky is ready with the bat, let’s get a great glove guy he can share time with.

    If whe do that, then I think we would have to add some pop in the outfield.

  231. 231
    Adam M Says:

    I’m gonna say something crazy here: I think if the Packers lose, it’ll be on grass in cold weather. That team, as we all saw last year against the Falcons, is built for turf. They need to be slowed down. And as we saw in that ugly NFC Champinship game in Chicago, they can be slowed down when the temp is below 20 degrees. That’s always how McCarthy has built his teams. They’re a wide open offense playing in Lambeau.

    Now, I still don’t think anyone in the NFC beats them. But if someone does, it will more likely be in a place like Green Bay than it would in warm weather or a dome.

  232. 232
    Smitty Says:

    @231

    I agree. However, the teams that can beat them (really only the Saints) are also set up to play in a dome.

    I don’t thin the Faclons could beat them on the moon. Nor the Cowboys or Giants.

    Maybe the 49ers? I doubt it.

    The Ravens in the Super Bowl might be different.

  233. 233
    Bethany Says:

    A Ravens/Green Bay Super Bowl would be amazing.

  234. 234
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Considering Green Bay’s defense, they might end up being the worst undefeated team in NFL history. :) They certainly aren’t at the level of the 1960s Packers teams–no one is or could be with the salary cap.

  235. 235
    NickH Says:

    So, the Rockies just signed Michael Cuddyer for 3 years / $27 million. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/rockies-to-sign-michael-cuddyer-.html
    I have to think that this helps the Braves, by 1) removing one potential bidder for Carlos Beltran, and 2) making Seth Smith available if the Braves are in fact interested in him.

  236. 236
    JoeyT Says:

    Willingham and Cuddyer both just got off their age 32 seasons. Cuddyer is worth $2 million more a year. This seems odd to me. I know Willingham has problems staying on the field, but his offense is far superior. (Just to use a crude metric, his career OPS+ is like 121 to Cuddyer’s 111.) The Cuddyer deal seems pretty reasonable. I’m mostly still kind of amazed at the Twins getting Willingham at that price. A better player at a huge discount is a good move, even with the injuries.

  237. 237
    c. shorter Says:

    235 — But it probably also sets the market in a way that would continue to make Beltran a pipe dream.

  238. 238
    justhank Says:

    Think two years at $12M per would get it done?

    If so, do you think it’s a good idea?

  239. 239
    justhank Says:

    Has Prado ever spent any significant time at SS?

    Man, Beltran in LF and Prado at SS (if he could handle) sure solves a LOT of problems.

  240. 240
    JoeyT Says:

    Oh, Fangraphs already has an article about this. (From yesterday, so the writer’s comparing to a 3/25 deal for Cuddyer.)

  241. 241
    Stu Says:

    238—No. Yes.

  242. 242
    csg Says:

    Beltran is by far the best bat still available in the OF. The last few years it hasnt paid off for players waiting to sign somewhere. 2/$24 would be a strong offer and would solve our LF situation, but it may not be enough to get him. This is Atl where we like the Seth Smith (rumored)/Matt Diaz/Melky Cabrera/Ryan Church/Gregor Blanco/Ryan Langerhans/Kelly Johnson/Martin Prado/Dewayne Wise/Charles Thomas type players there.

    Yes, thats the list of LF’rs since Chipper played LF in 2003. The sad thing is Prado was one of our better LF’rs.

  243. 243
    justhank Says:

    Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has tweeted that Beltran has an offer for 10M for one year – probably from the Cardinals.

    If this is true (I don’t speak Tweet very well), it is indeed encouraging – even a Liberty Media-owned outpost can swim in those waters.

  244. 244
    csg Says:

    #243 – I dont see it as encouraging, just more depressing.

  245. 245
    Johnny Says:

    If Prado could play SS they would have played him there.

    Cuddyer for 3/27? Dang. Of course in Coors he may hit 40 HR. If I were the Braves I would have paid 3/21 for Willingham but not 3/27 for Cuddyer.

    #242 – man that is a sad sad story.

    Re Beltran: 2/28 with a vesting option for a 3rd year? Would that be enough?

  246. 246
    Stu Says:

    I’d have been fine with that for Cuddyer, especially given his ability to back up at first and third.

  247. 247
    PeteOrr Says:

    I’d do 3/36 for Beltran. Who cares if he sucks in the third year? The team should be in win-now mode, not waffle-around-about-staying-competitive-but-affordable mode every year until the bumper crop of home-grown talent from the last few years gets expensive and goes elsewhere. The window is open.

  248. 248
    csg Says:

    MLBTR says Cuddyer received 3/$31.5

  249. 249
    Johnny Says:

    I liked this:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/will-the-atlanta-braves-youth-movement-doom-their-2012-season/

  250. 250
    DWonder Says:

    any news on the Adam Jones front?

  251. 251
    PaulV Says:

    @249 We would have been doomed last two years without Venters, Medlin, Minor, Kimbrel, Freeman and Jason.

  252. 252
    spike Says:

    Darvish to Jays?

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/jays_thinking_it_has_to_be_yu_evzuNJaJFQOpJTV5OkFWdK

  253. 253
    ryan c Says:

    yes, we traded Venters, Medlen, Minor, Kimbrel, Freeman, and Heyward for him. Youth movement over! YAY!

  254. 254
    Adam R Says:

    Your daily DOB-not-in-Wren’s-pocket public service announcement:

    ajcbraves David O’Brien
    Dude, didn’t say that I did. RT @rlukegoddard: @ajcbraves Dude, why do you like Seth Smith so much??

  255. 255
    ububba Says:

    #243
    With Albert headed to Anaheim, I guess we should expect the Cards to drop some dough on another bat.

  256. 256
    csg Says:

    •RT @LanceWCW: Judge passes sentence — Bonds gets 30 days of electronic monitoring, two years probation, a $4,000 fine, 250 hours of com …

  257. 257
    spike Says:

    Bonds will get the conviction for being “evasive” while of answering question truthfully tossed within the year.

    ~$100M of your tax dollars at work.

  258. 258
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I don’t have a problem with the Braves going with young players and I do expect Wren to pull off a pretty big deal. Clearly, Wren is looking to keep the team competitive over the long haul and, since they obviously aren’t going to signing guys like Albert Pujols, this is the best way to do it. But it seems as if they are satisfied to build a team in the 85-90 win mold and hope things go well. Maintain a a moderate budget with moderate attendence; it just seems like a recipe for better than average but not great. But, as I said, I do expect Wren to make a move and, if Heyward comes back, it could be a solid team.

  259. 259
    ububba Says:

    Barry Bonds officially & legally tarnished?

    I’ll pay a dollar for that.

  260. 260
    c. shorter Says:

    258 — Seems like a reasonable recipe. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t enjoy a little more spice in that recipe, but it seems like a legitimate one. Especially if the financial parameters dictated by the team’s corporate ownership are as rigid as they appear to be.

  261. 261
    JoeyT Says:

    But, man, Willingham for $7 mil a year. Somehow I wish that fit into the plan, even though he’ll be 35 at the end of it.

  262. 262
    JoeyT Says:

    On the other hand, I can totally do without Cuddyer for over $10 mil a year.

  263. 263
    Ray Says:

    @259: Me too. A harsher sentence would have been nice, though.

  264. 264
    kc Says:

    Ok, does that mean we can sign Bonds now? Get it done Frank!!!

  265. 265
    spike Says:

    “Harsh sentences” are typically reserved for folks who have been convicted of something more than taking their time while answering a single question.

    If only the prosecution had gotten the venue moved to Maricopa County.

  266. 266
    spike Says:

    So, um apparently, the reason Braun tested positive was… oh read it for yourself.

  267. 267
    Jick Says:

    Mat Latos was just traded to the Reds for a pretty good return…guess that cuts down on the number of possible Jurrjens destinations.

  268. 268
    sansho1 Says:

    #266

    CDC sez 1/6 of Americans are in similar straits. Given the opportunities afforded the typical professional athlete, the number in that population might be, I dunno, one in four? Ergo, maybe 200-250 H-positive major leaguers are subjected to drug testing every year, and Braun is the one guy who tests positive for a banned substance? I’m dubious.

  269. 269
    spike Says:

    Wouldn’t you think that the risk awareness of ballplayers who make piles of money and receive health services from extremely qualified folks would be such that the demographic would skew a bit less than the national average?

  270. 270
    Ray Says:

    @267. I think that’s a fantastic return for the Padres. Do we have something that the Reds could want? They seem to be in Christmas mood.

  271. 271
    sansho1 Says:

    The number of illegitimate children of professional athletes with respect to the general population seems likely to correlate with the incidence of STDs among them, I would think. But if not, cut the above number in half and I’d still be dubious.

  272. 272
    Seat Painter Says:

    Report up on ESPN that the Phils and J. Rollins have agreed to a 3 yr/33 million deal.

    Welcome to him at that price says I, considering the age and health concerns.

  273. 273
    Adam M Says:

    The Phillies waited it out and got him for three years. Good for them. Now, that doesn’t change the fact that their championship window is closing – two more years? if that? – but I don’t think they’re unhappy with the price. Nor should they be: if you’re already all-in on 2012-13, you might as well give Rollins that deal. He’s more likely to be worth it than is Howard or Papelbon or a few other guys on that roster. Rollins won’t be the reason they eventually fall off a cliff.

  274. 274
    spike Says:

    The illegitimate birth rate in the US is nearing 40% (26% white, 50% Hispanic, 70% black). I find it difficult believe that it is so high among athletes, but I could not find a number. In any event, with respect to Braun, he’ll get a chance to present his story and then we’ll see, although in all honesty, I don’t care if he uses or not.

  275. 275
    Adam R Says:

    The fourth year is an easily vesting option for another $11 mil, it seems. But agree with @273, at this point, they might as well.

    Opinions probably differ on this at this point, but I still think the Phillies could help us even more in a couple years if they were to ship Domonic Brown out to go all-in for 2012.

    Right now on twitter, DOB is essentially picking apart Wren’s publicly stated position that the organization wants a Latos-type haul for Jurrjens.

  276. 276
    spike Says:

    Yeah, using WHIP and GS (to be fair, also K/BB which is a bit better) but ignoring the massive park effect boost Latos gets.

  277. 277
    Adam R Says:

    This is definitely one case where I wish DOB would fall in line. Latos is better, but let Wren posture.

  278. 278
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’m working on the player analyses now, but I’m stuck because (1) I don’t know who the shortstop will be and (2) I don’t know if Prado will be on the team.

  279. 279
    Adam M Says:

    I don’t think other teams’ GMs are learning anything new from a beat writer. Everyone knows that Latos is cheaper and better than Jurrjens.

  280. 280
    ryan c Says:

    I think we end up trading no one and sign Cody Ross and whatever cheap, terrible backup SS we can find. This offseason sucks.

  281. 281
    sansho1 Says:

    My fault for getting sidetracked by peripheral statistics. I should have known I’d regret taking that tack. OK, how about this — lots of people have herpes, ballplayers are people, ergo, lots of ballplayers have herpes. So if a herpes med causes a false positive, wouldn’t it be happening more often? This is the basis of my dubiousness.

  282. 282
    spike Says:

    281, oh totally agreed, – I am down with a presumption of innocence though wrt to cause, that’s all. In any event, the policy doesn’t allow for “why” it happened, so ultimately it’s a moot point in all likelihood.

  283. 283
    urlhix Says:

    Ran across this excellent piece while on a longform.org binge and it reminded me of a recent thread… Why Not The Worst?

  284. 284
    PaulV Says:

    Prado can play SS better than Conrad can play 2B or 3B FWIW

  285. 285
    csg Says:

    #284 – So can I

  286. 286
    sansho1 Says:

    I am down with a presumption of innocence though wrt to cause

    Me too. What I really question is the veracity of that particular thinly sourced rumor, not whether or not Braun did anything wrong. I’m with you in not taking a position on that yet.

  287. 287
    ububba Says:

    #283
    Woo, funny.

  288. 288
    sansho1 Says:

    @283

    Hilarious. Pathetic. Like a Western Gothic.

  289. 289
    Spike Says:

    Weingarten has always been hit or miss for me, but that was a hit.

  290. 290
    Dusty Says:

    So can I claim victory in my Matty Ice over Eli advice yet?

  291. 291
    Smitty Says:

    @290

    Yes

  292. 292
    Scump Says:

    The Packers look pretty crappy in every phase of the game today, except maybe red zone defense. Lots of drops, Rodgers hasn’t been as accurate as usual, porous defense very vulnerable to screen passes- watching this game it is hard to understand how they’ve gone undefeated so far. Albeit, they’ve played this horribly and still only down 2 in the 4th quarter, maybe that says something.

  293. 293
    csg Says:

    290 – yes

  294. 294
    Mike N. Says:

    I hate Eli Manning so hard right now.

  295. 295
    Mac Thomason Says:

    “Now”? I’ve always hated him.

  296. 296
    Mike N. Says:

    He’s an elite fantasy QB all season, and then craps himself when playoffs start. God, he couldn’t wait until the actual playoffs to choke?

  297. 297
    csg Says:

    So TJ Yeldon flips to Bama. That’ll work.

  298. 298
    Smitty Says:

    @296,

    Except that one year

  299. 299
    Adam R Says:

    Wait, Jorge Sosa died?

    /inappropriate
    //can’tbelievei’mthefirstpersontomakethatjoke

  300. 300
    kc Says:

    @296 Sorry for the poor suggestion.

  301. 301
    Rusty S. Says:

    Kim Jong Dead.

  302. 302
    Jarad Smith Says:

    Interesting section from Mac’s book: written in 2006, Horner’s comps through age 25 include others that started out brilliantly but came up short of immortality including Juan Gonzalez, Strawberry, and Canseco. Mac states that Eric Chavez and Hank Blalock should watch out. Since then Troy Glaus has crashed and Scott Rolen has become only useful. RIP, Evan Longoria.

  303. 303
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Does this mean there will be an expansion franchise in Pyongyang? And will that team have a larger payroll than the Braves?

  304. 304
    justhank Says:

    Hey Mac,

    I came across a 1997 compilation cd put together by a company in Homewood, AL called “Laser’s Edge”. Did you ever know these guys?

    What an eclectic orgy. Here’s the list of artists on the cd:

    1. Jay Unger & Molly Mason
    2. Madeleine Peyroux
    3. Robert Cray
    4. Diana Drall
    5. John Harle (Elvis Costello on vocals)
    6. Alison Krause & Union Station
    7. Bill Frisell
    8. Shawn Colvin
    9. Robert Alagna & Angela Gheorghiu
    10. Gil & Orli Shaham
    11. Kim Richey
    12. Boz Scaggs
    13. Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny
    14. Mormon Tabernacle Choir

    Just an aural feast.

    Superb graphics, as well.

    Some brief Googling tells me they closed in 2007. Wonder if they did the compilation disc every year and if there’s any way to find them.

  305. 305
    ryan c Says:

    Bet we get a rumor this week. Probably concerning Cody Ross.

  306. 306
    John R. Says:

    This article just popped up on my Facebook news feed, from the Baseball Hall of Fame:

    http://baseballhall.org/news/voting-news/flair-dramatic

    Bill Mueller debuts on BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot

    “Bill Mueller is already in the history books.

    On July 29, 2003, he became the first player to hit two grand slams in a single game from opposite sides of the plate. Now, Mueller hopes to make a bigger mark on the game with a plaque in Cooperstown.”

    The piece goes on to talk about Mueller’s career highlights and what a good player he was.

    Is this a joke? Nothing against Mueller, but the Hall even forwarding the possibility that he’s Hall-worthy is kind of embarrassing for everyone involved.

  307. 307
    Smitty Says:

    @299

    POST OF THE YEAR!

  308. 308
    csg Says:

    Cody Ross would be an okay addition if we were needing a mediocre CF’r that hits RH’d. Adding him to play a backup corner OF spot doesnt get me excited, esp if he’s still asking for 3 years. He’s not an upgrade over Prado or Heyward. It would be just adding an expensive CF backup IMO.

  309. 309
    justhank Says:

    The Giants don’t seem to have any interest in re-signing Beltran despite having the resources to do so and having a need in LF.

    Does that tell us anything?

  310. 310
    ububba Says:

    Maybe it’s just a simple matter of not wanting to spend a buttload of cash on a 35-year-old outfielder.

  311. 311
    justhank Says:

    Probably, but IIRC they sure gave up a lot for a half-year of Beltran.

    Good money after bad? If so, that would sure keep me from offering anything more than two years. And that would only be after a hard look.

  312. 312
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Eh, give Bill Mueller his debut on the ballot. It’s no more offensive than BJ Surhoff. It’s not like anyone outside Boston will vote for him.

    Also, agree on Weingarten. But his piece about The Great Zucchini is simply magnificent.

  313. 313
    Mark Grogan Says:

    I usually enjoy the Hot Stove as much as the regular season, but our never ending search for a back-up shortstop does not have my kettle boiling. Yesterday, I had this vision of Matt Diaz leaning back in the batter’s box and looking not at all intimidating. I am ready for Mr. Wren to do something. There are way too many if’s and maybe’s on this roster as constituted. If I had season tickets I’d send a letter threatening to cancel them. Us non-season ticket holders still remember the collapse of ’11.

  314. 314
    JoeyT Says:

    Prediction: If Darvish comes to the U.S. this year, which he will do unless Toronto is only bidding high to shut out other teams, he will win a Cy Young award before the end of his career. He’s phenomenal.

  315. 315
    Dan Says:

    Maybe it’s just a simple matter of not wanting to spend a buttload of cash on a 35-year-old…

    But that’s what Brian Sabean is known for.

  316. 316
    ububba Says:

    Twice bitten, thrice shy?

  317. 317
    Ryan c Says:

    Why does Mitch Williams have a job with an otherwise competent group of analysts on MLB Network?

  318. 318
    Ryan c Says:

    Would you trade Jurrjens for Andre Ethier straight up?

  319. 319
    John Gaines Says:

    Probably.

    But if Prado bounces back, is Ethier really that much of an upgrade?

  320. 320
    kc Says:

    @318 No…not another bat on the left side! Besides, his production drop in the past couple years is very disturbing.

    @314 I don’t know. Matsuzaka was also supposed to be awesome.

  321. 321
    csg Says:

    Cards close to signing Coco Crisp. One less Beltran suitor so this will make it that much more depressing. Theyve been the only reported team to make an offer.

  322. 322
    Rusty S. Says:

    I guess I see now why they call it Candlestick Park.

  323. 323
    Bethany Says:

    @318 In a heartbeat.

  324. 324
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    For all those who read and enjoyed the Weingarten story about Battle Mountain, it turns out that the little town is doing a whole lot better thanks to all the gold they’ve been mining.

  325. 325
    Adam R Says:

    Well, I guess if there ever was any chance of acquiring Jurickson Profar this offseason, it’s gone.

  326. 326
    jjschiller Says:

    Rangers apparently won bidding for Yu Darvish

  327. 327
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I think the problem with Jurickson Profar is not that he isn’t available. It’s that the price that it would take is not a price we’re prepared to pay.

  328. 328
    ryan c Says:

    I havent seen mention of Chris Nelson as a target in these Prado to the Rockies trade scenarios. He’s seemingly fallen out of grace in Colorado and could provide cheap replacement for Prado at all positions, including SS. New trade idea with the Rockies:

    Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado for Seth Smith, Chris Nelson, and Tim Wheeler. This will provide salary relief enough for the Braves to go after Cody Ross. Cody and Seth platooning in LF, Nelson providing backup at all of the infield positions, and Wheeler showcasing at AAA for the future CF job. Lots ot team control there and lots of flexibility. I like it!

  329. 329
    braves14 Says:

    This is a boring offseason. Right now we’d start the season with almost exactly the same team.

  330. 330
    kc Says:

    @328 Where on earth do the Rangers and Blue Jays found all these money to bid on Darvish?

  331. 331
    Smitty Says:

    @330

    Nolan Ryan shook down Robin Ventura

  332. 332
    csg Says:

    Im afraid that if our answers are Seth Smith and Cody Ross that we wont be watching the Braves in the playoffs.

  333. 333
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @331
    MY nomination for post of the year!

    (Although a certain guy reminding us that every day is a gift is my all time favorite. And I won’t ever forget it.)

  334. 334
    justhank Says:

    kc @ 330 – here’s how the Rangers got so rich:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6939177/how-television-launch-rangers-dynasty

  335. 335
    Johnny Says:

    Jason Kubel off the market to the Dbacks. It’s looking more and more like Martin Prado in left again.
    I don’t see why we would sign the Commander when he isn’t any better than Prado. But stranger things have happened.

  336. 336
    csg Says:

    I especially dont understand the potential Prado/Seth Smith trade. That makes no sense to the Braves unless we are punting on 2012. Trading one of our few RH players that plays 5 positions for another platoon guy in LF is baffling to me.

  337. 337
    Adam R Says:

    I think I get what Wren is doing. The 2b market is pathetic for buyers. He’s waiting out teams like the Rockies to extract as much as possible. Think of this like the Vazquez trade. It’s not about the immediate return. I think we’ll end up with enough cash freed up for Carlos Lee and then have Wheeler waiting in the wings later. It’s about maintaining the fringe-playoff status quo with an eye towards the future.

  338. 338
    csg Says:

    On, Carlos Lee – Can he still play LF? I understand building for the future, but dont you have to try and win now some of the time?

  339. 339
    Smitty Says:

    @338

    Not really. He will be a decent DH when the Astros move to the AL

  340. 340
    justhank Says:

    Someone signed Mike Cameron to a minor league deal with an invite to ST.

    Wish we’d done that. Eh, he’s probably done.

  341. 341
    justhank Says:

    SEC hoops had a good night (finally). LSU beat a really good Marquette team. This year’s best name in basketball, Storm Warren, had a great game.

  342. 342
    Johnny Says:

    #338 – I agree. But apparently 15 to 21 million for a LFer is too much for the Braves.
    Willingham’s career .262 .361 .475 .836 3 years 21 million
    Cuddyer’s career .284 .346 .459 .805 3 years 30 million
    Kubel’s career .273 .332 .434 .766 2 years 15 million
    Prado’s career .293 .341 .434 .775 4 million?
    Seth Smith .275 .348 .485 .833 MLB minimum?

    Maybe I have just answered my own question. Are those guys THAT much better than Martin? Seeing what Cuddyer got I have now given up any fantasy of getting Carlos Beltran.

    We’ve (or at least some of us) have always said that we can carry Prado’s bat in LF if Uggla can hit like a LFer. Looking at the numbers has helped me understand the Braves lack of interest in the free agent outfielders.

  343. 343
    urlhix Says:

    #324, that’s awesome.

  344. 344
    Dan Says:

    Not really. He will be a decent DH when the Astros move to the AL

    It’s the final year of the Astros in the NL, and the final year of Carlos Lee’s contract.

  345. 345
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New thread.

  346. 346
    spike Says:

    Holy guacamole!

    http://deadspin.com/5869737/

Leave a Reply

© 2014 Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

GPS Reviews and news from GPS Gazettewordpress logo