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22 Mar

The end is near

Chipper Jones will retire at end of 2012 season | braves.com: News.

Given his comments about how hard it is getting to make it through the season, this is hardly a surprise. He could always change his mind, but I doubt it. I always prefer it when a player retires when he can still play, even if it’s not at the same level he once did, and Chipper can still play — just not as often.

293 Responses to “The end is near”

  1. 1
    fm Says:

    Goal for this season: Make playoffs, win 11 for #10 in ’12.

  2. 2
    td Says:

    Everytime I see Chipper player it reminds me of how terrible of a talent scout I am. I still remember seeing him play for the Greenvile Braves vs the Huntsville Stars in the 90s and exclaiming to all who would listen that I thought he would never make it. I’m really glad I was wrong!

  3. 3
    asg Says:

    Meet you guys in Cooperstown in 2017.

  4. 4
    csg Says:

    Braves really need Prado and Heyward to bounce back this season. Or, they could be looking for a 3B, LF, CF, and RF in next years FA market.

    Its really going to make this year a lot more exciting. Thanks for all the great memories Chipper. We will miss him.

  5. 5
    mravery Says:

    @4-

    Pff. The Braves will NEVER sign a FA to play LF. Don’t be silly.

  6. 6
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    For shame. Have you already forgotten Garret Anderson?

  7. 7
    spike Says:

    The announcement of Chippers retirement brings back fond memories of why he was chosen by the Braves in the first place. The apex of schadenfreude and sports boosterism is a happy place indeed.

  8. 8
    braves14 Says:

    Hats off to Chipper.

    sPaztornicky went 4 for 5 today.

  9. 9
    ryan c Says:

    Can I still be considered a man and admit that I teared up with Chipper?

  10. 10
    Smitty Says:

    This means we can probably resign McCann.

    TD,

    I saw Chipper play SS for that Greenville team. One day at Engle Stadium he threw a ball over Klesko’s head and into the second level.

  11. 11
    Dan Says:

    SI predicts Braves finish in fourth place in the NL East, at 82-80.

  12. 12
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    @11 first piece of good news all day.

  13. 13
    csg Says:

    A lot of people are predicting that. Good thing is we have 162 games to change their opinions. If any of Philly’s big 3 go down, they are beatable.

  14. 14
    urlhix Says:

    Always good to be underestimated, especially if you’re hungry. And yeah, I got a little misty listening to Chipper. The pollen count this year is brutal, right?

  15. 15
    Timo Says:

    Even though it’s no surprise, it’s a sad sad day. Chipper Jones-you are my hero!

  16. 16
    Mike N. Says:

    Well, I’m now out two Final Four teams in the Braves Journal bracket. Thanks a lot, Wisconsin.

  17. 17
    Mike N. Says:

    LOL I am now two upsets away from having zero Elite Eight teams.

  18. 18
    Hate King Says:

    I’m gonna miss that Chipper Jones.

  19. 19
    ububba Says:

    This tournament was ruined when UNC’s Kendall Marshall went down.

  20. 20
    justhank Says:

    I’m officially old – both Chipper and Monica Kaufman are retiring this Fall. Sigh.

    Chipper is probably my favorite Brave.

    Oh, I respect Henry Aaron above all others (hence my screen name), but I really didn’t get to see a great deal of his early career.

    No, Chipper was the guy when Braves-following became a part of everyday life. Really, really going to miss him.

  21. 21
    justhank Says:

    So if UK makes it to the Final Four, we’ll either have to play our arch-rival for the second time or Florida for the fourth time.

    Gaak.

  22. 22
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I don’t get sentimental about players but I always appreciated that Chipper spoke his mind and didn’t engage in typical baseball cliches. Sometimes he was probably wrong (e.g, Heyward), but at least he wasn’t from the Crash Davis School of Saying Nothing.

  23. 23
    csg Says:

    My bracket has been a bust so far but I still have a chance of making up some ground. My final four – UNC, Ohio St, UK, Florida.

  24. 24
    Clarke Says:

    Anybody going to the game today?

  25. 25
    csg Says:

    Wish the Braves would hit him like this…

    Jayson Stark ‏ @jaysonst
    Spring box-score line du jour (The Bad): Gio Gonzalez vs Cardinals: 3 2/3 IP 10 H 8 R 8 ER 4 BB 3 K 1 HR #ouch

  26. 26
    csg Says:

    Mark Bowman ‏ @mlbbowman
    Medlen allowed one hit in five scoreless innings during a Minor League game today. He threw 45 pitches and recorded one strikeout

    Medlen sure is making his case for the rotation. I know he may be more valuable out of the pen, but I dont think Fredi would use him properly there anyways.

  27. 27
    Dix Says:

    Chipper Jones has an honored place in my pantheon of sports heroes (right next to Steve Yzerman). They’re the two I’ll be telling my daughter about the way my dad talked about Gordie Howe and Al Kaline when I was a little kid.

    I’m not looking forward to that retirement press conference. Unless he’s holding the 2012 World Series trophy, in which case, that will be joyous.

  28. 28
    Smitty Says:

    @26

    I think he would be a solid 3-4 guy in our rotation.

  29. 29
    Ethan Says:

    DOB touched on it today, but if Huddy comes back April 27th, we’d only need a 5th starter twice in the interim. I wish they’d let Medlen run it.

  30. 30
    ryan c Says:

    When Hudson does come back and, assuming the other 4 starters are healthy, does Delgado go to the bullpen? With the exit of Vizcaino, they might need another RH arm down there.

  31. 31
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @25

    Outside of Oakland, Gio Gonzalez isn’t that impressive. Career OPS+ against of 94 (admittedly not the best metric, but useful.)

  32. 32
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    In other news, it looks like Philly is down to Pete Orr as their starting 2B now.

  33. 33
    PeteOrr Says:

    Oh crap, Venters was skipped with a sore elbow, according to Bowman.

  34. 34
    Tiger224 Says:

    Happy Birthday Mac. You don’t look a day over 95 World Series Champs.

    Wonder how bad Wren was pushing CHipper to make a decision. I don’t think Chipper bends over for anyone…but that’s a big chunk of change as Wren contemplates the roster the next year or two.

    Ready to play games that count…(I may regret saying this).

  35. 35
    csg Says:

    Man, Joba Chamberlain had an open ankle dislocation today and almost died from blood loss. Thats awful…

  36. 36
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Chipper tore the meniscus in his knee stretching and will have it scoped. They hope he’ll be ready for opening day.

  37. 37
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    However, as Fredi Gonzalez says: “”The diference between this year and last year, last year he was in midseason form when he did it. Now he’s in conditioning mode, so it’s possible it could be another week.”
    http://tinyurl.com/7afblkm

    So Prado will be our third baseman. Then who’s the left fielder? Constanza? Parraz?

  38. 38
    Bethany Says:

    @35 I am morbidly curious as to what an open dislocation implies.

  39. 39
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Don’t be. It’s gross.

  40. 40
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    just what it sounds like. joint pops out of place and through the thin layer of surrounding skin. Sounds like he did it playing on a trampoline with his kid, I’ll bet it was pretty traumatic for the kid if there was significant blood loss.

    Torn meniscus sounds waaaay better after reading about Joba.

  41. 41
    jjschiller Says:

    Was this the knee that was barking at him after stepping in a hole while hunting?

    It’s better than him playing hurt for 6 or 8 weeks, and then getting it done in May or June. He’ll miss some games, but we’ll avoid the playing-hurt period.

  42. 42
    Bethany Says:

    So it’s like a compound fracture? Ok.

    Why is someone his size on a trampoline in the first place?

  43. 43
    sansho1 Says:

    Anyone else think Pastornicky’s chances of winning the SS competition just improved? If he’s more major league ready than Simmons as a batter — well, that just got more important, just as plus-plus fielding range just got a little less important.

    Maybe that’s how they ought to play it this season — when Chipper gets hurt, Parraz and Pastornicky go to the big club. When he comes back, trade them out for Andrelton. This is how championships are won, right? Right??

  44. 44
    ryan c Says:

    That OF bat sure would have looked nice come Opening Day.

  45. 45
    W.C.G. Says:

    I’m hoping the Braves bottom out this year, for the longer-term good of the franchise. In recent years it seems that management’s strategy has been to be content assembling basically .500 teams that might win a wild card if everything goes right. It’s worked well enough (from Liberty’s perspective) not to force any major changes.

    Thus the decade-long lack of urgency in finding an MLB-caliber left fielder; thus the giant black hole at SS, making this about the 8th straight season we’ve gone in with a known giant black hole somewhere on the roster; thus the continued presence of Fredi Gonzalez, whose WAR we could debate all day but who absolutely is a product of everything hidebound and ineffectual about this organization.

    Going on like this indefinitely is no way to win, especially as the rest of the NL East steps ahead of the Braves financially. Like Bama football in the middle of the last decade, we’re going to have to lose big in order to galvanize the major changes necessary to win again.

    2012 Atlanta Braves: Heighten the Contradictions.

  46. 46
    MikeM Says:

    I’ve tried to be positive this offseason, but c’mon. How about just one piece of good news?

  47. 47
    Dan Says:

    Who wouldn’t prefer to see the Braves play like the September 2011 Braves all year this year, rather than end the season at 81-81? At least it’d be funny, and maybe some changes (Fredi fired; a real left fielder) would occur as a result.

  48. 48
    jjschiller Says:

    How about they play like the did the other 5 months of last season when they were a top 5 team in baseball?

  49. 49
    ryan c Says:

    DOB tweet:
    “#Braves GM Wren said team has been looking to acquire backup OF help even before Jones injury, and will continue to do so.”

    That’s great! How ’bout a starting OF?

    Then there’s this…UGH:
    “Not sure how much interest #Braves have in Johnny Damon, but he’s still out there unsigned.”

  50. 50
    sansho1 Says:

    I’d take Damon right now. It’s sort of a good fit, actually.

  51. 51
    Bethany Says:

    How much would Damon want?

  52. 52
    Tad Says:

    Well .. it happened even before I thought .. Chipper hurt again .. yes hes been a great player … in his prime which ended about 3 years ago .. couldnt let go and by hanging on has kept us from acquiring the bat we needed with his 15 mil a season we could have had a pretty good lineup and now we will suffer from it this year too .. maybe next year we will have some cash to try to catch up the Natiionals, Marlins and Phils .. 4th place may be exactly where we finish.

  53. 53
    Tad Says:

    Braves get thumped again .. maybe we need to trade with Blue Jays .. thye have our former middle infield with Johnaon and Escobar .. their lineup today had starters in it and it they were hitting this spring as follows:
    Johnson .472, Escobar .351 ,.735, .471,.535,.250, .595,.652 and .500 … and we didnt do anything to bring those down.

  54. 54
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Bottoming out just isn’t a good thing. Teams that bottom out often don’t come back.

  55. 55
    Rusty S. Says:

    Ownership does not care about winning.

    Miss by one game, .500, bottom out, doesn’t make any difference. Pay Chipper, don’t pay Chipper, doesn’t make any difference. They will not turn loose of the money to do anything.

  56. 56
    desert Says:

    If Forbes can be believed, the Atlanta Braves turned $20.7 million profit off operating expenses last year, with a total revenue of $203 million (15th in the league). Thanks a lot, Liberty Media!!!

    (Of course, Atlanta is one of three teams-with Houston and Seattle-that doesn’t have any debt. So there’s a positive.)

  57. 57
    se15 Says:

    #56,
    Well that is fantastic company to be in.

  58. 58
    PaulV Says:

    Bethany, a friend had a compound dislocation of her finger while playing first base in softball. She raised her glove to catch a line drive and blocked her vision and the ball hit her finger. She went to fire station across street and the EMTs said it looked bad, She worked for the Federal Circuit Court and a judge asked her whether it got in her way when she picked her nose. She was more shocked because he was so staid rather than what he said. Before he was a judge he took three Fabrege Easter eggs for a client in back seat of his car to the VMFA. I wanted to play with those eggs but they would not let me.

  59. 59
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    see, that’s what I love about this place, we can talk about chipper’s knees and pre-revolutionary russia without skipping a beat.

  60. 60
    braves14 Says:

    Neither Delgado nor Teheran are pitching worth a damn. Makes perfect sense to choose one of them instead of Medlen for 2 starts. *roll eyes*

  61. 61
    Rob Cope Says:

    I had a compound dislocation on my ring finger last November, and it was sick. The second half of my finger made a sharp right turn and it was sticking out of the skin pretty far. You can see it on my Facebook, if you dare.

    I feel sorry for Joba. That stuff’s just sick, man.

  62. 62
    csg Says:

    Id rather target Abreu over Damon. Abreu has been pretty vocal over the last few weeks and seems to want out of LAA

  63. 63
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Abreu reminds me of Garret Anderson.

  64. 64
    csg Says:

    Let me rephrase – Ill take Abreu or Damon over Parraz, Constanza, or Durango.

    BTW, Chipper will start the season on the DL and hopes to be ready for the home opener on April 13th.

  65. 65
    W.C.G. Says:

    @AAR – ordinarily I’d agree, but I feel like what we have here is an ownership that has cynically calculated a “sweet spot” payroll number at which they can rope enough fans into coming to the ballpark thinking there’s a chance, yet they can pay little enough into player payroll that they turn a decent-enough profit on what’s a tax break for them anyway.

    I think one possible salutary effect of bottoming out in this case would be that attendance would probably fall off a cliff. At that point, perhaps Liberty concludes that pretending to be a baseball owner is no longer a profitable business, and it sells the team to an actual human who has a chance of giving a crap. (Of course, I know that human also has a chance of being the next Frank McCourt. But I’m to the point of being willing to see what’s behind door #2.)

  66. 66
    urlhix Says:

    Shoot, I’d take my chances with Parraz. And keep sending out stringers on the trade front.

  67. 67
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    does j.d. drew have anything left in the tank?

  68. 68
    ryan c Says:

    @66
    Drew would be a great pickup.

  69. 69
    mikemc Says:

    My nature is to be an optimist. But the Braves have shown virtually nothing this spring to indicate they will have a successful season.

  70. 70
    justhank Says:

    So I see where Austin Rivers is leaving Duke after one year.

    Guess he wanted to leave while his stock was moderate Lehigh.

    Thank you. I’ll be here all season.

  71. 71
    Adam R Says:

    The other thing about bottoming out this year is that it’s more likely we’d lose Wren — and replace him with someone who’d probably be worse than him — before Liberty Media would ever give up on its investment. I like Wren, but imagine a scenario in which Wren takes no action to improve the offense and then the starting and relief pitching regresses/succumbs to injury, while Teheran and Delgado don’t pan out, at least this year. It’s Wren that’s out the door, and maybe in that case, since he clearly didn’t have much to work with, Fredi gets to stick around…yeesh.

    It does seem more and more like getting free-spending owner is our only longer-term hope, but I think getting rid of Liberty would take a long string of failure.

    To be clear, I feel OK saying the Braves won’t be that different than they were last year. Maybe a few more losses. Not a huge disaster. So much rides on Heyward.

    @69, Applause.

  72. 72
    mravery Says:

    I don’t think Wren is in any danger of losing his job, regardless of how the Braves do this year. Who is going to fire him? Schurholtz? Liberty? I imagine both of those parties like him.

  73. 73
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Tad, you know you can root for another team, right?

  74. 74
    Remy Says:

    #63

    That would be Friday, April 13th.

  75. 75
    ryan c Says:

    What do you guys think about trading for Mark Reynolds?

  76. 76
    jjschiller Says:

    One big difference between abreu and Anderson is that abreu’s strength has always been his ability to walk.. there’s some value to an abreu type in the 7 hole of an NL lineup, helping to turn the lineup over.

  77. 77
    sansho1 Says:

    @74

    Gross.

  78. 78
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Bobby Abreu looks to be pretty darned closed to done to me. He’s hovering at a .350ish OBP the last two years (down from his previous stellar production there) but dropped to a .365 SLG last year. That’s a pretty anemic OF bat, especially for a guy that hasn’t turned in a positive defensive season in years. At lease J.D. Drew has the injury defense to fall back on for last year’s collapse. Abreu just seems… done.

    Johnny Damon looks slightly better than either of those two as a veteran option, but even there I’m not sure any of those three would out produce Jordan Parraz.

  79. 79
    Bethany Says:

    Damon seems like the kind of player Wren salivates over.

    I feel at peace about the season, I think we will be fine.

    Finally, the Hunger Games film was amazing.

  80. 80
    Mike N. Says:

    I wouldn’t call the Hunger Games amazing but it was definitely very good. I thought the casting was brilliant.

  81. 81
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    Also avaialble, edgar renteria. might be an idea to have some positional veteran presence in the dugout at least.

    For everyone who has seen Hunger games, I have a 15, 13 and 10 year old at home. Is this appropriate for any of them? I’m a little concerned about the kids killing kids bit, or have I overstated that part of teh story?

  82. 82
    braves14 Says:

    Jurrjens is pitching well today. 5 shutout innings so far, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk.

  83. 83
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @81

    Jurrjens is pitching well today…against Houston.

  84. 84
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Against a split squad Houston lineup at that.

  85. 85
    sdp Says:

    They say Jason Heyward’s manhood gets in the way of his mechanics.

    Plausible.

  86. 86
    PaRanHaNul Says:

    I agree with deserts statement: )

  87. 87
    Adam M Says:

    I really enjoyed The Hunger Games. I also am heartened by Jurrjens’s start.

    That is all.

  88. 88
    Seat Painter Says:

    After rooting for Atlanta through the Gerald Perry years, I’m not going to lose any sleep gnashing my teeth over an 80 win season. Would it be nice to be better? Well, d’uh, but sometimes you’re the Murph and sometimes you’re the hanging curveball.

  89. 89
    PaulV Says:

    Can we compete against the Texas Rangers $26 hot dog?
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/25/texas-rangers-ready-to-roll-with-26-hot-dog/?test=latestnews

  90. 90
    Bethany Says:

    @88 Well you didn’t say that you could feed an entire third world country with it.

  91. 91
    braves14 Says:

    82, 83 — I don’t care who it’s against, as terrible as he has been.

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

    Kruger, I guess I’d say that it depends on what your children are particularly sensitive to, or what you don’t care to expose them to. There is certainly a fair amount of violence, depicted or implied, though it doesn’t get too graphic.

    The society it depicts is an awful dystopia, but realistically it’s no more horrifying than, say, The Giver or Animal Farm. I’m sure it’s fine for a 15 year old and a 13 year old, and I daresay it’d be fine for a 10 year old though that would kind of depend on the kid.

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

    I just saw the Jair highlights. Looks like he had his changeup working, and was keeping the ball around the knees. If he can keep doing that, he’s the old Jair.

  94. 94
    justhank Says:

    Love Freeman’s swing. Love it!

    Watch how he keeps that front elbow in and especially how he follows the ball all the way to contact. His nose is literally pointing at the ball as it meets the bat.

    Jayson – there’s your role model.

  95. 95
    csg Says:

    According to DOB, Braves not concerned with Teherans “general arm soreness” in his throwing arm. Probably would be a good time to go ahead and schedule a visit to Birmingham for him also then.

  96. 96
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oh, %!0&!ing hell.

  97. 97
    jjschiller Says:

    How about we punt on the year, give all the major league roster Tommy John surgeries, shave their shoulder labrums, replace their meniscuses, and fuse all their lumbar vertebrae, and just move the whole Triple A club to Atlanta. Then next year they’ll all be brand new, and we can do the same to Triple A, the next year to Double A, and so on.

  98. 98
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    A few rounds of HGH would probably be cheaper and just as effective.

  99. 99
    Smitty Says:

    @94

    This is how it starts. Next week we will hear about how he and Dr. Andrews enjoy shark fishing and John Smoltz is going to take him to Brimingham so they can set up a trip.

  100. 100
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The Braves might be the first team in history to have their entire pitching staff undergo TJ surgery at the same time.

    I liked the Hunger Games a lot but my 16 year old daughter, who has read the books, didn’t like it as much because she felt the characters were not well developed. But that’s always an issue with movies made from books–except,probably, “The Godfather”, which was better than the book. I don’t think the violence is anything that kids these days aren’t used to; however, the fact that it happens to other children might be upsetting to younger kids.

    Re the Braves: I know we’ve talked about it here before but, really, who is going to want to be “free-spending” with a fan base that has not shown much interest, for whatever good reasons, in attending the games. I know the argument is that if you spend the money, they will come, but I would think anyone would be reluctant to open the purse strings. I’m not absolving Liberty from blame because I’m sure they are making money, but given the TV deal, I can’t imagine someone would want to come in and start throwing money around on what is a pretty apathetic fan base, especially given that the problems (as people here have described them) with access to the stadium is not likely to improve.

    But, look, as bleak as it seems now, it’s not as if things are rosy for the other teams. The Phillies are without Utley and Howard for some indefinite time–and it seems pretty clearly that Uttley’s knees are going to cut his career short-and even Halladay has had some problems. The Nats have had injury problems of their own and, despite the hype, still have some significant holes. The Mets are a mess and, while the Marlins are probably better, they aren’t a juggernaut. I’ve never been terribly optimistic about the Braves but let’s at least have them play a couple of games before we write off the season.

  101. 101
    Jeff K Says:

    @80 – kis – The movie was pretty good, far better than the books, which are written for teen readers. There are plenty of scenes with up-close and bloody child-on-child violence. Parenting styles and tolerances certainly vary, but I’d say the movie is okay for a 15 yo and most 13 yo. Not a 10 yo. I have daughters, ages 6 and 7, for reference.

  102. 102
    csg Says:

    DOB’s thoughts on acquiring Marlon Byrd.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2012/03/23/chipper-swag-and-substance-greatest-brave-of-atl-era/?cp=18#comment-1522235

  103. 103
    Adam M Says:

    I find The Hunger Games disturbing, even as an adult, though that’s mainly its point. I’d also add that it’s more than a futuristic dystopia; it’s also a commentary, however heavy handed, on exploitative, extractive colonial economies–which are as historical as they are futuristic.

  104. 104
    sansho1 Says:

    Given that he can back up CF, and is unsigned past 2012, Byrd seems like a good fit. Unexciting, certainly.

  105. 105
    csg Says:

    I disagree with DOB on one point in that link. He thinks acquiring Byrd would take Sutton’s spot on the roster. Seems to me that Diaz should be the odd man out in that scenario. Why would the Braves need that many OF’rs on the roster. Seems like an extra infielder other than Wilson could be more useful. Diaz is done anyways.

  106. 106
    sansho1 Says:

    For those who enjoyed The Hunger Games, but wished it was bloodier, more nihilistic, and had younger contestants, Battle Royale just came out on blu-ray last week. Most decidedly not for everybody.

  107. 107
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m going into Hunger Games blind; i.e. not reading the books ahead of time. But as far as book-to-film adaptations go, you just have to accept the depth of characterization and world building must be implied in the film, where it can be explored explicitly in the book(s). I am very fond of the HBO version of Game of Thrones – excellent filmed version of that world, really. But it pales in comparison to Martin’s fully developed universe of the Fire & Ice novels.

    You give. You get.

  108. 108
    Stu Says:

    Trade Bourn back to the Astros for Schafer and Carlos Lee.

  109. 109
    csg Says:

    Jon Morosi ‏ @jonmorosi
    #Braves indeed looking for an outfielder, sources say, but would be reluctant to put Kris Medlen in the deal. They value his versatility. If #Braves acquire an outfielder, they would prefer that he be able to play center field.

  110. 110
    Bethany Says:

    @106 Certainly. I was thrilled by the way the film explored things that the book (coming from a first person perspective) couldn’t. I think there were moments in the film that blew the book out of the water. And, having read the books, any shortcomings in character development were nullified because I know the characters already.

  111. 111
    spike Says:

    @108, Just great. The search for another subpar bat masquerading as a defensive specialist begins.

  112. 112
    Stu Says:

    Don’t understand why he’d need to play center unless they’re looking for a long-term solution there, and that’s not how I read this search.

  113. 113
    jjschiller Says:

    They want CF ability because of the roster crunch created by carrying Diaz. They must not really believe Heyward can do it. And God forbid they just release Diaz.

  114. 114
    Ethan Says:

    Before the Royals got him, I thought Jason Bourgeois would’ve been a decent choice. Right handed, can back up center, wouldn’t cost squat (either w/salary or prospects to acquire), and would allow us to drop Diaz.

  115. 115
    Ethan Says:

    Also, does anyone feel differently that the 7 man bullpen will be:

    Kimbrel
    Venters
    O’Flaherty
    Martinez
    Medlen
    Ascensio
    Gearrin

  116. 116
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Byrd isn’t great, but among guys who suck, he wouldn’t be a bad option. He’s almost certainly better than any of our fourth/fifth outfield options. If we can get him for a bit of money and a C prospect, I’d bring him on.

  117. 117
    csg Says:

    And release Diaz in the process.

  118. 118
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Who was the first person to coin the word “O’Ventbrel”? Did someone use it before Mac?

  119. 119
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    I think that the Hunger Games was a great flim–even if it does borrow from ‘the Lottery’ and The Running Man….

    To go back to the Braves, its nice to see that they believe in J-Terd….

  120. 120
    mravery Says:

    I prefer to call him Joey Terds. Sounds like he’s a gangster.

  121. 121
    csg Says:

    MLBTR – Braves inquired on Will Venable, but were told he’s unavailable.

  122. 122
    ryan c Says:

    Went to see Hunger Games and had to walk out after 30 minutes due to an overwhelming urge to vomit in my lap. I know it adds a sense of authenticity to movies filmed documentary style, but it does not bode well for those (like me) that suffer from motion sickness.

  123. 123
    Ethan Says:

    Venable’s away splits are legit; outside of Petco he could be good.

    Hunger Games was all right, but her path to the eventual outcome seemed a bit contrived, especially how the relationships with her allies/rivals played out. Never read the book, so maybe that lends more credibility.

  124. 124
    Mike N. Says:

    Bethany, definitely agree on the outside perspective. Some of the scenes that were not in the book were awesome additions. They did, however, leave a couple of things out that I wish they hadn’t, but the extra perspectives more than made up for it.

  125. 125
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The ending was sort of contrived–don’t know if that was in the book. I don’t want to spoil it for people that might want to see it but it could have been done without such obvious plot manipulation.

    Also saw “The Artist” a couple of weeks ago, which I liked but I find it hard to say it’s the best movie of the year. Also saw “Hugo” which is terrific.

  126. 126
    ububba Says:

    Lunatic Alert: Frank Martin reportedly leaves K-State to helm South Carolina basketball.

    Spurrier & Martin, that’s quite a pair.

  127. 127
    Nick Says:

    Though I am somewhat of a movie buff, I for some reason just couldn’t get into either The Artist or Hugo that much. They just kind of seemed like a nostalgia trip for nostalgia’s sake, and like I was being informed by the films that I should like them, because they were about the history of movies. Both were very well-done, and I didn’t dislike either. The heavy-handedness and Hollywood’s subsequent love affair with the two movies just kind of turned me off. Of the two, I did like Hugo better by a clear margin, though again, not nearly as much as everyone else seemed to.

    Haven’t seen Hunger Games yet, still need to. Haven’t read the books, either. Generally, if people who haven’t read the books like a movie and people who have are complaining about niggling little details that were left out, that’s a pretty good sign for the movie IMO.

  128. 128
    Mike N. Says:

    I can see where it would seem contrived, but it’s the ending that’s in the book. Suzanne Collins actually did the screenplay for the movie so it’s really as close to a true adaptation I’ve seen.

    Also, Jennifer Lawrence has definitely become my latest obsession…

  129. 129
    Mike N. Says:

    Did I make it awkward for everyone here or something?

  130. 130
    Bethany Says:

    @129 I’d switch teams for Jennifer Lawrence :P

  131. 131
    Ethan Says:

    She looked good, but it didn’t hurt that literally everyone else in the movie appeared as either destitute to the extreme or the mental machinations of someone tripping acid.

  132. 132
    Mike N. Says:

    She does really good interviews as well, funny gal.

  133. 133
    PaulV Says:

    Someone was surprised that the children in the movie did not know how to use swords well considering the culture. Is that a valid reaction?

  134. 134
    Bethany Says:

    @133 It’s not kosher for the districts to train children before the reaping (I don’t think weapons would be allowed in that type of society anyway).

  135. 135
    Mike N. Says:

    Although a couple of the districts do train the kids. I’m no sword fighting expert but those kids seemed pretty capable with those weapons.

  136. 136
    Bethany Says:

    @135 I think the book says that districts 1 and 2 skirt the rules and train kids, because they manufacture the weapons there and have a closer relationship with the Capitol.

    Sorry, sorry, I’m done.

  137. 137
    Askia Says:

    I probably won’t see the movie since I don’t have much interest in the subject matter, but I do find it interesting that the casting has apparently upset many of its fans.

    http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made

  138. 138
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    It’s in Jezebel’s interest to write about a controversial topic, but I kind of doubt that it upset “many” of the fans, given that they just aggregated a few comments on Twitter. I mean… it just had one of the biggest openings of all time. The racists didn’t exactly vote with their feet.

  139. 139
    Timo Says:

    Always funny. The 50 ugliest baseball card pictures ever:

    http://tinyurl.com/c4yr5ru

  140. 140
    justhank Says:

    My daughter and I (both of whom have read and loved the books) saw Hunger Games last night.

    Very few complaints and enjoyed it thoroughly. Want to see the Director’s Cut for any deleted scenes.

    Not a big Woody Harrelson fan, but he nailed his role.

    And Jennifer Lawrence is perfect. As Katniss, I mean. (And the way Bethany means it.)

    Just wish they’d spent more time examining the voyeuristic depravity of the Capitol – one of the more interesting aspects of the book (to me, anyway).

  141. 141
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I agree with Alex. Those comments are disturbing but they don’t necessarily reflect the mind set of the majority. What I don’t understand is if the one guy hates himself for his racist feelings, why does he make them public? Wouldn’t it make more sense to hate yourself privately? But,then I guess that would require an IQ above 80.

    Hank,

    Not having read the books, I thought the scenes in the capital were an analogy to the Roman Empire.

  142. 142
    Ethan Says:

    Pastornicky defensivly at short reminds me of Omar Infante.

  143. 143
    csg Says:

    bits and pieces from DOB’s blog today…

    Gonzalez mentioned possibilities including the Eric Hinske/Matt Diaz tandem, roster hopefuls Jordan Parraz, Jose Constanza and Luis Durango and … Carlos Lee. He quickly smiled to make it clear he was kidding. At least I think he was. Lee is owed about $18.5 million this year, which, near as I can tell, is about $17 million or so more than the Braves seem willing to spend.

    But they do need to get some outfield help, be it a Marlon Byrd or Will Venable. (I’ve heard they had or have some interest in Byrd and a couple of lesser available Cubs. And it was reported by a couple of other folks including Fox Sports.com that the Braves checked on the Padres’ Venable. If it’s true that the Padres asked about Kris Medlen in return, it’s understandable that the Braves ended that conversation quickly. Medlen for Venable? No.)

  144. 144
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Those comments are disturbing but they don’t necessarily reflect the mind set of the majority.

    I think you’re missing the point of that article.

  145. 145
    sansho1 Says:

    I would not be at all surprised to see Medlen included in a trade. He’s the logical candidate — no defined role with his current team, seemingly recovered from injury, enough results that a suitor could project some upside. In fact, if we do make a trade I’ll be at least a little surprised if he’s NOT included.

  146. 146
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Medlen is available. It would be stupid for him not to be available. He’s one of 6-8 potential starters in the system, even after Vizcaino went down. The question is what they offer in return.

  147. 147
    csg Says:

    He should be available. I just hope we can get more than a one year expensive rental, Byrd or Lee, for him.

  148. 148
    sansho1 Says:

    And while I don’t share Tad’s triumphalism, it should be noted that we are dealing from a position of weakness (and are therefore unlikely to get dollar-for-dollar value) because of the Chipper situation. We have a sudden pressing need that was, frankly, foreseeable. Having to accommodate our fragile icon is having a cascading effect on the roster.

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

    Not having read the books, I thought the scenes in the capital were an analogy to the Roman Empire.

    Very much intentional. The analogies are even more explicit in the books.

  150. 150
    csg Says:

    Did Reed Johnson have a fluke of a season last year? Im sure the Cubs would move him also.

    He put up a 122OPS+, .394BABIP. I doubt he could put up those numbers again.

  151. 151
    justhank Says:

    I’d be very leery of trading Medlen. Our pitching depth is a mile wide and an inch deep.

    JJ, Hanson, Hudson, Teheran – all seem to be strong candidates for a long time on the DL.

  152. 152
    Bethany Says:

    And JJ is likely gone after this year and Hudson is coming off a major operation.

  153. 153
    spike Says:

    @148, I am not sure I would call it a “position of weakness” if the team is perfectly willing not to make any move. You can’t drive down the price for Medlen if, as Wren demonstrated last year, the Braves simply will not make a trade and just deal with it if the proposal isn’t to their liking. The reason they got Bourn for the price they did was it became clear they weren’t dealing any of the pieces Houston initially asked for. Houston, in their minds, needed to make the deal more than Atlanta, and came down on the price. Apart from the fact their will always be multiple teams desperate for young starting pitching to keep bidding honest, the GM just won’t be buffaloed and ownership has his back.

  154. 154
    spike Says:

    (cont’d – not letting me edit in Chrome for some reason)
    Sometimes, I think it keeps good deals from getting made, but it is one of the things I like about Wren is that Escobar excluded, he doesn’t do reaction trades, and insists upon a certain level of return in any deal. The man just won’t overpay (we may differ on assigning value to players, but still).

  155. 155
    csg Says:

    But then our LF options are Parraz, Diaz, Hinske. Thats a huge area of weakness also. Keep in mind we will have to fill holes at 3B, LF, and CF next offseason. We need to move some pitching to fill these areas.

  156. 156
    sansho1 Says:

    Right, our choice at the moment seem to be either 1) make a deal in which we give up more than we receive, or 2) settle for a likely unsatisfying in-house option. That’s the price we’re paying.

  157. 157
    csg Says:

    Add this to the ever increasing list.

    •#Braves LH Robert Fish will see Dr. Andrews on Monday for 2nd opinion on sore elbow. 1st opinion was no tear. Hasn’t pitched in 2 wks. 17 mins ago

  158. 158
    spike Says:

    @155, 156, I agree with the sentiment, but fear that #2 is the likely reality. And I certainly agree that one of Beltran, Willingham, Cody Ross etc look a hell of a lot better now considering the price paid, and that it was a completely foreseeable turn of events. Even without injury to Chipper, some kind of FA bat should have gotten done this offseason.

  159. 159
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Fish wasn’t going to make the team anyway, and as a Rule 5 pick would have been returned to his original team. If he gets operated on, the Braves can stash him on the DL all year if they so desire.

  160. 160
    csg Says:

    Right. Question – Who pays for that surgery if the Braves release him?

  161. 161
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The Braves have decided that pitching is at a premium and that, in the long run, hanging on to young, cheap pitching is more important than meeting specific short-run needs. This goes along with something I read on ESPN.com to the effect that teams aren’t making a lot of deals because they increasingly value young players, especially pitchers, over more expensive veterans whose performance won’t be that much better anyway. That seems to be what is going on here; teams simply won’t give up a lot for Jurrjens,for example, given his injury history, salary, and, I assume, his dubious peripherals. And, given the Braves tight payroll, Wren might believe that the only way to remain competitive is to hold onto pitching, wait for better in-house position alternatives to come along and make do in the meantime.

  162. 162
    Rusty S. Says:

    I like Chris Heisey more than Dusty Baker does. He is certainly not a CF, but I could see him being better than say, Matt Diaz.

  163. 163
    Adam R Says:

    It’s not easy when you don’t have money to spend on FAs and your most eminently trade-able pieces are at lows in their value. I do agree, though, that at this point, Cody Ross for 1 yr/$3 mil looks real good in retrospect.

  164. 164
    Smitty Says:

    Congrats to Ike, who appears to be the winner in the NCAA Tournamet contest.

    I don’t think he can be caught

  165. 165
    spike Says:

    @163, and yet we managed to find room to acquire Diaz and his $2M 2012 contract. That’s the thing you dislike about how the team is run – if there really is little to no money to spare, re-aquiring Diaz is exactly the kind of move to be avoided, but somehow the team always manages to blow real money on a Linebrink or two every year.

  166. 166
    mikemc Says:

    Gee, Who’s this guy Carlyle starting for the Braves today? He’s pitching pretty well.

  167. 167
    Jorge Says:

    Yeah the dog’s bracket fell apart on Sunday. Guess I’ll have to buy him a copy of Javy’s autobiography for his birthday.

  168. 168
    stupup74 Says:

    Are the braves better off using Sutton at 3rd with Prado staying in LF instead of Prado at 3rd and the poo poo platter combo in LF? (Until Chipper comes back)

    I like Sutton over the poo poo combo personally.

  169. 169
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Right now, the Braves are pitching a guy named Ryan Buchter. (I really want to call him “Butcher.”) He’s a 6’3 lefty who has struck out more than a man per inning in the minors. Unfortunately, his walk rate is horrific, which is why he’s a 24-year old who’s never made it above Double-A, but maybe some day he could be a LOOGY.

  170. 170
    PaulV Says:

    FWIW Sandy Koufax was another wild left hander until he was 26,
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/stats/_/id/23910/sandy-koufax
    I think he was a bonus baby that had to kept on ML roster

  171. 171
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I was watching a show the other day and apparently Koufax’s control problems were solved by his catcher one day just saying to him, “don’t throw as hard.” When Koufax stopped trying to throw as hard as he could, his control improved. Why didn’t the Dodgers’ pitching coach think of that?

  172. 172
    ububba Says:

    #169
    Sandy Koufax or… a lefty Ryne Duren.

  173. 173
    ryan c Says:

    Casey Blake was released. Interesting…

  174. 174
    IthacaBraves Says:

    Diaz might be done, he hasn’t bee productive in a while. But is a Diaz/Hinske/Parraz platoon that bad?

  175. 175
    Mac Thomason Says:

    ROYALS.

  176. 176
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Apparently Blake has a neck injury and really can’t play any more.

  177. 177
    csg Says:

    #174 – Yes

  178. 178
    Adam R Says:

    Hey, you know what?

    MLB is back. At some ungodly time tomorrow morning. But back nonetheless.

  179. 179
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Hear, hear!

  180. 180
    Smitty Says:

    @178

    Another example of MLB screwing something up.

  181. 181
    c. shorter Says:

    The commish will be on campus in a couple of weeks for a talk. I’ll ask him about that start time. ha.

  182. 182
    urlhix Says:

    FEAR THE ROYALS IN 2014!

    Jorge, I was rooting for your dog to win the whole thing. Great fun.

    I’m still on the Parraz parade. We have done worse for more money.

  183. 183
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    “We have done worse for more money.”

    Just because he’s cheaper than Raul Mondesi doesn’t make him a good idea.

  184. 184
    spike Says:

    Dodgers just sold for 2 billion dollars. Somebody want to tell me how unprofitable baseball teams are again?

  185. 185
    sdp Says:

    Mother f*ck that sh*t. Runs the franchise into the ground and walks away with $2B.

  186. 186
    JoeyT Says:

    @175, the headline alone cracked me up. That is priceless.

  187. 187
    JoeyT Says:

    Wait, MLB Network is showing opening day on tape delay? I’m glad I have mlb.tv. Still, first game of the year, and your flagship doesn’t even show it live?

  188. 188
    JoeyT Says:

    “For Game 2, we’ll come at you a little after 2 AM Pacific time tomorrow.” This whole thing is a mess.

  189. 189
    JoeyT Says:

    Cespedes just got pegged. I wonder if that’s a “Welcome to the Majors” or just an accident.

  190. 190
    ryan c Says:

    Guys in our fantasy league, don’t forget that our draft is Sunday Night!

  191. 191
    Smitty Says:

    I think it would be a better idea to have major league teams play their last spring training game at a minor league stadium and market the game broader sections of America than to OPEN THE SEASON IN JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!

  192. 192
    ryan c Says:

    Ichiro batting .800 on the year.

  193. 193
    csg Says:

    I know the growing idea in professional sports is to become global, but it really is a poor decision to have opening day in Japan. Most of us here didnt get to see the game and are up this morning checking boxscores for updates. Your mass market is here.

  194. 194
    Adam M Says:

    I love how both the A’s and Mariners have four or five spring training games left.

  195. 195
    Marc Schneider Says:

    MLB trumpets tradition when it suits them but throws it out the window when there’s a chance to make a few bucks. It used to be that Cincinnati was the season opener and it was a big deal. Now they open the season in Japan a week before the rest of the teams and at a time that no one can watch unless they have insomnia. Then they create a playoff system that rewards mediocrity.

    @185,

    Life isn’t fair, is it?

  196. 196
    DJ Says:

    194 – $2B…my goodness. Sounds like McCourt made out like a thief. I’m sure they offered Magic’s group exclusive rights if some absurd # was hit and then Magic’s group bit. Reading between the lines, heir ‘best and final’ must have been significantly higher than the second highest bidder. If the second highest bidder offered $1.2B, then you should offer $1.21B. Especially when the asset is distressed and the owner is forced to sell.

  197. 197
    spike Says:

    @196, this is really the worst case scenario for Bud. The bankruptcy court sale forced MLB to open the process to bidders besides Friends Of Bud, and the real value of these franchises is now apparent to even the dullest observer. Nobody pays that much without the expectation of an ROI that will exceed the purchase price, so it gives the lie to the “poor poor owners hemorrhaging money on those rotten players and their union” story. I hope this will at least kill any salary cap talk for a good bit anyway.

  198. 198
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @197,

    Agreed. And the non-attendence revenue is substantial–at least for teams, unlike the Braves, that did not tie themselves into ridiculously undervalued TV deals. Of course, there is a difference between the value of a team in LA and a team in a much smaller market. The Dodgers are obviously worth a lot more than the Pirates.

    As far as killing talk of a salary cap, the value of the teams are irrelevant to that discussion–at least in the minds of people that advocate it. Even granting that the owners are making money, you would expect that an owner of an LA team would spend proportionately more money on payroll than the Pirates. Marketing for Coca-Cola is a lot more than marketing for Dr. Pepper, even though both are profitable.

  199. 199
    sansho1 Says:

    The tape-delay of the game is silly, but will soon be forgotten. Meanwhile, MLB surely made a mint by playing a couple of games in baseball-mad Tokyo, featuring the return of Ichiro. I doubt they think they made any mistake at all. If you’d seen what used to happen to Seattle when the M’s were in town during Ichiro’s first couple of seasons, the only question you’d be asking yourself is what took them so long.

  200. 200
    spike Says:

    @198, Baseball teams are franchises of a cartel, not a competing businesses like Coke and Pepsi. Of course, when there is income disparity in a cartel, the cartel owners would rather limit the help’s earnings rather than divvy up their own more fairly. Baseball’s anti-trust exemption keeps them from facing legal consequences, but the threat of losing that protection is often just as useful in keeping ownership from doing too much unilaterally. It would be a tough sell to a congressional oversight committee right now.

  201. 201
    Smitty Says:

    @195

    They might be making a few buck now, but thery are killing the game long term.

    They act like they market the game to kids and urban youth, but they really don’t. They are more interested in selling caps in Japan than growing the game in America.

    Just about every town with 100,000 people or more has a minor league team. People in Chattanooga, Pearl, Richmond, Mobile, Knoxville and so forth, should get to see a big league club come to town every so often.

    What would it hurt the Braves to got to Pearl and play an exhibition game before they go to Atlanta?

    I guess it is more important to Bud that people in Tokyo get a chance to see Major League Baseball than building a new fan base in America.

  202. 202
    spike Says:

    Not saying you are wrong at all, but the national evening news in japan has a report on what each Japanese player did that day in MLB every night (well as of two years ago anyway). MLB would be crazy not to exploit this. Others things could be done as you suggest, but the Japanese market is too big and too engaged to ignore

  203. 203
    csg Says:

    DOB – Braves got minor league first baseman/corner outfielder Christian Marrero from the White Sox for cash. He’s 25 and spent past two full seasons in Double-A, but had some good numbers last year — .293 avg/.385 OBP with 25 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers, 10 steals in 115 games (494 PAs). He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

  204. 204
    Hap Says:

    It’s not Pearl, but the Braves are playing an exhibition game against their own minor league players in Gwinnett before the season starts. Bobby Cox is managing the minor league team.

  205. 205
    spike Says:

    For what it’s worth, from futuresox –

    Christian Marrero
    Position: OF/1B
    Born: 7/30/86
    Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 185 B-T: L-L
    Acquired: Drafted 22nd Round in 2005 (Broward CC) and signed as draft and follow
    Career Stats

    FutureSox Prospect Rankings

    #14 – 2009 Postseason
    #15 – 2010 Preseason
    Accolades

    2007 White Sox Best Outfield Arm (Baseball America)
    2009 Carolina League All-Star Game
    2009 All-FutureSox Team 1st Base
    2011 Southern League All-Star Game
    2012 White Sox Best Strike Zone Discipline (Baseball America)
    Scouting report
    Marrero is a solid athlete that put himself on the prospect radar with his 2009 season and solid stats as a pro. He has moved back and forth between the corner outfield spots and first base throughout his career and it’s still unclear where he projects to play in the Majors. In the outfield, he is a good defender with a very good arm. First base doesn’t play to his strength (his arm), but he is adequate there. As a hitter he is able to hit the ball to all fields though his home run power is mostly to rightfield. He has hit lefties decently for a left-hander, but naturally most of his power comes against righties. Marrero has hit for a good average at almost every level of his minor league career and draws walks at a good rate as well. Year-to-year there has been some variation in his stats and his scouting reports aren’t much different. As a result Marrero is a tough player to project. 2011 is the third year he has played for AA Birmingham so it would seem the Sox don’t view him very highly, but he could become a decent bench hitter in the Majors. His younger brother, Christopher, was a first round pick of the Nationals in 2006.

  206. 206
    Johnny Says:

    Christian AND Christopher? Sisters named Christa, Christine, Christina? I obviously have too much time on my hands.

  207. 207
    td Says:

    Question from Mike and Mike this morning (don’t answer if you heard it)

    Who is the only player in MLB to make an appearance in the All Star game for the last 6 years in a row?

  208. 208
    Dusty Says:

    Didn’t hear it, but I assume McCann?

  209. 209
    Tennessee Brave Says:

    Yeah, it was McCann. I actually got that one correct.

  210. 210
    td Says:

    Yeah, it’s McCann – that was too easy on a Braves site. Not very obvious to non Braves fans though.

  211. 211
    John R. Says:

    Just thinking now about Chipper. Went and checked out his lifetime stats against other teams. Of course, he dominates the Mets, but I was surprised to find that his averages line against the Phillies is actually significantly higher. Fifty+ points higher across the board, same total of plate appearances.

    Roughly similar runs and RBI, but far more doubles and walks against the Phils. I’d post the numbers comparison but don’t have the time.

    Anyway, boy I’ll miss Chipper.

  212. 212
    John R. Says:

    Watching a little spring training action on the TV right now. The barrel Eric Hinske used to carry in his chest looks to have migrated down to around his waist.

    Still, he just pushed against the left-field wall, so I guess a little extra tubbiness didn’t hurt him there.

    Also, out of the corner of my eye, Michael Bourn looks a lot like Michael Tucker.

  213. 213
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Freddie with his fifth homer in his last four games. Not bad.

  214. 214
    Bethany Says:

    Freddie is the new Kelly. Incredibly streaky. He’s a ton of fun to watch when he’s on a run.

  215. 215
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The point about playing in Japan, I guess, is to stimulate internet revenue and marketing. This is becoming increasingly important. But, Smitty is right, why doesn’t MLB pay more attention to American fans?

    @200,

    Agree that they are a cartel but that doesn’t mean there won’t be disparities in value. Unlike OPEC, for example, the additional value of one franchise doesn’t benefit another, except indirectly. The fact that the Dodgers are more valuable than the Pirates doesn’t help the Pirates in the short run. Even if the owners can expect a significant increase in equity value when they sell, they aren’t going to run an operating loss. The Pirates could probably spend more than they do and still make a profit, but they can’t spend as much as the Dodgers can because their sources of revenue are more limited. I’m not saying this is right, this is just the way it is.

    That’s the point of the salary cap. Certainly, as it is now, the salary cap in football and basketball is nothing but a wealth transfer from players to owners. And, I’m not advocating that. But it does put teams on relatively equal footing. The Pirates will never be on equal footing with the Dodgers and Yankees regardless of the fact that they may be profitable. In a purely hypothetical scenario where each team had the same budget for players, but it didn’t involve players transferring wealth to players (don’t ask me how this would work, it is purely imaginary), it would be interesting to see which franchises would do better. In football, as unfair as the salary cap is to players, it does result in a relatively equal distribution of talent; it’s just as easy to build a great team in Pittsburgh as in New York. That’s not the way it is in baseball. Sure, the Pirates owners could presumably spend more than they do and still be profitable, but they still could not spend as much as the Yankees without running some kind of operating loss.

    Again, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not advocating a salary cap. But you can’t really say that, just because baseball is a cartel that all teams share equally from it and, therefore, they should all be equal. Look at OPEC; all the members benefit from the higher crude oil prices but obviously, the countries with the most oil benefit the most.

  216. 216
    csg Says:

    JHey had an oppo shot to tie the game today. I havent seen many ST AB’s but I hear the ball is jumping off his bats again. Thats a good sign.

  217. 217
    td Says:

    @213 – Freddie displayed some streakiness with HRs, but his BA through the year was pretty conistent for a rookie if I remember correctly. Otoh, Kelly’s streakiness was legendary. He would go 20 for 50 with 10 HRs and an OPS well above 1.000 and turn around and go 8 for 50 with no HRs and an OPS in the .500 range. I really liked KJ, but dealing with that level of streakiness was not fun. Hopefully we’ll see year long consistency from Uggla and won’t have to suffer through the horrible kind of streak he displayed at the first of the year.

  218. 218
    sansho1 Says:

    I would say that the Dodgers’ sale price reflects, among other factors, MLB’s rousing success at pleasing its fan base.

  219. 219
    spike Says:

    But you can’t really say that, just because baseball is a cartel that all teams share equally from it and, therefore, they should all be equal.

    I am not saying that at all – I am saying that it’s obvious baseball teams are extraordinarily profitable, much more so than MLB has ever admitted, a salary cap is something that must be collectively bargained for, and that the players, public and Congress will take a dim view of the idea in light of this information.

  220. 220
    Mailman Says:

    Can someone tell what the name of the hotel is across the street from Turner field right next to the bullpen bbq place?

  221. 221
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Son: Bluegrass legend, banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs dies in Nashville at age 88; changed music – The Washington Post.

  222. 222
    TheFlyingBernard Says:

    @164 – Thanks, Smitty. My bracket is doing well, but there’s still one permutation that would prevent me from winning the pool: Ohio State over Louisville.

    So it’s not over yet!

  223. 223
    DJ Says:

    I filled out two brackets. In one, I only had 4 of the 8 Elite 8 teams: Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas. Somehow I’m still in second and I need Kansas to beat Ohio State to win it all.

  224. 224
    PaulV Says:

    Just after Flatt and Scruggs broke up I heard rumors that one or the other had died. I asked a woman at the record store and she said Scruggs might as well be dead. The movie Deliverance was a few years later and a roommate drove up to DC to buy a banjo. He was horrible.

  225. 225
    justhank Says:

    Have a day, J-Hey!

    Yeah, I know it was an outside pitch (why would you ever pitch him there?) but it was great to see him take it the other way.

  226. 226
    Bethany Says:

    Oof, this shows just how badly the TV contract was botched: http://pinterest.com/pin/84864774198351680/

  227. 227
    spike Says:

    Two of my favorite Earl records –

    Pike County Breakdown
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2iEON0D3mk

    God Loves His Children
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aRZXHazDfQ

    and no retrospective is complete without this….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGdv10AMj6Q

  228. 228
    spike Says:

    moderate me, mac!

  229. 229
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Well, I guess the Braves don’t trust this new-fangled “TV” thing. It will never replace radio.

  230. 230
    csg Says:

    Oh look, another baseball game was played last night.

  231. 231
    Marc Schneider Says:

    FWIW, on “Clubhouse Confidential” the guy from Fangraphs ranked the Braves as the fourth best organization in baseball and thinks they will take over the NL East when the Phillies fall apart from age.

  232. 232
    Frank Says:

    Asencio sold to the Indians. I think a lot of folks figured he had a spot in the pen.

  233. 233
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I would have thought he would have brought a lottery ticket instead of cash.

  234. 234
    spike Says:

    I guess they think Flande is for real.

    Besides, they had to pay for that Martinez fellow.

  235. 235
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Reading DOB’s column featuring Fredi discussing the shortstop situation. Fredi’s comments illustrated why I find it more and more difficult to listen to Braves management. It’s like listening to Pentagon statements. Fredi would have been the perfect spokesman during the Viet Nam war. It’s not even worth parsing what he said for the stupidity and illogic. Just have to pass it off as “Bravesspeak.”

  236. 236
    JoeyT Says:

    Also, since the other two lefties in the pen have designated roles, the team could use a lefty specialist. That hurt us last year a couple of times. Even though there are two other lefties in the pen, if a starter falls apart in the 6th with a lefty up, Fredi wouldn’t bring in either of them.

  237. 237
    jj3bagger Says:

    232- I guess that virtually assures Gearrin has a spot.

    O’Ventbrel
    Lisp
    Medlen
    Gearrin
    Flande/Varvaro ??

    I was really hoping Hoover could have grabbed one of the last spots.

  238. 238
    ububba Says:

    #227
    Whee-doggies! Good stuff…

    #235
    Not exactly “the best” or “the brightest,” is he?

  239. 239
    JoeyT Says:

    I still can’t fathom that the Dodgers right now are worth nearly 50% more than Man U was worth in 2005. Manchester United is a major global brand. The Dodgers are international, sure, but nothing like Man U.

    I can’t even begin to imagine what the Yankees are actually worth.

  240. 240
    Bethany Says:

    Now that ST is nearly over, do you guys feel that Pastornicky is the best option at SS? I wish Simmons had some more experience, because I’d rather have his defense out there.

  241. 241
    spike Says:

    @239, Think about the Dodgers revenue stream – what would you pay for around 250m/yr just in TV? That’s before anything else, merch money, ticket sales, parking, concessions, licensing, MLB TV money etc. and a soft labor cap of 178M?

    An ROI of roughly 8 years on 2 BILLION, even if all the other money is a wash (and I doubt very seriously that it’s a wash) is an outrageously good deal, and that’s not even factoring in appreciation of the core assets.

  242. 242
    Ethan Says:

    @226- Ugh. The foresight in that is unbelievable. Hopefully, someone is fired.

  243. 243
    krugerindustrialsmoothing Says:

    just finished Hunger Games, the book. I can now recommend it to my 15 year old, the 13 yr old is a little too sensitive for the hand to hand combat, fight to the death bits and that is fine by me. No way do I run it by the 10yr old in my house.

    Either way, I think all of them miss the point of the injustice of one central authority. or at least they will not be able to appreciate it in the same way as I do watching the stock market take my money every day as I contribute to the economy at the same time. sigh. hopefully the next 2 books are more positive.

  244. 244
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @226,

    Someone on here suggested a while ago that the TV deal, done while TW owned the team, reflected an internal company transfer. It made sense at the time but does not now. If that’s the case, no one will be fired because they did nothing wrong. Liberty Media took the team because they wanted to get rid of TW stock and get some tax advantages. I would assume that someone who was buying the team because they wanted a baseball team would have either factored in the poor TV deal into their purchase price or not bought the team. Liberty Media didn’t care, presumably, because they didn’t consider the Braves a core asset anyway. All in all, it seems that Time-Warner screwed the Braves fan base royally.

  245. 245
    Frank Says:

    Would have kept Asencio; he hasn’t looked like anything special at the ML level but he hasn’t really had much of a chance. Plus, someone has to handle the low leverage innings.

    Flande’s stats at AAA are worse than Asencio’s but he does have the ability to go multiple innings. This would be more valuable if Medlen were being considered to be Hudson’s temporary replacement in the rotation.

  246. 246
    jj3bagger Says:

    226- That obviously is not good, but I can’t help but think the cost per subscriber by far being the lowest (next closest, the Mets, are still over 4X the price) has a huge amount to do with how many subscribers SportsSouth has.

  247. 247
    Bethany Says:

    @243 The last book is INCREDIBLY bleak, so don’t expect anything more cheery.

  248. 248
    ububba Says:

    If the Dodgers buyer has its own broadcast network, like the Yankees’ YES or the Mets’ SNY or the Red Sox’s NESN, that’s a lotta money for a long, long time.

  249. 249
    jj3bagger Says:

    248- That’s why I don’t understand why they would sell the rights to Fox, when starting your own network would be the thing to do.

  250. 250
    mravery Says:

    If you’re uninterested in putting the time and effort into creating and marketing a network, selling the broadcast rights for a bundle doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all.

  251. 251
    Bethany Says:

    Apparently Jason just hit a massive home run. I really hope he and Freeman are tearing up the league together this year.

  252. 252
    @VoteMcCann2011 Says:

    @226

    Funny I used to know Mr. Niesse from my days back at UGA. Strange to see his hair so grey already.

    That the network is only pulling in about $.57 a subscriber doesn’t seem to say anything about the state of the team’s TV deal other than to suggest that the team’s share is coming out of a smaller than expected pie. What the networks make per subscriber is more an indication of how the subscription services (Comcast, Charter, etc.) view the value of Sportsouth in terms of its potential to increase or maintain their customer base versus other cable networks that they also offer (ESPN, TBS, etc.).

    In other words: the greater the demand for a network that the local cable company carries the more money per subscriber they are able to command.

  253. 253
    Dusty Says:

    Mark Bowman‏@mlbbowman

    After pitching a perfect eighth today, Venters said his arm “could not have felt any better.” It was his first appearance since 3/18

  254. 254
    csg Says:

    Per MLBTR – We are expressing our interest in Xavier Nady.

    Do you remember when he was good in like 2008? I guess we cant have enough of these Diaz/Hinske type players. OPS the last 3 years – .739/.660/.646

  255. 255
    mravery Says:

    It’s also important to remember when talking about profits/costs for TV deals that when the team owns its own station (like the YES network), they can essentially put whatever price they want to on the TV rights, because the team is selling them to itself. The same number ends up on both sides of the balance sheet. This lets teams claim a very small amount of revenue from the TV deal (allowing them to plead poverty and not spend on FAs) and the TV portion to claim a fantastic profit since they don’t have to pay market value for the TV deal. It’s all just screwing around with the numbers and doesn’t impact the real-world viability or cost of the TV contract, but it is important to keep in mind when you look at these types of numbers. In a lot of cases, the teams are showing you whatever they want you to see.

  256. 256
    ububba Says:

    Dawgs suspend 2 starters.

    Baccari Rambo uses the old accidental-pot-brownie defense. Who’s his attorney, Victor Conte?

    http://tinyurl.com/6rkld6d

  257. 257
    Mark Grogan Says:

    Indians picked up Asencio-Valdez to keep Hernandez-Carmona company, I guess. Glad I don’t work in the Cleveland front office. It could get confusing on pay day.

  258. 258
    PeteOrr Says:

    Heyward with longer hair, beard, and massive homers to straightaway center… I’m in love.

  259. 259
    Adam M Says:

    I have always liked Wren’s broad strokes–his larger plan usually makes good sense. But it’s the smaller moves I find baffling: the refusal to keep Heyward in the minors for three weeks, the Diaz trade, today’s Acensio deal. This one is a head scratcher. He truly looked like the best bet to be the right-handed non-Kimbrel out of the pen. Medlen has reverse platoon splits, Vizcaino is dine for a year, Varvaro tanked this spring, and Gearrin looks like a ROOGY. Flande better be good.

  260. 260
    csg Says:

    Adam, I think we are all scratching our heads on the deal today. Wren used the “we need someone who can pitch multiple innings” speech today regarding the trade. Im not buying that because we have LISP and Medlen in the pen already.

    The Rangers are needing a RH’d bat and are willing to move Uehara. I wonder if Wren could be sneaky enough to get Uehara for Diaz + prospect. Wishful thinking of course, but the Rangers seem desperate to move him. Too bad Diaz just fits the RH’d portion of that and not the “bat” portion.

  261. 261
    JoeyT Says:

    I’m good with the Acensio deal. He’s out of options, he won’t be on the 25, so it’s good to get some cash. It looked like him, Varvaro, and Gearrin competing for the last spot, and I think Gearrin is a much better pitcher than the other two.

  262. 262
    justhank Says:

    The “someone who can pitch multiple innings” is named Buddy Carlyle.

    As underappreciated as John Kay and Steppenwolf.

  263. 263
    ryan c Says:

    Our RH bat is just waiting to be plucked away from San Diego.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=blanks001kyl

  264. 264
    Johnny Says:

    #263 – I wonder why that kid is still in the minors? I know the big caveat is that alot of that offense resume was built in the PCL but I’d have to guess that he simply can’t catch or field a baseball.

  265. 265
    spike Says:

    He had Tommy John surgery for one thing.

    Here’s a good article – http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/free-kyle-blanks/

  266. 266
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Oh, I would love me some Kyle Blanks. I can’t imagine he’d come cheap… but I would love to spin the wheels on that. He might be a guy who could play left field badly and make up for it by raking.

    Of course, he might also just be a Quad-A slugger, but I’d roll the dice on him.

  267. 267
    Frank Says:

    me too

  268. 268
    jjschiller Says:

    The motion is seconded and committed.

  269. 269
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Query: Does the Braves front office really think this team is as good as they say or are they just puffing because they don’t have the payroll to improve?

  270. 270
    Johnny Says:

    #269 – The front office has a good case:
    1. Heyward won’t be as bad as he was last season.
    2. Neither will Prado.
    3. A full season of Bourne.
    4. The best back 3 of a bullpen in baseball.
    5. A full season of Uggla and not the imposter that sucked so bad for 80 games last season.
    6. BMac is BMac and not the guy that played in August and September.

    Despite all the bad stuff the team won 89 games and was within a whisker of the playoffs. I really think that this is the way the front office is thinking.

    Or the front office is on crack:
    1. Jair Jurrjens pitched his ass off the first half and isn’t likely to repeat that performance.
    2. Freeman and Uggla got hotter than a solar flare and carried the team for a couple of weeks. How likely is that to happen again?
    3. One or all three of O’Ventbral’s arms will fall off. The reduction in performance late last season was the start of a trend and not an abberration.
    4. Bourne is the guy that played for us and not the guy we traded for.
    5. Hudson and Chipper start the season on the DL.

    The team won 89 games but was lucky to get that and September is the true inidicator of the team’s talent level. This seems to be the consensus among the press and more than a few Braves fans.

  271. 271
    Bethany Says:

    Bourne is also going into a contract year. He’s going to have a good year.

  272. 272
    Stu Says:

    At least my NL-only dynasty team, J-Deez Nuts, is poised to make a championship run this year! I’ve got 35% of my roster left to fill and 40% of my budget with which to do it. Need six more hitters to add to M. Montero, W. Ramos, Da. Murphy, E. Bonifacio, Z. Cozart, G. Stanton, E. Young Jr., and R. Bernadina; need two more pitchers to add to Z. Greinke, M. Latos, J. Niese, J. Santana, L. Lynn, B. Wilson, and S. Marshall. With G. Brown, J. Taillon, T. Skaggs, C. Martinez, and three other prospects to be added within the next week down on the farm, it’s a good time to be a Nut!

    (I know you don’t care. Sorry.)

  273. 273
    hpotter Says:

    Braves sign Livan LOL

  274. 274
    Stu Says:

    LOLWAT.

  275. 275
    Bethany Says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

  276. 276
    Mike N. Says:

    Well at least we won’t have to face him 24 times this year.

  277. 277
    Stu Says:

    My mother is, predictably, in complete Meltdown Mode over the Livan signing.

  278. 278
    Bob Says:

    Livan? Is a trade coming??

  279. 279
    Nick Says:

    Either a trade is coming or Wren was severely underwhelmed by Delgado and Teheran this spring.

  280. 280
    c. shorter Says:

    Livan?

    pause.

    Livan?

  281. 281
    Jorge Says:

    I’m going to have to root for the Braves to win a lot of 8 to 5 games when he’s pitching.

  282. 282
    F Says:

    Perhaps they intend to keep Delgado and Teheran in the minors, Medlen in the bullpen and Livan as the 5th starter?

  283. 283
    Dan Says:

    Braves sign Livan Hernandez? What the hell happened to all that great “pitching depth”?

    If Hernandez or Carlyle makes a lot of starts, it will, as it was with Carlyle in 2008, be a bad sign about the Atlanta Braves’ chances of making the playoffs in 2012.

  284. 284
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Well, John Smoltz is no longer my least favorite Brave.

  285. 285
    Remy Says:

    At least Livan can hit.

  286. 286
    Stu Says:

    He’s slotted in the ‘pen as the long man. This means The Lisp can actually pitch meaningful innings, and Gearrin will be in Gwinnett. Sounds like it has no effect on the 5th-starter competition.

  287. 287
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Possibilities: trade on the way (already noted) or Livian goes the El Duque route and becomes an option in the pen. He just got cut by the Astros, so it’s not like he has a lot of “start me or trade me” leverage.

  288. 288
    Smitty Says:

    Maybe Livan is going to platoon with Diaz in left.

    Livan likes his money.

  289. 289
    Dan Says:

    He’s slotted in the ‘pen as the long man.

    Medlan to be traded?

  290. 290
    Stu Says:

    No.

  291. 291
    Gaz Says:

    Hopefully this is just part of the plan to get Livan out of the league so he can never hurt us again…

  292. 292
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New post.

  293. 293
    spike Says:

    Maybe they finally got the right deal for Minor.

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