Chipper at cleanup? Vegemite at Daytona 500? News at 11

  Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – So I asked Chipper Jones today about possibly hitting cleanup instead of his preferred No. 3 hole, and he didn’t scoff or look at me like I’m an idiot. That was encouraging.

  Instead, he kept lacing his cleats and said in that slow drawl: “We’ll make the decision based on personnel. If we get a 3-hitter I’ll hit cleanup. If we get a cleanup hitter, I’ll hit third.”

 Well, folks, at this point available cleanup hitters would appear to be in short supply.

 If the Braves get Ken Griffey Jr., which it appears they have a strong chance of doing, then he’s not likely to hit fourth. Not at this stage of his career, and particularly not if he’s used in a left-field platoon with Matt Diaz.

 Griffey has his second-most career at-bats from the cleanup spot, but it’s a distant second to the 3-hole, where he’s had more than 7,600 of his 9,316 career at-bats. He hit third for 327 of his 490 at-bats last season, and actually had more at-bats hitting sixth (58), seventh (47) and second (21) than cleanup (20).

 In other words, the erstwhile “Kid” ain’t a kid anymore, and almost certainly ain’t going to be cleaning up.

 And, although Brian McCann hit well in the cleanup spot last season after the Braves traded Mark Teixeira, it’s not ideal having a catcher in the cleanup spot, since he’s probably going to be out of the lineup on a regular basis once every five or six games.

 (Yes, I know: Chipper’s going to be out of the lineup more than that, for injuries. But that’s not the point.)

 “You want your three and four [hitters] to be set,” Jones said. “I realize you can’t do anything about injuries. But you still want those guys to be hitting there in those spots consistently.”

  So, don’t expect Jones to complain if Bobby Cox asks him to hit cleanup. Among the guys the Braves have been considering in trades, Nick Swisher is not a cleanup hitter but, as Chipper pointed out, Xavier Nady could be.

  Among free agents, Garret Anderson certainly could hit cleanup. But I don’t get the impression the Braves are too keen on signing the 37-year-old outfielder, who’d have to switch leagues and having him switch leagues and play the outfield if he’s in the lineup (he had 240 at-bats as a DH last season).

 Besides, I’ve got feeling they’re going to sign Griffey. And Tom Glavine. Then the money will be about gone, and it’ll be about deciding who hits third if Chipper hits cleanup. Griffey could do it, at least against right-handers, but what about facing lefties?

 Maybe Kelly Johnson could hit third?

 Or, as Jones suggested a while back, maybe Francoeur has his act together and could hit cleanup. (Hey, I didn’t say I believed that to be at all likely.)

  OTHER MATTERS

   –  Jordan Schafer isn’t a punk kid anymore. At least that’s the impression I got today, from observing and talking to him, and to others about him.

  A year ago, he fairly strutted around camp. He concedes today that was his way of dealing with feeling out of place, as if everyone was staring at the then-No. 1 prospect whose stock soared after his performance in the low minors in 2007. Dude already had a Nike endorsement last spring, and hadn’t played above A-ball.

   A year later, he seems more subdued, mature, and confident — but not the seemingly false bravado he showed last spring. After a difficult Double-A season that included a 50-game suspension for alleged HGH use (Schafer insists he never used HGH, but that he made bad choices in those he associated with), the kid from nearby Polk County just wants to compete for a job this spring, then have a consistent season whether he’s in the majors or at Triple-A Gwinnett.

   The way he’s swinging in the cages during early workouts with a handful of other early arriving position players, Schafer looks ready to give Josh Anderson a serious battle for the CF job. Schafer’s put on 15 pounds since last season, and now has the thick, roped forearms that you see on bricklayers and guys who hit thousands and thousands of baseballs.

   Oh, and he’s got tattoos covering both arms from elbow to shoulder (and perhaps more; I didn’t see him with his shirt off, but had him pull up his sleeves to show me his ink after I saw the tatts below the bottoms of the sleeves on his polo shirt.

  ”I feel confident now,” said the 22-year-old, who’s still driving a Hummer that he said cost him a fortune to operate when gas was around $4 and he was home in Florida serving his suspension. “Not like last year. I don’t feel like an outcast anymore. Matt’s helped me a lot.”

  That’d be Diaz, a fellow Central Floridian and one of the more popular Braves in the clubhouse in recent years. Diaz is mature, personable, humble — oh, and about 20 pounds lighter than last season, after following an entirely new diet and plyometrics conditioning program all winter. Diaz also has a grip that could break your fingers, and those forearms I mentioned earlier, hitter/bricklayer forearms — Diaz is bigger in the arms this spring, despite his dramatic weight loss

  But where were we? Oh, yes, Schafer.

  ”I’m just trying to come in here and show Bobby [Cox], Frank [Wren] and T.P. [hitting coach Terry Pendleton] that I’m ready, mentally and physically,” he said.

  Pendleton’s assessment after several days watching him in the batting cages and clubhouse: “He’s growing up. Last year he came in here like [Pendleton looks around, wide-eyed], ‘I’m here.’ This year I can say this: He looks like he’s on a mission. There’s a different look in his eyes.”

  – Aussie-rules racing: Marcos Ambros is the first Australian to race NASCAR, and he invited a couple of his countryman over to Daytona for qualifying Friday. Braves relievers Peter Moylan and Phil Stockman both said it was one of the most exciting, enjoyable days they’d ever had. Ever. In their lives.

    ”I’m a fan now, man,” said Moylan, who was thrilled with the racing and the courtesy that Ambros and his crew showed them.

       ”Once you get in those pits, you’re hooked.” — Bobby Cox on Aussie pitchers Peter Moylan and Phil Stockman professing to be NASCAR converts after spending a day at Daytona qualifying in the pit area and trailer of Australian driver Marcos Ambros.

   The Aussie pitchers were blown away by the size of the speedway, the crowds, and the sheer number of workers it takes to run a NASCAR team.

   Stockman talked like a kid a Christmas about the experience, everything, including the laps they got to take in a pace car, though the 6-foot-8 Stockman asked to stop after two trips around, as he was about to throw up from steep-banked turns. Might have been the Vegemite-on-toast that Ambros shared with Stockman and Moylan (folks Down Under like that salty, bitter condiment a lot more than most other human beings do, and both pitchers loved it when they saw Ambros chowing down on Vegemite).

   “He’s just a good bloke,” Stockman said of the driver, who is a major celebrity in Australia. 

   When Moylan saw noted race fan Chipper Jones enter the clubhouse Saturday, he shouted to the third baseman, “I see how you rednecks do it now,” meaning how so many of them could watch races for hours on end. Jones just  gave him a knowing smile.

   -- OK, been a long day, and I’ve got to be back out at the ballpark early for the first pitchers-and-catchers workout tomorrow.

 

 

“MAN IN BLACK” by Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black

Why you never see bright colors on my back,

And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.

Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

 

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,

 livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town.

I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,

but is there because he’s a victim of the times.

 

I wear the black for those who never read,

or listened to the words that Jesus said,

 About the road to happiness through love and charity

Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

 

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose.

In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes.

 But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,

up front there oughta be a Man In Black.

 

I wear it for the sick and lonely old.

For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold.

 I wear the black in mournin’ for the lives that could have been.

Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

 

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,

believing that the Lord was on their side.

 I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,

believing that we all were on their side.

 

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,

and things need changin’ everywhere you go.

 But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right,

you’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

 

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,

and tell the world that everything’s OK.

But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,

till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

 

 

102 comments Add your comment

Canadianbrave

February 15th, 2009
11:49 am

dogsbrekky

Been eating Marmite since I was a kid Great stuff. Yeast extract. I think its the same thing as Vegemite. I spoon it right out of the little jar. Everyone I have known thinks I’m crazy!

KC

February 15th, 2009
8:18 pm

TnBrian, I don’t think those are bad guesses. Though, if I were to make a prediction today, while optimistic… I wouldn’t be quite that optimistic. I’ll wait till end of March to go on record with a prediction, but if I were to guess now, I’d say:

Lowe: 16-10, 3.25 ERA

Vazquez: 15-9, 3.65 ERA

Jurrjens: 15-8, 3.60 ERA

Kawakami: 12-9, 4.00 ERA

Glavine: 13-10, 4.15 ERA

Numerous scouts have expressed a belief that Vazquez is poised to have a very nice season in ATL. They point out that he’s trading the DH & a hitter’s paradise of a park for the NL & a pitcher’s park… and I’ve heard more than one person predict that he’ll find a far greater comfort zone in ATL under Bobby Cox than he had under Ozzie Guillen, whose management style isn’t for everyone. I agree with them. I think he’ll put up numbers somewhat in line with his 07 production.

And I think Jurrjens could very well take a step forward and establish himself as a legitimate ace… but I’m not comfortable predicting that at this point. I might feel differently by the end of the spring. I’ll wait and see how he looks. I definitely disagree with those who predict that he’ll take a step back, though. Not sure what they’re basing that on. He has 4 pitches, outstanding stuff, very good control, and a great approach/makeup. Should be at least as good as he was last year. Probably better.

I have no idea what to make of Kawakami yet, having never seen him pitch (except for a few video clips). But if the Braves, who have undoubtedly scouted the hell out of the guy, are comfortable giving him 21 million… I’m comfortable predicting a decent ERA.

I think Glavine probably still has something left in the tank, and should be a productive starter, particularly for a 5th starter. If he’s healthy, it’s hard to imagine why Jamie Moyer (who is several years older and quite similar to Glavine in many ways) can do it, but Glavine couldn’t.

In looking forward to what kind of records Braves starters might put up, it’s worth noting that their win totals should be helped by what promises to be an outstanding bullpen. And I think the offense is going to be better than many expect as well (particularly if we sign Griffey), which will also, quite obviously, affect win totals.

Andy K.

February 16th, 2009
12:44 am

Just found something really interesting. Everyone remember Frenchy’s “The Natural” SI cover? Well, take a look at this:

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii7/theondeckcircle/griffey1.jpg

KC

February 16th, 2009
12:46 am

Andy K. GREAT point about T.Moore!! lol

It might actually be tough on More though… I understand that Griffey has a restraining order on him. Apparently, the extent of Moore’s adoration for Griffey began to creep him out. Can’t say that I blame him.

KC

February 16th, 2009
12:50 am

Chop Chop: “I wish Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser were available. The Braves could use some right-handed thump in that lineup.”

Heck, I’m available. I hit right-handed in high school, and am more than willing to stick a needle in my ass for 10 million a year!!!

richbrave

February 16th, 2009
12:55 am

McFANN:

O.K. young lady. Sharpen up those fingers and get ready to send reports of the sparkling new GWINNETT BRAVES come APRIL. I’ll be reading with anticipation. See STOCKMAN, LEREW, and a bunch of former R-BRAVES are out of options. Can’t see many clearing waivers, so it’ll be a new franchise player-wise. Check out DAVE BRUNDIGE and see if you like him as much as I did the past two years. I still think he’s the man destined for the ATLANTA skipper’s slot once BC calls it a career.

richbrave

February 16th, 2009
12:58 am

KC:

Hot damm. I KNEW that rumor about TMo and Junior was more than a mere man-crush thing.

Supes

February 16th, 2009
12:58 am

KC,

I think you lost all credibility with your 2009 “BRAVES” predictions and stats when you posted those ridiculous numbers that you think Jeff Francine is going to produce.

Shame, b/c the rest of the numbers weren’t that far fetched!

One last thing, everyone talking about Tim Kirkjian doesn’t know what the frak they are talking about. The guy knows his stuff. He’s also spoken positively about the Braves more than anyone on ESPN in recent years. If he feels the Braves are about a 81 win team you should respect that b/c he knows more baseball than the rest of you (who slammed the guy) combined!

For the record, the Braves even with Glavine and Griffey Jr are about a 81 win team to me. A heck of a lot has to go “right” just like KC said for the Braves to go 88 plus wins and a playoff appearance. Could it happen…probably. But then again, we thought they’d be a division contending team last year as well and that didn’t turn out so well.

Anyways, 81 wins and lower expectations. Anything else will be a bonus.

richbrave

February 16th, 2009
1:02 am

SUPES:

And less???? Wait, don’t tell me. Let me guess.

Saff

February 16th, 2009
1:07 am

haha true Braves fans don’t settle for 81 wins SUPES thats a joke this is one of the most successful franchises of all time i expect us to win 90 the rotation we have is good and the lineup is not as bas as most of you think kelly is going to hit for more power and so will others go Braves we will make the playoffs in 09
yours truly

Andrew

February 16th, 2009
1:39 am

everyone guessing stats for every player on the team is a little much

Andrew

February 16th, 2009
1:41 am

DOB- will the braves have restrictions for javy pitching in the WBC?

KC

February 16th, 2009
1:47 am

Supes, the post you saw earlier with the numbers was NOT a prediction. I stated that in that post, and again in another post a short while ago (in bold print, no less).

AGAIN… those numbers were not a prediction. I said I thought those numbers would be a very practical expectation IF Francoeur bounces back. I didn’t predict that he WOULD… I just said that if he did, those numbers were probably reasonable to expect from the Braves lineup.

For the record, I do think Francoeur is more likely than not to return to pre-2008 form, but that’s certainly no sure thing, and I’m not comfortable predicting that yet. I’ll wait till the end of spring to make any predictions I’m willing to be held to.

If you want set your expectations at 81 wins to increase your odds of being pleasantly surprised, so be it. Personally, I think it would take another chain of near tragic events for the Braves to finish at or below .500 again.

Last year, the Braves lost their top 4 starters, the closer, and their setup man for much or all of the season. I have NEVER seen anything like that in my life. In any sport. To any team. It’s pretty damned unlikely that we’ll see that again, but it’s not all about luck. The Braves took steps to decrease the odds of anything like that happening again.

Instead of relying on Mike Hampton and two 40-plus starters at the top of the rotation… they’ve brought in two of the most durable starters in baseball (Lowe and Vazquez), and another relatively durable starter in Kawakami.

As for what to expect, I agree with Dayn Perry’s take on the Braves… If the Braves have a healthy bullpen and get a little more offense (A Francoeur bounce-back and the addition of Griffey would do the trick), the Braves can win this division. If not, they can’t. Perry said he thought the Braves looked like an 85 win team, and pending the answers to the afore mentioned questions (bullpen health and offense), they could be much better.

I think that’s a very fair assessment.

Bravo Nam

February 16th, 2009
1:48 am

I think there are many positives about the Griffey signing. I just hope that his agent is not using the Braves as leverage, in a similar way to Furcal’s.

DOB

You’ve been talking about certain players as easy to talk to or get on with, implying there are others who are not. Care to elaborate?

JT

February 16th, 2009
1:54 am

Anyone else concerned about Kawakami? Not the pitch he threw over the bullpen wall, or that he was nervous on his first day- how about the fact that he’s used to pitching every 6 or 7 days, and now at age 33 he’ll be moved to a 5 man rotation? Are the Braves going to compensate for this at all? Just wondering- seems like we could actually use 6 starters (or at least 1 good long reliever) on the roster, to give Kawakami a rest early in the season.

ProEye

February 16th, 2009
1:55 am

DOB… You seem a bit more relaxed nowadays compared to last fall… Not sure if it’s personal, because the Braves cleaned up this off season, or what. Nice to see though… ;-)

KC

February 16th, 2009
2:01 am

Supes As for your Tim Kirkjian defense… I’m sure he’s a smart baseball guy. However, it’s often the case the national writers don’t pay close attention to a particular team, and are off base for that reason.

For instance, Jurrjens is largely ignored by national writers. Most everyone I’ve heard (within baseball) who has seen him pitch with any regularity has raved about him and express a belief that he’s a developing top-of-rotation starter. But some of the national writers I’ve heard seem talk about him like he’s a back-end guy. Bottom line is they haven’t seem him pitch much, if at all.

And I heard one national writer say recently that Hanson was probably a “couple years away”, and wasn’t likely to be ready to help this year, if needed. That’s the opposite of everything scouts are saying about him, and the statement was just plain ignorant on his part.

So I’m always a little suspicious of the depth of familiarity national writers have with a particular ball club when they comment on a team. I’m not sure where Tim Kirkjian is coming from with his 81 win assessment, but it’s not at all in line with assessments I’ve heard from many other qualified (and likely far more familiar) observers… some of whom have no stock in this Braves team.

Bases on what I’ve seen, I think Tim’s take on this team is way off base. I’ll make an 85 win wager right now. You name the terms.

Chop Chop

February 16th, 2009
2:30 am

I’ll give the starters, oh, 64 wins or so…

Lowe: 15-10, 3.47 ERA (33 starts)

Vazquez: 13-14, 3.82 ERA (34 starts)

Jurrjens: 14-9, 3.67 ERA (30 starts)

Kawakami: 8-9, 4.34 ERA (26 starts)

Glavine: 6-6, 4.65 ERA (15 starts)

Reyes: 2-2, 5.06 ERA (8 starts)

Morton: 1-3, 5.23 ERA (5 starts)

Hanson: 6-2, 3.52 ERA (11 starts)

Anyway, that adds up to a 65-55 record for the starters. (For point of reference, the Braves’ starters went 50-58…I think…last year.) That’s not that bad. Bobby would get twelve more decisions and fifteen more wins out of his starting rotation. Gaining thirteen more wins overall (from 72-90 to my prediction: 85-77) would be the result of Wren’s additions. Meanwhile, the payroll would be about the same. Again, that’s not bad. If the hitting improves, maybe those totals bump up a couple of games, but I don’t see this team winning the division or making the playoffs. I have a feeling that the team will be just good enough to keep our interest all year. That’s not a bad thing at all.

Hanson’s my bright side to this season. If he performs the way I’m predicting, we’ll be looking forward to a truly strong rotation in 2010. (The fact that I’m not sold on Kawakami and my strong doubt about Glavine’s ability, if he’s signed, to overcome the wear and tear of his 4413 career IP both make me skeptical about the solidity of the rotation.)

I hope that my predictions end up being wrong…in a good way.

NotForMe

February 16th, 2009
2:32 am

Sorry not for me…didnt know when you copy and paste that it shows that person’s name. I copied KC’s post from your post. Still getting used to the changes. ERIC

no problem, I was just busting KC’s chops a bit, since he is the eternal optimist

Chop Chop

February 16th, 2009
2:33 am

(Note: I was typing that before I noticed that KC was talking about 85 wins. I rarely agree with anything he says, but 85 wins (plus-minus a couple either way) sounds about right.

NickB

February 16th, 2009
2:38 am

You know , I brought up this idea ( of using either Griffey or Edmionds in a platoon with Diaz) up like 2 months ago and got called an idiot by most folks ( granted DOB thought it was a good idea barring Dunn or Abreu coming cheap). I don’t seem to remember so many folks in favor of it back then! Alright guys, come clean!!

It has the potential to be a great platoon and the downside is he gets hurt and B Jones get’s some playing time. Neither option is that bad !

NotForMe

February 16th, 2009
2:46 am

Dude, what are you talking about?

As for the “eternal optimist” title… I don’t mind the title, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being optimistic as long as you realistically recognize the challenges. That said, it always surprises me a little how often that’s said, considering that I’m nowhere near the most optimistic regular on this blog. Just today I’ve seen a couple of predictions that were WAY more optimistic than anything I’d dare predict.

But hey… whatever. Typecast actors are always the best paid! Maybe if I’m typecast here long enough, someone will offer to pay me for my opinions! Hey, I can dream.

BA

February 16th, 2009
2:47 am

McFann, or any other helpful friendly bloggers, how do you post a link in this new format?

I wonder if Bravesfan79 will be concerned about Moylan when they trade or release Stockman, his fellow countryman.

KC

February 16th, 2009
2:48 am

Sorry y’all that last “NotForMe” post was actually from me. I meant to address it to NotForMe, but instead typed his handle in the “name” field by accident. My bad.

KC

February 16th, 2009
3:01 am

Chop Chop, I think your ERA predictions are very reasonable for Lowe, Vazquez, and Jurrjens. If I had to guess, I think the Kawakami ERA might be just a tad high, but I guess I’m talking out of my a$$ until I’ve at least had a chance to see him this spring (just going on the confidence the Braves have in him).

I also tend to think that Glavine’s comeback is more likely than not to go better than you predict… though you could very well be right. And I’m not sure I can see Hanson, Reyes, and Morton ALL getting several starts this year. Though, if Glavine can’t stay healthy, Hanson could well wind up getting a good number of starts this year, as you projected.

In short, to restate what I said earlier… I agree with Dayn Perry that if the Braves get more offense (Griffey and a Francoeur bounce-back) and a healthy bullpen, they can win this division. If not, they can’t.

Right now, with questions still to be answered, 85 wins is probably a very reasonable estimate. But I feel this team may be capable of much better IF Frenchy gets his sh!t together and the Braves enjoy reasonably good health.

But if all they get out of this year is a solid 85 win season… that’ll be ok. Everything Wren did this winter (and may still do) was done WITHOUT eroding the depth of young talent in the system. So better days are likely ahead… whatever the Braves do this year.

johnf

February 16th, 2009
3:19 am

545 comments on your blog..hats off….as far as long day got to be at the ballpark tomorrow…c’mon man…you’re reeling off baseball observations and quoting songs…that’s what we do in our SPARE time..good for you DOB. Go Junior.

ccrider

February 16th, 2009
3:25 am

TO REALITY and mbatl: Reality, as usual you make your twisted logic by picking the stats you like, not the most accurate of the situation. Prado’s minor league stats don’t count in the majors. Prado’s 2008 Major League slugging % against lefties was over .500, somewhat better than Kelly’s. You can be as negative about aspects of the Braves you don’t like(which appears to be most things BRAVES), but at least make your arguments with the pertinent stats. I agree, unlike some, that Kelly deserves to be the starter, but against lefties he is a slight dropoff from the Prado of 2008.
mbatl, You’ve made many good posts in the past, don’t get sucked into the REALITY BLACK HOLE OF NEGATIVE ENERGY, it leads to oblivion!

jcfromut

February 16th, 2009
4:11 am

With some people being concerned with the # of innings pitched by Glavine Kawakami and Hanson, how about a kind of 6 man rotation. The first 3 would stay in the same slots and the last 3 would rotate turns. This way they could all stay fresh, avoid injury or fatigue and Hanson could still develop without a huge workload. The only problem would be that it would take an arm away from the pen. But with Hanson you could send him to Gwinette when not pitching and bring another guy up. Options count for the entire season, so we wouldn’t have to be concerned with using all of Hansons options. Any thoughts?

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 16th, 2009
7:10 am

DOB, I know where that place is…it’s about 45 miles or so from my house.

David O'Brien

February 16th, 2009
7:17 am

Could be a big day for the Bravos. I fully expect the Griffey thing to be decided by Wednesday, and there’s a good chance we’ll find out as soon as today if Junior is coming to Atlanta. I think he is, folks, I really do. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ll let you know after I go down to clubhouse before the workout about who we might be able to get to come on the blog for 15 minutes or so after practice today. OK, gotta get over to the ballpark

Oh, and I love this comment posted while ago:

you’re reeling off baseball observations and quoting songs…that’s what we do in our SPARE time..good for you johnf

Yeah, that’s all we do, John. That’s it. Nothing to do it.

Thanks for distilling a 12-hour workday to “that’s what we do in our spare time.”

And to the accountants who complain about working at a desk for 10 hours a day — quiet, pal, paying bills and figuing my checkbook is what I do in my spare time.

To anyone who complains about mowing lawns or working on landscape for 10 hours is tough — pipe down, son, that’s what I do in my spare time.

Those who think you’re cook jobs are tough — gimme a break, I cook in my spare time.

And on and on….

Yes, things are simple when you just break them down to their basics, John. Thanks for the reminder.

Mike in H-Town

February 16th, 2009
7:19 am

I think its going to be tough getting work done today from checking for news every 5 minutes…

David O'Brien

February 16th, 2009
7:19 am

Oh, and those of you who talk on the phone all day in sales or customer relations or whatever — absolute piece of cake. I talk on the phone in my spare time. Right, Johnf. Riiight.

TommyP

February 16th, 2009
7:22 am

DOB: How about giving us your pre-spring training 25 man roster prediction? It just seems we have a TON of familiar names that tally up to more than 25. Just a best guess at this point prediction….

I really do like the idea of a platoon in LF of Griff and Diaz and have for several months. For those that hate the idea of platoons, see the ‘83 Orioles team on how it can work and work very well. Earl Weaver was definitely one that played the numbers and practically platooned at half of the positions that year.

LF (Roenicke and Lowenstein)
CF (Shelby and Bumbry)
C (Dempsey and Nolan)
RF (Ford and Dwyer)
3B (too many crappy players to list)
2B (Dauer and Sakata)

Tim

February 16th, 2009
7:31 am

Great blog DOB!

I said this a couple weeks on go on this blog that Chipper might have to hit cleanup this year. If that happens I would like to see Escobar batting 3rd. I don’t think Griffey should even be batting 3rd but that’s just me.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

February 16th, 2009
7:33 am

The price to get into the park last year was indeed $10. I will be heading over Wednesday (hopefully), so I will post an update then if someone hasn’t done so already.

johnf

February 16th, 2009
7:48 am

DOB sorry if i came across as mean. what i was trying to do is let you know i wish i could do what you do full time. it’s a great job you have and the 555 comments PROVES what a great job you do. it’s not easy by any means it’s just an enviable position you have. i can only do it in my spare time. i wish i could do it full time. no harm meant dude.

BT

February 16th, 2009
8:06 am

I agree that the Griffey signing would be the best for a platoon situation considering the lack of money/options. Seems like the the two signings would bring us to our total budget. DOB, do you think the “purse strings” would continue to be closed if FW needed some money for midseason acquisitions? Great job.

'toga party

February 16th, 2009
8:08 am

Really excited to see that Matt Diaz has dropped some weight and followed a plyometrics routine this off-season. I seem to remember a little-known football player named Herschel Walker having some success with plyometrics. ;-) Hopefully it works half as well for Matty and keeps him in the mix this season.

I’d love to see a Diaz – Griffey Jr platoon, as long as each of them is accepting of the role, and both healthy enough to contribute. Certainly not the huge bat most were hoping for, but a marked improvement from last season. I think I’d be happier hoping the platoon works out than hoping Swisher can put together a good season (and losing prospects to do it). Either one is a gamble, and Griffey Jr seems like a better role of the dice at this point.

Reality

February 16th, 2009
8:10 am

Reality, as usual you make your twisted logic by picking the stats you like…

And you’re not? Not trying to be combative here.

Prado’s minor league stats don’t count in the majors.

Yes they do. There is almost always a very real correlation between minor league performance and major league. Certainly the 1,920 minor league at-bats are a bigger sample size and more telling than 228 at-bats in the majors in 2008.

Prado’s major league numbers, both in his short career and in 2008, seem to be greatly inflated due to an uncharacteristic and unsustainable month of performance in August 2008 (1.103 OPS). Prado met the mean the following month in September (.654 OPS).

radoncbravesfan

February 16th, 2009
8:23 am

DOB Not to discount his value to the braves team this year but this Griffey signing could mean a historic year or two as he finishes his career and may be a sight to behold. Very exciting. Hope we aren’t getting our hopes up to be burst again. JohnF comments seem like a combination of ignorance and envy to me.

'toga party

February 16th, 2009
8:23 am

Just saw Chipper’s quote in DOB’s article about potentially signing Glavine and/or Griffey:

“I think I’ve been weaned off of getting overly anxious about moves to be made”

Ain’t that the truth. I refuse to get too excited about landing a free agent until the player has a formal terms declaration sheet in front of them awaiting a routine signature.

Chris from the Rock

February 16th, 2009
8:30 am

Did Frank Wren remember to put any term sheets in his briefcase before he left for Florida?

David O'Brien

February 16th, 2009
8:32 am

johnf, no problem. Just had a nice ride on the bike to the ballpark, traffic not nearly what I thought it’d be on 192 (I guess tourists don’t hit the highway quite as early as your working stiffs, and that half-hour difference is huge on a tourist-heavy road like 192 — or maybe the holiday lessened it, but really, is Presidents Day that big for commerce? I mean, is there much that’s even closed today?

OK, gotta get down to the clubhouse.

Epinephrine

February 16th, 2009
8:44 am

DOB any chance you can give us more color on the Hanson workout? Did he throw against hitters or was it just a workout?

Also…does the Dark Star cue those horrible, horrible sound effects even during this portion of ST? Or is that only during the games? If now, you deserve a purple heart for what you do. Seriously.

'toga party

February 16th, 2009
8:50 am

Just had the “Refresh, and comments disappear” issue using Firefox. Interesting.

You know what else is interesting? Punctuation:

chipper-to-clean-up-vegemite-at-daytona-500

Apparently, there’s been a spill.

John Quest

February 16th, 2009
8:52 am

I was wondering if we could start a DL pool? One good pool we be to guess the date both Chipper and Griffey are on the DL at the same time.

flange1

February 16th, 2009
9:03 am

Morning All,

I have been hoping that the Braves would sign Jim Edmunds to a low dollar contract! WIth all of the Griffey talk and the news about his surgery over the winter and his conditioning, I will be very happy if the Braves sign Griffey.

I think this team needs a veteran presence on the field and in the clubhouse and Griffey will definitely help that.

Same with Glavine, the Braves have enough young pitching not to need Glavine, but I think his presence will help the pitchers and the team.

The Soriano stuff is already old and spring training has just started. I really hope he comes out pitching well and the Braves trade him and his barrel of excuses for anything.

If Moylan is back, if Boyer’s weight loss proves beneficial and if Stockman can stay healthy for at least 15 minutes at a time (not even considering Acosta) the Braves have the bullpen depth to punt Soriano.

Efrim

February 16th, 2009
9:16 am

Flange1

“The Soriano stuff is already old and spring training has just started. I really hope he comes out pitching well and the Braves trade him and his barrel of excuses for anything.”

I hope the guy stays healthy, because if he is even 80%, this Braves bullpen will be pretty incredible. Gonzo, Moylan, Soriano, Boyer, Acosta, Logan or O’Flaherty, and Bennett or Campillo as the long man.

raymond

February 16th, 2009
9:17 am

The Braves don’t need Glavine or Griffey, use the money to go get a real player and not some has beens. Glavine is washed up and will struggle and Griffey won’t make it through the entire season.

Gil In Mechanicsville

February 16th, 2009
9:20 am

On Soriano… I think the Braves are hoping he does well this spring so he can be a prime bargaining chip. While his 6 point something million dollar salary is not exorbitant, it would allow the Brave to pick up a Nady or a Swisher with out braking the bank if they could unload him.

I will give him the benefit of the doubt on his cold but at some point he needs to step it up to prove he really did have arm trouble and the surgery fixed it.

BT

February 16th, 2009
9:22 am

Possibility of four future hall of famers in the lineup at the same time. Glavine, Griffey, Chipper, McCann (just for McFann). Of course if you listen to some people about Prado that would make five.

Efrim

February 16th, 2009
9:25 am

Gil In Mechanicsville

Yes, a great trade chip, but then would the Braves even trade him? Soriano to the Yanks would make some sense though. They could certainly use a set up man in front of Mariano. Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney and Jose Veras don’t inspire confidence. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself. The guy hasn’t even thrown a pitch to show anyone that he is healthy.

Steve McP

February 16th, 2009
9:27 am

Gil – I don’t think there is any question that Soriano had arm trouble, but it was not picked up for a long time. Having said that he does seem to be the sort of player that does not want to play if he is in any discomfort. Would much rather have someone like Chipper, who probably plays hurt more often than not.

Steve McP

February 16th, 2009
9:29 am

Actually perhaps a better comparison would be with Smoltz, who was always going to give you everything he had, you knew when he went down it was serious.

TnBrian

February 16th, 2009
9:29 am

I can’t remember the last time the Braves signed so many free agents in one offseason especially if both Glavine and Griffey are signed. Wren bashers are going to have a rough time finding new ways to bash him pretty soon. Griffey is almost perfect right now in a platoon role and hey, he says he wants to be a Brave which is always a plus.

Gil, I think you’re giving Soriano too much credit with his cold. He’s getting paid $6m and should be in Fla. with his teammates regardless. You have to think Bobby is worried about what he’ll pull during the season, but he’s probably getting used to it from last year. Regardless of how he does this year, I can see him being traded pretty soon to free up some money for other needs, especially if Moylan is as good as we’re hearing.

Steve McP

February 16th, 2009
9:32 am

Soriano could only be a bargaining chip in the middle of the season, he is a FA at the end of the year.

Mike in H-Town

February 16th, 2009
9:33 am

Griffey not playing everyday would help him not to get worn down and into an injury. But lets sign him before specualting…

Epinephrine

February 16th, 2009
9:35 am

I could be wrong-but didn’t Soriano have a cold or some bug at the beginning of last spring training? I know he is on the record of saying he doesn’t like throwing in Spring Training because he thinks it diminishes his arm strength. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if this is the same gig. The worry is he uses the cold to cover elbow pain, which he probably did last year.

tr

February 16th, 2009
9:35 am

I guess it’s true that time wounds all heals! I was upset with both sides at the time, but every time I turn around there seems to be another story of Smoltz’s bitterness over his break-up with the Braves.

No matter which side you’re on, it’s becoming evident that the Braves didn’t necessarily take for granted that he’d come back no matter what. It’s looking very much like they offered him everything they could comfortably afford to offer him under the circumstances of returning from surgery at a ripe old age.

Even though some still harbor ill feelings toward Glavine for having left for the Mets, he apparently isn’t just talking about retiring a Brave. He’s not rolling over, yet he’s working hard to make it happen.

Good luck, John. I’m still a fan, but I’d love it if you answered reporters with a simple, “I play for the Red Sox now. Next question.” It’s spring training – time to dwell on the future, NOT the past!

McFann O –[zzz]

February 16th, 2009
9:51 am

Choppinmama

Good to hear from ya! Oh yeah, I’m ready! Can’t wait till April…should be fun!

Richbrave

I’ll do my best! I’m sure we’ll be attending some games. I’ve always had a desire to go to a minor league game–heard they’re lots of fun.

BA

Just copy the link from your address bar and paste it in the comment box–conveniently simple. Huh, not like bolditizing words…but I’ve come up with a copy-and-paste plan that might make that aspect of the Blog a tad-bit more simple.

BT Possibility of four future hall of famers in the lineup at the same time. Glavine, Griffey, Chipper, McCann (just for McFann).

Eh, not just for me…if he keeps up with the numbers he’s put up in his early career, he’ll make it. And I can’t wait to see his defense this year. I almost hope the Reaper gets on base in his first AB on Opening Day, just to see how it goes if he takes off…

…but I don’t think I’ll go that far. ;)

Reid in EAV

February 16th, 2009
9:52 am

Spring Training on! So very happy we’re not exclusively talking Hot Stove anymore. (That said, I really really hope we land Griffey. That really feels like the right move for where they have him pencilled in.)

And nice new pic, David. You clean up well. ;-) Next time, we want one of YOUR tats. The “Man In Black” blog needs your “Man In Black” ink on display, yes?

Couch Tater

February 16th, 2009
10:01 am

Epinephrine,

Soriano had stomach ailments. You can read the gorrie details in Dave’s March 4, 2008 blog when he pointed to his elbow and said, “no mas”.

David O'Brien

February 16th, 2009
10:02 am

Nothing new yet, though funny story about a Seattle Mariners equipment bag that was at the empty locker next to Chipper’s this morning. I’ll put that in a new blog.

Oh, and get this good news: Kelly Johnson has agreed to come on the blog this morning, should be in about a half-hour. Get your questions ready.

We’ll probably have Matt Diaz later, about 12:30 or so, barring no breaking news.

John Quest

February 16th, 2009
10:03 am

Tom Glavine didn’t bolt to the Mets. The Braves failed to offer him what he was worth. This is well documented.

Andy K.

February 16th, 2009
10:06 am

WELCOME JUNIOR!!!!

Coastal

February 16th, 2009
10:06 am

What has been the biggest problem for the Braves the last few years not making the playoffs….injuries. So now Wren wants to sign a 42 year old Glavine coming off, you guessed it, injury and a 39 year old Griffey who’s middle name is injury? People are falling in love with names and not reality. Whats the one thing people say about Jr. “if he didn’t get hurt so much, he’d be the all-time leading home run hitter.” I would feel a lot more comfortable with a Hanson/Abreu combo than a Glavine/Griffey duo….and from what i’ve seen, they could have signed Abreu. Just my two cents.

John Quest

February 16th, 2009
10:08 am

Smoltz is bashing the Braves on ESPN’s cable crawl!

stupup74

February 16th, 2009
10:09 am

I don’t understand what the braves are doing with this roster. First they trade away Flowers (too much) to the White Sox for Javy Vasquez who is under contract for only two years. I kind of like the move for the Japaneese guy, but that is not without risk, especially at 3 years 9 mil per. I do not like the signing of Lowe for 4 years, especially at 15 mil per. I do not understand why the braves are so hard up to bring Glavine back for the 5th starter’s spot when Hanson is supposed to be the next big thing.

I also do not understand where Ken Griffey helps us. He only slugged .424 with half his games in a HITTERS Park. At least Franceour played most of his games in ‘pitchers’ parks (no excuse, but still). The braves hit right handers much better than lefties over the years. The lineup is way, way too left handed as it is currently constructed (it was last year too). The only two pure everyday right handed hitters are Frenchy and Escobar and Chipper is no where near the power threat from the right side.

I do not want to come off as bashing Chipper Jones, best Brave of all time, and still a whale of a hitter. The fact is Chipper Jones should not be asked to carry the offense like he has been asked to the last two years. It is the Organization’s fault with how they use him. He needs too much time off to be a 3 or 4 hole guy. If Braves Organization had not made bone headed moves, maybe they could have developed/signed a hitter or two to where Chipper could hit (and stroke it from 2 or 5 or 6 in the lineup.

I still do not understand not getting Peavy or a bat in the offseason. Make the deal, there were guys out there to fill in the rotation at reasonable prices for multiple years. It just seems that if Atlanta was so high on Hanson, then maybe he should be the guy to beat in spring for the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. The braves bid against themselves for Lowe and they gave up too much for Vasquez. The braves could have had Garland for less than Vasquez on the FA market. They could have took a flyer on Tim Redding or Randy Johnson like they are doing on the Japaneese guy. Maybe you get Peavy in the deal, sign Lowe cheaper and add a Garland/Redding or Glavine/Johnson on the cheap and Run the ‘three man weave’ in the OF with Diaz, Schaffer, and Anderson in CF and LF saving some money on Griffey Jr. Or sign a big bat (Manny) or trade for Holiday or Nady and then SIGN them even at a over kill price, (kind of like they did with Lowe)and use Reyes, Morton, Campillo or Bennett and your bullpen to win games until the possiblity of Huddy being back in August.

Again maybe I don’t understand the ins and outs of this thing, but overall, this roster is not ready to compete for anything as it is constructed right now. The way it was constructed is more worrisome than the actual roster. Wren seened to throw junk against the wall and went with what stuck. He went after Burnett, but underbid. He went after Furcal, but underbid/didn’t negoiate right or got hosed, whatever. Things talked about included moving KJ to LF and trading for Brian Roberts, they talked about Abreu and Dunn, or a trade for Nady/Swisher, now Griffey. No other team in baseball whether in rumor or fact seemed to be linked to so many moves that didn’t work out, and that leaves an impression that the offseason plan was not well concieved or this team has too many holes to compete.

I hope I am wrong, and I hope I have a better summer than last with this team.

Lew

February 16th, 2009
10:11 am

Let the And Idiots from ESPN predict whatever they want. They are always wrong anyway.

MarcL had the best idea. Don’t bother watching Kirkjan and the rest of the clueless multitude employed by ESPN.

John Quest

February 16th, 2009
10:14 am

dogsbrekky

February 16th, 2009
10:17 am

raymond and John Quest – Go check your passport/s. I think they will say USA, be positive men

If Diaz is really fit and we add JR, that will be a nice line up, add the kids Schafer and Josh Anderson (who impressed me 2008) and we will be ready to rock n roll….

“Shake and Bake”

BTW, the missus made me go and see “He’s not that into you” yesterday, almost puked, so schmaltzy, an absolute dogs bollocks film…

They should rename it “If you bring him to this flick he’s gonna kill you”…

BamaBrave

February 16th, 2009
10:18 am

Agreed, tr… Smoltz is used to being the beloved local hero, and he’s neither one (yet) to the Sox Nation. We all know how crazy the NY/Boston media can be. If they smell blood, they’ll play Smoltz like he just came up from Pawtucket. The dude will run his mouth, so this could be a very interesting year…

Bravesgal

February 16th, 2009
10:20 am

stupup74, what part of the fact that Peavy did not want to be a Braves don’t you get?

BT

February 16th, 2009
10:22 am

To those talking about what Smoltz had to say it is like a divorce. You never knew what a real jerk you are until you hear what your ex wife has to say.

tr

February 16th, 2009
10:25 am

BT – I miss my ex-wife!

But my aim is getting better!

i cant take it anymore

February 16th, 2009
10:26 am

DAVID…awesome that you could get kelly to come on the blog. can’t wait!

John Quest

February 16th, 2009
10:27 am

dogsbrekky- I have a problem with signing players past their prime, plus I feel Bobby Cox does a better job managing younger players. I’d rather see the front office promote the AAA/AA talent instead of trading them away for other players past their prime. The majors are full of All-Star ex-Braves.

Moondog

February 16th, 2009
10:27 am

I approve of the Braves interest in both Glavine and Griffey. With Glavine, you have a guy who historically has avoided injuries, he’s an important piece of Braves history, he will be a good influence on the young starters, and he has the potential to win a lot of games at a fair price. If he gets hurt (and anyone can get hurt) then they will have backup options. He’s worth the chance and he deserves the chance. Smoltz deserved the same chance and a better offer, but let’s not go there right now. With Griffey, you have a guy who historically has killed right handed pitching, he’s a hall of famer, he’ll help put butts in the seats, and has the potential to make a great platoon with Diaz while also helping the young outfielders and giving them time to develop. He’s just a high quality guy, as is Glavine. Mentally tough. Both moves make a lot of sense to me. Go Braves.

Salamander

February 16th, 2009
10:27 am

Stupup74 – your post is an epic mess that needs to somehow fit under the rug.

Epinephrine

February 16th, 2009
10:27 am

Steup, all I can say is I am glad you are not running the team. Wren isn’t playing with monopoly money. Would you have had Wren sign Manny? Where exactly were we supposed to get a typical cleanup hitter with our budget?

Also, whether or not Hanson will be ready this year should have no bearing on whether he is expendable. It’s interesting to me that you are loathe to give up an unproven prospect (Flowers) in a blocked position (McCann) for a work horse pitcher who has led the league in strike outs. Our rotation desperately needed stability-yet you object to that move. However, when it comes to a pitcher with a questionable elbow and questionable stats away from Petco, you were ready to trade away a potential future ace. Sounds reasonable.

I’d also like to nominate this for sentence of the year:
Maybe you get Peavy in the deal, sign Lowe cheaper and add a Garland/Redding or Glavine/Johnson on the cheap and Run the ‘three man weave’ in the OF with Diaz, Schaffer, and Anderson in CF and LF saving some money on Griffey Jr.

Great call. I propose this instead though. How bout we trade for Sabathia on the cheap, sign Tex for 10 years at 5 mil per year, do the two step shuffle with David Wright (for cheap) and Chipper, and then lock up Brade Lidge for milk and potatoes.

tr

February 16th, 2009
10:28 am

Good morning & have a great spring, KJ! Just getting a head start!

Willie Mays Hayes

February 16th, 2009
10:29 am

Hey DOB, with the relatively cheap contracts being talked about right now for Griffey and Glavine; Is there any chance that there will be enough money left over to re-sign Will Ohman?

Or are the Braves comfortable with O’Flaherty, Ridgway, and Logan competing for that LOOGY spot? I know I would rather have Ohman especially since those other three guys still have options and would still be retained if they didin’t make the team(unless there isn’t enough room on the 40-man roster)

Original Jon

February 16th, 2009
10:29 am

Hey DOB, is Kelly going to have a gray background on his posts as well like yours or how will we tell its him?

flange1

February 16th, 2009
10:34 am

I really hope that Smoltz can learn to shut his mouth! I think Chipper’s comments on this subject are about as fair and neutral as possible. Smoltz should just accept things and move on and stop trowing rocks.

The more dirt that Smoltz throws, the more he starts to PO the folks in Atlanta. The more of PO’ed people in Atlanta get, the more anti John Smoltz stories will start coming out.

And believe me, there are a lot of negative John Smoltz stories.

My hope is that Smoltz can have a good year with Boston, the Braves have a good year with their new folks and all of this negative stuff can just go away.

PTBNL

February 16th, 2009
10:35 am

Stupup, you got what you hoped for…. you are wrong…. as Bravesgal has already pointed out… and I am sure many others will as well. It may not turn out to be as great a team as many believe it to be, but your assessment of some of the things that have happened are not accurate.

Bravesgal

February 16th, 2009
10:39 am

I’m very disappointed in John Smoltz. He made the decision to leave the Braves and his continued bashing smacks of childishness.

David-ATL14

February 16th, 2009
10:42 am

If the Braves do indeed sign both Griffey and Glavine in the coming days, it will be interesting to see what the two corresponding roster moves on the 40 Man will be.

With it currently full 2 moves will have to be made.

My guess would be the two names most likely to go unclaimed through the waiver process, Clint Sammons and a pitcher most likely<strongAnthony Lerew

freedomcardboard.com

February 16th, 2009
10:44 am

What did John Smoltz say that was so bad? I have read the articles and I can’t find anything necessarily wrong with what he said.

Lew

February 16th, 2009
10:45 am

BravesFanINRockies-Dude, I’ll go out on a limb and make a deal with you. I will put up the Wurlitzer Portrait of your choice (call it the Proving Lew Wrong Wurlitzer) on a bet that Francoeur comes back and puts up AT LEAST 07 numbers this year-I’m that certain he will be on a mission. Give some thought to what you would like to lose on a bet of this nature.

Now Smoltz-Just be glad y’all don’t live in New England. He was front and center on the local Sports page here in Vermont the other day-P!$$!ng and moaning about how shabbily the Braves treated him. The people up here actually believe they got the Smoltz of 96 and will be the final piece guaranteeing them the World Series Title. He damn well better hope he comes back strong or he will definitely find out what Fan Hatred can be. Time for him to just STFU and rehab quietly.

dogsbrekky

February 16th, 2009
10:46 am

John Quest – fair point

All this talk of bloody ex wives, I only talk to mine when she needs $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, funny that

Kelly Johnson – rock n roll in 2009, loved the way you crushed them at the end of 2008…… let’s hope Frenchy and young Schafer can follow your lead…

keylargo

February 16th, 2009
10:52 am

Correct me if I’m wrong (like that needs to be said on this blog), but wasn’t the Braves agreement with Smoltz that they would make him a contract offer if and when he was ready to pitch?

The Sox put it in writing that Smoltz would not pitch in games until June. So maybe Smoltz is all jacked up because he could not make the Braves make their offer based on his timetable.

Lew

February 16th, 2009
10:52 am

Dogsbrekky-Dude, you certainly have a way with words-must be that Aussie upbringing. How long have you been married? After almost 35 years, when my wife suggests going to see a movie like you mentioned or (arrrrgh) that thing about Abba, I can just laugh and ask her what alternate reality she’s in if she thinks I’ll be going to that one with her. You need to teach her that taking you to these events will do nothing but make you so miserable that she will likely also suffer. Works for me.

John Smoltz

February 16th, 2009
10:55 am

Come on guys, cut me some slack. It looks like it’ll be at least June before Sox fans can show me (and my HOF slider) the love I need and deserve! Gotta get my props from sympathetic reporters in the meantime!

P.S. The Braves took me for granted after the first three times I was a FA!

freedomcardboard.com

February 16th, 2009
10:55 am

yeah, still waiting for Smoltz to say something that offends me as a brave fan.

PTBNL

February 16th, 2009
11:00 am

Keylargo, that was my understanding as well. I don’t know what went on behind closed doors, but I was more than a little surprised when John began pushing the Braves so soon. It had been stated much earlier that they would want to wait to see !) when he would be ready, later they added 2) when they had gotten the two top pitchers they were working so hard to get. I was very disappointed that he wanted to be a distraction to that process. It was my understanding that he was in agreement with the wait and see arrangement.

PTBNL

February 16th, 2009
11:08 am

Btw, New blog is up…. KJ is coming.

stupup74

February 16th, 2009
11:10 am

Bravesgal: Remember earlier in the process, Peavy waived the clause for a few teams, one of which was the Braves. The Padres GM wanted Hanson in the deal and then kept upping the price rumored to be because Wren wouldn’t budge on Hanson. (Time will tell if Wren is right on that one and I will give Wren benefit of the doubt in the short term).

Epinephrine: Not all those moves mentioned are not all at once, there is a lot of if/then in the move. I write with my heart sometimes, not with my head. However the Braves had 40 something mil under budget in the offseason. IN THEORY: they could have made Manny a two year 45-48 mil, front loaded offer for Manny and still added a couple of guys in the 7 mil a year randge for the rotation. Garland signed one year wwith and option at 7.25 mil this year, Unit was one year 8 mil, Redding was one year 2.25 mil. Glavine is looking at no more than 2 mil a year and the braves and fans are hard up for him. Even with 25mil for Manny any two of the afore mention pitchers the braves are close to, if not under ‘apparent’ budget. (These alternatives to the signings of Lowe and the import, and the trade of Vasquez.) Maybe you don’t get Manny, but maybe you trade for a bat, Jermaine Dye, maybe Holliday, etc, not of which are going to command the Tex/Manny type money in this economy next year, it ain’t going to happen.

I did not mean to ramble in my post earlier, but the braves HAD the money to upgrade the rotation AND get a legit bat for the OF (probably not Manny, but someone. They blew it on a overpriced Lowe signing and a bad trade for Vasquez who is making about 4 mil over the market rate for a pitcher with his pedigree.

I guess I could have summed up my previous post like this: Go Big or Go home. Get Chipper some help and give us a reason to come to the ballpark and watch. If you are going to gamble, then gamble big and shoot for the stars once in awhile. I’m tired of seeing them gamble on over the hill vets health.

Frank from KS

February 16th, 2009
11:23 am

I’m going to laugh my a@# off at all the bloggers who say the Braves did this wrong, that wrong when they end up winning the division, get into the playoffs and possibly the WS.

Look at the Cubs last year. They were all but expected to go all the way to the WS because it had been 100 years since they had won the WS…but guess what……it didn’t happen. Things happen when ya least expect them to.

The Braves aren’t expected to do much this year. So I say, let the naysayers say this, that, etc. Let’s get this ball rolling and go play some ball.

Btw, anyone want to discuss who’s going to win the other NL divisions?

I think with the addition of Milton Bradley…..I think the Cubs will take the Central again and if the Giants sign Manny…..they may have what it might take to win the West.

John Smoltz

February 16th, 2009
11:33 am

Hey, where did everybody go? I mean, why chat with KJ when I’m over on this blog?

John Quest

February 16th, 2009
11:38 am

Hey Smotzy, Hows the recession coming along (hair)?

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