12:40 pm March 12, 2009, by David O'Brien
March 12th, 20094:57 pm
The NBA was 1/2 as interesting as it is now. Chris Paul and LeBron James have made the NBA exciting again.
March 12th, 20094:58 pm
your 4:49 sums up the current state of the NBA, pretty nicely.
separately, as far as spring training goes, I remember one of Chuck Tanner’s Braves’ teams having the best record in spring training . . .
that aside. The Braves pitching looks good. I don’t foresee that disappearing just because the calendar turns to April.
the offense is a still a work in progress. I’ll expect inconsistency and be thrilled if we see mostly good.
March 12th, 20095:00 pm
’scoots, yeah, I really agree. NBA players are tremendous athletes who must also master very difficult skills. However, IMO, the regular season really is just a prelude (due to 16 playoff teams), and I really believe it would be a much better game with a 45-second shot clock, and no 3-point line. Skills would be so much more valuable in such a game.
But I loves me the NBA playoffs. It’s intense.
March 12th, 20095:01 pm
I would gladly buy steak dinners for McCann triples! It’s a deal, =)
March 12th, 20095:03 pm
I really believe it would be a much better game with a 45-second shot clock, and no 3-point line. Skills would be so much more valuable in such a game.
Yeah, but think of all the blood down on the blocks, LOL. 45 seconds to feed the post, and no perimeter liability to sagging? Mercy. Somebody gets mean and hurtful in their attitude in THAT game. HA!
March 12th, 20095:04 pm
scoots, yes don’t cry cause someone doesn’t buy into the hype
of course rugby league, rugby union, NFL, Aussie Rules, MMA, boxing, sprinters, swimmers on and on wouldn’t qualify as the “fastest, quickest, most athletic people in the UNIVERSE
perhaps only if your knowledge of the universe is this country, which I suspect yours would be…… let us know your thoughts on those other global sports, ok hero
“Party on Wayne”
March 12th, 20095:07 pm
Helps that the Hawks have become relevant again, at least as far as Atlanta’s interest in the NBA. Bill Simmons mentioned recently how one team in a city can ignite the others, like the Patriots did for Boston sports in 01, then the Sox and Celtics followed with championships. That’s interested with the recent revival in Atlanta’s sports. Falcons pulled out a great season no one saw coming, now the Hawks are having their best season in decades, and the Braves are looking really strong early on. Winning really is contagious!! Though maybe the Hawks-Celtics series could be credited with the spark.
Great win GT. Way to play with pride here at the end of a dismal season, guys. They can beat FSU tomorrow too, especially if Clinch plays like he did today. Amazing what happens when everyone figures out how to shoot and hit free throws.
March 12th, 20095:08 pm
dogsbrekky (and I assume that’s short for “dog’s breakfast”), your suspicions are your own, and you’re welcome to them. As to the rest of your posts and content, good choice of monikers.
March 12th, 20095:10 pm
Whats the Deal with Charlie Morton, i havent Seen or Hread of him all spring!!!!!!
chris from md
March 12th, 20095:12 pm
PWHjort and bigchief,
I think Gorkys was there today because Diaz and Frenchy left town.
DOB and others, you heard it here first– Braves will trade Sammons to the Astros by the end of camp. That team is desperate for catching.
Chris from MD
March 12th, 20095:15 pm
I’ve figured this sports argument out…
Australia has somewhere around 22 million inhabitants, while the U.S. has over 300 million.
By my calculation, this means that an Australian’s opinion is worth roughly 7% of an American’s.
March 12th, 20095:16 pm
And whoever doesn’t realize that my last comment was a joke, shame on you.
March 12th, 20095:18 pm
And maybe if McCann hits another triple, the Braves’ website will post a video of it!
March 12th, 20095:20 pm
Oh, and one of my favorite dinners is pizza…
(Mac only hit one 3B last year, BTW.)
It’s a plan then! You’re a good sport Gerald Perry!
Chop Chop – good logic, on that basis Table Tennis and Badminton should be the best sports in the world as the Chinese love them so much
March 12th, 20095:21 pm
Also a joke, before the thought police turn up
March 12th, 20095:23 pm
That’s right, Steve McP.
I’m working on a “nukes per inhabitant” rating. That should also factor into the worth of someone’s opinion.
March 12th, 20095:24 pm
Charlie Morton puled an oblique muscle in his side in the first week of camp. He is just beginning to throw again.
March 12th, 20095:26 pm
do you also spend time on a Phillies blog and try to convince them about the superiority of the Mets? just curious…
March 12th, 20095:28 pm
For those unclear about Gorkys: He’s NOT in major league camp. Was just brought over today to play in a game, which the Braves often do with prospects. Just random, and often unannounced, as this was. We might not see him again this spring, or we might see him in a few days. Just don’t know. He was brought over for a game last week, I’m told, but no one probably knew because he didn’t actually get in the game.
March 12th, 20095:37 pm
Thanks Kim! And McFann, you’re in luck, since I’m a pizza chef!
Steve McP – you also have the Indians with their 1.2 Billion people to consider so any sport they and the Chinese play may have the most populist answer… but no way is an NBA player the ‘fastest and quickest’ athlete,
March 12th, 20095:38 pm
The best infield prospect in this year’s draft is a college player from UCLA that draws comparisons to Longoria and Tutlowitzki. He is expected to be the 2nd or 3rd player drafted and is not likely to be around when the Braves pick. I think he is also represented by Boras. Surprisingly, the Braves are loaded with outfield talent –Schaefer, B. Jones, Blanco, Anderson, Frenchy, Heyward, G. Hernandez, and possibly Cody Johnson. It is likely that they may try to trade from outfield depth to get a future third baseman.
Wayne in Utah
March 12th, 20095:53 pm
Has Eric Campbell been discussed as a possible 3B prospect?
March 12th, 20095:54 pm
Surprisingly, the Braves are loaded with POTENTIAL outfield talent
March 12th, 20096:00 pm
I don’t think he’s a big prospect anymore.
March 12th, 20096:04 pm
Maybe so, but he might be the best we have now…. I could see a trade for a 3B prospect or someone blocked at their current team.
March 12th, 20096:08 pm
March 12th, 20096:18 pm
=) at McFann…Going to dinner. Enjoy the rest of your night denizens! Go Braves, let’s keep the streak going through the rest of Spring Training!
March 12th, 20096:20 pm
Chris from MD, I agree that Sammons COULD be moved, but he has options and he’s a local boy so I don’t see it. Also, the Astros have nothing to send us for Sammons. They have a horse-shit farm system and nobody on their big league roster makes sense for us except for MAYBE Hunter Pence, who would require more than Sammons to acquire and wouldn’t fit into the clubs’ long term plans. I don’t see a Sammons to the Astros trade.
March 12th, 20096:21 pm
Wayne, Eric Campbell and Van Pope are the 2 3B prospects we have in our system that aren’t long shots to eventually make it to the bigs. Though Campbell may be considered a long shot at this point.
March 12th, 20096:25 pm
Hicks could very possibly be a 3B prospect. He hits like a corner IF, and probably has the glove to play anywhere needed. Will still be interested to see what Campbell does this year. He could get right back into “elite” status if he’ll just shut up, get to park on time, and play ball.
And I sure don’t see trading Sammons. We’ve dealt so much catching away – Ramirez, Salty, Flowers. If McCann or Ross should get hurt, we need a guy with some experience to call up.
Hey! Cool! They got links up for the posts now!
Random, Toga Party, they must have heard us!
(Gerald Perry, yeah, let’s keep it going through ST and the real season!)
March 12th, 20096:30 pm
I still agree with me.
I’m so clever.
March 12th, 20096:42 pm
Regarding 3B prospects, don’t forget Brandon Hicks. He’s a very strong defensive shortstop with a lot of power, enough power to move over to 3B if necessary. He just needs to cut down the strikeouts.
March 12th, 20096:44 pm
Charlie Morton has done some light throwing without pain in his strained side muscle, Bobby said. He didn’t know details of when Charlie might try throwing off the mound again, and Charlie was gone by the time we got out of Bobby’s office.
March 12th, 20096:58 pm
DOB–KJ’s not played the last two games. Should we be worried or is he resting?
March 12th, 20097:10 pm
JJ Hoover and Jacob Thompson out of last year’s draft both came out of college, off the top of my head. I remember them taking Josh Fields out of UGA a year or two ago in like the 2nd(?) round. —Ohio Steve
If you are having to think that hard to come up with such a few instances, it looks like strategy to me. Obviously they don’t “hate” college kids but their “scouts first” orientation when drafting lends itself to procuring a lot of high-schoolers. Dan Myer was another college guy, but he was picked about 50 places above where most had him rated as a quck and relatively cheap reliever sign. His bonus was way below what others in his group received. Wren actually might have more interest in college guys than John S did.
Steve from OH
March 12th, 20097:32 pm
Moby, four of the Braves first 7 picks were college guys. My point was to say that they obviously prefer HS guys, but they won’t shy away from college guys at all. The “hate” part was the key word there.
March 12th, 20097:43 pm
The question for Hicks at 3B would be his defense. In general, moving someone from SS to 3B means they play worse defense. Though if he has the arm, he’d be fine at 3rd.
March 12th, 20097:46 pm
PWH – remember that Chipper moved from short to 3B to LF back to 3B and is now considered one of the best in the game.
March 12th, 20097:50 pm
I really don’t understand your statement “moving someone from SS to 3B means they play worse defense”
Are you saying that players are moved to third because they are invariably weaker defensively, or that 3B is harder to play? I believe there are some cases where players played worse after moving positions, but I am not sure you can support that statement otherwise, generally speaking.
March 12th, 20097:54 pm
A-Rod (hey, love him or hate him) made the switch to 3B too. A good shortstop needs a good arm. Most can play 3rd if needed (and acclimated to it). Problem is, most SS don’t have the power bat generally desired at 3B. Hicks has that, if he can stop knocking the air out of the park a third of the time.
March 12th, 20097:56 pm
oh, and Cal Ripken Jr. too…
March 12th, 20098:15 pm
and Chipper was originally a shortstop . . .
March 12th, 20098:23 pm
Ease, that isn’t relevant to a SS-3B discussion. What I’m saying is that it takes a different set of tools to play Shortstop and 3rd Base. Shortstop is the more difficult position to play without a doubt. However, if you look at the history of people switching from SS to 3B, it generally hasn’t worked out like everyone expected it to. 3B have to charge bunts and require a better arm than a SS. To quote Bill James on the issue: “Well, shortstops who switch to third base rarely seem to emerge as outstanding defensive third basemen. A-Rod hasn’t. Cal Ripken didn’t. Toby Harrah didn’t. I can’t really think of one who has.” And in another post: “The question was about Michael Young –snip– converting to third base. . .might this make him a Gold Glove third baseman? To which the answer is: it generally doesn’t.” That being said, I’m not ruling out the possibility that Hicks could play an average, or even above-average, 3B. I just don’t know, it’s a concern of mine that I’d have to see addressed before I make any conclusions as to whether I like him more as a 3B or a SS for the club. But that’s a long way down the road. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. He’s still young so it won’t be like A-Rod converting. We’ll see.
March 12th, 20098:26 pm
Chipper Jones switched early in his career to 3B mainly because he had pretty pathetic range at SS. His arm and tools developed as a consequence of him switching so early. If you think about it, a LOT of major league players were shortstops or pitchers (usually both) on their high school teams because they were the most gifted and athletic players on the team. Pretty much everyone was at once a SS.
Eric from MO
March 12th, 20098:28 pm
How is a college player represented by Boras? I didnt think college players had agents.
March 12th, 20098:32 pm
I just figured out how to use the “polls” feature on this WordPress thing. I stuck a poll in the original blog above, if you want to check it out and vote. It’s about the red jerseys and what you think the Braves should do with them.
Slowly, when I have time, I’m able to figure out new stuff on this WordPress. Now if we could just get them to stop with the pagination. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out how to let it do the preferable one long scroll without bogging down everything.
March 12th, 20098:35 pm
Eric, they’re represented for their professional career. They can be a college player represented by Scott Boras, but only if they plan on playing professional baseball.
March 12th, 20098:37 pm
Sorry to hear about the news on Glavine today. That he has been pushed back on his starts. Cue Hanson. Get him ready. Let the big dog eat!
PWHjort from personal experience, I think ss is easier in its own ways. Yeah you have to have more range and get more balls hit to you but the ball doesnt get on top of you as quick. You dont have to have as good as of an arm. Also you barehand more balls at third. This was just my personal experience and opinion. I by no way claim Im right, just what I believe.
March 12th, 20098:39 pm
PWHjort I dont understand. In other sports, such as football, players are disquafied by NCAA for having agents.
Cool poll thingy, Chief!
I was voter #5!
March 12th, 20098:40 pm
PWHjort , props on doing your homework on the issue. From what I’ve read, I suspect that Hicks could convert to 3B if the Braves asked him to (and you didn’t deny that); and I think A-Rod and CRJr (and certainly Chipper) played respectable 3B even though their natural position was SS; but regardless, you backed up your views with some solid stuff.
March 12th, 20098:41 pm
Hakuna, since Kelly had as many or more ABs than anyone on the team except Josh Anderson before today, I’m guessing he just got a couple of days off because he’s going to make the Jupiter trip and play both games down there. I saw him take BP, so if he’s got anything wrong with him, it ain’t anything serious. Bobby didn’t mention anything and no one thought to ask, frankly. But I’ll check tomorrow.
Hey DOB – one other thing that would really help is to have your guys put the page numbers at the top of each page as well as at the bottom, even more so now that we have 100 posts per page.
March 12th, 20098:43 pm
PWHjort and others: Let me be clear — I haven’t heard the Braves discuss moving Hicks to third. Bobby has said he’s good enough to play SS in the majors right now. I’m just saying, it’d certainly be possible to move him there if you kept Escobar long-term and wanted to get Hicks’ bat in the lineup eventually.
March 12th, 20098:45 pm
DOB, what is your opinion on the red jerseys?
March 12th, 20098:47 pm
I know you’ve been trying in vain to engage me. So, did I say anything that wasn’t factual about MLB network?
March 12th, 20098:48 pm
Im the only one who has voted to wear the uniform on all Sundays:(
March 12th, 20098:50 pm
Eric, in regard to agents, I think there was a recent lawsuit on the issue. However, I’m fairly sure that NCAA players are allowed to be represented by an agent. As far as 3B/SS, they’re 2 different positions that require different skill sets. To play a good SS you need excellent range, an excellent glove, decent instincts, and a good arm. To play a good 3B you need good range, a good glove, excellent instincts, and an excellent arm. I don’t think it’s a matter of one is harder than the other, they’re both very hard. Some people are better at Short and some people are better at Third. The Shortstop is regarded as the most “defense-first” position (besides the battery).
March 12th, 20098:55 pm
And on Ripken, Rodriguez, and Chipper. Chipper was pretty lousy in the field until before the 2007 season when he decided he wanted to make being a better defensive player a priority of his. He has rated above average on the +/- scale since then after being significantly below average in 2006. Interestingly, Alex Rodriguez was also pretty lousy at 3B until the 2007 season. He has been above average for the past two seasons after being significantly below average in 2006. Fielding Bible statistics don’t go back far enough for me to gather up any data on Ripken’s fielding, but by most accounts I read, Ripken was about average at 3B. Certainly not bad but not necessarily good either.
March 12th, 20098:56 pm
ayne, Eric Campbell and Van Pope are the 2 3B prospects we have in our system that aren’t long shots to eventually make it to the bigs. Though Campbell may be considered a long shot at this point. PWH
right now neither one is more than a long shot. Van Pope is almost certainly never going to be a starter in Atlanta he’s already 25and can’t hit a lick, and Campbell will have to get his act together and make some serious improvements in his game and his attitude or he won’t either.
Wow, not one but TWO Mets starters are stinking up the place today in their ST game. Santana gave up earned 3 runs in less than three innings and Tim Redding has been charged with 9 earned runs in less than 2 innings. That’s hard to do.
March 12th, 20098:58 pm
So sad…yeah, most people seem to want to burn them, well they ain’t gettin’ mine!!
March 12th, 20099:00 pm
He just needs to cut down the strikeouts. DOB
and raise his BA about 50 points, the two don’t always go hand in hand as Jeff showed last season.
March 12th, 20099:01 pm
Be fair the Mets are playing the mighty Florida Marlins.
Anyone seen Anders or Metro Man?
March 12th, 20099:04 pm
The “hate” part was the key word there—Ohio Steve
which I said to and added that Wren might be more interested than John was, but I’ll be surprised if they go that heavy that early again this year, we’ll see
March 12th, 20099:06 pm
Ya, Pope has put up pretty crappy numbers in the minors. Though he did well in the AFL.
March 12th, 20099:10 pm
Moby Grape – re: Frenchy – his BA has gone up a lot in the last week or so. Maybe he has worked out a few things and those early AB’s in ST helped him get the kinks out and he is in good shape moving towards the season. No strikeouts is astonishing considering what he did last year and he does not seem to be fazed when he is up with runners in scoring position, a couple of SF’s is better than the strike out or weak grounder that we were seeing last year too often in that situation.
March 12th, 20099:11 pm
Man, Tim Redding is an absolute beast for the Mets. Last week he only recorded 1 out against the University of Michigan while allowing 5 runs and tonight, since he had to top that, he decided to give up 9 ER to the Marlins in 2 innings. He must have seen Kendrick’s box score from yesterday and decided to put everyone on notice that he is the worst 5th starter in the NL East. “Take a seat kid, here’s how you lose your spot.”
March 12th, 20099:17 pm
Santana gave up 3 runs in 2.2 innings. Redding had another impressive outing this time giving up 9 runs in 2.0 innings. I love watching the Mets lose.
Old Third Baseman
March 12th, 20099:20 pm
PWHjort@ March 12th, 2009 8:50 pm
“To play a good 3B you need good range, a good glove, excellent instincts, and an excellent arm.
Of course, if every player had good range and glove, as well as excellent instincts and arm, then they would be a good player.
Spoken like someone who has never played 3B, as the most important requirement has been omitted.
Very Quick Reflexes are the most important requirement to play 3B, or else you will have a Rawlings imprint on your forehead.
March 12th, 20099:22 pm
I covered that in the instincts part.
March 12th, 20099:23 pm
And I said a “good” third base. There are probably 15 players in the MLB that play a “good” 3rd base.
March 12th, 20099:26 pm
Braves now have the best spring record in baseball. Doesn’t mean much, I know, but it’s nice to see. I don’t KNOW this to be true… but I would guess that teams that have overwhelmingly good springs probably go on – more often than not – to have good seasons.
March 12th, 20099:27 pm
I guess I made the mistake of including “reflexes” as a sub-set of “instincts”, but yes, that and a good arm are the most necessary tools to play 3B. Which is why I said that to be good at the position you need to have “excellent” instincts (reflexes included).
And I said a “good” third base. There are probably 15 players in the MLB that play a “good” 3rd base.
Is this related to the part where you told us that if a player was good at 4 of the tools, then he would be a good player?
DOB, confirming that Heyward’s HR was absolutely crushed today, just to the right of dead center. The ball hit the black screen above the fence about 12-15 feet above the wall. Not sure what the pitch was. The young man can thump. He also made several solid plays in RF, today.
March 12th, 20099:29 pm
“reflexes” as a sub-set of “instincts”
God help us all..
PW, calm down, dude. You’re the guy who thinks Jason Perry is a “replacement value” major league outfielder, right? And you’re the only person I’ve heard mention Van Pope in about 2 years. You’re a decent (and prolific) blogger, but please climb down off the mountain, okay?
March 12th, 20099:31 pm
Buddy Carlyle has no chance to make the team. Just look at all the talented relievers in the team who are just way better than Buddy. Although he stats looked good, let’s not forget he only pitched in blowouts, and was not overused at all. Kris Medlen has a much better shot to make the team than Buddy in my opinion.
Normally a team carries 7 relievers. My guess is Boone Logan, Jeff Bennet, Manny Acosta, Blaine Boyer, Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzales will be those pitchers.
Jorge Campillo, Kris Medlen, Eric O’Flaherty, and Buddy Carlyle would have to be the leading candidates if any of those 7 relievers get injured.
March 12th, 20099:33 pm
Moby Grape – re: Frenchy – his BA has gone up a lot in the last week or so. Maybe he has worked out a few things and those early AB’s in ST helped him get the kinks out and he is in good shape moving towards the season.—Steve McP
my only point was that cutting down on strike outs would not necessarily mean raising his average which Hicks also needs to do. I used Frenchy as an example because last season he struck out fewer times than in earlier years but his average plummeted. Too early to comment about this spring or the future though I hope he improves for his own sake and the Braves.
McFann :Ô: (6:25 pm): “Hey! Cool! They got links up for the posts now! . . . they must have heard us!”
Yeah — wow!!! That’s great!
“History is made by those who show up!”
March 12th, 20099:35 pm
I’d put Buddy in ahead of Bennett Tomas. That’s just my opinion. I’d probably put him in ahead of Acosta too. He throws strikes. That’s what I hate about Acosta and sometimes Bennett. Just come in and throw strikes. Buddy may not have the best stuff but he trusts it.
18 Wheels of Love
March 12th, 20099:36 pm
VORP talk? I’d rather read Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog.
March 12th, 20099:38 pm
Sure is great…now I have another Q:
How do you link something up under a word other than the web address? You know, so instead of linking
I could call the link “Brian McCann’s Baseball-Reference Page”?
March 12th, 20099:41 pm
I’ve always wondered the same thing McFann.
March 12th, 20099:45 pm
It would be like this.
(Look under An HTML Link.)
March 12th, 20099:46 pm
Hakuna – KJ played in yesterday’s game for a couple of innings (with two AB). He didn’t do much yesterday, except a sac fly. KJ hasn’t had a day off in a couple of days, I don’t think, so I think he deserved one. I’m sure he’s fine, as DOB said.
northbeach Scott @ March 12th, 2009 9:27 pm
DOB, confirming that Heyward’s HR was absolutely crushed today, just to the right of dead center. The young man can thump. He also made several solid plays in RF, today
I was lucky enough to catch the Rome Braves once this past summer in Columbus. Jason Heyward had an “off” day at the plate, but they were pitching very carefully to him (I couldn’t sneak over to get behind home plate – dammit). They were not going to let him beat them. Still, the young man has a very commanding and patient presence at the plate.
Freddie Freeman and Cody Johnson were the two that rocked that night. Freeman hit one out, and roped several other line drives with that sweet swing of his. He is so big, but with such a controlled, short swing, that the ball just jumps off his bat. However, the longest shot of the night came from Cody Johnson – he hit one off the clock on the Pepsi sign about 25 or 30 feet above the left – center field wall.
Braves have some serious bats coming up soon..
March 12th, 20099:48 pm
I’ll second your 9:35.
March 12th, 20099:54 pm
Jeff321 (8:47 pm): “I know you’ve been trying in vain to engage me.”
“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”
Sorry, bud — I think you’re projecting. You should just give it up, boy.
Btw, did you like my porm? It you did inspire:
Selective memory’s so convenient –
Wouldn’t you agree?
From week to week the haters can’t
Remember who they hate.
We need an ump, a judge, a ref
(Someone who’ll work for free),
Who’ll stay up late to watch and wait,
And keep the haters straight.
March 12th, 20099:58 pm
Hmm…gonna give it a try before I turn in:
BMac’s B-R Page
Hope that works…
March 12th, 20099:59 pm
Sweet! It did work! Thanks, Jeff321!
March 12th, 200910:08 pm
(PS: Way to link, Leah!!!)
McFann :Ô: —
Like this for the link above (only with the pointy brackets instead of the parens, and “http” instead of “huh?”):
(strong)(a href=”huh?://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2009/03/12/diaz-looking-tough-hitting-strong/comment-page-5/#comment-24691″)McFann :Ô:(/a)(/strong)
And you can copy and paste the link’s URL address by right clicking on “Link” and selecting “Copy Shortcut” (or your browser’s equivalent).
Not sure if that’ll be decipherable — in short it’s (a href=”URL address”)your text that you want blue(/a).
March 12th, 200910:12 pm
“Though if he has the arm, he’d be fine at 3rd.” PWHjort
If he is a short stop then he has the arm. SS has a longer throw to first than 3b does, due to the normal depth they play.
March 12th, 200910:14 pm
Random — In other words, you just go around quoting people for fun. Well, I hope you got a good laugh.. because this will be our last engagement. (Unless of course you change your name.)
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