Countdown to Season Opener

   Can’t you almost taste it now? The season is all but upon us. Day after tomorrow, people, day after tomorrow!

   While DOB unpacks and repacks, to go from spring training to the season opener Sunday night in Philadelphia, let me bring this exhibition season to a close. There’s just a little tidying up to be done on the roster, and then we’ll be on our way.

   First and foremost is whether Jordan Schafer gets the center field nod, or the Braves choose to give the job back to Gregor Blanco to give Schafer a little more seasoning time in Gwinnett. I, for one, figure it’ll be Schafer, who was in the starting lineup yesterday in Kissimmee with all the regulars, but we’ll have to see for sure.

   I’d guess the Braves will announce roster decisions after tonight’s game against the Tigers. That way those guys can have their things packed and ready to go to fly to Philadelphia on Saturday night.

   This time last year (only it was a week earlier), the first of two exhibition games at Turner Field, the Braves announced five cuts and acquired Ruben Gotay from the Mets on Friday night. They left one final roster decision until Saturday – that was between Jeff Bennett and Buddy Carlyle. So I’d expect something along those lines this time as well.

   Both Bennett and Carlyle are expected to be on the roster this time around, and from what DOB reported yesterday, the back end of the Braves rotation should be intact with Rafael Soriano and Peter Moylan both ready for Opening Day.

   It would appear Manny Acosta, Kris Medlen, and Boone Logan are the odd men out in the bullpen, and Blanco and Brandon Jones in the outfield. There’s a decision left to be made on David Ross, who strained his groin on Tuesday. Clint Sammons is ready to open the season as the backup catcher if Ross needs to go on the disabled list. The Braves can wait until Sunday to make that call. Roster cuts, though, have to be made by midnight Saturday, I believe.

   So details, details, then get us to Sunday night vs. the World Champs.

   The Braves caught their first break of the year, and it hasn’t even started – Cole Hamels was pushed back from the Opening Day start for the Phillies to their fourth game on the year, a road start against the Rockies on April 10. He had a shot for the elbow inflammation he’s had and needs the extra time.

   That means it’ll be Brett Myers on the mound Sunday night vs. the Braves on ESPN2. This is Brett Myers who lost twice in two starts against the Braves last year, and the Phillies only lost four games to the Braves all year. Myers allowed 10 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings and failed to make it out of the fifth inning either game.

   For his career, Myers is 4-8 with a 4.60 ERA against Atlanta in 26 appearances, including 19 starts.

   Francoeur has had more at-bats against Myers than any of his teammates – going 6-for-31 (.194) with a homer and two RBIs. Chipper and McCann see Myers well – Jones is .333 (10-for-30) with three homers and seven RBIs and eight walks off him, McCann is hitting .370 (10-for-27) against him with a homer and six RBIs.

   But not to get too far ahead of ourselves…

   This time last year, I think I made kind of a silly-sounding plea to come out to Turner Field and take in the games the next two days. Judging from the tiny crowds, I’m thinking nobody actually took me up on it, so this time around, I’ll just say, hey, it’ll be fun to be back in the ballyard. Can’t believe we’re back around again. Seems the years go faster and faster as we go.

   I think the Braves have a lot to feel good about, heading into the season. The fact that there’s not a whole lot to sort out in the next two days is just one of the signs.

   Of course, that doesn’t exactly show up in preseason reading materials. I just read this morning in Baseball America that they’re picking the Braves to finish fourth in the NL East – fourth – behind the Mets, Phillies, and Marlins.

   Sports Illustrated had the Braves third. Hey when you’ve got the defending World Champions and the team lots of folks are picking to make the World Series – Mets – in your division, then third is about as good as you’re going to do. (SI has Mets over Angels, pause for reflection, and Baseball America has Red Sox over Mets.)

   But I, for one, don’t see this year as being nearly so miserable for the Braves. And besides, nobody was picking Phillies over Tampa Bay last year, so what the heck?

   With that, I’ll open it up for discussion and prediction. And I’ll report back from the ballpark this afternoon.

Tonight’s lineup (and notice the starting center fielder):

1. Yunel Escobar SS

2. Kelly Johnson 2B

3. Chipper Jones 3B

4. Brian McCann C

5. Garret Anderson LF

6. Jeff Francoeur RF

7. Casey Kotchman 1B

8. Jordan Schafer CF

9. Greg Norton DH

pitching Javier Vazquez

 

  

  

 

921 comments Add your comment

MattyRoss

April 3rd, 2009
11:26 am

Not sweating the preseason rankings too much…didn’t Rosenthal pick the Braves to win the series last year? This team easily has fewer question marks than that one did, so we must be a lock! In any case, can’t wait to get this thing started.

flange1

April 3rd, 2009
11:28 am

Thanks for the new blog Carroll!

Did I see correctly that Ridgeway had been optioned to the minors and then released? Is that correct?

Thanks!

Random

April 3rd, 2009
11:32 am

Shaun on April 2nd, 2009

Keep an eye on Javy Vazquez this season. It could be a career year for him. He’s going from one of the worst defensive teams in baseball to a decent one. Last year the White Sox ranked 20th in defensive efficiency while the Braves were 12th. Also, he should be much more comfortable under Bobby Cox. All signs point to this being the year that his controllable skills (K/BB ratio, HR rate) translate into a good season.

RHR

April 3rd, 2009
11:34 am

Nice work Carroll, thanks for all you’ve done this spring.

durhambrave

April 3rd, 2009
11:35 am

Never trust SI. I don’t think they have ever been right in many of there predictions and they picked the Tigers last year who finished last.

Random

April 3rd, 2009
11:37 am

Hasn’t Jeff Ridgway already been released like a week or so ago?

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

April 3rd, 2009
11:41 am

BlawgDawg, Jordan Schafer will start and play CF but Cox is going to use him sparingly as his lead off man. We will see Escobar , KJ, Schafer and probably even Infante at times as the Braves top of the order hitter.

Incidently, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar were commonly used players to lead off last season, they will make the team. Gregor Blanco (60 games leading off) and Josh Anderson (24 games) either won’t make the team or have been traded.

pryguy

April 3rd, 2009
11:43 am

i’m completely being a homer in saying I think the Braves win the division this year. The Mets rotation is not as deep and solid as the Braves. Hamels looks to be broke down a little this season. The Braves have a very nice team on paper. We’ll see how it plays out, but I like their chances very much

Schafer

April 3rd, 2009
11:44 am

What number will Schafer be wearing this year? Is it 64?

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
11:49 am

Carroll, Jeff Ridgway was released a week and a half ago. So he was never an option.

BlawgDawg

April 3rd, 2009
11:49 am

Coach Yes, I’m aware that Yunel and KJ were the most commonly used guys in the leadoff role last year. Just think they would be much more valuable down the order (especially KJ who is a very good run producer down in the order). My concern with Shafer in the 8 hole is him getting pitched around and getting impatient, where a guy like Escobar would be much more patient I beilieve.

But I know full well that Escobar will not be that far down the order and I don’t think his ego at this stage in his career would allow him to be very succesfull there in any case.

I think Shafer is the best option there, but I doubt he will be there very often knowing Bobby Cox. Bobby will want Yunel or KJ there, guys that he trusts a little more right now.

Random

April 3rd, 2009
11:50 am

“Hasn’t Jeff Ridgway already been released like a week or so ago?”

Well, maybe not — these are the only march transactions listed on braves.com:

3/29/09 Placed RHP Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 27, with a strained left oblique.

3/26/09 Reassigned RHP Tommy Hanson, C Alvin Colina, OF Jason Heyward and INFs Brandon Hicks and Freddie Freeman to Minor League camp. Optioned LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, C Clint Sammons and INF Diory Hernandez to Triple-A Gwinnett.

3/16/09 Reassigned Cs Phillip Britton and Mathew Kennelly and LHPs Francisley Bueno and Mariano Gomez to Minor League camp. Optioned RHPs Stephen Marek, James Parr, Todd Redmond and Luis Valdez to Triple-A Gwinnett.

3/15/09 Released RHP Phil Stockman.

3/10/09 Reassigned RHP Rafael Cruz, RHP Emiliano Fruto and LHP Juan Perez to Minor League camp.

3/4/09 Sent RHP Anthony Lerew outright to Triple-A Gwinnett.

And he’s still listed on the 40-Man active Roster.

Hmmmmm.

DiamondbackMac

April 3rd, 2009
11:50 am

Ridgeway still shows up on the 40 man roster on the Braves web site.

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
11:50 am

Schafer, Schafer will not be wearing 64, once it becomes official he will get a lower number, my guess would be either, 24 or 26

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
11:51 am

And to say that the past year has flown by…Sheesh, between the Hot Stove and Spring Training, it has taken forever! I am exhausted!

DiamondbackMac

April 3rd, 2009
11:51 am

Random, you beat me to it. :)

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
11:51 am

Well DOB mentioned in his blog that Ridgeway had been released, I do remember seeing that.

GT10

April 3rd, 2009
11:51 am

Go Braves! I cant wait to watch the game on Sunday night…I think the Braves have a good shot this year and can’t wait to show all of these publications who this team really is!

BlawgDawg

April 3rd, 2009
11:52 am

I’m just excited about seeing Shafer in CF this season and could care less where Bobby bats him. He could hit him 9th for all I care, as long as we keep getting to see him cover the outfield and gunning runners down like he’s shown he is capable of doing.

Rodney Derrick

April 3rd, 2009
11:53 am

Standing up for Bravos, this morning I put a comment on Ben Spegel’s predictions in the NY Times which put down the Braves. Ben, who covers the Mets, but attended Emory, said he would eat enough crow to fill all of Turner Field if the Braves won many games this year. My comment, “Larry Jones and the Braves will eat the Mets’ and Phillies’ lunch this season.”

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

April 3rd, 2009
11:54 am

BlawgDawg, Gregor Blanco was used the most leading off (60 games). But KJ and Escobar saw the vast amount of time in 2008 hitting back to back (first and second).

The 40 man roster has three open spots. Jordan Schafer will be added, Tim Hudson doesn’t count as he is on the 60 day DL and the other two spots are up for grabs.

Lash La Rue

April 3rd, 2009
11:55 am

Love it…..PLAY BALL!

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
11:55 am

Random, they don’t have all the transactions listed in that list. Where is the Josh Anderson trade, that happened in March. Also, after being outrighted to AAA, Anthony Lerew was released and he is now with the Royals. Pretty sure Ridgway has been released, so it the day it happened in a post by DOB in his blog.

ncscoots

April 3rd, 2009
11:57 am

Hitting Johnson or Escobar in the 8 hole would be a waste of either.

Schafer may actually thrive at 8. There, at least, he absolutely knows pitchers are going to try to expand the zone on him, and can game-plan his appearances accordingly (I hope). The Braves could tell him to just tighten his zone and not worry about the pitcher coming up, as a learning tool. Lots of ways to use the 8 spot to break in a rookie that you hope will help later, elsewhere in the lineup.

phar71

April 3rd, 2009
11:59 am

I’ll be at the Ted tonight! Will are Regulars be playing tonight?

35YrBravesFan

April 3rd, 2009
11:59 am

Thanks for the Blog, CR!

Time to Rock n Roll and prove all those naysayers WRONG!!!!

GO BRAVES!!

Willy Wally

April 3rd, 2009
11:59 am

Start the dang season already!

McFann :Ô:

April 3rd, 2009
11:59 am

DTJ Does that look like worthy news to you? Bennett, Campillo and Carlyle all making the opening day roster without Accosta?

Um…yeah, kinda…

ease19

I’m exhausted, too! Time to kick back and see what “these people” cann do against the Fillies!

Course, first they hafta play the Tigers…again!

DiamondbackMac

April 3rd, 2009
12:00 pm

tvsportscaster DOB had the Ridgeway release in his blog of 3/28/09.

McFann :Ô:

April 3rd, 2009
12:00 pm

Oh, and thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

LET’S PLAY BALL!!

Lew

April 3rd, 2009
12:01 pm

DAP_I posted a response to you at the end of the last blog. Read it if you choose, or not as you see fit.

AS to Frank Robinson’s success as a manager. Maybe you need to research his record if you think he was all that great. In 17 managerial seasons, he had two second place finishes and two third place finishes. He had thirteen seasons finishing fourth or lower. That is hardly what I would call a great track record of success. He was an incredible player, but NOT a great manager and probably had one of the most abrasive styles of any manager in recent history.

He never made the playoffs as a manager. His teams won more than 83 games twice and never won more than 87 games. Now that might be understandable while managing the about to be exiled Expos who sold all their talent whenever possible, but he had a sub .500 record with the Orioles and Indians as well.

Like I said-HOF players do not make good managers.

DiamondbackMac

April 3rd, 2009
12:01 pm

Googled: Jeff Ridgeway, +released, +O’Brien

Tomahawk210

April 3rd, 2009
12:03 pm

I think Schafer might go with #5. He had it in the minors.

Woogidy

April 3rd, 2009
12:04 pm

Look at this I found.

from John Dewan’s stat of the week, July 23, 2008. Lots of neat stuff here.

http://actasports.com/sows.php

In the last three editions of The Bill James Handbook, we introduced a new statistic to measure baserunning. It’s called Net Baserunning Gain and it’s simply how many extra bases beyond average a player gains. For example, a runner goes first to third on a single about 30 percent of the time. The average is three out of ten. If a given player goes five out of ten, he is plus two. We look at all the situations like this, scoring from first on a double, scoring from second on a single, and so on and so forth. If a player is thrown out on the bases, he receives a triple penalty (-3). And we count stolen bases, but it’s only a plus if it’s better than a success rate of two out of three (67 percent).

As of the All-Star break last year, the worst in baseball? Yunel Escobar. -26 You’d rather have him at the bottom of the order if that is the case. I for vote Schafer at the top.

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
12:06 pm

Yeah, DiamondbackMac, there was also a thread about it on the braves.scout.com site that same day, so it definitely happened, so with that, and the release of Lerew and trade of Anderson, there are three open spots on the 40-man roster.

rickman

April 3rd, 2009
12:06 pm

I’ll be out in left field at the game tonight as well. Would like to see some of the starters go for a few innings. Anyone know who is pitching tonight?

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
12:07 pm

Tomahawk, Clint Sammons wears number 5.

PWHjort

April 3rd, 2009
12:07 pm

Someone once told me I should draft Jeff Ridgeway in a fantasy draft. That person is now in an insane asylum.

Josh

April 3rd, 2009
12:07 pm

I believe Schafer has the mental toughness and enough love for the game to overlook being put in the 8 spot. Although I’d love to see him in the leadoff role, he hasn’t shown the ability to put down situational bunts and do the simple abc things that make a good team. Those skills should develope over the course of the season though. My predictions for Schafer are .285 Batting Average 14 Home Runs and 65 Runs Batted In. Thats all folks!

Bobby's Cox

April 3rd, 2009
12:07 pm

Yankees over Dodgers. That’s who I’m taking. A throwback in the new Yankee Stadium with Torre and Manny on the other side of the field.

Woogidy

April 3rd, 2009
12:10 pm

I can’t get over some of these stats. Hanley Ramirez came to bat with the bases empty over 400 times last year! That brings a new perspective on who should be the leadoff hitter.

Random

April 3rd, 2009
12:10 pm

tvsportscaster (11:55 am): “Pretty sure Ridgway has been released, so it the day it happened in a post by DOB in his blog.”

Yeah, me too — just can’t find any “official” record of it. He’s still listed on the Braves’ roster (Josh Anderson is on the Tigers’).

OHBravesGirl

April 3rd, 2009
12:11 pm

I’ve always been of the belief that Opening Day should be a holiday, and I’ve been thankful for the past two years that the Braves have opened on Sunday Night Baseball, so I haven’t had to take an afternoon off to catch their first game! I’m just hoping for good weather here in Ohio on Sunday, so I can wear my customary opening day uniform – McCann t-shirt and jean skirt! Don’t worry, McFann, he’s still all yours…I just need to have a little more faith in Jeff before I’ll wear my #7 shirt again.

Everyone have a good Friday and a great weekend…GO BRAVES!

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
12:11 pm

What about Felipe Alou and Dusty Baker?…Although not in the Hal of Fame, they were both All-Stars and have had relatively successful careers as managers.

Random

April 3rd, 2009
12:14 pm

McFann :Ô: (10:40 am): “Wish the game was on TV tonight…”

You don’t get cable? It’s on Comcast Sports South (CSS) @ 1910 hours.

Cameron

April 3rd, 2009
12:16 pm

Here is what all of those predicition experts aren’t factoring in: Cole Hamels and Johan Santana. They have both already had elbow problems this spring. Hamels already had to get a cortisone shot. You really think his elbow is going to hold up all year. Elbow soreness isn’t something that just goes away. It is usually a precursor to Tommy John Surgery, at least tendinitis. Tendinitis will be around all season and limit your effectiveness even when you can pitch through it. I predict mutliple DL stints for both, or one really long one.

Willy Wally

April 3rd, 2009
12:16 pm

Beyond the strategical reasons scoots highlighted,

the average 8 hitter in the NL last season hit .241, .317, .348, .664, 26 doubles, 10 homers, 5 stolen bases while being exposed 640 times.

The average NL leadoff hitter hit .274, .342, .424, .766 with 36 doubles, 7 triples, 18 homers, 31 stolen bases while being exposed 770 times.

Why increase a rookie like Schafer’s exposure? Why also increase the pressure of minimally accepted performance by 100 OPS points, which considering the 140 increased plate appearances, is asking Schafer to be worth 30 more runs at leadoff than you’d be asking him to be worth at 8th? Minimize the pressure and exposure. Derek Jeter won the Rookie of the Year in 1996, batting mostly 9th.

Roman Gal

April 3rd, 2009
12:16 pm

I’ll be at the Ted tonight!!

McFann I figured that you were younger than me, what with you talking about being home-schooled and what-not.

ease19 I kinda feel bad for not knowing what a slide-rule was and making half the people here feel really old. But, I know now.

Lew

April 3rd, 2009
12:19 pm

ease19-We were talking HOF players- we were discussing Chipper, Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz coming back. There are plenty of successful NON HOF ex players managing. It’s the superstars that have a spotty track record in management. Hey, it’s history-look it up. I’m not making up the premise.

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
12:21 pm

Roman Gal If someone pointed to one and asked, “Do you know what that is?”, I would be like, “huh?” My TI-80something was good enough for me (although strange having a calculator that costs over $100 and that has a manual the size of a novel)

glove51

April 3rd, 2009
12:21 pm

Carroll: I don’t see how both Carlyle and Bennett make the team. We have 18 known spots with the starting 8, the 5 starting pitchers, and 5 off the bench, with the only likely question marks being Schafer or Blanco and Ross or Sammons.

That leaves 7 spots for reiief pitchers:

Gonzalez
Moylan
Soriano
Boyer
Campillo
O’Flaherty (or possibly Logan)

then either Carlyle or Bennet (personally I’d go with Carlyle OR Medlen).

OK, WAIT! In mid-post I realized that Glavine will porbbaly not take a roster spot right out of camp. SO, maybe both DO make it for about 2 weeks. I’d still keep Medlen and trade/waive Bennett.

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

April 3rd, 2009
12:22 pm

Maybe this has missed most but it has not escaped the attention of this fan. The Braves have not traded a single pitcher so far. Nada. Not one. That might change in the next 48 hours but the effort to hang onto pitching by the Braves front office isn’t lost on this blogger.

Lew

April 3rd, 2009
12:24 pm

ease 19-Besides, the entire topic is at best a moot point. Who really knows what the future will bring and quite hoinestly, when all is said and done, who really cares? There are entirely too many variables for any kind of realistic predictions, anyway. We’ll see what we see when we see it and I, for one, am much more concerned over the future represented by the 2009 season. 2020 isn’t even on remote radar. Most of the players who will even play on that team are in elementary school now (hopefully) learning how to read and count on their fingers.

Besides, if the Mayans are right, the world ends on December 21, 2012. If such is the case, we won’t even need to worry about the option year on Chipper’s contract.

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
12:24 pm

Lew – I know what you were talking about, just thought I would expand the criteria some, to guys who were not bench riders, but actually had successful playing careers (hence All-Stars).

TBraveFan

April 3rd, 2009
12:24 pm

McFann — my quest for the perfect photo of Mac begins tonight… since I sit next to our dugout, I figure I should have plenty of choices. I’ll post them as an Image Shack gallery for you!

mbatl

April 3rd, 2009
12:25 pm

Coach, having a couple of open slots on the 40-man seems like a nice luxury at this time of the year.

For instance, Kris Medlen is not on the 40, but might be the first righty called up if one of the other guys got hurt (15 day, not 60), so we could do so without having to pass someone else through waivers. Same goes for Hanson. But no need to put either on the 40-man until/unless that day comes.

Also, leaves us room to pick up a minor league prospect in trade who might need to be on the 40-man roster due to his # of years in baseball.

I always preface roster talk with an “I’m not sure, but” disclaimer, but I don’t think there’s any urgency to fill out the 40 man.

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
12:26 pm

Lew – I know, in 2020 I may actually be considered “old”, and that does not appeal to me at all. Moot point it is, moving on :lol:

the real Old Gold

April 3rd, 2009
12:27 pm

Last season was an absolute disaster. If the veterans fail us once again this season, we should clean house and bring up all the youngsters. There is some fine talent in the lower A’s and we should give them a shot.

Carroll Rogers

April 3rd, 2009
12:27 pm

I’ll figure out the Ridgway stuff, but I don’t see him factoring in anyway…Phar71, I’d get to the game on time if I were you. Getting to the point now where you don’t want to risk injury.

Woogidy

April 3rd, 2009
12:29 pm

Are long at-bats
more productive than short ones?

http://actasports.com/sow.php?id=180

Someone show Kelly Johnson this.

Willy Wally

April 3rd, 2009
12:29 pm

As of the All-Star break last year, the worst in baseball? Yunel Escobar. -26 You’d rather have him at the bottom of the order if that is the case. I for vote Schafer at the top. (woogiddy)

Most of that was caused by Yunel running the bases like a fool for a six week period of time from late May through late June last season(until he messed up his shoulder going into a base). It really felt like he was frustrated with the lack of scoring and was trying far too hard to be macho and make things happen. Outside of that six week period of time though, Yunel’s been a solid baserunner.

If you go to baseballprospectus’ baserunning stats, Yunel ended up being worth +1 run on the bases last season relative to average. The year before, he was worth +.64 runs on the bases relative to average.

Only 1 baserunner in 2007 was worth more than +10 runs on the bases relative to average, and only 21 were worth 5+ runs. In 2008, only 2 were worth 10+ runs on the bases relative to average, and only 16 were worth 5+ runs.

So I wouldn’t go getting too carried away with how much Schafer’s baserunning will make him better suited at leadoff. Even if Schafer was the one or two guys in the majors worth 10+ runs on the bases, Escobar or KJ could eliminate that run advantage by merely having an OBP 30 points higher than Schafer if they all had the same SLG or by having a SLG 55 points higher if they all had the same OBP.

TBraveFan

April 3rd, 2009
12:32 pm

Carroll – nice to ‘meet’ you in ST (Yankees away game early March) – hopefully will see you on a road trip some time this year – or even at the TED!

Coach (Skip and Pete will be missed)

April 3rd, 2009
12:36 pm

Woogidy, Fredi Gonzalez has been utilizing Hanley Ramirez in the three hole all spring. Cameron Maybin and Emilio Bonifacio have leading off for the fish. Suffice to say, the Marlins offense is going to have a whole new look in 2009.

Tomahawkin

April 3rd, 2009
12:36 pm

Does anyone know if tonights game is gonna be on TV…? I know that 2morrow’s game is on FSS, but I looked on the web and didn’t find any listings 4 tonight’s game….

MGL

April 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

Woogidy

April 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

Do spring training team records matter?

I just can’t get enough of these.

http://actasports.com/sow.php?id=165

Carroll Rogers

April 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

You’re right that Ridgway was released. Just confirmed it with Braves. My fault.

Roman Gal

April 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

ease19 I did a google search and saw a couple of pictures. Apparently the thing on top of the scales used at doctor’s offices is a simplified version of one. Otherwise it kinda just looks like a ruler. I bet if I were to see one now I would know what it is.

Woogidy

April 3rd, 2009
12:38 pm

Coach, I think so too. He should drive in about 120 this year. He drove in 67 last year.

Tomahawkin

April 3rd, 2009
12:38 pm

Coach

Do U plan on Throwing Empty Beer cans at the TV if Lowe Gets Slapped? I for one will have an eye on him, I think his contract is gonn hurt us during the last 2 years of his contract…

Bay Area Steve

April 3rd, 2009
12:44 pm

square leg, scoots,

thanks for the input. I guess, as Gil said, winning .70 on the dollar hardly seems worth it. I sorta knew that’s how it worked, and was hoping someone knew of side bets, such as in football, that could allow me to win five to one, or so (Do they have an over/under for runs, or for Francoeur broken bats?). Granted, I don’t think I’ve ever won a football parlay, but my momma told me never to give up.

DAP

April 3rd, 2009
12:46 pm

lewAS to Frank Robinson’s success as a manager. Maybe you need to research his record if you think he was all that great.

typical, lew. you love putting words in people’s mouths. no one ever said robinson was successful as a manager.

and, if thats where we are in this discussion, we are so off track that we need to just quit…which is another of your fortes…taking a discussion in totally the wrong direction. for instance, this:

Like I said-HOF players do not make good managers.

not only is that NOT what you said, we werent talking about HOF player becoming GOOD managers, and we werent even talking about HOF players becoming managers!!! see how way off you are!?!

you arent making any sense at all.

Shriveled Dick

April 3rd, 2009
12:51 pm

Why do so many suck up to Carroll for doing a great job? Is she really hot or are you just covering your bases in case she is?

Tom O'Hawke

April 3rd, 2009
12:51 pm

Before things get too ugly, maybe we need another list to discuss. How about the top 100 tuba players of all time. My all time favorite was Joseph “Kiss” Myaski. His career was short, but his oom pah pahs could bring tears to your eyes.

AGTFan

April 3rd, 2009
12:53 pm

I’m ready for the real season to begin. I might even get to Atlanta for a game this year. Lew, I agree that HOF players don’t have a great track record as managers. Of the 4 player you were talking about, I think they all have great potential after they retire as players to be great coaches. I think Chipper would be an exceptional hitting coach and I wouldn’t be surprised if Maddog and Glavine not only became great pithing coaches, that they also became great managers. Much as I love Smoltz, I don’t see him having the temperment to be a manager.

But what do I know? I’m just an old, fat guy stuck in the middle of Illinois, rooting for the Braves.

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
12:55 pm

Roman Gal Just had a chuckle at the link MGL posted…Now I know too. :smile:

monty

April 3rd, 2009
12:57 pm

THis is a vastly improved team over last year, especially among the pitchers. We just need to stay healthy and somehow find a way to beat the Phillies. Barring any major injuries we’ll be fine. Franceour and Kotchman (to me) hold the key. If they have really good years, I don’t see why we won’t be competing for a wildcard.

DAP

April 3rd, 2009
12:58 pm

lewYou haven’t been able to cite a single example and base your entire thesis on the fact I mentioned Chipper’s love of the outdoors. Where’s your logic, Dude?

just saw this. this is what kills me about you. you dont know what youre talking about, but you take it and run.my entire thesis!?! what thesis!?! i never asserted that chipper would come back to manage or coach (i did say that i thought hed be a good coach) weather or not good players make good managers or coaches is not and never was the issue.

my only comment to you was that if chipper decided not to coach or manage, its not going to be because he wants to fish and hunt, because he can do both. (just like now he plays baseball as well as hunts and fishes) thats it. dont read into my comment. you are way off base.

your like tommyp from yesterday getting all made about norton’s “punishment” comment.

and im not trying to be contentious, i just am tired of you getting away with skewing everything people say to ascribe things to them they never said or dont believe. youre terrible about it.

so, just to review…i dont think chipper’s desire to hunt and fish is going to keep him away from baseball when he retires. something else might, hunting and fishing wont…thats it.

PWHjort

April 3rd, 2009
12:58 pm

Predictions:

NL East: Mets
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Diamondbacks
NL Wild Card: Braves

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Twins
AL West: A’s
AL Wild Card: Yankees

Red Sox over the Diamondbacks in 5.
Rays miss the playoffs.
So do the Angels.

Doc Holiday

April 3rd, 2009
1:00 pm

When was the last time (if ever) that the braves bench was as strong as…………. MD/GA, Infante, Prado, Norton, Ross.

There might be some maybe as strong in the last 29 years, but not better…….

Thoughts?

USATODAY:

THE BRAVES WILL CONTEND IF …: 3B Chipper Jones plays 150 games. If they can manufacture runs with speed and consistent hitting throughout the lineup. If the starting pitchers each work 200 innings. If closer Mike Gonzalez doesn’t have to finish consecutive games on a regular basis and doesn’t have to make four-out appearances.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I feel dangerous again.” —RF Jeff Francoeur

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
1:00 pm

Tom O’Hawke Amusing thought, although it would be a short list and an even shorter debate. Still, the dude from Ohio St who doted the “I” couple of years ago in the National Title game gets my vote. (He wonders aloud if that is even a tuba?) he had some flair.

Josh H

April 3rd, 2009
1:00 pm

From the last blog: I think someone was talking about a “take home test”

In that same vein, if you ever get a choice of a professor making a test for use without a calculator, or with one, always choose without a calculator. The math will be much easier :) . Especially in a more complicated course like Calculus.

Tomahawk210

April 3rd, 2009
1:02 pm

tvsportscaster

Sammons isn’t even on the big league club, and only will be if Ross is hurt so i’m sure it wouldn’t be a big deal if Schafer picked 5.

glove51

April 3rd, 2009
1:03 pm

QUOTE: “USATODAY:

THE BRAVES WILL CONTEND IF …: 3B Chipper Jones plays 150 games. If they can manufacture runs with speed and consistent hitting throughout the lineup. If the starting pitchers each work 200 innings. If closer Mike Gonzalez doesn’t have to finish consecutive games on a regular basis and doesn’t have to make four-out appearances.”

That’s asinine. If those things all happen, Braves probably are in the World Series. No way Chipper plays 150 games. I’ll be ecstatic if he plays 140.

tvsportscaster

April 3rd, 2009
1:04 pm

tomahawkin, in response to your 12:26 post about tv, tonight’s game is on CSS Cable for those of you who get that channel.

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
1:04 pm

DAP If I were Anders, I would reply with something like, “Hey Lew, guess you had a glass of vinegar with yer oatmeal this morning.”

But alas, I am not…

cabravesfan

April 3rd, 2009
1:05 pm

PWHjort-

You have some high hopes for the A’s in the AL West- the Angels are so much better then any other team in that division (even without a lot of power) They may have that division locked up by the all star game (ok, slight exaggeration but you get the idea)
I know a lot of people are saying the A’s might suprise this year but I cannot see anyone toping the Angels…just one girls’ opinion:)

TnBrian

April 3rd, 2009
1:06 pm

Looks like Shef is a Mutt here pretty soon… who cares, right.

The Braves are gonna have to do a serious turn around hitting with runners on for them to have a chance. Still can’t get over all the one run losses in ‘08 that we can split in half with wins this year. Baseball is a weird game!

Tom O'Hawke

April 3rd, 2009
1:07 pm

Nice one, ease19!

Tomahawkin

April 3rd, 2009
1:08 pm

Golve51

I will Co-sign to we’d be lucky if we got Chipper for 140 games or 600 at bats…

Agreed as well in that it is imperative for our offense to be efficient in manufacturing runs…

Especially if the bats start out slow. I Hope everyone knows that GA is a notorious slow starter with the bat…

And Usually takes about 40 games to see what isn’t working with the offense. Bobby has to get over his stubborness and makes adjustments as the season goes along…We can’t have Frenchy hitting 5th or 6th if he is hitting 250 by mid May…Anyone remembers Bobby’s Reluctance to Move A. Jones out of the 4th Slot a couple of years ago…That killed us Big time

Chris from the Rock

April 3rd, 2009
1:12 pm

Here’s a funny bit about the Braves by Tim Brown of Yahoo is his Pre-season power rankings:

14. Atlanta Braves (72-90) – GM Frank Wren, wondering where the hell Furcal is, fines shortstop for missing all of camp.

Tomahawkin

April 3rd, 2009
1:13 pm

TVSportscaster…

Thanks for the 411…I will have to check and see come 6:30 or so

Tn Brian

I will also be paying close attention Sunday Night if the game is close late… I we lose another opener by 1 run I’m gonna go crazy…

Philles fans (On the Philly.com/phillies/forum) think that our defense in close games ,Or lack thereof, is the reason why we lost so many close games. They were saying that Philly/New York both have lineups that you can’t afford to give extra outs to and I totally agree…

Mitchie-san

April 3rd, 2009
1:16 pm

Ahhh, drafting Pujols, Pedroia and Sabathia in my fantasy league makes me happy.

RHR

April 3rd, 2009
1:18 pm

Shrinky Dick – I’m a hetero female so I couldn’t care less what Carroll looks like but I do appreciate the work she and DOB do on this blog. This blog has more up to date information on the Braves than any other site out there, including the braves official site because of either DOB or Carroll updating new blogs almost daily and leaving comments in between blog updates at all times of the day or night. As a fan, I appreciate that, as a smartass I can see why you might not.

Mike

April 3rd, 2009
1:19 pm

Carroll, how come they don’t put your picture up???

ease19

April 3rd, 2009
1:21 pm

RHR Got get’em! Funny thing is, we do the same with DOB…and we KNOW what he looks like!

Bay Area Steve

April 3rd, 2009
1:24 pm

Hey, I’m a smartass, and I appreciate it.

bravo!

April 3rd, 2009
1:24 pm

Hmmm..Frenchy is feelin’ dangerous. Is that dangerous to opposing teams, or to our offense?

Bay Area Steve

April 3rd, 2009
1:24 pm

I know, I know, just an ass.

TnBrian

April 3rd, 2009
1:26 pm

Phily fans can’t be that dumb, well they can be but… our defense? How about Franc’s K’s with one or none out with a guy on third. He was consistantly bad in those spots, but most others in that lineup had the same “hit one out no matter what” syndrome that Jeff had in ‘08. Pendelton is just as to blame as the guys no matter if he’s in the box or not. His job is correct a problem that is obvious to the hundreds of thousands of Braves fans watching.

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