2:17 pm June 8, 2009, by David O'Brien
June 9th, 20093:26 pm
David, please put up a new blog. If we actually hit 3000 posts on this one, whatever will some of our bloggers have left to live for? It’s your moral duty to put up a new one, and prevent a catastrophic rush to the ledges.
McLouth of the South
June 9th, 20093:27 pm
Happy 3000 everybody!
Once upon a time, the Braves had a right fielder who, like Francoeur, met with immediate acclaim, stepping right into the lineup in mid-season and hitting .281/.304/.459 in 98 games, garnering a few Rookie of the Year votes. Like Francoeur, he was young (22) and considered an all-around talent despite the lack of speed (just one stolen base as a rookie). And like Francoeur, he swung at everything. He walked just eight times all season.
This right fielder struggled terribly the next two seasons, largely because opposing pitchers learned to exploit his impatience at the plate. In his sophomore season, he walked just 17 times in 75 games; in his third year he regressed even more, drawing just 11 walks in 60 games. He hit .235/.277/.354 combined.
The wrinkle is this: after his rookie season, this right fielder was traded, a trade that looked brilliant for the Braves when he struggled over the next two years. The team that traded for him looked like a bunch of morons.
That team was the Kansas City Royals. That player was Jermaine Dye.
Having said all that, why do we want to let Jeff go for nothing, and give away the farm for Dye whose decline has to start soon?
The Blog will be crashing soon
DOB! We need new BLOGGAGE now!
A toast to the hardest working bloggers…
June 9th, 20093:28 pm
Life now has no meaning.
did you catch “sunday night baseball” a couple of week ago when thecubs were playing the dodgers?
the announcers did a segment about last years all-star catchers. they showed the 2008 numbers of martin and soto, and commented on how much can change in just one year.
they repeatedly referred to them as “the two all-star catcher from last year”.
they never even hinted about brian mccann, the fact that he was an all star last year, and was hitting well over .300 with good power numbers. pathetic.
June 9th, 20093:29 pm
I still “support” Francouer. I really hope he turns it around, and despite how awful he has looked this year, he is after all only 25.
But do I think he will turn it around? No. I think it’s becoming increasingly likely that he is destined to become an out machine. I don’t believe you can effectively teach patience to a true free swinger-especially one not interested in OBP (the A’s and Red Sox have been trying to stop free swingers for years, without much success). And if you are going to be a free swinger in this league, you need to be as good as Vlad. Jeff simply doesn’t have that kind of talent. And while he sounds like a great guy, I have a hard time envisioning a successful career trajectory for him at this point. The Braves need to, and probably are, consider ending the JF era.
With that being said, I actively root for him and hope every game he turns it around. It’s not like the guy is a jerk. I don’t see any reason to root against him. The reason a lot of people are angry towards Francoeur-frothing at the mouth-is a product of their own expectations. They assigned Jeff as a future star, and feel personally let down that he has failed to live up to those imaginary standards. So they direct overbearing frustration on him. Garrett Anderson and Kelly Johnson have struggled mightily this year-and while both are certainly not blog favorites, they receive nowhere near the same level of vitriol as is directed at Francoeur. I think that is unfortunate. There is no rational reason to wish ill on someone who by all accounts is a great person. But that’s how sports are.
Take cover everyone, she’s a goner!
June 9th, 20093:30 pm
So true–McCann has always called a good game. He’s is improving a LOT with throwing guys out, too…he’s done a fair job of blocking pitches (like last night for example), but yeah, still room for improvement for sure. I gotta take a look at Yadier’s defensive numbers thus far…
Seems every year McCann plays second fiddle to “the catcher of the year”
Oh yeah. Funny thing…He’s by far the best of the bunch, but for some reason, a lot of people don’t see that. They’ll see it when he’s a HOF’er though…
VOTE McCANN 2009 ALL-STAR!!!!
June 9th, 20093:32 pm
New blog or 4,000? Your call DOB.
I voted for McCann as well as Chipper and Nate
3,000+ hits. We’re first ballot Hall of Famer’s.
June 9th, 20093:33 pm
“No no–what you mean is, BMac is improving AND is average behind the plate. I think, in terms of throwing guys out at second, he was a little below average in years past…”
Brian is very good at blocking balls in the dirt, as well. His arm is pretty accurate, just not that strong.
As for Francoeur vs. McCann: Francoeur’s “up-side” is a 0.280 hitter with 25 HRs. McCann hit 0.301 with 23 HRs last year missing every 5th day.
June 9th, 20093:34 pm
From Keith Law: “The Pirates are taking Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez. A predraft deal is done.”
Poor Pirates fans.
June 9th, 20093:35 pm
Brian McCann is currently the BEST offensive NL Catcher. His defense is more than servicable (not like Mike Piazza getting voted in all those years with his noodle arm).
Yet B-Mac may get the “shaft” once again and NOT start. Ask NL pitchers who they RATHER not face…Y. Molina or B-Mac. I think the answer will be B-Mac. He’s turned into one of the most feared hitters in the NL.
Shame if B-Mac IS NOT the starter at the ALL-star game.
Same for Chipper over Muts darling David Wright at 3B.
Steve from OH
Jim Callis thinks that the first four picks are pretty much a lock to be Stras, Ackley, Tate, Sachez. If the Orioles take Crow, we could end up with Wheeler.
No, I did not see that…and it’s a good thing, too–we might not have a TV anymore if I had seen it…
If they didn’t know that McCann was an All-Star last year, wull, that’s partly Clint Hurdle’s fault for waiting until the last play of the game…
But those national media guys cann be so pathetic, I tell you what…They oughta do their freaking homework before talking about, well, anything, really…
June 9th, 20093:36 pm
Ep, it seems to me that there is a good Psychology Today white paper in there somewhere, re the bile spewed at Francoeur. Sports fan transference, failed expectations of both fan and player, and the like.
I mean, one guy last night stated very bluntly that he “hated” Francoeur, literally. That seems a little beyond a fan being displeased with a ballplayer, no?
June 9th, 20093:37 pm
Efrim–don’t speak too soon. We may end up with Minor.
Like I said, I know Frenchie is sucky right now. I am not trying to refute that at all. And yes, he should have hussled, but come on, he got in and we won. Can we not at least be positive about WINNING for God’s sake. I think some of you guys would not be happy with a World Series win if it wasn’t “perfect” in your eyes.
June 9th, 20093:38 pm
Live HAS no meaning until 4. (PST)
I’m not for trading Francoeur, but he needs a long time in the minor leagues learning how to hit again. Without it, I think his career is over.
If by “right now” you mean the last two years then, yeah, Frenchy sucks right now.
June 9th, 20093:39 pm
Epinephrine – excellent 3:29 post. I think you explained all the vitriol aimed at Jeff by so many on this blog. I would imagine most of them will deny this. I disagree that Jeff can’t turn things around, but I don’t think it’s going to happen here. I think a change of scenery would be of benefit to Jeff. I don’t mean the minors. I think he can hit minor league pitching just fine. I think a new team and new coaching would eventually help him. It’s not like he isn’t putting in the work to get better. I think he’s going to have a mental block as long as he’s a Brave.
Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)
From the Posnanski blog that’s been linked to here at least twice:
“Rany’s comparison to Jermaine Dye doesn’t work at all for me. Yes, Dye began with the Braves, and he showed promise his rookie year like Francoeur and then was absolutely brutal his next two years. But … those seem like pretty surface comparisons to me. Dye was hurt those two in-between years. He only played a combined 135 games those two years. Dye’s first full year in the big leagues, he hit .294/.354/.526 with an OPS+ of 119. Francoeur has played three full years in the big leagues and has not come close to that. He has never slugged .450. He has only on-based better than .300 once.*
*That year, 2007, he had a .338 on-base percentage — right at league average — but it’s worth nothing that his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) was a sky-high .337 — at least fifty points higher than any of his other full seasons. In other words: He was either hitting the ball square that year, or he was getting lucky. Or both.
Dye’s second full year, incidentally, he hit .321/.390/.561. I just don’t see ANY comparison here.”
Exactly, Steve. It might look better too if they sign Sano…
June 9th, 20093:40 pm
Burdell Brian is very good at blocking balls in the dirt, as well.
Hee hee! You shoulda been here a couple weeks ago…
No, he’s better at that than he is given credit for sometimes. I do wish he could hold on to the ball a little better on throws from the outfield…
His arm is really accurate–but yeah, sometimes his throws are just a little late (or right there and is either dropped, or we’ve got an umpire who…well, you know…)
Francoeur’s “up-side” is a 0.280 hitter with 25 HRs. McCann hit 0.301 with 23 HRs last year missing every 5th day.
Not too bad…but you generally want more power from your corner OF, right? Course, at this point I’ll take 25 from Jeff…
I agree 100%.
Who do we pass with 3,050 hits?
June 9th, 20093:41 pm
Pete Rose, look out …
Oops, I forgot:
June 9th, 20093:42 pm
Steve from OH, if we end up with Minor, well, let’s just hope that we don’t. Go to “Atlanta’s pick to have domino effect” comments section on ESPN.com. I’m having a back and forth with Jason Churchill on Atlanta’s pick. Pretty good convo.
Rob (from SC)
If Crow slips, anyway we take him.
Wheelz 3,000+ hits. We’re first ballot Hall of Famer’s.
June 9th, 20093:45 pm
Epinephrine @ 3:29 post. You’re spot on. As for whether or not he can turn it around… TBD. I don’t think he can do it in Atlanta. Perhaps a change of scenery or a genuine stop in the minors to remember how to hit is in order. Someone made the comment he can hit AAA pitching but how do we know? He’s played what, 3 games there in the last 3 years?
Rob from SC, no chance.
June 9th, 20093:46 pm
I voted for Schnider. Does that count?
Scoots, couldn’t agree more. I’d thoroughly enjoy seeing someone tackle why fans get their identities so tied up in the performance of people they will never know-and who, were they to know as people, might not even like.
And I include myself in that category-I love following this team, it’s great entertainment, and frankly, fun. But I hope I never catch myself “hating” people, or actively rooting for people who are by all accounts good people to suffer misfortune. That, in my opinion, is taking the fun of an irrational sports fan far, far over the line.
I’m sure for DOB and Carroll there has to be at least some element of a bizarre disconnect between being able to match actual personalities to on-field personas. My bet is that some of the players we idolize are quite awful, and some we pillory are solid folks. And it’s fine to pillory those players for their performances-their job after all is to play successful baseball. But we tend to rip players we don’t like for things that go well beyond having a low OBP or ERA (Ie, Scott Thorman, Francoeur, Chris Reitsma). And both DOB and Carroll must at least have some difficulty in biting their tongues (observing the “locker room” code) when they see which guys we lift up and which guys we tear down.
June 9th, 20093:47 pm
Well said Gregg
June 9th, 20093:49 pm
We can’t be stopped now, only contained by The Man (DOB).
DOB must be cranking out a nice, long blog.
By the way… great, great win for the Braves last night. Need another one tonight. Time to gain some ground on the Phillies.
June 9th, 20093:50 pm
Where is it that you’re talking with Churchill?
June 9th, 20093:51 pm
Great 3:39 post Piedmont.
June 9th, 20093:52 pm
“Atlanta’s pick to have domino effect” post on ESPN.com. In the MLB draft blog section.
June 9th, 20093:54 pm
“The seventh pick and no second-rounder might make actual FO types ponder just a wee bit more about being hard-ass, in a draft as shallow as this one is portrayed”
Scoots: But I do hear the compensation for “losing” your draft pick is to return next year with pick 8 as well as whatever pick granted from this years record. Read that from a run down on the Nats. Should they fail to sign both their #1 and #10 this year they will most certainly have #1,2, and 11 next year. If they “roll the hole” on that for a few more years they could end up with the top 15 picks in a draft. It’d be a helluva way to go. They suck any way, whats a few more years of failure?
June 9th, 20093:58 pm
bravesgrl4life…………..The Braves won the game in the 14th inning last night DESPITE the antics of Jeff Franceour. 2 reasons: First, he failed to bunt the runner over when he came up. When he laid that sorry excuse for a bunt down, it forced out Blanco at 2nd. The only reason Franceour was on base was because he got on by a fielder’s choice. Second, on the final play of the game, instead of busting his tail down the line upon immediate contact, he sees the ball hit past him and turns to look at the shortstop to see if he gets to the ball. I saw the highlights several times (I have direct t.v. and can use the rewind button, even if I’m not recording the game). You could clearly see him jogging the first 20 or so feet before he starts hightailing it down the line when he sees the shortstop field the ball Finally, if the throw was on target, he would have clearly been out.
The bottom line is that it should NOT have come down to a bad throw. If Franceour is busting his tail down the line all the way, then he scores no matter what. That is what TRUE Braves fans have an issue with. I’ve watched a lot of baseball since 1982 (I was 10 years old when I became an Atlanta Braves fan). I watch other baseball as well (Unlike many of you , I actually pay the $180 to subscribe to the MLB Extra Innings package on Direct T.V.). While I’m a baseball fan, I pay because I want to see EVERY Braves game (I live in San Francisco). I’ve watched enough baseball in my life to know that situations have a knack of repeating themselves. Franceour showed me on that crucial play that his instincts are BAD. This is his 4th full season in the Majors. He isnt some rookie. Plus, the way he is struggling, his margin for error is small.
Look, I know that Chipper, McCann, and Escobar all make errors. Escobar will make the occasional boneheaded base running play. However, all 3 more than make up for their errors with their production at the plate. They simply produce. Franceour…does not.
I could care less about what is fair. Jimmy Johnson (former coach for the Dallas Cowboys), once cut a back-up player for falling asleep during a team meeting. Jimmy went on and on about how the player showed that he didnt care about his job. A reporter then asked what he would do if Troy Aikman (Hall of Fame quarterback for the Cowboys) fell asleep during a team meeting. Jimmy said that he would just wake him up tell him to pay attention. The reporter asked if that was fair and was it a double standard? Jimmy said that when you are a star who produces, you get some slack. However when you are borderline on the team, your margin for error is very “slim”. Whereas a star can afford slip-ups, a borderline player cant. Jeff Franceour is, at best, a borderline player. He needs to remember that the next time a situation like last night comes up. And TRUE Braves fans need to have enough sense to see that just because the Braves won last night, does not mean that Franceour helped the Braves win. The Braves won DESPITE Jeff Franceour.
June 9th, 20094:02 pm
Yes, I am tall. My brother likes to call me “Lurch”. I led a rough childhood… (ROMAN GAL)
tall is good
June 9th, 20094:03 pm
Chiming in to be a part of the first 3,000 post blog I’ve seen. Say McFann, did I read that you were at the game on Saturday? I was there and I swear I saw someone holding up a sign that said, “McCann’s #1 Fan” and I thought of you. :p
June 9th, 20094:05 pm
Buffalo NY Braves Fan…………..you either did not see the game, the highlight of that final play, or you havent been paying attention to what has been said on here about that play. True it was a ground ball. However it was hit in between the shortstop and third baseman. The shortstop had to go WAY over just to get to the ball. He made an off balance throw home that “almost” got Franceour out. If the throw was on target, Franceour was out.
However, if you look at the replay, you will clearly see Franceour looking back and jogging the first 20 feet or so to see if the shortstop is going to get the ball. My point is that HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUSTING HIS TAIL IMMEDIATELY UPON CONTACT. Looking back and jogging the first 20 feet or so is what made the play so close. The ball was hit in such a spot that it should not have been a bang bang play. Franceour should have easily scored, no matter how good the throw was. That is my point. IF Franceour is busting his tail IMMEDIATELY, he scores easily no mater what. The fact that he didnt, is what made it a bang bang play. Relying on luck (an off line throw), especially when you dont have to, is not how a “winner” plays baseball. I didnt say that winners never rely on luck. I said that winners dont rely on luck when they dont have to. In that situation, luck (a bad throw) should have never been a factor.
June 9th, 20094:14 pm
siskel_god……..comparing Franceour to Jermaine Dye is a joke. Jermaine Dye’s playing time during those first 2 years he struggled was inconsistent. He played in half the games that Franceour did. Franceour plays in virtually every game. His stats simply suck PERIOD.
Also, you said that Jermaine Dye’s stats are “declining”? Declining how? .288, 15 homers, 39 RBI’s so far this year….how is that declining? .292, 34 homers, 96 homers in 2008….how is that declining?
Morons like you keep thinking about Franceour’s first couple of years and point to that as what kind of player the Braves would be “giving up on” if they traded him. However, those first couple of years can be attributed to the fact that MLB did not know how to pitch Franceour. However, that time has long passed. MLB knows how to pitch Jeff Franceour. And for whatever reason, Jeff Franceour simply cannot make the adjustments. The Braves are trying to win ball games and simply cannot afford to have his easy out at-bats in the line-up.
June 9th, 20094:16 pm
Chemistry means a lot to the team (Brian)
bullcrap, it means next to nothing. The As won tons of games and did nothing but fight. A lot of early Yanks teams the same way. Just something for writers to feed to gullible fans.
June 9th, 20094:17 pm
BILL in VA, are you saying McCann has not had any dramatic moments? he has had 10 times as many moments such as that more than Francouer. 3 run homer off Clemenstruation in the playoffs, and just the other night against the brewers, he got it started by almost hitting a game-tying bomb sending it foul, then doubling to bring in a run. When McCann hits the ball, its not luck. Francouer might as well have his eyes closed.
June 9th, 20094:22 pm
but I’m pretty sure most scouts see a ceiling of #1/#2 starter if they can clean some things up (EFRIM)
I would be willing to place a large wager that he never becomes a #1 pitcher in the bigs.
June 9th, 20094:24 pm
Epinephrine……personally, I do not wish ill will on Jeff Franceour. I have no doubt that he is a good person. However, I want to see the Braves win. He simply cannot help the Braves win.
If Jeff Franceour was batting 8th, then I would not be as “upset” at his production. However there is no way that he should be batting 6th or even 5th like Bobby had him on Sunday.
Also, neither Garret Anderson nor Kelly Johnson are in line to make what Jeff Franceour will be asking for next year in salary arbitration. Also, in 37 less at-bats, Kelly has one more homer, 6 more doubles, 6 more walks and 6 less RBI’s than Franceour. In 88 less at-bats, Garrett has 2 less homers, 2 more doubles, 1 less walk, and 9 less RBI’s than Franceour. Franceour makes more than both Johnson and Anderson. When you factor in the playing time with the salary, then the Braves are getting FAR LESS bang for the buck with Franceour than they are getting with Kelly or Garrett.
June 9th, 20094:29 pm
bravesgrl4life……..I’m happy that the Braves won. However as a TRUE Braves fan, I am NOT happy with the fact that the Braves are not putting forth a line-up that will give us our best chances of winning. The Braves won DESPITE Jeff Franceour last night. DESPITE, not because of. There is no excuse for him to be batting anywhere but 8th in the line-up.
Matt Diaz slid off the 2nd base bag on that double and got called out. However, he was hustling on the play and just over slid the bag. That is something that can be corrected. Mistakes happen. However NOT hustling is something that can be tolerated. I’ll take Matt Diaz’s mistake any day of the week over what Franceour did to almost cost the Braves the game last night.
June 9th, 20094:48 pm
bravesgrl4life, 3:21 pm…”I have to ask a question to all those who were bashing French for looking back on that final hit last night. Could it be exhaustion???”
He could have been looking back to make sure that the ball had not been caught in the air, thus doubling him up at third.
June 9th, 20095:08 pm
and we might be looking at a big draft. Might it really be worth the risk? (STEVE)
Not IMO. They have a big draft, they usually go cheap on some of them or just don’t sign them all.
June 9th, 20095:32 pm
Two runs score and the Braves are world champions. (CB)
well of course if it was tied in the bottom half only one run would score,
June 9th, 20095:52 pm
f Crow slips, anyway we take him (ROB SC)
I doubt it seriously
June 9th, 20096:05 pm
What’s the word on Leake? He sounds better than Miner by a good bit. Why is he not being considered?
June 9th, 20096:08 pm
Should they fail to sign both their #1 and #10 this year they will most certainly have #1,2, and 11 next year. (TENNPAUL)
if they fail to sign their #10 guy they lose him, you only get one mulligan
June 10th, 20094:10 pm
I’m outraged at the way the Braves treated their winningest pitcher (Tom Glavine). Glavine has won more games than any Braves pitcher other except Phil Niekro and Warren Spahn. Tommy always represented the Braves in the most utmost fashion and never did anything to embarrass the club. Once more, Glavine was key in securing a world series victory for the Braves. The Braves were totally classless in the way they lied to Glavine and treated Glavine like dirt despite Glavine’s larger than life contributions to the team. TOM Glavine is atlanta Braves baseball and will always be remembered as a key Brave who enabled success for the franchise. Without Tom Glavine’s contributions, the Braves would still be without a world championship. Think about that. The Braves would have never celebrated a title without the massive contributions of Glavine. Glavine deserved a better fate than he got. A statue should have been built in honor of Glavine instead of Glavine getting his unconditional release. Glavine was dishonored more than anyone and should have been honored like royalty more than any other Brave.
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