1:04 pm September 6, 2009, by Carroll Rogers
September 7th, 20093:11 am
sophiatbs – add me. I don’t think you’re on it though.
September 7th, 20093:45 am
f the Nats offered Stephan Strasberg and Ryan Zimmerman for Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, and Chipper Jones (taking all of his contract), would you take it?
only a moron would give up Hanson & Jurrjens for a totally unproven draft pick. So I’m sure someone on here will agree to that deal.
September 7th, 20093:47 am
aint nothing better then watching your three and four hole hitters hitting .150.
macc cant wait to eat a twinkie. macc is killing the team in the cleanup spot.
no way he is a cleanup guy. the guy cant wait to go krystal.
September 7th, 20093:52 am
quality srart after quality start. great offensive perfomance.
September 7th, 20094:03 am
nolie, well considering that the odds are Hanson will come damn close to what Strasberg will do, and won’t cost us anywhere near that kind of money (for a while), why on earth would somebody agree to that trade? Add to that, JJJ likely will match what Strasberg will do over the next few years (not saying Strasberg is going to bust, or won’t end up being great, he more than likely will anchore the Nats rotation for a while), but again? Why on earth?
If Wren were to be silly enough to dangle JJJ and Hanson out there, I’d hope we’d get a helluva lot more than a guy with a huge contract that has never pitched an inning of ML baseball.
September 7th, 20098:39 am
Wow – a very busy overnight, followed by four hours of dead air. A post from me won’t to anything to keep the air from being dead, either. Very bizarre to wake up on a holiday with no game to be played – even more bizarre is that I have to go out and teach a class this afternoon for three hours to some Henry County football players (while some of us plan to go to Disneyland ).
long time reader
September 7th, 20099:20 am
Ah, Henry County. Home of Jayson Heyward.
September 7th, 20099:31 am
possibly a distraught Braves fan:
September 7th, 20099:40 am
You uh, really like the Superstation there, Soph?
September 7th, 20099:51 am
jeffrey d – good morning – I enjoyed reading the late night posts as my morning entertainment.
September 7th, 20099:59 am
I KNEW IT! Ha! Do I know my guy or what? I’m like, “He doesn’t slump this bad for no reason…something’s wrong with him…” And I was RIGHT!
I hate it when I’m right.
I see there was no mention of it on here, but Bowmen has a piece about it: link
Just “peachy”…expected to return on Tuesday, though. As much as I’m t’d that there’s no game today (it’s Labor Day! C’mon! There’s s’posed to be a game on in the afternoon!), maybe it’s a good thing.
Rob from SC Wow, we have a catcher that can hit. (sorry McFann, I was just kidding)
“Haha”, yeah, I hear ya…hey, been a heckuva long time since ssoR hit one out. Was his last one in Baltimore? Guess it’s ’cause he doesn’t play much…
Soph At least McFann had a halfway decent weekend with Tech winning.
“Halfway”? Try “Fourthway”…Maybe even a smaller fraction than that.
Well, we did have fun staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house…
Ah, dry up, Uga-brave.
September 7th, 200910:00 am
Chipper probably needs to get the rest of the year off. Also, is the anyway the Braves can keep Hudson for next year….maybe if they can rework his contract. I wonder if we could get anything for KK.
September 7th, 200910:05 am
Sorry, Soph…jeepers-creepers! I sounded kinda rude to you! My apologies!
Yeah, sport-wise my weekend was a third of the way decent.
September 7th, 200910:08 am
WOW! Kendry Morales, thats a name that surprised me that you don’t hear about every day.
September 7th, 200910:16 am
James…..between Hudson,Vazquez, and KK you can bet one will be gone. Actually I would prefer it be Lowe and his 16 mil contract bur can’t see that one playing out.
September 7th, 200910:17 am
The Atlanta Braves have become the old St. Louis Browns. Just like the Browns, they have an occasional good pitching performance, but somebody needs to teach them how to hit. Putting in a pinch-hitter with .145 BA is not going to produce much, is it Bobby?
September 7th, 200910:19 am
Vote Huddy MLB Man-of-the-Year:
September 7th, 200910:28 am
People say “pitching and defense wins championships”. I think yesterday was the perfect example of why that is not entirely true.
That saying has always kinda bugged me, anyway. Huh, ya need some offense, too! Duh! The Braves know all about that…
Still wish we coulda had this pitching with ’06’s offense. Man, that team woulda made the playoffs!
September 7th, 200910:34 am
Oh man…and I can’t believe BMac’s AVG is .276 and his OBP is .341! This ain’t good.
Hope the two days off help that oblique feel better…ah, boy. I mean, I knew something had to be up ’cause lately when a ball would get by him behind the plate he wasn’t always as quick in getting up to go get it. Well, and obviously we all know how his hitting–or rather, lack thereof–has been.
Yah, Mr. Wren better find us a cleanup hitter this off-season.
And I hated seeing Diaz go 0-fer two days in a row. Hope Owings is OK, too. Apparently he doesn’t have a concussion? That’s good, if true…
September 7th, 200910:38 am
HEADLINES ON AJC.COM FRONT PAGE:
Chipper sits out game
Slugger was out of the lineup for the second time in five games with sore abdomen muscle.
I didnt know Chipper was still considered a slugger.
September 7th, 200910:39 am
Chipper’s new plate appearance theme song:
September 7th, 200910:40 am
Hey VJ…Not sure if you were serious or not, but thanks!
September 7th, 200910:43 am
monty – I know! I picked up Kendry Morales mid-season in my fantasy league (I’m beating everyone on the blog by 13 points, btw ). One of my outfielders got hurt so I was looking for a replacement. I saw Kendry’s numbers and I was like “….who?”
Then I checked out his minor league stats, figured he was legit, and picked him up.
September 7th, 200910:44 am
jeffrey d – serious – lots more fun than the anticipated whining and moaning (not to offend my good buddies who fall into those categories )
September 7th, 200910:51 am
Doc H. I didnt know Chipper was still considered a slugger.
Is anybody on our team still considered a slugger?
September 7th, 200911:01 am
Well at least by Bobby. LOL
September 7th, 200911:04 am
Yeah, I guess he must be since he’s batting cleanup. Haha, aaahhh…
But now he caught the oblique thing from Chipper…
September 7th, 200911:10 am
Did anybody see Buster Olney’s lead-in to his blog yesterday, where he discussed a pretty radical idea about altering the schedule in order to provide some sort of hope for the lesser teams in baseball, the way the NFL schedule does for the worst teams from the previous season?
I don’t know that this idea would even be considered in the forseeable future, given how slow baseball is in making any major changes that require agreement from all sides, not to mention the hell that the bigger-market teams would raise (and some smaller markets, too, who draw huge revenue from playing those big teams).
Anyway, here’s what Buster wrote on his always-excellent ESPN.com blog:
The status quo will not stand through the next labor agreement, because too many teams are finding the current competitive structure in Major League Baseball untenable. The Cleveland Indians came within one game of playing in the World Series in 2007, and now, less than two years later, they are tossed back into a full rebuilding mode. The Tampa Bay Rays’ window of opportunity burst open last year, after a decade of failure, and now, it is seemingly beginning to close.
“What real hope do you sell the fans in Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh, or Kansas City?” asked one baseball executive on Friday. “Do you tell them that if they do everything right for a five-year period, they might have one year or two years where they might win, if they don’t suffer any injuries to their key young guys? Is that real hope?
“People initially looked at Tampa Bay as an example of what a small-market team could accomplish. Now they have been brought down to earth by the financial realities.”
Here is the reality in Tampa Bay: At a time when the Rays are in the chase for a wild card, they drew just more than 17,000 for a home game against the Boston Red Sox earlier this week. Perhaps this is because the Tampa-St. Pete area is a market that won’t provide financial oil, or maybe it’s because school just started.
But another reason is that it’s hard to sell the idea of sustained hope, at a time when the sport’s financial realities compel a team to sell off a 25-year-old left-hander like Scott Kazmir who, just 16 months ago, was considered to be a foundation piece.
For Buster Olney’s insight into why the Tampa Bay Rays’ window could be closing and how Major League Baseball could help small-market teams, plus tons of other new and injury updates, you must be an ESPN Insider.
The Rays and many other teams have a lot of bandwagon fans because the sport’s competitive structure does not really provide even an illusion that success will probably come but once every four or five years for the mid-market and small-market clubs.
The Oakland Athletics are currently in a down cycle, collecting talented young pitchers like Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill. If everything goes right for the Athletics — if the best and brightest of their prodigies perform as expected, if they don’t suffer injury, and, most importantly, if the big-money Los Angeles Angels slide back a bit either because of injury or mismanagement — then Oakland might have a chance to win. And by the time Anderson and Cahill are in their fourth or fifth year of service time, Oakland will have to consider dealing them, as the Rays did with Kazmir, because their salaries could be too great for the Athletics to carry.
Somehow, Major League Baseball must build more mechanisms for real hope. The Rays and the Jays are never going to draw as well as the Yankees and Red Sox, but they must have a greater chance for success. A negotiated domestic draft-slotting system is one step, and a draft of international players might be another step.
Here is a possible third step: Major League Baseball should seriously consider an NFL-style scheduling system, which could greatly enhance the chances of a team to climb in the standings from year to year.
If you finish at the top of the standings, then in the season that follows, a preponderant portion of your schedule would be against the best teams. If you finish at the bottom of the standings, then a larger share of your schedule would be against the worst teams.
You could create three separate groups of teams: Group A would consist of the playoff teams; Group B would consist of the teams ranked No. 5-9 in wins; and Group C would consist of the teams who finished No. 10-14.
Imagine if the AL season ended today: Group A, the best teams, would be the Yankees, the Angels, the Red Sox and the Tigers (by virtue of their division lead). With an NFL-like system, you could have this group of four play an unbalanced portion of the schedule against each other — say, 18-19 games.
The current division alignments could remain the same, so that the schedules would consist of 8-10 games against other teams in your division not part of Group A, as well as home-and-home series against other AL teams in Group B and C, plus interleague play.
Group B would face off similarly, as well as Group C. This would mean that if you were a fan of the Kansas City Royals and you went through a terrible season, you would know that in the following year, a huge share of your games would be against the worst teams in the AL — Oakland, Cleveland and Baltimore. This would give your team a better chance to climb in the standings.
The effect of a weakened schedule for the weakest teams could be dramatic. Earlier this year, the Jays played an early schedule without any games against the Red Sox or Yankees, and on May 12 — the day of Toronto’s first game against New York — the Blue Jays were 23-12. You know what has happened since then.
There would be solace in a last-place finish, as there is in the NFL today. Oh, sure, the NFL has franchises that can’t get out of their own way, like the Lions and Raiders, but generally speaking, there is a consistent ebb and flow of competitiveness for virtually all teams. Failure in 2008 meant that some team’s chance for contending in 2009 was improved, and inevitably, some NFL clubs will emerge this year, fueled by their lightened schedule.
“There really would be more intrigue and interest in our schedule if we did it that way,” said one executive on Friday. “If you’re a fan in Kansas City today, you don’t really see any light at the end of the tunnel. But if you knew in 2010 that you were going to play almost half of your schedule against the worst teams, you have something to look forward to.”
There would, of course, be some hurdles to overcome in implementing a schedule like this:
– Some teams might be reluctant to cede a share of games against the more established teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, because those teams help to sell tickets.
– Team schedules are usually set well in advance, so Major League Baseball would have some logistical stuff to sort through, quickly, if it couldn’t set its schedule for the following year until early October.
– Travel is already an issue and a huge expense. Stepping outside the geographical pairings would add to this expense, undoubtedly. It would cost the Orioles more money to play 18-19 games against Oakland.
– A lot of fans like the division rivalries that build up over time — Red Sox fans know a lot about the Yankees, of course, and there would be years when Boston and New York would play fewer games, and when the Twins and White Sox would play fewer games.
– The trade-off for all of these concerns, of course, would be that teams could have a better chance of winning — and part of the reason why the Red Sox and Yankees are such an attractive draw on the road is because they win every year. They’re in the playoffs just about every year.
– If the Royals and Pirates made the playoffs, they would be more attractive road draws. In 2002, the team that ranked eighth in road attendance — higher than the Phillies or Angels — was the Oakland Athletics, who were in the midst of their playoff window. San Diego ranked seventh and Arizona ranked second in 2002, the year after the Diamondbacks won the World Series.
This schedule alteration is just one idea, at a time when a true salary cap is probably not close to happening, at a time when Major League Baseball could use a lot of ideas.
A gimmick? The socialization of the sport?
Maybe. But it is a system that has served the NFL very well.
September 7th, 200911:11 am
Oh man…and I can’t believe BMac’s AVG is .276 and his OBP is .341!
McFann, You piqued my curiosity, so I peeked at the Bowman article. McCann’s not at his peak with that bleak oblique.
September 7th, 200911:13 am
And happy birthday, Chrissie Hynde (58).
September 7th, 200911:14 am
Ouch. You sound like Joe the other day when he was rhyming everything in one of Nate’s AB.
September 7th, 200911:19 am
An extra $8 mil for 11 HR and 47 RBI is a lot of money. However, with Ilbanez in the lineup, maybe that would have had a positive effect on some of the other hitters (they would get better pitches to hit), so it’s possible that our offensive numbers all across the board would be better. I also think we would be in the thick of the playoff race (as opposed to 7 games back with 25 to play).
I think the reason the Braves did not go after him is not because they did not think he was worth the money. I just think he was out of their budget range.
That being said, Ilbanez is what, 38? And he still has 2 more years left. I would be concerned that next season he starts declining (like Chipper).
I have confidence that Frank Wren will fix our offense (I have no confidence in Bobby Cox). Another year out of the playoffs, but I am looking forward to the offseason nonetheless.
September 7th, 200911:21 am
Also, is the anyway the Braves can keep Hudson for next year….maybe if they can rework his contract. I wonder if we could get anything for KK. — James
James, I think that’s what they might try to do to keep Huddy, see if he’ll agree to drop the $12 mill option and perhaps work out a multi-year deal for $10 million per season (Braves could try for two, but I’d imagine it might take three years).
And yes, if they want to trade KK there’d probably be a market for a guy who produces that many quality starts for under $8 mill per year with two years left on his contract. But then, he’s 34 and the way they’re using him here at the end probably doesn’t help the perception much in regards to his durability, etc.
September 7th, 200911:23 am
Alright, you ladies and gentlemen have a fabulous Labor Day. I’ll be in and out. AND later today, I’m excited because the lead guitarist from my band is back for the week (he just left to do international missions for a year), so we’re gonna all play around tonight, which we obviously hadn’t done in awhile. Maybe have a vid to post later tonight.
September 7th, 200911:24 am
Sadly it will take a 10 game winning streak and a losing streak for both CO or Philly to get back in this.
That said Philly is looking more catchable than CO. Imagine if we had only lost 2 of the last five or 1?
In Sept., Braves have hit .198 (second-worst in NL) with a .295 slugging percentage (worst in NL).
Some playoff push by the fellas.
September 7th, 200911:25 am
Sorry, McFann. It was weak, not my week.
September 7th, 200911:28 am
One of the drawing cards for some fans is to see the best players in the game. The better teams generally draw nice crowds on the road. I see a Catch-22 in Buster’s plan. I don’t think the gate in Pittsburg is going to do quite well if they have to play the Nats an extra 6 or so games a year.
September 7th, 200911:30 am
The Rockies have four players hitting .324 or higher with .400 OBPs or higher in 40 or more games since the All-Star break, and those four also have 30 homers between them since the break.
That is a great idea about the scheduling thing.
September 7th, 200911:33 am
However, with Ilbanez in the lineup, maybe that would have had a positive effect on some of the other hitters (they would get better pitches to hit), so it’s possible that our offensive numbers all across the board would be better.
Lawd have mercy.
September 7th, 200911:35 am
No need to freak. Your outlook ain’t bleak…
September 7th, 200911:38 am
If Bobby is back you can hang it up for another year.
Schafer has only played half of last two season and proven nothing except he could have a great Spring training. Nothing more! How do some of you see him be counted on for anything? 2 years he has done nothing!
September 7th, 200911:41 am
So, braves probably aren’t going to make the playoffs, but I call this season a success. After last year, I was just hoping for a winning record and a good pitching staff. The pitching staff has been excellent and is set up to be great for a few years down the road still. If Frank Wren plays his cards right over the offseason, this team easily could become one of the top teams. I look forward to watching the offseaon and waiting until next year.
Big Braves Fan
September 7th, 200911:42 am
The Braves are finished for this year now is the time to let Bobby Cox know that either he retire, go somewhere else, or be fired. Being realistic about things Bobby Cox should have been fired two or three years ago. He can’t motivate anyone and his baseball moves backfire all the time. The other day he allowed pitcher Kris Medlen to stay in a game with the Marlins until he had given up five runs and the lead and what does he do the following night, he brings in Kris Medlen once again after being killed the night before and he gives up the lead and the game. Bobby Cox has killed any fight this team had in them over the last two weeks. Also just my opinion but Garret Anderson and Matt Diaz should never play together in the outfield because they make the characters in the movie Dumb and Dumber look smart.
September 7th, 200911:43 am
420 foot single by Justin Upton yesterday for the Rockies.
September 7th, 200911:46 am
I meant against the Rockies, sorry.
September 7th, 200911:47 am
San Francisco is almost as good at wasting quality starts as the Braves are.
Giants are 3-3 with a 1.49 ERA this month. They’ve hit .182 and scored 12 runs in those six games.
September 7th, 200911:49 am
DOB–this is an appropriate time for chrissie hynde’s birthday–because as a blogging braves fan,
THERE IS A THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE.
sorry for all caps, but i can’t italicize or any other command
September 7th, 200911:50 am
We have to admit that Chipper has been great on one thing this season at least. He has become the greatest Sensei Mc could get.
He has thought him the art of leaving a number of RISP he never dreamed of.
He thought him how to switch from a superstar to a superjoke in less than a season.
He thought him how to get to DL and how to sideline himself whenever he needed a day off.
Got to give some credit to Mc, he has become a fast learner.
September 7th, 200911:51 am
Dang…too bad the Braves can’t take advantage.
For the first time in my life, I’m almost ready for the season to end…
September 7th, 200911:57 am
uga-brave, you ain’t kiddin about Mac… DAMN, is he FAT and SLOBBY! I swear he must have put on 15-20 lbs since opening day and it doesn’t look like muscle. His bat is slow and his appraoch at the plate for awhile now has been Frenchy-like.
Seeing as how Figgins is a FA after ‘09 why not go after him to play 3rd and move Dipper to 1st? As far as I know Figgins is a solid 3rd baseman that can hit leadoff and steal some damn bases. Then, trade Vazquez and McLouth somewhere for a power hitter and good bp arm. Easier said than done but those are two huge holes on this team… speed and power.
September 7th, 200912:04 pm
Back to McLouth… you don’t need him. Schafer can be just as productive and we’ve seen his defense is better than Nate’s. Plus McLouth has more trade value than Schafer.
September 7th, 200912:09 pm
Wow… your last post is a bit of a stretch.
Right. BMac went on the DL with blurred vision, and he was trying to avoid having to be placed on the DL.
And this oblique thing didn’t just pop up yesterday. Did you read the article I linked to in my 9:59? Bobby said the trainers “don’t even know how he’s been playing.”
And the article ends this way: While it seems fatigue has played a part in the fact that McCann has hit just .244 over his past 67 games, he isn’t willing to even acknowledge this as a potential excuse.
BMac’s not the type of guy to…”Oh, ‘ow’. My side hurts! I can’t play…” No in any way saying that Chipper is, but come on, man.
BMac’s hitting .318 with RISP, and .313 with RISP/2 outs. Not horrid considering his overall AVG (.276). His AVG with the bases empty is .266, with men on he’s hitting .286. Runner on third, less than two outs–.545 with 5 sac flies. Bases loaded, .364; runners on 2nd and 3rd, .667, 1st and 2nd, .281; tie game, .326 with 34 RBI…
His only HUGE hole is late and close–.177. Look at his splits for yourself.
September 7th, 200912:10 pm
HoCoJo: No doubt about that. And that’s the primary reason I don’t think owners would ever agree to it. They’re in it to make money, first and foremost (at least the vast majority of them are). And playing the Yankees and Red Sox, if you’re the Kansas City Royals or Baltimore Orioles or other struggling AL teams, is too sweet a pot to give away, I’m fairly certain they’d say if this plan was presented for their consideration.
September 7th, 200912:13 pm
The Giants may have a chance at the Wild Card, if the Rockies take over the NL West lead. The Rox are playing too good to be caught right now but the good news for the Giants is that Colorado is back to within striking distance of LA and should the Rox take over the NL West the Giants still have 6 games left with the Dodgers.
btw, those braves Sept numbers are probably similar to how they were playing early in the season because right now they are playing exactly like they were back then.
September 7th, 200912:26 pm
ChurchMan, I’m predicting the Rockies will win the West. Doing a thing for tomorrow’s paper, picking the playoff teams. Gonna take Rockies to win West, Dodgers to hang on for wild card.
September 7th, 200912:27 pm
Wow…I just read some of the dumbest posts I’ve seen in a a while. Now Mac sux?? You guys just don’t get it, do ya? NEWSFLASH..Chipper will be playing 3rd next year….McClouth will be in either CF or LF….Bobby will be the manager if he chooses to be. All the crying and complaining in the world isn’t going to change any of this. This team isn’t that far away from being very good…there is no reason for an overhaul. And can everyone please stop acting like Heyward, Freeman, and Schaefer are the saviors of the world. Schaefer was awful here for two months and everyone wanted him gone..now everyone wants him back?? The other two are babies still, maybe they will shine right away, maybe they won’t. Yeah, this team let us down, but are they really underachieving this year??
September 7th, 200912:29 pm
Frank Wren sucks, my wife is Asian and she sees fine but she has never looked through eyes like yours. Thank God.
September 7th, 200912:30 pm
Wow, just looking at Neftali Feliz’s numbers with Rangers.
Dude has allowed just five hits, one run and one walk with — get this — 28 strikeouts in 22 innings.
September 7th, 200912:32 pm
F.W.S.: Thanks for that. Now we’ll make sure no one can see your ignorant comments.
September 7th, 200912:33 pm
Neftali Feliz is the only piece in the Tex trade I wish the Braves had held on to. That kid would look pretty good at the back end of the ‘pen in Atlanta.
September 7th, 200912:41 pm
September 7th, 200912:53 pm
njbraves, you’re right, Bobby is to blame for hitting McCann cleanup all this time. A little tweaking here and there might have gone a long way to the team getting to the playoffs. You never know, and that’s what you get with Cox because he lives and dies by past performance.
September 7th, 20091:01 pm
Schafer being automatically penciled in CF for next season is a head scratcher to me too. I like the kid but soon after he got sent down he went on the DL and has been there for pretty much the whole season. How has he had any time to develop into anything different than he was in April and May? I can’t imagine him being the opening day CF’er…maybe you all know something I don’t – like that he is going to play AFL or Dominican ball?
Steve from OH
September 7th, 20091:03 pm
Schafer being automatically penciled in CF for next season is a head scratcher to me too.
Yeah he definitely needs some more developmental time, IMO. But who knows? Maybe his wrist really was that big a problem. I’m sure the FO knows way more than we do but I would be very surprised if he broke camp with the club.
September 7th, 20091:06 pm
Oh, looks like some already believe the Yankees will sign Figgins. Silly me for thinking anything different. About the only thing you can predict in this game is that the Yanks will outspend everybody.
September 7th, 20091:11 pm
DOB, Thank’s for posting Buster’s article:
What’s funny is, the NFL’s schedule no longer really has as dramatic an impact as it once did, now that there are 4 divisions in each conference.
Because now, aside from what home games a team has, and when they play a particular opponent (i.e., following a bye week, on Monday night, following a Monday night, Thanksgiving, Saturday, etc.), teams in the same division play virtually the identical schedule (with 2 games withstanding).
Specifically, teams in the NFC South play each team in their respective division Home and Away. Then, every team in the NFC South plays each (4) teams in one of the other (but the same) NFC divisions. (This year, the NFC South plays the NFC East. And then, each team in the same division plays each team in a pre-selected AFC division on an annual rotation basis – this year, the NFC South plays the AFC East.)
The divisional opponent rotates each year, so a “full cycle” takes a three-year period.
The only distinction left, is that the team’s that finish in the “same slot” (e.g. 2nd place) one year in each division, in the same conference, play each other the next year (one team at home, and the other on the road)
For example, the Falcons finished 2nd last year, so they play the Bears (NFC North) and and the 49ers (NFC West). The Eagles are already on the schedule because the Falcons compete against each team in the NFC East.
Now, to be fair, ever since MLB instituted inter-league play, I HAVE ALWAYS argued that MLB’s inter-league schedule should be designed just like the NFL’s inter-conference schedule used to be, when it had 3 divisions in each conference. (I won’t go into a full explanation of the NFL’s schedule back then, although, it was more balanced than it is now, and that was easier to do because there were fewer teams and fewer divisions). At a minimum, it would eliminate the “rivalry series”, (which creates a schedule imbalance), and would also rotate teams through every major league park every 3 years (or every 6 years, if there was a home and away type situation). And you wouldn’t have the Braves having to play the Red Sox all the time, while the Marlins play the Rays (or whomever).
And, you also wouldn’t have the silliness, of the Braves having never traveled to Kansas City, despite 16 seasons of inter-league play.
Also, what I don’t understand about Buster’s premise, is why he wants to give smaller-market teams, like Tampa Bay, a MORE DIFFICULT schedule after they win the division one year (which is what the NFL does), when he is already noting that they have a limited window of opportunity, due to the smaller fanbase/payroll.
The NFL, for the time being, has a salary cap. It has competitive balance due to financial constraints imposed upon each team, therefore, the teams don’t face the same competitive pressures as MLB teams do. The Detroit Lions, despite their on-field incompetence, do not have financial problems. Note how quickly the Lions were able to sign Matthew Stafford, as compared to how long it took the Washington Nationals to sign Jonathan Strassberg (sp.).
An NFL-type schedule (circa 2001) would simply create a scenario in which the Tampa Bay Rays, after winning the division in 2008, would be forced to play more games against the Angels or White Sox, the Phillies, Dodgers, or Cubs while Baltimore would be getting more games against Kansas City and Seattle. Even perhaps more insulting, the Yankees and Red Sox would be playing an easier schedule than the Rays – just 1 year after Tampa Bay finally breaks through! I must ask Buster Olney, “how is that fair?” And how will that help Tampa Bay maximize the return on the team it has finally put together? (The Yankees, with the largest payroll in baseball, would be playing a 3rd place schedule this year.)
If MLB really wants to fix its schedule, it needs to play with “true balance” throughout each league, and eliminate rivalry games. Let teams who are competing with one another, truly compete with one another, and not let a team benefit from getting to play a weaker inter-league schedule, while it’s same-division opponent is sent off for a tour of the major league’s financial elite.
September 7th, 20091:16 pm
i am still a supporter of mccann to firstbase, he won’t get so worn out if he’s not catching
September 7th, 20091:19 pm
In fact, the more I look at Buster’s suggestion, the more evident it is that he does not really understand how the NFL schedule is composed.
This is the specific area I take issue with:
“If you finish at the top of the standings, then in the season that follows, a preponderant portion of your schedule would be against the best teams. If you finish at the bottom of the standings, then a larger share of your schedule would be against the worst teams.” – Buster Olney
Here is the definition of “preponderant”:
superior in weight, force, influence, numbers, etc.; prevailing: a
In the NFL, currently, 2 of 16 games are influenced by a team’s finish the previous season. 2/16 = 1/8 = 12.5%
Is 12.5% of a team’s schedule, a “preponderant portion”?
September 7th, 20091:21 pm
We need a coaching change…If Bobby thinks Norton is viable option as a hitter, he needs to retire.
September 7th, 20091:22 pm
Schafer being automatically penciled in CF for next season is a head scratcher to me too. RHR
I agree. He’ll probably need to start the year in AAA, especially since he won’t be getting any winter ball experience. Plus, I’d rather him prove himself in AAA and earn his way up. Actually, I feel the same way about Heyward. I think they both should earn their way up.
September 7th, 20091:23 pm
Put a team in New Jersey to compete with the Yankees and Mutts (Marlins). Put another team in Los Angeles to compete with the Dodgers and Angels (Rays). Of course this is a stupid idea. (stupid, because those 4 teams would fight the relocation) The real problem is the National economy. The working towns v. the Financial and Entertainment centers. In the midst of Citibank collapse they were financing the new Shea stadium. The new Yankee stadium, well no one really knows how many billions that cost the taxpayers. The Yankees said it would cost millions just to produce the documentation.
September 7th, 20091:25 pm
TnBrian (September 7th, 2009 12:04 pm): “Back to McLouth… you don’t need him. Schafer can be just as productive . . .”
Shyeah, right. Schafer’s been every bit as productive for the Braves as McLouth (note sarcasm):
McLouth (59 games, 272 PAs: .263/.351/.428/.779
Schafer (50 games, 195 PAs: .204/.313/.287/.600
“Plus McLouth has more trade value than Schafer.”
I wonder why — maybe ’cause McLouth has been tons more productive than Schafer.
Can you not hold on to even one single thought from the beginning of a paragraph to its end?
(September 7th, 2009 12:53 pm): “njbraves, you’re right, Bobby is to blame for hitting McCann cleanup all this time. A little tweaking here and there might have gone a long way to the team getting to the playoffs.”
I guarantee you that where McCann hit in the line-up had zero impact on the Braves’ performance as compared to how McCann hit.
Find a clue.
September 7th, 20091:27 pm
I’m not sure how much I like the idea of an NFL-type schedule. But I do know this, if the Braves were able to play .500 or better teams all year, they’d probably win their division handily. It’s those teams that we’re “supposed” to beat that we never seem to beat.
I’d just as soon do away with interleague play and have a balanced schedule for everyone…but I admit that the schedule is not something I regularly think about.
September 7th, 20091:38 pm
Almighty Random(you stupid peice of sh**):
Compare McCann’s numbers hitting 4th to hitting 5th… was it not obvious to you that he was pressing hitting cleanup. Don’t know why that is but the numbers don’t lie. Would he have struggling hitting his normal 5th spot, maybe, but we won’t know.
Schafer had a wrist injury that was said to have screwed his swing up
McLouth and Vazquez in a trade could bring the team a major power hitter and a very good set up type reliever
Schafer’s defense is better than Nate’s
Hit Schafer 8th
September 7th, 20091:41 pm
@ 1:11 PM, I meant to say that the NFL’s schedule when it had 6 divisions was “more imbalanced” than it is now. (I.e., a team’s finish one year had more impact on it’s schedule the following year.)
I wouldn’t mind doing away with interleague play either. But to be honest, I don’t really care that much. I know it brings in a lot of revenue to have those unfamiliar teams play here.
September 7th, 20091:43 pm
Deep breaths. Name-calling is not nice!
September 7th, 20091:45 pm
I think Buster’s idea is provocative but will not happen unless franchises start to go bankrupt. At that point, then something radical like that can happen because a bunch of players jobs are on the line if there are less teams. Also, a huge drop in attendance across most of baseball could also force radical change as well.
But haven’t we heard that the whole, “The status quo will not stand through the next labor agreement, because too many teams are finding the current competitive structure in Major League Baseball untenable. ?
I believe we hear such things prior to, and during negotiations. Yet the owners fold every time. They are weak and this last agreement with revenue sharing was nothing more than the Yankees and BoSox buying off others teams in exchange for them remaining sorry which in turn insures that the “big market” teams will always have cupcake teams to play and pad their records.
I think a more plausible idea is to play less games within the division and to increase interleague play. 4 series (2home/2 away) against division foes and that’s it’s. Add another Wild Card team, or two, and maybe reward the top two teams 1st-Round byes similar to how the NFL does it. No more relying on the Baltimore’s, the Washington’s, the Kansas City’s, the Pittsburgh’s, or whoever to pad division mates records.
Also, why can’t fans in Atlanta see more of the AL teams and less of the NL East teams? Might spark attendance and drive revenue. It’s certainly easier to do than what Buster suggested.
September 7th, 20091:47 pm
TnBrian (September 7th, 2009 11:57 am): “Then, trade Vazquez and McLouth somewhere for a power hitter and good bp arm. Easier said than done but those are two huge holes on this team… speed and power.”
Trade the linchpin of the rotation, the Braves’ best starter this season. Totally wreck the rotation, right — that’ll fill the Braves’ “holes”. While creating an even larger one in an even more critical, harder to fill aspect of the team.
Trade the one starter most responsible for alleviating the bullpen’s burden of too many innings pitched — for what? A “good bp arm”.
And trade the Braves’ by head and shoulders leader in SBs — why? ‘Cause the Braves have a “huge hole on this team… speed”.
Yer a friggin genius. (Note sarcasm.)
September 7th, 20091:48 pm
I’ve always liked interleague play, I hope one day to see the White Soxs play the Braves, for bragging rights. I also want to see them play the Twins, Rangers, and Rays…
P. W. Hjort
September 7th, 20091:54 pm
Yeah he definitely needs some more developmental time, IMO. But who knows? Maybe his wrist really was that big a problem. I’m sure the FO knows way more than we do but I would be very surprised if he broke camp with the club.
The thing about Schafer is, I think all his game needs is polish and most of his development is largely complete. And you can do that part of your development in MLB. Except for the strikeouts (which I don’t think he’ll ever really be able to cut down on), all he really needs is to learn the nuances of the game. Bunting for hits, baserunning plays, finding ways to cheaply get on base, etc..
September 7th, 20091:58 pm
So Buster Olney wants sub .500 hundred teams to play other sub .500 teams more often, and have sub .500 teams play plus .500 teams less often?
Why? The only thing worse than having a consistently losing Pirates team is a Pirate team that wins 90 games and sucks in the postseason because they played 67 of their 162 games against the Royals.
Kidding, but I hate the idea. If you want to win it all, you have to be the best, better than big market teams.
What they should do is fix the shared revenue problem…
You are correct sir! For real revenue sharing to exist, these huge markets (NY, LA) need to add another Major League team. Imagine the Marlins in NY 2 years ago before Miami agreed to build a stadium. A new team like that would’ve syphoned revenue from the Yankees and Mets forcing both organizations into more responsible payrolls.
September 7th, 20091:59 pm
NFL Season = 16 Games
MLB Season = 162 Games
The NFL has fewer games to get it right. Look at the average attendance at NFL games, ticket prices, broadcast revenue, and last but not least, the point spreads from Vegas. The NFL is a huge gambling business as well.
September 7th, 20092:01 pm
Pick a sight in the Meadowlands and build a 45,000 seat stadium.
September 7th, 20092:05 pm
PWH–yeah, you might be right. His defense will play right now and I agree with you that his bat is mostly there. However, I do think he needs experience, but how much experience will he get from 1/2 a season at AAA? At some point he’s gonna have to take his lumps at the big-league level. I love his plate discipline and speed, and I think he’ll have good power as well. He might never be a .300 hitter, but I think .270 with a high OBP and a solidly above-average SLG is not out of the question. Coupled with good D and solid baserunning, and he’ll be an asset all around.
September 7th, 20092:06 pm
And make the Yankees pay for said stadium.
TnBrian (September 7th, 2009 1:38 pm): “Hit Schafer 8th”
Hmmmmm — okay. How ‘come?
TnBrian (September 7th, 2009 12:04 pm): “Schafer can be just as productive [as McLouth].”
Okay — I get it.
September 7th, 20092:08 pm
Think I’ll head out to the Woodlands for an afternoon round.
But platooning him with Matt Diaz initially would be a great way to ease his transition back into the game…you could do a Schafer/Diaz platoon with McLouth in left when Schafer starts and in center when Diaz starts.
September 7th, 20092:10 pm
I don’t think adding another baseball team is the solution, watering down teams won’t help everyone, if they do do that, it should be in Indianapolis, IN and in the AL Central… Call em the Indianapolis Indys and have them race car mascots during inning changes… Terrific.
September 7th, 20092:16 pm
Random, trade McLouth and Vazquez for a power OF/reliever and I suggested going after a guy like Figgins who is a more ideal leadoff hitter. Resign Hudson who can be just as effective as Javy was this year. If Figgins is a target for the Yankees then forget about him. No way any team besides the Red Sox/Mets can compete with Yank money. Anyways, these are all ideas that probably won’t happen, so whatever. I do trust Wren and Shuerholz have the right plans though.
September 7th, 20092:23 pm
It’s gratifying to be in the spotlight with a team headed for the playoffs. See, what people fail to realize time and time again is that I was the main culprit in getting us to 14 straight postseason appearances in Atlanta. I could go on and on with that, but we’ll cross that bridge at my HOF speech. Anyhoo, the St.Louis media absolutely adores me and my remarkable comeback in the NL. It’s a hot tpoic here in middle America and really, all around the country. I know, I know, the Braves won’t be playing postseason baseball, but I am, and you should all watch me on the big stage as I take my new team a world championship.
September 7th, 20092:32 pm
The Braves should identify their core and then listen to any and all offers for everyone else.
Everyone isn’t going to agree who should be considered “core” at the Major League level, but I would think McCann, Escobar, JJ, Hanson we can all agree have to be part of that core. Chipper is a wild card.I think Moylan and one of the late-innings guy need to be retained as well. The rest of the Major League roster should be available for trade to bring in some playmakers at whatever position.
The Phils have the most healthy playmakers in the division and that is why they are leading. Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, and until this season, Rollins, will usually make more plays than their opponents. Same for the Yankees. The Braves need more playmakers, if that became crystal clear this last series. Great role players are the same as playmakers.
September 7th, 20092:34 pm
So you’re to blame, Smoltz.
Carpenter and Wainwright are a combined 15-2 with a 2.08 ERA in 20 starts since the break. Cards are scary-good team now with Holliday.
September 7th, 20092:35 pm
uh I meant…Great role players are NOT the same as playmakers.
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