Would Chipper “ride off into the sunset”?

 

 

  St. Louis — We’ve moved on to St. Louis, where the man Chipper Jones beat out for the batting title a year ago, Albert Pujols, is having a decidedly better go of it this season than is Chipper, who dropped a bombshell yesterday when he said he might retire after next season if he struggles again like he has this year.

  Pujols? He’s  hitting .331 with a league-leading 47 homers and 124 RBI, and has huge leads in on-base percentage (.450) and slugging percentage (.698), where he’s more than 100 points ahead of the next guy (Prince Fielder).

 Meanwhile, Chipper is batting 96 points lower than his career-best .364 average in 2008 and, yes, talking retirement not six months after signing a three-year, $42 million contract extension that runs through 2012.6a00d83451b46269e20120a5ba60c8970c-200wi

 I was as surprised when he mentioned it to me yesterday as most of you probably were when you read my story. But he brought up the subject, with his usual candor.

 And I’ve gotta say, he seemed sincere, like it’s something he’s thought about, when he told me that if he had another season in 2010 like the one he’s had in 2009, and if he feels like he’s become a “mediocre player on a regular basis, I’m probably going to ride off into the sunset.”  This from someone who signed an extension that includes a 2013 option and incentives and such that could’ve pushed the deal as high as $61 million over four years.

 The deal included a $3 million signing bonus and salaries of $13 million each season during 2010-2012, with a $9 million option for 2013 that vests if he plays 123 games in 2012 or averages 127 games per season during 2011-2012.

 He could get $1.5 million each season in games-played incentives — $750,000 for 135 games, $750,000 for 140 — and up to $4 million in escalators for the option year. If his option doesn’t vest, the team has a $7 million option.

 All that doesn’t even begin until next season. This year, he’s making $10 million in the option year of his previous contract.

 Would Jones really consider leaving at leats $26 million on the table by calling it a career after next season? I don’t know. But I’ll say this: If there is one athlete I’ve encountered who would seriously consider doing that, it’s him.

 He’s already made more than $125 million playing baseball, and that’s just salary, not endorsement money from Mizuno and other companies.

 

Could this sweet swing be shut down after 2010? Really?

Could this sweet swing be shut down after 2010? Really?

 But the real reason I think he’d consider walking away after another mediocre season (by his lofty standards) is the enormous pride he has. Like John Smoltz, this is a guy that cares deeply about performing at a high level and being viewed as one of the best that ever played at his position.

 Those two butted heads sometimes, in part because they were both so competitive and they were the only two guys on the team who could get away with calling each other out when they didn’t think one of them was living up to their great expectations.

 Chipper doesn’t need anyone to call him out now for not being in the lineup; he’s played more games (124) for the Braves this season than anyone else. It’s what he’s done on the field that has him admonishing himself.

“Yeah, it’s been real frustrating,” said Jones, batting .268 with 20 doubles, 16 homers and 64 RBIs, and an .817 OPS after three consecutive seasons above 1.000. “I’m at my wit’s end as far as the offense goes. I’ve got a lot of things to go home and work on this offseason.”

 He’s on pace for just 18 homers, which would be his first season under 20. He hit 22 homers last season despite injuries that reduced him to trying to spray singles for parts of the season, and that tied Eddie Mathews’ major league record with his 14th consecutive season of at least 20 homers to begin a career.

 “I had a year where I hit .240, but I was productive,” said Jones, referring to his career-worst .248 average in 2004, when he still had 30 homers and 96 RBI, snapping a string of eight consecutive seasons of 100 or more RBI.

 He said this is his first season where he really has felt like he let down the Braves, like he hasn’t done a lot offensively in any area.

 “Because I feel like with my typical production, the team would be in better position,” he said.

 And the most frustrating part is, he hasn’t been able to figure out exactly what went wrong and how to fix it.

  “Yes, I’ve had so-so years [before], bad years. But there’s always been some of kind of injury that affected my performance,” he said, pointing out that this season he’s been relatively injury-free, save for a couple of nagging things that kept him out of the lineup for a game here or two games there.

 “After the first month-and-a-half I was hitting .340 and on the way to having another good year. Then all of a sudden, my mechanics and everything went bad. And I haven’t been able to fix it on any consistent basis.”

 After hitting an otherwordly .342 with a 1.027 OPS, 179 extra-base hits and  263 RBI in 372 games over the 2006-2008 seasons, Chipper indeed appeared to be on his way to a similar season this year when he hit .335 with eight homers, 31 RBI and a 1.017 OPS in his first 48 games this season through June 9.

 But in 76 games since then, he’s hit just .226 with eight homers, 33 RBI and a .710 OPS. And it’s gotten a lot worse recently.

 Chipper’s comments yesterday revealed how much it’s hurt him this season to not perform to the level others expect of him, and the level he expects of himself.

 He can’t handle the thought of being an aging singles hitter making $13 million per year on a team where that’s about one-seventh of the payroll. And for much of the past couple of months, he’s been a singles hitter.

 For the past month, he literally has been — he has two extra-base hits (one double, one homer) in his past 26 games, and he’s hit .117 (9-for-77) with a .281 OBP and .169 slugging percentage in his past 23 games.

 This is unacceptable to the small-town Florida boy who’s a student of the game, and can recite the statistics he’s put up and many of his peers and his boyhood idols put up. It might be one thing if he was struggling but the Braves were still winning; that might be at least tolerable enough for him to make it to the winter without revealing how he’s thought about retiring.

 But they’re not winning, at least not enough. And the only switch-hitter in history with a .300-or-better batting average (.308) and at least 300 homers (424) is not playing like a player many consider to be one of the five greatest switch-hitters to ever play the game.

 “No excuses,” he said. “I’ve felt pretty good all year. Nothing’s kept me out of the lineup for any extensive time. This is as healthy as I’ve been at the end of the year in a long time. I’m just not hitting.”

 He talked of working more off the tee this winter, working to get his swing mechanics down pat and timing, timing, timing.

 “Seems like my timing’s been off all year,” he said. “When my timing’s been on, something mechanically has not been good.”

  When it’s suggested that perhaps age might have something to do with it, he basically scoffs.

 “No,” Chipper said, looking at straight at me and speaking without hesitation. “There’s nothing wrong with my bat speed. I’m still hitting balls as far as I ever have in batting practice. A year ago I was hitting .360, so there’s nothing that says age is a problem, that my eyes are bad or anything.”

 And no, he doesn’t think a move to first base would be beneficial. He plans to spend his winter working on his wing, not learning a new position.

 “If I get back to producing better numbers, the change-of-positions [talk] will gradually fade away,” he said, and he cracked that crooked smile…. I may not cover as much ground as I used to, but I can still get the job done — in all facets of the game.”

 Here he talked about being able to run the bases, leg out doubles, score from second on a single, etc., as well as get to balls at his position.

 He has no interest in changing leagues, in accepting a trade to an American League team and being a DH.

 Basically, he sounds as if he’s going to try to fix his swing this winter and come back and produce better numbers next year. And if he doesn’t….

  “I’m not going to stick around till I’m 40, 41, 42 to accumulate numbers,” he told me. “I’m not gonna stick around that long to collect a paycheck. When I feel like I can’t play the game at a very high level, then I’m gonna quit.

 “So for me, at this point, I’m on a year-to-year personal schedule. Contract status is not going to dictate how long I’m playing.”

 ♣ OK, I’m running out of time. Need to get over to the ballpark. By the way, Baseball America will name Jason Heyward its minor league Player of the Year today, our Carroll Rogers has learned.

 Before I head to the park, a couple of numbers to keep in mind about the aforementioned Mr. Pujols: He’s 20-for-41 (.488) with six home runs and 16 RBIs in his past 11 games, with eight walks and only one strikeout. Yes, one strikeout.pujols1

 Against the Braves, he’s hit .402 with 14 doubles, 13 homers and 35 RBIs in his past 33 games, with an absurd 1.369 OPS in that stretch (.514 OBP and .855 slugging percentage).

 But it’s not as if a team can focus solely on Pujols. Not with Matt Holliday on board, and don’t forget about Ryan Ludwick.

 In nine September games, here’s what that trio has produced: Pujols .471 (16-for-34) with six homers and 14 RBI; Holliday .424 (14-for-33) with four homers and 10 RBI, and Ludwick .412 (14-for-34) with two homers and eight RBI.

 Oh, and as great as Sunday’s Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter has been, and Adam Wainwright (whom the Braves will miss along with Smoltz in this series), have you all noticed what tonight’s starter Joel Pineiro has done?

 Pineiro is 8-0 with a 3.14 ERA in his past 11 starts, although he’s allowed 15 hits and eight runs in 13 innings over his past two.

 He’s 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in six career games (three starts) against the Braves, including a 3-2 win against Jair Jurrjens on April 27 (they square off again tonight).

 Kelly Johnson is 6-for-12 with two home runs against Pineiro, and Garrett Anderson is 10-for-38 with three homers.

Dale-Watson

“IT’S NOT OVER NOW” by Dale Watson

I can’t believe you left me in the rain

Come back to me, I need you in my life

These tears of mine have washed away my smile

I need you by my side, baby hold me tonight

 

You promised me forever

Forever you and me

Say that you love me

Say you’ll never leave

 

Tell me it’s not over now

I can’t believe it’s true

Tell me it’s not over now

I’m still in love with you

Tell me it’s not over now

Please don’t say goodbye

Tell me it’s not over now

‘Cause without you I’d just die

 

Just one kiss, one touch is all I need

hold me in your arms and say that you’ll be mine

It hurts so bad, oh it hurts so sad

Don’t leave me alone, don’t say goodbye tonight

 

Oh promise me forever

Forever you and me

Say that you love me

Say you’ll never leave oh…

 

Tell me it’s not over now

(say you love me oh)

I can’t believe it’s true

Tell me it’s not over now

(tell me it’s not over)

I’m still in love with you

 

Please, won’t you tell me

Why you’ve changed your mind

Just open up your heart tonight

I’m gonna love you

For the rest of my life

Well the way that I’m feeling

It will not be changing

‘Cause my heart is bleeding

And I can’t stop needing you now…

 

Tell me it’s not over now

(Oh tell me)

I can’t believe it’s true

Tell me it’s not over now

(Tell me it’s not over)

I’m still in love with you

(In love)

Tell me it’s not over now

(Baby how could you leave me standing in the rain)

Please don’t say goodbye

(Come back to me, come back to me)

Tell me it’s not over now

(Come back to me, oh tell me)

‘Cause without you I’d just die

Tell me baby, tell me baby

It’s not over, please don’t say goodbye

without you I’d just die

Tell me baby, tell me baby…

1,851 comments Add your comment

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

September 11th, 2009
4:15 pm

Not twice … no way.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

September 11th, 2009
4:20 pm

DOB,

Something must be wrong with the system. That’s twice in the last three blog entries.

flange 1

September 11th, 2009
4:23 pm

Way to go Piedmont!

Twice is showing tons of guts!

Steve from OH

September 11th, 2009
4:25 pm

Piedmont is showing about a 75 sense of urgency by being first this often. You don’t get that with average urgency. Props!

RC

September 11th, 2009
4:26 pm

While this blog should obviously be the first stop of the day for all Braves fans, wanted to point out there is a lot of Braves coverage out there on the national websites today. In addition to Baseball America’s article naming Heyward their Minor League Player of the Year, Baseball Prospectus just put up an article detailing the impact that the Braves’ decision to not pursue Adam Dunn this offseason has had on their postseason hopes. While I agree with the premise of the article (that for $5.5 million more than Garret Anderson the Braves could have had Adam Dunn and easily made the playoffs), I don’t know that I agree with the assertion that Dunn would have OBVIOUSLY helped the Braves make the playoffs. I think that it’s very easy to critize the decision in hindsight, but Braves management was working off of a set payroll, and there was no guarantee in February or March that spending an extra $5 million would be the difference in postseason play or not. Assuming that they would have had to divert money from one of their pitcher signings to land Dunn, it’s really a coin toss as to which pitcher you wouldn’t have gotten to free up that money. If the Braves signed Dunn instead of Kawakami? Probably in the postseason. Dunn over Lowe? Possibly in the postseason, but not guarantee. Dunn over Vazquez? Not only missing the postseason, but likely 4th place in the NL East with a few really big, really unmovable contracts on their books. Either way it’s an interesting read, I just think the author goes a bit far in asserting that it was a huge mistake for the Braves to not sign Dunn.

ChurchMan

September 11th, 2009
4:27 pm

Will the Braves play up to par with the competition or will they show us why it’s probably a good thing they’ll miss the playoffs? … stay tuned for this weekend series.

flange 1

September 11th, 2009
4:29 pm

Steve,

Good call! I missed the urgency!

Random

September 11th, 2009
4:29 pm

ncscoots (September 11th, 2009 1:07 pm) : “Arb eligibility probably won’t enter into it, if there’s a team that thinks Johnson can improve them. Braves had a similar situation with LaRoche, and the two teams simply waited until after the arb decision to consummate the trade (the trade was agreed upon, though, before the hearings).”

“Well, okay.”

Second thoughts:

I think we may find a more closely analogous situation to be that of Marcus Giles in the 2006-2007 offseason.

Random

September 11th, 2009
4:32 pm

RHR</strong (September 11th, 2009 1:41 pm): “hey don’t let me forget that.”

:roll:

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
4:33 pm

Didn’t the Varsity use to serve Grits and Guts?

bravesgrl4life

September 11th, 2009
4:35 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB.

RC

September 11th, 2009
4:36 pm

I think Random might have hit the nail on the head….while KJ has a few more things going for him than Giles did, it’s very likely that no team will trade for him simply because the know the Braves will non-tender him anway.

Random

September 11th, 2009
4:36 pm

RHR (September 11th, 2009 1:41 pm): “hey don’t let me forget that.”

:roll:

o-me

September 11th, 2009
4:38 pm

Bobby Cox is the one that needs to ride off in the sunset. ASP!

Chipper knows when to hang it up…he will do whats right. He should be hired as Coach or Mgr.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
4:40 pm

DOB

Shouldn’t that be “Wood Chipper”?

RHR

September 11th, 2009
4:40 pm

lol shut it, Random.

Chipper said all the same stuff about retiring when he was on Rome in late May or early June, myself and a few others here talked about what he said on here then. If DOB had any damn guts or urgency he would’ve already had this story. :roll: Such is life.

RC

September 11th, 2009
4:42 pm

While I was just as PO’d as anyone about Weds game, I did hear on ESPN’s “Baseball Today” podcast where both hosts (Eric Karabell and Peter Pascerelli) agreed that “any manager in baseball” would have taken Hanson out for the closer in that situation. Whether they were taking into account just how shaky Soriano has been lately I can’t say, but they do both follow the game very closely and are much more knowledgable about the league than some of the television “talent” that ESPN trots out on a daily basis.

RC

September 11th, 2009
4:43 pm

Another point they brought up was, “If the Braves did fire Bobby Cox, who would you replace him with that gives you a better chance to win?” Can’t say I’ve got an answer for that one, and neither did they.

Efrim

September 11th, 2009
4:45 pm

Dave (Rochester): How many Braves prospects crack the top 100 next year? I’m thinking Heyward, Freeman, Minor, R. Delgado, Teheran, and maybe Cody Johnson for starters.

Ben Badler: Heyward and Freeman are slam dunks, Teheran has a chance as a high risk, high reward player, but I don’t see those other three cracking the 100.

RC

September 11th, 2009
4:45 pm

“Chipper knows when to hang it up…he will do whats right. He should be hired as Coach or Mgr.”

Depends on your definition of “what’s right.” I know if I stood to make $30 million for just showing up to the ballpark and putting up a ‘mediocre’ performance for 3 years, I’d be happy to do it!

Mitch C

September 11th, 2009
4:47 pm

While I would feel bad to see Chipper retire a few years early, I completely respect that he would want to walk away, before just going through years where he’s producing poorly, and not up to his level, just to collect a paycheck.

At the end of next year, Chipper will be 38, and will have somewhere close to 450 homers, and hopefully, still a 300 batting average. He’s a first ballot Hall Of Famer even if he never plays again.

I hope he has a rebound season next year, and changes his mind, but, to be honest, I’m prepared for his retirement, even if it does happen next year. He’s had a great career already.

Efrim

September 11th, 2009
4:48 pm

Greg (St Louis): Freddie Freeman – a future 15-20 home run hitter, or 20-25 home runs per year?

Ben Badler: I could see seasons with more than 25 home runs, too. I’ve seen him launch balls out of the park routinely in BP, so the power’s there, it’s just a matter of him maturing physically and learning how to drive those pitches out of the park in game situations. But the power is definitely there, and the defense might be a touch underrated as well.

Robert (Chipper Is The Best)

September 11th, 2009
4:48 pm

Chipper has definitely been off this year and I wonder if it does have to do with the fact he has played so many games. He just looks tired to me. I’m not saying its an excuse but a cause. Perhaps, in an effort to stay on the field this year Chipper has sacrificed production. I would rather have Chipper play 120 games and hit .330 with 20 HR and 90 RBI than I would play 150 games and only hit .260.

Wayne

September 11th, 2009
4:49 pm

Don’t the Braves have a hitting coach? To bad he could not help Chipper this season. But of course he was not able to help Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur and seems not to be able to help Brian McCann in his current batting slump. Maybe it is time for the Braves to look for another hitting coach for next season.

Efrim

September 11th, 2009
4:50 pm

Jason (Charlotte): Craig Krimbel led the minors in K’s per nine innings. Is the the Braves closer of the future ? How good could he be ?

J.J. Cooper: He also walked 6.75 batters per nine innings. He has to significantly improve that command to be a big leaguer, much less a closer.

Ed

September 11th, 2009
4:50 pm

Nice that’s he’s considering it rather than “overstaying” like the Brett Favre’s of the sports world. Chipper will go down as probably one of the top 10 Braves ever and will eventually see Cooperstown. I think his time has come

Ed

September 11th, 2009
4:51 pm

Enter your comments here

True Braves Fan

September 11th, 2009
4:51 pm

Chipper is and always will be one of my favorite ball players of all time. But this year he is playing the part of two other players. “He hits like Fancoeur, and fields like Johnson.”

I hope he is able to go out of the game on top, not like he is this year.

Andy Messersmith'ss Jealous contract

September 11th, 2009
4:54 pm

I wish Chipper would hang it up, I have thought for several years that Chipper was holding us back. We have had people to take his place in the farm system and the free agent market and we could have traded him to a contender for a Texeira-esque ransom and yet we watched him do well but eventually fade down the stretch with injuries when we deserately needed him the most. Now this year he just can’t get the job done anymore and he makes so much you will never be able to unload his contract.
I like Chipper, he was a great player, but as a Braves fan I urge him to do the right thing by the team and retire and have people remember him as the greatest third baseman in Braves history….or at least since Bob Horner (LOL!!!)

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
4:54 pm

1/2 way through page one and still waiting for a gut wrenching post.

Robert (Chipper Is The Best)

September 11th, 2009
4:54 pm

I know others are going to disagree but I bet even money that Wren is praying Cox will retire at the end of this season.

RC

September 11th, 2009
4:54 pm

Wayne,

Do you really think the hitting coach is Chipper’s problem? Because Terry Pendleton was also his hitting coach last year, you know, when he won the batting title? I cannot get over how many people think they problem with the Braves is the hitting coach. The problem with the Braves is their HITTERS, not their coach.

RHR

September 11th, 2009
4:56 pm

I may not cover as much ground as I used to, but I can still get the job done — in all facets of the game.”

Uh.

Here he talked about being able to run the bases, leg out doubles, score from second on a single, etc., as well as get to balls at his position.

Oh. Glad you clarified. :lol:

Nativebird

September 11th, 2009
4:57 pm

Everybody wants you to be right, but the odds are against it, and it IS about the money…and ego. You writers spend WAY too much time with these prima donnas. It is ALL about them, he’ll say all this Kumbaya crap now…but the odds are he’ll go Smolvonzo and Glavonzo on the Braves as soon as the franchise can’t stomach the .196 batting average any longer. 10 to 1, he will NOT retire because (roll violin music) “he’s become a “mediocre player on a regular basis, I’m probably going to ride off into the sunset.”
He’ll go to another club and get a season or two of multi-millions and BAD MOUTH Atlanta all the way out the door. Yes, we all wish that wont happen…but the odds overwhelmingly favor it.

flange 1

September 11th, 2009
4:57 pm

I have always respected the way Chipper has played the game. I haven’t always “liked” his personality or some of the decisions that he has made, but that is more my problem than his.

As he has grown older he has taken on more responsibility as a player and his performance has improved.

If his career ended tomorrow, he would be a HOF player.

I don’t think his career is over. I think he will spend the time in the off season working his butt off to get ready for a big 2010.

Maybe talks retirement after 2011, but not yet.

A good game tonight is the first step!

Hillbilly

September 11th, 2009
5:01 pm

Wow, Dale Watson is looking kind of old in that picture.

DHD

September 11th, 2009
5:03 pm

I have been a Bobby Cox supporter for 2 decades. I have defended him the whole way. BUT, the time has come for him to hang it up. Hopefully, the Braves can talk him into retiring and do it in dignity. Retire number 6 next year. The Cox era is over. I believe the Chipper Jones era is over. It’s time to move on. I would try to get Fredi Gonzalez or Ned Yost to replace Cox. It’s time!!

Daslied

September 11th, 2009
5:05 pm

Andy Messersmith, etc.:

Chipper fading down the stretch?

Last year his OPS was .850 in July, .873 in August and 1.173 in September.
In 2007, it was .958 in August and 1.160 in September.
In 2006, it was .948 in August and 1.299 in September.
In 2005, it was .758 in July, 1.122 in August and 1.014 in September.

For his career, his first half OPS is .933. In the second half it’s .967. Injured some – maybe? Fading? No way.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
5:05 pm

maybe it’s time for Bobby Cox to take a gut check.

bob horner

September 11th, 2009
5:08 pm

If Chipper goes, can he PLEASE take Bobby with him??

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
5:08 pm

maybe it’s time for Bobby Cox to take a cup check.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
5:09 pm

jeffrey d

Mitch?

CB

September 11th, 2009
5:10 pm

HoCoJo, half the bloggers need to take a gut check,if you know what I mean.

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
5:11 pm

Mitch?

Too sensitive.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

September 11th, 2009
5:13 pm

Enter your comments here

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
5:13 pm

DHD is doing the B Cox cup check, I think? Says he’s been a Cox supporter for 2 decades.

adasdoopj

September 11th, 2009
5:18 pm

Ebenezer Snerdberg

September 11th, 2009
5:24 pm

DOB and or slash C-Aruh;HEEEEEEELLLLLPPPP!
The idgit fishwrapper online has changed it’s format, right in the toilet. Somebody there must be related to Bobby Cox. You know,if everything Is running smooth, jump in the middle and screw it up!
Can’t get to the lineups anymore. Please post as quick as you can so those of us who keep a card can get a heads up.
This mostly because ‘Boob” is too busy talkin’ ’bout Facebook etc. and they keep it on the screen just long enough for you to get one name

Oh,and BTW………FIRE BOBBY COX!

nolie

September 11th, 2009
5:24 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=4462509

Stark on this winter’s free agent pitchers , in case nobody has posted the link already

TnBrian

September 11th, 2009
5:26 pm

I think the question asked here recently about who has the worse contract, Chipper or Lowe, has been answered. If both continue to pretty much stink, at least we know for sure that CJ will pack his stuff and go home. I’m confortable in Chipper getting back on track next year and maybe even Lowe. You just never know in this game.

Train Wreck Bystander

September 11th, 2009
5:27 pm

I think Chipper is well on his way to “most beloved Brave” status with candor like that. And if I had a .300 lifetime average, I’d be protective of it too.

Having said that, it will be hard to see someone else over on the left side of the diamond (when that fateful day comes). And I hope he lights it on fire one more time next year.

Here’s hoping we gain another game on the Phillies tonight (I’ve officially given up on the WC)

GO BRAVES

Larry Jones Sr

September 11th, 2009
5:29 pm

He’s going thru the life change, I seen it in his mama. The boy got a case of manopause.

TnBrian

September 11th, 2009
5:30 pm

nolie, why did you just post that? Only thing I guess we could take out of that article is that if the Braves decide to bait Vazquez this offseason they should get plenty of calls since FA starting pitchers are weak this time. I’m sure they would anyways since he’s pretty much been the ace of Atlanta’s good rotation this year.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
5:32 pm

TWB

That was gut-wrenching, thanks!

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
5:37 pm

Hurry Ebenezer, there’s only three more hours!

CB

September 11th, 2009
5:40 pm

Ebenezer,I liked your 5:13 better than your 5:24 but keep trying. :roll:

bulldog bubba

September 11th, 2009
5:46 pm

I say if chipper stays it is as a bench player or diminished role or hitting coach.Also if Bobby does leave please let it be Ned Yost not Terry P.The fans won’t support him.He is a nice guy but not a leader.I HATE CHANGE but it must happen!!!!

The A Bomb

September 11th, 2009
5:49 pm

If Chipper wants to “hang it up,” tell him to talk with Mike Gonzalez. . .

Lately, he’s been expert and “hanging it up.”

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
5:54 pm

Oh yes, Mike Gonzalez has been terrible. In his past 10 games….

9.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 hits, and 8 Ks.

I’m those stats go back even further, but no…Mike Gonzalez is awful because he blew a save last week.

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
5:55 pm

I’m SURE those stats go back even further*

Nelson

September 11th, 2009
5:59 pm

Agree with Wayne, the list has been populated, Pendelton is not able to fix nobody hitting problems.
Chipper: Before you retire, wait to see if the Braves FINALLY bring another hitting coach, or ask them to make an offer to your Dad!!!. Don Baylor is my favorite, but unfortunally he has another job.
In Cuba my friends, when a player struggles at the plate is seated until he is able to fix his problems, and it works!!!!, and everybody has to agree that Cuban baseball is one of the best in the world, so why is different here???

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
5:59 pm

jeffrey d

that wasn’t gut wrenching, but it does have grit appeal.

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
6:00 pm

I wish I understood what all this guy talk was about.

jeffrey d

September 11th, 2009
6:00 pm

Now there’s a typo.

GUT*

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
6:05 pm

I assume it prob had something to do with B Cox saying someone had a gutty performance, a line the skipper has used over 1 billion times since 1678.

richbrave

September 11th, 2009
6:06 pm

Well good for CHIP. Hope to see him productive until the contract’s up. But if not, well, I witnessed (for the most part) the greatest position player I’ve ever rooted for. I would put EDDIE MATHEWS in that catagory instead, but I never saw him on t.v. more than a handful of times.

I suppose the angst of playing St’ LOUIS for a chance at a WC slot is now mute. FLORIDA and CINCY finished off any real chance the BRAVES had. But we can still play for pride, and the future. At least we have already won as many as last year with 24 to play. And I’m sure payroll will rise, and we will be better next year. LIBERTY needs to raise the value of this club. The primary impetus for that would be the post-season.

I think with his last month’s performance, MFIKY is a ghost in a BRAVES uni however. Likewise ANDERSON, NORTON and JOHNSON.

BHZ

September 11th, 2009
6:07 pm

Chipper.. It’s time to go huntin’ full time…

The Braves will continue to “downsize”.

The young RF Heyward and 1B and will produce, but they will have to wait behind “Stop-Gap Veterans” over the few next seasons because most of these current veterans will be gone. (If there is a season). The Braves are not spending more $$$$ for a big name to block Heyward or Freeman’s paths in 2012. Plus, they were burned by Texeira (who is surrounded by a monster lineup, and more $$$$ in NYC. Here, he would have had to “carry” this lineup with Chipper, but had he waited, and taken a little less, Tex would have been surrounded by Prado, Escobar, McCann, Chipper, Heyward (soon), McClouth, Diaz, etc…They may like him in NYC, but he would’ve been loved here.

[BTW: I believe that The Braves may still trade SS Escobar--for what? I don't know. RF is Heyward's spot for the long haul. So, there is no need for a dominant RF. When The Braves want a player out of town, the player will be gone once he fails a bit more]

All sports MLB, NBA, and NFL will suffer a work-stoppage over the next year and a half, and the owners will break the unions and their salary increases ( I take no side.. The owners rake in more with TV, merchandise, and advertising than they ever could with ticket sales).

“2011: The Year without Sports!” lolololol.

ChurchMan

September 11th, 2009
6:09 pm

A Braves blog has some delusional thinking

“Talking Chop argues that trading Jair Jurrjens this off-season would be more beneficial for the Braves than trading Javier Vazquez or Tim Hudson.”

More beneficial next year but what about the long term? Talking Chop is only thinking about next year not 2011 and beyond. Javy and Hudson have already reached their plateau, there no more going up for them, maybe slight improvement but nothing great .. nothing like the heights JJ can still reach.

AZBravoFan

September 11th, 2009
6:10 pm

DOB
As someone who’s been around the team consistently, how much do you think Soriano’s (and Gonzo’s) struggles have had a trickle-down effect on the rest of the team? Just seems to me that the Gload HR took the wind out of their sails and except for a couple spurts they never really recovered. I remember Chipper saying something about that Marlin game being one of the most gut-wrenching he’d experienced. I think when suddenly you’re not sure about the 9th inning (or 8th and most recently 6th for that matter) it puts that much more pressure on the starters who are already trying to cover for the anemic offense. And the offense, whose 2-4 runs should be enough on many nights with these starters feels the pressure and probably presses more. The result is fewer runs, and if the opponent comes back, they don’t have another surge in them (like say the Rockies and Phillies do) to take the game back. OK, I’m rambling now, but I just feel like some of those walk-off bombs really killed the mojo of a team at a time when they were really starting to make strides.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
6:10 pm

BHZ

What about the NHL?

Roman Gal

September 11th, 2009
6:11 pm

Chipper, retirement?! No, no, no…this cannot happen.

I love Chipper. I hate it that he’s been struggling so badly this year, but I have faith that he’ll bounce back and have a great 2010.

Steve from OH

September 11th, 2009
6:12 pm

nothing like the heights JJ can still reach.

I agree that there is still some projectability with Jair because I feel that he can still improve his slider, but I do think he’s pitched over his head this year. His stats suggest that he should be closer to a 3.50 ERA pitcher, not a sub-3 one. I’d listen on him, but I’d have to be absolutely blown away to deal him.

Steve from OH

September 11th, 2009
6:14 pm

RG–yeah, it’s going to be a very sad day in Steve-land when Chipper hangs ‘em up. He was always my co-favorite Brave along with Doggie.

McFann ;Ô;

September 11th, 2009
6:15 pm

Yeah, that’s gonna be weird when Chipper retires…

richbrave

September 11th, 2009
6:16 pm

Good post Churchman. One more reason to not read “TALKING CHOP.” Occasional quality articles, but often clueless.

Roman Gal

September 11th, 2009
6:19 pm

Steve-

Man, I shed a tear or two for Smoltz when he left and he wasn’t even in my top 3. Chipper is my all-time favorite Brave and I know that I’ll cry like a little girl who just got her Barbie stolen when he retires. I can’t handle that kind of emotion for at least another…I’ll say 3 or 4 years.

ppaddy123

September 11th, 2009
6:22 pm

Look for the Cards to sweep this weekend. Bonehead Bobby will be over-matched by LaRussa. Bobby Cox just DOES NOT KNOW how to handle a pitching staff! And don’t nobody give me crap about Mad Dog, Glavine and Smoltz. We had Leo back then!

richbrave

September 11th, 2009
6:23 pm

Has anyone thought of the possibility that next year could be BC’s last as well?

Steve from OH

September 11th, 2009
6:25 pm

Yeah, hopefully by the time Chipper retires Hanson, Heyward, Freeman and Schafer are entrenched to ease the pain…

Tomas

September 11th, 2009
6:25 pm

Is there any chance the Braves keep Hudson, Vazquez, Jurrjens, and Tommy Hanson in the rotation, and trade either Kawakami or Derek Lowe. I know trading Lowe’s 3 years 45 million contract would be hard especially after a dissapointing season, but if they could get something in return that would be awesome.

CB

September 11th, 2009
6:27 pm

richbrave, I think there is a decent chance that a decision has been made this year is his last. I do not think he will be fired, he may have already made the decision to leave. It has been awful quiet.

Tomas

September 11th, 2009
6:29 pm

That’s one of the reasons I love Chipper. He always puts the teams interest first. I think this is just a bad year, he also had a bad year on 2005, he may be tired, he’s played a lot this year.

Roman Gal

September 11th, 2009
6:29 pm

That’ll certainly make the transition easier for me…especially the Schafer part.

TPM

September 11th, 2009
6:32 pm

I have a lot of respect for Oblique Jones. I’m sure he is tired of stealing money.

richbrave

September 11th, 2009
6:34 pm

CB:

Like JONES, I think COX makes the call. Just thinking about the fact that CHIP has never played in the bigs for any other manager. Maybe that’s what’s weighing on his mind.

Sure would be fun to see BC thrown out of 162 games through wouldn’t it? Now that would be a record which would stand the test of time. Maybe he can just get the thumb 12 more games this year. How about getting thrown out for arguing over the line-up card? That would be a new twist.

Rock On........

September 11th, 2009
6:36 pm

Glad Chipper mentioned timing as his batting issue. His hands don’t seem set to hit when he plants his front foot. Seems like he is lunging or late quite a bit. Just my two cents but then again what do I know, right? It is almost never a big correction so I am sure our esteemed hitting coach can help him, right? Good thought so.

Rock On........

September 11th, 2009
6:39 pm

Hey Richbrave when are we gonna grab that beer my man?

David O'Brien

September 11th, 2009
6:40 pm

Chipper’s out of lineup, but healthy. Just a day off. He expected to play, was surprised to see his name not in lineup. But not miffed, said Bobby’s giving all the guys a day or two off down the stretch.

LINEUP
1. McLouth
2. Prado, 3B
3. Anderson
4. McCann
5. Escobar
6. LaRoche
7. Infante, 2B
8. Church
9. Jurrjens

ppaddy123

September 11th, 2009
6:42 pm

I’m so sick and tired of “Building for The Future” How about building for now. As it stands going into next season, we have our 3 & 4 hole hitters hitting combined 34 HRs and 141 RBI….COMBINED!!!! Show me ANY contending baseball team with a 3-4 combination hitting THAT BADLY!

McFann ;Ô;

September 11th, 2009
6:47 pm

Thanks for the lineup, Chief!

said Bobby’s giving all the guys a day or two off down the stretch.

That’s a good idea. Bet BMac gets the day off tomorrow…but that would be OK, ’cause we’ll miss a good chunk of the game. ;)

JBdosier

September 11th, 2009
6:53 pm

Chipper Retire next year??? Good for him… Better for the Braves, Free up some needed cash for Talent not so washed-up. And Throw Bobby Cox in there as Well, he’s at least 10 yrs PAST whatever managerial prime he might have had , even when he had the Best Pitching Staff in Both Leagues, He’s obviously lost 99% of that embellishment.. so Hit the Trails Cox, give us somebody who isnt Senile, and can maybe Spot new talent without 14 yrs hindsight to go on….

Tomas

September 11th, 2009
6:54 pm

How about this:

- Trade Javier Vazquez for two or three quality prospects.
- Pickup Tim Hudson’s option
- Sign Joe Crede, and Hank Blalock to platoon on first base…to one year deals obviously
- Sign Billy Wagner.
- Call up Jayson Heyward
- Call up Luis Valdez
- Call up Mariano Gomez
- Let Norton, Anderson, Soriano, and Gonzalez walk.

- Sign Joe Crede to a 1 year deal worth 2.5 million with incentives that could earn him a total of 5million.
- Sign Hank Blalock to a 1year deal worth 4 million with incentives that could earn him a total of 7 million.
- Sign Billy Wagner to a 1year deal worth 7 million.
- And trade Vazquez for three quality prospects to make up for the two draft picks Billy Wagner would require.

That would fix the offense certainly, and have a lot of depth in case of injury, which there will be. Billy Wagner is a hall of famer, it certainly would be a nice addition to have a guy with so much experience at the end of ball games. If Chipper, Blalock, and Crede stay healthy for a whole season, then Bobby could keep them all fresh by giving them days off whenever they need them, and not lose offense in the process.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
6:55 pm

Didn’t see my name in the blog line-up. Guess I get the night off, too.
This boy is Gainseville bound. Gonna check out some Florida Sun, sprayed-on tans, and some Gator Futball. Mark Richt sealed his fate today. Anyone have Lloyd Carr’s phone number?

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
6:58 pm

DOB

How was your nap attack?

David O'Brien

September 11th, 2009
7:03 pm

former AJC staffer Matt Winkeljohn wrote the Heyward BA Player of the Year story. It’s lengthy, so I’ll just put the link here rather than cut-and-pasting it.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/awards/player-of-the-year/2009/268862.html

P. W. Hjort

September 11th, 2009
7:03 pm

Look at KJ’s stats against Piniero. He should be in the line-up.

HoCoJo

September 11th, 2009
7:04 pm

Who reads Mark Bradley? 97 comments since 10 AM.

nolie

September 11th, 2009
7:15 pm

and the defense might be a touch underrated as well. (Efrim)

by who? Didn’t Baseball America just name him best defensive first baseman in that leaguie. Who are you quoting?

Mike Malone

September 11th, 2009
7:17 pm

Just saw tonight’s lineup: Why isn’t Kelly Johnson playing, especially with Chipper out. Kelly had two hits last night–we know he’s a streak hitter. Let him build on it.

nolie

September 11th, 2009
7:19 pm

I have thought for several years that Chipper was holding us back (Andy M)

whoa ! the guy who was first in BA, second in OBP and third in Slugging for the last three years was holding us up? WoW< that's gotta be one of the????comments I've read in a while.

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