Diaz finds a home … no, not Citi Field

 

 

New York — If you own Mets season tickets and attended every game at Citi Field this season, you are a person in need of companionship or a hobby.

No, no … we kid the Flushing faithful.

But seriously, if there is someone who has attended every game played at Citi Field this season, assuming they watched all the action on the field and weren’t distracted by the drunken brawls in the stands (OK, kidding again; it’s not as rough as Shea), then you have seen Matt Diaz hit as many homers here as Mets Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Brian Schneider or, yes, Jeff Francoeur. Which isn’t good for the Mets, of course, since Diaz plays for the Braves.

Let me repeat: Matt Diaz has hit as many homers (three) in 23 at-bats during his six games at Citi Field as Beltran has hit here (three homers in 129 at-bats in 34 games), Delgado (three homers in 50 at-bats in 15 games), Schneider (three homers in 66 at-bats in 24 games) or Francoeur (three homers in 119 at-bats in 32 games).

Proud papa Diaz has thrived with Braves

Proud papa Diaz has thrived with Braves

Diaz has hit only two fewer homers in 23 at-bats at Citi Field as Mets star David Wright, who has five homers in 244 at-bats. And only two fewer than Gary Sheffield, who has five in 149 at-bats.

Taken a step further, Brian McCann and Adam LaRoche each has hit two homers in seven games at Citi Field; that’s twice as many as Jose Reyes, who hit one homer in 85 at-bats at the new stadium before he got hurt, like most other Mets not named Wright.

Ryan Church hit one homer in 97 at-bats at Citi Field before the Mets traded him to the Braves.

So maybe it’s not a ballpark thing, necessarily. Maybe it a Mets thing. Maybe they’ve got it in their heads, like Brian Giles and Ryan Klesko and other San Diego players who convinced t anyone else who’d listen that Petco Park in that great city was just about impossible to hit homers out of on a regular basis (Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and other Braves who hit plenty of them there might disagree).

Now, granted, the Braves might have played most of their games at Citi Field when conditions were better for hitting. Maybe the wind hasn’t blown in, or it’s been warmer for their games, or whatever. But that can’t explain the disparity, why a Diaz can hit three homers at the ballpark, or one every seven at-bats or so, and Wright hits one every 50 or so at-bats.

It should be noted, the Mets rank last in the NL with 47 home runs in their home ballpark. But it should also be noted, they rank last on the road with 41 homers.

So this, too, is noted: The Mets don’t hit many home runs, particularly when so many of their star players have missed much of the season with a variety of injuries, including several injuries that have taken two or three times longer to heal than expected, and two or three times longer than such injuries usually take to heal.

Did we say that? I guess we did.

Can’t say that I blame Mets players for not wanting to rush back to finish out this disaster of a first season in their beautiful new ballpark (and it really is a nice ballpark). What with them 21 games under .500 at this point.

But damn, how ‘bout having Jose Reyes come back to play the last couple weeks, or a couple of games, maybe throw a bone to the season-ticket holders, give them some reason to believe next year might be different?

As far as we know, Neko Case was not at Tuesday's game

As far as we know, Neko Case was not at Tuesday's game

 

Between the hundreds of million of dollars that Mets owner Fred Wilpon reportedly lost in the Bernie Madoff investment-fraud scandal, the millions upon millions of dollars tied up in contracts for players who’ve spent most of the season on the DL, and the half-empty ballpark (even when attendance is announced at over 37,000, like last night; that’s tickets sold, not used), it’s not been a good year to be a Mets owner, or fan, new ballpark nothwithstanding.

But, hey, the Braves have too many problems of their own to feel sorry for the Metropolitans, right?

But you gotta think the Mets would like to have Diaz tell them the secret to hitting balls out of their ballpark, right?

♣ Speaking of Diaz: This was the whole point I was going to get to before I got sidetracked by comparing his homers at Citi Field to the puny homer totals of Mets players. And that is, is anyone as surprised as me that Diaz has once again defied skeptics with his production this season?

I must say, I figured after his injury-marred 2008 season, when he hit .244 with two homers and 14 RBI in 135 at-bats, that Diaz had come back to reality and would probably spent the rest of his career bouncing around every few years from organization to organization, with some side trips to Triple-A.

And that would be a bad deal for us writers, since Diaz, 31, is, without question, as down-to-earth, funny, and enjoyable to be around as any athlete I’ve ever covered, in college or professional sports.

But anyway, man was I wrong. About him being headed directly for journeyman status. The dude can flat-out hit, and I’m never going to be surprised again to see him hit well over .300 and rake any and all lefties.

Diaz is hitting .321 with 34 extra-base hits (12 homers) and a .395 OBP in 343 at-bats, and his .501 slugging percentage has his OPS flirting with .900 (.896).

Folks, that’s doing work. And you can bet that the dollars are rising steadily on the salary Diaz should be able to command as a third-year arbitration guy, after making $1.237 million this season.

Since June 30, all he’s done is hit .350 with nine homers, 36 RBI and a .970 OPS in 67 games.

For the season, Diaz ranks third in the majors with a .410 average against lefties, just ahead of some guy named Jeter (.407).

For his career, Diaz has raised his average to .312 with a .359 OBP and .462 slugging percentage, with 35 homers in 1,252 at-bats and 467 games.

After being basically dumped by Kansas City and Tampa Bay, Diaz has thrived since landing with the Braves in a December 2005 trade for minor league pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez that was buried in newspapers outside newspapers, if mentioned at all.

Since coming to the Braves, Diaz has played in 419 games and hit .319 with 56 doubles, eight triples and 33 homers, with a .364 OBP and .470 slugging percentage in 1,133 at-bats.

Yesterday, I was talking to him about other stuff and asked if he could imagine the Braves without Bobby Cox as manager. He looked genuinely stunned for a moment.

“I hadn’t thought about it,” he said. “I honestly haven’t thought about it — is there a possibility of it?”braves.0720

I said, well, Bobby hasn’t committed to returning, and the Braves haven’t committed to bringing him back, and…

“I don’t know,” Diaz said. “It would be different…. I haven’t even thought to process that.”

Then I asked him about the perception that some outside the organization, particularly fans, have about Cox maybe having lost some of the touch he used to have in terms of motivating players or relating to today’s players, that kind of thing.

Diaz seemed surprised.

“I couldn’t name a more popular manager in baseball to play for than Bobby Cox,” he said. “I mean for right now, or when I first got here four years ago, or from what you hear from … forever. I mean, he’s just … You want to win, and when you don’t, you’re mad you lost and you also feel like you let him down, because you know how bad he wants to win.”

I asked if he could still related to both older players and younger players and motivate them like he always did.

“Yeah, that’s the amazing part,” Diaz said. “The older players, you understand it because they’ve been around it, they’ve won with him. But the younger players, he gets their respect immediately because he respects them.

“I mean, I remember my first year here, he treated me like any of the older guys, and I was shocked by how well I was treated as a first-year guy over here.

“He’s the one who gave me all the confidence in myself to be able to go out and do what I’ve done in Atlanta. And it’s no coincidence that I was a very average player before. I dominated the minor leagues, but I was a very average big-league player before I came here. Because it was a confidence issue.

“When you have a manager like Bobby Cox tell you you’re good, you believe him. And he goes out of his way to tell his players they’re good. I think that’s why you play so hard for him.”

 ♣ OK, folks, I’m outta time today. I spent part of the day writing a story about the team and Liberty Media ownership going forward, after talking with Terry McGuirk yesterday. That story should be up on the website soon.

Meantime, I’ve gotta get over to the ballpark. Hopefully the rain stopped and water’s receding where you live if you’re in the Atlanta area.

 large_SteveEarleRev2_jpg-1

“THE RAIN CAME DOWN” by Steve Earle

The old man loaded up everything that he owned

On a wagon and headed out west

The old woman fearlessly faced the unknown

‘Cause she figured he knew what was best

And they settled down hard on a government grant

With six mouths to feed and forty acres to plant

 

And the rain came down

Like an angel come down from above

And the rain came down

It’ll wash you away and there ain’t never enough

 

Fall turned to winter another year gone

Over and over again

Some took their lives from their land and moved on

And some stayed on to plow it back in

And the good Lord he giveth and he taketh away

And the restless shall go and the faithful shall stay

 

Now my grandaddy died in the room he was born in

Twenty-three summers ago

But I could have sworn he was beside me this morning

When the sheriff showed up at my door

So don’t you come around here with your auctioneer man

‘Cause you can have the machines but you ain’t taking my land

 

1,070 comments Add your comment

beekay

September 22nd, 2009
3:22 pm

I case you haven’t seen this…interesting about the young catcherBraves Final Report

Jason Heyward faced every challenge in jumping to Triple-A

By Bill Ballew
September 17, 2009

Best Player: Outfield Jason Heyward officially jumped on the fast track in 2009. After hitting .300 with a pair of home runs in big league camp, the 14th overall pick in the 2007 draft dominated the high Class A Carolina League for the campaign’s first three months before becoming even more productive in the Double-A Southern League in July and August.

Promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett and going 4-for-11 with a pair of RBIs in the final three regular season contests, the 20-year-old Heyward finished the season hitting .323/.408/.555 with 17 home runs and 63 RBIs.

“We gave Jason the opportunity to step up and face the next challenge and he did that at every level this season,” farm director Kurt Kemp said.

Best Pitcher: While Tommy Hanson emerged as a Rookie of the Year candidate in Atlanta, the Braves’ most impressive hurler was righthanded reliever Craig Kimbrel, who twirled at all four full-season levels in 2009.

A third-round pick out of Wallace State (Ala.) CC in 2008, the righthander struggled with his control upon opening the season at high Class A Myrtle Beach and spent two months at low Class A Rome working on his mechanics.

He returned to the Carolina League in late June, before being promoted Double-A Mississippi a month later and allowed one earned run in 12 innings while going 6-for-6 in save opportunities. Kimbrel, 21, spent the final week at Gwinnett and concluded the year averaging 15.45 strikeouts per nine innings.

Keep An Eye On: Considered the top international catching prospect in 2008, Christian Bethancourt signed with Atlanta for $600,000 in March of that year. The Braves knew the 16-year-old Panamanian would be a work-in-progress, if for no other reason than his youth and lack of physical development.

Bethancourt, however, has turned up the clock. In addition to showing all the tools to be a top-flight receiver, his bat exceeded early expectations during his time in Rookie ball. He hit .284/.344/.431 in the Gulf Coast League before batting .260/.339/.480 in 14 games at Danville.

WIGWAM WISPS

• Center fielder Jordan Schafer had surgery Aug. 31 to remove a bone spur in his left wrist and was expected to be sidelined for three months. Schafer is hoping to recover in time to play a few weeks in winter ball.

• Heyward, Kimbrel, first baseman Freddie Freeman and first-round lefthander Mike Minor are among the seven players the Braves are sending to the Arizona Fall League in preparation of possible big league debuts in 2010.

DAP

September 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

10paulThis doesn’t include raises to Yunel, McCann, Hanson, Jurrjens, Chipper, McLouth, Prado, Moylan, Omar, Ross, Diaz, and whoever else. Right now that could be around $11 million…

yeah, clearly it doesnt include raises. but $11mil in raises? anything to back that up?

Anthony

September 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

Hey DOB,

What do you take of reports that Wren and Cox are at odds?

TennesseePaul

September 22nd, 2009
3:26 pm

Thanks for the blog DOB

Capt. Morgan

September 22nd, 2009
3:29 pm

The Mets traded Church to the Mets?

Rob from SC

September 22nd, 2009
3:29 pm

Anthony

September 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm
Hey DOB,

What do you take of reports that Wren and Cox are at odds?

Wren realizes that Cox gives to many games away

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
3:30 pm

yeah, clearly it doesnt include raises. but $11mil in raises? anything to back that up?

I wasn’t apart of the convo, but I know Chipper is going to be making 3 million more, McCann 2 million more and McLouth 2 million more. That’s 7 million between those three and with the other arb. eligibles, 11 million sounds about right.

TennesseePaul

September 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

DAP: Based off of Cots, and speculation of the “unsigned buy under control” guys… (figures in millions) let’s see if this works…

Chipper &nbsp 2
McLouth &nbsp 2.5
Omar &nbsp 0.375
Ross &nbsp 0.2
Diaz &nbsp 2
McCann &nbsp 2
Jurrjens &nbsp 1.5
Escobar &nbsp 0.5
Prado &nbsp 0.3

DAP

September 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

10paul i figured out some of the raises, and was surprised to see that chipperm infante, mccann, mclouth, and ross have a little over $7.5mil in raises coming. not nearly $11mil, but still higher than i thought. id expect diaz to get about another $1mil, and i dont think any of the other guys you mentioned are eligible for raises.

TennesseePaul

September 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

Nope. Didn’t work that well at all… But the data is there.

i cant take it anymore

September 22nd, 2009
3:32 pm

I flat out love Matt Diaz. I always pay attention to the way he hustles, his total effort and focus at the plate, and his uncommon and genuine humble demeanor. What a model player. Thanks for all the insight on Diaz, DOB. I hope matty plays the rest of years with the bravos. So glad we have him

DAP

September 22nd, 2009
3:33 pm

efrim, mclouth only gets a $1mil raise, i believe.

TennesseePaul

September 22nd, 2009
3:35 pm

Sheeesh typos all over those two. At any rate, I don’t think $11 million is that far off.

TennesseePaul

September 22nd, 2009
3:36 pm

DAP: McLouth goes from 2mil in 09 to 4.5 mil in 2010

Mixxo

September 22nd, 2009
3:36 pm

I like LaRoche, but can we afford to have almost zero production from first base in the first half of the season?

I don’t think so.

Capt. Morgan

September 22nd, 2009
3:39 pm

Great insight into Diaz. Thanks for the new blog, DOB.

Soph

September 22nd, 2009
3:39 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB.

That’s a cute pic of MattE with his kids. I really like him both as a player and off the field as well. Seems like a super cool guy and very entertaining. Yeah, he may swing at the crappiest pitches ever but when he connects, he can flat out hit. Not to mention he always gives it a 110%.

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
3:39 pm

I’m interested to see if the Braves plan on staying at 96 million or thereabouts. If that’s the case, they should have some money to work with.

DAP

September 22nd, 2009
3:42 pm

10paul gotcha, looking at this page

http://piraterevolution.com/2009/02/mclouths-extension-deserved-meaningless.html

and it includes a bonus which i guess the pirates paid the the beginning of the year.

McFann :Ô:

September 22nd, 2009
3:42 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! Great numbers/quotes from Matty! I love that guy! There are baseball players and there’s Matt Diaz…

And I love the picture of him and his kids! I remember that’s from Family Day 2008. Good stuff…

Diaz, 31, is, without question, as down-to-earth, funny, and enjoyable to be around as any athlete I’ve ever covered, in college or professional sports.

I totally believe that.

Thrillhouse44

September 22nd, 2009
3:43 pm

Bet some of those Mets’ injuries would be healed if Cox was in their dugout.

What are the requirements for Comeback Player of the Year? Any chance Diaz adds that accolade to his “Best Smack Talk” award. Find a clue…

McFann :Ô:

September 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

Soph @ 3:39–

I agree 110%!

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

And….after looking at DOB’s article, it seems like we aren’t slashing payroll. Nice.

P. W. Hjort

September 22nd, 2009
3:44 pm

Since coming to the Braves, Diaz has played in 419 games and hit .319 with 56 doubles, eight triples and 33 homers, with a .364 OBP and .470 slugging percentage in 1,133 at-bats.

I think he’s got a starting job to lose next year. He has to. He’s been too good to waste any more time letting him prove he’s a starter. He’s already proven it and now he has to prove he doesn’t deserve it for the status quo to change in my opinion.

N8

September 22nd, 2009
3:45 pm

From the other blog:

“I’m actually for trading anyone in the system not named Jason Heyward for a legit middle of the order bat. That includes Freeman.” Efrim

Totally agree, even on Freeman. But it has to be for a guy that would be willing to sign long-term, be in his prime (or younger than it), and not somebody like JD Drew. I have no interest in that. But if we could trade a guy like Freeman for Derek Lee and the lock him up? Though Lee is a little old for me. Prefer somebody around 26-30 years old and proven. Prince Fielder maybe?

But if it’s just going to be a one year wonder, I’d rather wait for Freeman. Count me in the category of guys who certainly would have rather had the “streak” end, than lose Wainwright. That trade would have stung a helluva lot less, had Drew signed a 4 or 5 year deal with us after that season.

Soph

September 22nd, 2009
3:47 pm

Soph @ 3:39–

I agree 110%!

McFann – ditto on your 3:42! :-)

Piedmont Blues

September 22nd, 2009
3:48 pm

Mixxo,

LaRoche doesn’t provide zero production in the first half. More like a .780 OPS (at or above league average). Every year except 2007, he’s hit double-digit HR before the All-Star Game.

When the weather warms up, though, so does he.

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
3:49 pm

N8, agreed on everything you said. Braves can’t afford to make trades for players that are only signed for one year.

Daslied

September 22nd, 2009
3:49 pm

DAP – I posted a response to you on the last blog, but TennessePaul has covered it here. Looks like set contractual increases of $7.075MM to Chipper, McLouth, McCann, Infante and Ross.

bravesgrl4life

September 22nd, 2009
3:50 pm

Great stuff on Matty-D. He is one of the best players out there and always plays with heart. That pic is so cute.

Daslied

September 22nd, 2009
3:50 pm

Piedmont – Abreu is a good player, to be sure. But don’t you read the blog, man? Anything short of a 40 HR guy and we’re toast!

Piedmont Blues

September 22nd, 2009
3:50 pm

Actually, my bad. 2007 he had 8 HR after the break. So he’s been in double digits the first half of every full season he’s played.

RC

September 22nd, 2009
3:51 pm

“I like LaRoche, but can we afford to have almost zero production from first base in the first half of the season?

I don’t think so.”

LaRoche’s numbers compare VERY favorably with Casey Kotchman over the 1st half of the season….the difference being that Kotchman had the higher batting avg, while LaRoche had the higher slugging percentage. On base percentage was actually pretty close. Considering that Kotchman was mostly a singles hitter, that gives LaRoche the edge in my mind….and that’s not even considering his 2nd half.

Jake7

September 22nd, 2009
3:52 pm

That is not a basis to KEEP(popular) BOBBY! He’s done a VERY GOOD job in managing the Braves OVER the years with TED TURNERS money…BUT It’s TIME for a CHANGE!! We NEED a TRANSFUSION !!

Thrillhouse44

September 22nd, 2009
3:52 pm

Prince Fielder maybe?

That dude is crazy! I love his production, but, man maybe if he came with a year’s supply of happy pills I’d like this deal. It’s bad enough that he tries to fight the other team in their own locker room, but he’s down for fighting his own pitcher in the dugout. Poor Tim Hudson would play a prank on him and end up on the DL for another year.

Piedmont Blues

September 22nd, 2009
3:54 pm

Daslied,

On further review, I looked a little closer at Abreu’s numbers and he looks like a slight upgrade over McLouth. Runs a little more and walks a little more, but in fact he’s a very similar hitter. (Nate may have a bit more power.) Funny how impressions change once you win a home run derby.

benchwarmer

September 22nd, 2009
3:59 pm

Shaeffer looked so much like a little boy trying to play a mans game. He has a big flaw with letter high inside fastballs. He seemed to come apart more and more as the season progressed. I think McClouth says what is needed to know about Shaeffers standing with the Braves. Matt Diaz is my starting left/right fielder until he forgets how to hit, which doesn’t seem likely. Upchurch for backup. Need another starting outfielder who will hit with pop. These are my priorities along with maintaining/getting a reliable bullpin.

beekay

September 22nd, 2009
4:00 pm

DOB or anyone
How many at bats does Matty Ice need to get in the batting title race officially

Daslied

September 22nd, 2009
4:00 pm

I was just reading the MLBTR chat, and I’m eagerly anticipating these discussions:

1. Javy for Dunn!
2. Javy for Ortiz!
3. Sign Ankiel!

I say “ick” to all three.

Jake7

September 22nd, 2009
4:04 pm

Here’s ANOTHER thought….Get TERRY McGUIRK (CEO)a different photo (sitting in the dugout with ROLLUP sleeves….100% cotton shirt)..not the IMAGE of a HARDWORKING CEO ! Me thinks we have been in SHOCK & AHHH
with OUR TEAM for the LAST 4 years.

benchwarmer

September 22nd, 2009
4:05 pm

“ick” is right. Get over the Dunn thing people. He is soooo one dimensional.

Huddy's Ligament

September 22nd, 2009
4:06 pm

I like Matt Diaz and I think he hustles and tries hard – but there’s something about him – like the boneheaded attempts to bunt and the awkward fielding – that I just don’t trust.
I mean, I think he’s got a bit of Frenchy in him – if the game were on the line in the bottom of the ninth in the 7th game of the World Series with two outs – I would not want to see him at the plate.

RC

September 22nd, 2009
4:06 pm

“Shaeffer looked so much like a little boy trying to play a mans game. He has a big flaw with letter high inside fastballs. He seemed to come apart more and more as the season progressed.” – benchwarmer

I think it’s important to take into account that Schafer was dealing with bone spurs in his wrist the entire season. Pretty hard to turn on an inside fastball with that going on. I actually think he’ll be fine long term….good plate discipline, great defense, middling offense. To me he has a chance to be Mark Kotsay with slightly better power and a little more speed (I’m talking about the Atlanta version of Kotsay….didn’t watch him enough earlier in his career to comment on his skills then).

benchwarmer

September 22nd, 2009
4:06 pm

What did Jake say?

Soph

September 22nd, 2009
4:08 pm

I was just reading the MLBTR chat, and I’m eagerly anticipating these discussions:

1. Javy for Dunn!
2. Javy for Ortiz!
3. Sign Ankiel!

I say “ick” to all three.

I second that ick and add a blah. Nu uh, I don’t like any of those.

benchwarmer

September 22nd, 2009
4:09 pm

RC, good point. There’s been a lot of buzz about him, I’ll admit. Maybe he’ll show more with good wrists and the character building experience he has endured.

benchwarmer

September 22nd, 2009
4:17 pm

Remember the right fielder with the “Miracle Mets of 1969″. He had a great world series in the field even though he was a best mediocre during the season. I think Diaz had a little more difficulty because he swicthed to right field this year. Given time to ajust I believe he will improve like he did in left field. More than anything I believe the man has a winning heart and just would not let the team down. He would raise his level ! Do you think Pete Rose was a natural at all of the positions he played. That man worked for it.

Huddy's Ligament

September 22nd, 2009
4:22 pm

I don’t think Diaz is the second coming of Charlie Hustle.

When he gets 4,000 hits, however, I will agree.

McFann :Ô:

September 22nd, 2009
4:22 pm

Soph

Yeah, Matty rules.

Jake7

September 22nd, 2009
4:23 pm

BENCHWARMER,
We have TRADED the farm for “quick fix” problems….with SO CALLED high profile players….this isn’t heresay!! Bobby was SLOOOW to put DIAZ in a starting position…along with PRADO,INFANTE…etc. This isn’t BRAIN SURGERY…..it is common sense.

Anders

September 22nd, 2009
4:24 pm

So maybe it’s not a ballpark thing, necessarily. Maybe it a Mets thing. Maybe they’ve got it in their heads, (DOB)

I agree with this. While the park does play long so did Shea. I think many of the Mets psyched themselves out from the get go. Manuel even said they worked on tailoring Wrights swing to the new park while down in ST. That’s ridiculous. He got in a power funk and can’t get out. Is there an alarm you can wear around your neck for that?

Daslied

September 22nd, 2009
4:26 pm

Funny, I’d actually be okay with Diaz batting to decide a World Series. He can hit anything except high fastballs with 2 strikes. :)

Paul Lentz

September 22nd, 2009
4:27 pm

I know I’ve havent been here much lately (been really busy with a few things). However, I’ve been keeping up with the Bravos. Even though we are 5 out with 12 games left……..there is a somewhat of a decent shot left at the play-offs.

The Braves remaining schedule is VERY favorable. 2 more against the Mets. Then 3 in Washington, followed by 3 at home against Florida and the last 4 hosting Washington. If the Braves can win all 7 remaining games against the Nationals (if we continue to get good pitching along with our offense beating up on the Nationals PATHETIC pitching)…….also with winning the last 2 games of the current Mets series…….then if we can win 2 of 3 against the Marlins….that would allow us to finish 11-1 in our last 12 games. If the Braves can treat these games like play-off games (our play the last 2 weeks indicates that we are capable of playing winning baseball)………I dont see why we cant finish 11-1.

The Rockies schedule is a LOT tougher than ours…..after they finish up the next 3 games against the Padres. They have 3 against St. Louis, followed by 3 against Milwaukee and 3 in L.A. I can see the Rockies finishing up with a 6-6 record in their remaining 12 games.

I know that those are a lot of “ifs”, however if the Braves can take care of business against the Mets and Nationals…that will put a lot of pressure against the Rockies. Because of the play of the Braves the past few weeks, it isnt out of the realm of possibility that the Braves can mount a furious play-off push in the final 12 games and at least tie the Rockies, forcing a 1 game play-off.

WIN NOW

September 22nd, 2009
4:28 pm

Trade the farm for a quick fix!!! We need to WIN NOW for Chipper and Bobby!

Go Braves!

sportsmandh

September 22nd, 2009
4:30 pm

RC,

Continuing discussion from last blog

If you think LaRoche is a better hitter than Derek Lee, then I’d like to invite you to play in my fantasy baseball league. Be nice if we could put a poll up on the blog, who would you take head up LaRoche or Lee? Bet it would be at least 70% or more Lee. Don’t let one of Adam’s current hot streaks hide the fact that yeah he’s a guy that can hit 30 HRs, but he’s only done that once compared to 4 times for Lee.

The year Lee hit 8 homeruns he broke his wrist, only played 50 games and missed the rest of the season. And 34 ain’t old for a 1st baseman.
Lee is much more consistent than LaRoche. Defensively it’s a wash, they’re both solid there.

Again, not saying it’s even a possiblity. But let’s don’t act like Roachy is the best thing since sliced bread. And don’t argue about the money, b/c to get a good right handed power hitter, aka Lee, Holiday, Bay, etc., they’re all gonna cost.

njbraves

September 22nd, 2009
4:33 pm

Great comments from Diaz. Although there is nothing he could have said that would make most here feel any different about Bobby. I, for one, hope he manages again next year. Say what you want, but it is not his fault that this offense goes into lulls every few days.

Anders

September 22nd, 2009
4:33 pm

So maybe it’s not a ballpark thing, necessarily. Maybe it a Mets thing. Maybe they’ve got it in their heads, (DOB)

I agree with this. The Mets players psyched themselves out right from the start. Jerry Manuel even said on the radio last week that they retooled Wright’s swing somewhat in ST to prepare for the new park. That’s ridiculous. The field does play long but so did Shea. They’ll never have a 50 HR guy but 30 shouldn’t be so distant.

ncscoots

September 22nd, 2009
4:33 pm

MORON alert. Cue the props.

dogsbrekky - Citi Citi Citi

September 22nd, 2009
4:34 pm

What a fun game, got a free ticket, great dinner, 3 homers in 3 innings, Chipper signed my jersey, mutts fans were quiet and we got to drink lots of red wine… kind of liking this new NYC stadium

then today the baseball gods kicked me in the kahunas… the NYPD had towed my car while I was getting sheet faced at SHEA goodbye to ‘Ollywood II… $400 and a bit of body damage later, I got the beast back…

god if the karma is good it means a big Braves final week or so… let’s go and get 10 wins in a row

It is doable folks….

dogsbrekky - Citi Citi Citi

September 22nd, 2009
4:36 pm

scoots and other aficionado fans – anyone like this idea

Jair straight up for Ryan Braun ??

Officer Anders

September 22nd, 2009
4:36 pm

You should see the piece of crap we picked up yesterday. We banged it up a bit and then made the owner pay us more than it was worth to get it back.

Piedmont Blues

September 22nd, 2009
4:39 pm

sportsmandh,

Lee would cost money and players. LaRoche just money.

Huddy's Ligament

September 22nd, 2009
4:39 pm

I’d rather us have 7 games left against contenders than the Nationals, as things have gone…

N8

September 22nd, 2009
4:40 pm

Just want to give you guys some insight on how good we have it (even with no playoffs this year), as Braves fans. I’m listening to KC sports talk radio online while I’m working, and they are pumping tonight’s Royals game in different ways.

1) Zach Greinke is pitching (that alone should make it worth the price of admission).

But this one kills me. I’m sure the team isn’t promoing it this way, but similar to 680 the fan in Atlanta, the have their little commercial updates inbetween shows and going to commercial break, and the announcer contines to state that if the Royals win tonight, they will have avoided a 100 loss season.

Wow. Different levels of expectations, huh?

Anders

September 22nd, 2009
4:40 pm

So maybe it’s not a ballpark thing, necessarily. Maybe it a Mets thing. Maybe they’ve got it in their heads, (DOB)

I agree with this. The Mets players psyched themselves out from the start. Last week on the radio Jerry Manuel said they even retooled Wright’s swing in ST to prepare for the new park. That’s ridiculous. The park does play long but so did Shea. They’ll never have a 50 HR guy there but 30 shouldn’t be so distant.

Wayne in Utah (Bring me the head of Yunel Escobar)

September 22nd, 2009
4:41 pm

dogsbrekky

In a heart beat, my friend…..see ya Jair! Thanks for the memories!

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
4:42 pm

Jair straight up for Ryan Braun ??

Brewers hang up first.

bravesgrl4life

September 22nd, 2009
4:43 pm

McFann, isn’t your brother at the Catholic college in Dawsonville? I just saw where student up there drowned last night. Just want to make sure your brother is okay. They didn’t give any names (not that I would know your bro’s name, but . . . )

dogsbrekky - Citi Citi Citi

September 22nd, 2009
4:44 pm

Wayne – had heard talk of Jair and Prado for Ryan being discussed by FW…. is this too OUT there

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:44 pm

towed cars suck

Steve from OH

September 22nd, 2009
4:45 pm

You’re not taken 7th in the draft unless you’re real good. Or maybe the Braves can’t scout anymore.

Ah, lest ye forget Keith Law’s report that Roy Clark went askin’ LM for the cash to sign Matt Purke…

But Minor’s good, no doubt.

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:46 pm

dogsbrekky

Don’t know if there is any validity to that deal, but Braun is EXACTLY the type of player we need in our lineup. Hard hitting right hander, hits for average, good OPS, power, etc.

Throw in Prado.

dogsbrekky - Citi Citi Citi

September 22nd, 2009
4:47 pm

Wayne – i look at the towed car this way… I was mouthing off big time to any and all mutts fans last night at SHEA II including the fuzz/pigs/whatever you call cops here… all night… so fitting they got me back big time…. then cause we have the big UN week here in NYC I could NOT get a park and had to garage the pig for the night for another $31…………… OH THE disaster it has all become..

tonight I am staying home and being more HUMBLE

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
4:48 pm

Ah, lest ye forget Keith Law’s report that Roy Clark went askin’ LM for the cash to sign Matt Purke…

Steve from OH, do you think the fact that they needed more pitching depth in te high minors had anything to do with the selection? I know you should never draft for need, and the Braves haven’t really in as many years as I have followed, but given the volume of low-a pitchers we had maybe they wanted the high probablity pitcher? Thoughts?

Capt. Morgan

September 22nd, 2009
4:49 pm

Paul Lentz:

Your theory on making the playoffs is good except:

When was the last time the Braves actually “took care” of the Nationals?

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:50 pm

As much as I would hate to lose a guy like Jurrjens, if he brought the correct bounty, I think our staff is strong enough to survive without him.

Hanson, Vazquez, Hudson, Lowe, Kawakami, Medlen, Minor, Reyes (long shots, the last two)

Good number of possible starters.

How about letting Soriano and Gonzo walk this winter, and go after Billy Wagner for a 1 year plus an option?

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
4:50 pm

I could be wrong, but I think Braun is one of the more valuable players in baseball with his contract status, age and production. I really think they have no intention of trading him. And if they did, it would take more than Jair and Prado. Just my two cents on that subject.

rammerjammer

September 22nd, 2009
4:52 pm

If Braun was available, I’d give them Jurrjens, Prado and Freeman, too. In a heartbeat.

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:52 pm

Big cities are great, so long as you don’t have to find a place to park!

:evil:

Efrim

September 22nd, 2009
4:52 pm

How about letting Soriano and Gonzo walk this winter, and go after Billy Wagner for a 1 year plus an option?

Wayne in Utah, we’d probably have to give up a first round draft pick to sign Billy Wagner. Since he is pretty old and a relief pitcher, I’d rather not do that. I do like Wagner, though. And I would totally be for the idea if the Red Sox decided against offering him arbitration.

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:54 pm

Efrim

I agree. If the Brewers GM did that deal, he better get 2-3 top prospects/players for him. That’s a potential career maker or killer, depending on which way it goes a few years down the road.

Steve from OH

September 22nd, 2009
4:54 pm

Efrim–sure, if it was a percieved need, I would absolutely believe it was a consideration. I don’t think you ever draft solely for need, but to say it’s not a consideration is foolish.

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:56 pm

Connie Chung

Yes he is. I only like white players. Are you buying that one?? If so, I got a good used bridge for ya!

Lew

September 22nd, 2009
4:57 pm

Mixxo-The past five seasons, La Roche has averaged 13 HR and 41 RBI prior to the All Star break. No, it’s not his second half numbers, but isn’t as bad as some make it out to be, either. Those power numbers early this year could have made all the difference in us making the playoffs.

dogsbrekky - Citi Citi Citi

September 22nd, 2009
4:57 pm

Thanks Wayne and others re JJ, Prado and one other for Ryan Braun, I assume the 3rd is KJ and the Brewers laugh hard… but seriously,, what is Jair worth… guy is 23, cheap and just pitches like a veteran out there, day after day

Dobi – thanks for the wonderful story on a wonderful guy, MATTY Capt Caveman DIAZ… I just love watching him bust a gut… he is living proof that GUTS (scoots you’ll love this) is a great trait to have

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
4:58 pm

Before the last election, I was a white man. (with 1/64th Cherokee mixed in, so don’t offend me with that tomahawk chop crap!)

:-)

RC

September 22nd, 2009
5:00 pm

sportsmandh,

It would be great to be in a fantasy baseball league with you. Because my point wasn’t that LaRoche was better than Lee, it’s that LaRoche at 1/2 the price was better than Lee. Can you honestly say you’d rather pay $13 million + a prospect for Lee over $7 million and no prospect for LaRoche? Not to mention, the lineups and ballparks that each have played in DO MATTER. Lee has played the past few years of his career playing at Wrigley Field (notorious hitters park) batting 3rd for a REALLY good lineup. LaRoche has spent the past few years of his career playing in Pittsburgh, and batting 4th or 5th most of the time (no protection behind him). Again, this isn’t a question of who is better…it’s a question of value. And in my opinion LaRoche is likely to be a MUCH better return on your investment that Lee is likely to be.

Wayne in Utah (I got hit by a dragon fly on my pinkie finger, and I can barely type)

September 22nd, 2009
5:01 pm

Short of the once in a while misadventure in the field, and the propensity to swing at the high hard one, Matty D has given us a lot of thrills this season for sure.

Can you imagine having him be your 4th outfielder (McLouth, Heyward and ???? as the 3 starters)

Piedmont Blues

September 22nd, 2009
5:02 pm

rammerjammer,

Yep. If Milwaukee wants to deal Braun without involving Heyward, Hanson, Heap, or maybe even Yunel, I’m listening.

McFann :Ô:

September 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

bravesgrl4life isn’t your brother at the Catholic college in Dawsonville?…Just want to make sure your brother is okay.

Yes, he is. Thank you for asking. He and all the students are pretty shook up, though…the group of guys he had dinner with Sunday night included the boy who drowned, so that was kinda weird, you know.

They cancelled classes today. After lunch, my brother and his friends were walking out in the woods by the lake that’s near the school, and they saved a group of fish from a shallow puddle. So they felt pretty good about that. :)

But thanks again for asking. Mom was kinda freaked out this morning when he called, ’cause she was like, “Aren’t you s’posed to be in class?” and his voice was shaky, so…

wjones

September 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

“Can you imagine having him be your 4th outfielder (McLouth, Heyward and ???? as the 3 starters)”

I don’t know. I’m not too sold on ???? as a starting OF. Too many question marks.

trey

September 22nd, 2009
5:04 pm

Ok, the Braves had well over a three run lead when Lowe was taken out for Kawakami, so how exactly does Kawakami qualify for a save?

Steve from OH

September 22nd, 2009
5:05 pm

Yep. If Milwaukee wants to deal Braun without involving Heyward, Hanson, Heap, or maybe even Yunel, I’m listening.

Translation: that would mean they’re probably not trading Braun…

RC

September 22nd, 2009
5:06 pm

“You’re not taken 7th in the draft unless you’re real good. Or maybe the Braves can’t scout anymore.”

Tell that to Matt Bush. (#1 overall in 2004)

McFann :Ô:

September 22nd, 2009
5:06 pm

I wouldn’t trade JJ for anything.

My main untouchables include: BMac (no duh), Matty, JJ, Hanson, Vazquez, Timmy…and toss in Medlen, too. I think he’s gonna be pretty good.

Obviously there are others (like Nate…I think we should keep him), but the ones above are the main men.

McFann :Ô:

September 22nd, 2009
5:08 pm

wjones I don’t know. I’m not too sold on ???? as a starting OF. Too many question marks.

Major ROTFLOL!! :lol:

trey

September 22nd, 2009
5:09 pm

Kawakami came in when there was a blow out. There was nothing to save, so how did he get a save?

dogsbrekky

September 22nd, 2009
5:09 pm

McFann – just reading about those things, I am sorry, I will say a prayer or 2…

I was very annoyed with the NY media this am… in the NY Post (the best NY sports paper for beisbol) they did not have a single comment about the Braves 11 – Mutley’s 3 today, not a comment… they even had a 11-3 headline but then discussed how the mutts and Jason Marquis want to hook up in 2010…. seriosuly no game commentary at all

Vinings Jim

September 22nd, 2009
5:10 pm

trey – thanks to DOB this morning:

Rule 10.20 in the Official Rule Book states:
Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and
(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and
(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
- (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
- (b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces; or
- (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.

trey

September 22nd, 2009
5:11 pm

Wayne in Utah, are you kidding me? You put Reyes in a lineup and saying that lineup could be strong without Jurrjens? Jurrjens is much better than Kawakami and dude, Reyes isn’t fit to pitch in the MLB.

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