8:49 pm October 15, 2009, by David O'Brien
October 19th, 200911:36 pm
If Jason Heyward were a right handed hitter do you think his path to the majors would come quicker? Also i wouldnt mind Derosa as a braves again.
October 19th, 200911:37 pm
man ruiz has a nice arm
October 19th, 200911:41 pm
David Ross $1,600,000
Omar Infante $1,850,000
Kelly Johnson $3,750,000
Ryan Church $3,750,000
Jason Heyward $400,000
P. W. Hjort, I’m assuming these last 5 represent our bench. I can’t agree with 2 of these then. Ross, Church, and Infante make perfect sense for the bench, but Heyward and Johnson don’t. I think if Heyward is with the team its to start not to be a bench player. Also, really doesn’t make sense to keep KJ for a bench player, not at his price mainly and for other reasons that I don’t feel like typing out again.
P. W. Hjort
October 19th, 200911:49 pm
I think if Heyward is with the team its to start not to be a bench player.
I wouldn’t call him up until June and I’d put Diaz on the bench (or in CF depending on how McLouth performs) thereafter, but I condensed it to 1 spot for brevity’s sake.
Also, really doesn’t make sense to keep KJ for a bench player, not at his price mainly and for other reasons that I don’t feel like typing out again.
It’s just a hypothetical dream team. But answer me this. Provided you can afford it and all other things equal (aka. the other 24 roster spots decided), are you going to keep KJ at $3.75 million on the bench or get rid of him and pay Conrad $400,000?
October 19th, 200911:51 pm
no im going to spend that extra money and keep gonzo or soriano
October 19th, 200911:54 pm
Didn’t answer the question. Well, at least not within the parameters I gave.
October 19th, 200911:55 pm
dude would you rather have gonzo or soriano ..and conrad…or kelly and church..and thats all after we get rid of lowe and get holliday
KJ at $3.75 million on the bench or get rid of him and pay Conrad $400,000? (PW)
neither one. there will be players available who are better than Conrad-not hard at all- and cheaper and more versatile than Kelly.
October 19th, 200911:56 pm
That Dodger bullpen is so untouchable!
October 19th, 200911:57 pm
Are you kidding me?
October 20th, 200912:00 am
Everyone has their own idea about how to build a team. Personally, I wouldn’t want Gonzo or Soriano anywhere near mine. Not that my way is right or better than yours, I’m just not a fan of either a) spending a ton of money on premium free agent relievers (I prefer the buy-low path) or b) specifically Gonzo and Soriano (they’re injury-prone and likely won’t be worth their contracts). I’d rather have a top-notch bench and quality depth among position players than Gonzo or Soriano. That’s just me, though.
October 20th, 200912:01 am
P. W. Hjort
Ok, I get what you are saying with Heyward, especially since I think that is when he will most likely be called up. And on KJ, I just don’t believe he will be a good bench player. I think playing consitently not only helps him offensively but defensively. I think there are some players that are better suited for these bench and utility roles.
Conrad and Diory both showed that neither seem ready for bench roles on this team. I don’t think they are our only choices if we don’t keep KJ. I think that the role can be filled by a veteren guy who has done this before. Don’t know who that player is or whether we would get him by trade or free agency but I know we could probably find one.
October 20th, 200912:06 am
That’s why they’re the champs folks!
Try to watch it while it’s still up — on the Gameday replay of Rollins’ walk-off hit, you can clearly hear someone (player? fan?) saying something that sounds like “YOU’RE DEAD M***F***ER!!” right around second number 52 or so. Whoops!
im just saying thats crazy if you think our team would be better off without one of our top two bullpen pitchers next year
Well, at least not within the parameters I gave. (PW)
if you are interested only in that one choice I would keep Kelly given that we can afford the entire roster. That’s kinda unrealistic though, and I would want more versatility than either of those guys provides.
October 20th, 200912:08 am
How many comeback wins did we have this year?
Phillies remind me of how Braves used to be. Great combination of pitching, defense, speed, power. They are miles ahead of us now, and management needs to realize that.
We need a catalyst, like Rollins. They are just a fun team to watch, have all the pieces.
I was watching old tape the other day and was reminded of how great Marquis Grissom was for Braves in 95-96. Still can’t believe we traded him and Justice for Lofton and Embree. Justice and Grissom were athletic, tough, team-oriented, champions. Never been quite the same since they left after 96.
October 20th, 200912:11 am
Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer in the first inning Monday night to give him eight straight postseason games with at least one RBI, tying Lou Gehrig’s major league record set more than seven decades ago. RE a post earlier that Howard is an absolute thug when he get sin one of his hot spells.
define your notion of come from behind wins.
October 20th, 200912:12 am
I don’t think so. If you can sign 2 buy lows (I used Kiko Calero and Chan Ho Park as examples, there are plenty others) you’re getting close to as much, if not more, production out of your bullpen for a fraction of the cost. It’s pick your poison. Personally, I prefer having quality depth than 1 premium ace. Especially if he’s injury prone and has averaged 41 and 1/2 innings (Soriano) or 40 innings (Gonzalez) a season.
“no im going to spend that extra money and keep gonzo or soriano”-Andrew
I agree, I think you have to keep one of them. Both have experience closing and I would not want to go into the 2010 season without have someone with some experience. What happens if the others don’t work out in that role. I think it was 2006 pre-Wickman when we were blowing saves left and right. Would hate to go back to that.
October 20th, 200912:13 am
That’s kinda unrealistic though
You may say I’m a dreamer.
But I’m not the only one.
October 20th, 200912:15 am
rico carty –
They’re the total package rico. Heck, even Lidge stepped it up tonight.
I’ve been saying it all year…..this is a baseball team! Sure, I love my Braves, but the Phillies are what we’re NOT damnit! Winners!
We look like AA ball compared to them.
October 20th, 200912:17 am
s’true PW you ain’t, I just don’t see limiting oneself to a choice between only those two players as a dream. Not a nightmare either, but not a dream
October 20th, 200912:19 am
In this instance, 9th inning comebacks. How many of those did we have? One? Two?
Extra-inning walk-offs……I can think of one of those….maybe.
I’m not talking about grabbing a lead after 5 or 6 innings and holding it.
October 20th, 200912:21 am
Both have experience closing and I would not want to go into the 2010 season without have someone with some experience. What happens if the others don’t work out in that role. I think it was 2006 pre-Wickman when we were blowing saves left and right. Would hate to go back to that.
Dude. That argument doesn’t make much sense. Chris Retisma was that “reliever with experience closing” that the Braves depended on at the onset of the 2006 season. How did that work out? 8.68 ERA in 28 innings. I don’t see how Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano aren’t at risk to the same sort of meltdown. Furthermore, they’re extremely injury prone. Extremely.
There’s inherent risk in every reliever. The bullpen is the most volatile area of a team’s roster. Look at the Phillies. They had the best bullpen in the league in 2008. With virtually the same group, their bullpen sucks now. That’s why spending a ton of money on a premium FA closer is so dangerous. You put so many resources into a guy who is inherently risky. If it works out, good. If not, you’re pretty much screwed.
We look like AA ball compared to them. (Mixxo)
gee last time I looked we dun ok against then this year.AA team would be lucky to win any.
I do agree that they are a very good team and have said so. My pick from the start for the division and the NL.If they had a tad more pitching or can collar some this winter they would really be sumthang!
October 20th, 200912:23 am
There’s inherent risk in every reliever. The bullpen is the most volatile area of a team’s roster. (PW)
yup! there’s a reason that most of them are relievers.
October 20th, 200912:24 am
nolie and Jake W,
I think the main pro of keeping Kelly is he provides you with some real depth. Sure, you could find a more versatile and cheaper utility player ala Eric Bruntlett. But what if LaRoche or Prado or Chipper breaks their wrist and has to miss 2 months? Do you really want Eric Bruntlett or someone of the sort starting for 2 months? Having quality depth is utility in itself.
October 20th, 200912:28 am
It all goes back to roster construction theory.
October 20th, 200912:36 am
Is our cleanup hitter here yet?
………..just what I thought………
October 20th, 200912:37 am
P. W. Hjort
I think my point is that since we have acquired those two(Soriano and Gonzo) we really haven’t had many problems with the back of our pen. We hadn’t been able to say that since we had Smoltz as closer really. Not to mention before that 2005 season Reitsma had had one season with an ERA under 4. Soriano has a career ERA of 2.92 and has 5 seasons where he posted an ERA under 3. Outside of Gonzo’s debut season and the 2008 season when he was returning from TJ surgery he has never posted an ERA above 3. Reitsma’s numbers don’t even compare to that. In fact there should be no comparision. They guy was forced into the role because Kolb failed and really there was no one else.
And on the phillies bullpen this year comapred to last it has more to do with just all of a sudden being bad. Their starting pitching sucked for a good half season and they were used a lot at the beginning. You add in injuries to key bullpen guys and you get why they struggled. I stick to what I said, I would rather keep one of Gonzo or Soriano because both have shown success in the closer’s role, not just experience there. Not every good reliever can be a closer and these two have shown they are capable.
October 20th, 200912:39 am
PW anyway i look at it i’d still be happy getting holliday
October 20th, 200912:42 am
I agree………..we would have had a .750 winning percentage against them if they realized that you just cant pitch to Howard no matter what………..not even if the bases are loaded and the tying run is at 3b………….still………….you walk the MF. a Tied game is better than 3 run behind.
We selected to pitch to him over and over and over again and we paid the price.
I have not looked at the stat but I can say that in more than half the game we lost against them, howard drove in either half of the runs in those games or the winning run in half of those games…………or maybe more than that. If Im not right on this, I might not be far from truth.
October 20th, 200912:44 am
“Do you really want Eric Bruntlett or someone of the sort starting for 2 months? Having quality depth is utility in itself.”
Thats assuming KJ does not repeat his 2009 numbers. Frank Wren took a gamble believing Frenchy would bounce back and wasn’t rewarded. I believed he would too. There is no gurantee KJ will ever return to his 2007/2008 form just like there was no gurantee Frenchy would return to his 2006/2007 form. Who’s to say KJ would even want a bench role. I’m sure there is a team he could be starting for and he probably knows that. If he’s interested in getting his career back on track he would probably want to do that.
October 20th, 200912:51 am
You said it. I really think Justice was the last true clutch hitter the Braves had. And I’m almost sure that if he hadn’t been hurt in ‘96 we would have put away the Yanks and the Series never would have made it back to the Bronx. Haven’t been able to score runs in crucial situations since, even the year we had Sheff.
October 20th, 200912:56 am
I think my point is that since we have acquired those two(Soriano and Gonzo) we really haven’t had many problems with the back of our pen.
In 2009, the Braves converted 38 saves in 60 opportunities (63% success rate). The league average success rate was 65%. In 2009 the Marlins came into the season with no “proven closer” and converted 65% of their save opportunities. The Diamondbacks had no proven closer and converted 65% of their save opportunities. The Padres had no proven closer and converted 66% of their save opportunities. The Cardinals had no proven closer and converted 75% of their save opportunities. Etc……
The Toronto Blue Jays came into 2009 with a closer who had 115 career saves and converted only 61% of their save opportunities. The Astros had a closer who had 142 career saves and converted only 59% of their save opportunities. The Pirates had a proven closer and converted only 62% of their save opportunities. The Mets spent $20 million on the back end of their bullpen and still only converted 65% of their saves. Etc….
The point is, relievers are risky. Because someone was successful last year doesn’t mean they will be next year. This is especially true with relievers and it’s usually better to manage your risk by sacrificing a bit of quality and diversifying your resources than trowing all of your eggs in 1 basket and hoping it works out. Because it might. But what if it doesn’t?
Soriano and Gonzalez are just as risky as the next guy.
October 20th, 200912:57 am
If he’s interested in getting his career back on track he would probably want to do that.
He’s not a free agent. He has absolutely no say in the matter.
October 20th, 20091:06 am
If Braves are out of playoff hunt next year, think people will still show up for Bobby’s last home game as manager?
October 20th, 20091:16 am
“He’s not a free agent. He has absolutely no say in the matter.”-P. W. Hjort
Yeah just like Frenchy had no say in getting sent down and working things out and Wickman and save situations versus non save ones. Players voice there opinions all the time and find their way off of teams. Besides, I think Wren has know intention of giving him a spot on the bench at his price so its either a non tender or trade. Obviously he would prefer to trade him.
And on relievers you are willing to take some risk. Some risk are smart and some are not. It would be smart of Wren to invest his money into a reliever with experience closing because well that makes sense. People don’t take risk on others because they want to. Its because they have to. I’m sure Fredi would have liked to have a closer with more experience than Nunez or Lindstrom(i think thats his name). Some times you get lucky and you find soemthing where most thought there was nothing(moylan) but most times thats not the case. Taking risk involves every aspect of this game but there is a reason the Yanks havent taken a risk with someone else closing or a reason the Brewers got hoffman and a reason the phils got Lidge and so on and so on. People are more willing to take a risk on the proven over others in the bullpen. If you have a choice, why not?
October 20th, 20091:24 am
Justice’s production with 2-out RISP was 161/316/210, and late /close he was 170/321/226. I can remember a whole buncha times he failed in regular season play.His high leverage figures were low, his medium leverage figures were medium and his low leverage figures were high He was a classic pad the stats guy, the less pressure the better he hit. Talk about one at bat biasing a career.
October 20th, 20091:54 am
Gee, my Justice exposé chased everybody away?? What fun is that??
October 20th, 20092:05 am
I’ve been inspired to write this:
One of the primary concerns among Braves fans this off-season is how the team will deal with the back end of the bullpen. With the impending free agency of Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, the Braves are losing their two best relievers and many fans worry about how the team will fill the void. A lot of people will ask: How will the team expect to compete without a “proven closer”?
I don’t pretend to know how the team will attempt to fix the problem, but I do have some thoughts on how I believe they should do it.
First of all, the whole “proven closer” thing is hogwash. Plenty of teams have gone into a season with no such reliever and had no trouble closing out games. Even more teams have gone into a season with a “proven closer” only to see him fail miserably and have to scramble to close games. Take the 2009 Phillies for example. Brad Lidge was 41/41 in save opportunities with a 1.95 ERA 2008. For his efforts, he received a grotesquely large contract only to post a 7.21 ERA and blow 11 saves in 2009.
This stems from the fact that relievers are, in general, a gamble. Granted, there’s instability everywhere, but a team’s bullpen is particularly volatile. Relievers are relievers for a reason. A starting pitcher of equal ability is more valuable than a relief pitcher. Teams convert pitchers to relievers because a) they weren’t good enough to make it as a starter or b) their arms wouldn’t hold up for 200 innings. No matter which way you slice it, relievers are inherently risky. I can think of very few examples of relievers that didn’t, at one point, experience a complete meltdown and lose their effectiveness.
Therefore, building a successful bullpen is about managing these risks. The best way to manage risk with relievers, just like the stock market, is to diversify. Investors spread their resources around, investing in various markets, so that their overall financial health isn’t dependent on one particular investment performing well. Because, after all, there’s an inherent risk of failure with every investment an investor makes. They manage their risk and pit it against their upside by diversifying, such that they’re able to survive in the event of an investment’s failure. If you invest $100 in 1 stock and the stock fails, you lose $100. If you invest $1 in 100 stocks and one fails, you lose $1, and you’re largely un-phased. You may lose the battle, but you live to fight another day.
The same is true with relievers. Because relievers are so risky, diversification is the best play. For instance, say a club has $10 million to spend on shoring up their bullpen. They can either a) spend all $10 million to bring in a premium free agent closer or b) spend the money on two or three relievers of the buy-low or set-up variety. In doing b, sure, they probably sacrifice a bit of upside. However, they also minimize their risk. What are the chances that one reliever turns into a bust? Pretty high. What are the chances that three relievers all turn into busts? Not nearly as high. Provided they have the same rate of failure, it’s 8 times more likely that you’ll have a successful closer if you spend the $10 million on 3 relievers rather than one. This is a vast oversimplification, of course, but you get the point.
Dave Cameron of USS Mariner discusses this phenomenon in general baseball terms in his brilliant piece on roster construction theory. I think it’s even more applicable when specifically discussing the bullpen.
It’s tempting for teams to pay market rate for these premium closers for obvious reasons. If it works out, you’ve got an excellent closer. But in doing so, you’ve also assumed a great deal of risk. When you throw all of your eggs into one basket, you’re always one injury or episode of ineffectiveness away from not having a viable option, which disproportionately weakens your team. It’s not that other players aren’t at risk to the same phenomenon, it’s that relievers are particularly vulnerable, more so than other players in general, to said injuries and episodes of ineffectiveness.
You’ll undoubtedly read various articles this off-season written by national analysts, local columnists, and beat writers that suggest the team needs to go out and sign Jose Valverde or to retain Rafael Soriano or to ship a bag of prospects off to Boston for Jonathan Papelbon. Don’t buy it. Having a premium closer is a luxury, not a necessity, and just because a pitcher is labeled as a premium closer doesn’t mean they’re any less risky than the guys you’ll find on the scrap heap after teams like the Cubs and Mets overpay everyone else. The smart teams realize that managing their risk is more important than the upside play. I’m sure one of these moves will make a GM look very smart. But it’s just as likely to make a GM look very stupid (I’m looking at you, Francisco Rodriguez).
This may seem counter-intuitive to the casual fan. After all, how is a proven, known commodity more risky than a buy-low proposition? But again, it’s not that the buy-low relievers are individually less risky than a premium closer, it’s that having multiple viable options–even if they don’t possess the upside of a Francisco Rodriguez or a Jose Valverde–minimizes your overall risk. The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts, so to speak.
I don’t pretend to know what the Braves will do. They could go out and spend all their money on a Jose Valverde or a Billy Wagner. And it may work, I’ll certainly be happy if it does. Though if it doesn’t, they’re in deep doo doo. And I think that managing their risk by diversifying their resources and picking up two or three quality set-up men or buy-low candidates is the smarter play.
October 20th, 20093:03 am
Excellent post, P. W. Hjort. You always have some of the best posts on here. Smart and well thought out. You know your stuff.
October 20th, 20093:26 am
And I think that managing their risk by diversifying their resources and picking up two or three quality set-up men or buy-low candidates is the smarter play. (PW)
yeah so do I, especially in the bullpen.On the other hand I wouldn’t ming seeing Gonzo re-signed if the price is decent. Actually I think that was part of their thinking when they got both Gonzo and Sori to begin with, and they were relatively cheap at that time.
October 20th, 20093:44 am
I have to admit i am the first guy to criticize Bobby Cox’s playoff decisions, but i am not sure i can do that anymore after watching Joe Girardi so thoroughly botch a game earlier tonight. That was incredible to watch a major league manager do that poorly. I guess i will always remember Oct 19, 2009 as the night i finally realized The bravos could have it way worse then bobby cox as manager!!
October 20th, 20093:48 am
Rico Carty at 12:08 AM had the post best i have read in awhile on here. It is dead on, the braves have not been the same since the Justice trade and its that simple. Dave Justice is a guy who gets the hit like Jimmy Rollins did tonight. Braves never again seriously competed for a World Series after 1996. And i dont count 1999 as competing at all.
October 20th, 20094:18 am
Will, you must have missed Nolie @ 1:24 am.
October 20th, 20097:01 am
PWH, why are you surprised that Lyman can write decently enough? You said the same thing about Medlen a week or so ago. It’s like you think these guys never went to school.
Hell, your dad is a lawyer. I’m sure he’ll tell you that some of the most interesting and best written literature he’s ever read is written by his insane inmate clients possessing an IQ no better than 65.
October 20th, 20097:23 am
Dave Justice is a guy who gets the hit like Jimmy Rollins did tonight. B (WILL)
then why are his 2-out RISP and Late/Close numbers so absolutely crappy? circa 220/320/230 totally sucks. who in hell can have a S% of 230? His career post season BA was 230. He hit way better in meaningless situations per his leverage numbers. He had one big hit in his entire career and lived off that rep the rest of his life while sucking down steroids and running his mouth as always. All the phony reinventing of history is pure nostalgia and not fact.
October 20th, 20097:27 am
PJ Wort makes a brilliant point. This closer stuff is a bunch of hooey. Why, just look at that Broxton guy last night for the Dodgers. Blew the game! When you see teams like the Yankees with Rivera, and the Sox with Papelbon–all that stability at the end of the bullpen is just an illusion. It’s a trick, much like the curve ball only looks like it’s curving. Real truth is, like Wort says, you can sign a Brad Lidge but you just never know if Brad Lidge is going to be the Brad Lidge of 2008 or 2009. Or, um, 2006 for that matter. You have no way of knowing. You might think you do? But you dont.
So what I propose we do is heed Wort’s warnings and near-visionary insights and pull a few low-risk moves. For closer, I propose we give Dan Kolb a shot. Kolby would make a great reclamation project. Pull him off the scrap-heap and give him the ball. This is where it starts getting good. See…since Kolby would sign for the minimum, we can also sign a lefty closer! Do you have to ask? Duh. John Rocker. And for the minimum, yes, schuh-weet! They can switch off and on. Like, if a lefty hitter leads off the 9th, start the inning with Rocker. Next batter’s a righty, so we go to Kolby. Now if the next batter after that’s a lefty? Bingo! Mike Remlinger!
How can we afford 3 closers? Easy as pie. All 3 will cost only 1.2 mil for the year. COMBINED! Can you say “safe bet”? Hats off, PJ Wort! Hopefully DOB can get this plan to Frank Wren before the Stove heats up.
October 20th, 20097:59 am
If you invest $100 in 1 stock and the stock fails, you lose $100. If you invest $1 in 100 stocks and one fails, you lose $1, and you’re largely un-phased. You may lose the battle, but you live to fight another day.
Each “stock” does not carry the same factor of failure. New and underfunded companies stand a much greater chance of failure than GE, because track record counts. The ability of a stock to perform over time makes it a much more attractive investment. Risk is ameliorated.
It’s not so much that I disagree that all relievers are inherently risky (I don’t, and have said as much before), but that the same degree of risk attaches to a Gonzalez, say, and some other “quality setup guy” who has never closed. It doesn’t, and that has to be considered when deciding in which “stocks” to invest.
On the other hand, Berkshire-Hathaway stock performs superbly, but do you want to pay the freight to buy it, LOL?
October 20th, 20098:13 am
Carney Johnson, I am sure P. W. Hjort appreciates you agreeing with him, but you butchered his name.
October 20th, 20098:15 am
Oops, looks like it was a joke post after reading it.
Not Buying It
October 20th, 20098:58 am
Justice had one big hit in his entire career, huh? The three run homer he hit off Arthur Rhodes to win the 2000 ALCS somehow didn’t count? The homer he hit off Dibble in the final week of 1991 somehow didn’t count as well?
October 20th, 20099:06 am
Dave Cameron wrote common sense. This makes Dave Cameron’s writing brilliant?
October 20th, 20099:17 am
OK-He had TWO big hits.
October 20th, 20099:21 am
October 19th, 2009
PLEASE! Do NOT compare Joe Montana to CDJ! Montana deserves so much better then that
I don’t know, being Captain of the Kansas City Chiefs is only marginally better than being captain of the Yankees–
October 20th, 20099:24 am
pwhjortI prefer having quality depth than 1 premium ace. Especially if he’s injury prone and has averaged 41 and 1/2 innings (Soriano) or 40 innings (Gonzalez) a season.
and thats how you build a team that frustrates your fan base. i think you need a relief ace. calero and park will give similar production? based on what? they both had good seasons, but so did gonzalez and soriano, and both of the latter have a track record of being good relievers, where the other two are hit or miss.
i also wanted to point out that gonzalez and soriano’s average innings pitched in a season is actually 63 IP and 79 IP respectively, and that calero and chan ho park also have an injury history.
Well the Phillies are very strong but the Dodgers/Torre were just plain stupid. Truth be told the Dodgers lost that game early when they pitched to Howard with two outs. Just walk the dude—every time! Let somebody else beat you. Torre gets a big error for putting his team in jeopardy. Sure the pitcher threw a fat one but he never should have faced him.
October 20th, 20099:31 am
pwhjortI don’t see how Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano aren’t at risk to the same sort of meltdown.
if you dont see the difference between mike gonzalez or rafael soriano and chris reitsma, than you are the worst evaluator of relief pitchers i have ever met. you have got to be kidding me with that.
October 20th, 20099:41 am
A sermon on how disposable and unpredictable relievers are would perhaps be better directed at an audience other than Braves fans since no fan base has more experience with that philosophy. That has, after all, been the m.o. of the Braves front office for the past generation or so. Sometimes, it has led to great bullpens. Sometimes, it has led to disastrous bullpens. Oftentimes, it cost them dearly in the postseason. One man’s shrewd cutting of costs is another man’s stupid cutting of corners. There is no right either way. The success or failure of either philosophy can only be determined after we learn the results.
So please spare us your magnum opus that sounds like it was written by a college kid who had a midnight epiphany while snacking on some Pepsi and Doritos, somehow believing that no one else has come to that realization. Lecture on down the road. No sense preaching in this church, preacher boy. We’ve already been practicing what you’re selling for years, and know the pros and cons better than anyone else, including you.
chip off the ol block
October 20th, 20099:47 am
PWH i get your point that its a gamble on top notch prospects but any player at any time can have a bad year, lets just look at our own team here… we can into the season with the best pinch hitter in 2008 and look what he did for us? Chipper (huge huge fan of his just sayin) he struggled alot at the end of the season
Raffy and Gonzo were awesome for us this year, and really i’d take those two over most relievers in the league right now
sure we can possibly survive without the big time closer but that risk makes depending on Frenchy and KJ look like child’s play
Sure its a risk but baseball is full of risks
October 20th, 200910:07 am
Its all about how to maximize the impact for the money and realizing we need a position player and the backend of the bullpen with limited funding what choice would you make…
gonzo/soriano/$8M position player
soriano/$2M RP/$10M position player
gonzo/$2M RP/$12M position player
$2M RP/$400K RP/$15.6M position player
(I’m assuming Gonzo at $4M and Soriano at $6M)
personally with Moylan and the potential for Medlen to develop I think I would take the scenario with Gonzo and let Soriano walk…plus Gonzo is a motivating force in the bullpen
October 20th, 200910:09 am
On the Heyward issue I agree with N8 from yesterday (I think). It is obvious from the last two years now that there is a wide gap between Philly and the rest of our division and Lee will be with them all of 2010 to make it even worse. Some have indicated here that they would keep Heyward down (even if ready)just for the arb-eligible issue alone even if it meant sacrificing a few wins a month. Not sure that could be easily calculated but I will run with the statement for the sake of this post.
I would hate to be Wren and keep Heyward down until June and lose the divison to the Phillies in 2010, by say a game or two, but then explain away the decision as being the arb issue and that the Braves gained future financial flexibility with him. So now Wren is mortgaging the present to a degree because he can sell the future argument? Wow, not me brother.
If Heyward is indeed ready and by that I mean winning the RF position based on results in ST then you must start that dude on opening day. The Phillies are the team to beat again and that is obvious I know but why not start toe to toe with them as opposed to playing the waiting game with this player or that player. You can’t win the division in April and May but you could lose it there. The Braves can’t afford to get behind the 8-ball early on without putting their 8-best position players on the field.
A young rebuilding team can look more into the future but the Braves are not that team. They are poised to go into 2010 with the best pitching staff in baseball (arguably-at least if they don’t screw it up)and a bunch of veteran players. Their manager is going out and Chipper is probably right behind him. They have a couple of pieces to the puzzle to find and Heyward could/should be one of them. Just don’t tell me that they are holding Heyward back because of the arb issue because you don’t know what the future will bring.
October 20th, 200910:11 am
Saying Justice only had two big hits suggests that someone has already had more than two big hits from the bong this morning.
October 20th, 200910:15 am
Nolie, I guess you forgot Game 4 of 95 WS, when Justice got big hit with 2 outs to make it 4-1. I guess you forgot the 9th inning HR he hit in Cincinnati in that 7-6 comeback win on the last Wed. of the season to stay within 1 game of LA. I guess you forgot the HR he hit in game 162 in 1993 to defeat Rockies and win division. There were numerous big plays, not just the Game 6 1995 HR. He was big-time, clutch, and loved the Braves and loved competing. The man was a champion. Ditto for Marquis.
October 20th, 200910:16 am
rico carty – here here for the trade of Justice… I almost cried about that one, guy was a stud and I felt we basically GAVE him away, but I did have my issues with Marquis in ‘96 WS…
October 20th, 200910:18 am
Preacher Roe, that last two posts from you made me smile. Good stuff.
October 20th, 200910:19 am
tiger – I would keep Gonzo if we can get him for around $5 and let MFIKY go kill elsewhere
October 20th, 200910:22 am
Not sure if anyone posted this, but here is Keith Law’s take on minor league reliever Lee Hyde
Atlanta Braves reliever Lee Hyde was the team’s fourth-round pick in 2006 out of Georgia Tech, but he’s logged just 97 innings since then due to Tommy John surgery and a shoulder injury. The good news: The stuff and approach he showed on Friday night would work in any major-league pen right now. Hyde was 92-94 with a sharp 84-87 mph slider that he needs to show he can bury below the zone. He also flashed a changeup with good tumble. He’s not a big guy and his delivery is compact with good leverage and a lot of deception. Hyde finished strongly at AA this year, and if he’s healthy in March and pitches like this, he should have a legitimate chance to make that club.
October 20th, 200910:24 am
Gonzo is a motivating force in the pen? A motivating force to do what? Blow saves? 7 blown saves this season. 15 saves, 9 blown saves since September 9, 2008.
Efrim…you are a dollar short and a day late. Not sure about the dollar.
And good convo last night about relief pitchers and how volatile they can be. Personally, I’d offer arbitration to Gonzo(100%), and think long and hard about offering it to Soriano. Gonzo could accept it, but I think some large market team will be willing to give him what the Yankees gave Damaso Marte(3 years 12 million). And Marte isn’t in the class of Gonzo as a relief pitcher.
October 20th, 200910:26 am
Rock On, I figured. I haven’t been able to keep up with the comments section of the blog lately. Work sucks.
October 20th, 200910:35 am
Dadgum Rocking On-The converse could be true if we brought up Heyward and got a Schafer -like performance from him (though I don’t expect this to be the case). You’ve got to have an Orson Wells/Paul Masson moment Dude-no player before his time. If he’s ready, fine, but not at the cost of NOT getting someone who would help in the offseason.
October 20th, 200910:37 am
Preacher-Dude, get a grip. Giving you crap and nothing more. We all know that Justice had several worthy hits. I don’t have a bong, either. I use a soapstone pipe.
October 20th, 200910:41 am
dogs-Where you been lately? I’d go the same way you suggest re: the closer. Gonzo will be the cheaper of the two and we might be bale to get him for that much-saving about $5 mil to put towards that bat-which BTW, won’t be Holliday or Bay like some here seem to think.
October 20th, 200910:43 am
Lew–yeah, totally agree. Like I said he has to be “ready”. The pieces to the puzzle I am referring to includes a LF big bat, in addition to Heyward, acquired via FA or trade. Also Heyward on this team doesn’t have to be “the man”. He can mature without the pressure of carrying the team although granted not at the expense of a Shaefer-like performance. The off-season and ST will sort it all out. Wren finally listened to me on Prado and I hope he does the same with Vazquez and Heyward. Chuckle……
October 20th, 200910:47 am
Dadgum-Yeah, I WOULD pick up another outfielder regardless of Heyward’s progress. Your point that he shouldn’t be pressured into being the go to guy is well taken. I seriously wonder how badly Schafer was damaged (if at all) by that bad start? At the very least, it called his 2010 contributions into question. I’d hate to see Heyward forced back like that. We can’t afford to have that happen.
October 20th, 200910:56 am
CB & McFann… to kind of mediate your posts from earlier about GT/VT. Last year VT won 21-17 in Johnson’s first trip to VT. Obviously this year the tide turned. In neither year did VT stop the option so it is safe to assume they won’t in 2010. However, as super-charged as Grant Field was Saturday night it will not approach a Lane Stadium crowd. Home field to VT is a bigger advantage than home field to GT assuming equal teams. VT should win in 2010 but I doubt seriously it will be a revenge factor that does it.
October 20th, 200911:00 am
Lew – just been kicking ass and taking names
October 20th, 200911:08 am
dogsbrekky: big Lew can do that. That early winter in Vermont can reduce a man’s willingness to appease or to suffer fools. Only so much that a good maple syrup can do in that regard (smile).
Lew, I had to buy some maple syrup the other day at the store. Karo wouldn’t cut it anymore.
October 20th, 200911:15 am
Rock On, you don’t have to mediate between Mcfann and I, she and I are just having fun with each other. She is one of my favorites on the blog. I don’t take any game so serious that I lose my perspective on life. Besides, we can always eat barbecue!
October 20th, 200911:20 am
Dobi and Lew – I just had to use that line once, it is a direct quote by Charlie Sheen playing Bud Fox in the Oliver Stone movie “Wall Street”
October 20th, 200911:25 am
The pen. Keep GONZO, and let MFIKY ride off into the sunset. Pick a new closer to replace him. MOYLAN maybe? Hey DAVE any thoughts on using the AUSSIE as our second closer next year?
BTW DAVE, how about some MO-lasses like BRER RABBITT or BLACKSTRAP? I was readin’ labels the other day and both brands are manufactured in N.J. Couldn’t believe it. GRANDMA’s too, if I’m not mistaken.
October 20th, 200911:27 am
There’s no stopping Paul Johnson, a man who will not be denied a national championship over the next five seasons, all for a school whose stadium has about as much capacity as the Ted, and just as difficult a time filling it.
October 20th, 200911:28 am
DOB-Just worked a deal with the Maple syrup guy to paint a picture of his sugar house in return for syrup. I’ll send some more..
October 20th, 200911:30 am
Rock On @10:56. I was at the GT/VT game in 2008 and GT gave that game away. The tide didn’t have far to turn.
October 20th, 200911:31 am
DOB-”Big Lew” no longer weighs 300 pounds. The diet has been great and knocked off half of my insulin consumption by 50% in two months. Knocked off over 30 pounds this year.
October 20th, 200911:33 am
richbraveKeep GONZO, and let MFIKY ride off into the sunset. Pick a new closer to replace him. MOYLAN maybe?
moylan has trouble getting out lefties, and gonzo has alot of experience closing. if the braves retain him, which im kindof rooting for(hopefully through arbitration), he will be the closer.
October 20th, 200911:34 am
Thrillhouse44 – good luck to your Dukes in our big matchup this week – we can’t afford to lose another game with New Hampshire and Richmond left to play (we should have two relatively easy weeks between JMU and UNH, I hope)
October 20th, 200911:36 am
I don’t know. I’ve seen very bad writing from baseball players. For instance, Jeff Francoeur (jefffrancoeur.mlblogs.com)
I want to do this forum because I want people to be able to relate to what we go through every day — the ups and downs, the good times and the struggles. I’d like to give people a sense about how it’s sometimes tough to be away from home, especially while on long road trips like this recent one, which was just bad.
Also I’d like to tell some of the exciting stories from the season. Hopefully we’ll be able to talk about a pennant race during the final couple of months.
The highlight of this trip was having the off day in Miami. I got to spend time with my wife and a bunch of us got to go out to dinner together. Just having a day to relax was great. It’s been such a weird road trip.
francoeur-looking.jpgI feel like the team hasn’t been able to get in the groove that we want to be in. I think we’re looking forward to 16 or 17 days of straight baseball, where you can play every day and get in a groove. It seems like we’ve been playing three or four days and then having a rainout or an off day.
We just haven’t been able to find it yet. Also, I think we need to pick up the intensity as a team. When we played the Mets, we were intense and focused and we won those two games. We have to take that way of playing into these other games too. When there’s 5,000 people in the stands you have to be able to keep that intensity and we haven’t been able to do that.
There’s no reason for us to panic yet. I think we’re just waiting to make that run. Last year we started out real hot and we know what happened. I think it’s just all about timing and when you hit a rough spot, you have to know how to get out of it.
Injuries have prevented us from being the team that we wanted during these first two weeks. I think we have to get back to getting guys healthy and start playing better.
When I check in again in two weeks, hopefully we’ll have gotten healthy and turned things around.
October 20th, 200911:47 am
Thrillhouse44, every close game there is usually a few plays that make a difference. The game Sat. if the Hokies had recovered one more of GT’s fumbles the final might have been different. I give GT credit for what matters- they came to play in the second half.
October 20th, 200911:50 am
Vinings Jim, man it’s been a disappointing start for the Duke Dogs. Rodney Landers left some huge shoes to fill. Hopefully they can get back on track after getting shut out at home. That’s a tall order against your squad though. It should be a fun game to watch. I just hope I can find it on somewhere.
October 20th, 200911:53 am
Thrillhouse44 – unfortunately, I’ll be teaching a class while they’re playing, so I won’t even be able to follow the updates
October 20th, 200911:57 am
PWHjort, what was so bad about Francoeur’s writing?
October 20th, 200912:00 pm
Lunatic Fringe -
I chose not to acknowledge Mr. Montana’s playing days after he left the 49ers…
October 20th, 200912:05 pm
Mets4Life-What’s that? You’re projections for the 2010 Mets’ disabled list-again? (Lew)
Funny line from last night.
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