12:05 am November 17, 2009, by David O'Brien
November 19th, 200912:04 am
She’s just from the south, jeffrey. She probably said ‘voila’, it just sounded like ‘walah’.
And why dont you have any crops on your farm? How’d you get to level 72 without crops?
November 19th, 200912:07 am
I don’t think Norton did that bad. He was just put into a lot of situations that made it difficult for him to succeed. He was struggling batting left handed but not so much right handed, and Bobby kept putting him in against righties even though he had kelly on the bench. Also he never got a whole lot of at bats to keep him fresh. He didn’t get to start hardly at all so he didn’t get a chance to really get his swing in a groove. I think he will be a valuable player off the bench for another team if they are willing to give him a few more at bats.
November 19th, 200912:08 am
I knew there was an accent there somewhere.
How’d you get to level 72 without crops?
lol, I’d just been real busy and preoccupied recently. Since they expanded everything, I’ve been working little by little to adjust and make everything symmetrical and such
November 19th, 200912:09 am
I like the G. Good job on that.
November 19th, 200912:13 am
Took FOREVER. After awhile, I was like “this is taking too long. It’s not worth it.” But I had already started so I had to finish.
And about a week later, I did…
November 19th, 200912:16 am
Anyway, isn’t Kelly Johnson great?
Steve from OH
November 19th, 200912:17 am
I’m no econ major, and I really know nothing about that stuff (except that I myself have no money to worry about), but isn’t Boras forgetting about all the tax dollars the Braves must surely have to pay?
November 19th, 200912:21 am
Yes. Haven’t we already established that, though? Oh well, it bears repeating…
November 19th, 200912:31 am
Oh well, it bears repeating…
of course it does
P. W. Hjort
November 19th, 200912:41 am
Relievers are like a box of chocolates. I like it.
November 19th, 200912:47 am
Relievers are like a box of chocolates. I like it. PW
me too, Doc got it just right
November 19th, 200912:50 am
Interview with Freddie Freeman:
November 19th, 200912:54 am
He’s almost as great as Tebow. Almost.
If that G took forever I can’t imagine how long it took my friend who spelled out Roll Tide on hers.
Church(Still a Brave!)Man
November 19th, 200912:56 am
More than a few teams out there looking to acquire a Starter through trade rather than Free Agency.
Lowe’s suitor is out there .. Braves just need to find a match and get it done.
Wayne in Utah
November 19th, 20091:44 am
StevenWayneScoots……got a nice ring to it!
Cole “StevenWayneScoots” Johnson welcome to Bravedom!
(as he secretly hopes that Prado must be included in a deal to land a 40 HR first sacker, so that KJ gets a reprieve!)
November 19th, 20091:47 am
V Is For Value-Posnsnski
Every so often in this crazy sports racket, you can’t help but feel like the conversation has changed ever so slightly … and changed for the better. Zack Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award on Tuesday. More than that, he breezed to the award. He was named first on 25 of 28 ballots. He was the runaway winner.
And he did it with only 16 victories.
This is kind of amazing, if you think about it. Before I begin, I should probably explain quickly to those who have missed it that I cannot stand the pitcher’s victory as a prominent baseball statistic. I quote victories more often than I should because they are inescapable. But crediting the pitcher for a victory has always been somewhat absurd and also — as Crash Davis said in Bull Durham about strikeouts — fascist. Why would you give one guy a “victory?” A pitcher has only so much control over how many hits/runs he allows, and he has almost no control over how many hits/runs his team scores. If a third baseman hits three home runs and makes two great plays, shouldn’t HE get the victory?
As ridiculous as the pitching victories thing was in the 1970s and before, when pitchers threw complete games with regularity, it’s even more ridiculous now because they don’t. Starting pitchers generally go five, six or seven innings … why in the hell should they get a VICTORY for that?
But I digress. Before Greinke, only one starting pitcher in the history of the American League Cy Young had won the award with as few as 16 victories. That, surprisingly enough, was also a Kansas City Royals pitcher — David Cone in 1994. Of course, the big difference is 1994 was a strike year. Cone went 16-5 in only 23 starts that year.
Four National League starters have won the Cy Young with 16 or less. Fernando won 13 in the 1981 strike season — a season which mostly exists to force sportswriters to use the words “Except for the 1981 strike season” in their stories. Greg Maddux won 16 in the 1994 strike year. Rick Sutcliffe went 16-1 after being traded to the Cubs in 1984 and won the National League Cy Young (he actually won 20 games with the Cubs and Indians). And then there was Brandon Webb in 2006 — he too won the Cy Young with 16 victories, but that was a weird year because Webb’s 16 victories actually LED THE LEAGUE (well, it was part of a six-way tie at the top).
So, this is a little bit different — this is the first season, I think, when a starter with 16 victories won the award over a viable Cy Young choice with more victories. And there was a very good choice — Felix Hernandez went 19-5, had a great 2.48 ERA, pitched incredible baseball in the second half and so on. There’s little question in my mind that King Felix would have won the award in years past, and I’m not even saying that’s wrong. I’m saying it’s fairly incredible that the way we watch and study baseball has changed so much that he did not win it this time around.
No, the winner was Zack, with 16 victories. He had a great, great year as we have written here many, many times — led the league in ERA, WHIP and homers per nine, was second in strikeouts, shutouts, complete games and hits per nine. On top of that, he won the Cy Young while pitching for a terrible hitting and fielding team. He won the Cy Young while pitching in a Kansas City market without much media exposure*. He won it while pitching for a team that lost 97 games.
*Even as I typed those words, I realized that the whole “not much media exposure” cry for Kansas City is probably as obsolete as judging a pitcher by his victories. I would guess that for a young fan raised on the Internet, the Royals probably feel preposterously OVEREXPOSED, what with Rob Neyer and Rany Jazayerli and Bill James and Jeff Passan and Sam Mellinger and, you know, others, having a Kansas City slant.
In fact, I wonder — and you can email me your answer if you like — who you think are the five most overexposed teams in baseball. You can include everything — TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet, people in your office who will not shut up, etc. Rank the teams in order, Top 5. And if you are just about to send me an email with this …
… you don’t have to. Really.
The Greinke award — especially him winning so easily — feels something like progress. Or at least it feels that way to me because (A) I have been in the tank for Greinke since before the season began and (B) I probably am a hard-liner when it comes to using victories as a way to measure pitchers. Of course, I have been saying for weeks that he WOULD win the Cy Young. But was I as confident as I wrote? Probably not. I kept looking at King Felix’s 19-5 record and thinking: That could definitely change things.
And in other years, yes, I think it would have changed things. There are a few examples of great pitchers getting little or no Cy Young support because they did not win games.
– Kevin Brown lost the Cy Young to John Smoltz in 1996 by a landslide despite his remarkable 1.89 ERA. That ERA was a full run better than Smoltz (2.95). Brown walked just 33 batters in 233 innings, he led the league in WHIP (.944), shutouts (3), fewest homers per nine innings (.309) and his 216 ERA+ that year is the 11th best since the deadball era. But Smoltz had 24 wins for a 96-win Braves team while Brown only had 17 victories for an 80-82 Marlins team. And Smoltz has mentioned, won the Cy Young running away.
*Brown hit 16 batters and walked 33. I had to believe this is a W/P (walk-to-plunk ratio) record (min. 200 innings pitched). Pedro Martinez in 2000 walked 32 and hit 14 (2.29 W/P). Bronson Arroyo in 2004 walked 47 and hit 20 (2.35). And David Bush in 2006 walked 38 and hit 18 (2.11). But Brown’s 2.06 walk-to-plunk is special.
A bonus mention should be given, however, to Orel Hershiser’s 2000 season. It doesn’t count because he only pitched 24 2/3 innings. But that year, his last year, Bulldog walked 14 and hit 11.
– Dave Stieb went 14-13 with a league leading 2.48 ERA in 1985 — and he finished seventh in the Cy Young voting. Admittedly, it’s hard to understand how he could have gone 14-13 with a league-leading ERA while pitching for a Blue Jays team that won the American League East … well, it was hard to understand then. Looking back now, you can see that six of his losses and eight of his nine no-decisions were what we now call quality starts. His team also allowed 16 unearned runs. So despite pitching 30 more innings than Cy winner Bret Saberhagen and allowing fewer earned runs, despite allowing the fewest hits per nine in the league, he got practically no Cy support.
– In 1993, Cincinnati’s Jose Rijo was second in ERA (2.48), first in strikeouts (227), second in innings pitched (257), third in strikeouts to walk ratio, and third in hits per nine innings (7.6) but finished a distant fifth in the Cy voting. He had only 14 wins.
– In the American League in 1993, Kevin Appier led the league in ERA (2.56) and home runs per nine innings, was second in WHIP … but he won 18 games and finished third in the voting. Jack McDowell won 22 and took the award.
– In 1978, Jon Matlack had a 2.27 ERA for Texas (second in the league) and he was Top 5 in WHIP, walks per nine, complete games (18, if you are counting at home) and strikeout to walk ratio. He did not get a single Cy Young vote. His record was 15-13.
And so on. This is not to say that these players got cheated — my feeling on it is that you either win the Cy Young or you don’t. Second or third place, while fun to talk about, are not especially memorable for most. And I would say the only one of these five who SHOULD have won the Cy Young was Kevin Brown. I’m just saying that wins have always played at least some role in the voting. But with the game changing — there were no 20-game winners again this season, just like 2006 — and with people (fans, writers, analysts, everyone it seems except a few former players) attempting to go deeper with pitching analysis, I think this year wins played very little role in people’s thinking. And that’s why Zack Greinke won.
Of course, because of my crazy mind, I do wish we could come up with something like wins and losses (but better) that would tell us at a glance just how effective a season a pitcher had. Bill James’ Game Scores and Season scores are fun. Win Probability Added — which, to wildly oversimplify, adds up an entire season’s worth of winning/losing plays to estimate how many wins a player adds to a team — is extremely helpful.
Pitchers with the Top WPA in 2009
1. Zack Greinke, +6.07
2. Chris Carpenter, +5.41
3. Tim Lincecum, +4.26
4. Justin Verlander, +4.19
5. Adam Wainwright, +3.60
6. Roy Halladay, +3.52
7. Jair Jurrjens, +3.35
8. Felix Hernandez, +3.26
9. Ubaldo Jiminez, +3.16
10. Matt Cain, +3.14
But, yes, I can see why people would be drawn to pitchers wins (and losses). It’s simple, it’s clear-cut and appeals to the certainty we want from baseball. Who is the best winner? If he was so good, why didn’t he win more? If he was so bad, how did he win so many? And so on. Wins have had a powerful pull on the American baseball fan and writer for a long time, and I do not doubt that it will again. But for now, the win is humbled. Zack Greinke wins the Cy Young — a rare victory without many victories.
November 19th, 20091:54 am
Baseball photo from Camp Fallujah
November 19th, 20092:00 am
Nobody cares about Alabama, so I doubt that “Roll Tide” took a long time
November 19th, 20092:03 am
“In 2008, Vazquez pitched 13 consecutive games for the White Sox from July through early September where he p[itched at least 6 innings per start (many of them 8IP and at least one CG). Then Guillen had him start three games in a nine day period on three days rest and griped when he never went more than 5IP in the first and only four in the next two. Correlation perhaps? or would you prefer Guillen’s explanation?”
Also in 7 of those starts he had at least 6 days of rest and one break of nearly 2 weeks. Point is From August to the End of september in a playoff run he was 4-8.
And really your case of his usage is really moot in the fact that a kid who never pitched at the Major league level, comes in mid june delivers 21 starts, and going 6 or more in all but 4 starts and 3 of those were 5 inning appearances.
Or Jair Jurrjens who kept his play up although going 6 or more in 29 of his 34 starts.
Or 23 of his starts last year.
sure he had a great season. Sure he was part of our success but he imploded just as he did in Chicago. 4 of his worst 5 games came from the mid August til the last start Vazquez made. He gave up 5 runs in 3 outings to end out the season,
August 16, 6 hits 4 runs in a loss to Philly
August 21 10 hits 5 runs in a loss to Florida
September 2 7 hits 5 runs in a loss to florida again
then he had 3 starts against rather meaningless teams, shut out the Phillies, began to look good again all of a sudden
then he gives up 8 hits on 5 runs to Florida yet again.
I count that 4 games down the stretch that were very important games for the Braves that this one guy blew. It goes back to what Ozzie Guillen did say. Maybe you find it a little radical but we tend to think that when people tell us an inconvenient truth. We don’t want to think that because of all the good he did but he just simply cannot get it done when the pinch is on.
November 19th, 20092:33 am
I may be in the minority but I really think we could get good value for Vazquez *IF* he were to be traded. I really hope Wren sticks to his word and waits the market out because after Lackey the market really starts to thin out and the Braves would get a far greater return for either Vazquez or Lowe.
I also think the Braves would trade Vazquez for Minor League talent that has some ML experience something like the Renteria deal. Maybe if we could swing a deal with a team like the Indians who’s looking for pitching and has a surplus of OF guy. Something like Vazquez for Matt Laporta and Rafael Perez/a Minor League pitcher. That would be the power hitting RF the Braves are looking for and they’d have him for the next 6+ years.
November 19th, 20092:54 am
I kinda doubt they are gonna take minor leaguers for Vazquez. If they are willing to go that route it would be better if they could trade Lowe and get more money off the books. It would be a big risk to trade a guy who was arguably your best pitcher last year for unproven talent. LaPorta does at least have a couple hundred MLB at bats but since they aren’t all that good a team I can’t imagine why they would trade a young cheap prospect of that level for one year of an 11million dollar pitcher. Doesn’t make much sense to me anyway.
November 19th, 20093:03 am
count that 4 games down the stretch that were very important games for the Braves that this one guy blew Bob
yeah they were so much more important than any of the other loses down the stretch. Whatever, dude. Cast whatever blame you need to help you feel better. Enjoy!
November 19th, 20093:34 am
I was just giving a senario to what the Braves could do. Most people on the board keep saying the Braves would not trade Vazquez for a minor leaguer but I’m giving a senario in which I think the Braves would consider taking a minor league player in return. Also a team within our division the Phillies have a similar player in Michael Taylor although he doesn’t have any ML experience he would be one of those power RH chaep bat options but would the Braves trade Javy within the division is another story.
November 19th, 20093:49 am
Anything is possible Jay, and Wren might indeed approach it from a different slant than John S did. Just saying I’m gonna be surprised if he trades Javy for prospects; somewhat less surprised if he does that with Lowe. That is the interesting aspect of this time of year, what might happen.
g’nite to anybody who might still be hanging ’round
November 19th, 20096:28 am
AdirondackDave (November 18th, 2009 10:12 pm): “Please don’t take offense, but I have a sister-in-law that ‘reasons’ like you. (imagine a smiley face in the space)”
My reply to you contained no reasoning — just a couple of questions which you declined to respond to.
The reasoning for my position has been laid out in half a dozen posts over the last two months.
Go back to condescendingly patronizing your sister-in-law if you cannot carry on a dialogue here.
November 19th, 20097:05 am
i would like to introduce a new blog rule. i have been lurking since the beginning of this blog, yes, that long (think about one of Latwan’s mommas pies). anyways, the new rule is, before you go spouting off ideas of player for our outfield, lets make sure the players are better than what we have. we’ll call it the “Matty D” rule. If said player doesn’t compare favorably to Matt Diaz, then don’t bother posting.
If all we add is a good first baseman, i think we’ll be ok. the outfield with schaefer, mcclouth, diaz and heyward would be more than adequate. if shaefer isn’t ready then Brandon Jones gets a chance. i think we need to start heyward in the ATL and by mid-season he will be a middle of the order monster.
the only left fielders out there worth a flip would tie our hands financially for years.
one more point though, should we add that player that would tie our hands financially and eat up a quarter of our salary, think about this. if all our young talent pans out (shaefer, heyward, freeman, jjj, hansen, medlen, minor, escobar, kimbrell…) our payroll could take that kind of hit because we have an affordable right fielder, center fielder 3/5ths of our rotation…
Tell It Like It Is
November 19th, 20097:21 am
Is it me and my pessimistic point of view or is MLB headed for a war of agents/players vs owners? Boras and the other agents are on the revenue kick thus impying that the players are not being paid according to their agreement with the owners. Since everyone concerned is full of avarice and greed, then the outcome does not bode well for us fans. We had better enjoy the next few years before MLB goes the way of our economy. IT IS WHAT IT IS.
November 19th, 20097:26 am
How about KJ for LF and cleanup hitter?
nahhhhhh………..God aint that bad with us.
November 19th, 20097:36 am
doug,I like your rules. I also agree with your logic that we can afford to pay for the big free agent signing if Lowe goes,or make a trade for Cabrera,Fielder type. Mark Bowman seems to feel that Heyward will start the season with the Braves making the outfield Diaz,McLouth and Heyward. That is only 7mil,we then can afford to go big at first base with a salary. Make it happen,Frank.
November 19th, 20097:37 am
How about picking up Jason schmidt for the minimum and use him in the pen?
November 19th, 20098:34 am
Jason Schmidt is retiring.
November 19th, 20098:58 am
Mark Bowman’s latest:
The Braves may also spend the next couple weeks and months searching for an outfielder. But because it seems likely they will be willing to give Jason Heyward a chance to begin the 2010 season in their outfield, this doesn’t seem to be as great of a concern.
Matt Diaz and Nate McLouth are in place to fill the other outfield spots. To provide some insurance in the event that Heyward isn’t able to make the successful jump to the Majors, Atlanta may at least attempt to find an affordable veteran outfielder.
I hope Wren doesn’t go about it that way. If an upgrade to the team is available by way of the outfield, then Wren needs to go that route. And the part about Heyward not “making the successful jump the majors”, well, how about we don’t find that out in April? I just don’t like the idea of bringing him up in April and having to send him back down in June similar to the Schafer situation.
November 19th, 20098:59 am
I really think we need to go for a couple of guys like Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton for cheap options for the pen. They are a bit long in the tooth, but I bet the old folks can still bring it?
They might not be too serious about that retirement thing.
November 19th, 20099:01 am
But wait, there is MORE:
Gonzalez and Soriano, who will draw attention from a number of clubs seeking a closer, are also Type A free agents. It now appears the Braves may be comfortable offering arbitration to both of these veteran relievers. By doing so, they would put themselves in position to gain the draft-pick compensation that would come if they were to sign elsewhere.
If they do end up offering arb to both, you know that Wren has gotten enough of an indication from the industry that they are both going to get multi year contracts, potentially with a higher average annual salary.
November 19th, 20099:04 am
And the way the market is moving, or will move, it puts a lot of pressure on the players who are offered arbitration by their clubs. They have until December 7th, presumably one week after being offered arbitration, to accept or decline the offer.
November 19th, 20099:09 am
bobhe just simply cannot get it done when the pinch is on.
you went through javy’s game log and thats what you came away with? unbelievable. in september he pitched 2 complete games for wins, 2 others where he pitched 7 shutout innings, with one bad start at the beginning of the month, and a quality start in his last outing he ended up getting a loss for. and you say he cant do it in a pinch? the braves couldnt have been in more of a pinch in september, and this guy went 4-1 with a 2.28 ERA. he was awesome in a pinch for the braves this season.
November 19th, 20099:14 am
When you are a team with somewhat limited resources (if you think 95 million per season is limited?), then sometimes if you have a talent that has been identified as being a lock for a sure thing, maybe you have to roll the dice on that guy.
As for Schafer last year, one of three things happened. He started off well, and supposedly hurt his hand within a week or so of opening day. 1) He was hurt and didn’t get a true chance to show what he is capable of, 2) He isn’t what we thought he would be, and probably never will be, or 3) He truly needed some more seasoning at AAA before breaking onto the scene.
This is the thing, as much as we were excited about Schafer, I don’t think he is in the same prospect category as Heyward.
I see Freeman as being in the Schafer category, so we can’t really count on him.
But Heyward, if he is as good as they say he is going to be, penciling him in to start the season in RF is not a stretch.
I still think we need one more outfielder to start the season (Church? KJ? new guy?).
I really think a lot depends on what we can get for Lowe or Vazquez. Patience is a virtue for GM’s. Frank should be patient. BUT, if a chance to get an OK guy quick, for a lower price, then he should pull the trigger.
Bottom line is this: we could use a player who can handle the cleanup slot.
In my heart, I think McCann could do the job. He seems to put a lot of pressure on himself in that slot, but if he could just relax, play his normal game, his numbers are good enough to suffice there.
A better option would be a non-2009 version of Chipper. Chipper is hurt by not having a confident slugger behind him for protection. Would Diaz or Escobar or McLouth be good enough to hit 3rd?
Now, we are in some decent trouble if 2009 was not an abberation for Chipper Jones. If it was a sign of things to come, then we will be in trouble this year. We could be good, but not great.
Efrim,the Braves would have to be very brave to offer Soriano or be willing to pay the type of salary he could win in arb. I don’t see it happening,but I would rather pay him that salary than take a chance with Wagner.
November 19th, 20099:18 am
efrimIf an upgrade to the team is available by way of the outfield, then Wren needs to go that route
right on man. ill be honest, if wren has a chance to do a abreu type deal this offseason, or he can get cameron or willingham or gomes or dye or nady, and ends up with a guy like anderson or randy winn, im going to be ticked. there are plenty of guys out there that would be upgrades, and the braves need at least one of them.
Yeah, Ozzie was right. The guy just isn’t a big game pitcher!
Give me a break…..
November 19th, 20099:19 am
Recently saw the Hoop Dreams 2 movie…Arthur Agee is the narrator and it focuses on Patrick Beverly who went to Arkansas for a year…pretty good flick but not as good as the first one….one cool thing is that it showed some of the opposing players in the clips like Collins from Kansas, Derrick Rose,Scheyer from Duke,Jordans son….definitely worth a $1 rental from Redbox if you are a hoops fan.
November 19th, 20099:22 am
The big question is going to be this: Which one of those guys will come at an affordable price, considering we also need a first baseman, and a couple of bullpen arms.
As much as MFIKY was inconsistent through the year, I would be OK with him at a fair salary.
I think Gonzo is a goner.
As amped as we are about the LF/1B positions, the bullpen is going to really be interesting to see how we fill it out. I just don’t see us counting on the Medlens/Hydes/Kimbrels to carry a heavy load in the first half. Medlen maybe more than the others, but not as a closer.
November 19th, 20099:30 am
I still think we need one more outfielder to start the season (Church? KJ? new guy?).
Wayne, I agree with most of what you said, but when it comes down to it, I think most people feel that we need to get an outfielder. I know Matty D had a great year offensively, but he still has a platoon split, so getting him a left handed caddy would be beneficial. If the Braves feel Heyward is ready, then go for it. But I just would rather them go into the offseason not thinking that he’ll take the RF job in spring. Just my feeling on that subject. I like to play it cautious with prospects, whether they are elite or not makes no difference to me. Heck, Heyward being THE elite prospect in baseball might mean we need to be extra careful.
November 19th, 20099:31 am
Wayne, i honestly see cameron getting the most out of the guys i just listed. i bet he gets $7-$8mil maybe even multiple years. dye could be had for a little less than that, id imagine, and nady will be a gamble so he will get a little less than those guys. for a trade i really like jonny gomes. willingham would force us to trade pieces that could come back and haunt us in the future, so i wouldn’t do that unless we had to. im thinking gomes could be a really big pickup for us if we could get him.
November 19th, 20099:32 am
I don’t see it happening,but I would rather pay him that salary than take a chance with Wagner.
So would I.
Eric from MO
November 19th, 20099:33 am
Bob that is one of the worst analysis on a player month ever! Vazquez had one of his best months in September. You base your whole anaylsis on one start. All the others he was pretty damn good.
November 19th, 20099:36 am
I just posted what Bowman stated about the arbitration offers. I’m really not sure what to think. I do know that Soriano and Gonzo are going to attract A LOT of teams on the free agent market.
And I also know that John Grabow just got a two year deal for 7.5 million from the Cubs. That’s 3.75 million per year for an average lefty out of the bullpen(if that). He just finished up a year where he walks 5.0 batters per 9 innings and was just awarded 7.5 million over the next two seasons. Gonzalez, and other less talented left handed relievers, should be doing cart wheels right about now.
November 19th, 20099:37 am
My thought on the OF situation is why not use Schafer as the insurance? I know he did horrible last year, but most believe that was due to the wrist injury. This may be the best chance to see if it was the wrist or if it is just him. If he succeeds great, we fill a void within the organization. If he fails, within a month or two we can bring up Heyward. Regardless Heyward gets a little extra minor league experience and we save some money on OF which we can now invest in a 1B or closer.
November 19th, 20099:42 am
(Paul Lentz November 18th, 2009 11:52 pm: No more Buddy Carlyle. Some dumb ass Japanese team signed him. One less BUM available for Bobby to be tempted to use out of the bullpen.Best news so far for the Braves this off season.)
Haven’t we all learned by now, there will always be a bum for two for Bobby to torture us with. There are hundreds of Jeff Bennetts, Buddy Carlyles and Greg Nortons out there waiting for a job. I’m sure we’ll see someone on the opening day roster that doesn’t belong there.
November 19th, 20099:43 am
The Mets have identified Matt Holliday and Jason Bay as top candidates to fill the power void in left, John Lackey followed by Joel Pineiro and Jason Marquis for the No. 2 spot and Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas at catcher.
Aubrey Huff or Carlos Delgado on an incentive-laden deal (assuming he proves he is healthy) are among the options at first, and there are many possibilities for the setup role — maybe even re-signing J.J. Putz.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/holliday_bay_lackey_bIfub1XK4p5IU374SrmQ9J#ixzz0XJg59DPU
November 19th, 20099:46 am
doug (November 19th, 2009 7:05 am): “i would like to introduce a new blog rule. i have been lurking since the beginning of this blog, yes, that long (think about one of Latwan’s mommas pies). anyways, the new rule is, before you go spouting off ideas blah blah blah schaefer, mcclouth, blah shaefer blah shaefer blah blah blah.”
Here’s a rule for ya:
Before you go spouting off ideas about Braves players, learn how to spell the names of the players on their 40-man roster.
How’s that sound to ya?
November 19th, 20099:54 am
Wayne In my heart, I think McCann could do the job. He seems to put a lot of pressure on himself in that slot, but if he could just relax, play his normal game, his numbers are good enough to suffice there.
I’m with you there…and it would be int’resting to see how he’d do in that spot for a full season without the added annoyance of playing half-blind…I mean, it would prob’ly have been easier for him to relax in that spot if he wouldn’t have had the specs to adjust to. But I could be wrong…
Either way, FW needs to get a big bat this time. No more Garret Andersons (no offense, GA)…let’s not have to worry about whether or not BMac cann relax in the cleanup spot.
eric from MOIf he fails, within a month or two we can bring up Heyward.
that strategy likely cost us the wild card in 2009.
November 19th, 200910:02 am
“He (Vazquez) just simply cannot get it done when the pinch is on.” Bob
You mean the five starts Javy made in September, where the Braves went 17-10 to put themselves squarely in the WC race? You mean those five starts where Vazquez gave up 0,2,0,1 and 3 runs? YOu mean those five starts where he pitched 7IP twice, Complete Games twice and six innings (in his loss-still a quality start) one time. You mean those five games where he went 4-1?
Yeah. Vazquez can’t pitch under pressure-at least not on three days rest. However, didn’t we just have this discussion in terms of the past World Series? Didn’t we see that the winning percentages did down radically on three days rest? Yeah, Javy was dogging it for not being able to go on short rest. He and most pitchers in MLB. He’’s in good company. Unfortunately, Ozzie Guillen isn’t. There are few jerks in management with his people skills, willing to throw someone under the bus when he puts them in a bad position and they don’t perform.
Can we think of at least ONE manager in MLB that would NEVER do that to one of his players?
November 19th, 200910:05 am
He also lowered his ERA from 3.18 to 2.87 during that stretch. Definitely folding under pressure.
November 19th, 200910:07 am
Lew, you just summed up my thoughts on Javy (and Guillen) exactly. And don’t forget the bad starts he had in Chi-town because his manager (Guillen) left him in for more than 7 innings when it was obvious he didn’t have anything left…that’s where a lot of the “one bad inning” label came from. Everyone would have one bad inning if it was their last and they’d thrown 120 pitches already.
November 19th, 200910:08 am
Speaking of McCann’s eyesight…DOB has anyone talked with Mac after his lasik? I’m curious if he’s taken batting practice yet and how things went.
I had lasik 6 years ago. It’s still some of the best money I’ve spent, but I lost a lot of depth perception, especially at night. I can’t play outfield anymore during night games, I misjudge fly balls and look like a douche. Or maybe I look like a douch to start with and missing a fly ball just brings attention to that fact. That’s not for me to judge.
November 19th, 200910:09 am
Lew,I started laughing when I saw that post,I knew that would wake you up this morning,lol.
November 19th, 200910:11 am
DAP I highly doubt one 8 for a month would cost us a playoff start. Especially if we invest the money in a closer and a really good 1B. We dont have enough money to get a good closer, a really good 1B, and a really good OF.
So why not get what we know we will not have next year, a closer and a 1B, and take a chance with Schafer and Heyward. Most believed last year Schafer was going to be good. Now after an injury you believe he is a bum? That is ridiculous. Plus most believe Heyward is going to be a beast.
So best case Schafer turns out to be really good to go along with a really good 1B and a good closer. Worst case scenario we learn Schafer was overrated, which we dont know yet, and shortly after that Heyward comes up becomes the beast he is to go along with a really good 1B and a good closer. This is the best gamble considering we cant get a really good 1b, closer, and outfielder with our payroll. Just not enough money, unless you think somebody like GA is a better gamble than Schafer.
November 19th, 200910:12 am
*meant one 8 hitter
November 19th, 200910:14 am
CB-Nah, the first mile I walked is what woke me up. Idiocy is more an irritation (kind of like a mosquito buzzing around your head) than a motivational force.
November 19th, 200910:20 am
Eric from MO, you might be right, or you could be wrong. in 2009 the bottom half of the order certainly did cost us later in the year. i just see no need to do what your proposing. the braves have the ability to bring someone in, and thats what they should do. they arent going to be forced to start a rookie. plenty of players out there that can help us out.
November 19th, 200910:21 am
Eric-Not too sure why you think we can’t get those pieces you mention.
Gonzo and Soriano made a combined $10 mil last year-more than enough to get a good closer without having to find more $$$$$..
Kotchman and LaRoche made a combined $5 mil last year. Even if we have to go double that, it’s only an additional $5 mil, easily covered by non-tendereing KJ and Church (saves about $7 mil or a bit more that they’d make in arb).
Then you trade a pitcher. That saves you approximately $11.5-$15 million, depending on whether you can trade Vazquez or Lowe, plus/minus? (player vs. payroll) what you get in return in the trade.
You don’t think that leaves enough $$$$$ to get a decent bat for the outfield and a couple of relievers? Why?
Paul Lentz (November 18th, 2009 11:52 pm): No more Buddy Carlyle. Some dumb ass Japanese team signed him. One less BUM available for Bobby to be tempted to use out of the bullpen.
Best news so far for the Braves this off season.
SOD OFF, WELCHER.
November 19th, 200910:23 am
Haven’t we all learned by now, there will always be a bum for two for Bobby to torture us with. There are hundreds of Jeff Bennetts, Buddy Carlyles and Greg Nortons out there waiting for a job. I’m sure we’ll see someone on the opening day roster that doesn’t belong there…..dpelfrey
At least we have a couple of smart guys (I was thinking of another term) who can tell us all who those guys are that don’t belong on the opening day roster, since Frank and Bobby aren’t good enough baseball men to get it done.
Go back to your fantasy baseball ideas along with your soulmate Paul Dense!
November 19th, 200910:28 am
lew Kotchman and LaRoche made a combined $5 mil last year.
i dont think this is right. my understanding was that the red sox were paying all of laroche’s salary over what kotchman would have gotten paid, so the braves basically paid $2,885,000 for the first base position last year.
but your point is still valid. to the salary relief you mentioned from losing gonzalez and soriano, add norton, and anderson, the pay cuts that hudson and kawakami are getting compared to last years salaries (i think thats like $8mil right there), the possible release of KJ and/or church, and a traded pitcher, and the braves are actually in a very good place financially, if payroll at least holds steady, which we have been assured it will. the braves have plenty of money.
November 19th, 200910:32 am
DAP that was the whole bottom order. That was KJ, Francouer, and the hurt Schafer. Plus Im talking about a much better 1B than Kotchman. I am talking about one spot that may not be good, two completely situations.
Lew I know some of the players are making more this year than last. I dont know how much, because frankly Im busy and dont have time to look. I dont believe we can get rid of Lowe unless we eat 4 or 5 a year and Vazquez make 11. So basically with Soriano and Gonzo being gone and the starting pitcher that would be about 20 mil. Say a really good 1B takes 10 and a closer takes 6-7 that leaves us 3 or 4 to get an outfielder. I dont feel like you can get an OF much better than GA for that and personally I feel like a healthy Schafer is a better option than that. Not to mention you may want to use some of that money for another reliever and maybe bench player.
Now if Wren makes a trade for a young player to fill one of the 3 voids, obviously that changes my mind, but that is going to be hard considering most teams are going to hold onto young good players, especially with the way the econonmy is.
November 19th, 200910:33 am
DAP that is right. The Sox did pay the difference.
And if FW comes in under budget, I bet he could be talked into having a blog party. Friday night game, BBQ, fly anybody in who doesn’t live w/ in 200 miles (pay for your gas if you are from Spartanburg or somewhere like that). Everybody gets a Heyward jersey, a cap and a coke! Hey, I would even pay for my own lodging down at the Super 8!
Sounds like a plan!
November 19th, 200910:34 am
DAP insurance picked up some of Hudsons contract. So I dont know if that really is a paycut, from the Braves stance.
November 19th, 200910:36 am
If you’re Soriano and you have a history of health issues, which deal would you take:
Three years and 18 million
One year and 8 million(arbitration offer)
That’s what Wren should be asking himself when he considers offering Soriano arbitration. He should do it. Soriano is going to be the most sought after free agent reliever in baseball. More than Valverde and Gonzalez.
November 19th, 200910:42 am
Eric-Given the pitifully small pitching market among Free Agents, I doubt the Braves will have anywhere near the trouble trading Lowe and his entire salary. Dude DOES have some bona fide selling points and is a proven, healthy starter-something in short supply. We may take a lower return for the other team eating the salary, but it will happen, IMO. In addition, the Braves will NEVER eat salary. That just won’t happen.
Greg Olson Homers
November 19th, 200910:43 am
If they dump Lowe, I wouldn’t mind Soriano and Gonzo accepting arb offers or leaving them on the table. I think that is really a Win-Win for the Braves. Now, if Lowe is still on the books then it would hamstring the budget pretty bad on getting a 1B and OF.
November 19th, 200910:44 am
Dont know if this has been mentioned or posted before, but its from Mark Bowman on mlb.com
“The Braves may also spend the next couple weeks and months searching for an outfielder. But because it seems likely they will be willing to give Jason Heyward a chance to begin the 2010 season in their outfield, this doesn’t seem to be as great of a concern”.
I hope the Braves get an outfielder with some pop, because I’m just not convinced that Diaz, Nate and Heyward will be enough in the outfield (although they would still add a veteran just in case). Not to mention that we could lose LaRoche too.
November 19th, 200910:45 am
Eric-I don’t think the insurance company has paid anything on Hudson’s claim yet. I think I had heard something to the effect that they were still dicking around on the situation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what I heard. Apparently this insurance deal for injured players isn’t quite as cut and dried as we would have it. Thought I heard they’re still arguing over Hampton’s last year, too.
LOVE the idea! Follow that up with a nice post game hotel blog party and give me a ballpoint to sign up!
Positive thing for me is my airfare will certainly be cheaper than BAS or CA…I can get a nice cheap direct flight to the ATL.
BTW, anyone thought of doing a blog weekend trip where a bunch of us out of towners can all make a trip down to the ATL and meet up? Well, those of us that get along…I mean I wouldn’t want Random to show up just to kick my *ss.
There is a problem with referring to “saving” money that KJ and Church would make in arb….all we’ll save by non-tendering them is what they made this past year. Also, Kotchman/LaRoche combined to make $2.885M, because BoSox sent over cash to even out the salaries. On the same note, Francoeur/Church combined for $3.375M, because Braves sent cash to Mets to even out contracts. So below is what the Braves would actually “save” by letting go of Soriano, Gonzalez, LaRoche, Church, GA, and KJ next year:
Soriano: $6.1 M
Gonzalez: $3.45 M
LaRoche: $2.885 M
Church: $3.375 M
Johnson: $2.825 M
Anderson: $2.5 M
That’s $21.135 million potentially coming off the books in 2010. Add to that the savings from trading Lowe/Vazquez, and you are approaching $33-$37 million less in payroll (minus raises to arb eligibles, plus McCann and McLouth). That MIGHT be enough to fill the 3 holes you mentioned, but I don’t know that you can get a “very good” closer, 1b, and OF for $10 million a piece…just seems a bit low to me.
November 19th, 200910:46 am
Soriano is going to be the most sought after free agent reliever in baseball. More than Valverde and Gonzalez.
I get your point, but Valverde with no pick attached might be more valuable to teams than Soriano with a pick attached.
November 19th, 200910:48 am
Lew I do agree we wont eat any of Lowe’s salary, which I dont think he will be the one traded. However, no one wanted him last year for 15 a year. Now with everybody having less money you believe someone will want Lowe’s salary. Hmmm… You are optimistic. I will give you that.
November 19th, 200910:49 am
eric in MO yes, clearly a different situation, but if we have the ability to get a better player why not do it?
you said: I dont believe we can get rid of Lowe unless we eat 4 or 5 a year and Vazquez make 11. So basically with Soriano and Gonzo being gone and the starting pitcher that would be about 20 mil. Say a really good 1B takes 10 and a closer takes 6-7 that leaves us 3 or 4 to get an outfielder.
not that this is completely accurate, but lets try to be a little closer if we are going to make assertions like you just did. ill name players and how much salary relief we are getting from them. gonzalez $3.45mil, soriano $6.35mil, 1st base $2.885mil, anderson $2.5mil, pay cut to hudson $6mil, pay cut for kawakami about $1mil, greg norton $.8mil.
all that equals $22.985mil. add to that $2.8mil if they non tender church and $2.825mil if they non tender johnson, and that equals $28.61mil. then add in at least $11mil for a traded pitcher, and you get $39.61mil.
there are some raises to current players, but that still leaves alot of money for the braves to work with. like ive said, the braves are in good shape financially.
November 19th, 200910:50 am
One year and 8 million(arbitration offer) – Jimmy Joe
Soriano is probably also asking himself what other closers will be on the free agent market next year? Because right now he is one of about 8 closers available, and would likely be offered LESS than 3 years/$6 mil per if the team signing him knows it would lose it’s 1st round pick in 2010. If he took the one year arb offer, he could re-enter the market next year when there may only be 2 or 3 closers available (I don’t know how many will be FAs, just throwing out the scenario). Soriano could also believe that he’ll be fine in 2010, and get a bigger 3-year deal the next season. There are just too many factors to consider here.
jimmy joe has a good point on soriano.
RC agree with you last piece. Does seem a bit low.
November 19th, 200910:53 am
Greg Homers-Not so. They are considering trading Vazquez or Lowe. Lowe would save $15 mil on the payroll, but Vazquez would save $11.5 mil-plenty to still accomplish what needs doing-especially since Wren will come up with a great deal that no one even saw coming.
November 19th, 200910:55 am
Bowman’s piece seems to be speculation more than anything else. Wren has said boo as of late other than his usual political non-comments.
Also Bowman is the only one I have seen that continues to say the Braves OF may be set b/c Heyward may start in April. He actually said in a piece they might not have to get a RF if Heyward is ready. RF? Since when do they need a RF with Diaz there as a bandaid. They have no LF!
His whole rap seems dubious and speculative.
Heyward did not play AFL ball and is nursing an injury. What could have possibly happened since he was shut down that leads Bowman to believe they are ready to start him in the OF and pass on getting a big bat?
Team reporters have zero to write about now but they have quotas to meet and deadlines. Everything that gets said until early December is pure rump derived fodder.
No offense but all these guys are thrashing like fish on a hot side walk.
We do know the SP market is light and that there is no rush for the Braves to do anything but let the market come to them for either Lowe, Vaz or KK.
We do know they have no LF and no 1B. Both spots need to be filled and one at least with a bopper of sorts.
We need a closer and may offer arb to one or both of our former closers.
After that its total wild west speculation on how any of this goes down. That is why this is called the silly season. Fun to ponder what could happen but ulcer inducing if you believe everything reporters write.
Personally I find Bowman’s blog & articles a complete buzz kill and if you believed every word you would be hitting the sauce nightly.
He could be right but no one knows how this will all shake out.
I do hope the Braves FO is patient this off season b/c it may not be the year for the pre-emptive strike move. Caveat: Unless that move is a trade for Adrian G or Fielder where we don’t get fleeced.
If Wren watched the same games we did and he is not being asked to cut payroll he is not going to pin the seasons hopes on Heyward and a Tier 3 RF/LF.
If he does they we have bigger problems.
November 19th, 200910:57 am
McFann and Soph, good to hear from you both. I’ve been around. Reading fairly regularly, but not much posting. Things are good. Heading to NYC this weekend – treat of my hubby for my October birthday. Going to see Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig in “A Steady Rain.”
November 19th, 200910:59 am
DAP and Lew you two do realize you have to pay the guys coming in to replace the guys not going to be back. Do you expect to pay everyone league min that are replacing them? Come on, not that much is coming off. After trading the starting pitcher we are probably talking 30 million and I agree with RC that your not going to get a really good closer, 1B, and OF with that. Might as well agree to disagree but if you look back on the past year you will find I was right over 90% of the time. I was right on who we would get, Lowe Kawakami GA, who we would not get,Peavy Burnett Furcal, who would get traded, Francouer, when Hanson would get called up, if Heyward would get called up, and where the Braves would finish.
The only time I think I was wrong was I predicted on opening night the Braves would finish 3rd with 87 wins behind the Phillies and Marlins and they finish 3rd with 86 wins behind the Phillies and Marlins…My bad…I was bashed last offseason as being a moron and Im sure I will be this offseason. I just wished people would start looking at my track record and realize Im normally right. Oh well.
November 19th, 200911:00 am
RC-$33 million (plus you just saved $3 mil on re-signing Hudson and a mil or so on KK’s salary going down) should be more than enough to fill those three spots and pay raises (which won’t be all that large-especially if you dump KJ and Church cause they will cost more than you budgeted from 09).
Do you seriously think we’ll spend $10 mil per position? I’m betting we may spend that much for ONE (either closer or 1B-though I doubt they go that high on either, but certqinly NOT all three. There’s plenty of $$$ to get what we need..
November 19th, 200911:02 am
We’re just not going to get Holliday, Bay or Cabreara with their huge price tags-no matter how much many here seem to think that’s our only chance (it isn’t).
November 19th, 200911:04 am
I think that given the market the last two years and considering that many clubs are claiming a drop off in payroll, that at least some of the FA class will take one year deals in hopes that the economy will improve and they can try it again next year.
November 19th, 200911:06 am
Sounds like some of you guys are using “creative accounting” when figuring payroll. Sure you are not working for the govt. on the health care plan?
It makes no difference whom the Braves have on their roster for the coming year. As long as that constant loser Cox is the manager the Braves won’t be worth a whittle!
November 19th, 200911:07 am
eric from MOyou two do realize you have to pay the guys coming in to replace the guys not going to be back. Do you expect to pay everyone league min that are replacing them?
i mentioned 8 guys being gone. gonzo, soriano, norton, johnson, anderson, church, a 1st baseman and 1 starter. only three of those 8 departures need to be filled with someone not making the minimum, closer, LF, 1stbase. the starter doesnt need to be replaced, we have in house options we could use to set up our new closer, a 4th outfielder will eventually be replaced by heyward, both will make the minimum, and it wont be hard to find a better pinch hitter than norton, and a 25th man.
November 19th, 200911:09 am
Eric, you are right, sorry.
lew (plus you just saved $3 mil on re-signing Hudson
braves saved $6mil on hudson over last year’s $15mil salary.
After trading the starting pitcher we are probably talking 30 million and I agree with RC that your not going to get a really good closer, 1B, and OF with that.
I think it’s more of a question of “who are the really good closers, 1b, and OF on the market?” Because when you look at it that way, there aren’t a lot available unless it’s through trade (which will cost us in ways other that money). I see it like this:
Really good OF: Holliday and Bay. Not getting either for anything less than $16 million a year, probably higher.
Really good CL: Sadly, Soriano is probably the best on the free agent market. He’ll cost you around $9 million, as would someone like Wagner. You’ll also have to commit multiple years to someone with a very high breakdown rate (almost all closers are risky, aside from Hoffmann and Riveria).
Really good 1b: LaRoche is likely the top guy on the FA market. He’s going to cost at least $9 million/year over 3 years.
I’m sure we’ll fill all the holes we have in some adequate way, but it’s going to have to be through creative trades, not through “going out and getting X” as a free agent, because there simply isn’t a lot on the market.
November 19th, 200911:11 am
DAP – Did you review Eric’s track record?
November 19th, 200911:13 am
vabrave (your 10:45)…… I WISH!!!!!!!!!!!
November 19th, 200911:14 am
Also, McCann and McLouth are combining for and extra $5.5 million in raises next year. Just make sure to include it in the math.
We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever (except politics or religion)
Atlanta Braves RSS feed
Previous entries »
Send a feedback technical issue
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more
Visitor Agreement | Privacy Statement© 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution