12:36 am November 24, 2009, by David O'Brien
November 30th, 20092:10 pm
Looking only at past stats would have made you ignore Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Mark Reynolds as legit options the year before they had monster breakout seasons.
I completely disagree with that statement. Looking at any of those players “past stats” before their breakouts would have indicated they all had really good power, and it was just starting to come around. I’m not saying the same can’t be true for Chris Davis….but pointing out that anyone would have “ignored” Howard, Fielder, or Reynolds potential weakens your arguement in my opinion.
November 30th, 20092:12 pm
ugaacountant to be clear, i never promoed mike cameron to hit #4 for atlanta. i do think he would be a good addition to the team, but i wouldnt bat him cleanup if we had him.
do you have an issue with mccann batting cleanup? because unlike some others, i think he is fine there.
November 30th, 20092:13 pm
Hey where are the Winter Meetings going to be located in Indianapolis?
November 30th, 20092:15 pm
“My definition of a clean up hitter: a player who forces the opposing team to pitch to Chipper Jones”
If Chipper is still so potent, why not make Escobar the 3-hole hitter, putting Chipper in the cleanup spot so teams are “forced” to pitch to Escobar?
Either way, it’s a one year solution. Heyward will be the opening day 3-hole hitter in 2011. Just a hunch.
November 30th, 20092:16 pm
Bean Stringfellow… what a name! I’m all for Wagner & Saito as signings. Two older guys, but proven guys that shouldn’t require long-term deals. Don’t underestimate how important the bullpen is to a team & a Moylan/Saito set up for Wagner looks solid to me. Just need that slugger.
November 30th, 20092:23 pm
“do you have an issue with mccann batting cleanup? because unlike some others, i think he is fine there.” DAP
I realize the question wasn’t for me, but that’s never stopped me before from chiming in. For me, it isn’t about Mac not being good enough to be the cleanup hitter. He’s plenty good. But he’s out of the lineup too much, due to being the catcher.
If what people have been saying about Chipper is true, and he NEEDS a true cleanup hitter to protect him to be productive at this point in his career, then having a catcher who only started 125 games last year batting in such an important spot is not wise, imo.
Who bats cleanup the other 37 games (almost 1/4 of the season), when Mac gets a rest? And if the Braves have a guy on the roster capable of being that “backup” cleanup hitter, why not have them bat their all the time for some consistency in the lineup?
I’m not demanding that Wren goes out and gets a 45 HR guy to bat cleanup. But I expect him to get a guy capable of being the cleanup hitter for more than 125 games, so Mac can stay in the 5 hole.
Now, if Mac were to be moved to 1B, by all means bat him cleanup.
November 30th, 20092:24 pm
I think the meetings are being held at either the Marriot or the Westing (maybe both?).
I’m down for some Saito/Wagner action also.
Sorry, Westin, not Westing.
If we could land Saito and Wagner, that would be the older version of Soriano and Gonzalez. But I like the experience they would bring, even if for one year. You think they would be open to closing like Gonzo and Sori did for most of the year? Where Saito closes when the opposing lineup has a bunch of righties coming up and Wagner against lefties? Or would you make Wagner the full time closer?
Wayne in Utah
November 30th, 20092:29 pm
I like the idea of putting Escobar in the 3 slot, and moving Chipper down to 4. That puts Mac in the 5 slot.
Unless a more potent bat is picked up, that wouldn’t be a bad way to fill in the lineup card.
McLouth, Prado, Escobar, Chipper, Mac, then fill in the blanks from there.
DAP, you ever checked out Cameron’s RBI totals throughout his career? TnB
did you ever check out where he has hit the most?Second ,sixth & 7th, none of which is conductive to a whole passel of RBI. Gee I bet that’s why RBI aren’t considered good comparative stats.
November 30th, 20092:31 pm
Sorry, Chipper is still the best combination of power, average, and OBP on the team (unless he’s really done, which I doubt), and should be hitting at 3 until he isn’t. When Sheffield and Drew were on the team, a case could be made to hit Chipper at 4, but not for Escobar or anybody else currently on the squad. Or Heyward in 2011, either, for that matter, unless Heyward exceeds even bloggers’ fervent hopes and fevered dreams.
November 30th, 20092:32 pm
Escobar is way too valuable in the 5th or 6th slot from a run producing perspective.
Bay Area Steve
November 30th, 20092:33 pm
I hear it repeatedly, but Cox never matched up lefty/righty closers.
I could accept that he did it for a week or so. But, what I saw was him giving the job to Sori, who was clearly pitching better at the time.
Not saying this is right or wrong. I wish we’d have seen it tried, ’specially with all the left-handed power in our division. But, Cox likes consistent, defined roles, for everybody, the bullpen included. I don’t think it happened, and I don’t think it will.
Rearranging the deck chairs, LOL.
November 30th, 20092:36 pm
Believe me, man: Heyward, in 2011, is without a doubt, the best option at three, if he even approaches my “fervent hopes and fevered dreams.”
Heck, that’d make him the best three in the game.
November 30th, 20092:37 pm
Thanks, I was just curious because I got to college not far from Downtown which is where all the action is at.
I too am for the aquistions of Saito and Wagner. Manly Wagner, ATL has to have a proven closer
November 30th, 20092:39 pm
Bravoman thinks Wagner is Manly.
Ok, I’m an idiot.
November 30th, 20092:40 pm
Wagner would be the full time closer if aquired
N8he NEEDS a true cleanup hitter to protect him to be productive at this point in his career,
i just wish folks would quit using this meaningless phrase “true cleanup hitter”. it has no definition.
p.s., mccann started 127 games at catcher, and missed 15 games with his eye thing. lets be generous and say he would have played 13 of those, thats 140 games… factor in a couple of chances to DH, and suddenly you only need a #4 hitter for 20 games. i dont think its a huge deal, is what im saying.
Neight Now, if Mac were to be moved to 1B, by all means bat him cleanup.
Ah-haha! Nice try…You tryin’ to start a wild fire?
November 30th, 20092:42 pm
“Sorry, Chipper is still the best combination of power, average, and OBP on the team (unless he’s really done, which I doubt), and should be hitting at 3 until he isn’t.” nolie
I’m not arguing that. Though like you said, if his skills are diminishing (even if due to nagging injuries – not actual ability), then time will tell us that he’s not that guy anymore.
But at the same time, he might very well be the best suited guy on the team to bat cleanup too. My point of moving him to cleanup has to do with value more than anything.
If Chipper truly NEEDS a cleanup hitter to protect so he can produce, and Wren doesn’t provide that, than his contract is wasted, because he doesn’t bring much to the table defensively anymore (solid but not spectacular). Wouldn’t it give the team more “value” in the event that a big bopper is not added, to have the best hitter on the team protecting some young guys to gain more production out of the lineup?
Surely having Escobar in the 3-hole with Chipper protecting him (and Mac protecting Chipper) would give us more production than Chipper batting third and say Cameron batting cleanup, don’t you think? Or am I way off?
Hell, I’m even open to the idea of Wren finding a true leadoff hitter instead of a bopper for the middle, and just simply shifting McLouth down in the order to make better use of his production capability.
I have zero problem with a lineup that has 7 guys capable of hitting 15-30 HR up and down the lineup. Provided the guy at the top is a bonified “get on base and cause disruption” leadoff hitter.
Voice from the past...
November 30th, 20092:43 pm
N8, I could not possibly agree more with your 2:15 post.
November 30th, 20092:44 pm
i just wish folks would quit using this meaningless phrase “true cleanup hitter”. it has no definition.
“true cleanup hitter, n.; not Mike Cameron.” LOL.
November 30th, 20092:45 pm
Neight having Escobar in the 3-hole with Chipper protecting him (and Mac protecting Chipper…
But remember? Chipper had the worst year of his career with BMac batting behind him!
November 30th, 20092:47 pm
‘Tis always great to see the original Voice of Reason return to his roots.
But, did it have to be in a post agreeing with N8? (j/k, N8)
Bay Area Steve,
Ha yes Manly Wagner will MAINLY be the closer lol
November 30th, 20092:48 pm
“p.s., mccann started 127 games at catcher” DAP
No he didn’t. He started 127 games. 2 of them were at DH. He started 125 (as I stated) at catcher.
But yes, your point about the “eye thing” is a valid one. But catchers always have nagging injuries. But am not going to argue that he’s GOING TO get hurt.
“i just wish folks would quit using this meaningless phrase “true cleanup hitter”. it has no definition.” DAP
Sure it does. It’s the guy that turns Chipper into the guy that hit great when Tex was here and helped him win the batting title. Without that “guy”, Chipper was below average in terms of production for a guy making what he made last year.
So call it whatever you want if you don’t like my terminology. But Chipper needs somebody NOT named McCann batting cleanup to help him be “Chipper-like”, since Mac batted cleanup for 114 games last year and Chipper had his worst year, and the blog states that Chipper needs protection, isn’t the only logical conclusion that Mac isn’t enough protection to make Chipper productive?
Or, one can just assume Chipper is getting old and not the same guy he used to be.
November 30th, 20092:49 pm
Sorry, Chipper is still the best combination of power, average, and OBP on the team (unless he’s really done, which I doubt), and should be hitting at 3 until he isn’t.” nolie N8
that wasn’t me who said that Nate, although I pretty much agree with it if he bounces back some.It was Scoots, a different old dog on the board
November 30th, 20092:51 pm
Sorry nolie, trying to work and blog isn’t a good combination. LOL
Surely having Escobar in the 3-hole with Chipper protecting him (and Mac protecting Chipper) would give us more production than Chipper batting third and say Cameron batting cleanup, don’t you think?
Better ask DAP on that one, LOL.
Whether Escobar-Chipper gives you incrementally more production isn’t the relevant point, in my opinion. It won’t give you enough production. This team needs more than offensive tweaks, as far as I’m concerned, and any lineup where Escobar is the best option for a middle-of-the-order spot is treading dangerously.
November 30th, 20092:58 pm
Scoots, your 2:44 was funny. McFann (I refuse to add the “O” to the end of your name LOL), yes. I WAS trying to start a wildfire. That’s my job.
Scoots, I agree with your 2:51. In reality, a rebounding Chipper fixes a LOT of what is wrong with this lineup. You state that a team with Escobar in the middle of the order is treading dangerously. I’d say the same thing about a team having a soon to be 38 year old, coming of his worst season in the same middle of the order position.
Wren went into last year EXPECTING Jeffy to rebound and it burned him. I can only hope that Wren goes into this year expecting Chipper to give us what he gave us last year, and makes the appropriate moves to solidify the lineup. Then if Chipper rebounds, it’s a bonus.
I think we are in agreement with each other that the lineup over all needs to be stronger, and more consistent to help take advantage of our great rotation, other wise this team is going to be in the same boat as last year (with possibly a worse bullpen).
November 30th, 20093:06 pm
N8No he didn’t. He started 127 games. 2 of them were at DH. He started 125 (as I stated) at catcher. ,
youre right i misread the baseball reference page.
But Chipper needs somebody NOT named McCann batting cleanup to help him be “Chipper-like”,
with all respect, that is a load of steaming crap.
you are saying chipper hit in the .260s last year because maccann was batting cleanup?
how do you explain the last 2 months of 2008, where chipper hit .362/.491/.532 (1.023 OPS) WITHOUT tex and WITH mccann batting cleanup?
how about the first couple of months of 2009, when he was hitting .335/.452/.565 (1.017OPS) with mccann batting cleanup?
chipper being chipper has everything do to with how good chipper is, not who is batting around him.. you are diminishing chippers talent when you assert stuff like that.
November 30th, 20093:08 pm
yeah, but if you are going to have mac protect chipper anyways, why not just bat him 4th? you guys seem to think that the number next to mac’s name in the lineup affect him as a hitter or something.
November 30th, 20093:09 pm
Wren went into last year EXPECTING Jeffy to rebound and it burned him.
Actually, I think he went into it thinking that at least two of Schafer, Johnson, and Francoeur would contribute better-than-league-average performance. Personally, I don’t consider that to have been a bad assumption. That all three would go belly-up was not a foreseeable event, in my opinion.
November 30th, 20093:18 pm
“you guys seem to think that the number next to mac’s name in the lineup affect him as a hitter or something.” DAP
I don’t. I clearly stated to you before, that I think he’s a plenty good enough hitter to hit cleanup. I’ve never demanded that a cleanup hitter be masher. I’d actually rather have a good, consistent hitter than just simply knocks in runs when given the opportunity to do so batting in the 3, 4 and 5 holes.
For me, it’s McCann being the catcher and the time he will miss.
Add to that, as I’ve stated. The majority of the blog has stated that Chipper did what he did last year because he had no protection like he did when Tex was a Brave batting cleanup.
Which side of the fense do you fall on? Is Chipper’s talent and ability to bat in the middle of the order declining to a point where he’s hurting the team rather than helping it? Or is he still a great hitter and his protection (Mac for 114 games) suck?
Or was last yera just simply a fluke, thinking that Chipper and Mac will both rebound this year and last year will fade into the rearview mirror?
November 30th, 20093:22 pm
“you are saying chipper hit in the .260s last year because maccann was batting cleanup?” DAP
Let me be clear DAP. NO. I’m not saying that. I’m mocking the majority of the bloggers saying Chipper’s lack of production last year, was due to not having a legit cleanup hitter like Tex behind him.
I’m stating that I think Chipper is on his way down. Which is fine. He’s an Atlanta icon and imo, should retire a Brave. But I just hope at some point he’s not batting 3rd if he continues down the path that he was on last year. Maybe he was just hurt, and it’s a moot argument, and he rebounds just fine.
But I scoff at the bloggers stating that having Mac bat behind him caused his poor season. Perhaps my sarcasm should be more clear, or specificly pointed out. Sorry.
I agree with you. It’s a load of steaming crap.
November 30th, 20093:29 pm
DAP, but I would like a RH bat sandwhiched between Chipper and Mac if Chipper is to bat 3rd. It’s just too easy for teams to bring in a lefty to face both, late in games. Oddly enough, Chipper was better RH last year. But Mac was pretty bad against lefties (only 4 HR in 180 AB and a .634 OPS – YIKES).
For a team with only one good lefty reliever, it was too easy for an opposing manager to flip them both.
I just want balance.
November 30th, 20093:30 pm
You state that a team with Escobar in the middle of the order is treading dangerously. I’d say the same thing about a team having a soon to be 38 year old, coming of his worst season in the same middle of the order position.
Actually, I said “…where Escobar is the best option”, which is a slightly different thing, LOL. Not that anybody will notice, I’m guessing.
November 30th, 20093:35 pm
Sorry scoots. First I give your quote to nolie, then I mis-quote you on another.
I’m doing my best to make you look bad.
November 30th, 20093:36 pm
Try all you want, you can’t make a guy look bad that wears weejuns…..
November 30th, 20093:39 pm
I’m purty sure the weejun joke is the other way ’round.
I just want balance
Not me, by God, LOL. I want quaking fear from opposing starters the trembling shakes from opposing relievers; I want opposing starters suddenly getting “flu-like symptoms” and relievers suddenly “needing one more day”; I want teams thinking “we gotta score five, minimum”, look at the mound and see Hudson/Jurrjens/Hanson/whoever, and realizing they didn’t pack enough lunch.
That’s all I “just” want, LOL.
November 30th, 20093:40 pm
Neight yes. I WAS trying to start a wildfire. That’s my job.
Oh. I see. Uh……I…can’t think of a snappy comeback at the moment…sorry!
And what do you have against Rally McTurtle? He’s just hibernating…
November 30th, 20093:44 pm
Scoots, if you can find a way to instruct Wren how to give our lineup that type of fear to throw across the diamond at the opponents with his budget, without trading Vazquez, Lowe, Hanson and JJJ, by all means….
SHOOT THE MAN AN EMAIL!
November 30th, 20093:50 pm
Naw, if you are a weejun wearer like the ’scoots (and me for that matter), no matter what else happens, we always look good…….
November 30th, 20093:59 pm
Chip Caray’s not being brought back by Turner Sports.
November 30th, 20094:02 pm
Ouch on the Chip news. Does this impact his radio responsibilities at all? (pregame/postgame is all he does there I think)
November 30th, 20094:03 pm
Seriously? He’s not?
…What does that mean for us?
November 30th, 20094:04 pm
Whoa! There’s some news.
November 30th, 20094:05 pm
(that was not supposed to sound sarcastic, DOB.)
November 30th, 20094:08 pm
That means Turner Sports will hire a new play-by-play man for Braves games on Peachtree TV, as well as Sunday TBS games and the postseason games on TBS.
Announcement expected soon; they already sent out a memo inter-office to higher-ups at Turner.
November 30th, 20094:09 pm
Mitchie-san: Yeah, whatever. Some people care who the play-by-play man is for about one-third of the Braves broadcasts down here.
Sorry, Mitchie-san, misread your comment. Now I see you said it WASN’T supposed to be sarcastic. My bad.
November 30th, 20094:10 pm
i feel bad for chip. i hope he is able to stay in the biz in some capacity.
November 30th, 20094:11 pm
Well that about completes the announcer fruit basket turnover for the Braves!!!
November 30th, 20094:12 pm
Geez, DOB. I said it was NOT supposed to sound sarcastic. I watch every game and with the loss of Boog and Chip, it matters to me.
Clearly, there is evidence of God, with this news on Chip Caray. Thank you, made my day.
November 30th, 20094:13 pm
Who cares about a masher…
I’ll take .500 ball any day if it means not having to hear Chip scream.
And, I think I only had ‘im a dozen games or so, out here. I seemed to get the other team’s feed when he was on. I don’t know how you locals could stand him.
Here’s to hoping his kid is any good, so the Caray legacy continues.
November 30th, 20094:14 pm
He posted that before he saw your second, mitchie. I’d bet a bottle or two.
DOB, I am sorry Chip Caray had to go but he really tormented the listeners over the years with his lack of baseball knowledge and unnecessary exuberance at times and meaningless quotes. He has very limited knowledge of players from other teams and whatever little he knew he kept on repeating over and over again. Its really sad to hear someone getting laid off but this should give Chip a good lesson and hope he works on his past mistakes.
November 30th, 20094:15 pm
Its all good, DOB.
mets are in talks with henry blanco and bengie molina…theys got some holes, they do.
November 30th, 20094:18 pm
Broadcasters with a “personality” are memorable. Skip was memorable. He and Pete were excellent together. Chip, for me, was not memorable.
Doesn’t mean I don’t like him, just that I don’t care much one way or the other. I actually like Lemke on the pre-game shows, though it took a while to get used to his voice.
Unless a guy is just totally obnoxious (as Joe Morgan was early on, and that Yankee announcer), I don’t have an opinion one way or the other.
November 30th, 20094:20 pm
Huh? While I disagree, I can understand the people who thought he exhibited “unnecessary exuberance”. But to say he has a “very limited knowledge of players from other teams” is simply not true, and honestly a bit of a cheap shot.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to be sorry he’s gone. Hopefully he’ll be able to find another gig quickly and continue his career as a broadcaster.
November 30th, 20094:23 pm
I catch a LOT of games on XM radio. It frustrates the heck out of me when the announcers on the other teams make blatant misstatements about our players. The guys with the Phillies are the worst. Pure and simple STOOPID statements. I have wondered how badly our guys butcher the other teams and we don’t realize it because we don’t know the other teams as well?
No more Chip Caray, okay this offseason is starting to look a lot better.
November 30th, 20094:24 pm
I don’t think Chip got very high marks for his post season work. Might have had something to do with his dismissal.
November 30th, 20094:28 pm
Is Rathbun a done deal, or is there any chance that Chip lands in that spot (Boog’s vacated spot?).
November 30th, 20094:29 pm
Wayne: Yes, the woeful marks he received from fans and media critics for his postseason work definitely played into Turner Sports’ decision, I’m told.
November 30th, 20094:31 pm
Who are some names that could replace Chip and Boog?
November 30th, 20094:34 pm
Pete Van Wieren is coming out of retirement!!!!
November 30th, 20094:35 pm
Dave: Not sure I want to be talking with you man. I am still jealous (and hurting) knowing about all that Q in your freezer!
November 30th, 20094:36 pm
where do i put in an application?
November 30th, 20094:40 pm
one name! LEOOOOOOOOOOOO
My favorite Chip call:
“Line drive. Base hit. Caught out there. The runner tags. Throw to the plate. On target. And in time! A double play”
November 30th, 20094:41 pm
P. W. Hjort
November 30th, 20094:43 pm
I couldn’t have expected better news.
November 30th, 20094:51 pm
hope they don’t bring back billy sample or gant/jordan/rathbun
I want Ernie and Milo back
November 30th, 20094:52 pm
That would be…well, that would be bad.
November 30th, 20094:54 pm
Chip got on my nerves but I hate to hear of anyone losing their job…best of luck to him. His bloodline should qualify him for a shot with somebody..
November 30th, 20094:57 pm
Leo might not be bad from a pure knowledge standpoint. But I’m not sure he’d be “easy” on the ears for nine innings. But I do enjoy listening to him talk baseball.
I hope Rathbun or Rathburn whatever his name is does not come back, he was the worst braves announcer in my 28 years of life anyways
November 30th, 20094:58 pm
Or perhaps it’s time to outbid the Yankees on something and bring back John Sterling. I mean, seriously…. If you’ve ever seen Ronnie Gant in a T-shirt, you know what I’m talking about!
Leo working with the braves ever again in any capacity? Never gonna happen.
bring Tommy Glavine into the booth….he surely will retire this offseason
November 30th, 20095:00 pm
Or for those who like Howard Stern style controversy, there’s always John Rocker.
November 30th, 20095:02 pm
Ouch…in a way, I kinda feel bad for him…but, that’s the way the egg rolls, I guess.
Chip was actually pretty good in Spring Training on the radio. I don’t think he fit well into that “sports personality” role that TV announcers tend to adopt.
Vin Scully seems to be the last of the TV guys who describes a game. It should be noted, he works alone. There’s no temptation to engage in idle chat about whatever nonsense happened to you before the game.
I caught a little of Chip’s post-season coverage. Chip + Ron Darling = agony.
Nope. It just came to me. It would be the best “show on tv”. Time to make two guys pair up in the style of the WWE, or the Odd Couple.
Tim MacCarver and Prime Time….. together again!!
That would be must see (or listen) TV/Radio.
November 30th, 20095:03 pm
Or if you want to see the blog EXPLODE one second at a time, just steal Jon Miller and Joe Morgan away from ESPN.
Now THAT would be fun (reading the blog during games, that is).
Best Braves TV moment from 2009 … Joe Simpson drawing the water tower (or whatever it was) behind the hotel on the teleprompter.
FCC fines anyone?
November 30th, 20095:06 pm
Braves’s announcing for the last several years makes me appreciate the team of Ernie Johnson, Skip Caray, and Pete van Wieran even more.
Right now, I tune into the telecast despite the announcing crew. In the 80s, there was no reason to tune into the telecast except the announcing crew.
November 30th, 20095:08 pm
Since there is no actual baseball info to talk about (other than the welcome news about “not a Chip off the Caray block”), here’a a few ideas for the next song offered by DOB for its lyrical content.
The topic is obvious.
“My Wife” from the late Mr. Entwistle.
“Baby You Can Drive My Car.”
Skynyrd’s “That Smell.” (”Oak tree yer in my way.”) Great line in and of itself.
“Cat Scratch Fever.” (Don’t think DOB would stoop to Nugent’s level.)
Any other suggestions? We can send ‘em on to Mara for her lunchtime show.
November 30th, 20095:21 pm
gradysizemore.net poses the following question.
Have a personal Grady Sizemore picture to submit?
Yes Grady, it appears someone has a few.
November 30th, 20095:24 pm
DOWN ON THE FARM
Don’t be too excited over the 40 man’s newest addition. JUAN ABREU is a 24 year old project. He was picked off the ROYALS because he has a life-time all minor league 1+ SO per inning (10.9 per 9) in five full seasons. He was near lights out in high-A WILMINGTON, but flunked the promotion to AA. BRAVES think they can make a righty middle reliefer or closer out of him.
November 30th, 20095:25 pm
Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine in the booth! We could do a lot worse.
November 30th, 20095:28 pm
Since TBS has moved their steady if unspectacular guy, maybe the BRAVES can do the same with Mr. “Talking-Head” DON SUTTON as well.
November 30th, 20095:29 pm
ok a trivia question with a bit of a baseball flavor. Who has the most starts on Hollywood walk of fame?
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