10:45 pm December 23, 2009, by David O'Brien
TnBrian (just need one more solid bat)
December 24th, 200912:51 am
We all might as well scratch the Uggla to Braves thing because the more you think about it the less it makes sense. Wren is a defense guy, as he’s yapped about before on the air, and Uggla’s the epitome of BAD defense. My opinion.
They need to have a sign over my head right now that says, “the more I think, the more confused I get”. That’s pretty much me on this blog…. sometimes.
December 24th, 200912:52 am
Is it safe to assume, considering the Glaus thing gets finalized, that the Braves will lay low for a little while hoping to find a bargain? Any thoughts?
December 24th, 200912:53 am
MZ: It ranks with Dino Jr’s best work — Livin’ All Over Me, Bug, Green Mind. Right up there with those, which is saying a lot. Great album, really is.
December 24th, 200912:54 am
Is it safe to assume, considering the Glaus thing gets finalized, that the Braves will lay low for a little while hoping to find a bargain? Any thoughts?
December 24th, 200912:55 am
yeah, but what about Collective Soul’s latest release?
December 24th, 200912:57 am
To add my 2 cents worth, I’ll give FW a B+ for his time in Atlanta as the GM. He could have had an A- if not for signing Loaf last year!
All in all, FW has given the Braves the chance to compete (meaning a fairly good team that could beat ALMOST anyone) while keeping an eye on the payroll and the future. There aren’t many GMs in small and mid-market cities that can do that.
Nick in PA
December 24th, 200912:59 am
Tim Barry, if you’ve never heard him, you need to, amazing! check out his cd rivanna junction…it will be an awesome christmas gift from me to you, trust me!
If the Braves were to sign a Nady or Derosa, who is the odd man out in the outfield? I hope it isn’t Diaz. That guy has done nothing but bust his butt since arriving in Atlanta.
George from NC
December 24th, 20091:00 am
DOB and others, check out the band Low Shoulder, especially the song Through the Trees…pretty good stuff
December 24th, 20091:02 am
You really want our opinions of Frank Wren, DOB? My opinion of him could not be listed on this site due to rules of decency. I’ll try these: idiot, petulant, cheap, unstable, vain, condescending, unimaginative. His reputation for bad trades and misguided personnel decisions is spreading faster than the universe.
“Now I am become Frank Wren, the destroyer of empires.”
December 24th, 20091:04 am
Look at Lowe’s career numbers…good chance he bounces back nicely.
People are forgetting the fact that Vazquez and low had identical records last year.
DOB, Hypothetical question….I hear a lot about Nady….but my question is bench related….if we sign Nady to play OF/1B, out lineup will look like it does below. Do we then try to find a veteran SS or 2B for the bench??? We would have a surplus of outfielders, but are the Braves ok with Infante to cover SS, 2B, and 3B as a backup????
1) McLouth (L) – CF $4.5 Mil
2) Prado (R) – 2B $425,000
3) Chipper (S) – 3B $13 Mil
4) T. Glaus (R) – 1B $2 Mil
5) B. McCann (L) – C $5.5 Mil
6) Escobar (R) – SS $450,000
7) J. Heyward (L) – RF $400,000
X. Nady (R) – LF $5 Mil
Bench) M. Jones (OF/1B/PH) $400,000 ???? Veteran Infielder????
Bench) M. Cabrera – (4th OF) $2.5 Mil – ARB Raise***
Bench) M. Diaz – (OF/1B?) $2.55 Mil
Bench) Infante (SS/2B/3B/OF) $2.225 Mil
Bench) Ross (C) $1.6 Mil
December 24th, 20091:05 am
Check that out, you won’t be disappointed.
Andrew in PA
December 24th, 20091:06 am
Actually since Melky is a Brave now, I think Dye becomes a better fit, now that Melky could replace him defensively. Also with Dye open to playing first he could backup,but you would want a solid defender. What if the Braves had landing Ross Gload? Where would he be fitting on this team and would we be done shopping if we had him?
December 24th, 20091:08 am
JReeves, thats why Derosa is a better fit now because we do have outfielders,he can play anywhere.
Don’t forget we signed Joe Thurston. I think he’s the veteran infielder you speak of.
December 24th, 20091:10 am
“Is it safe to assume, considering the Glaus thing gets finalized, that the Braves will lay low for a little while hoping to find a bargain? Any thoughts?” — P’cola Brave
You know, that’s a good question. I haven’t got a clue as to what the payroll is right now, but according to some that have posted here, Wren is still over 10 million below max. If they get a big bat, others will have to go. I don’t have their 25 man roster memorized, but it’s got to be pretty much filled. Wren told DOB that the Braves are only going to make a few small moves, at most. I’ve followed the Braves for a long time. They never disclose what they’re up to. Don’t be shocked if something big happens.
Andrew in PA- depending on your projections for arbitration players, it could move around a couple hundred thousand dollars or so. Mine might be a tad on the low side, but I think it would put the braves somewhere around there. Also might not have added something correctly (I let the computer do that and didn’t check it). But still the Braves have slot of money to play with, hence why I haven’t been in a great mood the past few days with these moves if they are the final ones.
December 24th, 20091:13 am
You need to check out the following 2009 albums by; Camera Obscura, Metric, and The Dead Weather (Jack White W/ Alisson Mosshart of The Kills). Get them, and deduct them as a business expense. It would fit w/ in the theme of the blog. They’re good, really good!
December 24th, 20091:16 am
1. To carry over from something someone said from the other blog (to the effect of there are better writers than DOB and the blogs are sometimes “a mess”): Without getting long-winded, if you read DOB’s stories that run on the AJC site and in the paper, they’re outstanding. Always love reading them; they’re tight, colorful, crammed with an intelligent mix of witticisms and facts. Considering how much DOB has to write, between those and the blog, boggles the mind. And if you ever read some of the features he writes (player profiles, etc.), they’re even more erudite and well-crafted. For my mind, he’s one of the best sports writers out there, particularly considering what a luxury it is to get to interact with him first-hand in the blog, all the great color and candor we get outside of baseball stuff (and many on the blog seem to be just as if not more engaged with the movie/food/music forays…I, for one, come here to see what music and movies I should check out). We’re all much obliged. And the blogs being “a mess” is hardly ever true and, when it is, it’s more than forgive-able because, let’s face it, the Internet is a medium that doesn’t necessitate (in fact discourages) being grammatically and syntactically perfect.
2. Frank Wren’s the General Manager of a multi-million dollar corporation. Sad as it is, he’s got bottom lines to meet just like everyone else. To think he can work within the confines of a budget less than half of what teams like the Yankees spend and still construct competitive teams is laudable and something few can probably do as adeptly as he does it. Sure, he could be criticized for being cutthroat on occasion. And yes, this year’s team, as it’s shaping up, is heavily reliant on rebound years and older guys with injury histories staying healthy. Then again, what team isn’t like that? Consider the Yanks or the Sox, for argument’s sake. If Beckett or Sabathia go down, they’ll be scrambling to plug rotational holes just like the Braves would if Hudson/Lowe get injured. Their lineups would be drastically altered if Tex or Youk get hurt, just as the Braves’ would if Glaus’ shoulder keeps him out.
Fact is the Braves have depth at every position now. They’ve got five solid arms in their rotation, a claim not many teams can make, and they have a few guys (Medlen comes to mind) that could likely step in quickly and capably. The bullpen’s got immense depth with the arms they’ve acquired, especially if some of the younger guys can step up. And the lineup is deep as well – we’ve got four solid outfielders (if Heyward’s in the mix), all of whom can play at least serviceable defense at all three positions. You’ve got a strong-hitting infield that, while it has some questions about injury history and defensive regression, is strong all the way through. And you’ve got Infante, who can play just about anywhere and has proven himself as a sparkplug off the bench, and Ross, who surprised many with how well he filled in for Mac last year.
I would like to see them add a guy like Nady and further that depth and the bench.
But, all things considered, we’ve got a team that ought to be about as strong, if not stronger, than the team that almost snuck into the playoffs last year despite a mediocre first 2/3rds of the season; and Wren’s put it together for less money.
Say what you will, but Wren’s done a helluva job…AND that’s not to mention bolstering what was already considered one of the better farm systems in all of baseball.
I miss the Glavines and the Smoltzies as much as the next guy, and hate to see dudes who played well for us (Javy and Soriano, for instance) go…but them’s the ropes.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all and thanks for running a ship that’s always a blast to hitch a ride on, DOB.
December 24th, 20091:18 am
Oh and forgot this:
Anybody check out the Blakroc album?
I can’t completely decide what I think of it (some of it comes off as just a bunch of big hiphop names half-a$$ing it), but some of the songs are rad. And the videos on their site of the Keys and all these hiphop dudes hanging in the studio and making it happen are pretty damn cool.
December 24th, 20091:21 am
i like the glaus signing a lot. if we sign nady, it will have been a great off-season for wren. if we dont, i think we’re still a little short on offense.
December 24th, 20091:22 am
Not only does Glaus’ health concern me but lets take into consideration how many games were saved my Kotchman/Laroches glove. Lets face it, Escobar and Chipper dont exactly lob the baseball over to first
December 24th, 20091:23 am
JReeves, they’re not looking for another veteran utility infielder…
Nick In PA: That’s good tuneage. Reminds me some of Lucero’s Attic Tapes record.You should get some Lucero if you don’t have it. You’d like it, judging from the link you provided….
ObiWan: I’ve got the Dead Weather. Like it a lot, but not as much as Raconteurs or White Stripes. Camera Obscura’s very good, though I never got around to getting the CD this year.
December 24th, 20091:24 am
Glaus signing for 1B = D Hoosier
wow that’s hard to understand. he has more potential upside than anybody else they were discussing and he is cheap. Great pick up IMO.
DirtyUni: Went to use gift cards at a couple of the big chains the other day, wanted to get BlakRoc and neither had it. I’ll have to get up to Decatur CD and see if they’ve got it on a listening station.
December 24th, 20091:25 am
Dirty Yuni, good posting. However, I was surprised to see you forgot something.
December 24th, 20091:26 am
Oh, and DirtyUni, I just got up to the comment you made prior to the one about BlakRoc. Thanks much. It’s appreciated here.
The A Bomb
December 24th, 20091:29 am
This is what I love about this blog…Forget the Glaus/$2 milllion/bargain talk. That’s not the point.
Here’s the point….
IF GLAUS hit .220 last year with 12 HR and 62 RBI, he SUCKS, don’t touch him.
IF GLAUS spends last year on an operating table not playing baseball, GO GET HIM! OH YEAH! WHAT A BARGAIN!!!
No matter who the player is, that’s what ALWAYS happens. Take out Glaus’ name and insert anyone else who fits. Funny stuff!
Love Glaus! Love Nady! Love Hudson! Love St. Elsewhere! Love ER! Love Dr. Kildaire! Love Marcus Welby! Love Trapper John!
Wayne in Utah
December 24th, 20091:30 am
You must be packing up if you’re still awake this close to your trip.
Have a great Christmas vacation. You deserve it!
Now that I’ve simmered down a bit, I think the Braves could be just fine on offense as long as they add one more middle-to-great power hitter (like a Nady)- mainly as insurance if (when) Glaus gets hurt. Glaus alone is far too risky, but Wren knows this better than any of us bloggers, so I’m sure he’s looking. I like Nady a lot, but the issue there is we’d have an injury-prone guy backing up an injury prone guy. Hopefully Melky is traded for something else or is limited to 4th OF- just not a big fan. He’s young, though- still time to grow into better player.
Mitchie-san: And a Merry Christmas to you (I recognized that Hawaiian version because me and the ex-wife went to Kauaii one Christmas. Cool place to spend Christmas, for sure.)
December 24th, 20091:31 am
Alright that’s it! Its gone on long enough! I need to know……
How do you do bold, italics, etc Cs
use above link
Thanks for another year of hard work DOB.
The level of interaction and timely updates we’re spoiled with here on the blog isn’t rivaled by many other writers.
Merry Christmas and have fun skiing!
December 24th, 20091:32 am
Hey DOB, I agree’d with Dirty Uni, don’t I get a prop or two?
Thanks, Wayne. We’re not leaving till early Friday morning, so I’m not packing yet. Though I don’t plan to procrastinate like I do for all my work trips, when I end up packing at midnight with a 7 a.m. flight, like an idiot.
Watching couple episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia right now, got behind on it and a couple of shows.
December 24th, 20091:34 am
O’Hawke: Thanks. And by the way, I’m not so sure about Braves being limited to a couple of “smaller things,” even though that’s how Wren put it. I mean, if they signed a Nady or traded for an Uggla or something like that, that’s not a smaller thing in my book. But we’ll see. I don’t think they’re quite done, pretty sure of that.
December 24th, 20091:35 am
Agreed, Moby. He is both cheap and short term…. as well as having a pretty high upside potential. Moving from one side of the diamond to the other is not automatic and harder for some to do than for others, but the fact that he has been a corner infielder, and a decent one at that, bodes well for the possibility of a measure of success.
December 24th, 20091:38 am
That’s it for me….Mr. Negativity. I guess that’s what happens when you hit 50.
DOB – I’m pretty new here but thank you for allowing me a place to vent about my lifelong passion — the Braves. I was at the first game ever in Atlanta in 1966 and I really want to see one more title (at least) before I leave this place. A chance to discuss the Braves fits right in with my kids leaving for college so it’s helped with “empty nest syndrome.”
December 24th, 20091:41 am
I’m a little surprised that Ryan Adams and the Cardinals didn’t make the list, DOB. Good choices though. You gave Me a few to check out.
As far as more trades go, it doesn’t make sense to Me to sign Uggla. That would seem to make the righ side of the infield pretty weak – a bad idea considering Lowe and Hudson are ground ball, pitch to contact types. If we were to make another move, who besides schafer can you are us offering?
Coach (2011 or Bust)
O’Brien’s analysis of the job done by Frank Wren is fair to a point but the gloves were left on. Let’s be honest, Vazquez was traded due to the bloated contract afforded to Derek Lowe. Simply put, Wren tripped and fell on his own sword while attempting to do battle with the baseball Gods. Derek Lowe should have never been signed in the first place. However, name one GM who hasn’t screwed up and I’ll promise not to throw stones at people who live in glass houses.
That said, I’ll give Frank Wren a C- for the job done so far. Why you ask? NOBODY gets an A or B from me unless they make the playoffs, them’s the breaks. Tough love is better than no love.
When it comes to the loss of Vazquez and the possible adverse affects of his loss on the rotation, I must digress. One full season of Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Lowe and Kawakami will do just fine if backed up by some good D and HR slamming offense.
Speaking of the rotation, maybe it’s just me but it seems there is a distinct lack of respect for Tim Hudson. Why, I have no idea because the dude is money. His career .655 winning percentage is better than that of Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and the vast majority of pitchers already in Cooperstown. Tim Hudson is on a Hall of Fame track and nobody seems to be aware of his status as one of the most consistent pitchers in the game today. So give the man some respect already.
When it comes to the offense, I have no problem with adding Troy Glaus because less is more. In other words, spread the money around to low risk/high reward veteran players and something good is likely to total up in the long run.
December 24th, 20091:44 am
Moby, if you are still around, how is nolie doing?
December 24th, 20091:45 am
Great piece DOB. I concur that Wren has done an admirable job with the hand he has been dealt as far as payroll is concerned. I just don’t like the corporate mentality that you’ve got to weaken one area to strengthen another all because of payroll limitations. Now I will depart from further discussion of our beloved Braves by wishing all bloggers here and everywhere a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. As you take time to be with those closest to you, please take time to be thankful for being blessed to have those people you love the most in your life. Let them know that, too. Last year at this time I did not know that this would be my dad’s last Christmas as he was diagnosed with and ultimately lost his battle with leukemia just months later. Folks, my dad was a preacher and if it comes across as that so be it. I’m just saying cherish the special times like these even though you maybe frustrated with those in the line ahead of you at grocery store, and take time to enjoy the time you have with them on Earth. For time marches on and we only have a short time to share in their lives. And remember even on their best day or their worst day or your best day or your worst day, count it a blessing that you still have them there. Say a little prayer for them and thank the good Lord above that you’ve been blessed to have them for another year and may you find peace, joy, and love this holiday season.
December 24th, 20091:47 am
Wren’s doing a decent job, but when you act like you’re swinging a big pair, you’ve got to deliver the goods. That means winning.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but to me, that means a postseason berth in 2010. This team has been rebuilt from 2007. It’s time to win.
Of course, Wren’s going to have to keep rebuilding the team because of these older players and short-term contracts. Maybe he likes tinkering with a team, but if the prospects he (and we) are counting on don’t pan out the way everyone hopes, we’ll be looking at bargain-bin guys for the foreseeable future. You don’t win big by dumpster diving.
Nevertheless, given the circumstances that have faced him (some of which are of his doing), Wren has done pretty well. If he wins big, he’ll earn Chop Chop’s devotion. That’s the only way I know how to be as a fan. I reward the people who get the job done. Until then, you’re just another dude doing a job that another dude could do just the same.
December 24th, 20091:49 am
DOB, The wife and I took a trip over there in August for our anniversary and fell in love with the place. We stayed in Lihue, rented a car and went all over the island. We took a helicopter tour up to the Na Pali Coast. Unbelieveable…
December 24th, 20091:50 am
No ones even thought about the worst thing about the Braves this year…
We have to listed to Chip Caray for 162 games.
His dad was a legend but Chip, not so much…
But Coach, if FW hadn’t picked up Wren last year, then we would all have castigated him for not improving the rotation well enough. So to say that was a mistake is not really accurate.
In fact, we all wanted him signing/dealing for 2-3 starters last winter. He did just what he was supposed to do. Now, the fact that he needed to rid himself of a starter to free up some cash for improving the offense, is not really his fault. Just the facts of life in a world where money is not flowing freely.
December 24th, 20091:51 am
Hudson, Tim — RHP — $9,000,000.00
Kawakami, Kenshin — RHP — $6,700,000.00
Jurrjens, Jair — RHP — $450,000.00
Hanson, Tommy — RHP — $400,000.00
Lowe, Derek — RHP — $15,000,000.00
McLouth, Nate — CF — $5,000,000.00
Prado, Martin — 2B — $415,000.00
Jones, Chipper — 3B — $13,000,000.00
McCann, Brian — C — $5,670,000.00
Escobar, Yunel — SS — $425,000.00
Cabrera, Melky — LF — $3,000,000.00*
Glaus, Troy — 1B — 2,000,000.00**
Ross, David — C — $1,600,000.00
Diaz, Matt — OF — $2,550,000.00
Infante, Omar — IF/OF — $2,250,000.00
Wagner, Billy — LHP — $6,750,000.00
Saito, Takashi — RHP — $3,200,000.00
Jesse Chavez — RHP — $400,000.00
Moylan, Peter — RHP — $1,200,000.00*
O’Flaherty, Eric — LHP — $400,000.00
Medlen, Kris — RHP — $400,000.00
Proctor, Scott — RHP — $750,000.00
New York Yankees
To the best of my knowledge this is where we currently stand with estimated ARB salaries and speculative Glaus salary.
DOB please let me know if I am right about this or not but if I am to understand correctly as a part of Liberty Media buying the Braves a stipulation was that they HAD TO MAINTAIN A SALARY OF 87.3M AND CANNOT SELL THE TEAM UNTIL 2011 am I correct in that stipulation DOB and if so there would have to be more moves coming right?
That leaves us approx 7-9M to spend just to reach that minimum with 3 roster spots to fill, assuming one of those spots goes to Heyward @ 400,00K we would have 6-8M to spend left just want to make sure I am correct on this DOB, by the way Merry Christmas and thanks for the Blog!
December 24th, 20091:52 am
Flip, Flip, Flipadelphia!
December 24th, 20091:53 am
God, when are we gonna get a new blog? I’m tired of scrolling down already…
Hey DOB, thank you right back … for everything.
” We’re not leaving till early Friday morning”
Does that mean we may still see you pop on here, from time to time?
“Though I don’t plan to procrastinate like I do for all my work trips, when I end up packing at midnight with a 7 a.m. flight, like an idiot”
You too? I’m the world’s worst when it comes to procrastination. One of these days I’m gonna write a book about it.
Hey, if we don’t see you before you leave, have a GREAT time, David.
December 24th, 20091:56 am
Second that Tom, Enjoy the cold David.
Up here in NC we STILL have snow covering the ground from the 9 incher we had Friday…Snow gets old after about 4 days. Dont get too tired of it in Canada.
So much for the snow melting the next day in the south…
December 24th, 20091:58 am
DOB- No sweat. Just wanted, as many already have, to weigh in on how great this little slice of the interwebs is that you helm.
O’Hawke-what’d I forgot? The thing about not being long-winded?
Oh, and I’d submit this as some of the best music put out this year: http://www.surprisememrdavis.com/
Gotta love the old but timeless vagrant Nathan Moore, and the Slip is a long-time fave of mine.
December 24th, 20091:59 am
Jay’s Top 15 Albums
1. Nas – Illmatic
2. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu
3. Outkast – Southernplayalisticcadillacfunkymusic
4. Notorious BIG – Ready To Die
5. Eric B. and Rakim – Paid In Full
6. LL Cool J – Radio
7. Michael Jackson – Thriller
8. Pearl Jam – Ten
9. Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
10. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory
11. Goodie Mob – Soul Food
12. Green Day – Dookie
13. Live – Throwning Copper
14. Soundgarden – Can’t remember album name.(Black Hole Sun?)
15. Jill Scott – Who Is Jill Scott?
Hey, lots of folks were doing their fair share of complaining about Chip earlier.
I miss Skip and Ernie, but I get most of my games on XM, so I listen half the time to the weenies from the other team.
December 24th, 20092:01 am
Swisher’s a career .240s hitter. His 20-something homeruns won’t make up for that Jeffrey d
no question but that I hate that batting average no matter what his OBP is. There are many times, especially with a guy batting in an RBI slot, that a hit is better than a walk. I likes me some good OBP, but I likes me some decent BAs too.
December 24th, 20092:02 am
I thought Boog was great too… sad to see him go.
December 24th, 20092:03 am
So? And I don’t mean to hurt Dave’s feeling or anything. But Bowman is a better writer and knows tons about baseball. Jurrjens
I don’t think it hurts DOB’s feelings that you’re wrong so often.
Bowman is a decent writer, but his stuff is usually pretty bland. It usually reminds me of something released by the AP or Reuters. High on content, low on character. A lot of that probably has to do with the medium (mlb.com as opposed to the ajc.com blog), but when’s the last time you read something by Bowman and thought: Wow, that was clever and/or amusing?
Watching this offseason roster construction process … can be like watching sausage being made. Not as appetizing as the end result. DOB
C’mon Jurrjens… Even you have to admit, that’s metaphorical gold.
December 24th, 20092:04 am
If Frank Wren would add Uggla to the line up I’d rate him B+. That would add 30 + homers and alot of excitement for the fans. Fun to dream.
December 24th, 20092:05 am
Hey buddy, your math is off. The starting rotation, according to your figures, doesn’t add up. Neither does the bullpen. Again, these are according to your figures.
December 24th, 20092:06 am
Also, you shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction…
See what I did there??
Hey, a walk is as good as a hit……so long as your leading off and the hit is only a single…..
Yeah, I love some good BA myself. I know a lot of this new OPS, OTS and OCS is all good, but I still love to see some BA, SLG, RBI, Runs, etc.
December 24th, 20092:07 am
You asked about Wren here is my take:
As for the JJ trade all he did was sign the paper, it was already in place prior to his taking over the GM position.
Other than that the only trade that worked out was Vasquez, yet when you look back at it it cost us 3 players from our minor leagues, plus Vasquez and Boone Logan, for a borderline 4th outfielder who it seems only the braves see anything in, a minor league pitcher who has trouble throwing stikes and a A level guy that might someday (at least 3 years from now) make it to the ML. Oh you did get one year from Vasquez. So in the end it cost us 5 players one of which was a durable 200 inning starter to end up with basically not much. Notice every article tries to sell this as this Viscaino kid was really the big part of the trade needs to look at the success rate of A level pitchers making it to the major. The odds are probably 1 in 10 against, maybe higher.
Last year we had lots of money to fix this team, yet we were stuck with a 1b that didn’t produce 1b like numbers due to a questionable trade of an all-star 1b. Wren struck out on Prior, then on Burnett, then the Furcal fiasco followed by the Griffey deal, Smoltz thing and the Glavine signing. What needed to happen last year was a front line starter, followed by a LF bat, then a 2nd starting pitcher, and maybe address a better solution for 1b. Then look at what you have left to see what you could get. Nope we went out and blew the whole thing on pitching, 4 of them. Doing this knowing full well Tommy Hanson was ready but they were not going to bring him up until June 1 at any cost because they didn’t want him to become a super 2. That might have cost us enough games to keep us out of the playoffs last year.
And here we go again with the search for lightning in a bottle with older, off injury, questionmarks as the solution to the hitting problem. Didn’t they learn anything with the Biran Jordan redux, the Raul Mondesi nightmare, among others?
Her eis a scary thought, what if they hold Heyward out for the same reasons as Hanson? Can you imaigne a starting outfield of Cabrera, McClouth and Diaz? It could happen! That might be even a worse outfield than last year. Heck they might not hit any more home runs combined than Werth does by himself.
If I am grading our GM I have to give him a solid D. I see no plan for now or for the future in development. Not to mention we have a minor league system devoid of position players other than Heyward and Freeman. It might be time to rebuild the Braves, from the top down.
December 24th, 20092:08 am
“The Gang Reignites The Rivalry”?? … classic … hard to say that about any “Always Sunny” episode, since they’re all so good … but the scene where they actually go to the other bar to reignite the rivalry … priceless!
Chop, what you have said has some merit.
But it seems to me that people who don’t do a job have short memories about things that affect that job sometimes. (Not that this directed at your comments, but comments as a whole.) For example, if you have a business and you buy a piece of equipment that is one of many pieces of equipment, but is integral to the other machines and what they do, and this machine is the most expensive machine in your business, costing 1/10th of your total budgeting for production and the machine goes down. You still have to pay 1/10th of your budgeting for the machine (minus a small portion that insurance pays) but you still must get a product out. Say that machine is down for 3 years and you have to pay 1/10th of your budget each year even though that machine has given absolutely no help. For 3 years you have to do things differently than you had originally set your business to run. Then after 3 years, the machine is paid for. Does that mean that now you can immediately go into the production you could have had 3 years earlier? Most likely it will take some time for you to be able to get to that point. Places where you had to make changes have to be changed back, after you buy another machine. And now, the machine that is available is not exactly like the one you originally bought so you have to upgrade other parts of your business to complement the machine you just bought.
Anyway, the point of that rambling is that people seem to think that immediately after Hampton was gone, the Braves could just pick it up from there. But the affects of that contract still linger. Decisions that were made back then do not really fit where they want to go now. It seems to me that Hampton’s contract and its effect on the Braves is not totally gone yet. It would not affect, as much, a team with seemingly unlimited funds. But the Braves are not there anymore. So its effect lingers longer.
But, your point is well taken. With regard to your post directly, I guess what the above means is that it might be fair to Wren to give him enough time to get over something as heavy as Hampton’s contract was. Then… hit him with a rotten pie if he doesn’t get the Braves to the WS! lol
December 24th, 20092:09 am
DOB – I think FW is doing a great job. He’s cold and calculating and as a front man you might sometimes want someone that’s a little easier for people to warm up to but he seems to have a good idea in his mind about what he wants to construct as far as a team goes and then he goes about doing it. You can complain about the way some folks have been treated – and in a sense, rightfully so – but you can’t argue with the man’s personnel decisions, just the execution in a few instances.
And enjoy your vacation! Be safe snowboarding and we’ll talk to you in the new year! Merry Christmas!
December 24th, 20092:10 am
Jurrjens, Jair — RHP — $450,000.00 BFRSD
I doubt that JJ gets only 450,000 after two years like that. I’m guessing that is 20-25%
December 24th, 20092:11 am
Dirty Yuni, “O’Hawke-what’d I forgot? The thing about not being long-winded?
Ha, after I read your long post (which is rare for me with my ADD), you said, “Oh and forgot this:”. I thought to myself, after reading all that, that you FORGOT something? I thought that was funny, so I figured I’d share it with you.
December 24th, 20092:13 am
Wayne, it’s not so much Derek Lowe being a mistake as it’s the money spent or over spent. Frank Wren paid “ACE” money for a mid rotation starter. There were more affordable options available in the free agent market who delivered better bang for the buck spent.
Randy Wolf, one year at 5 million 11-7 3.23 ERA
Braden Looper, one year at 4.75 million 14-7 5.22 ERA
Tom Glavine, we will never know will we?
Carl Pavano, one year at 1.5 million 14-12 5.10 ERA
Jon Garland, one year at 7.5 million 11-13 4.01 ERA
Compared to the 15 million shelled out for a 15-10 4.67 ERA season.
December 24th, 20092:14 am
Everything is baseball is a gamble. Ask the Mariners, who picked up a potential ace, only to have it blow up in their faces (Bedard). Then there are the players who perform way over where they were anticipated. Not to mention injuries and the like.
So many little things can cause a season to turn on a dime. Who woulda figured the Mets to have SOOO many injuries last season. Our 2008 pitching!! Whoa!
So, if a couple of good things happen, we could still suck if a couple of things go south. You build your team, hopefully with some decent contingencies built it, and then play the 162. Heck, if our staff and new guys do well, and Chipper is finished and we lose 1-2 regulars, or Heyward isn’t ready, then we are back in 3rd place. I don’t think that Holliday would even fix that scenario.
I like the moves FW has made so far. I am hoping there is 1 more bat to be added, but if we added a guy (Nady, DeRosa, etc) for 2-3 years, are we going to have folks come back next winter and say “that dumazz Wren added too many bats last winter” if Heyward, Schafer and Glaus excel. Derek Lowe all over again.
BTW, I suspect DLowe will win as many games, if not more, that Javy Vazquez in 2010. Just sayin…
December 24th, 20092:15 am
As for the JJ trade all he did was sign the paper, it was already in place prior to his taking over the GM position DeWayne
why do people keep posting that stupid garbage. Frank & Dave have been buddies forever. Frank put the deal together, get it right if your gonna make a point of the deal.
December 24th, 20092:17 am
Have a good trip DOB. While you’re going to make good use of the fresh powder, I’ll be shoveling and snow-blowing my ass off for the next 2-3 days. We’re getting dumped on right now, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
December 24th, 20092:18 am
Hey, nolie. How are you?
I asked Moby how you were doing, but he must have just stuck his head in and decided he would leave. Or…. did you post under is name again? lol
Have a Very Merry Dave, and everybody else too of course though I think I’ll see many of you posting again a few times b4 Friday.
December 24th, 20092:19 am
I love the William Elliott Whitmore pick. Dude is a great performer and a great dude. I met him at the Gothic Theatre in Denver a few years ago when he opened for Clutch. Been a fan ever since.
December 24th, 20092:20 am
I’ll probably regret this, but it looks as if Coach’s hindsight is 20-20!
December 24th, 20092:21 am
Enjoy your time up here, DOB! =)
December 24th, 20092:22 am
Tom you are right when I subtracted Vaz and Soriano I forgot to take them out of the totals Im redoing it now thanks man!
December 24th, 20092:26 am
Or…. did you post under is name again? lol
nah he and the fam are all safely tucked away now I guess.
I’m doing ok I guess for an old f@rt. some days are diamonds, some days are coal.nerve problem slowly getting worse as my typing often shows.Oh well it beats the alternative as they say. at least so far.
I too think Glaus was a good pick up. Not a Melky fan, but he can be helpful I guess if used correctly.
I think the Dunn kid is being way overrated here, but I hope not. Like the Vizcaino(sp) upside, but young pitching prospects are a crap shoot more or less.
Would like to see them pick up Nady yet, but I will believe that when I see it.
Man it sucks to be a cynical disillusioned old coot.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
December 24th, 20092:28 am
Braves_Fan_RSD, yeah, I really want to know what Wren has left to deal with. I guess we have to give some margin for incentives, huh?
I’ll give Wren a solid B for the off-season so far. It would be higher but I personally didn’t like the way he jumped the gun on signing Wagner and Saito before knowing if Soriano and Gonzalez would accept arbitration or not.
Thats better Total was close just forgot to take it out of individual sections sorry about that, but back to the question DOB isn’t Liberty obligated to maintain at least an 87.3M payroll through 2011?
December 24th, 20092:29 am
Perfect Example of our Owners going Cheap! Vazquez to the Bankees and we get Milky Cabrera and Troy Glaus…? My Question to F. Wren is…
R U Crazy! R U Crzzzzyyyy!!!!
But it’s not his fault L. Media is going cheap on us AGAIN! What’s next M. DeRosa or X. Nady?
Come on that lineup scares No One! Phillies fans are laughing at us
And on another note when I found out (via phone) that Wren got Violated by WhineBrenner and the Yankees I about threw my phone across the dept store that I was in, and I’m still P’d about that!
I grade Wren’s tenure at a C right now unless we Go Hard after J. Bay
Liberty Media on the other hand gets a big fat F!
December 24th, 20092:30 am
nolie: “and you know that how KC. other than the word of a corporation and it’s loyal employees, whose actions do not support their words… I think you are allowing your homer attitude to bias your reasoning .If you have some real proof I’m willing to listen”
Well, in the last full season in which AOL/Time Warner owned the team a few years ago, the Braves spent 78 million. Last year, they spent 96. That’s a start, huh?
“(Just to clarify, the Braves – for their accounting purposes – averaged out Hampton’s salary over the 6 years he was here and socked money away for the first 3 years. So they essentially paid him 8 mill each year he was here, not the 15 that’s counted in Braves payroll from a few years ago.)”
nolie, the Braves DO have payroll constraints. Signing Anderson on the cheap IS one example of that, and further evidence that they’re not he NY Yankees. But having limited resources doesn’t mean ownership is mandating a set payroll cap.
Again, Braves management has been entrusted with running this franchise responsibly. There may be an understanding that the Braves shouldn’t operate this franchise at a significant loss… but that’s a long damned way away from what AOL/Time Warner did here.
AOL/Time Warner slashed the Braves payroll by 20 million dollars over the course of 2 seasons. Liberty has given the Braves the freedom to increase payroll by almost 20 mill over the course of the last 3 years.
Liberty probably hasn’t volunteered to dump tens of millions into the team each year so it can operate at a loss. Therefore, the Braves, like most every team in baseball… must be conscious of their costs. But I say again, that’s a lot different from being owned by a dying company (AOL) that mandated hard cost cutting for one of its “non-core assets”.
Ted was willing to operate a bit of a loss because he made his money on the other end in the form of TBS television revenue. All of that’s gone now, and the realities have changed. I fail to see why an owner allowing a team to spend close to 100 million dollars in a non-mega market, in this economy… is considered cheap.
December 24th, 20092:31 am
Coach, that’s a really good point about Lowe. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I’m not talking about the hindsight of knowing what now happened in 2009. I’m talking about recalling what Wren DIDN’T know up to the point when he signed Lowe.
He had just traded for Vazquez, and while I do grasp that Wren, Bobby and the scouts figured he’d fare well in the NL, I don’t think anybody saw THAT coming.
Then he snagged KK. Maybe KK gave them exactly what they expected. But to be completely honest (if they’re being honest), it was a crap shoot. Nobody really knew what KK was going to give us.
JJJ? I think everybody expected good things out of him, yet there is always that “sophomore slump” thing people try to pretend exsists.
Like JJJ, I assume that Wren figured Hanson would help at some point, after his AFL showing. But what if he got lit up in AAA?
Which brings us to Lowe. He was coming off of a stellar season, and had a track record of not only being durable, but very good. I think Wren assumed that A) The market would keep going up, so eventually Lowe would seem like a bargain at the end of the contract, or B) he’d have another strong year, and he could be moved if guys like Morton, Jo-Jo and Hanson stepped it up (Jo-Jo and Morton were still semi-options last December).
So yeah. He overpaid for him. But I still stand by the fact that it had to be done. For a while I griped about the KK signing. But his 6.whatever million dollar salary this year seems like a steal at this point.
Ultimately, I don’t care what individual salaries the starters in the rotation are making. Just so long as those 5 guys don’t take up more than about 40 percent of the payroll (40 million of our 100 or so million).
As of right now, our rotation will cost us around 32 million dollars in 2010 for 5 guys that combined are pretty damn good. By the time Hanson and JJJ start getting big raises, KK will be gone and Hudson and Lowe will be close to moving on. With Minor and now Vizcaino around the corner, the rotation should cost us about what it should to keep the rest of the roster in proportion to the payroll we need to be at. Chipper will be off the books by then too. So, there just might be room to sign both Hanson and JJJ to big extensions and eat their arbitration years (if Boras allows it with JJJ), with those salaries coming off the books. About that time McCann’s salary will be jumping too.
So, WS bound or not in 2010, with a 100 million or so budget in mind, Wren has done a nice job of not having too much money tied up long-term to kill us down the road.
Now, one could argue that if Lowe and Chipper don’t rebound, the 28 million those two will make in 2010 might hinder us competing NOW.
Let’s hope they rebound.
Are you getting snow up there?
December 24th, 20092:34 am
On The positive side, I hope these pitching Prospects that the Bankees sent us pan out. Thanks to BSPN the Yankees have always had and Overrated Farming system
When is Double J due for Arbitration? Anyone know?
And I hope all braves fans are delight know that Chip Caray takes Boog’s place on FSN-South (Sarcasm) I wanted Don Sutton to go back to being on TV
I told a co-worker of mine to “Mark it Down!” that Caray would go work for FSN when he got Bozo’d from TBS…And Whallah!
December 24th, 20092:35 am
Bob Dylan’s “Together Through Life” was pretty good.
“Life Is Hard” is about as depressing a song as you’ll hear.
(hears Townes Van Zandt’s “Marie” in the background)
Okay. That one’s more depressing.
December 24th, 20092:37 am
Read back your list to yourself, and think back to 2008 this time of year: Randy Wolf, Carl Pavano, Braden Looper, Tom Glavine and Jon Garland.
Why include Glavine? This time last year, 95% of people who know anything about baseball thought he was over the hill. Pavano, Looper and Wolf??? Innings eater. Man, you are smarter than that. And Garland. While there were some on the blog (me included) that thought he would help the team, 90% of the folks here were vomiting blood at the thought of Garland.
Hindsight IS 20-20 as you have just proven, but who knew that last winter? Those other guys went to places where they did not or would not spend the money on a sure thing (as much of a sure thing as a pitcher could be), such as Lowe, Sabathia and Burnett.
You of all folks knows that if you want a sure thing in free agency, you will overpay to get it. That is part of the reward that goes to the player who plays out the string and gets to the FA payday.
Adam LaRoche is finding out that he is not quite a sure thing due to his first half – second half stats.
Really, the only guys close to a sure thing this year were Lackey, Holliday and Bay.
The Braves needed starting pitching, that could be counted on, so they went out and bought it. I just get tired of baseball folks that should no better slamming decisions of last winter in hindsight.
We didn’t know what Kawakami would do. We didn’t know that Vazquez would be as solid as he was (Cy Young folks, c’mon now, he was not in the Cy Young class last year!). Jurrjens was not a lock to avoid the sophomore jinx, and Hanson was not a sure thing as a rookie either.
So next winter, if Hudson has a relapse or another hurler loses significant time, are we going to blast FW for dealing JV this winter????
Coach, I just don’t see where the criticism is warranted. The dude really hasn’t layed an egg yet has he??? Besides, NO GM is 100% anyway, but FW has been pretty good so far.
December 24th, 20092:39 am
nolie, and yes… I happen to believe that when Liberty representatives, along with Terry McGuirk, John Schuerholz, and Frank Wren have all said repeatedly the there’s no hard salary cap here and no payroll constraints mandated by ownership…they’re telling the truth.
I believe it because it makes too much damned sense… And because Liberty – per numerous statements – believe there is a correlation between payroll and winning, and that there’s a correlation between winning and franchise value… And I believe it because the Braves have increase payroll by nearly 20 mill over the past few years.
Many fans seem to think that if there’s any kind of limitation on what a team can spend, that must be an indication of a salary cap mandated from on high. WHY??? What if… and I know this is crazy… but what IF the Braves were a business, operated by smart people in the Braves front office, trying not to lose money? Hmmm… there’s a far-out idea, huh? =)
December 24th, 20092:40 am
Braves_Fan_RSD, great job, man. A touch over 78 million. If you add the possible incentives, there’s still a lot left before they reach their “announced payroll limit” of 95 million or so. Hmmmmm, still leaves a lot of doors open, doesn’t it?
December 24th, 20092:41 am
Nice job on the breakdown. Clearly Wren has some wiggle room, huh? I still think if there is another move pending, it’s going to be a trade and not free agency. But who knows? Obviously RF and one more bench spot needs to be filled. Could be Heyward. Could be Adam Dun with Melky and Diaz platooning in RF.
Wouldn’t mind seing a guy like Derosa, if Heyward is to be the guy. Due to his versatility. But don’t want him locked down for 2 years (or 3). But Wren COULD turn around and move both Diaz and Melky for prospects (or keep one as the 4th OF), and go with Dero in LF and Heyward in RF. Then if Freeman isn’t ready next year (2011), Derosa could play 1B (or be available to play 1B when/if Glaus goes down).
I also wouldn’t have that big of a problem with Uggla in LF. Can’t be any worse than Loaf out there, and certainly would provide more pop. Probably would come at less cost than Derosa too. Hard to say how much Derosa’s value will drop.
But I don’t think Wren is done. I’ve been preaching for Wren to leave himself wiggle room at the deadline, salary wise. But that could easily be solved by including Melky, Diaz or even McLouth in any deadline deal to clear some salary to take on another higher priced guy at that time.
But I can’t see Wren going into this season 9 million under last year’s payroll. Or am I way off in that assessment DOB?
December 24th, 20092:43 am
Merry X-mas everybody. We opened our immediate family’s gifts tonight, and I got season 4 of Prison Break. So I’m off to start on that so I can move on to my next “stay up all night every night” DVD series to watch.
My buddy has The Shield and Deadwood on DVD and is going to borrow them to me. Suggestions on which one I should do first?
December 24th, 20092:44 am
N8, the Braves do have certain internal accounting mechanisms that we can’t completely account for, or that aren’t immediately apparent.
One thing to consider… how much of last year’s payroll was Tim Hudson insurance money??
There was something I wanted to ask Wayne in Utah, but I see he’s busy bouncing his head off the wall. I’ll wait.
December 24th, 20092:45 am
Is that why you post at night? Not able to sleep because of the nerves? I had lymes disease years ago. That is certainly not to compare with what you have and it was no picnic by any means. I am sorry that it is such a problem for you.
Yeah, I am not a Melky fan either. I choose to look at it with a hopeful attitude thinking that things are different in Atl from NY. Some people (seemingly Javy may be one of them) who just don’t do well there but do much better in a place like Atl. I am hoping that maybe some of that will be the case with Melky.
Of course you are right about young prospects. To me, it increases the odds of at least one of our great young arms actually fulfilling their projected potential. Thus, the value is not totally accurate to see it as individual value, but as a group. So his value is lessened, but the groups’ value increases because of him. I know… strange way to look at it. But I truly do not expect all of them to reach their projections.
I would like to see a Nady signing too. Not that I expect as much as some people seem to expect, but I think he would strengthen the team. I am not sure what they will do though. I don’t know what else they could have done, but as I have expressed earlier, with the type of pitchers that we have, it would be good to have the best defense we possibly could have, especially on the infield. I know we aren’t going to be getting rid of Chipper and I don’t know that there is anything we could do about Prado’s seeming lack of range, but those two positions are kind of weak to me. And certainly there is a big question at 1st with the lack of experience. Hopefully, the defense won’t hurt the Braves too much.
And may your holidays be blessed as well.
December 24th, 20092:48 am
I wasn’t really complaining about the amount they spend for payroll. Sure we would all like more, but it’s pretty fair. I do believe they have a tighter cap than they indicate, that’s all. A reality of business and one I can live with. My biggest tirade was last years draft and even then I was more reasonable than most. I do raise some cain against some of the fans who come on here expecting way more than is possible.
110Mil would be nice though Merry Christmas, dude
December 24th, 20092:49 am
McGuirk said it was stipulated in writing that new ownership could not go below the team’s current player payroll of $87.3 million, but was certainly encouraged to invest in the franchise.
Here you go.
I want owners who don’t give a damn about spending a ton of money to win. You can put on your Snuggie, drink some hot cocoa, and listen to Barry Manilow while reveling in the beauty of business being run properly, but most of us are just fans. We want to win championships, not balance a stinkin’ budget. Besides, corporations suck, right? They’re a bunch of leeches who prey on stupid morons like you and me. Why should Liberty Media put up the bleeping cash in an unrelenting quest to bring a bleeping trophy home to Atlanta?
They shouldn’t. They should just p*** on us and tell us it’s raining.
Merry Christmas, everybody! And to all, a good night!
December 24th, 20092:52 am
what do i think about our GM? not sure yet. i think he has made several tough calls. i think over the last 12 months plus he has made us a better team from the major league roster to the minors…if guys forget we were basically a 75 win team a couple of years ago to a player for a playoff spot until the last couple of weeks of last year.
i am not in love today with the deal of javy but at the same time he has seriously, at least i think, reloaded a minor league system with upper level projected players, especially arms, that makes a huge factor in the future and maybe even the next year or so, based on talent to deal. we have not given up under his watch what he thinks is major league soon to produce talent. i think that the jury is out because the braves, hell, us fans want to win NOW. taking a look though at the overall work of art, there is very few reason to complain.
its obvious there are some limits to what he can do. it sucks in a way to think we may not win division title this year much less a wold championship, but at the same time with our pitching, possible offense and along with players we have coming, it’s hard not to get excited for the 2011 2012 and beyond….and guys/gals who knows….a tweak of a uggla at 2nd and prado in left. or nady in left, who is to say with the staff we have now and the next couple of years, that run to a world championship wont happen.
i think the jury is out but i have no complaints and honestly am encouraged. i think we have a gm that will make the hard decisions and from what i have seen, has a eye on both making us the best team we can be today as well as seriously stockpiling future talent…
DOB grade today B
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