GM Wren on art of the (Bourn) deal, where Braves stand

Braves general manager FRANK WREN on Sunday’s trade for Michael Bourn

“Last night we came to the conclusion that we were close to something on Bourn, and we were able to finish it off. We finished it up early this morning. We think he’s a perfect fit for our team.

“He really fits what we were trying to do, as far as the basic needs for our team. He’s a great addition.”

Did injuries to center fielders the past week change your focus before trade deadline?

“Not really. As we analyzed our club — and this is from a strategy standpoint, we didn’t want to be transparent as for what we were really looking for – but as we looked at our club we felt that the most glaring need was center field. Even before the injuries, we felt that was an area where we could really improve our club. And so we were involved in everything, but getting a guy like Michael Bourn was a priority.

“Like I said, were involved in everything, but we weren’t really into everything.”

Open to evaluating next season and possibly signing him long-term?

“Sure. We think he’s a perfect fit for us. We’ve talked about this for years, since I’ve been general manager and even when John [Schuerholz] was, this is the kind of club we aspire to be, which is a speed and defense team that takes extra bases, that runs the bases aggressively, steals bases. But you have to have the right personnel. We’ve been drafting with that kind of focus, with speed as a priority, and I think Michael Bourn will give us a head start in getting our club in that position.”

On how long it’s taken to get another leadoff hitter to do some things Furcal did

“They’re really hard to find. I talked to scouts this spring, and getting a prototypical leadoff hitter who plays a premium position and plays it well – Michael is a two-time Gold Glover – and can lead off, get on base, steal bases at a high rate … they’re hard to find. There’s very few of those guys in the major leagues. We’re thrilled to get the guy who has the most stolen bases the last three years and is a Gold Glover in center field and is really growing as a leadoff hitter.”

Did the left-handedness become less of a drawback because he has hit lefties pretty well?

“What became less of an issue for us was our second baseman starting to be our second baseman. Once Dan Uggla started swinging the bat and giving us that right-handed presence – we don’t worry about McCann and we don’t worry about Freeman, they’re left-handed but left-handers really don’t bother them. And the same thing with Michael. Michael’s numbers have been trending better over his career and are very good this year, so we didn’t feel like that was as big of an impediment in making a deal as was being reported.”

“To me, trend lines are important. The way guys are going in their career and how they’re approaching – as teams make adjustments to them, do they make adjustments back? Do they get better? Do they stay the same? Or do they get worse? So it’s really important that you watch how guys develop throughout their career.”

And did Uggla’s resurgence also take some of the focus off getting an RBI guy?

“Yeah, I think so. And also, who are you going to displace on our team? Martin Prado, and we get Chipper back — and hopefully that will very soon — and we get McCann back very soon, all of a sudden you’ve got Jason Heyward, who we think is making strides and starting to feel comfortable again, and then Martin Prado in left, so who does it really displace? And that was important to us, that we add to our team and not move pieces around too much.”

Did the moves by Phillies and Giants make you feel it necessary to make a move?

“We have the fourt-best records in baseball, so we know we have a good team. We’re not an eighth- or 10th-place team trying to get into the wild-card [race]. We know we have a good team, that we can pitch with anyone, so I think it was imperative that we do whatever we could to increase our chances. We had a team last year that took the [eventual] world champions right to the brink, and that was with a crippled team.

“I think if we get healthy and with the way our guys have come along, and the additions, we think we’ve got a strong chance to go all the way. He was the one thing that we were lacking. We really haven’t had a prototypical leadoff hitter in five or six years. And getting Michael really adds to our club in a different way. It may not e the offensive punch, but it’s run creation, which is important.

“Michael is what we hope Jordan will be in three or four years. That’s really what it came down to. And a team that’s poised to win, we need the finished product. And that’s what Michael is. Jordan still has a chance to have a good career, because he can do a lot of things on a baseball field to excite you. But right now, with a team we feel like has a chance to be a championship team, he may not be ready to be that key ingredient that Michael is.”

On giving up good young talent in trade, but not the team’s highest-rated prospects

“With our big four [prospects], or whatever the number is, our key is for long-term sustainable winning. To do that, you’ve got to keep those special players. Those special players are the ones that help you win for a long time. We’ve got some spots that are getting older. We’ve got some spots where guys are going to be retiring in the next couple of years. And these are the key guys that will take those positions and help us, we think, win for a long time. And it’s very difficult to trade them.

“There’s nobody untouchable. We don’t have anybody untouchable in that clubhouse. But the fact of the matter is, there’s guys that are less tradeable than others for your long-term future.”

On offer Braves made for Hunter Pence this week

“We inquired on Pence. We inquired on everyone. And that was part of our strategy, was to inquire on everybody. We did not go to the mat to get Pence. If we had gone to the mat to get Pence, we would have got Pence. And that’s the same with all these other deals. We knew there were certain players that fit us better than others, and we’ve kind of held out to get what we thought was the right deal for our team.”

Any more moves coming?

“We’ve got some other conversations going on. I’m not sure how far they’ll go. We’ll see how it all works out. The types of moves we need to make, or I should say we could make, are moves that could be done anytime in August up until the deadline [for adding players to roster for postseason eligibility].”

Was it important to send a message to the players with a significant acquisition today?

“The guys have played hard. I don’t think there’s one guy in there that will tell you we’ve played to our level we feel like we could play to. So getting a guy like Michael to insert in this lineup, and as we get guys healthy, it could be a lot of excitement the last six, eight weeks as get everyone back on the field and guys are playing to their normal levels. It could be a lot of fun.”

On getting the Bourn deal done quickly, in the past couple of days basically

“There were only a few clubs looking for leadoff-type hitters and center fielders. And also, once Philadelphia and San Francisco kind of filled their needs, some of the competition was out, so that made it a little simpler. There had been a number of contenders that were all looking for the same things. I can list off half a dozen clubs that were basically looking for the same things we were, from an outward appearance.

“We had internally really started to focus more on center field and leadoff, versus the right-handed bat – which was the key everything was looking for. That made things a little simpler for us.”

Would you say that focus changed internally in the last couple of weeks

“Yes, in the last couple of weeks we started adjusting our thinking. And we adjusted it every more this week, as we got everybody in here. All of our staff came in, the scouts, and we really started talking about our team, and I met with Freddie and some of the coaches out in Colorado and we talked a little more about our team and what we felt like our primary needs were. I think that’s where we started getting a finer focus.”

133 comments Add your comment

Matt the Brave

July 31st, 2011
4:15 pm

Matt the Brave

July 31st, 2011
4:16 pm

Looks like first (and second). Good look into what it takes for a GM to get deals done.

carkuff

July 31st, 2011
4:21 pm

N8

July 31st, 2011
4:21 pm

I love reading between the lines of what Wren is saying or implying by stated “And that was part of our strategy, was to inquire on everybody. We did not go to the mat to get Pence. If we had gone to the mat to get Pence, we would have got Pence.”

He’s pretty much implying that he played the Astros a bit by letting Philly and SF fill their needs, thus eliminating the competition for Bourn, and kind of saying that our prospects are better than the ones Philly gave up for Pence.

In the end, with the Phillies having Victorino and Rollins, Pence was the better fit for them, as was Bourn for us.

But I kind of like how smug (yet subtle) Wren’s answer to that question is.

Bill

July 31st, 2011
4:24 pm

Great job Wren and Braves…thanks. Now get rh hitter like willingham are omar and play ball..babeeee!

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
4:27 pm

N8, that was the exact impression I had as well. He drove up the price on Beltran and Pence, while biding his time for the guy they really wanted all along.

Slugger

July 31st, 2011
4:38 pm

DOB – thanks for letting us inside.

Can’t show your hand early if you’re in a position of power – I think that’s FW’s strategy.

I think we’re going to make a huge acquisition in the off season for a power hitting OF.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
4:39 pm

Tough loss. But 2 out of 3 against a division opponent isn’t too bad. Can’t wait until tomorrow night and see a REAL lead-off hitter for once on this team. Hope Bourne brings his A game the rest of the way. He is a difference maker. By the way….Constanza was safe at 3rd, should have not tried to stretch it but he was safe. Too close to complain about the ump. He should have stayed at 2nd after the error.

Who get’s sent down to make room for Bourne now? Hope Constanza can stay for a defensive replacement and PR for now. But not sure who is going down.

The Real Brave

July 31st, 2011
4:44 pm

You know it would be refreshing to hear a GM tell the truth for once.
Not goiny to happen…

01HAWK

July 31st, 2011
4:45 pm

Can we release McOUT ? Lets eat that 6 million so that we can keep CONSTANZZA.

The Real Brave

July 31st, 2011
4:48 pm

still need a RH bat

20 out

July 31st, 2011
4:49 pm

I want to puke every time I hear someone say, “and we’ve got Chipper coming back.” Dear god, he’s a shell of his old self. Just look at his numbers. At least drop him in the lineup. We don’t need a 3 hole guy that takes walks and not much else. Heck, I bet Hinske has more HRs than Chipper and he’s played fewer games.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
4:55 pm

20 out Chipper while being injured is having his best offensive and defensive year since 08 when he won the batting title. I personally think he should bat 5 or 6, but I can live with a HOF that has an above .400 average with runners in scoring position. With Bourne now here……I do believe there will be more guys in scoring position up and down the line-up.

South Georgia Boy

July 31st, 2011
4:55 pm

Good trade. Bourne is better than Schafer. Prospects are just that, prospects. Most don’t make it. Jason Heyward was a good prospect.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
4:55 pm

Fredi just said there is a good chance Constanza stays. Love it. Hope it is true.

the cox man

July 31st, 2011
5:00 pm

Joseph i agree with you. they dont need 14 pitchers. until jones is heal. constanza could play left. later be the 4th outfielder. procter has got to go. then mcglouth.

kpokeefe

July 31st, 2011
5:02 pm

Send McOut down! Constanzza makes for a GREAT pinch runner and base stealer and seems to bring a level excitement to the club.

63 year Braves fan

July 31st, 2011
5:06 pm

Bad fundamental baseball today. Costanza out at 3rd with no one out. Keep the kid for pinch hitting & pinch running & defense. Release Mclouth. Fredi bad managing in 6th inning. First & 3rd no one out.
Have automatic out Gonzalez sacrifice. Then pinch hit Hinske for Boscan who is an easy strikeout.
He can’t hit minor league pitching. Can’t let opportunities like that go by late in the game. Chipper
should retire freeing up $ to sign right handed slugger in off season. He can’t catch up to a fastball
anymore. 3 pitch strikeout today.

Basstringerfish

July 31st, 2011
5:07 pm

I like the move. I was really concerned we were about to lose the pitching prospects or some of the other position players we have. My issue now is the reliance on “getting so and so back” as if we won’t have any more injuries. I obviously hope we stay healthy, but past history indicates that will not be the case. Finally. Great story with Boscan but I am wanting more productivity when Ross sits.

alexcox

July 31st, 2011
5:10 pm

bien por bourn. pero chiper no es el mismo lo hanpueto como lideroff y no batea dejar 3b prado y buscar QUIENTEN NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Dennis Reynolds

July 31st, 2011
5:12 pm

Great job, Wren!

CajunStorm

July 31st, 2011
5:17 pm

I Applaud you Mr. Frank Wren….

I have been screaming Michael bourne’s name from the top of my lungs from day one. The fact that FW pulled this off with the players we gave up and most importantly the ones we kept speaks to ALL I need to know about FW…SHREWD!!!Hell, I would’ve gave them Minor AND Schafer And that 3rd guy we threw in….guess that’s why I sell Insurance and not a MLB squad.

Now, let’s get healthy and get JASON HEYWARD going. We’ll be tough to handle.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
5:18 pm

63 year old brave…..that was a nasty 94mph high fastball. Not many can hit that in the league.

Dennis, it is nice to welcome you sir to the sunny side of life. Don’t play poker with Wren. That is the lesson of the day. The man has ice water in his veins. To intentionally increase the price for Beltran and Pence, while getting exactly what he wanted all along and giving up none of the big 4. Cold blooded.

Bill

July 31st, 2011
5:19 pm

Constanza was safe at 3rd..bad call..but never make the 1st out at 3rd..right 63 yr fan..like me .

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

gotigers72

July 31st, 2011
5:29 pm

The only thing that bothered me about the trade was giving up Oberholtzer. He is a prime prospect. But you have to give something up to get something good.

I hope the Braves keep Constanza and DFA McOut. Constanza showed what he can do in just 3 games. He made some mistakes, but he will learn with time.

Bill M.

July 31st, 2011
5:31 pm

Still need power RH bat, probably this off season. JJ or Lowe will be gone after this season. Hopefully Chipper retires. Does he not realize how much he’s holding the Braves back??? He will be lucky if he play’s 30 more games.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
5:35 pm

Bill go look at Chipper’s numbers with runners on base and say he is holding the team back. He is having his best offensive averages with runners on base and his best defensive numbers since he won the batting title. Let the man go out the way he wants. If he was actually not producing in scoring situations I would be with you, but the fact is he is only behind McCann in run scoring opportunities in respect to production.

Braves 2011

July 31st, 2011
5:42 pm

1. Bourn
2. Prado
3. Jones
4. McCann
5. Uggla
6. Freeman
7. Heyward
8. Gonzo

I like it. Problem is Where do you put Freeman? In the 3 whole or put Chipper in the 6th or 2 hole?

Frank Wren is the man!!!

July 31st, 2011
5:43 pm

That line up is nasty by the way.

JoeBravesFan

July 31st, 2011
5:48 pm

I’m glad the Braves made a move that will improve our team dramatically! FW did some awesome wheeling and dealing by running up the price on Beltran and Pence, then getting the guy we wanted all along without giving up too much…just plain AWESOME!
I really hope Chipper retires at season’s end. I love him for what he’s done in the past, but as someone said earlier, he is a shell of his former self. He’s a great leader, and I would love to see him as our hitting coach next year, or in the near future. He is a future HOFer no doubt, but he needs to hang up the spikes.

@___ISH___

July 31st, 2011
5:49 pm

I feel confident this WILL be CJ’s last season but could we stop with all the H8? CJ has been my favorite Brave for a long time and you’re right he’s not the player he once was but he doesn’t deserve to be jumped on. He’s STILL the best clutch performer on this team and his avg w/RSP will back that up.

mathman

July 31st, 2011
5:49 pm

McOut has nothing to do with it, now. He is on the DL for at least 10 more days or so. The Braves need an OF so it will be Costanza, with likely the rookie reliever sent down. Hopefully, Proctor but not likely.

Actually, the Braves badly still need a RH hitting OF to play in place of Heyward against lefties or play LF against lefties when Prado is at 3B. Hopefully, Proctor will be sent out soon, and Vizcaino brought up as a reliever. Wouldn’t hurt to bring up 12-1 Teheran to start and send Lowe to the bullpen. Won’t happen though. We will live with his 4.55 ERA and climbing. And, probably die with it.

JoeBravesFan

July 31st, 2011
5:50 pm

@ Braves 2011: The way Freeman has been hitting, put him in the 3 hole and put Chipper in the 6th…he hasn’t been hitting like a number 3 hitter for a while.

JoeBravesFan

July 31st, 2011
5:51 pm

I thought the Braves were targeting some bullpen help since the big 3 were getting overworked…what happened with that? I was hoping we’d go after Qualls from the Padres…anyone is better than the Proctologist.

mathman

July 31st, 2011
5:53 pm

Joseph, Chipper is “hamstringing” this organization. Yes, he occasionally produces. But, his injuries are becoming more frequet and he never plays. Prado is hurt by moving back and forth so much. We need a healthy Chipper, but odds are it is never going to happen for any period of time.

Bad decision to DFA Hernandez instead of the backup bum Lugo we now have. Or, should have been Hicks. No one would have claimed Hicks but likely will claim Hernandez.

Braves 2011

July 31st, 2011
5:53 pm

D-Lowe is money in the postseason. He proved that last year. I would want D-Lowe taking the rock in a postseason atmosphere than giving the ball to a unproven 19 year old Teheran. But what do I know, that Steve Avery kid was good at a young age…

Let's Go

July 31st, 2011
5:54 pm

I think you really have to give Frank Wren some credit here and a big “Good On You”. He got one of the players the Braves wanted and by waiting Houston out he didn’t have to give up any of the top 4 prospects. Had he made a deal on Thursday or Friday Delgado or Minor would have been involved.

Braves 2011

July 31st, 2011
5:57 pm

@ JoeBravesFan I was thinking the same thing, but come playoff time your game changes alot and Chipper can adjust to postseason pitching better than anyone in the dugout.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
5:59 pm

Mathman. Maybe you are right, but I seem to think that an above .400 average with RISP is producing and not hamstringing. I might be wrong, but only McCann has better numbers with runners on base on this team than Chipper. Hum, maybe he is actually doing his job and the guys hitting in front of him ESPECIALLY LEADING-OFF…..are not?

Largo

July 31st, 2011
6:05 pm

We need help for our big three in the bullpin. I remember Venters not doing so well last September because of fatigue. It could very well happen to all three this year.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:09 pm

6 games back. I think Bourn should help you solidify the Wild Card though

Braves20

July 31st, 2011
6:09 pm

We’ll be fine as long as Uggla’s struggles are behind him which they appear to be. I imagine the Braves will pick up a right handed bat before Sept. 1. With acquisition of Bourn, an impact player like a Pence is not necessary. Given the Pirates moves this weekend, you wonder if we could re-obtain Matty Diaz.

@___ISH___

July 31st, 2011
6:10 pm

Wren’s not through, he’ll aquire some bullpen help through waivers. Until then, maybe CMart and Sherrill/Linestink can get the job done.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
6:12 pm

Interesting point there Braves20. Although they might view the hitting fool as a veteran leader that has been there in the playoffs and can help that team through some struggles. I like what Pirates are doing. It is good to see them winning again. Too bad they got swept in Phillie, but they are a good team. It is good for baseball as a whole that they are winning.

Coach (2011 Fredi G. a go!)

July 31st, 2011
6:13 pm

Bourne is Furcal 2.0 and I’m glad to have him. Losing Schafer sucks, his potential is still that of a five tool athlete. But giving up three young arms is tough when considering we received just one player in return. Also, I’m disappointed we didn’t get help for the bullpen or bench. Don’t get me wrong, Bourne is a fantastic addition but more help was needed.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:15 pm

Joseph… THe Pirates were right in the race until the went 1-5 on the ATL and PHL road trip. That wholes division sucks

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:16 pm

Coach (2011 Fredi G. a go!)… Bourn is good but he is no where near as good as Furcal in his prime

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
6:20 pm

PhillieFan, wait until Ludwick and Lee join them tomorrow. I never said they would win the division. And the division doesn’t suck. Just because the best 2 teams in the NL are in the same division doesn’t mean another division sucks. I said it is good for baseball that the Pirates are winning again. I used to live in Pittsburgh and went to Pitt and that is a passionate fan base. They are a baseball town. Football is #1 of course, but that city loves the Pirates. Again. It is good for baseball that they are relevent.

Bobby Bobby

July 31st, 2011
6:24 pm

Based on what Wren said AJC and ESPN did a lousy job reporting on trade rumors. Either Wren fed people misinformation or you guys just run with everything. If anyone read my posts I hit it on the nail ( although I did push for Mn CF.) All you had to do was watch team to know CF was our problem. As well as know contracts and age of 4/5 of our starters. Reporting is more than printing baseless rumors.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:25 pm

Joseph… No team in the central has a winning percentage above .550. The Pirates who are 2 games over 500 still have a chance at the division. The division SUCKS!!!

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
6:28 pm

PhillieFan, isn’t that what everybody said about the west last year in both the AL and NL? How did that work out?

NorCal Brave

July 31st, 2011
6:29 pm

No question Bourn will give us more scoring opportunities; we had lots of those today, ending in typical
Braves fashion. For the Braves to make the postseason and actually be a factor, there must be a fundamental shift in their hitting with RISP. This 1 run on 13 hits, or 2 runs on 14 hits the other night against the Pirates, just won’t cut it.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:30 pm

Joseph… Short series anything can happen. But the level of competition in those divisions is awful. And just because a division is bad doesn’t mean a good team can’t come out of it. Everyone knew the Giants and their pitching could be dangerous in the Post season.

NickB

July 31st, 2011
6:32 pm

@PhilliFan – well Furcals first 5 years he was about a 3.2 WAR player (on average) with a 4.9 and a 5.9 year under his belt. On Bourns first 4 full years he in only a 2.5 player with last year being a 4.9 and already a 4.3 WAR so far this season. Depending on how next season goes… they may end up almost identical value wise…

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
6:36 pm

Phillie…..my point is just because a division has 3-5 teams near .500 and are beating each other up doesn’t mean that division sucks. I never said the Pirates will win the division. I am pulling for them though. I am simply saying that it is good for baseball everywhere that the Pirates are starting to become relevant again. Below .500 since 1992. I am happy for the team and the fans there. Heck I was at the game sitting on the 3rd baseline when Kendall broke his ankle running to first. I almost hurled because again sitting on the 3rd baseline I could see the bone sticking out of his leg. I am a die-hard good or bad braves fan but I do pull for Pirates to do well.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:38 pm

NickB… don’t let WAR one statistic tell you something that your eyes say is different. I love how people fall in love with a certain stat. Furcal had pop and speed and played a premium defense position (as does Bourn). Furcal was a better player then Bourn is now.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
6:43 pm

PhillieFan…on the field I will agree that Furcal and Bourn are equal when Furcal actually came to play. But I do contend that Furcal’s attitude and at times lack of hustle is the HUGE difference between the 2. How many times did Bobby pull Furcal from a game because he booted a ball and didn’t bother to run after it? Furcal was a more productive Escobar ATTITUDE WISE.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:45 pm

Jospeph, Furcal was huge for LA in the playoffs. How is Bourn? We don’t know? Furcal was one of the top SS in the game is bourn a top outfield?

Braves20

July 31st, 2011
6:45 pm

Joseph – Well said from another Pittsburgh native – my Dad went to Pitt, I went to a lesser school here in the South. The Pirates along with the Indians are the feel good stories of the year. Somewhere Roberto and Pops are smiling.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:47 pm

Braves20.. They may be feel good stories but they are mediocre teams.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
6:52 pm

Braves20 I had the honor of meeting Pops. I was like a little school girl. Your dad went to PItt? I bet he knows the real story of where the REAL home plate from that WS game in Forbes Field against the Yankees is. By the way it is underneath the 3rd urinal in the mens restroom at the Quad. They put a replica in the hallway but the real one is in a men’s bathroom. Funny side note.

So PhillieFan, was the Marlins when they won it all a mediocre team in the regular season? The answer is yes. They were a young scrappy team that got on a tear at the end of those seasons. Make the playoffs and anything can happen.

PhillieFan

July 31st, 2011
6:55 pm

Joseph… I agree anything can happen however you could see the formula the marlins used. A dominate pitcher in a short series can win. No Team in the Central will advance to the LCS. Mark it down. It’s not a stretch

panamajack

July 31st, 2011
6:57 pm

If Braun had been in the line up today instead of Constanza and had the same results we still would have lost 3-1 even though we had 13 hits. There is something about this team I don’t understand, I think they are hoaxed or something, really good ball players seem to step it up a notch when there are RISP but this team seems to step down a notch.

Chipper is Over the Hill

July 31st, 2011
7:06 pm

Chipper is over the hill and should retire for the good of the team….its all a bunch of BS about his leadership qualities…..now get rid of McLousy….and send Heyward down to get his attention. He is not the Messiah….

flbravesfan

July 31st, 2011
7:06 pm

@NorCal Brave . Completely agree with you on your comments about fundamental baseball.1 run on 13 hits . The Braves lost the game, Marlins did not ” win ” the game. How many times did Braves have 1st & 3rd & come away without a single run. I am hopeful the addition of Bourn will present more scoring opportunities. Even if that occurs the Braves have to begin to capitalize on those opportunities. Hopefully the players following Bourn will see better pitches to hit with him on base . Hoping he hits the ground running, so to speak. Like Uggla gaining confidence Braves need that feeling to ” infect ” rest of team with RISP. Here is to a 10- 12 game winning streak. Just gotta score them when the opportunities are presented.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
7:10 pm

Chipper……..By the way I can tell your lack of common sense just by the name you want to be online……He should retire for the betterment of the team? leadership means nothing? I will let you go to sleep pretending you have a brain. Have a nice night and leave the intelligent conversations to adults please.

flbravesfan

July 31st, 2011
7:44 pm

@Joseph have to agree with & your last post. Chipper is STILL the face of the Braves & has been productive even as a ” reduced” talent. He certainly could have one more big run in him. Heck look @ D. Lowe end of last season. Something to be said for those who have exceed in the past. Especially those that have previously produced @ HOF level. I believe Chipper has earned the opportunity to prove all the nay sayers wrong. He may not be capable of carrying the team but he can still help the team. Still a professional hitter.

Furman Bitcher

July 31st, 2011
7:45 pm

WAR stats are worthless

bravesfanforever

July 31st, 2011
7:49 pm

I seriously doubt that GMs have time to mess around trying to bid up other teams efforts in trades. Wren had his hands full inquiring about a lot of players just for his own team rather than worry about what anyone else is doing.

Besides, if you bid up, what if the other team accepts??? You just overbid. Not a good plan.

It’s just bizarre that the Astros apparently wanted more for Pence from Atlanta than they wanted from Philly. Although could be just a lot of garbage talk. Anyone can say anything about trades that DID NOT happen.

Anyway, trade didn’t happen and it frankly doesn’t matter. We got our man and that’s all that we should be concerned about.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
7:50 pm

Let the man get healthy and maybe we see him this week in Washington or heck let him rest and let him start in SHEA in NY. Can we change the name of Citi Field back to Shea for the weekend?

Hank

July 31st, 2011
7:54 pm

The Braves do one thing that can not be logically explained. They can get runners on base but, for some reason, getting them past third is almost impossible. With RISP the batters turn into automatic outs.

Furman Bitcher

July 31st, 2011
8:03 pm

I am mad we didnt get coco crisp. I had a slew of cereal jokes to pull out.

hank57

July 31st, 2011
8:10 pm

Excellent trade, anyone who compares Schafer to Bourne doesn,t know baseball. But a bigger issue continues to haunt the Braves. When it comes to basic fundamentals of baseball, such as bunting, base running, moving runners into scoring position by hitting to the right side, hitting sac flies, etc. they are on the level of a high school, or junior college team. Is this coaching, dumb players, unskilled players, or what?

Jango

July 31st, 2011
8:16 pm

When chipper comes back—he needs to bat 6th–not 3rd or 4th–if uggla & freeman stay hot & chipper keeps hitting around .400 w/ runners in scoring position–that would b an impressive 4-5-6—& batting chipper 6th would allow his otherwise sub-par stats to be tolerated!

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
8:23 pm

Solid points there Jango. Chipper is a solid and consistent run producer when given the opportunity. But if that happens hope the brass at least calls Chipper first and speaks to him face to face and explains and make sure he is ok with it. I put money he would be, but it is a respect thing on that statement.

mikeingray

July 31st, 2011
8:28 pm

THIS DEAL LOOKS GOOD FOR US….YES, SOME OF YOU COWARD POSTERS BIT.CH ABOUT ANYTHING REGARDLESS…USUALLY DUE TO YOUR STUPIDITY AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE GAME AND ITS ECONOMICS….BUT ENOUGH THERE….OUR PERFECT LINE-UP NEEDS SPEED AT THE TOP SO BOURN IS THERE FOR SURE…BATTING SECOND REQUIRES SOLID CONTACT, A DECENT AVERAGE AND AN ABILITY TO MOVE RUNNERS WITHOUT FAIL…THIS FALLS SQAURELY ON PRADO…BATTING THIRD BELONGS TO YOUR BEST PURE HITTER WITH A STRONG ABILITY TO DRIVE IN RUNS…EVEN WEBSTER KNOWS THIS IS MCCANN…..CLEANUP IS DEFINED AS PURE POWER (THE 3-RUN HOMER TYPE!) AND THIS FITS UGGLA ALL DAY LONG…FIFTH SHOULD BE A POSITION OF STRENGTH AS WELL SO THE #4 ISN’T WALKED TO GET TO YOU….CHIPPER’S EXPERIENCE MAKES HIM A SLIGHT FAVORITE OVER OUR “R.O.Y” FEDDIE FREEMAN WHO COMES IN AT SIXTH (AND THIS COULD JUST AS EASILY BE REVERSED WITH NO REAL ISSUES)…BATTING SEVENTH WOULD FALL TO HEYWARD FOR HIS POWER POTENTIAL TO FOLLOW # 1-6 (MAYBE HE CAN LEARN FROM FREEMAN?) AND THIS LEAVES GONZO, CLEARLY OUR MOST TROUBLED HITTER (WASN’T THAT POLITE?) WHO MIGHT BE WALKED TO GET TO THE PITCHER…BETTER THAN STRIKING OUT, RIGHT?

1-BOURN (LH)
2-PRADO-(RH)
3-MCCANN (LH)
4-UGGLA (RH)
5-JONES (SW)
6-FREEMAN (LH)
7-HEYWARD (LH)
8-GONZALEZ (RH)

GOOD LUCK BRAVES…GOOD JOB FRANK WREN…MAKE WINS, NOT EXCUSES!!!

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
8:37 pm

mikeingray…please take the caps off. My old eyes have a hard time reading caps. I like your line-up opinion. But honestly, how can anybody go wrong with the guys we have when they are healthy, unless Gonzo bats anywhere but 8th? It is going to be fun.

I do wish they had flown Bourn into ATL today and at least introduced him to the crowd, before a 9 game road trip.

Dennis Reynolds

July 31st, 2011
8:47 pm

Just a great move. Wren is a very smart GM and Ive gained a lot of respect for him over this years trade deadline. He really has a plan for this organization and he’s executing it.

Thanks, Wren.

mikeingray

July 31st, 2011
8:50 pm

LOL…Thanks Joseph for the vote…thought it would be easier to make my point in caps…..I am also looking forward to them being an exciting team down the stretch…despite our many naysayers.

Jimbo Jones

July 31st, 2011
9:00 pm

Dennis, did you really just type Great job, Wren? I never thought I’d hear you say that in my lifetime.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
9:01 pm

Is it 7pm tomorrow yet? And seriously…….why was Bourn not at least flown to ATL and in the dugout for todays game? He had time to make it there before the start of the game so he could be introduced. I am just wondering.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
9:05 pm

Oh mike, I was mowing the grass when my wife came running out the door and screaming they just got Bourn. She is a bigger baseball fan than I am. I asked her was it Delgado or Viz that we lost? She was screaming…..they gave up nothing. The 4 are still there. I said “cool” and went back to the yard work. Dang the honey-do lists. She has fun while I sweat my “you know what” off. But I love the deal. Man this is going to be fun. Get in the playoffs and I firmly believe that we match up even at worst with the Giants and Phils. Look at the starters and who should be healthy at that time. I like our chances. THis is going to be fun.

Kimbrel rocks

July 31st, 2011
9:11 pm

is this the best braves team, if healthy, since 1995? top to bottom?

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
9:14 pm

With the bullpen…….Kimbrel………..YES IT IS.

the truth...

July 31st, 2011
9:55 pm

Several things come to mind from my view point on the trades, Chipper, Furcal, etc

Chipper….his wheels are his weak point and that affects his entire impact. That said, he still has great hands at 3B…his reaction time left and right have always been huge, and the barehanded play charging the plate ….not many have ever been better at that play.

But…it does hurt Prado’s fielding at 3b to be moving back and forth between 3rd and Left over and over. From that point if Prado could just play one or the other it would be better for everything…that is what the unpredictable nature of Chipper’s physical status is from week to week.

Of course the $15mil off the payroll will help someday too, but face it….Chipper can flat out hit the baseball…..and maybe more important, he is a super big time crunch hitter.

Furcal was great a few years ago and he and Bourn are similar with the exception that Furcal has more power…that is sometimes a problem when leadoff hitters hit a long one and then swing for the fences for the next week….

I think that was something Schafer was guilty of too….trying to be a power hitter AND a leadoff speadster….it is hard to be both unless your name is Ricky Henderson

I guess what would have been better with Bourn is if he played SS….that would have solved the great field, no hit problem there and allowed a more power option in the outfield OR the newly found Costanza….

As pleased as I am with Bourn overall, it is still concerning that we don’t capitalize on opportunities with runners in scoring postion as much as we need to….and I don’t see that Bourn leading off is going to necessarily cause a great change when the #7 batter is up with runners on 2b and 3b….

I do want to make one suggestion….KEEP PARISH AWAY FROM BOURN !!!

the truth...

July 31st, 2011
10:02 pm

Oh….I forgot….

Pitching….did you notice Christian went 2 1/2 innings today? No Proctor !!!

I think someone in the dugout has taken note of the 6 innings he pitched in the 19 inning marathon last week and elevated him ahead of Proctor in that middle relief role.

I will feel much better when Proctor is somewhere beside in a Braves uniform…

John

July 31st, 2011
10:15 pm

Sure hated to see the kid go. Hope he’s a future Hall of Famer. Could be, they let some duds in for sure.

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
11:05 pm

Truth…aside from his first outing back after being “stretched out”…………I think that Wren made another good move sending him down when he did. He was rusty in the majors and he has paid huge dividends in 2 out of 3 outings since coming back. I hope the kid keeps producing like he is now.

NickB

July 31st, 2011
11:28 pm

@ furman bitcher Yeah WAR is worthless , you have just shown how incredibally old you must be…. It doesn’t actually represent what is says (wins over a replacement player) but it is a good tool when comparing players who play the same position (or are similar types of players). If you have 3 SS’s one is a 3 WAR one a 5 WAR and one a 2 WAR. You can rest assured that when you look at their overall stats that the 5 guy will be substantially better than the 3 or 2 WAR guys…. Evem if you look at stats Bourn is a better fielder in CF than Fookie was at SS. Is a bit faster, hits for avg a bit more but slugs less…. I see them as basically the same value as players… WAR shows this to be pretty much true.

NickB

July 31st, 2011
11:29 pm

I wish we had an edit feature here….sigh…

Joseph

July 31st, 2011
11:35 pm

NickB, If I may ask…..does this WAR thing take into account who is pitching for and against said team? For the defensive perspective…I have a good one to come do not worry……what hitters and the hitters tendencies against your starting pitccher that day? Look I do not believe in SABER. If you do, wonderful. I personally think it is over-analyzing at the least.

Defensively…..even the developers on several interviews with Collin Cowherd on ESPN Radio have stated that the defensive metrics are inconclusive at best. The developers have said that there is no real way to judge a person’s defense by metrics even though they keep trying to tweek the system. So how can a WAR number be honestly valuable given that defensive respect is tossed out the window as admitted by the devolpers of SABER?

NickB

August 1st, 2011
12:25 am

Yeah like I said defensive metrics are very tough to get perfect and it is a learning process (as they are very new) so they aren’t the be all and end all. some WAR stats take defensive metrics into account (fangraphs uses UZR and baseball reference uses +/- and range factor) but you can look at offensive WAR which only counts offensive production.

Now you can’t say you don’t believe in SABR stuff ….It’s just numbers…. WAR is hard to follow, so i get that people don’t like it, that’s fine. But stuff like FIP (fielding independent pitching) or OPS (OBP + SLG%) are pretty easy to follow. ( basically, the closer a pitchers FIP number is to his ERA the more you can expect him to maintain his current production, for example Greg Maddux career ERA 3.16 career FIP 3.26) BABIP is merely the players batting avg on balls put into play. Over time all players generally have a fairly consistent BABIP of their own. You can look when a player has a down year or a career year that generally their BABIP fell or rose accordingly (in other words, it shows how the breaks fall, career years everything drops in, the down years, all the line drives are right at someone) It basically measures how lucky/unlucky a player has been at the plate. There are others that are easy to understand (like say OPS+ and ERA+ which take ERA and OPS and compare them to league avg for that season it tells how much better the player was than avg (100 is avg) so around 100 they are avg, say around 105 they are above avg, and so on. (Heyward this year is 94 Mclouth 89 Freeman 133 McCann 144 Chipper 113) Then there are tougher ones like wOBA which involve weighting of situations and are more for advanced stat nerds.

I recommend you take a look at some site like fangraphs.com or baseball reference site and learn about some of these stats!

NickB

August 1st, 2011
12:26 am

Oh and no, I don’t think any defensive metric takes the pitcher into account because a ball hit towards a fielder isn’t affected by who pitched it….

NickB

August 1st, 2011
12:32 am

Oh and many of these stats were made up by Bill James an old guy!!!!!! lol, some of his minions (like Rob Neyer, Billy Beane is a fan as is Theo Epstein of the Red Sox) are involved behind the scenes of many MLB clubs due to the need to extract the top production by spending the least amount of $$$$ It’s the Moneyball thing. True Oakland never won a title. But they were damn competitive with a team that had roughly the same payroll as A-rod, so it works!

Tho I do understand if, as a fan, you choose to not want to dive that deep into the numbers side of things. Do realize though, that these numbers have much value and aren’t just some made up stuff . The data is all based on combination of other stats and/or actual events that happen in games!

Joseph

August 1st, 2011
12:43 am

Nick, My point is that Ok Billy Bean started this ……..has he won? You admit no. Where is billy beane now? in the standings. It is great in theory. It is. It is something that gives us fans something to talk about and point to. But in my honest opinion WITH NO DISRESPECT TO YOURS…………it is an over analytical system to make gms sound smarter than they are. Yes there is value in some of them. The BABIP or whatever…..at least i got close for batting average for balls in play is a really good stat. I just think there are several different ways to look at players. None are wrong and none are right.

NickB

August 1st, 2011
1:03 am

Look all stats can do is give you as a fan your best information to judge the quality of a player. As a GM of a small market team with little payroll to just snatch up every superstar, you have to take full advantage of any information you can glean that gives you opitmum value for your payroll dollar. Frankly, all a GM can do is put a team together. The fact that Beane was able to do it on literally the same salary as one yankees player is amazing. He literally changed the way all teams scout , trade, draft and sign free agents. Heck the problem he has now is that he still has a low payroll and now everyone else is using the same stats he started using to judge talent. Plus, as the Yankees have proven, you can put the best team together on paper, but once you make the playoffs it’s literally a crap shoot of getting hot at the right time. Rarely ,these days especially, does the BEST team win the world series anymore…..

NickB

August 1st, 2011
1:05 am

To make GM’s look smarter than they are? The biggest problem was getting most GM’s and other front office people to even buy into it. Beane started it, but when the Red Sox began to use Bill James as an advisor and they started winning more combined with the internet, pretty much all teams have a sabre stats guy on the payroll to crunch the numbers.

Joseph

August 1st, 2011
1:08 am

Nick exactly. Hell I read “money ball” and it was a great read. I recommend it by the way. But my opinion on Sabermetrics will continue. It is my opinion. Beane never won so how smart is he developing this system? If you believe in it cool. I just don’t I mean no disrespect.

NickB

August 1st, 2011
1:13 am

You obviously didn’t read what i wrote. He won!!! he never won a championship. But that’s a crap shoot. He managed to win with a low payroll and a farm system left in shambles because he was able to maximize his value…. It may be your opinion, but your opinion is like saying the earth is flat and 1+1=4 it’s not a very good one and it’s laughing in the face of evidence and fact…. These numbers are BETTER than batting avg, RBI’s and wins…. This is PROVEN. It’s not a theory or a belief system……

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