6:06 am January 17, 2012, by David O'Brien
January 18th, 20122:11 pm
because bellaird was never a starter on any team he ever played on. cause, you know…short stops have to hit, to. DAP
Belliard was the starter in 91 and 92 and was very instrumental to turning the franchise around. He was the starter when the Braves came within a running error of winning the World Series on Lonnie Smith’s goof up. He played 17 years in MLB and 8 for the Braves. The time towards the end of his career was when he did not play every day – just like most players at the end of their career.
January 18th, 20122:17 pm
what’s wrong with O’Ventbrel? I thought it was pretty catchy.
January 18th, 20122:18 pm
keylargo – Yes, and that Lonnie Smith screwup was Bobby Cox’s fault, of course.
January 18th, 20122:23 pm
keylargo Belliard was the starter in 91 and 92
you have to use the term pretty loosely. he was a part time player, for sure, starting 110 games in ‘91 and only 90 games in ‘92. alex gonzalez started 142 games last year.
besides, when did we start talking about ‘91 and ‘92? didnt you just quote he his OBPs during 95-97, trying to argue SS OBPs dont matter? again, those three years combined he had about 420 PAs, while gonzalez had 590 in 2011 alone.
im not sure why you think rafael belliard is evidence that SSs dont need to hit. belliards playing time was limited his entire career, because he couldnt hit.
Raleighbravefan – that dumb Bobby Cox should have trained the 35 year old veteran Lonnie Smith to be ready to be ready for the 22 year old rookie Chuck Knoblach fake him out so bad he didn’t know where the ball was for about 3 seconds.
January 18th, 20122:24 pm
not to mention, the braves chose blauser’s offense over belliard’s defense as soon as they got the chance. i guess they think SS’s should hit a little.
January 18th, 20122:29 pm
keylargo – That was the trouble with Bobby…he didn’t teach career major league veterans enough fundamentals.
January 18th, 20122:30 pm
The act of clicking that “submit reply” button presumably is a substitute for a left jab followed by a right uppercut.
Yeah, I’ve whupped some azz and had mine whupped numerous times on the ole blog!
January 18th, 20122:31 pm
So… reading the Moylan article…. basically everything Wren has said up to this point was, well, pointless. They have not upgraded the outfield defense. Heyward is absolutely guaranteed a starting position. They have not made any acquisitions and there was no increase in payroll.
January 18th, 20122:32 pm
Braves’ Clubhouse Report on 680 right now – Beachy coming up in a few minutes…
January 18th, 20122:34 pm
Alright I hate to do this but I’m going to anyway since I’m bored and the Braves seem pretty set as far as the roster goes. I think the only for sure spots in the line-up are the 1, probably 2, most likely 3 but shouldn’t be in my eyes, and 8 and 9. So based on last year’s numbers I’ll go:
8. The Rev
January 18th, 20122:37 pm
Another spring training question – To anyone who has gone to ST – I noticed that most home games are 2-3 days apart but I will probably only go for 2-3 days. Two questions – are most “away” games an easy drive away? Is there enough stuff going on around the Braves facilities when the games are away to keep you entertained for a day? (inter-squad games, fielding practice, etc) Any insight appreciated
January 18th, 20122:39 pm
I used 95 to 97 because those were arguably the best years the Braves had. I can tell DAP is about 20 something because he doesn’t seem to remember much baseball before 2000 when any offense above the bare minimum was a plus.
Here’s a 2010 Chart for the best 25 defensive shortstops. You’ll notice that there are 5 with an OPS+ of more than 100 which is average. You’ll also notice who is 6th on the list and 1% below average for a SS.
Rk Player Rfield OPS+ ▾ G Age Tm
1 Troy Tulowitzki 12 138 122 25 COL
2 Hanley Ramirez -10 124 142 26 FLA
3 Stephen Drew 0 113 151 27 ARI
4 Jose Reyes -4 103 133 27 NYM
5 Jamey Carroll 7 101 133 36 LAD
6 Alex Gonzalez 13 99 157 33 TOT
7 Juan Uribe 2 99 148 30 SFG
8 Alexei Ramirez 9 97 156 28 CHW
9 Starlin Castro -12 97 125 20 CHC
10 J.J. Hardy 0 93 101 27 MIN
11 Marco Scutaro 1 92 150 34 BOS
12 Derek Jeter -10 90 157 36 NYY
13 Ian Desmond -9 89 154 24 WSN
14 Cliff Pennington 11 88 156 26 OAK
15 Yuniesky Betancourt -2 88 151 28 KCR
16 Jason Bartlett -3 88 135 30 TBR
17 Jerry Hairston -3 83 119 34 SDP
18 Ramon Santiago 12 82 112 30 DET
19 Ronny Cedeno -4 82 139 27 PIT
20 Yunel Escobar 8 80 135 27 TOT
21 Wilson Valdez 12 79 111 32 PHI
22 Orlando Cabrera -2 78 123 35 CIN
23 Erick Aybar -4 76 138 26 LAA
24 Elvis Andrus 2 75 148 21 TEX
25 Alcides Escobar -3 67 145 23 MIL
26 Josh Wilson 12 62 108 29 SEA
27 Brendan Ryan 15 57 139 28 STL
28 Cesar Izturis 6 50 150 30 BAL
January 18th, 20122:45 pm
Puma – Enough to do? Excluding Disney and Universal? Yeah, there’s a few things to do in the area.
January 18th, 20122:47 pm
keylargo, its just wierd you are arguing that SSs dont need to hit using rafael belliards numbers from 95-97, when he barely played because he couldnt hit!
so now you argue that gonzalez was bad, but not compared to other SSs. among the 22 MLB qualifiers at SS, gonzalez ranks 21st in average, last in OBP 15th in slg% and 20th in OPS.
gonzalez isnt even decent compered to others at his position.
and im still puzzeled about you invoking rafael belliard. ill say again, his lack of offense limited his playing time his entire career. not sure why you cite him as evidence short stops dont need to hit.
January 18th, 20122:50 pm
My guess at an opening day lineup would be:
I think, with fresh legs, Chipper at least starts out the season in his customary 3 spot.
January 18th, 20122:52 pm
keylargo, you posted rankings from 2010 in your 2:39 post. those are old rankings. gonzalez had a 76 OPS+ in 2011.
January 18th, 20122:56 pm
I just don’t see Fredo hitting the 3 lefties back to back to back. He loves the LH RH LH thing.
January 18th, 20122:57 pm
Another spring training question – To anyone who has gone to ST – I noticed that most home games are 2-3 days apart but I will probably only go for 2-3 days.
Two questions – are most “away” games an easy drive away?
Yes, the drives to other parks are not too far. Google Lake Buena Vista to the city the game is in during your stay. It will give you distance and drive time.
Is there enough stuff going on around the Braves facilities when the games are away to keep you entertained for a day? (inter-squad games, fielding practice, etc)
There are B games generally scheduled during away games. Lots going on the back fields. Check schedule for split squad games
Any insight appreciated
January 18th, 20122:59 pm
flange, it’s a good point… but to get the RH-LH thing going he’d have guys hitting in some odd places in the order.
January 18th, 20123:00 pm
alex gonzalez’s line last year was .241/.270/.372, …
I see that line and I sez to myself … 2-hole hitter!
If he could only bunt, …
Bay Area Steve
January 18th, 20123:01 pm
DAP, I’ve not been paying any real attention, but seems to me you ought to let up on key a little bit. Mercy rule, or something. Standing eight count, at least.
keylargo, you posted rankings from 2010 in your 2:39 post. DAP @ 2:52
Here’s a 2010 Chart for the best 25 defensive shortstops. Keylargo@ 2:49
That’s good DAP. You;re finally catching on. (Example of Poor Reading Comprehension.)
January 18th, 20123:03 pm
raleighbravefan – Thanks for reply. I meant enough to do around the Braves spring training complex, or Darkstar as DOB calls it. Not really into the money pit theme parks, at least not until the kids are older.
January 18th, 20123:05 pm
thanks Patio Daddio, just what I was lookin’ fer
January 18th, 20123:06 pm
Look DAP – this is my very last post on this subject today. I took offense to your claim that Pastornicky would “at least” have an OBP better than Gonzalez while completely ignoring defense – which is far more important at SS. I have posted twice if Pastornicky’s defensive numbers for last year were in MLB, he would rank 103 our of 117 players. You can’t win with that, period.
January 18th, 20123:08 pm
I think positions 1, 5, 6, and 8 are probably going to be the same in most folks lineups.
I think we need one of the 3 lefties in the 2 or 3 slot to help separate them from each other.
Bottom line is Heyward has to step up and claim the 2 or 3 spot. If he doesn’t, Fredo is going to have to get creative with the lineup.
January 18th, 20123:10 pm
My guess would be that McCann would bat cleanup followed by Uggla.
January 18th, 20123:12 pm
Sorry Murph, I meant 4 and 5! (Uggla, McCann)
Report coming out now is that Merl Haggard has pneumonia and is going to remain in the Medical Center of Central Georgia for the time being.
January 18th, 20123:13 pm
Puma – I knew what you meant…My poor attempt at being a smartarse.
January 18th, 20123:16 pm
keylargo That’s good DAP. You;re finally catching on. (Example of Poor Reading Comprehension.)
no, its an example of a poor argument. why are we talking about 2010 all of the sudden? you for some strange reason bring up belliard, a guy who got limited playing time because he couldnt hit, to explain why SS’s dont need to hit, then you are jumping around dates on belliard, on gonzaez, because you are wrong and trying desperately to defend a weak point.
. I took offense to your claim that Pastornicky would “at least” have an OBP better than Gonzalez while completely ignoring defense
it offended you!?! i gotta tell you, thats kinda weird. im guessing you dont disagree that pastornicky will probably improve on gonzalez’s poor offense? then what are we arguing about? i didnt say anything about defense…my post wasnt about defense…im talking offense. gonzalez was really really bad at it, and the rev will be better, probably.
BAS, he started it.
January 18th, 20123:17 pm
flange – I would hope that Heyward will step up and bat 3rd. I’d like Chipper in 2 or 6, and Prado in the other slot.
January 18th, 20123:18 pm
BAS, ask Soph for a brick wall.
January 18th, 20123:22 pm
Children, go outside if you’re going to fight.
Someone has to be the weakest position player on the team. It’s entirely possible that this year, that player will be at the SS position. If the Defense is passable, and the rest of the team hits like they should, it will become a minor problem. AGon’s offense would have been fine for a #8 hitter if everyone else had done their job.
There werer several factors last year that caused us to finish a game back in the WC, any of which had they been different, would have lead to a playoff berth. Was it a worn out bullpen? Injuires to two key pitchers with rookies at the end of their allowable innings to finish? Was it the poor hitting? A combination? Whatever, one game was the difference we needed.
No, we didn’t make wholesale changes this winter (didn’t really need to) and we have – essentially – the same team, minus a couple of sputtering pieces. We should be able to expect the offense to improve (really can’t get much worse, can it?). Howerver, if all remains exactly the same, one thing HAS changed and should be enough to make the difference – the bullpen.
Gone are the weak links, Proctor, Linebrink and Sherril – replaced by Moylan, Fish, Varvaro, Medlen and Vizcaino (now able to pitch m ore innings. We now have at least three relievers – Medlen, Martinez and Varvaro – capabl of pitching multile innings. We have three LHRP’s. We have much more depth when those in the minors are inclued.
The Bullpen alone should be more than enough to push us over the dege to the playoffs, even if all else remains the same.
I would rather have Chipper at 2. I like his bat up in the order (2 or 3)
January 18th, 20123:24 pm
I will be taking in a week at spring training, as I do every year, and will see the braves play the nationals at Disney then the next day travel down to Lakeland, FL, the training site of the Detroit Tigers, and catch the braves there as well. Lakeland is only about an hour drive away from Disney. The astros train at nearby Kissimee which Kissimmee is only about 10-15 minutes from the Disney park. So yes, most of the other teams training sites are relatively nearby.
ralieghbravesfan AGon’s offense would have been fine for a #8 hitter if everyone else had done their job.
i agree gonzalez offensive performance wouldnt have killed the team, if everyone else had hit like they ought. but, i take the position that its not “fine” for a position player to EVER OBP .270, no matter what. could it have been over come by the rest of the team? yes. but i cant condone it for any reason.
January 18th, 20123:25 pm
basically everything Wren has said up to this point was, well, pointless. They have not upgraded the outfield defense. Heyward is absolutely guaranteed a starting position. They have not made any acquisitions and there was no increase in payroll.
TenneseePaul, yeah, I never really took his word for it. It was two days after the season ended and for some reason, his comments just didn’t resonate with me as “must haves”. Not like after 2008 when he said they must upgrade the rotation. That was a glaring as the sun. I think after he cooled off, he realized that most of his guys are just going to have to bounce back – Heyward and Prado, especially. All that said. I still have concerns about who plays LF when Chipper is out. I can’t get behind a platoon of Hinske/Diaz and certainly not Jose Constanza or Luis Durango.
P-Town Brave© Its Clobberin' Time!™
January 18th, 20123:26 pm
Really, I’m not sure you can go wrong w/ this team 3-7 as long as you don’t put BMac, JHey, and FF bunched together…
I think you need Bourn and Prado at the top though.
^^ That all predicates on Uggla not having a 2011 1st half repeat and JHey not being JHey of 2011 though as well.
January 18th, 20123:29 pm
That’s fine, but then someone other than Prado has to be in the #2 spot. Having 3 LH hitters 5-7 is asking for it in the late innings. None of them hit for as much power or get on base as much vs. LHP. I think the best possible lineup is:
Bourn, Chipper, McCann, Uggla, Freeman, Prado, Heyward, Pastornicky, Pitcher
Because Chipper doesn’t quite have the wheels he used to, I wouldn’t be hitting him behind McCann or Freeman though….In fact, I would probably sandwich Freeman/Uggla/McCann somewhere….either 3/4/5 or 4/5/6 until Heyward gets back into a major groove….
January 18th, 20123:30 pm
January 18th, 2012
I am a Spring Training Baseball Rat and I love to drive, especially my bike, so you will see me at as many away games as you will home games……..as long as my schedule permits.
January 18th, 20123:32 pm
Like I said, you could go w/ MANY different options…
Bourn/Prado/Freeman/Chipper/McCann/Uggla/Heyward/Pastornicky to start and
Bourn/Prado/Heyward/Chipper/Freeman/Uggla/McCann/Pastornicky seems like a good lineup by end of year….
January 18th, 20123:33 pm
Some have asked for the link again to the site that had leaked photo of new Braves alternate uniform. So here it is again.
(I have it on good authority that these are indeed the new alternate home uniforms, though Braves haven’t made any announcement. They’ll still wear red jerseys on Sundays, but these can be worn in any other home game as decided by the starting pitcher, per usual practice. Think of them as the home version of the road blues, though much better looking in my opinion.)
flange – I agree on Chipper. If everyone is hitting to their norm, I would probably start with a lineup like this:
I would tweak it if needed.
January 18th, 20123:35 pm
There are MANY options that would work….but the reason the Braves are not a good bet for the playoffs right now is there are so many IF’s…
IF Bourn hits like he hit on Gm 162 or in Houston
IF Prado returns to form and learns to hit behind Bourn
IF Chipper is healthy
IF Freeman continues hot stroke in Sophomore year
IF Uggla continues 2nd half stretch and doesn’t revert to early 2011
IF BMac can stay healthy and isn’t aging before our eyes
IF JHey plays like 2010 and not 2011
IF Pastornicky can take over at SS and produce
IF the bench can do ANYTHING…ANYTHING at all…which improves from 2011
January 18th, 20123:38 pm
Too bad the Braves couldn’t work on improving the ballclub a bit though….
Is that the Marketing teams new ploy?
Season ticket fans, we may not have done anything w/ the ballclub that choked away the playoffs, but alas, at least we will take the field in 2012 in style with our new alternate home jerseys —- on sale now at the Clubhouse Store.
^^^Sorry, I just had to.
I like the new alt jersey. I never really liked the red Sunday jerseys, and the dark blue looked like the Mets (ugh!)
January 18th, 20123:39 pm
PTown – There is not but maybe one or two teams (if that) that you couldn’t list as many concerns for as the Braves.
Don’t forget the pitching IFs too, PT…
IF JJ can stay healthy
IF Hanson can stay healthy
IF Hudson can recover from back surgery
and so on and so forth
January 18th, 20123:41 pm
Was just sticking w/ the lineup since that seemed to be the largest downfall of September 2011
January 18th, 20123:42 pm
I just have a hard time seeing a 40 year old in the middle of the line-up. I love Chipper and is one of my favorite all time Braves but he needs to see what is best for the team and maybe hit down in the line-up like 6th or number 2 maybe. He needs to concede his customary 3 spot to someone who will provide more power and that would most likely be Freeman/Heyward if he hits or Mac. Put Uggs in the 4 spot.
Ptown – IF the Braves are on the right side of just a few of your IFs, we will be better than last year.Add to that an improved bullpen, and probably an improved starting rotation, and you have a formula for success. Most view the “choke” as an abberration, by the way.
January 18th, 20123:45 pm
Whats up buddy?
You ready for the Rumble?
And yeah, I agree w/ you….frankly, if Heyward returns to form, I’d be ok w/ batting JHey 5th behind Uggla and in front of either BMac or Chipper….hell, could you imagine having one of those veterans hitting 6th and the other 7th…could get quite a bit done w/ the bottom of the lineup there
Lew – You beat me to it…I was going to say that we all know that no other team has any IFs, no other team will have injuries, no other team will have players who underperform or make game-costing mistakes. It’s only the Braves who have weaknesses, injuries, and blunders.
January 18th, 20123:46 pm
Yeah, it may have been an abberration, however, to do nothing after such a collapse….kinda a head scratcher….especially when you consider how much the other 3 teams in the division have done over the last couple years.
Guess it could be worse, we could still have Lowe
January 18th, 20123:47 pm
Hell, 40’s just a kid.
January 18th, 20123:49 pm
I love the 1974 uniforms…we wore them a few times last year. My favorite by far
January 18th, 20123:52 pm
The problem is that there were not that many real options to make a move that improved the team. If you believe/assume that most of the problems were due to injuries, and down years by normally reliable players, then the options for improvement became even more limited. A head scratcher, in my opinion, would be a kneejerk reaction (with resulting bad moves) vs a thoughtful analysis of what was available, and at what cost. I believe Wren’s true goal is always to improve the team when possible/reasonable. I believe the “no major move” was justified.
January 18th, 20123:54 pm
The point isn’t so much of a kneejerk reaction….no one was asking to trade away the entire roster, BUT cmon….do you really instill confidence in an already diluded season ticket base by doing nothing?!
I agree it is a head scratcher and then you add the post season comments from both FW and JS (including the letter to season ticket holders) and it turns even more strange.
If I were the Braves, I would have spent a bit more money this year and made an impact with fans by signing Beltran and keeping everyone else.
Spend 97 million this year and then cut it back next year when lots of salaries are coming of the books.
But instead, the Braves promise changes, and then don’t give any changes.
To me they are setting themselves up for a big fan revolt by following this POA.
Makes no sense to me….
January 18th, 20123:56 pm
agreed, beekay. I was hoping that the 74 unis (or a slight variation of them) would be the new home alt uniform for Braves. Not really a big fan of the reported ones- a little plain and boring without the tomahawk. However, I do like the cream color over the bleach white…so it’s not all bad.
And I am not a WE’RE DOOMED kind of guy. I like this team and think they have a chance to be really good.
January 18th, 20123:58 pm
Lew: the reason the Braves fell apart in September was a lack of hitting throughout the season. It made many games – win or loss – very close, and compelled Fredi to use, re-use, and abuse the EOF-Venters-Kimbrel troika. If the losses would have been blowouts at least, the three would’ve been spared innings as the back end would’ve had to pick up the slack in those games.
My greatest criticism of Fredi was not allowing starters to go an extra inning in many games in August and September. That also would’ve spared the Bullpen Three multiple innings of work that might have made a difference in the finals weeks. All in all, the lineup’s inability to score runs, put teams away, and spare valuable bullpen innings, was the main reason the Braves collapsed in September. I truly doubt that a worthy LF bat will be acquired anytime within the next two to six months, if at all.
However, P-Town Brave says it best. This team, from one to eight, for the past five-seven seasons, has been a hodge-podge of cobbled parts – used, discarded, damaged, never-was parts. Take away the pitching, and this team has been the 2010 Seattle Mariners during that span. Nothing but a perpetual and terminal batch of hitting if’s.
I say it again: this organization knows NOTHING about hitting, or how to evaluate it as it relates to the construct of a ball club. Sadly, the bad beat will go on in 2012.
January 18th, 20124:01 pm
flange1, i think you are right, though. if the braves stumble in 2012, they have hurt themselves. (i dont think they will, though)
January 18th, 20124:05 pm
ooo lineups… my turn
I DON’T think a move just for the sake of making a move makes sense. If some fans are unhappy with that, so be it. I believe no trade/acquisition trumps a bad move every day….and I believe Wren when he says none of the options made any sense. The “rub” amoung us fans is how much value you place in the September collapse. Some seem to only be focused on that. I prefer to believe that it is much more likely that we will play like we did during the first 5 months of the season.
January 18th, 20124:06 pm
miabchbravesfan Take away the pitching, and this team has been the 2010 Seattle Mariners during that span. Nothing but a perpetual and terminal batch of hitting if’s.
i cant agree with that. the 2010 braves were pretty good on the offensive side, #1 in the league in OBP, and 5th in overall scoring. they didnt slug, but getting on base was an asset.
in 2011 they didnt slug OR get on base.
anyways, they have only been a poor scoring team for 3 out of the last 5-7 years. that would be ‘08, ‘09 and last year.
January 18th, 20124:09 pm
All that said. I still have concerns about who plays LF when Chipper is out. I can’t get behind a platoon of Hinske/Diaz and certainly not Jose Constanza or Luis Durango
Yeah well, as you said, you heard the man talk and knew he was full of it. So you’ll just have to be excited about the Diaz/Constanza platoon this year.
I should have learned by now that when ever he says “payroll might go up” the entire conversation he just had and the communications two days before and after are all completely false, if not the exact opposite of what is going on.
Go Braves. You’ve saved some money! Woohooo! Do they get another gold star from Selig?
January 18th, 20124:12 pm
Nice to see you’re back…for now. Yeah the Rumble is probably my favorite PPV and I look forward to it every year. Nice to see Punk get so much attention finally as it’s deserved. My kids got a real good laugh out of “get your balls outta your purse” line the other night.
Yeah the team has many concerns and all your thoughts are legitimate ones and I agree many a small shake up would’ve been nice but who knows what teams offered for the likes of an injury prone pitcher and utility guy. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make as they say. I think an important thing Fredi needs to do is find a line-up that works and stick with it to get some rhythm and stability, not a revolving door but depending on injuries that can change. I still like Freeman 3rd or Heyward if he shows power but I’m just leery of how much he grounds out which could kill big innings while Freeman has shown to be a line drive gap hitter and uses the whole field…kind of like a young Chipper used to do in the 3 hole. Lots of possibilities and if the Rev hits in the 8 spot they could have a pretty potent line-up putting up some crooked numbers.
January 18th, 20124:13 pm
DOB. That link timed out, but is this image the correct one? New Alt Jersey
January 18th, 20124:15 pm
Well, I hope so anyway. Those would be very nice.
January 18th, 20124:17 pm
This arbitration process is nice. Some of the guys suck it up and get million dollar raises. Must be nice!
January 18th, 20124:18 pm
I like this team and think they have a chance to be really good.
I like the Braves. I don’t think this team will crap out with 90 losses or even a sub .500 record. But, I already saw what this team did last year. It wasn’t that impressive.
January 18th, 20124:21 pm
40 more minutes for Darvish to sign!
January 18th, 20124:22 pm
MiaBch – I disagree…one of us will be wrong. 1-8 a hodge podge of cobbled parts? Let’s see…2011 team had the following players who have been alstars, mopst within the last 2 years…Uggla, AGon, Chipper, McCann, Heyward, Bourn, Prado. The following finished 1st or 2nd as ROY – Bourn, Chipper, FF, Heyward. Only ones you could consider past their prime are Chipper and AGon. What the hell are you talking about?
January 18th, 20124:23 pm
TPaul – I’d like to see one with a Tomahawk under “Braves” on the front to compare with the numbers under the “Braves” jersey. Not saying I’d like one or the other without a comparison.
My “MLB: The Show” lineup:
Because, in The Show, Pastornicky is going to have a monster rookie season and JHey is going to hit 30 HR.
In The Show.
10paul But, I already saw what this team did last year. It wasn’t that impressive.
they only allowed 605 runs last season…thats impressive. they won 89 games only scoring 641 runs. a +36 run differential. thats impressive.
i think we can be fairly sure this tema will win around 90 games again this season. they need a few things to go right, and they are among the best teams in baseball.
January 18th, 20124:25 pm
“But, I already saw what this team did last year. It wasn’t that impressive.”
Yeh, its one of those situations where they could win the wild card, or they could be a 3rd or 4th place team in the division. Perhaps if they made a significant move or two they could guarantee a wild card birth and playing for the division title. They decided not to go that right and went the cheap route. What can you do?
January 18th, 20124:26 pm
The mere fact that a 40 year old Chipper Jones will be hitting third – in the absence of a proven 3-hole hitter to supplant him anytime soon – says more about this team not fighting for a playoff this season than anything else could ever say.
Damn Murph that’s bold…you must’ve jacked up The Rev’s offensive numbers.
I’ll stick with:
8. The Rev
January 18th, 20124:28 pm
I think that if I believed that the team I rooted for had an owner that was cheap, management that was made up of incompetent morons, and a lineup that was a bunch of over the hill, overpaid, underachieving players that would neveer be able to win….think I would look for a team that I could support enthusiastically…but then, that’s just me. I don’t believe those things about this Braves team.
January 18th, 20124:29 pm
I don’t believe those things about this Braves team.
What can you do, man? Haters gonna hate.
January 18th, 20124:30 pm
by the way, the braves only gave up 605 runs, that with derek lowe and his 34 starts last season. dude had an ERA over 5. also, this offseason, the impossible happened, and our bullpen actually looks like it might be BETTER than last year. think about that.
But, I already saw what this team did last year. It wasn’t that impressive.
I think a lot of folks are looking at 89 wins and thinking IT WILL be better just cause. But in reality, it actually needs to be better than 85-77(expected win total). Their run differential was not impressive last year and actually wasn’t even when they were peaking in late August. 2010’s team was a monster(an OBP monster) – damn shame Chipper and Prado got hurt.
Phillies are in their own tier, imo. Even without Howard and an aging Utley, Polanco and pitching. I like the Reds this year, a lot, Madson put them over the top. D-Backs and Giants will battle it out in the West. Cardinals made a awesome move in getting Beltran on a two year deal, and even though Lohse, Westbrook isn’t a great 4/5, Shelby Miller is perhaps an even better RH pitching prospect than Julio Teheran, so they have enough in the rotation, imo. Brewers are down without Braun for 50 games + replacing Prince Fielder with Mat Gamel at 1st. Aramis/Alex on the left side is solid, though I still don’t expect them to be more than a 80-85 win team without Braun for a third of the season. We’ll see on the Marlins and Nationals(without Fielder, it’s not a better team than the Braves, no way).
Considering that they can lead the league in apperances and Saves (Venters and Kimbrel) and still make the league minimum the next season, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the arbitration process favors the teams a hell of a lot more than the players.
January 18th, 20124:31 pm
scoots – I see you’re drinking the kool ade again.
January 18th, 20124:32 pm
Murph just knows that he’s going to keep the Rev “within himself” when he plays The Show…lots of slap hitting and letting J-Hey bring him around.
January 18th, 20124:34 pm
This line-up of starters has the potential to be pretty damn good to great if all goes well. I really think Walker as the hitting coach will really help this team out this year as he was in Chicago for many years and always received praise from players on the White Sox. The line-up has speed at the top and bottom with Bourn and Rev while, if healthy, the middle of the line-up can drive plenty of runs in. I think we see numbers closer to 2010 than 2011 with this team.
January 18th, 20124:35 pm
also, this offseason, the impossible happened, and our bullpen actually looks like it might be BETTER than last year. think about that.
I’m not sure they’ll be better, but they really shouldn’t have to be. Offense HAS to be better this year. 12th(or 13th, can’t remember) in OBP is really unacceptable for a team with this many talented hitters. Take pitches and make good swings on strikes. Down in the count, foul it off. Run those pitch counts up. Wren is exactly right, they need to be tougher outs this year. Way too talented to not be.
efrim, you have to admit though, the braves run prevention was fantastic last year, and they ought to be able to maintain with lowe gone and a better bullpen, even with worse defense.
January 18th, 20124:36 pm
“What can you do, man?”
You can criticize, insult, and mock at every opportunity. Time willing. Some of us ain’t so evolved, sir.
OK, I. I ain’t so evolved.
I just have never understood why the “worst case” is considered to be the most likely by so many here. We don’t even need for everything to fall the right way to end up better than last year, when so many things DID go wrong. (with the team we now have).
Mountain Braves Fan
January 18th, 20124:37 pm
It will be interesting to see how Michael Bourn does in a full season with the Braves. No doubt he will be gone after 2012, given who his agent is and what he will expect in terms of years and dollars in free agency.
Last year, in arguably his best season, Bourn had a .734 OPS. That is exactly 40 points higher than his career .694 OPS. In that same career-type 2011 season, Bourn struck out 140 times while walking only 53 times. It it just me, or is that not a boat load of strikeouts for somebody whose game should be to beat the ball into the ground, get on base, and use his speed? Was he swinging for the fences (he only had 2 homeruns in 656 at bats), or does he just have a bad eye? Bourn also had a .295 OBP vs. left handers last season (.645 OPS vs. lefties) which doesn’t bode well in a division that features some of the best lefties in the game (Lee, Hamels, etc…).
Don’t get me wrong, Bourn is valuable for his defense, base stealing, and leadoff capabilities. I just wish the Braves had pulled off a trade for a center fielder (Dexter Fowler and Peter Bourjos would be high on the wish list) who would be around for more than one year. Assuming Chipper retires after 2012, the Braves will be looking for two starting outfielders (lf and cf) for 2013.
January 18th, 20124:39 pm
Darvish, Holland, Lewis, Harrison, Feliz as the 5 for Rangers. Feldman and Ogando go to the bullpen. Nathan, Adams, Lowe and Uehara as the back end of the pen. They add Fielder and it’s the favorite once again to get to the World Series.
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