Chipper won’t play in WBC, but plans spring-training visit

MIAMI – Two of the four World Baseball Classic qualifying tournaments start this week in Germany and Jupiter, Fla. The only reason we mention this is because some folks have asked me if I thought Chipper Jones might consider playing in the third edition of the WBC in March 2013, since he played in the first two.

As Chipper Jones showed again last weekend against the Nationals, he can still hit plenty. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen asked him why he's retiring.

As Chipper Jones showed again last weekend against the Nationals, he can still hit plenty. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen asked him why he's retiring.

My answer was that I didn’t think he’d have any interest, since he’s retiring after the Braves are done playing this year.

And on Monday, Chipper confirmed as much during an interview before the opener of his final series in Miami, an interview that was as compelling and adroitly handled as have been all his others during No. 10’s Farewell Tour.

To the WBC question, he smiled and said, “I’m a little old for that I got to play in two of them and they were two of the best baseball experiences of my life. But it’s time somebody else got a shot to play. If they want me to tag along and be a coach or something, maybe I’d do that.”

He didn’t play last night, getting a planned rest day after the Braves arrived at their Miami hotel at 3:30 a.m. following a Sunday night ESPN game against the Nationals in Atlanta. He’s expected to play the next two games in Miami, then two or all three games in Philadelphia in the series that starts Friday (the Braves are off Thursday).

The Marlins were the only team that snubbed Bobby Cox in the Braves manager’s 2010 retirement season – they didn’t acknowledge it, while other teams paid tribute via scoreboard videos, P.A. announcements, gifts, etc., like they have with Chipper. Their team officials were still upset about comments Cox had made regarding their firing of Cox’s protégé and friend Fredi Gonzalez during the 2010 season.

They won’t repeat the faux pas with Chipper. The Marlins plan to honor the third baseman on Wednesday before the series finale, his last game in Miami. No word on what they might do for him, but I’d heard a while back that the Marlins called to check whether Chipper likes deep-sea fishing (he does).

He was also asked Monday if any of gift or gifts that teams have given him stood above the others this season.

“I’d do an injustice to the rest of the gifts if I named one or two,” he said. “The ones that stick out – the one that surprised me the most was the surfboard in San Diego, that Trevor [Hoffman] gave me. That was a little unexpected. I got a framed Stan Musial jersey in St. Louis, which is really cool. But I think more or less, just being able to share a hug and a handshake with the guys who’ve presented them to me [has been the best part of it].

“You’ve got a who’s who of Hall of Famers, and Trevor Hoffman and Craig Biggio, who will be going in soon. Derek Jeter in New York. A bunch of ex-teammates, [Adam] LaRoche and [Mark] DeRosa in Washington, and Andruw [Jones] in New York, and [Rafael] Furcal and [Adam] Wainwright in St. Louis. That means a lot to be, because it means that not only have I been a good player, but I’ve been a decent leader and mentor along the way, and to get the gratitude from those guys means a lot to me.”

Did we mention the grace with which he’s been handling these interviews? City after city, he’s asked a lot of the same questions and never shows any sign of being sick of it all.

He was asked about the one-year supply of bratwursts and grill that the Milwaukee Brewers gave him last week, and whether he’d be accepting those in a lump sum and having a massive BBQ. He didn’t know yet about the details of the bratwurst distribution.

““I don’t know how we’re going to handle it, but I can guarantee you that grill is going to be full of them,” he said, laughing. “I just bought a new house in Atlanta, and the grills is going to be front and center, right off the kitchen. I’ve got a lot of sausage and a lot of brats coming my way.”

A month or two ago, when I asked Chipper about all the gifts he was getting and whether he’d been finding places for them in his trophy room or would wait until after the season, he noted that he was in a period of transition – he’s in the middle of getting divorced – and living in a condo, so the gifts had gone into storage until after the season.

Jones spent his first several spring trainings 90 minutes north of Miami in West Palm Beach before the Braves moved to their new ballpark adjacent to Disney World in 1997. After a couple of decades of going to Florida for spring training, the someone asked Chipper what he thought he’d be doing next February and March.

“To be honest with you, I’ll probably make a trip down to spring training at some point,” he said. “It’s a great place to play golf, and take a little spring-break vacation. I’ll miss it right around January, because that’s when I usually start getting the itch to go to spring training. It’s going to be weird going through an offseason not having some sort of workout regiment, or not having to have it.

“I’ll probably still work out, but not [while] feeling that push to get myself ready for spring training. It’s basically just to keep the love handles away.”

What’s it going to be like for him, reading about or seeing the Braves prepare for the season, then watching them begin playing real games without him on the roster?

“It’ll be difficult at first,” he said. “But I think when the guys set off on that first 10-game road trip to the West Coast, and red-eye flights, coming back and having to play the next night … that’s when I won’t miss it, I guarantee that.”

• Hawk, Perez, Ozzie on No. 10: Yesterday I asked a couple of Hall of Famers, Marlins special assistants Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, about Chipper and his legacy. Some of it we’re saving for our Chipper Jones special section to be published in the AJC on the final weekend of the season. But I put one of Perez’s quotes in yesterday’s story, which you can see here if you missed it.

“He was always beating us [Marlins],” Perez said. “He’d come up and always get the big home run or the big hit. He’s a gamer. I’ll be waiting for him [at Cooperstown, N.Y.] in five years. Everybody’s trying to get his autograph. I said I’ll wait till he’s signing it with the ‘HOF’.”

braves.0927Most Hall of Famers add those three letters to their signature after they are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Players become eligible five years after their final season in the majors, and I don’t know of anyone in the game who doesn’t think Chipper will be inducted on the first ballot.

“He was about three years in when I was on my way out,” said Dawson, whom I got to know when he played his final seasons (1995-96) with the Marlins in my first two years as a beat writer covering them. “Obviously playing and working in the National League, I got to see quite a bit of him. Very impressive. Especially during the years when the [Braves] were winning and he was one of the central figures in the lineup, one of the guys that pretty much was the primary nucleus of the ballclub.

“I’ve obviously followed him. And I would say very impressive because he did it from both sides of the plate. He went out there every day. I got to see him play through the injuries, how game he was about that.”

Dawson played his entire career with a balky left knee, after the Miami native tore ligaments and cartilage in a football injury in high school, back when knee-surgery techniques were primitive compared to today. “Hawk” had to spend more than an hour getting his knees ready before every game in those two seasons with the Marlins, and he finally had left-knee replacement surgery a few years ago when the knee had become so bowed outward that doctors told him he really had no choice but get it replaced if he wanted to keep walking in the future.

Chipper’s had two ACL surgeries on his left knee, one at the outset of his career and the other in 2010. He’s also had four arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee, including one on the right knee in the last week of spring training this year. And we’re not even counting the fluid drainings and the surgery he had on his lower left leg after the severe bruising and swelling from getting hit by a B.J. Upton one-hopper in May.

Hawk has been there. He knows what Jones has gone through in the latter years of his career.

“It’s tough,” Dawson said. “It’s a lot of work. A lot of hard work. A lot of testing your makeup. A lot of times you’ve got to reach back and bite the bullet, in a sense. And the fact of the matter is, you play through all of that and the important thing then gets to be longevity. You’re playing the game for the love of the sport, and not just trying to get a contract or extend your playing career to make more money.”

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, a Braves teammate of Chipper’s in 1998 and 1999, had plenty to say when asked about him.

“Chipper grew up with a bunch of great players around him and a great manager. I think that helped him throughout his career,” Guillen said. “He played the game right. Been very professional about it. Goes about his business. One of the best I’ve ever seen. Not because he’s retiring or because people are talking about him. I think he was a legit guy and a lot people were lucky to grow up around him. The time I was with them, Chipper [was] carrying the ball club for a long time…

“There’s a few people with those numbers and a few people with that potential who play the game right. Obviously a lot of that has to do with Bobby Cox and his teammates. There’s one thing about him – he teached what they teached him. He made guys around him play the games right and I think that made him more special.”

Asked if Jones was still a little underrated or unappreciated, Guillen said, “I think so because the way he went about his business he was not a flamboyant guy. He’s not a cocky guy. He’s not a problem guy. He’s not the type of guy who’s going to be in the news for a bad reason. I think that made him not be noticed what he really did in the game.

“You look around — the best switch-hitter in the game. A lot of people say, ‘well, he only won one World Series.’ But Chipper Jones, most of his career, played for a reason and it was not money. He played every year competing for a pennant race. When you talk about that guy, that means you create a winner. People say – ‘oh, they went 30 times but they only win one.’ Well, at least they have 30 chances. Some people don’t have any. I think that made Chipper a little more special.”

In summation, Guillen offered this: “Somebody else leaves the game, people don’t even care – good luck and have a great life. But this kid, somebody like that guy, he will be missed, especially in Atlanta. He’s true leader. He’s not a fake leader

“I teased him when we were in Atlanta, ‘Why are you retiring? You can still play!’ He’s still a very dangerous hitter. He can still play some third

base, I don’t know why he’s quitting but best of luck and he will be missed. We are missing another great one.”

Oh, and as for the first-ballot HOF question, Guillen said, “I don’t think there’s no doubt, but you never know. There are so many things behind the scenes with the Hall of Fame. But this kid, he grew up in the era when baseball was a little dirty and he did it the right way.’’

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn cf
  2. Prado ss
  3. Heyward rf
  4. Chipper 3b
  5. Freeman 1b
  6. Uggla 2b
  7. McCann c
  8. Constanza lf
  9. Maholm p

• Tonight’s matchup: It’ll be Paul Maholm vs. Marlins righty Nathan Eovaldi (4-12, 4.71), neither of whom has been at his best lately, to put it mildly.

Maholm has allowed 20 hits, 15 runs (13 earned runs) and eight walks in just 11 2-/3 innings over his past three starts. The veteran lefty is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA and .321 opponents’ average in his past five starts, after going 7-1 with a 1.19 ERA and .199 opponents’ average in his previous 10 games.

Maholm has 20 strikeouts with 10 walks in 25-1/3 innings over his past five starts, after totaling 52 strikeouts with 14 walks in 68 innings over his previous 10 games.

Against the Marlins, he’s 4-5 with a 5.00 ERA in nine starts, including a July 19 win in which Maholm allowed just five hits and one run in eight innings.

Eovaldi is 0-4 with a 7.58 ERA and .325 opponents’ average in his past four starts, allowing 25 hits, 16 runs and five homers in 19 innings.

In two starts vs. the Braves, he’s 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA and .344 opponents’ average. In his only start against them this season, Eovaldi allowed eight hits and six runs in two innings of an Aug. 2 loss.

Against Maholm, John Buck is 3-for-6 with a homer, and Carlos Lee is 15-for-61 (.246) with no homers.

Against Eovaldi, Dan Uggla is 2-for-3 with a homer and two walks, Jason Heyward is 2-for-4, and Michael Bourn and Chipper are 2-for-5.

One other thing: on first pitches, Eovaldi has allowed a .392 average (20-for-51) with 10 extra-base hits including four homers.

Let’s close this with a tune from the great, underrated Alejandro Escovedo, which  you can hear by clicking here. And here’ is an acoustic version with Chuck Prophet joining in.

alejandro-escovedo-in-store-2

“ALWAYS A FRIEND” by Alejandro Escovedo

Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Do you wanna be my friend? (ooh ooh)
Do you wanna be my friend? (ooh ooh)

Every once in a while honey let your love show
Every once in a while honey let yourself go
Nobody gets hurt, no, no (ooh ooh)
Nobody gets hurt

We came here as two, we laid down as one
I don’t care if I’m not your only one
What I see in you, you see in me
But if I be wrong smoke my smoke, drink my wine
Bury my snakeskin boots somewhere I’ll never find
Still be your lover baby
O-o, o-o o-o

Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Do you wanna be my friend? (ohh ooh)
Do you wanna be my friend? (ooh ooh)

Every once in a while, honey let yourself go
Every once in a while, honey let your love show
Nobody gets hurt, no, no (ooh ooh)
Nobody gets hurt

Well, I could be an astronaut on the wrong side of the moon
Or wrapped up like a baby on a bus under you
Where ever I go you go with me
But if I do you wrong, take the master suite, I’ll take the floor
Sleep in late, get your rest, I’ll catch up on mine
Still be your lover baby
O-o, o-o o-o

Wasn’t I always a friend to you?
Wasn’t I always a friend to you?

Every once in a while, honey let your love show
Every once in a while, honey let yourself go, go!
Nobody gets hurt, it’s only love, love, love
O-o, o-o o-o

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,212 comments Add your comment

Miami Dave

September 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

Let’s go Braves!

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
2:55 pm

Thanks for the work DOB!

GO BRAVES!!

JoshTown

September 18th, 2012
2:55 pm

Playin great! Keep it rollin!

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
2:56 pm

Thanks, Chief!

Go Braves.

David from Athens, AL

September 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

Good write up David, thanks!

Brian from SC

September 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

I like where the Braves are right now. There’s really not much pressure on them at all. If things go really well, maybe there will be in a week. But for now, they’re loose and getting ready for the playoffs.

Virginia Brave Fan

September 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

Would really love to see Heyward get to 30 dingers and 20 sb.

the truth...

September 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

DOB….great interviews with the Hawk and Ozzie….shows how his comtemporaries respect and regard Chipper…………..

He will be missed……finding another like him that passes the test of time in this era is highly unlikely if not impossible.

Watching him Sunday night and thinking he’s almost done is sad for the Bravos….

Virginia Brave Fan

September 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

Would really love to see Heyward get to 30 dingers and 20 sb.

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
3:06 pm

There’s really not much pressure on them at all. If things go really well, maybe there will be in a week.

Get three back with nine to go, and then we can see what we will see.

Even getting swept, even cooling down some more, Nats really don’t feel any pressure with a 6-game lead. But hit some trouble this week while the Braves pile up some more wins? Then, it gets a little tougher to stand tall.

And regardless of how it played out, I’d love to see the Braves make ‘em sweat and tremble.

abeeeewright

September 18th, 2012
3:06 pm

Things always seem to work out by the end of the season, but with the possible number of tie-breaker games that the second wild card opens up, it will be interesting to see how MLB handles these extra games.

What if you had a tie for a division (hypothetically Washington and Atlanta), a three-way tie for the second wild card (LAD, STL, PHL for example). What a mess to work out before the NLDS!

As more play off spots open up with independent race conditions, an increasing number of tie-breaker games become likely.

Lemke's Knuckler

September 18th, 2012
3:07 pm

Brian from SC…”I like where the Braves are right now. There’s really not much pressure on them at all. If things go really well, maybe there will be in a week. But for now, they’re loose and getting ready for the playoffs.”

The Kiss of Death.

Murph

September 18th, 2012
3:08 pm

What’s the magic number for clinching a spot in the playoffs? The new double-wide wild card standings have me all confused.

abeeeewright

September 18th, 2012
3:09 pm

ESPN announcers were talking about how long before the Nats start to conserve innings for their key starters and get some rest for their regulars.

The longer the Braves put the pressure on, the longer the Nats have to run their starters out there.

Take this thing down to the last day.

Lemke's Knuckler

September 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

“As more play off spots open up with independent race conditions, an increasing number of tie-breaker games become likely.”

MLB will have to get away from playing games for tiebreakers and start going with tiebreaker rules based on head to head results, runs scored, etc, etc.

Ken Stallings

September 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

Ozzy was a valued Brave those years he played with us. Interesting to hear his comments on Chipper. People searching for something negative have pointed to the two divorces, but if divorce was a scandal then there’s a heap of company in that same scandal! I thought Chipper had the best line about all that when told how he can’t please everyone he quipped something along the lines of not making his two wives who divorced him happy! I got a big chuckle out of that one!

Murph

September 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

Michael Turner arrested for DWI? Tsk tsk tsk

Jeff R

September 18th, 2012
3:12 pm

To be honest with you, I’ll probably make a trip down to spring training at some point,” he [Chipper] said.

I don’t know if Chipper wants a formal role with the Braves at some point. But I’ve always thought that Chipper would make a superior roving hitting instructor. I think Braves’ prospects would really benefit from Chipper’s instruction.

Venice Jim

September 18th, 2012
3:13 pm

Murph – 7…

Brian from SC

September 18th, 2012
3:13 pm

Interesting…Simmons off today. Prado at SS, Constanze in left.

Tumbledown

September 18th, 2012
3:15 pm

Clearly, Fredi is to blame for Turner’s arrest!

phil

September 18th, 2012
3:16 pm

Only 14 more games…..sigh.

Still hard to believe Chipper is hanging em up.

Great piece, DOB.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
3:16 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup at MIA (7:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 6 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Constanza 7 Maholm 1

McCann’s back, Prado at SS, and Constanza joy! :roll:

Brian from SC

September 18th, 2012
3:17 pm

You really have to do it by individual teams.

The Braves’ magic number against each wild card contender is:

Cardinals – 8
Dodgers – 7
Brewers – 6
Pirates – 6
Phillies – 4
Diamondbacks – 4
Padres – 2

The Braves would have to fail to eliminate two of those teams to not make the playoffs.

Brian from SC

September 18th, 2012
3:18 pm

Washington’s magic number for the division is 11.

bravesgrl4life

September 18th, 2012
3:21 pm

Way to make me tear up, DOB. JK

Man these last games are going to be tough, knowing we’re down to the last few times we’ll ever see Chipper’s sweet swing every night or his quotes in the blog after almost every game.

I need to look into buying stock in Kleenex. Gonna need them for that last home series when I’ll be in a seat at Turner Field for every game.

raleighbravefan

September 18th, 2012
3:21 pm

DOB – Thanks for the new Blog. George will be pleased that you are back from vacation. :)

Tumbledown

September 18th, 2012
3:22 pm

Because the Braves won the regular season series with Cardinals, wouldn’t there magic number also be seven as to the Cardinals? But then, what if there was a three-way tie for the two spots. Yikes!

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
3:23 pm

From previous blog…

It doesn’t get more flexible than that.

You just discribed several ways that flexibility will be eaten up, including raises, arbitration, and options. Not to mention the holes that will need to be filled. I’m not exactly sure how you come up with backwards when the team could possibly acquire a CFer that would be under team control for several years at a very minimium salary, all the while they will be possilby looking to extend players such as Heyward, Freeman, Prado, Kimbrel, Beachy, Medlen and possibly McCann. Not exactly sure how they plan on fitting those under the budget restraints even with the flexibility you stated they have this coming offseason if they spend at will by resigning Bourn and acquiring the other needs.

phil

September 18th, 2012
3:24 pm

Dave isn’t really back….

He just scanned in the quotes from those guys, hit send and hopped back on his bike after a quick stop by Wal-Mart….

Brian from SC

September 18th, 2012
3:27 pm

Tumbledown, the Braves’ tiebreaker for home field in a wild card playoff game vis-a-vis the Cardinals is 7. But ties for the second wild card are broken with a one-game playoff. So the magic number to make the playoffs vis-a-vis the Cardinals is 8.

cricket

September 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

McCann’s back, Prado at SS, and Constanza joy!

i’m just glad Rev is not there ;)

seriously tho, is simmons ok? why is prado at SS?

Brian from SC

September 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

Yunel suspended three games. Like anyone cares. He probably appreciates the days off.

cricket

September 18th, 2012
3:31 pm

He probably appreciates the days off.

may be not if unpaid

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
3:31 pm

Constanze in left.

Good grief. Like gum on a shoe, you just can’t get rid of that ****.

raleighbravefan

September 18th, 2012
3:32 pm

Marriage is tough. The travel schedule (absence from home) for an MLBer makes it a lot tougher. Celebrity status also complicates things. It’s a wonder a lot more pro athletes don’t have failed marriages.

Sopheee

September 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

‘teen ‘teen at short? No me gusta.

raleighbravefan

September 18th, 2012
3:38 pm

Careful, scoots. You are risking the wrath of the Georgiephiles. They will hunt you down. You may need to change your name, like our friend from VA did.

Murph

September 18th, 2012
3:38 pm

Yunel deserves his fate of rotting away in almost complete obscurity in Canada. I laugh every time I think of him getting his paycheck with Canadian taxes taken out of it.

Have another helping of poutine, Yunel.

the truth...

September 18th, 2012
3:39 pm

Glavine and Smoltz also went down the divorce road, like many of us I suspect.

David O'Brien

September 18th, 2012
3:40 pm

Braves lineup: Bourn cf, Prado ss, Heyward rf, Jones 3b, Freeman 1b, Uggla 2b, McCann c, Constanza lf, Maholm p

Sopheee

September 18th, 2012
3:42 pm

scoots can take ‘em all. Give ‘em hell.

the truth...

September 18th, 2012
3:42 pm

DOB….why Simmons down? he just had 2 months off then 2 days last week?

cricket

September 18th, 2012
3:42 pm

DOB – any idea why simmons is not in? hope he’s ok health wise.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
3:44 pm

Yunel’s punishment’s too short. Give him Melky’s punishment. ;)

‘teen ‘teen at short? No me gusta.

Co-sign. Where’s the Rev?

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
3:44 pm

You just discribed several ways that flexibility will be eaten up, including raises, arbitration, and options. Not to mention the holes that will need to be filled. I’m not exactly sure how you come up with backwards when the team could possibly acquire a CFer that would be under team control for several years at a very minimium salary

Perhaps this will clear it up for you… The team has a minimum of $20M or a maximum of $35M to spend this off-season and no long term commitments to any players save 1.

Given that fact, how do you describe this team as having limited funds or “budget restraints”? They have more financial flexibility than any other team in the majors this off-season.

If the team wants to acquire a platoon CF on the cheap, fine. But if that is the path they choose, it is decidedly not because they are financially constrained.

Not exactly sure how they plan on fitting those under the budget restraints even with the flexibility you stated they have this coming offseason if they spend at will by resigning Bourn and acquiring the other needs.

Out of curiosity, could you explain to me what you believe the salary structure would be for young player contract extensions? Let’s start with an assumption that they extend Freeman, Heyward, Prado and Kimbrel. How do you think those contract extensions for each player will look?

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
3:45 pm

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Bourn__ .135 .220 .162 0.382 .188 ___10
Prado__ .405 .421 .432 0.853 .397 __144
Heyward .222 .282 .417 0.699 .303 ___98
Chipper .258 .361 .258 0.619 .280 ___78
Freeman .303 .368 .515 0.884 .357 __150
Uggla__ .333 .474 .500 0.974 .434 __178
McCann_ .219 .257 .438 0.695 .291 ___96
Biff___ .200 .294 .233 0.527 .231 ___52
Maholm_ .105 .105 .105 0.211 .090 __-40

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
3:49 pm

Yunel is wasting talent. Every once in a generation you get talented guys who are fine examples of intangibles jacking up a career. Once in every 4 generations you get a Meltdown Bradley

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
3:49 pm

Prado, Freeman, and Uggla the only guys looking great lately. Chipper’s done okay. But Biff! The MVP! Geez.

Tami

September 18th, 2012
3:50 pm


Jeff R
September 18th, 2012
3:12 pm

To be honest with you, I’ll probably make a trip down to spring training at some point,” he [Chipper] said.

I don’t know if Chipper wants a formal role with the Braves at some point. But I’ve always thought that Chipper would make a superior roving hitting instructor. I think Braves’ prospects would really benefit from Chipper’s instruction.

Ditto! So many folks, inside MLB and fans alike, agree!

Threadkiller

September 18th, 2012
3:51 pm

Don’t let Shaun read this!

Bowa told host Chris Russo that he met general manager Jeff Luhnow and Crane in the process. Bowa sees value in Luhnow’s sabermetric approach but told Russo that there’s more to the game than the numbers can tell you

phil

September 18th, 2012
3:52 pm

RIP Steve Sabol…

AZBravoFan

September 18th, 2012
3:54 pm

Nice to see Eovaldi’s numbers on first pitches. Look for a big day from Freeman!

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
3:58 pm

How do you think those contract extensions for each player will look?

How exactly would I know what they would agree on, hard to say since we don’t know length. I mean you keep stating that we have no long term commitments to any players save 1 but do you seriously believe they are going to allow everyone else to walk? Just because we don’t necessarily have someone signed to a long term contract doesn’t mean we don’t have long term commitments or desires to keep them around. Who are you expecting not to be back next season? Or better yet, after next season?

In my opinion, what good is it to use this year’s flex when it handicaps you from keeping our young core of players? I’d rather the team not look at this offseason as a time to just spend.. but a time to spend wisely looking past just this coming next season.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
4:04 pm

keithlaw ‏@keithlaw
Yes, HE says that. RT @kwakaryk: Via Shi Davidi, “Yunel says his gay friends not offended, different understanding in Latin for the word”

Yunel, Yunel…. sigh. And besides, I thought he spoke Spanish, not Latin

Bat Masterson

September 18th, 2012
4:05 pm

I don’t know much about him but Mike Rowe seems like an interesting guy.

Donald Trump on the other hand, well I know way too much about him and he is decidedly uninteresting. I will be so happy when NBC cancels that stupid show of his so that their affiliates like CNBC will not have to interview him any more. I mean why else would they treat him as if he were a serious person or as if his opinion carried any weight.

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
4:08 pm

but do you seriously believe they are going to allow everyone else to walk?

That really is an irrelevant point. Let any one walk? You understand right? That when there are no contracts committed to in future years, it leaves open a door of financial flexibility. Take the opposite view, the Dodgers have limited financial flexibility this winter what, with nearly $200M committed to payroll already.

Why do I ask you about the structure of the extensions? Because your hysteria over payroll restraints seems to be based on a strange view that any and all contract extensions will take away from the money they have available this off-season… Why would the team sign a player to an extension and in so doing, vastly over pay what they would have paid them without the extension? A contract extension for a young player is about the team assuming the risk so the player has stability. Extend Heyward. His first years of his contract will be in line with what he would have received without an extension… possibly even less. Any FA years covered in the extension will be at higher values. It’s the way every one of these works.

Now, knowing that, the team has the financial flexibility to extend players, sign whom they choose and go on with life. The biggest pitfall for this team is over paying for a FA player in terms of years.

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
4:13 pm

In my opinion, what good is it to use this year’s flex when it handicaps you from keeping our young core of players?

I don’t think signing a player this off-season, within reason of course, is going to handicap keeping the young guys around.

Give Bourn $18M a year for 7 years, and the rotation is going to be neglected real fast. But if they can sign a player for 4 years, 5 years max… It will have no impact on contract extensions. It will not be until at least 4 years out when those extensions start having high values.

Put another way, they will not be extending Heyward this off-season so they can pay him $10M next season. I want Heyward to stick around, but there is no reason for paying him more than he’d make in arbitration.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
4:17 pm

David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves
#Braves SS Simmons out of lineup with sore left shoulder after diving for ball Monday.

Wuss…..

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:22 pm

Bowa sees value in Luhnow’s sabermetric approach but told Russo that there’s more to the game than the numbers can tell you

Ah, Bo is just some old dinosaur geezer, whaddya expect? :-)

scoots can take ‘em all. Give ‘em hell.

Sumbees better pack a lunch, is all I got to say.

Venice Jim

September 18th, 2012
4:22 pm

Kevin Burkhardt ‏@KBurkhardtSNY
Rain out. Makeup on Thurs night for Mets-Phils

nolie

September 18th, 2012
4:23 pm

the onliest baseball players who ain’t wusses is catchers

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
4:23 pm

the Dodgers have limited financial flexibility this winter what, with nearly $200M committed to payroll already.

You seriously see a $200m budget as limited? Personally, I see the $85m buget that the Braves are subject to as a limited budget.

That when there are no contracts committed to in future years, it leaves open a door of financial flexibility.

Heyward, Freeman, Kimbrel, Venters, Hanson, Beachy, Medlen and the list goes on… just because the team does not have contracts committed to these players does not mean they don’t get paid and I’d also bet the team is committed to trying to keep this players into the future.

that any and all contract extensions will take away from the money they have available this off-season

That’s exactly what it does, but as I stated before, whoever you sign to an extended contract is going to affect you past just this offseason and I’d rather be in position where we could retain our present young players rather than see one of them walk because we decided we had all of this payroll space next season and signed Bourn for 6 years at 16 million a year, which left us no room for them.

That really is an irrelevant point.

Pretty much sense this whole debate started over the fact that I stated I’d like to see them acquire Gentry who I think would be a great addition in CF, plus allow us to go big on another position.

cricket

September 18th, 2012
4:24 pm

slide leading with feet..dive on right shoulder..Fredi is clearly not emphasizing basics..

Heisenberg

September 18th, 2012
4:25 pm

- tp
*********************************

If you could buy out a 3 or more years of free agency, it would justify a slight overpay early in the contract. The young player gets a bonus and more money now in exchange the club get longer control at a lower cost on the end of the deal. This is what Cubs did with Castro. Everybody wins – except Scott Boras.

Yes Way Josè

September 18th, 2012
4:25 pm

Simmons is soft.

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
4:26 pm

I want Heyward to stick around, but there is no reason for paying him more than he’d make in arbitration.

I never indicated anything different.

smallmouth6

September 18th, 2012
4:26 pm

Glad to see Constanza in the lineup. People who actually pay attention to the game know he brings lots of assets.

cricket

September 18th, 2012
4:28 pm

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:31 pm

the onliest baseball players who ain’t wusses is catchers

Maybe so, but only pitchers are pretty. :-)

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
4:32 pm

And I’m not exactly sure how having a CFer who won’t be a free agent until 2017 is a bad thing, specially if he fits your needs.. great defense, great baserunning skills, great speed, very good .obp, right handed

RC

September 18th, 2012
4:32 pm

the Dodgers have limited financial flexibility this winter what, with nearly $200M committed to payroll already.

You seriously see a $200m budget as limited? Personally, I see the $85m buget that the Braves are subject to as a limited budget.

I think the key word in that first statement is “flexibility”. It doesn’t matter if you have a $1 billion budget, if you’ve already spent $999 million of it, you would have limited financial “flexibility”.

cricket

September 18th, 2012
4:32 pm

blog contest – point out number of assets georgie brings to today’s game and win a kissed bat

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:33 pm

and win a kissed bat

That’s “licked” bat, cricket, “licked”!

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:35 pm

great defense, great baserunning skills, great speed, very good .obp, right handed

AT, I have to say, I don’t know how a 28-year-old, in-his-prime player with that skillset has managed to go unnoticed.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 18th, 2012
4:38 pm

Glad to see Constanza in the lineup. People who actually pay attention to the game know he brings lots of assets.

:roll: His rear doesn’t look that big :?

Murph

September 18th, 2012
4:38 pm

blog contest – point out number of assets georgie brings to today’s game and win a kissed bat

1. Every time I read his name I think of George Constanza and “shrimp store” episode
2. I also hear, in my head, “there was shrinkage!” every time he comes up to bat
3. It makes scoots mad whenever he starts, and I think that’s kinda funny, although I can’t explain why
4. Despite having questionable MLB-level skills, the team seems to win when he plays

cricket

September 18th, 2012
4:38 pm

darn it scoots, looks like i start at -1..
this is what happens when one is actually working while posting nonsense here..

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
4:39 pm

I’m not exactly sure how having a CFer who won’t be a free agent until 2017 is a bad thing

Who said he was. I am merely pointing out that acquiring that platoon player is not a necessity born of financial restraints.

“The Dodgers have limited financial flexibility this winter what, with nearly $200M committed to payroll already.”

You seriously see a $200m budget as limited

Actually, what I said was “The Dodgers have limited financial flexibility this winter.” Let’s rephrase this so you can understand it: The Dodgers have committed 99% of their 2013 payroll already… leaving them little room to do anything major this winter. i.e. the Dodgers have limited financial flexibility this winter.

RC

September 18th, 2012
4:42 pm

1. Every time I read his name I think of George Constanza and “shrimp store” episode
2. I also hear, in my head, “there was shrinkage!” every time he comes up to bat
3. It makes scoots mad whenever he starts, and I think that’s kinda funny, although I can’t explain why
4. Despite having questionable MLB-level skills, the team seems to win when he plays

His presence in the lineup, if in place of Jason Heyward, causes Shaun to flip out and start blowing circuits like the computer at the end of “War Games”.

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
4:42 pm

ncscoots, one way is.. he played through his entire college career plus had TJ surgery along the way. That kinda helps you fly under the radar.

REMLEY

September 18th, 2012
4:42 pm

As Sinatra once sang the “days dwindle down to a precious few”. Gonna miss Chipper badly.

TennesseePaul

September 18th, 2012
4:42 pm

I never indicated anything different.

Excellent. Then you agree that the team can sign a player this off-season and still have the flexibility to extend the young players they wish… In short, you would agree that there is no budget restraint this offseason.

Frankie

September 18th, 2012
4:42 pm

Dempster and Malholm on the bump tonight. I hope the Rangers flame out this postseason only appropriate that the baseball God’s don’t reward my boy Dempster for waffling at the trade line. Still, get past the WC game would have been huge seeing Dempster in a Braves uniform taking the ball for Game 2. Malholm is a recipe for disaster if he pitches in playoffs.

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:43 pm

It makes scoots mad whenever he starts, and I think that’s kinda funny, although I can’t explain why

I’m always happy to provide you with entertainment, Murph. Indeed, I live for it. It saddens me that a ML baseball field has to be defiled by the presence of Constanza to do it, though. :-)

Yes Way Josè

September 18th, 2012
4:45 pm

Let Bourn walk next season and make Georgie the everyday CF. He’s such a catalyst and asset.

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:46 pm

His presence in the lineup, if in place of Jason Heyward, causes Shaun to flip out and start blowing circuits like the computer at the end of “War Games”.

I’d start a ballgirl instead of Constanza, so replacing an actual major leaguer with him is bound to get some negative reaction, LOL.

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:47 pm

Let Bourn walk next season and make Georgie the everyday CF

Sorry, he makes even Craig Gentry look good. :-)

cricket

September 18th, 2012
4:48 pm

Murph leads with 4 but RC is emotional favorite leading to vivid picture of Shaun-bot blowing his circuitry

Frankie

September 18th, 2012
4:49 pm

Couple easy games the next two nights one way or the other. Give Kimmie some rest so he can put the nail in the Philly coffin this weekend with a couple of saves.

Braves better play these weekend games like they are the ones chasing down a wildcard berth.

Bobby Hill

September 18th, 2012
4:49 pm

I think its fair to say that because the team has very few long term financial commitments that the team holds a great deal of financial flexibility, but that does not necessarily equate to “money to spend.”

Most of the next year’s payroll has already bee earmarked for players currently on the roster, even if contracts haven’t actually been extended yet. Its possible that the team may be able to save a little money by extending guys like Heyward, Freeman, Kimbrel, etc, just as the team did with McCann years ago. But lets not forget that the Braves offered the same extension to Frenchy. How would that have worked out?

You can’t pretend that signing a couple of these guys long term wouldn’t effect the way the team addresses their other needs. None of these decisions is made in a vaccuum.

REMLEY

September 18th, 2012
4:50 pm

Bobby sure knew how to judge human nature, he new Yunel was going to be a cancer in the clubhouse.

cricket

September 18th, 2012
4:50 pm

i was going to say that all these comments pretty much ensure that georgie is going to hit for cycle today..but couldn’t say it

ncscoots

September 18th, 2012
4:50 pm

Murph leads with 4 but RC is emotional favorite

Yes, RC making up ground via the audience vote. :-)

David O'Brien

September 18th, 2012
4:50 pm

Simmons has a sore left shoulder from landing on it when he made diving play up the middle last night. Day-to-day.

REMLEY

September 18th, 2012
4:52 pm

Hurry back Simmons!

AZBravoFan

September 18th, 2012
4:52 pm

DOB, do you see any reason to put Hinske on the post-season roster at this point? He looks completely lost at the plate, and we can’t even start him to get some AB’s because he’s such a liability in the field now. Maybe you could make a case for having him on the WS roster to DH, but even then it’s a stretch. Love the guy but looks like he’s going to fall victim to Fredi’s new “sense of urgency” managing style. (which I like) Bobby would probably still be running him out there.

Arkansas Transplant

September 18th, 2012
4:52 pm

In short, you would agree that there is no budget restraint this offseason.

Did I directly say we had budget restraints “this” offseason? Or just in general?

Efrim

September 18th, 2012
4:54 pm

Dodgers have $193 million already committed to guaranteed contracts for the 2013 season. This does not include 1st year arbitration to AJ Ellis and minimum salaried contracts.

If they do sign a guy like Zack Greinke this offseason, I’d bet that contract is backloaded.

Fredo

September 18th, 2012
4:55 pm

Wonder if Eovaldi will stick to his own scouting report for this game, “Eovaldi gets in trouble with command. He has 42 walks in 99 1/3 innings”

if the Braves are as patient with this guy as they were with Gio, could be a long night for him

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