Braves’ talent on the farm has dried up

 

Pitcher Kenshin Kawakami is the Braves' latest addition over a product from the "farm." (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Pitcher Kenshin Kawakami is the Braves' latest addition -- not from the "farm" system. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Once upon a time, as fairy tales usually begin, the Braves were a baseball team that was home-bred, carefully incubated in the farm system, and nurtured all the way up to the major league level. There they won championships and pennants and played in the World Series, one of which they won. And they left their names scrolled on the walls of the ball park where they played, and in team and league record books. Then something began to change after the season of 2005, and the once-flourishing franchise has been groping ever since.

Now, the Braves’ “farm” system reaches from Venezuela to Japan. Deals are made, faces change, and only this season have they reached deep into their jeans to play a hand in the free agent rat-race. A payroll that once was held around the $80-million level, by order of the McScrooge ownership, has now zoomed to about $97 million. They even splurged $60 million on Derek Lowe, a 35-year-old they niftily lifted from the Dodgers. They traded for Javier Vazquez, an $11-million-a-year pitcher, and then they really hit the high road. They invaded Japan.

Kenshin Kawakami is a good-natured 33-year-old pitcher, and I say that without understanding a word he says. When you hire one Japanese player, you get two Japanese. You must have an interpreter, in this case Daichi Takasue, also most accommodating. Any interview is sort of an Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy act. You ask a question, Daiche asks Kenshin, Kenshin replies, Daiche repeats what he said. Kenshin hits well, as pitchers go, and I asked Daiche if he was a good hitter in Japan. Kenshin smiled shyly and in translation, “He wouldn’t want to say. It would look like he’s bragging.”

When I asked him his view on American umpires, he said (so Daiche said), “the plate seems to be narrower over here,” and illustrated with his hands. It does give us a variety we haven’t had in a Braves clubhouse before.

Should the Braves call up top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson?

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So far, the Braves have hovered around .500, but I fear they’ve just about found their level. It’s not the pitching; it’s the run-making. The best prospect of a leadoff man was traded to Detroit, Josh Anderson, a .300 hitter with base-stealing speed and center field experience in the majors. Jordan Schafer probably would have benefited from at least a half-season in triple-A. He’s not a leadoff type. Josh Anderson is, and he’s hitting well in Detroit. There’s a problem at second base right now, but I’m a believer in Kelly Johnson. They’re suffering the loss of Brian McCann, which nobody has figured into the equation. And Chipper Jones can be handled — just don’t pitch to him.

We saw an illustration while the Cardinals were in town of how a bad deal can draw blood over the years. The Braves didn’t simply trade Adam Wainwright to get J.D. Drew for a year, but they also threw in Jason Marquis, now a $9.8-million starter in Colorado. That deal will be haunting this team for years, as will the deal that sent five golden talents to Texas for a season of Mark Teixeira — who, as a Yankee, is currently hitting more than l00 points below Casey Kotchman. Three are on the Rangers roster and a fourth, pitcher Neftali Feliz, may be the best of them all, Bobby Cox said. Right now he’s tuning up on the Oklahoma City farm.

Gone are the rich old farm days that gave us John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, Mercker, Stanton, Wohlers, Lemke, Blauser, Chipper … a bumper crop of farm products. Just pick up the phone and call Richmond. Now, it’s just a matter of calling a cab in Lawrenceville — if there’s any help there to be called for.

191 comments Add your comment

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May 2nd, 2009
3:49 pm

Larry

May 2nd, 2009
3:52 pm

Why would anyone be surprised at the trade of Josg Anderson? He has the potential to steal bases, bunt for a single, turn a double into a triple leading to something that is baffling to Bobby Cox–manufacturing a run in a close game!

There’s only one hope for this team with Bobby Cox. Shutout pitching and a solo homer, just like what Glavine and Justice did to give this man his only championship despite given a wealth of talent for 14 years.

NRBQ

May 2nd, 2009
3:55 pm

Gol-danged, con-sarned, new-fangled, whippersnapper Braves!

bluedar

May 2nd, 2009
3:57 pm

Tommy Hanson. Freddie Freeman. Jason Heyward. Jordan Schafer. Brandon Jones. Gorkys Hernandez. Julio Teheran. Cole Rohrbaugh. Kris Medlen. Cody Johnson. Brandon Hicks.

The list goes on and on.

Michael

May 2nd, 2009
4:00 pm

Actually, I disagree. Look at our lineup – McCann, KJ, Escobar, Chipper, Schaefer, and Frenchy were all brought up through the farm system (as were Martin Prado, Brandon Jones, and Jo-Jo Reyes). Hanson will be up soon. While the hitting has been atrocious, this likely has very little to do with the organization the player came up with.

Daniel

May 2nd, 2009
4:01 pm

Furman.. your crazy.

Jordan Schafer, Jason Heyward, Tommy Hanson, Freddie Freeman, Cole Rohrbaugh.. etc etc etc.

We have the 2nd rated farm system in all of baseball right now. Your complaining because we traded away Josh Anderson to give Schafer a chance to play every game? Jordan has the 2nd highest OBP behind Chipper.

Who exactly did we give up to get Derek Lowe? The biggest mistake was trading Salty for Tex, but we will learn from that.

Didnt we trade away a vet in Edgar Renteria to get Jair Jurrjens? I would say that worked out. Give the front office a break. They want to win now, and win later. Chipper isnt getting any younger.

jmart1951

May 2nd, 2009
4:10 pm

The Braves have one of the best farm systems in the major leagues. Go over to Gwinnett and look for yourself. Then take a holiday to Myrtle Beach and while there take in a game. Our farm system is getting ready to explode with talent. The Braves future is bright and Wren appears to be more stingy with our prospects than his predecessor.

IlliniDawg

May 2nd, 2009
4:12 pm

This is what you get when you let a senile pensioner out of his walker so he can write a column for a major newspaper.

JF

May 2nd, 2009
4:14 pm

Mr. Bisher is right…. despite what you’re listing as current players, the fact is the trades he has listed are fact….and if any of you think that giving the five “golden” farm kids away for a one year rental of a selfish player like Tex, or an often injured Drew…then you can’t be helped.

Not having traded those kids away might negate the need for Lowe, KK, or Vasquez to all come here with the big salaries…

My, my….look what’s happening now with McCann needing a seeing eye dog…where is Salty when you need him?…ask Big John the former GM…

Maybe Salty would have been playing first intead of Kothman, and could have slipped behind the plate easily…and Elvis Andrus might well be pushing Escobar….

…and on and on…

Yes folks, Mr. Bisher (remember that, because he earned that respect while most of you were still in dirty diapers)….Mr. Bisher has forgotten more than most of you will ever know….

thanks, Mr. Bisher….

Bill

May 2nd, 2009
4:18 pm

Smoltz a farm product? — oh yes, of Detroit!

braveshater

May 2nd, 2009
4:23 pm

Kelly Jonhnson is a bust. Schaffer will be a decent player, but not a difference maker. Escobar is the only thing resembling a star the Braves have produced since Chipper. I agree with u Furman. I dont know what these clowns are doing. Its not like we’re bringin in Top Notch talent via free agency. we get an over the hill pitcher, one who just gives it up and eats innings, and a Japanese who cant find the strike zone. Where is Manny, or Burnett, or Sabathia, or anybody who would make a difference. How do u spend all this money to be a .500 team, it makes no sense. we could have done that with the talent we have in the farm system. If there isnt a better second baseman than Kelly Johnson in the system, its a JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

uga

May 2nd, 2009
4:32 pm

The Braves have a lot of problems, but the farm system isn’t one of them. It’s widely regarded as one of the better farm systems in all of baseball.

Tim

May 2nd, 2009
4:33 pm

Correction….Smoltz did not come out of the Braves farm system, he was in the Detroit system and the Braves stole him in the Doyle Alexander deal. That said, I agree that the Braves have mortgaged their future on bad trades that did not work out, and destroyed the farm system. I fear the Vazquez trade will be another one that is regretted.

jay

May 2nd, 2009
4:36 pm

Its always terrific to get the scenile musings of a geriatric in your morning paper. Nevermind that Baseball America and ESPN both rank our farm talent among their top-five. Nevermind that Furman Bischer is clearly old and out of touch. Let’s just churn out another overwrought piece of journalistic garbage and expect the public to digest it because “it’s Furman!”… THIS is why newspapers are dying.

farmdaddyo

May 2nd, 2009
4:41 pm

Furman Bisher has been writing foolish stuff for decades. Check out the old Bear Bryant stories. The Braves may have traded away some good prospects for Tex but the farm is not empty. There are other writers this paper that don’t agree with the senile one.

John

May 2nd, 2009
4:43 pm

wow, what a horrible article. how about you do some research next time.

payattention

May 2nd, 2009
4:47 pm

people…pay attention…there are two things that are being talked about here, and while i agree with Mr. Bisher most of the time today i dont. The farm system (FS) is not dried up, it has just been sprinkled on other teams (though we do have some great potential talent up and coming). The braves problem is not free agency nor the current FS it has been the three poor trades talked about in this article…though the fact that we have made three poor trades costing us around 15 prospects proves that the FS is not dried up…people wanted the goods that we have, and we still have 12 to 15 potential studs out there. The article should have been titled “Trades that have crippled the Braves”, instead.

Daybed Wagmoe

May 2nd, 2009
4:56 pm

It’s okay everybody — just smile, nod, humor the old man, and go to Dave O’Brien’s blogs for actual news on the Braves and their very promising, very strong farm system.

Randy

May 2nd, 2009
4:56 pm

Due respect Furman, but your head is up your ass if you think the Braves’ farm system has “dried up.” Get real. The Braves have one of the richest farm systems in baseball.

Jim H.

May 2nd, 2009
4:57 pm

Furman, do you even know anything about Atlanta sports anymore? Dude, I respect you but I think its time for you to retire. I was going to go down the list of high rated home grown prospects that the Braves have at or near the major league level, but bluedar and others have pretty much covered it (good job). If there ever was a problem with the farm system it can be argued that the problem existed several years ago, but has been corrected in the past few years. As for the recent dry spell in playoff appearances, that can be attributed to things like — 1) a shrinking payroll that caused us to have to turn loose lots of talent during the last 10 years 2.) The injury bug catching up with us (during the playoff run the Braves were very lucky at avoiding injuries 3.) Our luck just plain evening out. The 14 year division champ run was an anomaly…..things like that just don’t happen very often in pro sports.

I do agree with you however that the Tex trade was an awful trade. I thought it was when they did it and I still think that. Gotta take the good with the bad though. That Jurrjens trade looks pretty dang good, don’t it?

Go back to sleep Mr. Bisher.

MiltonDawg

May 2nd, 2009
5:00 pm

Something needs to change soon. Our offense is sub-par if that. As far as 2B is concerned, anybody good in Gwinnett? I also think the Braves playing for a home crowd with a half empty stadium. Where are the fans in the seats? There is no buzz about them at all. Agreed??

Wilson

May 2nd, 2009
5:04 pm

When 6 of the 8 position players in your Opening Day lineup are out of your farm system, arguing that the team doesn’t develop players and the farm system talent has dried up doesn’t really hold much water. Not to mention the slew of prospects on the horizon who will be competing for major league jobs in the near future.

Josh

May 2nd, 2009
5:13 pm

Bisher you suck! maybe you should actually pay attention every now and then, The Braves have one of the best farm systems in baseball.

Pickens

May 2nd, 2009
5:20 pm

Furman,

You put up stupid story after stupid story. Do you know all of the talent that is about to come up through the braves system? You have no CLUE!!! Please do us a favor and RETIRE!!!

BillH

May 2nd, 2009
5:23 pm

Hey, maybe I’m old too, because (1) Bisher is right (2) the sort of insulting comments made here come from people who wouldn’t be qualified to hold Bisher’s hat.

What’s the deal with being rude? And, if what I’ve experienced in life offers any clue, the people who insult others while anonymous on the Net are usually timid little people who spend the day in real life getting kicked around. So, safe at their keyboards, they take cheap shots. If you said any of that to Bisher’s face – even at his age – he’d throw you out the window and on into the trees.

Disagree all you like with Bisher but, lord a mercy, try to do it in a civil way. Surely your mamas taught you better than this.

Timmy

May 2nd, 2009
5:30 pm

Furman,

I have not read much of your stuff in the past, but I have to ask that you stick to talking about things you know about. The Atlanta Braves farm system is one of the elite systems in baseball. We’re easily top 5, and some would argue us as even having the second best farm system in the game. And that’s before you even realize all the talent we’ve traded away the last couple years. Add the guys we swapped in the Teixiera deal (Feliz, Harrison, Andrus) and we’re easily number one. And another solid prospect in catcher Tyler Flowers, who I really feel will become one of the elite DHs in the game when Thome retires.

Some things about our farm system you should know:

A rival team’s scout said he would trade any player on their major league roster for Jason Heyward. Think about that statement for a second.

Tommy Hanson has had multiple people compare him to Roy Halladay. Halladay is one of the best, if not the best pitchers in the game.

Kris Medlen’s adjustment period to being promoted to AAA this year was him retiring the first 20 batters he faced in order, and facing the minimum through 26.

We have two top 100 prospects who are the youngest and second youngest players at their level, and are more than holding their own in Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.

Jeff Locke just took a no-no bid into the 7th inning for his second straight start.

Zeke Spruill a kid who was going to Prom this time last year, is pitching in full season ball, and has a 20-1 K-BB ratio. That’s insane. And he wasn’t even our first pick.

I could continue, but it’s not even worth it, because you obviously aren’t paying any attention at all.

anonbeliever

May 2nd, 2009
5:44 pm

How can you be a Kelly Johnson fan???? Do you have an affinity for players who hit sub .100 for a month, then suprisingly become sizzling hot and hit .400 for a stretch only to leave you with a a TERRIBLY INCONSISTENT .250 hitting OUTFIELDER playing 2nd base???
I sure hope there were some breakdowns when it came to scouting of the five players we sent for Teixeira, but if there wern’t John Schurholtz should be fired immediately since we obviously had no intention of keeping Tex any longer than we did… ITS TIME FOR AN OVERHAUL

Josh

May 2nd, 2009
5:45 pm

Furman, in this economy, I’d slash your job first. This is the worst article I have read on this website in awhile.

1. Our farm system is washed up? … quite the opposite… we have a top 3 farm system in Major League Baseball. Just because they aren’t playing 30 minutes away in Gwinnett, I guess you just don’t look past AAA. Read up on Freeman, Heyward, Hanson, Gorkys Hernendez (all top 100 prospects) and Julio Teheran, Jeff Locke, Cole Rohrbaugh, Kris Medlen, Cody Johnson, and Brandon Hicks… and we have the 7th pick in the draft.

2. You are mad the Braves traded Josh Anderson and his “experience” to Detroit? He hasnt had more than 150 ABs in a season and has played 45 games in CF in 3 seasons… Schafer hit .324 in Spring Training with 5 SBs and is the future… Josh Anderson was traded to us for Oscar Villareal… Schafer is a 5 tool player… Anderson is not.

3.You are obviously clueless when it comes to talking about how “poor” our starting pitching is… since our starters are 4th in the NL in ERA.

4. You are going to judge Marquis on the fact he is making $9.8M this season? Try looking at his statistics… he is garbage. A career 4.54 ERA ans was awful for us when we traded him.

robert hughes

May 2nd, 2009
5:47 pm

Furman, you do not have a clue. Terence, the racist is gone. It’s time for you to join him.

Chop Chop

May 2nd, 2009
5:48 pm

Somebody’s got to write a crazily inaccurate column from time to time, folks. We need something to complain (and be completely right) about.

Baracked the vote!

May 2nd, 2009
5:52 pm

Prospects come and go. having 2 prospects in the top 100 is no big deal. every ML team should have at least two. Trading Wainwright, Marquis, Andrus and Neftali Feliz can only be viewed as a mistake since the trades were supposed to bring another WS championship to Atlanta. Finally, Kelly Johnson (from the great farm system) is not a ML 2nd baseman. he butchers the position on a regular basis. and what the heck has Jo-Jo Reyes done?

Timmy

May 2nd, 2009
6:01 pm

This sort of writing is why newspapers aren’t going to make it. And blogs and message boards are slowly going to take over.

Tomahawkmafia

May 2nd, 2009
6:05 pm

What are you thinking Furman? The Braves farmsystem is among the best in baseball? Were you bored and just wanted to write about something that is completely false? If that is the case just write a novel.

Timmy

May 2nd, 2009
6:07 pm

On Kelly, he’s about average for his position defensively, and he’s one of the better offensive second basemen in the game. I’ve found Kelly is a good barometer for figuring out if the person you’re talking to has a clue about baseball. Those who think he’s a good ballplayer normally know what they’re talking about, and those who think he stinks normally don’t. He butchers an easy play now and then it makes his defense look worse than it is, but we makes a lot of tough plays, and gets to a lot of balls that other second basemen don’t get to, and that makes up for it. It’s not like he’s played there his whole life, so the easy mistakes should be expected, and he’s only going to continue to improve as a defender. Offensively, BP projected that he’d be the second best 2B in baseball this year, and I still think that’s very feasible. He’s had some rough luck early on, and everyone’s trying to hang him out to dry.

Mike

May 2nd, 2009
6:14 pm

This is the second article you have written on this topic, and you are grossly false. Baseball Prospectus, a rather distinguished magazine, maybe you have heard of it, ranks the Braves farm system as 5th BEST IN THE MAJORS! Mr. Fischer, your time has come to put down the pen. You are out of touch.

Macon Braves (RIP)

May 2nd, 2009
6:21 pm

Huh??? Was about to ask what the the heck this guy was thinking, then realized it was the 100 year old senile guy that the paper keeps around for Equal Opportunity Employment, so I’ll just move on and read something by someone not out of his gourd.

Rob from SC

May 2nd, 2009
6:22 pm

What the hell is wrong with this guy. Jason Heyward and Tommy Hanson are top 5 prospects in all of baseball. We have Freddie Freeman, Gorkys Hernandez, Kris Medlen, Jeff Locke, Cole Rohborgh. Does this guy even look at Baseball America. DOB set him straight

JD

May 2nd, 2009
6:33 pm

You’d think that when writing about 1 article a week you’d have time to do a little research. How can you say the farm has “dried up”? Are you completely ignoring the potential future stars in Heyward, Freeman, Morton, Rohrbough, Locke, Teheran, among others?

And what’s wrong with Wren going outside the organization for help? Look at the people who were big contributors in the 14 straight division titles: Pendleton (yes, the same inept batting coach we have now), Maddux, Smoltz, McGriff, Sheffield, and Hudson, just to name a few.

I can’t believe something like this was even posted.

BravesFAN885

May 2nd, 2009
6:35 pm

are you retarded? the braves have one of the highest ranked minor systems in the game!!!

MEB

May 2nd, 2009
6:52 pm

Very disappointing article Furman. I cannot believe you actually researched this article. I think a retraction is in order. Bringing in some pitching talent from the Dodgers and from Japan does not provide evidence of a decline in the the talent down of the farm. I’m really looking forward to the next five years of Braves baseball with at ton of home grown talent leading the way.

TROTTINGHOME

May 2nd, 2009
6:52 pm

bisher’s brain dried up

Um, what?

May 2nd, 2009
7:38 pm

If the Braves are so committed to free agents, why the heck can’t they seem to re-sign them when the time comes? Sorry, Bisher, your theory doesn’t wash.

the truth....

May 2nd, 2009
7:38 pm

Mr. Bisher…don’t feel too bad at all the dumb rednecks trashing you…by their rudeness we know they are from this era of selfish ignorant smucks. The only class they know anything about was the GED class they skipped so they could procreate with the girl from the piggly wiggly beside her double wide….

ignorance gone to seed……….

Classless….

BravesAreDone

May 2nd, 2009
8:15 pm

I’m not a believer in Kelly Johnson … never have been. Too streaky.

Shamus Thacker

May 2nd, 2009
8:24 pm

Furman, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried!

Where the Hell did you get your info?

I don’t care if you’ve been at the AJC for fifty-years, your azz should be fired for incompetence over this piece. It’s downright laughable.

Shamus Thacker

May 2nd, 2009
8:36 pm

It’s AMAZING this thing is still up. LMAO

Dr. Phil

May 2nd, 2009
8:36 pm

I don’t agree that the farm system is broken, but something is seriously wrong. The Braves are not hitting, and their relief pitching is horrible. I have followed Josh Anderson for a couple of years, and I think that it was a big mistake trading him. Schafer is likely to become a great player, but for now, I would take Anderson. I think that .500 is about the best we can hope for this year.

Branch Rickey

May 2nd, 2009
8:37 pm

Half the Braves’ starting eight – Schafer, Kochman. Johnson & whoever is playing in left, might be reserves on a good team. The bullpen SUCKS ! The starting staff came from other organizations. Furman Bisher is CORRECT !

John Radney

May 2nd, 2009
8:37 pm

Yes, sign the old washed up players like Glavin and Ross. Smoltz, to their credit, when North, and didn’t re-sign him. Next gone should be the bily goat you have that
plays third. Hurt or gripping. Dump chippie now. that

Sparky Anderson

May 2nd, 2009
8:43 pm

The Braves’ farm system might be getting better but it sure as hell doesn’t reflect the current major league roster; what a bunch of mediocre players ! Better pray Frank Wren doesn’t loot the farm to get some washed up slugger for firstbase or left.

Ken Stallings

May 2nd, 2009
8:45 pm

I don’t agree with Furman’s column. But while I might have made a post about my views on that, the more important factor is the sheer venal rudeness of so many posters here. Many of you simply have no shame.

If Furman Bisher were to retire, it would be solely due to his lamentation of the erosion of human virtue in society. I cannot believe so many people would be so personally obnoxious to an iconic sports columnist.

Sparky Anderson

May 2nd, 2009
8:45 pm

Invest 4 more years in the oft-injured, arrogant and self-centered Chipper Jones? His butt
should be offered to a contender in the American League for a parcel of prospects !

hop

May 2nd, 2009
8:56 pm

if the farm is so strong why are they still on the farm.

i believe the braves senior management continue to emphasis this fact,but they are still a 500 club with no hope of being a contender.

JD

May 2nd, 2009
9:10 pm

if the farm is so strong why are they still on the farm. hop

How much do you know about baseball? Prospects not named Albert Pujols tend to need 3-4 years of seasoning in the minors before they’re anywhere near ready to face major league pitchers and hitters.

And for everyone defending Furman Bisher – just because he’s been here forever doesn’t mean you have to agree with him on everything. My goodness…you guys defend him and kiss his butt so much you’d think he just cured lupus.

win one for Bobby

May 2nd, 2009
9:14 pm

we have one of the best farm systems in baseball, the envy of mlb. Wren wanted to keep a competetive team on the field now, and w/ some youth coming soon, we’re not gonna fade away any time soon. article is way off base in my humble opinion. all do respect to Furman, just don’t get it. We signed free agents and our pitching staff is one of the best, Garrett anderson has let us down thus far and we need b-mac bad. settle down Braves fans(so called), It’s gonna be a great year just wait.

Blair

May 2nd, 2009
9:25 pm

I read this and sort of thought the writer was, perhaps, behind the times a bit. I am not sure I agree with much of it, if any. I just simply don’t have the time to hammer away at an opinion that seems convenient, but doesn’t actually jive with reality.

scottbravesfan

May 2nd, 2009
9:41 pm

HAHA

The Braves have one of the best farm systems in baseball. Chipper, Escobar, Kelly Johnson, Jordan Shafer, Brandon Jones, Jeff Francouer, and Brian McCann. That’s pretty much the every day lineup until Anderson comes back and they are all home grown. Jurrjens was a minor leaguer when he was acquired and Jo Jo Reyes was in our system as was Tom Glavine. We have Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman coming along that are going to be good major leaguers by all accounts. The farm is stocked in the lower ends as well.

scottbravesfan

May 2nd, 2009
9:43 pm

Hop,

They are what three games out of first right now you idiot. And the reason they are still on the farm? Have you ever heard of Mark Prior? Google him jackass. You rush pitchers they are out of baseball in two years. Same with position players. You better give them enough at bats in the minors or they are going to be in for a rude awakening.

Seriously some people just need to stick to football because they have no idea how baseball works.

scottbravesfan

May 2nd, 2009
9:44 pm

Hop,

Google Mark Prior and see what happens when you rush pitchers to the big leagues idiot. Same with hitters you don’t give them enough at bats in the minors they will get destroyed in the big leagues.

Stick with football because baseball is just too complicated for your simple mind.

scottbravesfan

May 2nd, 2009
9:46 pm

Sparky Anderson,

Yeah that’s a good idea we should get rid of our best player and one of the best switch hitters in the history of the sport. He’s also the best hitter in franchise history. Has a higher OPS than Hank Aaron, of course you probably have no idea what the hell OPS is.

Coach (2010 or bust)

May 2nd, 2009
10:20 pm

Mr.Bisher, I respect your opinion but this article isn’t even close to being accurate.

The farm system has been productive. It’s just that players and pitchers such as Adam Wainwright, Kyle Davies, Jason Marquis, Kevin Millwood, Jason Schmidt, Mark DeRosa, Jermaine Dye and many others are spread all over the major leagues.

In fact, there are more than 35 active players in the big leagues and minors who were drafted by our Braves. It’s just that they are playing elsewhere.

For whatever reason, these athletes have been traded for players who were able to help keep the division streak alive. Up until 2005, it was worth the trade off.

John Schuerholz has made some great trades and some stinkers. John Smoltz (Cox was the GM) and Fred McGriff come to mind as two of the great trades and Greg Maddux is in my opinion, the greatest free agent acquisition of all time. The bad deals: Teixeira, Wainwright / Marquis top the list.

But with corporate ownership who’s bottom line is either red or black and a limited payroll, our front office has struggled to adjust to the new structure. I can understand the criticism when looking at our current rotation but you must understand, Frank Wren had money to spend and he stuck to his guns in acquiring starting pitching. Some of it will turn out great. Others, not so much.

But my criticism toward you Mr.Bisher is this. How could the Teixeira trade have actually been possible in the first place if our farm system was not productive enough to HAVE THE TALENT to trade in the first place?

patriots75

May 2nd, 2009
11:03 pm

I agree somewhat with his comments,the biggest problem is the coaching staff, they just seem to be too easy going,no take charge or leadership to get over the hump, Bobby’s time has come and gone, time for some new blood to bring energy to the field, we use to be able to just reach down and pull up a player and never miss a beat, but those day’s are over, there are a few that will one day grace the major’s, but most of the names you keep listing are all prospects, that’s the key word, i have seen most of the players on the list over the past several years and other than Hanson,Medlin and Morton, no others are as close to being ready in the next 2-3 years,check their progress for yourself, i think it will be lean a few more years unless they open the payroll to supplement the home grown talent.

Kevin

May 2nd, 2009
11:22 pm

A baseless and pathetic article. Six of the eight Braves’ regulars are homegrown (C Brian McCann, 3B Chipper Jones, SS Yunel Escobar, 2B Kelly Johnson, CF Jordan Schafer, and RF Jeff Francoeur), they’re the only organization with two of the top 10 prospects in all of baseball in Jason Heyward and Tommy Hanson, and they have been universally ranked as one of the top five farm systems in baseball. If you don’t want to research your articles anymore at least be upfront about it.

bird

May 3rd, 2009
12:06 am

Kelly Johnson is garbage! Infante should be the starting second baseman. Better glove and bat by far.

Tommy

May 3rd, 2009
12:29 am

Boy, I really hope the farm system is in as great a shape as most of you think…I’m not as convinced. Sure we have some prospects, but that is exactly what they are…not stars. Some may pan out, others won’t. AND, the point of the article was that unless something changes, they will pan out on some other team.

At the time of the Tex trade, most of you were beside yourself with joy. A GT man, a hometown hero, blah, blah, blah. That had to be the stupidest trade in the history of the franchise.

I disagree with Furman frequently also. However, I think his point about trades rather than holding onto prospects is valid and hopefully will change. I also agree with BillH and Ken S that the attacks on the author are shameful. State your opinion and disagreement, but stop the personal attacks.

Comments that are negative about Chipper really show your ignorance. He is a superstar who wanted to play out his career on a team where he is given NO protection in the order. When has he seen a decent pitch?

Jay

May 3rd, 2009
12:36 am

Furman is out of touch and needs to retire.

MattyO

May 3rd, 2009
1:06 am

Didn’t he write an article like this already. Well the second time around is still totally wrong. How long until the third one? What a waste of an article.

JD

May 3rd, 2009
1:21 am

I really hope this doesn’t go in the Sunday paper.

I love how you make Jason Marquis out to be a great pitcher who’s a huge loss for the Braves. He’s a middle to back of the rotation starter at best.

And you make it sound like a sin that Frank Wren went outside the organization for help. Don’t you think that Pendleton, Smoltz (contrary to what you said, he wasn’t developed by the Braves), Maddux, Sheffield, and Hudson made significant contributions to division titles?

A good portion of our roster now has some above average home-grown talent in Chipper, McCann, Francoeur, and Escobar. And what about the loaded farm teams? Heyward, Hanson, Freeman, Rohrbough, Locke, etc etc etc.

Nick

May 3rd, 2009
1:56 am

Wow….Have to agree with nearly everyone else who posted – whatever you’re smoking Furman, I’d lay off. Talk about a garbage article….

rufus

May 3rd, 2009
2:02 am

Furman’s ignorant of the farm system and the talent homegrown on the team today. Retire and join that fool terrance.

Tom

May 3rd, 2009
2:14 am

It looks like most of the people who responded here just read the headline, but weren’t able to actually read the article. I’d also bet a large percentage of the people trashing Mr. Bisher are too young to really remember the Braves of the 90’s when winning was the only measuring stick. The Braves used to produce players who came to the majors and helped win division championships every year. That’s not the case anymore. Many of the best prospects were traded away for short term players who didn’t really make much of a difference. The rest are still just prospects. Maybe the current group of prospects are highly rated, but until they produce in the major leagues (hopefully for the Braves), they’re still just prospects.

I really like the current home grown Braves – McCann, Escobar, Johnson, Schafer, Francoeur, etc., and I hope they all have long successful careers with the Braves. However, they aren’t winning enough to compete for the division championship. The fact that a team has a bunch of home grown players on their roster doesn’t mean the team is doing a good job managing their farm system. Most of the worst teams in baseball have plenty of home grown players filling spots on the major roster because they can’t find, or can’t afford, anyone better.

Hopefully, the current home grown Braves will continue to improve and live up to their potential, and the last few unsuccessful years will be quickly forgotten; but the fact is, right now Mr. Bisher is 100% correct. The Braves aren’t getting as much out of the farm system as they did during their run of division championships.

Billy

May 3rd, 2009
2:15 am

You people are sick. If you don’t want to read Mr. Bisher’s articles, then don’t. If you do and don’t like them, then it’s YOUR fault, not his.

And I love the people that want to throw out people like Chipper, McCann, Francoeur, and Escobar. That’s the point! These people are already on the team, and they aren’t playing well enough to win games. Maybe if all of these anonymous posters were to stop bashing the writer, they would understand that, no matter what Baseball Prospectus or any other publication says, those players aren’t helping the Braves NOW. Maybe some of the players that were traded COULD be helping us now.

But no, you would rather hurl insults at someone who knows more about sports than you could ever hope to.

Timmy

May 3rd, 2009
2:49 am

To Billy: The point is he simply doesn’t. Any objective baseball fan, analyst, scout, or stat-head can look at the Braves farm system and see the tremendous value that it has. Anyone calling the Braves farm system “dried up” simply doesn’t know what they are talking about. Not when the Braves are having the kinds of drafts they’re having. The Braves didn’t even have a first round pick last year, and they put together a fantastic draft class, anyone who sees the talent being inserted from the bottom will recognize how vibrant this system is. Take a peak at Rome’s pitching staff. The value is in the numbers. Not all of Spruill, Sullivan, Hoover, DeVall, Stovall, Delgado, Teheran, Clemens, Francis, and Thompson will make an impact at the major league level, but the fact that we have 10 young starting arms with as much potential as that group has just entering full season ball speaks volumes about our ability to find and sign young talent. Also consider that after Wieters, and Price graduate to the majors it’s very likely that Jason Heyward will be the consensus number one prospect in the game. We’re loaded.

I agree with Bisher about some of the trades. But I think it speaks volumes when about how good a team’s scouting and development is when they can make a trade like the Teixiera trade and come out the following season with one of the best systems in the game. Trades like that can be franchise-crippling, but our system is so loaded we traded what wound up being 3 blue chip prospects and still wound up having a great system. It just seems to me, if that’s what he wanted to whine about, he should have headlined it more accordingly. The fact that we didn’t sell the farm or even a portion of it for Jake Peavy seems to show that the FO learned their lesson, and stuck to their guns instead of caving to grab a star. Long story short this franchise has better days ahead.

CB

May 3rd, 2009
3:16 am

It’s comical to think that this man even has a job writing about something he obviously has no understanding of. I’ve been watching the Braves farm teams with intense interest for the last 13 years and I’ve can honestly say I’ve never felt better about our farm system. This man should do everyone a favor and put away his typewriter.

DGdDawg

May 3rd, 2009
4:10 am

tom youre a f***ing idiot

Tom

May 3rd, 2009
4:48 am

“Tom youre a f***ing idiot” is all you have to say in response? I think that one says more about you than anyone else. If you were a little smarter, you could try to write something about the Braves, but no, “Tom youre a f***ing idiot” was all you could come up with. Why not go back to your crayons and maybe one day you can use the computer like a big boy.

By the way, it may be “Tom youre a f***ing idiot” in the Clayton County School System, but everywhere else it’s, “DGdDawg, you’re an f***ing idiot.”

JOHNNYG

May 3rd, 2009
7:58 am

Tom – Players like TP, Sid Bream, Liebrandt, Nixon, Deion, Mullhollanf,Ortiz, Charlie O’Brien, Berryhill,Gallarag, Maddux are those players the farm produced every year? Read the Book Scout’s Honor, a book about Braves way of building a team and get back to us.
You develop talent for TWO REASONS to play for you or to TRADE for players you need.
I am suprised Furman woke from a nap long enough to write this.

invisible man

May 3rd, 2009
8:11 am

Furman didn’t you write this same article 6 months ago? John Smoltz is NOT a product of the Braves farm system. He was acquired in a trade as a minor leaguer. Why would you use Jason Marquis as a measuring stick for former Braves players? He has been average with and with out the Braves. He makes 9.8 million dollars? Who cares? Money doesn’t make you a great player. The major leagues are filled with million dollar players who are average at best. Adam Wainwright? That’s one ex-Brave that’s had some success. There’s a long list of supposed blue chip ex braves that never did a thing once they arrived in the major leagues. The “5 golden talents” that were traded to Texas for Texiera? Who are they? Any MVPs, Cy youngs or allstars in that group? Maybe Wainwright has been successful because he has better talent around in St. Louis then he had when he was a Brave. Who knows. The 90s are over and the Braves run is over. It looks like the young talent that was around in the spring could be good. Who knows. Furman you wrote that the Drew and Wainwright/Marquis trade will haunt the Braves for years to come, have you looked at all the talent that the New York Yankees have traded away, etc. And the Yankees have won more championships then the Braves. Every team has traded away “talent”, so stop crying about it. Just because you draft or sign a player into your farm system, doesn’t make them better if and when they reach the major leagues. It’s a crap shoot.

glove51

May 3rd, 2009
8:16 am

Tom says, ” I’d also bet a large percentage of the people trashing Mr. Bisher are too young to really remember the Braves of the 90’s when winning was the only measuring stick. The Braves used to produce players who came to the majors and helped win division championships every year. That’s not the case anymore. Many of the best prospects were traded away for short term players who didn’t really make much of a difference. ”

The Braves ufarm system used to produce players in the 90’s who won champioships? You mean guys like Smoltz, McGriff, Pendleton, Lonnie Smith, Maddux, Alejandro Pena, Leibrandt, Galleraga, Grissom, Bream, Sheffield, Neagle, Belliard, Jason Schmidt…

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 3rd, 2009
8:34 am

Enter your comments here

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 3rd, 2009
8:38 am

For those that think Furman is old and doesn’t know what he is talking about just go to a G-Braves game. There is nothing there except Hanson. 5 or 6 prospects in the entire farm system does not make a great system. Furman is exactly right, we gave too much for 1 year wonders, Drew, Tex and I believe we gave away our top catching prospect this year (Flowers). Check out Baseball America’s top 100 prospects. Atl has about 4or 5 and only 1 of those is above A ball.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 3rd, 2009
8:40 am

uhh Glove51, Schmidt did come through the system

IUlia

May 3rd, 2009
8:56 am

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LivininAL

May 3rd, 2009
9:05 am

Teams can develop players down on the farm and groom them through the arbitration period. The deep pockets of some owners changed the game
concerning keeping players from the farm. With a limited payroll, trading becomes the option to acquire talent. Trading seems similar to going to the used car lot,you can get some real clunkers. Spending 7 million for an unproven oriental pitcher with no fast ball will prove to be a mistake. Also, I see a trend of not putting the best team on the field, but playing based on what a player is being paid producing or not. No power, no stealing, no moving runners is diappointing, seems the Braves just stand around for 9 innnings to see what will happen wiht no thought of making something happen.

Outhoused

May 3rd, 2009
9:30 am

Classiness, a thing of the past? Furman Bisher has it and the majority if the a$$70!es on here think it is a place to go to sleep before they dropped out of school…

Keith Warren

May 3rd, 2009
9:48 am

Haha. “Outhoused”, you make a comment about class and then make a total “classless” comment.

Well, we finally got rid of Terrence Moore. Now, if that senile old fart Furman Bisher would just retire and go away….

JD

May 3rd, 2009
9:59 am

Blank – if you’re going to cite Baseball America, then you have to consider that they ranked Atlanta’s farm team 6th out of 30. As for the players at A ball, Freman, Heyward, Rohrbough, and Locke will be in AA Mississippi very soon, with a shot at being on the team in 2019.

JD

May 3rd, 2009
10:04 am

Some of you guys will defend Furman Bisher to the death. It’s okay to disagree, people…you don’t always have to have your nose up his butt.

Mr. Bisher could write an article petitioning MLB to make players moonwalk to first base when they get a BB, and you’d be like “Great article, Mr. Bisher! It shows that you’re trying to keep baseball contemporary. Ignore everyone saying that it’s a stupid idea. They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Jeff R

May 3rd, 2009
10:19 am

I’m with Furman. The Wainwright deal was narrow-sighted. Giving up a very promising pitcher for “Just the Dough” Drew does still irk and hurt. Plain dumb.

Dumber still was the swap that brought Super Tex to the Bravos. As mentioned, the Braves surrender five bona fide talents for the laughable idea that a 1B was going to help them cinch a post season berth. Laughable because it was the pitching that needed bucking up in ‘07.

Perez is a legit talent with a lot of up side. Salty, despite what the team said could have been converted to 1B. Elvis is a solid defensive SS; Escobar could have been positioned to take over 3B from the oft-injured Chipper. Advantage, Rangers.

I think the front office in the waning days of JS as GM thought it had a magic touch after a 14 season run as division champs. In other words, they could do no wrong.

But management got away from two rules that made that run possible: 1) build from the farm up; 2) build with pitching.

Dumb, just plain dumb.

Real Fan

May 3rd, 2009
10:51 am

Why get excited over a farm system with “promise” when Frank Wren will deal those prospects away for some washed up slugger or player in his free agent year? If we had not traded for Texeira we would be reaping the rewards of our farm and positioned for another long run. This team is mediocre at best !

glove51

May 3rd, 2009
11:06 am

Bank Wlaker: re Schmidt – you’re correct my mistake. So, Ok that’s 1 out of 14 I listed, and I could have listed 10-12 more easily.

As to the lack of talent at Gwinnett: [A] you’re wrong — they probably have the best starting pitching in AAA, especially if Reyes goes back. Ever heard of Kris Medlen or Charlie Morton? [b} the top prospects usually spend little tiem in AAA these days. Many jump straight from AA, especially non-pitchers.

Jonathan Davidoff

May 3rd, 2009
11:12 am

The problem is not the farm system, it is the people in the front office who are giving the farm system away for rental players. When we traded for Tex, we were not going to win it all and everyone knew Tex was a one year rental because he was NOT going to give a hometown discount. But Tex was just one of a line of really bad trades for rental players that everyone knew we would not keep.

The Sheffield trade was for a rental.
The JD Drew trade was for a rental.
The Kyle Davies trade was for a rental.
The Renteria trade was for a rental (that being Renteria from Boston for Andy Marte).
The Vaazquez trade is just a rental and will show to be a tremendous loss for the Braves.

Bottom line is we have tremendous talent in the minors and not such great talent in the front office.

Tomas

May 3rd, 2009
11:27 am

Mr. Bisher, do you even follow the Braves. The Braves have two of the top 10 prospects in baseball. They say Tommy Hanson could be the next Jake Peavy, and they say Jayson Heyward is Darril Strawberry without the baggage. That’s talent. Look at Jordan Schafer. He has shown great speed,a great arm, occasional power, a good eye. Not only that, they have Kris Medlen, Jeffrey Locke(who by the way has two no hit bids in a row). Cody Johnson, the next Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn, already has 9 homers in 23 games. Not to mention Freddy Freeman the top offensive performer in the Braves’ Minor League system.

So please Bisher stop it, do you’re homework. The only reason they signed Derek Lowe and Kawakami and traded for Javier Vazquez, is because Tommy Hanson doesn’t have any big league experience, and the Braves need to take it slow make sure they don’t rush they’re players.

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
11:30 am

ANDERSON out, SCHAFER in. I don’t think either ready or capable of sustaining the lead-off spot at this point. In time, I believe both capable of doing so. Tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee as far as I am concerned. Although, I think ANDERSON is one years’ experience closer than SCHAFER to achieving that goal. But I believe SCHAFER will be the bigger talent.

I fear that what you see is what you get where KELLY JOHNSON is concerned. I have come to the opposite conclusion of the venerable MR. BISHER in his regard. Although I wish to see him in the line-up. I would prefer him in the 7th or 8th slots. He has now had extensive experience at the top of the batting order, and does not appear comfortable there. He does appear more at ease lower down in the order however. I certainly would be interested in seeing some historical figures on his batting results in the 1-2 slots vs. the 7-8 slots. Aloha from the road.

Tomas

May 3rd, 2009
11:40 am

And I didn’t mention Jair Jurrjens, who is a very talented pitcher at the age of 23.

Yes the Adam Wainwright trade was stupid, but trading Andy Marte for Edgar Renteria was great(Andy Marte is currently without a team), and then trading Renteria for Jurrjens and Gorkys was brilliant.

PJ

May 3rd, 2009
12:15 pm

Furman, You should have taken the buyout with everyone else.

TampaGator

May 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

The Braves gave away talent to the Rangers, but Andrus was not going to play in Atlanta with Escobar as SS. Salty was not going to beat out McCann. Harrison was not pitching well when he was traded. The pitcher, Neifi Perez, should not have been thrown into that deal. That was the only mistake in that trade. Wainright for Drew was a good deal at the time. The Braves had good pitching then and Wainright was a couple of years away from being a ML starter. The Braves did not even see him as a starter in the ML at the time. The Braves ML system is loaded right now with talent, Mr. Bisher, and the Braves refused to trade much of it this past winter, especially Hanson, Medlen, Heyward, and Freeman. So the future is bright with what is down on the farm and I pray the Braves do not panic and trade any of it. Build for the future…don’t trade for the present, please.

Thomas

May 3rd, 2009
12:38 pm

Another awful article by FB. Seriously why does this guy still have a job.

If the Braves system has dried up then at least 80% of the rest the league (of whom we are consistantly ranked higher than in terms of farm strengthy) have gone completely and utterly barren.

The whole premise of this pile of word-vomit is insulting to my intelligence, not to mention the racist undertones.

coachgb

May 3rd, 2009
12:45 pm

What a crap blog! You guys must be total idiots! When Mr. Bisher says that the Farm system has dried up and all of you argue that the Braves lineup is full of Braves Farm system players, take a look people, the Braves are a .500 team at best and have been for the last several seasons! The guys playing now might all be from the system but look how they are playing! If you eat dirt from your front yard, its still dirt!

bvillebaron

May 3rd, 2009
12:48 pm

JF:

You are right, Mr. Bisher has FORGOTTEN. He has a valid point about the Texeira fiasco, but otherwise he has no clue. According to almost the rest of the baseball world, the Braves have some of the best prospects in the game and one of the best farm systems. To rationalize his point by arguing that the Braves should have kept Josh Anderson (26) rather than Jordan Schafer (22) is assinine. Anyone who thinks Anderson has a better long term future than Schafer needs a reality check. By the way Furman, a lot of people think Schafer can probably steal 20 plus bases–if Cox ever lets him.

Bobby Cox

May 3rd, 2009
1:23 pm

Gee, Skip. I can’t agree with Furman’s article. Our farm system has been prosperous. Just check out the rosters of other teams, especially Texas. I predict with a little coaching up by Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan, and Blaine Boyer will be the “lights out” closer we always knew he could be.

Hillbilly Deluxe

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

The Braves are going through a rebuilding phase they just aren’t admitting it publicly.

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
1:50 pm

FURMAN doesn’t need a bailout. He works for free. Tighten up BISHER. No Social Security COLA’s for the next few years.

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
1:53 pm

Tampa G:

Maybe NOT seeing WAINWRIGHT as a starter in the majors is a problem within the BRAVES organization which needs to be corrected.

John

May 3rd, 2009
3:08 pm

This is the most inane thing I have ever seen posted on this site, and that includes the massive amount of dribble that seems to come out of Terence Moore’s computer.

You clearly don’t know baseball.
You clearly don’t know the Braves.

I could go into the myriad big time free agent contributors to the dynasty, but that has already been done. I could go into the fact that the only real difference between Anderson and Schafer is Schafer’s ability to hit something other than singles, but that’s already been done.

Please if you are going to write something about the composition of a team, try to actually look at the composition of the team. Six of eight starting position players were drafted and developed by the braves. I’d be willing to bet that beats almost any team in baseball.

You’re an idiot and really ought to be fired for posting something this stupid.

Andy

May 3rd, 2009
3:25 pm

I am sorry, but why on earth do they let this nice man write anymore? If he wants to write a column, smile and nod and accept it, and put the hieroglyphics-filled papyrus in a drawer. It’s sad and embarrassing.

“When you hire one Japanese player, you get two Japanese.” “It does give us a variety we haven’t had” – tell me you didn’t cringe a little.

This doesn’t even go into his laughable assessment of the baseball side of things.

Though yes, the Teixiera trades were atrocious – to give up that much for him, and then get essentially only Kotchman in return – ouch.

RF, C, SS, CF – all recent farm products and good to great major league players. Hanson coming up. (I like Kelly too, but maybe just now he’s not the shining example to point to.) What seems like a fairly loaded farm system – Freeman, Heyward, Gorkys, etc.

We fleeced Detroit on the Jurrjens trade, and while not technically a farm-system product, we traded a veteran for a young power arm and then filled the veteran’s position with somebody from the farm system.

I’m just assuming that Mr Bisher isn’t reading our comments, but I’m hoping someone at AJC is. Unless he is the editor’s grandfather, or has some compromising information on someone, or an iron-clad contract requiring you to print whatever dribbles out of his keyboard, please spare us all the embarrassment and stop running his stuff. Just because he was a good writer in the past does not give him license to blather on indefinitely.

varoadrunner

May 3rd, 2009
3:35 pm

Let’s niminate Bennett for “reliever if the year”…… He still escapes with a 0.77 era. That’s sick when you look at the GAME

IUlia

May 3rd, 2009
6:11 pm

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Shamus Thacker

May 3rd, 2009
6:26 pm

In order for Bisher to see what we’ve written, he’d have to know how to sign on to a computer. No way.

Any scintilla of respect he’s gained from 100-years of reporting has been lost with this one piece of un-researched garbage.

If he retires today, it’s one article too late.

Take off the Rose-colored Glasses !

May 3rd, 2009
6:55 pm

Lose 2/3 to Houston? Pathetic ! Wren is probably entertaining offers for Hanson and Heyward right now, for some washed up reliever or slugger !

hop

May 3rd, 2009
9:52 pm

for all the baseball experts who are drinking the braves front office cool-aid i.e. jd and scottsbraves.

the facts are the facts:

each one of the braves farm teams are below 500 along with the parent club have little offense.

check the standings and yes, the farm records do reflect to some degree what the braves have on the farm.

gwinnett 10-14, mississippi 10-12,rome 10-14,myrtle beach 9-15.

maybe, the old man knows more about the braves than you homers do!

the braves will not be in the race this year and yes the are only three out,that is because no one in the east is playing very well,but that will change.

the braves are no better than fourth in the east.

keep on drinking the nonsense from the braves and you will have a horrible summer.

i can’t wait to hear the excuses made by the mr wrens in july when the braves are out of it!

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
10:37 pm

hop:

You suck. BRAVES are better then the past three years, but no better than 86 wins tops right now. Raising the payroll to the 121 million strata will bring in a couple of heavy hitters next year, and put the ATLANTAN’s into first place.

Bob

May 4th, 2009
3:10 am

Check here for a more accurate account of the Braves Minor League affiliates-

http://minorsandmajors.com

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 4th, 2009
8:03 am

Oh no HOP that can’t be right cause Gwinnett has Charlie Morton & Jo Jo Reyes who Glove thinks are some sort of major league talents. They have to have a winning record….I don’t put this on Wren though, he did not give in on the Peavy talk but it is JS fault. I do agree that the Braves have had one of the top minor league systems but at this time we have traded away too many prospects for it to be considered top 10. There are no future everyday players in Gwinnett. And only one starter and 1 possible reliever.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 4th, 2009
8:10 am

Bob, great site thanks

bakerman

May 4th, 2009
9:50 am

We will not ever win with Kelly Johnson at second.

Heavy Medlen

May 4th, 2009
10:54 am

There should be some standards when it comes to what you write. Do some research. This is crap.

Mitchell

May 4th, 2009
12:01 pm

Trading Josh Anderson was one more miss-step that has the Braves stumbling towards mind-numbing mediocrity.

glove51

May 4th, 2009
12:26 pm

To Walker, Texas Idiot: Reyes is pitching in the najors right now. He will almost certainly be a better pitcher than Bisher’s beloved Jason Marquis. How about you go back and check Tom Glavine’s records his first couple of years and let me know if he struggled a bit while learning to pitch at the major league level or check out Greg Maddux’s early Cub numbers.

Most (or ALL of) everyone who is in the business of evaluting farm systems places the Braves in the top 10.

Most people who evaluate ML talent believe Morton to be a 3-5 slot ML pitcher. If he was a polished ML starter TODAY he would be in Atlanta or would have been traded. His has K’d 30 in 26 innings, but does have 4.15 ERA.

Hanson and Medlen are no-brainers, so probably even you understand their high ceiling major league ptotential.

Even Parr and Redmond are considered fringe ML starters.

Again, the BEST prospects at everyday positions spend little or no time at AAA, unless they are completely blocked at the major league level. Is tht too difficult for you to udnerstand? That said, Brandon Jones and Blanco have teh ptoentila to be everyday major leaguers in the right situation.

We overpaid for Tex, no two ways about it, but Neftali Perez is really the only player we lost that we are likely to lament losing in the long run.

winterville

May 4th, 2009
12:32 pm

What a stupid column.

Run Heap Run

May 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

Agree with Ken Stallings (May 2nd 8:45 pm)

Just because you disagree doesn’t mean you have to act like a bunch of classless, ill-mannered rednecks. Shame on you.

Hoosier Aaron

May 4th, 2009
1:49 pm

I do not believe the Braves Farm System has “dried up” – especially in terms of position players. However, I’m very concerned with the lack of effective pitchers we are developing.

I have a very good understanding of “Top Prospects” – but those need to translate into “Wins” at the Major League level.

Pitching has been the backbone of this organization for almost 20 years – but I’d like to see us start getting our “Prospects” on the mound.

While I’m not pointing a finger at McDowell – I do believe that Leo’s philosphy of development cannot be disputed – in terms of results.
The job of a pitching coach is more than just teaching mechanics and certain pitches. Pitchers must have a direction (if you will)…it’s more than just executing pitches. I could write a week on this so – I’ll just say….I’m concerned that we are no longer developing effective Major League pitchers.

STRETCH

May 4th, 2009
2:56 pm

As Hillbilly Deluxe said, they are going through a rebuilding stage and have been since those guys up in Colorado took over.

But even with all the talent they had since 1991, they only have one ring? I was watching MLB network the other day and they ran that 1996 series with the Yankees and to this day i wonder what happened after being up 2-0 and losing that series. Then in the 99 series, they had the 2 best pitchers go back to back, but left Cox left them in the game too long and they eventually got swept.

We all know that Liberty Media doesnt care and the front office is clueless since JS left. Now add those two facts with that one common denominator of all those past post-season failures…Bobby Cox.

2005 NL Division Series Houston Astros Lost, 1-3

2004 NL Division Series Houston Astros Lost, 2-3

2003 NL Division Series Chicago Cubs Lost, 2-3

2002 NL Division Series San Francisco Giants Lost, 2-3

2001 NL Championship Series Arizona Diamondbacks Lost, 1-4

NL Division Series Houston Astros Won, 3-0

2000 NL Division Series St. Louis Cardinals Lost, 0-3

1999 World Series New York Yankees Lost, 0-4
NL Championship Series New York Mets Won, 4-2
NL Division Series Houston Astros Won, 3-1

1998 NL Championship Series San Diego Padres Lost, 2-4
NL Division Series Chicago Cubs Won, 3-0

1997 NL Championship Series Florida Marlins Lost, 2-4
NL Division Series Houston Astros Won, 3-0

1996 World Series New York Yankees Lost, 2-4
NL Championship Series St. Louis Cardinals Won, 4-3
NL Divison Series Los Angeles Dodgers Won, 3-0

1995 World Series Cleveland Indians Won, 4-2
NL Championship Series Cincinnati Reds Won, 4-0
NL Division Series Colorado Rockies Won, 3-1

1993 NL Championship Series Philadelphia Phillies Lost, 2-4

1992 World Series Toronto Blue Jays Lost, 2-4
NL Championship Series Pittsburgh Pirates Won, 4-3

1991 World Series Minnesota Twins Lost, 3-4
NL Championship Series Pittsburgh Pirates Won, 4-3

1982 NL Championship Series St. Louis Cardinals Lost, 0-3

But let Cox tell it all, like he did about the pitching yesterday…everythings fine.

TT44

May 4th, 2009
5:47 pm

With the talent (we) the Braves have had for the past ten to twelve yrs. We should have more than one World Series banner to hang up. You know, I know BC is a players coach and they like him so the media says…but, with Smoltz, Glavine, Avery, Maddux, heck, I couldve coached that team. I really lost alot of faith w/ BC when he sent Charlie L. in to pitch to Kirby P. in the W.Series, If I knew Charlie’s best pitch was the circle change, I KNOW KIRBY PUCKETT DID AND HE SURE DID OVER THE CENTER FIELD FENCE! GO FIGURE…..DANG IT BRAVES, GET SOME INTENSITY!!, WHERE IS THE SWAGGER? GET WITH IT FELLAS, AT LEAST PLAY ABC BASEBALL…….HECK YALL ARE KILLING US FANS WITH MEDIOCRE BASEBALL! TT44

Alan

May 4th, 2009
7:13 pm

I really hate to say this but I really do think that Bobby is managing as though he was still in the middle of last year when all we could do was complain about injuries to the starting pitching.

I also think that he needs to be doing a lot more coaching instead of being Mr. Nice Guy, their are times that professional atheletes need a good kick in the butt, maybe its now.

N8

May 4th, 2009
8:06 pm

Perhaps your writing skills have “dried up”. Assuming you ever had any.

Smoltz wasn’t our farm product you old senile coot. Do some frickin research before you type. Hell, most of the bloggers on here do more research than you do… and you get PAID for it. Talk about wasted money.

Let me fire off a few names that had a whole helluva lot to do with the Braves winning in the 90’s:

Sid Bream, Terry Pendleton, Rafael Belliard, Alejandro Pena, Greg Maddux, Fred McGriff, Marquis Grissom, Mike Devereux, Luis Polonia, Denny Neagle, Andres Galarraga, Walt Weiss, Russ Ortiz, Paul Byrd, Mike Hampton (yes – he once helped), Gary Sheffield, Brian Jordan, Kenny Lofton, Michael Tucker, Keith Lockhart, Vinny Castilla (the 2nd time around), Johnny Estrada, JD Drew.

Would you like me to keep going?

Man alive are you worthless. Next thing you know, your “partner” in crime Terrance Moore will write an article claiming the Braves farm system is racist.

You two need to find new jobs, because you aren’t very good at the one you do. DOB blows you guys away. You guys should ask him for some help.

You could certainly use it.

Baracked the vote!

May 4th, 2009
8:12 pm

The Braves must have a great farm system. I guess that is the reason they lost 90 games last year and their best pitcher came over from the Tigers.

billy mccawley

May 4th, 2009
10:35 pm

For the first time, the braves have a high draft selection in june. They really need to pick a third basemen of the future.

N8

May 5th, 2009
12:14 am

“The Braves must have a great farm system. I guess that is the reason they lost 90 games last year and their best pitcher came over from the Tigers.”

The problem with a great farm system, in theory, is that you won’t know you had a great farm system until you are already winning.

You use the 90 losses last year as proof that the farm system stinks?

In 1988 they lost 106 games, followed by 97 losses in 1989 and another 97 losses in 1990.

I think the farm system that they were using in the late 80’s seemed to do “OK” for them, in the 90’s, huh?

NOW, if you want to start talking about Bobby and the coaching staff getting the most out of these “top prospects”, that’s a conversation for another day. But according to all the pundits and experts (Sorry Furman, you’re NOT in that group), the Braves farm system is stacked and would be more stacked, had JS not went after Tex.

I would be more inclined to say our GM “magic” along with what magic Bobby once had, has dried up, not our scouting and farm system.

PMC

May 5th, 2009
12:37 am

Yeah, unfortunately it’s been 8 years since they won a postseason series.

They aren’t entertaining enough to draw anymore. They can call up Hanson all they want but until they find a new outfield capable of bringing some sort of respectable presense at the plate day in and day out…wait make that outfield AND infield…. we are pretty much going to be mediocre.

If the Tex deal did anything it exposed how thin our position players in the farm system were and it showed just how great a hitter and ballplayer Chipper Jones really is when someone (ANYONE even good players who don’t really play until after the AS Break) are lined up behind him to force teams to pitch to him.

I think they just had a bad waive of luck with some of the guys though. Francouer is turning it around. Schaffer is essentially triple A talent at this point. Left Field is waiting for Heyward to take it. First Base SHOULD be Freddie Freeman’s as early as next year…

The braves… DESPERATELY need some guys to pan out and not be the next Kelly Johnson.

Bob Smith

May 5th, 2009
1:52 am

Guess Bisher forgot about Gorkys Hernandez-

http://minorsandmajors.com

Mike

May 5th, 2009
2:05 am

The Braves have “given away the farm” the last seveal years. They may be re-stocking now, but over the years they have foolishly let some really good players go. The giveaways for Texiera were terrible. The Braves were never going to keep Tex, his agent was Boros. A future catcher & SS are given away. Incredible talent (both “home grown” & “traded for”) has been allowed to leave over the last several years – talent that is still playing, and could have kept the Braves leading the division if retained. Furcal & Betemit to the Dodgers, for players that did not even make the team. Jermaine Dye, Jason Schmidt, JD Drew, Gary Sheffield, Adam LaRoche, Andruw Jones ( yes Andruw – he just needed a hitting coach)Jason Marquis, Kevin MIllwood, Paul Byrd, etc. The list of bone headed trades is enormous. I’ve heard so much about how smart the GM was – maybe he was just lucky when he got Smoltz, Maddux, & Glavine. He wasn’t able to keep them – he allowed them all to leave. So much for loyalty, which by the way is a two war street. I do think the Braves are developing players, but the only impact player I think they have in minors is Heyward. Great kid – will be a real asset to the team and city. A Ryan Howard type of impact player. We better enjoy him – he’ll be a Yankee, Met, or Dodger in no time. No way the Braves get agressive and sign him to a long term deal.

The Dust

May 5th, 2009
2:48 am

Bottom line is this. The Braves were too good for too long. Drafting is the issue. When you draft in the upper 20s every year, you’re not going to get MLB talent. How did the Braves stock up on names like Smoltz, Glavine and Justice? It’s simple: they sucked during the ’80s. It may be another decade (a new owner, a new GM, a new Manager, new coaches) before the Braves get back to the playoffs. Time to pull up a chair and wait ladies and gentlemen. Marlins know how to build teams (win a World Title once every decade with a completely new team from the farm). Phillies have a terrific team offensively and play in the best homer park in baseball. The Mets will find ways to buy a playoff spot. Perhaps one day the Nationals…..nah.

Dave

May 5th, 2009
5:39 am

The problem is Shuerholz did not know when to shift gears he thought we were one or two players away and was proved wrong. At first the Braves were a team that spent a fair amount to get players they wanted and players wanted to come here and even stay. Then as our winning started to falter, we were put on a budget, and the rent a player for one or two years never wanted to stay. The last few trades did not work out we should have started the rebuilding earlier and we might have been further along than we are by now. Hopefully if these players in the minors leagues do reach potential in one or two years we may start to contend again then. I think the new GM Frank Wren is facing reality he got us some affordable pitching which is not the problem it is run production as injuries have exposed our thin depth of position players. We have to weather the storm and know who we are we are a pretender waiting for our young position players to reach the majors. The last few years depth has been our undoing when injuries hit we have no answer.

Tokyo Bravo

May 5th, 2009
7:38 am

Sad to see a once fine writer mail something in like this. Given the Braves pipeline of players like Hanson, Heyward, Freeman and others coming along, “dried up” doesn’t really sound right, does it?

Selah, you lazy journalist.

PMC

May 5th, 2009
9:15 am

Perhaps the coaching…. specifically the Hitting Coach… could be better.

I love TP for what he did for us as a player… I’m still not seeing ANY RESULTS at all that are relayed to him. All these young players are coming up only to continue to struggle with inconsistancy.

If they are “working on it” where are the results? How long should it take to get results? Kelly Johnson has too much talent to be this bad.

Justafan

May 5th, 2009
10:38 am

Thanks Mr. Bisher and Texas Ranger. Yes, take a trip across town and check out the AAA team….not much there brother! Maybe 5 0r 6 in A an AA.in the Braves future 2 are 3 years away. JS had a great ST but 7 weeks doesn’t make a ML player. Another year at AAA would have helped him where as this year may do more harm.

Some of you (know it all) would take up for management no matter what. You deserve what you got…nothing!

ChopChamps95

May 5th, 2009
11:25 am

While I don’t agree the farm system is dried up, it was way better a long time ago. Heyward and Freeman will be great one day. Schafer will be good, not great. He’ll never be the leadoff hitter they envisioned him to be and he’ll never have 25+ home run power unless he hits the weights everyday for the next 3 year or starts juicin’ again (which by the way produced those 10 home runs he had last year when he returned from his steroid suspension). However, with all the good players the Braves do have now in their farm system, some are bound to go elsewhere. Its just a Braves front office tradition JS started (giving up good talent for guys who either won’t stick around long or who don’t do anything for the team). Let Marquis and Wainwright go for JD Drew, 5 top prospects for 1 calendar year of Teixeira. This is also the reason why the Braves have had 6 different right-fielders since 1997 after trading Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart (what a joke that turned out to be).

Baracked the vote!

May 5th, 2009
5:20 pm

N8, I have no reason to believe the Braves have the same level of talent in the farm system today that had in the late 80s early 90s. Take a look at what the farm system has produced in the last few years. Yes, the Braves field a lot of homegrown players and it has resulted in a steady decline in wins. Also, take a look at Baseball America’s recent top prospects for the Braves. not exactly a group of all-stars
2001 Wilson Betemit, ss Yankees
2002 Wilson Betemit, ss Yankees
2003 Adam Wainwright, rhp Cardinals
2004 Andy Marte, 3b Indians
2005 Jeff Francouer, of Braves
2006 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c Rangers
2007 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c Rangers

Cameron

May 5th, 2009
6:18 pm

This article makes little sense to me. First off John Smoltz isn’t our farm product, he was in the Tiger’s farm system. Our system is full of great players who are only a year or so away from contributing. We have a chance to contend this year, what more can you ask for without being conceited?

Jesse

May 5th, 2009
6:51 pm

I would say the list of my favorite things in the world goes something like this: (1) Chocolate; (2) Sunshiny May days; (3) Latently racist sports journalists. Congratulations Mr. Bisher, you made the list!

Roy

May 5th, 2009
7:45 pm

what Braves team are you bloggers watching? FB is right on as usual and apparently ajc readers are smoking some of the dope found in clayton county this week.

TennesseePaul

May 5th, 2009
10:06 pm

Bad topic to pick Mr. Bisher. Six of the starting regulars are “farm” guys. The Braves farm system boasts 5 of the top 100 kids. Included in that top 100 are a total of 9 guys that were/are Braves farm products. The Adam Wainwright deal isn’t what is killing this team right now… in case you were under the gun to get this out and failed to look, Braves pitching is quite good. The Teixeira trade isn’t what is killing this team right now either. The Braves traded a short-stop (Elvis) because they had their own farm grown short stop in the majors (Yunel Escobar). A catcher (Salty) because they had their own farm grown all-star, silver-slugging catcher in the majors (McCann). And then a bunch of pitchers (which the team really isn’t dying for, reference the point earlier). What this team needs is one hitter. Just one hitter that can hit the ball out of the park. There weren’t that many available this past offseason who didn’t have any warts (bad attitudes, horrid consistancy, high dollar demands). The team stood pat. Signed a bunch of pitchers and hoped the addition of Schafer over Josh Anderson would increase overall power, and thus thump up run production. What has happened was Garrett and McCann have been injured and the team has lost some low scoring games. What will happen is anyone’s guess. But know this, the Braves have room to move for additions this summer. So long as they stay close, it ain’t over yet.

hop

May 6th, 2009
7:07 am

THE BRAVES will be marginial for a long time and yes, there are not many studs down there that will bring them back as contenders.

the homers on this blog can wail all they want about how strong the farm system is,but that is just “alot of braves front office BS”.
the braves will be mediocre for a long time.

too many very bad trades has brought the braves to this low point.

we need new ownership to bring the braves back,e.g. arthur blank and what he did with the falcons.that is what is needed.

the braves have way too many holes with very average players and very few players to build on.

that is what furman was trying to say,but we have so many homers here who cannot see the “forest for the trees” .

until new ownership is found, the braves will be a non-contender for a long time.

ghost of bob horner

May 6th, 2009
10:11 am

well, marquis has been at best a league average pitcher.
saltalamachia hasnt been that great, and, whatever happend to andy marte?

our farm team is still good, but we may never see a day again where we produce guys like avery, glavine, justice, like in the late 80’s. that just doesnt happen that often.

Kev

May 6th, 2009
1:09 pm

The braves are loaded with pitchers Bennitt, Morton, Nunez,Carlyle,Accosta, Ect why cant they trade two or three of thies guys and get an center fielder who has about 8 or 10 years in the game who has been benched by a younger player but still has good skills. Hell R.Henderson can do a better job than Schafer right now.

elliwg6

May 6th, 2009
3:40 pm

ok i get the point. bad trades were made. but the conclusion is that our farm is “dried up…?” not at all man. look at baseball america. we’re ranked 6th!!! plus Hanson is a projectable ACE. Heyward is a top ten prospect too. plus freeman. Schafer was ranked way below these guys and he’s a major league starter. also with regards to anderson. speed isnt all you need at the top of the order, ever heard of OBP?

Matt

May 6th, 2009
4:45 pm

AJC sports writers have become about as credible as the National Enquire. Furman my friend its about time to retire, because your Braves Baseball knowledge has “dried up”!

Bob Salttoyourmachia

May 7th, 2009
2:32 am

ProScout

May 7th, 2009
10:29 am

Surprise, surprise, another journalist who doesn’t know his a$$ from a hole in the ground.

JD

May 10th, 2009
3:21 am

The Braves have the best farm system in baseball! Barack Obama is hope and change! Brawndo has what plants crave, it’s got electrolytes!

jsmtz

May 10th, 2009
9:28 am

Do you even follow the organization? What do you know about the farm system? Blauser was good for one year and then went to the Cubs. Mercker was good for one year as well and then ended up with the Reds and then 5 other teams. Avery and Wholers were good for two each. And, Stanton? He never did anything for the organization. He had more success with the Yankees. Seriously, get your facts straight or quit writing about the Braves. You don’t know what you are talking about.

ozzie

May 10th, 2009
11:04 am

I believe the point is apart from Hanson and perhaps Medlen (which they don’t need now as much as they need power offense) all the help the Braves could summon sits with 18-20 players lower in the system. The odd 18-21yo will come up and stick but it is not the norm.

There is little to no offensive or position player talent in AAA that could right this ship. Gwinnett is struggling as a team. Their OF is sub par etc.

While I am not as down on the prospects as Furman he is correct. The pipeline seems to be log jammed in A and to a degree AA. Gorkys looks good but he is a year away.

Remove Freeman or Heyward from the mix and there is no on from AAA down to A with much game changing offensive talent. They look promising (e.g. Gorkys) but after how Schafer has struggled don’t expect Wren to pull the trigger so easily in ST 2010 (re: very young rookies).

Many people are assuming Heyward starts in LF in April 2010 and Freeman is up later in that year; this may not happen. So in the interim they are wasting millions on over the hill FA and or accepting sub-par play from position players b/c they have no other options.

Put it this way if Infante (who has been great) does down for the season the Braves are sunk unless KJ stops being so bi polar. A bench player should not mean that much to a team.

The Braves rely so much on their bench b/c the usually have little AAA talent ready to go. Not since 2005 when the baby Braves came up have they been a phone call away from AA or AAA ready to go talent.

brent a.

May 10th, 2009
1:25 pm

I hate it when people make comments (in this case Mr. Bisher) like, “no one has factored the loss of McCann into the equation.”

Yes Furman, no one has noticed the absence of McCann. The whole story about his eyes/lasik/contacts/glasses has gone completely ignored by the fans and the mainstream media.

JoeinDE

May 12th, 2009
11:42 am

Cody Johnson is a name that has not been mentioned yet by anyone here as a possible impact position player from our farm system. Here are his numbers from Rome last year.
AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
.252 127 468 62 118 26 1 26 89 40 177 8 3 .307 .479 .786
Compare that to Ryan Howard in A- ball
.280 135 493 56 138 20 6 19 87 66 145 5 4 .367 .460 .827
Johnson has improved his walk rate this year at MB while hitting for more power (and K’s).
.288 30 104 17 30 7 0 11 23 15 41 3 1 .378 .673 1.051
There are also some really good looking starters at Rome
Jacob Thompson – 35 IP, 3 BB, 26K
Ezekial Spruill – 34 IP, 7BB, 30K
Richard Sullivan – 29 IP, 5 BB, 27K
J.J. Hoover – 23 IP, 2 BB, 29K (only 2GS)

Sspruill

May 12th, 2009
9:21 pm

maybe before you say there is no talent in the braves farm system from local breeding you should check the front page of the AJC, my 19-year old little brother IS the next Braves phenom. Right outta Marietta, bitches.

BA

May 14th, 2009
3:46 pm

Who’s pitching on Saturday?

Jay

May 17th, 2009
12:15 pm

I’ve long respected you as a writer, but this piece is a “swiiinngg anna miss.” Our lineup and dugout are filled with products from the farm; with more that will do well in the big currently in Triple A. Just because we’re doing it a little different than a decade ago doesn’t mean its the wrong approach.

j brave

May 18th, 2009
12:29 am

whose worst the braves or there play by what if guys/bobby must go.3ed to 1st double pick,get real..

ATL Fan 1975

May 25th, 2009
10:11 am

The Texiera trade will haunt us for years to come. It will be more noticeable if the “golden 5″ were not playing in Texas (no playoff series victories ever). However, this may change for them this year and when it does the Texiera trade will feel alot worse. Andrus is an electric shortstop at 20 years old (gold glove talent). Salty has dramatically upgraded his defense and has recetnly found his power from both sides of the plate. He is also a vocal leader within the clubhouse. Harrison (except for the first tow starts of the year) has been throwing lights out. Two complete games in his last three and 2.15 ERA. He gets the start today agains the Yanks so lets see what he has. But Perez (still 20yrs old) will make this trade one of the worst in our history! His stuff is electric and he as the potential to be a #1 starter for the next 10 years. The Rangers say they will bring him close to the all star break. As I said, because the Rangers are not the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, etc this trade is still below the radar. But once Texas gets into the playoffs or contends late in the season this trade will be all of the talk…because it will be the “golden 5″ who are largely responsible for a quick turnaround! I hated it from the day it was announced, and its only going to get worse!

steven

May 26th, 2009
7:39 am

Furman- time to retire– besides the fact the braves have pitching depth in the Minors– cf looks deep for years– also they got Kinshen for attendance not because the did not have pitchers in minors–

MontanaBravo

May 26th, 2009
2:46 pm

I don’t even know what to say about a “reporter” who doesn’t know that Merker was obtained from the Reds and Smoltz from the Tigers??? Great research you deserve your paycheck.

erikwb21

May 30th, 2009
1:50 am

Everyone on here that believes the braves are done need to rid themselves of braves memorabilia and never come back!!!!!!!! 14 pennants in a #$%#$%#ing. row!! what other team has done that??? in any sport, without coming remotely close to the highest payroll.. its called good business, you have to make risky decisions. The braves management understand this better than anyone. Think about all the players you have mentioned in trades… the best player is adam wainright and he would have a hard time being our third starter!!!! all of the rest would not crack the line up!! this ought to tell you that management has not failed at all .Yes they have given up some talent but in return have solidified themselves at every position except outfield and to my knowledge they have not traded any outfielders..have they?? or any big bats?? This is the braves game, to stock pile talent in positions where most teams fail to and develop them to be trade bait when they need a player or two to be a contender. The only issue the Braves have is that they have relied on old pitchers to get them to the playoffs!

Rufus

June 3rd, 2009
5:44 pm

The Braves need all the help they can get now, not when it’s hopeless.
They are doomed to failure, if they follow the same pattern as they did last year, and so far this year.
It’s the same thing every year with that organization.
A lack of wanting and a lack of doing, plus a lack of common sense.
Not to insult crowns, but if there were ever a bunch their front office is full of them, plus
the famous Atlanta hitting coach, now there is a really clown, disguise as a hitting coach

Mickey Rooney

June 4th, 2009
4:20 pm

Hey Furm, here are some other things you may have missed besides the strength of the Braves farm system: COLOR television, airplanes, personal computers, the DH, escalators, cordless phones, this world wide web thing, and flushing toilets.

Riles

June 5th, 2009
5:08 pm

Anderson is hitting .260 with a .302 OBP. Hardly hitting well for Detroit. Somebody was not THAT high on him since he has been traded how many times?

The Real Gumby

June 5th, 2009
6:31 pm

AJC headline: Seven stories to read in Sunday’s AJC

Is one of them yours, Furman? Down to only 7 stories, huh? Oh, well, maybe something can be made of Tom Glavine losing all velocity and common sense. Apologize to Tommy and put him to work at the paper. Next week, eight stories.

trey

June 12th, 2009
9:50 pm

You’re a good man, Furman, my dad used to actually work in his I think late teens eary twenties with you. He said you still use the oldfashioned typewriter, instead of the more modern stuff and I have a lot of respect for you.

Bill Donohoo

June 17th, 2009
11:40 am

I am getting a bit tired of the Braves front office getting excited about a trade because the player is already signed for 3 years. I am really not excited about acquiring a CF who was hitting a whopping 250 and getting a first baseman who has no power and hits between 270 and 280. Garret Anderson is a waste, the Angels did not give up on him because he had a another good year in him.
Cox would do well to get on Frenchy about swinging at bad pitches. If Cox is already doing it, then it has not sunk in.Frenchy reminds me of many flash in the pans, good for a couple of years then loses it for some reason.
Kelly Johnson’s streaks are getting old, it seems the Braves were excited about Johnson at year end in 2008, trouble is that is when all the Triple A and Double A pitchers are brought up.
I still say move McCann to first base and save the wear and tear on him. MOve Escobar to CF or RF and get a good fielding SS. In other words what ever the Braves are doing just isn’t working. Shake things up!!!!!!!!!

Meatlake

June 21st, 2009
7:03 am

I beat Bisher…circa 79′

LSU

June 21st, 2009
8:45 pm

Mr. Bisher is right about our farm system being dried up. There’s only a handful of potential top prospects, and none of them except for maybe Schafer are close enough to play in the big leaugues.

dub

June 22nd, 2009
1:36 pm

If and when Bobby Cox put the right line-up out there he might win some games ,but until then he’s not

dub

June 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

I like to know what wrong with Yunel playing ss.You need to be talking about your 3b,2b,rf can’t hit they way out of a wet paper bag right now. at least Yunel hit witth runner in scores position Chipper piss because he can’t hit when runner is on he need to go while you still can get something for him i recon.

Patrick

June 24th, 2009
1:20 pm

That is quite possibly the worst piece of journalism ever written. You have no idea what heck you are talking about. I am actually dumber from having read that article. Please retire and my god have mercy on your soul you POS “journalist”

Eddie

June 27th, 2009
8:27 am

I say fire Bobby Cox. The Braves have no speed and dont hit and run. Bobby waits for the HR when the Braves dont have any power, he has no imagination anymore.

dub

June 27th, 2009
7:14 pm

Chipper.Chipper;Chip is wash up .Instead of getting rid of Tex it should have been the Chip.Some you keep talking about they r pitching around Chipper, but the last month they been going right at him an he can’t come thur in the cluth. Braves r 0 for 15 with runner in scoreing position & Chipper is o for 5 maybe 6. He need to shut his mouth an just play ball this game has a way of humbling you. Mr Wren when r u going to open your eyes an see what going on ,because Bobby Cox sure don’t.

Braves Fan A

July 3rd, 2009
11:36 am

Mr. Bisher,
I think you’re running out of things to write so you’re spending your time trying to raise some controversial discussion or trying to find some negativity of the Braves.
Here’s the reply to your post, if you come out of your old cave in the last week, you can see that our farm system is doing pretty awesome. (Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen, ever heard of those guys?)
So what if we sign new players ? there’s nothing wrong with that, the result is that we’re winning, and we’re doing that in a very honest way. When we’re hiring player that’s on steroid to win the game, then you can write all your want. And what’s with the discussion about signing Japanese players ? It doesn’t even make any sense. I feel like you don’t like foreign players, well wake up old man, baseball is all over the world and there are better players out there than just in America.
If you can’t find encouraging words to help fans to cheer more for the Braves, then go to Florida, New York, or Philadelphia, they can use you over there.
I have lost a lot of respect for you since you posted the article about Chipper Jones being traded. And I’m sure I’m speaking for a lot of Braves fan.
So with all due respect, if you can’t encourage Braves fan, then either shut up or move to the cities that I listed above.
There I said it, and I’m not sorry

Justin

July 8th, 2009
9:01 am

A few months later, and this article REALLY looks dumb. On the ML roster right now we have no less than 8 starters and 6 or 7 relievers/bench players who came up through the system. We also STILL have some of the best prospects in the game after having called up our 2 best pitchers and trading for McLouth.

To the post that said we will be out of it by July…well, I am pretty sure we are still in it.

Bisher, this article sucks and reeks of senility. Get a clue before you write next time!

josh

July 8th, 2009
3:30 pm

didn’t we trade for smoltz?

Burdell

July 8th, 2009
8:57 pm

Smoltz came up through Detroit’s system. He did pitch a year in Richmond before being promoted, but he was a top prospect before in Detroit’s system, so it’s questionable at best to call him a “product” of the Braves’ farm.

People assume the Tigers got fleeced in the deal, but the other end of that trade, Doyle Alexander, went 9-0 for the Tigers with a 1.53 ERA, which was a major reason the Tigers made it to the AL Championship that year. It was a clear “win now” move that almost paid off.

Rufus

July 14th, 2009
10:20 pm

If the Braves had an ultra talented young player, and he had a free spirit about him, Bobby won’t want him, unless he’s a robot, and won’t show emotion.
The reality is that no matter what players the Braves get, Bobby will find a way blow a lead.
The Braves need to starting over again, beginning with the hitting coach, MANAGER, etc.

mike mangan

July 15th, 2009
9:20 pm

Smoltz actually came in the win now trade with the Tigers for doyle alexander and yes he did win now with great numbers for the motor city maulers after the trade.What an upside Smoltz had after arriving in atlanta are there anymore trades like that available anywhere.Yes we did have another Id trade another Melvin Nieves for another Fred McGriff.How about Kotchman,Canizares,or Kelly Johnson andMedlin for Adrian Gonzales and while were at it swapping Mike Gonzales for Heath Bell in a swap of closers…

DC Bravesfan

July 16th, 2009
7:01 pm

Who the hell cares if you have talent in the farm system, I want talent in the ATL, playing, winning, and winning championships. Not sitting down on the farm.

jwyatt15

July 22nd, 2009
3:45 pm

Write another article or delete this crap! I am so tired of seeing it on the front page. Three months is quite long enough for an unfounded article full of lies. You may want to research some of the “dried up talent” before you do such a lovley piece next time. Here, I’ll help you with your homework sweetie! Look up the names Cody Johnson, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Brandon Hicks, and some guy named Hanson. Good luck, I know you can do it!

PN

July 23rd, 2009
12:36 am

This a beautiful article. It’s an article that I can respond to in a semi-educated manner without even reading the article. All my response required was the author of the article and the title of the article. So the Braves talent on the farm has dried up, huh Furmie? Maybe you shouldn’t tell McCann that, or Chipper, or Yunel, or Prado, heck for the better part of 2 years, Francueor (gag) and KJ (semi-gag). Tommy Hanson wouldn’t be too thrilled with this article. Oh, neither would the #1 and #11 (overall) Baseball America prospects Freeman or Heyward. Medlen may beg to differ too. Oh yeah, what was that guy’s name, Schafer? He disagree too. Am I leaving anyone out? Ohhh yeah! Nate McClouth actually just texted me that Charlie Morton and Gorkyz Hernandez told him to tell me that they disagree as well. I have only nicked the surface.

Furman, you are senile. Go home.

PN

July 23rd, 2009
12:44 am

LOL. After reading the article I had a bowel movement for the first time in 2 days. Thanks Furman! Your articles DO work!

tim

July 23rd, 2009
7:02 pm

The five players we traded for Tex wern’t all “golden” as you put it. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is struggling for playing time in Arlington, and he wasn’t needed here. Matt Harrison in two seasons with Texas has an ERA over 5.5 and this season has an ERA over 6! The organization has enough depth to keep making these trades for big-time players (and STILL be loaded) because we have such a great farm system. Wren knows what he’s doing. It’s not like he ever trades a player at a position we need. All he’s traded of significance are catchers and pitchers. NEITHER OF WHICH WE NEED!

aswingruber

July 24th, 2009
2:59 pm

Smoltz was a product of the Detroit farm system you arse. Couple that with the fact that you say you are “a believer in Kelly Johnson” and it’s clear you have no business writing about the Braves anymore viejo. You are out of touch. Please stop coming around every 3 months to drop a crackpot column on us.

Mike

July 24th, 2009
3:44 pm

Mr. Bisher, I am a real fan but it is time to take this column down. enough is enough.

John Brown

July 25th, 2009
3:15 pm

The Braves have the 4th ranked minor league system in the majors according to ESPN. Without Martin Prado, Yunel Escobar and Tommy Hanson(Braves farm products), the Braves would be nowhere right now. And, for losing Salty in the Tex trade(he’s useless striking out swinging for the fences constantly) we also got Jurjenns from Detroit for a washed up Renteria. So in the end with those 2 trades I’d say Jair is the best player involved by far. Brooks Conrad has contributed as well. A professional would admit he’s wrong, and in this case you clearly are so admit it and people might give you a break.

John Brown

July 25th, 2009
3:21 pm

HEY Bill – Move Escobar to CF???? Are you nuts? Look at Soriano in Chicago. He is awful…..Escobar is one of the best fielding SS in the NL. Are you watching the games? McCann lost weight to take care of his knees. He’ll be fine. Yea move a 4 time All Star to 1st? When he’s what 26? He’s 10x the catcher Piazza was and that didnt work either. Quit armchair GM-ing and leave the professionals to play the postion they can. Or become a Cub fan…They do stupid stuff like the things you suggest. You’d fit right in. Escobar in CF….Probably the dumbest suggestion I have ever heard!!